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House approves RBH No. 6 calling for Con-Con to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution

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Members of the House of Representatives gather for a photo op after the approval of the Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 calling for a constitutional convention to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution, March 6, 2023.

With an overwhelming 301 affirmative votes, the House of Representatives on Monday, March 6, 2023, approved on third and final reading Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, calling for a Constitutional Convention to propose amendments to or revision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

RBH No. 6 is principally authored by Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., and House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chair and Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

According to Speaker Romualdez, the House aims to limit the amendments to the constitution to the “restrictive” economic provisions of the basic law “in the hope that the changes would pave the way for the country to attract more foreign investments.”

“We need additional investments that would create more job and income opportunities for our people. We need increased capital to sustain our economic growth momentum,” Romualdez said.

The Committee on Constitutional Amendments endorsed RBH No. 6 after conducting extensive public hearings and consultations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“Extensive studies show that particular economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution need to be revisited and recrafted so that the Philippines may become globally competitive and attuned with the changing times,” the resolution stated.

It notes that such reform has been identified by reputable business and economic groups as a key policy instrument that needs to be implemented, and that these organizations feel that the economic reform by way of constitutional amendments “is now long overdue.”

Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte said there would be no dramatic increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows unless the Constitution’s restrictive economic provision on limited participation of overseas investors is lifted.

“This 40% ownership cap on foreigners in our inward-looking Constitution has long been the deal-breaker for prospective investors. If you will look at it, one main source of poverty in the Philippines is our low agricultural output,” Villafuerte said on television. 

“There’s a lot of idle land in the country. We need foreign capital and foreign technology to harness such idle lands. So in order to have more foreign capital flowing into the country, we should allow ownership as part of the menu for investors,” he added.

However, while RBH 6 states that the convention would be called “for the purpose of proposing amendments to the economic provisions, or revision of, the 1987 Constitution,” Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said there is no stopping delegates from touching the political provisions.

The resolution noted that among the three modes of proposing amendments to the Charter, the calling of a constitutional convention “would be the most transparent, exhaustive, democratic and least divisive means of implementing constitutional reforms.”

The envisioned con-con would be a hybrid assembly composed of 253 delegates to be elected from all the country’s legislative districts, and at least 20% of the assembly will be made up of appointees from Congress to represent the marginalized sectors. The election and appointment of delegates will be held simultaneously with the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls on Oct. 30, 2023.

The House approval came less than two months after the Committee on Constitutional Amendments began public consultations on charter change at the Batasang Pambansa, and select venues in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

An overwhelming 93% of the 316-strong lower chamber agreed to be named as co-authors of the resolution to signify their support for rewriting the Constitution’s economic provisions. Only six lawmakers — all members of minority bloc — voted against RBH No. 6, with one abstention.

Those who voted against RBH 6 were Camarines Sur Third District Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, Albay First District Rep. Edcel Lagman, and Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel.

Northern Samar First District Rep. Paul Daza, who abstained during the voting on the RBH at the committee level, said that it was “timely to address the economic provisions” of the Constitution.

Rep. Paolo Duterte (Davao City) also issued a statement after the plenary session and said he voted against the measure due to “more pressing social and economic issues” than changing the Charter. His vote was not counted in the initial tally.

Details of the convention, such as the funding and qualifications of delegates, are in an accompanying measure, House Bill 7532, now in plenary debates.

Sources:
House flexes supermajority power to approve con-con resolution on final reading
Reso on Cha-cha via constitutional convention passed in House
House passes reso calling for con-con to propose economic reforms
House OKs resolution calling for con-con on final reading
House adopts con-con resolution

Embracing the Essence of Christmas: A Celebration of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love

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four Christmas advent candles

As the chill of winter envelopes the world and festive lights twinkle in the darkness, there is a palpable sense of anticipation and warmth that permeates the air. This magical season, heralded by the four weeks of Advent, carries with it a profound message that transcends time and resonates deeply within the hearts of people around the globe. It is a message of hope, peace, joy, and love—the essence of Christmas.

Advent, derived from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning “coming,” serves as a poignant reminder of the anticipation and preparation for the arrival of something significant. In the context of Christmas, it symbolizes the awaiting of the birth of Jesus Christ. Each week leading up to Christmas, a candle is lit on the Advent wreath, representing different facets of the season’s profound message.

Hope, the first candle, flickers with the promise of a brighter tomorrow. In a world often shadowed by uncertainty and challenges, the message of hope shines as a beacon, inviting us to believe in the possibility of positive change and renewal. Christmas, with its timeless story of a humble birth in Bethlehem, serves as a reminder that even in the most unexpected places and circumstances, hope can emerge, bringing with it the potential for a better future.

The second candle, peace, emanates a gentle glow that calms the storms within our hearts. In a world marred by conflict and discord, the Christmas narrative of the angels proclaiming “peace on earth, goodwill to men” echoes through the ages. It calls us to seek harmony not only in our external surroundings but also within ourselves, fostering an inner tranquility that can radiate outward and contribute to the collective peace we all yearn for.

Joy, the third candle, dances in the radiance of celebration. The festive season is a time when laughter resounds, and the spirit of joy abounds. Beyond the exchange of gifts and the merriment of gatherings, Christmas joy is a profound sense of gratitude for the gift of life and the love that binds us together. It is an invitation to find joy in simplicity, to cherish moments of connection with loved ones, and to recognize the beauty in the world around us.

Finally, the fourth candle, love, bathes the world in its warm and tender glow. The heart of the Christmas message is a love that transcends boundaries and encompasses all of humanity. The humble birth in a stable, surrounded by shepherds and visited by wise men, is a testament to the universality of love. It is a love that calls us to look beyond differences, to extend compassion to those in need, and to nurture the bonds that connect us as a global family.

As we immerse ourselves in the magic of Christmas, let us not merely observe the traditions but embrace the profound message they convey. In a world hungering for hope, peace, joy, and love, Christmas serves as an annual reminder that these virtues are not merely seasonal sentiments but timeless aspirations that can guide us throughout the year. May the light of hope, peace, joy, and love shine brightly in our hearts, illuminating the path toward a more compassionate and harmonious world.

The Promise of Easter: Transformation and Renewal

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holidays cute leaf spring
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Easter Sunday is a significant Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The message of hope and renewal on Easter Sunday is rooted in the belief that through Christ’s resurrection, believers can experience new life and a fresh start.

The Easter message of hope and renewal is characterized by several key themes, including:

Forgiveness: Easter is a time to reflect on the forgiveness and grace that God offers to humanity through Jesus Christ. This forgiveness provides believers with the opportunity to start anew, to let go of past mistakes, and to move forward with hope.

Rebirth: Easter is a celebration of new life, both in the physical sense of Christ’s resurrection and in the spiritual sense of the new life that believers can experience through their faith. This new life is marked by a sense of purpose, meaning, and hope.

Redemption: Easter is a reminder of God’s power to redeem even the most broken and damaged aspects of our lives. Through Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, believers can experience the transformative power of God’s love and grace.

Overall, the message of hope on Easter Sunday is one of transformation and renewal, offering believers the opportunity to start anew and to experience the fullness of life that comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

MSMEs urged by SEC to tap capital market

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is urging micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to raise funds from the capital market.

The SEC said MSMEs can tap the capital market, including crowdfunding platforms, to raise funds for business expansion.

In the Philippines, crowdfunding is regulated by the SEC under SEC Memorandum Circular No. 14, Series of 2019.

Currently, three crowdfunding intermediaries are registered with the SEC, namely Investree Philippines, SeedIn Technology Inc. and Eastern Securities Development Corporation (Round One).

This story was originally published on The PhilStar Global. Written by Iris Conzales
Read more: MSMEs urged to tap capital market (msn.com)

Sajid Ampatuan gets 848 years jail term for ghost procurement

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FORMER Maguindanao governor Datu Sajid Ampatuan was convicted by the Sandiganbayan yesterday of 126 counts of falsification of public documents and four counts each of graft and malversation of public funds in connection to the ghost procurement of construction materials for public works projects in 2009.

Ampatuan was sentenced to six years for each count of falsification or 756 years, six years for each count of graft or 24 years, and 17 years for each count of malversation or 68 years.

All combined, he is facing 848 years behind bars.

His co-accused former provincial engineer Datu Ali Abpi was found guilty of 136 counts of falsification, four counts of graft and four counts of malversation, which earned him 908 years imprisonment.

Read more: https://malaya.com.ph/news_news/sajid-ampatuan-gets-848-years-jail-term-for-ghost-procurement/

The Law Student Practice Rule

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law student practice

The Law Student Practice Rule under Supreme Court A.M. No. 19-03-24-SC dated June 25, 2019 took effect at the start of the Academic Year 2020-2021 following its publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation. 

The Law Student Practice Rule amended the provisions of Rule 139-A of the Rules of Court “to ensure access to justice of the marginalized sectors, to enhance learning opportunities of law students, to instill among them the value of legal professional social responsibility, and to prepare them for the practice of law”.   This institutionalizes “clinical legal education program in all law schools in order to enhance, improve, and stream line law student practice, and regulate their limited practice of law” and “to produce practice-ready lawyers”. 

In the frequently asked questions of the Law Student Practice Rule otherwise known as Revised Rule 138-A:

“The amendment to Rule 138-A was borne out of the recognition of the reality that the sheer number of vulnerable Filipinos is staggering and the legal aid needs of the marginalized, is overwhelming. The law schools can very well provide legal services to the underserved. On the other hand, law students learn many of the important lawyering skills only by the actual application of their learning in the classroom and through interactions with actual clients. Thus, affording the law students the opportunity for experiential learning will enable them to learn the law and make them practice- ready, while serving the community.”

Who are eligible to engage in the limited practice of law under the Law Student Practice Rule?  Under Section 3, the following are the eligibility requirements: 

(a) Level 1 certification, for law students who have successfully completed their first-year law courses; and/or

(b) Level 2 certification, for law students currently enrolled for the second semester of their third-year law courses, Provided however, where a student fails to complete all their third-year law courses, the Level 2 certification shall be deemed automatically revoked.

Section 5 of the Law Student Practice Rule provides:

Section 5Certification Application Requirements. – The law student must submit a duly-accomplished application form under oath in three (3) copies, accompanied by proof of payment of the necessary legal and filing fees.

The law school, through the dean or the authorized representative, shall submit to the Office of the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) having jurisdiction over the territory where the law school is located, the duly-accomplished application form together with an endorsement under oath.

Under the Law Student Practice Rule, students who have Level 1 certification may engage in the following, subject to the supervision and approval of a supervising lawyer, to wit:

(1) Interview prospective clients;

(2) Give legal advice to the client;

(3) Negotiate for and on behalf of the client;

(4) Draft legal documents such as affidavits, compromise agreements, contracts, demand letter, position papers, and the like;

(5) Represent eligible parties before quasi-judicial or administrative bodies;

(6) Provide public legal orientation; and

(7) Assist in public interest advocacies for policy formulation and implementation

On the other hand, holder of Level 2 certification may do the following, subject to supervision and approval of a supervising lawyer:

(1) Perform all activities under Level 1 Certification;

(2) Assist in the taking of depositions and/or preparing judicial affidavits of witnesses;

(3) Appear on behalf of the client at any stage of the proceedings or trial, before any court, quasi-judicial or administrative body;

(4) In criminal cases, subject to the provisions of Section 5, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, to appear on behalf of a government agency in the prosecution of criminal actions; and

(5) In appealed cases, to prepare the pleadings required in the case.

Lee Seung Gi’s “Ordinary Man” hits 1 Million views

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Lee Seung Gi’s live rendition of his new single, “Ordinary Man”, hits 1 Million views and still rising on Youtube since it was uploaded on SBS Channel on November 15, 2020 when the song was released.

The triple treat entertainer marked his comeback to the music scene after five years since his last album, “And…”.

Lee Seung Gi’s return to the music entertainment is as powerful as his soulful voice. “Ordinary Man” is currently climbing the music charts in South Korea, being Number 1 on Genie and Bugs, Number 2 on Melon and belonging to the Top Ten on iChart. This is no easy feat because the song is the only song by an individual – the rest from (idol) groups which have a large following. The song is also popular on iTunes and Spotify where international fans can listen to his song.

Lee Seung Gi has been active as an actor and a variety show host since he completed his military service in 2017 but have since postponed his career as a singer. He may have been inactive in the music industry but it can be recalled that he debuted as a singer in the entertainment field in 2004 and singing is obviously his first love. He has been vocal that he decided to make this comeback after his performance in the variety show All The Butlers aka Master in the House singing “Forbidden Love” gained so much popularity that garnered 7 million views on YouTube. His fans were longing for his comeback after the airing of the said episode.

In the November 15, 2020 episode of All the Butlers, Lee Seung Gi was shown bringing the rest of the mainstays of the show to the house of top Korean singer-songwriter Yoon Jong Shin to convince him to write a song for him. And “Ordinary Man” is it.

Since its release, Korean celebrities Suzy, IU, Lee Hong Ki, and Yang Se Hyung have been spotted to have posted about the song in their social media accounts, with actor Kwon Sang Woo reportedly calling a radio show to request the song while on his way to shoot his Kdrama Delayed Justice.

Lee Seung Gi may be singing about a break up of an ordinary man in his song, but he is definitely extraordinary to his fans.

The actual “special powers” granted to the President under the Senate version

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Note: President Rodrigo Duterte signs Bayanihan to Heal As One Act into law on March 24, 2020. bit.ly/39eUHEv

Reposting from Dean Ada Abad

==============================

DISCLAIMER: Hindi akin ito. I just reposted kasi sabi nga niya “copy paste, no need for attribution”. Pero alam ng mga younger batch sa UP Law kung sino yan, hahaha. Sorry I was not monitoring FB kasi and just found out when someone texted. Pero agree ako sa lahat ng sinabi niya, kahit side remarks, hahaha. At super-lab ko itong batang ito.

Here are the actual “powers” granted to the President under the Senate version (which the House also adopted this morning):

1. Streamlining of accreditation of test kits (hello, FDA 👋)

2. Prompt testing of PUIs and PUMs (so dapat walang namamatay sa COVID nang hindi nate-test!)

3. Compulsory and immediate isolation and treatment of patients (so dapat bawal na pauwiin na lang)

4. PHILHEALTH coverage for all COVID-19 treatments (so dapat ba covered ng Philhealth kahit di ka official member? hintayin ang guidelines)

5. Emergency subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 to 18 million low income households all over the country

6. Special Risk Allowance for all public health workers on in addition to the hazard pay (dapat lang cos buhay nila ang nakataya)

7. PHILHEALTH coverage for all public and private health workers in case of COVID19 exposure (ibid.)

8. Cash compensation of P100,000 to public and private health workers who may contract severe COVID-19 infection on duty, and P1 million to public and private health workers who may die fighting the COVID-19 epidemic. (this is retroactive so covered yung mga health workers na namatay since Feb 1)

9. Ensure compliance of LGUs while still respecting their autonomy (I call this the Vivico provision 💕)

10. Limited take-over with proper compensation of the following if they unjustifiably refuse or are incapable of operating during the COVID-19 crisis:
– private hospitals
– establishments for the purpose of housing health workers
– transportation for frontliners

(Wala na yung general take over kasi weird naman talaga yun)

11. Enforce anti-hoarding and profiteering measures for food, clothing, medical supplies etc (dapat hulihin rin yung mga yayamanin na nag-hoard for their personal over consumption e no)

12. Ensure that donation of health products are not delated (hello FDA uli 👋)

13. Priority procurement, allocation and distribution of medical goods such as test kits, PPEs, medical devices (i.e. mechanical ventilators), and medicines (i.e. vaccines) (#MassTestingNowPH)

14. Allocation of these medical goods to COVID-19 referral hospitals (PGH, Lung Center, JRM, private hospitals with COVID 19 patients) (so hospitals, pag di kayo nakatanggap, kasalanan na po ng Presidente)

15. Engage volunteer health workers who shall get compensation + hazard pay (pinush talaga ang sandamakmak na benefits for health workers. Dun man lang, makabayad tayo. Thank you frontliners!)

16. Availability of credit and lower interest rates for production

17. Incentives to manufacturers/importers of healthcare supplies

18. Ensure supply chain of food and medicine (reasonably necessary measures daw so ito dapat bantayan sa IATF guidelines)

19. Regulate transportation and traffic (to make the quarantine effective at para tanggalin ang mga OA na checkpoints)

20. Authorize alternative work arrangements for both government and private sector (na current status naman na)

21. Additional budget from the Executive Department for DOH, UP PGH, calamity fund, DOLE for the displaced workers, DTI Livelihood Seeding Program, DA Rice Farmers Financial Assistance, DEPED School Based Feeding Program (di ko gets to kasi wala naman pasok sa school? haha), DSWD Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations, LGUs, Quick Response Funds. (Executive funds lang gamit dito so no transfers between branches which is prohibited under the Consti. Yung mga Executive items na mawawalan ng budget, pwede daw irevive within 2 fiscal years)

22. Use of Special Purpose Funds for COVID-19 response (so yung mga pork at lump sums na pinag-awayan ng matagal mapunta lang sa veerus haha)

23. Move statutory deadlines for filing of any legal document (so covered na dito ang tax. Court deadlines kaya?)

24. Moratorium for all loans including personal, housing, motor vehicle, credit cards falling due within the period of quarantine for a minimum of 30 days without penalties, interests and other fees (so pwedeng di muna magbayad ng utang for 30 days. Pero yung utang mo sa kapitbahay mo bayaran mo na para maka-utang ka uli. At yung sa ex mo bayaran mo na para makamove on na kayo pareho)

25. Residential rent freeze for 30 days without penalties, interests, and other fees (tutal di ka naman pwedeng magtago sa landlord mo kasi saan ka e-eskapo gurl)

26. Lift the 30% limit on the Quick Response Fund (wag lang talaga magkaroon ng additional delubyo on top of the veerus kasi paano na)

27. Report to Congress the amounts, realignment of funds every Monday of the week. (haha gudlak sa gagawa ng budget kaya mo ba)

28. Impose penalties on LGUs, hospitals/establishments under item 10 above, hoarders and profiteers, mga landlords na naniningil pa rin, mga nagpautang na ayaw maghintay ng 30 days, at mga tayo ng tayo ng checkpoint na hindi naman kailangan.

29. Effectivity of these powers were clipped from an indefinite “2 months or longer” to “3 months, unless extended by Congress”.

So unbridled powers nga ba ang binigay? O dagdag trabaho? Haha. 😉 The final version does declare a state of emergency but it is more fiscal than anything. Binigay na ang lahat ng pondo at mga ideas kung paano gagamitin ang pondo sa Pangulo. Kung hindi pa rin niya matugunan ang COVID-19 na ito, aba e call na niya yun.

Dapat actually may #30: Bawal mag-speech kung hindi pa nagagawa ang # 1-29. Char.

Like any other political story, there are a lot of versions to the emergency powers. Dahil work from home tayo lahat ngayon, we have the obligation to monitor these powers-na-naging-duties and see to it that the spirit of the law is followed.

Read and understand. Then obey. Bawal blind obedience. Hindi naman kayo sasabitan ng medal ng veerus. 🥇

EDIT: copy paste niyo na lang mga ka-quarantine. no need for attribution. 😊

Related Story: Duterte approves bill granting him special powers to tackle COVID-19 crisis | CNN Philippines

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