Chiz eyes copra
farmers as CCT beneficiaries
By Office of Senator Chiz
December 6, 2012
PASAY CITY –
Senator Chiz Escudero is seeking the inclusion of copra farmers
affected by the declining prices of copra in the market as
beneficiaries in the government’s conditional cash transfer program.
“The Department of
Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development
(DSWD) should intervene. If they have the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino
Program (4Ps) for the poor, they should also have financial aid for
the copra farmers and workers who are affected by the very low price
of copra in the market,” Escudero said during a visit to Tacloban
The senator said copra
farmers who are affected are not only from Eastern Visayas (Region 8)
but also from the Bicol Region, where he hails from.
Escudero also questioned the
accuracy of the National Household Targeting System of the DSWD in
distributing the conditional cash transfer.
“Kasi kung accurate lang
talaga ang national home targeting system ng DSWD, e di ang copra
farmers and workers, dapat sa ngayon beneficiaries na sila ng Pantawid
program. Ang tanong ko, lahat ba sila beneficiary niyan?,” he said.
Escudero said the DSWD
should ensure that all affected copra farmer households are given
their 4Ps. For those who are not yet included in the program, the DA,
for its part, should provide subsidy and alternative livelihood while
copra’s price in the market is still low, he said.
“Maraming apektado ngayon.
Sana binabantayan ng Deparment of Agriculture at ng PCA iyan na
kapagka mababa ang presyo, magbigay sila ng sistensya sa mga pamilya,
sa mga coconut farmers dahil maraming hindi makakapag-enroll, maraming
hindi makakapasok sa baba ng presyo ng kopra ngayon. At dapat nagshi-shift
din sila ng assistance depende sa pandaigdigang presyo ng mga
produktong umaasa ng kita ang ating mga kababayan, the senator said.
Escudero also called on the
DA to closely monitor the prices of copra and its effects on the copra
“On a yearly basis or on the
monthly basis, dapat binabantayan ng DA iyan. Dapat tinitignan ang
presyo para malaman kung apektado nga ba ang partikular na grupo ng
magsasaka o hindi. Para mabigyan sila ng assisstance, subsidy o
alternative habang mababa ang presyo,” Escudero said.
282 East Visayas
farmers complete organic farming course
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
December 6, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –
The 282 farmers from all over East Visayas who graduated from the
University on the Air classes on Organic Farming, are now the
Department of Agriculture’s strong partners in weaving a viable
organic production system.
This was pronounced by DA
Region 8 Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio during the
Culminating Exercises of the UOA on November 28 at the Leyte
The 282 farmers coming from
Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar provinces completed the season-long
course and received their diploma from the DA-8 and the Leyte
Provincial Agriculture Office. It was observed that there were more
women farmers who participated in the University on the Air with 189
out of the 282 graduates.
Said farmers spent almost
five months to finish the course by listening to the radio for 30
minutes from Monday to Saturday. By doing so, they kept themselves
abreast of the series of topics discussed by experts on organic
agriculture from national, regional and provincial offices, Mr.
Francis Rosaroso, chief of DA 8 Information Division, said.
Similar to the classroom
teaching method, the students, after listening and taking note of the
lectures, answered short quizzes and major examinations administered
by the radio program hosts.
“We are doing so to
determine their level of reception on the concepts and principles
gained from the discussions,” Rosaroso said.
agriculturists and agricultural technologists served as supervisors of
the farmer-students. To complement the discussions, the students were
required to join the educational tour to identified progressive farms
in the region.
All done, a panel of
evaluators selected the top 10 students that were given special awards
and prizes sponsored by DA-8 and the Provincial Local Government Unit
of Leyte through Governor Ma. Mimietta S. Bagulaya.
Mr. Ariel R. Rupa, a 44-year
old farmer from Palo, Leyte was awarded as Valedictorian; Farmer
Jonathan Alegro of Babatngon was Salutatorian; Farmer Pedro Banilbo of
Tanauan was First Honorable Mention; Danilo S. Daylo of Palo was 2nd
Honorable Mention while Danilo Daria of Tunga was 3rd Honorable
Mention. All the medalists are from the Province of Leyte.
Meanwhile, Ms. Faye
Macapanas, info officer, said that the said occasion gathered not only
farmers but also officials and technical persons from various agencies
supporting the organic agriculture program such as Ms Joie Faustino
from DA-OSEC, Dr. Rodolfo Estigoy from PhilMech, Dir. Paulino T.
Cabahit from ATI-8, Mr. Ronelo Pisquera from PCIC-8 and several
Moreover, Ms Emalyn Legal, a
member of the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and the
Mindanao Small Farmers’ Representative revealed that the present
administration targets to convert at least 50% of the country’s total
agricultural area into organic farms.
Coinciding with the event
was the awarding of this year’s Regional Gawad Saka farmer-achievers.
peoples and environment groups to PNoy: scrap current mining policy to
avert another Pablo ‘apocalypse’!
December 6, 2012
A group of Mindanao-based indigenous peoples and environment
organizations leading a ten-day lakbayan to Metro Manila called on
President Aquino to scrap the government’s standing mining policy
allowing large-scale mining operations in the light of the latest
disasters in Mindanao where super typhoon Pablo claimed more than two
hundred lives in the provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental
which have not experienced typhoons in recent years.
Environment group Panalipdan! Mindanao secretary-general Sr. Stella
Matutina, OSB said that hundreds of communities in Mindanao have been
rendered vulnerable to natural disasters due to the proliferation of
large-scale extractive industries being promoted by the Aquino
administration through existing government policies and programs such
as Executive Order 79 and the Mining Act of 1995.
“Do we need typhoon Pablo to get the attention of the central
government and concerned people about our issues like political
killings and environmental destructions caused by big extractive
industries and other agribusiness ventures?” Matutina said, adding
that “we are now right smack in Manila to air out our issues.”
“What we are seeing now is an environmental apocalypse not simply
caused by nature's wrath but by the Aquino’s continuing puppetry to
foreign mining interests and the government’s greed and corruption in
general. The heartbreaking disasters in the New Bataan and Cateel
towns and elsewhere illustrate how Mindanao's environment has reached
its maximum limit, and unless this government adopts a mining policy
which puts people’s safety over the insatiable thirst for profits of
large-scale mining companies, we can only expect greater destruction
in communities where there are big mining activities," Matutina also
Prominent Mindanawon environmentalist Francis Morales also pointed out
the presence of the 2,139.44-hectare gold and copper mining project of
the Canadian-owned Philco Mining which operates in the hinterland
barangay of Camanlangan in New Bataan town. To date, typhoon Pablo has
left more than 70 people dead in this sleepy town which used to boast
of being typhoon-free.
Morales has long sounded the alarm about the unabated mining
explorations and operations in New Bataan, fearing that it will affect
the integrity of various ecosystems in the area such as Mt.
Kampalili-Tagub Range Complex, a known Key Biodiversity Area (KBA),
and Andap and Caragan watershed areas that supply ample amount of the
water for residential and agricultural uses in Compostela Valley
He also said that despite these serious threats to the lives of the
local residents, the people have not been able to voice out their
opposition due to widespread military operations which, he said,
ostensibly protect big extractive industries.
“The ultimate objective of massive military deployments in New Bataan
is to wipe out all types of people’s resistance against mining under
the Investment Defense Force (IDF) and mining liberalization policy of
the Aquino regime. Despite the community’s resistance, militarization
has only resulted to displacement, intimidation and other string of
human rights abuses in New Bataan,” Morales said.
Meanwhile Higaonon leader Datu Jomorito Guaynon of Bukidnon chided
Noynoy for dodging the real issues and not “learning from the lessons
of the past.”
Guaynon, chairperson of the indigenous people group KALUMBAY, headed
an environmental mission after the Sendong tragedy almost a year ago,
which left 1,257 people dead and 13,337 houses damaged.
The mission yielded a conclusion that the primary reasons for the
massive devastation caused by Tropical Storm Sendong were the
extensive forest denudation and destruction of the Mt. Kitanglad and
Mt. Kalatungan watershed areas, and the encroachment of vast
agribusiness plantations and unabated mining and quarrying operations
in Bukidnon, located above the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.
Sr. Matutina, Morales and Guaynon are part of more than 70 indigenous
peoples’ leaders, environment advocates, and victims and relatives of
mining-related human rights violations, which compose the delegation
of Manilakbayan, a Mindanao peoples’ mobilization in Metro Manila. The
mobilization calls for the stop of large-scale mining and the killing
of large-scale mining oppositionists including indigenous peoples.
Thirty five persons in Mindanao, most of whom are leaders of
indigenous communities, have been killed due to their resistance to
large-scale mining operations.
The Manilakbayan will culminate on December 10 to mark the
commemoration of the International Human Rights Day.
Blame no one in
typhoon Pablo tragedy but Pres. Noynoy Aquino for allowing foreign
large scale mining – ManiLakbayan
December 6, 2012
"No one else is to blame but President Noynoy and large scale mining
corporations on the lives lost to typhoon Pablo," said Sr. Stella
Matutina, secretary general of PANALIPDAN-Mindanao, a network of
environmental defenders, in response to National Disaster Risk
Reduction and Management Committee (NDRRMC) Usec. Benito Ramos'
statement that the typhoon Pablo tragedy is due to illegal mining.
together with the KALUMARAN, spearhead the Manilakbayan, the Mindanao
people’s journey in Manila to call the government’s attention to the
disastrous effects of large-scale destructive mining in Mindanao
communities, including extrajudicial killings of environmental
advocates and indigenous peoples.
"Stop blaming the people of
Mindanao for not leaving their disaster-stricken homes and the
small-scale miners for doing such a living," Sr. Matutina said. "Small
scale mining has been sustainable since the time of the Lumad
forefathers. It is not like when large scale mining came in to our
towns, destroy our ancestral lands – that's when disasters start
coming upon us," Sr. Matutina said. "This typhoon would not have been
this tragic if not for the logging and foreign mining companies
ravaging our mineral resources," Sr. Matutina continued.
"Take note, these foreign
companies are declared legal by Noynoy Aquino," Sr. Matutina stressed.
The Aquino government has continued and strengthened the Mining Act of
1995 through the Executive Order 79 which opens the Philippines for
foreign mining explorations and business.
"We are here in Manila to
let every Filipino know, especially the Aquino government, that the
peoples of Mindanao have suffered enough! Foreign large-scale mining
has to stop now," Matutina said. "Our leaders had been killed by the
AFP and the paramilitary groups because of their opposition to foreign
mining companies. Typhoon Pablo’s disastrous effects on our people and
communities only highlight our vulnerability because of these
government-favored corporations. And now, the Noynoy government is
blaming the Mindanawons for being stubborn to evacuate," Matutina
"EVACUATE?" the nun repeated
the word. "We have already evacuated long before the typhoon came in,"
Sr. Stella said. She said indigenous peoples had long left their
ancestral lands due to severe military operations and military
harassments in their communities.
"Unless foreign large-scale
extractive mining and other business interests will be stopped, we
fear that Mindanao will soon be divided into three: one, foreign
companies' land; two, evacuation centers of both people from disaster
stricken areas and those affected by military operations; and three,
cemetery." Sr. Matutina said.
Sr. Stella Matutina and 70
other indigenous peoples, tribal leaders and victims of human rights
violations are here in Manila for series of activities to call to stop
foreign large scale destructive mining and agribusiness plantations in
Mindanao. "Manilakbayan" culminates on the International Human Rights
Day, December 10. Due to the destruction of super typhoon Pablo that
cost the lives of their brothers and sisters, Manilakbayan will also
launch its campaign to gather relief goods for Mindanao typhoon
victims while they are in Manila.
PRO8 arrest suspect
in drug bust, seized 720T worth of “shabu”
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 5, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – The Police Regional Office 8 scored the
biggest drug haul this year as a recent anti-illegal drugs operation
in Kananga town in Leyte yielded a sizeable amount of methamphetamine
hydrochloride, popularly known as “shabu”.
Police Chief Superintendent
Elmer Ragadio Soria, Eastern Visayas police director, informed that
joint operatives of Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (AIDSOTG)
of Leyte Police Provincial Office, Kananga Police Station and agents
from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency conducted a sting
operation and implementation of search warrant against Roel Olevirio,
also known as “Kawi” in his lair at Bantiller St, Poblacion, Kananga,
“The confiscation and arrest
of the suspect was a product of weeks of surveillance on the
activities of ‘Kawi’”, the region’s top police official said.
Before the buy-bust
operation, police lured the suspect into entering a drug deal with
their poseur-buyer. This gave authorities the opportunity to set up
the buy-bust operation.
“An undercover agent acted
as poseur-buyer and was able to purchase P500.00 worth of shabu from
Kawi,” Soria informed.
Once the suspect took their
bait, police team led by Police Chief Inspector Santi Noel Matira who
were positioned nearby immediately collared the suspect and recovered
the P500.00 bill bearing serial number QX923533 used as marked money.
Subsequent implementation of
search warrant at the suspect’s residence resulted to the confiscation
of 5 big sachet of suspected shabu contained in transparent cellophane
with a total street value of P700,000.00 and 3 medium sachet of
suspected shabu contained in transparent cellophane with an estimated
street value of P20,000.00 and assorted illegal drug paraphernalia.
The inventory of seized
items, photographs, markings of the respective evidences were
witnessed by the representative from media and the barangay officials
of Poblacion, Kananga, Leyte.
The suspect was brought to
PDEA for documentation and subsequently detained at Palo Police
Station as cases for violation of sections 5, 11 and 12 Article II of
RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002 are being readied by
the arresting team. Meanwhile, the confiscated illegal drugs and
marked money were turned-over to Regional Crime Laboratory for
The PRO8 chief lauded the
PNP personnel involved in the operation.
“The arrest of the suspect
has prevented the proliferations of illegal drugs in the streets of
Kananga town and Leyte province,” Soria said.
Cayetano pushes for
immediate passage of FOI bill – an empowerment tool to make every
Filipino a graft buster
“The Best Christmas gift we
can give to Filipinos is the passage of the FOI!”
By Office of Sen. Alan Peter
December 5, 2012
“…a World Bank study is much
quoted has having found that for everyone peso that the government
collects, 40 centavos goes to corruption.”
PASAY CITY – Senate minority
leader Alan Peter Cayetano called on the government to enact the
Freedom of Information (FOI) in order to help President Aquino curb
graft and corruption in the country.
He made the appeal in his
sponsorship speech for Senate Bill 3208 last Tuesday.
He said the FOI would help
remove the power of government information from a few and give it to
the public and help eliminating monopolies in the market, anomalies in
the construction of infrastructure, and other similar activities that
take away the ordinary Filipino’s ability to earn his living.
“By enacting the Freedom of
Information Act, we help empower our people to find the solution to
these problems and to finally create the change that will make a
difference in their lives. It provides the mechanism to disperse power
among the people. As such, each and every Filipino can become a graft
buster,” he said.
The senator stressed that in
a time when PiTiK – Mataas na Presyo, Kawalan o Kakulangan ng Trabaho
at Kulang o Maliit na Kita – is plaguing our country, the FOI is
needed more than ever.
“We have been paying a high
price for the absence of the FOI bill. In fact, a World Bank study is
much quoted has having found that for everyone peso that the
government collects, 40 centavos goes to corruption. Also, the
Department of Finance and Annual pegged its tax leakage P240 billion.
That’s money lost instead of used to help uplift the lives of
Filipinos,” he said.
He explained that in a time
when information is power, it becomes the government’s responsibility
to empower its citizenry and enable them to take an active part in
fortifying this country’s defenses against graft and corruption
through the passage of the FOI bill.
“Democracy is all about
people making decisions. Through the enactment of the FOI bill, every
Filipino can be true partners of the government in establishing a
system that is truly clean, bent to serve and is accountable to the
public it serves,” he said.
While Cayetano expressed his
belief in the President’s vision of “tuwid na daan”, he stressed that
without an FOI bill in place the country has no concrete means to
exact accountability from the government.
“An open, accountable and
transparent leadership helps regain the trust of the people on their
government. We have to build on that trust, Mr. President. Let’s
certify this as urgent and push for the passage of the FOI bill now,”
New China directive
a curtailment of maritime navigation – VP Binay
By OVP Media
December 4, 2012
MANILA – Vice
President Jejomar C. Binay today asked the Chinese government to
officially clarify a supposed order for Chinese authorities to board
foreign vessels in the West Philippine Sea, calling it a possible
curtailment of maritime navigation.
He also backed a move by the
government not to stamp visas on new Chinese passports which show
islands in the disputed area as part of China.
“Our President has asked for
an explanation. What does this policy of boarding and inspecting all
ships in the area really mean? It appears to be contrary to the
concept of free maritime navigation,” he said.
He also defended the
decision not to stamp visas on the new Chinese passports, as this
would be equivalent to recognizing China’s claim on the islands
included in the map reprinted on the passport.
“We are not stamping our
visas on these passports because that would be tantamount to
recognizing their claim,” he said, adding that other countries who are
claimants to the area have also done the same.
China recently issued new
electronic passports bearing a map that outlines its supposed
territories in the West Philippine Sea through the so-called nine-dash
line, a U-shaped map that covers nearly 90 percent of the waters and
overlaps with the sovereign territories of its Southeast Asian
neighbors including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
The new law enacted by
Hainan province, meanwhile, will enable Chinese authorities to board,
inspect, detain, confiscate, immobilize and expel, foreigners who will
be caught sailing through their supposed territory.
Waters in the jurisdiction
of Hainan province is being claimed by China, including virtually the
entire West Philippine Sea under the nine-dash line.
The Hainan law is supposed
to take effect in January 2013.
E. Samar guv dispels
MEDORA NB QUIRANTE
December 3, 2012
BORONGAN CITY – Eastern Samar
Governor Conrado B. Nicart, Jr., addressed employees of the provincial
government on December 3, 2012 after their flag-raising ceremony,
putting an end to rumors of his death due to a heart attack.