08 November 2016

Gov’t eyes speedy assistance to typhoon victims
The Duterte administration is exerting efforts in preparing and providing speedy delivery of aids and distribution of employment shelter assistance to victims of calamities, a top Malacañang official said.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella made this statement to Malacañang reporters in a press briefing on Tuesday, Nov. 8 as the country commemorates the third anniversary of the Super typhoon Yolanda.

“We celebrate the triumph of the human spirit, the human community, the Filipino people and the survivors and all those who stood with us, all the nations who helped us get back on our feet, the agencies, the organizations, and all who pitched in, “ he said.

Abella described how the country and communities devastated by typhoon Yolanda are living examples of what can be achieved when everyone work together. Concerned agencies, he said, are sending guidelines to facilitate speedy delivery of various forms of assistance to victims of calamities.

“Yolanda brought misery and grief to our people, but it has likewise provided us with many lessons in our pre- and post-disaster response. On the part of the government, this ordeal taught us to exercise tapang at malasakit,” he said.

Politics and disasters, Abella noted, is always a bad mix. “So we will have none of that in this administration,” he added. He called on the nation to continue to stand and work together and carry on to show genuine care and compassionate service for Filipinos.

In the same briefing, Abella revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte will uphold the Paris agreement which seeks to cap the rise of global temperature resulting from climate change.

Abella explained that the President vowed to sign the agreement because it was a unanimous vote for his Cabinet. He mentioned the President’s warning that although the agreement is a binding treaty, it does not have sanctions to hold countries accountable.

He said bigger and industrialized nations could violate it and the same time could not be forced to pay for damages. He also pointed out that the climate fund will not be used to pay for damage incurred by climate-vulnerable countries. Instead, it will be allotted for projects.

As to the signing of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the President on Monday, Nov. 7, has signed an Executive Order creating an expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in an attempt to make the peace process in Mindanao more inclusive, Abella said.

The new BTC will have 21 members from the previous 15 members tasked to draft the enabling law in establishing a Bangsamoro government in Mindanao, Abella pointed out.

Under the BTC, eleven of the members will come from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), including the chairman of the BTC. Ten of its members will be nominated by the government. Three of the government’s nominees will be from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

The BTC is expected to submit the draft law to Congress in the middle of the next year, Abella said. PND

Gov’t pushes for ICT to ease congestion
Malacañang on Tuesday, November 8, underscored the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in easing traffic congestion in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized areas in the country.

In his message via teleconference at the first ICT Summit, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said ICT “can provide the necessary intervention” in easing traffic congestion in the metropolis.

Abella said traffic congestion impedes the mobility of people, goods and services and threatens the livability of the country’s cities.

“For example, employees can telecommute, instead of physically travelling and thereby help unclog blocked traffic arteries,” Abella said, noting that telecommuting refers to teleworking, tele-presence, tele-learning. “Through teleworking, the employee utilizes communications and I.T. solutions, so he or she can work from home or an alternative worksite as they would in the traditional workplace,” Abella said. “Through tele-presence, small groups can have face-to-face meetings through video conferencing and remote presence technology,” he added.

As for tele-learning, Abella said public schools and government learning centers can allow students and faculty to hold classes and school activities without being physically together on campus.

“This is especially helpful for community-based learning, TESDA courses and continuing adult education,” he said.

Abella meanwhile lauded the efforts of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in facilitating and accelerating public access to the internet by expanding the broadband structure throughout the country, ensuring connectivity and lower cost for high-speed remote and mobile access.

The Palace official likewise underscored the importance of public-private partnership and a public policy-enabling environment in promoting the concept of telecommuting.

“For example, the private sector in partnership with the government sector aim to develop and provide ICT solutions, lasting systems, ICT-based traffic management, parking management, carpooling, installation of high-speed Wi-Fi zones along congested roads,” Abella said. “These incremental efforts mitigate the traffic crisis as government continues to expand and improve the road network and public transport of the country,” he said.PND

Duterte to Govt Agencies: fast-track ‘Yolanda’ projects
President Rordrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, November 8, ordered government agencies to speed up rehabilitation projects in Tacloban City, which was severely damaged by supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ three years ago.

President Duterte, who expressed dissatisfaction on the slow pace of the ongoing rehabilitation works, on the spot ordered Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino to take charge of the rehabilitation projects.He said that after three years, only a number of bunkhouses and other shelter houses were built.“Dapat ‘yang Yolanda, one year after, tapos na ‘yan lahat. So you cut the red tape,” Duterte said.“I ask everybody to cooperate, kindly cooperate. Do not delay government projects,” he added, noting that he will be back in December to inspect the progress of rehabilitation projects.

The President likewise directed local government units to speed up processing permits such as building, electrical and business permits to spur development and progress.

President Duterte also said he will come up with a regulation similar to Davao, wherein government permits are out in 72 hours.

“Ako, I do it 72 hours. Any business permit that you would like to apply, it’s 72 hours in Davao… Then, beyond that, you go to the Mayor and explain why you need more than 72 hours to process the papers,” Duterte said.

The Chief Executive said there will be no room for laziness in his administration.

“Alam mo, indolence is part of corruption. When you are paid for eight hours to do your work, mag-trabaho ka ng eight hours, do not shortchange the public,” Duterte said.

In the same speech, President Duterte said he will no longer allow more than two bodyguards for government officials, citing the Alunan Doctrine.

“I will return the Alunan Doctrine. The doctrine says that more than three bodyguards including you kung may armas ka, pangatlo ka, that’s a private army and you will be arrested,” he said.

“Wala akong pakialam kung sinong governor ka o mayor. We go back to the simple days of you can have one or two,” he added.

Duterte also warned the police to do their job properly.

“‘Di kita papalusutin. But lahat ng pulis na nagpasubo sa trabaho, they will have my protection and I will not allow a single policeman to go to prison just because he was doing his duty. Tandaan ninyo ‘yan,” he said.

The President also assured that the typhoon victims will receive emergency assistance worth P5,000 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and another P5,000 from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)’s livelihood assistance III.

Earlier, President Duterte, together with two survivors, laid a wreath to the grave of one of the victims of the tragedy to demonstrate his sympathy and honor to those who perished.

After the wreath laying, President Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo lighted a candle to show respect to those who died from the supertyphoon.

Typhoon survivors and members of their respective families and friends, also offered flowers and candles to their dead love ones. PND