Villanueva pushes for grassroots approach to develop Filipino athletes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 15, 2019   •   750

Senator Joel Villanueva

Senator Joel Villanueva said there is a need for a grassroots approach in order to develop Filipino athletes.

In a statement, the senator said the lack of organization at the grassroots level prevents our national sports associations from getting the athletes who can be trained to compete in the long term.

“Talent is scattered everywhere in our 7,000 islands, and it is up to us in government to be able to find these people and cultivate their skills so they can carry on with our quest to deliver the country’s first Olympic gold in over 90 years since we first competed in the Games,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva made the statement after the recent wins of gymnast Carlos Yulo and boxer Nesthy Petecio over the weekend.

READ: PSC to provide cash incentives to athletes Yulo, Petecio, Marcial et al

Meanwhile, Villanueva and other senators continue to push for the proposed bill that will create the Philippine High School for Sports. It is an institution that will raise the quality of our young athletes which will make them competitive in the world stage.

“We will see to it that the proposed measure will live up to the dreams of our young athletes of having a specialized school that trains our future champions,” according to Villanueva.—AAC

Poe calls on PhilHealth, DBM to expedite release of funds to hospitals, health workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe has called on the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to expedite the release of funds to hospitals and health workers.

“With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, our hospitals must be adequately staffed and stocked with the needed supplies. They can only do so if they themselves aren’t bleeding. We ought not to exacerbate an already tenuous situation by demoralizing our medical frontliners,” Poe said.

There were also reports from medical workers that they hardly felt the billions of pesos allocated for frontliners under the Bayanihan 1 and 2. There were also medical workers who have yet to receive their special risk allowance.

“We must do our utmost for the health sector and ensure that our medical frontliners and hospitals are paid to enable them to look after the sick and save lives. For as long as this isn’t done, our situation will just drag on,” Poe reiterated.

She said that calls on these two agencies for the timely release of funds needed to combat the pandemic have been repeatedly made by various institutions.

The government should also provide enough assistance in the next two weeks so the public wouldn’t need to go out of their homes and risk contracting the disease or being accosted by the police.

“People will not insist on going out if they can put food on the table. They wouldn’t have to go out if their needs are met,” Poe said. -AAC

Senators laud Diaz for winning PH’s first Olympic gold medal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senators congratulated Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz for winning the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal on Monday (July 26).

In separate statements, lawmakers including Senator Panfilo Lacson said Diaz has made more than history for winning the gold. She also brought national honor, national pride, and good news to the Philippines at a time we Filipinos need them most.

“Hidilyn has become a unifying and rallying point for us Filipinos, to carry the weight of the humongous problems we face,” he said.

Senator Joel Villanueva said Diaz literally lifted the Filipino nation and for having Lupang Hinirang be played again on the Olympic stage.

“Hidilyn etched her name in our country’s sporting history. She ended our Olympic gold medal drought, and set a new Olympic record,” he said.

Senator Sonny Angara, author and sponsor of National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Law, assured that Diaz and her coaches will receive cash rewards for winning gold in Tokyo. For Diaz, Angara said she will receive P10 million and an Olympic Gold Medal of Valor to be issued by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Meanwhile, for her coaches, they will receive the equivalent to 50% of the cash incentives for gold medalists or P5 million.

“The entire nation celebrates with Hidilyn for bringing home the elusive gold medal in the Olympics. This comes at a time when we are all longing for some good news,” Angara said. AAC

 

Senate opens third regular session of 18th Congress

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday opened the third and last regular session of the 18th Congress ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) later in the day.

Thirteen senators personally attended the opening of the session while nine were virtually present.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III presided over the opening of the session.

In its third regular session, the Senate said it will work for the passage of 10 priority measures.

These include the Amendments to the Foreign Investment Acts (FIA), Amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA), Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE), Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act.

The upper chamber will also prioritize the passage of Package 4 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) or the Passive Income Tax and Financial Intermediary Tax Act (PIFITA), Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP), Rural Agricultural and Fisheries Development Financing System Act (Agri-Agra) and Package 3 of the CTRP or the Valuation Reform Bill.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said the Senate will work on the passage of the following measures: Modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Increasing the Statutory Rape Age Act, Military and Uniformed Personnel Insurance Fund Act, Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Act, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Extension Law and possibly the Bayanihan 3.

Just like last year, visitors and guests will not be allowed inside the Senate premises due to stringent health protocols and regulations.

Family members of senators, former senators, government officials, and media personalities will also not be allowed inside the gallery hall. Only selected Senate employees will be allowed inside to assist during the session.

After the morning session, Sotto will lead some senators to the House of Representatives for a joint session of Congress to hear Duterte’s SONA.

Sotto earlier said only eight senators will physically witness Duterte deliver his SONA due to restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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