Duterte Cabinet members do not resort to bribery —Malacañang

admin   •   February 8, 2019   •   2397

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 34th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on February 6, 2019. | Richard Madelo\PCOO

House Appropriations Committee chair Congressman Rolando Andaya hurled another accusation against Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Andaya claims that Diokno attempted to bribe them to back down on the issue regarding the alleged insertions in the 2019 proposed national budget.

“Secretary Diokno tried to buy our cooperation. He offered the House P40-billion for us to shut up about the P70-billion insertions,” Andaya said.

The allegation was emphatically denied by the budget secretary: “Absolutely false. It is another one of his wild and baseless allegations.”

Malacañang stood firm on its position that members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet do not engage bribery.

“We in the Cabinet certainly and in the administration of President Duterte, we do not resort to things like bribing,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

The Palace added that Diokno still enjoys the trust of the president, although they are not dismissing the allegations of Andaya which the secretary still has to answer point by point.

“So, mabigat yung mga akusasyon. I hope it can be addressed immediately,” Nograles said.

Meanwhile, Malacañang assured that President Duterte will approve a national budget that is pork barrel-free.

“Everything is legal here because obviously the last thing we would want anyone to do is to question it before the Supreme Court and we want this budget clean and we want this budget implemented,” Nograles said.

The statement was made after Senator Panfilo Lacson called on the Chief Executive to use his line-item veto power over the 2019 appropriations measure “by removing all the ‘pork’ inserted by lawmakers.” — Rosalie Coz

Bangko Sentral, DA, and DAR amend implementing rules of Agri-Agra Law

Robie de Guzman   •   March 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), together with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), approved the amendments to the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act (RA) 10000 or the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the amendment introduced to the implementing rules will help improve financing to the agrarian reform, fisheries, and agricultural sector.

“The amendments to the Agri-Agra IRR are the product of the concerted efforts of the DA, DAR, and the BSP to mobilize bank sector financing towards the agrarian reform, fisheries, and agricultural sector by addressing challenges identified in the operationalization of the Law,” Diokno said in a statement on Thursday.

“It is a timely and positive development since it will assist this sector to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural calamities,” he added.

In particular, the amendments to the IRR of Agri-Agra Law are the following:

  • Expand the eligible modes of compliance with the ten percent (10%) agrarian reform credit requirement by including: (a) loans to members of agrarian reform households, and (b) financing of activities that shall generally benefit agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and/or ARB households as well as agrarian reform communities;
  • Remove the accreditation requirement for debt securities to be considered as agri-agra eligible;
  • Allow investments in shares of stock of companies that are primarily engaged in eligible agricultural activities as an eligible mode of alternative compliance; and
  • Promote special lending arrangements that consider the holistic requirements of agricultural borrowers such as agricultural value chain financing.

The BSP said the amendments to the law’s IRR will “broaden access of the agrarian reform sector to bank financing, streamline banks’ process of investing in agri-agra eligible securities, and promote innovative financing solutions, within the legal ambit of R.A. No. 10000.”

The central bank, however, said that the IRR amendments are only an “interim measure” pending the passage of the proposed amendments to the Agri-Agra Law.

The BSP said it is currently pushing for the enactment of comprehensive amendments to the Agri-Agra Law which recommend a financing approach that considers the requirements of the broader agricultural ecosystem.

The proposed amendments to the law are envisioned to strengthen rural development and improve the well-being of agricultural and rural community beneficiaries, it added.


BSP Governor Ben Diokno discharged from hospital

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno has been discharged from the hospital after undergoing a medical procedure, the central bank said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the BSP said Diokno’s discharge was “earlier than expected,” adding that he is steadily recovering from the surgery.

“The Governor is now recuperating at home and may preside over the Monetary Board meeting as early as next week,” the central bank said.

The BSP earlier said Diokno underwent a medical procedure on Sunday, January 17 to address a blood clot caused by a minor head accident.

While he is on medical leave, he has designated Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila as BSP’s officer-in-charge.

BSP chief Diokno on medical leave after ‘minor’ head injury, assigns Dakila as OIC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno has designated Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr. as the officer-in-charge of the central bank while he is on medical leave.

In a statement, the BSP said Diokno underwent a medical procedure on Sunday, January 17 to address a blood clot caused by a minor head accident.

“The procedure went well and I’m now on my way to recovery. Meanwhile, I’m designating Francis Dakila as OIC BSP Governor while I’m recuperating,” Diokno was quoted as saying in his message to the Monetary Board and BSP staff.

Citing his medical report, the central bank said the prognosis for Diokno’s complete recovery is “very good” as he was awake and conversant an hour after the procedure.

He is expected to be discharged from the hospital in four to five days and is anticipated to return to work subsequently, the BSP added.

“The BSP remains focused in promoting price stability, financial system stability and an efficient payment system,” the central bank said.

Diokno was appointed BSP Governor in March 2019 to replace the late Nestor Espenilla Jr. who passed away in February 2019 after his battle with cancer.


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