House Deputy Speaker confirms ‘oust Alvarez’ plot

Marje Pelayo   •   July 23, 2018   •   4319

 

Cebu Representative Gwen Garcia confirms caucus on change of leadership issue

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Rumors are circulating on the sudden shift in House Speakership today (July 23) hours before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his third state of the nation address (SONA).

House sources said Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would be sitting as the House Speaker in this afternoon’s SONA replacing Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia confirmed in an ambush interview in the Lower House that the change in house leadership was briefly touched during an all-members caucus today before the opening of the third and last session of the 17th Congress.

“That’s on the floor, that will all be decided by the each of the congressmen kung kakailanganin. If there will be, then I’m sure may mag-o-object if there would be a move to oust the Speaker. I guess each congressman will have to decide for himself or herself,” said Garcia.

Garcia added that “We were of one mind that this has really been the most active Congress yet, and of course you have to attribute that to the leadership. It’s all about each congressman’s take on how this present Congress is being led.”

Reports said it was the House minority group led by Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez as the proponent of the move in the plenary today.

Davao Del Norte 2nd District Representative Tony Bboy Floriendo denied being behind the ouster move. Floriendo is known for having rifts with Alvarez. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

Duterte urges Congress to expedite creation of agency concerning OFWs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to expedite the creation of a new agency that will cater to the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“So I proposed in the coming months, and I hope to come up with a Department of Overseas Workers,” he said.

Duterte said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has so much burden to focus on OFWs.

The President also said the new agency will address the persistent woes encountered by OFWs. There is also a proposal to create another agency for seafarers.

“So iyan ang ano ko sa mga kababayan ko na naghihirap sa labas, (So that is what I can provide for our fellowmen abroad) that there will be a more thorough review in policies for your protection and that somebody should look after you,” he said.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in 2019 filed Senate Bill 202, or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019 in support of President Duterte’s advocacy. AAC

Duterte to announce quarantine classifications for November tonight

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte will announce the new quarantine classifications for November on Monday (October 26) evening, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“We will proceed with our meeting with him via Zoom at inaasahan pa rin pong magre-report ang ilang miyembro ng Gabinete lalong lalo na dito sa quarantine classifications (and we expect several Cabinet members will also present their report especially for the quarantine classifications),” he said during a press briefing.

Roque also confirmed the technical working group of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) already has a recommendation regarding the quarantine classifications.

The Palace official also confirmed that the President already assigned a vaccine czar two months ago. This was after the proposal of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralp Recto in order to prepare for the needed storage facility and the system for vaccine distribution.

“Two months ago, I recalled si Presidente may tinalagang vaccine czar kaya lang po, iyong naitalagang vaccine czar is hesitant when I asked him if I could remind the public that he has been designated as a vaccine czar kasi baka hindi na raw po maalala ni President. So we would like to wait for the Pesident to make an announcement anew (I recalled, two months ago, the President already assigned a vaccine czar. However, the assigned vaccine czar was hesitant when I asked him if I could remind the public that he has been designated. He said the President may have forgotten already so we would like to wait for the President to make the announcement anew),” Roque said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Russia eyes establishing a pharma facility in PH for COVID-19, Duterte says

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that Russia is planning to establish a pharmaceutical company in the Philippines for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine.

The President said he had a serious discussion on the said plan with outgoing Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev during the latter’s farewell courtesy call in Malacañang on October 14.

“I just had a talk with the ambassador of Russia, the outgoing, and we had a serious one-on-one talk. He said Russia is coming in. They want to establish here, gagawa sila ng pharmaceutical and vaccine papasok,” the President said.

He reiterated his preference to source the COVID-19 vaccine from either China or Russia once available.

He added that the government has already secured enough budget for the purchase of the initial batch of vaccines, although an additional amount is still needed to cover for the vaccination of the entire Filipino population.

“ I have the money already for the vaccine, but hahanap pa ako ng maraming pera because you know there are 130 million Filipinos and to me ideally, all should have the vaccine without exception,” Duterte said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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