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Gov’t officials, workers get salary increase today

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, March 29th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Government employees and officials are expected to get their salary increase for three months on Friday (March 29).

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) officer-in-charge Janet Abuel, through National Budget Circular no. 575, announced the “implementation of the fourth-tranche compensation adjustment for civilian personnel in the national government.”

Abuel emphasized in her circular that government agencies are directed to use “any available appropriations under the 2018 General Appropriations Act, as reenacted” for the increase” as mandated under Executive Order 76 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 15.

With the new salary adjustment, President Duterte is expected to receive a total of P399,739 monthly salary from P298,083 last year.

Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin will receive a maximum monthly salary of P353,470 this year, an increase by more than P88,000 from P264,721 last year.

Cabinet members, other officials with Cabinet rank, senators and congressmen, meanwhile, will receive a P72,000 increase. Their monthly pay will now be P292.191 from last year’s P223,590.

Teachers and nurses will now get P22,829 adjusted pay rate for earnings ranging from P20,179 to P22,055 last year.

On January 15, 2018, the military and uniformed personnel received their salary increase as part of President Duterte’s promise since he took over as president in 2016. – Marje Pelayo



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MWSS: No need for emergency powers to solve water woes

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, June 24th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte in April this year castigated executives of the government’s water agency Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and its concessionaires for the widespread water crisis that affected residents in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Despite this, water problems have not been solved.

Instead, they have worsened as water service interruptions affect not only customers of Manila Water but even the clients of Maynilad as Angat Dam continues to dry up.

But according to MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco, there is no need for another meeting with the President to solve the current issue.

“Kahit anong gawin natin, kahit na saan tayo mag-meet, kahit saan, ang kritikal dito ay ang tubig, (Whatever we do, wherever we meet, what’s critical here is water),” noted PDDG. Reynaldo Velasco, the MWSS Administrator.

“(Madadagdagan) ba ang tubig sa Angat? Kahit na sinong superman dito kung hindi talaga uulan walang kakayanin iyan (Can we add water to Angat? Even superman cannot do it unless rains come pouring down),” he added.

The official noted that there is no need to grant the President emergency powers to resolve the problem though such authority can be used to expedite the construction of government projects such as water dams.

“Kung manghihingi tayo ng emergency power, saan tayo kukuha ng tubig? (If we ask for emergency power, where do we get water?) In case we need some emergency power, (it) is for the future, ” Velasco said.

Dams which are under construction include the Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal and Kaliwa Dam in Tanay.

The projects are now facing hurdles especially the bidding process.

The MWSS, meanwhile, appeals to the two water concessionaires to religiously implement the schedule of water service interruptions while it also asks consumers to conserve water and as much as possible store only the enough volume.

“Kasi kapag nag-ipon sila ng sobra doon baka naman maapektuhan ang reservoir ng ating mga concessionaire, (If you store more than enough water, it might affect the supply in concessionaires’ reservoirs,)” Velasco concluded. – with details from Rey Pelayo.

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DOJ Secretary to serve as OIC from June 21-23

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019

Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra will serve as the officer-in-charge of the Executive Department from June 21-23 as President Rodrigo Duterte flies to Thailand.

President Duterte will be attending the 34th Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok, Thailand.

While the president is away, Guevarra will oversee the day to day operations of the Executive Department.

Duterte’s delegation will fly en route to Thailand Friday afternoon (June 21)

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Captain of sunken boat in Recto Bank says sorry to Duterte

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The captain of the Filipino fishing boat hit by a Chinese vessel in Recto Bank on June 9 apologized to President Rodrigo Duterte following reports that he snubbed the Chief Executive in their supposed meeting in Malacanang.

F/B GEM-VER 1’s boat captain Jonel Insigne said he didn’t know that it was Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol who asked to meet him and not the President.

“Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin sa ating mahal na presidente na hindi pala ako ipinatawag niya kundi si Secretary Piñol ang nagpatawag sa akin,” Insigne said.

“Hindi po ako natuloy, umatras ako dahil masama ang pakiramdam ko,” he added.

This was clarified by the Secretary himself during the hand over of assistance to the affected fishermen in San Jose, Oriental Mindoro on Wednesday (June 19).

“There was no any invitation from Malacañang. It was I, the Secretary of Agriculture, who wanted to talked to them and they came,” Piñol said.

The group of fishermen, through Insigne, appealed to President Duterte to help them and bring justice to what they have suffered at sea.

“Gusto ko po sana mapanagot po iyong kapitan nang bumangga sa amin, iyon lang po ang hiling ko sa ating mahal na presidente.” Insigne said. (with details from Sherwin Culubong)

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