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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

DUTERTE TO DRUG LORDS: COUNT YOUR HOURS, EAT YOUR SUPPLY
[RELATED: Duterte recalls long road to presidency]


JULY 2 -DESTINY – President Rodrigo Duterte (right) and Vice President Leni Robredo (left) exchange pleasantries as they meet for the first time since winning the national elections at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Thursday. (Mark Balmores) On his first day at work, President Duterte issued a new warning against drug lords. If before he gave them days to reform and stop their illegal activities, this time Duterte told them to “count the hours” signaling the end of their reign. “We will eliminate the drug lords once and for all. We have to stop this practice sa Bilibid. Bitawan na ninyo yan o kainin na ninyo ang supply ninyo. Nawala na talaga ang pasensiya ko. Hinuli ko kayo sa Davao kasi nagluluto kayo ng shabu. Hindi ko kayo pinatay kasi magalit ang human rights. Dinala kayo d’yan sa Muntinlupa after conviction. Pagdating d’yan nagluluto na naman kayo ng shabu?” Duterte said in disbelief and exasperation in his speech during the turnover ceremony of the AFP Chief of Staff in Camp Aguinaldo yesterday afternoon. The tough-talking Commander-in-Chief said, “we can only take so much insult. Ako ay nasusuka na.” What is certain he said is “there is always a time for everything. There is always time for you to make money and make a mockery of our laws. There is always a time to be in control even when you are inside. But there is always a time to rest and to die. Ganun ang buhay (That is the reality of life). I am not threatening you. I am just telling you,” he reminded the drug lords who reportedly offered a huge bountry for Duterte. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte recalls long road to presidency...

ALSO: Duterte to open Palace gates to poor
[RELATED: Rody in Davao for weekend ‘President’s time’]


JULY 2 -President Duterte promised families in Tondo, Manila that he would open the gates of Malacañang to the poor, make government services closer to those in need and create a hotline where people can call in their grievances. AP/Aaron Favila
It will be a Palace for the poor, and people can call the hotline 8888 for complaints or to seek government help. President Duterte promised families in Tondo, Manila that he would open the gates of Malacañang to the poor, make government services closer to those in need and create a hotline where people can call in their grievances.
“You can enter Malacañang, especially the school children,” Duterte said during a “solidarity dinner” with around 500 people at the Del Pan Sports Complex on Thursday night. Duterte said children could “bring their pillows and bedsheets and sleep” in the Palace. “If I can invite the whole Manila to Malacañang, I would,” he said. The President encouraged the public to air their concerns by calling hotline number 8888. READ MORE...RELATED, Rody in Davao for weekend ‘President’s time’...

ALSO: Duterte to implement FOI in executive branch
[RELATED: Palace: Executive order on FOI coming out soon]
[
"Kung ayaw ng Congress, I will start with this progressively. Para walang satsat, walang yakyak, Day One, Freedom of Information, I will impose it on my department, the executive department," the President said.]


JULY 3 -Advocates have been calling for passage of the Freedom of Information bill since the 12th Congress. The 17th Congress will begin sessions in July. File photo
Congress may have repeatedly bypassed the bill that would have enabled it but freedom of information will soon be implemented, at least in the executive branch through an executive order (EO) to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the order requiring offices under the executive branch to release details of their transactions may be issued as early as this week. “We are finishing the draft executive order for the freedom of information,” Andanar told government radio station dzRB on Sunday. “We hope to finish it this week or next week. That is the commitment of the president to us,” he added. An EO only covers government offices under the executive branch. An FOI law is needed to require all government entities, including those in the legislature and judiciary, to release documents detailing their transactions and projects. Andanar said the EO is in line with Duterte’s vow to promote transparency in government. “This is a proactive stance of the Durterte administration to establish very transparent executive portfolios and in keeping with the president’s promise to deliver FOI once sworn into office,” he said. Article III, section 7 of the 1987 Constitution recognizes the people's right to information on matters of public concern. READ MORE...RELATED, Palace: Executive order on FOI coming out soon...

ALSO: Senate, House to grant DU30 emergency powers to ease traffic woes[Traffic emergency powers, Cha-cha for economic amendments filed]


JULY 2 -Additional powers President Duterte and his Transport Secretary Art Tugade have been seeking are virtually going to be handed on a silver platter to him, as at least two legislative bills have been the latest which came from outgoing Senate President Franklin Drilon filed yesterday. Right after Duterte took his oath of office in Malacañang Thursday, incomng Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez was first to file the emergency powers bill in the House of Representatives. Much earlier, however, former President and Rep. Gloria Arroyo filed her version granting the President emergency powers for two years to address the Metro Manila traffic problem. The bill has already been introduced in the Senate to address the transportation crisis not only in Metro Manila but in some other urban areas experiencing the same such as Metro Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. Drilon initiated the filing of a bill, granting emergency powers to the President, proposed to be effective for a period of two years. “The emergency powers being sought for President Duterte will capacitate him in addressing the horrendous traffic situation within and outside Metro Manila,” the outgoing upper chamber leader said in filing Senate bill No. 11 or the proposed “Transportation Crisis Act of 2016.” “The emergency power is already a ‘necessity’ given the magnitude of the transportation crisis that not only impedes the mobility of people, goods and services, but also threatens the livability of our cities,” he stressed. READ MORE...RELATED,
Traffic emergency powers, Cha-cha for economic amendments filed...

ALSO: Activist now on other side of labor fence -Bello III is DOLE chief[RELATED: Known fiscalizer is new DepEd chief]


JULY 2 -Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III
 An activist who used to fight the government is now at the helm of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he feels comfortable and at ease in the DOLE even if he was on the other side of the fence in the past. The 72-year-old human rights lawyer formally as­sumed his post as the coun­try’s 28th labor secretary after a simple turnover ceremony yesterday at the DOLE main office in Intramuros.
Militant groups greeted Bello with a protest action in front of the DOLE office. Bello said he was amused seeing a group of protest­ing workers while he was on his way to the turnover ceremony. “I used to do that (join rallies), but now I am at the receiving end. But it’s not new to me. I still feel at home,” Bello told labor officials and employees as well as members of the business community, in­ternational organizations and recruitment industry who at­tended the turnover ceremony. Bello said he worked with three other presidents – Cora­zon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Gloria Arroyo – in various capacities. As labor secretary, Bello said he also attended the lon­gest Cabinet meeting presided over by President Duterte on Thursday, which lasted more than five hours. According to Bello, he was surprised when Duterte an­nounced his appointment as concurrent head of the govern­ment’s peace negotiating panel and DOLE chief. READ MORE...RELATED, Known fiscalizer is new DepEd chief...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte to drug lords: Count your hours, eat your supply


DESTINY – President Rodrigo Duterte (right) and Vice President Leni Robredo (left) exchange pleasantries as they meet for the first time since winning the national elections at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Thursday. (Mark Balmores)

MANILA, JULY 4, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Elena L. Aben and Jeffrey G. Damicog July 2, 2016 - On his first day at work, President Duterte issued a new warning against drug lords. If before he gave them days to reform and stop their illegal activities, this time Duterte told them to “count the hours” signaling the end of their reign.

“We will eliminate the drug lords once and for all. We have to stop this practice sa Bilibid. Bitawan na ninyo yan o kainin na ninyo ang supply ninyo. Nawala na talaga ang pasensiya ko. Hinuli ko kayo sa Davao kasi nagluluto kayo ng shabu. Hindi ko kayo pinatay kasi magalit ang human rights. Dinala kayo d’yan sa Muntinlupa after conviction. Pagdating d’yan nagluluto na naman kayo ng shabu?” Duterte said in disbelief and exasperation in his speech during the turnover ceremony of the AFP Chief of Staff in Camp Aguinaldo yesterday afternoon.

The tough-talking Commander-in-Chief said, “we can only take so much insult. Ako ay nasusuka na.”

What is certain he said is “there is always a time for everything. There is always time for you to make money and make a mockery of our laws. There is always a time to be in control even when you are inside. But there is always a time to rest and to die. Ganun ang buhay (That is the reality of life). I am not threatening you. I am just telling you,” he reminded the drug lords who reportedly offered a huge bountry for Duterte.

READ MORE...

“Saan ka nakakita ng gobierno na ang trafficking ng drugs is being controlled inside the Bilibid prison? Sa atin lang. Parang sampal yan nang ilang beses. How can it happen? When you conduct inspection in the Bilibid you have to ask permission inside? May problema dyan (Bilibid) Hinihiya ninyo and gobierno. Sinasampal ninyo kami. The drugs must be suppressed if it cannot be eliminated. For as long as the greed for money is there the very corrosive effect of money has an impact on our society. There are a lot of people using it. Noon there are in the urban areas. Now they have reached the hinterlands,” Duterte revealed.

Because of the serious problem about drugs, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said the government is considering to build an island prison facility like America’s Alcatraz to house imprisoned drug lords.

In the meantime, Aguirre said high-profile inmates will continue to be housed at Building 14 of the NBP despite complaints from its inmates who wanted to be returned to the general prison population. Building 14 has been designated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to accommodate high profile inmates of the NBP following initial raids that resulted in the discovery of contrabands including illegal drugs and weapons.

To address their complaints, Aguirre said that the government in also looking into the possibility of housing them in the military’s Camp Aguinaldo or in Tanay, Rizal.

----------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte recalls long road to presidency By Christine C. Cudis (philstar.com) | Updated July 2, 2016 - 5:09pm 21 650 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his speech at the "Assumption of Command" right, of new Police Chief, Director General Ronald Dela Rosa at Camp Crame, Philippine National Police headquarters, in suburban Quezon city, Manila, Philippines on Friday, July 1, 2016. Duterte, who was sworn in as the Philippines' 16th president, has given himself a colossal campaign promise to fulfill, eradicating crime especially drug trafficking, smuggling, rapes and murder in three to six months. AP/Aaron Favila

DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Before President Rodrigo Duterte was mayor of Davao City, he had the lowest job in the city's prosecution office.

In the command conference at the police headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City, Duterte made a little trip to memory lane as he shared in his speech his life before he was a politician.

When he became a lawyer in 1972, which according to him was a crucial time as it was the same year when Martial Law was declared, he said, "Times were hard back then," adding that he needed to support a family of three.

"The salary was not that good so I applied for a position at the prosecutor's office in Davao City," he continued.

He became the special counsel of the office which he referred to as the lowest rank there. If it is compared to the military, he will be that of a lieutenant and an inspector in police.


‘Schooling is every thing’ for Duterte, (then young in photo) daughter Sara said

Duterte recalled that it was also a time in Davao City when no fiscals in the city will accept the task of prosecuting military offenders, police offenders and rebellion leaders.

"I was pushed to that task and I took it as part of the job, you know how I handled your cases, you know how I helped the government to discipline you," he added.

He exercised the law and punished those who deserve to be punished.

Duterte also shared a time when he was already mayor of Davao City when members of New People's Army (NPA) engaged in a firefight against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

"The soldiers sought refuge in a house and all members of that family died," he recalled.

The president added that a public outcry broke out after that incident and people were condemning the actions of the military. Even the secretary of the Department of Justice at that time arrived in the city to investigate on the matter.

"I was the investigating fiscal and I said it was part of the territory, it was a collateral damage," this was his brow-raising answer to the court.

He then proceeded to saying that, "if you have any other theory or if you want to overthrow my ruling, I will accept it but also, accept my resignation as city mayor."

VIDEO: A glimpse of the young Rodrigo through the eyes of his sister
[WATCH ON FULL SCREEN]

 
Duterte's sister Eleanor: His 'living guardian angel' Uploader : CNN Philippines

Duterte stood by his previous statements that he will stand for the military and the police.

"It is a matter of principle that I will stand by them (law enforcers) when war came and when war will come at the country. But I will be the first one to crack them if they are into crime," he clarified.

Duterte said in his speech, he will not tolerate abuses committed by law enforcement agencies.

"Just do not do shit with me, I will die for you. Do your duty and if in the process you kill 1,000 persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you," he ended.


PHILSTAR

Duterte to open Palace gates to poor By Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 2, 2016 - 12:00am 4 1596 googleplus0 1


President Duterte promised families in Tondo, Manila that he would open the gates of Malacañang to the poor, make government services closer to those in need and create a hotline where people can call in their grievances. AP/Aaron Favila


MANILA, Philippines - It will be a Palace for the poor, and people can call the hotline 8888 for complaints or to seek government help.

President Duterte promised families in Tondo, Manila that he would open the gates of Malacañang to the poor, make government services closer to those in need and create a hotline where people can call in their grievances.

“You can enter Malacañang, especially the school children,” Duterte said during a “solidarity dinner” with around 500 people at the Del Pan Sports Complex on Thursday night.

Duterte said children could “bring their pillows and bedsheets and sleep” in the Palace.

“If I can invite the whole Manila to Malacañang, I would,” he said.

The President encouraged the public to air their concerns by calling hotline number 8888.

READ MORE...

“If you were abused, raped or if you have a complaint against the government, call night and day and the important problems that I would see, I would address them,” he said.

Duterte said if he would not be able to personally call the complainant, he would call the community officials and the police.

The President said he would make sure government funds would be given to the people.

His first priority is making sure the government would spend funds for all children to go to school.

Duterte ordered the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to use its income to purchase medicine for indigent patients in government hospitals.

He vowed to push for “genuine land reform” wherein vast tracts of agricultural land, capital and farm inputs would be distributed to poor farmers, and the government would buy their products.

“I don’t want to disappoint you and I don’t also like mere promises. There is no turning back,” he said.

“There has to be change not only in government, but in the people most of all. I promise that if you will cooperate with the government, our lives will improve,” he added.

Duterte’s camp said the President planned the solidarity dinner two weeks ago as his first public engagement after he assumed office.

Duterte wanted to make sure the people who voted for him would be able to join his victory.

The crowd, mostly from Isla Puting Bato, Vitas and Happyland, were served pancit bihon, fried chicken and pichi-pichi during the solidarity dinner.

Rody meets with militants

Duterte met with members of a militant group who gathered on Mendiola street near Malacañang during his inauguration on Thursday.

Members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said they were airing their suggestions to the new administration in a rally when presidential guards approached them.

Instead of facing the threat of dispersal, which was the frequent consequence of their protest actions in the past, they said they were surprised when the guards told them that Duterte was inviting them to a dialogue in the Palace.

After the usual security screening, they said they were led to the Osmeña Room, where they met with the then newly sworn in President before he started his first Cabinet meeting.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said Duterte warmly greeted them, even telling them that they should not worry about their attire – most of them were wearing denims and t-shirts. – With Rey Galupo, Jess Diaz, Rhodina Villanueva

------------------------------

RELATED FROM PILSTAR

Rody in Davao for weekend ‘President’s time’ By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 3, 2016 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


He flew to Davao right after the turnover ceremonies of the police and military in Manila, true to his word that he would not stay in Malacañang. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Released

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte returned home on Friday night, using his “President’s time” to rest during his first weekend as Chief Executive.

He flew to Davao right after the turnover ceremonies of the police and military in Manila, true to his word that he would not stay in Malacañang.

For his inauguration last week, Duterte was reportedly billeted at the Holiday Inn Galleria in Ortigas Center.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines did not declare a 30-minute no-fly time over the skies of Metro Manila and its environs when the private jet carrying Duterte was flying. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) also did not send advance teams of helicopters.

This was in accordance with Duterte’s instruction given during his first meeting with his Cabinet last Thursday not to make a fuss about his flights.

NO MORE PRESIDENTIAL PLANE

“We do not have any presidential plane anymore. I want this stopped. We should not be treated different from other suffering Filipino passengers,” Duterte told the members of his Cabinet.

“But if anyone of us is given priority to take off, then we should be thankful. But we should also follow everyone’s travail. Pila tayo (we should fall in line). It is not because I want to feel important. It is just that we should treat ourselves just like any other Filipino traveling,” he added.

The President arrived onboard Gulfstream G150 aircraft RPC 8150 at 8:45 p.m., accompanied by his partner Honeylet Avancena and their daughter Veronica, and presidential special assistant Christopher Go.

But the PAF still gave Duterte arrival honors at the runway of the Tactical Operations Group 11.

Duterte immediately boarded his pick-up truck and greeted some well-wishers before leaving the TOG Xi headquarters.

The President’s eldest son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, said that his father plans to work three days in Manila and three days in Davao, where he would hold office at the Malacañang of the South inside the premises of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Barangay Panacan.


PHILSTAR

Duterte to implement FOI in executive branch By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated July 3, 2016 - 2:20pm 19 150 googleplus1 0


Advocates have been calling for passage of the Freedom of Information bill since the 12th Congress. The 17th Congress will begin sessions in July. File photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Congress may have repeatedly bypassed the bill that would have enabled it but freedom of information will soon be implemented, at least in the executive branch through an executive order (EO) to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the order requiring offices under the executive branch to release details of their transactions may be issued as early as this week.

“We are finishing the draft executive order for the freedom of information,” Andanar told government radio station dzRB on Sunday.

“We hope to finish it this week or next week. That is the commitment of the president to us,” he added.

An EO only covers government offices under the executive branch. An FOI law is needed to require all government entities, including those in the legislature and judiciary, to release documents detailing their transactions and projects.

Andanar said the EO is in line with Duterte’s vow to promote transparency in government.


DUTERTE SPOKESMAN ANDANAR

“This is a proactive stance of the Durterte administration to establish very transparent executive portfolios and in keeping with the president’s promise to deliver FOI once sworn into office,” he said.

Article III, section 7 of the 1987 Constitution recognizes the people's right to information on matters of public concern.

READ MORE...

“Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law,” the provision reads.

No enabling law for FOI

The public, however, has not fully enjoyed the constitutional guarantee because of the absence of an enabling law.

The FOI, which would serve as the enabling law of the constitutional guarantee, was first filed during the 12th Congress. The measure, however, was repeatedly bypassed by lawmakers, many of whom belong to prominent political families. Previous reports said the FOI was opposed by some lawmakers who fear that it might be used against them by their enemies.

The FOI is one of the campaign promises of former President Benigno Aquino III, who vowed to implement a strong anti-corruption drive. The 16th Congress, however, failed to enact the measure even if majority of its members were Aquino allies.

Despite the lack of an FOI law, the Aquino administration, through its Open Government Partnership, attempted to make government more transparent.

It launched, for example, Data.gov.ph, which it said, "aims to make national government data searchable, accessible, and useful, with the help of the different agencies of government, and with the participation of the public."

Last month, Dutere said he would implement FOI through an executive order if Congress refuses to pass a measure enabling it.

“If Congress does not like it, I will start with this progressively. To avoid too much talk, Day One, freedom of information, I will impose it on my department, the executive department," he said.

"I will issue an executive order. No need for a law. Media and everybody else is welcome to dig deep into the papers," he added.

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Palace: Executive order on FOI coming out soon Published July 3, 2016 4:06pm


...provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill at the start of his term, Malacañang on Sunday said it plans to release the executive order

In keeping with President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to implement provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill at the start of his term, Malacañang on Sunday said it plans to release the executive order mandating the disclosure of public documents soon.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said they are now rushing the EO on FOI so it could be out within the week or next week.

“Noong kinausap po natin ang Pangulo doon po sa turnover po sa Philippine National Police ay nagkaroon po tayo ng pagkakataon na maipaalala po sa Pangulo ang kanyang pangako sa media at sa taumbayan. So, ito po ay dina-draft na po ngayon. Fina-fine tune na po natin 'yung executive order at siguro po sa awa po ng Diyos ay maia-announce po natin this week or next week po,” he said in an interview over state-run dzRB radio.

Andanar said Duterte had committed to the issuance of the EO on FOI.

A day after the elections—when he was already leading in the partial and unofficial count of the race — Duterte said his first act as president may come in the form of an executive order for the implementation of proposed provisions of the FOI bill.

"Kung ayaw ng Congress, I will start with this progressively. Para walang satsat, walang yakyak, Day One, Freedom of Information, I will impose it on my department, the executive department," he said.

"Unahan ko na. I will issue an executive order. Hindi na kailangan ng batas... Media and everybody else is welcome to dig deep into the papers," he added.

The FOI bill requires public disclosure of documents related to government transactions, officials' statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth, and other official documents to the media and to the public, subject to certain conditions, such as national security concerns.

Former President Benigno Aquino III had vowed to prioritize the passage of the transparency measure before his proclamation in 2010. However, Congress failed to pass the bill during his term and was not certified as urgent despite repeated calls from advocates. — Xianne Arcangel/BM, GMA News


TRIBUNE

Senate, House rushing to grant DU30 emergency powers Written by Angie M. Rosales Saturday, 02 July 2016 00:00



Additional powers President Duterte and his Transport Secretary Art Tugade have been seeking are virtually going to be handed on a silver platter to him, as at least two legislative bills have been the latest which came from outgoing Senate President Franklin Drilon filed yesterday.

Right after Duterte took his oath of office in Malacañang Thursday, incomng Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez was first to file the emergency powers bill in the House of Representatives.


Incoming House speaker Alvarez

Much earlier, however, former President and Rep. Gloria Arroyo filed her version granting the President emergency powers for two years to address the Metro Manila traffic problem.


Pampanga Rep Gloria Arroyo

The bill has already been introduced in the Senate to address the transportation crisis not only in Metro Manila but in some other urban areas experiencing the same such as Metro Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. Drilon initiated the filing of a bill, granting emergency powers to the President, proposed to be effective for a period of two years.

“The emergency powers being sought for President Duterte will capacitate him in addressing the horrendous traffic situation within and outside Metro Manila,” the outgoing upper chamber leader said in filing Senate bill No. 11 or the proposed “Transportation Crisis Act of 2016.”

“The emergency power is already a ‘necessity’ given the magnitude of the transportation crisis that not only impedes the mobility of people, goods and services, but also threatens the livability of our cities,” he stressed.

READ MORE...

Drilon earlier said he is willing to support the idea of having Duterte exercise emergency powers even beyond two years, if need be.


Sen Drilon

The grant of additional powers to the President has been assured as among the priority measures that the Senate intends to pursue when the 17th Congress opens in July 25.

While many bills have been filed on the emergency powers for Duterte, there appears to be a lack of safeguards in these bills.

Not one who has filed these bills has introduced safeguards, even as negotiated contracts and doing away with public bidding, as well as no audit from the Commission on Audit are part of these emergency powers to be granted to Duterte.

Incoming Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel likewise plans to file a bill on emergency powers to Duterte and hopes to have it approved by the two Houses of Congress sometime in September.

Under the said bill, the President will be authorized to adopt alternative methods of procurement for the construction repair, rehabilitation, improvement or maintenance of transportation projects aimed at the reduction of traffic congestion in the Metro Manila and other urban areas.

These include limited source bidding, direct contracting, repeat order, shopping, and negotiated procurement.

In the same proposed measure, the Senate chief also sought the establishment of a sole urban traffic management authority to streamline the management of traffic.

Drilon believes that poor traffic management woes are mainly due to the poor enforcement of traffic rules and the overlapping functions of government institutions like Department of Transportation and its attached agencies Land Transportation and Fare Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO), the MMDA, and local government units (LGUs).

To address this, Drilon said the MMDA and the Department of Transportation should be the sole urban traffic management authority in Metro Manila and other urban areas, respectively.

This includes MMDA and the transportation department absorbing some functions currently being performed by the LTFRB, LTO and LGUs.

The bill will likewise allow the President to reorganize the DOT and its attached agencies, LTFRB and LTO, and the MMDA.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Traffic emergency powers, Cha-cha measures filed By Paolo Romero and Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 2, 2016 - 12:00am 1 43 googleplus0 0


At the House of Representatives, Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has re-filed his resolution seeking to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution by giving Congress the power to lift restrictions on foreign ownership of land and businesses. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Franklin Drilon filed yesterday a bill seeking to grant President Duterte emergency powers to deal with the transportation crisis not only in Metro Manila, but also in other major urban areas.

At the House of Representatives, Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has re-filed his resolution seeking to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution by giving Congress the power to lift restrictions on foreign ownership of land and businesses.

Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 is one of 11 measures introduced by Belmonte on Thursday, the start of the term of office of members of the 17th Congress.

Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez authored RBH No. 1, which asks Congress to convene a constitutional convention to work on the President’s proposal to shift the nation to a federal system of government.

ALVAREZ TO BE ELECTED HOUSE SPEAKER JULY 25

Alvarez is Duterte’s choice for speaker, whom the House will elect when Congress convenes on July 25.

It’s also the day when Duterte will deliver his first State of the Nation Address.

The last Congress failed to pass Belmonte’s economic Charter change measure.

Under his resolution, the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” would be inserted in the Charter’s provisions that limit foreign ownership of land and businesses.

Belmonte said the present limitations would remain, but Congress would have the power to lift them in the future if necessary.

He said the growing global interest in Asia provides an opportunity for the country to compete for more investments.

“Statistics show that despite the economic growth, poverty incidence remained constant for the past six years, thus the need to urgently address this issue,” he said.

“In order to realize the full benefit of inclusive growth, the restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution, which hamper the flow of foreign capital investments, must be lifted,” he stressed.

READ MORE...

Belmonte’s resolution will take the legislative route of proposing Charter change.

It will have to be approved by a vote of three-fourths of all members of the House and the Senate, with the two chambers voting separately.

The 10 other measures Belmonte filed are bills, one of which seeks to include casinos in the coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering Law.

The proposed law was apparently prompted by the cyber theft of $81 million in Bangladeshi funds, which were diverted to four bogus accounts in Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and eventually ended up with two casinos – Solaire Resort and Casino and Midas Hotel and Casino.

Bangladesh is still trying to recover the stolen funds.

Drilon said the emergency power being sought for Duterte will capacitate him in addressing the horrendous traffic situation within and outside Metro Manila.

EMERGENCY POWER A NECESSITY

“The emergency power is already a ‘necessity’ given the magnitude of the transportation crisis that not only impedes the mobility of people, goods and services, but also threatens the livability of our cities,” he said.

Under Senate Bill 11, the proposed Transportation Crisis Act of 2016, the President will be authorized to adopt alternative methods of procurement for the construction, repair, rehabilitation, improvement or maintenance of transportation projects aimed at the reduction of traffic congestion in Metro Manila and other urban areas.

These include limited source bidding, direct contracting, repeat order, shopping and negotiated procurement.

Drilon also sought the establishment of a sole urban traffic management authority to streamline the management of traffic.

He said poor traffic management woes are mainly due to the poor enforcement of traffic rules and the overlapping functions of government institutions like the Department of Transportation and its attached agencies Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board and Land Transportation Office, as well as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and local governments.

Drilon said the MMDA and the DOT should be the sole urban traffic management authority in Metro Manila and other urban areas.

The bill also seeks to allow the President to reorganize the DOT and its attached agencies LTFRB and LTO, and the MMDA.

The proposed emergency powers will be effective for two years and the funds needed to implement it are to be sourced from the proceeds from the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge Fund, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and the current budget of the agencies involved.

Drilon said traffic congestion resulted in an estimated productivity loss of around P2.4 billion a day or more than P800 billion a year.

“If the traffic congestion continues to be unabated, the traffic cost is expected to increase to P6 billion a day,” he said, citing a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2014.

Various urban areas like Metro Cebu and Cagayan de Oro are also experiencing horrible traffic congestion, which hampered growth and development, Drilon said.

Priority bills Senators have lined up their legislative priorities when Congress opens on July 25.

LEGARDA

Sen. Loren Legarda said her priority bills for the 17th Congress were consistent with her advocacies to promote inclusive, sustainable and resilient development.

“My priority bills are those that espouse the advocacies that I have been known for – environmental preservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, equitable use of our natural resources, energy efficiency, preservation of heritage and promotion of Filipino culture and arts,” she said.

CYNTHIA VILLAR

Sen. Cynthia Villar vowed to work for the passage of bills seeking to protect the plight of farmers and fisherfolk, as well as those of the overseas Filipino workers.

Villar also vowed to pass within the year the bill seeking to grant a P2,000 across-the-board increase in the pension of 1.9 million Social Security System members.

BAM AQUINO

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV meanwhile vowed to fulfill his campaign promise to alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship, employment and education legislation.

He filed the proposed Free Education in State Colleges and Universities Act, Free Education for Children of Public School Teachers’ Children, Abot Alam and the Trabaho Center in Schools bills.

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH LAW

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the principal author of the Reproductive Health Law, has filed a bill seeking to allow divorce in the country.

Lagman said the bill aims to gives the opportunity to spouses in irremediably failed marriages to secure an absolute divorce decree under limited grounds and well-defined procedures to avoid abuse, save the children from the pain and stress of their parents’ marital clashes and grant the divorced spouses the right to marry again for another chance to achieve marital bliss.


PHILSTAR

Activist now on other side of labor fence By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 3, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

MANILA, Philippines - An activist who used to fight the government is now at the helm of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he feels comfortable and at ease in the DOLE even if he was on the other side of the fence in the past.

The 72-year-old human rights lawyer formally as­sumed his post as the coun­try’s 28th labor secretary after a simple turnover ceremony yesterday at the DOLE main office in Intramuros.

Militant groups greeted Bello with a protest action in front of the DOLE office.

Bello said he was amused seeing a group of protest­ing workers while he was on his way to the turnover ceremony.

“I used to do that (join rallies), but now I am at the receiving end. But it’s not new to me. I still feel at home,” Bello told labor officials and employees as well as members of the business community, in­ternational organizations and recruitment industry who at­tended the turnover ceremony.

Bello said he worked with three other presidents – Cora­zon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Gloria Arroyo – in various capacities.

As labor secretary, Bello said he also attended the longest Cabinet meeting presided over by President Duterte on Thursday, which lasted more than five hours.

According to Bello, he was surprised when Duterte an­nounced his appointment as concurrent head of the govern­ment’s peace negotiating panel and DOLE chief.

READ MORE...

Bello said Duterte only offered to him the post as peace negotiator, which he immedi­ately accepted.

DOLE POSITIONS

Duterte also declared DOLE would be among the positions to be given to members of the communist group – which, Bel­lo joked, made him suspected of having been nominated by the National Democratic Front (NDF).

Although the post was given to him by surprise, Bello gave assurances that he would work and comply with the marching orders of Duterte to end illegal contractual employ­ment, stop illegal recruitment, maintain industrial peace and reduce red tape in the depart­ment.

“Seventy-two hours is enough time for you to act after any paper reaches your table,” Bello told labor officials and employees.

Bello further assured DOLE officials and employees that they will remain in their posts unless they do something illegal.

“Treat me as a co-worker and colleague. I did not come here at the DOLE to kill,” he remarked.

Bello said he will initiate a performance audit and check complaints, mostly concerning quasi-judicial agencies under DOLE, that he received prior to his assumption to office.

Bello only had praises for his predecessor Rosalinda Baldoz.

He was hoping to equal the achievement of Baldoz, who set a good track record during her incumbency.


BALDOZ

Bello said Baldoz did an excellent job as labor secretary and that he did not hear any derogatory feedback against her.

The new labor chief said he would also meet with labor leaders to discuss the imple­mentation of anti-contractualization policy at the soonest possible time.

Militant labor groups, on the other hand, expressed hope that the Duterte government would be able to end job contractualization, considering Bello has a history of promoting human rights.

The Church-Labor Confer­ence (CLC) called on Bello to start implementing the cam­paign promise of Duterte to do away with “endo,” short for end-of-contract or job contractualization.

“Contractualization of labor, specifically the practices of unscrupulous employers that directly violate or circumvent labor laws and regulations per­taining to labor contracting and regularization of employment, are arguably the gravest threat to our workers’ right to security of tenure,” the CLC said.

“Like the menace of illegal drugs and criminality in the country, it must be stopped. Otherwise, we will become a nation of endos where workers are deprived of their consti­tutional rights to gainful and productive employment,” the group added.

The CLC, however, con­ceded that addressing contrac­tualization of labor is not that simple as it requires complex and sustainable solutions.

Bello said he is looking at the possibility of seeking the issuance of an executive order or enactment of a new law to implement the ban against contractualization.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Known fiscalizer is new DepEd chief By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 3, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Education Secretary Leonor Briones

MANILA, Philippines - Professor Leonor Magtolis-Briones will take over the Department of Education (DepEd) on the heels of the implementation of the biggest education reform in the country, the K-12 program.

A known fiscalizer, Briones served as national treasurer and presidential adviser on social development during the Estrada administration.

She was also the lead convenor of Social Watch Philippines, a budget transparency watchdog that has consistently called for the removal of lump sums in the national budget.

She was among those who filed the petition that resulted in the Supreme Court decision to declare the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel as unconstitutional.

A long-time educator, Briones is professor emeritus at the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines (UP-NCPAG).

Prior to her appointment to DepEd, she was also chairman of the Board of Trustees of Silliman University and chairman-designate of the Board of Regents of the Universidad de Manila.

Briones, 75, obtained a degree in Business Administration, major in Accounting, magna cum laude, from Silliman University and Master of Public Administration, major in Local Government and Fiscal Administration from the UP-NCPAG.

She also has postgraduate diplomas in Development Administration from Leeds University in the United Kingdom and Harvard Institute for International Development in the United States.

She was recently conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Administration (honoris causa) by the Central Philippines University.

Opportunity

Briones was tapped by President Duterte to serve as education secretary after Lyceum of the Philippines University executive Peter Laurel declined the appointment.

Upon her acceptance, her predecessor Armin Luistro welcomed Briones and noted her experience in fiscal administration would help the agency in managing its budget.

DepEd receives the lion’s share of the national budget, reaching over P400 billion this year.

Briones said she did not apply for the position and had not even met with Duterte when the post was offered to her.

In explaining her decision to accept the position, Briones said she has been active in the decades-long campaign to advance the cause of education in the country.

“I therefore accepted the nomination not for my own sake, because I don’t need another Cabinet position, but because it is an opportunity and a tremendous challenge for all who believe in education to contribute to reforms and put into practice our lifetime advocacies,” she added.

In previous interviews, Briones said she would continue to campaign for higher budget for education, noting that the current allocation is still below the ideal six percent of gross domestic product.

She also stressed the need to strengthen the country’s alternative learning system to ensure that no Filipino is left behind.

Briones said she would see to it that the implementation of the K-12 program is closely monitored to ensure that concerns, such as displacement of college teachers, are properly addressed.

“Without doubt, not all pupils will be absorbed into the K-12 program. Provision has to be made for alternative learning systems which will ensure that no one will be left behind,” she said.

“I have a special interest in Philippine culture and the arts. These should spring from our historical experiences as a people.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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