JV urges House to pass emergency powers bill
Sen. JV Ejercito on Wednesday urged the House of Representatives to prioritize a bill giving emergency powers to the President to address the traffic crisis, saying the Senate is poised to pass its version within the first quarter of the year.
“I’m appealing [to the House] because this is really urgent,” he said in a forum at the Senate. “Things are not gonna get better in the next three years.”
The vice chair of the Senate committee on public services and one of the authors of the bill said the measure would allow government to pursue “big-ticket projects” such as rail lines, which could in turn “pump-prime the economy and create thousands of jobs,” he said.—Tarra Quismundo
Andanar to oversee compliance with FOI order
Malacañang has tasked the office of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to supervise the implementation of the executive order on freedom of information (FOI) in all state agencies under the Office of the President.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued Memorandum Order No. 10 instructing all offices under the executive branch, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, to coordinate with the Presidential Communications Operations Office to ensure “the effective exercise of every Filipino’s right to access to information.”
“(T)he designation of a lead agency shall ensure the successful implementation of the FOI program,” according to Medialdea’s order dated Dec. 29, a copy of which was released to the media.—Marlon Ramos
3 warships from Japan, US dock at Subic
Two Japanese warships and a United States naval vessel arrived at the Subic Bay Freeport on Wednesday for a routine port visit.
According to the seaport department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Japanese destroyer ships Inazuma and Suzutsuki docked at the Alava Pier inside this freeport at 9 a.m.
The two Japanese vessels berthed alongside USNS John Ericsson, which arrived at 11 a.m.
Four more US ships—USNS Pecos, USNS Cesar Chavez, USNS Bowditch and USNS Tippecanoe—arrived here between Dec. 29 and 30 last year. Inazuma and Suzutsuki will stay in Subic Bay until Jan. 6 while the US ships have not provided a definite schedule of departure, the seaport department said.—Allan Macatuno
GSIS allots P2.2-B loans for “Nina” victims
Active members as well as pensioners of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in Albay, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes who were affected by the onslaught of Typhoon “Nina” during the holidays may apply for emergency loans until Feb. 2.
In a statement on Wednesday, the GSIS said it had set aside P2.2 billion in loans for the 11,115 old-age pensioners as well as 62,339 members living or working in the said three provinces in Bicol Region.
According to the GSIS, active members who have no existing emergency loans may borrow P20,000, while those who have emergency loan balance may apply for P40,000.
The loanable amount for pensioners is P20,000. The loan carries a 6-percent interest per annum computed in advance, payable in 36 monthly installments.—Ben O. de Vera
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