MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has allayed public fear of a possible ban on social media giant Facebook following President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks on Tuesday night (September 29) expressing his disappointment over the platform’s policy.
“You cannot lay down a policy for my government. I allow you to operate here. You cannot bar or prevent me from espousing the objectives of the government,” Duterte said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President wants to have a talk with Facebook to clarify issues regarding its censorship policy against pages that support the government.
“Number 1 po kasi tayo sa buong mundo sa Pilipinas so kung wala tayo, malaking kawalan yan sa Facebook [The Philippines is the number 1 user in the world. It’s a big loss to Facebook],” Roque said.
“Pero at the same time, dahil nga number 1 tayo, marami ring Pilipino ang gumagamit ng Facebook. Maapektuhan din. So sinabi naman ng president, pag-usapan iyan [But at the same time since we are number 1, many Filipinos are using Facebook. It will affect us. So the President wants a discussion about it],” he added.
Among the accounts that have been taken down is the advocacy group Hands Off Our Children, a page which aims to protect minors from recruitment by extremists who entice youths to become combatants and fight the government.
Meanwhile, Malacañang has again questioned Facebook’s choice of fact-checkers— online news platforms Rappler and Vera Files— who are critical of the present administration.
Roque said the government is now contemplating on commissioning fact-checkers of social media platforms in the country similar to what other countries are doing.
“Pag-aaralan po natin kung dapat gawin natin iyan dahil di po tayo makakapayag na ang fact-checkers ay tanging mga laban lamang sa gobyerno [We will take that into consideration because that has to be done. We cannot allow that fact-checkers are only those who are all against the government],” Roque concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Phillippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said that President Rodrigo Duterte should just implement the anti-graft laws to all violators instead of resigning if he wants to end corruption in the government.
“Instead of resigning, the President only needs to be consistent in applying the anti-graft and corruption laws to both friends and foes,” Lacson said in a statement.
Lacson issued the statement after Duterte said he has offered to step down from office out of frustration over the rampant corruption in the country.
“Ewan ko kung sabihin ko ito sa inyo. I offered to resign as president. Pinatawag ko yung lahat, sabi ko, ‘Kasi nagsasawa na ako. In my years of government […] talagang wala na katapusan itong korupsyon. Mahirap talaga pigilin,” Duterte said during his public address late Monday night.
The president’s remarks follows on the heels of fresh allegations of irregularities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Duterte earlier promised to fire officials over just “a whiff” of corruption.
“Strong words and warnings may work, but only when backed by political will and followed by concrete actions. There is no better way,” Lacson said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also said that it is the corrupt officials who should be resigning and not Duterte.
“Dapat ‘yung mga corrupt sa gobyerno makaisip noon, hindi siya. He was elected by the country, he cannot turn his back on the specified task by the Filipinos! I don’t think he means it,” Sotto said in a message to reporters.
As for Duterte’s offer to appear before a Congressional hearing to tackle corruption, Lacson said it may not be necessary.
“In fact, the Senate is already proposing in a bill to give him Bayanihan-like powers to address red tape in government,” he said.
Lacson was referring to Senate Bill 1844 which seeks to authorize the president to expedite the issuance of national and local permits and licenses in times of national emergency to address corruption and red tape in the government. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
The government of Davao City on Tuesday said it is planning to conduct a city-wide measles immunization drive from Oct. 25 to November 26.
In a statement, the city government called on parents to have their children age nine to 59 months immunized against measles during the said dates.
According to Dr. Julinda Acosta, head of the City Health Office (CHO) Technical Division, the city-wide immunization activity this year will be held in fixed posts like barangay health centers, health stations, nutrition posts, as well as temporary posts such as covered courts, instead of the previous house-to-house strategy.
“This is so ma-ensure talaga natin ang proper screening and precautionary safety protocols. The measles vaccination kasi is injection, hindi patak. Dapat maganda yung area sa immunization sites,” Acosta said.
(This is to ensure the proper screening and precautionary safety protocols. The measles vaccination is administered through injection, not drops. There must be proper immunization sites.)
A virtual orientation will also be conducted with 182 barangay captains all over the city to disseminate the information.
Measles is a disease that comes from the rubeola virus and commonly affects children aged 6 months up to 12 years old. Its symptoms include high fever, cough and colds, swollen eyes, and red rashes all over the body.
The city government said it targets to vaccinate at least 150,000 children regardless of immunization status to make sure that there is no child left behind.
The CHO noted that this year, the city recorded lower measles cases with 133 and two deaths compared to the 835 cases and 13 deaths reported in the previous year.
Acosta attributed this to community quarantine protocols which prohibit children from going out amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She, however, pointed out that the public health crisis has also created a pool of unvaccinated children due to the movement restrictions and that there is no room for complacency.
“These children are susceptible to the disease and they need to be vaccinated in order to prevent a possible outbreak,” she said.
Acosta expressed hope that parents would have their children immunized as measles is a deadly disease but can be prevented through a vaccine.
“We encourage parents. Paano ngayon na nasa Covid situation tayo and what if naa na pud mag outbreak na mga preventable diseases. So sana maprotektahan nato ang mga bata,” she said.
(Now that we are in this COVID situation, what if there would be an outbreak of preventable diseases. So we hope that we can protect the children.)
Acosta assured that the vaccines for measles are safe to use.
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.