Presidential aspirants tackle Phl major issues

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021   •   256

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidates for the 2022 national and local elections have visited several places in the country over the weekend, laying down their opinions and proposed actions on major issues in the country.

On Saturday, Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson flew to Pag-asa Island amid the tension in the West Philippine Sea.

He was accompanied by senatorial aspirant and former Philippine National Police chief General Guillermo Eleazar.

Lacson led the Philippine flag-raising activities on the island.

The Senator insists that the Philippines needs to forge alliances with big countries and eventually take back the islands that have been claimed by others.

“Hindi natin kayang mag-isa. Mag-strengthen tayo ng alliances with the other militarily strong countries na mga binanggit ko kanina nang sa ganoon, unti-unti ma-repossess natin ‘yung halos daan-daang nawawala sa atin,” Lacson said.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso went to Payatas, Quezon City and visited the Material Recovery Facility in the area.

There, Mayor Isko promised to provide housing to the poor.

“Kapag ako ay sinuwerte, kapag akoy sinuwerte kung ano ang ginawa ko sa Maynila na pabahay, ganun din ang gagawin ko sa buong bansa,” Domagoso said.

Vice President Leni Robredo, on the other hand, had been going around Quezon province in the past few days.

Robredo promised to address the alleged injustices that coconut farmers have been experiencing and vowed to distribute among them the controversial Coco Levy Fund.

The team of former Senator Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, meanwhile, went around Tagum City in Davao del Norte over the weekend.

The BBM-Sara tandem was with Lakas-CMD President House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and other members of the House of Representatives.

Presidential Leody de Guzman, on the other hand, held a dialogue with officials and fisherfolks in Barangay Bayod in Los Baños, Laguna.

In a separate statement, de Guzman lamented the suspension of the International Criminal Court’s investigation on the Duterte Administration’s war on drugs.

“Pero naniniwala ako na hindi pa dapat magsaya si Pangulong Duterte dahil magpapatuloy ang paniningil ng mga magulang at kamag-anak at ng sambayang Pilipino,” De Guzman said.

Other presidential aspirants, senators Manny Pacquiao and Christopher ‘Bong’ Go, did not have any reported public engagements over the weekend.

However, Senator Go released a statement opposing the cut on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) budget.

Go said the task force has a big role in the lasting peace and order in the remote areas of the country.

“Napakalaki ng papel ng NTF-ELCAC sa hangarin nating magkaroon ng pangmatagalang kapayapaan, lalo na sa mga kapos sa buhay at nasa malalayong komunidad sa bansa. Kung kaya’t kamakailan ay tumutol ako sa pagtapyas ng budget nito,” Go said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Comelec to hold nationwide mock elections on Dec. 29

Maris Federez   •   December 28, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to hold a nationwide mock election on Wednesday (December 29) as part of its preparation for the coming 2022 national and local elections.

According to the Comelec Education and Information Division, the mock elections will be conducted in the National Capital Region (NCR) and six provinces in different parts of the country.

In Luzon, the mock elections will be done in the provinces of Isabela and Albay.

In Visayas, it will be conducted in Negros Oriental and in Leyte; while in Mindanao, it will be held in Davao del Sur.

The mock elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will be held in the province of Maguindanao.

For the NCR, mock elections will be conducted in Pateros, Taguig City, and Pasay City.

It will start at 7 in the morning and will end at 5 in the afternoon.

“As far as the turnout does not really the issue. Hindi tayo naghahabol ng mataas na turnout ang hinahabol natin ay makita how the system performs,” Comelec spokesperson Dir. James Jimenez said.

A total of 34 barangays will be used in the mock elections to be participated in by 20,000 registered voters with each clustered precinct to accommodate around 500 to 600 voters.

“Basta ang average niya is around 500 to 600 voters per precinct there are some medyo malalaki yong bilang lke 786 yung isang clustered precinct and there are small precincts relative speaking like this one which has only 441,” Jimenez said.

The mock election will be conducted from end to end, meaning from the moment the voter sets foot in the polling precinct up to the counting to votes in the canvassing area.

The mock elections will direct the voters to vote for all national and local positions indicated in the 30-inch long ballot bearing fictitious names for each electoral position. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

Palace thanks Congress for speedy ratification of 2022 national budget

Robie de Guzman   •   December 16, 2021

Acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday thanked Congress for its efforts to immediately ratify the proposed P5 trillion national budget for the year 2022.

“The Palace thanks Congress for working overtime to expeditiously ratify the proposed 2022 National Budget,” acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a statement.

Nograles said next year’s budget vital to the country’s response and recovery efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We consider next year’s budget vital to support our country’s COVID-19 resilience initiatives and to sustain our socioeconomic recovery efforts,” he said.

The Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday ratified the bicameral committee report on the proposed 2022 budget.

The country’s budget for next year will have as much as P50 billion for special risk allowances for medical frontliners, almost P48 billion for COVID-19 booster shots, and P15 billion to P16 billion for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), based on portions approved by he House.

The measure will now be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for his approval and signature.

“As we await its transmittal to the Office of the President, we reiterate our commitment to utilize our people’s hard-earned money to properly implement programs, projects, and services effectively and efficiently during the remainder of the President’s term of office,” Nograles said.

“We are grateful to our partners in the Legislature for ensuring that the Duterte Administration’s last full-year budget will sustain the legacy of real change for future generations,” he added.

Lawmakers earlier expressed hope that Duterte will sign the measure before the year ends to avoid a reenacted budget.

Bicam approves Php5.024-T 2022 proposed budget

Maris Federez   •   December 15, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Bicameral Conference Committee on Wednesday (December 15) approved the Php5.024 trillion 2022 proposed national budget.

The Lower and Upper Houses of Congress are expected to ratify the budget in the plenary anytime within the last session day before the holiday break.

Following Congress ratification of the proposed budget is the submission of the same to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature on or before December 25.

Senate Committee on Finance chairperson Senator Sonny Angara said that in the approved Bicameral Conference Committee report, they have adjusted the budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“I think, we restored the [NTF] ELCAC to the 16 or 16.5 billion-peso level which is the 2021 level. Yung DOH, I think, it’s up by, at least, 20 to 30 billion pesos over what the President submitted because maraming kulang doon,” Angara said.

“So nandoon yung sa risk allowance, I think, dinagdagan namin yung sa boosters. Tapos sa testing meron din doon. Tapos sa DOLE naglagay rin tayo ng testing for yung  naghahanap ng trabaho. Nakatutok na rin tayo sa economic recovery natin,” he added.

Angara further said the Bicam also included in the budget funding for COVID-19 vaccines estimated at 45 to 50 billion pesos as part of the government’s efforts in fighting the deadly disease as the country is gradually opening its economy. —/mbmf (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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