Duterte suspends business operations of Chuzon stores in Pampanga
Robie de Guzman • April 24, 2019 • 1872
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ordered the suspension of business operations of Chuzon Supermarkets in Pampanga following the collapse of one of its buildings in the town of Porac during the magnitude 6.1 earthquake on Monday.
The President made the order during a situation briefing held at the Pampanga Provincial Hall on the effects of the strong temblor that rattled parts of Luzon.
“Well, in probability, the one who constructs the supermarket here could also be the one who constructed the others. I’d like to presume that, although I stand corrected,” Duterte said.
“So it would be a good time to just give them the advise to stop, cease and desist in doing business until such time that the clearance [is] given by government, whether city engineer or whoever is competent to review the planning, ” he added.
Duterte’s order came after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recommended the issuance of an order for the suspension of the supermarket chain’s business permit.
The President said it was “appalling” that the grocery branch collapsed, considering that the building was just four years old.
The earthquake hit Pampanga the hardest, although its epicenter was located in Castillejos, Zambales.
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) president and CEO Dante Gierran on Thursday said the agency will continue rendering its services and functions despite the suspension of eight of its executives.
“PhilHealth assures its members and stakeholders that its mandate and services shall continuously proceed unhampered notwithstanding the challenges that it is currently facing as part of the necessary reforms needed to be undertaken to further improve its services toward the implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all Filipinos,” Gierran said in a statement.
Gierran issued the statement after the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the suspension of eight PhilHealth officials over the alleged anomalous release of funds under the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism Policy.
Among those ordered suspended by the Ombudsman are Chief Operating Officer Arnel de Jesus, Executive Vice President Renato Limsiaco, Senior Vice President Dr. Israel Pargas, Area Vice President Gregorio Rulloda, Benefits Administration Section Head Dr. Imelda Trinidad De Vera-Pe, Manager Lolita Tuliao, Fiscal Examiner Gemma Sibucao, and Fiscal Controller Lailani Padua.
The Ombudsman said the suspension order is in relation to the investigation being done on administrative cases of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
“PhilHealth Management acknowledges the recent Order of the Office of the Ombudsman putting several of its Executive Officers and Personnel under preventive suspension for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. We shall abide and implement the suspension Orders accordingly,” Gierran said.
“PhilHealth Management maintains the constitutional rights of its Officers and Personnel on its presumption of innocence until proven otherwise,” he added.
“We trust that the Honorable Office of the Ombudsman will accordingly observe objectivity, justice, and fairness, and allow our concerned Officers and personnel the due process to properly explain and defend themselves,” Gierran further stated.
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said he will ask President Rodrigo Duterte if he is willing to voluntarily release his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) following the strict rules imposed by the Ombudsman on the access to the wealth declaration of officials.
Roque said the president’s office is just following the guidelines issued by the Ombudsman.
“Mag-uusap po kami ng ating president at para matapos na po itong issue na ito, ay tatanungin ko po baka naman po magbigay ng permiso ang president para isapubliko ang kaniyang SALN,” he said.
The Ombudsman recently issued a memorandum circular restricting access to the SALN of public officials.
The circular states that a copy of a public official’s SALN may only be released if the requestor is an authorized representative of the declarant or the person who filed the document; if there is a court order in relation to a pending case, and if the request is made by the Ombudsman’s field investigation units.
Prior to the issuance of the circular, Roque said Duterte had released his SALN yearly.
“Wala pong itinatago ang ating president, bago po maglabas ng ganitong guidelines ang Ombdusman, taon-taon naman po inilalabas ng president ang kaniyang SALN,” he said.
The question of whether Duterte will voluntarily publicize his own net worth resurfaced after the 2019 SALN of 24 senators were released by the Senate on Thursday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – A proposed executive order that will impose a price cap on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests is now awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Department of Health’s (DOH) Technical Working Group (TWG) submitted the proposal after completing its review on the recommended price cap.
Roque refused to divulge the recommended price ceiling on coronavirus testing in private hospitals and laboratories but he expressed optimism that the president will approve the proposal.
“Hintayin po muna natin ang desisyon ng president. Why is that? Kasi yung iba naman, napakataas ng sinisingil, alam naman natin, pwedeng mas mura yang testing na yan,” he said in a televised briefing.
Roque said the proposal seeks to make COVID-19 testing affordable and could help boost the government’s contact tracing and mass testing efforts.
“Para mas maging affordable ang testing sa ating mga kababayan ng sa gayong paraan ay mas maraming matetesting,” he said.
The DOH earlier recommended the placing of a price ceiling after observing differences in the COVID-19 testing cost in various laboratories and hospitals in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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