DILG welcomes House panel OK of economic revisions to 1987 PH Constitution

Robie de Guzman   •   February 3, 2021   •   680

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday welcomed a House panel’s approval of the proposed economic amendments in the 1987 Constitution, calling it “a big step towards the country’s long-term recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The passage of the resolution is one giant step towards achieving our goal of improving the investment climate of the country which has been curtailed for the past 34 years by the outdated economic provisions of the constitution and devastated by the global pandemic,” DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments on Tuesday adopted a resolution amending certain “restrictive” economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution.

The Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2 authored by House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco was approved after 62 members of the committee voted in its favor. Three lawmakers voted against it while three abstained.

RBH 2 proposes to add the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” to constitutional provisions which provides that only Filipino citizens can control, own, and/or lease alienable lands of public domain, natural resources, public utilities, educational institutions, mass media companies, and advertising companies in the Philippines.

Malaya said opening the economy to foreign investors would yield more jobs, generate more funds for the treasury, and strengthen foreign partnerships for economic growth and sustainability.

The committee, however, excluded RBH 2’s original proposal to allow foreigners to own private land in the Philippines.

“The DILG fully supports the decision of the Committee to prohibit foreigners from owning private land in the country. Foreign investors can always do long-term leases for their factories and houses, so this will have no impact on the quality of foreign investment,” Malaya said.

He assured that the DILG would help Congress in explaining to the people the benefits to be derived from lifting the economic restrictions in the 34-year-old Charter.

“We are confident that the lifting of these restrictions would lead to the entry of more foreign investors and capital to pump-prime the economy and replace the jobs that were lost because of the pandemic,” he said.

He said that the Constitution was written 34 years ago when the dominant idea was protectionism.

“The approval would send a strong signal to the world that the Philippines, like other governments which instituted constitutional reforms, is now ready to provide an attractive investment climate and make the necessary adjustments in the economy to make progress trickle down to the poor,” Malaya said.

Sec. Año supports a more relaxed quarantine restriction in Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Secretary Eduardo Año said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is still studying whether or not to implement a more relaxed restriction in the National Capital Region (NCR) without discriminating against those who are not yet vaccinated.

Año, however, indicated that he is more inclined to favor downgrading the restriction in the capital saying it is about time.

“In Metro Manila, I will give my all honest opinion with the high percentage of vaccination, it’s about time to really give some additional privilege to the vaccinated. It will also encourage other people to be vaccinated,” he said.

Among those who support the relaxation of quarantine restrictions is Go Negosyo founder and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

He said that a more relaxed restriction should now be imposed in areas where the majority of the population is already vaccinated such as in the NCR.

“I think we should move forward and really test it because how do you live with COVID if even the vaccinated will not be allowed movement,” Concepcion said.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) said it agrees with Concepcion and even released a resolution to urge the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to approve such proposal although the mayors support the strict implementation of the health and safety protocol to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“It means that we are one with the call of Mr. Concepcion or even of the businessmen to urge IATF to consider the easing of the guidelines; however, it is subject to the study of interdisciplinary,” said MMC and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority concurrent chairman Benhur Abalos.

At present, over 50% of the NCR’s population are fully vaccinated, 80% if to include those who received their first dose.

The IATF is now finalizing the guidelines for the new quarantine classifications using the new alert level system. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Pagpapatupad ng granular sa halip na malawakang lockdown sa mga lalawigan, pinag-aaralan na – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2021

MANILA – Ikino-konsidera ngayon ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) na huwag na magpatupad ng malawakang lockdown sa mga lalawigan o rehiyon upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19.

Ayon kay DILG Usec. Epimaco Densing, sa halip na malawakang lockdown ay granular na lamang gagawin na naka-sentro lamang sa mga partikular na lugar na may mataas na kaso ng COVID-19.

Ibig sabihin, ang lokal na pamahalaan na ang magpapasya kung ilang lugar sa kanilang mga nasasakupan ang isasailalim sa lockdown upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng coronavirus.

“Hahayaan po natin ang mga lokal na gobyerno at ating mga gobernardor at mga mayor na magdeklara ng mga granular lockdowns. Dito sa granular lockdowns, makakasiguro po tayo na walang paggalaw ang mga tao,” ani Densing.

Una nang sinabi ng Department of Health (DOH) na hindi na kailangan ang malawakan at mahabang lockdown period para mas mapabilis ang detection, isolation, at contact tracing ng mga nagpositibo sa COVID-19.

Ayon kay Densing, tutulungan ng national government ang mga lokal na pamahalaan sa pagbibigay ng ayuda sa mga residenteng maaapektuhan ng granular lockdown.

“Ang usapan po nito na ang national government po ay tutulong sa ating lokal na gobyerno para punan ang kanilang pangangailangan lalo na sa pagkain itong mga lugar lugar na kanilang ilalagay sa mga lockdown,” ang wika ng opisyal.

Bukod sa implementasyon ng granular lockdown, inatasan na rin ng DILG ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na maghanda pa ng mas maraming isolation facilities.

Ito’y upang mahigpit na maipagbawal ang home quarantine, at mapigilan ang hawaan ng sakit lalo na sa mga nakatira sa iisang bahay.

Bukod sa quarantine hotels, inatasan na rin ng DILG ang mga lokal na opisyal na maghanap ng mga bakanteng motel at gusali na maaring gamitin bilang isolation facilties.

“Sa ngayon po hindi maganda yung ating statistika, dahil inaabot po ng 12 araw bago po ma-isolate ang isang kumpirmado nang COVID-19 positive ayon sa talaan ng Department of Health sa aming paguusap. Gusto po nating paiikliin ito ng anim na araw,” ani Densing. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

DILG extends ayuda pay-out in Metro Manila until August 31

Marje Pelayo   •   August 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has extended the deadline for the distribution of cash assistance or Ayuda to low-income individuals and families in Metro Manila to August 31.

“Upon the request of the [local government units] and with the concurrence of Secretary [Joselito] Bautista and Secretary [Delfin] Lorenzana, we have decided to give the LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR) until the end of the month to complete the distribution of ayuda,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.

Año commended the local government of Caloocan City through Mayor Oscar Malapitan for being the first to complete the distribution of cash assistance before the given deadline.

He also lauded other LGUs in Metro Manila for collectively achieving a total of 80.96% in the distribution of cash aid as of August 24.

This means a total of P9.1-billion of the P11.2-billion total fund from the national government has already been distributed to the beneficiaries.

“This is the fastest distribution we’ve had in NCR since the start of the pandemic and we did this with people complying with minimum health standards,” Año said.

A total of 9,101,999 low-income individuals have received their Ayuda in NCR from August 11-24, 2021.

Año said that the decision to extend the deadline for the payout was made after some Metro Manila LGUs requested more time in completing the payout given the limited mobility and manpower to finish the payout due to the increasing cases of COVID-19 in NCR.

“The mayors also need more time to process appeals and grievances so it is justified for us to give an extension,” he said.

Metro Manila mayors were initially given 15 days to finish the Ayuda payout starting from August 11 to supposedly today, August 25.

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