Tag: NEDA

On the President’s ‘Appeal’ to Senators to Give EO 128 a Chance

President Duterte’s Executive Order 128

First, the Senate has no choice since the reduced tariff rates and the increased in-quota MAV have already taken effect.

Second, kung meron lang sanang nangyaring inter-departmental courtesy consultation, since EO 128 is a consequence of a delegated authority granted by Congress to the President anyway, we could have given our input based on our own consultations and research.

For example, the National Economic and Development Authority’s conclusion that demand for pork has not changed in spite of the pandemic is flawed. As I had pointed out during the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing, the 50% contraction registered by the hotel and restaurant operations should easily affect demand since the pre-pandemic 8.2 million foreign tourists are now eating pork somewhere else outside the country. Thus, at 15 kilograms of pork consumption per capita as estimated would mean 120 million kilograms less pork. That should be substantial enough to consider when they came up with the 350,000,000 kilograms in additional in-quota MAV allocation.

That being said, the appeal might as well be directed toward the 80,000 backyard hog raisers, their families, farm hands and all others now being affected by the EO, both directly and indirectly.

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Lacson Thankful for Hope Brought by Donated COVID Vaccines

Image Courtesy: CNN Philippines

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson expressed thanks over the weekend to the donors of COVID-19 vaccines that arrived in the Philippines recently, saying these give Filipinos hope of recovering from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Lacson said the vaccines from China-based Sinovac, as well as AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC), will help achieve herd immunity that is a key to resuming economic activities.

“Always grateful to China and COVAX AMC for making us see a sliver of hope to achieve herd immunity,” he said on his Twitter account Friday evening, adding the P2.2-billion daily loss in household consumption and the 9.5-percent economic contraction was driving the country a step closer to insanity until the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines arrived.

Continue reading “Lacson Thankful for Hope Brought by Donated COVID Vaccines”

On the Bad Shape of the Philippine Economy

The Philippine economy is definitely in bad shape, made even worse by the difficult choice between addressing health-related problems and the sinking economy.

A classic example is the NEDA’s recommendation to the President to allow children 10 years old and above to go out of their homes with their parents, as NEDA studies show 50 percent of the economy is driven by family activities outside their homes.

It was a very sound NEDA suggestion that was initially given due course but recalled immediately, instead of first considering a middle ground that would have accomplished both – like closely supervised or monitored family outings.

Policy decisions play a vital role in striking a balance between long-term implications on the economy and the immediate effects on our people’s health concerns. The right decisions will chart our path towards a sustainable “new normal,” pull us out from pits of social and economic distress, and shape a safer and more resilient society.

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Ping: Ekonomiya, Mabilis na Ibabangon ng National ID

Bibilis ang pagbangon ng ekonomiya ng bansa kung ganap na maipapatupad ang Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act o ang National ID.

Ito ang nakikita ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, isa sa mga may-akda at ang sponsor sa Senado ng naturang batas na ngayon ay nasa inisyal na bahagi na ng pagpapatupad.

“The lack of identification creates formidable barriers for the downtrodden and the poor, and creates even larger barriers between the government and the people. Hence, we should push for the implementation of the National ID if we want to further strengthen our response not only against the pandemic, particularly in the roll-out of the much-awaited vaccines, but in many of our future endeavors,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa kanyang pagsasalita sa pangatlong taunang economic and political briefing ng Colegio de San Juan de Letran Graduate School.

Related: Lacson: Full Implementation of National ID to Speed Up Economic Recovery
Continue reading “Ping: Ekonomiya, Mabilis na Ibabangon ng National ID”

Lacson: Full Implementation of National ID to Speed Up Economic Recovery

A full implementation of the Philippine Identification System (National ID) Act will speed up the country’s economic recovery following a 9.5-percent contraction in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said.

Lacson, one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the measure in the Senate, said the National ID system will promote financial inclusion and streamline government services – both of which are needed at this time.

“The lack of identification creates formidable barriers for the downtrodden and the poor, and creates even larger barriers between the government and the people. Hence, we should push for the implementation of the National ID if we want to further strengthen our response not only against the pandemic, particularly in the roll-out of the much-awaited vaccines, but in many of our future endeavors,” he said at the third annual economic and political briefing of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Graduate School.

Related: Ping: Ekonomiya, Mabilis na Ibabangon ng National ID
Continue reading “Lacson: Full Implementation of National ID to Speed Up Economic Recovery”

Huwag Natin Pabayaan! Mas Malaking Suporta ang Kailangan sa R&D vs COVID

At the hearing on the proposed 2021 budget, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for greater government support for research and development, especially in the fight against COVID-19. He also raised questions on:
* Information that PhilHealth is not getting full allocations from the sin tax
* Why P30B in COVID-19 response funds remain undisbursed
* NEDA’s ‘Resiliency’ planning

MORE DETAILS…
Continue reading “Huwag Natin Pabayaan! Mas Malaking Suporta ang Kailangan sa R&D vs COVID”

#PINGterview: Laging Handa Public Briefing: Anti-Terror Bill, National ID, GMRC Law

In an interview on PTV-4’s Laging Handa public briefing, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Why the Anti-Terrorism Bill is urgent [21:12]
* DOH leadership woes in dealing with COVID-19 threat [23:15]
* National ID’s value amid pandemic [24:56]
* Implementing the GMRC Law [28:03]

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Laging Handa Public Briefing: Anti-Terror Bill, National ID, GMRC Law”

Fast-Tracking the National ID System and Funding R&D

The National ID system was signed into law nearly two years ago. There is no other time than now where it is most needed.

I hope the National Economic and Development Authority can fast-track the implementation of the National ID system, as directed by the President.

NEDA should have ample help from the Philippine Statistics Authority as the frontline agency, and the Department of ICT which plays a major role.

The first question is, is the system ready to accept registrants? If so, they should give priority to the marginalized sector, and those targeted for financial assistance because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, while the President has made a P10-million offer to whoever can develop a vaccine for COVID-19, it would mean much more if the government invested more on research and development than the token annual average share of 0.4% from the General Appropriations Act.

We only need to look at how much the most prosperous countries spend on R&D to see why we are among the laggards. Even if we bump up the percentage to 1 or 2 percent of the national budget, it would make a major difference.

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Haiyan: An Unforgettable Chapter in My Public Service Career [published in The Manila Times]

Sen. Lacson’s essay on Yolanda/Haiyan, five years after, as published in The Manila Times: “In sum, Haiyan is one chapter in my public service career I will never forget — extremely difficult, many times frustrating, yet satisfying only because I worked with very competent staff and consultants who didn’t mind the limitations imposed by our own government in all aspects.”  Continue reading “Haiyan: An Unforgettable Chapter in My Public Service Career [published in The Manila Times]”

On the NEDA Chief’s Reported Claim that the Peso’s Weakness is ‘Nothing to Worry About’

We should all worry that the NEDA Director General and the DBM Secretary (as earlier announced) are not worried about the weak peso.

For one, our offshore debt stands at US$73.1 billion. In July 2016, or exactly two years ago, the peso-US dollar rate was PhP47.30 per US$1. Now, it has shrunk to an all-time low at PhP53.40 per US$1.

We don’t need to be rocket scientists to realize that right off, we have to pay an extra PhP445.9 billion with the PhP6.1 difference.

Add to that the fact that the manufacturing sector imports a great portion of their raw materials.

Pray tell me if we shouldn’t be concerned.

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