Senate to prioritize proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law next year

UNTV News   •   December 21, 2017   •   4206


MANILA, Philippines – The Senate of the Philippines has started hearing the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law which it aims to pass into law by next year.

The bill is under the committee on local government of Senator Sony Angara and the subcommittee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Zubiri said they target to pass the BBL in the first quarter of 2018.

“The’ve weighed heavily on what is constitutional and unconstitutional and I feel that this version is the best version to date,” Zubiri said,

Senate President Koko Pimentel said he will ask the Palace for details of the provisions which President Rodrigo Duterte wants removed from the bill as it may contradict with the Constitution.

“Adopting a parliamentary form of government within a local government unit, while in the national level we have a presidential form of government. So that’s a good constitutional question,” Sen Aquilino Pimentel III said.

Sen. Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, said they will support the passage of the BBL despite being in the opposition side because they want to help in solving the problems in the country.

He also stressed that the provisions of the BBL should be made clear to get the support of the public.

“Para po magkaroon ng stability at kapayapaan sa Mindanao kailangan natin yung isang Bangsamoro Basic Law na tanggap ng lahat (to have peace and stability in Mindanao, we need a Bangsamoro Basic Law that is acceptable to all) ” Drilon said.

The Bansamoro Bill will create the Bangsamoro political entity and will abolish the existing Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

The government also expects the BBL to solve the peace and order problem in Mindanao and help lift its economy.

The proposed BBL was initiated by the previous administration but was put on hold because of the Mamasapano incident that killed 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force. – Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

Reported deaths due to Odette climb to 326, 58 missing – NDRRMC

Robie de Guzman   •   December 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The number of reported deaths due to Typhoon Odette has reached 326, the latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) showed.

In its report released on Friday, a total of 58 people were reported missing, while 661 others were injured due to the onslaught of Odette in many areas in the Visayas and Mindanao.

A total of 3,380,167 persons or 870,334 families from 5,508 barangays in 11 regions were affected by the calamity, it added.

Affected regions include MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, CARAGA, and Bangsamoro.

Electricity has been restored in 149 out of 273 cities and municipalities that experienced power outages following the storm, the NDRRMC said.

Three cities and municipalities are still without access to water while 371 areas are still experiencing communication problems.

The NDRRMC noted that Odette damaged a total of 348,642 houses, around P3.9 billion worth of infrastructures, and more than P2 billion worth of crops, livestock, and fisheries.

A total of 126 ports were reported non-operational or had suspended trips. Of which, 72 ports resumed operations in CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Region 5, Region 7, Region 9, Region 10, the NDRRMC said.

At least 1,353 passengers, 697 rolling cargoes, and 4 vessels were stranded.

A total of 343 cities/municipalities were declared under a state of calamity, the NDRRMC said.

China sends 20,000 relief packs to Odette-hit areas

Robie de Guzman   •   December 21, 2021

The government of China is sending food packages for those affected by Typhoon Odette in Visayas and Mindanao areas, its Embassy in Manila said Tuesday.

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy said relief packages worth P8 million pesos are on its way to areas devastated by the typhoon.

These areas include Cebu, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, and Negros Oriental.

Each package contains five kilograms of rice, 10 canned food and 10 noodles pack, it added.

“Our hearts go out to all the Filipino families who were devastated by Typhoon Odette which has caused massive casualties as well as property loss,” the statement read.

“China will do its utmost to continue its firm support to the disaster relief efforts of the Philippine government and the Filipino people. We wish all those affected could overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes at an early date.” It added.

In addition to food packages, China also sent 4.725 million kilograms of rice to typhoon-hit areas.

The embassy said about 1.5 million kilograms were allocated for Cebu, while the 3.225 million kilograms in Manila will be transported to other areas.

“We thank the Philippine government, in particular the Department of Social Welfare and Development for their great efforts in urgently distributing these rice to those Filipino families in need,” it said.

Typhoon Odette left many casualties and a trail of destruction when it battered many parts of the Visayas and Mindanao last week.

Local authorities fear the death toll could still go up in the coming days as verification process continues.

Duterte calls on ASEAN countries to stand with Myanmar amid coup crisis

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has called on member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to stand with Myanmar amid its coup crisis.

During the 39th ASEAN Summit, Duterte urged all parties in Myanmar to heed the ASEAN’s plea for peace.

“The Philippines urges all parties in Myanmar to engage in constructive dialogue with ASEAN. We are, after all, an ASEAN family. And if we cannot trust each other and work together, then who can Myanmar trust and work with?” he said.

He also urged ASEAN’s special envoy to visit Myanmar soon and meet all the parties involved.

Duterte expressed concern about Myanmar’s rejection of ASEAN’s sincere offers of assistance, stating that it may undermine the mutual trust and confidence that ASEAN-member states share.

Meanwhile, the president said the Philippines will commit to help individuals caught up in “situations beyond their control”.

“Our doors are open to our Rohingya brothers and sisters and other peoples of Myanmar who seek refuge,” he said. AAC

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