Duterte issues ultimatum to state offices to finish paperwork by December 15

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 21, 2019   •   227

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an ultimatum to state agencies to finish their paperwork by December 15.

The chief executive also expressed disappointment over the continuous red tape in the government despite his several warnings.

“It seems that things are moving very slow and that is why it is still a source of corruption. The longer you sit on the paper or nothing at all—either you are not working,” he said.

“Even the Cabinet members, they have one month to decide. I must have your decision on the papers before you. And I said last night, it has to be December 15. It’s been so many months now. Papers that are on your table must be out with a decision. If it’s for approval, good; if it is for denial, fine. But let it out,” he added.

Duterte also said military and government officials who are too slow in performing their duties should be removed from office.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to appoint PNP OIC Gamboa as next chief

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2020

PNP Officer-In-Charge, Police Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa arrives at Police Regional Office 4A and gives reminders and guidance to deployable PNP personnel involved in the evacuation, relief, and rescue operations in Taal eruption-hit areas.

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he will appoint Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa as the next police chief.

Duterte made the announcement during a speech in Davao City.

The president said he would formally designate Gamboa as the next PNP chief after they meet with Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.  

Duterte earlier asked Año to supervise the police force until he has chosen its next chief.

“We have the PNP chief. I’m going to appoint you as the regular PNP [chief]. But […] you and Secretary Año and I will have a long, long talk first,” he said addressing Gamboa in his speech.

“Pinakita mo sa akin ‘yung sincerity mo and I’d like you to leave something that you will be remembered by the country,” he added

Gamboa, who was in the event, acknowledged Duterte’s remarks by standing up and giving a salute.

Gamboa was designated as PNP OIC after former chief Oscar Albayalde stepped down in October over allegations that he protected some police officers tagged as ‘ninja cops’ for their involvement in the selling or recycling of illegal drugs seized from an operation in Pampanga in 2013.

Albayalde was the chief of Pampanga police when the operation was conducted.

In a statement, the PNP welcomed Duterte’s pronouncement of Gamboa’s appointment.

“The PNP welcomes the pronouncement of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte to appoint PNP OIC PLTGEN. Archie Francisco Gamboa as the regular PNP Chief,” the statement read.

“Under the able leadership of PLtGen Gamboa, we assure the public that the PNP remains committed to intensify the campaign against criminality, illegal drugs and corruption, following the rule of law and with utmost respect for human rights, and vigorously pursue internal cleansing to weed the ranks of rogue cops, all towards winning back the trust and confidence of the people,” it added.

In a separate statement, Año also welcomed Gamboa’s designation as the next PNP chief.

“He is very qualified for the job. I expect that he will work harder now that he is the permanent Chief PNP and lead the organization in its intensified fight against illegal drugs, criminalities, communist terrorist groups and extremists,” Año said.

“I also expect that he would continue to cleanse the PNP ranks of scalawags,” he added.

He also called on the entire police force to support Gamboa, enforce the law and fulfill their mandate “to serve and protect the people.”

OFW deployment ban to Kuwait to stay until 2018 labor pact fully implemented – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait will remain in effect until the labor agreement signed in 2018 between the two countries is fully implemented, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the labor department’s call for a total ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Kuwait following the killing of household service worker Jeanelyn Villavende.

“The Palace wishes to inform the public that President Duterte has approved the recommendation of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III on the total deployment ban of Filipino workers in Kuwait,” Panelo said.

He added that the ban will stay until the memorandum of agreement between the two countries is fully honored and “the terms contained therein are incorporated in every labor contract with our OFWs.”

Bello earlier said he recommended a total deployment ban to Kuwait after results of a re-autopsy by the National Bureau of Investigation revealed that Villavende had several missing internal organs and had “clear indications of sexual abuse.”

The re-autopsy was conducted after a certificate released by Kuwait’s Ministry of Health showed that Villavende died of “acute failure of heart and respiration” as a result of shock and multiple injuries.

In a statement on Thursday, Bello said the implementation of a total deployment ban of workers was fueled by the alleged attempt of the Kuwaiti government “to cover-up the true case of death” of Villavende.

He said the re-autopsy on the Filipino worker’s remains was in complete contrast to the report of the Kuwaiti authorities.

Bello also said that another cause for the ban was the failure of the Kuwaiti government to come into an agreement regarding the standard employment contract in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement in 2018.

“Under the MOU, we were supposed to come up with a standard employment contract in order to provide sufficient protection for our OFWs. That’s almost two years ago of discussing and debating but until now, we have not finalized anything,” Bello said.

The total ban covers the processing and deployment of all household service workers, semi-skilled, skilled workers and professionals including Filipino crew seafarers for Kuwait.

However, skilled workers and professionals who have unexpired contracts or categorized as Balik-Manggagawa, and those who will be cleared by the Secretary of Labor are exempted from the ban.

“Those who will come home for a vacation and has an existing contract are still allowed to travel to Kuwait, however, workers with new contracts will be covered by the ban. This move is nothing less than for the protection of our workers,” Bello said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte creates inter-agency task force on zero-hunger

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 16, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order creating an inter-agency task force to end hunger in the country.

Based on Executive Order no. 101, an inter-agency task force on zero-hunger will be created which will be chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

“Involuntary hunger, food security, undernutrition and child wasting, stunting, and mortality continue to be serious concerns in the country,” the executive order reads.

The task force aims to assure that all government policies, programs and projects are centered in maintaining zero-hunger in the country.

“There is a need to carefully coordinate, rationalize, monitor and assess the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole-of-government approach to eradicating hunger and achieving food security,” it further reads.

The members of the task force include the secretaries of agrarian reform, budget, education, environment, health, labor, interior and local government, trade, science and technology, communications, National Economic and Development Authority director-general, and the head of the Commission on Higher Education.

The fund for the task force will be taken from the allotted budget of the members.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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