Palace confirms suspension of loans and deals with countries backing UN rights probe

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 23, 2019   •   753

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Malacañang confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a memorandum suspending loans and deals with countries backing the Iceland resolution.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo recently denied that there was such order but he corrected himself earlier on Monday (September 23).

“When I asked him [Duterte], he said ‘No, I did not.’ He might have forgotten momentarily. When I asked him again, he said, ‘Yes, I remember calling the Secretary about it,” he said.

Panelo added that the mix-up was due to “lapse of memory”.

Duterte signed a confidential memorandum on August 27 suspending loans and negotiations with 18 member-countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council after they backed the resolution to probe the anti-drug war campaign in the country.

Panelo also said Duterte mentioned that the Philippines was insulted by the Iceland resolution.

“We cannot allow this country who is insulting us, a country who condemns allegedly our slaying of certain victims yet it allows abortion of unborn children up to less than 6 months old,” according to Duterte.

According to the presidential spokesperson, there are other bilateral partners and institutions offering similar grants with the 18 states involved.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

28 more areas placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has placed more areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 amid increasing COVID-19 cases, Malacañang said Wednesday.

In a statement, acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the following areas will be under Alert Level 3:

 

LUZON

  • Benguet
  • Kalinga
  • Abra
  • La Union
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Pangasinan
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Isabela
  • Quirino
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Tarlac
  • Quezon Province
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Camarines Sur
  • Albay

 

VISAYAS

  • Bacolod City
  • Capiz
  • Antique
  • Cebu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Tacloban City

 

MINDANAO

  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Davao City
  • Butuan City
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Cotabato City

The alert level designation in the said areas will take effect from January 14 until January 31, the Palace said.

All other provinces and cities not mentioned shall remain under their current alert level classification, it added.

Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, and Laguna are under Alert Level 3 until January 15.

2022 national budget, patuloy pang binubusisi ni Pangulong Duterte — Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   December 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Patuloy pang binubusisi ng Office of the President ang 2022 national budget kaya hindi natuloy ang nakatakda sanang ceremonial signing nito ngayong Martes.

Pagtitiyak ni acting Presidential Spokesperson at Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, agad pipirmahan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang P5.024 trilyong panukalang pondo oras na matapos ang ginagawang review.

“We would want to assure and we assure the public that the budget will be signed. Pipirmahan po ni Pangulong Duterte ang budget for 2022 bago pa man sumapit ang December 31,” ani Nograles.

Aniya, kailangang mapirmahan ang pondo upang matiyak na hindi mag-ooperate ang pamahalaan sa ilalim ng re-enacted budget sa susunod na taon.

Oras na mapirmahan din ang national budget, sinabi ng Malakanyang na maaari nang magamit ang pondo para sa Odette recovery efforts sa Enero. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

UN releases $12-M humanitarian assistance for typhoon-stricken Phl

Maris Federez   •   December 24, 2021

The United Nations (UN) through the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) pledged US$12 million (approximately Php600 million) as additional assistance to the Philippines severely ravaged by Typhoon Odette (international name Rai).

UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths on Thursday announced the allocation of the rapid response initiative that will be taken from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (UN CERF).

“I am releasing USD12 million from UNCERF (Central Emergency Response Fund) to help deliver urgent humanitarian assistance to support the Government-led response to Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) in the Philippines,” Griffiths said.

The assistance will reach out to individuals in the hardest-hit areas in the Caraga region and Region VIII, providing them food, water, and other basic needs such as sanitation hygiene kits, as well as shelter, logistics, and communication.

In a briefing before the body, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to the Philippines, Gustavo Gonzalez, on Thursday underscored how typhoon Odette has been devastating, emphasizing the “serious impact of the typhoon on infrastructure, on houses, and on livelihood” in the region.

“I saw roads covered by debris, houses without roofs, and people on the border of Butuan and Surigao begging for water and food,” he said.

“This super typhoon evoked memories of [Typhoon] Haiyan (Yolanda),” added Gonzalez. “While the Government was more prepared for a typhoon of this magnitude this time around, the needs remain overwhelming.”

He also highlighted the fact that the devastation came amid the country’s fights against the coronavirus pandemic.

“The response set out in the plan will also prioritize COVID-19 protective measures,” said Gonzalez. “This is a crisis within a crisis. It happened at the end of the year when the Government has been able to keep down COVID-19 infections and inoculated a significant number of the population. We will work with the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure that these hard-won gains are not lost.”

In a Twitter post, OCHA Philippines said the United Nations and humanitarian partners are calling for $107 million to support the Philippine government in responding to the calamity.

Gonzales said the life-saving assistance will target “530,000 vulnerable people most affected by the devastation of the typhoon”.

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