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New EO bans travel junkets for gov’t officials, employees

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Philippine passport

MANILA, Philippines –  President Rodrigo Duterte has banned government officials and employees from travel junkets and team-building activities outside of the country.

Section 19 of the Executive Order No. 77 signed on March 15 states that: “All forms of travel junkets shall be strictly prohibited. The conduct of strategic planning workshops or team building activities abroad shall not be allowed.”

The order was released to the members of the press on Friday (March 22).

The President also emphasized in the EO that “the taking of a personal leave immediately before or after the official activity is highly discouraged” and “if travel circumstances, such as the nature of activity, purpose and itinerary, indicate that the trip is mainly intended for personal purposes, no part thereof shall be considered official.”

The order also required all Cabinet secretaries, chairpersons and board members of Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC), and heads of national government agencies to get the President’s approval for their official travels abroad. – Marje Pelayo

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Malacañang: EO creating Zero Hunger task force out soon

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2019

A father and daughter enjoy a free meal at a feeding program

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to sign an executive order (EO) seeking to establish a Zero Hunger Task Force, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Monday (April 29).

“An executive order creating the Zero Hunger task force is expected to be signed by President Duterte anytime soon,” Nograles said in a statement.

The creation of an inter-agency task force, which will roll out policies aimed at eradicating hunger by 2030, is part of the government’s commitment to supporting the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN), Nograles said.

“We’ve set a lofty aim of reducing hunger by 25 percent every two and a half years and we have identified a little more than 30 provinces to focus on,” he said.

Nograles made the remark after members of the UN Country Team visited Malacañang last April 25.

The body encompasses all the entities of the UN system which carry out operational activities for development, emergency, recovery and transition in host countries.

“We specifically discussed the administration’s ongoing initiatives in the field of food security, ‘green economy’ and peace, highlighting the impending creation of a Zero Hunger Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the goal of which is to eradicate hunger in the country by 2030, laying down a sustainable and effective national environmental policy, as well as pushing the peace process in Mindanao forward with the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)” the Cabinet official noted.

Nograles added that the meeting focused on exploring “common alignments” between domestic Philippine policy and overall UN objectives.

“The UN has likewise targeted zero hunger as a key goal, stressing ‘better access to food and the widespread promotion of sustainable agriculture’,” he said.

According to the international body, the task “entails improving the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers by promoting equal access to land, technology and markets, sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices. It also requires increased investments through international cooperation to bolster the productive capacity of agriculture in developing countries.”

For his part, the Cabinet Secretary noted the “commonalities of synergies during the gathering, which is not surprising.”

“We just need more discussions and further explorations on how to best use our resources and make the greatest impact in achieving our shared goals,” Nograles emphasized.

He also noted that the Philippines is ready to collaborate on programs that are essential to improving living conditions and quality of life while working to preserve the environment at the same time. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte approves ‘in principle’ EO on water security

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

By Mietzekatze on Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the draft of an Executive Order (EO) that will hopefully address water supply issues in the country, a Cabinet official said on Monday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the EO, which will provide a master plan for water security, was approved “in principle” during the last Cabinet meeting.

“The draft has been given to the Office of the Executive Secretary already for vetting. So finalization na lang ‘yun ng draft, pipirmahan na lang ‘yun ng Pangulo,” Nograles said.

The EO mandates the reconstitution of the National Water Resources Board into a body that will manage the integration and coordination of government efforts in planning and implementing programs involving water.

The body is mandated to create a master plan on national water management composed of relevant and existing plans of agencies involved in the integrated water resource management (IWRM).

The EO will also seek a review of government agreements with water concessionaires.

The drafting of the EO came after a water shortage hit thousands of households being serviced by the Manila Water Company in eastern Metro Manila and Rizal province in March.

READ: Malacañang to release executive order to address water shortage

Nograles earlier said that before water interruptions gripped parts of Metro Manila, the government had already been working on the order to resolve water-related issues.

He said the inter-agency efforts were prompted by water management issues that were flagged in the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

The issues include limited implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in many of the country’s river basins and watersheds, which results in the resources’ sub-optimal use and wastage; uncoordinated plans and programs and access to safe water supplies due to the uneven distribution of freshwater sources.

Nograles also mentioned the lack of updated and consolidated data on water resource availability, water stress levels, over/underutilization of resources, groundwater pollution, land subsidence and saltwater intrusion.

At least 32 agencies are involved in the water sector, with different offices involved in the various aspects of IWRM. – Robie de Guzman

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Duterte orders funding for salary hike of gov’t workers

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte. | ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the implementation of the fourth tranche salary hike for civilians, military, and uniformed personnel amid 2019 National Budget impasse.

READ: Sotto won’t sign 2019 budget due to alleged realignments

Based on Executive Order (EO) no. 76, signed on March 15, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is tasked to identify funding source from the 2018 reenacted budget.

“There is a need to identify an appropriate funding source to cover the requirements for the implementation of the fourth tranche compensation adjustment for civilian government personnel scheduled in 2019 under EO No. 201,” according to the EO

The DBM previously recommended the amendment of EO no. 201 in order to provide the salary hike for government workers.

EO no. 201, signed by former president Benigno Aquino, has scheduled the implementation of the fourth tranche salary hike by January this year. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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