Pacquiao advises Faeldon to take leave as BuCor chief

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019   •   470

Senator Manny Pacquiao (left) and BuCor Chief Nicanor Faeldon (right)

Senator Manny Pacquiao has advised Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Nicanor Faeldon to take a leave-of-absence while facing investigation.

In a statement, Pacquiao said he believes in the integrity and honesty of Faeldon but the investigation on the alleged abuse of the Republic Act 10592 or the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law needs Faeldon’s “full and undivided attention.”

“I know that Undersecretary Faeldon is a good man and has served his country well but I really think that he can spare the president and this administration from embarrassment by taking a leave-of-absence,” he said.

READ: Faeldon admits signing ‘memorandum’ not release order for Antonio Sanchez

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee will continue the investigation on Thursday (September 5) on the said issue.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said Faeldon’s fate lies in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hands.

“That’s for the president to decide. I talked with him yesterday, and that’s what he told me: ‘There is an ongoing investigation and I’ll wait for the investigation,’” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Faeldon had previously said he will not resign as BuCor chief amid the controversy.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Pacquiao seeks 1-year freeze on Philhealth premium rate hike for health workers

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Manny Pacquiao on Friday said he has filed a resolution calling for a one-year suspension of the increase in Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) premium contributions for healthcare workers amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

In Senate Resolution 429, Pacquiao urged the Senate to call for the suspension of the increase in Philhealth premium rate for healthcare professionals for the year 2020 “as a token of gratitude” to their sacrifices amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The senator filed the resolution as Philhealth is poised to implement an increase in premium payments from 2.75% to 3% of its members’ monthly salary.

The increase is provided in the Universal Health Care Act, which provides for the automatic enrolment of all Filipino citizens in the government’s National Health Insurance Program. The law also mandates an annual increase in premium rate until it reaches 5% by 2024.

“The first year of the implementation of the increased rate of premium contributions, coincided with the advent and continuation of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines,” the resolution read.

“This has constrained most, if not all, health care professionals and other health care workers in the country sacrificing and risking their well-being and even their lives, to help cure the afflicted and stem the surge of transmission of the disease caused by the Covid-19 virus,” it added.

Pacquiao also pointed out that the pandemic has resulted in the “disruption of the professional practice of the health care professionals concomitantly leading to the marked decrease in the income of health care professionals and related health care workers, and to some, even to the closure of their clinics.”

“Such a suspension may help these frontliners in a small way, but the recognition and expression of gratitude will go a little farther to support them moving forward,” he said.

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) earlier called on the government to suspend the premium payment increase for medical workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

BuCor preps ‘Site Harry’ for COVID-19 response at NBP

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 1, 2020

The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) continues to prepare the New Bilibid Prison’s (NBP) coronavirus disease (COVID-19) quarantine area at Site Harry.

On Thursday (April 30), BuCor received medical supplies and other equipment from the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross). The ICRC also renovated the isolation area for the Person’s Deprived of Liberty (PDL) who are exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms.

The ICRC donated personal protective equipment (PPEs), beds and pillows.

The said isolation area was previously used as a work area for making handicrafts. The area can accommodate up to 100 PDLs.

“The families of the PDL in the NBP can be assured that there is now a comfortable facility that can accommodate their PDL loved ones in case of confinement in relation to COVID-19,” BuCor said in a statement. AAC

BuCor reports 2 PDLs from Women’s Correctional succumbed to COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   April 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) reported on Tuesday (April 28) that two inmates at the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City have died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The facility’s first inmate to test positive for COVID-19 died on Monday (April 27). The administration of the facility has already reached out to the relatives of the 72-year-old patient and has contacted the hospital for the proper disposition of the patient’s remains.

The patient was hospitalized on April 13 after experiencing symptoms of pneumonia. 

Her admission to the hospital prompted the contact tracing of several persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) with whom she had contact days before she was confined.

Meanwhile, the BuCor also reported that the CIW inmate who was admitted at East Avenue Medical Center  last April 13, expired on April 21 because of sepsis, systemic lupus and pneumonia. She was later confirmed positive for COVID-19. The test was conducted on April 14, but the result only came out on April 27.

To date, BuCor has 50 confirmed cases of PDLs positive for COVID-19, three of whom have succumbed to the disease.

All cases are found at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) and the CIW, the BuCor said, while the rest of the penal facilities in the country remain free of the deadly virus. 

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