Samuel P. Medenilla

2632 posts
Samuel Raphael P. Medenilla graduated with a journalism degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 2009. He started working in BusinessMirror in 2018 and is currently covering the Palace, labor, election, and church beat.

Labor groups ready report to ILO mission

A COALITION of the country’s largest labor federations on Wednesday said it will submit a comprehensive report of Freedom of Association (FOA) violations to the International Labour Organization High Level Tripartite Mission (ILO-HLTM), due to arrive next week.

JMC on container registry pushed

The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) is now pushing for the creation of the inter-agency mechanism for the implementation of the Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS) of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

PBBM: Govt looking to sell smuggled onions in markets to increase supply, bring down prices

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is now considering releasing smuggled onions to the markets to bring down onion prices.

“We’re trying to find ways to bring the smuggled onions that have been caught to be placed in the market to reduce supply problems,”Marcos said in an interview last Thursday. 

However, he noted the measure is facing legal issues. 

“So we’re still working on that. But we will keep the prices down by monitoring what’s happening in our markers,” Marcos said. 

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) considers onions as regulated goods and therefore subject to auction or donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) if they are smuggled. 

In its Thursday monitoring report, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said the price of onions has now reached P540 to P700 per kilo from just P260 to P280 per kilo before the supply shortage. 

To help address the matter, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it will be imposing  a suggested retail price (SRP) of a P250 per kilo on onions. 

“We will stick firmly to the recommended price. The DTI will continue to monitor,” Marcos said.

PBBM ‘very, very hesitant’ to extend Covid state of calamity

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said he is no longer keen on extending the country’s state of calamity (SOC) due to the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19). 

Marcos made the statement after the Department of Health (DOH) announced last Tuesday it will submit a memo to Malacañang requesting for a longer SOC. 

“I’m still very, very hesitant to continue the state of calamity, to extend it because again we are not in a state of calamity anymore, technically speaking,” Marcos said in an interview last Thursday.  

He noted it may give the “wrong mindset” next year that the country is still struggling to cope with the pandemic. 

Last Sept., Marcos issued Proclamation No. 57, which extended the SOC until Dec. 31, 2022. 

It was supposed to last only until Sept. 12, 2022 under Proclamation 1218 of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. 

DOH is pushing for another round of extension for the SOC since the country’s Covid-19 vaccination program, emergency use authorization for Covid-19 jabs, and emergency allowance for health care workers will be phased out without it. 

Marcos said they are currently “trying to find ways to continue to provide the benefits to our medical health workers” even without the SOC. 

In another development, the President said he is considering visiting the areas, which were affected by the heavy rains and flooding of the shear line and Northeast Monsoon after his State Visit in China on Jan. 3 to 5.

“It always helps to go and see for yourself. So I’ll try to make the time to go,” Marcos said. 

As of last Wednesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported the shear line resulted in the death of 29 people and affected over 400,000 people in Visayas and Mindanao. 

Marcos said he is pleased with the response of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in assisting the people in the affected areas.

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PBBM pushes for climate change reparations

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is pushing for a new compensation “agreement” between the countries vulnerable to the effects of climate change like the Philippines with the European Union (EU). 

Marcos said the accord will lead to the implementation of the financing from the EU to help countries cope with climate change.  

“I have brought it up with the EU and I’ve said that this is an important issue, especially for the Philippines and for many, many other countries. But again, it’s the work that we have ahead of us to be able to come to some kind of agreement as to what damage and loss actually means,” Marcos said in a press conference in the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit in Belgium last Wednesday. 

Among the issues, which should be ironed out for the compensation scheme is how the climate change related damages will be computed and which countries should pay for it, according to Marcos. 

Currently, he noted while the EU is willing to provide aid related to climate change it still lacks the guidelines to enforce it.   

“I sense that there is a willingness for the developed countries to participate and to help in mitigation, to help in adaptation for those countries like the Philippines, most of the countries around ASEAN that are very vulnerable, there’s a willingness to help but how to provide that help is still a question that we cannot definitively answer,” Marcos explained. 

During the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt last month, compensation for the poor countries, which are being devastated by climate change, was discussed.   

However, most countries were reluctant to contribute to the compensation fund. 

“That is why a lot of work has to be done,” Marcos said. 

Aside from financial aid, Marcos earlier said he hopes the EU will also facilitate “green technology transfer” to allow more countries to reduce their carbon emissions.

PBBM says he’s backing Maharlika fund to help government invest in vital sectors

PRESIDENT  Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday said he is backing the proposed legislation creating the controversial Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF), now renamed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) in the latest version of the House bill.

In an interview with the media during his flight bound for Belgium for the Association of Southeast Asian Nation-European Union (ASEAN-EU) Commemorative Summit this week, Marcos said the Fund will help the government to make more investments in critical sectors.

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier said the MIF can bring in investments in infrastructure projects and countryside development, particularly in agriculture.

“It’s very clear that we need added investment. This is another way to get that,” Marcos said.  

He issued the statement amid concerns raised by business groups on the proposal, which could affect the country’s credit standing.

It also drew opposition from labor groups, who were against the provision of the bill creating the MWF, House Bill (HB) 6398, since it initially required the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to contribute to the fund. 

Such provision tapping into pension funds was later scrapped from the current version of the measure. 

The lawmakers pushing for the creation of the MIF said it will help the government achieve fiscal stability, and strengthen top-performing government financial institutions. 

Marcos urged the public to defer their judgement on the MWF until Congress completes the final version of its bill for its creation.   

“Let’s not debate until we see the final form because we could be debating about provisions that will no longer exist. So let us wait what the legislature will do,” the President said. 

He called on lawmakers to make sure the final version of the bill will be “perfect” so it can withstand public scrutiny. —