Tag: President Rodrigo Duterte

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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Ping, May Payo sa Commander-in-Chief sa Sigalot sa WPS

Chinese vessels at Julian Felipe Reef. Image Courtesy: AP

Hindi nararapat para sa Commander-in-Chief na maglabas ng mensaheng magbubunsod ng interpretasyon na tila sumusuko na ang pamahalaan sa pakikipaglaban sa Tsina para maangkin ang bahagi ng West Philippine Sea.

Ito ang naging tugon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, Chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, makaraang ihayag ng Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na maaring mauwi sa madugong sagupaan ang situwasyon kapag pinilit ng Pilipinas na igiit ang pang-angkin nito sa mga lugar.

“He’s the leader of our country and he’s the commander-in-chief of our armed forces. He can think of anything and speak about anything except surrender. Remember, we have an arbitral ruling in our favor and it’s permanent although it’s unenforceable. There are so many things to think about except surrender. We cannot wave the white flag, so to speak,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng CNN Philippines.

Ayon kay Lacson, posibleng malagay sa alanganin ang kasarinlan ng Pilipinas kapag hindi ito nasolusyunan.

“I am not saying the President is actually raising the white flag but that’s the implication. If the officers and men of the AFP would take it that way, it could be disastrous to Philippine sovereignty,” dagdag ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Commander-in-Chief Cannot ‘Surrender’ on WPS Issue
Continue reading “Ping, May Payo sa Commander-in-Chief sa Sigalot sa WPS”

Lacson: Commander-in-Chief Cannot ‘Surrender’ on WPS Issue

Chinese vessels at Julian Felipe Reef. Image Courtesy: AP

The Philippines’ Commander-in-Chief cannot afford to send the wrong message – especially implied surrender or resignation – on our territorial disputes with China in the West Philippine Sea, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday.

Lacson said this after President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday night that the Philippines may risk bloodshed and a no-win situation if it asserts its jurisdiction.

“He’s the leader of our country and he’s the commander-in-chief of our armed forces. He can think of anything and speak about anything except surrender. Remember, we have an arbitral ruling in our favor and it’s permanent although it’s unenforceable. There are so many things to think about except surrender. We cannot wave the white flag, so to speak,” Lacson said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

“I am not saying the President is actually raising the white flag but that’s the implication. If the officers and men of the AFP would take it that way, it could be disastrous to Philippine sovereignty,” he added.

Related: Ping, May Payo sa Commander-in-Chief sa Sigalot sa WPS
Continue reading “Lacson: Commander-in-Chief Cannot ‘Surrender’ on WPS Issue”

Ping: Maaring Desperado na Mga Tao Kaya Nabuo ang Community Pantry

Image Courtesy: CNN Philippines

Senyales ng pagiging desperado na ng mamamayan bunga ng kawalan ng tulong mula sa pamahalaan sa panahon ng pandemya ang paglutang ng mga community pantry sa ilang lugar sa Metro Manila.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, bagama’t isang magandang gawain at ehemplo ng pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa ng mamamayan ang community pantry, sa kabilang banda ay makikita rin ang desperasyon ng mga tao dahil hindi na nila maasahan sa tulong ang pamahalaan.

“It is good that through the community pantries, we see mutual aid by neighbors and barangay residents. But this is also a sign of desperation, that people can no longer rely on government to help them,” pagsiwalat ng mambabatas sa panayam sa kanya ng DZBB radio.

Kasabay nito ay nagpaalala rin ang mambabatas sa mga nagtutungo sa mga nabanggit na lugar.

“That said, those involved in community pantries must also remember to follow the proper health protocols to make sure they do not get infected,” dagdag ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Community Pantries Welcome, But May Signal ‘Desperation’ Amid Continued COVID Crisis
Continue reading “Ping: Maaring Desperado na Mga Tao Kaya Nabuo ang Community Pantry”

Lacson: Community Pantries Welcome; Signal ‘Desperation’ Amid Continued COVID Crisis

Image Courtesy: CNN Philippines

While they are a welcome development, the makeshift community pantries that have popped up in parts of Metro Manila amid the continuing COVID-19 crisis may also be considered a sign of desperation, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Sunday.

Lacson said it is good that residents take the initiative to help each other, but added such efforts show they can no longer rely on the government for help.

“It is good that through the community pantries, we see mutual aid by neighbors and barangay residents. But this is also a sign of desperation, that people can no longer rely on government to help them,” he said in an interview on DZBB radio.

Related: Ping: Maaring Desperado na Mga Tao Kaya Nabuo ang Community Pantry
Continue reading “Lacson: Community Pantries Welcome; Signal ‘Desperation’ Amid Continued COVID Crisis”

On the President’s Possible Recall of Executive Order 128

Well and good if it actually happens. It would mean that the President is not impervious to valid criticisms against an ill-advised course of action that will bring more harm than good on all practical aspects involving the hog industry.

I hope the President considers the plight of the dying industry affecting 80,000 backyard hog raisers along with hundreds of thousands of farmhands and their families – and the foregone revenues the government will deal with, especially at this time of the pandemic.

That being said, Department of Agriculture officials claimed during the Senate hearing to have based their action on their own analysis, which could be self-serving and designed to suit their purpose.

We based our opposition and arguments on the data provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority. If you ask me, I’ll take the side of data anytime.

Thus – with an average yearly surplus of 400 million kilos from local hog production for the three-year period 2018-2020, it defies logic why they still allowed the importation of almost 200 million kilos year-on-year for the same period.

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On the President’s Allowing the Private Sector to Import COVID-19 Vaccines ‘At Will’

I would say, it is the President’s best birthday gift to himself.

The next challenge, however, is compliance to his instructions by the concerned health authorities – including how long it will take to approve the applications to import their vaccines under the existing tripartite agreement. Then there’s the availability of vaccines in the world market, not to mention the time lag between booking and actual deliveries of the vaccines.

Had the order been issued at the time when the private sector was clamoring to be allowed to procure their own vaccines, subject to the usual existing regulations and protocols issued by the World Health Organization, by now the country would likely have been vaccinating en masse and nearing herd immunity, thanks in large part to the private sector.

As I had repeatedly suggested in the past, in a time of crisis, government should look at the private sector as partners rather than competitors. Unfortunately, some of those in charge of handling the pandemic do not think the same way as most of us do.

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Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan

Isinusulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang malalimang imbestigasyon ng Senado sa isang sindikatong “tong-pats” sa loob ng Department of Agriculture, na makikinabang sa rekomendasyon ng ahensya na ibaba ang taripa at taasan ang minimum access volume (MAV) ng imported na baboy dahil sa African Swine Fever (ASF).

Ito ay makaraang makarating sa kaalaman ng mambabatas ang impormasyong limpak-limpak ang “tong-pats” na nakokolekta ng ilang mapagsamantalang nasa gobyerno, habang malalagay sa alanganin o tuluyan nang pagkamatay ang lokal na industriya ng babuyan sa bansa, bukod pa sa malaking halagang nawawala sa ekonomiya at manganganib ang kalusugan ng publiko.

“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration. I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” mariing pahayag ni Lacson.

Nakipag-ugnayan na rin ang mambabatas sa pamunuan ng Mataas na Kapulungan kaugnay sa kanyang hangarin.

“I have talked to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to have the Senate look into this, so we can get the documents we need. So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panayam sa TeleRadyo.

Related: Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation
Continue reading “Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan”

Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed Tuesday for a Senate investigation into the activities of a syndicate within the Department of Agriculture that stands to gain billions of pesos in “tong-pats” from the DA’s recommendation to lower tariff rates on – and to increase the minimum access volume (MAV) of – imported pork products due to the severe impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the swine industry.

Lacson said the anomalies amount to a triple whammy that threatens to kill our local hog industry while raising health concerns and costing the government forgone revenues.

“We should unmask who is/are behind this scheme no matter how powerful and influential he may be with this administration. I want to see even a whiff of enthusiasm from the President to order the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and other concerned agencies to investigate, not to mention heed the call of the Senate to disapprove the DA’s recommendation to reduce the tariff and increase the volume of pork importation. Let’s see,” Lacson said.

“I have talked to Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III to have the Senate look into this, so we can get the documents we need. So far, we have received documents from the Bureau of Customs and DA. Still, we need more data to get to the bottom of the anomaly,” he added in an interview on TeleRadyo.

Related: Ping: Sebo ng ‘Tong-Pats’ sa Imported Baboy, Imbestigahan
Continue reading “Lacson Pushes Senate Probe of ‘Tong-Pats’ Racket in Hog Importation”

On the President’s Seeking Public Opinion on the PH-US VFA’s Fate

There you go! Nobody has the monopoly of wisdom regardless of power and authority. The best decisions are those made not out of hubris, but the humility of listening to as many people and trying to get a bit of what they have to say.

At the end of the day, the decision is his to make anyway. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain in listening to others.

What matters most is that our national interest, dignity and self-respect will be upheld.

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