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

Robie de Guzman   •   April 5, 2019   •   869

Photo by Pexels

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

Duterte to insist arbitral ruling to China: ‘Whether you like it or not’

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

(L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte, Pag-asa Island and Chinese President Xi Jinping

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that he will raise the arbitral ruling that favors the Philippines in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea when he visits China next week.

Duterte is scheduled to fly to China for a working visit from August 28 to September 3.

He will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping and talk about the Hague ruling, the code of conduct, as well as the proposed joint oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

“So whether you like it or not, would it make you happy or not, angry or otherwise. Sorry, but we have to talk the arbitral ruling, then what we get, if there is a start of the exploration and extraction of whatever there is in the bowels of the earth,” the President said during the inauguration of the 7.5 megawatt peak solar power project in the municipality of Odiongan, Tablas Island in Romblon on Wednesday (August 21).

“The proposal of 60-40 in our favor, would be a good start. I hope it would graduate to something like towards how do we solve the arbitral ruling peacefully,” he added.

The event was the President’s first public engagement after being out of the public eye for more than a week. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to decide on banning online gambling in PH amid China’s call – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday (August 21) said it is up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the operations of online gambling in the country.

“We have to ask the President on this policy or issue,” Panelo told reporters.

“Hindi natin alam kung may possibility or wala. We have to ask the President,” he added.

On Tuesday (August 20), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang has called on the Philippine government to ban all forms of online gambling.

“We have also taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciate it,” he said in a press conference in Beijing.

“We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” he added.

Defense officials expressed concern over proximity of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) near military camps arguing the possibility of Chinese workers becoming spies for Beijing.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), meanwhile, has already stopped accepting applications for POGO licenses in the country unless underlying issues are settled.

But Panelo noted that online gambling remains legal under Philippine law.

Defense chief lauds Duterte order on foreign vessels entering PH waters

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

One of the anti-submarine vessels which docked at Pier 15 South Harbor, Manila.

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to require foreign vessels to first secure a clearance from the government before entering the Philippine waters.

“That is a very good development. At least now we have some authority to enforce our laws within our territorial waters,” Lorenzana said Tuesday.

Earlier, Duterte, through spokesman Salvador Panelo, issued a directive for all foreign vessels to provide notification and get clearance from proper government authority in advance of the actual passage. He also warned foreign vessels that Manila will either get compliance in a friendly manner or enforce it in an unfriendly manner.

READ: Duterte warns foreign ships to get clearance before entering PH waters

When asked to elaborate, Panelo explained that by saying ‘unfriendly,’ it means blocking entry to any foreign vessels intruding in the Philippine territory.

He, however, clarified that the President’s order didn’t mean an automatic use of force against intruders.

“By that it means that we will ask them to move out of the place, that’s unfriendly, because before we never said anything, we just allow them, we just make protest, but this time, we will tell them, please get out of our territorial waters,” Panelo said.

Duterte’s order came after reports of Chinese warships that allegedly entered the Philippine territory, particularly in Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi, without permission from the government.

Lorenzana, for his part, could not say yet the “unfriendly option” the Philippine Military could use to ward of intruders into the country’s waters. The Defense chief said he will defer the matter to the Philippine Navy. (RRD with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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