DOJ Secretary to serve as OIC from June 21-23

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 21, 2019   •   1005

Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra will serve as the officer-in-charge of the Executive Department from June 21-23 as President Rodrigo Duterte flies to Thailand.

President Duterte will be attending the 34th Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok, Thailand.

While the president is away, Guevarra will oversee the day to day operations of the Executive Department.

Duterte’s delegation will fly en route to Thailand Friday afternoon (June 21)

Duterte issues EO imposing medicine price cap

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 18, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order that will impose price cap on medicines.

Based on Executive Order (EO) 104 or Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP) price regulations will be imposed through a maximum retail price (MRP) and maximum wholesale price (MWP) system.

“Access to affordable and quality drugs and medicines is now a reality under the Duterte administration. This is part of the real and lasting reform, which President Duterte has instituted in order that all Filipinos can live decent and comfortable lives,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

The EO is expected to lower the cost of medicines as much as 56 percent by May. In the first phase of MDRP, 87 medicines for hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung diseases, major cancers, and other diseases have been included.

The Department of Health (DOH) has proposed 122 medicines and is reviewing to include more.

“DOH, together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and stakeholders, was also tasked to review the price reduction of the remaining 35 drugs to finalize the list covered by the EO,” according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The DOH is set to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the said EO.

Duque also warned pharmaceutical companies or drug stores not abiding by the EO may face up to 15 years of imprisonment.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Duterte to visit tourist sites to boost tourism amid COVID-19 threat

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte prepares to board a helicopter after gracing the inauguration of the Sangley Airport Development Project in Cavite City on February 15, 2020. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte will visit popular tourist sites in the Philippines to promote local tourism amid the COVID-19 threat.

READ: It’s more fun in the Philippines: Duterte invites Filipinos to visit local tourism sites amid Covid-19 fears

The President may travel to Boracay, Cebu, and Bohol to attract more visitors and potentially make up for the losses of the current travel ban in China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

“He’s a magnet. His presence attracts people from attending an event,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Usec. Art Boncato said they will schedule a trip as soon as possible.

“We’re of course lining up destinations like Boracay, Cebu for instance even Bohol, as the initial list of destinations for the president most probably visit within the next couple of weeks,” he said.

READ: Duterte asks local carriers, hotels to help boost PH tourism amid COVID-19 threat

Tourism industry stakeholders agreed to help boost domestic travel by offering discounted airfare and hotel rates following a meeting with President Duterte.

“Come with me and be my travel companion. I’ll be traveling around the Philippines. Pasyal tayo dito sa atin. Unahin natin ‘yung atin. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang turismo ng Pilipinas,” Duterte said on his video message.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte won’t allow massive reclamation of private sectors in Manila Bay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not allow any private sector’s massive reclamation of Manila Bay.

During his speech in the inauguration of the Sangley Airport on Saturday (February 15), Duterte said he will only allow plans of reclamation if it is in connection with a government project.

“I will only allow maybe plans of whatever reclamation if it is in connection with a government project. I will not allow massive reclamation for the private sector,” he said.

He also said that there is a need for further study if he will allow reclamation in Manila Bay.

“The entire Manila City would be environmentally at peril. So pag-aralan ninyong mabuti iyan (study it carefully). For the next administration, whoever gets to be the president of this country, study it very carefully. Because that Manila there, that old city is an old city and it will decay if you add so many things in front of Manila Bay,” Duterte said.

Based on reports, there are 25 reclamation projects proposal for the 10,000 hectares of Manila Bay, from Navotas City to Cavite. The government has only approved four of them which still need to undergo value engineer approval.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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