Gov’t vows fewer power disruptions in Palawan before year-end

Robie de Guzman   •   April 5, 2019   •   1075

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President Rodrigo Duterte has promised an improvement in the power supply situation in the province of Palawan before 2019 ends.

Speaking at a PDP-Laban’s campaign rally in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Thursday, Duterte assured there will be fewer power disruptions in the province once the Department of Energy (DOE) has completed the study it is conducting on the power transmission and distribution of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO).  

Duterte noted at the sortie that he brought Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to Palawan so he could address any community concerns regarding power supply.

“I believe that the last time I was here I promised you that there will be an improvement. I assure you that before the end of the year, there is [going to be] a reduced rotation in the number of hours and maybe lessening of the inconvenience. Tinatapos lang nila,” Duterte told the crowd at the political rally.

The President said the DOE is conducting a study with Shanghai Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd. on how to improve the power situation in the province. The study is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Duterte also said he is “pissed off to no end” about how slow the government moves, mostly due to graft and corruption that were already lodged so deep in the system.

“Napakatagal because they purposely do it to commit graft and sometimes it is really a circuitous thing, a very tedious process of getting the papers to the grid. There is always a monkey wrench,” Duterte lamented.

Duterte said he needs a “faster Cabinet and a fast bureaucracy” as he is trying to double time in fulfilling the promises he made to the Filipinos before his term ends in 2022.

“I am a man in a hurry. I have about three years more or less, few months left, and there are things which I believe I must act on para ‘maitupad ko [sa inyo] ‘yung promise ko,” he said.

Duterte said his commitment revolves around “controlling corruption in the government, dealing with the drug problem besetting the country, reducing up to totally eradicating criminality, and improving the relationship with other countries.” – Robie de Guzman

Palawan hailed as ‘Best Island in the World’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020

Palawan is again hailed as the “best island in the world,” by international travel magazine Travel+Leisure.

“It’s dramatic at sea level, with mountains rising directly from the ocean palm-edged beaches. Though it’s difficult to reach from many parts of the world, once travelers get there they can dive in World War II wrecks, explore old-growth rain forests, and paddle one of the world’s longest subterranean rivers at Puerto Princesa,” according to Travel+Leisure magazine.

The magazine released its Top 25 Best Islands in the world on Wednesday (July 9), in which Palawan ranked first with a score 94.83. This is the fourth time the island topped the list.

One of the fans wrote, “The landscape and scenery are just gorgeous. It offers the most beautiful beaches, resorts, and scenery anywhere.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism celebrated Palawan’s recognition. DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the “rehabilitation and sustainable development efforts last year, especially in El Nido and Coron, were well-received by tourists everywhere.” AAC

Duterte on reopening the economy: ‘We cannot afford to gamble’

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The country is not yet ready to fully reopen its economy, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Chief Executive said the government is doing the process gradually, otherwise the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections would spike that could lead to a bigger problem.

He said he cannot follow the example of other countries because the Philippines does not have as much resources if the situation gets worse.

“Tayong pobre we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. Mahirap tayo. Hindi tayo puwedeng sumugal (As a poor country, we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. We are poor. We cannot afford to gamble),” the President said during his public address on Tuesday evening (July 7).

President Duterte cited situations in the United States and Brazil where despite being powerful and wealthy, are not spared from the impact of the pandemic.

“Although they opened their economy for money to come into the government coffers, there was a spike. They were having a problem of almost a relapse — in the totality of the number,” he added.

Meanwhile, the President expressed doubts that the country has entered the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.

“Now we do not even know if the number of 34, 178 of active cases is still a part of the first wave or have we arrived at the second wave. I don’t think so. We are still grappling with the first wave,” he argued.

He urged Filipinos to obey strict health protocols and have more patience as the government works to combat the pandemic.

Mga kababayan ko, ako mismo gusto ko nang lumabas. Ayoko nang magpapigil. Kung gusto ko nga makipag-away na ako. Ang problema iyon ang gusto ko, pero ang gusto ko ay hindi makakabuti sa ating lahat,” he said.

(My fellow countrymen, I personally I want to go out. I don’t want to be barred from doing so. I am even ready to fight over this. The problem is, what I want is not good for everyone.)

“We have to be very circumspect in reopening the economy. Dahan-dahan lang (Let’s do it gradually), because if you open the entire Philippines and thousands upon thousands of new cases would happen, then we are in deep s***. Talagang mahirapan tayo (We will seriously struggle),” he said. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

Economic, infra clusters to hold pre-2020 SONA forum this week

Robie de Guzman   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte government’s economic development and infrastructure Cabinet clusters are set to present the administration’s plans for recovery and resilience in the face of the coronavirus-induced headwinds this year at the first pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum to be held this week.

The Department of Finance (DOF) said that the forum titled, “Regaining Momentum, Accelerating Recovery in a Post COVID-19 World,” will be held virtually on July 8.

Hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and Office of the Cabinet Secretary, the forum will be streamed live on the Facebook pages of the Radio Television Malacañang, and other government agencies.

Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II said this year’s pre-SONA forum will be different as the audience will be “purely virtual,” due to limitations on mass gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We do hope that our citizens will be able to tune in as the country’s top decision makers discuss our path to a quick and strong recovery from this crisis,” he said.

In the forum, the DOF said that top economic and infrastructure officials are also expected to report on the state of the Philippine economy, as well as the government’s ongoing efforts to leverage on its strong fundamentals in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar will present performance updates and priority plans, respectively, on the economic and infrastructure fronts.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua will speak on the Philippine Economic Recovery Program.

“The audience can expect Secretary Dominguez to delve deeper into the challenges we’re facing right now, the accomplishments in the previous year that we can build on, and the legislative proposals that the economic team submitted for Congress to consider,” Lambino said.

Meanwhile, updates on the monetary, external, and financial sectors will be discussed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno.

Pre-SONA forums are held annually to discuss in greater detail the achievements of the government in the previous year and the priorities of the Cabinet cluster heads in the run-up to the President’s SONA on July 27.

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