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Teves could join legislative proceedings, but only if he asks

During a hearing on Tuesday, hours before Arnie Teves was designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council through Resolution 43, Manila Rep. Benny Abante, a panel member, said Teves could join proceedings in the House of Representatives via personal request. The House ethics and privileges panel, which jurisdiction includes administrative complaints and issues filed against House members, will let suspended lawmaker Teves participate in legislative proceedings via videoconferencing only if he would make a "personal request." "Because we have a rule here that must appear [in person]. The ruling here is this if any congressman would like to make use of the videoconferencing, he has to make a personal request on that and the reason why," Abante said. He underscored that Teves is not excluded from this privilege, which is afforded to all members of the House. "If he wants to participate with us through video conferencing, then he must make a personal request, not through his lawyers. He himself personally," Abante stressed. The lawmaker made the remark, notwithstanding that Teves has since pleaded that he be allowed to attend legislative proceedings via teleconference but has been denied. To recall, Teves lambasted the House leadership, questioning why colleagues were allowed to join meetings, sessions, and hearings through video teleconferencing while he was not. He had earlier cried over being considered absent--that later resulted in a twice suspension-- despite attending the legislative proceedings via teleconference, which he lamented was permitted by Congress. The lawmaker, who was being tagged as the "mastermind" behind the murder of his political foe, Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, and nine others on 4 March, has been headstrong in his decision not to return home and physically attend the House ethics panel motu proporio, citing serious threats to his life. Ako Bicol Rep. Raul Angelo Bongalon, the panel's vice chairperson, in the same hearing, echoed Abante's comment, citing Speaker Martin Romualdez's recent order that "all the congressmen are required to attend physically or face to face all activities here in Congress" following the lifting of State of Public Health Emergency. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., through Proclamation No. 297 issued on 21 July, ordered the lifting of the state of public health emergency that had previously been declared throughout the country owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, which had claimed thousands of lives. "That's why he (Teves) has to make a request personal to the Office of Speaker or to the Secretary-General to avail the videoconferencing," Bongalon said. The panel chairperson, Rep. Felimon Espares, meanwhile, stressed that "he needs to report [for work] here in the House," citing the lawmaker's expired travel clearance. "He left with an approved travel authority which already lapsed, so he needs to show up here,” Espares noted. The panel chairman thus explained that Teves has no reason to hide since there is no arrest warrant yet against him. The post Teves could join legislative proceedings, but only if he asks appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneAug 1st, 2023

Teves claims persecution, wants House panel to back off

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnies Teves, who has been the subject of the House committee on ethics and privileges for months now owing to "disorderly behavior" that has led to a double suspension, wants the House to terminate its proceedings against him. Ferdinand Topacio, the lead legal counsel of Teves, delivered before the panel chaired by Rep. Felimon Espares a letter dated 10 August from the lawmaker asking the committee to defer its further proceedings, claiming the accusations leveled against him are "clearly baseless" and "meant to "politically harass and persecute" him. Teves argued that the panel's continued proceedings breached its own rules, Section 2 of which states that "if the subject matter of the complaint against a Member of the House is pending before a judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative body, the Committee shall defer action on said complaint until final judgment has been rendered by such body." Citing the rules, Topacio said Teves' terrorist tag is currently pending before the Anti-Terrorism Council and may be raised to the court. Teves' letter countered the panel's letter on 1 August, relative to the lawmaker's alleged acts or omissions that supposedly constitute a violation of the Code of Conduct of the House of Representatives and for disorderly behavior. The embattled solon is being called to account for his recent designation as a terrorist, his supposed abandonment of office resulting from his prolonged absence in Congress and dancing in boxer shorts in a video uploaded on his social media account. Teves questioned why the panel, after the lapse of his second "questionable" 60-day suspension, wanted him to undergo the same process on the same matters, which he considered "clearly uncalled for as they are acts of persecution against me." "Honestly, it saddens me that this Committee is being used as a tool by this current administration to persecute me on my acts which are nothing but lawful," Teves said in the letter. "May I remind you that what you are doing can become a dangerous precedent to future innocent acts of any member of the House, including yourself and the Speaker," he added. He further noted that the panel's proceedings are being used as a vehicle to pressure him to return to the country, "knowing full well" that there are threats to his life and limb which recent events, including a publicized video of death threats, have validated. But despite the security concerns, no law enforcement authority has even investigated the perpetrator, according to the solon. "In similar fashion, the authorities have also deliberately ignored all evidence of another possible angle in the Degamo murder, since the same points to a political ally of the administration. This is the unfortunate reality that engulfs this nation at present, and which prevents me from repatriating myself," Teves added. Teves, whose second suspension lapsed earlier this August, is being implicated in the murder of his political foe, Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, and eight others on 4 March in the governor's residence in Pamplona town, for which he is being tagged as the mastermind. Right before the killing, Teves flew out of the country and has yet to return due to what he claims are serious threats to his life. His continued stay out of the country, notwithstanding an expired travel clearance, prompted the suspension. He, however, again insisted that he never abandoned his duty as a lawmaker and stressed that he has been clamoring to be allowed to participate in legislative proceedings, which he argued is permitted by House rules and that his colleagues "equally enjoy" and "exercise". Teves claimed he has evidence supporting his assertion that he attempted to participate in several hearings but was blocked from doing so. As to his physical absence, he said, "Again, I repeat: the principal reason why I have been unable to attend sessions is due to grave and serious threats to my life, threats which have persisted and even intensified, as just two days ago." "I have received verifiable reports that armed men, without any court order such as a search warrant, have been in and out of my residence in Bayawan, for the purpose most probably of planting evidence." The post Teves claims persecution, wants House panel to back off appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 14th, 2023

Rule vs rule

It is probably neither a good nor bad thing to have the legislative proceedings of the Lower Chamber of Congress broadcast nationwide on a mainstream or social media platform. At least, it’s the most basic pretension of an institution toward transparency and, perhaps, accountability as well, although it can be entirely something else (i.e. a media blitz for the more dominant type or the glib politician). Mind you, there’s a viewing universe as much confused as those who debate whether or not an invited resource person can invoke the sub judice rule to not respond to questions raised by a joint committee, as in the case of a provincial governor of Northern Luzon. House members rightfully invoked their institutional rules on matters sub judice arguing, as they do, that it can proceed as long as it is in aid of legislation. Viewers may have learned by now how a typical congressional investigation proceeds and whether that kind of freewheeling discussion has resulted in a policy designed to curb corruption or streamline wicked practices. Quite glaringly, very little is reached in terms of tangible results or policy outcomes largely because the final verdict lies with the High Tribunal. Thus, there’s good ground for the ordinary man on the street to ask which must prevail, viz., the individual invoking his right to refuse to respond to queries in a congressional inquiry on account of the sub judice rule or a joint legislative committee professing that its own rules could set sub judice aside? It is not that the beleaguered governor wasn’t willing to cooperate, having been a member of the Lower Chamber himself for 20 years, but because it was well within his rights to do so. Again, because the proceedings are live-streamed and therefore found in the public domain, it is within justifiable bounds to have viewers react to the behavior of the provincial governor who was subjected to a “question and answer” ordeal, or the congressmen who looked tirelessly redundant, even patient, trying to extract all sorts of information they thought wise. Good thing that as a former colleague himself, the committee members did not have to threaten the provincial governor with “contempt.” In undiminished dignity, the joint committee allowed the position of the good governor to take its due course until his attendance was eventually dispensed with. Perhaps, the respectable mark of democracy at work is when, at times, Congress itself cannot win over a “clash of world views,” as in this case. There must be other ways it can ferret out the truth of whether the disbursement of funds to “bonded officers” by way of cash advances beyond their authorized ceiling could be the proper subject of a new public policy — in aid of legislation. The focal point of this discussion or lesson learned in this case is that there ought to be an ethical norm that would govern the behavior of every attendee in a congressional probe — be they resource persons or members of Congress themselves — in accordance with established parliamentary procedures, the most basic of which is for the chairman of the committee to first recognize who wishes to or whose turn it is to speak. At this time in its long history, Congress’ performance of its oversight function should already be “more organized, better formulated, skillfully integrated, respectably summarized” with the objective of the viewing audience becoming well-informed of the high points of a congressional inquiry. If possible, it should open a window of opportunity for anyone to join the national conversation based on what they saw, heard, and formed by way of judgment. In the end, the superior understanding of corruption in the bureaucracy at national or subnational levels should be framed within the grasp of every taxpayer in this country. They simply deserve to know the whole truth. The post Rule vs rule appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 26th, 2023

Ariel Nepomuceno — Man of his word

One thing that can be said about Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, the administrator of the Office of Civil Defense of the Department of National Defense, he is results-driven. Right after graduating from the University of the Philippines, where he received Magna Cum Laude honors, Nepomuceno applied for a Congressional Fellowship program, to which he was accepted. He then became the National Capital Region Youth Representative to the House of Representatives when it reopened in 1987. [caption id="attachment_137206" align="aligncenter" width="525"] PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CHRISTIAN MAR BARACENA FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE | (FROM left) Daily Tribune editor-in-chief Gigie Arcilla, Director of the Office of Civil Defense of the Department of National Defense (rank of Undersecretary) Ariel Nepomuceno and Daily Tribune’s executive editor Chito Lozada.[/caption] Of his legislative stint, he shared, “It was like we had a mini-Congress for seven months and we, youth representatives, received a salary. I had a seat in the session hall, but we were not allowed to talk. We just observed the proceedings and learned about the whole legislative process. “It was the House’s way of encouraging us to appreciate democracy. In the end, after those seven months, I realized legislative work was not for me. I am the kind who wants to see results immediately.” Business mind Nepomuceno next engaged in business with his friends. “I was always interested in business. We put up a fish pen in Malabon and started with three hectares until we gradually grew and reached the maximum 50 hectares. We got lucky in this venture. We stopped only when a strong typhoon hit the country,” he recounted. “Next, we put up a trucking or logistics company. Then we organized an insurance company and reinvested our earnings.” To raise his initial capital, he borrowed from his father and friends. The group assigned him as the general manager. His first formal job outside of private business was with the Food Terminal. It was in his time when they “initiated its privatization.” Finally, he ventured in the energy sector. “We put up Orion Energy and developed Liquified Natural Gas or LNG. We linked up with traders in Singapore and the Middle East. On our end, we developed the power plants. At the time I joined the Department of National Defense, we were entering the field of renewable energy by developing solar and offshore wind resources. Government work It wasn’t long before he would join the Department of National Defense in 2010.  “I was the Executive Officer of Civil Defense. And then, during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, he aimed to introduce reforms at the Bureau of Customs. I was given a position there along with other generals. Through it all, he has kept his moral ascendancy. That he was honest in government work, he attributes to his having done well in business, which allowed him economic independence. “Many are tempted to steal or engage in graft and corruption because the salary is too tiny. “Of course, my ATM card is with my wife,” he said, laughing. As a manager, he has stuck to “what I learned from my Armed Forces of the Philippines training. I am more on the authoritative side, but I encourage participation.” He has had to deal with certain issues and problems. “Here at the Office of Civil Defense, I have had to remove the head of Finance. [caption id="attachment_137194" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Photograph Courtesy of FB.com Office of Civil Defense[/caption] “I came in with an attitude of fairness. Whatever shortcomings or mistakes they had in the past, I overlooked them. I realized that they were just following orders, but when I came in, I made clear I expected everyone to do right.” It has helped that he acquired his Master in Business Administration at the Asian Institute of Management. He was already 50 years old in 2022 when he received his degree. His experience in business, his love for reading and writing, all have contributed to his continuing success. He is now writing a book where he is sharing his thoughts on possible solutions to the energy crisis. Family time When he took his government position, he promised his sons that no matter how busy he is at work, he will take their calls. Ariel takes time to be with his wife and his two sons. “My boys are now managing our family companies.” He is a fortunate man. The elder one took up Economics from the University of the Philippines. “Like me,” he said.  “The younger one attended Ateneo, like his mother.” Both sons are athletic, being enthusiasts of Taekwondo. As a father, he has always thought of himself “as their friend and gangmate. When the father is good, the sons are good,” he shared. “I taught them how to drink. This way, they would know how to manage their drinking and socializing. So, we go out together. We enjoy our glass of wine.” A favorite father-and-sons haunt is the Peninsula Manila lobby, “also because of the good live music. It is also the time when they open up and share their plans, challenges and accomplishments.” Both sons are bachelors. With his wife, he loves to drive and visit places. “Recently, we read that the halo-halo in Cavite is good, so we went to Digman. Another time, we drove all the way to Lucban to buy their longganisa.” Although he has since 1989 become a vegetarian. When driving to work, which he enjoys, “I sing a tune or hum what’s playing, usually piano or violin pieces.” He is an active member of the Rotary Club in Chinatown. “We conduct medical missions regularly.” Ariel has reached a level of success that puts a smile on his face. He has done well in his career and in his family life. No, he has not chosen to rest on his laurels. In fact, he is getting ready to pursue his Ph.D in Management. We won’t be surprised if he makes it to the top of his class. It would all be keeping true to his form. The post Ariel Nepomuceno — Man of his word appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 26th, 2023

Teves blasts House over Arroyo demotion

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnies Teves lashed out at the leadership of the House of Representatives anew, this time saying the chamber was rude in its decision to demote Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Teves, who has been tagged by authorities for alleged involvement in the Degamo murder case and remains abroad, protested that Arroyo was "very qualified" for the role. "For me, what they did was rude. [She's a ] former president, her work is great, then you will demote her? It's not good. For me, there is no respect for fellow congressmen, especially for people of very high morale, very esteemed persons. I really felt bad about that," he said. Last week, Arroyo was demoted from senior deputy speaker to deputy speaker and was replaced in her previous post by Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., amid talks that Arroyo was plotting to oust Romualdez from the Speakership. Arroyo, in a subsequent statement, said she had no intention of succeeding Romualdez and that she respects President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s choice to support his cousin as leader of the House. Teves said he is not returning home to physically attend the House ethics panel motu proporio on Monday, citing serious threats to his life. "Why won't they allow me to attend via Zoom?," he demanded. "Why are other congressmen allowed to attend via Zoom? In fact, I have screenshots of recent meetings, sessions and hearings showing that other congressmen were joining via video teleconferencing. How come they were allowed and I'm not?" Teves had earlier complained that he was considered absent by the House despite attending legislative proceedings via teleconference, which he said was permitted by Congress. However, the ethics panel's chairperson, Felimon Espares, pointed out that Teves "was deemed absent because his travel clearance was unauthorized. When you are absent, you cannot participate in all the affairs here in the House." Teves is being implicated in the murder of his political foe, Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, and eight others, who were gunned down on 4 March in the governor's residence in Negros Oriental. The post Teves blasts House over Arroyo demotion appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2023

Teves leaves extension plea to Romualdez

Suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnies Teves will leave it to the hands of Speaker Martin Romualdez whether to file a leave extension once his two-month suspension expires. “About the two-month suspension, please ask speaker Romualdez,” said the embattled lawmaker during his hybrid press con yesterday. “I will continue to appeal for what is right. Actually, I don’t need to file a leave of absence. I only did that because they insisted.” Teves was slapped with a 60-day suspension after his 292 peers in the House voted in favor of the sanction. The move was prompted by his failure to adhere to the ethics panel’s 24-hour ultimatum and his continued defiance of the Speaker’s marching orders to report to work, perform his duties, and face the allegations leveled against him. Teves is being implicated in the murder of his political foe, Governor Roel Degamo, and eight others, who were gunned down in his home in broad daylight last 4 March. The suspended lawmaker also faces complaints over loose firearms and a series of killings in the province in 2019. Foul Teves cried foul over him being considered absent — that later resulted in suspension — despite attending the legislative proceedings via teleconference, which he lamented was permitted by Congress. “Bakit biglang si Arnie bawal? Para lang madiin ako?” he stressed.       But the congressman did not rule out the possibility of communicating with Romualdez, to whom he claimed he had been reaching out the entire time, despite receiving no response. Teves, who was allowed a medical leave from the House from 28 February to 9 March 2023, had asked Romualdez for a two-month extension of his authority to travel, which the House chief thumbed down. But despite the Speaker’s adamant order, Teves remained headstrong to stay abroad, citing security concerns, notwithstanding his expired travel clearance. The congressman, who reportedly left the US, contented that his failure to return to the country was not due to guilt but anchored in “very grave and serious security threats” to his life. The post Teves leaves extension plea to Romualdez appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 18th, 2023

Senate titan Dianne Feinstein dead at 90

Veteran Senator Dianne Feinstein, a titan of US political history who notched a string of legislative achievements during a trailblazing three-decade career in the Senate, has died at 90 years old, US media said Friday. Feinstein, the Senate's oldest member, was celebrated as a pioneer for women in politics and a hugely effective legislator. During a career that began in local California government, she grew to be a tough check on administrations from both parties. She had already announced her retirement this February as her health worsened and following a number of missteps that threatened her legacy. The Californian, who was widowed last year, became San Francisco's first female mayor after the fatal shooting in 1978 of Harvey Milk, the country's only openly gay politician, and mayor George Moscone by a disgruntled former colleague. Other dramatic moments including surviving an attempted bombing of her home. She was also near the scene of an infamous double murder in San Francisco. Her death is not expected to shift the tight balance of power in the Senate, with the Democratic governor of California appointing her temporary replacement. Summing up her dedication to public service, Feinstein once said that "even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives. Each of us was sent here to solve problems." "That's what I've done for the last 30 years, and that's what I plan to do for the next two years." Democrats in her home state led tributes as news of the senator's death cast a pall over proceedings in Congress, with staff placing flowers on Feinstein's desk in the Senate chamber, according to Fox News. "She was a trailblazer and dedicated her life to public service," said David Valadao, a member of California's delegation in the House of Representatives. An icon in Senate politics who took the lead on hundreds of bills, Feinstein rose to the chairmanship of the powerful intelligence committee -- another first for a woman. Her achievements include writing the 1994 assault rifle ban and producing a 6,700-page report on the CIA torture program during the US "war on terror." But it was in her home state of California where she first made her mark. As the first female Board of Supervisors president in San Francisco, Feinstein led the city through the tumult that followed the fatal shootings in 1978 of Milk. She replaced the mayor and served for 10 years as a no-nonsense pragmatist, willing to work across the aisle, balancing nine budgets in a row and being declared the nation's "Most Effective Mayor" by local government bible City and State Magazine. Latterly, the pandemic and her husband's declining health curtailed her public appearances outside of Congress and she faced growing misgivings about her declining cognitive abilities, raised by figures in her own party. The youngest member of Congress, 26-year-old Maxwell Frost, described Feinstein as a "champion for Gun Violence Prevention that broke barriers at all levels of government." "We wouldn't have had an assault weapons ban if it wasn't for Senator Feinstein and due to her tireless work, we will win it back," he posted on social media. The post Senate titan Dianne Feinstein dead at 90 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 29th, 2023

Marcos inks jobs act

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed into law Republic Act 11962, or the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act on Wednesday, a landmark measure addressing the challenges plaguing the Philippine labor sector and laying the foundation for sustainable and inclusive development. In a ceremonial signing held at Malacañang, Marcos thanked the Senate and the House of Representatives for the timely passage of the bill, one of his administration’s priority legislative measures. “The Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act is a significant milestone towards our country’s sustainable and inclusive development,” Marcos said. “It will help us solve the various challenges plaguing our labor sector such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, and underemployment, among others,” he added. The law also addresses the need to update the skills of Filipino workers and promote the use of digital technologies, particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises. The Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act will establish the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Interagency Council, which will craft a master plan for employment generation and recovery. The council will be chaired by the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority, or NEDA, and co-chaired by the secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment, with representatives from other agencies and various sectors. All government agencies, including local government units, were enjoined to cooperate and coordinate with the council to ensure the effective integration of the plan into their policies and programs. Marcos directed the council and all government agencies concerned to fast-track the issuance of the law’s implementing rules and regulations so that workers and stakeholders could immediately benefit from it. He also urged the DoLE and NEDA to harmonize the Labor and Employment Plan 2023-2028 and the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Plan to ensure that all government efforts and resources will be effectively and efficiently managed. Marcos said the government will continue to provide support and other incentives to businesses, especially MSMEs, such as increased access to financing and capital to promote self-reliance and spur employment generation. Under the law, the government will also incentivize employers, industry stakeholders, and private partners to facilitate skills development, technology transfer, and knowledge sharing among businesses and workers. “With this concerted effort, I am confident that we will not only achieve the goals of this law, but we will also realize our vision of Bagong Pilipinas,” Marcos said. The President added that the government knows Filipinos desire decent, stable and dignified jobs. “With the passage of this law, we are opening a new chapter in our country where there will be sufficient and high-quality employment opportunities for everyone,” he said. He called on everyone to join the government in ensuring the law’s success and shaping a prosperous and new Philippines. In a separate statement, NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan welcomed the passage of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act. “We support the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act as it contributes to the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, which aims to increase employability, expand access to employment opportunities, and achieve shared labor market governance,” Balisacan said. “With the passage of the TPB, this will facilitate stronger coordination and partnership among relevant agencies and stakeholders for the efficient implementation of employment programs,” he added. The TPB Plan shall serve as the State’s master plan for employment generation and recovery, aiming to achieve short-term goals and a long-term vision of a “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay Para sa Bawat Pilipino.” The latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed 2.27 million unemployed Filipinos in July of this year. This resulted in a 4.8-percent unemployment rate in July, higher than the 4.5 percent in June. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva lauded President Marcos for signing the Trabaho Para sa Bayan bill. “I am thankful to President Marcos for his trust and support to me to lead the legislation of this important measure, which is the key to addressing various challenges and creating jobs in the country,” Villanueva said in a statement. The new law, which Villanueva principally sponsored and authored, aims to institutionalize a National Employment Master Plan to promote jobs-led economic growth and enhanced industry collaboration, provide overall services for worker development, and push for support and incentives to businesses. Under the law, the government shall establish a national employment generation and recovery master plan with a three-, six-, and 10-year development timeline. The post Marcos inks jobs act appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 27th, 2023

PBBM signs Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act to create more jobs, boost economic growth

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act on Wednesday, a measure that aims to address the various challenges plaguing the Philippine labor sector. In a ceremonial signing held at the Malacañang Palace, Marcos Jr. thanked both the Senate and the House of Representatives for the timely passage of the bill, one of his administration's priority legislative measures. "The Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act is a significant milestone towards the sustainable and inclusive development of our country," Marcos Jr. said. "It will help us solve the various challenges plaguing our labor sector such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, and underemployment among others," he added. The law also addresses the need to update the skills of Filipino workers and promote the use of digital technologies, particularly for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Crucially, the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act will establish the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Interagency Council, which will craft a master plan for employment generation and recovery. The council will be chaired by the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and co-chaired by the Secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), with representatives from other agencies and from various sectors. All government agencies, including local government units (LGUs), are enjoined to cooperate and coordinate with the council to ensure the effective integration of the plan into their policies and programs. Marcos Jr. directed the council and all concerned government agencies to fast-track the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law so that workers and stakeholders can immediately benefit from it. He also enjoined the DOLE and NEDA to harmonize the Labor and Employment Plan 2023-2028 and the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Plan to ensure that all government efforts and resources will be effectively and efficiently managed. Marcos Jr. said that the government will continue to provide support and other incentives To businesses, especially MSMEs such as increased access to financing and capital to promote self-reliance and spur employment generation. Under the law, the government will also incentivize employers, industry stakeholders, and private partners who will facilitate skills development, technology transfer, and knowledge sharing amongst businesses and workers. "With this concerted effort, I am confident that we will not only achieve the goals of this law but we will also realize our vision of Bagong Pilipinas," Marcos Jr. said. Marcos Jr. added that the government knows that Filipinos desire to have decent, stable, and dignified jobs. "With the passage of this law, we are opening a new chapter in our country where there will be sufficient and high-quality employment opportunities for everyone," he said. Marcos Jr. called on everyone to join the government in ensuring the success of the law and in shaping a prosperous and new Philippines. In a separate statement, NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan welcomed the passage of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act. "We support the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act as it contributes to the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, which aims to increase employability, expand access to employment opportunities, and achieve shared labor market governance," Balisacan said. "With the passage of the TPB, this will facilitate stronger coordination and partnership among relevant agencies and stakeholders for the efficient implementation of employment programs," Balisacan added. The TPB Plan shall serve as the State's master plan for employment generation and recovery, aiming to achieve short-term goals and a long-term vision of a "matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay para sa bawat Pilipino". The post PBBM signs Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act to create more jobs, boost economic growth appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2023

Sandiganbayan convicts late Teves’ co-accused

The Sandiganbayan convicted three ex-officials of the now defunct Technology and Livelihood Resource Center and two others over P9.6 million worth of ghost projects funneled through the pork barrel of the late Negros Oriental lawmaker Herminio Teves in 2007. The anti-graft court’s Third Division found ex-TLRC deputy director general Dennis Cunanan, ex-chief accountant Marivic Jover, ex-legislative liaison office officer-in-charge Belina Concepcion, Teves’s then chief-of-staff Hiram Pulido and Molugan Foundation Inc. president Samuel Bombeo guilty of one count each of graft and malversation. They were sentenced to up to 28 years in prison and perpetually disqualified from holding public office. They were also ordered to pay back the P9.6 million, with interest of 6 percent per annum. TLRC’s erstwhile department manager, Francisco Figura, meanwhile, was acquitted of the same charges. The Sandigabayan also dismissed the case against the principal accused, Teves, owing to his passing. Filed by the Ombudsman in 2017, the graft and malversation charge arose from the disbursement of Teves’s P9.6-million Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF to Molugan Foundation Inc., a non-governmental organization controlled by Bombeo. The Ombudsman said Teves “unilaterally chose” MFI as the implementor of his livelihood program drawn from his P10-million pork barrel that was originally intended for the depressed barangays and constituents in his district. State prosecutors proved that the PDAF was used for ghost or non-existent projects. Of the total, P9.6 million went to MFI, while P400,000 went to TLRC as a service fee. MFI did not have the capacity to implement the project as it was incorporated only in 2007, the year it was tasked to implement the PDAF project, the Ombudsman told the court. The respondents were accused of causing undue injury to the government by giving unwarranted benefits and advantages to MFI. “There is no doubt that the acts of Concepcion, Cunanan, Jover, Pulido and Bombeo caused undue injury to the government in the amount of P9,600,000 which to date remains unaccounted for,” the Sandiganbayan said in its 68-page ruling. The court also ruled that the respondents’ act of extending unwarranted benefits to a private party “without the proper accreditation” and the “lack of legal basis,” considering it was not one of the implementing agencies identified in the 2007 General Appropriations Act, were in violation of CoA Circular No. 96-003. “The totality of the facts and circumstances demonstrates that the accused, through manifest partiality, gross inexcusable negligence and/or evident bad faith, committed the offense of violation of Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019, causing undue injury to the government and giving unwarranted benefits to Bombeo and MFI,” the court said. The post Sandiganbayan convicts late Teves’ co-accused appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 18th, 2023

Declare MIF unconstitutional, group asks SC

Several lawmakers petitioned the Supreme Court yesterday to declare unconstitutional the Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023 under Republic Act No. 11954 signed into law by President Marcos last 18 July to be managed by the Maharlika Investment Corporation which has a seed capital of P150 billion. The petition was filed by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, former congressman and Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Javier Colmenares, and former Bayan Muna congressmen Carlos Isagani Zarate and Ferdinand Gaite. The group in their petition also asked the high bench to issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction or status quo ante order (SQAO) to stop immediately the implementation of RA 11954, and to conduct oral arguments. Named respondents in the petition were Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. Three “serious grounds” were cited in the petition in seeking the unconstitutionality of Maharlika Investment Fund Act, namely: “RA 11954 is void because it was passed in violation of Section 26 (2), Article VI, of the 1987 Constitution; the test of economic viability as mandated under Section 16, Article XII of the Constitution was not complied with prior to the creation of the Maharlika Investment Corporation; and RA 11954 violates the independence of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as provided for under Section 20, Article XII of the Constitution.” The petition claimed on alleged violation of Section 26 (2), Article VI of the Constitution, that “the Presidential certification of the Maharlika Bill in the House of Representatives and Senate did not comply with the constitutional requirement” and since the bill was not enacted in accordance with the Constitution, it “therefore did not become a law.” The petition pointed out “the Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023 therefore requires intense congressional scrutiny, genuine consultation with stakeholders, and a careful study by independent economic experts.” It said that “both Houses of Congress, however, went on the opposite direction and rushed the Maharlika bills and short-circuited the constitutionally mandated legislative processes, through an unnecessary and constitutionally infirm Presidential certification of urgency.”   The post Declare MIF unconstitutional, group asks SC appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 18th, 2023

Sandiganbayan convicts 3 TLRC ex-officials, 2 others over P9.6M PDAF scam

The Sandiganbayan convicted three ex-officials of the now-defunct Technology and Livelihood Resource Center and two others over their involvement in the P9.6 million worth of ghost projects funneled through the pork barrel fund of the late Negros Oriental lawmaker Herminio Teves in 2007. The anti-graft court’s Third Division handed down a 68-page decision, which found ex-TLRC deputy director general Dennis Cunanan, ex-TLRC chief accountant Marivic Jover, ex-TLRC legislative liaison office officer-in-charge Belina Concepcion, Teves’ then-chief-staff Hiram Pulido and Molugan Foundation Inc. president Samuel Bombeo, guilty of one count each of graft and malversation. They were sentenced to up to 28 years in prison and perpetually disqualified from holding public office. They were also ordered to pay the P9.6 million, or the amount malversated with a legal interest of 6 percent per annum. TLRC’s erstwhile department manager Francisco Figura, meanwhile, was acquitted of the same charges. The Sandigabayan also dismissed the case against the principal accused Teves owing to his passing. Filed by the Ombudsman in 2017, the graft and malversation charge arose from the disbursement of Teves’ P9.6 million Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF to Molugan Foundation Inc., a non-governmental organization controlled by Bombeo. The Ombudsman said Teves “unilaterally chose” MFI as an implementor of his livelihood program drawn from his P10-million pork barrel that was originally intended for the depressed barangays and constituents in his district. However, state prosecutors probe later revealed that the pork barrel funds were instead used to fund projects that turned out to be a ghost. Of the total, P9.6 million went to the MFI while P400,000 went to TLRC as a service fee. The Ombudsman also found that the MFI did not have the capacity to implement the project as it was incorporated only in 2007, the year it was tasked to implement the PDAF project. Thus, the respondents were accused of causing undue injury to the government by giving unwarranted benefits and advantages to the MFI. In convicting the accused, the Sandiganbayan said, “There is no doubt that the acts of Concepcion, Cunanan, Jover, Pulido, and Bombeo caused undue injury to the government in the amount of P9,600,000.00, which to date, remains unaccounted for.” The court also ruled that their acts of extending unwarranted benefits to a private party “without the proper accreditation” and the “lack of legal basis” considering it was not one of the implementing agencies identified in the 2007 General Appropriations Act were in violation of COA Circular No. 96-003. “The totality of the facts and circumstances demonstrates that the said accused, through manifest partiality, gross inexcusable negligence and/or evident bad faith, committed the offense of violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019, causing undue injury to the government and giving unwarranted benefits to Bombeo and MFI,” the court said. The post Sandiganbayan convicts 3 TLRC ex-officials, 2 others over P9.6M PDAF scam appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 18th, 2023

Brazil opens first ‘ExpoCannabis’ amid pot debate

Bubbling with euphoria as thick as the haze in the air, marijuana enthusiasts flocked this weekend to Brazil's first "ExpoCannabis," amid a national debate over decriminalizing the drug for personal use. Launched in Uruguay a decade ago, the huge marijuana fair opened its first international edition Friday in Sao Paulo, complete with DJs, guest speakers, myriad pot products and a large outdoor space packed with hundreds of visitors, nearly all of them smoking up. Organizers said they expected 20,000 people to attend the three-day event, which aims to showcase cannabis in its many uses, and not just recreational and medicinal. "We want to show the public all the plant's capabilities. We're not just talking about the pharmaceutical industry. The plant can also work in the food and beverage industry, the construction industry, the textile industry and biofuels," organizer Larissa Uchida told AFP. "It's a plant that has been demonized for many years, so there needs to be a whole deconstruction of this idea." Uchida said the event respected Brazilian legislation, with vendors selling cannabis accessories, extracts and derivatives -- but not the actual drug. Those smoking it at the fair likely purchased it illegally, but authorities appeared willing to turn a blind eye. Brazil’s 2006 drug law imposes prison terms for drug trafficking, and lighter penalties such as community service for possession, but has faced criticism for a lack of clarity over the line between the two. - Landmark court case - ExpoCannabis got its start in Uruguay in 2013, the same year the small South American country became the first in the world to fully legalize the regulated production and sale of recreational marijuana. The event in neighboring Brazil comes as the Latin American economic powerhouse re-evaluates its own prohibitionist drug laws. Brazil's Supreme Court is currently hearing a case that could decriminalize small-scale possession and use of cannabis and certain other drugs in the nation of 203 million people. Five of the court's 11 justices have so far ruled for decriminalizing marijuana for personal use, just one vote short of the majority needed. Ruling to decriminalize in August, Justice Alexandre de Moraes condemned existing anti-narcotics laws, which he said principally penalized "young people, especially uneducated Blacks, who are treated as drug traffickers for possessing small quantities." However, in a sign of how controversial the subject remains, Senate president Rodrigo Pacheco announced plans Thursday to introduce legislation to amend the constitution to explicitly make the possession of any amount of cannabis a crime. - Budding mega-industry - "I think it's very important to have the first edition (of ExpoCannabis) in Brazil right now," Sao Paulo state legislator Caio Franca told AFP at the fair. "We're at a very opportune moment for a conversation on cannabis-based medicines and recreational use, both from a legislative point of view and also in the courts," said Franca, who has introduced a bill to include medical marijuana in the Sao Paulo public health system. Marijuana for medical use also remains a touchy subject in Brazil. Patients have had to go to court to win the right to use the active ingredient cannabidiol, or CBD, for treatment of conditions such as epilepsy. Gabriel Vieira, an exhibitor at the fair, called for Brazil to join the growing number of countries that have partially or fully legalized cannabis. "We have to see the truth: there are a lot of people who consume it, whether it's medicinal or recreational. I think we need to follow in the footsteps of countries like Germany, the United States," said Vieira, who is 29. The economic potential of the budding global cannabis industry -- valued at $43.7 billion last year, and projected to grow to more than 10 times that by 2030 -- was on full display at the fair. Visitor Luciano Narita, 40, grinned as he showed off his haul of products. "I came here looking for new products, like this chocolate I bought, pipes, leaves," he said with a smile. "I like it for recreational use." fg-jhb/bbk/tjj © Agence France-Presse The post Brazil opens first ‘ExpoCannabis’ amid pot debate appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2023

17K volunteers, 15 SM malls nationwide join Int’l Coastal Cleanup Day

More than 17,000 volunteers nationwide across 15 SM malls in 12 locations helped create waves of positive change with the biggest haul of trash during the 38th International Coastal Cleanup Day on 16 September 2023. [caption id="attachment_184759" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Geronimo Reyes, International Coastal Cleanup Philippines project head; Orliber D. Paule, SM Estates SAVP; Joaquin San Agustin, SM Supermalls SVP Marketing; Atty. Michael Drake P. Matias, DENR-NCR OIC, Regional Executive Director; Jessica Bianca T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. project director AVP; Emi Rubiano-Calixto, Mayor of Pasay City; Atty. Ignatius Loyola Rodriguez, DENR Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Legislative Affairs; Perkin Bentley So, SM Supermalls SAVP-Mall Operations[/caption] More pictures:   The post 17K volunteers, 15 SM malls nationwide join Int’l Coastal Cleanup Day appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

Special polls to replace Teves set on December 9

The special election to fill the vacancy in the third legislative district of Negros Oriental with the expulsion of Arnolfo Teves Jr. has been set on Dec. 9......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 30th, 2023

Calls for federalism backed anew

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Alliance of Advocates of Federalism in the Philippines Inc. announced on Sunday that it has received a positive response from the people in central Mindanao after learning the advantages of the federal form of government. This, as AAFP president Atty. Nazir Ynawat recently conducted a forum in Digos City in Davao del Sur province, explaining to them the advantages when the country decides to shift its form from Presidential to Federal form. Under the presidential form of government, the power is equally divided among its three branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — while in Federalism mode of government, it combines a general government with regional governments in a single political system.” Ynawat said he received a positive response from officials and the academe, adding that a similar reception was also demonstrated by the town grassroot sector and officials of academe in the towns of Goma, Tuban, Padada, Sinawilan, Malinao, Tacub, Sulop and the adjacent towns of Digos City. “I find the audience to the forum very receptive to my explanation about the federal form of government,” Ynawat said. During the forums he conducted in central Mindanao, about 90 percent of those who attended signed a membership form attesting their desire to join the AAFP and a total of 9,875 people coming from all sectors of the community have signed a membership form. He also disclosed that some local government officials of towns and cities in central Mindanao are discreetly supporting the AAFP movement, claiming that it is time for Filipinos to adopt a new form of  government system to advance the nation and the region. In other developments, the Moro National Liberation Front on Sunday branded the recent statement of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that he is gearing towards a federal form of government as “mere propaganda.” MNLF political director Gafur Hajirul told DAILY TRIBUNE in a telephone interview that Marcos allegedly only floated the federalism issue to gain support for administration candidates in the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this October. Harijul stressed that if the President is really serious about federalism, he should have included it among his prioritized legislative agenda, adding that Marcos can also use emergency powers to declare shift of form of government. The MNLF had earlier back tracked on its earlier move to seek independence of Mindanao   to campaign support to the shift from Unitary to Federal system which coincided with the group political objective of self-rule. With Perseus Echeminada The post Calls for federalism backed anew appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 27th, 2023

House calls for special poll to fill Teves’ seat

The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a resolution requesting the Commission on Elections to hold a special election to fill the vacancy that expelled lawmaker Arnie Teves left in the chamber. Filed by Speaker Martin Romualdez, who has served as the temporary legislative caretaker of the Negros Oriental, and two other House leaders, the lower chamber adopted House Resolution 1212, seeking to fill Teves' seat. The proponents stressed in the resolution that the vacancy "has left the constituency of the Third Legislative District of the Province of Negros Oriental without representation in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the Philippines." Owing to his "disorderly behavior" and violation of the Code of Conduct of the House of Representatives, the House expelled Teves last Wednesday with 265-0-3 votes. According to the House leaders, the prolonged vacancy of Teves' seat invoked Section 9, Article VI of the Constitution, which provides that "In case of vacancy in the Senate or the House of Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner prescribed by law." However, under the Constitution, the elected senator or House member "shall serve only for the unexpired term. In accordance with Republic Act 6645, the Comelec, upon receipt of a resolution of the Senate of the House of Representatives, shall hold a special election to fill such vacancy. Comelec chairperson George Garcia had previously said the poll body was geared up to conduct a special election if requested by the House. “If we will be directed… we will comply with haste,” Garcia said. The Comelec is set to receive a copy of the House-resolved resolution. The post House calls for special poll to fill Teves’ seat appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2023

It’s Kadayawan Festival in Davao City

The longest and most colorful festival in the Philippines is indubitably Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival. It formally kicks off on 10 August with revelry of ethnic gongs and music festivities and ends on 20 August with dazzling and radiant floats festooned in an array of fruits and flowers. August is the most abundant period of harvests and, as a tradition, the indigenous tribes in the city celebrate the season with festivities. And we celebrate with them. Davao City is home to 11 ethnic tribes. A large portion of elevated and forested lands in the city are their ancestral domain, while a few of them inhabit the coastal area. Despite the diversity of cultures, they live in peaceful coexistence along with other pioneers from various parts of the country. The tribes are well represented in the City Legislative Department and as Deputy Mayors. Let us refer to the City Tourism Office for the description of the various tribes that live in Davao City. Ata. They are shy and kind but are quick to anger. They are often referred to as people of the mountain as they prefer to live in upland areas. Bagobo Klata. They are forest dwellers and brave and feared warriors. They are known for their elaborate attire and fine artistry. Bagobo Tagabawa. They are the best dressed and said to be the most intelligent among the indigenous peoples. They dwell in the foothills of Mt. Apo which they call Apo Sandawa and is their place of worship and considered sacred. Matigsalug. The riverside dwellers. They are engaged in farming and are famous for the native rice variety. They fish and hunt and gather wild fruits for a living. Obu Manuvu. The oldest tribe in Davao City. They are known for their fine weaponry and jewelry. Planting cacao and vegetables is their source of livelihood. Iranun. Davao City has its share of the Iranun tribe who were originally from Illana Bay, better known today as the Moro Gulf, but they have spread to nearly all of Mindanao. They are descendants of Sultan Kudarat. They are known as the defenders of the nation as they fought against the Spanish colonizers. Kagan. This tribe inhabits the coastal areas of Davao. They are referred to as Davao Moros. They are a peace-loving people and are known to co-exist with other tribes. Maguindanaon. Known to be the first major Muslim converts in Mindanao. Courageous and resourceful, they are known for their bravery against the Spanish conquistadores. They live in many parts of Davao City. Maranao. The best dressed among the ethnic groups. They are famous for their wood and metal craft. They are referred to as “people of the lake.” Sama. A peace-loving tribe that values togetherness. Their forebears were said to have special powers as they could summon spirits called “jin” to do things for them. Taosug. They are from Sulu and are known for their bravery, yet are kind, hospitable, and helpful, and have a word of honor. They engage in trading and fishing, as among their means of livelihood. Davao is home to the world’s most elegant eagle and the habitat of the king of orchids we call Waling Waling, or Vanda Sanderana to orchidists. On its fertile lands are a variety of crops, among these, durian, bananas, and pineapples which are the principal exports of the city. Mangosteen, pomelos, lanzones, dragon fruit and rambutan abound this season. Numbeo ranks Davao as the most livable city in the Philippines. And this is made possible by the man who led the city against criminal and drug syndicates and ISIS and communist terrorists. Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte is the one. The first President from Mindanao whose trust and approval ratings, and path of destiny the incumbent Vice President Inday Sara Duterte is bound to be heir to. The 38th Kadayawan Festival is a celebration of life, abundance, and thanksgiving. Come join us. The post It’s Kadayawan Festival in Davao City appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2023

Arnie not yet a fugitive — DoJ

A warrant of arrest has yet to be issued to suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. despite the Anti-Terrorism Council or ATC labeling the congressman as a “terrorist.” As such, he cannot be considered a fugitive from justice as of yet, Department of Justice spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said in a Malacañang press briefing Tuesday. The House of Representatives, meanwhile, said it would only consider allowing Teves to join its sessions via videoconferencing if he would make such a request. “(Teves) is not considered a fugitive, as this (declaration of him being a terrorist) is separate and distinct from a criminal action. It is only when you are issued a warrant of arrest that you become a fugitive or your status becomes a fugitive,” Clavano said. The post Arnie not yet a fugitive — DoJ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

House to prioritize LEDAC-approved bills

The House of Representatives reconvened for the second regular session of the 19th Congress on Monday after a nearly two-month break. Speaker Martin Romualdez, leading the plenary, assured the Executive department that the legislature would prioritize the bills approved by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council or LEDAC during its second meeting. LEDAC-endorsed bills are in line with the Marcos government’s Agenda for Prosperity or socio-economic policy. “We face the remaining bills in the LEDAC priority list with enthusiasm and optimism, steadfast in our determination to transform these initiatives into concrete laws for the benefit of our fellow Filipinos,” Romualdez told his peers during his speech hours before the President delivered his second State of the Nation Address. Three hundred eleven congressmen responded in the roll call during the opening of the session. Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves was not around due to his suspension. “Our unwavering aim is to realize them before the year ends. We stay committed to spurring economic growth, alleviating poverty, augmenting healthcare services, and fostering job opportunities for our fellow countrymen,” he continued. The House leader, cousin of the President, is referring to 20 LEDAC bills, namely, amendments to the BOT Law or Public-Private Partnership bill; National Disease Prevention Management Authority; Internet Transactions Act or E-Commerce Law; Health Emergency Auxiliary Reinforcement Team Act, formerly Medical Reserve Corps; Virology Institute of the Philippines; Mandatory ROTC and National Service Training Program; Revitalizing the Salt Industry; Valuation Reform; and E-Government and E-Governance. Completing the LEDAC list are the Ease of Paying Taxes Equally; National Government Rightsizing Program; Unified System of Separation/Retirement and Pension of Military and Other Uniformed Personnel; LGU Income: Classification; Waste-to-Energy Bill; New Philippine Passport Act;  Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers; National Employment Action Plan; Amendments to the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act; Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas-endorsed Bank Deposit Secrecy; and Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act. Aside from the LEDAC, the House said it would keep its eyes on how the newly enacted New Agrarian Emancipation Act (RA 11953), inked by the President last 7 July, is being implemented. “It is equally imperative to address the issues confronting our agricultural sector in the soonest possible time. We will redouble our efforts to stop the smuggling of rice, sugar, and onions, which harms our farmers’ competitiveness and disrupts the agricultural value chain,” said Romualdez, among the principal authors of RA 11953. “We shall safeguard our farmers’ interests, ensure equitable market conditions, and foster sustainable farming methods to ensure our nation’s food security.” The law wrote off "all principal loans, unpaid amortization, and interest" of 610,054 agrarian reform beneficiaries totaling P57 billion from the time of the President's late father, Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. The post House to prioritize LEDAC-approved bills appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 24th, 2023

Australia, US open large-scale war games

SYDNEY (AFP) — Australia opened a large-scale joint military exercise with the United States and almost a dozen other nations on Friday, as a senior officer revealed that a Chinese spy ship was following the proceedings. Officials formally launched the biennial Talisman Sabre exercise, involving more than 30,000 troops from 13 nations, including Britain, Japan, Indonesia, Canada and France. The drills come amid increasing concern about the threat posed to the region by China, which is not part of the military exercise. Speaking at a news conference onboard the HMAS Canberra, Australia’s Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Greg Bilton told reporters that a Chinese spy ship had been spotted off the country’s northeastern coast the previous day. “We reached out on Thursday and hailed that vessel in the Coral Sea,” he said. “It’ll move down, I expect, and join the exercise or be in the location of the exercise again. They’ve done this for a number of years — we’re well-prepared for it.” He said the Chinese response to Australia’s communication had been “courteous and in accordance with normal norms at sea.” Australia and the United States have made it clear that they have their eyes on China’s activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Australia has announced moves to develop military facilities in its northern region, while also saying that the US military presence there will increase in coming years. A US “Indo-Pacific Strategy” last year announced efforts to work more closely with regional allies to “shape the region around China” to blunt Beijing’s influence. Lieutenant General Bilton said Australian defense officials “haven’t reached out to the Chinese specifically” ahead of the military exercise. He added: “This exercise is about us, it’s about our partner nations, building interoperability, trust and our ability to respond together to whatever crisis might exist in our region in the future.” For two weeks, until 4 August, troops will participate in field training, amphibious landings, ground force maneuvers, air combat and maritime operations. Most of this year’s exercise will take place in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland. The post Australia, US open large-scale war games appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2023