Newsletter of the Office of Senator Nancy Binay
Vol. 1 Issue No. 9 September 2017
Deliberations of the
Senate Budget Season
Sen. Binay’s visit to
Go PHL Tourism!
Sen. Binay at Tourism
Nancy vs Fake News
UNESCO HERITAGE SITE. Senate Committee on
Tourism chairperson Sen. Nancy Binay prays at the
Miagao Church, also known as the Santo Tomas de
Villanueva Parish Church. The church was declared
a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its Baroque
Romanesque architectural style and is a
known tourist attraction in Iloilo.
In this Issue
LEGISLATIVE ROUND UP
Senate Committee on Cultural
Senate Budget Hearings
- Department of Tourism (DOT)
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Social Welfare and
- Commission on Higher Education
Page 4 to 7
Sen. Binay’s Travels:
Philippine Tourism Forums
- Association of Tourism Officers of
Central Luzon (ATOCEL)
- Philippine Travel Exchange
Prayer at the Senate Plenary
ASEAN-AIPA General Assembly
Nancy to DOH: Tread carefully
on Japanese Encephalitis scare
Page 10 & 11
Hygiene Kit Distribution to
Supporting the IP inclusion in
new Bangsamoro Basic Law
Biliary Atresia Babies’ visit
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Nancy vs Fake News
The Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, chaired by Sen. Nancy,
with Sen. Gregorio Honasan, aligned with key stakeholders on the current
status of extending Indigenous Peoples' (IP) option to secure Certificates of
Title to their ancestral lands.
The stakeholders, which included the National Commission on Indigenous
People (NCIP), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Land Management
Bureau (LMB), and Land Registration Authority (LRA), discussed in detail
House Bill No. 5350 or Extending the period for indigenous cultural communities/indigenous
peoples to exercise the option to secure Certificates of Title to
their ancestral lands under Commonwealth Act 141.
The meeting on Sept. 19 concluded with all parties agreeing on the passage
of the bill. However, there are many challenges in enacting it, like overlapping
jurisdictions among government agencies and resolving current conflicts with
claims, among others.
OFFICE OF SENATOR MARIA
LOURDES NANCY BINAY
Room 523, 5th Floor, Senate of the Philippines,
GSIS Financial Complex, Pasay City
1300 Tel. No. 8043396
ON THE COVER
Earlier this month, Sen. Nancy
visited the town of Miagao, to
attend the Hablon Gala Night
and met with the Liga ng mga
Barangays of the town.
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2nd Regular Session of the 17th Congress
SENATE BUDGET SEASON
BUDGET DELIBERATIONS. For the past few weeks, the Senate Committee on Finance has been deliberating on the proposed
P3.767 trillion national budget for 2018 to review each detail that will fund the government next year. As a member
of the committee, Sen. Nancy was active in scrutinizing the proposed budgets of the following agencies.
CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan
DSWD Usec. Emmanuel Leyco
DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade
DOT Sec. Wanda Corazon Teo
During the budget hearing
of the Commission on Higher
Education (CHED) and state
universities and colleges
(SUCs), Sen. Nancy asked Sec.
Licuanan if the agency is using
their share of collected travel
taxes, 40% of which are earmarked
programs and courses.
Unfortunately, Sec. Licuanan
affirmed that CHED
was not utilizing the fund.
Tourism Act of 2009 (RA
9593) mandates that 40% of
the country's total gross collections
of travel tax goes to
CHED's Higher Education
Development Fund (HEDF)
while 50% and 10% of the
collections will be given to the
Tourism Infrastructure and
Enterprise Zone Authority
(TIEZA) and the National
Commission for Culture and
the Arts (NCCA), respectively.
Usec. Leyco presented the
proposed budget of the
DSWD. He highlighted the
issues that the agency is
facing. Among these were
collecting P15 billion-worth
of unliquidated funds,
which were disbursed to
local government units
(LGUs) in previous years,
and transferring the role of
cash disbursements to the
country’s banking institutions
instead of their social
With a proposed 2018
budget amounting to P73.8
billion, Sen. Nancy inquired
Sec. Tugade and DOTr’s
attached agencies’ plans
that can help boost local
tourism. She asked the
readiness of the Philippine
Ports Authority (PPA) to
cruises. According to the
DOT, the country is fast
becoming a cruise destination
and there is great
potential in improving our
local ports to receive cruise
As chairperson of the
Senate Committee onTourism,
Sen. Nancy has been
closely working the DOT.
Sec. Teo discussed the plans
of the agency to further help
the local industry. The
senator asked for the breakdown
of regional tourist
arrivals and the DOT data.
The data showed that there
are provinces that do not
reach their projected targets.
The Finance Committee
suggested that the agency
supplement these provinces.
Sen. Nancy also asked DOT
on its current branding
plans. Teo confirmed that
the DOT’s branding and
communication strategy will
remain as before - “There is
more fun the Philippines.”
Serbisyong Tunay goes to...
In early September, Sen. Nancy visited the town of
Miagao, Iloilo, upon the invitation of Mayor Macario
“Doc Mac” N. Napuluan.
She met with local leaders and members of the Liga
ng mga Barangay. They discussed local issues and aired
their concerns about the postponement of the
upcoming barangay elections. For her part, Sen. Binay
asked how the national government, thru the Senate,
can help the Miagao municipality through livelihood
opportunities that can support their local industries,
especially those that can boost local tourism and the
hablon weaving industry.
Mayor Napulan also toured Sen. Nancy around the
town and accompanied her to Miagao’s UNESCO
heritage site, Miagao Church. Also known as the Santo
Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church, it was declared a
UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its Baroque
Romanesque architectural style and is a well-known
tourist attaction in the province.
In front of the Miagao Municipal Hall.
Senator Nancy with Mayor Napulan & his staff.
At the meeting with the Liga ng mga Barangay.
Senator Nancy observes the renovations made for the Miagao Church.
“The hablon is a testament to the hard working
hands and imaginative minds of its weavers. One
needs discipline and industry to weave it.”
- Sen. Nancy Binay
Miagao's hablon, Iloilo textile pride, is one of a kind - it has
a rich history, world-class, and truly Filipino-made.
Textile weaving played a big part in the history of Miag-ao
and Iloilo, especially in the Spanish period. The versatility of
hablon made its use possible in many different ways. Because
of Miagao’s weavers and the hablon, Iloilo became “Textile
Capital of the Philippines” during that time.
Senator Nancy was invited to give a speech for the 4th
She highlighted the
cultural and economic
contribution of the
hablon to the town and
how the government
can support the
industry. She enjoined
the weavers to continue
enriching their craft.
To complete her trip to Miagao, Iloilo, Sen. Nancy
observed the hablon weaving process and its products at the
Indag-an Primary Multi-purpose Cooperative, a hablon Loom
Weaving Center, in Brgy. Indag-an. As the chairperson of the
Senate Committee on Tourism, Sen. Nancy pledged her
support for the hablon weaving industry and promised to
improve the weaving centers in the town of Miagao.
Senator Nancy shares dinner with DOT bigwigs.
Marketing the Philippines to the World
Now on its 16th year, Philippine Travel Exchange
(PHITEX) is one of the essential travel expositions in
the country. Organized by the the Department of
Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotion Board
(TPB), the conference aims to promote our country to
travel buyers abroad, making the Philippines more
competitive in the global travel and tourism industry.
As the chairperson of the Senate Committee on
Tourism, Sen. Nancy supports the holding more travel
expositions and markets like PHITEX as it would
bring more potential buyers closer to the Philippines’
In her keynote speech she asked the PHITEX
participants to be a "voice of the Philippines for
[their] countrymen." She said that the appreciation of
the country and its exposure by global tourism
organizations have continuously driven
tourists to experience and value the country’s beauty
and way of life every year.
She also mentioned that different publications
have regularly featured Philippine islands such as
Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, Siargao, and Siquijor
as either top or up and coming destinations.
There are a number of new destinations that have
been opened up for development with the help of
the private sector.
The Philippines is currently making headway for
international cruises. Last summer, Manila and
Currimao, Ilocos Norte became ports of call. Another
cruise ship line is also looking to add Subic in its
roster of scheduled destinations.
There is also a local adventure company that is
taking advantage of numerous islands in Palawan for
intrepid band of explorers.
Hopefully, we can expect more tourists to visit
the country in the next few months.
Together with TPB COO Cesar Montano, Philippine
Airlines President & COO Jaime Bautista and DOT
Asec. Ricky Alegre.
Promoting Sustainable Tourism in Central Luzon.
PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE’S
Sen. Nancy was invited by the Association of
Tourism Officers of Central Luzon (ATOCEL) for their
4th Regional Conference last August.
She gave a speech in line with the conference’s
theme, ‘Sustainable Tourism: Promoting Initiatives and
Government Actions Leading to Development and
Poverty Alleviation.” Sen. Nancy highlighted that for
sustainable tourism to develop in the region, the
government and all stakeholders must work together to
capacitate its local government units (LGUs), especially
in tourism development, promotions and marketing.
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
“There is also a need to empower and
capacitate our LGUs so that they can identify
tourism opportunities in their locality, and to
sustainably develop and operate these. Tourism
officers are vital point persons in the planning and
execution of tourism plans, and it should be made
a regular part of all LGU staff,” she said.
Since she was appointed the chairmanship of
the Senate Committee on Tourism, Sen. Nancy
had long pushed for the amendment of the Local
Government Act providing for permanent
positions to tourism officers (Senate Bill No. 1565).
“The national government must also help each
LGU come up with its own tourism development
plan, which should be in line with the national
tourism development plan. The tourism plan
should also be incorporated in the Comprehensive
Land Use Plan (CLUP) so that tourism sites can be
properly identified and protected,” she added.
Ribbon-cutting. Sen. Nancy with (from left) Bulacan
Provincial Administrator Eugenio Payongayong, Board
Member Ma. Lourdes Posadas, Department of Interior and
Local Government Regional Director Dr. Julie Daquioag,
Department of Tourism Regional Director Carol De Guzman-
Uy, and ATOCEL President Michael Palispis.
38th ASEAN - AIPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Everyday we are faced with news of the
ongoing clashes in Mindanao.
We hear news of fighting, deaths,
displacement and suffering of our people.
This is why today we invoke the words of
the prophet Isaiah as we pray for peace
and unity in our country.
"Lord, you establish peace for us, all that
we have accomplished you have done for
us." (Isaiah 26:12)
Photo Credits: Office of the Senate President
Legislators from the Senate and House of Representatives led by
Senate President Koko Pimentel and Speaker Bebot Alvarez at the
38th ASEAN-AIPA General Assembly in Makati.
Matagal nang hinahangad ng bansang ito
ang pagkakaroon ng kapayapaan at
Bigyan po ninyo kami ng lakas upang
maging masigasig ang aming pagtalakay
sa mga solusyon sa problemang matagal
na naming hinahangad na matuldukan.
We ask for clarity and discernment as we
move towards effecting lasting peace in
This we pray to you Our Lord, Our Guide
Photo Credits: Senate PRIB
The Senate recently cited four teachers, three policemen and
three soldiers who were named by the Metrobank Foundation as
These extraordinary public servants were chosen for their
dedication, accountability and love for country. May they continue to
be inspire us all.
Photo Credit: DOH
Nancy to DOH: Tread carefully on Japanese encephalitis scare
says agency must set record straight on reports of vaccine shortage, overpricing
Sen. Nancy on Sunday urged the Department of Health
(DOH) to be cautious in its efforts to quell the public scare
brought on by reports of high costs and shortage of the
vaccine against Japanese encephalitis (JE).
“To date, Japanese encephalitis has claimed nine lives
in our country. While this number might not be alarming
to the DOH, it has caused many parents to worry over
their children's susceptibility to the disease. I urge the
DOH to look into quelling the public's fears through a
comprehensive information campaign," Binay said.
"Health is a sensitive issue and must be treated with
care. The DOH must remember this in its efforts to
address the issues surrounding Japanese encephalitis," she
The senator made this call as public clamor for
vaccines against JE mounted, prompting the DOH to issue
warnings against purchasing vaccines from unknown
sources as well as administering it during the rainy season
when it is said to be less effective.
According to reports, stocks of the JE vaccine are
running low due to the sudden rise in demand from the
public. This has caused many to look for alternative
sources of the vaccine, prompting the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to issue a warning against buying JE
vaccines which are of questionable quality and may even
pose health risks.
"If it is not recommended for the vaccine to be
administered during this time, the DOH must intensify its
efforts to spread this information to the public. Because
while there are efforts to do this, many are still looking for
other ways to procure the vaccines despite warnings
against doing so," Sen. Nancy pointed out.
“Dapat maagapan ito ng DOH bago pa man magkagulo
lalo ang ating mga kababayan. Sa Laguna na lamang kung
saan mayroon nang namatay dahil sa sakit na ito ay may
report na nagkakaubusan na ang stocks ng bakuna,
dahilan para magpanic ang ilan sa ating mga kababayan,”
JE is a viral disease spread by the Culex mosquito
from pigs and waterbirds. It targets the nervous system,
causing high fever, headache, stiff neck, disorientation,
paralysis, seizures, coma and even death.
The DOH has recorded nine deaths due to the
disease this year. Four of these were reported in
Pampanga, two in Zambales, two in Pangasinan, two in
Laguna and one in Nueva Ecija. These are part of a
total of 133 cases of the disease recorded from January 1
to August 26. Out of the 133 cases, 53 were from Central
Luzon while 22 cases were recorded in Pampanga.
There is no cure for JE and the World Health
Organization (WHO) has earlier said that most
survivors of the illness experience physical, learning
and behavioral disabilities, and cognitive and language
The DOH recommends the vaccination against JE
as well as the use of insect repellents, mosquito nets
and clothes with good coverage as preventive
measures. But while the agency has pointed out that
"vaccination is the best way to prevent JE", it only plans
introduce the vaccine into the national immunization
program come 2018.
Imojev is the only brand of JE vaccine in the
country to date and can cost P2,500 to P4,000 per shot,
depending on the hospital where it is availed of.
The WHO has recommended that vaccination
against JE be integrated into national immunization
schedules in areas where the disease is considered as a
public health issue. The agency warns that the casefatality
of this disease can be as high as 30%, meaning
three out of 10 patients could die.
"Sa ngayon, sana ay paigtingin ng DOH ang
information campaign nito upang ma-educate at
mapawi ang pangamba ng ating mga kababayan. Isa
pong public health issue ang Japanese encephalitis kaya
nararapat lamang na pagtuunan ito ng pansin ng ating
pamahalaan," Sen. Nancy said.
Sen. Nancy’s relief operations for Marawi
LONGING FOR HOME
Responding to the plight of evacuees of the war in Marawi, Sen.
Nancy had her staff distribute hygiene and laundry kits to 1,500
displaced Marawi families in five different evacuation centers in Iligan
City, Lanao del Norte.
With the help of Alpha Phi Omega Iligan (APO) and the Department
of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region X, they went to
Brgy. Tibanga Gymnasium, Brgy. Sta. Elena Gymnasium, Buru-un
Gymnasium, Buru-un School of Fisheries and Brgy. Maria Cristina
"I hope that these kits can help keep their families clean and
healthy as we all continue to pray for peace in Marawi," Sen.
Senator Nancy & her BA babies with their families.
Senator Nancy’s Biliary Atresia patient beneficiaries pay her a visit
Earlier this month, Sen. Nancy was visited by angels who were saved through the help of caring
Baby Genesis Louis "Pretzel" de Guzman and Stevie Arghie Garcia were among the Biliary Atresia
patient beneficiaries of the Office of Sen. Nancy who are on the road to recovery. They received
specialized treatment for Biliary Atresia (BA). Pretzel was operated on in India and Stevie at the
Biliary Atresia is a congenital disease that affects the liver in infants. To treat this life-threatening
illness, the operations and medication will cost to more than P4 to P6 million. Saving these babies
was a miracle.
Senator Nancy has made it her mission to help babies with Biliary Atresia. Please help us in
championing awareness on this illness. We have also partnered with LITRO Babies Phils Inc. - Liver
Transpart Operation to help patients receive treatment and relief from this dreadful disease.
Nancy bats for IP inclusion in new Bangsamoro Basic Law
Sen. Nancy on Thursday threw her support behind groups
asserting that indigenous peoples’ (IPs) interests and rights
be recognized and protected in the proposed Bangsamoro
Basic Law (BBL).
“I support the call for the protection of the rights of
lumads and for their inclusion in the discussions on the
Bangsamoro peace process,” she said after 400 tribal
leaders from Mindanao convened for a legislative assembly
“It is necessary for the voices of our non-Moro IPs in
Mindanao to be heard in the ongoing peace talks as they
will also be directly affected by this law,” she added.
The senator believes that the Mindanao Indigenous
People’s Legislative Assembly (MIPLA) from August 30 to
September 1 was an important venue for discussions on
how to include the concerns of lumads on issues of
ancestral domain, governance, economy, and justice system
in the new BBL version.
“The issue of IPs is one that is close to my heart as I have
IP roots by way of my father” she said.
The senator’s father, former Vice President Binay, is an
Ibanag. His mother, the late Lourdes Gatan, hailed from
Cabagan town in Isabela.
Binay said she is hopeful that concerns of non-Moro IP
will be considered by the leaders of Congress as well as the
BTC after they meet with the Tribal Legislative Assembly,
particularly issues on ancestral lands and the recognition of
the rights of IPs.
“I really hope that we legislators will make use of the
suggestions of the MIPLA so that we may better serve IPs.
Tulad na lamang ng suporta na kanilang kinakailangan sa
pagbibigay edukasyon sa mga batang lumad,” urged Sen.
“May pag-aalinlangan ang ating mga kapatid na lumad na
hindi naririnig ang kanilang boses sa usapin ng BBL gayong
sila mismo ang naiipit sa kaguluhan sa Mindanao at
napipilitang lisanin ang kanilang mga tahanan. Sana ay
mapawi ng magiging diskusyon sa MIPLA ang kanilang
pangamba,” she said.
“Makakatulong ang kanilang partisipasyon at mga
suhestyon sa ating mga mambabatas upang maging mas
epektibo ang bagong draft ng BBL sa layunin nitong maibalik
ang kapayapaan at sigla ng Mindanao,” the senator added.
Last August 7, Congress received the new BBL drafted by
the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). The proposed
law aims to create a new region to replace the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as part of the 2014
peace agreement of the government with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF).
Nancy vs Fake News
For the past few weeks, Sen. Nancy has been trending on social media for her stance on combatting
misinformation or as we call it now, ‘fake news.’ Amongst the comments were praises or bashing but most were
funny comments on the issue.
During the budget hearing of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), she asked
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar how the agency will curb the propagation of fake news when Assistant
Secretary Mocha Uson has been known to post unverified news on her Facebook page. Sec. Andanar said that he
will raise the issue with Uson.
More recently, she clashed again with Uson during the Senate Committee on Public Information & Media. “For us
to be truly successful in curbing the proliferation of misinformation, we, as government officials, should first and
foremost be accountable and responsible for our actions. We must conduct ourselves in the manner worthy of our
post. That is why we have RA 6713 as a standard of conduct,” she said.