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VP Robredo confirms attendance at Pres. Duterte’s 3rd SONA

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: The first meeting of Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte after their inauguration on a military ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, July 01, 2016. (Office of the Vice President)

 

Camarines Sur — “Mag-a-attend ako kahit yung iba ayaw akong pa-attend-in. Yung iba natatakot daw baka insultuhin ako, baka hiyain ako,” said Vice President Leni Robredo as she confirmed her attendance at the third State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.

(I will attend [the State of the Nation Address] although others are against it for fear that I will be insulted or shamed.)

She said that as holder of the second highest position in the country, it is her obligation to attend the annual event.

Also, she assured that she won’t get affected in case President Duterte criticizes her in his speech; she said she will accept it instead.

“Sanay naman akong iniinsulto. Tingin ko hindi naman ako mababawasan kapag ako ininsulto,” she said.

(I am used to insults already. Insults will not diminish my being.)

Robredo also expressed her anticipation for Pres. Duterte’s take on inflation rate, the increase in prices of the basic commodities as well as the rising unemployment rate.

“Parang nagre-render ng report na ito na yung mga nangyari. Alin ba yung mga na-achieved? Alin yung mga hindi na-achieved? At bakit hindi ito na achieved? So, parating dapat lahat naman ng mga mamamayan interesado sa kung ano yung sasabihin ng Pangulo sa SONA.”

(It [SONA] is like rendering a report on what has been achieved; what has yet to be achieved and why was it not achieved. So all Filipino citizens should be interested in what the President will report at the SONA.)

President Duterte had earlier slammed Robredo for alleged incompetence. — Allan Manansala / UNTV News & Rescue

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Revised SSS charter promises expanded benefits for members

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines — The bicameral conference committee has recently approved the revised charter of the Social Security System (SSS) which promises expanded benefits for its members.

The new SSS charter will provide compulsory coverage to overseas Filipino workers (OFW), and increase its loan allotment such as salary loan and retirement benefits.

The measure will also have a lower penalty for overdue contributions from three to two percent. It also promises financial assistance for two months, amounting to half of the monthly salary, for its members who lost their jobs.

“Yung mga nawawalan ng trabaho dahil for example, kumpanya na lumilipat sa ibang bansa or nagsara ang kumpanya dahil nagkaroon ng kalamidad, dapat matulungan natin yung mga empleyado doon na mamuhay o magkaroon man lamang ng supplemental income habang sila ay naghahanap pa ng mapapasukang panibago,” said SSS Media Affairs AVP Luisa Sebastian.

Among those who are looking forward to avail of the SSS unemployment insurance are contractual workers, Mirasol Salvante and Raffy Malacad. They said this would help them sustain their needs while they look for another job when their six-month contract expires.

“Kung walang budget pa mag-aantay. Pahinga muna ganun…mag depend ka ulit sa pamilya mo,” said Salvante.

“’Pag nawalan ng trabaho wala ka agad maasahan na makukuha kasi hindi regular,” said Malacad.

The SSS, however, clarified that not all active members will benefit from the proposed policy.

“Yun ang magiging problema natin, actually kung hindi ka regular na nagbabayad sa SSS, naaapektuhan yung iba mong benepisyo sa SSS,” said Sebastian.

In order to strengthen their fund, the SSS would have to hike the monthly contribution of its members. Under the proposed law, the 11% monthly contribution will increase by 1% starting next year, and gradually hike up to 15% by year 2025.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, meanwhile, welcomes the new SSS charter. However, they are proposing some amendments in its provisions.

“Ang aming panukala ay dapat 6 months na bigyan ng unemployment insurance at yung 6 months na yun ay sapat na panahon para makahanap ulit ng trabaho yung ating mga miembro ng SSS,” said TUCP Spokesperson Alan Tanjunsay.

The group added the agency should also strictly monitor factors that might affect its operations such as the status of its investments, fight against delinquent employers and giving of large bonuses to its employees.

The Social Security Act of 2018 awaits President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature before officially becoming a law. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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Arroyo’s draft federal charter wants Senate President, not VP Robredo, to succeed president during transition period

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

 

FILE PHOTO: The first meeting of Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte after their inauguration on a military ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, July 01, 2016. (Office of the Vice President)

 

MANILA, Philippines — If President Rodrigo Duterte is unable to preside over the country’s transition to the new system of government, the Senate president is the next in line and not Vice President Leni Robredo.

This is based on the resolution of both Houses No. 15 authored by House Speaker Gloria Arroyo.

House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Vicente Veloso explained that they decided to skip Vice President Robredo due to the election protest against her filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos.

“We wouldn’t know who is the vice president would be then. Would it be Robredo, Bongbong Marcos? But look at the uncertainty, I’ve been jurist for long time there is no certainty when it comes to finality of decision,” said Veloso.

But Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman questioned this provision.

“As of now the there is a vice president and that election protest will have to take its course. But meanwhile, we have a duly elected vice president who is incumbent and should not be deprived of the constitutional right to succeed to the presidency,” said Lagman.

Akbayan party-list Representative Tom Villarin also said the administration might be trying to impede Robredo’s succession, especially with the President’s current state of health.

“The problem now is you have the health condition of the President which the President admits and of course the President always been saying that he does not like Vice President Robredo to succeed him,” said Villarin.

The draft federal constitution also seeks to remove the term limit of senators and congressmen. Congressman Veloso says term limits breed political dynasty.

“Now that we have term limits in senator if you will read the history book the famous there would be Mrs. Tolentino, Mrs. Diokno, the spouses of senators because with term limit comes dynasty you will pass your work to those who can continue,” said the chairman.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said in a statement that the removal of lawmakers’ term limits is for GMA to still run in Congress and remain in power.

He said their group will do everything to stop the passage of this measure.

“So GMA in effect can still run for Congress; this is designed, thus, for her and many others to remain in power ad infinitum. Just like before, we must do everything to derail this by pulling the plug now,” said Zarate.

But according to Speaker Arroyo, “ The only thing I added was a provision that instead of establishing the federal states, there’s a mechanism to establish federal states. All the other provisions were already submitted by the Con-Com and everyone else. That’s the only thing I added to make it my version.”

Under Section 2 Article 17 of the draft charter change, any move to extend the terms of President Duterte and Vice President Robredo beyond June 30, 2022, is prohibited.

The first national and local election under the federal system of government will be conducted on the second Monday of May 2022.

Solons admitted there is a very low chance that the Senate will pass its version of the proposal. But the House committee on constitutional amendments said it will do its part to pass the resolution on time to start the transition period on May 2019.

The Lower House is now deliberating the draft charter in the plenary for second reading. — Grace Casin 

 

 

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Duterte eyes Chinese businessman for NFA Admin post; no pick for CJ yet

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 | RTVM

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is yet to pick a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) following the retirement of Judge Teresita de Castro.

“Ang next chief justice? I’m still toying with so many names. Ang bagong… If there’s any vacancy there — I don’t know if there’s a vacant one there. Kung may vacancy, we’ll fill it up with good men and there are few good men in this planet. We’ll have to search them far and wide,” he said during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday (October 9).

The Judicial Bar Council (JBC) has started accepting applications for the position.

Meanwhile, President Duterte hinted of a person he is eyeing for the position of administrator of the National Food Authority (NFA).

“Ngayon, ang NFA, I’m looking for somebody else. I’m looking for a Chinese who’s been there in the business maybe 20 years. I’ll just ask him to, in the meantime, to be the NFA. Alam man nila ang negosyo na ‘yan,” the President said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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