Duterte to visit areas affected by ‘Auring’—Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021   •   417

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit areas affected by the onslaught of tropical depression Auring, Malacañang announced on Tuesday (February 23).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in an online briefing said the President wants to see firsthand the damage wrought by Auring and the situation of displaced residents. Duterte will visit the affected areas in the Caraga region accompanied by several members of the Cabinet.

Nograles reported that financial aid has already been given to the residents. He further assured that additional relief assistance will also be provided.

As of February 22, the number of families affected by Auring has reached 28,009. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

House to fast-track 5 priority bills when session resumes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The House of Representatives will fast-track five priority bills as the session resumes next week, according to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

“We will do our best to help the President fulfill all his promises to the Filipino people,” he said.

Among the priority bills to be passed include:

1. Philippine Virology Institute Bill
2. Center for Disease Control Bill
3. Amendments to the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016
4. Bureau of Immigration Modernization Bill
5. National Housing Development Bill

Lawmakers aim to pass the Philippine Virology Institute Bill amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  The bill proposes to create a research and development institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The institute, to be called the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines shall serve as the premier research and development institute in the field of virology.

The Center for Disease Control Bill aims to create an agency that would focus on preventing and managing the spread of diseases and other health threats in the country and abroad.

The bill amending the “Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act of 2016”, on the other hand, requires the CPD as the mandatory requirement for the renewal of a Professional Identification Card.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) Modernization Bill aims to make the BI more responsive to the challenges and developments of migration and immigration.

The National Housing Development Bill is set to provide continuous funding support for a large-scale pro-poor housing program in the country.

Velasco also hopes that the Senate approves the proposed Internet Transaction Act and the creation of the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Workers which was already approved by the lower house.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives said it is already prepared for President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday (July 26).

House of Representatives Secretary-General Mark Llandro Mendoza said around 300 lawmakers will be allowed to physically attend the SONA.

Karamihan mga deputy speakers natin, former speakers darating din, sa mga senators natin, I think mga 10 ata ang nag-confirm na (Most of our deputy speakers, former speakers, and senators. I think 10 already confirmed),” he said. AAC

Pahayag ni Pangulong Duterte na pagdadala ng maraming pera sa kampanya, idinepensa ng Palasyo

Robie de Guzman   •   July 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Ipinagtanggol ng Palasyo ng Malakanyang ang panibagong kontrobersiyal na pahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte hinggil sa pagdadala ng maraming pera sa pangangampanya.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, fund-raising sa mga pribadong indibiduwal ang tinutukoy ng punong ehekutibo na hindi naman aniya ipinagbabawal ng batas.

Batid rin aniya ng pangulo na iligal gamitin ang pondo ng taumbayan para sa anomang partisan activities lalo na sa vote-buying.

“There is no prohibition in the Omnibus Election Code to raise funds from private individuals for the candidacies of individuals. So, that is what the president meant, it is an assurance to his party mates that he will not only physically campaign for them he will also raise funds for them,” ang paliwanag ni Roque.

Sa National Assembly ng partidong PDP-Laban sa Clark, Pampanga noong Sabado, sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte na handa siyang mangampanya para sa mga miyembro ng partido na nais muling kumandidato sa nalalapit na halalan. Magdadala rin aniya siya ng sako-sakong pera.

“Those running for reelection, ikakampanya ko kayo city por city. Totoo ‘yan. Kayong mga nagtatakbo, I will — I commit to you. Talagang pupunta ako city por city, province por province, kakampanya ko kayo. Pero — at saka magdala ako ng maraming pera por sako kung mayroon,” ang pahayag ng pangulo.

Una nang kinuwestiyon ni Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes ang pahayag na ito ng punong ehekutibo at sinabing may salapi ang pangulo para sa kampanya pero walang pera para sa ayuda sa pandemic response, at mga sektor na labis na naapektuhan ng krisis.

Samantala, sinabi naman ng Palasyo na sa kasalukuyan ay wala pang pinal na listahan ng senatorial bets si Pangulong Duterte para sa 2022 elections bagaman ilan na sa kaniyang mga gabinete ang iniendorso nito sa publiko. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte on Pacquiao’s corruption allegations: ‘I think he’s punch-drunk’

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night lambasted Senator Manny Pacquiao  anew for alleging that billions of pesos have been lost to corruption in government agencies.

Pacquiao earlier alleged that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) failed to properly distribute P10 billion worth of financial aid from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

“Mga kaibigan huwag kayong maniwala diyan,” Duterte said during his public address Monday night.

“Papayag ba naman ang [Commission on Audit]? Hindi lang iyan. Papayag ba kami? Papayag ba ang mga secretary ng mga departamento na ganun may mawala 10 billion? That is a statement coming from a guy who is punch-drunk, lasing,” he added.

Pacquiao claimed anomaly in the DSWD’s transaction with the digital wallet service provider Starpay Corporation.

The boxer-senator said he has evidence to prove that the program is missing P10 billion in SAP funds and that he will ask the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate.

Both DSWD and Starpay have denied the allegations.

Pacquiao’s accusations came after President Duterte challenged him to prove his claims that corruption under the Duterte government has worsened.

The Chief Executive said the senator’s corruption claims are just part of a strategy given the latter’s obvious plan to take the highest position in the upcoming 2022 elections. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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