Karamihan sa mga development at community planning officers sa Visayas na nakatanggap ng scholarship grant mula sa Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) noong 2014 ay kasalukuyang tumutulong na sa mga komunidad na nasalanta rin ng kalamidad tulad ng Bagyong Odette at Agaton.
Ang scholarship grant na ito na nagkakahalaga ng US$10-million ay mula rin sa United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sa pakikipagtulungan ng OPARR noong pinamunuan ito ni Senador Ping Lacson na dating nagsilbi bilang Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery.
Sa kanyang pagbisita sa Ormoc, Leyte nitong Miyerkules kasama ang kanyang ka-tandem na si Senate President Tito Sotto, nakausap nila ang ilan sa mga planning officers na naging scholars ng nasabing programa.
Many of the development and community planning officers in the Visayas who received scholarship grants from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) through the US$10-million technical support and assistance extended by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) after their areas were devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda are now helping their communities deal with similar disasters like Odette and Agaton – and independent presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson is very proud of them.
Lacson, who as Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery facilitated their schooling eight years ago, met with some of the planning officers during his and vice presidential bet Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III’s visit to Ormoc, Leyte on Wednesday.
“Parang fulfilling. Of course tinamaan na naman ng Odette, tinamaan na naman ng Agaton. And we take pride in one of our legacy projects na nabanggit ko kanina, nagpa-scholar kami ng 162 planning officers who are now giving services sa kanilang respective municipalities (It was very fulfilling to see some of the 162 planning officers who underwent training via scholarships now giving services to their respective municipalities and dealing with the effects of recent cyclones like Odette and Agaton),” Lacson said.
As it faces more challenges in the second year of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government should be more open to constructive criticism as well as the efforts of the private sector, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday.
Lacson also said the government should evaluate the actions it has taken so far and sustain the strengths while addressing the weaknesses of its response.
“Now is the time for an evaluation, what the government did right and what it did wrong,” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.
“Instead of rejecting constructive criticism, it should accept it as part of their planning and continuing assessment. Our aim is to call their attention to things they may not realize. No one has a monopoly of wisdom and knowledge,” he added.
I’d like to add my voice in honoring the TOYM of the Philippines for 2020. Let me cite in particular Atty. Lesley Cordero who used to be my undersecretary in the OPARR, tasked to integrate the recovery efforts of the government for Super Typhoon Yolanda, one month after the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in history made landfall, damaging 171 cities and municipalities in 14 provinces of the five regions of the country, killing more than 6000 people and affecting 11 million others in central Philippines.
Walang pondo, walang sweldo sa loob ng apat na buwan, wala kaming reklamong nagtrabaho upang mapagaan ang buhay at kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan na matinding pinahirapan ng bagyong Yolanda. Nakatayo ako sa bulwagang ito, mahal na pangulo, upang pasalamatan at pahalagahan si Atty. Cordero, sampu ng kanyang mga kasama sa TOYM of 2020. Maraming salamat po Mr. President.
Ituring na katuwang ang pribadong sektor at mga lokal na pamahalaan sa programang pagbabakuna ng pamahalaan laban sa COVID-19, sa halip na tratuhin sila bilang kakompetensiya.
Kasabay nito, nanawagan si Senador Panfilo Lacson na mas palakasin ang partisipasyon ng pribadong sektor at mga lokal na pamahalaan sa naturang programa sa pamamagitan ng pagluluwag sa mga ito na makaangkat at maisagawa ang proseso ng pagbabakuna.
Ang kailangan lamang umano ay matiyak ang regular na koordinasyon ng mga ito sa mga mangangasiwa sa programa, ang Department of Health (DOH) at National Task Force Against COVID-19.
“One common mistake that every administration commits is treating the private sector as competitors through over-regulation instead of partners especially during the time of crisis such as this pandemic that we are confronting now,” banggit ni Lacson.
“Let’s face the reality that the private sector does not go through the same bureaucratic delays that their counterpart in the public sector suffers from,” obserbasyon ng mambabatas.
The private sector and local government units (LGUs) should be treated as partners and not competitors in the national government’s COVID-19 vaccination program by being allowed to actively and even proactively procure and administer vaccines, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed Monday.
Lacson said this is as long as they are in close coordination and under the supervision of the Department of Health and National Task Force Against COVID-19.
“One common mistake that every administration commits is treating the private sector as competitors through over-regulation instead of partners especially during the time of crisis such as this pandemic that we are confronting now,” he said.
“Let’s face the reality that the private sector does not go through the same bureaucratic delays that their counterpart in the public sector suffers from,” he added.
The World Economic Forum conducted in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017 identified both natural and man-made disasters as among the top global risks that can cause significant negative impact for several countries and industries within the next 10 years. But long before this risk has been widely talked about in international fora, disasters have unfortunately become a frequent life experience in the Philippines, and our recent history attests to this untoward reality.
Just last Friday, Nov. 8, we commemorated the sixth anniversary when category-five Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) cut a swath of unprecedented destruction across 171 cities and municipalities in Central Philippines. In the same breath, we are one with our brothers and sisters in Mindanao as they continue to heal from the scars caused by the Zamboanga siege in 2013 and the Marawi crisis in 2017. In between, various parts of the country are being shaken, quite literally, by earthquakes and numerous aftershocks; most recent of which were the three strong quakes that hit the island of Mindanao in the past weeks, affecting 146,000 Filipinos, most of whom are still living in tents as we speak.
In an interview on DZBB/GNTV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– thwarting possible attempts to insert pork in the P4.1-trillion proposed 2020 budget via bicam
– ‘most behaved’ House with P9.5B institutional amendments in the budget bill
– release of funds to address recent calamities
Concepcion National High School, Busuanga, Palawan
Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda once said, and I quote: “There are no greater treasures than the highest human qualities such as compassion, courage and hope. Not even tragic accident or disaster can destroy such treasures of the heart.”
One thing is true: we are in an era of new struggles and undertakings of two extremes – climate change and Islamic fundamentalism; threats from natural calamities at the unprecedented scale of Typhoon Haiyan and the shattering of peace through extremist terrorist activities, like the recent horrendous and coordinated attacks in Paris.