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More senators back calling another Senate hearing on govt’s vaccine plan

More senators wanted to call for another Senate hearing on the government’s COVID-19 vaccine overall plan as they noted that more questions are yet to be answered by the Executive Department. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Francis Pangilinan said they support calling for another hearing on the matter calling the vaccination plan laid […] The post More senators back calling another Senate hearing on govt’s vaccine plan appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJan 17th, 2021

NTF Covid statements confusing senators

Senator Panfilo Lacson thinks that the National Task Force (NTF) for Covid-19 response is deliberately confusing the lawmakers due to a number of conflicting statements made during the recent Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on the government’s overall vaccination plan. He particularly pointed out inconsistencies in the responses of vaccine czar and NTF for […] The post NTF Covid statements confusing senators appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 16th, 2021

‘P25 billion additional vaccine budget too much’

The Senate may reconvene its committee of the whole to look into the Duterte administration’s plan to raise another P25 billion to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, as senators called for transparency on the government’s jab procurement transactions......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 8th, 2021

EU invites concrete US plan on lifting vaccine patents

Europe on Saturday passed the ball back to Washington in a debate over COVID vaccine patents, pushing the US for a concrete proposal and a commitment to export much-needed jabs......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 8th, 2021

Oust & lsquo;Red hunters& rsquo;& mdash;Sotto

Senate President Vicente Sotto III pushed back against moves by some senators to defund the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), saying it would be hasty to end a program because of irresponsible statements from some of its officials, who should be replaced......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2021

Senators hit proposed private sector vaccine procurement ban

The plan of the Department of Health to bar infant milk manufacturers, sugary beverage makers and other private firms from procuring COVID-19 vaccines for their workers is illegal, unauthorized and exposes officials to criminal charges, lawmakers warned yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 21st, 2021

Senators scold Sinas for initially snubbing hearing on series of killings

Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, bristled at Sinas' absence, becoming further irritated after learning that the top cop offered "not even a reply" to the upper chamber's invitation......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 28th, 2021

Senators satisfied with Galvez’s clarification

Senators are now convinced that vaccine czar and National Task Force on Covid-19 response chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. cannot fully-disclose the prices of coronavirus vaccines due to the Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA). The development came after Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Panfilo Lacson, and Ronald de la Rosa along with Baguio City Mayor […] The post Senators satisfied with Galvez’s clarification appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 21st, 2021

Duterte to Galvez: Leave probe if senators turn verbally abusive

President Rodrigo Duterte instructed vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to “stand up and leave” the Senate hearings on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program should senators become “verbally abusive,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 21st, 2021

Senators satisfied with Galvez’s clarification on COVID-19 vaccine prices’ CDA

Senators are now convinced that vaccine czar and National Task Force on COVID-19 response chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. cannot fully-disclose the prices of coronavirus vaccines due to the Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA). The development came after Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Panfilo Lacson, and Ronald Dela Rosa along with Baguio City Mayor Benjamin […] The post Senators satisfied with Galvez’s clarification on COVID-19 vaccine prices’ CDA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2021

Vaccine wars

President Duterte and his subalterns, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez and Health Secretary Francisco Duque, are at loggerheads with the Senate led by Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon, and Francis Pangilinan, on the anti-COVID-19 vaccines, particularly on three issues: one price; two, volumes, and three, timetable of rollout......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 19th, 2021

Palace blasts Senate probe on illegal vax

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Monday accused some senators of interfering in the internal matters of the executive department after some of them called for a Senate inquiry into the unauthorized inoculation of members of President Duterte’s security detail against COVID-19, using an unregistered vaccine from China......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 4th, 2021

Senators back ABS-CBN franchise revival

MANILA, Philippines— Several senators rallied behind a bill reviving the franchise of ABS-CBN with the head of the committee on public services promising to give “utmost priority” once it is referred to the panel. No less than Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto  III filed Senate Bill No. 1967 seeking the renewal of  ABS-CBN’s franchise, which […] The post Senators back ABS-CBN franchise revival appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 4th, 2021

Senate sets hearing on vaccine storage, distribution

The Senate will launch an inquiry first thing next year to review government plans and programs to secure COVID-19 vaccines, particularly their storage and distribution......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 20th, 2020

Senators back Velasco’s proposal to hike calamity funds

Senators on Monday agreed with House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s suggestion to increase calamity funds under the 2021 General Appropriations Bill containing the P4.5 trillion national budget following the series of typhoons that devastated several provinces in the country. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sonny Angara said hiking the calamity funds would not be a contentious […] The post Senators back Velasco’s proposal to hike calamity funds appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2020

Senators seek more funds for PH team

Senators expressed their support to add more funding for the national team during the Senate’s plenary budget hearing on the Philippine Sports Commission’s 2021 budget......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2020

Senate ups vaccine funds

Senators have agreed to increase the funds for procurement, storage and distribution of vaccines for COVID-19 under the 2021 national budget, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Sunday, without specifying any amount......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2020

Realign portion of NTF-ELCAC’s P16 B to help typhoon victims — Hontiveros

Senator Risa Hontiveros said on Tuesday the government should realign a portion of the P16-billion anti-insurgency fund to relief and rehabilitation efforts for communities ravaged by super typhoon “Rolly.” Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Instead of funding a controversial program under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Hontiveros said the budget could go a long way in helping Filipinos recover from the calamity.“Ngayong panahon ng sakuna, ‘di hamak na mas kailangan ng mga kababayan natin sa Bicolandia at sa iba pang mga lugar na nasalanta ng bagyo ang milyon-milyong pondo ng pamahalaan. (During this time of calamity, our people in the Bicol region and other provinces badly-hit by the typhoon need government funds),” Hontiveros said.“It is clear that the billions earmarked for NTF-ELCAC would be better spent on helping Filipinos battered by the typhoon get back on their feet,” the senator stressed.“Unahin nating bigyang-tulong at pondo ang mga nabiktima ng kalamidad, hindi ang mga ahensiya na puro pagre-redtag at pagkakalat ng fake news ang ginagawa. (Let’s prioritize helping victims of calamities by giving them funds, not agencies that do nothing but red tag people and just go about spreading fake news),”  she reiterated.At the hearing of the Senate Committee on National Defense, the lawmaker noted that NTF-ELCAC has been allocated a proposed budget of P19-billion for 2021. Of this amount, P16-billion has been earmarked for its Barangay Development Program. Hontiveros also pointed out that the budget for NTF-ELCAC is “questionably astronomic” compared to the proposed budgets of other key agencies particularly the Department of Housing Settlements and Urban Development which only has P632-million, Office of the Ombudsman with only P3.36-billion, Department of Budget & Management (DBM) with only P1.9-billion, and even the Department of Finance (DOF) which only has P17.46-billion.“We should not spend such an inordinate amount of time and money on an agency running after ordinary citizens using the communist bogeyman. This is on top of the NTF-ELCAC’s bad track record of spreading fake news and silencing critical and dissenting voices,” she said. Hontiveros earlier defended entertainment personalities and women’s rights groups from the red tagging activities of Lt. General Antonio Parlade, chief of the Southern Luzon Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and NTF-ELCAC spokesperson.  She said she cannot begin “to imagine the anguish and emotional toll this must have taken on these women who have been directly-hit by these accusations, as well as their families.”“I am certain that it has also caused a chilling effect on citizens who only want to weigh in on issues of national importance and hold the government to account for its failures to the people,” she stressed. “The issues of the communist insurgency are not new to me. My party Akbayan historically has called for human rights accountability of non-state actors, at kasama dito ang NPA. I will not hesitate to speak against the violations of the NPA,” she further said. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

Senate to submit budget for Rody& rsquo;s signing mid-December

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday that senators plan to submit the 2021 national budget to the President for signing by mid-December, two weeks before the current spending plan expires......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 29th, 2020

Gov t urged to back int l campaign to make COVID-19 vaccine cheaper, available for everyone

Sen. Risa Hontiveros is calling on Malacañang to support an international campaign to ease intellectual property agreements in order to ensure universal access to an affordable and effective COVID-19 vaccine. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 29th, 2020

Coconut farmers are poorest agri people

Coconut farmers are now the poorest people in the agriculture sector, much poorer than when they were 30 years ago.  This was the assessment of Danny Carranza, a coconut farmer and member the Kilusan Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan (Katarungan). (MB FILE, Keith Bacongco) Carranza blamed the coconut farmers’ poverty on the low copra prices, inability to intercrop and modernize, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, which isolates some of them who are living in far-flung areas.                “If you’re going to compare, we are much poorer now than we were back in 1990,” said Carranza. Carranza said the “crisis in coconut” that started in the 1990s was never resolved, but even worsened especially when farmers failed to diversify and intercrop before copra prices, dictated by world prices, crashed in 2019 and in the previous years.              “The price of copra is improving, reaching P16/kg from P8/kg last year, but that is still not enough,” Carranza said, adding that farmers’ income from a hectare of coconut plantation does not reach P10,000 anymore.            At present, about 95 percent of the 3.5 million hectares of coconut farms in the Philippines are meant to produce copra, which is the material for coconut oil manufacturing.  But with the collapse of the prices of coconut oil in the world market over the last two years, prices of copra have also dropped plunging farmers into deeper poverty. According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), prices of copra at farmgate as of October 15 stood at P21.86/kg, which is higher compared to P14.55/kg price level during the same day last year.           But Carranza said that it normally takes three to four years for coconut farmers to recover when a typhoon hits their plantation because coconut trees don’t recover fast. Several typhoons have devastated coconut trees lately.  “Farmers’ income is dictated by world prices, they don’t have enough funds to modernize their industry, and the government has failed to support them in the diversification of their coconut plantations,” Carranza said.  “Then things got worse because of climate change. And then, because of lockdown, a lot of farmers who live in far-flung areas were isolated and couldn’t deliver their produce,” he added.   In 2018, farmers working in coconut farms only received a daily nominal wage rate of P264, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.   To alleviate the current situation of coconut farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that it will soon distribute a P5,000 worth of assistance to coconut farmers, which will be withdrawn from the agency’s P24-billion stimulus package granted under ‘Bayanihan 2’. The problem, according to Carranza, is that the assistance may only benefit farmers who own 1 hectare of coconut plantations or less. The PCA is also setting aside a portion of its budget to finance on-farm and off-farm livelihood projects for coconut farmers such as intercropping and livestock. Meanwhile, Pambansang Kilusan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (PKMP) Chairman Eduardo Mora said the legal team of Senator Bong Go pledged to help coconut farmers push for provisions that they want to be included in the Coco Levy Act, the proposed law that will pave the way for the release of the P100-billion coco levy fund.           “It was the office of Senator Bong Go that informed us that the senate version of Coco Levy Act was already passed in third and final reading. But his legal team also assured to help us in the congress version of the law, in bicameral, and in the drafting of the IRR [implementing rules and regulation] of the law,” Mora told Business Bulletin.         Mora’s group, which represents more than a hundred thousand coconut farmers in the country, has been calling for increased farmers’ representation in the planned coconut trust fund management committee.         Coconut farmers also don’t want the funds to be handled by PCA, Mora said.         Business Bulletin already sought for Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s reaction regarding the farmers’ opposition of the Coco Levy Act, but he hasn’t responded yet. .....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020