Senator-elect Marcos to prioritize laws on poverty alleviation, agriculture
Marje Pelayo • June 1, 2019 • 2141
MANILA, Philippines – If Senator-elect Imee Marcos were to be asked, she would choose to chair the Senate Committee on Social Welfare as she wants to focus on crafting bills that would help alleviate poverty.
“Gusto ko sana social welfare,” the incoming senator said during an interview with the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Friday (May 31).
“Titingnan natin ang 4Ps kasi dapat i-expand iyong work tapos ibabagsak ang presyo, importante iyon,” she added.
But in consideration of the more senior senators, Marcos said it will depend on the decision of Senator Joel Villanueva who currently chairs the Social Welfare Committee if he would give up the chairmanship.
Nevertheless, the senator-elect said she is still okay with the Senate Committee on Local Government as it also fits her credentials having years of experience in local governance.
Despite the controversies thrown against her and her family, Marcos ranked eight in the 2019 senatorial race with over 15,800,000 votes.
When the 18th Congress begins, Senator-elect Marcos said she would prioritize measures on lowering poverty incidence in the country, land reform, and peace and order or the anti-terror bill among others.
“Land reform agad-agad. Iyong wala nang utang utang (kundi) ibigay na ang lupa. Hahanap tayo ng Sistema dyan,) she noted.
Marcos also wants to amend the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and push for more Cash-for-Work programs instead of the ‘dole-out’ scheme.
She said she supports the establishment of a Department of Water to address the country’s water problem as well as measures for agricultural development and lowering the price of basic commodities.
She also wants to amend the current Solo Parent Law and push for more benefits for single parents.
“Dahil walang masaydong benepisyo ang mga nanay na mag-isa. Mahirap kasi. It’s hard to bring up kids by yourself,” she explained.
Marcos admitted she is against the Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC), a preference contrary to the Duterte administration.
She would support, however, measures that would establish a mandatory citizenship service instead of mandatory military service.
“Citizenship training na hindi pinipilit na maging military dahil hindi po pwedeng pilitin ang tao na maging sundalo,” she explained.
“I can bring another perspective to the issue. Hindi pwedeng pilitin ang bata (na maging sundalo) pero iyong citizenship ng isang Pilipino, iyong pagiging makabayan, iyon kailangan at agree ako na gawing mandatory iyon,” she added.
She wants an increase in tobacco and other sin taxes; reinstate the death penalty for drug-related crimes; extend the term of barangay officials and synchronize elections with the national level; benefits for retiring local officials; reform Sangguniang Kabataan system; and, the establishment of the Department of Overseas Filipino Worker.
When asked if she would revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, a known legacy of his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, the incoming senator said it is not necessary as there are alternative sources of energy similar to the windmills of Ilocos Norte. – (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
The Poe family commemorated the 80th birthday of Fernando Poe Jr. on Tuesday (Aug 20) at the Manila North Cemetery.
They also distributed grocery packs and toys to some 200 indigent families.
Senator Grace Poe is still overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for their family.
“Kakaiba talaga ito kasi 15 taon na. Umulan o umaraw, halos hindi pa rin natitinag iyong mga nagmamahal kay FPJ (It is still overwhelming because it has been 15 years. Rain or shine, their love for FPJ is still there),” she said.
Lovi Poe, meanwhile, posted old photos of her father on her insta-story.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed his support to the resolution filed by Senators Franklin Drilon and Panfilo Lacson to allow Senator Leila de Lima to join them in the plenary session thru teleconferencing.
Lacson said they have ready equipment for that purpose.
It is the same equipment that the Senate used during then-Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s term when Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was allowed to join the Senate sessions while in detention.
Once the resolution is approved, De Lima will be able to interpellate in the plenary and file her proposed amendments on existing laws.
De Lima, however, will not be allowed to vote as Senate rules dictate that a senator must be physically present in the plenary to vote.
The lady senator, nevertheless, considered this news a welcome development.
“Great news! Answered prayers. I’ve been longing to be given such privilege so I can more meaningfully fulfill my mandate,” she said.
De Lima’s camp said they still need to seek clearance from the Philippine National Police (PNP) for this.
Atty. Raymond Baguilat, De Lima’s counsel, said: “Ang rules ng PNP regarding sa mga tao sa custodial ayun nga, bawal ang electronic gadget. So, lahat yan kailangan ng approval ng PNP so iaakyat yan kay Gen. Albayalde [Among the PNP’s rules regarding personalities in the custodial facility is that electronic gadgets are not allowed. So, we need the approval of the PNP and this has to be elevated to Gen. Albayalde].”
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chairperson Dante Jimenez, however, is doubtful that this will be allowed by the court.
“I’m pretty sure the court will deny that,” Jimenez said.
The Senate Committee on Rules said that it still has to study the resolution before they present it to the plenary for the senators to deliberate and vote on. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
The Senate seeks to investigate reports that Chinese investors are planning to develop the Fuga Island in the province of Cagayan and the islands of Grande and Chiquita in Zambales.
In a statement, Senator Risa Hontiveros said she is wondering why the government allowed these movements despite China’s alleged bullying practices in the West Philippine Sea.
She added that these islands are no ordinary islands as they have an important role in the military’s history.
“Amid China’s aggressive behavior in the West Philippine Sea, it is baffling that the Duterte government allowed this to happen. These are no ordinary islands. These parcels of land are strategic maritime fronts that play a significant role in our military history, which only proves how invaluable they are to our national security,” the senator’s statement reads.
Senator Panfile Lacson also pointed, “security concerns dahil kung Chinese investors ang magde-develop at yung proximity dun sa mga facilities. Lalo’t may report na lumabas na yung western command in Palawan merong allegedly Chinese tourists na kumukuha ng pictures so anong intention [security concerns because if Chinese investors will the ones to develop (these islands) and their proximity is in (our military) facilities. Especially now that the Western Command in Palawan has reported that there is an alleged Chinese tourists taking pictures, on what intention]?”
Aside from the three islands, the Senate may possibly discuss the development of the 32-hectare lot of Island Cove Resort in Kawit, Cavite that is to be used by the Philippine Off Shore Gaming Operator (POGO) industry.
This is only several kilometers away from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) air and naval bases. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
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