05 September 2016

PRRD’s Laos trip to join ASEAN leaders all set
VIENTIANE, LAOS — The trip of President Rodrigo R. Duterte here is all set, and the government is ready as far as the programs, priorities and functions are concerned.

President Duterte will arrive here in time for the opening of the 28th and 29th meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

As usually done, pre-departure rites will be held before PRRD steps into the plane on Monday, with select government personnel joining him to aid in the success of the President’s overseas trip, the first during the Duterte administration.

President Duterte is prepared to deliver a departure statement before leaving the country, and will be in close touch with government officials led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. The Executive Secretary has been designated by the President to head the Caretaker Committee during his absence.

While the final schedule is yet to be released, PRRD is expected to meet on the sidelines with the leaders of the ASEAN and its partner nations to discuss various issues affecting the region. Earlier he said that among the topics he hopes to tackle are about illegal drugs and terrorism which are plaguing many countries, including the Philippines. (LTA/JAG/PND)

Gov’t to fast-track dev’t of health infra
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial on Monday said that the DOH is focused on fast-tracking the development of health infrastructure to improve the delivery of health services.

At a press briefing in Malacanan, Secretary Ubial said the government envisions to have one doctor per five barangays and one health station per barangay within the six-year term of President Rodrigo R. Duterte in line with PRRD’s pronouncement of implementing a human approach to development and governance in improving the people’s welfare.

The top health official recently led a delegation to Havana, Cuba to study the Cuban public healthcare system in a bid to implement an effective health system in the Philippines.

She said the DOH needs at least P57 billion which is mainly for the salaries of health workers that include doctors, nurses and midwives as an intervention to the country’s public health system. According to Secretary Ubial, Cuba’s healthcare system is anchored on the human resource complement, producing adequate numbers of health professionals, particularly doctors.

In Cuba, there is one doctor for every 1,075 persons, while in the Philippines, we have one doctor for every 33,000 people. The World Health Organization standard for public health is one doctor for a population of 20,000.

Secretary Ubial said the Cuban health system is actually based on a principle of prioritisation, allocating about 28 percent of their national budget to the health sector and $460 per capita expenditure on health, compared to the Philippines’ $76 per capita expenditure on health based on the 2015 budget.

The DOH chief disclosed that her Cuban counterparts “indicated to me that they are willing to have capacity building and exchanges in the future. I’m sure that our universal health care dream will benefit from the lesson that we learned from the Cuban model and we will continue to have this cooperation and relationship with the Cuban Ministry of Health so that we can implement some of their best practices.” (PPA/JAG/PND)

PRRD proclaims State of National Emergency
President Rodrigo R. Duterte has proclaimed the Philippines under a State of National Emergency on account of lawless violence.

Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary Kristian Ablan made the disclosure during a press interview on Monday evening.

He said “the proclamation technically took effect today and remains in force until lifted by the President.”

Asst. Sec. Ablan emphasized “the President can call out the military as Commander-in-Chief by virtue of the Constitution.”

He said the proclamation commands the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to undertake measures permitted by the Constitution and laws.

The Palace official further stated that the proclamation is mainly ordering both the AFP and the PNP to suppress all forms of lawless violence in Mindanao and prevent lawless violence from spreading elsewhere across the country.

He said the State of National Emergency on account of lawless violence gives “due regard to fundamental and civil political rights” and has nothing to do with Martial Law or the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

“It’s just a stepped-up campaign of the police and the military to to ensure the safety of the general public,” the Palace official said. (PPA/JAG/PND)