Filipinos want to hear about jobs, economy, inflation in Duterte’s last SONA — Pulse Asia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 26, 2021   •   202

MANILA, Philippines — Among the top issues that Filipinos want to hear during President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) are jobs, economy, and inflation according to the recent Pulse Asia Survey.

According to the June 2021 Nationwide Survey on SONA, topping the list of issues that Filipino adults would like to hear President Duterte discuss in his last SONA are jobs or livelihood (38%) and the Philippine economy (35%).

Other issues include measures to control inflation (33%) and plans to expedite the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program (31%).

Filipinos also want to hear about increasing workers’ pay (26%), improving the educational system (26%), and measures to be taken to prevent further Chinese incursion into the country’s territory in the West Philippine Sea (25%).

Meanwhile, a big majority of Filipino adults (69%) have heard, read, or watched any of the past SONAs delivered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte before Congress.

Awareness is more notable in Metro Manila (83%) and Mindanao (87%) than in the rest of Luzon (55%) and the Visayas (62%).

The nationwide survey is based on a sample of 2,400 representative adults 18 years old and above conducted from June 7 – 16, 2021 using face-to-face interviews. AAC

Duterte orders SolGen to ask COA to audit PH Red Cross

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Solicitor General Jose Calida to write to Commission on Audit (COA) chair Michael Aguinaldo requesting an audit of the Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) financial records.

“I am ordering SolGen, si Calida, to write [COA chief] Aguinaldo a letter. Ask Aguinaldo to immediately conduct an audit diyan sa Red Cross. Ang hinihintay ko lang, the next step would really be the letter to be delivered by COA,” the President said during his pre-taped public address aired on Thursday (September 16).

The PRC is led by Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon committee that is investigating the government’s use of pandemic funds.

The Chief Executive once again slammed  Gordon for the latter’s Senate probe into the government’s purchase of alleged overpriced medical goods last year.

Duterte had previously accused Gordon of using the PRC as his ‘milking cow’ in his previous election campaigns which led to a call for an audit of the humanitarian organization.

Duterte yet to greenlight DepEd’s proposed pilot face-to-face classes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has reacted positively to the possibility of a pilot study on face-to-face classes but he has not yet given his “go signal” for its implementation, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a public briefing on Monday.

The proposed pilot classes will be held in areas with low coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases or in low-risk areas.

“Nag-report po si Secretary Briones kay Presidente at si Presidente naman po ay positive ang kaniyang reaksyon doon sa possibility na magkakaroon po tayo ng pilot study on a limited basis (Secretary Briones reported to the president and his reaction is positive on the possibility of conducting pilot study on a limited basis),” he said.

DepEd is eyeing to hold a dry-run of limited in-person classes in some 150 schools in areas where there is low COVID-19 risk.

Briones said they are still studying the readiness of the pilot areas and the health protocols that must be applied during the conduct of classes.

Roque said a final decision is yet to be made as to when the pilot classes will push through.

Positive naman po ang reaksyon pero wala pa pong ‘go signal’. So naghahanda pa tayo sa pilot pero wala pang actual go signal (The reaction is positive but there is no ‘go signal’. We are preparing for pilot classes but no actual go signal),” Roque said.

On Monday, classes in public and private schools officially opened where 24,603,822 learners enrolled. AAC

Lacson claps back at Duterte’s statement that Senate inquiries are all in vain

Maris Federez   •   August 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has belied the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that inquiries conducted by the Senate never ended up going anywhere.

Lacson said the general public has been enjoying a significant number of laws that the Senate has enacted based on the inquiries and investigations conducted by the upper chamber of Congress.

The Senator, in a seeming swipe at the President, told the chief executive to review the separation of powers in government.

“Magbasa rin muna siya tungkol sa doktrina ng Separation of Powers at Checks and Balances ng Ehekutibo, Kongreso at Hudikatura bago niya kami pakialaman sa Senado,” Lacson said.

The President, Lacson said, should instead focus his attention on the performance of the Cabinet, not just in addressing the pandemic but also in other aspects of governance.

“Sa halip, asikasuhin niya ang mga kakulangan ng sangay ng gobyerno na kanyang pinamumunuan na hitik sa incompetence at corruption, hindi lang sa pagtugon sa pandemya kundi sa maraming aspeto ng governance,” he said.

Lacson also expressed his disappointment that the President has been the one defending his officials who are the subject of their investigation, instead of being the one to charge these officials for their inaction or poor performance.

“Kaya hindi nakakasuhan ang ilang matataas na opisyal na naging subject ng pag-iimbestiga namin ay dahil ipinagtatanggol niya sa halip na makasuhan,” he said.

“Hindi trabaho ng Senado ang magsampa ng demanda. Trabaho ng Executive Branch iyon. Judiciary naman ang magpapakulong. Mahirap bang i-memorize yan?” Lacson added. —/mbmf

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