Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco
‘Pido’ pedals own Con-Ass sans senators
MANILA — Insisting that congressmen alone can constitute themselves as a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) to pursue charter change (Cha-Cha), Ako Bicol party-list Representative Alfredo “Pido” Garbin Jr. on Thursday deliberately ignored the protests of some senators on its legality.
“Every time we deal with proposing amendments or revising the Constitution, we are sitting as a constituent assembly exercising constituent power,” Garbin, a lawyer, answered when Bayan Muna party-list Congressman Carlos Zarate if the committee headed by the Ako Bicol solon was already convening itself as a Con-Ass on Wednesday as they discussed Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 (RBH 2).
On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said such move sets a “dangerous precedent” as he expressed alarm over Garbin’s pronouncement that the House committee on constitutional amendments, which the latter chairs, was already sitting as a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) to tackle on proposed amendments to the “restrictive” economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III also assailed Garbin’s move to exclude the senators. He explained that a Con-Ass can only be convened when both the House and the Senate sit as one body.
Solons sign manifesto backing economic charter amendments
MANILA – Leaders of political parties and blocs at the House of Representatives have signed a manifesto of support for Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s proposal to amend the restrictive economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution.
In the manifesto released to the media on Thursday, the political leaders said there is a “unified consensus” that the House will deliberate only on the economic provisions in the charter, as specified in Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2 filed by Velasco.
They said the proposed constitutional amendments would mitigate and provide lasting solutions to the devastating economic effects brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
“In doing so, we hope to fortify and safeguard the foundations of our nation from future crises and curtail the severity of other economic regressions going forward,” they said.
The signatories include House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Deputy Speaker Salvador Leachon, Rizal Rep. Michael John Duavit for the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers for the Nacionalista Party, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. for the National Unity Party, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab for Hugpong ng Pagbabago, Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero for the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc., and Aurora Rep. Rommel Rico Angara for the independent bloc.
‘Love on Wheels’ project launched in C. Luzon for HIV services
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Health Central Luzon Center for Health Development (DOH CLCHD) launched on Thursday the “Love on Wheels Project” in the region to ensure the continuity of public health services, particularly on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
In partnership with the Project Red Ribbon, World Health Organization (WHO), and UNAIDS Philippines, a total of 28 electronic bikes were distributed to selected local government units (LGUs), HIV treatment hubs, primary HIV care clinics, and community-based organization for this project.
The provision of electronic bikes will capacitate local service providers and partner organizations in implementing, managing, and sustaining a comprehensive package of services on HIV/AIDS prevention and management during the pandemic.
“We are sharing the love to Central Luzon, through this project, which is aimed to cushion the effects of Covid-19 to our HIV services. We also call our private sector to be strongly involved in our fight against HIV,” Dr. Ico Rodulfo, president of the Project Red Ribbon, said in a statement.
Unified watchlist boosts fight vs. illegal drugs in Region 3
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Police Regional Office in Central Luzon (PRO-3) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) have strengthened their efforts to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in Central Luzon.
PDEA Regional Director Christian Frivaldo and PRO-3 chief Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon signed on Thursday the regional watchlist on illegal drugs (RWID) at the Stakeholder’s Lounge, Camp Olivas, this city.
The RWID is a unified list of drug personalities of the PDEA and PNP in the region that will serve as the basis for operatives in the conduct of their anti-illegal drug operations and the implementation of barangay drug clearing program.
Frivaldo said the unified list is a testament to the level of commitment, trust, and partnership that PDEA and the PNP share to address the drug problem in Central Luzon.
2020 car sales down 39.5%
MANILA – Sales of local vehicle assemblers declined by 39.5 percent for the full year of 2020, the joint report of Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed.
Vehicle sales of CAMPI and TMA last year dropped to 223,793 units from 369,941 units in 2019.
The volume of passenger cars sold in 2020 decreased by 36.2 percent to 69,638 units from 109,197 units sold in 2019. This segment comprised 32 percent of vehicle sales in the previous year.
Commercial vehicles, comprising 68 percent of the total sales in 2020, recorded a larger decline in sales. This segment sold 154,155 units in 2020, down by 40.9 percent from 2019’s sales volume of 260,744 units.
AirAsia expands e-commerce platform into PH
MANILA — The AirAsia Group on Thursday announced the expansion of its e-commerce platform, AirAsia Shop, into the Philippines.
In a virtual presser, Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said he does not intend to compete with e-commerce giants Shopee and Lazada, as the AirAsia Shop is focused on beauty, health and wellness, and fashion products, as well as exclusive merchandise.
To date, there are two local retail groups in the shop –AirAsia Philippines and Regent Asia.
Airasia.com head of Ancillary Commercial Rose Lam said the Philippines is the first country of expansion for the AirAsia Shop platform after Malaysia.
“The Philippines has a bigger market potential. Metro Manila alone has 12 million population, compared to Kuala Lumpur’s population of about 7 million,” she said.
The Group envisions the AirAsia Shop to be an “Asean travel and retail shopping platform that redefines duty free products,” she added.
Customers may choose in-flight delivery, pick up at the airport, or have the products delivered to their doorsteps. (AI/MTVN)