PH respects US work visa ban; eyes appeal if baseless
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
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)
by Maris Federez | Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Malacanang has released the details of the line items in the 2019 national budget that were vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
This, after the Chief Executive signed the Republic Act 11260 or the P3.757 Trillion General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 on Tuesday, April 16.
Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the President did not approve the last-minute insertions made by the House of Representatives in the national budget.
The vetoed provision of the budget are the line items under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects worth P95.374 billion, which Malacanang said violates the constitution.
The Palace pointed out that such projects are not in the priority program of the Duterte Administration.
“Those are the so-called insertions/ riders. They are not part of the program by the DPWH; hence, it violates the constitution. It’s violative of the constitution,” Panelo said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson has earlier disclosed that last minute realignments had been made in the budget for the benefit of several lawmakers who are allies of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Sec. Panelo reiterated what he calls as a very clear message by the President in signing the national budget.
“The message is you always follow the constitution. Any deviation from the constitution will not be approved by the President or will not be tolerated,” said Panelo.
Aside from the vetoed items, other provisions in the national budget shall be subjected to “conditional implementation in order to ensure conformity with existing laws, rules and regulations.”
Among them are the allowance and benefits of teachers and creation of teaching positions, construction of evacuation centers, funding for foreign-assisted projects, revolving fund, and lump-sum appropriations for capital outlays, as well as financial assistance to local government units and funding requirements of the country’s foreign service. – Maris Federez (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – A leader of the House of Representatives on Monday urged Malacañang to bare the details of the provisions in the 2019 national budget that were vetoed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. made the call after Duterte signed the 2019 General Appropriations Act but vetoed more than P95 billion items of appropriations in the details of the projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Andaya said the Palace should reveal the details of the vetoed provisions “in the interest of transparency and for the guidance of the public.”
“I urge Malacañang to release the President’s veto message in full immediately so that we can base our reaction on the official document,” he said in a statement.
The lawmaker also hinted that the Senate’s alleged pork barrel remains intact in the newly-signed 2019 budget, saying this could be the reason why Senators are in celebratory mood over the deletion of the House amendments amounting to P95.3 billion.
“My friends in the Senate are going to town claiming victory over the deletion of the House amendments. Does this mean that the Senate port remains intact? Could this be the reason for their celebratory mood?” Andaya said.
The solon also argued that the President’s veto on several items in the budget could be “conditional” in nature.
“I believe that the veto being speculated about is of the conditional kind. As such, the appropriation remains but its release is subject to conditions,” he said.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a text message on Monday that Duterte vetoed some parts in the budget that were not part of the administration’s “programmed priorities.”
Andaya has been insisting that the realignments they made were not post-ratification as these had been authorized by the bicameral conference committee report and did not exceed the expenditure ceilings of respective departments and agencies.
He also said that Senate President Vicente Sotto’s signing of the budget bill with strong reservations was ill-advised and baseless.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the P3.757 trillion national budget for 2019, Malacañang said on Monday.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed this in a text message sent to reporters.
Medialdea said Duterte signed the budget on April 15 but vetoed parts of the bill.
“The President, among others, vetoed P95.3 billion items of appropriations in the details of DPWH programs/projects, which are not within the programmed priorities,” Medialdea said.
Duterte signed the long-delayed budget without holding a ceremonial signing. Malacañang earlier said the scheduled signing of the 2019 spending program may be pushed back until after the Lenten season, pending the President’s review.
The government has been running on a reenacted budget since January after the Congress failed to pass the proposed 2019 spending program on time.
The 2019 General Appropriations Act was transmitted to the Office of the President after it was ratified by the House of Representatives and Senate in February.
However, its enactment was delayed due to alleged “unconstitutional” realignments that prompted Senate President Vicente Sotto III to sign the budget with “strong reservations” in late March.
Sotto and other senators had previously questioned the P75-billion worth of projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that were allegedly inserted by the lower house after the bill was ratified.
But House members have maintained that the realignments were not illegal and, in turn, accused the Senate of snipping the budget for infrastructure projects.– Robie de Guzman (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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