Tag: 18th Congress

On Full Congressional Support for the Universal Health Care

Image: CTTO

Despite the shameless corruption in PhilHealth, the 2021 Universal Health Care budget deserves full support from Congress. But we can – and must – make our health care program more meaningful by immediately putting in jail all those who stole our money, directly or otherwise.

That said, a PhilHealth under new leadership should make sure that the funds it gets for 2021 to implement the Universal Health Care Act go to the intended beneficiaries instead of its favored few.

In the same way that Congress will contribute to the success of the Universal Health Care Act, PhilHealth and the other agencies tasked with implementing it should not contribute to its failure.

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Read: Committee Report No. 107, on the Corruption in PhilHealth Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

We must thus exert our utmost authority and vigilance to rid PhilHealth of undesirables and, punish to the fullest extent of the law, criminals… Less than this, we cannot allow.” – Senate Committee Report 107, by the Senate Committee of the Whole. Sen. Lacson is one of the sponsors of the Committee Report.

 

Ping: Leadership Vacuum Iwasan, “Designated Survivor” Measure, Isabatas Na

Dapat maisabatas na agad ang “Designated Survivor” legislation upang maiwasan ang constitutional crisis at pagkabakante ng liderato ng bansa sakali mang magkaroon ng ‘di-inaasahang pangyayari (“exceptional circumstances”) kagaya ng terorismo.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson na naghain ng naturang panukala sa Senado, ang mabilis na pagsasabatas nito ay magsisilbing lunas sa limitasyon sa isinasaad ng Saligang Batas tungkol sa pagpasa ng liderato ng bansa o line of succession bunga ng mga ‘di-inaasahang pangyayari.

“Because of the failure of Congress to pass the necessary legislation in extending the line of succession beyond the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a constitutional crisis is possible if all four top elected officials, God forbid, die in one event such as the SONA due to a terrorist attack in the Batasang Pambansa, or any occasion where the President and all three officials in the line of constitutional succession are present,” paliwanag ni Lacson.

“If such a tragedy occurs, who will act as President until the next election of the President and Vice President, since the constitutional line of succession to the President stops at the House Speaker?” tanong ng mambatas.

Related: Lacson: Pass “Designated Survivor” Legislation Now
Continue reading “Ping: Leadership Vacuum Iwasan, “Designated Survivor” Measure, Isabatas Na”

Lacson: Pass “Designated Survivor” Legislation Now

“Needless to say, passing such legislation is not only constitutional. It is in fact, required under the 1987 Constitution.”

To avert a potential constitutional crisis and leadership vacuum, the process to pass a “Designated Survivor” measure guaranteeing the continuity and stability of operations in government should be started immediately, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.

Lacson said recent events involving “exceptional circumstances” such as terrorism illustrate the need to address soonest the limitations of the 1987 Constitution’s current provision on the line of succession.

“Because of the failure of Congress to pass the necessary legislation in extending the line of succession beyond the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a constitutional crisis is possible if all four top elected officials, God forbid, die in one event such as the SONA due to a terrorist attack in the Batasang Pambansa, or any occasion where the President and all three officials in the line of constitutional succession are present,” Lacson said.

“If such a tragedy occurs, who will act as President until the next election of the President and Vice President, since the constitutional line of succession to the President stops at the House Speaker?” he added.

“With all that said, I hope the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes and Laws will immediately conduct a hearing on Senate Bill No. 982, which I filed in August last year – or appoint me as subcommittee chairman, as I am willing and ready to sponsor and defend such an important piece of legislation on the Senate floor,” Lacson said.

Related: Ping: Leadership Vacuum Iwasan, “Designated Survivor” Measure, Isabatas Na
Continue reading “Lacson: Pass “Designated Survivor” Legislation Now”

Read: Senate Resolution 493, Expressing the Senate’s Sympathy and Condolences on the Death of Former Sen. Eddie Ilarde

“The passing away of a dedicated public servant, who had lived a full and meaningful life and who had never failed to look back at his humble beginnings, using the same as a constant guide and reminder that the poor and marginalized sector of society deserves no less than what they are entitled to under the Constitution and other existing laws consistent with the saying that those who have less in life must have more in law, is a great loss not only to the bereaved family but to the nation as well.” (co-author with Senators Sotto and Tolentino)

Read: Senate Resolution 479, Urging COA to Conduct a Special Audit of COVID-Related Spending before Congress Deliberates on 2021 Budget

Various procurements made in relation to COVID-19 have been marred by allegations of overpricing … Congress is set to deliberate on the 2021 budget, and anticipating that massive allocations will need to be made to address the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19, it is of critical importance that there be audit findings to guide legislators in their exercise of the power of the purse.” (co-author with Senators Hontiveros, Drilon, Pangilinan, de Lima, Recto)

Opening of the Senate’s Second Regular Session in the 18th Congress

Amid the New Normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Lacson and colleagues mark the opening of the Second Regular Session of the 18th Congress. [Photos Courtesy: Senate PRIB]

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“Stealth? Not Me!”: Rectifying Raissa Robles’ Allegations Against the Anti-Terrorism Law

A blog post by Raissa Robles insinuating that I stealthily inserted Section 25 into Republic Act 11479 – the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 – is malicious and untrue, to say the least.

I abhor violations of the legislative process, and have called out members of Congress for such acts – such as when they inserted their pork barrel in the National Budget bill after its approval on third and final reading or ratification of the bicameral conference committee report, and before the bill was enrolled.

Why, then, would I make such a stealthy insertion to the Anti-Terrorism Bill as Robles implies?

Continue reading ““Stealth? Not Me!”: Rectifying Raissa Robles’ Allegations Against the Anti-Terrorism Law”

Read: RA 11479, The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

Republic Act 11479, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, is An Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Penalize Terrorism, Thereby Repealing Republic Act 9372, Otherwise Known as the Human Security Act of 2007. It gives the Philippines a strong legal backbone against the threat of terrorism.

 

On the Reported Plan to Call for a Special Session

Before a special session is called, it is best for the Executive Department and Congress to first agree on a mutually acceptable legislative measure to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social and economic problems that beset our country. That way, we won’t be wasting our time.

However, as long as the Department of Health is incompetently led and the health issue cannot be addressed appropriately, we will be in a Sisyphus-like situation. Worse, we will just be throwing away our country’s very limited resources that could bring us neck-deep in debt with no solution in sight.

It’s bad enough that we will be forced to scrounge and even borrow just to augment our already limited funds. It’s infuriating if we lose it all – and more – to incompetence.

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