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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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Duterte to press China for a Code of Conduct over South China Sea

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

SINGAPORE – President Rodrigo Duterte arrived at Suntec Convention Center in time for the ASEAN-China Summit.

In a doorstop interview on Wednesday (November 14), the President said he will press China to negotiate for a Code of Conduct for South China Sea.

“I will focus on the COC. Everything has been excellent between China and the rest of the ASEAN, except for the fact that there’s a friction between the western nations and China,” the President said.

The President said he will remind China of the Philippines’ existing mutual defense treaty with the United Stated which obviously complicates negotiations between the two countries.

“I am worried. I expressed it last night because we have a defense treaty…with the US…Because of the treaty, I’d like to (tell) China — that is why at all cost we must have a COC,” President Duterte stressed.

The President said a COC will determine the behavior of the countries in the region especially those with territorial claims in South China Sea.

“You’re there. You’re in possession. You occupied it. Then tell us what route shall we take,” he said.

The Philippines is currently the dialogue relations coordinator of the ASEAN-China Summit  until year 2021. – Marje Pelayo


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Duterte arrives in Singapore for 33rd ASEAN Summit

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) poses for a photo with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (Center)and his wife Madam Ho Ching (R)

SINGAPORE – President Rodrigo Duterte has arrived in Singapore for the 33rd Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related summits from November 12 to 15.

President Duterte will join nine other ASEAN leaders in discussions with dialogue partners from the United States, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, India and Australia on the course of the Summit.

Among the key topics in the President’s agenda will be the issue of migrant rights of Filipino migrant workers and the Philippines’ position on the South China Sea dispute as well as the country’s participation in negotiations regarding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free-trade agreement among world leaders.

Likewise, President Duterte is expected to discuss with world leaders issues on terrorism, extremism,  illegal drug problems, human trafficking and disaster management, climate change, and people-to-people exchanges.

The President is also expected to hold pull-aside meetings with the ASEAN chairman Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

Following the ASEAN Summit, President Duterte will fly to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting from November 16 to 18 to join other economic leaders in working out the affirmation of multilateral trading system as well as in upholding the role of APEC for the region’s economic growth and progress. — Marje Pelayo

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Duterte warns gov’t takeover if recurring power outages in Palawan persists

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the First Subaraw Biodiversity Festival held at the People’s Amphitheater in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on November 10, 2018. | PCOO/Richard Madelo


PALAWAN, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte warned the local governments and the lone electric distributor in the province of Palawan to immediately address power problems in the island archipelago or else he would order the national government to take over its facilities.

The President said he is giving Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) until the end of the year to solve the issue otherwise, he will transfer Paleco’s franchise to a more competent and efficient power distributor.

“On the extreme maybe I will just give you guys, walang personalan to, trabaho lang, I’ll give you about towards at the end of the year. A new set up that would provide energy, enough energy to  run a place and so that it can develop and it can operate and it can move,” he said.

“Kailangan… You’ll have to upgrade your source of energy. Kasi ‘pag hindi, ang gawain ko maghanap ako ng may pera talaga. China, eh nangangati ang kamay niyan eh just to get hold of developments here,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech during the opening of the first Subaraw Festival in Puerto Princesa City.

The President’s warning came after about six to eight hours of power interruption being experienced in the province which happens almost every day.

He noted that the power outages have started to affect businesses in the province particularly in the island’s tourism industry, its main source of income.

“That is my proposal, you better come up with something or I will do something for you, I do not want it if it’s comfortable for you but i said, yung six to eight hours you say that you need, a city for tourism and economy,” the President said in disappointment.

Reports said that President Duterte is eyeing a Chinese firm to do the job. However, he noted that the government is open to joint ventures even with other countries including the United States. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Andy Pagayona)

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