Pulse Asia survey shows 14 party-list groups getting House seats

Maris Federez   •   April 26, 2019   •   3780

House of Representatives of the Philippines

Fourteen party-list groups are assured of at least one seat each in the House of Representatives, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.

Of the 134 party-list groups accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), 14 managed to each get two percent support from voters, which will automatically give them one seat at the House in the first round of seat allocation. This is based on the February 2017 Supreme Court decision.

A total of 59 seats are reserved for party-list representatives in the May elections.

Five party-list groups each garnered the maximum three seats in the House: Bayan Muna, Magsasaka, Gabriela Women’s Party, Ako Bicol, and A Teacher.

Other party-list groups which are assured of at least one seat are: Senior Citizens, Buhay, Akbayan, Amin, An Waray, Kalinga, Anakpawis, Cibac and Angkla.

The survey also showed 74 percent of 1,800 respondents are aware of the party-list system across all areas: Metro Manila (74%), Luzon (79%), and Mindanao (77%), Visayas (57%); and socioeconomic classes: Class ABC (86%) and Class E (62%).

The nationwide poll was done on March 23 to 27, using face-to-face interviews.  –Maris Federez

House urged to probe govt’s alleged delayed warning on Taal eruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 16, 2020

A lawmaker has urged the House of Representatives to investigate the government’s alleged delayed warning on the Taal eruption.

Cavite 4th District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said there were “no news bulletins or SMS alerts” from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and other government agencies about the heightened activity in Taal Volcano.

“Due to lack of information, in the afternoon of the same day, while Taal Volcano is already manifesting increased volcanic activity, people still traveled towards it, while those who were already near Taal Volcano were shocked to see the smoke spewing from it and had to immediately flee under the dangers of ashfall,” he said.

Barzaga filed House Resolution (HR) No. 643 on Monday (January 13) and was released to the media on Tuesday (January 14).

However, Phivolcs reiterated there was no delay in the warning on the Taal eruption

During a press conference, Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division chief, Mariton Bornas said, “Those on the island were already relaying to us their observations.”

“They were given advice in case they needed to evacuate,” she added.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said “there are 6,000 people on the island. Nobody was injured, no one died.”

“It’s amazing. We should thank God nothing happened,” he said.

Malacañang said it is within the powers of Congress if they will approve the resolution or not.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte previously said he is pleased with the performance of government agencies including the performance of Phivolcs Officer-in-Charge and Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum.

“I am really very pleased, very happy that all agencies are here on hand and trying their best to help the community,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

House adopts resolution granting additional incentives to SEA Games medalists

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 5, 2019

The House of Representatives (HOR) has adopted a resolution that will push for additional incentives for Southeast Asian (SEA) Games medalists.

On Wednesday (December 4), The House adopted House Resolution No. 568 which grants SEA Games medalists additional incentives from the leaders and members of the House in the 18th Congress.

“As a concrete manifestation of the commonality of the goal to bring honor and pride to the country, the leaders and members of the House of Representatives deem it proper to deduct individual pledges from their salaries from January 2020, as additional incentives to Filipino gold medal winners in the 30th SEA Games,” the resolution states.

The resolution also states that the “House stands in solidarity with Team Philippines throughout the competition in their quest to capture the gold medals in their respective sports, and to bring honor and pride to the Filipino people.”

President Rodrigo Duterte had previously said he is willing to provide additional incentives to Filipino athletes who will bag medals in the SEA Games.

As of December 5, at 9:30 a.m., the Philippines has collected a total of 119 medals with 56 gold, 41 silver, and 22 bronze. The SEA Games will continue until December 11.—AAC

Department of Disaster Resilience Bill passes House committee level

Robie de Guzman   •   November 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – A bill seeking to create a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) has been approved at the committee level of the House of Representatives.

The House committees on government reorganization and disaster management approved on Wednesday the still unnumbered bill that would create an agency to handle disaster management.

It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte, during his fourth State of the Nation Address, called on Congress to pass measures creating new agencies, including the DDR.

The measure provides for the creation of the DDR, which shall serve as the primary government agency responsible for leading, organizing and managing the national effort to reduce disaster risk, prepare for and respond to disasters, recover and rehabilitate, and build forward better after the occurrence of disasters.

The department will also oversee and coordinate the preparation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of disaster and climate resilience plans, programs, projects, and activities; and provide leadership in the continuous development of strategic and systematic approaches to disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation.

The agency will be headed by a secretary, supported by four undersecretaries responsible for the following key result areas: disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and response, recovery and building forward better, and support to operations.

According to Albay Second District Representative Joey Salceda, one of the main proponents of the bill, the new department would need an initial budget of P10 billion from the national budget.

The measure also states that the DDR shall have a Disaster Resilience Fund, which shall consist of the Annual General Appropriations, the Disaster Contingency Fund, and the Rehabilitation and Recovery Fund to properly implement its provisions.

After hurdling the committee level, the measure will be referred to the House Committee on Rules for the schedule of its plenary deliberation.

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