Friday, June 1, 2018

Poe consults Albayanos on effects of TRAIN law

Sen. Grace Poe in Albay
Photo from Poe's Facebook page

LEGAZPI CITY (Bicol Standard) – The Senate Public Services Committee, led by chair Sen. Grace Poe, is conducting a hearing at the Albay Provincial Capitol here today on the effects of the TRAIN law on public services and utilities, particularly on gasoline, electricity, and water.

Earlier this morning, Poe led an inspection at the Ibalong Grand Central Terminal and talked to passengers, drivers, and operators regarding the rise in the price of oil and commodities.

In an interview following the inspection, Poe was told that premium gasoline now costs P57, and there remains no vouchers and discounts for the drivers. Jeepney fare, meanwhile, is still at P7.

She responded, “Kaya nga eh. Kaya nandito ako ngayon sapagkat diretso ninyong nasasabi sa akin at ako naman, masasabi ko sa DOF, ‘nasaan na ang pinangako ninyo na nasa batas din na dapat magbigay rin ng mga vouchers para makatulong nga?’ Kasi siyempre ang TRAIN law nandiyan dahil maraming programa ang gobyerno. Ang programa ng gobyerno ay para makatulong sa ating mga kababayan lalung-lalo na sa mahihirap. Pero kung ang unang natatamaan ay ang mga mahihirap, kahit anong proyekto pa ng gobyerno, siguro dapat ay isipin natin, ano ba ang prayoridad natin. So dapat tulungan muna natin ang ating mga kababayan. Kung merong subsidiya, ibigay na agad at kung pumalo man ng $80 per barrel, dapat ay suspendihin na ang excise tax.”

Meanwhile, among the agenda of the hearing are:

PROPOSED SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 736 entitled “RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES AND OTHER APPROPRIATE SENATE COMMITTEES TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE VARIOUS PUBLIC UTILITIES INCLUDING GAS, TRANSPORT, ELECTRICITY AND WATER AS THEY ARE AFFECTED BY THE INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ‘TRAIN LAW’ WITH THE OBJECTIVES OF SUBMITTING REMEDIAL MEASURES, STRENGTHENING SUBSIDIES AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, IF NEEDED AND RECOMMENDING OTHER APPROACHES TO HELP AFFECTED FILIPINO FAMILIES”

HOUSE BILL NO. 6914 entitled “AN ACT EXTENDING FOR ANOTHER TWENTY-FIVE (25) YEARS THE FRANCHISE GRANTED TO PENAFRANCIA BROADCASTING CORPORATION UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8166, EXPANDING ITS COVERAGE TO THE ENTIRE PHILIPPINES, AND APPROVING THE TRANSFER OF ITS CORPORATE SHARES”

HOUSE BILL NO. 5955 entitled “AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN EXTENSION OFFICE OF THE LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE (LTO) IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF NARRA, PROVINCE OF PALAWAN AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

HOUSE BILL NO. 4765 entitled “AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN EXTENSION OFFICE OF THE LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE (LTO) IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF BROOKE’S POINT, PROVINCE OF PALAWAN AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR”

HOUSE BILL NO. 5568 entitled “AN ACT ESTABLISHING A LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE (LTO) SATELLITE OFFICE IN TICAO ISLAND, PROVINCE OF MASBATE AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR.”

Below is the full text of Poe's opening statement:

An committee sa serbisyo publiko kan Senado yaon dig-di ngonyan para sa public hearing na kaipuhan para sa mga bills na may importansya bakò sana sa nasyonal kundi pati sa lokàl na lebel.
Dàti na tabí akong nagbisita digdi sa Albay. Pero ini an ínot na panahon na mag-conduct kami ki public hearing digdi.
Kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa Provincial Government kan Albay budà sa mga Albayanon para sa ma-ogmang pagsalubong samò.
Nais kong pasalamatan din ang ating Governor Bichara na pinaunlakan niya kaming gamitin ang session hall na ito... At siyempre, ang aking hinahangaan na magaling na ekonomista at masipag na kongresista, dating Governor rin, siyempre ang ating kaibigan na si Congressman Joey Salceda. Siya talaga ang expert dito.
Ever since you have given me your trust and confidence in 2013, I have always made sure to truly and meaningfully listen and consult with our countrymen all throughout the country. Walang diyaryo o palabas sa telebisyon o radyo ang makahihigit sa direktang hinaing ng mga boses ng ating mga kababayan kung talagang nais nating malaman ang pulso at damdamin ng bawat Pilipino.
This 17th Congress, I am blessed and privileged to have been elected as the chairperson of the Senate committee on public services – pampublikong serbisyo ang tinututukan ng ating komite ngayon. Ang pampublikong serbisyo na nasasaklawan ng ating komite ay kinabibilangan ng serbisyong pantransportasyon, tubig, kuryente at lahat ng iba pang serbisyo o produktong ginagamit o kinokonsumo ng bawat Pilipino sa araw-araw.
Today, we seek to know directly from the people the answers to these three main questions: First, how are the prices of basic commodities here in the Bicol region and its neighboring regions in relation to the implementation of the TRAIN law? Second, are the public services here performing to the satisfaction of its customers? Third, what are your suggestions on how to improve their services?
In our efforts to bring the Philippine Senate closer to Filipinos nationwide, we have already conducted a similar public hearing last week in Iloilo City during which we listened to and consulted with officials, NGOs, civil society groups and consumers from the Western and Central Visayas. Today is our second leg as we now intend to look into the issues and concerns in the Bicol region and MIMAROPA region.

First, we will consider Senate Resolution No. 736 which will look into how public utilities such as gas, transportation, electricity and water are being affected by the implementation of the TRAIN Law. Naririnig po natin ang daing ng mga kababayan natin dala ng TRAIN Law at subukan nating makapag-ayos ng posibleng sistema ng pag-ayuda. I also would like to discuss the state of the public transport sector here in your region – kumusta na ba ang ating mga jeepneys pagdating sa modernisasyon, drivers and operators din natin dito?

Second, we will tackle three House Bills seeking to establish extension and satellite offices of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Ticao Island, Masbate, Narra, Palawan, and Brooke’s Point, Palawan. Kailangan ang mga ito upang mas matugunan ng LTO ang mga aplikasyon ng ating mga kababayan para sa driver’s license at pagpaparehistro ng mga sasakyan. Nais nating mapaikli ang mga pila, maiwasan ang mahahaba at magastos na biyahe sa mga sentro ng probinsya o lalawigan para lamang makakuha ng driver’s license at nais nating mapabilis at mapadali ang serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan.
Third, we will look into House Bill No. 6914 renewing the franchise granted to Peñafrancia Broadcasting Corporation located in San Agustin, Canaman, Camarines Sur. Nais nating ipakita at iparating sa ating mga kababayan sa Bicol Region at MIMAROPA na ang pagbibigay ng prangkisa ay hindi po basta-basta sapagkat kailangan nating siguraduhing magagampanan ng mga broadcasting networks tulad ng Peñafrancia ang kanilang mga nakalistang responsibilidad sa publiko at sa gobyerno katulad na lamang ng pagbibigay ng libreng “public service time” upang makapag-anunsyo ang pamahalaan ng mga importanteng babala ukol sa mga kalamidad at sakuna at upang magpaliwanag sa taumbayan ukol sa mga importanteng usapin at isyu sa ating bayan. Kailangan din nilang labanan at puksain ang paglaganap ng fake news at iba’t ibang disinformation. Dapat maging makatotohanan sila.
We would like to inform the public that we added a provision into franchises which requires them to hire locals where their businesses are located. Hindi naman lahat, pero dapat mayroon talaga silang kinukuhang tagaroon sa lugar kung saan sila may opisina. Nararapat lamang na ang publiko at ang mga negosyong ito ay parehong makinabang at nang magkaroon ng maraming trabaho para sa ating mga kababayan.
So with that, I hereby call this public hearing to order.
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