Alan Peter Cayetano with TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva and
Informatics president Leo Riingen during the MOA signing for the
BilibIT project that will give IT training to the inmates of
BILIB I.T. program for detainees
By Office of Sen. Alan Peter
November 1, 2012
PASAY CITY –
Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano, in line with his advocacy
for prisoners’ welfare, launched BILIB IT – an information technology
(IT) program designed to give detainees the necessary skills to rejoin
the country’s workforce once their sentence ends.
He, along with his wife
Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano and Technical and Education Skills
Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva, graced
the event to award program scholarships to the deserving detainees.
The senator, in cooperation
with Informatics and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP),
sees this initiative as a chance to maximize the reform and
rehabilitation function of the country’s criminal justice system.
He emphasized that the
principle behind the Philippine criminal justice system is aimed
towards the rehabilitation of criminal offenders rather than on their
punishment and that providing education to criminal offenders is the
key element for their effective rehabilitation.
"Most of our detainees, even
when convicted, will not be sentenced to life imprisonment. So how do
we help in their reintegration after they have served their time? We
should give them the chance to make a living and become productive
members of society in the future," he said.
"Rehabilitation rather than
retribution is the key policy of the State that we must adhere to," he
Cayetano explained that the
scholars who can qualify for the program are those who have served
their sentence but preferred to live inside the penal community due to
lack of skills necessary to rejoin the work force, detainees who have
minimum security, and those inmates with sentences not longer than 6
He said that while the
program will be spearheaded in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, he hopes
that other local government units will also be encouraged to set up
similar programs in their respective detention centers.
Using the United States
practice of allowing inmates to do call center work for non-sensitive
matters as an example, the minority leader also expressed his
willingness to work with BJMP and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to
work on guidelines allowing Taguig inmates to do the same.
"Step one is the training.
But we'll see if we can try building call centers inside jail
facilities to help these detainees utilize their training and gain
employment. I eventually want to get there because it's a step further
towards better rehabilitation," he said.
The lawmaker pointed out
that this initiative is part of his IT advocacy as evidenced by the IT
scholarships offered by his office to the city of Taguig.
Under the IT scholarship
program in Taguig, 155 scholars have successfully finished different
courses such as Finishing Course for Call Center Agents (FCCCA),
computer Hardware Servicing (CHS), Computer Programming, and Web
consultation at Tacloban to reclaim coco levy funds
October 29, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
Small coconut farmers representatives led by the Kilusang Magbubukid
ng Pilipinas (KMP), Paghugpong sa Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (PAMANGGAS)
and Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA-SB)
gathered yesterday to discuss their plan on their plight and demand
for the “immediate cash distribution of the P56.5 billion coco levy
funds to small coconut farmers.”
“The multi-billion coco levy
funds came from the tedious process of making copra, from the small
coconut farmers’ sweat and blood,” says KMP deputy secretary general
Willy Marbella adding “it was forcibly exacted from small coconut
farmers during the martial law regime.”
Marbella added that “now,
that the coco levy funds are at the hands of the Aquino government,
our money is now very vulnerable to become a seed fund of senatorial
bets and party-list groups allied with Malacanang.”
Last October 5, San Miguel
Corporation “redeemed” the Series “1” Preferred Shares which
represents the original 27 percent of the coco levy funds, now diluted
to 24 percent, of SMC common shares ordered converted into preferred
shares by the Supreme Court in 2009. The order also stipulated that
SMC will have the exclusive option to redeem and purchase on the third
year (2012) the 27 percent comprising 753.85 million shares at a fixed
price of P75 per share instead of at the prevailing market price.
The Presidential Task Force
on the Coco Levy Funds headed by the National Anti-Poverty Commission
is pushing for the P11.17 billion five-year “Poverty Reduction Roadmap
of the Coconut Industry” that includes the Department of Social
Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program
(4Ps)” and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), and
so-called agro-enterprise development.
Last April, former Akbayan
chief and NAPC secretary Joel Rocamora said the NAPC had drawn up a
P10-billion, five-year “road map” to revitalize the coconut industry
and that the first year of the program could be funded with loans.
“The plan is to borrow off the coco levy,” Rocamora said.
“We will never allow Aquino
and Rocamora to use our money for the scandalous 4P’s and the
anti-peasant CARP itself,” Marbella said adding “small coconut farmers
from Eastern Visayas, Panay and other coconut-producing regions are
now intensifying the struggle to reclaim the coconut levy funds.”
“We demand the immediate
distribution of the coconut levy funds to small coconut farmers,” says
Nestor Lebico, Secretary General of SAGUPA-SB adding: “In Eastern
Visayas alone, 1.7 million coconut farmer-families dependent over
649,030 hectares of coco lands will benefit from the immediate
distribution of the coco levy funds.”
“We are about to heighten
our fight for the immediate cash distribution and reclaim the coco
levy funds from the President and his coco levy fund mafia,” says
Chris Chavez, Secretary General of PAMANGGAS and a coconut farmer from
Iloilo who still holds stock certificates of coco levy funded oil
“The coconut levy fund was
plundered by the Marcos-Cojuangco political and economic partnership
during martial law. It belongs to small coconut farmers. Its recovery
and return to genuine small farmers is long overdue,” says Marbella.
The groups called on the
House of Representatives to immediately enact into law House Bill 3443
or the proposed Small Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund Act filed by
Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano to pave the way for
the return of the coconut levy funds. They also call for the Coco Levy
Funds Ibalik sa Amin!.
Leyte province to
host Batang Pinoy 2012 Visayas Leg
By NEIL D. LOPIDO, PIA-8
October 30, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
The Provincial Government of Leyte will be hosting the 2012 Batang
Pinoy Visayas Elimination on November 21-24 at the Leyte Sports
Development Center, this city.
Batang Pinoy was
conceptualized as a national grassroots sports development program for
children 15 years old and below as a selection base for potential high
performing athletes as specified in Executive Order No. 44 otherwise
known as the Philippine National Youth Games.
In a meeting held recently
presided by provincial administrator Vincent Emnas with the organizing
committee and partner-agencies, the sports event committees and host’s
responsibilities and other concerns that must be addressed were taken
up in preparation of the said activities that will be participated in
by both in-school and out-of-school children-athletes coming from
Regions 6, 7 and 8.
Ms. Annie Ruiz, Batang Pinoy
coordinator, said the qualifying sports are arnis, athletics,
badminton, boxing, chess, karatedo, lawn tennis, swimming, taekwondo
and table tennis.
Ruiz said that the national
finals for dancesports, weightlifting and softball (girls) will be
held also during the Visayas Leg.
These sports, Ruiz said, are
considered qualifying sports which means that from the National
Capital Region (NCR) Leg down to Visayas Leg they will be included.
Gold and silver medalists in the qualifying legs will earn slot for
the National Championship which will be held in Iloilo on December
Aimed to identify pool of
young talents, Batang Pinoy will break the status of our national team
which has been observed to remain the same, Ruiz said.
“This time ang Batang Pinoy
tulad ng nangyari noong 2011, nakapag-identify ang PSC at Philippine
Olympic Committee (POC) nang 10 Outstanding Athletes and were given
opportunity para mag-observe sa Olympic Games in London,” she said.
Ruiz said that those who
will be identified as outstanding athletes from 2011-2013 of Batang
Pinoy will have the opportunity to be sent for the Youth Olympic Games
which has an equivalent as the Olympic Games for Adults.
Batang Pinoy was
conceptualized in partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission,
Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local
Government, Leagues of Provincies/Cities/Municipalities/Barangays,
Philippine Olympic Committee, both Non-Government entities and
internationally recognized authorities in different sports which
manages and oversee the technical component of this event.
multi-sectoral forum on downstream oil industry in Leyte
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
October 30, 2012
PALO, Leyte – A
Multi-Sectoral Advocacy Campaign on the Downstream Oil Industry (DOI)
will be conducted by the Oil and Management Bureau of the Department
of Energy (OMB-DOE) at the Leyte Oriental Hotel at Baras, Palo, Leyte
on November 8, 2012, starting at 8:00 o’clock in the morning.
To be conducted in
cooperation with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) under the
DOE-PIA Communication Initiatives Project, the forum aims to create a
critical mass of communicators/media practitioners that would serve as
conduits in disseminating the benefits and developments on Downstream
Discussions during the forum
will focus on Republic Act No. 8479, which ensures a truly competitive
market under a regime of fair prices, adequate and continuous supply
of environmentally-clean and high quality petroleum products.
Otherwise known as “The
Downstream Oil Industry Regulation Act of 1998,” RA 8479 encourages
competition and the entry of new players in the oil market, said Dr.
Zenaida Monsada of OMB-DOE.
She said deregulation of DOI
has always been a contentious topic or one that is likely to cause
disagreements during discussions, particularly, when it comes to
pricing and compliance of gas stations and Liquified Petroleum Gas
(LPG) establishments to standards on quality and quantity.
Expected to attend the Forum
are local government executives in the province of Leyte, licensing
officers, members of the regional association of government
information officers and local media partners.
This is part of the OMB’s
Advocacy initiatives in order to create and capacitate a critical mass
of communicators that would serve as conduit in disseminating the
benefits and developments, Monsada said.
Recognizing the crucial role that media plays and its influence to the
general public, DOE wants to strategize its IEC a program, including
accessing Communicators Network. A pool of communicators/media
practitioners would be organized and equipped with information, such
as, among others, energy/oil industry situation, pricing mechanism/
methodology, Monsada added.
PRO8 to address
child labor concerns – Soria
By RPCRD, Police Regional
October 30, 2012
CAMP SEC. RUPERTO K.
KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – Addressing child-labor concerns
and preventing children from risks and exposure to hazardous
occupation is among the priority of the Philippine National Police.
Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) director Police Chief Superintendent
Elmer Ragadio Soria said that the PNP organization is on a stride
towards holistic and sustainable strategies to promote and protect
children’s right and requests other concerned agencies to work jointly
to address this growing threat through the firm implementation of the
adequate policies and programs of the government.
The Regional Director added that concurrent with its mission and
functions, PRO8 promotes the rights and privileges of children and is
in the forefront of protecting them against all forms of abuse and
“We are utilizing in the campaign strategies such as stricter
enforcement of child labor laws by working closely with the Department
of Labor and Employment as well as local government and community
leaders,” he said.
“There are permissible activities for children but the bottomline is
they should be in school to be globally competitive individuals as
they are the future leaders of our country. They deserve a happy and
normal childhood far from the hard work and dangers posed by hazardous
jobs”, Soria told participants of the Orientation-Seminar on RA 9231
held at PRO8’s Criminal Investigation Course (CIC) Classroom and
spearheaded by PRO8’s Women and Children Protection Desk.
Some 50 participants composed of personnel assigned with Women and
Children Protection Desks (WCPD) and Case Investigators from areas
with high incidence of child labor attended the seminar on RA 9231 or
“An Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child
Labor" to orient them on the salient features and provisions of said
law considering the increasing child labor cases in Eastern Visayas.
The law prohibits the employment of children younger than 15 years
old, except in some cases. The same measure said that a child who is
15 years old but younger than 18 shall not be allowed to work for more
than eight hours a day and in no case beyond 40 hours a week. The same
Act provides penalties for violations such as imprisonment and fines.
Based on the 2011 Survey on children, out of the estimated 29 million
Filipino children aged 5 to 17, around 5.5 million are already working
and almost 3 million are in hazardous child labor, a 25 per cent
increase from 2.4 million in 2001. Hazardous child labor was higher
among boys with 66.8 per cent as compared to girls with 33.2 per cent.
The National Statistics Office conducted the survey with the support
of the International Labour Organization and the US Department of
“Millions of children who are working, overworked and underpaid,
physically and psychologically abused, deprived of the opportunity to
study, play, innocent and helpless ones unable to defend themselves
from the injustice inflicted upon them by the very ones who should
protect, nurture and care for them. We must take serious, hard-line
stance against child labor and apprehend offenders at once," Soria
Police Inspector Yasmin Vilches, PRO8 WCPD Chief and the Training
Supervisor, informed that the term “child labor” are work or economic
activity that deprives children of their childhood, their potential
and their dignity. It subjects child or children to exploitation, with
works harmful to health and safety, physical and mental, or
“Hazardous child labor, on the other hand, is defined as being likely
to harm children's health, safety or morals by its nature or
circumstances. Children may be directly exposed to obvious work
hazards such as sharp tools or poisonous chemicals. Other hazards for
child laborers may be less apparent, such as the risk of abuse or
problems resulting from long hours of work. Hazardous work is
considered as one of the worst forms of child labor”, she added.
Citing data from the survey, there are around 722,534 working children
in Eastern Visayas region, in which an estimated 213,000 children are
exposed in hazardous labor conditions, one of the highest nationwide
at sixth, Vilches said.
Most of the forms of child labor existing are in mining; farm work;
deep-sea fishing; pyrotechnics production; stevedoring; vending;
rubber budding; banana bagging; cargo loading; sugarcane farming;
scavenging; construction and quarry site works; waitressing/waitering;
and pedicab driving.
Ambush of Surigao
anti-mining leader condemned
October 30, 2012
QUEZON CITY –
Environmental groups condemned another attempted assassination of an
environmentalist in Carmen, Surigao del Sur. At around 3:30PM on
October 29, Dr. Isidro Olan, executive director of the Lovers of
Nature Foundation Inc., was shot by unidentified assailants in an
abandoned lumber-scaling area as he was driving homebound. Dr. Olan
survived the attack and was rushed to the Madrid Municipal Hospital.
“Dr. Olan was a passionate
environment defender who opposed destructive and large-scale mining as
well as illegal logging activities in Cantilan and other areas of
Surigao del Sur. We ask for everyone’s prayers for Dr. Olan’s
immediate recovery, and for justice to be swiftly exacted upon the
assassins and their clients as well,” said Fr. Oliver Castor,
spokesperson of Task Force Justice for Environment Defenders (TF-JED).
The physician-activist and
his group Lovers of Nature Foundation were planning to launch a voter
education campaign in the province’s schools to promote an
environmental agenda in the coming 2013 elections, particularly local
government officials that have supported environmentally destructive
corporations such as the logging company Surigao Development
Corporation and the large-scale Marcventures Mining and Development
“It’s not even Halloween and
yet this latest attack on Dr. Olan already produces a chilling effect
to environmental advocates. 2012 is already the bloodiest year for
environmental advocates in this new millennium, and it infuriates us
to remember that Pres. Noynoy Aquino dismissed the ever mounting cases
of human rights violations in the country is dismissed as just
propaganda of the Left. Is the attempt to take the life of Dr. Olan
for his defense of the environment not real enough for Aquino?,” said
Clemente Bautista, convener of the Defend Patrimony Alliance, a
network opposed to resource plunder particularly in mining.
In this year alone, the TF-JED
recorded 13 extrajudicial killings of environmental advocates. Beyond
killings, the frustrated murder of Dr. Olan is the second case of
attempted assassination and at least the 20th overall incident of
human rights violations (HRVs) in the country in 2012. Recently, Juvy
Capion and her sons Pops and John were massacred by elements of the
27th IBPA of the Philippine Army.
“There could be no other
motivation to assassinate Dr. Olan than his staunch opposition to
ecologically destructive projects in their areas. If the Aquino
government claims to be hard workers for the protection of human
rights, we demand to hear about their work on Dr. Olan’s case now. In
fact, we would like to hear what about what they have done now about
the 61 extrajudicial killings of environment defenders we recorded
since 2001 that remains languishing in court up to the present,”
challenged Fr. Castor.
Locals have noted the
saturation of military operations from the Philippine Army’s 30th and
38th IBPA and its 3rd Special Forces of the 402nd Brigade in the area
started with the entry of Marcventures and other mining operations.
“Militarization of Surigao
del Sur as a means of protecting mining investments have brought a
spate of not only HRVs but also the violation of the economic, social
and cultural rights of its indigenous people and other grassroots
communities. Militarization could well be linked to Dr. Olan’s
assassination. We demand the pullout of military operations along with
Marcventures from Surigao as an important step to the quelling of HRVs
in the area. Aquino must also prioritize the junking of various mining
liberalization policies that have legalized the militarization of
mining areas as an incentive for foreign mining investments,” said
The Defend Patrimony called
for an immediate and independent investigation of the attempted
assassination, and the demobilization of Investment Defense Forces (IDF)
which allows military and police forces to be employed by corporations
to protect their mining facilities and operations.
P10 of the Thirty Peso Wage Increase for Metro Workers in Effect Nov.
October 30, 2012
QUEZON CITY –
The remaining ten pesos of the 30-peso wage increase for Metro Manila
workers ordered in June 3, 2012 will take effect on November 1,
Thus the minimum wage for
metro workers would be 456 pesos for non-agricultural workers while
419 pesos for agricultural workers, the Trade Union Congress of the
Philippines (TUCP) president Democrito Mendoza reminded the employers
and management yesterday.
The increase was granted
following the wage increase petition of P90 of Mendoza for 700,000
workers in Metro Manila on March 16, more than a month before the
one-year prescribed period for filing of new wage increase took
effect. The petition cited as basis for an increase the high prices of
basic foods, increase in cost of services, tuition fees and liquefied
The wage order also
increases to 419 pesos the minimum wage for those Metro Manila workers
working in private hospitals with bed capacity of 100 or less,
retail/service establishments employing 15 workers or less,
manufacturing establishments regularly employing less than 10 workers.
The National Capital Region
of the National Wages and Productivity Board turned down the petition
saying there is no supervening condition that would warrant the
issuance of a new wage order. However, the wage board conducted a
series of public hearing in Taguig, Manila and Quezon Cities in
determining the exact amount to be increased once the 1-year
prescribed period expired on second week of May 2012.
“Part of the wage order 17
implemented last June, this 10-peso increase is welcome news for
minimum wage earners. The increase is in effect despite of separate
appeal for reconsideration filed by Atty. Mendoza and by the
Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines,” said Alan Tanjusay, TUCP
“A Filipino family of 6
needs at least 993 pesos every day to live decent lives. We still have
a long way to go,” he added.
The employers group filed
their motion days after wage order 17 was released citing the increase
was too big. The TUCP filed an appeal citing the increase was too
Martial Law victims
laud US Court decision vs. Marcoses
October 30, 2012
QUEZON CITY –
“The decision of the US Court of Appeals declaring Imelda Marcos and
her son Bongbong in contempt is another victory for the victims of
The statement was issued
today by Bonifacio Ilagan, Vice-Chairperson of the Samahan ng
Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA).
On October 24, the US Court
of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a contempt judgment on Sen.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, his mother Imelda and the estate of the
late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos for violating a court order
transferring the assets of the estate.
“The decision is a smack in
the face of the Marcoses who continue to arrogantly hold on to their
ill-gotten wealth and to use it to remain in their lofty positions and
power,” Ilagan stated.
Bongbong sits as a senator,
mother Imelda is currently a congressman and sister Imee is governor
of Ilocos province. Both mother and daughter are running for
re-election in next year’s elections.
The US Court of Appeals has
ordered that martial law victims be awarded US$353.6 million resulting
from the daily fine of $100,000 from February 3, 1995 to February 3,
2005 imposed by the Hawaii Court of First Instance.
Despite this, the victims of
the Marcos dictatorship has yet to be indemnified after winning the
historic Class Action Suit against Marcos in 1992.
“It’s been twenty years
since that historic day, and to date, even after gaining another
victory, no law has been passed by the government to indemnify the
victims,” Ilagan lamented. “This delay has partly been caused by
various settlements that the different administrations have entered
into with the Marcoses since the time of former President Corazon
SELDA warned the current
Aquino government from entering into any agreement with the Marcoses
that would compromise the martial law victims. It stressed that now is
the time for it to complement the US Court of Appeals decision with
positive action by pushing the Senate to act on the indemnification
bill, as well as hold the Marcoses and their cronies and henchmen
accountable for their crimes against the Filipino people.
“What worth is this victory,
if the Aquino government continues to ignore our demands for justice
and even turns chummy chummy with the Marcoses?” Ilagan queried.
“Whatever we gained through
this latest US Court decision should not end up being ill-gotten once
more.” SELDA concluded.
2nd EV Open Kayak
Marathon race on Nov 3 at Kalanggaman Island beacons
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
October 29, 2012
PALOMPON, Leyte –
An event to look forward to during the upcoming long weekend, is the
Second Open Invitational 15 kilometer Kayak Marathon race in Eastern
Visayas which the Local Government of Palompon, Leyte is hosting on
November 3 at the enchanting Kalanggaman Island which is fast becoming
a major tourist destination in Leyte.
DOT Regional Director Karina
Rosa Tiopes informed that this event is the opening salvo of the 2nd
Palompon Lawig Festival 2012, in honor of the town’s Patron, Saint
Francis Xavier and in commemoration of the town’s fiesta on December
The kayak marathon which
aims to promote camaraderie, environmental protection thru eco-water
sports intervention, encourage beyond border tourism, and appreciate
the beauty of local culture and history, is being organized by the
Palompon Municipal Eco-tourism Council Incorporated (PMET Inc.) and
North West Leyte Tourism Alliance in collaboration with the Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA).
It is supported by the
Department of Tourism, Provincial Government Unit of Leyte, 4th
District Congressional Office, Philippine National Police, Philippine
Coast Guard and various entrepreneurs, business groups and civic
organizations from the private sector.
Mr. Rene Camposano, PMET
Inc. president said that kayak sounds unfamiliar to the local folks
but its fundamental nature has a strong parallel to the very roots of
Palompon’s history. Palompon, being an old coastal town in
northwestern Leyte, traces its name from the cluster of mangrove
flowers / propagules that floats idly at the shallow portion of the
A Kayak is a small,
relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be
manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle. The traditional
kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one
In the evening of November
2, the night prior to the kayak race will be a Jamaican Night for the
kayak race participants who maybe a beginner, intermediate or advanced
kayaker with at least 21 years of age.
The grand kayak race will be
participated in by 30 pairs of Kayak aficionados who are required to
wear their assigned numbers and life vests during the race.
The race will start at 6:00
a.m. sharp from Kalanggaman Island going to Palompon Port. Cash prize
of P15,000 with trophy will be given as first prize; P10,000 plus
trophy to the second prize; P7,000 with trophy for the third prize;
P5,000 with trophy for the 4th prize and P500 plus freebies for the 10
Palompon is a 2nd class
municipality in the Province of Leyte, Philippines with fifty (50)
barangays, nine of these are in the town proper. It is 124 Kilometers
away from Tacloban City, the provincial capital of Leyte Province, 66
Kilometers from Ormoc City, the commercial growth center of the
western coast of Leyte province and 72 nautical miles from Cebu City.
Kalanggamanan Island, on the
other hand, is a 5.4 hectare island located northwest of Palompon.
Politically, it is a sitio of Barangay Tinabilan, this municipality.
Kalanggaman has a shifting
eastern sandbar with an approximate length of 320 meters and western
sand bar with an estimated length of 238 meters. It has a distance of
15.90 kilometers or roughly 8.6 nautical miles from the town center
and reachable only thru marine-based transportation.
The main attraction of this
eco-tourism site is the island itself because of its white sand beach
and magnificent sand bars. It offers wide arrays of eco-tourism
activities such as snorkeling, swimming, sun bathing and SCUBA diving.
It has VHF (Very High
Frequency) radio communication system for emergency and has cellular
phone signals from all the major cellular phone providers. It has a
24/7 TOP COP (Tourism Oriented Police for Community Order and
Protection) personnel on duty, tour guides and beach combers.
The island has open
cottages, restrooms and dressing rooms and admirable camping area for
those who opt to stay overnight and has a physical carrying capacity
of 1200 persons/day.