Gov’t vows fewer power disruptions in Palawan before year-end
Robie de Guzman • April 5, 2019 • 899
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
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday stressed the importance of following the due process in the ‘ninja cops’ issue, which allegedly involves several policemen, including the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), General Oscar Albayalde.
Duterte made the statement amid calls for Albayalde to resign over his purported link to illegal drugs.
“Eh kung mga ‘yung criminal binibigyan mo ng (Even criminals are given) presumption of innocence. You know, Albayalde is the PNP chief. Give me a clear proof that he was there on the take or was in the trafficking of drugs. Just because he was the… Tapos may tinawagan siya (he called someone),” he said after his arrival from Russia.
“I could not just do it in a knee jerk. I have to follow procedural due process and allow him time to answer,” he added. “The right to be heard – it’s given to criminals, to kidnappers. It should be given to a general of the Philippine National Police.”
When asked if he still trusts Albayalde, Duterte replied with: “Well, he is still there. Otherwise, I would have you know just — I would have told him to just go out.”
The issue on ‘ninja cops’ was revived when Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino bared during a 2020 budget hearing about the continued activities of ‘ninja cops’ and their link to so-called Manila ‘drug queen,’ later identified as former village chief Guia Gomez Castro.
Albayalde’s name was dragged into the issue after former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong mentioned a controversial 2013 anti-drug operation carried out by cops under Albayalde who was then the head of Pampanga police provincial office.
Albayalde was relieved from his post in 2014 for command responsibility while the involved operatives were charged and ordered dismissed.
The dismissal order, however, was not implemented as the police officers were only demoted in 2017.
The PNP chief has repeatedly denied the allegation. He insisted during a Senate hearing that he only called then Central Luzon Regional police director Aquino in 2016 to ask about the status of his former men’s case.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has assured teachers that their awaited pay increase will be given this year.
Duterte made the promise when he arrived in Davao City on Sunday from his five-day visit to Russia.
However, he clarified that the pay hike will not be doubled and may only be about 35 percent.
“It’s coming, their increases. But not doubled. Mas marami ang teachers (There are a lot more teachers). Pero nandiyan po, dadating yan this year (But it is there, it’s coming this year),” he said.
“I think it’s about — the last time they were discussing was about 35 (percent) but it could be more. I do not know,” he added.
When asked when the salary increase for teachers will be implemented, Duterte replied with: “You know government is such a very complex animal. And you cannot just… If I give you the timeline tapos I could not make it on the deadline, I have to explain more than what is expected of government.”
“Mas mabuti na lang ‘yan kung nandiyan na, sinasabi ko nandiyan na ‘yan. Basta sinabi ko may increase din sila, (It is better to say it is forthcoming. I said they would get increase)” he added.
The clamor for teachers’ pay increase came after the Duterte government hiked the salaries for soldiers, police officers and other uniformed personnel last year.
Teachers’ groups have been asking the government for salary increase, ranging from P10,000 to P30,000, saying their present pay is no longer enough to sustain their needs. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is back in the Philippines after his five-day visit to Russia, bringing P620 million worth of business deals.
Duterte, who arrived in Davao City on Sunday afternoon, said his second visit to Russia generated “greater momentum for the Philippines-Russia relations.”
“[This] is a key element of our thrust to rebalance Philippine foreign policy towards independence, balance, and diplomatic agility,” he said in a speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.
“The gains we have made in this visit bring us a step closer to our objective of a stable, comfortable, and secure life for all Filipinos. That is my vision for and bounden duty to the nation and I will do everything to achieve that — towards that end,” he added.
The President said the two countries have agreed to broaden and deepen its ties in all areas of cooperation, including security and defense as well as trade, investment, energy, agriculture, science and technology and socio-cultural exchanges.
He said the Philippines and Russia also signed bilateral deals on the uses of scientific research, health, energy, culture and foreign policy consultations, which, according to Duterte, are important in securing the country’s strategic interests.
The Chief Executive also cited that Russia has accredited two additional Philippine fishery establishments that will allow the export of tuna and other products to Russia and the larger market of the Eurasian bloc.
“This is only the beginning. The horizon is wide. There is room for significant growth,” he said.
Duterte also signed a memorandum of intent with Russia on the exploration of possible cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants.
However, he clarified that the deal is not yet final as it still requires consultations with the Cabinet. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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