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Duterte to order nationwide ban on firecrackers

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 11 January 2019 09:41 AM

Fire cracker seller | Photo courtesy: Cheryl Ravelo-Gagalac/Reuters

BULACAN, Philippines – Soon, there will be no firecrackers and fireworks to be allowed, for individual use or local government sponsored.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (January 10) said he will order a nationwide firecracker ban by issuing another executive order subject to review by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“I will issue the executive order at this early para warning na doon sa lahat that I am banning firecracker all together. Wala yan sa gobyerno. Kasi sabihin man ng mga gago, “Kita mo itong gobyerno, kung sila ang magpa-firework pwede. Tayo hindi.” Ganyan ang Pilipino. Wala na, kagaya sa Davao, tahimik,” the President said during the turnover of housing units to several wounded-in-action (WIA) soldiers, wounded-in-police-operation (WIPO) police officers, and local government unit (LGU) beneficiaries at the Pleasant View Residences in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan

“Bakit ako papayag? Maski isang bata lang mawalan ng kamay? So as a president, why would I allow it? Sarahan natin. That’s the last chapter,” he added.

The President also belied superstitious claims that firecrackers and fireworks drive away evil spirits.

“Iyang firecracker, do not believe na paalisin mo ang devil,” the President said.

Based on the latest count of the Department of Health (DOH), incidents of firecracker-related injuries dropped by 34% during the holiday period covering December 21, 2018 to January 5, 2019 as compared to the same period in 2017.

It was in June 20, 2017 when President Duterte signed executive order 28 that regulated the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices and only licensed individuals are allowed. The order also allowed community fireworks display only in designated places sponsored by the local government.

Meanwhile, UNTV has been a long-time advocate of firecracker ban especially during year-end festivities.

Kasi may ibang mga lugar, pinagmamagaling pa nila na gumagastos sila ng let’s say something like US$200,000. Gagastos ka halimbawa ng US$100,000. Magkano na iyon sa peso?” noted UNTV’s CEO, Kuya Daniel Razon.

“Anong ibig sabihin? Maraming nagugutom. Maraming mga hindi kumakain. Maraming nao-ospital na walang pampagamot. Maraming nangangailangan na pampa-dialysis. Maraming mga nangangailangan na makikita mo sa kalye na wala silang anoman (na) pinaputok lang naman natin,” he added.

“Hindi ba sa Davao, may total ban sila diyan na ginagawa? Ang sa atin kasi dapat ang pagpapaputok ng firecrackers, dapat iyan ang nage-execute, kung may i-a-allow man halimbawa…Gusto nila magpa-install, magpalagay. Kung may i-a-allow man iyong may technical know-how na nagse-set up talaga. Hindi dapat i-allow ang nagpapaputok ka ng solo-solo o whatever. Hindi,” Kuya Daniel concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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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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