Lacson Hopeful 2020 Will Kick Off Budget Reforms to Benefit Poor, Far-Flung Areas: Wala nang Disconnect!

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The coming year may finally mark the beginning of the end for the “disconnect” that has shut out far-flung towns and provinces from much-needed funding for their development programs, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.

Lacson said he has high hopes for the Department of Budget and Management’s policy to require agencies to secure certifications from Regional Development Councils for projects to be included in the proposed national budget for 2021.

“For the P4.1-trillion budget for 2020, projects initiated by the Regional Development Councils accounted for only 25 percent of development projects in the National Expenditure Program or the President’s Budget that forms the basis of the budget bill. Yet, local government units, especially those in far-flung areas, are in the best position to know their constituents’ needs and priorities,” said Lacson, an untiring watchdog of the national budget an advocate of local government empowerment.

“I am thankful to DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado for requiring agencies to obtain certifications from RDCs to make sure projects have local support. This is a step in the right direction that we must follow,” he added.

Related: Ping: Proseso Para sa Patas na Budget, Simula na sa 2020
Continue reading “Lacson Hopeful 2020 Will Kick Off Budget Reforms to Benefit Poor, Far-Flung Areas: Wala nang Disconnect!”

Letter to the Editor: Reply to Mary Ann Reyes’ column [Philippine Star]

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To The Philippine Star: Please allow us to set the record straight regarding Ms. Reyes’ column on Dec. 22, 2019, where she stated it is “unfortunate” that Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson “wants an investigation” into issues involving the organizers of the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games – and insinuated that the investigation may be for “grandstanding.”

Continue reading “Letter to the Editor: Reply to Mary Ann Reyes’ column [Philippine Star]”

Why Localizing Peace Talks with Communist Rebels Has Better Chance of Success

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Not all local government units have the same level of intensity as far as insurgency is concerned. In fact, many LGUs do not even have insurgency concerns at all. Further, local officials have a better grip of the insurgency problems in their localities than national officials.

I would say that as long as the parameters of the national government are clearly defined to guide the local officials in dealing with the localized peace talks, and as long as they are adequately supported logistically with some degree of authority to extend livelihood programs to possible rebel returnees, I believe they have a better chance of success than what we have been failing to accomplish for the past several decades.

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On the Reported US Visa Ban on Philippine Officials in ‘Unjust Detention’ of Sen. de Lima

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Allowing and denying the entry of foreigners into the territory of the United States, or any country for that matter, is a matter of right of that host country. They don’t even have to justify it.

What is unacceptable is the passage of a resolution by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that calls for the dismissal of charges against any respondent in a criminal case, in this case, Sen. de Lima and Maria Ressa. It is an affront to the integrity of our courts and the country’s judicial system. Even the President or any executive official, or any member of our Congress, cannot issue a formal resolution that will encroach on the power of a co-equal branch of government.

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PingBills | Pagrebisa sa Building Code, Isinulong ni Ping vs Lindol, Kalamidad

Sa hangaring mapaghandaan ang mga darating pang kalamidad gaya ng malalakas na lindol, mapaminsalang bagyo at baha, inihain ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang panukalang naglalayong itaas o palakasin ang building safety standards ng bansa.

Pangunahing layunin ng Senate Bill 1239 na isailalim sa masinsinang pag-araal ang 1977 National Building Code of the Philippines na magpahanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nagkakaroon ng pagbabago.

“Experience tells us that there is an urgent need to strengthen the overall policy on how buildings and structures are built in the country. Not to mention the country’s geographical location along the boundary of major tectonic plates and at the center of the typhoon belt, coupled by its socially and economically vulnerable population, it becomes even more imperative to review our four-decade-old National Building Code,” paliwanag ni Lacson.

Related: PingBills | For Disaster Resiliency: Lacson Bill Strengthens Building Safety Standards
Continue reading “PingBills | Pagrebisa sa Building Code, Isinulong ni Ping vs Lindol, Kalamidad”

PingBills | For Disaster Resiliency: Lacson Bill Strengthens Building Safety Standards

The devastation and loss of life caused by recent calamities, such as the magnitude-6.9 earthquake that struck Davao del Sur last Dec. 15, drive home the need to strengthen building safety standards in the Philippines.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed this as he filed Senate Bill 1239 to help protect the public from the effects of natural and man-made disasters, while giving the antiquated 1977 National Building Code a much-needed update.

“Experience tells us that there is an urgent need to strengthen the overall policy on how buildings and structures are built in the country. Not to mention the country’s geographical location along the boundary of major tectonic plates and at the center of the typhoon belt, coupled by its socially and economically vulnerable population, it becomes even more imperative to review our four-decade-old National Building Code,” Lacson said in his bill.

Related: PingBills | Pagrebisa sa Building Code, Isinulong ni Ping vs Lindol, Kalamidad
Continue reading “PingBills | For Disaster Resiliency: Lacson Bill Strengthens Building Safety Standards”

Interview on DWIZ: Nasa Pangulo na ang Pag-Veto ng Pork sa 2020 Budget | Dec. 21, 2019

In an interview on DWIZ Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘early’ signing of the 2020 budget in January 2020
– reinstatement of cops acquitted in Maguindanao massacre case
– NPA hit list and anti-terror bill
– assessment of 2019 and expectations in 2020

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “Interview on DWIZ: Nasa Pangulo na ang Pag-Veto ng Pork sa 2020 Budget | Dec. 21, 2019”

On the Verdict on the Maguindanao Massacre

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Image courtesy: CNN Philippines

Delayed justice is not necessarily justice denied in the Maguindanao massacre case.

Considering the number of respondents involved, not to mention the power and influence of local politics with undeniably strong connections with the national government – at least at the time the ambush-slaying of 58 victims was perpetrated – the judge who conducted the trial deserves high commendation and gratitude from the judiciary and the whole nation as well.

Without doubt, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes has immensely contributed to a renewed trust and confidence in the people of the administration of justice in our country. I am certain that she went through tremendous pressure and threats during the conduct of the trial. I therefore take my hat off to Judge Reyes for her courage and integrity.

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Last Senate Session Day for 2019

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Sen. Lacson (second from right) joins colleagues in a photo on the last day of session for 2019. The Senate resumes session in January 2020.