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Peter Wallace lauds Duterte administration in first 100 days

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2016

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MANILA, Philippines
— Australian businessman Peter Wallace commended President Rodrigo Duterte for accomplishing some of his campaign promises such as stamping out drug menace and eradicating corruption during his 100 days in office.

Speaking at a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, October 5, Wallace praised the government for the “remarkable change” happening in the country since Duterte took office on June 30.

“I’ve been studying this man for quite some time. I’ve known him for quite some time. This is a man who genuinely cares for this country and genuinely cares for its people. And what I particularly like, he cares for what really matters like in the provinces where we have the poorest of the poor and the people suffering the most,” said Wallace, founder of the Wallace Business Forum.

Wallace is a known businessman who has lived in the country for four decades. He has been granted Philippine citizenship considering his contributions to local business community and his various socio-civic advocacies.

Wallace particularly hailed Duterte’s signing of an executive order for the implementation of the Freedom of Information, which he said should have been done a long time ago. He likewise expressed support for Duterte’s economic team led by Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III and the 10-point economic agenda.

Wallace also defended the President’s “radical” style of ruling the country giving his two cents in the way Duterte is being portrayed in the media.
He noted that some social ills such as drugs and criminality have prompted the President to use offensive language.

“He’s angry and he’s frustrated and he takes this out by swearing, which is not terribly abnormal in the society that he is mixed in. But it is difficult for particularly foreigners to understand,” he said.

“And what happens unfortunately is too often what he says is taken literally rather than interpreting what he actually meant. Because if you do that, you find that most of the swearing is just top of the head type of stuff, that doesn’t have any real importance to it, that isn’t the real intent. It’s underlying that behind that really matters. And what’s underlying behind that is that he wants change and he wants to get things done,” he added.

Wallace likewise believes the President is not severing ties with the United States despite his recent pronouncement of establishing economic ties with Russia and China.

“He’s trying I think to establish that the Philippines is a truly independent country. It is no longer a colony of the US. It is no longer subservient in any way to the US. It wants its independence and in a fairly dramatic way that he’s trying to put that across, right? Now, it’s an unusual way,” he said.

For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President’s statement might not necessarily mean breaking up of alliances with other countries.
“He is not closing. He is broadening,” Secretary Abella said adding that there was still no move to end ties with US.

On the matter of the extrajudicial killings, Wallace said that this does not affect business at all.

“I don’t see it affecting business particularly. There’s no question that there has been concern raised by some of the foreign business community over these but nobody, nobody is withdrawing. No companies are going out but business is not affected directly,” he said.

Wallace also believes that Congress needs to stop hearings and focus on granting the President emergency powers to address the worsening traffic problem.

Source: Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)

— UNTV News and Rescue

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PH to deploy social welfare attachés for OFWs under new law

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law establishing the Office for Social Welfare Attaché to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFW), especially those who have fallen prey to illegal recruiters.

Duterte signed the Republic Act 11299 on April 17, a copy of which was made public on Monday (July 15).

The newly-signed law amended the Republic Act 8402 or the Migrant Workers Overseas Filipino Act of 1995 to include the said office.

It mandates the Office for Social Welfare Attaché (SWA) to deploy personnel to countries with large concentration of Filipino workers, as determined in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Under the measure, a social welfare attaché’s duty includes management of cases of Filipino workers in distress, such as victims of trafficking or illegal recruitment, rape or sexual abuse, maltreatment and other forms of physical or mental abuse, and case of abandoned or neglected children;

SWAs are also mandated to undertake survey and prepare social welfare situationer on the OFWs in their areas of assignment; establish a network with overseas-based social welfare agencies or individuals which may be mobilized to assist in the provision of appropriate services.

They should also respond to and monitor the resolution of problems and complaints or queries of Filipino workers and their families; establish and maintain a data bank and documentation of OFWs and their families to provide effective social welfare services; submit regular reports on plans and activities undertaken, recommendations and updates on the situation of OFWs.

The law states that the budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development while the DFA, DOLE, the Department of Health and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration are tasked to craft the measure’s implementing rules and regulations within 60 days after the effectivity of this act.

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Duterte signs law on student fare discount on all modes of transportation

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the bill imposing a 20 percent fare discount for students on all modes of public transportation.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11314 or the Student Fare Discount Act on April 17 but was only made public on Monday (July 15).

Under the law, a 20 percent discount for domestic regular fares of all kinds of public transportation shall be provided to students during the entire time they are enrolled in elementary, secondary, technical-vocational or higher education institution.

The law covers public utility buses, jeepneys, taxis and similar vehicles-for-hire, tricycles, passenger trains, aircrafts and marine vessels.

Student fare discount was only previously available for land transportation.

To avail the discount, the student should present his duly-issued school identification card or current validated enrollment form supported by the prescribed government-issued identification document.

The measure, however, does not apply to school service, shuttle service, tourist and any similar service covered by contract agreement and with valid franchise or permit from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The law also does not cover individuals enrolled in dancing, swimming or driving schools and other informal short courses of seminar type and post-graduate studies.

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PH mulls severing ties with Iceland, 17 other nations – Malacañang

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is mulling over the possibility of cutting ties with Iceland and 17 other nations that voted in favor of a resolution calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to conduct a comprehensive review on the human rights situation in the Philippines amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, Malacañang said Monday (July 15).

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said they will take a serious look into the country’s diplomatic relationship with other nations, adding that Iceland and other nations’ move can be considered as interference in the Philippines’ domestic affairs.

On July 11 (Thursday), 18 of the 47-member of the UNHRC voted to adopt the resolution filed by Iceland, tasking the UN Human Rights Office to prepare a comprehensive report on the Philippines’ human rights situation amid its ongoing anti-drug campaign.

Among the countries that voted in favor of the resolution are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Italy, Iceland, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Uruguay.

“’Pag ang isang bansa ay nagpapahayag ng mga posisyon na makakasira sa ating kasarinlan o sovereignty ay kailangang talagang putulin natin ang relasyon natin sa kanila kung wala silang gagawin kundi siraan tayo ng siraan sa mga kalakaran na di naman batay sa tunay na pangyayari dito sa ating bayan,” Panelo told reporters in a press briefing.

(If a country is making declarations that are affront to our independence or sovereignty, if they continue to do or say negative things that are not based on facts or occurrences in our country, then we need to sever our ties with them.)

However, Panelo said that Duterte will have the final say on the matter, as well as on calls for the Philippines to withdraw its membership from the UNHRC.

READ: Philippines eyes withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

“In the ultimate analysis, he is the chief architect of foreign policy. Then, it’s the call of the President,” he said.

The palace official assured that they will also factor in every aspect, including the welfare of Filipinos living and working in the mentioned 18 countries, and circumstances that could lead to the cutting of ties.

The UN resolution asked the Philippine government to cooperate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights, including preventing and refraining from all acts of intimidation of retaliations on human rights defenders.

The resolution also urged the Philippine government to take up measures against extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, conduct impartial investigations of human rights violations and hold those involved accountable.

With the adoption of the Iceland-led resolution, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet was tasked to prepare a report on the Philippines human rights situation by June 2020.

Although the Duterte administration does not consider the resolution a legally-binding document, Panelo said the government is willing to respond to the UN council’s formal questions or communication about Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.

“They have to believe what this government tells them, because this government does not lie,” Panelo said.

However, he stressed that the government will not oblige if the questions are designed to “embarrass” the Duterte administration. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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