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Gov’t officials, workers get salary increase today

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, March 29th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Government employees and officials are expected to get their salary increase for three months on Friday (March 29).

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) officer-in-charge Janet Abuel, through National Budget Circular no. 575, announced the “implementation of the fourth-tranche compensation adjustment for civilian personnel in the national government.”

Abuel emphasized in her circular that government agencies are directed to use “any available appropriations under the 2018 General Appropriations Act, as reenacted” for the increase” as mandated under Executive Order 76 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 15.

With the new salary adjustment, President Duterte is expected to receive a total of P399,739 monthly salary from P298,083 last year.

Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin will receive a maximum monthly salary of P353,470 this year, an increase by more than P88,000 from P264,721 last year.

Cabinet members, other officials with Cabinet rank, senators and congressmen, meanwhile, will receive a P72,000 increase. Their monthly pay will now be P292.191 from last year’s P223,590.

Teachers and nurses will now get P22,829 adjusted pay rate for earnings ranging from P20,179 to P22,055 last year.

On January 15, 2018, the military and uniformed personnel received their salary increase as part of President Duterte’s promise since he took over as president in 2016. – Marje Pelayo



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President Duterte also has a right to privacy—DOJ

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets members of Japan’s House of Councillors during their courtesy call together with Japan House of Councillors President Chuichi Date, at the Malacañan Palace on January 8, 2019. RENE LUMAWAG/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte also enjoys the right to privacy under the Constitution, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

In a text message, the Justice Secretary said the president will only be obligated to disclose his health to the public if he is suffering a serious illness.

“The Constitution requires the President to divulge any serious illness on his part. But if the illness is not serious enough to affect the discharge of his official functions, the President has no duty to inform anyone,” he said.

Guevarra added that if Duterte’s illness will not disrupt his duty as president, the he is not obligated to inform the public.

During the weekend, there were rumors circulating that President Duterte was confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Center. However, on Sunday (May 19), former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go posted photos of him and President Duterte enjoying breakfast.

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Former Senator Alvarez withdraws from congressional race

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Former Senator Heherson Alvarez (Photo courtesy: Dayao Ti Amianan)

Former Senator Heherson Alvarez has withdrawn his bid for a congressional seat in the 4th congressional district of Isabela, two days ahead of the May 13 Midterm Elections.

In his statement released on Saturday (May 11), Alvarez who “had hoped that this election would have been (his) last effort to render public service after several decades of cumulative experience,” said that the blatant practice of vote-buying had led to his decision to withdraw.

The former lawmaker claimed that “the massive and overwhelming vote-buying makes the electoral process a sham.”

He added that “vote-buying is vote-killing and it is as destructive to our democracy as drug is as destructive to our physical well-being.”

Alvarez also said that he “cannot continue in this political exercise that violates (the) precious political freedom of choice of leaders.”

He called on the public to renounce, denounce and withdraw tolerance on vote-buying lest the country withers away because of it.

He also cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning to jail the perpetrators of vote-buying and to “make those who undermine our free suffrage accountable to our laws and constitution.”

The former senator also thanked the President for his endorsement as the standard bearer of Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Isabela’s 4th congressional district.

He also made an appeal for the people to “stand up and assist the President to strengthen our democratic system.” /mbmf

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Duterte advises Filipinos to ‘follow rules’ on Election Day

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The 2019 Midterm polls is only three days away, and with this, President Rodrigo Duterte reminds all political candidates and voters to “just follow (election) rules” on Monday (May 13).

The last day of campaigning is on Saturday (May 11) and the President is expected to join the meeting de avance of his party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Pasig City.

“I promised the people that this election and every other election that will take place during my time, or (under) my watch — you just follow rules. It’s when you start to break rules (that’s when problems start). Sundin mo lang ang batas at walang problema, (Abide by the law and (we’ll) have no problem),” the President stressed.

The Chief Executive also advised both admin and opposition candidates to respect each other’s respective ideals and positions on public issues.

“This is for my candidates and for the opposition. Everybody’s stand or position must be respected. That is the rule in this country. This is democracy,” he emphasized.

President Duterte is likely to stay in Davao City on the day of the election on Monday where he is also expected to cast his vote.

The President said he leaves it to the people to decide on the election day emphasizing that he has no intention of convincing anyone to vote for the candidates he endorses.

“Let’s talk about national candidates. It’s up to you if you believe it or not. I won’t try to convince you. I’m not going to say, ‘vote for these candidates,’” he said.

President Duterte believes that not all of his senatorial bets will win the election but he reiterates to all Filipino voters to think it over and carefully list down their preferences before they go out to vote.

“I know you have about 12. I do not think that… Well, on the law of averages, I do not think that this 12 will make it,” President Duterte said.

“But kung ito lang man ipalit ninyo, you better think, please. (But if you would replace them with just anyone, you better think, please.) Think hard and sleep on it tonight. It’s (the election is) just around the corner,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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