Speech at the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board Summit 2020

My distinguished colleague and chairperson of the Philippine Army MSAB Governance Committee, Sen. Manny Pacquiao; Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen Cirilito Sobejana; Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Alexander Macario; Davao de Oro Governor Tyron Uy; Vice Commander of the Philippine Army Reynaldo Aquino; members of the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board; men and women of the Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas, a pleasant morning to all.

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#PINGterview: Walang Pondo para sa COVID-19 Vaccine/Response sa 2021 kung Reenacted ang Budget

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* effect of reenacted budget on COVID-19 response in 2021
* connection between DPWH lump sums and delay of budget bill in the House of Representatives

QUOTES and NOTES:
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On the President’s ‘Option’ to Take a Direct Hand in Resolving the Budget Impasse

It is the President’s option to do whatever is necessary, even taking a “direct” hand in resolving the Speakership issue, with the timely passage of the 2021 national budget as his only consideration. After all, anything that has to do with national interest should involve the President.

This is one credit I would give to the President. As the leader of the coalition of political parties in the House of Representatives, I don’t think there is impropriety if he steps in to resolve the impasse between conflicting groups that are both his allies anyway. A few calls to the leaders of those coalitions can simplify matters.

Having said that, how can the Senate accept a printed copy of an unapproved House version of the budget bill, as proposed by Speaker Cayetano? We can only file a committee report once the General Appropriations Bill is transmitted to us after it has been approved on third and final reading. Why do they have to wait for Nov. 16 to approve the budget on third and final reading? I can’t understand any of this.

Our priority in the Senate remains the same – to pass on time a national budget that will allow us to deal with the effects of the pandemic. This includes scrutinizing the budget bill to make sure huge sums are not lost to incompetence or greed.

*****

Editorial: Need for (net) speed [People’s Journal]

From People’s Journal: From unwavering fidelity to the Constitution to high fidelity to life-enhancing technology, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson relentlessly pursues practical but meaningful legislation. Motivated by the pressing need to strengthen the country’s digital backbone, Lacson thankfully threw his full support behind the government’s plan to provide free Wi-Fi, especially in far-flung areas, and to set up a national broadband program.

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The Only Way to Ensure the Timely Passage of the P4.5-Trillion 2021 Budget Bill

Between Oct. 12 and 14 when the Senate is originally scheduled to receive the transmittal of the General Appropriations Bill from the House of Representatives, and Nov. 17 when the Speaker said they will be able to transmit the same to us, is definitely not a one-day difference as claimed by Speaker Cayetano.

With that said, I have just suggested to the Speaker if it’s possible for him to resume their session, which is merely suspended and not adjourned, before All Saints’ Day just to approve on third and final reading the House version of the budget measure and thereafter transmit the same to us.

I also told him the senators, especially the finance committee vice chairpersons, need at least one week to study the House version and submit to the mother committee our reports. Another week will be needed for the finance committee to consolidate everything and file its committee report. In so doing, we can start floor debates immediately after we resume session on Nov. 16, or even before that.

That is the only way we can ensure the timely passage of the budget measure. We cannot afford an impasse involving the most important piece of legislation that Congress has to pass: the national budget, which I have consistently regarded as the lifeblood of our economy, if not our country.

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#PINGterview: Likely Delay in Passage of 2021 Budget; Sec. Duque’s WHO Post

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* likely delay in passage of 2021 budget
* Sec. Duque’s new post at the World Health Organization

QUOTES and NOTES:
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Ping, Aayuda para sa Dagdag Pondo ng National Broadband, Free Wi-Fi Programs sa 2021

Desidido si Senador Panfilo Lacson na itulak ang pagkakaloob ng malaking pondo sa pambansang gastusin sa susunod na taon ang national broadband program at libreng Wi-Fi.

Nakikita kasi ng mambabatas na ang mga programang nabanggit ang magiging pundasyon para tumibay ang ekonomiya ng bansa.

“This is the backbone of our economy. In this day and age of modern information technology, we have no reason not to catch up or to be at par with neighboring countries, considering that potential investors’ first concern would be internet speed,” banggit ni Lacson sa pagdinig ng Senado sa panukalang badyet ng Department of Information and Communications Technology at National Telecommunications Commission.

Ayon kay Lacson, ang maasahang ICT system ay nangangahulugan ng mas maraming oportunidad para sa mga Pinoy na maipakita ang kagalingan at abilidad.

“I am a believer in ICT because there is so much we can do if our ICT is efficient,” dagdag pa ng mambabatas.

Related: ‘ICT Believer’: Lacson Commits to Support Bigger 2021 Budgets for National Broadband, Free Wi-Fi Programs
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‘ICT Believer’: Lacson Commits to Support Bigger 2021 Budgets for National Broadband, Free Wi-Fi Programs

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Tuesday threw his full support behind the government’s plan to provide free Wi-Fi especially in far-flung areas, and to set up a national broadband program.

Lacson said he will push for a bigger budget for the two programs, as he noted these will serve as the backbone of the country’s economy.

“This is the backbone of our economy. In this day and age of modern information technology, we have no reason not to catch up or to be at par with neighboring countries, considering that potential investors’ first concern would be internet speed,” Lacson said at the budget hearing for the Department of Information and Communications Technology and National Telecommunications Commission.

“I am a believer in ICT because there is so much we can do if our ICT is efficient,” he added.

Related: Ping, Aayuda para sa Dagdag Pondo ng National Broadband, Free Wi-Fi Programs sa 2021
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Read: Senate Resolution 533, Seeking an Inquiry on Issues Surrounding the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Water Project

Image: CTTO

“Given the critical role of Malampaya in the country’s energy and overall national development, it is imperative for Congress and the Filipino public to be apprised of the: (1) plans of government for SC 38 given its looming expiration and Malampaya’s declining output; and (2) compliance of government and the consortium with PD 87 and SC 38.” (co-author with Senators Sotto and Gatchalian)

Senate Hearing on Establishing a Mechanism for the Pensions of MUPs

Sen. Lacson’s Opening Statement at the Hearing:

The Chair welcomes everyone present in the joint public hearing of the Joint Committee to discuss several proposed measures that seek to rationalize and establish reforms in order to create a fair, sustainable and clear mechanism for the pensions of MUP and other related matters.

Distinguished colleagues who are present this morning, and guests convened today physically and virtually to find the need to address critical concerns which if not managed immediately would mean dire consequences in the financial welfare of our country. I speak of the ballooning pension requirements of our MUP which we fear may no longer be sustained by our scarce government resources in the coming years.

Certainly, it is high time we created a standalone special fund so that we may deter the inevitable fiscal disaster of draining the public coffers attributed to the bloating pension requirements of our uniformed retirees which up to this very moment completely rely on the national budget.

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