OVP dismayed over Duterte’s statement against Robredo
Aileen Cerrudo • February 16, 2021 • 517
MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Vice President expressed dismay over President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirade against Vice President Leni Robredo after she criticized his decision to demand payment for the US troop deal.
Robredo’s Spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez said the President should focus on directly answering the issues at hand, instead of resorting to comments against the Vice President.
“Tuwing magsasalita sa anomang isyu, lagi na lang nagiging ganyan ang sagot sa atin. Imbis na sagutin doon sa level ng kung ano ba talaga yung pinag-uusapan, paninira at pangungutya ang ating inaabot,” he said.
During his public address on Friday (February 12) the President said the US has to pay if they want the Visiting Forces Agreement to continue.
“I’d like to put on notice if there’s an American agent here. From now on, you want the Visiting Forces Agreement done, you have to pay. It’s a shared responsibility but your share of responsibility does not come free because, after all, when the war breaks out, we all pay,” he said during his speech.
Robredo likened Duterte’s demand for payment to “extortion.”
On Monday (February 15), Duterte responded to Robredo’s comment, saying the Vice President “needs to study more.”
“You really do not know your role in this government. The foreign relations with other countries is vested on the President alone kaya hindi mo alam ang mga pangyayari,“ Duterte said.
“If by unfortunate chance you become the president, please study more. I think that you need a refresher course sa law. That is my advice to you,” he added.
Duterte also slammed Senator Panfilo Lacson for his comments on seeking a more diplomatic approach in resolving the VFA issue. In response, Lacson said the President should reread the 1987 Constitution.
“I may not be a lawyer like him. Last time I read the Constitution, a senator has something to do with international agreements. The President should refresh his memory by reading Article VII Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution,” he said in a statement. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not comfortable with relaxing quarantine and testing protocols for arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
During Wednesday’s (April 21) public address, the President noted that less stringent measures could compromise the entire country as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
“I’m not quite comfortable with the relaxation that’s being brought now,” he said.
“I am not ready for a compromise lalo na ngayon. ‘Yung ibang sakit siguro, pwede pa – iyong mga rabies. Pero ito, talagang … as I have said, dapo rito, dapo roon,” he added.
The meeting which included health experts was in response to the appeal of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III for an immediate swab test on OFWs upon arrival and a shortening of the quarantine period or their stay in hotels or isolation facilities.
“Kaya nga po kami nakikiusap sana, na kung maaari, ay we go back to the original protocol noon na pagdating ng ating OFWs, swab kaagad sila,” Bello said.
The medical experts recommended a review of the testing protocol but insisted that the implementation of strict quarantine measures is still best to be strictly enforced at this time.
“The [Technical Advisory Group] had some preliminary discussions po regarding the current issue, and we were thinking that based on the data that we have right now, it’s a better option to review the testing protocol,” said DOH-TAG member Dr. Anna Ong-Lim.
“We recommend that it be done at a later time, but the critical intervention should really be that quarantine should be strictly enforced,” she concluded.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the grant of one-time financial aid of P20,000 to qualified pensioners under the employees’ compensation (EC) program.
Under Administrative Order (AO) No. 39, which was signed on Monday, Duterte authorized the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) to grant the cash aid to EC pensioners for permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and survivorship, in the private and public sectors, “subject to the availability of funds and pertinent laws, rules and regulations.”
Duterte directed the ECC, Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to set aside and release appropriate funding to cover the financial assistance from the Social Insurance Fund under the EC Program.
The ECC, in coordination with the SSS and GSIS, will issue the implementing rules and regulations necessary for the effective implementation of the order.
In signing the AO, Duterte recognized that the “adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, supplementary health necessities for the battle against the virus, and restrictions imposed on our mobility and social interaction, have increased the financial and health burdens experienced by the EC pensioners.
The one-time cash aid will be granted to around 31,000 pensioners of the SSS and GSIS.
Duterte said AO 39 will take effect following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
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