Villanueva expects gov’t commitment to protect Filipino workers on Duterte SONA
Robie de Guzman • July 19, 2019 • 1174
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva on Friday said he is looking forward to hearing President Rodrigo Duterte’s push to protect and promote the interests of Filipino workers in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22 (Monday).
In a statement, 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 president asked Congress to pass the bill at last year’s SONA, certifying the measure as urgent. Congress was able to pass the bill in the 17th Congress and transmitted it to Malacañang last month.
“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,” Gatchalian said.
“Thus, the Security of Tenure bill manages to strike a balance between contrasting interests of labor and employers,” he added.
Villanueva expressed hope that Duterte would sign the measure into law.
The lawmaker also expects the president to discuss other measures that will advocate for the interest of Filipino labor.
He cited the rise of illegal foreign workers and the Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) sector as a growing cause for concern, saying its effects to the country’s economy must be carefully monitored.
“We have to be careful about this new industry because the benefits we stand to lose may be greater than those we could gain,” Villanueva said.
He said he intended to file a resolution to examine the supposed benefits from the POGO industry.
Villanueva reiterated his earlier position that POGO sector’s impact is minimal, at best, since it primarily does not create employment opportunities for Filipinos, and the industry’s rise is causing stress in the real estate market to the detriment of Filipino businesses and workers.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (November 20) said that he ordered the dismissal of three police officers involved in the body camera extortion case.
The three police officers were allegedly involved in extorting around P5 million from a bidder of body cameras.
“In the police, I—the three majors were working on a body camera and they were arguing because maybe of—because of money. What else? Because of corruption. And so I said, ‘Fire them, dismiss them,'” he said.
Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa identified the police officers as Police Major Emerson Sales, Police Major Rholly Caraggayan and Police Major Angel Beros.
Gamboa also said that he will sign the dismissal papers by Monday (November 25).—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
This was Malacañang’s response to Vice President Leni Robredo and her ally, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino after they questioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s lack of trust in the vice president despite her appointment as co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).
In a statement issued on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Robredo must “understand that one’s election to the Vice Presidency does not automatically clothe the occupant with trustworthiness.”
“Trust is earned. The missteps of the VP did not inspire confidence in the matter of keeping to oneself classified information,” he said.
“Her job in leading the agencies involved in the anti-illegal drug campaign requires competence and creativity. Trust comes into play only as regards the non-transmission of state secrets that imperils the safety of the Filipino people and the sovereignty of the country,” he added.
Panelo also said that the president’s expressed remark should not stop Robredo from performing her new task.
“Since she will not be given access to privileged communication, she should not be bothered by the expressed lack of trust by the appointing power with respect to the confidentiality of state matters requiring secrecy,” he said.
“After all, she is tasked to help end the illegal drug trade in the country and not to get secret information of the government to share the same with her foreign and local peers,” he added.
The Palace official also reiterated that despite her being a member of a political opposition group, she was still given the job to co-lead the government anti-drug body to help address the country’s drug problem instead of “endlessly voicing criticisms.”
“Her designation is a call of duty coming from the Chief Executive to end the illegal drug trade in the country, a rare chance given to her, despite her being in the opposition, to help in the campaign against illegal drugs, instead of being a rambunctious critic who cannot see anything good on the war on drugs initiated by this administration,” he said.
Panelo also asked Aquino to focus on his case still pending before the Sandiganbayan, as well as taking care of his health, instead of “touching on a matter related to the dreaded drug menace that he never gave the attention and importance it deserves during his six-year presidency.”
The Palace official earlier claimed that the country’s drug problem “ballooned in magnitude” due to neglect during Aquino’s presidency. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an ultimatum to state agencies to finish their paperwork by December 15.
The chief executive also expressed disappointment over the continuous red tape in the government despite his several warnings.
“It seems that things are moving very slow and that is why it is still a source of corruption. The longer you sit on the paper or nothing at all—either you are not working,” he said.
“Even the Cabinet members, they have one month to decide. I must have your decision on the papers before you. And I said last night, it has to be December 15. It’s been so many months now. Papers that are on your table must be out with a decision. If it’s for approval, good; if it is for denial, fine. But let it out,” he added.
Duterte also said military and government officials who are too slow in performing their duties should be removed from office.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.