Gov’t to provide over P300-M aid to Marawi victims

admin   •   March 24, 2018   •   3514

FILE PHOTO: Community leaders survey damaged houses and buildings inside war-torn Marawi, Philippines January 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Allard

MANILA, Philippines — It has been four months since Marawi has been liberated from the terrorists, but more than 1,600 families still remain in evacuation centers in Region X and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as of Friday, March 23.

On the other hand, 41,000 families are still temporarily staying with relatives and friends.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said, the government’s efforts to assist the affected residents of Marawi continues.

The amount of assistance provided to them has gone up to P322.48-million

“These services include financial assistance, ‘pabaon’ food packs, hygiene kits and kitchen kits,” said Andanar.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government also thanked other countries for their help in the Marawi rehabilitation.

These include the P1-billion official development assistance and 27 sets of new heavy equipment from Japan; the United States Agency for International and Development’s (USAID) P100-million assistance to boost food security in Marawi and Belgium’s assistance for farmers.  — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

Andanar cries ‘unfair’ over int’l media reports linking Duterte to ABS-CBN closure

Marje Pelayo   •   May 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday (May 7) decried claims that President Rodrigo Duterte had a hand in the decision of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to issue a cease and desist order (CDO) against media network ABS-CBN. 

The PCOO Chief said the NTC’s decision to stop ABS-CBN’s radio and television broadcast was ‘independent and impartial.’

“We decry any claims and assertions associating President Duterte with the National Telecommunications Commission’s independent and impartial decision to impose a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN Corporation,” he said in a statement.

Andanar said such action of the NTC is not an issue of press freedom. He emphasized that freedom of speech under the Duterte administration remains protected. 

“This is not an issue of press freedom but an issue regarding legislative franchise. Democracy, and the free press and free speech that come with it, is very much alive in the country and effectively protected,” he said.

He stressed that tagging Duterte as the person behind the shutdown is “bereft of truth and just a rehash of an old malicious imputation to bedevil the President and his administration.”

“One should understand, first and foremost, the Philippines’ legislative processes and rule of law before connecting any precedents as being orchestrated by the President,” he said.

Andanar said the assertion that NTC’s decision was driven by Duterte’s previous rant against ABS-CBN is a “false narrative” and “remarkably erroneous, lacks objectivity and scant on factual basis.”

“It is, therefore, totally unfair and objectionable for some parties and some international media to insist that what happened to the network is due to ‘having incurred the ire’ of the President,” he explained.

Similar to the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Andanar reiterated that the President has already accepted ABS-CBN’s apology through the network’s CEO and President Carlo Katigbak in February and that the President holds no grudge against the network.

He noted that the NTC is just bound by law to decide and execute what the Constitution dictates and that the CDO is part of the NTC’s “independent, regulatory, and quasi-judicial undertaking.”

Duterte’s intervention to it, Andanar said, “would be in violation of the law or a Constitutional infringement.”

Andanar emphasized: “No one is above the law,” even ABS-CBN.

“ABS-CBN’s shutdown was brought about by the expiration of its 25-year legislative franchise last 4 May 2020,” he said. 

“It is within the purview of the Constitution that NTC, as a regulatory body, disallows the continued operation of any broadcast network with an expired franchise,” he added. 

READ: ABS-CBN may ask SC for TRO against shutdown order — NTC

The PCOO chief emphasized that at this point, the fate of ABS-CBN’s franchise is “within the purview and wisdom of Congress.” 

“The mandate of a broadcast franchise issuance and renewal is within the authority of the Congress, and not solely of the President, who only signs the law to be executory,” Secretary Andanar concluded. 

Malacañang asks public to remain calm as PH confirms first nCoV case

Robie de Guzman   •   January 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – In light of the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country, a Malacañang official on Thursday urged the public not to panic and to keep calm as necessary precautionary measures are being taken to prevent the disease from spreading.

“We as the public not to panic and to remain calm as the government, especially the Department of Health (DOH), is on top of the situation,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.

“We would like to assure them that the relevant health, research, and law enforcement agencies are working together to prevent the disease from spreading,” he added.

Andanar also assured that the DOH is in constant coordination and collaboration with health and research authorities in Australia, Japan, and China on implementing necessary undertakings on the matter.

“In fact, with the help of our counterparts in Japan, we are now capable of detecting and diagnosing 2019-nCoV-infected patients on our own,” he said.

He also said that government agencies have intensified their containment measures and that necessary precautionary measures are in place to address this health concern. 

“With the continuous inflow of travelers coming from affected areas in China, we will continue to conduct necessary stringent customs, immigration, and quarantine measures to prevent the disease from spreading within the country,” he said.

Andanar also assured that authorities will continue to coordinate with Chinese officials for the repatriation efforts for Filipinos in China.

A coronavirus hotline will also be created to assist the Filipinos there.

He also called on the public to observe all health and preventive advisories issued by the DO, as well as practice proper hygiene and cleanliness in order to prevent the likelihood of contracting the virus.

“Please remain vigilant and coordinate with your local barangay health centers should you observe symptoms associated with the 2019-nCoV,” he said.

The DOH earlier confirmed that a 38-year old Chinese woman is the country’s first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV.

She arrived in the Philippines from China on January 21, and sought treatment for her mild cough on January 25.

Continuing the legacy: 3 widows of Marawi heroes join the military

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 25, 2019

Three widows of Marawi heroes are now ready to continue the legacy of their husbands who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Marawi in 2017.

Private Grace P. Allaga, wife of late Corporal Ardnie R. Allaga, Private Merzie G. Rogador, wife of late Private First Class Eldon C. Rogador, and Private Christine Mary E. Montero, wife of late Corporal Marjone G. Montero are now considered enlisted military personnel after finishing the candidate soldier course.

They are among the 749 new soldiers who underwent and finished the four-month candidate soldier course conducted by the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division under the Philippine Army.—AAC

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