Umaapela si Senador Panfilo Lacson sa Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) ng kahit na kaunting pagluluwag lamang sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols sa mga dumarating na balikbayan at overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Ito ay sa harap ng katotohanang kailangang gumastos nang malaki ang mga balikbayan sa pagsasailalim sa mga proseso, kasama ang pananatili ng ilang araw na “quarantine” sa mga hotel.
“Find the middle ground. We cannot be too stiff, too stringent. May occasion dapat na flexible tayo,” banggit ni Lacson sa pagdinig ng Senate Committee of the Whole sa COVID-19 vaccination program ng pamahalaan.
Small adjustments by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in implementing health protocols can be a big help to our balikbayans and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
This is because balikbayans have had to spend thousands of pesos and suffer much inconvenience including several days’ “quarantine” at a hotel, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said.
“Find the middle ground. We cannot be too stiff, too stringent. May occasion dapat na flexible tayo (There are times we should be flexible),” Lacson said at the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program Tuesday.
The government has more than enough funds to achieve herd immunity at least for this year, and should focus more on ensuring the efficient rollout of COVID vaccines, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.
Lacson cited figures from Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III indicating government has P5 billion more than needed for herd immunity for 2021.
“At P446 per dose including logistical costs, we will need P52.3 billion. We have already secured P57.3 billion through borrowings, so we have a surplus of P5 billion for herd immunity,” Lacson said during the Senate Committee of the Whole’s hearing on the national COVID-19 vaccination program.
“So money is not the problem here. Ang kailangan na lang dito maka-procure ng vaccines at may rollout (We just need to focus more on procuring the vaccines and rolling them out),” he added.
For his part, Senate President Vicente Sotto III agreed: “The bottom line is the rollout.”
Sagradong obligasyon at tungkulin ang pagtakbo bilang Pangulo gaya lamang ng pagpili ng mga botante ng kanilang iboboto, kaya dapat na seryoso muna itong pinag-iisipan at pinaglalaanan ng panahon bago maglabas ng desisyon.
Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, kasama sa mga unang dapat na ginagawa ng nagbabalak na sumabak sa pampanguluhang halalan ay ang pagkonsulta sa mga dalubhasa para sa responsibilidad na papasukin na kailangang sabayan din ng pagmulat sa mga botante na maging higit na responsable sa pagpili ng iboboto.
“To me, the decision to go for it is as sacred as going to the poll booth to vote. Since the vote is sacred, there is a bigger responsibility on the part of potential leaders to decide – and prepare – to be a leader of this country,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Ipinaalala ng mambabatas na ang mga lider ang tinitingnan ng mga tao bilang ehemplo.
Deciding to run for the presidency is a sacred duty that should be taken as seriously as going to the poll booth to vote, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.
Lacson said those who decide to run for the top post should prepare for the job by consulting experts in various fields, while helping the electorate become more mature.
“To me, the decision to go for it is as sacred as going to the poll booth to vote. Since the vote is sacred, there is a bigger responsibility on the part of potential leaders to decide – and prepare – to be a leader of this country,” he said.
“Our people’s lives depend on it. Tiktok, photo-ops and lip service cannot solve our country’s enormous problems,” he added.
Dapat na ilantad at ilatag nang maayos sa publiko ang karagdagang P25 bilyong pondo na kailangan ng pamahalaan upang ipambili ng bakuna laban sa COVID-19.
Nakikita kasi ni Senador Panfilo Lacson na maaring mauwi sa labis-labis na suplay ng bakuna, o kaya ay mapunta sa katiwalian ang situwasyon batay sa kasalukuyang P82.5 bilyon kung mailalaan ang nabanggit na halagang umano’y kinakailangan bilang pantustos.
“Based on the arithmetic I did, the P107.5 billion is way too much for buying the vaccines needed to achieve herd immunity – unless they know something we don’t. But the bottom line is, it is not their money, it’s the public’s. I can only hope the excess amount will not go to corruption,” banggit ni Lacson.
“More importantly, has the government made a commitment to procure the vaccines at such prices? It is important that the officials concerned explain how they will spend the amount. If they have not committed to buy yet, they should exercise restraint in spending our resources which are severely limited already due to the pandemic,” diin ng mambabatas.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is demanding transparency from the government’s health authorities over the supposed need for an additional P25 billion supposedly to procure COVID-19 vaccines.
Lacson said Tuesday the P25 billion, when added to the existing P82.5-billion appropriations for vaccines this year, could result in an oversupply of vaccines – or worse, be lost to corruption.
“Based on the arithmetic I did, the P107.5 billion is way too much for buying the vaccines needed to achieve herd immunity – unless they know something we don’t. But the bottom line is, it is not their money, it’s the public’s. I can only hope the excess amount will not go to corruption,” he said.
“More importantly, has the government made a commitment to procure the vaccines at such prices? It is important that the officials concerned explain how they will spend the amount. If they have not committed to buy yet, they should exercise restraint in spending our resources which are severely limited already due to the pandemic,” he added.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Commission on Appointments, this Representation as the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs presided over a public hearing this morning to deliberate on the nominations of two (2) Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
The Committee likewise deliberated on the ad interim appointments of 14 Senior Officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs consisting of one (1) Senior Official who is promoted to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class I; five (5) Senior Officials promoted to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class II; four (4) Senior Officials promoted to the rank of Career Minister; and, four (4) Senior Officials promoted to the rank of Foreign Service Officer, Class I.
Your Committee, after deliberating on their qualifications and fitness during the public hearing, determined that they are fit and qualified to be in the posts where they are nominated and appointed, and therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their appointments for the consent and approval of this body.
Before the suspension of the said hearing, the Committee had requested the following:
1. For various MUPs to submit to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) the necessary data with respect to the new entrants, so the latter will be able to update its actuarial study dated 05 January 2021; and
2. For the agencies to submit complete data on the real properties to aid the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in computing the total value of assets that may be considered in establishing the seed fund.
This Committee has been informed that, to date, the GSIS is yet to update its actuarial study due to either incomplete or delayed submission of some agencies. We can skip this for now as we were told the aggregate amount involved is not substantial enough to contribute to the reduction of subsidies coming from the GAA. Not to mention that the incomplete submission of data has already delayed the crafting of the committee report.
Mr. Chairman, it is my honor and privilege to second the motion of the distinguished committee chairman from the great province of Cavite for the confirmation of AFP Brigadier General Henry Doyaoen’s promotion to the rank of Major General – but likewise to raise a significant point which is relevant to the nominee’s confirmation today.
Exactly one year from today or on 17 May 2022, Brig. Gen. Doyaoen is due for compulsory retirement in accordance with Presidential Decrees 1638 and 1650. Any delay in the confirmation of his nomination later than today would disqualify him from being promoted to the next high rank of Major General, in so far as the provision of Section 4, Republic Act 8186 is concerned, which states that – let me quote for the record, “except for the Chief of Staff of the AFP, no officer shall be assigned/designated to the aforementioned position – the word aforementioned hereby refers to the positions of Vice Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and major service commanders – or promoted to the rank of Brigadier General/Commodore or higher if he has less than one (1) year of active service remaining prior to compulsory retirement.”
There is no doubt in my mind that Brig. Gen. Doyaoen, a decorated and battle-seasoned military officer for 33 long years, has exemplified competence and commitment to duty worthy of the AFP’s higher echelon of command. Our committee meeting earlier today merely affirmed his good credentials. Thus we decide to recommend to the plenary his confirmation in accordance with what the law and the Constitution so provide.