PGH may use presidential social fund to pay for repairs after fire — Palace
Robie de Guzman • May 17, 2021 • 203
MANILA, Philippines — State-run Philippine General Hospital (PGH) may tap the presidential social fund to pay for repairs of damage from a recent fire, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the PGH may access the fund to rehabilitate its facilities that were damaged during the fire that hit early Sunday morning.
“Doc Legaspi, kung anong kailangan ninyo sabihin ninyo lang,” Roque said, addressing PGH director Gerardo Legaspi, in an online press briefing.
The Palace official also emphasized President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to help the facility as he recalled the president’s offer of P100 million a month to aid the facility’s operations.
“Dati na siyang nag-offer ng malaking halaga, kung ano po ang kinakailangan ngayon para ma-repair ang mga damage, pwede pong i-tap yung presidential social fund dahil yan po ay dati na pong ini-offer sa PGH,” Roque said.
Roque noted that the PGH only uses P25 million per month from the presidential social fund for the treatment of their patients.
The PGH is one of the country’s main COVID-19 referral hospitals.
Legaspi, meanwhile, assured that the hospital’s COVID-19 response operations will not be hampered after the fire.
He only appealed to resume operations after a day since they are still working on the transfer of patients and clearing up of areas affected by the fire.
“We stand committed with our role as COVID referral center po but as I said just for today, hinihintay lang pong mabakante ang mga lugar, at safe sila mailagay kasi huling check namin may amoy pa ho ng smoke,” Legaspi said.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), for its part, assured that it will handle repair works on the hospital.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said they have already inspected the facility to see the extent of damages.
“Syempre tutulong po kami sa repair ng na-damage na portion… Ask the engineering na arm of the government, syempre pag may mga pangangailangan ang ating government infrastructures kami po yung tutulong,” Villar said.
The cause of the fire that hit the PGH is still under investigation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines—Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus might ease next week.
On Thursday, Roque announced that community quarantine classification in NCR Plus might ease beginning June 15 due to the low attack rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and health care utilization rate. He reported that the hospital care utilization in Metro Manila remains very low or at 53% in ICU beds.
“I would say in fact that based on the figures, Metro Manila Plus might be looking at de-escalation. It might not be to modified general community quarantine [MGCQ] but it could be to ordinary general community quarantine [GCQ] because ang GCQ natin ngayon ay mayroon pang restrictions (because the current GCQ still has restrictions),” he said.
Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will discuss whether to reopen gyms and fitness centers.
The NCR Plus, which includes Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, is currently under GCQ with restrictions until June 15. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte welcomes the suggestion to amend the Baselines Law, according to Malacañang.
At a virtual public briefing on Thursday (June 10), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the Office of the President will thoroughly review the suggestion of retired Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza to amend the country’s Baseline Law.
“He [Duterte] immediately asked that it be subjected to complete staff work and he was very appreciative of the suggestion,” he said.
“It is subjected now to complete staff work because the request is for it to be certified it as urgent and I made an additional request that if the president so agrees, then it should also be included in the SONA [State of the Nation Address] para malakas ang mensahe sa Kongreso na this will really become a priority bill, (for a stronger message to Congress that this will become a priority bill),” Roque added.
Jardeleza wrote to the President suggesting to amend the Baseline Law in order to define the 128 maritime features in the West Philippine Sea. He said this is a way to enforce the Hague Ruling, which the Philippines won against China in 2016.
Under the Republic Act No. 9522 or the Philippine Baseline Law, the Philippines has sovereignty over the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).
Meanwhile, Roque also agrees with amending the said law.
“Isa sa pinakamalakas na ebidensya ng soberanya ay ang batas na kumbaga nagdidikit sa Kalayaan Group of Islands sa teritoryo ng Pilipinas sa pamamaraan na sang-ayon po sa United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” he said.
(One of the strongest evidence of sovereignty is a law that would put the Kalayaan Group of Islands under Philippine territory in a manner that conforms with UNCLOS.) AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang on Thursday (June 10) reiterated the need to implement environmental laws after Pasig River and 18 other rivers in the country made it to the world’s top 50 polluting rivers.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the report is a test of the country’s law enforcement capability.
The Palace official lamented that the sad state of Pasig River has been a perennial problem and past attempts to rehabilitate Pasig River have fallen through.
“Kailangan pong ipatupad ang ating existing laws, ipatupad ang mga obligasyon ng mga water concessionaire agreements na magakroon talaga ng waste water treatment at ipatupad ang pagbabawal ng water discharge na nakakasira ng kalikasan diyan sa Pasig River,” he said.
Rotterdam-based Ocean Cleanup has released a scientific study which estimates that 1000 rivers are accountable for nearly 80% of global annual riverine plastic emissions. It also listed Pasig River as the world’s most polluting river when it comes to plastic waste. Pasig River accounts for 63,000 tons of plastic entering oceans from rivers per year.
Roque hopes that this “badge of dishonor”, will push the government to make radical changes in addressing the cleanup of Pasig River. AAC
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.