Tag: PingTweets

Read: The Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11479, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

“The IRR of the Anti-Terrorism Act is so masterfully crafted that it gives our law enforcement officers no room for misinterpretation in implementing the law. Even this early, having the Executive Secretary, SOJ and SFA in the ATC is serving its purpose.” (Sen. Ping Lacson, Oct. 18, 2020)

Republic Act 11479, The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
Lacson: Anti-Terrorism Law’s IRR to Enlighten Security Forces, ‘Doubting Thomases’
Ping: Aprubadong IRR ng Anti-Terror Law, Malinaw na vs Terorismo Lang Talaga

On the President’s Affirmation of the Philippines’ Arbitral Victory over China before the United Nations

‘Alipin’ no more! Hearing the President invoke the Award before the UN General Assembly while firmly rejecting any attempt to undermine it should now erase doubts on where he stands regarding the West Philippine Sea issue.

Filipinos from both sides of the political aisle should feel proud hearing the President express his strong and unequivocal position on the WPS issue. His statement should erase all doubts on where he stands.

More importantly, I hope that China heard the President’s message loud and clear.


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.


More than Emergency Powers, Strong Political Will Needed to Disinfect PhilHealth

More than “emergency powers” to reorganize PhilHealth, what the President needs is real, honest-to-goodness, strong political will first.

Since PhilHealth is a creation of a law passed by Congress, the President has no statutory power to reorganize the agency, so he actually needs an act of Congress to delegate to him such power or authority.

And if the President’s intention is to cleanse PhilHealth of scalawags and misfits, he may not need that delegated authority anymore as he has the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice and other instrumentalities of government at his disposal.

That said, there is no time to lose to exercise such political will: No matter how good our country’s economic managers are, if our health department is below the level of incompetence in the middle of this pandemic, we will all sink before we can even start to swim.

For a start, he can fire its ex-officio chairman and replace him with someone even with little above-average leadership traits, competence, honesty and integrity – and who won’t wash his hands but takes full responsibility for what PhilHealth does or fails to do.


On PhilHealth’s New President and His First Marching Order

Removing all the regional vice presidents of PhilHealth may be easier ordered than implemented, considering that a number of them are protected by the civil service law. This is not to mention that it is unjust and unfair to those who are not involved in shenanigans in PhilHealth.

That said, I’ve known Dante Gierran enough to say that he is a good man. I hope and I mean it – that PhilHealth will not be Dante’s Inferno as he faces the challenges of his new mission.

As a former chief of the National Bureau of Investigation, he should have no trouble coordinating with the powerhouse task force led by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, his former boss, to implement much-needed reforms in PhilHealth.

I hope he will not fall victim to manipulation by parties inside and outside of the agency who have caused the state insurer to lose billions of pesos to corruption – not just for his sake, but for all Filipinos covered by PhilHealth.


Continue reading “On PhilHealth’s New President and His First Marching Order”

On DFA Sec. Locsin’s Plan to Recommend Terminating PH Govt Contracts with Chinese Firms in SCS Reclamation Activities

Screengrab: CNN Philippines Facebook page

Kudos to DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin for putting the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in his place. Banning us from sending our military aircraft into airspace near Panatag Shoal surely deserves a strong rebuke. I’m proud that our top foreign policy implementor did it.

Indeed, it’s long in coming by way of a statement from our DFA secretary. China’s display of arrogance by accusing us of infringing on its sovereignty and security by sending military aircraft into airspace adjacent to Panatag Shoal/Bajo de Masinloc, urging the Philippines to immediately stop illegal provocations, tops it all.


Lacson: Roof Leaks that Reportedly Destroyed Records in PhilHealth Region 1 Office May Not be from Natural Causes

Roof leak at PhilHealth’s Region 1 office. Images CTTO

The roof leaks that reportedly destroyed documents and records at the office of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in Region 1 do not appear to be from natural causes, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.

Lacson, citing information reaching him, said the leaks occurred in selected areas of what was supposed to be a newly occupied building by PhilHealth, whose personnel moved in only last December.

“There were indications the roof leak was not due to natural causes. The information I got is that there was an inventory of documents when the leaks occurred, particularly at the IT and accounting departments,” he said in an interview on DWIZ.

He added the PACC personnel who were examining the records were surprised that the leak suddenly occurred. “A video of the incident shows the ceiling was new. How come there was a leak?” he noted.

Continue reading “Lacson: Roof Leaks that Reportedly Destroyed Records in PhilHealth Region 1 Office May Not be from Natural Causes”

What Filipinos Deserve: A Corruption-Free PhilHealth, a Competent DOH Secretary

In 2004, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III was PhilHealth president when it illegally diverted P500 million in OWWA Medicare funds to buy PhilHealth cards bearing ex-President and then presidential candidate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s picture with the acronym GMA (Greater Medical Access) and GMA Para sa Masa, Para sa Lahat. The cards were distributed to areas where they knew they would lose against the late Fernando Poe Jr.

After her 2004 “victory,” Mrs. Arroyo rewarded PhilHealth president Duque with an appointment as DOH Secretary.

Fast forward to 2020, where under new PCEO Ricardo Morales – and Duque as ex-officio chairman – PhilHealth tried to collect premiums from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), notwithstanding their classification as a special sector. This amid a flawed if not perverted implementation of its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) for health care institutions handling COVID-19 cases, gross overpricing in its procurement of IT equipment, and the doctoring of its financial statements.

The President’s trust and confidence notwithstanding, Filipinos don’t deserve a state health insurance that is so corrupt, made possible by officials entrusted with mandatory monthly deductions from hard-earned salaries of ordinary employees.

As for Sec. Duque, he has stayed too long in the DOH and PhilHealth in different capacities. He admitted in a public hearing that he has given his best but it wasn’t good enough.

More than public interest, public health is imperiled with Sec. Duque at the helm of DOH. Notwithstanding the trust and confidence reposed on him by the appointing authority, Filipinos deserve a good, competent, honest and capable DOH Secretary.


Questions for the “Big Elephant” on the PhilHealth Mess

When he appears on Tuesday, I’ll ask him, being the incumbent ex-officio chairman of PhilHealth who was present during the shouting match in their last board meeting that effectively triggered these controversies, why he has been very quiet in spite of all the anomalies being openly discussed with so many unanswered questions involving highly questionable transactions by PhilHealth in the procurement of IT equipment, IRM funds distribution and manipulation of the agency’s financial statements which no less than COA has red-flagged on top of recurring disallowances and suspension in billions of pesos year in and year out.

I’ll ask him what he intends to do or recommend to the President.


Continue reading “Questions for the “Big Elephant” on the PhilHealth Mess”

On Sec. Duque’s Fitness to Stay as DOH Chief

It is not only me who disagrees with the President for not firing Secretary Duque. There were 14 senators who had earlier asked him to resign. I don’t think that number has changed.

Many others in the DOH and the medical community also want him to resign or be replaced.

Having said that, I couldn’t understand what “amulet” or magic potion Duque has as far as the President is concerned.

His failure to do a simple contact tracing on the co-passengers who took the same flight as the virus-infected couple from Wuhan, China, further aggravated by his refusal to assume responsibility by blaming other agencies of government when it was his duty to coordinate that effort was his first major offense in a series of devastating blunders.

All these being considered, it is not difficult to understand why we are in this mess.