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Malacañang suspends gov’t work on January 2, 2019

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

(file photo)

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang suspends work in government offices, including government-owned or controlled corporations, government financial institutions, state universities and colleges, local government units on January 2, 2019.

Based on Memorandum Circular Number 54 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, this is to give government employees the full opportunity to celebrate the holidays with their families and loved ones.

The government has also declared January 1, 2019 a regular holiday.

However, agencies whose functions involve the delivery of basic and health services, and disaster preparedness and response shall continue with their operations.

Malacañang, meanwhile, leaves the discretion of suspending work in other branches of government, independent commissions and private companies to its respective heads and management – UNTV News and Rescue

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PH respects US work visa ban; eyes appeal if baseless

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

(L-R) The American flag and the Philippine flag

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Tuesday (January 22) said it respects the decision of the United States government to impose a one-year ban for Filipino applicants of US work visas.

“(The President says) whatever your laws are, we will never intrude into that. The same way that whatever laws we have, we will enforce it. So if that is the law in the US and there were violations, then we have to respect. They have basis for that. we will only react if our workers are mistreated, maltreated or being discriminated against. But if they violated the laws of the US, then they have to face the music,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.

However, Panelo said, the Palace is yet to verify the basis of the US Department of Homeland Security for issuing such order.

“What we can do is first, we need to know whether there is basis for their decision. If we can see na wala naman (there’s none), then we will ask for a reconsideration,” he said adding that it is up for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the US Ambassador to the Philippines to discuss the matter.\

On its website federalregister.gov, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) removed the Philippines from its list of countries eligible for the H-2A and H-2B visas along with Ethiopia and Dominican Republic citing overstaying and human trafficking concerns.

Panelo said the Palace is yet to receive a report from the US Embassy as to the exact details of the ban.

The Presidential Spokesperson added that once the report reaches them, that’s the time that the government will make a move officially according to the situation.

In response to the issue, the DFA reminds Filipinos overseas, particularly those in the US, “to follow immigration rules and avoid staying beyond what is allowed in their visas.”

“As visa issuances are a country’s prerogative, the DFA notes the concerns that led the DHS to arrive at its decision. Nonetheless, the Philippines is open to the possibility of working with the United States in addressing these issues, as it has previously done so with similar concerns involving the Filipino Community there,” the DFA said in a statement.

“The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. along with the other Philippine Consulates General in the US, will continue to extend appropriate assistance to all its nationals pursuant to law,” the agency concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz / JL Asayo)

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Malacañang confident Congress will pass 2019 national budget

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang believes there is no need to pressure Congress to pass the proposed 2019 national budget.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lawmakers themselves know very well how important the passage of the measure is for the overall state of the country.

“I am sure they will be passing that naman. They are all concerned with the services, the infrastructures that will be affected,” Panelo said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III previously said the Senate targets to pass the measure on the second and third reading before the end of January.

House Minority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. already filed a petition for mandamus in the Supreme Court (SC) to compel Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to release the fund for the salary increase of government personnel.

Diokno argued, however, that such a request has no legal basis unless the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Act is passed.

Once enacted, the fourth tranche of wage hike for government workers will be enforced specifically for teachers, soldiers and police.

“If the budget is approved, then the petition becomes moot and academic,” Panelo said.

When asked if Malacañang feels confident that the national budget will be approved, Panelo said, ” “I think so. I was with the Speaker Arroyo. She mentioned that most likely it will pass,” — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Palace unworried over travel advisories vs. Mindanao travel

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is unfazed by the travel advisories released by United Kingdom and Australia to their nationals against travel to Mindanao.

This is due to a bombing incident at a mall in Cotabato City.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that it is only normal for foreign governments to be concerned over the security of their citizens.

The palace defended that the Cotabato blast is an isolated case.

“But yun ay isolated case lang naman, so, in so far as the national defense secretary is concern, it’s very safe to travel sa Mindanao,” said Panelo. — UNTV News & Rescue

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