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Duterte signs Philippine Mental Health Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 56th anniversary of the Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA) at the Manila Hotel on September 26, 2017, reiterates that there will be no let up in his fight against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTAL PHOTO


MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law Republic Act No. 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law.

The new law assures protection of the rights and welfare of persons in need of mental health assistance by integrating mental health care system and facilities in major hospitals in Metro Manila and in provincial hospitals across the country.

“The public has now to accept, kapag nagkaroon po ng mga ganito,they need help,” said Senate Committee on Health and Demography Chairman JV Ejercito.

The government assured to provide enough fund for the enactment of the law.  Mental health care is expected to be integrated into the coverage of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth.)

On the downside, Senator Ejercito expressed concern over the ongoing controversy that PhilHealth is facing.   The Senator said, it might compromise the full implementation of the Mental Health Law.

“We have to make sure that PhilHealth’s performance in the financial standing would be very good to implement the universal health care and mental health care as well,” Ejercito said.

Senate is still investigating the issue of irregularities in PhilHealth particularly the alleged unauthorized transfer of P10.6 billion  state insurance fund to a certain program of the Department of Health. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo

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Palace counters Pernia: Federalism won’t harm PH economy

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang reiterated that the shift to a federalism government would not have any adverse effect on the economy. This is after the country’s top economist cautioned that federalism could affect government finances.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the palace has already clarified the matter with socioeconomic planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

“The shift to federalism, we reiterate, would have no adverse effect on the Philippine economy. Our budget would remain the same, as identified national projects would be devolved and transferred to the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of local government units. These projects include maintenance of barangay roads and bridges, water supply services, barangay health centers and daycare centers, solid waste disposal system of municipalities, among others,” he said.

Roque added that “The role of the national government would be to continue to implement Build, Build, Build projects and would hence be concentrated on policymaking.”

During a media interview, Pernia said that federalism could disrupt the administration’s infrastructure projects and the country’s fiscal situation.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to endorse to Congress the draft federal charter during his state of the nation address (SONA) on July 23. – Rosalie Coz / UNTV News and Rescue

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Duterte appoints Antonio Kho as Comelec Commissioner

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Justice Undersecretary Antonio Kho as a new commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

This was confirmed by Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday (July 13)

Kho, who is a bar topnotcher from San Beda College of Law and President Duterte’s fraternity brother, now completes the seven-man commission. – UNTV News and Rescue

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186 local officials stripped of police powers under Duterte admin – DILG

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported on Friday (July 13) that 186 local officials have been stripped of supervisory powers over the police in their areas of jurisdiction since President Rodrigo Duterte came into office.

According to DILG Officer-In-Charge Eduardo Año, the said local officials have been deprived of police authority because of their involvement in illegal drug trade and failure to curb terrorist activities in their areas. From the said number, eight were governors while 178 were city and municipal mayors.

Meanwhile, ten local executives have been killed so far under the Duterte administration. Three of whom have established links in the illegal drug trade.

DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said that based on their investigation, the common reasons for crimes against local officials are politics, business, and a love triangle. Densing  suspects that some criminals are taking advantage of the government’s war on drugs to divert public’s sentiments and attention.

“Parang may sumasakay na “Pagkakataon na natin itong patayin ang ating kalaban kasi may namatay doon para i-link doon.” Para kunwari base sa drugs. But for the information of everybody prior to the killing of Mayor Halili, of the 10 killings of the LCE that were killed in the past  two years, tatlo lang po ang may koneksyon sa ilegal na droga,” Densing said.

To date, a total of 156 local officials have been suspended or dismissed for charges of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, neglect of duty, abuse of authority and other irregularities.

The DILG said this proves the effectiveness of the agency’s measures in line with President Duterte’s campaign against errant and corrupt public officials.

“By offering the public mechanisms to report complaints, such as the Hotline 8888 and the Office of the President itself, we were able to investigate and file cases against local officials alleged to be abusive or not performing their job in accordance with their mandate,” Año explained in a statement. – Bernard Dadis / Marje Pelayo

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