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Regional Updates (12/13/20)

Coding scheme still suspended

THE NUMBER coding scheme will remain suspended in the capital region during the holiday season amid a coronavirus pandemic, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

This is despite the growing volume of cars on roads as Christmas draws near, MMDA Assistant Secretary Celine B. Pialago told DZBB radio on Sunday.

“The number coding scheme will remain suspended until public transportation normalizes,” she said in Filipino.

The scheme was first suspended in June, at the height of a strict lockdown in Manila, the capital and nearby cities and provinces.

Ms. Pialago said if the number coding scheme is restored, they were likely to get a number of requests for exemptions from those who work on the front line.

“The purpose will be defeated,” Ms. Pialago said, adding that public transportation had yet to normalize while the economy gradually reopens. — Gillian M. Cortez

Budget for social services increased

THE SPENDING on social services got a significant boost in the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for next year, according to a House of Representatives leader.

Senators and congressmen have agreed to increase the budget of the Social Welfare department by P3.669 billion to P176.66 billion, House Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera-Dy said in a statement on Sunday.

“Congress recognizes the impact that COVID-19 has placed on citizens, thus it really made sure the 2021 national budget would help reduce the financial and lifestyle effects on individuals and families already experiencing difficulties,” said Ms. Dy, who is part of the 21-member contingent to the bicameral conference committee on the spending measure. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

Speaker urged to divulge net worth

AN ADVOCACY group for political reforms and clean elections on Sunday urged Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco to lead by example by disclosing his net worth.

The Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER) issued the call after a resolution was filed in the House of Representatives seeking to compel government officials and employees to divulge their statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The resolution was filed by Party-list Reps. Rodante D. Marcoleta and Michael T. Defensor after the Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit seeking to compel Associate Justice Mario Victor F. Leonen to disclose his net worth.

Mr. Defensor and Mr. Marcoleta said a congressional inquiry would protect the public’s right to information.

“The concept of SALN being accessible to the public means that all government officials must be accountable to the people,” Ramon C. Casiple, executive director at IPER, said in a statement. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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