Palace assures no economic impact on loan, deal suspension
Aileen Cerrudo • September 23, 2019 • 229
Malacañang assured that the loan and deal suspension ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte will have no impact on the country’s economy.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said out of the 18 countries involved in the said suspension, only the United Kingdom has an offer of 21 million euro loan for the president’s Build, Build, Build program.
Panelo also assured there will be other countries and trade institutions that can replace the involved countries.
“It will not dramatically, even slightly I think, impact our economy,” he said. “There are other bilateral partners and institutions, and other countries outside of the 18 offering the same, and no better rates than these countries.”
The chief executive has signed a confidential memorandum suspending loan and negotiations with the 18 countries that backed the Iceland resolution.
Iceland called for an investigation into the Duterte Administration’s anti-drug campaign.
Panelo also said this policy will last until the end of Duterte’s term.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte is still pondering on whether or not to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States Summit in March.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President expressed willingness to visit the United States, however the president is not sure whether his visa will be approved.
Panelo added Duterte might not want to visit the US since some US senators “would be unhappy to see him”. This is amid the resolution of banning the entry of Philippine officials involved in imprisoning former Senator Leila de Lima.
The Palace official also clarified that the President is not enforcing conditions regarding his visit in the US.
“From what I look at his responses, gusto niya pumunta, iyan ang naisip ko, (he wants to visit, that’s what I think),” Panelo said. “[Duterte] just expressed certain sentiments relative to some issues that may affect his entry.”
Duterte has been previously invited by US President Donald Trump but he refused due to the extreme weather conditions in the US as well as the long-hour flight.
Panelo cited that the recent invitation was not a personal one so the President is still pondering on whether to accept the invitation or not.
MANILA, Philippines – The total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait will remain in effect until the labor agreement signed in 2018 between the two countries is fully implemented, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the labor department’s call for a total ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Kuwait following the killing of household service worker Jeanelyn Villavende.
“The Palace wishes to inform the public that President Duterte has approved the recommendation of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III on the total deployment ban of Filipino workers in Kuwait,” Panelo said.
He added that the ban will stay until the memorandum of agreement between the two countries is fully honored and “the terms contained therein are incorporated in every labor contract with our OFWs.”
Bello earlier said he recommended a total deployment ban to Kuwait after results of a re-autopsy by the National Bureau of Investigation revealed that Villavende had several missing internal organs and had “clear indications of sexual abuse.”
The re-autopsy was conducted after a certificate released by Kuwait’s Ministry of Health showed that Villavende died of “acute failure of heart and respiration” as a result of shock and multiple injuries.
In a statement on Thursday, Bello said the implementation of a total deployment ban of workers was fueled by the alleged attempt of the Kuwaiti government “to cover-up the true case of death” of Villavende.
He said the re-autopsy on the Filipino worker’s remains was in complete contrast to the report of the Kuwaiti authorities.
Bello also said that another cause for the ban was the failure of the Kuwaiti government to come into an agreement regarding the standard employment contract in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement in 2018.
“Under the MOU, we were supposed to come up with a standard employment contract in order to provide sufficient protection for our OFWs. That’s almost two years ago of discussing and debating but until now, we have not finalized anything,” Bello said.
The total ban covers the processing and deployment of all household service workers, semi-skilled, skilled workers and professionals including Filipino crew seafarers for Kuwait.
However, skilled workers and professionals who have unexpired contracts or categorized as Balik-Manggagawa, and those who will be cleared by the Secretary of Labor are exempted from the ban.
“Those who will come home for a vacation and has an existing contract are still allowed to travel to Kuwait, however, workers with new contracts will be covered by the ban. This move is nothing less than for the protection of our workers,” Bello said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has suspended classes in all levels and work in government offices on Monday, January 13, in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon due to the Taal volcano ashfall.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, by authority of President Rodrigo Duterte announced the class and gov’t work suspension around midnight in areas affected by the ashfall “except frontline response agencies involved in disaster response,mdelivery of basic and health service, and/or other vital services.”
“The private sector is highly encouraged to suspend work for the safety of their employees,” Medialdea added.
Earlier, local government units have declared class suspensions in all levels in view of the Taal volcano ash explosion.
These areas include: • Batangas province, including municipalities around Taal lake (Talisay, Balete, Mataas na Kahoy, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Sta. Teresita, San Nicolas, Agoncillo, Laurel) • Cavite Province • Laguna • Metro Manila • Bataan • Bulacan province • Pampanga • Capas, Tarlac • Concepcion, Tarlac
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised the alert level 4 over Taal Volcano on Sunday night, which means a hazardous explosion is imminent within hours or days.
Phivolcs also recommended that residents in Taal island and high-risk barangays in the towns of Agoncillo and Laurel in Bagangas be evacuated due to possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami.
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