03 May 2016
  • President Aquino underscores need to continue Daang Matuwid programs
  • President Aquino signs into law the comprehensive tuberculosis elimination plan
  • President Aquino signs bill on promoting the creation of ‘green jobs’
President Aquino underscores need to continue Daang Matuwid programs
 President Benigno S. Aquino III has stressed the need to continue his administration’s reform programs, calling on residents of Cagayan province to vote wisely in the May 9 elections.In a meeting with leaders and members of the community in Tuguegarao City on Monday, the President highlighted the gains of Daang Matuwid, including programs in poverty alleviation, health care, education and livelihood, which have benefitted millions of Filipinos.

“Pinangako ko sa inyo: Pagbaba ko sa pwesto, ‘di hamak mas maganda ang iiwan ko kaysa sa ating dinatnan. Kung hindi niyo nadadama ‘yung lahat ng pinaghirapan natin ‘nitong anim na taon na ‘to, bigo ho ako. Pero kung totoo na talagang ‘di hamak na mas maganda ang kinalalagyan natin kaysa sa dinatnan natin ‘nong 2010, kayo na ho siguro ang pruweba diyan. At kayo na ang bahala sa atin sa May 9,” President Aquino said in his speech delivered before an enthusiastic crowd at the Cagayan National High School in Barangay San Gabriel.

The national government has allocated P17.04 billion in infrastructure projects in Cagayan province from 2011 to 2016, compared to only P3.79 billion from 2005 to 2010.

“Dito sa Cagayan, tatlong tulay ang bago, maliban pa doon sa mga nire-repair,” said the President, who inaugurated the P639.89-million Pamplona Bridge before going to Tuguegarao City.

President Aquino said the province now has 75 shared service facilities, aside from irrigation and farm-to-market roads worth P3.5 billion, and post-harvest machinery worth P128.89 million.

He also noted that in Cagayan, 32,205 households are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and 1.03 million are members of PhilHealth.

The President said P377.25 million has been allotted for the health facilities enhancement program under the Department of Health while 2,000 classrooms have been constructed or are under construction in the province.

President Aquino also mentioned that 325 sitios in Cagayan have been energized under the government’s sitio electrification program.

He reminded Cagayan’s voters to think of the future when they cast their ballots on election day.

“Tayo ang magde-desisyon ng kinabukasan. Importanteng masabi natin sa susunod na henerasyon: Habang may buhay, may problema, pero ‘yung problema ninyo dapat iba na sa problemang hinarap namin dahil inayos na namin ang mga problemang ‘yan. Dapat pwede nating masabi: ‘Di hamak mas maganda na Ang pagkakataon ninyo sa kinabukasan dahil pinagpaguran namin ‘yan at hindi namin kayo pinabayaan,” said the President, who will end his term on June 30.

“So, importante ho, sa Lunes. Hindi ‘yung ilang minuto lang tayo nandoon. Pag-isipan natin. Sa akin, tinawag ko nga hong referendum itong eleksyon na ito. Tama ba ang ginawa natin sa Daang Matuwid o hindi? Tama ba na mayroon tayong 7.7 million nai-angat mula sa poverty level? Tama ba na 93 million ang mga PhilHealth beneficiary? Tama ba na 4.6 million ang nasa Pantawid ngayon? Tama ba ang lowest unemployment rate natin? Tama ba ang 6.2 percent average GDP (gross domestic product), biggest since the ‘70s?” he added.

President Aquino called on his audience to explain the achievements of Daang Matuwid to others.

“Huwag nating gawing biro-biro ang darating na halalan sa Lunes. Hindi pwede ‘yung — baka sakaling tumutoo ‘yung mga kalaban ni Mar Roxas, baka sakaling alam nila ang ginagawa nila, baka sakaling tama sila. Bakit pa tayo magba-baka… kung may sigurado naman! – Sina Mar Roxas at Leni Robredo,” the President said. PND (jm)

President Aquino signs into law the comprehensive tuberculosis elimination plan
President Benigno S. Aquino III has approved the bill seeking to provide for a national program for the elimination of tuberculosis (TB) in the country.Signed by the President on April 26, Republic Act No. 10767 tasks the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary to establish a comprehensive action plan, consisting of strategies and targets in addressing the disease; prevention, treatment, care and support system; development and application of technologies; strengthening of linkages with local and international organizations for possible partnership in education, advocacy, research and funding assistance; establishment of a review and monitoring system to gather data and monitor the progress made in the elimination of tuberculosis; and immediate mobilization of anti-TB services during and after natural and man-made disasters through collaborative efforts of national and local governments and other entities.

Section 5 of the Act states that “the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) and the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) of the DOH shall serve as the National TB Control Program’s arm in strengthening and supporting nationwide capacity for program operations and bringing collaborative efforts between the public and private sector”.

To strengthen the Regional Centers for Human Development in the provision of health services to eliminate TB, the health secretary shall provide free laboratory services through DOH-retained hospitals; provide reliable supply of drugs to patients for free by ensuring that local health centers, through coordination with local government units (LGUs) concerned, have sufficient supply of medicines for the communities they serve; undertake public information and education programs to train the public on basic ways and means to prevent the spread of the disease; train and enhance the capability of health providers in both public and private hospitals; ensure the proper monitoring of TB cases in the country; and ensure that monitoring services are extended as far as practicable, at the lowest local level health unit.

The Act also mandates the DOH secretary, in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), to encourage the faculty of schools of medicine, nursing or medical technology and allied health institutions, to intensify information and education programs, including the development of curricula, to significantly increase the opportunities for students and for practicing providers to learn the principles and practices of preventing, detecting, managing and controlling TB.

The law likewise states that the health secretary, in coordination with the secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), shall work for the inclusion of modules on the principles and practices of preventing, detecting, managing and controlling TB in the health curriculum of every public and private elementary and high school.

The DOH, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), shall encourage local media outlets to launch a media campaign on tuberculosis control, treatment and management, using all forms of multimedia and other electronic means of communication. The media campaign shall include materials that would discourage the general public from spitting in public places and exhibiting unhygienic behavior that tend to undermine the overall effort of preventing the spread of the disease.

According to the law, the Food and Drug Administration shall strengthen its implementation of the “No prescription, No anti-TB drugs” to regulate the sale and use of anti-TB drugs in the market. It shall also ensure the quality of TB drugs distributed in the market.

The law also mandates the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to expand its benefit package for TB patients to include new, relapse and return-after-default cases, and extension of treatment. The PhilHealth shall enhance its present outpatient Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) package to make it more responsive to patients’ needs. It shall also increase the number of accredited DOTS facilities to widen target beneficiaries who may avail of reimbursements.

Funding for the implementation of the provisions of RA No. 10767 shall be charged against the appropriations of the DOH, DepEd, CHED and PIA under the General Appropriations Act. PND (jm)

President Aquino signs bill on promoting the creation of ‘green jobs’
President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed into law the bill on promoting the creation of ‘green jobs’, or employment that contributes to preserving or restoring the quality of the environment, be it in the agriculture, industry or services sector.

The President signed last April 29 Republic Act No. 10771, or the “Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016”, which shall apply to establishments engaged in the production, manufacturing, processing, repacking, assembly, or sale of goods and/or services, including service-oriented enterprises.

The law also grants incentives to encourage business enterprises to generate and sustain green jobs, as certified by the Climate Change Commission.

The Department of Finance shall administer the granting of incentives, such as “special deduction from the taxable income equivalent to 50 percent of the total expenses for skills training and research development expenses which is over and above the allowable ordinary and necessary business deductions for said expenses under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended; and tax and duty free importation of capital equipment, provided that the capital equipment is actually, directly and exclusively used in the promotion of green jobs of the business enterprise”.

According to the Act, it is the declared policy of the State to affirm labor as a primary social economic force in promoting sustainable development; afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full and productive employment and equality of employment opportunities for all; and promote the rights of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Section 2 of the Act provides that the State shall identify needed skills, develop training programs, and train and certify workers for jobs in a range of industries that produce goods and render services for the benefit of the environment, conserve natural resources for the future generation, and ensure the sustainable development of the country and its transition into a green economy.

“In recognition of the participation of individuals and business enterprises in jobs creation, the State shall provide incentives therefor,” the section reads.

Republic Act No. 10771 also mandates the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to coordinate with other government agencies in formulating a National Green Jobs Human Resource Development Plan on the development, enhancement and utilization of the labor force, both in the private and public sectors.

The plan shall have the primary objective of enabling and sustaining the transition into a green economy and the generation of green jobs towards more employment and equal opportunities and the promotion of social justice and workers’ welfare.

It shall include programs, projects, and activities pertaining to basic, higher and technical-vocational education and training, database that identifies and links green job opportunities with private and public entities, and information on knowledge and skill requirements of a green economy.

The DOLE, in coordination with the Philippine Statistics Authority, shall maintain a database of green careers, professions and skills, as well as a list of emerging business enterprises, which generate and sustain green jobs. It shall facilitate skills training assessment and certification, career advocacy, provide productivity and livelihood training, and extend technical assistance to enterprises to ensure labor law compliance.

Other agencies involved in the National Green Jobs Human Resource Development Plan are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Professional Regulation Commission, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Tourism, and Department of Public Works and Highways.

The amount necessary to implement the Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act. PND (jm)