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Many victims blame the government’s lack of proper response to the situation. Often, the victims are caught unaware as they were not fully informed of the disaster looming in their midst. Modern notification systems, such as mobile phone alerts, can be used to augment the existing and inefficient system. The ubiquity of mobile phones should be maximized to send out emergency alerts, at no cost to consumers.

SLAPPs defy simple definition. They are initiated by influential entities like corporations, government officials, politicians, landlords, or employers against community residents, indigenous peoples, environmentalists, members of the press, peasants, workers, students, or even against ordinary citizens to prevent them from fully exercising their right to participate in matters of public concern.
This proposed measure is being filed as a concrete step to address the societal problems caused by SLAPPs in the Philippines.

This bill shall put a stop to the privatization of state power assets – particularly the remaining assets still in government hands – to help keep power rates stable and to keep what should be kept in state hands for the benefit of the Filipino people.

This bill aims precisely to protect the rights of students to choose their own review centers. Any school which compels its students to take board review classes or study in a particular review center will be penalized and their permit to operate revoked. Also, the withholding of any essential scholastic document by the school to pressure the students into enrolling in a particular review center will be deemed unlawful.

Through this proposed bill, centers will be established in cities and municipalities to empower children and young adults with disabilities as well as the communities they live in. The centers will be run by the local government units in cooperation with the National Council on Disability Affairs, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Health, and non-government organizations and volunteers.

This bill will set up such a mechanism specifically by: (1) establishing a monetary reward system for the benefit of whistleblowers; (2) protecting informants against reprisals and against civil or criminal liability when they make public interest disclosures; (3) securing the safety of whistleblowers and their families; (4) ensuring that public disclosures are made to the proper public authorities; (5) ensuring that inappropiate publication of unsubstantiated disclosures does not happen, and (6) ensuring that proper records on disclosures are kept and safeguarded.

This bill puts in place a uniform, simple, speedy and effective means of enforcing the right to information. It organizes the scope of the guarantee by codifying definitions of its coverage and clarifying situations for its reasonable exercise; provides a corrective measure against anti-people and criminal acts; and institutes precise penalties for unlawful denial of access to official information.

The key features of this bill also include absolute and mandatory access to matters of official information, public concern and public interest.

In these times of unbridled hikes in the prices of oil, food, other commodities and services, it is the duty of Congress to work for economic relief to Filipino citizens. The clear-cut removal of VAT on tollway services in the current internal revenue law is the most logical option for Congress to act on.

Furthermore, in light of the 2011 Supreme Court decision favoring the imposition of the VAT on tollway services, the burden is on Congress to protect the people by removing tollway services from the VAT as a direct form of economic relief for the Filipino people. Whatever government revenue losses incurred will be offset by the increased purchasing power of all Filipino citizens that will prove better in the long run in making the economy a vibrant and equitable one.

We see that windfall revenues from VAT on oil has been used to cover-up the continued inefficiencies and irregularities in tax collections that would have also resulted in a more sustainable windfall for the government if addressed sincerely. It is a primary task of the government to ensure the improvement of the quality of living of the people, including protecting its citizens from rapacious business practices of foreign companies and its local subsidiaries. Thus, this measure that shall make the sale or importation of petroleum products and raw materials used in the manufacture of the same be exempted from the regressive VAT.

Despite the obvious benefit to the country’s fiscal management, it is imperative that Congress act on the removal of VAT on electricity as it is the fastest and most direct form of economic relief for all Filipino households and businesses. Whatever revenue losses to be suffered by government will definitely be offset by the increased purchasing power of all households as well as cheaper production costs, redounding to a more robust and equitable economy.

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