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Lawmakers eye creation of disaster dep’t to fast track gov’t programs

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

(Left-Right) Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Sen. Gringo Honasan

MANILA, Philippines — The oversight committee on the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 has questioned the slow implementation of programs and rehabilitation efforts in affected areas of Zamboanga siege and super typhoon Yolanda last 2013.

According to Sen. Gringo Honasan, until now there are still displaced families in Tacloban City and even in Zamboanga.

Because of the seemingly slow implementation of government programs, Sen. Panfilo Lacson believes it is high time to establish a department that will focus on disaster management.

“Na-experience ko ito noong nasa Yolanda ako, na wala kaming ginawa kundi mag-meeting and very short sa implementation. Kung meron talagang lead agency that will assume all responsibility at least yung implementation mapapabalis,” said Lacson.

(I experienced this during Yolanda wherein we did nothing but conduct meetings and very short implementation. If there could be a lead agency that will assume all responsibility, at least the implementation would be faster.)

Some government line agencies support the said proposal.

“There should be a form of unitary command that will deal with disasters,” Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Asec. Kristoffer James Purisima said.

“Ang major coordinator ngayon ay (the major coordinator is the) Office of Civil Defense. Definitely kailangan silang palakasin (we need to strengthen it). Kailangang dagdagan ng tao (we need to add more people),” said Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) officer-in-charge Usec. Renato Solidum Jr.

To date, a bill creating an agency or department on disaster management is being undertaken by the technical working group in the Lower House.

Lacson said he will push for the passage of its counterpart bill in the Senate.

If this will become law, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and OCD will eventually be abolished. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue






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Senators divided over PH’s possible withdrawal from UN human rights body

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

UNHRC Hall | Courtesy: United Nations Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s tweet about the Philippines’ possible withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) earned mixed reactions from members of the Senate.

In reaction to the issue, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Philippines may face unfavorable consequences in the future with its withdrawal from different UN bodies.

“It may be a matter of time when we will be left to our own devices. We do not know when, but being a developing country, we may need to knock on the doors of the community of nations sooner or later,” Lacson said in statement on Monday (July 15).

For his part, Senator Francis Pangilinan believes there will come a time when the Philippines will have to explain the outcome of the government’s drive against illegal drugs.

“We can run but we can’t hide. Sooner or later we will have to explain if not to the international community at the very least to ourselves and our citizens why tens of thousands have been killed,” Pangilinan said.

“Yet the drug menace has become worse while drug syndicates and customs officials behind the smuggling of tons of shabu through the BoC go unpunished,” he added.

But Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed support to whatever the Foreign Affairs Department proposes best for the country.

“He would be in the best position to assess what is beneficial for our country as far as diplomacy with others is concerned,” Sotto said of Locsin.

Locsin posted the idea on Saturday (July 13) when a netizen inquired about how the Philippine representation in Iceland reacted to the Council’s approval of Iceland’s resolution seeking to probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines in relation to the Duterte administration’s drug war.

READ: Philippines eyes withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

The resolution garnered 18 affirmative votes, 14 negative and 15 abstentions. – with details from Nel Maribojoc.

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Ex-Senator Gringo Honasan takes oath as DICT chief

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Gringo Honasan has finally taken his oath as secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Monday (July 1).

Panelo said Honasan took his oath before President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañang Palace.

After he was sworn in, Honasan attended the Cabinet meeting where he was introduced by the chief executive.

Prior to the confirmation from Malacañang, Senator Panfilo Lacson took to social media to speak of the ceremony and congratulate his former colleague.

“My heartfelt congratulations to my classmate, colleague and friend, DICT Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan who is about to take his oath of office anytime now, before the scheduled cabinet meeting in Malacañang today. Godspeed Mistah!” Lacson wrote on his Twitter account.

Duterte appointed Honasan as DICT secretary last November. (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Know: Personalities who are likely to join Presidential Race in 2022

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019

It’s still three years before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends, and yet, this early, several names are already floating to likely run in the presidential race in 2022.

Among the list is Senator Cynthia Villar who also topped the senatorial elections this year.

Even President Duterte had, at one point, mentioned supporting the Villars in case anyone of them decides to run in 2022.

“One of the factors kung bakit ako pumayag, si Speaker (Manny Villar). Kaya kung may presidente na suportahan ko, si Speaker [one of the factors is Speaker (Manny Villar). If there is anyone I will support for presidency, it’s the Speaker],” said the President.

Senator Villar thanked the President for his trust. She, however, maintained that it is still too early to announce any decision regarding the 2022 elections.

“We thank President Duterte for his trust and confidence. Manny and I think 2022 is so far away and we are just focusing our efforts in reelecting me as senator in 2019,” Villar said.

On the other hand, the name of Senate President Vicente Sotto III was also mentioned by President Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address in 2016.

President Duterte said Sotto can become the president once Federalism is approved in Congress and the need for the new president arose.

Another name floating is that of Senator Panfilo Lacson, who had recently denied in his Twitter post that he is already posturing for the 2022 elections.

This came about when the senator had been actively giving his opinions on issues on his social media account.

Read: Lacson tells critics: I’m not posturing for 2022 polls

Lacson ran but lost in 2004 Presidential race. He, however, said he is not closing any doors for the possibility of running for the said position again.

Senator Richard Gordon has also been alluded to by the President in his 2017 SONA as the country’s potential top leader.

Vice President Leni Robredo, on the other hand, is also not brushing off the possibility of aiming for the highest position in the government.

She was quick to add, however, that this is not something that one plans, believing it as part of destiny.

Even presidential daughter Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio is also being seen as the one who will follow her father’s footsteps. 

She said, however, that this matter is not in her mind yet as she is focusing on her job as the chief executive of Davao City. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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