Tag: Senate

Ping: Patawarin na Lang Natin Ulit ang Cha-Cha Pusher sa Kamara

Patawarin uli natin si Cong Garbin – dahil talagang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya.

Ito ang reaksiyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa paggamit ni House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Alfredo Garbin Jr. sa isang resolusyon na isinulong ng senador noon pang 17th Congress.

Sa panayam ng Politiko TV, iginiit ni Garbin na ang pagtalakay sa pagbabago sa Saligang Batas na kanilang ginagawa ay batay sa Senate Resolution 580 na inihain ni Lacson noong Enero 2018.

“Under Senate Resolution 580, which I filed in 2018, proposed changes are to undergo the regular lawmaking process. This means proposed amendments to the Charter are to be tackled at the committee level first, then approved in the plenary, before both Houses convene into a constituent assembly. Nowhere in the resolution does it say na committee pa lang, Con-Ass na,” ayon kay Lacson.

Related: Patawarin Natin Ulit: Lacson Trashes Charter Change Proponent’s New Claims
Continue reading “Ping: Patawarin na Lang Natin Ulit ang Cha-Cha Pusher sa Kamara”

Patawarin Natin Ulit: Lacson Trashes Charter Change Proponent’s New Claims

Forgive Cong Garbin yet again. This time – for he knows not what he says.

On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson debunked on Saturday the new claim by Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. that the tackling of proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution by a House panel last Wednesday was in line with a Senate resolution he authored in the 17th Congress.

Garbin claimed in an online interview Friday that Senate Resolution 580, which Lacson introduced in January 2018, allows both Houses to separately tackle amendments to the Constitution without need for a joint session.

“Under Senate Resolution 580, which I filed in 2018, proposed changes are to undergo the regular lawmaking process. This means proposed amendments to the Charter are to be tackled at the committee level first, then approved in the plenary, before both Houses convene into a constituent assembly. Nowhere in the resolution does it say na committee pa lang, Con-Ass na,” Lacson said.

Related: Ping: Patawarin na Lang Natin Ulit ang Cha-Cha Pusher sa Kamara
Continue reading “Patawarin Natin Ulit: Lacson Trashes Charter Change Proponent’s New Claims”

Ping: Gobyerno May “Chosen One” Bakuna Na

Malinaw na malinaw ang mga senyales na may “chosen one” na bakuna laban sa COVID-19 ang gobyerno, sa kabila ng kawalan pa ng Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) sa kahit na anong kumpanyang gumagawa nito.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson, ang binabanggit ng gobyerno na Sinovac lamang ang puwedeng magamit hanggang sa Hunyo ay nagpapatunay ng pagkakaroon na ng “chosen one” na bakuna.

“Can somebody explain why preference is given to the second most expensive vaccine, has lower efficacy, a record of suspended clinical trials and has not even applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) over other vaccines that cost much less, more efficacious and are about to be granted their EUAs?” banggit ni Lacson sa Twitter.

Mas makatuwiran umano para sa mga Pinoy kung ang pagtrato ng gobyerno sa Sinovac ay gagawin din sa mga bakuna ng ibang bansa na di-hamak na mas epektibo at mas mababa ang presyo, ayon sa mambabatas.

“That said, the national government should expedite the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines. To borrow Secretary Harry Roque Jr.’s words, it should not be choosy in buying vaccines,” diin ni Lacson.

Related: Why Choosy? Lacson Scores Sinovac’s 5-Month Headway
Continue reading “Ping: Gobyerno May “Chosen One” Bakuna Na”

Why Choosy? Lacson Scores Sinovac’s 5-Month Headway

After telling ordinary Filipinos not to be choosy in getting their COVID vaccines, the government should apply the same line in expediting the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Wednesday.

Lacson noted the availability of only Sinovac until June, as well as the replies of officials at Monday’s Senate hearing, indicate China-based Sinovac is the “chosen one.”

“Can somebody explain why preference is given to the second most expensive vaccine, has lower efficacy, a record of suspended clinical trials and has not even applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) over other vaccines that cost much less, more efficacious and are about to be granted their EUAs?” Lacson asked on Twitter.

“That said, the national government should expedite the procurement of all qualified and available vaccines. To borrow Secretary Harry Roque Jr.’s words, it should not be choosy in buying vaccines,” he added.

Related: Ping: Gobyerno May “Chosen One” Bakuna Na
Continue reading “Why Choosy? Lacson Scores Sinovac’s 5-Month Headway”

On the (Lack of) Choices for Vaccines

It’s not fair to say that Filipinos cannot choose their vaccines, at least from those made available by the government.

It’s bad enough that the national government virtually controls which brand/s of vaccines to procure. Pati ba naman ang pagpili kung ano ituturok sa braso ng mga Pilipino, hindi pa rin pwede mamili ang Pilipino?

Bakit ko naman pipiliin ang brand na 50% lang ang efficacy at wala man lang application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), against other brands with 79% and/or 95% efficacy and have pending EUA approval from the Food and Drug Administration?

Having said that, we can only pray and hope that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health properly implement the vaccination plan they laid out during our Senate hearing Monday.

While the plan may sound good, the difference is in the implementation – the reaction and responses to emergencies. Without proper execution, a plan no matter how good it is written and presented, won’t mean anything.

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Opening Prayer at the Senate Regular Session | Dec. 15, 2020

“Heavenly Father, to Thee glory is sung in the highest.
“We come unto Thy loving heart, pierced by our ingratitude and sins. Lift those who sit in distress and in darkness.
“Guide us in the path of Thee for the fulfillment of Thy greater glory.
“All this we ask in the name of the strong deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

On the ‘Committee of Two’ and Transparency Issues in the 2021 Budget Bill

I don’t agree on anything that is not transparent, especially if it concerns the national budget. While the bicameral conference committee may have been reduced to a “Committee of Two,” it is not exactly the case.

In fact, I already instructed my staff to coordinate closely with the Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office (LBRMO) on whatever movements of funds before the final version of the bill is presented to the bicam members for our signatures and approval.

Also, I practically demanded that I be furnished with a copy of the details of the Senate version before the convening of the bicameral conference, as what we had until yesterday morning was only the summary of the Senate version.

Having said all that, we already found some realignments that may seem questionable, based on our preliminary examination. For instance, while some of my recommended slash from the Department of Public Works and Highways’ budget was adopted, we also noticed at least P10 billion worth of infrastructure projects realigned within the same agency under the Senate version.

While we can identify the locations of the Senate-realigned projects, we may not be able to identify the senator-proponents. This is the reason why I have always called for transparency in all our individual amendments by posting the same on our official websites for the media and the public to see.

As I already stated, these are very preliminary even as we continue our scrutiny of the budget measure. Thus the importance of transparency cannot be emphasized enough.

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On the House’s ‘Early’ Transmittal to the Senate of the P4.5-T Proposed Budget for 2021

Image Courtesy: DBM

Regardless of the constitutional issues involving the House of Representatives’ version of the 2021 budget bill, it is still good that the Senate has enough time to approve our own version, leaving room for the bicameral conference and submission to the President for approval, thus avoiding a re-enacted budget.

Late yesterday afternoon, I submitted my Finance Subcommittee C report covering all the agencies assigned to me as Committee on Finance Vice Chair, in compliance with the Oct. 26 deadline set by the Committee.

However, I based my report on the National Expenditure Program, with a caveat that necessary adjustments will be made once the General Appropriations Bill is transmitted by the House.

Now that the GAB is available as reported, once we get hold of our copy, I’ll make adjustments based on the House version of the budget bill.

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📰 Lacson stands ground, says House GAB ‘illegal’ [Tribune]

From The Daily Tribune: In response to a 24 October editorial of the Daily Tribune, Senator Panfilo Lacson’s camp wrote that the legislator is not ready to give the House of Representatives’ version of the General Appropriations Bill the benefit of the doubt regarding the measure being free of pork.

Continue reading “📰 Lacson stands ground, says House GAB ‘illegal’ [Tribune]”

On the House Continuing to Tackle Amendments After Approving the 2021 Budget Bill

Last Oct. 16, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the P4.5-trillion proposed national budget for 2021. Yet as of today, it continues to tackle amendments via the so-called “small group.”

Art. VI, Sec. 26, Paragraph 2 of the 1987 Constitution is unequivocally clear, regardless of where the amendments will come from. Wala namang sinasabi ang Constitution na pag naghahabol ng “errata,” hindi ito applicable: “Upon the last reading of a bill, NO AMENDMENT THERETO SHALL BE ALLOWED, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.”

The claim of the House Appropriations Committee chair that the “errata” a.k.a. amendments will come from the implementing agencies and not from the individual House members will further muddle an already constitutionally infirm and error-filled budget measure. Why? The authorization part of the four-phase budget process is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress, and the executive should deal only with budget preparation and execution.

No amount of technicalities and sweet-talk maneuvers can correct a flawed budget that is supposed to address the problems and concerns of more than 100 million Filipinos.

It is time that we correct the mindset of the so-called representatives of the people in this regard.

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