Chiz bats for
By Office of Senator Chiz
July 24, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senator Chiz
Escudero is pushing for the scrapping of the cedula saying it has long
lost its significance and value in the present age.
Escudero filed Senate Bill
Number 1082 (S.B.N. 1082) abolishing the use of cedula or the
community tax certificate as a form of identification. The cedula is
required when, as among others, one acknowledges a document before a
notary public, takes an oath of office or is appointed to a government
The senator said the cedula
is already useless to people of today as several other regular proof
of identifications are already available and are more competent
evidence of identity such as passport, driver’s license and other
government-issued identification cards.
“The cedula now proves to be
an unnecessary burden imposed on our people who are required to
present it when doing public transactions. It was deemed useless by
our forebears during the colonial times, it is more so today”.
The cedula was first
implemented as a 19th century tax reform in the Philippines during the
Spanish rule. After the tribute system or head tax to Spain was
abolished, the cedula was issued to all Filipinos upon payment of a
In 1896, katipuneros led by
Andres Bonifacio tore up their cedulas in defiance of Spanish rule in
Balintawak. It was what is now known as the Cry of Pugad Lawin that
signaled the beginning of the Philippine Revolution.
At the same time, the bill
seeks to repeal the provisions of Republic Act No. 7160, the Local
Government Code of 1991, giving powers to local government units to
impose residence tax. The cedula serves as proof of one’s payment of
“Abolishing the cedula
practice is also like scrapping a relic of our colonial past. Yes, we
must always look back at our past to know where we are going, but the
cedula is a thing of the past that should already be buried for its
obsolescence” Escudero said.
VP Binay’s office
helps 3,949 OFWs, families
By OVP Media
July 23, 2013
MANILA – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay's accomplishment report has revealed that under his
leadership, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has acted on 3,949
requests for assistance from Overseas Filipino Workers and their
families since 2010.
These requests ranged from
repatriation, assistance on salary and benefits claims, legal
assistance for detained OFWs, and grievances against recruiters and
Binay, as Presidential
Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns, had directed his office
to coordinate closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas
Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and Philippine embassies and
consulates to respond to these requests.
The Vice President joined
President Benigno S. Aquino III and non-government organizations in
appealing to Saudi authorities for the release of Rodelio "Dondon"
Lanuza was sentenced to
death in Damman, Saudi Arabia for killing a Saudi national, claiming
that it was an act of self-defense.
The government secured his
release February this year.
“Ito po ay dahil sa
kagandahang loob ng hari ng Saudi Arabia na si King Abdullah na
naglabas ng isang royal directive na sasagutin ng Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia ang balanse ng blood money na hinihingi ng pamilya ng napatay
ni Dondon,” said the Vice President.
The balance amounted to SAR
2.3 million, or P24.9 million. Lanuza's family had previously raised
SAR 700,000 or P7.5 million for the required blood money.
The Saudi embassy in Manila
had released a statement that said Lanuza’s release was “the result of
collective efforts including the coordination and cooperation between
the Saudi Embassy in Manila and the Office of the Vice President of
the Republic of the Philippines as H.E. Vice President Jejomar C.
Binay, is the Presidential Adviser on OFW Affairs.”
The OVP, in coordination
with the concerned agencies, has also been responsible for the
repatriation of a 3-year old boy who was fostered by his mother's
friends in Kuwait after she had been deported to the Philippines due
to the expiration of her working visa.
Among other OFWs that the
OVP had helped were Alfredo Salmos, survivor of an accidental
electrocution in Saudi Arabia in 2010; Milagros Villarin, who died of
natural causes in her home in Belgium; and the two Filipina maids of
the relatives of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The Vice President's
intercession also helped in reconciling the families of OFWs Jonard
Langamin and Robertson Mendoza. Langamin was sentenced to death after
he killed Mendoza due to a work-related dispute in Saudi. The family
of Mendoza forgave Langamin after Binay talked to both families.
The Vice President had also
led efforts in repatriating thousands of OFWs in Syria who were
affected by the civil war. Most of these OFWs were undocumented.
According to the report, the
Vice President’s foreign visits "have also resulted in strengthened
relations with the countries he has been to, not to mention the
opportunities for employment for his fellow Filipinos."
After Binay's trip to
Germany in June, he announced that an initial batch of 50 nurses from
the Philippines will be deployed in 2013, with another 500 set to be
deployed by 2014.
The deployment is due to the
need for healthcare workers in the European country.
The Philippines and Germany
previously signed an agreement in Manila to deploy Filipino nurses to
the European country last March.
The Vice President also got
the assurance of European businessmen that the Philippines'
80,000-strong contingent of seafarers based in Europe will be safe
News reports have previously
circulated that the European Union was set to blacklist the country
after it failed to comply with the 1978 International Convention on
Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)
in an audit by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
European Chamber of Commerce
of the Philippines (ECCP) Vice President for External Affairs Henry
Schumacher also assured Binay that seafarers will continue working in
EU flagged vessels.
The Vice President in June
had promised that the country was committed to adhering to the STCW
“It is crucial that we
fulfill the requirements, knowing that the jobs of 80,000 of our
seafarers in Europe as well as the rest of the 400,000 Filipino seamen
in various foreign flagged vessels would be affected if we fail the
upcoming EMSA audit,” Binay said.
Binay also announced in 2012
that the ban on Filipino au pairs to Europe since 1997 was lifted
after an ad hoc Technical Working Group on au pairs came up with the
new "Guidelines on the Departure of Au Pairs to Europe."
“Au pair” is a French term
meaning “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 (DOLE). The intent is for the foreigner to be at par or
equal to locals, by being treated as a member of the family instead of
a domestic servant.
The ban was imposed to
reports of maltreatment, unfair compensation, excessive working hours,
discrimination and sexual assault, and abuse of the system by illegal
recruiters and syndicates.
Binay lauded the ban, saying
that it “is sure to bring employment opportunities to Filipinos.”
The Vice President, as
chairman emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT)
and chair of the Presidential Task Force Against Illegal Recruiters (PTFAIR),
instituted changes in 2011 that would help concerned agencies battle
the threat of human trafficking.
In 2011, the IACAT drafted
new offloading guidelines to prevent suspected victims of human
trafficking and illegal recruitment.
Binay also ordered that the
changes should also minimize abuse of discretion on the part of
immigration officers and respect the right to travel of passengers.
He also ordered the
mandatory interviews of Filipinos repatriated abroad.
"We need to determine
whether or not repatriated Filipinos were victims of illegal
recruitment, to detect patterns of deployment employed by illegal
recruiters and trafficking syndicates, and to minimize
re-victimization of Filipino irregular OFWs," he said.
Under Binay, the IACAT
Operations Center was also created to bolster and coordinate the drive
against human trafficking. 1343 Actionline was also launched,
providing a venue for individuals to report human trafficking
activities locally and overseas.
He commended the passage of
the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, which was passed by
Aquino February this year.
Binay said the inclusion of
attempted trafficking will allow the government to become pro-active
rather than reactive in eliminating human trafficking cases and
prevent OFWs from being abused.
“The previous law only
allowed us to file trafficking in persons cases against perpetrators
only after the actual act of trafficking had been committed. Because
of this, our kababayans had to be subjected to abuse first before
trafficking charges could be filed,” he said.
Binay also revealed that
IACAT was able to secure 80 convictions and jailed 99 human
traffickers since 2010.
A team dedicated to issuing
and monitoring of warrants of arrest of suspected human traffickers in
line with the recommendation of the United States State Department
Global Trafficking in Persons report was also formed by the IACAT in
Binay also reported that the
Philippines has been on Tier 2 status in the GTIP report under the
Aquino administration. It was previously on Tier 2-Watchlist during
the Arroyo administration, and in danger of being imposed sanctions on
foreign aid by the US.
"We will continue to strive
to retain, if not upgrade, our GTIP status and keep our people
protected from human trafficking," the Vice President said.
A meeting between Binay and
European Commission Home Affairs chief Cecilia Malstrom during the 7th
European Development Days in Brussels, Belgium also resulted with the
Philippines offering to share its experience in migrant worker
protection and anti-human trafficking.
“I informed the commissioner
that we have ratified the ILO (International Labour Organization)
convention concerning decent work for domestic workers, and pointed
out our efforts to protect our OFWs and address the social costs of
migration,” said Binay.
“I told the commissioner
that as a result of these efforts we have developed perhaps the most
advanced infrastructure for protecting our nationals abroad,” he
The Vice President said that
Maelstrom had agreed that Europe could learn a lot from the Philippine
under VP Binay gaining ground
By OVP Media
July 23, 2013
MANILA – The housing sector
under Vice President Jejomar C. Binay’s leadership continues to gain
ground in its duty to provide Filipinos with decent and affordable
The Vice President’s
accomplishment report over the last three years shows that the housing
sector has been able to serve 333,133 families, 68 percent of which
belong poor and low-income families.
It also indicated that the
housing sector has generated about 2.5 million jobs since 2010.
“Sa bawat isang daang
trabaho na nagagawa sa pagtatayo ng bahay, labing-walong dagdag na
trabaho pa ang nalilikha sa iba’t ibang industriya tulad ng pagawaan
ng pako, yero, hollow blocks, semento at iba pa,” the Vice President
Binay also continues to
initiate reforms in the housing sector through persistent efforts to
bring to justice Globe Asiatique owner Delfin Lee.
The case against GA stemmed
from an investigation which shows GA using ghost borrowers and fake
documents to siphon more than P6 billion loans from Pag-IBIG.
“We will pursue our fight
for justice for the ordinary Filipino workers who have been victimized
by Globe Asiatique,” he said.
The Supreme Court (SC) also
decided to junk the petition filed by Lee which sought to stop the
Department of Justice (DOJ) from prosecuting him in connection with
the syndicated estafa charges filed against him and other executives
of Globe Asiatique Realty and Holdings Corp (GA).
Delfin Lee and his son,
Dexter, remain at large, with President Aquino offering a P2 million
bounty for their capture.
Meanwhile, Pag-IBIG has
reported in May 2013 that it has generated P9.28 billion in dividends.
“Through a policy of prudent
fiscal management and other reforms, we were able to improve the
services of the agency and make it more profitable. And now, Pag-Ibig
has bolstered its status as one of the country's premier GOCCs or GFIs
– fully deserving of its 'A' classification,” Binay said.
In 2011, Binay unveiled a
“rent-to-own program” by Pag-IBIG for public utility drivers and
operators. The program was part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
signed between the Pag-IBIG Fund and seven transport groups, with more
than 200,000 drivers and operators expected to benefit from it. An MoU
between the Fund and the Department of Education for a Home-Matching
and End-User Housing Loan program for teachers who had no homes of
their own was also initiated that year.
In the same year, the Vice
President also led the implementation of Administrative Order No. 9
for the construction of houses for 21,800 soldiers and police
Plans for a “Working
People’s Shelter Program” were also revealed by Binay August last year
which he said could lead to the construction of more houses for the
partner advances the Pag-ibig Fund membership dues and also guarantees
the payment of housing units. The Pag-ibig Fund releases the
developmental loan to the employer, who will then engage a private
developer to undertake housing construction, or via a retail loan to
the buyer or employee. If the beneficiary fails to pay, the employer
buys back the housing unit and commits to replace the buyer or
employee," he explained.
According to Binay, the
scheme would result in more collaborations as national and local
government agencies seek to provide the community's basic requirements
such as health and education.
Binay had also stressed the
need for close collaboration among private sector developers, LGUs,
and urban planners in relocating informal settler families to safer
"The urgent need now is to
relocate the affected families not only to safe places but also to
areas that provide basic services and a sustainable environment. It is
also our priority to remove informal settler families (ISFs) from
danger areas," the Binay said.
"To achieve this, I propose
to continue to bring together closely private sector developers, the
LGUs, and urban planners. Then let us put our heads together with
other local and international organizations who understand urban
development and housing in the light of climate change. Then we
integrate all our approaches,” Binay added.
The housing sector had also
responded to the various typhoons and monsoon-caused floods last year
through Binay’s declaration of moratoriums on the payments of loans to
key shelter agencies by families affected by disaster.
A three month moratorium on
housing loan amortizations was implemented by Pag-IBIG, Home Guaranty
Corporation, and the NHA, while the National Housing Finance
Corporation implemented a six month moratorium for victims of typhoon
Pablo in December.
The KSAs also donated P3.6
million for relief goods for the typhoon victims, as well as conducted
relief drives in affected areas.
In the wake of the massive
flooding in Metro Manila and nearby provinces in August, the NHMFC
also implemented a six month moratorium.
Binay also directed Pag-IBIG
to set up satellite offices and operate during holidays to be able to
respond quickly to requests for loans and provide other services to
Pag-IBIG members in areas
declared to be under state of calamity are now also allowed to borrow
as much as 80 percent of their total contributions at an interest rate
of 5.95 percent. The loan shall be amortized in 24 months with a grace
period of three months.
The Vice President also
encouraged Filipinos working in strife-ridden countries to avail of
the Pag-IBIG’s Special Assistance Program.
Under the program, members
may withdraw their total savings without having to wait for 20 years
for their membership to mature. They may also avail of a 6-month
moratorium on their housing and short-term loan payments.
A project collaboration
between the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the
World Bank has also resulted in the formulation of the National
Informal Settlements Upgrading Strategy (NISUS) that will be used to
create a Comprehensive Shelter Plan for ISFs.
The shelter plan aims at
ensuring that ISFs will have access to basic social services such as
schools, public markets, health care centers, and livelihood
opportunities at the resettlement areas. The said project also
guarantees that resettled families will have decent homes that will
nurture their hopes and affirm their dignity.
Binay said the government
has also started the construction of housing units that will benefit
various indigenous groups throughout the country.
At the start of the year,
the National Housing Authority, the Office for Southern Cultural
Communities - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OSCC-ARMM) and the
local government of Sibutu had allied to provide houses to 2,000
Badjaos located along the shores of Barangay Nunucan and Mochton in
Under the agreement, the
Indigenous Peoples Community (IPC) in Tawi-Tawi under the Sibutu
Badjao Resettlement Program will be benefited with 100 stilt houses,
foot bridges and a septic tank.
In August 2012, the Vice
President also led the awarding of an initial 16 housing units to
Nabuklod Aeta families who were qualified under the NHA’s Housing
Assistance Program for Indigenous Peoples (HAPIP) in Nabuklod Upland
Resettlement Project in Brgy. Nabuklod, Floridablanca.
This was due to NHA Board
Resolution No. 5342 dated 22 July 2012, which had set a P14 million
fund for the construction of 350 core houses for Nabuklod Aeta
communities in Floridablanca such as Brgy. Nabuklod, and including
those of Brgys. Camachille and Mawakat.
condition worsened under Aquino” - Kadamay
July 22, 2013
QUEZON CITY – “The Aquino
government boasts of an economic growth even though the underlying
economic fundamentals and the situation of the people continue to get
worse. The decrepit condition of the urban poor is testament to the
failure of this government to even make a dent in reducing poverty.”
This was the statement of
the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) as the militant group
led an estimate ten thousand protesters from urban poor communities in
Metro Manila and major cities during President Benigno Aquino’s State
of the Nation Address (SONA).
“The number of poor and
hungry Filipinos increased due to growing unemployment rates. The
economic growth the government boasts about is meaningless to us.
While prices of basic commodities and services soar, the call for
substantial wage hike has fallen on deaf ears. Social services
including health services are being privatized,” said Kadamay National
Chairperson Gloria Arellano.
“Aquino’s adherence to
neoliberal policies of ‘globalization’ through Public-Private
Partnership (PPP) that open up the economy for big foreign and local
investors is to blame. More than 500,000 poor families living in
so-called ‘informal settlements’ in Metro Manila face massive
dislocation under Aquino’s PPP, with an urgent target of 20,000
families in the next six months,” Arellano said.
Defective superficial, stopgap solutions
“The Aquino government’s
centerpiece anti-poverty program that is Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT)
or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is being exposed as a
mere dole-out and an anti-insurgency mechanism. It will not lift
millions of poor from poverty.”
SWS surveys show poverty
rose from 8.9M families in 2012 to 20.6M families in 2013 while 3.6M
families went hungry in 2010 rising to 7.9M families in March 2013.
“The Aquino administration
also dreams of wiping off urban poor communities from the map by
sending them off to far-flung and dangerous relocation sites in the
name of development. This, too, shall fail because it does not solve
the lack of industrial development that will create sustainable jobs
and the lack of a genuine land reform in the countrysides to curb
“We aspire for a genuine
agrarian reform and national industrialization. But our hopes lie not
in the Aquino government anymore as facts point to its subservience to
its real boss – the big foreign and local businesses. Our hope rests
on the collective strength of the urban poor and the people to resist
anti-poor governments, until a government truly responsive of the
people’s interests is in place,” Arellano concluded.
P1.7 million drugs
seized, 105 nabbed in EV
By RPCRD, Police Regional
July 22, 2013
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte –
Agents of the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) Anti-Illegal Drugs
Special Operations Task Group arrested a total of 105 persons and
confiscated an estimated P1.7 million worth of illegal drugs in a
series of anti-narcotics operations across the region since January 1
But while the illegal drugs
situation in Eastern Visayas is not alarming, the region’s top cop
assured that close monitoring and continuous anti-illegal drugs
operations is being conducted by his men to minimize the proliferation
of the drug menace in the region.
“Its reputation as one of
the fastest growing regions in the country attracts not only
legitimate businesses but also illegitimate ones while the region’s
geographical location with wide coastal areas and several entrance and
exit points lures drug financiers to ply their trade here,” PCSupt
Elmer R. Soria, PRO8 Regional Director said.
He added that
intelligence-driven operations against illegal drugs are being
conducted by his men aiming at high value targets and eventually “put
these pushers behind bars.”
Soria informed that the
intensified anti-drugs crackdown has netted a good number of drug
suspects in 83 operations that yielded 223.62 grams of methamphetamine
hydrochloride or “shabu” and 165.61 grams of dried marijuana leaves
with a total worth of P1.718.042.00.
The arrested violators, 85
pushers and 20 users, were rounded-up by the police in drug buy-bust
operations, raids and searches. These resulted in the filing of 86
cases for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in different courts regionwide, the police
Meanwhile, in Northern Samar,
a 29-year old jobless man was arrested by the police in a buy-bust
operation Sunday morning at Capul seaport in Brgy. 2 Poblacion.
Nabbed was Arnel Magdaraog,
a resident of Brgy. San Luis in said town, after selling sachet of
suspected “shabu” worth P500 to a poseur-buyer at around 11 a.m.
The police also confiscated
three sachets of suspected “shabu”, a scissor and a disposable lighter
from the suspect’s possession.
Suspect was brought to
Northern Samar Police Provincial Officer for further investigation and
filing of drug charges while confiscated items were brought to
Northern Samar Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for laboratory
community press for the resumption of GPH-NDFP peace talks
Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
July 20, 2013
QUEZON CITY – Hoping that
international pressure would bring the PH-NDFP talks back on track,
peace advocates and rights defenders at the International Conference
for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) called on the
Aquino government to resume peace talks with the National Democratic
Front, citing poverty and the re-escalation of human rights abuses as
the most compelling reasons to go back to the negotiating table.
“The landlessness of
peasants, the lack of decent wages and job opportunities, decent
housing and basic social services are weighing down on the lives of
the Filipino people and violate their socio-economic rights. Those who
resist and work for change are met with political repression by the
State. We want the peace negotiations resumed to help resolve such
issues,” the delegates said in a press conference.
The ICHRPP added its voice
to the call by local peace advocates for the resumption of the stalled
talks on the basis of previously signed agreements, specifically the
1992 Hague Joint Declaration, the Comprehensive Agreement on Human
Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL) and the Joint
Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).
“We lament the fact that the
Aquino government has practically terminated the talks by ignoring or
violating the 10 or so agreements previously signed by the GPH and
NDFP. Aquino’s so-called ‘new approach’ of localized talks combined
with counterinsurgency operations disregards and undermines all
previous agreements, making the talks impossible,” said ICHRPP
Spokesperson Teddy Casiño.
“The ICHRPP plans to focus
international attention on the talks and compel both sides to go back
to the negotiating table. International pressure worked in the past on
the issue of human rights. We hope it works this time for the sake of
peace,” said Casiño.
Earlier this month, eight
peace groups – the Sulong CARHRIHL, Pilgrims for Peace, Philippine
Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP), Waging Peace Philippines, Generation
Peace Youth Network, Women Engaged in Action 1325, Initiatives for
International Dialogue, and Philippine Peace Center – issued a joint
statement demanding a resumption of the talks, saying, “Time is of the
essence. End the prolonged impasse. Resume the talks, now.”
The ICHRPP is now on its
second day. Conference delegates today are expected to tackle the
issue on the struggle for a just and lasting peace. Speakers will
share experiences on the search for peace in South Africa, the middle
East and the Philippines.
The more than 250 peace and
human rights advocates are also expected to join the people’s
mobilization during the State of the Nation Address on Monday, July