Sunday, January 6, 2013

Only Those in Police Uniform Should Carry Firearms – Legarda

MANILA, January 6, 2012-In light of the tragic gun-related incidents at the start of 2013, Senator Loren Legarda said that as part of much-needed gun control reforms, only those in police or military uniform should be allowed to carry firearms.

“It is high time that we enact bold and encompassing gun control reforms in this country. Let us heighten monitoring, ensure that there are no loose firearms, and impose stricter punishment on those who violate our rules and regulations. Furthermore, we must  seriously look into revoking permits to carry firearms issued to civilians,” she stressed.

The Senator earlier expressed her deepest condolences to the family of Stephanie Nicole Ella, the very young girl who was a victim of irresponsible gun firing last New Year’s Eve.

“Based on initial reports by the Philippine National Police, Nicole was only one of 40 people hit by stray bullets during the first hours of 2013. It is disheartening because not even one person should have been injured or killed through such senseless acts,” she noted.

“Let us all take the time to reflect on the recent trends of violence that have plagued not only the Philippines, but other countries as well. Aspiring for a gunless society is a step towards achieving genuine peace, and we must all do our part in making this happen,” Legarda concluded.

Trillanes pushes for pay raise for gov’t doctors

MANILA, January 5, 2012-Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV is seeking to increase the salary scale and provide additional benefits to doctors employed by government in a bid to stem the steady exodus of Filipino physicians overseas to seek high-paying jobs.

“Senate Bill No. 319 seeks to address this alarming outflow of doctors and its repercussions by increasing the salary of government physicians and providing additional incentives,” said Trillanes, chairman of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization.

His proposal, he added, “also aims to afford our government doctors the right to a decent pay and benefits long withheld from them.”

At present, the basic salary of public doctors in local government hospitals is pegged at grade 16 or about P26,878 a month, while doctors conferred by Department of Health (DOH) is pegged at grade 21 or P39,493.

“This does not do justice to our hardworking doctors who have spent years in their studies and whose duties go beyond the normal eight-hour workload.”

With this, Trillanes wanted to adjust the minimum base pay of physicians working in government to not lower than salary grade 27 or P62,670.

Trillanes said this situation has prompted doctors to flee to greener pastures, making the Philippine the second-largest exporter of physicians next to India as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Consequently, the exodus of doctors in the last five years is exacting a toll on the country’s already second-rate health service. The ratio of doctor vis-à-vis patients in the Philippines is one doctor per 28,493 patients, a far cry from the ideal 1:1000 ratio prescribed by the WHO,” Trillanes pointed out.

In his proposed measure, Trillanes is also pushing for an annual loyalty pay equivalent to P50,000 to public doctors who have rendered at least three consecutive years of service.

The legislation likewise provides for transportation allowance of P10,000 to P18,000 depending on the municipality, food allowance from P5,000 to P12,000 and medical allowance ranging from P5,000 to P10,000 per month.

In addition, Trillanes seeks to provide educational grant not exceeding P200,000 for government physicians who have rendered at least five years of continuous service.


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