MANILA — The Senate Sentinels vow to intensify their plays against the BOC Transformers on June 11, and expressed their support to Kuya Daniel’s innovative basketball league.
Senators Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva lead the Sentinels’ roster.
“Salamat sa lahat ng sumusubaybay sa UNTV, sa lahat ng sumusuporta sa Senate Sentinels. Mabuhay po kayo, God bless,” Sen. Angara said. (Thanks to all the audience of UNTV and to all the supporters of Senate Sentinels. Long live, God Bless!)
Sen. Joel Villanueva, “We gonna have fun so, kudos to UNTV for having this special league, talagang saludo kami [we salute you].”
The Senators team showed last week that they can go against other teams in the UNTV Cup Executive Face Off.
They even gave the DOJ Justice Boosters its first loss on June 4 with final scores 84-77.
Sen. Angara added, “Nagkataon sa mga nakaraang game kulang tayo ng tao, eh. Ngayon, medyo kumpleto, tamang tama hindi masyado na pagod. Kasi last two game kinapos kami sa last quarter. So ito, medyo may gasoline pa kumbaga.” (It so happened that in the previous games we were short on players. But now we’re almost complete, it’s not too tiring anymore. In the last two games, we lost steam at the last quarter. This time we have enough gasoline, so to speak.)
Sen. Joel Villanueva commended, “Great addition si Senator Angara dahil may isa pa na pwedeng magdalangbola, isang leader na kahit wala sa stats yung makikita mo sa kaniya, he gives so much sa team.” (Sen. Angara is a great addition, because there will be another one who can bring the ball (play point guard). He is a leader who, even though you can’t see it on the stats sheet, he gives so much for the team.)
On the other hand, the Transformers, led by the BOC Chief, Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, expressed their commitment to the league despite their standing, in the name of public service.
“We’re not here just to win but to have some fun saka to support the league, the [UNTV] Cup. Serbisyong bayan ‘to so napakaganda. So kahit alam naman namin na from the start, wala naman talaga kami pool ng players but we still fill in our players para masaya.”
(We are not here just to win but to have some fun and to support the league, the UNTV Cup, the league of public servants. This is public service so it’s awesome. So even though we knew from the start that we don’t have a competitive pool of players we still fill in our team line up to enjoy the league.) — Bernard Dadis | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – Senators on Monday mourned the passing of former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez.
In a statement, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said he is deeply saddened by the passing of Lopez, whom he called a “fearless advocate and a tireless philanthropist,” who dedicated “most her life for the betterment of her fellow Filipinos.”
Go added that Lopez’s “exceptional” dedication to protecting the environment has “no equal today.”
“I had the honor of working with her when she was the environment secretary of the Duterte Administration. As a former colleague in the government, I know how passionate, dedicated and humble she was as a public servant and as an Earth warrior,” he said in a statement.
“Ma’am Gina, taos-pusong pasasalamat po sa inyong hindi napapantayang serbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino. Isa kang katangi-tanging modelo ng tunay na pagmamalasakit sa kapwa tao. May your legacy continue for generations to come,” he added.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel also expressed condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the late DENR chief. He described Lopez as “a famous philanthropist and staunch children’s rights advocate.”
“I am saddened by the demise of such a great public servant and environmentalist as Gina Lopez. She will truly be remembered for her advocacies and contributions in the service of Filipinos,” Pimentel said.
“As the Filipinos mourn the untimely death of former Secretary Lopez, we also pray that her legacy lives on in every person and community her good heart has touched,” Pimentel added.
Lopez passed away on Monday. She succumbed to multiple organ failure after battling brain cancer.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri recalled Lopez’s many efforts to preserve the environment and helping the aggrieved sectors of society especially poor children.
“Being the chief of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission is just one of the many tasks she carried out well as part of our government. She brought her environmental activism into every Filipino home in her travels around our beautiful archipelago,” he said in a statement.
Zubiri also expressed admiration for Lopez’s causes and for her grace and sublime courage with which she faced the pains of her sickness.
“She walked her talk, be it in defense of helpless children or displaced communities, or in nursing back to life polluted waters or ravaged forests,” he said.
“While in government, her habit of speaking the inconvenient truth to power was actually a strength, and not a character flaw in a bureaucracy straitjacketed by niceties. Though her stint was cut short, Gina was a great ‘secretary of defense of our natural resources’,” he added.
Senator Francis Pangilinan also said many will remember the late environmentalist as “a woman of courage” and a “firebrand,” who pushed for her environmental and child protection advocacies without fear and hesitation.
“She was all that. In or out of government, her life was about tireless creativity for all our collective future, through our children and our environment,” he added.
Senator Sonny Angara likewise paid tribute to Lopez, describing her as a “one-person green warrior” who took her “selfless” fight for environment protection to “where it matters.”
“She spent a lifetime pouring her considerable talents in bringing to the mainstream the powerless and the voiceless who exist forgotten in the margins of society. She fought for children who were incapable of seeking justice and care for themselves and eloquently spoke for the people in the communities whose voices have been crushed by exploitation,” Angara said.
“She was a one-person green warrior who took the fight to where it matters – in boardrooms, chatrooms, government offices, and in her favorite office – out in the open, under a forest canopy or underwater, where she was in her element with people she loved in a country she never gave up hope on,” he added.
Angara also stated that Lopez’s passing has “left us a bucket list to comply with and follow.”
Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, thanked Lopez for her efforts to protect the environment.
“Sec. Gina Lopez came in our midst and taught us love for mankind and the environment, our common home. Thank you for touching our lives in your impassioned way,” Poe said in a statement.
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sonny Angara on Monday told government agencies to prepare their “anti-red tape performance and targets” to be detailed during the hearing of their 2020 national budget proposals.
Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said agencies will be asked what they have done to implement government’s “ease of doing business” initiative when they face the Senate panel.
“Anti-red tape performance will now be part of the budget review. These will also be part of the key performance indicators that an agency promises to meet in exchange for the appropriations it will get,” Angara said in a statement.
For certain agencies, Angara said he will demand a “before and after” timetable of the processing of a document, from request to release.
“Kung, say, two days today, next year ba kayang one day na lang? Yung ganung pag-measure ng improvement ang kailangan natin. Para sa susunod na taon, pwede natin malaman kung natupad ba nila ang kanilang promissory note,” he said.
The senator reminded agencies that anti-red tape does not only require the “shortening of the processing time but includes cutting the number of documentary requirements.”
“When you reduce the number of documents, the speed by which an application moves increases. Hindi lang bawas oras, bawas gastos na rin,” he said.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte noted how businessmen were having a hard time in securing their permits, thus causing delays in the start of their operations.
He said clearances and permits should be out in at least three days.
In the World Bank’s 2019 ease of doing business report, the Philippines’ rank slipped 11 notches from 113 in 2018 to 124 in 2019.
The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), however, disputed the report, saying that the government “has been hard at work in implementing initiatives to increase the country’s competitiveness.”
Angara is one of the authors of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act, which was enacted in May 2018, but the implementing rules and regulations only came out last month.
The law puts in place the “3-7-20” rule, which requires government offices to complete simple transactions within three days, complex ones within seven days, and highly technical ones within 20 days.
He is also the co-author of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act, which instituted the no-noon break policy, no fixing activities, easy-to-read IDs or nameplates, presence of public assistance and complaints desks, and the implementation of the agency’s Citizen’s Charter which contains the types of frontline services offered with the step-by-step procedure, the person responsible for each step, time needed to transact, documents required, and fees.
MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, some senators have already picked out certain topics that they want the Chief Executive to discuss in his speech.
According to Senator Sonny Angara, he expects the president to outline his plans not only for his remaining three years in office but for the next decade.
In particular, Angara said the 2020 national budget should lay down the framework for the 10-year development plan for the country.
“This should result in the next administration building on what the President has achieved and what he started during his term and not the perennial focus on going after its predecessors,” he said in a statement.
The lawmaker added he would also like to hear the president fulfilling his promise of raising the teachers’ salaries, as well as his plan on creating more jobs and livelihood opportunities for Filipino workers.
“We want to see the creation of more jobs and opportunities for the Filipino people so that they are able to improve their lives and no longer see the need to go abroad in order to make ends meet,” Angara said.
Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva said he wants to hear during the president’s SONA the administration’s commitment to further protect and promote the interests of Filipino workers.
Villanueva said he is particularly eager to find out the outcome of the Security of Tenure bill, popularly known as the “End Endo” bill, which seeks to put an end to the practice of illegal labor contracting.
“The bill adheres to the Constitution, which mandates the regulation of relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth,” he said.
“Thus, the Security of Tenure bill manages to strike a balance between contrasting interests of labor and employers,” he added.
For Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel, he wants to hear about the president’s priority bills, as well as his view on the surge of illegal foreign workers in the country.
“His priorities for one year usually, and then priorities for the last second half of his term,” he said.
Aside from labor issues, Senator Risa Hontiveros also expects the president to tackle in his speech the issue on the West Philippine Sea and the country’s assertion of Philippine sovereignty in the disputed waters.
“Wish ko lang na sasabihin ni Presidente na sa wakas after 3 years ay i-champion na niya, itataguyod yung tagumpay natin vis a vis China sa West Philippine Sea,” she said.
Duterte has been facing criticisms over his stance on China’s continued trawling in the country’s exclusive economic zone.
He earlier stressed that his position on allowing Chinese fishermen access to Philippine waters was not a violation of the Philippine constitution. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)
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