Roque to Congress: Consult Palace on increasing budget for vaccines

Any congressional move to raise the proposed 2021 budget for the coronavirus vaccine should at least be done in consultation with the Executive branch, according to a Palace official.  Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said while they respect Congress’ wisdom to hike the vaccine budget for the next year, the issue on its funding source must also be addressed. “The power of purse is vested in Congress. We will bow to the wisdom of Congress should they deem it fit to increase the budget for the vaccine, and of course, may pagkukuhanan po iyan (there will be a funding source for that),” he said during a Palace press briefing Thursday. “So we hope that Congress will at least confer with the Executive kung saan nila kukunin iyong pondo para itaas ang budget for the vaccine (on where the funds will be obtained to raise the budget for the vaccine),” he added. Nonetheless, Roque affirmed the administration’s resolve to ensure the country has adequate funds for the vaccine procurement once the life-saving drug becomes available.“We join Congress in our desire that we should have sufficient funds to pay for the vaccine, which according po to (Philippine) Ambassador (to China) Chito (Sta. Romana) is really forthcoming in the near future,” he said.The House of Representatives has reportedly introduced several amendments to its approved 2021 national budget, including a higher budget for the purchase of COVID vaccines to P8 billion.  In the original Palace-backed P4.5 trillion national budget proposal, at least P2.5 billion has been allocated for the COVID-19 vaccination program under the Department of Health’s budget. House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, who leads a small group in charge of amendments to the budget bill, said the additional P5.5 billion to augment the vaccine budget aims to ensure safe and effective vaccine will be available to Filipinos. “This is to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s program to strengthen the country’s health care system. We believe that vaccines play a very crucial role in keeping the population safe and healthy from the pandemic,” the Leyte lawmaker said.  On the part of the Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson disclosed plans to increase funding for the coronavirus vaccine under the proposed 2021 national budget. Last week, the President said the government has the funds to buy the coronavirus vaccine once it is available but would need more money to vaccinate all Filipinos. Duterte earlier vowed to give priority to the poor, the police and military personnel in the distribution of free vaccines.  He said the country will buy the most affordable vaccine to be sold in the market given the government’s limited resources. .....»»

Category: newsSource: 22nd, 2020

Government wants vaccines declared as state assets

The government wants Congress to immediately pass a law that will declare COVID-19 vaccines as state assets to ensure control over the supply of serums amid the scramble among local government units and private companies to secure doses for their constituents and workers......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2021

Duterte not consulted on scrapping UP-DND pact — Palace

Roque, an alumnus and former professor of UP, said the abrogation of the agreement was not a "presidential decision" but his office is ready to facilitate a discussion between defense and university officials. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 20th, 2021

Palace expects continuity in Philippines-US security relations under Biden

"When it comes to external relations, there is continuity when it comes to the United States," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing Monday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 18th, 2021

Travel ban for Covid variant extended, expanded

The government has extended until January 31 the ban on travelers from more than 30 countries with cases of new variants of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). The extension was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said in a statement on Friday. […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

P245 M allocated for Judges-at-Large Act; Angara sees faster resolution of cases

Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara assured the Judiciary Sunday it would be able to expedite the adjudication of several pending court cases with the funds Congress provided for the appointment of judges-at-large under the 2021 national budget.  Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Senator Sonny Angara Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, said a total of P244.988 million was included in the budget of the Judiciary for the implementation of Republic Act 11459 or the Judges-at-Large Act.Enacted on Aug. 13, 2019, the law mandates the creation of judges-at-large posts for the regional and municipal trial courts in order to decongest the courts of its dockets.These judges-at-large would have no permanent salas and may be assigned by the Supreme Court as acting or assisting judges to any Regional Trial Court (RTC) or Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in order to decongest the courts of its dockets.“For 2020, the first year of implementation of the law, we provided funding to cover for the creation of 50 judges-at-large posts,” Angara said in a statement.“For 2021, we will double the number of posts to 100 as requested by our Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta,” Angara said.The senator also said these judges-at-large are entitled to salaries, privileges, allowances, emoluments, benefits, rank, and title of regular RTC and MTC judges.Angara also said the Judiciary’s budget for 2021 also includes a P50-million augmentation to cover for the deployment of Judiciary marshals to secure the justices, judges, and other court officials.He said the inclusion of this funding was prompted by the appeals of the Judiciary for the creation of a judicial marshal service as the threats and attacks against judges and other court officials continue to take place in the country. The Senate is set to approve Senate Bill No. 1947 or the proposed Judiciary Marshals Act, of which Angara is one of the authors. Once approved, an office of the Judiciary marshals would be established under the Supreme Court and its continued funding will be ensured as part of the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).“We want to sustain the implementation of the Judges-at-Large Act to help ensure the delivery of speedy justice in the country,” the lawmaker said.“With the appointment of more judges, we can expect to see the resolution of more cases and eventually free up the courts of its backlog,” Angara added. .....»»

Category: newsSource: NewsJan 17th, 2021

China to donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to PH — Palace

Malacañang said Saturday that the Chinese government will donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines as the two countries reaffirmed ties and cooperation against the pandemic. Chinese State Counselor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (DFA OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNT/ MANILA BULLETIN) The Office of the President (OP) made the statement as Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi made a 40-minute courtesy call to President Duterte in Malacañang Saturday. In a statement, the OP said that Wang assured Duterte of China’s commitment to support the Philippines’ efforts to combat COVID-19, a disease that originated in Wuhan, China. “He (Wang) announced that China will donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines. He likewise affirmed China’s resolve to do everything to ensure that vaccines become a global good,” Malacañang said. According to Malacañang, Duterte lauded the continued high-level engagement between the Philippines and China even amid the pandemic and stressed the importance of both sides delivering on the promises of the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation. Duterte stressed that cooperation on public health must be strengthened, particularly access to safe and effective vaccines, to safeguard the health of the people and in order to hasten the economic recovery of both nations and their neighboring countries. “The recovery of nations… sits on the back of stronger economies,” Duterte told Wang. “China plays a very key role in reviving our region’s economy. Let us do all we can to revive economic activities between the Philippines and China,” he added. Malacañang said that Duterte thanked China for its continuing support and cooperation in the country’s fight against COVID-19 in terms of medical equipment and supplies and sharing of experiences and expertise as well as in the repatriation of Filipinos. Economic cooperation Wang declared that China will continue to support the Philippines’ recovery through enhanced economic cooperation. He likewise reiterated his country’s determination to complete pending infrastructure projects. The Palace said that Wang underscored China’s commitment under President Xi Jinping to work closely with the Philippines to sustain the positive trajectory of the valued and special bilateral relations. At the start of his presidency in 2016, Duterte has expressed his desire to build stronger relations with China — even temporarily setting aside the country’s victory over the West Philippine Sea in The Hague to make it happen......»»

Category: newsSource: NewsJan 17th, 2021

Palace not worried about Pinoys opting out of Sinovac vaccine

  Malacañang is not concerned about the possibility of Filipinos opting out of the government’s vaccination program against COVID-19 due to the Chinese vaccine Sinovac, saying the people already know why the government made the decision to go with the brand. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement as the government steps up its information […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJan 16th, 2021

Palace: LGUs free to buy vaccines

Malacañang said Tuesday the national government was not building any monopoly on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, after some lawmakers pushed for local governments and private firms to be allowed to deal directly with drug makers......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 13th, 2021

Senators hit Roque’s “wag nang pihikan” vaccine remark

Senators on Tuesday hit presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s latest remark on Filipinos’ choice for coronavirus COVID-19 vaccines, tagging the statement as “unfair.” Senator Panfilo Lacson said he will not choose a brand that only yields 50 percent efficacy rate and a brand that is not applying for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) if there are other […] The post Senators hit Roque’s “wag nang pihikan” vaccine remark appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 12th, 2021

Bawal maging choosy sa bakuna? Mga senador pumalag kay Roque

Umalma ang ilang  senador  sa naging  pahayag  ng Palasyo na hindi dapat mamili  ang  taumbayan  kung anong klaseng bakuna laban sa  Covid-19 ang maaring iturok sa kanila. “Sabi ni Sec. Roque, hindi pwede maging choosy. Pero sabi niya rin na si Presidente mismo ay namimili pa between Russian and Chinese vaccines. Kung si Presidente pwedeng […] The post Bawal maging choosy sa bakuna? Mga senador pumalag kay Roque appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 12th, 2021

Palace confirms reappointment of Mark Lapid at TIEZA

Malacanang on Saturday confirmed the reappointment of Mark Lapid as a member of the Board of Directors of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte signed the new appointment papers of Lapid last 5 January. “Tourism is one of the most important sectors of our […] The post Palace confirms reappointment of Mark Lapid at TIEZA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 9th, 2021

Globe readies Malaca& ntilde;ang, Senate, Congress for 5G

Globe is planning to upgrade its infrastructure to further improve its indoor coverage solutions in several buildings in Malacañang Palace, Senate and the House of Representatives......»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 9th, 2021

Lapu-Lapu mayor eyes P100M for COVID vaccines

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — The Lapu-lapu City government will allocate not less than P100 million in purchasing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan said this in an interview with CDN Digital on Thursday, January 7, in Lapu-Lapu City. Chan also said he planned to submit a supplemental budget at […] The post Lapu-Lapu mayor eyes P100M for COVID vaccines appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 7th, 2021

Vaccine procurement by LGUs to reduce gov t loan for inoculation — Palace

The plan of some mayors to buy COVID-19 vaccines for their constituents would reduce the amount of money the Duterte administration would borrow for inoculation, Malacañang said Thursday, even as it stressed that all purchases should involve the national government......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 7th, 2021

MMDA chair Danilo Lim, pumanaw na

Pumanaw na ang chairperson ng Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) na si Danilo Lim, ayon sa Malacañang. “The Palace expresses its deep condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim,” ayon sa pahayag ni presidential spokesperson Harry Roque ngayong Miyerkules. Namaalam na si Lim,65, ngayong Miyerkules sa […] The post MMDA chair Danilo Lim, pumanaw na appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 6th, 2021

Quezon City gov t signs deal for AstraZeneca vaccine doses

It allocated an initial P1 billion in its 2021 budget to procure vaccines and supplies needed for mass immunization......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 6th, 2021

Palace: ABC-CBN franchise renewal up to Congress

Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress to decide on the new bill seeking to renew the franchise of television network ABS-CBN, which was forced to lay off thousands of workers after its franchise expired last May......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 5th, 2021

Duterte warns Congress: ‘Do not tinker with PSG’ over vaccination issue

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte warned Congress on Monday against “tinkering” with the supposed self-inoculation of members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) using unregistered COVID-19 vaccines. “To me, it’s a matter of self-preservation. That’s just it. Whatever be your objection, whatever be your criticisms, for it’s a matter of preservation,” Duterte said, speaking partly […] The post Duterte warns Congress: ‘Do not tinker with PSG’ over vaccination issue appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 5th, 2021

Palace blasts Senate probe on illegal vax

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Monday accused some senators of interfering in the internal matters of the executive department after some of them called for a Senate inquiry into the unauthorized inoculation of members of President Duterte’s security detail against COVID-19, using an unregistered vaccine from China......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 4th, 2021

NBI to reach out to PSG as probe starts on use of unauthorized COVID-19 vaccines

The Palace has already said that there was nothing wrong with the use of unauthorized vaccines that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said were smuggled......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 4th, 2021