A Memorandum of Understanding was entered into by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao (OPAMINE) and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) as both offices would be joining forces in the implementation of the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
A total of 6 million housing units will be constructed with 1 million houses per year for the next six years of the Marcos administration.
In the MOU signed into by OPAMINE head Sec. Leo Tereso Magno and DHSUD Sec. Jose Rizalino Acuzar on the afternoon of February 16, 2023, both officials agreed to help each other in ensuring that the mega-housing project would benefit the homeless especially in OPAMINE’s area of Regions 11, 12 and 13.
DHSUD and OPAMINE will be coordinating with each other in the identification of qualified properties and beneficiaries, monitoring of the implementation of the housing project, among others.
In his short message during the signing, Sec. Magno assured Mindanaoans of their fair share of the housing program of President Marcos considering that there are still considerable number of Filipino families in Mindanao that do not own a house.
“This administration knows that we have to build houses to foster homes. Good homes would mean better Filipinos. Better Filipinos would pave the way for a better Philippines. We hope that this massive housing project of the Marcos administration would pave the way for a better life for all of us, most especially those who truly need and deserve to be given a better chance in life,” Sec. Magno said.
“Thus I thank the DHSUD for partnering with us to give homeless families in Eastern Mindanao a better home, a better future. Rest assured that OPAMIN Eastern will tediously do our responsibilities and obligations to faithfully execute the implementation of the project in Regions 11, 12 and 13,” the Dabawenyo secretary ended. (OPAMIN Eastern)
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go continues to help communities in distress and promote better fire prevention and response measures as he sent his team to assist fire victims in Koronadal City, South Cotabato on Friday, February 10.
In his video message, Go cited that the government continues to strengthen its fire prevention efforts through the Bureau of Fire Protection’s modernization program.
The senator principally authored and co-sponsored Republic Act No. 11589 or the BFP Modernization Act which mandates acquiring modern fire equipment, hiring more fire personnel, and provisioning of training programs, among others.
It also directs the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in every local government unit, particularly in informal settlements and economically depressed areas.
“Sa pag-iikot ko ng bansa, marami na po kaming napuntahan na mga nasunugan. Kaya naman alam natin kung gaano kahalaga para sa ating BFP na palakasin ang kanilang kapasidad sa pagpugsa ng sunog sa mga komunidad,” underscored Go.
“Napakalaki ng tiwala ko na palalakasin pa lalo ng BFP ang ating fire protection efforts. Karagdagang kagamitan, firefighters at education campaigns para turuan ang ating mga kababayan na mag-ingat, ‘yan po ang BFP Modernization Act. Dahil bawat bahay na nasusunog, nadadamay ang kapitbahay. Kaya dapat doble ingat tayo,” he said.
To give support and hope to the 13 fire victims whose houses were damaged by the fire incident, Go’s team gave them grocery packs, shirts, vitamins, masks, snacks, and a ball for basketball. The activity was held at Purok Callejo, Brgy. General Paulino Santos Hall.
Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development also provided cash assistance as part of the government interventions to uplift the lives of Filipinos in crisis situations.
Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, also offered to help those in need of medical care to ensure the victims’ well-being. He encouraged them to visit the Malasakit Centers located at South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in the city and Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital in General Santos City.
Under the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, which was principally authored and sponsored by Go, all hospitals that are administered and managed by the Department of Health plus the Philippine General Hospital in Manila City are mandated to have their own Malasakit Center that shall provide convenient access to medical programs offered by concerned agencies, such as the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
To date, there are 154 Malasakit Centers that have already assisted more than seven million Filipinos nationwide according to the DOH. The program celebrated its fifth year anniversary on February this year.
Go noted how the country’s healthcare system struggled due to the global health crisis. He then underscored the need to improve access to public healthcare services to ensure that more disadvantaged Filipinos will receive the medical attention they need.
In this regard, the senator supported the establishment of Super Health Centers in the province, including in the towns of Lake Sebu and Tampakan in 2022. Another center will be established in Tampakan in 2023.
Super Health Centers are medium versions of polyclinics and are bigger than rural health units, which offer basic services such as out-patient, birthing, isolation, diagnostic (laboratory: x-ray, ultrasound), pharmacy, and ambulatory surgical unit.
Other available services are eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) service, oncology centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation center and telemedicine, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients will be done.
Through Go’s initiative, some 307 SHCs were funded in 2022. The senator likewise earlier successfully pushed for sufficient funds for the centers in this year’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the DOH.
To help create more opportunities for the province amid difficult situations, Go, who also serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, has supported the construction of roads in Banga, Lake Sebu, Norala, Tantangan and Surallah; acquisition of a dump truck for the local government of Norala; construction of riverbank protection in Koronadal City and T’boli; installation of street lights in Koronadal City, Norala and Tupi; and the construction of a slaughterhouse in T’boli.
“Basta, ‘wag kayong mag-atubiling lumapit sa amin. Huwag din kayong magpasalamat sa amin dahil trabaho naman namin ito sa gobyerno. Kami ang nagpapasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan niyo kami ng pagkakataon para makapagserbisyo sa taumbayan. Ibabalik namin sa inyo ang serbisyong dapat sa inyo sa abot ng aming makakaya,” pledged Go.
DAVAO CITY – Over 30,000 fishermen, public utility drivers, and other marginalized workers were the key beneficiaries of the various projects and programs initiated or coordinated with the national government by Davao City First Congressional District Representative Paolo Z. Duterte during his first three months in the House of Congress.
Rep. Duterte has also filed 60 bills so far from July to September 2022, the most recent of which seek to either raise the incomes of, or provide economic relief to, public school teachers, small farmers, freelance workers and calamity victims, to name a few.
These include House Bill (HB) 4809, which aims to provide free and streamlined freight services in the transportation of relief goods to disaster-stricken areas; HB 4697, which seeks to institutionalize the grant of scholarships to public school teachers and educational assistance to their children pursuing college studies; and HB 3382, which mandates the national and local governments to purchase the produce of local farmers and other food producers for relief operations and school feeding programs.
Rep. Duterte’s recent legislative measures also aim to improve the dispensation of justice by proposing the creation of three additional municipal trial courts in Davao City (HB 3272); secure the country’s energy needs by promoting the development of the Philippine natural gas industry (HB 4097); and protect the rights and welfare of freelance workers (HB 3738).
From July to September of this year, a total of 8,160 fisherfolk and 5,799 drivers of public utility vehicles in Davao City who were thoroughly screened and assisted by the First Congressional District Office were able to avail of the emergency employment under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Disadvantaged/Displaced Worker (TUPAD) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Rep. Duterte’s office also closely coordinated with DOLE in granting TUPAD benefits to 923 street vendors.
“We had carefully profiled the TUPAD applicants to ensure that only those who deserve them are granted the benefits of the program. We are continuing to screen thousands of other applicants, especially those severely affected by the economic shock from the pandemic, to assist the DOLE in effectively implementing TUPAD in Davao City,” Rep. Duterte said.
TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, the underemployed, and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.
Rep. Duterte’s office provided scholarships and educational assistance to 802 students, while another 207 individuals have been granted free training programs from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) from July to September of this year.
In partnership with Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, Rep. Duterte turned over five patient transport vehicles to improve the delivery of medical care to Davao City’s first district residents.
In his first three months, Rep. Duterte also initiated the construction of nine buildings to serve the needs of Davao City residents. These include evacuation centers, multi-facilities buildings, and Lamayan Bayan buildings for the use of Davaoeños who cannot afford funeral services for their departed loved ones. Rep. Duterte’s office helped shoulder the funeral bills of 1,737 deceased residents.
Rep. Duterte’s office also facilitated the hospitalization and medical assistance at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City to 4,532 individuals, including Davao’s needy indigent senior citizens. A total of 8,929 beneficiaries seeking treatment in private hospitals were provided medical assistance f m June to September 2022.
From June to August of this year, Rep. Duterte extended aid to 204 families that were victims of flash floods and 710 individuals who lost their property to fire.
Rep. Duterte and his staff distributed 102 wheelchairs and 1,514 food packs to 28 orphanages and homes for the aged from July to September.
DAVAO CITY – Officers and members of the Barangay Hall in Talomo warmly welcomed First Congressional District Representative Paolo Duterte’s son Rodrigo Duterte II during the turned-over ceremony of a gymnasium and a funeral home on October 3, Monday morning.
Duterte II, together with the First Congressional District Office staff, arrived at the Talomo’s Barangay Hall Satellite Office at Royal Valley in Bangkal around 10:30 a.m. to formally turn over the “Lamayan ng Bayan” and the gym to the beneficiary.
With the initiative of Rep. Duterte, the “Lamayan ng Bayan” will be the first funeral home to offer an accessible venue to Davao City residents who could not afford decent funeral service for their departed loved ones.
The newly-built gymnasium, turned over to the same barangay, will be utilized for crowd gatherings, assemblies, and activities of the barangay and other local government agencies.
Duterte II said he is glad to be part of the turnover of the Lamayan ng Bayan (the funeral home) and the gym through the efforts of the young congressman and his staff. Along with these structures, the First Congressional District Office donated ten tents to the barangay.
After cutting the ribbon at the Barangay Hall Satellite Office, Duterte II and Rep. Duterte’s staff headed to the main office of the Barangay Talomo Proper, located along Talomo Road, to attend the formal program prepared by the barangay chief, Engr. Bendor Calamba, and his staff.
In a speech, Calamba expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Rep. Duterte and the entire First Congressional District Office staff for all the programs and projects from which the barangay benefitted. He said all the support given by the district office has already helped a lot of people.
“Thank you, congressman Duterte. Thank you, Mr. Rodrigo Duterte II and the entire First Congressional District Office staff. Rest assured that all your support to the barangay will reach thousands of people,” Calamba said in the vernacular.
Duterte II said that Rep. Duterte wishes for the Barangay Talomo to take care of the structures and the tents and to use them properly for everyone’s wellbeing. The congressman also thanked the barangay for its endless support to the First Congressional District Office under his leadership.
“Dili pud unta kamo magsawa sa pag imbitar Kanako sa inyong mga pasundayag ug unta dili kamo maulaw muduol sa opisina ni Congressman Pulong ug kang Mayor Sebastian Duterte kung aduna kamoy buot iduol, kay mao lang kini ang paagi para kami maka balos man lang sa inyong walay pu-as nga supporta sa amung pamilya,” Duterte II said.
According to Rep. Duterte’s staff, more similar structures would be turned over to other areas of Davao City soon. The city’s residents will benefit from these structures, especially the Lamayan ng Bayan.
Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte is not opposing the continuance of the Mindanao Railway Project which was crafted by the past administration of his father, Rodrigo Duterte, and will allegedly be continued by the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The young congressman however said that the national government must look into several complaints and acccusation of anomalies by some residents affected by the planned project.
For this, Rep. Duterte along with Benguet lone district Rep. Eric Yap filed House Resolution (HR) No.286, which calls for a congressional investigation on the proposed MRP, specifically on the way the Department of Transportation (DOTr) carried out its right-of-way acquisitions and expropriation of private properties to be affected by the rail line.
Rep. Duterte said that he received numerous complaints from Davao City residents whose residences would be directly affected by the proposed railway line.
He said the proposed MRP rail line would pass through densely populated areas in Davao City, “without the appropriate geological surveys or proper public consultations with the affected communities”.
Duterte and Yap however acknowledged in their resolution that the MRP “will not only make travel faster, but also safer, more convenient and comfortable for passengers in the said corridor”.
Rep. Duterte however added that the complaints must also be given weight especially on the report that “there are variations in the offers for acquisition of right-of-way or expropriation of the private properties by the DOTr and/or its contractors, sub-contractors, or other service providers.”
“These variations in offers have substantial discrepancies from the actual Zonal Value or Fair Market Value of the properties affected,” the two congressmen said.
Though not naming names, Rep. Duterte said there were also reports that some politicians bought vast parcel of lands where the rail line will be constructed at a cheap price and are now selling it to the government ten times or more than the original price.
It was learned that the Barangay Catalunan Grande in Davao City has already passed a resolution opposing the MRP as it would affect several residences in their barangay and would “result to undue safety and health hazard, as well as noise pollution, to name a few.”
“There is a need to properly determine the correct and appropriate manner of identifying the areas where the MRP will traverse in order to ensure public safety and welfare while still being able to pursue the MRP for sustained growth and development in the region,” Reps. Duterte and Yap said in filing HR No.286.
Rep. Duterte and Yap said the probe will “ensure transparency and accountability on the use of public funds while always keeping in mind the safety and welfare of the general populace in the delivery of public services”.
Back in the 18th Congress, the two congressmen also filed a similar call for a probe.
The three-phase MRP covers 1,530 kilometers of circumferential and spur rail lines that will connect several areas in Mindanao like the Davao provinces, Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, General Santos City, and Zamboanga.
Phase 1 of the MRP (Tagum-Davao-Digos segment) is a 105-km line that is expected to reduce travel time from Davao del Norte to Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to just 1.3 hours. It will have eight stations: Tagum, Carmen, Panabo, Mudiang, Davao Terminal, Toril, Sta. Cruz, and Digos. A 10-hectare depot will be built in Tagum City. (PR)