MinBane

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Archive for the tag “President Duterte”

Opinion: Boris is copying Rodrigo now!

We are living in a weird world and a bizarre timeline in 2020. Just the other day Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted to prove his health with push-ups on the floor. At that point he was copying Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That was all over the front pages of a national newspaper and not a sketch.

Now Prime Minister Johnson is launching his: Build Build Build. He is launching his program of infrastructure spending like this: “ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans to spend the economy out of its coronavirus-induced crisis with a speech on Tuesday promising to fast-track 5 billion pounds ($6.15 billion) of infrastructure investment” (News18 – ‘ ‘Build, Build, Build’: UK PM Johnson’s Answer to Covid-19 Downturn’ 30.06.2020).

Also explained by the government like this: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today (Tuesday 30th June) announce a “New Deal” which puts jobs and infrastructure at the centre of the government’s economic growth strategy. In a speech in the West Midlands, the Prime Minister will underline his commitment to ‘build, build, build’ in order to upgrade Britain’s infrastructure and skills to fuel economic recovery across the UK” (Gov.uk – ‘‘Build build build’: Prime Minister announces New Deal for Britain’ 30.06.2020).

If you feel you have heard the same before, then read this from the Philippines: “President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will soon launch the biggest infrastructure push in Philippine history to propel economic growth in the next five-and-a-half years. Big-ticket infrastructure projects, specifically roads and bridges, mass urban transport and alternative green city solutions are among the key investments to be made by the Philippine government. These are aimed at solving the problems brought about by traffic congestion, inadequate mass transport facilities, air pollution, and the lack of healthy, green liveable community spaces. The development mantra is: build, build and build” (Bases Conversation and Development Authority (BCDA) – ‘BUILD, BUILD, BUILD’ 25.10.2017).

So yes, the Prime Minister’s Build Build Build is copying Duterte’s Build! Build! Build! Programme. They are actually doing the same. Boris is copying Rodrigo. It is just like he will steal the paperwork from Manilla and change a few of the places and road-names. Then call it a day and loaf around in his apartartment.

I am impressed that Boris is copying the exact words. Just like he did on the pages saying it was taken inspiration from Roosevelt’s New Deal. That is fine and dandy, but saying Build Build Build after the Philippines has had this program for three years or so now. It is impressive, that he couldn’t mention that too. Give some credit, where credit is due.

I’m sure Manila isn’t the first place coming to mind in London, but they should maybe see what are doing lately. The PM is copying both a Ugandan President and the Philippines. Who is up next? Will he take the Big Four from the Jubilee and Uhuru Kenyatta too?

Johnson should step up and give credit where it is due. Especially, when his copying this easily from Duterte. If you don’t know, now you know. Peace.

Philippines: Statement – Participation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the 36th ASEAN Summit (26.06.2020)

Philippines: New Anti-Terrorism Law might have some unfortunate consequences…

That the government of the Philippines wants to strengthen its legislation and its power to contain and control terrorists makes sense. Especially with the recent insurgency in Marawi in Mindanao and the Red Brigade there. The Government is within its right to extend its powers, ensure safety of its territory and rules to stop future insurgencies and terror attacks on the Filipino Nation. That is all understandable, however, they should still consider the implications and what a new law does to freedom of expression, liberty and justice for all. That it doesn’t come in conflict with these ideals.

Some of the things that is striking out in this new anti-terrorist law is that it will create a new legal instrument, a new precedence, where appointed top cabinet officials will have the opportunity to participate and issue arrest orders through the Anti-Terror Council (ATC). Meaning, it is lawmakers and technocrats who are finding whose deemed fit for becoming terror suspect and whose associated with terrorist. This is not done by detective or intelligence officers, no, but appointed cronies of the state. That is worrying enough itself.

That the law also stretches the ability to keep people arrested without warrants and eases the means of wire-tapping, surveillance and such. It is surely done in a sense of safeguarding the public, but at the same time. If the ATC somehow deems someone randomly, they can easily arrest someone in the name of terror, allegedly say they are terrorist without a trial keep someone in custody for about 14 days with a possibility of a 10 day extension.

If a person is really unlucky, let’s say a journalist or an activists. Whose suddenly posting a press release or statement from a questionable organization. That the ATC might deem as Terrorist. Than, the person might be charged with 12 years in prison for helping to distribute illegal material and promoting the organization. Even if the intent was only to inform the public and not get people to participate in terrorism. That is what is also dangerous about this law.

It opens up to wormholes like this and it depends on the powers at the ATC and the agencies of the Philippines to set it out and in order. The ideals are good, the steps are positives, we all should strive to combat and defeat terrorism, in all sorts and fashion. That is fine and dandy. However, this legislation is stretching things far and makes it possible to arrest someone on the hunch and on a limb. When, they might was just posting some random tweets or random Facebook posts. They were not doing it malice or with intent to incite terror, but it was from the wrong group. Therefore, they could get into trouble.

That is my worry here. Many parts of the law is reasonable and makes sense. As a sovereign and as a state, you want to have the ability to surveillance and to gather evidence of possible people who wants to commit these sorts of activities. However, when this law is make it so broad and gives huge powers to Council not made-up of intelligence officers nor law enforcement. That opens up the gates for possible political mind-games, where the political enemies becomes terrorists. Even if the only thing they do is to buy rice and flowers for the people of their Barangay.

I hope this get dealt with positively, but this is passing all parts of the Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate has all agreed upon the articles. It only need the Presidential signature and seal before becoming law. That is why the ATC and whose getting there is important. Because, they will become the Terrorist Hunters and the ones deciding the fate of people. They will be vital in this and have the last word in a way. Peace.

Philippines: The Animo’s Official Statement on ABS-CBN Shutdown (05.05.2020)

Philippines: Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) – “This Is How Liberty Dies…” (05.05.2020)

Opinion: The ABS-CBN closure is political retribution and nothing else

The ABS-CBN sent a few questionable and harsh ads towards the President Rodrigo Duterte during the 2016 campaign for his election. This is certainly the reason why the termination of license of the franchise and the gag-order earlier in the year was put on the media company. As this company has the ability to put pressure on the hard-headed Presidents of its time. That is why the last time it happen it was in 1972. A record Duterte should compete with, but clearly he wants too.

This is a battle and method of retaliation of the President and his team. As this is silencing a open critic. Just like they did with Leila De Lima and Antonio Trilanes. The state has also been fierce against the independent media house Rappler too. So, its not like ABS-CBN is getting a new treatment.

It might be a temporary set-back as a way of the President to prove that you don’t mess with him. That is why I call it a retaliation, because the Senate is the final place for consideration of the license of the Franchise. Even if the National Telecommunication Commission put the cease and desist order on the media house.

What we do know, is for the ones claiming that the owners are not paying taxes. The government as late as February 2020 said they were no liabilities and no arrears. The company has paid its taxes and paid its employees. Therefore, the thought of using as an argument for the closure is futile. Unless, your docile and believe anything.

ABS-CBN only gets this, because it dared to challenge Duterte and aired certain ads. This is his way of firing back and showing flex. Not that its any good. It only shows that he doesn’t have the heart or the ability to strike back with sense. The President doesn’t have the arguments or the ads to address his opposition. Instead, he uses his office and his power together with comrades to close it for a while. Just to show the owners, the journalists, that they should all be like 24 Oras on the GMA Network, because they will never sound the whistle at any government.

That’s why we are here today. We are in our 1972 moment. Where a President and his team uses their office to silence critics and by all means. Rappler was the owner structure and ABS-CBN its the franchise and its license. I am sure the government friendly press will never get into these issues. The ones who doesn’t air critical ads and content, which challenge the President in any form. But if you do, you better lawyer up and have your tools ready. Because, its going to get rocky and the road to redemption is long.

ABS-CBN is getting the full Duterte treatment. The full fury and furious intervention, maybe he will beg for forgiveness later. If he cares about the 11,000 people in limbo. However, that is not so important, as long as the President can signal that he doesn’t accept critical ads. ABS-CBN better follow the Duterte line, if not they will walk the plank. Peace.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration: Advisory No. 56 – Series of 2020 – No POEA Governing Board Resolution Requiring Payment of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) Contribution in the Issuance of Overseas Employment Certifications (OECs) for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) – (04.05.2020)

Philippines: Duterte backtracks mandatory premium contributions to PHILHEALTH for Filipino abroad

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) no longer have to worry about paying higher PhilHealth premium contributions at this time of health crisis brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This is after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s decision for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to make payment for PhilHealth premiums voluntary for OFW” (Presidential Communications Operations Office, PCOO – ‘PH gov’t suspends PhilHealth premium payments for OFWs – Palace’ 04.05.2020).

Today, there is news that President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended or backtracked the Premium Contributions for Philippine Health Insurance Company Circular Number 14, which stated that all Filipino citizens abroad would be mandatory pay hefty contribution to PHILHEALTH. Even as they are abroad, living in other nations where they either have insurance or taxed for services where they resides.

This is why I didn’t like the idea and what the circular would do to the Filipinos abroad. It would kill the need for dual-citizenship, as the Filipino’s abroad would pay for services not rendered. They would have insurance or taxes for services where they working overseas and also paying in the Philippines. That would make sense if the Filipino have spouse or children left behind. However, making it mandatory for everyone is insincere and banking on its citizens.

That is why President and Chief Director Richardo C. Morales, should step up his game if he believed in this scheme and pay double taxes for the same services. Since, that is what he initially initiated. Maybe he doesn’t see it that way, but he should get his mind correct. Unless, he has unlimited pesos from his work to pay double premium contributions to PHILHEALTH. Because, that is what the Overseas Filipinos would do.

The mentality of ushering this in. On a circular, really shows the intentions. Even if the President suspends it now. The cat is out of the bag. Someone else than Richardo might bring it back. Because, this will be funds in the bank. That the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), Seafares and everyone living abroad can be tricked by the state. Since, they would have to pay into a scheme, which they don’t get served. Doesn’t matter if the Filipino lives in the United States, Middle East or Europe. None of them get to enjoy the perks of PHILHEALTH. They are paying for the system in the nation where they reside. That should be a given, but clearly not for the Richardo.

That is why the President has to backtrack the ideas of Richardo and his PHILHEALTH. If Richardo wants the Filipino abroad to invest in it. Make it accessible and also favourable. Not only put “dollar dollar bills y’all” and remember to pay out 3 % of your salaries to me! Since, that is what the man did and what he ordered every Filipino abroad. He found a cow and wanted to milk it dry. That’s why it went up from 60,000 pesos to 100,000 pesos within a few years time.

Richardo should donate that first and show the check to the public. If he believed in this thing. Since, his the Chief Director of PHILHEALTH. Not only expect hardworking Filipino abroad to cover the shortfall of the insurance company.

Well, the President saved the day after outrage from the ones abroad feeling hoodwinked. Richardo is surely dumfounded, but we are awaiting him to pay double tax and smile to the bank. Like he should smile and grin, even post it on social media. To prove the greatness.

Since, it is suspended, but if they don’t want this thing. Then the state should abolish the idea and silence PHILHEALTH. So, they cannot re-issue this at a later date, when the rainfall has stopped. Peace.

Philippines: The PHILHEALTH Overseas Filipino Premium Contribution scheme is a daylight robbery…

There is simple basics in life. Very simple basics, there is always two things that are certain. It is death and taxes. In this regard to all the Filipino who lives abroad, neither registered as Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) or not. As long as you are a citizen, you have to pay premiums for the Premium Contribution to the National Health Insurance Programme (NHIP).

It would make sense, if this are seafares and the ones directly registered to the OFW alone. They are in the programme of the state and by their working contracts are often at home in the Philippines. However, most of the ones in the circular is not. They are targeting the ones with dual-citizenship. They are targeting every single citizen abroad. Even overseas Filipinos in distress. Because, the ones whose distresses has the funds to contribute to yet another tax.

The ones who has spouses and kids at home in the Philippines. It is fine that they are paying health insurance at home. Even as they most likely is contributing taxes where they are staying. Even if it is in Europe, United States or wherever overseas. That is a natural given. They should pay within their reach and what is needed for the family left behind. However, this scheme makes it mandatory and makes it expensive to live abroad.

This circular PHILHEALTH Circular Number 0014 of 2020 is outrageous. That is just to put it blindly. That this is even an idea and the scope of it all. It is like the people of PHILHEALTH never consider the remittance of the citizens, neither the costs of doing so. Not even the exchange rate. Secondly, if they are paying so high premiums to the PHILHEALTH. How much money will they remit to their families? Some periods and months, I expect none. Especially in the year of 2021 to 2025. When the price hikes for things has gone bonkers. Who wants to spend a 100,000 pesos on a service they are not using? Except if your a rich CEO in Luzon who can buy a ranch by the blink of an eye.

This sort of scheme, which the PHILHEALTH makes mandatory. Is only ensuring that the ones whose dual-citizenship. Will revoke it and only be European or American citizens from now on. Because, why pay fortunes for services not rendered? Secondly, why work hard abroad to help family at home? When so much of the money goes to PHILHEALTH and not THEM. They went abroad for a better life and earn money to help their families. Not feed the PHILHEALTH.

If they wanted more people to use and pay, they should have some leverage. Which they don’t, unless like I told you with family members and such in need. Than, the citizens abroad could pay voluntarily, as they deem fit. Because, making it mandatory only eradicate the ideals and principals of fair treatment. This is a get-rich scheme, as they anticipate the ones already paying tax in foreign countries, using the health care coverage there. Shall also pay for health care treatment at home, which they will only use every blue moon. This is paying premiums for blue moon treatments. That is not fair.

This will only make two things more reasonable. Because a citizen where they are residing. Rescind their registration as OFW and also revoke their citizenship. Also, ensure that people doesn’t travel to the Philippines, as the repercussions of doing so. If you have defaulted on the scheme. Since, you will either wait to you have gotten a citizenship in a foreign land. Where you are residing and using their health care system.

It will also destroy the remittance to the families, to the ones close to your heart. As the premiums with the agents will take away the funds. Since, these people are already paying taxes in their respective countries, already using their livelihoods to live and also buys what they need their. Plus sent surplus to their families. Which they cannot do, when the PHILHEALTH is taken so much funds away in this premiums scheme.

I don’t know Ricardo Morales, the President and Chief Director of PHILHEALTH. But I doubt for a one second, that he would like to pay double taxes and premiums upon premiums on his salary. Because, that is what he orders right now. I can most likely say, that he thinks one time is enough. However, this scheme is making one person pay for health care in Land A and Land B. While only most of the time using the services of Land A, while the Land B get the free-for-all.

This is how Morales maybe get the budgets to cut the shortfall of fiscal funds, but also ensures that plenty of OFW and overseas Filipino become naturalized citizens where they are residing. Because, this trick isn’t any good. This is a trade, where only one party wins and its not the overseas Filipino, but the state. The citizen only get a taxed, but no representation. Since, they are already taxed or having insurance where they are. That is not fair and surely Morales and everyone involved in this scheme should pay double to, in solidarity with the OFWs. Peace.

Philippines: Department of Health – Announcement (11.04.2020)

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