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Duterte signs law simplifying PH legal adoption process

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, 14 March 2019 02:32 PM

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that will simplify the process of legal adoption in the Philippines.

Duterte signed the Republic Act 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Act on February 22. Malacañang released a copy of the law on Thursday (March 14).

The law would allow the rectification of the simulated birth of a child, in which the simulation was made for the best interest of such child.

The measure defines simulation of birth record as the “tampering of the civil registry to make it appear in the record of birth that a child was born to a person who is not such child’s biological mother, causing the loss of the true identity and status of such child.”

Under the law, a person who simulated a child’s birth record and those who cooperated in doing so prior to the effectivity of the law shall be exempted from criminal, civil or administrative liability provided that it was made “for the best interest of the child and the child has been consistently considered and treated by the person as her, his or their own daughter or son.”

To avail of the amnesty, the person should file a petition for adoption with an application for the rectification of the simulated birth record within ten years from the law’s effectivity.

A person who simulated the birth of a child may avail of adoption proceedings and rectify the birth record if the child has been living with the person for at least three years before the law took effect. Also required is a social department-issued certificate declaring the child legally available for adoption.

The law will also fix the status and filiation of a child whose birth was simulated by giving such child all the benefits of adoption and ensuring that he or she would be entitled to all rights provided to legally-adopted children.

The measure also seeks to provide for a simpler and less costly administrative adoption process that will apply to children who have been living with persons who simulated their birth record for at least three years before the law took effect.

According to the new law, adopters must be Filipino citizens, of legal age, possess full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character and have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.

They must also be emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children and capable of supporting the child.

For couples where one of the adopters is a foreign national married to a Filipino, the foreigner must have been residing in the Philippines for at least three continuous years before filing of the petition for adoption and application for rectification of simulated birth control.

If an adoptee is 10 years old or over, a written consent of the adoptee is required. The same is also needed from the “legitimate and adopted daughters and sons, 10 years old and above, of the adopter and adoptee, if any.”

The petition should be supported by a copy of the simulated birth or foundling certificate of the child, affidavit of admission if the simulation was done by a third person, a certification from the village chief attesting that the petitioners are residents of the village and the child has been living with them, and a certificate declaring the child legally available for adoption from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The law also requires petitioners to present affidavits of at least two disinterested persons who reside in the same village where the child resides, attesting that the child has been living with the petitioner for at least three years prior to the effectivity of the Act.

Instead of going through court proceedings, those who seek to adopt a child may file a petition with the social welfare and development officer of the town where the child lives. The social welfare secretary shall decide on the petition within 30 days from receipt of the recommendation of the agency’s regional director.

If the petition is granted, the adopted child would be considered a legitimate son or daughter “for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by the law.”

Adoption may be rescinded an adopter committed repeated physical or verbal maltreatment to the adoptee, made an attempt on the life of the adoptee, sexually assaulted the adoptee, abandoned and failed to comply with parental obligations or any acts that are detrimental to the psychological and emotional development of the adoptee.

An adoptee may file a petition for rescission with the assistance of the DSWD if he or she is a minor or over 18 years old but is incapacitated.

Under the law, those who obtained adoption through coercion, fraud, undue influence, improper inducement or other similar acts may be penalized with imprisonment from six years to 12 years and/or a fine of no less than P200,000.

Non-compliance with the procedures and safeguards provided by the law for adoption, and subjecting or exposing the child to danger, abuse, or exploitation are also punishable under the law. – Robie de Guzman

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Duterte denies Bacolod mayor’s involvement in illegal drugs

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 22 March 2019 12:33 PM

(L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia | Photo from Mayor Leonardia’s Facebook page

President Rodrigo Duterte denies the involvement of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia in illegal drugs.

A video was posted on the president’s Facebook page, where he reiterated his support for Leonardia and his candidacy.

He also called out former Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella to stop splicing videos just to discredit Leonardia.

“But I want to tell mga taga Bacolod, wala akong sinabi about diyan. But kung tanuning ninyo kung sino para sa akin, I do not want a guy na making a fraud sa lahat ng sinasabi ko, (I did not say anything about the matter. But if you are going to ask me, I do not want a guy making a fraud out of everything I say.)” the president said.—Aileen Cerrudo

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Duterte signs Philippine Occupational Therapy Law

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 07:51 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act 11241 or Philippine Occupational Therapy Law which will regulate the practice of occupational therapy in the country.

Duterte signed it on March 11 and was released to the media on Tuesday.

Under the said law, there will be a Board of Occupational Therapy under the supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

This board will supervise and regulate the registration, license and practice of occupational therapy in the country.

“It shall develop and nurture competent, virtuous, productive and well-rounded occupational therapists whose standards of practice shall be excellent, world class and globally competitive through inviolable, honest, effective and credible licensure examinations and through regulatory measures, programs and activities that foster their continuing professional growth,” the law states.

There will also be a license examination which will be open to Filipino and foreign occupational therapists. Passers will have to meet the requirement of 75% general average with no grade lower than 60% in any subject.

Occupational therapists treat patients patients that have physical, sensory, or cognitive disability. They help develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.—Aileen Cerrudo

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Duterte signs law abolishing Road Board

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 05:23 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed the law abolishing the controversial Road Board.

The Republic Act 11239 was enacted on March 8, according to the document released by Malacañang on Tuesday (March 19).

The newly-signed law abolishes the Road Board which previously managed the road user’s tax or Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) for repair and maintenance of roads.

Under the measure, the monies collected from the MVUC will now be remitted to the National Treasury Bureau under a special account in the General Fund.

The law states that the collected fund “should be earmarked solely for the construction, upgrading, repair and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, and road drainage to be included in the yearly General Appropriations Act.”

A Congressional Oversight Committee will also be established to monitor the implementation of this act and the use of special funds.

The committee shall be composed of five members each from the Lower House and Senate to be appointed by the Speaker of the House and Senate President, respectively.

The panel must have one member each from the minority groups and will be jointly chaired by a designated member of the House of Representatives and a Senator.

The law stated that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall, as needed, absorb the employees of the abolished Road Board Secretariat, without diminution of their salaries and other benefits.

Employees who are separated from the service as a result of the abolition of the Road Board and its secretariat shall receive separation benefits provided that those who are qualified to retire under existing laws shall be allowed to retire and receive retirement benefits to which they may be entitled under applicable laws, rules and regulations.

The law also mandates the transfer of Road Board rights, records, assets and liabilities to the DPWH, including the unexpended appropriations or allocations.

The Secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shall craft the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) within 30 days from the effectivity of this act.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for the abolition of the Road Board, calling the agency a “milking cow” of corrupt government officials.

In 2018, the Commission on Audit flagged Road Board’s billions of pesos worth of unobligated projects and millions of pesos of excessive costs and overpayment. – Robie de Guzman

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