A shakeup within the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) is set to happen barely two months before the 2019 SEA Games kicks off.

Game of PHISGOC roles: Ramon Suzara out as Alan Cayetano kicks Butch Ramirez upstairs

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A shakeup within the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) is set to happen barely two months before the 2019 SEA Games kicks off.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday (September 17) confirmed that Phisgoc Chief Operating Officer Ramon Suzara will be replaced.

Cayetano did not say if Suzara, his Physical Education teacher at De La Salle Zobel, will be replaced by Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez, but hinted that the latter will have a bigger role to play in the SEA Games preparations.

“We were advised that habang palapit, kailangan mo ng crisis or executive committee para sa day to day problems. And si Chairman Butch has told me he’s willing to do more at tutukan din ito,” he said.

Cayetano said there is a need to review the roles of Phisgoc officials since some of them, like Suzara, are busy with the preparations for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

“We’re thinking of elevating two others who have been doing… two or three others who have been doing hard work to positions na pwedeng sila ang maging hammer o sila ang magma-martilyo sa kailangang gawin in the next two months,” he said.

The SEA Games will start on November 31 and will go on until December 11.

Preparations have been marred by controversies on alleged corruption and leadership squabbles.

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Drilon: No need for Cha-cha; just amend retail trade liberalization law

Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon on Tuesday said there was no need to change the Constitution once Congress passed key economic measures such as the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act.

“The immediate passage of this law will remove the steam the powers that Cha-cha train in the House of Representatives,” Drilon said on Wednesday as Senate plenary discussed Senate Bill 1840 or the proposed amendments to Republic Act 8762.

The bill seeks to further relax foreign restrictions by removing investment categories and setting an across-the-board minimum paid up capital investment equivalent of $300,000 in Philippine peso.

“By amending the Foreign Investments Act (FIA), further relaxing retail trade restrictions and amending the public service law, the Philippines will generate up to $30 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) a year,” Drilon said.

“We are all bombarded with questions about the so-called economic charter change. Well, we do not need to be bothered by such talks because we can immediately better the investment climate,” Drilon said.

“The proposed Cha-cha simply seeks to add the phrase ‘unless otherwise provided by law’ to address the so-called economic provisions of the Constitution,” he said.

“What we need now to address the economic slowdown is a concrete solution through the enactment of various economic measures such as the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Public Service Act,” he added.

Drilon is the principal author of Senate Bill 1840, which is being sponsored by Senate committee on trade chair Senator Koko Pimentel.

No need to wait for May: Garbin says House can pass Cha-cha in March

By Billy Begas

House Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said the House of Representatives could finish deliberations on the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution this month.

Garbin said that as of Monday, only 12 congressmen have expressed intentions to interpellate on Resolution of Both Houses no. 2, the measure seeking to amend the restrictive provision of the Constitution.

He made the statement after Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco said that the House might approve RBH2 in May.

“Kinausap ko kahapon si Speaker and then nilatag ko sa kanya ‘yong legislative calendar and then considering na 12 pa lang yata ‘yong nag-manifest to profound questions or to interpellate, sumali sa debate, sinabi ko sa kanya, paano Speaker kung matapos by March 24 kasi if we will allow Tuesday and Wednesday to be, to allow debates for RBH2, baka matapos nga,” said Garbin.

Velasco supposedly replied: “then so be it”.

Garbin said Velasco only floated the approval in May to give an impression that anyone is free to participate in the debate.

“Kung maraming magtatanong at aabutin hanggang May, di hanggang may tayo. Pero kung tapos na yung debate sa plenaryo ay pwedeng na rin ‘yong March. So ‘yon ‘yong options niya na sinasabi. ayaw niya lang daw na may masabi ‘yong iba na dine-deprive niya ‘yong iba na makapag-participate sa debate,” Garbin added.

Garbin said it is not surprising that RBH 2 is not included in the priority of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) since it is not a legislation but an exercise of a constituent power of Congress.

He added that Malacañang cannot even certify the passage of RBH 2 as urgent.

“This is an exercise of a constituent power. And this is fully addressed to the Filipino people whether they will reject it or ratify it in a plebiscite called for that purpose,” he explained.

Garbin is optimistic that the Senate will act on the measure that is purely amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution.

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