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Archive for April, 2013





Local water governance in Caraga strengthened
Read 293 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

By Florian Faith P. Bayawa, Jr.
DILG 13/PIA-Caraga

BUTUAN CITY — Spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Caraga Regional Office and in partnership with the Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD), a regional forum entitled: “Meeting the Challenges of the Big Cs in Water: A Learning Event on Human Rights-Based Local Water and Sanitation Governance” was held at Samping Avenue, 2nd Floor of Bo’s Coffee, J.C. Aquino Ave., Butuan City on April 26, 2013.

DILG Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion said that knowledge products derived from good practices and experiences from human rights-based groups in water and insights from the participants in the forum will provide innovative strategies to ensure that the Big Challenges in Water.

RD Famacion said that that challenges in water, such as: (1) corruption, (2) climate change and disaster impacts, (3) conflicts, (4) issues in culture and indigenous practices, (5) gender challenges, and (6) capacity-development challenges and water financing will be addressed properly through human rights-based interventions.

The forum aims to share practices and knowledge products that can be adopted or replicated by the municipalities in implementing their water and sanitation programs, to know the challenges in local water governance and how these can be addressed, and for the participants to identify practices and knowledge products that they can use or replicate in their localities.

“The Human Rights-Based approach in water governance is developed to help local government units, water-service providers and communities to have access in safe water supply through water system infrastructures and the empowerment of communities to manage the project”, said Fe Crisilla Banluta, Project Manager of DILG – Water System and Sanitation Unit (WSSU).

Citizen-monitors organized in the Municipality of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur called the I-Watch Team (IWAG), which stand for Integrity-Watch for Water Anti-Corruption Group shared their experience in the conduct of constant monitoring in the finance process to prevent corruption in local water governance.

IWAG Board of Director Salvador Subla presented IWAG’s best practices and their milestones in ensuring that water services are readily available to the community and is free from corruption. Water associations in some invited LGUs wanted to replicate what the IWAG has been doing and said that they can have a local IWAG in their LGU so that the group will expand its organization and membership in some parts of the region. (NCLM/Florian Faith Jr. P. Bayawa, DILG 13/PIA-Caraga)



Teachers’ solon condemns PNoy as anti-labor
Read 418 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

By Bernadette Olaivar

“Once again, President Aquino displayed his expertise in enraging workers on their special day,” said representative Antonio Tinio, on the Presidential announcement that workers cannot expect any wage hike on Labor Day.

“The anti-labor character of this President, whose wage policies for both private and public sectors have dragged workers deeper into poverty, is getting clearer every day,” said the progressive legislator.

Tinio slammed in particular Aquino’s planned imposition nationwide of CALABARZON’s Two-Tiered Wage System that would dump the minimum-wage system in favor of a “floor wage” and “productivity incentives.”

“Aquino’s ‘floor wage’ is more like a ‘basement wage’–it is lower than the present minimum wage,” Tinio explained. “It would spell greater exploitation for labor but, surely, higher profits for the capitalist.”

Tinio, who represents teaching and non-teaching education workers in the Lower House, also criticized Aquino’s Performance-Based Incentive System for state workers. Aquino’s pronouncements related to PBIS indicate that he wants to veer away from across-the-board salary increases and instead give Performance-Based Bonuses (PBB) to purportedly enhance government services. Its implications include, however, a ban on new bonuses or any increase in existing ones. For Department of Education, this also means that the bonus of teachers and other personnel will depend on factors over which they have no control, like drop-out rates.

“We also believe that PBB is designed to pave the way for the relaxation or total abolition of salary standardization for state workers, much like what Aquino has planned for the private sector,” worried Tinio, “especially considering that he is allergic to unions and collective negotiation.”
Since 2012, Aquino removed the budgetary item for incentives and other monetary benefits due under collective negotiation agreements, a move which greatly undermines unions of government employees.

In addition to the demand for salary and wage increases in lieu of these policies, Tinio also urges tax relief to enable workers and employees higher take-home pay. He is author of House Bill 5661 which aims to increase tax exempt bonuses to P60,000 (from P30,000). He also filed HB 6723 which would raise the basic personal exemption to P75,000 and P40,000 per dependent (from P50,000 to P25,000, respectively).



Lawmen arrest marijuana planter in Agusan Norte
Read 700 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, (PIA) – In its effort to curb illegal drug activities in the region, joint elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Caraga, Buenavista Municipal Police Station and Agusan del Norte Provincial Public Safety Company have arrested a marijuana cultivator in Agusan del Norte.

In a press statement, PDEA-Caraga Regional Director Erwin Ogario said that at about 05:45 p.m. last April 24 the apprehending forces successfully implemented a search warrant issued by Hon. Augustus Calo, Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 5, 10th Judicial Region here.

The suspect, identified as Ekan is a resident of Sitio Tabigi, Brgy. Sacol, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte who was confiscated with 22 hills of suspected marijuana (cannabis sativa) planted at the backyard of his house.

Dir. Ogario said confiscated drug evidence and urine specimen of the apprehended suspect were submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory Regional Office XIII, Butuan City for laboratory examination and drug testing.

The official further said suspect is presently detained at PDEA Regional Office-13 detention cell while case for violation of Sec. 16 (Cultivation or Culture of Plants Classified as Dangerous Drugs or Are Sources Thereof), Article II, RA 9165 is being prepared for filing in court. (RER with reports from PDEA-Caraga)



Manual method if electronic transmission fails -COMELEC
Read 316 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) — With only two weeks left before the midterm elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Region XI assured signal jammers would not pose a threat to the transmission of election results.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa Philippine Information Agency Friday at the Abreeza Mall, Comelec regional director Wilfredo Jay Balisado said they can resort to a manual transmission of the results in case an electronic transmission would not work.

Balisado said manual transmission means the board of election inspectors will just put the compact flash card in an envelope, seal and send it to the canvassing center.

“We would still know the results in due time even if it would be delayed,” he said.

The official further said that voting can still be done even if a precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine bogs down.

“The board of election inspectors will just collect the election ballots and it will be feed to other working PCOS machines for the counting of votes,” he explained, adding damaged PCOS machines will be sent to their central office in Manila for safekeeping.

“What I’m trying to say is that, all possible problems on the coming lections will be addressed and we have prepared plans for any nforeseen events,” Balisado said.

But in a statement today, poll watchdog Kontra Daya pointed out that the final testing and sealing of the PCOS machines, which is scheduled week before election, will not include transmission.

Kontra Daya said that with Comelec’s admission that it could no longer hold a source code review as required by law, “no one really knows how the machines are programmed to count the votes, putting a serious question on the credibility of the elections.”

“The source code review was instituted precisely to assure the political parties and the electorate that the software to be used in counting our votes is trustworthy,” the group said.

Source code is the human-readable program that runs and controls the step-by-step process of the automated elections from receiving the allots to counting, consolidating, and transmitting the votes. (MindaNews)



Good governance is best Labor Day gift – says Misis Hanepbuhay Cynthia Villar
Read 328 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

Nacionalista Party-Team Pnoy senatorial candidate and former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar today said the firm commitment to good governance that will pave the way for the delivery of fresh investments and job opportunities would be the best gift government can give its workers on Labor Day.

At the same time, Villar thank the labor sector for declaring its support for her senatorial bid, saying the expression of confidence would prompt her to work harder to propose pro-labor measures when elected into the Senate.

Villar said she was humbled by the support extended to her and seven other senatorial candidates by the Philippine Trade and General Workers Organization (PTGWO) under the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the biggest labor confederation in country.

The workers’ group, which boasts a membership of 110 labor unions, declared its support for Villar and the other candidates in a general assembly in the TUCP headquarters in Quezon City on Wednesday.

In her Labor Day message to the country’s workers, Villar said the Nacionalista Party is committed to support the reform agenda of President Aquino to bring about good governance, an improved economy, more jobs and better services to the people, particularly the poor and the marginalized, in the next three years.

“I believe the best Labor Day gift we can give our workers will be our commitment to pursue good governance which is a sure-fire formula to revitalize our economy and create the much needed jobs being clamored by our workers for a long time now,” Villar said.

“Good governance will mean more investments and more investments will mean more jobs. That is what we intend to do in the next three years in our coalition partnership with President Aquino,” she added.

Once elected into office, Villar said she will pursue her long-time advocacies of promoting livelihood opportunities through small and medium term business enterprises, provide the necessary climate that will bring out more jobs and better social services.

To address the concerns affecting the over 12 million Filipino migrant workers abroad, Villar said she will pursue the enactment of her legislative measure mandating the creation of the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers.

Villar said it was essential for the executive department to have a separate department for OFWs to centralize all services and functions of OFW-related government agencies or bureaus.

Villar said a number of them were reported to be maltreated by abusive employers and subjected to other forms of injustices. Through the “Sagip OFW Program” of the Villar Foundation, where she sits as managing director, Villar said she has personally heard all the troubles and sad plight by migrant workers.



Soldier slain in Lamitan; village official ambushed
Read 275 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

ZAMBOANGA City––Four gunmen aboard two motorcycles shot to death a soldier and injured another in broad daylight Sunday in Lamitan City, Basilan province, a police official said Monday.

Killed was Cpl. Richard Jamin and wounded was PFC Joelito Sanchez, both intelligence operatives of the 32nd Infantry Battalion, according to Lamitan City police commander Chief Insp. Almer Ismael.

Ismael said the incident took place around 12:30 p.m. Sunday along the Isabela-Lamitan highway in Barangay Ubit, Lamitan.

Ismael said the victims were riding a motorcycle when the ambush happened.

Jamin died on the spot while Sanchez was admitted at the St. Peter Hospital, he said.

Also on Sunday, a barangay kagawad was killed in this city in an attack that also injured her husband.

Chief Insp. Ricardo Garcia, commander of police station 2, identified the victims as Rosalinda Ladao, 44, a kagawad of Barangay Latuan, and her husband, Saturnino.

The couple was shot by motorcycle-riding assailants around 11:30 p.m. Sunday in Sitio Bitayan, Barangay Latuan, Garcia said.

He said the victims were aboard a motorcycle on the way home to Latuan from a political rally in nearby Barangay Curuan at the time of the attack.

Garcia, who ruled out politics as the motive of the incident, said they are looking into all other possible motives of the killing.

Ladao’s husband failed to recognize any of the gunmen since both were wearing full-face crash helmets, he said. (MindaNews)



Veterans Bank launches WW2 True Stories contest
Read 281 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

Philippine Veterans Bank and the Philippine Daily Inquirer are once again inviting high school students from all over the country to get their creative writing juices flowing as they launch the 2013 World War II True Stories Writing Contest.

Similar to its previous incarnations, the unique narrative-writing contest aims to recover stories about the personal experiences of men and women who served during World War II as well as those Filipinos who survived through those harrowing years. These stories should be told through the survivors’ own recounting.

Students joining the writing contest should have interviewed, researched, read about and understood the subject, and developed their own narratives which should be no more than 2,000 words including important details and quotes from the interview.

For this year, prizes at stake for the top three winning entrants include an Apple iPad (1st prize), an Acer Aspire laptop (2nd prize), and a Samsung Galaxy Tab (3rd prize). All top three winners will also receive cash prizes in a Veterans Bank savings account. In addition, five additional stories will be chosen as consolation prize winners whereby their authors will be receiving an iPod shuffle each.



Over 17,000 jobs up for grabs on Labor Day in Zamboanga
Read 314 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

ZAMBOANGA City––A total of 17,457 job vacancies for overseas and local employment are up for grabs on Labor Day Job and Livelihood Fairs in this city.

Department of Labor and Employment Regional Director Sisinio Cano said that of this number, 16,388 are for overseas employment 1,069 are for
local employment.

Cano said the job vacancies include managerial, professional and technical positions as well as those for skilled and unskilled workers.

He said at least 50 placement agencies–20 overseas and 30 local recruitment agencies–have confirmed their participation in the event.

The jobs fair will be held at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) gymnasium, this city.

Cano said they have advised the jobseekers to visit the Public Employment Service Office and DOLE-Zamboanga City field office for pre-registration.

This year’s Labor Day celebration carries the theme “Manggagawang Pilipino: Handa sa Hamon ng Makabagong Panahon” (Filipino Workers: Prepared for the Challenges of the Times)

Meanwhile, Cano announced that they will turn over starter kits and livelihood grants to identified beneficiaries aside from the conduct of the jobs fair.

He said there will also be a discount fair and a raffle bonanza celebrating “our Filipino workers’ economic and social achievements.”

He said that similar activities will be held on Labor Day and on other dates in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur and in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

These include a walk for industrial peace and labor education in Isabela City on May 1, construction safety training for small scale contractors and sub-contractors in Pagadian City on May 27-31, and basic occupational safety and health training in Zamboanga City on May 20-24. (MindaNews)



Conscience formation for voters
Read 210 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

With just 13 days to go before the May elections, the public needs to do wise decision-making when they cast their ballots.

During the First Friday Affair of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) last April 26, Fr. Carmelo Diola, executive director of DILAAB Foundation, gave a talk on the value of conscience formation during polls.

“We have to deal with the roots of the problem. We need to deal with the original sin of graft and corruption,” Diola shared during his presentation.

Dilaab is a volunteer-driven, Church-based movement for a transformed Filipino nation through heroic Christian citizenship.

Diola cited two kinds of perspectives during elections––the candidates and the voters. He said that some candidates want to win at all costs. They see elections as an investment and public service as a business.

From the voters’ perspectives, the mass see it as a gamble wherein they choose the candidate who is popular. He noted the “lesser evil” mentality of many voters.

“The missing link is the mechanism or the process of forming the practical conscience. It can be achieved by offering options, a call to a beyond-the-usual engagement of the Church and a call to be a pastoral companion among the public,” he shared.

“The first level of accompaniment is to let ourselves be accompanied with Jesus. It is not the end of the world because there is hope. You are not alone because there is faith,” he added.

He said that pastoral companionship is a refuge, a sanctuary or a space where people are alongside a journey towards integrity for the common good. It is also trust-related, growing in a journey of faith, hope, and love that involves discipline and special skills.

In choosing our future leaders this coming election, he said that the Laser test is a helpful tool in the selection process. Laser test (lifestyle, supporters, election conduct, reputation) guides the public’s decisions in choosing the leaders in their respective communities and in the country in general.

RAFI employees underwent a laser test workshop by scoring their chosen candidate a positive sign (+), negative sign (-), and a question mark (?) for uncertain for their assessment based on the given set of questions.

First Friday Affair is done every month to uphold the learning experience of RAFI employees outside their working assignments.

For more information about RAFI, please contact 418-7234 or visit www.rafi.org.phand www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph, or follow RAFI on Twitter, @rafiorgph.



Find the perfect Mother’s Day gift with GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay
Read 328 times | Posted on April 30, 2013 @ 6 years ago

This coming Mother’s Day, get your mom the best gift from anywhere in the world with GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay!

While your mom would certainly appreciate and enjoy traditional gifts like chocolates, flowers and even hand-made cards on Mother’s Day, why not show her how much she means to you by lavishing her with presents you can buy from major shopping sites in the United States and all over the world!

With GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay, you can shop at millions of online shops that accept American Express for that perfect Mother’s Day gift! What’s best is that you can have your purchases delivered from the U.S. right to your doorstep! Unlike a credit card, GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay lets you pay with money in your virtual GCASH wallet so you don’t have to worry about accumulating any debt!

To help you decide on what gift to get Mommy, check out our gift guide and make your Mom the happiest woman in the world with these new and wonderful gift ideas that you can easily purchase using the GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay!

Clothes, shoes, and hand bags. Nowadays, you can get good clothes and shoes with varied sizes and styles, as well as branded handbags online. Check out these sites for the latest fashion and style trends to get a glimpse of clothing, bag, and accessory choices for your Mom—amazon.com, nastygal.com, and solestruck.com.

Make-up, beauty care, and perfume. Your vain mom will surely appreciate items like skin and hair care products as a Mother’s Day present. Visit these sites to shop for lotions, perfumes, and make-up—sephora.com, beauty.com, drugstore.com, and strawberrynet.com.

Books. Most moms like to read to still be in the know of the different trends and keep up with her interests. Why not buy her the newest ebook of her favorite author, or a digital subscription of her favorite magazine title? You can purchase these from iTunes U.S. or Philippines, Google Play Store, Windows Marketplace, and BlackBerry World.

Home furnishings. Whether it is for the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, bathroom or living room, there are thousands of products and home fixtures that you can buy for your mom. For gift ideas for the home, visit ikea.com, urbanoutfitters.com and kohls.com.

Make your Momma proud this Mother’s Day and use GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay to surprise her with a gift from abroad. Simply register your GCASH wallet and email address online at www.globe.com.ph/gcash-virtualpay. Once your account is validated, you will immediately receive your Virtual Pay account details and other important information via your email.

“Shopping with GCASH American Express Virtual Pay is really convenient especially for special occasions like this. There are more options in international online sites and it makes it easier to look for gifts and we can easily ship our purchases to the Philippines,” said Paolo Baltao, President of GXI.

First-time subscribers get a one-month free trial. After the trial, subscribers can continue with the subscription by paying as low as P250 per year via GCASH or charged to their postpaid bill.

If you are not a GCASH user yet, just dial *143# in your mobile phone, select ‘GCASH’ and choose ‘Register’. Provide some personal information as prompted. You may fund your GCASH wallet via online bank transfers (www.globe.com.ph/gcash), mobile banking with BPI (by dialing *119# after enrollment) and Unionbank, BancNet ATMs or through any of more than 7,000 GCASH outlets nationwide FREE* of charge.

For a more enjoyable GCASH experience, GCASH subscribers can use the GCASH Mobile App that is available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry phones. Just go to the Apple App Store, Google Play, and BlackBerryWorld to download the app for free. With the GCASH Mobile App, you may view your GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay details more conveniently. To find out more about the GCASH American Express® Virtual Pay, just visit www.globe.com.ph/gcash-virtualpay.

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