Pacquiao urges PDP-Laban members to set aside politics for now, focus on solving problems

Robie de Guzman   •   March 12, 2021   •   534

Senator Manny Pacquiao

 

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Manny Pacquiao, who serves as acting national president of political party PDP-Laban, called on his party-mates to focus more on solving the country’s problems and not politics.

Pacquiao made the call on Friday in response to reports that some PDP-Laban members are urging President Rodrigo Duterte to run as vice president in 2022.

The senator said the move is not sanctioned by the party’s leadership and he stressed that the focus of the party now is to help the public deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As party president, I have the responsibility to enforce the rules, promote cooperation, insist on civility and respect, and most of all, to remind you that we are one team, because it is only when we are united that we can stand strong to weather any storm and to face the greatest dangers,” Pacquiao said in a statement.

On Thursday, House deputy speaker Eric Martinez revealed that some members of PDP-Laban are circulating a resolution urging  the president to run for vice president in the 2022 elections for continuity’s sake.

But Pacquiao said now is not the time for politics and that party members should prioritize the needs and lives of Filipinos amid the public health crisis.

“God destined us to be leaders to our respective constituents, and by showing them by example that we know our priorities we are sending a strong message that we value them, that we are aware of their needs and we give them hope,” he said.

“I, therefore, call upon all our party members to focus more on the opportunity to serve. Our countrymen need us now more than ever. There will be a time for politics, but for now, the lives and wellbeing of our countrymen should be our utmost priority,” he added.

Manny Pacquiao asks US Pres. Biden to expedite delivery of vaccines for COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao said he is trying to personally contact United States President Joe Biden to expedite the delivery of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.

Last April, the Senator has sent a letter to the White House through Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Romualdez to ask the US President’s help in expediting the processing of around 20 million doses of Moderna vaccines procured by the Philippine government and private sectors.

Sumulat ako dahil medyo nababagalan ako [sa] pag-deliver ng vaccine dito satin. Ang ibang bansa, massive na ang vaccination nila (I wrote because I feel that the delivery of vaccines here in the country is slow. The other countries are already conducting massive vaccination),” he said.

Pacquiao said he is not overstepping President Rodrigo Duterte and stressed that he just wanted to help.

Ang presidente ngayon ng US na-meet ko na siya noong 2011, sa tingin ko naman kilala niya ako. So makakatulong ng malaki ang sulat natin, ang request natin sa kaniya na mapagbigyan tayo (I have already met the current US President back in 2011, I think he knows me. So our letter will be a big help that he will grant our request),” he said.

The White House has still yet to reply to the Senator’s letter, but it has been received by the office of President Biden.

Meanwhile, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. previously said there will be a steady vaccine supply in the country in June, including the 194,000doses of Moderna vaccines. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

IATF, COMELEC magtatakda ng patakaran para sa 2022 elections

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Sa Oktubre na inaasahang magsisimula ang filing of Certificates of Candidacy ng mga nais tumakbo sa May 2022 elections.

Kaya naman nakikipag-ugnayan na ang Commission on Elections (COMELEC) sa Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) para sa gagawing paghahanda sa paparating na halalan.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, kailangang paghandaan ang darating na eleksyon lalo’t nagpapatuloy pa ang banta ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

“Nakikipag-coordinate naman po sila sa IATF dahil kinakailangan nilang ibase sa siyensya yung kanilang magiging desisyon,” ani Roque.

Ginamit na halimbawa ni Roque ang ginawang plebisito sa Palawan kamakailan para sa patakarang maaaring ipatupad kaugnay ng pagdaraos ng halalan.

“At yung nangyari nga po sa Palawan, naging matagumpay naman po yung plebesito in terms of observance ng minimum health standards,” ang pahayag ni opisyal.

Una nang sinabi ni National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. na kailangang doblehin ang pag-iingat at matiyak ang mga panuntunan nang maiwasan ang “superspreader event” sa gitna ng umiiral pa ring pandemiya sa bansa.

Samantala, sinabi naman ni COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez na binubuo na ng New Normal Committee ang panukalang guidelines kaugnay ng ligtas na pagsasagawa ng 2022 elections kabilang na ang proseso ng pangangampanya ng mga kandidato.

Inaasahang mailalabas ng komisyon ang mga panuntunan bago matapos ang 2021.

“Ang sabi ng chairman namin, last quarter of the year,” ani Jimenez.

Sa tala noong Abril 20, umabot na sa 2.7 milyon ang nakapagparehistrong bagong botante para sa 2022 elections.

Sa ngayon ay suspindido muna ang voter’s registration sa NCR Plus at iba pang lugar na nasa ilalim ng mas mahigpit na community quarantine. RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Gatchalian pushes for tax exemption of teachers’ poll honoraria anew ahead of 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday renewed his push for tax exemption on the honoraria, travel allowance, and other benefits granted to poll workers in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

Gatchalian said his proposal is contained in Senate Bill 1193 which he filed in 2019.

The bill seeks to further amend Section 32 of Republic Act No. 8424 or the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, so that poll workers can receive the full amount of their honoraria, travel allowance, and other benefits.

The measure also seeks to exclude poll workers’ honoraria and allowances from gross income. A five percent tax is currently imposed on poll workers’ election honoraria.

“Maliban sa pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon sa gitna ng pandemya, ang ating mga guro, opisyal, at kawani ng mga pampublikong paaralan ay nagsisilbing frontliners upang matiyak ang maayos at malinis na halalan,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

“Hindi biro ang trabaho nila mula sa preparasyon hanggang sa bilangan ng mga balota. Kaya maituturing natin itong isang paraan ng pasasalamat para sa kanilang dedikasyon at sakripisyo,” he added.

Under the Election Service Reform Act (Republic Act No. 10756), the chairpersons of electoral boards are each entitled to receive P6,000.

Members of electoral boards receive P5,000 each, Department of Education Supervisor Officials (DESO) receive P4,000 each, while support staff receives P2,000 each.

Gatchalian pointed out that poll workers’ honoraria and allowances are subject to income tax if their annual taxable income exceeds the P250,000 threshold under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law. Those earning below P250,000 have to submit a declaration of tax exemptions.

In the explanatory note of his bill, the senator stressed that giving poll workers, especially public school teachers, the full amount of their election allowances is “the best way we can show them our gratitude and appreciation for ensuring clean, honest, and orderly elections in the country.”

This will also encourage and reward volunteerism in the country’s election process, he added.

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