PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)


PALACE LAUDS DOH FOR "IWAS PAPUTOK" (AVOID FIRECRACKERS)[RELATED: Malabon police chief not yet off the hook in Emilyn stray-bullet case]
[RELATED(2): TRAGIC END FOR SWEET EMILYN | Malabon teener, stray bullet victim, dies]


JANUARY 3 -The DOH has drafted an EO banning individual use of firecrackers and encouraging community fireworks display. The policy was opposed by groups who are worried about its impact on livelihood and jobs, especially in areas where firecrackers are manufactured. Philstar.com/File
 Malacañang yesterday lauded the health department for the lower number of firecracker-related casualties this year and the police for what it described as “generally peaceful” celebration of the holidays. “We congratulate the Department of Health (DOH) for its very successful Iwas Paputok campaign and the Philippine National Police (PNP), together with the local executives, for a generally peaceful celebration of Christmas and New Year,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement. READ MORE...RELATED,
Malabon police chief not yet off the hook in Emilyn case... RELATED(2) TRAGIC END FOR SWEET EMILYN | Malabon teener, stray bullet victim, dies...

ALSO:
Indiscriminate firing suspect killed by cops
[RELAYED PNP: 23 incidents of indiscriminate firing, 19 arrested on New Year’s revelry]


JANUARY 4 -Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Quezon City Police District director, said policemen were about to arrest suspect Harold Moises for indiscriminate firing when he reportedly engaged authorities in a shootout. Philstar.com/File
Quezon City policemen shot dead last Monday during an alleged shootout a suspect in a case of indiscriminate firing on New Year’s Eve. Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Quezon City Police District director, said policemen were about to arrest suspect Harold Moises for indiscriminate firing when he reportedly engaged authorities in a shootout. The reported encounter occurred at around 4:30 p.m. along Kabisig corner Katangian streets in Barangay Batasan Hills. Before the shootout, Eleazar said they received information from a concerned citizen that the suspect was spotted along Katangian street with a gun tucked in his waist. READ MORE...RELATED, PNP: 23 incidents of indiscriminate firing, 19 arrested on New Year’s revelry...

ALSO: HEALTHCARE -House sets minimum P7,500 monthly wage for caregivers [RELATED: The gap between patient experiences and good healthcare]


JANUARY 5 -Protect the caregiver. Professionalise the service. These are the twin objectives of House Bill 269, filed by Bataan Congresswoman Geraldine B Roman, called the Caregivers Welfare Act. It has passed the first hurdle after the House Committee on Labor and Employment approved it for plenary debates. The congresswoman stressed the need to institutionalise policies that would protect the rights of these healthcare workers, many of whom are abused by employers in terms of pay, working hours, days off and benefits. PUBLISHED DEC 29, 2016 PHOTO COURTESY OF MIMS BLOG A minimum monthly wage of P7,500 for caregivers has been given the green light by the House labor and employment committee. This came about after the committee headed by Rep. Randolph Teng of Cagayan approved House Bill 269 or the Caregiver Welfare Act authored by Rep. Geraldine Roman of Bataan. Roman’s measure provides that the P7,500 minimum monthly salary is for caregivers in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila). Caregivers in chartered cities and first class municipalities will earn a minimum of P5,500 monthly, while their counterparts in municipalities will earn P4,000 monthly. READ MORE...RELATED, The gap between patient experiences and good healthcare...

ALSO:
Malacañang, Congress still on stalemate on SSS pension row
[RELATED: Rody defers release of SSS pension hike, needs; workable compromise vs SSS bankruptcy]


JANUARY 4 -
Both the Executive and the Legislative are not backing down on their unyielding positions on the frozen Social Security System (SSS) pension hike as Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said it is “unfair” for Congress to pressure President Duterte into signing the proposed P2,000 monthly increase in members’ pension. In a Palace briefing, Diokno said the “populist” thought of increasing the benefits of retired private employees should have been scrapped by legislators at their level. “To me, it’s unfair to give the problem to (Mr. Duterte). In fact, it’s unfair for Congress to have passed that law, which, as you know, President Aquino vetoed. It should not have reached the President’s desk,” Diokno said. A member of the Senate insisted that the government can well afford the pension hike and that the SSS can put up the funds for it.Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said instead of depriving the SSS pensioners an additional P1,000 per month (as initial tranche fr the increase), “the government should pressure the SSS to reduce its operating expenses.”  READ MORE...RELATED, Rody defers release order of SSS pension hike until workable compromise to prevent SSS bankruptcy...

ALSO: Duterte can’t renege on pension hike - Gordon
[RELATED: No compromise on contribution increase for pension hike - SSS]


JANUARY 3 -
A deadlock between the Executive and Congress may result from President Duterte siding with his economic managers who sought the deferment of a two-step P2,000 increase in the monthly pensions of its members after Sen. Richard Gordon described Mr. Duterte’s decision as reneging on an obligation.
Gordon said the agency’s new board already agreed to the pension increases and even settled to give it in two tranches. “SSS pensioners must have their increase. The new SSS board agreed to increase them by P1,000. They must not renege on that agreement,” he said. The Palace, however, said that Mr. Duterte intends to raise the pension only that he wanted a “win-win” solution after economic managers led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez sent him a memorandum warning that the fund will run out by 2032 if no compensating measure on members contributions will be effected.Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in a text message is not reneging on the P2,000 pension increase, which was also a campaign promise of Mr. Duterte. READ MORE..RELATED, No compromise on contribution increase for pension hike - SSS...

DOF: Pension hike, freeze on land conversion could derail pro-poor programs [RELATED: Ahead of SSS move, Senate approves P1,000 pension hike]


JANUSRY 6 -Benigno Aquino III vetoed the pension increase when he was president and suffered the political fallout of the decision. Michael Varcas, file photo
Benigno Aquino III vetoed the pension increase when he was president and suffered the political fallout of the decision. Michael Varcas, file photo MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of Finance warned on Friday of "disastrous" consequences if populist measures on a two-year land conversion moratorium and Social Security System pension increase without contribution hike are pursued. "We need to invest big in (infrastructure), human capital and social protection...Hence the need to generate a lot more funds to bankroll these pro-poor and pro-growth programs," Finance spokesperson Paola Alvarez said in a statement. "The government certainly cannot do so if the president's economic team were to support populist proposals willy-nilly just to earn political pogi points for the Duterte administration," Alvarez, PDP-Laban spokesperson during the 2016 election campaign, added. READ MORE... RELATED, Ahead of SSS move, Senate approves P1,000 pension hike...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE BELOW
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE

Palace lauds DOH for ‘Iwas Paputok"


The DOH has drafted an EO banning individual use of firecrackers and encouraging community fireworks display. The policy was opposed by groups who are worried about its impact on livelihood and jobs, especially in areas where firecrackers are manufactured. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, JANUARY 9, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Alexis Romero January 3, 2017 - Malacañang yesterday lauded the health department for the lower number of firecracker-related casualties this year and the police for what it described as “generally peaceful” celebration of the holidays.

“We congratulate the Department of Health (DOH) for its very successful Iwas Paputok campaign and the Philippine National Police (PNP), together with the local executives, for a generally peaceful celebration of Christmas and New Year,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.

READ MORE...

Andanar also assured the public that President Duterte would take into account the “greater good” when he decides on the proposal to ban the use of firecrackers during New Year.

“We have yet to see a signed EO (executive order) for the firecracker ban,” Andanar said.

FIRECRACKERS BAN

“Although we are very much aware that the President is a strong advocate of the total firecrackers ban, there are industries and laborers also that would be affected by this move. The President weighs and considers the welfare that would be for the greater good of all,” he added.

The DOH has drafted an EO banning individual use of firecrackers and encouraging community fireworks display. The policy was opposed by groups who are worried about its impact on livelihood and jobs, especially in areas where firecrackers are manufactured.

Last week, DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said a law would be a “better tool” to ensure less firecracker-related injuries and damage during New Year.

Health officials are hopeful that the EO or the law banning firecrackers would be implemented by this year.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde cited yesterday the public’s cooperation in their campaign against indiscriminate firing and banned firecrackers for the low casualty rate recorded during the New Year revelry.

In line with the directive of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa’s order to crack down on indiscriminate firing and use and sale of illegal firecrackers, the NCRPO closely monitored the incidents and casualties of indiscriminate firing, stray bullets and firecrackers during the celebrations.

From Dec. 16, 2016 to Jan. 2, 2017, the NCRPO recorded only 167 firecracker incidents, compared to the 881 firecracker cases last year that included one fatality, or a decrease of 86 percent.

Only three stray bullet incidents were recorded in the same period, compared to 14 cases last year.

The PNP reported yesterday that cases of firecracker-related injuries and stray bullet incidents related to Christmas and New Year celebrations went down compared to the previous year.

From Dec. 16, 2016, to Jan. 2, 2017, the PNP said there were a total of 224 incidents, lower by 43 percent compared to the previous year of 521.

Some 189 cases were related to firecrackers while 23 were cases of indiscriminate firing of firearms and 12 stray bullet incidents.

PNP deputy chief for operations Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario said President Duterte’s tough image played a role in the decrease.

“That’s part of the psychology because of the strict implementation of our President, a lot of people were afraid to use firecrackers,” Apolinario said in a news briefing at Camp Crame last Monday afternoon.

The early information drive against the use of firecrackers and inspection of fireworks stalls also played a role in the reduction, Apolinario added.

STARY BULLETS

For cases of stray bullets, 12 were recorded this year, lower compared to 55 cases last year.

PNP chief Dela Rosa earlier recalled all police personnel from vacation and deployed them in areas with history of indiscriminate firing from 5 p.m. of Dec. 31 to 5 a.m. of Jan. 1 to attain a goal of zero casualty on New Year’s Eve.

It seems effective as only three cases of indiscriminate firing were recorded during that 12-hour period compared to last year’s 38 stray bullet incidents. Two happened in Metro Manila – one each in Taguig City and Quezon City. The other case happened on Dec. 31 in San Jose, Batangas.

The NCRPO recorded only three indiscriminate firing incidents this year compared to four cases last year.

NCRPO chief Albayalde pointed out that the three involved in indiscriminate firing were identified as Police Officer 1 Ronel Pantig of the Pasig police, PO1 Daniel Castillo of the Raxabago police station in Tondo and Corporal Lovelyson Cutaso of the military.

Castillo is now detained at Manila Police District, Cutaso is held at Taguig City Police Station while Pantig remains at large.


MANILA STANDARD NEWS REPORT -Malabon teenager hit by stray bullet dies.posted January 04, 2017 at 07:28 pm by Arlene Lim Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial confirms that 15-year-old Emilyn Villanueva has died at past 6 this Wednesday evening. Prior to this, Villanueva was in critical condition at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRMMC) due to injuries she sustained from a stray bullet as a result of indiscriminate firing on New Year’s Eve. Police had insisted she was a victim of deliberate shooting. But Ubial said, a bullet hit Emilyn on the head at the trajectory of a stray bullet. The Health Secretary explained, the CT scan showed that the bullet came from the top of the head and it went downward. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MANILA BULLETIN

The DOH in Region 1 recorded at least 56 firecracker victims as of yesterday.

Ana Fe Perez of DOH said most of the victims suffered injuries on their eyes, chest, hands and legs.

Of the 56 victims, Pangasinan has the most number with 39 followed by La Union with seven, Ilocos Sur six and Ilocos Norte with four.

In Pangasinan, the police reported that there was no stray bullet casualty during the New Year revelry.

Supt. Jackie Candelario, deputy police director for operations and spokesperson for the Pangasinan police, said their campaign against illegal discharge of firearms was very positive.

Anna Ma. Teresa de Guzman, provincial health officer in Pangasinan, said their report as of Jan. 1 showed that the 50 firecracker injuries were lower by 46 compared to the same period last year. - With Emmanuel Tupas, Non Alquitran, John Unson, Jun Elias, Lino de la Cruz

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Malabon police chief not yet off the hook in Emilyn case By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 4, 2017 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Malabon police chief Senior Superintendent John Chua shows x-ray images of the bullet in the brain of Emilyn Villanue­va Calano. Chua insisted she was a victim of a New Year’s Eve shooting, not a stray bullet. MICHAEL VARCAS

MANILA, Philippines – The police chief of Malabon is not yet off the hook as investigation is ongoing on whether 15-year-old Emilyn Villanueva Calano is a victim of a stray bullet or a shooting incident on New Year’s Eve, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

If the investigation points to a case of stray bullet, Malabon Police chief Senior Supt. John Chua will be relieved from his post, according to PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos.

Before the revelry, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa warned that police chiefs who fail to arrest suspects in indiscriminate firing within 24 hours would be relieved from their post.

The girl, who carries her mother’s surname Villanueva, was watching fireworks outside her home when a bullet hit her head, rendering her comatose.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial maintained that Villanueva is a victim of a stray bullet based on the bullet trajectory.

“The investigation is ongoing. It was initially reported as stray bullet. While they are conducting investigation, it became a shooting incident. Let us wait for the result of the probe of Malabon PNP, which is being monitored by the Northern Police District,” Carlos said in a press briefing.

“If there is no connection between the two, they have to explain why the stray bullet incident transpired… If we see that it is really a stray bullet, someone will be relieved,” he added.

Malabon Police: It’s a shooting incident

But the Malabon Police yesterday maintained that Villanueva is a victim of a shooting incident that went awry.

Chua said allegations being thrown at his chief investigator “are unfounded and severely unfair, considering that we have done everything to make a clear case on this incident.”

Chua ordered yesterday the filing of reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries and attempted murder against Renato Sy Jr. alias “Toti.”

Sy is also wanted for the killing of Caloocan Police Officer 2 Rancel Cruz last Oct. 14.

Patricio Muñoz, 34, a tanod of Barangay San Agustin, came forward to claim that he was the real target of the suspect and that Sy fired several times at him but missed.

“Why can’t they believe our findings?” he added.

Victim in deep coma, needs miracle

As of yesterday afternoon, Villanueva’s condition was deteriorating but she was still fighting for her life at the Intensive Care Unit of Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center.

In an interview, Department of Health (DOH) spokesman Eric Tayag said Villanueva went down from Glasgow Coma Scale 4 to Scale 3, which means she no longer responds to stimuli.

“That’s the lowest (scale). Although she does not have fever which is good, her pulse rate is fast, and she has no verbal and motor response. Her pupil no longer responds. She is in deep coma,” he said.

“There are no signs that she is recovering but her doctors are saying that Emilyn is fighting for her life. Other patients in her condition would have given up but she has not,” he added.

Tayag also said it would be more risky to remove the bullet in Villanueva’s head because it landed between her brain’s left and right hemispheres. Surgery would be more damaging to her brain and other tissues.

“The only reason she is alive is the respirator. But her family is holding on to even little hope that Emilyn will survive. She needs our prayers and a miracle,” he added.

Firecracker injuries

As of 6 a.m. of Jan. 3, a total of 578 firecracker-related injuries and three fireworks ingestions were reported to the DOH by its 50 sentinel hospitals nationwide.

Tayag said this is 34 percent lower than the 904 cases recorded during the same period last year. He expressed hope that the number of cases would not exceed the 932 cases documented in 2016.

“Our surveillance will close on Jan. 5 just like in previous years. We may see new victims of firecrackers or delayed reporting (from hospitals) but we hope that the cases this year will be less,” he added. – With Sheila Crisostomo, Rey Galupo

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

RELATED(2) FROM INTERAKSYON.COM

TRAGIC END FOR SWEET EMILYN | Malabon teener, stray bullet victim, dies By: InterAksyon.com January 4, 2017 7:24 PM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5


Marilyn Calano looks at her daughter Emilyn at the wake of the 15-year old who died days after she was struck by a bullet on New Year's Eve. (photo by Boy Santos, Philstar/InterAksyon.com)

MANILA - Emilyn Villanueva Calano, the 15-year-old scholar left in deep coma by a bullet that lodged in her head on New Year's eve, has died, News5 reported Wednesday evening, quoting doctors at Dr. Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center.

The teener from Malabon, who was just outside their house to watch fireworks, succumbed at 6:10 p.m.

This, as conflicting theories about how Calano was struck by the bullet on New Year’s Eve that left her in a coma and fighting for her life had added to the confusion surrounding the case.

The National Bureau of Investigation mounted a parallel probe into the incident, after doctors, Calano's family, and neighbors doubted the police theory that she was collateral damage in a shooting incident between two men, and not the victim of a stray bullet from the New Year revelry.

Before she died Wednesday evening, Emilyn remained four days at the Surgery Intensive Care Unit of the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, outside which her family had kept vigil.


PHILSTAR

Indiscriminate firing suspect killed by cops By Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 4, 2017 - 12:00am 1 12 googleplus1 0


Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Quezon City Police District director, said policemen were about to arrest suspect Harold Moises for indiscriminate firing when he reportedly engaged authorities in a shootout. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City policemen shot dead last Monday during an alleged shootout a suspect in a case of indiscriminate firing on New Year’s Eve.

Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Quezon City Police District director, said policemen were about to arrest suspect Harold Moises for indiscriminate firing when he reportedly engaged authorities in a shootout.

The reported encounter occurred at around 4:30 p.m. along Kabisig corner Katangian streets in Barangay Batasan Hills.

Before the shootout, Eleazar said they received information from a concerned citizen that the suspect was spotted along Katangian street with a gun tucked in his waist.

READ MORE...

A police team was deployed. When the team approached, Moises allegedly pulled out a caliber .45 pistol and fired at the policemen, who fired back.

Moises was pronounced dead at the East Avenue Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds in the body.

Police said a handgun and three sachets of shabu were recovered from Moises.

Investigators said witnesses claimed that Moises had fired his pistol indiscriminately during the New Year’s Eve revelry in Batasan Hills.

Meanwhile, the Pasig City policeman who fired his pistol indiscriminately during a quarrel in Tondo, Manila last Dec. 19 was disarmed and relieved from his post after administrative charges were filed against him, a police official said yesterday.

Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula, director of the Eastern Police District (EPD), said Police Officer 1 Ronel Pantig was relieved from the Pasig City police and reassigned to the District Headquarters Service Unit.

Senior Supt. Orlando Yebra, Pasig City police chief, disarmed Pantig of his Beretta 9mm pistol.

An administrative case for grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a police officer was filed before the EPD’s Office of the District Internal Affairs Service last Dec. 29.

On the other hand, the pre-charge investigation and summary hearing proceeding will be conducted by the Internal Affairs Service of the Manila Police District, which has jurisdiction over the case.

Police investigator SPO1 Jay Jay Jacob disclosed that the criminal case against Pantig for violation of Article 254, RPC (Illegal Discharge of Firearm) would be filed later before the Manila Prosecutor’s Office.

Pantig fired his service firearm at the height of an argument with the brother of a certain Anthony Barsa Tan last Dec. 19 at the corner of Rivera and La Torre streets in Barangay 245, Zone 22 in Tondo.

IN CORDILLERA REGION

In the Cordillera region, Chief Supt. Elmo Francis Sarona, regional police director, said a retired policeman and a soldier were among those arrested for indiscriminate firing during the holiday season.

He said retired police officer Wilfredo Bunagan Duenas was arrested after firing his gun while he was driving a hand tractor in Barangay San Quintin, Rizal, Kalinga.

Sarona said Army soldier Serafin Masiong Fianza of Bekes of Paoay, Atok, Benguet was arrested after firing his pistol inside a videoke bar.

Sarona said aside from the two indiscriminate firing cases, no other untoward incident was reported in the Cordilleras where local government units stopped issuing permits to traders selling fireworks.

The Southern Police District (SPD) admitted yesterday that investigators are still looking for leads in the case of the stray bullet that hit a 10-year-old boy in Taguig City on New Year’s Eve.

SPD director Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario said they are still gathering evidence to pinpoint the origin of the bullet that struck the head of Gian Penacilla.

Penacilla is recovering after doctors removed the bullet slug from his head at the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City.

The victim was outside their house in Barangay Palingon when a bullet hit him on the head at around 10:45 p.m. last Saturday.

Probers are hoping the slug could provide a lead to the identity of the registered owner of the gun, if the firearm is licensed.

The Taguig City government paid the medical bills of the victim, said Apolinario. - With Non Alquitran, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

PNP: 23 incidents of indiscriminate firing, 19 arrested on New Year’s revelry 34 SHARES Share it! Published January 2, 2017, 8:28 PM By Philippine News Agency

There were 23 incidents of indiscriminate firing while 19 suspects were arrested during the New Year’s Eve celebration, the Philippine National Police said on Monday, January 2.

“We have been informing the public. We have been reminding gun holders to strictly follow the rules,” PNP deputy chief for operations Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario said in a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City.


PNP logo PNP logo

“Generally, the New Year’s Eve celebration was very peaceful,” Apolinario added.

He said 23 persons are still being pursued for indiscriminate firing.

Apolinario noted that the strict campaign against firecrackers had an impact on the New Year’s Eve celebration.

A police officer was arrested for illegal discharge of firearms. He was on duty on New Year’s Eve and was under the influence of liquor.

“Talagang bumaba ang number of firecracker-related injuries compared with 2015 data,” Apolinario said.

While there was a 300-percent increase in illegal discharge of firearms for 2016, only four stray bullet incidents were reported as compared to last years’ 38, an estimated 89.47-percent decrease.

Also, all the suspects were arrested within the period, such that 5 out of 4 incidents or a 100-percent solution efficiency.

Apolinario noted that the victims of firecrackers and stray bullets went down in 2016 compared to 2015.

The period of comparison is from 5:00 p.m. of December 31, 2015 to 5:00 p.m. of January 2, 2016.

“That is what the Chief PNP (Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa) wishes to convey to all with the maximum deployment of PNP during the New Year’s revelry,” Apolinario said.

Apolinario said that the PNP has recorded 12 incidents of stray bullets, with one killed and eight wounded from December 16, 2016 to January 2, 2017.


MANILA TIMES

House sets minimum P7,500 monthly wage for caregivers BY THE MANILA TIMES ON JANUARY 6, 2017 THE LATEST NEWS, TODAY'S BREAKING NEWS


Protect the caregiver. Professionalise the service. These are the twin objectives of House Bill 269, filed by Bataan Congresswoman Geraldine B Roman, called the Caregivers Welfare Act. It has passed the first hurdle after the House Committee on Labor and Employment approved it for plenary debates. The congresswoman stressed the need to institutionalise policies that would protect the rights of these healthcare workers, many of whom are abused by employers in terms of pay, working hours, days off and benefits.PUBLISHED DEC 29, 2016 PHOTO COURTESY OF MIMS BLOG

A minimum monthly wage of P7,500 for caregivers has been given the green light by the House labor and employment committee.

This came about after the committee headed by Rep. Randolph Teng of Cagayan approved House Bill 269 or the Caregiver Welfare Act authored by Rep. Geraldine Roman of Bataan.

Roman’s measure provides that the P7,500 minimum monthly salary is for caregivers in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila).

Caregivers in chartered cities and first class municipalities will earn a minimum of P5,500 monthly, while their counterparts in municipalities will earn P4,000 monthly.

“The bill aims to ensure that our rules hone our caregivers to be globally competitive and professional,” Roman said.

READ MORE...

Roman’s bill states that only those who finished a caregiver course in certified schools and training institutions will be eligible for the benefit.

In addition, the proposal provides that there should be contract between a caregiver and the employer, signed by both parties.

A year after its implementation, the Caregiver Welfare Act also allows the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board to review the amount of the minimum wage.

“This is in recognition of the crucial work of our caregivers in nation building. It is only fitting that we recognize their profession so that they will be protected from abuses and violence,” Roman said.

“Our caregivers who take care of the sick are heroes,” she added.

Filipino caregivers usually flock to the United States, Canada, the Middle East and Europe because of the employers’ preference for Filipinos whom they find thoughtful. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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

RELATED FROM THE MIMS BLOG

The gap between patient experiences and good healthcare 21 Dec 2016, Dr. Caren Andexer


Patients often fault unpleasant experiences to healthcare providers

For most patients, a bad hospital experience results from poor communication and the lack of compassion.

Patients attribute their unpleasant hospital experiences and negative impression of healthcare services to the deficit in bedside manners as well as to shortages in staffing that lead to long waits and hustled, non-empathic conversations.

While patients feel that the inadequacies of a comprehensive healthcare system influence their experiences in hospitals, does patient satisfaction truly correlate with better quality of healthcare?

When patients’ expectations are unmet

A poor patient experience is an incontinent patient who is left wet due to a shortage of staff, where overworked nurses are withheld from readily tending to all patients. It is when a patient’s son has left before the doctor could speak to him.

It is the long wait in the crowded clinic. It is when a patient wants a painkiller for pain, but the clinician decides that it may not be necessary.

Patient experience surveys are the latest trend in healthcare, introduced with the aim to address what makes patients unhappy in hospitals. The perception is such that good patient experience links to good medicine, and the survey responses point the finger to clinicians’ approach to patient care when patients are dissatisfied.

Though the feedbacks are based on small cohorts, they still pressure and affect how healthcare providers deliver their care. Take for example, a physician who opts for conservative treatment for pain such as with ibuprofen or physical therapy. A patient unhappy with the treatment plan will note down his experience in the survey.

Over 12% and 32% of visits to primary care and emergency department respectively involve consultations for pain resulting in such prescriptions of uploads or benzodiazepines and these rates are steadily on the rise.

“The mandate is simple: Never deny a request for an antibiotic, an opioid medication, a scan, or an admission,” said family physician Dr William Sonnenberg, who added that such questionnaire scorings have “become a bigger threat to the practice of good medicine than trial lawyers.”

Bad medicine: giving patients what they want

However, “giving patients exactly what they want, versus what the doctor thinks is right, can be very bad medicine,” wrote Kai Falkenberg from in a Forbes article addressing why rating a doctor is bad for patient health.

A diabetic patient who was not given jam on his toast may complain of his hospital experience, but better a grumpy patient than one comatose from poorly managed glucose levels.

More often than not, patients do not realise that certain regulations and guidelines are reinforced not for bureaucracies but as part of recommended clinical practice. Looking back at the example for pain management, should a physician prescribe controlled drugs and powerful pain medications too readily, he or she may come under fire for irresponsible medical practices.

The truth, however, is that most patients actually understand that their experiences are not related to the necessities in healthcare.

The patients who are most in need tend to complain the least, maybe because their chronic illness has taught them patience and empathy, or maybe because they understand the necessity of having to be stuck waiting on a trolley bed while awaiting chemotherapy.

No doubt, it is essential to address the need to improve healthcare delivery. However, with patient experiences surveys, physicians are often caught in the middle between patient satisfaction, their responsibilities, and hospital regulations.

Fact remains that practising professionalism is not always what meets the eye, and the best approach to strike a balance in patient experience, satisfaction and outcomes is to implement “shared decision-making” with patients. MIMS

Read more: The art and science of humanising medicine with technology

Dealing with stubborn patients: A constant struggle

The challenges of Alzheimer’s: Communicating with the patient and caregivers

Sources:
http://www.thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2014/04/04/the-problem-of-pain-when-best-medical-advice-doesnt-equal-patient-satisfaction/ 
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/12/when-pain-persists-what-makes-hospital-patients-really-unhappy


TRIBUNE

Malacañang, Congress still on stalemate on SSS row Written by Ted Tuvera Wednesday, 04 January 2017 00:00



Both the Executive and the Legislative are not backing down on their unyielding positions on the frozen Social Security System (SSS) pension hike as Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said it is “unfair” for Congress to pressure President Duterte into signing the proposed P2,000 monthly increase in members’ pension.

In a Palace briefing, Diokno said the “populist” thought of increasing the benefits of retired private employees should have been scrapped by legislators at their level.

“To me, it’s unfair to give the problem to (Mr. Duterte). In fact, it’s unfair for Congress to have passed that law, which, as you know, President Aquino vetoed. It should not have reached the President’s desk,” Diokno said.

A member of the Senate insisted that the government can well afford the pension hike and that the SSS can put up the funds for it.Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said instead of depriving the SSS pensioners an additional P1,000 per month (as initial tranche fr the increase), “the government should pressure the SSS to reduce its operating expenses.”

READ MORE...

“It is shown in its financial report that operating expenses and overhead is at 10 percent of its revenue. The industry standard is only at three percent,” Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate committee on economic affairs, said.

DU30's 'OBLIGATION'

Sen. Richard Gordon the other day described Mr. Duterte’s decision to defer the implementation of the pension increase as reneging on an obligation.

Gordon said the agency’s new board already agreed to the pension increases and even settled to give it in two tranches.

“SSS pensioners must have their increase. The new SSS board agreed to increase them by P1,000. They must not renege on that agreement,” he said.

The Palace, however, said that Mr. Duterte intends to raise the pension only that he wanted a “win-win” solution after economic managers led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez sent him a memorandum warning that the fund will run out by 2032 if no compensating measure on members contributions will be effected.

Diokno, who is one of Mr. Duterte’s economic managers who wrote a memorandum before the end of the year seeking the deferment of the staggered pension increase already approved by Congress, also pointed out the SSS Board of Trustees should have not made promises to pensioners beforehand and “passed the burden” to the Chief Executive.

“The Board of Trustees should have exercised leadership and say, ‘no, we cannot do it unless we do the following things’. But you know, when you pass the buck and give it to the President, that to me is unfair for the President,” he said.

SSS Chairman Amado Valdez, last December, made a statement that the President is expected to sign a joint-resolution made by Congress last December approving the pension hike.

MEMO ON POSSIBLE BANKRUPTCY

The President’s economic aides pointed out in the memo the possible SSS bankruptcy by 2032 if the pension increase is pushed without a collateral increase in the members’ contribution. It noted that the pension increase will also hike the agency’s outstanding liabilities from P3.5 trillion to P5.9 trillion.

One of the pension hike’s leading proponents in the last Congress, former Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares challenged Mr. Duterte not to do what former President Aquino did in vetoing the bill for the pension increase.

“The concerns raised by Duterte’s administration were the same as the one raised by Aquino’s. I was surprised by questions raised by economic managers. These were the same questions raised by the previous SSS administration,” Colmenares said.

The former militant lawmaker also stressed that the “old argument” of bankruptcy isn’t the “real deal” regarding the issue.

“In 2001, SSS declared that it has a fund life of only five years and yet it was able to increase this to 2042 in just 14 years. If it previously survived a five-year fund life, then surely it can also survive a 14-year fund life,” he explained.

“It is the responsibility of the SSS to prolong the life of its beneficiaries and not to expand its funds,” Colmenares added.



Diokno countered Colmenares’ argument, saying that Colmenares should consider the burden to other taxpayers who are not enrolled in the SSS if the pension hike takes effect and the government will give a subsidy to the SSS for it.

“Why should you use the taxpayers’ money and knowing some taxpayers don’t even have a job? Isn’t it? I think I overheard a former congressman citing the workforce. Doesn’t he know that one-third of the work force are farmers and fisher folks? So there are 40 million of them (who will foot the bill for the pension increase),” Diokno said.

How about the fat  bonuses? — solon

Gatchalian also raised the issue on fat bonuses being received by the board and top management of SSS at the expense of the members without clear performance targets.

The first tranche of the P2,000 pension increase, which is P1,000, was supposed to be implemented beginning this month and the other P1,000 in 2019.

This was however put off by Mr. Duterte until further study is undertaken by his economic managers.

According to SSS officials, the P2,000 across-the-board increase for 1.9 million pensioners every month would shorten the life of the pension fund.

Sen. Sonny Angara appeared inclined to siding with the SSS on the issue saying that any increase has to be forward-looking as well.

“In my comment in the plenary when the resolution was taken up, I noted that increases would shorten the lifespan of said reserves by at least a decade. This has to be considered because we may be mortgaging the next generations’ future with a hike that doesn’t take this into account,” he said.

PNP, AFP to get raise

Diokno, however, assured government employees, especially the military and the police, that they will receive Mr. Duterte’s promise of salary hikes.

“We are now in the second tranche of our four-tranche salary adjustment. As you know, we gave the salary increase last year. And there will be another salary increase this year, both for civilians, military, and police,” he noted, which include public school teachers and government health workers.

But unlike Mr. Duterte’s promise to double the pay of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel, government employees will not enjoy the same salary boost.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Rody defers release order of SSS pension hike until workable compromise to prevent SSS bankcruptcy By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 1, 2017 - 12:00am 2 134 googleplus0 0


“With the impasse at the SSS, we had a long debate but the economic managers are having their doubts and they want to talk about it again. I promise it will come your way before the year ends. I am very sorry but that is how it is. I do not own the money,” the President said over state-run PTV 4. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte has deferred ordering the release of funds for the increase in the pension of Social Security System (SSS) members until his office finds a workable compromise to prevent the eventual bankruptcy of the agency.

“With the impasse at the SSS, we had a long debate but the economic managers are having their doubts and they want to talk about it again. I promise it will come your way before the year ends. I am very sorry but that is how it is. I do not own the money,” the President said over state-run PTV 4.

“The problem here is that the government assured everybody that SSS will remain solvent at all times,” he said, noting that the guarantee requires the government to shoulder the burden should anything go wrong with the funding.

For now, Duterte is not amenable to using taxpayers’ money, especially of non-SSS members, should there be a misstep in the implementation of the increase in SSS pensions.

“That’s the problem. It is not the fault of the entire country. I would really give in but the memo of (Finance Sec. Carlos) Dominguez, (Budget Secretary) Ben Diokno and (Economic Development Sec. Ernesto) Pernia – they had a very bleak assessment of what’s in store for us in the days ahead and the risk is not really that good,” the President pointed out.

Duterte said he needed to address the issue because there have been many calls seeking for updates on the matter.

His administration, he added, is seeking for an alternative, win-win solution to solve the impasse.

“Let us give them (members) the best we can,” he said.


TRIBUNE

Gordon: Duterte can’t renege on pension hike Written by Angie M. Rosales Tuesday, 03 January 2017 00:00



A deadlock between the Executive and Congress may result from President Duterte siding with his economic managers who sought the deferment of a two-step P2,000 increase in the monthly pensions of its members after Sen. Richard Gordon described Mr. Duterte’s decision as reneging on an obligation.

Gordon said the agency’s new board already agreed to the pension increases and even settled to give it in two tranches.

“SSS pensioners must have their increase. The new SSS board agreed to increase them by P1,000. They must not renege on that agreement,” he said.

The Palace, however, said that Mr. Duterte intends to raise the pension only that he wanted a “win-win” solution after economic managers led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez sent him a memorandum warning that the fund will run out by 2032 if no compensating measure on members contributions will be effected.Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in a text message is not reneging on the P2,000 pension increase, which was also a campaign promise of Mr. Duterte.

READ MORE...

“The President is looking for a win-win solution where he can give pensioners the increase they have been asking for while ensuring that SSS will remain solvent at all times,” Andanar said.

“President Duterte does not want to use taxpayers’ money, especially money of non-SSS members, should funding problem arises because of the increase,” he added.

Gordon said that the government has the obligation to raise the SSS pension in response to reports on the planned implementation of the P2,000 hike of monthly pension of SSS members, with an initial P1,000 increase this year and the remaining P1,000 in 2019, being put on hold.

SSS chairman Amado Valdez said the fund life of the agency would be shortened to 2032 instead of 2042 if the first instalment of P1,000 will be given this year.

“We owe our private pensioners support and that’s in the Constitution,” Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, said.



Mr. Duterte’s closest ally in the upper chamber, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, came to the President’s defense saying that he should be given time to study the matter.

“We should always be cautious and be extra careful in spending money raised or collected under the mandate of the law (like taxes and SSS premiums). Hence if Pres. Duterte needs time to study the matter, then let’s give him the study time he needs,” Pimentel said in a text message to reporters.

The senator and partymate of Duterte in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), happened to be among those who steered the approval in the upper chamber of the resolution, expressing its sense on the increase in the monthly pension of all SSS pensioners by P1,000 effective immediately.

But Gordon insisted that the SSS agreed to the proposal and it was the reason why, rather than pass it into law which was no longer possible last year as they ran out of time, they agreed to approve a resolution calling for an immediate increase of P1,000.

“They must live up to the end of the bargain. They promised, that was the reason for the initial P1,000 (monthly increase). So we amended the (original plan of giving) P2,000 to P1,000 because they said the fund can’t afford it,” he said.

“I’m not an unreasonable person. When they explained that they can only sustain P1,000 for now, I agreed. I did not even force them to give P2,000 for example, in five years. What we said was we will closely monitor their performance every six months,” he said.

“Instead of stretching for the system, we should be stretching for the people, our pensioners because the cost of living has gone up. (It’s now) P6,000 for a family and that’s for food alone and we’re adding only P1,000,” Gordon pointed out.

He, however, said Dominguez told him that there might be a need for budgetary support so as not to shorten the agency’s fund life.

“I think we’re all looking at our previous experience with the SSS which is abysmal. They have billions in non-performing assets, they have very well-paid executives but they’ve not done their job. Now, they have a new board, I thought they will be aggressive,” he said.

“The board must also show their efficiency to collect dues and maximize their assets so they can increase their life (actuarial). Government and private sector must generate more jobs and foreign direct investments,” Gordon added.

“Maybe they should be a little more aggressive like investing in PPP (Private-public partnership) which is guaranteed by the government, instead of just T-bills (Treasury bills) which has a low yield,” he said.

“I beg the President, that the 2029 fear that the SSS would go bankrupt, you can correct it along the way,” then candidate Duterte said in an interview January last year addressing his eventual predecessor Noynoy Aquino who first vetoed the Congress proposal for a SSS pension hike.

Not my money — Rody



Mr. Duterte, in an interview last week with state-run PTV 4, said his economic managers advised him to defer the increase in SSS pension until Congress approves revenue-enhancing measures and higher member contributions.
“I promised that it would come your way before the year ends. I’m very sorry but that’s how it is. I do not own the money,” Mr. Duterte said.

“The problem really is that the government assures everybody that SSS will remain solvent for all times. So just in case there will be severe shortages, it’s not a sovereign thing... But it’s a legal guarantee of a government that created another agency under its wings. You know, if anything goes there, it will be passed on to the taxpayers, those who are not members,” he added.

Dominguez, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director General Ernesto Pernia submitted to Mr. Duterte a memo warning of the possible consequences of the pension increase on the actuarial life of the SSS fund as Mr. Duterte was about to sign the law mandating SSS to hike pensions by P2,000.

The President’s economic aides pointed out the possible bankruptcy of the pension fund sometime in the next decade and an immediate increase in the agency’s outstanding liabilities from P3.5 trillion to P5.9 trillion.

Groups pushing for the SSS pension hike which was first thumbed down by former President Benigno Aquino III last year, however, urged Mr. Duterte to shun his economic advisers’ worries and listen instead to the appeals made by pensioners who are mostly ageing.

Bagong Alysanang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said that their fellow militants are mounting protest actions to prompt the Chief Executive to fulfill his promise.

“President Duterte, listen to the appeals of the senior citizens and the workers and not to your neoliberal economic managers,” Reyes said, adding that – as then President-elect Duterte himself said in May last year – the pension hike are for the elderly who needs to purchase medicines.

PARTY-LIST REP. COLMENARES

One of the pension hike’s leading proponents, former Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares challenged Mr. Duterte not to parrot what former President Aquino did in vetoing the first hike attempt.

“The concerns raised by Duterte’s administration were the same as the one raised by Aquino’s. I was surprised by questions raised by economic managers. These were the same questions raised by the previous SSS administration,” Colmenares said yesterday in a television interview.

The former lawmaker also stressed that the “old argument” of bankruptcy isn’t the “real deal” regarding the issue.
“In 2001, SSS declared that it has a fund life of only five years and yet it was able to increase this to 2042 in just 14 years. If it previously survived a five-year fund life, then surely it can also survive a 14-year fund life,” he explained.

“It is the responsibility of the SSS to prolong the life of its beneficiaries and not to expand its funds,” Colmenares added.

The option to increase SSS collections, Colmenares also pointed out, should not be pushed through, as well.

“Raising the SSS contribution rate should be the last resort. Why come up with a new SSS contribution rate when you can’t collect the old contribution?” the former solon said. Last modified on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 11:34 Published in Headlines


PHILSTAR

SSS: No compromise on contribution increase for pension hike By Prinz Magtulis (philstar.com) | Updated January 4, 2017 - 5:15pm 1 11 googleplus0 0

I
n a bid to raise more funding, SSS Chair Amado Valdez earlier laid out plans for the agency to invest into public-private partnership projects to have a consistent revenue stream. File

MANILA, Philippines — There is no minimum increase in pension which the Social Security System (SSS) can absorb without a corresponding member contribution hike, the agency's president said.

"I don't think we have that option," SSS President and CEO Emmanuel Dooc told reporters on Wednesday.

"We have to compare the benefits paid versus the contributions received. Even on account of just giving P1,000 or P500 we stand to lose money," he said in a briefing.


PHOTO COURTESY OF ABS-CBN

Last October, SSS Chair Amado Valdez proposed a staggered increase of P500 over four years as the best option to push through with the hike, without a contribution hike.

However, that was before the economic managers opposed it without an offsetting measure, contained into two joint congressional resolutions now sitting on President Rodrigo Duterte's desk.

Duterte himself admitted last week he could not fulfill his campaign promise to the detriment of taxpayers who are bound to shoulder an additional P32 billion on the first year of the increase alone.

Dooc reiterated that a rise to 17 from 11 percent on monthly contributions is needed so that the fund will not get depleted 10 years earlier as a result of the pension hike.

"I think there is no question that we are all in favor of giving the increase, but of course, as a responsible body, the commission and also the SSS, we would only give the additional benefit, provided we can source the fund," he said.

In 2015, SSS net revenues went down 8.5 percent year-on-year, data showed. As of October last year, it stood at P30.51 billion.

Investments reached P470.19 billion, with an average return of investment slightly down to 7 percent from 7.04 percent same period in 2015.

LONG-TERM NEEDS

Dooc said that without the member contribution increase, the fund would be forced to dip into its investment funds, meant to support the long-term needs of SSS.

For her part, Marissa Bugante, vice-president for public affairs and special events, the contribution increase has been on the table for a long time already.

"Even without the increase of pension, part of the SSS reform agenda is to gradually increase the contribution... There are structural defects that we need to fix," she said in the same briefing.

In fact, Dooc said the fund even plans to index both the contribution rate and the pension to inflation so that they both increase together with the rise in consumer prices.

"Hopefully, we can go that direction, but we have to work on the formula on how to arrive to that. That will be in the pipeline on proposed amendments (to our Charter)," he said.

This will come on top of a proposed lifting of maximum salary credit to P20,000 from P16,000 so that those with higher income will pay higher contributions.

In a bid to raise more funding, Valdez earlier laid out plans for the SSS to invest into public-private partnership projects, toll roads and even utilities to have a consistent revenue stream.

Dooc said these are "non-conventional investments" being studied.

"We may need some legislative amendments to help strengthen the SSS," he said.

"We also do not want that every time there is a clamor for a higher pension, our answer will be to add contributions. We have to prove we can also source funds," he added.


PHILSTAR

DOF: Pension hike, freeze on land conversion could derail pro-poor programs By Prinz Magtulis (philstar.com) | Updated January 6, 2017 - 2:44pm 2 1 googleplus0 1


Benigno Aquino III vetoed the pension increase when he was president and suffered the political fallout of the decision. Michael Varcas, file photo

MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of Finance warned on Friday of "disastrous" consequences if populist measures on a two-year land conversion moratorium and Social Security System pension increase without contribution hike are pursued.

"We need to invest big in (infrastructure), human capital and social protection...Hence the need to generate a lot more funds to bankroll these pro-poor and pro-growth programs," Finance spokesperson Paola Alvarez said in a statement.

"The government certainly cannot do so if the president's economic team were to support populist proposals willy-nilly just to earn political pogi points for the Duterte administration," Alvarez, PDP-Laban spokesperson during the 2016 election campaign, added.

READ MORE...

Revenues, in particular, will take a hit as taxpayers may be forced to fund the proposed P2,000 increase in SSS pensions without corresponding adjustment in members' contributions.

Meanwhile, Alvarez said, preventing the development of farm lands for better use, "would undermine the growth momentum."

The statement came after activist group Bayan Muna criticized the economic managers for allegedly feeding President Duterte wrong information on the SSS plan, which was part of Duterte's campaign promise.

They remarked these were the same officials that opposed the proposed land conversion moratorium for two years by the Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, himself a leftist leader prior to entering the Cabinet.

The government's economic team includes the DOF, the Department of Budget and Management and the National Economic and Development Authority.


ALVAREZ

Alvarez said all policy recommendations to Malacañang are studied carefully.

"(These) are anchored on sustaining high growth and enabling all sectors across all regions to benefit from it in the form of more jobs, higher incomes and better living standards," she said.

Citing the government's 10-point socioeconomic agenda, Alvarez said big-ticket projects nationwide would need "more, not less, funds" which will not be attained with the two proposed measures.

Without more revenues, the Duterte administration could end up doing a "disservice" to the public, she said.

The contentious SSS pension increase was vetoed by President Benigno Aquino III, who suffered a political fallout for asking for a contribution increase in exchange.

Duterte, during his campaign, promised to pursue the measure, only to backtrack later on upon the advice of his economic managers. Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno explained that candidate Duterte is "different" from President Duterte.

Vice President Leni Robredo, who was head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council for a few months, earlier also opposed the moratorium on land conversion as this could hamper the government's housing program.

"To pander to short-term populist initiatives will be a disservice to the president and the overwhelming majority of Filipinos who have given him the electoral mandate to effect real change," Alvarez said.

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

RELATED EARLIER NEWS FROM RAPPLER.COM

Ahead of SSS move, Senate approves P1,000 pension hike Camille Elemia @CamilleElemia Published 8:51 PM, December 14, 2016 Updated 8:51 PM, December 14, 2016

The chamber adopts the resolution in anticipation of the release of the fund, which the SSS has scheduled before yearend anyway


RESOLUTION. The Senate rushed the approval of the resolution for the immediate release of the first tranche of the P1,000 SSS pension hike this December.

MANILA, Philippines – On its last session day for 2016, the Senate rushed the approval of a resolution for the immediate release of the first tranche of the P1,000 monthly pension hike for Social Security Service (SSS) members.

The resolution had no number nor an actual document when the Senate passed it on Wednesday, December 14. The chamber adopted it in anticipation of the release of the fund, which the SSS had scheduled before yearend.

Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the committee on government corporations and public enterprises, sponsored the measure.

“[To] manifest the sense of the Senate to increase the monthly pension of all SSS pensioners by P1,000 effective immediately,” Gordon said in his sponsorship speech.

Asked why they rushed the passage of the resolution, Gordon said the Senate does not want to get left behind because the SSS, even without the document, is set to give the increase this month.

“I already talked to the SSS. They are ready to give it by December. Kung di namin gagawin, ilalabas nila, maiiwan kami sa pansitan. Eh gusto naman talaga ng senador ibigay,” Gordon said in an interview after the session. (If we don't issue a resolution, we'll get left behind. Because they are going to release [the pension hike], and the senators want to give that anyway.)

'DUTY BOUND;

With the resolution, Gordon said the SSS is already “duty-bound” to implement the hike.

A joint resolution on the P2,000 SSS pension hike is pending before the House of Representatives (Joint Resolution 10) and the Senate (Joint Resolution 5). The House approved it on 2nd reading on Wednesday. The Senate is set to tackle it when session resumes in January 2017.

Under legislative rules, a joint resolution is just like a bill, which requires the approval of both chambers and the signature of the President. It has the force and effect of a law if approved.

“There is no real difference between a bill and a joint resolution. The latter generally is used when dealing with a single item or issue, such as a continuing or emergency appropriations bill. Joint resolutions are also used for proposing amendments to the Constitution,” Senate rules say.

During the 16th Congress or before his term ended, then President Benigno Aquino III rejected the approved bill increasing the pension by P2,000, saying the proposal would empty SSS coffers. – Rappler.com


GO TO > > HEADLINE NEWS PAGE ONE

GO TO > > NEXT HEADLINE NEWS

GO TO >> PRESIDENT DU30 NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

GO TO > > BUSINESS PAGE

GO TO > > PHNO TRAVEL/LFESTYLE/TIMPLA'T TIKIM


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

 EMAIL:  PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE 
© Copyright, 2016 All rights reserved


BACK TO PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE