Pres. Duterte signs into law free tuition bill for SUCs
admin • August 4, 2017 • 9210
MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevara said President Rodrigo Duterte signed last night the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act following a meeting with his economic advisers.
“I am pleased to announce that last night, August 3, 2017, the president signed into law the enrolled bill,” Guevarra said.
Under the new law, the government will be able to provide free tuition to students of state universities and colleges (SUCs) and even those enrolled in vocational schools across the country.
Although the chief executive’s economic team opposed the said measure, Guevarra said the president believes signing it would have a huge impact on the country’s development.
“Free tertiary education in state universities and colleges is a pillar or cornerstone of the president’s social development policy. So he weighed everything and came to the conclusion that the long-term benefits that will be derived from a well-developed tertiary education will definitely outweigh any possible short-term budgetary challenges,” Guevarra said.
Senator Bam Aquino, the principal sponsor and co-author of the measure, thanked the president for approving the free SUC tuition bill.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito said deserving students will finally have the chance to go to college for free.
For Senator Vicente Sotto III, this is an important day for the country’s educational system, while Senator Francis Escudero noted the new law can be considered as among the legacies of the Duterte administration.
President Duterte’s approval of the SUC bill will prompt Congress to make some changes in the 2018 proposed national budget to include funding for the new legislation. — Macky Libradilla | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said telecommunications companies should report local government units that are obstructing the building of additional cell towers by delaying the processing of permits.
Duterte made the statement in a televised address after Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu told the president about their permitting woes in order to build more cell sites and improve their services.
“We are suffering ho from many, many years of this, before your administation, many administrations, 25 to 29 permit umaabot ng walong buwan tapos marami pa ho kaming miscellaneous fees ho. Iba-ibang klaseng tower fee. Mayroon kaming special use permit,” Cu said.
Cu met with Duterte after the latter threatened during his State of the Nation Address to shut down or expropriate telcos if no improvements are made in their services before December.
“Kasi sabi ko, ‘pag hindi mo pa na-improve ‘yan, I will hang you in one of your towers. Sabi niya, “Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower. The local governments are all f—–g it up,” Duterte told Cu in jest.
After hearing Cu’s concerns, the chief executive urged telcos to issue a formal complaint against local government units that are stalling the processing of permits for additional communication towers.
He also told telcos to report LGUs to proper authorities.
“Isumbong niyo na lang ng diresto at ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the, ‘kung pinakamabigat, the most drastic measure that you can find, para magkaintindihan. This is my last mile,” he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, in the same briefing, said that local government units have been ordered to shorten the process and reduce the time spent in producing permits to 16 to 20 days.
“Dati po kailangan pa ng Home-Owners Association Resolution, kailangan pa ng Sangguniang Bayan Resolution, wala na po ‘yon. 16 days to 20 days po ang target para y’ong lahat ng permit ay tatakbo,” he said.
The government has been pushing for the ease of doing business to streamline the process in government agencies.
Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. earlier said they are currently working on expansion plans to improve the communication services in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
The date was chosen based on the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
The president also reminded the public that the observance of the event shall be subject to existing community quarantine and social distancing measures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – New community quarantine classifications that would take effect in Metro Manila and other parts of the country in August will be announced by President Rodrigo Duterte before Friday, Malacañang said.
In a televised briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is set to meet this week to discuss data on the case doubling rate of the coronavirus disease as well as the critical care utilization in the country which will be submitted by the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday.
Roque said the IATF will submit its recommendations for the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte once appeals by the local government units on the quarantine restrictions have been finalized.
Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) as well as Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Talisay, Minglanilla, and Consolacion in Cebu Province, Zamboanga City, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, and Basilan in Mindanao.
Cebu City is under enhanced community quarantine while the rest of the country are placed under the more relaxed modified GCQ with strict local action.
Roque also said that “major changes” may be implemented in the government’s response against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), adding that these changes will focus more on the policies to contain the public health crisis.
He said these changes may include massive testing, “invigorated” tracing, and creation of more quarantine facilities.
As of July 28, the Philippines has recorded a total of 83,673 coronavirus infections, 55,109 of which are active cases.
The DOH said 1,678 additional cases were reported based on the total tests done by 81 of the 91 operational laboratories.
The department likewise reported 173 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 26,617. The death toll also increased to 1,947 with four new fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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