Monday, May 9, 2011

Typhoon ‘Bebeng’ reminds Phl to invest disaster science center says Angara

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, May 10, 2011-“Typhoon ‘Bebeng’ is another reminder for the government to invest in the development of Philippine Disaster Science and Management Center (DSMC) which will be the center for research and training on disaster preparedness in the country,” Senator Edgardo J. Angara said, in his reaction due to the damaged brought by the recent tropical storm which whooped Luzon and the Visayas region.

“In the preparation of the nation for dealing with disasters like the common storms that hit the country or the devastating earthquake that recently hit Japan, the DSMC is equipped to assist the country to be better prepared to plan and manage disaster,” Angara said who chairs the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

“The DSMC was conceptualized dealing with the goal of assisting the country for a comprehensive prepared plan and manage disasters where the center also conducted series of lectures from distinguished local and foreign scientists and experts that introduced the effects of climate change in the local setting,” Angara said, adding that Japan, Korea and Taiwan have all willingly exchanged information with local experts, sharing their knowledge and data.

“The three countries have all experienced natural disasters and have implemented measures based on Science and Technology to better prepare their citizens for disasters,” he said, citing that Hyogo prefecture that has a Disaster Reduction Learning Center which recently hosted the training of local scientists and engineers from PAGASA and other institutes where the lessons learned from their experiences will be incorporated locally.

Angara stressed that the country need DSMC to help us prepare for the earthquakes and similar disasters that will continue to threaten the country. “There is a need to be understood by the government how to develop an advanced and real-time information dissemination strategy to handle such event so that the citizenry can take precautionary measures and be better prepared against disasters,” Angara ended.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) initially reported yesterday that the recent typhoon resulted to the death of 15 persons, 3 missing and 111,773 individuals were affected. Today, the NDRRMC will conduct survey of the extent of damages caused by typhoon Bebeng. (Jason de Asis)

Senate all set to work on pending legislations

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, May 10, 2011-Senate Juan Ponce Enrile said that after a month long break, the Senate is set to work now that the impeachment of the resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Guttierez under Senate Resolution number 105 had been set aside and it would be ready to buckle down to address pending legislations on the priority bills outlined by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

“I am expecting that senators will get back to work now that the impeachment of Gutierrez had been set aside,” he reiterated.

After reporters noted that Congress had only 12 working days before it goes on a sine die break starting June 10, Enrile said that we will try to do whatever we can do, saying that Senators enjoy a six-year term each. “We are not going to do everything that we have to do in six years, in a day, or in a month or in a year,” he furthered.

Enrile revealed that he received official communication from Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupaz Jr., chairman of the House Justice Committee that initiated the impeachment proceedings against Gutierrez, informing the Senate that the impeachment trial was no longer necessary because Gutierrez resigned last week.

“The Senate is now composed of 23 senators that’s why I am expecting that the Senate will be more productive in its legislative work with the return of  Senator Panfilo Lacson after a long absence,” he said, explaining that the bigger number is always a better number working with them.

Enrile mentioned the priority bills that is set to tackle in the Senate are the Anti-Trust Bill, the proposed measure seeking to reform the National Telecommunication Commission, the proposed revision to the Public Land Act, the proposed Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2010 and the proposed People’s Survival Fund bill, amending the Climate Change Act.

Before Holy Week break last March 26, the Senate tackled five bills such as the GOCC Governance Act of 2011 (SBN 2640), sponsored by Sen. Franklin Drilon, which aims to reform the structure and operations of GOCCs to exact from them efficient and effective public service; the Career Executive System Act (SBN 2671), which seeks to strengthen the bureaucracy by professionalizing the ranks of government managers and executives, authored by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV; and a bill Decriminalizing Vagrancy (SBN 2726), sponsored by Sen. Francis Escudero, which aims to remove vagrancy as a criminal offense in the Revised Penal Code. Approved on third reading, these bills are now pending in the House of Representatives.

“Also awaiting in the second reading at the Senate are the proposed Foster Care Act of 2010 (SBN 2486), the proposed Expanded Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2010 (SBN 2625), the Night work Prohibition of Women Employees Bill (SBN 2701), the proposed Meat Labeling Act of 2011 (SBN 2746) and the proposed Corporate Social Responsibility Act (SBN 2747),” he said.

Enrile also disclosed that the Senate will attempt to tackle the proposal of Malacanang to postpone the scheduled elections in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao “if we have the time”, explaining that the Senate notified informally by the Commission on Elections to be prepared just in case they cannot really enact the law, although that has been certified by the President as an urgent bill.

“I did not believe that the proposed Reproductive Health Bill will be given a priority status in the Senate. I don’t think it is a priority as far as we are concerned here,” he said, adding that he is not ready to tinker with anything that is an act of God.

In the name of national interest regarding the position of pro-RH bill advocates that Congress should approve the measure urgently, Enrile said that there are many ways to improve the lives of the people instead of trying to constrict the normal growth of the population, saying that instead of reducing the number of people that will participate in the pie, we should enlarge the pie. “That, in a nutshell, is the policy position that I am taking,” he ended. (Jason de Asis)

Jinggoy to PNoy: Pangilinan as the next ombudsman versus corruption

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, May 10, 2011-Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada suggested Senator Kiko Pangilinan to be the next ombudsman as an ally against corruption for being actively instituting reforms within the judiciary and an advocate for good governance.

Estrada said that President Aquino’s administration must appoint an ombudsman with good reputation and good credibility in exercising prudence and the use of best judgment in appointing the said position, saying that the post is very crucial in defining his term as president.

The Senator said that PNoy ran under an anti-corruption platform during the campaign for the presidency, and the fifteen million people who voted for him expect nothing less than eradication of corruption under his watch, adding that the Ombudsman takes the role of the country’s number one graft-buster, with the defeat of his first Executive Order creating the Truth Commission which aimed at putting closure and delivering justice to past graft and corruption cases.

“The qualifications to fit in the position must be someone who has untarnished record in the public service and competent in the field of law and he or she must be one with the administration’s relentless crusade of running after and punishing the corrupt,” Estrada said.

He suggested Pangilinan who is qualified in the position for he has been active in instituting reforms within the judiciary and an advocate of good governance. (Jason de Asis)


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