Duterte Cabinet to let go of 6 members for 2019 midterm polls

Marje Pelayo   •   October 3, 2018   •   3092

MANILA, Philippines – Six members of the Duterte Cabinet are eyeing the elections in 2019.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, three of the six are planning to run for the Senate while the other three are eyeing local positions in the May 2019 midterm polls.

The filing of the certificate of candidacy will officially open on October 11.

“In so far as they are… not just three from my last count, there would be around six who might file their certificate of candidacy for national and local posts,” Roque said.

The President by then is expected to fill the vacant positions.

Among the Cabinet members rumored to be running for Senator in the 2019 midterm election are Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, Political Adviser Francis Tolentino and Secretary Roque.

Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco is said to have plans of running  for  governor of Bohol while TESDA Director General Guiling Mamondiong, Presidential Adviser on OFW Affairs Abdullah Mama-o and Civil Defense Deputy Administrator Nicanor Faeldon will seek election for local posts. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Gov’t still has enough budget for COVID-19 response — DBM

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The national government has shed a total amount of P374.89 billion on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according President Rodrigo Duterte during the recent pre-SONA forum.

The largest chunk, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), was spent on programs designed to strengthen the country’s health sector and relief assistance to those who were affected by the lockdowns.

Still, the DBM maintained that the government has enough budget to sustain its COVID-19 response. 

“Mayroon pong sapat na pondo ang ating pamahalaan upang tugunan at labanan ang patuloy na pananalasa ng COVID-19 pandemic po sa ating bansa (Our government has enough budget to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country),” assured DBM Secretary Wendell Avisado.

Meanwhile, the government has raised around P5.28 billion US dollars budgetary financing support from development partners apart from the P126.36 million U.S dollars from ongoing financing for COVID-19 response projects.  

The Duterte Cabinet stressed the need to open the economy in Metro Manila and the CALABARZON region in order for the country’s overall economy to gradually recover considering that 67 percent of the country’s economy depends on these two regions. 

However, they emphasized the public’s important role in economic recovery, thus strict compliance with the government’s minimum health standards to curb the spread of COVID-19 is critical. 

“It is vital that the economies of these regions reopen. The reality is, this virus won’t go away until a vaccine is found. In the meantime, we have to go back to work, while staying safe,” noted Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. 

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, meanwhile, urged the public to be vigilant and responsible to avoid being infected with the deadly virus. 

“Each and every Filipino needs to be very vigilant. We should all continue observing social distancing, and other public health measures such as wearing masks, and frequent washing of hands to protect each other’s health and well-being,” he said. 

“We must act responsibly,” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Source: Minor revamp looms in Duterte Cabinet

Robie de Guzman   •   June 25, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 38th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on June 10, 2019. Courtesy PCOO

MANILA, Philippines – A minor reshuffle is expected to take place soon in the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte, a highly placed source said on Monday.

The source, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to divulge this information to media, said Duterte is mulling over moving some officials amid ongoing evaluation of all departments’ performances.

The source said the revamp may include Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, who may be transferred to the Mindanao Development Authority.

The President may announce the possible Cabinet revamp next month, the source said. (with details from Grace Casin)

Comelec sees rise in vote buying incidents ahead of May polls

Marje Pelayo   •   May 3, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is all set for the upcoming May 13 midterm polls.

However, the agency fears of a possible rise in cases of vote buying especially in the local level.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez noted that even days prior to the elections, they have been receiving reports of vote buying using cash, grocery items and many other valuables from candidates to lure voters.

As always, the poll body advises the public to be wise in choosing their candidates.

“COMELEC has always said do not take the money at all,” Director Jimenez said.

“We believe that you should just say no to the bribe to the vote buying attempt and just vote according to your conscience,” he added.

Comelec, however, admits that guarding against vote buying is a huge challenge that’s why the agency is encouraging the public to report any incident of violations of the election law.

Meanwhile, election officers are doubling their efforts to prepare all election paraphernalia before the midterm polls in May.

Generator sets are already stationed in polling places across the country to serve as back-up source of electricity in any event of power interruptions or outages during the election process.

The poll body is also continuously conducting voter education programs to prepare the voters. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Aiko Miguel)

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