Vice president Jejomar C.
Binay’s second year report
By OVP Media
July 24, 2012
MANILA – During the past two years, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay acted in
various capacities, having been entrusted by President Benigno Aquino
III with advisory, coordinative, as well as executive functions in
three important areas: overseas Filipino workers, the President’s
campaign against illegal recruitment and trafficking, and housing. The
Vice President also extended social services through the various
programs of the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
Hereunder are the significant accomplishments by Vice President Binay
in these areas, towards the ultimate goal of a better life for
Filipinos at home and abroad.
Reuniting OFWs with their families
As the President’s chief adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’
concerns, Vice President Binay understands why Filipinos chose to
leave their families in search for high-paying jobs abroad. At the
same time, he recognized that government must ensure that their rights
and welfare are protected while striving to generate sufficient jobs
at home to make overseas employment an option rather than a necessity.
“Our migrant workers deserve all the support, attention and care from
the government and their fellow Filipinos,” he said.
In his foreign trips, even when the official purpose was not related
to OFWs, the Vice President always managed to squeeze in a meeting or
two with Filipino communities despite his hectic schedule. Vice
President Binay wanted to learn firsthand the concerns of the Filipino
migrant workers as well as their living and working conditions.
In his trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in March 2011, the Vice
President secured the nod of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud to
repatriate 4,500 Filipinos. He also saw the plight of overstaying OFWs
camped at the Hajj Seaport Terminal in Jeddah. He then requested
President Benigno Aquino III to release around P24 million to fund
their immediate repatriation.
Vice President Binay also secured preferential rates with Etihad
Airlines for the flights of 799 OFWs from the Hajj Terminal. They flew
home in batches from June 1 to 8, 2011, with the Vice President
welcoming them upon their arrival.
In October 2011, he went back to Saudi to attend the burial of Crown
Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz on behalf of President Aquino. There he
learned from Ambassador Ezzedin Tago that more than 1,000
“overstayers” at the Hajj Terminal had already returned to the
To further assist migrant Filipinos, the Vice President created the
OVP OFW Special Concerns Unit. From the requests received by the OVP,
22 OFWs have been repatriated from 2011 to the present. This included
Salmos sustained severe burns in his body after being accidentally
electrocuted in Saudi Arabia in 2010. The Vice President learned of
Salmos’ condition through comments in his Facebook account (www.facebook.com/JCBinay).
He then coordinated with consulate officials in Jeddah and secured the
necessary clearances for Salmos to leave the Kingdom and come home on
May 22, 2012.
Aside from repatriation efforts, Vice President Binay also helped
reconcile the families of OFWs Jonard Langamin and Robertson Mendoza.
Langamin killed Mendoza during a work-related dispute in Saudi.
Through the intercession of the Vice President, the Mendoza family
granted its forgiveness to Langamin, saving him from the death
The Vice President and a technical working group had finalized the
guidelines on blood money or diyyah, which is paid as compensation for
the private aspect of the crimes of murder, homicide and manslaughter
committed by Filipinos in Arab nations. The guidelines are currently
awaiting the approval of President Aquino.
Furthermore, citing humanitarian reasons, Vice President Binay in
December 2011 appealed for the stay of the execution of a Filipino
convicted of drug trafficking in China. He said it would be painful to
the victim’s family and would dampen the Filipino people's spirits
during the Yuletide season. However, the sentence was carried out as
scheduled on December 8.
Revival of the au pair program
When the Vice President went to Sweden in July last year, he learned
from Ambassador Ma. Zenaida Angara-Collinson the desire of the
Filipino community in Lund to lift the deployment ban on Filipino au
“Au pair” is a French term that translates to “on par” or “equal to.”
Filipinos under the au pair program “live on an equal basis in a
reciprocal, caring relationship” with their host families, according
to the Department of Labor and Employment.
Au pairs perform housework and child care. While not receiving a
formal salary, they receive monetary allowance from their host
The Philippines stopped sending au pairs to Europe in 1997 after the
Department of Foreign Affairs received reports of maltreatment
including unfair compensation, excessive working hours, discrimination
and sexual assault.
Vice President Binay met with concerned government agencies to discuss
the possible lifting of the ban. He believed that the au pair program
would provide more employment opportunities for Filipinos and raise
additional revenues for the government.
In February 2012, the Vice President announced the passage of new
guidelines on the departure of Filipino au pairs.
“The new guidelines we have put in place will now facilitate the
departure of Filipino au pairs and provide them with safety nets for
their protection without restricting their rights to
self-improvement,” he said.
In June this year, Vice President Binay also recommended to President
Aquino that like OFWs, Filipino au pairs should also be exempted from
paying travel tax and airport terminal fee.
Protecting Filipinos from trafficking and illegal recruitment
Vice President Binay is both chairman emeritus of the Inter Agency
Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and chairman of the Presidential
Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment (PTFAIR). In these capacities,
he made significant efforts in coordinating with various government
agencies and law enforcement divisions to intensify the fight against
illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
The IACAT, as lead entity against human trafficking, coordinated and
monitored the trafficking cases filed in court. By 2012, the IACAT
secured 44 convictions for trafficking-related cases with a total of
58 persons convicted.
The IACAT Operations Center was also created during the Vice
President’s second year in office, along with the establishment of a
permanent IACAT office at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Furthermore, the IACAT launched the 1343 Actionline, providing a venue
for individuals to report human trafficking activities locally and
overseas. For 2011, the Actionline received 7,177 calls, resulting in
68 actual cases. The case calls made to the Actionline have also been
instrumental in the repatriation of 111 trafficking victims.
In January 2012, the Vice President ordered the mandatory interview
for all OFW repatriates from Syria, after IACAT discovered that a
repatriate was a minor using another’s passport to pass herself off as
over 30 years old.
With this discovery, the IACAT instituted several measures to combat
human trafficking and illegal recruitment. Airport officials were
ordered to scrutinize travel documents of exiting Filipinos to ensure
that they went through legal channels and left for proper purposes.
Those who attempt to leave for employment without proper documentation
and visas, or those who leave under dubious circumstances were
offloaded and denied exit.
To institutionalize this, IACAT crafted and subsequently implemented
in January 2012 the New Guidelines on the Departure Formalities for
International Bound Passengers in all Airports and Seaports.
“The offloading policy has contributed to our gains in the drive
against trafficking,” the Vice President said, adding that the new
guidelines sought to balance the right to travel with the intensified
campaign against human trafficking and illegal recruitment.
Meanwhile, as head of the PTFAIR, the Vice President also took an
active role in combating illegal recruitment.
In May this year, he led the closure of a recruitment agency whose
license was cancelled due to collection of excessive placement fees. A
month after, he announced the filing of 29 illegal recruitment cases
against agencies and persons recruiting Filipinos to work in Syria
despite a government ban. Show-cause orders were also filed against 25
Bureau of Immigration personnel for their alleged involvement in the
illegal smuggling of Filipinos.
“This shows that our government is serious and sincere in its efforts
to protect our kababayans and bring to justice those who try to take
advantage of them,” the Vice President said.
However, he also cautioned Filipinos planning to work abroad to go
through legal channels to avoid falling victims to trafficking and
illegal recruitment syndicates.
“I am asking our kababayans, for their own safety, not to accept any
employment offers in Syria. Your lives are not worth any amount of
money that you may potentially earn there,” he said.
For 2011, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration received
106 cases of illegal recruitment, where 29 OFWs were assisted and
sanctions placed against their licensed recruitment agencies. POEA
also assisted 144 victims of illegal recruitment committed by
All these reforms led to the Philippines’ retaining its Tier 2 status
in the 2012 Global Trafficking in Persons Report of the United States
Department of State.
The report noted that “(t)he government made notable efforts to
prevent trafficking, including through training public officials,
strengthening and expanding structures to screen for trafficking
indicators before Filipino migrant workers’ departure overseas, and
negotiating bilateral agreements to protect its workers employed in
"Our consistent performance is the result of the effective
coordination of all member agencies of the IACAT," the Vice President
"We hope to sustain this consistency and improve upon our efforts to
curb trafficking in persons in the country. We have taken note of the
recommendations of the US State Department and will act on these at
the soonest," he added.
Education for the youth
Having risen from humble beginnings, Vice President Binay says he owes
much of his success from the education he earned in the Philippine
public school system. His conviction that education is the greatest
social equalizer informs much of his priorities in his current
capacities. For instance, he has allotted part of his P200 million
Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for a scholarship
grant-in-aid program for deserving students.
In 2011, the Vice President signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and representatives of
State Colleges and Universities (SCUs) in the country. The MOA
indicated that Binay’s office, through CHED, will provide P9,000
annual educational assistance to 10 scholars for each of the 109 SCUs
“We will give priority to those who will be enrolling in agriculture,
education, commerce (entrepreneurship), engineering, and information
technology,” he said.
The OVP also partnered with private learning institutions to provide
more scholarship grants. Under the MOA, the OVP will endorse
candidates for scholarship to AMA Computer University/ACLAC/ABE, St.
Jude College & Medical Center, Manila Central University, Manila
Business College and University of Batangas.
For School Year 2011-2012, 960 freshmen from SCUs and 30 from private
institutions availed themselves of the program. The University of the
Philippines-Diliman also listed two scholars from the School of Urban
and Regional Planning, and five from the College of Law.
For SY 2012-2013, the OVP earmarked P18 million from the first tranche
of its PDAF to offer 2,200 scholarship grants to SCUs, including 20
slots for UP undergraduate students.
Serving the elderly and the marginalized
Also within the period, the Vice President acted on his advocacy for
the welfare of the elderly.
“Our elderly links us to our past and serves as our guide towards the
future. We should thank them for their valuable contributions to our
country,” he said.
In 2011, Vice President Binay allotted P150 million of his PDAF for
the construction and repair of 300 senior citizen centers nationwide.
For the first tranche of his 2012 PDAF, his office also set aside P50
million for the same purpose. The centers serve as venues for
assemblies, recreational and sports activities and medical missions
for the elderly.
Aside from caring for the elderly, the Vice President also sought to
provide social and health services as well as livelihood assistance to
families who have less in life, particularly those in 4th to 6th class
Last year, the OVP earmarked P10 million to provide emergency and
immediate relief assistance to indigent families affected by typhoons
and other calamities. The VP personally led the relief operations in
some areas, particularly in Bulacan after typhoon Pedring submerged a
few towns as well as in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, both of which were
severely affected by typhoon Sendong.
For the first tranche of 2012, the Vice President’s office also
allocated P10 million for relief operations as well as other social
services, including the provision of school supplies and burial
The OVP also held medical missions in and provided medicines and
medical equipment to 4th to 6th class municipalities in the country.
Vice President Binay’s office set aside P30 million for this purpose
in 2011 and P12 million for the first tranche of 2012.
Lastly, the Vice President’s office, in partnership with the Technical
Skills Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment, and
the concerned local government unit, sought to provide livelihood
assistance to establish self-reliant families and individuals.
The OVP earmarked P10 million from its 2012 PDAF to hold specialty
trainings and promote employment programs for micro and small scale
entrepreneurship, focusing on dressmaking/sewing, cosmetology,
hair-cut, reflexology, health and wellness, personal grooming
(manicure, pedicure, etc), and cellular phone repair.
Partnerships for sustainable housing
The Vice President envisioned addressing the 3.6 million housing
backlog within 10 years. However, he saw that for the housing sector
to be able do so, it needs the support and assistance of various
In 2011, he led the launching of the Pabahay Caravan, a nationwide
campaign aimed to enhance the partnership of the national government
and the local government units (LGUs) in the delivery of housing
From Tuguegarao to Zamboanga, the Vice President and other housing
officials presented the national government’s housing programs and
services to LGUs. The housing czar encouraged the LGUs to partner with
the key shelter agencies (KSAs), which could provide them with
technical assistance and financing resources for their own housing
“Pabahay Caravan is our way of coming to your doorsteps bearing the
good news of housing. We offer the partnership of the national
government in bringing the benefits of home ownership to your own
constituents,” he told the LGU leaders.
The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), of which Binay is
chairman of the board, introduced a cluster approach to fast-track the
preparation or updating of Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs) and
Zoning Ordinances (ZOs) of the LGUs.
The CLUP and the ZO identify land areas for residential – particularly
socialized housing – agricultural, industrial, commercial and
institutional purposes. They also incorporate measures for
climate-change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction and mitigation.
From July 2010 to May 2012, HLURB assisted 977 LGUs with their CLUPs
and ZOs. The agency exceeded the target of 665 for the same period and
aims to reach zero backlog by 2013.
At the financing side, the KSAs also tied up with institutions to
generate alternative funds, making it easier for beneficiaries to
afford buying or building their own homes.
First, the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig) teamed up with the
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to create a credit facility
wherein Pag-IBIG could administer GSIS funds for housing.
GSIS released an initial P5 billion to finance the housing loans of
its members and pensioners through the Pag-IBIG Fund. At the same
time, Pag-IBIG put up a special lane for GSIS members and pensioners
to facilitate the processing of their housing loans.
Second, the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC) provided guaranties to
private banks and financial institutions to make their housing loans
risk-free. This aimed to encourage them to participate actively in
housing production. The HGC also extended its guaranty to rural banks
and microfinance institutions to enable them to reach out to the
To date, HGC has provided retail and developmental guaranty on about
P60 billion in housing loans of private financing institutions,
translating into approximately 36,850 housing units.
Lastly, the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) pursued
its Housing Loan Receivables Purchase Program to liquefy private
developers and generate capital for the housing sector. The NHMFC
purchased mortgages and contract-to-sell from developers. These are
then packaged into an asset pool for eventual issuance of securities
or bonds, called the “Bahay Bonds,” for sale to the capital market.
The NHMFC has pooled receivables worth P915.173 million, equivalent to
4,516 housing units. The agency will securitize P600 million of these
mortgages, and is set to issue and list the first retail
housing-backed securities in August.
Meanwhile, the housing sector also joined forces with the private
sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to further improve
its programs and fast-track the delivery of its services.
In 2011, HUDCC’s collaboration with private developer and real estate
groups resulted in the increased ceiling of house and lot acquisitions
exempted from the value added tax (VAT) from P2.5 million to P3.19
million. Without the payment of the VAT, houses are made more
affordable to the common Filipino.
The HLURB also recognized the contribution of NGOs in housing
production. The agency considered the construction of socialized
housing projects by accredited NGOs as a mode of compliance for the 20
percent balanced housing requirement. The HLURB also exempted them
from the requirements of License to Sell.
Housing services for all
The Vice President aspired to enable all Filipino families to acquire
homes they could call their own. He pushed for programs that would
provide even low-income households with opportunities to avail the
housing services of the government.
In 2011, the housing sector announced the first ever housing program
for the Indigenous Peoples (IPs). The National Housing Authority (NHA)
approved a P14 million funding to build an initial 350 homes for Aeta
families in Floridablanca, Pampanga, with the provincial government
providing counterpart funds. To date, 16 housing units have been
Binay said the housing sector also intends to provide homes to
Mangyans in Occidental Mindoro and other indigenous communities. He
also directed HUDCC to tap the private sector to provide jobs and
livelihood opportunities for IPs near their housing sites.
Meanwhile, Pag-IBIG expanded its membership to include public utility
drivers and operators, as well as domestic workers.
In December last year, the Fund entered into a memorandum of
understanding with six transport groups, giving an opportunity to
drivers and operators to avail themselves of the Fund’s "rent-to-own
Under the program, the monthly rental paid for a house selected from
Pag-IBIG will be used as downpayment in case the lessee decides to buy
the house. The program is expected to benefit some 200,000 drivers and
“The transport groups are instrumental in widening Pag-IBIG's
membership base and disseminating knowledge on the Fund’s programs,
especially that of saving,” Binay said, adding that an increase in
membership translates into an increase in savings that will fund
short-term and housing loans.
Pag-IBIG also opened its membership to domestic workers, allowing them
the benefits of multi-purpose, calamity and housing loans upon
completion of 24-monthly contributions.
Binay said employers are mandated to register their house help as
members of Pag-IBIG and to pay a counterpart contribution. Domestic
workers shall contribute one percent of their salary if they are
earning P1,500 and below, and two percent for those earning P1,500 and
above. Their employers are required to contribute two percent as
Pag-IBIG also signed separate agreements with the Department of
Education (DepEd) and the Philippine Government Employees Association
(PGEA) for a Home-Matching and End-User Housing Loan program.
Pag-IBIG will regularly provide DepEd and PGEA with housing
inventories. DepEd and PGEA, on the other hand, will furnish the Fund
with a list of employees who do not own a house and their
corresponding net disposable income. Intended beneficiaries may then
avail themselves of the End-User Housing Loan, which offers low
monthly amortizations and a salary deduction payment scheme.
Furthermore, President Aquino launched the Armed Forces of the
Philippines/Philippine National Police Housing Program for military
and police personnel. Phase 1 of the project, which was completed in
February 2012, provided 21,000 housing units for police and soldiers
in Metro Manila. Phase II involved the construction of 31,200 units in
various sites in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and is expected to be
completed in 2013.
Building climate change-resilient homes and sustainable communities
The Vice President pursued his belief that a house is not merely a
four-walled structure with a roof. This structure should keep a family
safe against natural elements, and serve as its nest for growth and
For this, the Vice President recognized the need to incorporate into
housing plans and programs measures for climate change adaptation, and
disaster risk reduction and mitigation.
HUDCC piloted a project with the UN-Habitat under the Millennium
Development Goal-F 1656 Joint Programme, which designed a climate
change-resilient human settlement in Sorsogon, a coastal city.
The initiative involved the localization of housing policies,
guidelines on site planning, and house construction, with specific
attention to local climate change scenarios, urban development and
housing trends, and the capacity of the poor to cope with disasters
and extreme events.
“Throughout the process, the LGU of the target community must engage
the poor in defining risks and appropriate actions, taking particular
account of the special needs of women, children and the elderly who
are usually the least able to cope during calamities and emergencies,”
The housing czar also identified the need to develop, integrate and
promote indigenous and green building technology in the construction
of houses. Under Binay’s direction, the housing sector started
processing the accreditation of indigenous technologies for housing (AITECH).
The plan on prototype projects to showcase to LGUs and private
partners the use of green technology and its affordability is also
In addition, HUDCC, through the assistance of the World Bank, is
formulating the National Informal Settlements Upgrading Strategy
(NISUS) that will be used to create a Comprehensive Shelter Plan for
informal settler families (ISFs).
The shelter plan will ensure that ISFs will have access to basic
social services such as schools, public markets, health care centers,
and livelihood opportunities at the resettlement areas. It will
guarantee that resettled families will have decent homes that will
nurture their hopes and affirm their dignity.
Homes and jobs
From July 2010 to May 2012, the housing sector was able to provide
security of tenure to nearly 200,140 households. Of this, almost 40
percent or 79,330 families belong to the low-income group and lived in
or along identified danger or risk areas.
Also, based on estimates that one lot generated and one housing unit
constructed provide work to at least eight persons, the consolidated
housing production of the shelter agencies has resulted in the
creation of 1.559 million job opportunities for urban and rural
workers. This is on top of the 18 additional jobs generated in other
sectors for every 100 jobs created in the construction industry.
Cleaning the house
In his two years as head of the HUDCC, Vice President Binay has been
steadfast in pushing for reforms to facilitate efficient delivery of
housing services and weed out corruption. Most notable of these is the
filing of 27 counts of syndicated estafa against property developer
Globe Asiatique (GA). Pag-IBIG also charged some of its officials
involved in the scandal with administrative cases.
GA was found using ghost borrowers and fake documents to siphon more
than P6 billion loans from Pag-IBIG. The Vice President monitored the
progress of the case, the first major case involving misuse of public
funds under the Aquino administration.
In May 2012, warrants of arrest were issued against GA owner Delfin
Lee and his co-accused. However, Lee went into hiding and authorities
failed to apprehend him.
“The victims of Globe Asiatique are demanding justice. I am
disappointed that Delfin Lee remains at large a month after the court
ordered his arrest,” the Vice President said.
Nonetheless, he remained optimistic that Lee will be caught soon and
justice will be served.
President Aquino issues EO to reform mining sector
July 9, 2012
MALACAÑANG – President Benigno Aquino III has approved wide-ranging
reforms in the mining industry under Executive Order No. 79 put in
place to strengthen environmental protection, promote responsible
mining and provide a more equitable revenue-sharing scheme amid the
projected boom in the sector.
Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said the new presidential
directive, which the Chief Executive signed on July 6, is envisioned
to harmonize mining policies and regulations in the country and make
players in the mining industry more transparent and accountable.
“The executive order is a product of input from stakeholders at all
levels to address their concerns,” Ochoa said. “We are confident that
with the EO in place, we will be able to put order in processing
mining applications and at the same time reinforce protection of the
environment, spur economic growth, and create employment
The presidential order was based on the joint resolution of the
Cabinet clusters on climate change adaptation and mitigation, and
economic development dated March 16, 2012 to improve environmental
mining standards and increase revenues to promote sustainable
development and social growth, both at the national and local levels.
EO NO. 79 identifies zones closed to mining applications – either for
contracts, concessions or agreements – including areas in the National
Tourism Development Plan, critical areas and island eco-systems, prime
agricultural lands covered by RA 6657, strategic agriculture and
fisheries development zones and fisheries development zones an fish
refuge and sanctuaries declared as such by the Department of
Agriculture. Mining is not allowed in areas already identified under
the existing laws on mining, agrarian and protected areas, as well as
in sites that may be determined by the Department of Environment and
natural Resources (DENR).
Mining contracts, concessions and agreements approved prior to the
issuance of the new directive remain binding provided that companies
comply with existing laws, rules and regulations, and the terms and
conditions of the grant.
No new mineral agreements will be issued, however, pending the passage
of legislation that will rationalize the revenue-sharing schemes and
mechanisms. In line with this, the DENR and the Departments of Budget
and Management (DBM) and Finance (DoF) are also ordered to ensure the
timely release of the share of local government units (LGUs).
“These agencies are likewise directed to study the possibility of
increasing LGUs’ share as well as granting them direct access similar
to arrangements with the Philippine Export Processing Zones (PEZA),”
the EO stated.
The DENR may continue though to grant and issue exploration permits
under existing guidelines and laws, and grantees will be given the
right of first option to develop and utilize minerals in their
respective areas once a new law is in effect.
According to Ochoa, the presidential directive also calls for the full
enforcement of environmental standards, tasking the DENR and local
government units (LGUs) to ensure that large- and small-scale miners
comply with the laws or face appropriate sanctions.
On top of this, the DENR-led multi-stakeholder team is directed to
assess the performance of existing mining operations regardless of
size, punish violators and purge the list of non-moving mining rights
While the EO allows the opening of areas for mining rights and mining
tenements over areas with known and verified mineral resources and
reserves, including those owned by the government and expired
tenements, this should be undertaken through a competitive public
bidding, which guidelines and procedures should be formulated by the
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
Potential and future mining sites with known strategic mineral
reserves and resources, however, may be declared as mineral
reservations for the development of strategic industries identified in
the Philippines Development Plan and a national industrialization
To improve small-scale mining operations, the EO outlines steps to
ensure that activities comply with the Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991
and the Environmental Impact Statement requirements spelled out in
Presidential Decree No. 1586. Specifically the law designates Minahang
Bayan or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Areas, and mandates the
creation and operation of Provincial/City Mining Regulatory Boards.
The use of mercury in small-scale mining is strictly prohibited, the
Ochoa also underscored the key provisions of the presidential
directive that enjoin concerned national government agencies and LGUs
to closely coordinate to harmonize mining policies on conservation,
management, development and utilization of the state’s mineral
In fact, Ochoa added, the Union of Local Authorities of the
Philippines (ULAP) will be represented in the Mining Industry
Coordinating Council (MICC) that will be created under the EO.
The MICC, co-chaired by the head of the Cabinet clusters on climate
change adaptation and mitigation, and economic development, is tasked,
among others, to conduct assessment and review of all mining-related
laws, rules and regulations, issuances and agreements toward the
formulation of recommendations for better coordination between the
national government and LGUs.
Additionally, the MICC shall launch campaigns against illegal mining,
serve as oversight committee over the operations of the
Provincial/City Mining Regulatory Boards, monitor the implementation
of mining laws and regulate small-scale mining participants, who are
equally accountable to the same environmental and social obligations
as large-scale mining companies.
Funding for the implementation of the EO, which takes effect
immediately upon publication in a newspaper of general circulation,
will come from existing budget of all government agencies involved.
COA report: ‘Red tape’ hampers operations of Iloilo hospitals
By FLORENCE F. HIBIONADA,
Philippine News Service (PNS)
June 27, 2012
ILOILO, Philippines – A disturbing pattern of delay has been
established by the Commission on Audit (COA) on the procurement of
medicines for Iloilo hospitals.
Delays that ranged from 171 days as in the case of 5 procurements of
Dumangas District Hospital to the longest of 374 days as in the case
of one procurement in Januiay’s Federico Roman Tirador Sr. Memorial
With government provisions on mandated “period of action on
procurements,” the attention and action of the Iloilo Provincial
Government (IPG) has now been called.
Subject of the COA findings were data gathered from various district
hospitals under the IPG as culled from Purchase Requests (PRs)
obtained by State Auditors.
The Commission as per analysis made on the sample PRs gathered got to
confirm the pattern of delay translated into nearly P9 million worth
of medicine procurements. In fact, of the 93 PRs scrutinized, only 21
or 23% met the “28 calendar period of action” while 72 PRs or 77% way
exceeded the 124-maximum calendar-day period of action on procurement.
“It was observed that from the time the hospitals submitted their
purchase requests to the Hospital Operations Management Service (HOMS),
an office under the Provincial Health Office to which the hospitals
directly submit their procurement requests, it also takes several
days, based on herein data the longest is 33 days, for the said office
to transmit the PRs to the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC),” the COA
Said delay in transmission caused the domino-effect of more delays
that the COA said “resulted to the absence or insufficiency of
medicines and medical supplies in different hospitals in the province
The problem was extensive that even commonly-used and essential
medicines were depleted in hospital pharmacies.
“In fact, in order to provide the urgent need for these medicines and
medical supplies, almost all hospitals are constrained to utilize a
large portion of their petty cash fund although use of such fund
should have been limited only to petty expenses,” COA lamented while
adding that doing so, “the hospitals are also circumventing the rules
on the proper use thereof.”
Philippine News Service (PNS) learned that in order to resolve the
lack of medicines, common practice in Iloilo hospitals was to split
into small amounts the purchases. This was done in order for the
petty cash fund to accommodate the need.
Other instance common to all hospitals was to buy medicines from
outside private pharmacies.
“If this scenario will continue unaddressed, the provincial government
would be losing more income considering that this type of service is
also one of those which are included in the return-incentives granted
by PhilHealth, which ultimately redound to the benefit of both
hospital personnel and the provincial government,” COA said. “The
income lost by the provincial government brought about by the
dwindling or nonexistence of these medicines could have been used to
improve the delivery of hospital’s basic services.”
As such, COA called on the Capitol to “exert extra effort to speed up
the procurement process for medicines and medical supplies as these
are considered very vital and life-saving necessities in hospitals.”
Further still was COA’s call to have a separate BAC to attend to the
hospitals’ needs pursuant to procurement law. While at it, revisit
and evaluate existing procurement process, COA added, then make proper
changes to attain efficiency.
“Red tape is seen as one reason for the delay hence it is also
recommended that the provincial government simplify things on this
respect,” COA said.
Other notable delayed procurements of medicine were two purchases for
Don Valerio Palmares Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Passi City
similarly delayed for 158 days. Guimbal’s Rep. Pedro Trono Memorial
District Hospital had 9 delayed major procurements ranging from 168
days to 238 days.
Lambunao’s Dr. Ricardo Ladrido Memorial Hospital had 14 procurement
delays with the worst at 354 days.
medicines for the Iloilo Provincial Hospital faced considerable delays
in 8 procurements with the longest delay of 197 days.
COA bares P13.1M illegal Iloilo Capitol hazard pay; overpayment to
By FLORENCE F. HIBIONADA,
Philippine News Service (PNS)
June 27, 2012
ILOILO, Philippines – Some 160 public health workers of the Iloilo
Provincial Government (IPG) have been ordered to refund Capitol funds
amounting to over P13.1 million. Same full refund order for eleven
Chiefs of Hospitals for overpayment of claims, total worth is
All recipients of “Hazard Pay/Hazard Allowance”, the Commission on
Audit (COA) ruled that the 160 workers’ inclusion in the list was
contrary to law. The reason? All were ‘just’ detailed at the Capitol
Building, seat of the IPG, thus not within the purview of a
The hospital chiefs for their part were paid at least double than the
allowable rate that they should have been paid.
To note, Governor Arthur Defensor allowed the grant of “Hazard
Pay/Hazard Allowance” for Capitol’s health workers pursuant to the
Magna Carta of Public Health Workers. Period covered was from January
to December of 2010 and January to September of 2011.
State Auditors though uncovered violations committed particularly on
the restrictions and provisions. Focus of the check was to ascertain
who should have been eligible for the pay and how much in benefits to
Section 7.1.1 of the Magna Carta’s Revised Implementing Rules and
Regulations states that all public health workers are eligible “when
the nature of their work exposes them to high risk/low risk hazards
for at least 50% of their working hours as determined and approved by
the Secretary of Health.
Further still is Section 21 that enumerated the requirements for
compensation of public health workers “in hospitals, sanitaria, rural
health units, main health centers, health infirmaries, barangay health
stations, clinics and other health-related establishments located in
difficult areas, strife-torn or embattled areas, distressed or
isolated stations, prisons (sic) camps, mental hospitals,
radiation-exposed clinics, laboratories or disease-infested areas…”
“We have audited the payment of aforesaid benefits… Based on the above
cited provisions of RA 7305 and its Revised Implementing Rules and
Regulations, this Office believes that the personnel assigned at the
Provincial Health Office (PHO), Hospital Operations Management
Services (HOMS) and the Provincial Veterinary office stationed at the
Iloilo Provincial Building are not qualified to receive hazard
pay/hazard allowance for reasons that they do not fall within any of
the above-mentioned employees qualified to be compensated with hazard
pay/hazard allowances,” the COA in its report said.
The PHO and the HOMS are both located at the second floor of the
Capitol building while the Provincial Veterinarian Office is at the
“Further review of the documents attached to the payroll for payment
of hazard pay/hazard allowance reveals that there was no showing of
certification from the Head of the Administration/Human Resource
Management Office attesting that the nature of work of said employees
given such benefits were exposed to high/low risk hazards for at least
50% of their man-hours,” the COA continued. “Although their work are
health-related but they do not stay in a contaminated, strife-torn or
isolated areas and the risks brought about by their environment to
their health are not so grave enough to warrant their entitlement to
To back up its position, COA cited an August 2004 Supreme Court ruling
similar to IPG’s case.
As such, Notice of Disallowances (NDs) were issued by the Commission
ordering full refund of the money received by all 160 Capitol workers.
Philippine News Service (PNS) obtained the report and the list which
included key Capitol officials headed by Provincial Health Officer II
Patricia Grace Trabado and Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Silvino
Teodosio Jr. The list also named Capitol’s Statistician, nurses,
administrative aides, dentists and dental aides as among the
At least 10 Capitol payrolls were scrutinized by Senior State
Auditors. Cumulative hazard pays of over P100,000 were then granted
to senior Capitol health workers while it was in the P10,000 range for
The Provincial Government managed to reply to COA yet one that “have
not properly justified the entitlement of said allowances to public
health workers stationed in the Provincial Health Office, and HOMS of
the Provincial Capitol…”
Dr. Teodosio in behalf of his office argued for their entitlement
citing the position of then Health Secretary Alberto Romualdez that
government veterinarians are public health workers. Yet COA stood pat
on its position saying yes, you are public health workers, but no, not
qualified for benefits as per eligibility requirements.
Similar argument when it stressed that “although Local Chief
Executives were authorized to pay the Hazard Pay/Hazard Allowance of
all Public Health Workers…payment of said allowance should be in
accordance with rules and regulations.”
Meantime, another round of order for refund on eleven chiefs of
hospitals of the IPG.
Still on the matter of “hazard pay” benefits, COA in further scrutiny
discovered overpayments made though at no fault of the recipient
Turned out that the Capitol adopted the wrong rate of payment in its
computation thus resulting to “overpayment of claims amounting to
P741,511.95.” All with Salary Grade 24, the hospital chiefs were
similarly paid P59,877.00 each for 2010 hazard pay benefits. COA as
per rightful computation ruled though that each should have been
granted benefits ranging from P18,800 minimun and P20,709.60 maximum.
In January to September 2011 benefits, the hospital chiefs were
similarly paid P34,928.25 each when the rightful computation was only
P13,115.55 or P14,184.10 only.
COA in its corresponding action for the Defensor Administration was
clear, “cause the refund by concerned Chiefs of Hospital of the
Province of Iloilo the total amount of P741,511.95 representing
overpayment of claims for Hazard Pay.”
The questioned P13.1 Million hazard pay and overpayment to the
hospital chiefs topped the latest COA findings as per annual audit
made on last year’s operation of the Defensor Administration.