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Archive for July, 2011





Visayan Electric Company Employees Union-ALU-TUCP strongly protest over the decision of the NLRC 7thDivisionion,
Read 362 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

The Visayan Electric Company Employees Union-ALU-TUCP expresses its strong protest over the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission Seventh Division dismissing the complaints of the Union against the Visayan Electric Company, Inc. for Union busting and illegal dismissal.

In a decision dated June 30, 2011, the NLRC Seventh Division, declares LEGAL the termination of the VECEU-ALU Local President Casmero A. Mahilum and the non-compliance of the Management of the Grievance Procedures in the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Citing “conflicting” provisions in the CBA, particularly Article III, Sections 1 & 2 and Artilce XIV, Section 13 of the CBA, the NLRC disregarded the Step by Step process in the Grievance Procedure relating to the investigation of complaints or grievances affecting Company-Union or Company-Worker relations.

Sections 1 & 2, Article III and Article XIV, Section 14 of the CBA provide for the grounds for suspending or dismissing the employees while Article XVII, Section 4 of the CBA provides for the procedure in investigating complaints or alleged infractions of Company rules and regulations. The NLRC ruled that in case of conflict between general and specific provisions in the CBA, the latter shall prevail. The NLCR regarded the Grievance Procedure as general provision while the grounds for disciplinary actions as specific provisions.

Casmero A.Mahilum, the Union President contended that the NLRC erroneously interpreted such provisions as conflicting. There was no conflict of said provisions, Mahilum said. While Article III, Sections 1 & 2 and Article XIV, Section 13 provide the grounds for disciplinary actions, Article XVII, Section 4 (Grievance Procedure) provides for the step by step process in investigating the grounds for suspension or termination. Mahilum further said that the NLRC should interpret Article III, Sections 1 & 2 and Article XIV, Section 13 in relation to Article XVII, Section 4 in order to fulfill the constitutional guarantee of due process.

The NLRC decision, Mahilum said could give a dangerous signal to VECO Management to continue violating the grievance procedures which could result to widespread suspension and termination of active Union members especially the Union officers critical to Management policies against labor. Union members feared that with the NLRC decision, Management will again resurrect the administrative investigations against the union officers which could lead to another wave of suspension and termination and eventually to ultimate Union busting.



CHR must act beyond public condemnation, probe EJKs, HRV cases
Read 388 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

The Commission on Human Rights’ call for a massive mobilization against extra-judicial killings this afternoon is a welcome move. Bayan has long called for investigations of extra-judicial killings and to bring to the bar of justice perpetrators of these atrocious acts.

We, however, would like to remind the CHR that the state of impunity emanates not merely on the lack of public awareness but rather because the perpetrators are virtually scot-free, freely abetted by the failure of government bodies to hold the perpetrators accountable.

The CHR has its share of falling short on cases of extra-judicial killings in the region, and other human rights violations filed in its office. It is partly to blame for the reigning culture of impunity which permeates in our society.

That the CHR could not even pinpoint for whom the rally is directed, alone indicates weak resolve in attending to the problem. For isn’t it glaring that most of the perpetrators of these extrajudicial killings and human rights violations cases filed in its office are the very men in uniforms?

The cases of Rebelyn Pitao, Celso Pojas, Rudy and Rudyric Dejos show that the primary suspects are state security agents as attested by family members and witnesses. Sadly, up to now, the CHR has not made any single step, as to recommend for the filing of cases against state forces who have been involved in the killings.

As long as CHR remains inutile over these cases of human rights violations, we can expect a further delay of justice.

The CHR had better roll up its sleeves and show some real work to address the numerous cases filed by the victims’ families. Otherwise, this afternoon’s rally would merely be an empty display of human rights rhetoric and hollow advocacy.



PUBLIC SCHOOL KIDS TO PLANT VEGETABLES FOR NUTRITION MONTH
Read 424 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

In line with the National Nutrition Month, students and teachers in 40 public elementary schools all over the country will be taught how to plant vegetables in their schools as part of Senator Edgardo J. Angara’s “Oh My Gulay!” (OMG!) Campaign.

Donors from the private sector, namely Banco De Oro Foundation, Asian Terminals Inc., Sunwest Care Foundation, Infant Pediatrics and Nutrition Association of the Philippines (IPNAP) and Aboitiz Foundation, are sponsoring this effort in time to cap off Nutrition Month, celebrated this July.

The sponsorship covers the cost of seeds, materials, and training of teachers and students through OMG!’s implementing partner, East West Seed Co.

Experts from East West Seed will determine what kind of crops can be sustained in each individual school—including the establishment of vertical gardens for schools that are less spacious than others.

This campaign aims to combat vitamin and mineral deficiency or “hidden hunger”, which is the leading cause of malnutrition in schoolchildren today. OMG!’s awareness campaign, launched earlier this year, involves celebrity advocates such as Anne Curtis, Sarah Geronimo and Sam Pinto talking about the health benefits of sitaw, kalabasa and kamote.

Angara believes that fighting malnutrition can help lower the troubling dropout rates among Filipino public school children.

“There is a definite link between health and education,” said Angara, who authored the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the 15th Congress. “Healthy children have better chances of receiving uninterrupted education. By fighting malnutrition, we give them access to more opportunities for schooling, and we invest in our own country’s progress.”

“What OMG is doing is involving the children and their teachers in planting and harvesting vegetables, so they will be more appreciative of it. Studies show that children are more eager to eat vegetables when they were the ones who planted and harvested them,” added Angara. “We make nutrition accessible to them, and teach them how to sustain it. They do not needed added expense to afford good health. In fact, vegetable planting can even become a means of income for their families.”

Armin Luistro, Secretary of Education, is working closely with Angara to make sure that the OMG! campaign continues to bear fruit, and hopefully reach all 45,000 public elementary schools in the country. (30)



Flood victims receive assistance from Lanao Norte congresswomen
Read 438 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

Tubod, Lanao del Norte – More than 2000 families received relief assistance from the congressional representatives of Lanao del Norte last July 29 at Kapatagan municipal gym.

The families were victims of recent flooding in the coastal town of Kapatagan due to torrential rains brought about by tropical storm “Juaning”.

“Seeing their pitiful condition in the evacuation centers, we had to lend a helping hand to these poor victims and somehow ease their suffering”, 1st District Representative Imelda Dimaporo expressed.

The relief assistance consists of 5 kilos rice, noodles soup packs, cans of sardines and beef loaf.

Among hardest-hit barangays were Balili, Donggo-an, Lapinig, Concepcion, and Sitio Sta. Cruz in Poblacion.

“We have to be constantly prepared. With more typhoons expected to enter the Philippines this year, being prepared for any disaster is our best move”, 2nd District Representative Aliah Dimaporo exhorted the residents.

The heavy rains also triggered landslides in Brgy. Donggo-an that temporarily blocked the national highway. However, heavy equipment from DPWH aided by troops from the 35th IB immediately cleared the mudslide and debris and restored normal traffic flow in the area.

According to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Annabelle Mendez, 120 families have been evacuated to the municipal gym while waiting for water level in the affected areas to subside.

Although almost 2,300 families were affected by the severe weather, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office have not received reports of any casualty.

Tropical Storm ‘Juaning’ have already claimed 27 lives, mostly in the Bicol region according to the Office of Civil Defense in Region V (Bicol).

Based on weather updates from PAGASA, as Typhoon ‘Juaning’ exits the Philippines, ‘Kabayan’, a new tropical storm is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday, July 30. LAR&VNL/PIO-LDN

Photo caption: Flood victims from the coastal town of Kapatagan received their relief packs from Representatives Fatima Aliah Dimaporo and Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo.



ON THIRD GEAR, SPEEDING FASTER, BETTER, AND STRONGER: COLT 45 National MotoROC (Motorcycle Race Of Champions) Cagayan De Oro Leg
Read 428 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

Colt 45, the strong beer for real men, actively promotes their Corporate Social Responsibility safety advocacy “REAL MEN DON’T RIDE DRUNK”, in partnership with Two Wheel Enthusiasts Network (TEN), Inc., publishers of MotorCycle Magazine and Power Wheels, gears up for their Mindanao leg of the Colt 45 National MotoROC (Motorcycle Race of Champions) on August 13 and 14, 2011 at the Limketkai Center parking grounds.

The two day event encouraged grass roots racers to compete safely away from the streets and on a race track designed by Jong Uy of Racing Line. The event is also an opportunity for the local riders to display their skills and a chance to compete in the Championship leg on Dec 17-18, which will be held at Quirino Grandstand, Manila. Air Philippines, the official transport for Colt 45 National MotoROC will fly in all the winners from Cagayan de Oro and Cebu City Leg for the championship race.

Categories:

• 115cc Open
• 115cc Stock Novice
• 125 cc Stock series
• 160 cc Open Automatic Novice
• 180 cc Open Automatic
• Open Four Stroke

Mindanaoans can expect activities like motorcade, motorcycle displays by Suzuki, Demak, Aeon, MotoStar and other participating motorcycle brands, Safety Riding seminars for Solo and public transports riders, fun and games such as a Gymkhana, a Slow Race, a Trikhana (gymkhana for TODA), and test rides.

There will be also be a biker babe contest for the local beauties and lady riders, entertainments ,mini concert. Ticket of Php25 which is inclusive of a free Asia Brewery beverage of your choice, a magazine and a chance to win during the hourly raffle.

Interested racers, race teams, contestants, participants and sponsors may contact the NMR-Secretariat at (02)-410-1068/ (02) 376-7323 or email visit Facebook Colt 45 MotoROC.



High investments in city vs demolition of urban poor communities
Read 546 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

Davao City- As demolitions took centerstage in the last few weeks, the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) and the Alyansa Kontra Demolisyon criticized the state’s housing program in a summit attended by a hundred leaders from various housing associations in the city Thursday.

This as the group also warned that the rapid investments in the last six months as boasted recently by the city government may mean more evictions of urban poor communities.

“The urban poor are considered eyesores and must transfer somewhere else–this, in fact, is the basic premise why the government is implementing demolitions. In the face of this discrimination, housing associations and urban poor groups have no option but to assert their rights to abode and against all forms of eviction,” said Sheena Duazo, deputy secretary general of Kadamay.

Leaders of the summit proposed for a housing program that recognizes them as legitimate owners saying that “We oppose all demolitions and we are asserting that all court orders for demolition should be junked Any relocation program that will separate our homes from our sources of livelihood is bound to fail.”

Based on the summit’s recommendation, procurement and distribution of lands for the urban poor residents are key actions need to be undertaken by the city so that a public housing mass program will be undertaken.

“This can only happen if the city will prioritize housing. It is fiscally possible especially because the city, as reported, was able to generate P4 billion from fresh investments as of June this year. Besides, the city’s Internal Revenue Allotment is much higher compared to previous years,” said Myra Reyes, Spokesperson of AKD.

Duazo, however, expressed concern that as capitalists expand in the city’s main poblacion business district and other commercial areas, the city’s poor workers and laborers will be displaced. “It remains to be a big challenge for the city that claims to be one of the livable cities in Asia to address the housing problem here. Would we allow investors to occupy vast lands for their businesses, and in the process, drive away people from their homes?”

For the urban poor group, the aggressive commercial and industrial developments are only for the rich because the urban poor are the common casualties of this ‘fake development.’

Citing a government data, Kadamay raised that, around 3.7 million families are in need of houses from 2005-2010 in the country. At the summit’s workshop, participants elaborated different impending issues that worsen their conditions. Among these are unemployment and low income, incessant price increases of basic commodities and poor social services on health and education.

The summit also slammed the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (RA7279), pointing out that the said law legalizes and institutionalizes the demolitions of the urban poor in either peaceful or violent means. ###



Bayanihan for Kapatagan Landslide
Read 360 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

Kuta Sang-an, Pulacan, ZDS – Continuous heavy downpour wrought by Typhoon Juaning caused massive landslides Wednesday night in Brgy. Donggo-an, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, closing traffic from Pagadian to Kapatagan while affecting residents from barangays Balili, Lapinig, Concepcion and Donggo-an.

Responding troops from the Army’s 5th Infantry Battalion under Cpt. Michael T. Demafelix were the first to arrive at the scene to assess the situation and assist the heavy equipment composed of a back-hoe, one loader, and six (6) dumptrucks from the local government unit of Kapatagan to start clearing the national high-way. Their immediate concern is to rescue the rural transit bus and an Isuzu Elf that were trapped in the flow of mud and water.

Meanwhile, the Army’s 35th Infantry Battalion immediately pronounced a travel advisory through text messages on the re-routing of traffic southwards to Tukuran and avoiding Aurora to alleviate traffic conditions going to Kapatagan and Pagadian. This was relayed to Tabak Division Public Affairs Office and through the Philippine Information Agency – IX (PIA 9), broadcasted the travel advisory and ongoing relief operations. Military checkpoints were also put up to relay traffic advisories to motorist.

Throughout the night and despite heavy rains, additional army troops from 35th IB, 104th Brigade, and 547th Engineers worked hand-in-hand with LGU/ LGAs and civilian volunteers to make the road passable and assisted evacuees from Brgys. Balili and Concepcion. A total of 67 households from Brgy. Balili and 21 households from Brgy, Concepcion were evacuated in subsequent the rescue operations.

“We have to make immediate response and rehabilitation work since this road-net is vital to traffic from Zamboanga to Cagayan de Oro and Davao” said Major Edgardo P. Amores, Officer in Charge of 5th IB, who set-up a Tactical Command Post at Romarate, Aurora to monitor ongoing rescue operations even up to the wee hours of the following day.

Meanwhile, Commander of 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division Brig. General Noel A. Coballes visited the landslide area early yesterday together with Col. Ricardo C. Visaya, Commander of 104th Brigade, Col. Divino Rey C. Pabayo Jr., Division Operations Officer, and Lt. Col. Samuel L. Leria, Division Civil Military Operations Officer, and Lt. Col. Ferdinand S. Razalan, CO of 35th Infantry Battalion, to assess the ongoing relief operations. Mayor Benjie Baguio of Kapatagan relayed the progress of the joint relief efforts to General Coballes.

As of 7am yesterday, normal traffic was resumed in Kapatagan through the combined efforts of stakeholders in response to this crisis event. Through the spirit of Bayanihan, ordinary Filipinos performing little deeds become heroes so that the plight of others may be alleviated.



FARM OUT INNOVATION TO THE COUNTRYSIDE – ANGARA
Read 354 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to devolve its research and development (R&D) programs to the provinces and partner with regional universities to become more responsive to the country’s needs.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, made the call during his keynote speech at the S&T Stakeholders’ Summit held today at the SMX Convention Center,. The Summit was part of National Science and Technology Week organized by the DOST.

“Our SUC [State Universities and Colleges] system is one of the biggest land owners in the country. We can take advantage of that and establish R&D centers outside of Manila—where the action is,” said Angara.

Angara also proposed the creation of “innovation clusters” that act as Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in S&T and R&D. These clusters will include the academe, industry and government through DOST.

“Maybe it’s time to put DOST at the center of our economic development. We should craft a true S&T strategy that will raise our living standards,” said Angara.

Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), noted the dismal rankings of the Philippines in a global study on innovation. He cited that the country ranked 91st among 125 countries surveyed by the INSEAD Business School’s Global Innovation Index 2011.

We need to leapfrog our development. We cannot be satisfied with baby steps. Let’s reorient the DOST and rethink the way we innovate. Let us put DOST at the center of our economic development, hinged on innovation. Without innovations, we are going to stagnate and eventually wither away,” said Angara.



ANGARA CALLS FOR DOST REVAMP
Read 315 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago

In his keynote speech at the S&T Stakeholders’ Summit yesterday, Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to overhaul its organizational workflow in order to facilitate faster growth through S&T innovation.

According to Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, the DOST should “shake out the cobwebs and straighten out the tangles in the work process so that major decisions are made in a strategic, responsive and timely manner, and big breakthroughs immediately get the support they need.”

The veteran senator, a long-time advocate science & technology and chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), said that if the DOST is revitalized and reenergized in this manner, it will be the S&T trendsetter the country badly needs in such a highly competitive and fast-paced era.

“What we need now is a development-oriented, strategic S&T and R&D plan that would integrate the world’s top technologies. We must facilitate the collaboration among industry, academe and government so that the sector becomes responsive to the needs of the people,” he asserted.
Angara encouraged DOST to farm out innovation to the countryside by funding R&D activities in universities and colleges in the provinces.
He urged the DOST to create innovation clusters that will serve as PPP’s in S&T and engines of rural development and R&D growth.
Angara said that there are many world-class agricultural schools in the country that can be the testbed for research into rice varieties that give higher yields and are resistant to drought or salinity. These should be linked up with the PhilRice and International Rice Research Institute.
Information and Communications Technology, on the other hand, is now one of the biggest job generators in the country. Angara said DOST regional offices, especially in the Visayas, should be more aggressive in capitalizing on the momentum generated by the BPO industry.
An aquaculture innovation cluster can be created throughout the eastern seaboard, such as in Angara’s home province of Aurora where a PPP already pioneers in the production of milkfish and high-value fishes such as sea bass, abalone and lapu-lapu.
This forum was held as part of the DOST’s Science Expo 2011 in celebration of the National Science and Technology Week. A week-long series of events was held in the SMX Convention Center in the SM Mall of Asia compound. (30)

PHOTO CAPTIONS:

Photo 1 & 2: Senator Edgardo J. Angara delivers the keynote address at the Science & Technology Stakeholders’ Summit held yesterday as part of the Science Expo 2011. Seated are (right) Secretary Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology and (center) Prof. Fortunato dela Pena, DOST Undersecretary for S&T Services.

Photo 3: Senator Edgardo J. Angara greets Rep. Julio Ledesma, chair of the House Committee on Science and Technology and his wife Assunta as they join the S&T Stakeholders’ Summit. Also in the photo are (far left) DOST Secretary Mario Montejo.
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Bukidnon signs MOA with PACT to combat child trafficking
Read 351 times | Posted on July 31, 2011 @ 7 years ago


By Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy and Mary Ann Noble

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – In a continuing effort to protect the constituents from child trafficking and other forms of child abuse, Governor Alex Calingasan recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that would strengthen the implementation of the anti-human trafficking law.

“This is an additional tool to eradicate unscrupulous groups duping innocent people, especially women and children,” the Governor said.

Records show that Bukidnon was the top source of trafficked children in Northern Mindanao in 2010, said Ma. Salome Ujano, national coordinator of Philippines Against Child Trafficking (PACT).

The MOA, she said, will help local agencies implement the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (RA 9208), which include Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Pornography, and other relevant laws in the country.

Dr. Bernadette Madrid, Executive Director of Child Protection Unit Network (CPU Net), likewise said one of the salient features of the MOA is the setting up of a Child Protection Unit at the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center to help victim-survivor through emergency outreach helpline.

It can be recalled that sixteen (16) youths allegedly invited to a youth camp and recruited as religious scholars in Iloilo City, were rescued by the Bukidnon provincial police team and Anti-Child Trafficking Council of Cabanglasan town in Bukidnon in July 2010.

In that report, one of the rescued youngsters recounted their ordeal. They only had two meals a day as they were forced to preach ‘to win people’s soul’ in the city’s public places and reached out to ask donations for their allowance.

With this, Arsenio Alagenio, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, said the MOA would strengthen the local anti-child trafficking council’s respond especially that most of the target victims are those from the indigenous people in upland and remote areas of the province.

MOA signatories were the governor, Ma. Salome Ujano, PACT national coordinator; Dr. Bernadette Madrid, CPU Net executive director, Dr. Sulpicio Henry Legaspi, Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center chief; Arsenio Alagenio, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer; and P/Supt. Canilo Fuentes, Bukidnon Provincial Police Office (BPPO) deputy director for operations.

Trafficking of children is a form of human trafficking that involves recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receiving of children for the purpose of exploitation such as forced labor, slavery, prostitution, child pornography, begging, or for recruitment for cults, with or without the victim’s knowledge.

Any person found guilty of committing any of the acts violating the laws under Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (RA 9208) shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of 15 to 20 years and a fine of Php 500,000.00 up to Php2,000,000.00. (PIA-Bukidnon)

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