Congress resumes session today, Monday

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Last night’s headlines today…

MANILA, Philippines — Congress will resume its session Monday, January 20, after it adjourned on December 18, 2019 and go on a one-month legislative leave during the Christmas holidays.

The second regular session in the 18th Congress will begin with the hearing on motorcycle tax regulation by the Senate Public Services Committee chaired by Senator Grace Poe.

The Senate adjourned its Session December 18, to go on a one-month legislative break during the holidays.

Topping the list of the Senate’s accomplishments in the first four months of the First Regular Session in the 18th Congress, is the passing of the P4.1 trillion 2020 General Appropriations Act, which the Upper Chamber ratified and adopted last week.

“We opened the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress with a new batch of senators raring and eager to buckle down to work, and I am happy to note that we were able to file a record number of bills and resolutions, foremost of which is the P4.1-trillion 2020 budget,” Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri said. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

Schools should be spared from disaster evacuation, govt should build more evacuation centers – ACT Party-list

MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list on Sunday said schools should not house calamity victims and the government should instead build more evacuation centers.

Tens of thousands in provinces south of the capital fled after Taal Volcano erupted last January 12.

Evacuees took shelter in about 91 schools in the Calabarzon region, which could not be used for classes.

ACT party-list Rep. France Castro said the government should instead build a common evacuation center for every 2 or 3 barangays, which would have enough comfort rooms and kitchens for evacuees.

Activist groups under the Makabayan bloc had proposed laws for this guideline since 2013, when typhoon Yolanda, the strongest storm to ever hit land, destroyed over 200,000 houses in the central Philippines, said Castro.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones had earlier said families that fled from Taal had to be relocated immediately because classes had to resume immediately.  (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

Red Cross to put up emergency hospital unit in Batangas

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard J. Gordon on Sunday said that the Philippine Red Cross is studying where best to put up an emergency medical unit in Batangas to accommodate ill residents following the closure of at least six hospitals due to the rage of Taal Volcano.

“We are studying where we should put up a medical tent because six hospitals were already closed down. The way things are going, we have to prepare for a possible increase in cases of respiratory illness. The hospitals there may not be able to accommodate all the patients,” Gordon said.

He added Red Cross teams deployed to Batangas assisted other government agencies in evacuating seriously-ill patients from the six hospitals. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

Pangilinan urges DOF to formulate comprehensive fund assistance program

MANILA, Philippines — As Taal Volcano remains restive, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Sunday urged the Secretary Carlos Dominguez, of the Department of Finance (DOF), to formulate a comprehensive inter-agency fund assistance program for affected residents around the volcano.

“This program may include several forms of assistance like outright cash assistance, moratorium on amortization, etc.,” said Pangilinan.

Pangilinan articipated in a relief operation in Alfonso, Cavite last Saturday.

To assist those affected, government financial institutions such as Pag-IBIG, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Social Security System (SSS ) can extend financial assistance to its members and/or interest-free emergency calamity loans, with deferment of loan payments for at least six months, he said. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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