It is a most difficult decision to strike a balance between flattening the curve of COVID-19 and the looming economic recession due to a wide swath of business inactivity.
Thus, it is better left to those who have almost unlimited access to all the relevant data to decide which is the best course of action to take moving forward.
Having said that, I am sure that if Congress is provided with all those data, we can help in the policy direction.
On the other hand, there is no perfect system of distribution of aid considering the number of families involved in the cash dole-out, further complicated by a less efficient database due to the late implementation of the National ID system.
Just as intelligence information can spell the difference between success and failure in my previous life in intelligence and law enforcement work, data is the key for our policy makers to make the right decisions at this critical time.
Republic Act 11469 gives the government the needed powers to address the COVID-19 emergency. Section 4 (j)of the law aims to “ensure that donation, acceptance and distribution of health products intended to address the COVID-19 public health emergency are not unnecessarily delayed and that health products for donation duly certified by the regulatory agency or their accredited third party from countries with established regulation shall automatically be cleared: Provided, this shall not apply to health products which do not require a certification or clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.”
In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for lawmakers to prioritize help for daily wage earners amid the COVID19-triggered lockdowns, while preventing corruption in the implementation of aid for those affected.
The Senate filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Mandamus before the Supreme Court on March 9, 2020, seeking a ruling on the need for Senate concurrence in ending treaties such as the VFA. Sen. Ping Lacson, who was among the petitioners, said the petition will be strengthened by Senate Resolution 337. “We’re not filing this petition in our individual capacity as senators but we’re backed by the whole Senate because of SR 337.”
The CA Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Sen. Lacson took up the appointments and nomination of foreign service officers, including:
* 2 Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
* 1 Foreign Service Officer Class IV
* 1 appointed to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class I
* 1 appointed to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class II
* 1 appointed to the rank of Career Minister
* 18 appointed to the rank of Foreign Service Officer, Class II
Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Commission on Appointments, this Representation as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, presided over a public hearing this morning to deliberate on the nominations of two Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and one Foreign Service Officer Class IV.
The Committee likewise deliberated on the ad interim appointments of 21 Senior Officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs consisting of one Senior Official who is promoted to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class I; one Senior Official promoted to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class II; one Official promoted to the rank of Career Minister; and 18 Senior Officials promoted to the rank of Foreign Service Officer, Class II.
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 therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their appointments for the consent and approval of this body.
It is therefore my honor and privilege to recommend that the Commission give its consent to the nomination of the following Department of Foreign Affairs Senior Officers, namely:
“The ambiguity on the concurrence of the Senate in the abrogation of treaty involves an issue of transcendental importance that impacts on the country’s constitutional checks and balances. It presents a constitutional issue that seriously affects the country’s legal system as well as the country’s relations with the international community.” (co-author with Senate President Sotto and Senators Drilon, Gordon, Zubiri)
In a phone patch interview on DZBB and GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson notes the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that was passed in the Senate will lead to a more proactive fight against terrorism, while containing safeguards to prevent possible abuses.
At the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– Passage of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
– Senate’s planned petition before the Supreme Court regarding VFA abrogation
– Congress’ possible actions regarding ABS-CBN’s franchise
“In order to give Pasig City the recognition that it truly deserves, the approval of the proposed measure is earnestly requested (that) July 2 of every year is hereby declared a special nonworking holiday in Pasig City, to be known as the ‘Anniversary Day of Pasig City.'”
As I have earlier mentioned, there is no jurisdiction issue here. Rather, it is about merits in the SolGen’s allegations regarding an existing 25-year franchise that is expiring and over which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction under the 1987 Constitution; and the merits of ABS-CBN’s application for a legislative franchise that Congress has the sole power to grant or deny under the same Constitution.