Davao Rep. Ungab accepts Hugpong’s House speaker nomination

Robie de Guzman   •   July 4, 2019   •   985

Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Third District Representative Isidro Ungab has accepted the endorsement of regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, as a candidate for House Speaker.

In a statement, Ungab said he will abide by the decision of the party.

“I am deeply honored for the endorsement as House Speaker. I am a good soldier under the command of every Filipino,” he said.

“I am ready, willing and capable to serve in any capacity. I reiterate my commitment to support the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte, ensure further economic growth, lower poverty incidence and to help create more opportunities for all Filipinos,” he added.

On Wednesday (July 3), the HNP which is led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, nominated Ungab as its bet for the speakership amid a tight race in the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress.

READ: Hugpong ng Pagbabago endorses Ungab for House Speaker post

The HNP said they nominated Ungab for the top House post in case President Rodirgo Duterte rejects the intent of his son, Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte, to join the speakership race “because of delicadeza.”  

“Therefore, we are endorsing the bid of Congressman Isidro Ungab for Speaker,” the party said.

It can be recalled that on Tuesday (July 2), Paolo Duterte announced his possible bid for speakership amid talks on term-sharing. He also proposed that the speaker of the house post be shared by representatives from Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon, and the party-list groups.

President Duterte earlier said he will step down from office should his son decide to gun for House speakership.

The HNP said Ungab is an experienced legislator and the only congressman to hold the chairmanships of both Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees.

Ungab assured he is ready and open to work with everyone, even expressing hope that every member will work towards unity to establish a strong House.

“HNP hopes that everyone will aim for and work towards unity and cooperation in order to establish a strong and efficient House,” he said.

Other contenders for the speakership post are Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco and Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales.

House members are expected elect the next Speaker when the session of the 18th Congress opens in the morning of July 22, the same day when President Duterte delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Duterte tells telcos to report LGUs delaying permit processing

Robie de Guzman   •   July 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said telecommunications companies should report local government units that are obstructing the building of additional cell towers by delaying the processing of permits.

Duterte made the statement in a televised address after Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu told the president about their permitting woes in order to build more cell sites and improve their services.

“We are suffering ho from many, many years of this, before your administation, many administrations, 25 to 29 permit umaabot ng walong buwan tapos marami pa ho kaming miscellaneous fees ho. Iba-ibang klaseng tower fee. Mayroon kaming special use permit,” Cu said.

Cu met with Duterte after the latter threatened during his State of the Nation Address to shut down or expropriate telcos if no improvements are made in their services before December.

“Kasi sabi ko, ‘pag hindi mo pa na-improve ‘yan, I will hang you in one of your towers. Sabi niya, “Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower. The local governments are all f—–g it up,” Duterte told Cu in jest.

After hearing Cu’s concerns, the chief executive urged telcos to issue a formal complaint against local government units that are stalling the processing of permits for additional communication towers.

He also told telcos to report LGUs to proper authorities.

“Isumbong niyo na lang ng diresto at ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the, ‘kung pinakamabigat, the most drastic measure that you can find, para magkaintindihan. This is my last mile,” he said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, in the same briefing, said that local government units have been ordered to shorten the process and reduce the time spent in producing permits to 16 to 20 days.

“Dati po kailangan pa ng Home-Owners Association Resolution, kailangan pa ng Sangguniang Bayan Resolution, wala na po ‘yon. 16 days to 20 days po ang target para y’ong lahat ng permit ay tatakbo,” he said.

The government has been pushing for the ease of doing business to streamline the process in government agencies.

Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. earlier said they are currently working on expansion plans to improve the communication services in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Davao City gov’t intercepts LSIs allegedly trying to skirt protocols vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 31, 2020

Locally-stranded individuals (LSI) allegedly attempting to enter Davao City using a different airport or via land travels to avoid cumbersome protocols against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been intercepted by the Task Force Davao (TFD), the city government said.

In a statement, the city government said that as of July 28, Tuesday, the TFD reported having intercepted a total of 175 LSIs at the city’s three major entry points – Lasang, Sirawan, and Lacson.

TFD commander Colonel Consolito Yecla said that of this figure, at least 87 were residents of Davao City while the remaining 88 were just passing by for their destination provinces.

“Those who are residents of the city were escorted to the testing center for their swab tests while the non-residents were escorted toward the boundaries,” he said.

“We escorted them to the boundaries to ensure that they will not make a stop in the city, we treat everyone as a carrier so it will be vital if they make a stop,” he added.

On Wednesday the TFD also intercepted a person who failed the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) in Trento, Agusan del Sur.

The patient was immediately brought to the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC).

Some LSIs are allegedly trying to skirt an earlier order of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, requiring those entering the city to provide negative results of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR) taken at least 72 hours before boarding their flights.

The order was later modified and testing is now being done as plane passengers leave the Davao International Airport.

Contract tracing was among the main issues in the past when LSIs tested positive for the disease.

With the exit testing, contact tracing will now be easier, the city government said.

Duterte declares July 31 a regular holiday for Eid’l Adha

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has declared July 31, Friday a regular holiday in observance of Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice of the Muslim community.

Malacañang said Duterte made the declaration through Proclamation No. 985.

The date was chosen based on the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.

The president also reminded the public that the observance of the event shall be subject to existing community quarantine and social distancing measures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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