Tag: COVID-19

#PINGterview: Balitaan at Kumustahan

In an interview on Politiko, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Possible veto of questionable items in 2021 budget
* Efforts to procure COVID vaccines
* Calls for reimposition of death penalty
* Hope for the New Year

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Lacson’s Christmas Wish: Early Procurement of COVID Vaccines, No More Incompetence

The early procurement of COVID vaccines amid renewed government efforts to procure them from the United States is Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson’s wish for this Christmas.

Lacson also said there should be no room for incompetence and ineptitude, especially on the part of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, after the events earlier this week.

“My Christmas wish is simple. I hope we Filipinos survive this pandemic, and we get the needed vaccines soonest,” Lacson said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

But he added the Cabinet, including vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., should help Duque not by defending him in media but by getting his job done.

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#PINGterview: ‘Lost Opportunity’ sa COVID Vaccine

In an interview on DZXL, Sen. Lacson detailed how DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III cost the government an opportunity to acquire 10 million doses of COVID vaccines from Pfizer by January 2021.

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#PINGterview: Enough Funds for COVID Vaccines in 2021 Budget

In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* funds for COVID-19 vaccines in the 2021 budget
* more agencies with cuts in the 2021 budget

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On the Philippine International Trading Corp. as a Procurement Arm

Utilizing the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) for the procurement requirements of several national government agencies may have to be revisited and stopped, not only to save on unnecessary expenses amounting to billions of pesos in delays and commissions or service fees.

Since the creation of the Government Procurement Service under the Department of Budget and Management, the PITC may have outlived its purpose. Initially, it was only used to circumvent the procurement of medicines, especially for emergency needs. But later, it has expanded into the procurement of other items like rice.

That said, it is only prudent that the government at least take a long hard look at the involvement of the PITC in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

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#PINGterview: P68B Skeleton Projects, Isantabi Muna sa 2021

In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson addressed questions on:
* realigning P68B in ‘skeleton projects’ for areas hit by recent typhoons
* reports of getting COVID-19 vaccine

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#PINGterview: ‘Uniform’ Appropriations for Several Districts Spotted in DPWH’s 2021 Budget

In an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* P1-M ‘uniform’ appropriations for at least 42 congressional districts in DPWH’s 2021 budget
* need to prioritize vaccines, R&D in 2021 budget

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Bakit Malaki ang Tapyas sa 2021 Badyet ng PDEA at DDB?

Kung hindi pa isinasantabi ng administrasyong Duterte ang gyera sa ilegal na droga, bakit binawasan ang mga kahilingan o proposal ng DDB mula P520.4 milyon to P344.5 milyon; at ng PDEA mula proposal na P4.911 bilyon to P2.731 bilyon sa NEP?

Habang nag-issue ang Pangulo ng EO 66 noong 2018 para magkaroon ng multi-agency approach ang gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng PADS (Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy) kaya pinasumite ang 61 ahensya ng budget para suportahan itong strategy, apat lamang ang pinabibigyan ng pondo ng DBM ng P2.053 bilyon sa ilalim ng NEP.

Pati ang mga augmentation na ginawa ng Senado para sa kanilang 2020 budget ay isinama sa “FLR (For Later Release)” at hindi ni-release: P81.9 milyon sa DDB at P106.1 milyon sa PDEA, ayon sa DBM Circular 580. Dahil dito, nadiskaril ang kanilang mga nakalinya na at umiiral na mga PAPs tulad ng ICT training at pambili ng ICT equipment.

Tuloy dapat ang laban sa illegal drugs, may COVID man o wala. Kaya naiintindihan ko ang hinaing at pakiusap ng DDB at PDEA sa pagdinig kahapon tungkol sa 2021 budget nila kung pwedeng madagdagan ng Senado ang kanilang tinapyas na budget.

May kasabihan tayo: Tulak ng bibig, kabig ng dibdib. Iyan ba ang nangyayari ngayon sa laban sa ilegal na droga sa kabila ng libu-libong napatay na mula noong 2016 pa?

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#PINGterview: Mahiwagang ‘Addendum’ ng DPWH sa 2021 Budget

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* DPWH’s ‘addendum’ in the 2021 budget
* Ombudsman Martires’ policies on SALN, lifestyle check

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On Sec. Duque’s Claim that the COVID-19 Pandemic is a Blessing in Disguise

Image Courtesy: PNA

Some people are definitely making a killing out of the misery brought upon our people by the coronavirus, coming as it does in many forms we cannot even imagine.

We have seen the PhilHealth’s illegal advance payments to unauthorized health care institutions and grossly overpriced procurement of IT equipment – not to mention its doctoring of financial records.

At the Department of Health, we continue to be confronted by issues we hate to hear, but which we now know anyway – the DOH’s “double-the-price” purchases of PPEs and face masks and probably even face shields.

Yet, as we hear the Secretary of Health saying that the pandemic is a “blessing in disguise,” we know for sure we haven’t seen the worse for our suffering countrymen, in terms of health and economic well-being.

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