Zaldy Co

3 solons want solar vs El Nino

July 10, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 532 views

AT least three lawmakers are seeing that solar-powered water supply systems are effective not just in fighting El Nino but also fighting abusive debt collectors and make healthy food more accessible to Filipinos.

Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Zaldy Co is pushing for the utilization of renewable energy to help the agricultural sector mitigate the impacts
of El Niño while Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte underscored the urgency of passing a law that would protect financial borrowers from public shaming.

Anakalusugan Rep. Ray Reyes filed House Bill (HB) No. 2189 or the Zero Hunger bill to ensure food security in the country.

Co said it is necessary to take proactive measures to address the potential adverse effects of the weather phenomenon that is seen to bring hotter days ahead as it may affect rainfall patterns in various provinces which may result in decreased water supply, even drought.

“Given the predictions from PAGASA, it is crucial that we take proactive measures to address the potential adverse effects of El Niño on our agricultural communities,” Co said.

For instance, Co said, solar-powered water supply systems could help ascertain reliable access to clean water, especially in impoverished, far-flung, and upland communities.

“The proposed solar-powered irrigation facility, coupled with an advanced fertigation system, holds great promise in ensuring an uninterrupted and environmentally friendly water supply for our farmers,” Co said.

Aside from public shaming, Duterte said his proposal would protect financial borrowers from extortionate interest charges and other vicious online lending practices that continue to claim more victims despite a supposed government crackdown against abusive moneylenders.

He called on Congress to immediately tackle bills that aim to regulate the online lending sector when it resumes session in two weeks, so as to speed up the passage of a law that would expressly prohibit the unfair, deceptive, and shameful practices resorted to by online loan sharks.

“More victims have continued to come out to report being harassed, shamed, threatened, and forced to pay usurious interest charges.

Both the Executive and Congress need to act fast to put an end to these inhumane debt collection practices,” Duterte said.

Duterte noted an online petition spearheaded by the Philippine Association of Loan Shark Victims Inc. (PALSVI) has gathered over 32,000 signatures so far in the hope of making its appeal heard for the government to shut down about 101 online lending apps (OLAs) that it claims to “threaten, embarrass, intimidate, and cause utter grief to the unfortunate victims.”

Their members have also filed complaints before the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group against several online lenders.

Several of the OLAs mentioned in the online petition continue to be available on the Google Play Store.

These apps remain despite a policy implemented by Google in May last year that requires developers of OLAs in the Philippines to submit a personal loan application declaration and other necessary documentation before they are allowed to publish on the Play store platform.

Duterte said HB 6681, which he filed last December with Benguet Rep. Eric Yap and ACT-CIS Rep. Edvic Yap, aims to provide legislation that would regulate the collection practices of lending companies.

As the country commemorates National Nutrition Month, Reyes said ensuring food security in the country is a very important priority of the House leadership under Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez.

“Malnutrition remains a serious problem in our country and it is our duty to address, not just hunger incidence, but also the lack of healthy food available to all at a fair price point,” he said.

The lawmaker said their proposed bill aims to eradicate hunger by 2030 and calls for the creation of the Commission on the Right to Adequate Food, which will be the primary policy-making and coordinating body of all efforts towards addressing hunger and other issues.

“According to the National Nutrition Council (NNC), around 35 percent or four out of 10 Filipino families in the country cannot eat healthy and nutritious food. This is something that we urgently need to address,” he added.

He also expressed hope that deliberations on the measure will commence as soon as Session resumes.

“This measure is in line with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s avowed policy to exhaust all efforts to ensure food security in the country, so I hope that as soon as possible we can pass it,” Reyes said.