MANILA, Philippines — The Lower House of Congress has released its version of a proposed federal form of government.
Based on the said proposal, the country will be called the Federal Republic of the Philippines which will have a parliamentary form of government with the president as head of state.
The president will still have the oversight power over all agencies of the government and will remain as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
However, in the Lower House’s proposal, there will be no vice president.
The Lower House will serve as a federal assembly which will be led by the House speaker himself, while the Senate will remain and will be led by the Senate president.
The Senate and federal assembly will elect a prime minister.
The prime minister will prepare the proposed yearly funds of agencies that will be in charge of contracts and loans of the country.
He or she will also have the power to appoint and remove heads of executives offices, Cabinet members, and police officials.
Under the proposed federal form of government, the Philippines will be divided into five states.
These will be Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and Metro Manila. Each will have three state senators.
Party-list representatives will remain to represent marginalized sectors.
The president, prime minister, senators, members of the federal assembly, local government official and state officials will be in power for five years and may seek re-election.
The proposal also includes having a two-party system. The first election under the proposed new constitution will be held in may of 2022.
Aside from the office of the president, the lawmakers also propose the abolition of the Office of the Ombudsman and Judicial Bar Council (JBC).
The House of Representatives’ version also limits the freedom of the press, speech, and expression.
Meanwhile, when asked if President Duterte could still run for president under the new proposal, the committee on constitutional amendments chairman Rep. Mercado said,“Yes, he still can because he’s still in the first term. It can be as long as it’s in accordance with the Constitution.” — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
Troops find abandoned remains of NPA rebel in Batangas
The abandoned body of an NPA rebel covered with dried coconut leaves in an attempt by the NPA to conceal the body. (Photo courtesy of the AFP)
CAMP GENERAL MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — Government troops on Wednesday, August 1, found the abandoned remains of a New People’s Army (NPA) member at Sitio Sampaloc, Brgy Bulsa, San Juan, Batangas during a pursuit and tracking operation following an encounter with the rebels.
The body was later identified as alias “Jepoy” of the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya Silangan.
Jepoy is believed to have been killed in an armed encounter against soldiers last Monday where he suffered two fatal gunshot wounds in the chest.
The rotting remains of the rebel were tracked by K9 dogs that followed the blood stains from the encounter site.
The body was found in a grassy area one kilometer away from the encounter site. It was covered with dried coconut leaves in an attempt by the NPA to conceal the body.
Major General Rhoderick M. Parayno AFP, Commander, 2ID condemned the NPAs treatment of their dead combatants.
“They should provide proper medication to those that are wounded. But the most unacceptable thing is to leave a comrade behind and conceal the body by covering it with dried leaves”, he added.
He also appealed to the rebels to, “Give up your arms and join us in local peace talks.”
Meanwhile, the cadaver has been transported to the municipal police station for proper disposition while waiting for possible claimant.
Aside from the previous recovered items such as M16 rifle, backpacks, bandoleers and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) during the firefight, the troops also recovered additional IEDs, blasting cap, hand grenade, assorted ammunition, MacBook laptop, cellphones and other subversive documents.
The government troops are continuing massive pursuit operations against the terrorists in an attempt to locate the other wounded NPA reported by the civilians.
Check points are also being expanded in the area. — UNTV News & Rescue
Debt-ridden soldiers to undergo financial management seminar — AFP
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will conduct a financial management training for its members to prevent them from falling into debt traps.
AFP spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said, an official directive was issued by AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. instructing that take-home pays of soldiers should not be lower than P15,000.
Arevalo explained that P15,000 is the minimum amount that will enable a soldier to lead a decent life. He also said that debt deductions from salaries will not be allowed if the soldier’s remaining take-home pay will amount to less than P15,000 after deduction.
Aside from limiting loan amortization deductions, the AFP will also train soldiers how to handle finances so that they will not get into the habit of borrowing money and drowning in debt.
According to Arevalo, the AFP is going for the holistic approach to ensure that the salary raise given to soldiers will be put to good use and not end up as payment for endless debts.
The directive comes on the heels of a report exposing the money problems of a number of policemen who are almost left with nothing during paydays due to numerous loan deductions.
Arevalo emphasized that soldiers must learn how to manage their income to and prevent them from mindlessly borrowing money without understanding their capacity to pay.
— Lea Ylangan | UNTV News & Rescue
125,000 jobs available in nationwide job fairs on Independence Day — DOLE
Nearly 125,000 job openings await Filipinos in job fairs across the country on June 12 in celebration of the nation’s 120th Independence Day.
Over 60,000 jobs are being offered for local employment. Top job vacancies include production machine operators, construction workers, company drivers, service crews, customer service representatives, factory workers and sales agents.
There are 7,000 vacant positions for officers and enlisted personnel in the AFP, PNP, Philippine Navy and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Over 53,000 jobs overseas are open for service workers, nurses, engineers, labor workers, sales personnel, and carpenters.
Foreign countries with job openings include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Malaysia, Japan, Oman and New Zealand.
DOLE assured that all participating companies in the jobs and business fair will not offer contractual jobs in line with the government’s directive to regularize all workers and end illegal contractualization in the country.
“We saw to it that nothing like that is included. All these employers are legitimate,” said DOLE Undersecretary Jing Paras. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue