Duterte certifies as urgent Senate bill creating Department of Overseas Filipinos

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 16, 2020   •   689

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent Senate Bill No. 1949 which seeks to create a Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOOF).

In a letter addressed to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, the President said the proposed department aims to ease the burden of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by providing a more effective and ‘whole-of-government’ approach to safeguard their rights, welfare, and interest.

If created, the DOOF shall also formulate, promote, administer, and implement policies, as well as undertake systematic national development programs for managing and monitoring the overseas or foreign employment of Filipino workers.

The said bill has passed the House of Representatives but remains pending in the Senate.

PH to expand vaccination rollout for minors in 13 more hospitals

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines will expand its vaccination rollout for minors, aged 12 to 17, to 13 more hospitals.

President Rodrigo Duterte during his Talk to the People on Tuesday (October 19) announced that 13 more hospitals will participate in the vaccination program for the said age group.

“We will expand the vaccination of this adolescent age group of 12 to 17 by adding 13 more hospitals in the NCR. Currently, we have an initial eight participating hospitals and we hope to expand this number [of hospitals] and we also welcome the arrival of additional vaccines in the coming days,” Duterte said.

National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said they are raising their daily vaccination target to 1.5 million.

“We will be opening the general population, then the pilot of children vaccination, and we are ramping up the vaccination of students, teachers, and tourism personnel, OFWs, and seafarers,” he said.

Galvez said they  can accelerate the vaccination of children to support the opening of the classes and economic recovery.

Around 1,500 minors with comorbidities were vaccinated during the pilot vaccination in eight hospitals, the Department of Health (DOH) reported. Among those inoculated, only four experienced minor side effects. AAC

 

Duterte takes blame for lack of vaccine supply in early 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has taken the blame for the Philippines’ vaccine shortage in the early months of 2021.

During his weekly public address on Monday evening (October 11), Duterte lamented that it was difficult to get vaccines back then especially when the country has no vaccine manufacturing company. He said that the country had to fight with other nations just to get supplies.

Duterte added that he deserves the blame since he is the one seated in office.

Iyan ang nakabigay ng problema sa akin at kung mayroon man nagkasala diyan, aminin ko na lang. Kasi wala rin ako magawa, gusto ko bumili, wala naman ako mabilihan,” he said.

However, the chief executive said the vaccine supply in the country has improved which helped bring down the number of cases.

He reported that the weekly average of new COVID-19 cases has dropped to less than 10,000 while the current reproduction rate of the virus has gone down to .77 percent.

“If we continue to ramp up the vaccination of our people, along with our consistent practice of mask and there is gradual resumption of our economic activities, then we can hope for a better and truly merry Christmas,” he said. AAC

Lacson-Sotto tandem files COC for president, VP bids

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday filed their certificates of candidacies (COC) to run for president and vice president, respectively, in the 2022 national elections.

Lacson and Sotto filed their COCs past 11 a.m.

This is Lacson’s second try at seeking the presidential post after a failed bid nearly two decades ago.

Should they win the election next year, the lawmakers said they will intensify efforts against corruption and illegal drugs and ensure proper balance in the use of national budget.

“Kung ipagkakaloob ng Dios na ang Lacson-Sotto tandem ang mapipiling mamuno isang disiplanong burukrasya ang paiiralin, kabilang na ang maayos na paggastos ng pambansang budget upang makaabot ang biyaya at kaunlaran sa mga liblib na lugar ng bansa,” Lacson said during a short interview with the media after their COC filing.

“If we hold the reigns of the executive department we will able to execute it well. We know the ails, we know the solutions, balance the budget, budget reform, reign the money to the people, enhance the fight in illegal drugs by more emphasis on demand with reduction strategy,” Sotto said.

Lacson is running under the Demokratikong Reporma Party while Sotto is under the Nationalist People’s Coalition. Both lawmakers sit as chairmen of their respective parties.

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