MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) is fast-tracking the full implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or the national ID under Republic Act No. 11055.
This is to improve future targeting and distribution of financial assistance to poor and low-income households, the agency said.
Part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to PSA is the immediate activation the national ID system.
It is also part of the President’s latest report to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee.
The PSA targets to register around 5 million low-income households by December 2020.
Meanwhile, the agency plans to kick-start the registration process by October 2020 in all 46 registration centers and 1,170 mobile registration centers nationwide.
It is also coordinating with the Landbank of the Philippines to be able to utilize its 126 branches as additional registration centers for PhilSys.
The President signed the PhilSys Act in August 2018. MNP (with information from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expects to complete the data on the overall impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the Philippine economy by end of April.
According to NEDA Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, such data is necessary in crafting a comprehensive recovery plan to bounce back from the crisis.
Aside from the ongoing consumer and businesses surveys that the agency is currently doing, it also plans to roll out a wider survey for that matter.
“By the end of the month, malalaman na natin ang impact or ang total effect ng ating virus problem (By the end of the month, we will be able to measure the impact or the total effect of the virus [on our economy]),” Chua said.
“Base diyan, kung may evidence na tayo ay makakapag-craft po tayo ng maganda at angkop na recovery plan (From there, with evidence at hand,we will be able to craft a comprehensive and appropriate recovery plan),” he assured.
Meanwhile, in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte, NEDA is pursuing the registration of five million Filipinos this year in view of the implementation of a National ID system through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
This is to facilitate the speedy distribution of government aid to the intended beneficiaries.
“Sila ay pwede pong makilala na sa mga iba’t ibang social amelioration programs (It would be a way to identify them for social amelioration programs),” Chua noted.
“Puwede rin po silang magbukas ng bank account para iyong pagbibigay ng tulong, hindi na cash and door-to-door, (It will allow them to open a bank account for the aid instead of cash or door-to-door),” he added.
Chua said the agency is currently facilitating the expeditious procurement of materials and equipment necessary to kick start the mass registration preferably in June or July.
The official stressed, however, that the timeline will depend on the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
NEDA is targeting to register 80 to 90 million Filipinos before the end of the Duterte administration. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Wednesday approved on second reading a bill that seeks to strengthen the country’s fight against terrorism.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who authored and sponsored the bill, said Senate Bill 1083 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 seeks to provide “a clear, concise, balanced and rational anti-terrorism law that adheres to regional and international standards.”
The bill includes a new section on foreign terrorist fighters to cover Filipino nationals who commit terrorist offenses abroad.
“With (Senate Bill 1083), we can be sure that whether the terroristic act is committed here or abroad, the perpetrator shall be within the arms of the law once he or she comes to our country,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.
He also said that the new anti-terror bill seeks to repeal the existing Human Security Act of 2007, which “did virtually nothing to deter participation in the plotting of terroristic acts.”
The measure also introduces provisions penalizing those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation, and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.
“As a responsible member of the community of nations, we are duty-bound to improve our laws to ensure that we can implement UN Security Council Resolutions, meet international standards, and fulfill state obligations with the United Nations,” Lacson said.
The measure proposes the establishment of Philippine jurisdiction over Filipino nationals who may join and fight with terrorist organizations outside the Philippines.
It would also ensure that foreign terrorists do not use the country as a transit point, a safe haven to plan and train new recruits for terrorist attacks in other countries.
“We send a strong message to them: You are not welcome here. If you dare set foot in our country, you will be dealt with the full power of our laws,” Lacson said, adding that the penalty of life imprisonment without the benefit of parole will be meted out to them.
The bill also removed the provision on payment of P500,000 damages per day of detention of any person acquitted of terrorism charges.
But the number of days a suspected person can be detained without a warrant of arrest is 14 calendar days, extendable by 10 days.
Despite being a tougher anti-terror law, Lacson assured the measure has enough safeguards against possible abuses by arresting officers and that amendments were crafted to ensure that the rights and wellbeing of the accused individuals or suspected terrorists inside jail facilities are protected.
The bill also introduced a new provision, designating certain Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) as Anti-Terror Courts, to ensure the speedy disposition of cases.
The use of videoconferencing for the accused and witnesses to remotely appear and testify will also be allowed under the measure.
The bill also provides for the police or the military to conduct 60-day surveillance on suspected terrorists, which may be lengthened to another non-extendable period of 30 days, provided that they secure a judicial authorization from the Court of Appeals (CA).
Any law enforcement or military personnel found to have violated the rights of the accused persons shall be penalized with imprisonment of 10 years, the senator said.
To allay concerns of possible excesses by the authorities, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) shall be notified in case of detention of a suspected terrorist.
The measure also mandates the CHR to give the highest priority to the investigation and prosecution of violations of civil and political rights of persons and shall have the concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute public officials, law enforcers and other persons who may have violated the civil and political rights of suspects and detained persons.
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