by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed the law abolishing the controversial Road Board.
The Republic Act 11239 was enacted on March 8, according to the document released by Malacañang on Tuesday (March 19).
The newly-signed law abolishes the Road Board which previously managed the road user’s tax or Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) for repair and maintenance of roads.
Under the measure, the monies collected from the MVUC will now be remitted to the National Treasury Bureau under a special account in the General Fund.
The law states that the collected fund “should be earmarked solely for the construction, upgrading, repair and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, and road drainage to be included in the yearly General Appropriations Act.”
A Congressional Oversight Committee will also be established to monitor the implementation of this act and the use of special funds.
The committee shall be composed of five members each from the Lower House and Senate to be appointed by the Speaker of the House and Senate President, respectively.
The panel must have one member each from the minority groups and will be jointly chaired by a designated member of the House of Representatives and a Senator.
The law stated that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall, as needed, absorb the employees of the abolished Road Board Secretariat, without diminution of their salaries and other benefits.
Employees who are separated from the service as a result of the abolition of the Road Board and its secretariat shall receive separation benefits provided that those who are qualified to retire under existing laws shall be allowed to retire and receive retirement benefits to which they may be entitled under applicable laws, rules and regulations.
The law also mandates the transfer of Road Board rights, records, assets and liabilities to the DPWH, including the unexpended appropriations or allocations.
The Secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shall craft the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) within 30 days from the effectivity of this act.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for the abolition of the Road Board, calling the agency a “milking cow” of corrupt government officials.
In 2018, the Commission on Audit flagged Road Board’s billions of pesos worth of unobligated projects and millions of pesos of excessive costs and overpayment. – Robie de Guzman
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Canada has committed to resolve its trash dumping issue with the Philippines.
The Embassy of Canada in the Philippines released a statement on Wednesday (April 24) after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to wage war if Canada will not take its garbage back.
“Canada is strongly committed to collaborating with the Government of the Philippines to resolve this issue and is aware of the court decision ordering the importer to ship the material back to Canada,” the Embassy said in a statement posted on its Facebook account.
The Embassy added that: “A joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of the waste with a view to a timely resolution.”
On Tuesday (April 23), President Duterte issued a warning to Canada for its failure to remove its trash illegally exported to the country.
The President said he would no longer allow Canada to turn the Philippines into a “dumpsite.”
”For Canada’s garbage, I want a boat prepared. I will give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail to Canada and dump their garbage there,” the President said.
“We will declare war. Load the containers to a ship and advise Canada. I will advise Canada that, ‘Your garbage is on the way. Prepare a grand reception. Eat it if you want to,’” he added.
It was between 2013 to 2014 when the Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted a total of 103 containers of mixed wastes shipment from Canada declared as “recyclable scrap plastics” but actually contained household trash, newspapers, plastic bottles and bags, and even used adult diapers.
During his visit to the Philippines to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to cooperate with the Philippine government in resolving the offending shipment.
Trudeau, however, said the Philippines and Canadian governments need to settle issues including who will pay for the shipment of the illegal trash to the country.
In its statement, the Embassy reiterated the Canadian government’s commitment “to working collaboratively with the Government of the Philippines to ensure the material is processed in an environmentally responsible way.”
The embassy added that the relationship between the two countries “is built on strong people to people ties, common interest in strengthening political, economic and cultural relations, and in mutual commitment to peace” and is highly valued as the two countries celebrate their 70 years of diplomatic relations this year. — Marje Pelayo
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that ISIS will never gain foothold anywhere in the Philippines.
During his speech in Jolo, Sulu on Tuesday (April 9) in commemoration of the Day of Valor, he said that the government is close to crushing violent extremism and is pleased with the military efforts against the Abu Sayyaf Group.
“Your efforts have brought us even closer to our ultimate objective of totally crushing the violent extremism at its roots. With this, I can confidently declare that ISIS will never gain foothold anywhere in the Philippines,” he said.
ISIS-linked militants held Marawi City hostage back in 2017. The military was able to retake the city after five months killing almost 900 insurgents including Isnilon Hapilon, considered leader of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia.
The Chief Executive assured that he will continue the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) while he is still in office. He will also provide assistance to the military and their families.
He committed to release P500 million fund for the military.
“I will continue to release 500 more and 500 more millions to my soldierswho do something for their country. I will see to it that you will have funds when you retire and that your school—your children and their schooling will be assured even if we are no longer there either by natural or by any other means of saying goodbye to this world. I have your back covered,” the president said.
The Chief Executive is eyeing on appointing former military officials to government posts. However, he denied using the military to empower himself.
He said that he prefers the military because he has seen failure and corruption in the bureaucracy.
“Hindi ako sabihin na pinapalakas ko ang sarili ko sa (I am not empowering myself using the) military because I do not need that. The people elected me. But I have a special fondness for the military for being fundamentally honest at (and) industrious. Kaya as you would see, the next few officials coming in would be military guys,” he added.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is prepared to adhere to the rule of law should a revolutionary government be declared in the country.
According to PNP Pcol. Bernard Banac, it is the mandate of the national police to maintain peace and order in the country.
“Sineseryoso ng PNP ang lahat ng banta sa seguridad, at peace and order, base sa aming mandato (Based on our mandate, the PNP is taking all threats seriously, and [maintaining] peace and order). The PNP shall always stand behind the flag and uphold the Constitution. We adhere to the rule of law and obey legal orders of the duly constituted authorities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the President’s threat about forming a revolutionary government is due to his frustration on what is happening in the country.
“What I know though, is that he is getting exasperated by and frustrated with endless roadblocks to his attempts to protect the people’s interests,” he said in a text message.
He added that the President knows the limitations of his authority.
“As a lawyer the president knows the scope and limitations of his constitutional powers and he will act in accordance therewith,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also said that the President’s statement on forming a revolutionary government is out of frustration in all of the country’s problems including illegal drugs, corruption, and rebellion of communist groups.
Malacañang also clarified that the President’s warning in declaring a revolutionary government is not against the public but against the government’s enemies.
“It was more of an exasperated expression and I to put on notice against the transgressors that he will not just sit idly, and watch them do their illegal things,” Panelo said.
Meanwhile, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia said the President’s warning has no legal basis and does not follow logic.
“First of all, there is absolutely no legal, constitutional, & factual basis to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Secondly, his reaction to the cautionary criticism of the opposition is non-sequitur,” he said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
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