orientation on elected officials in EV
By RONNIE C. ROA
August 8, 2013
ORMOC CITY – Dir. Rowin P.
Riños, Dir. III, Acting Regional Director of Civil Service Commission
Region 8 oriented the elected officials in Eastern Visayas recently
held at Sabin Resort Hotel in Ormoc City.
Almost 300 elected officials
in different parts of the region attended the seminar. Atty. Michael
M. De la Cruz, Dir. II, CSC Biliran Field office with Western Leyte
satellite office said that only 150 officials confirmed on their
invitation but they managed to accommodate all the participants. Old
and neophyte politicians comprised the 280 participants.
Dir. Riños said that they
will set another schedule to accommodate other unavailable elected
officials. He however said that they only invited the executives for
it is not compulsory but wished that everybody can attend the OPELGE.
The Orientation Program for
Elected Local Government Executives (OPELGE) is usually conducted
every after election and is intended for new elected local executives;
governors, vice-governors, mayors, vice mayors, and members of the
sangguniang panlalawigan, panlungsod and pambayan.
Riños said that CSC aims to
orient participants on the civil service laws and rules that they need
to observe in rendering their service. “Knowing these rules can
properly guide them and avoid violations specially pertaining to civil
service matters on personnel management,” Dir. Riños added. The
different topics were Csc programs & functions, duties & functions of
local executives, appointments and other personnel actions, modes of
separation & administrative disciplines.
The director said that they
selected Ormoc City as a venue for this activity just for a change and
because it can accommodate a lot of participants. They usually held
the OPELGE in Tacloban City.
In the course of the
interview, Dir. Riños took the opportunity to call anyone who wishes
to take the Civil Service eligibility examination on October to file
their application in their various offices. The deadline of
application is on August 30. Applicants must be 18 years old and above
and should bring along photos, valid identification and 500 pesos
steps up protection of children’s rights in armed conflict
August 8, 2013
MALACAÑANG – President
Benigno S. Aquino III has revamped the Inter-Agency Committee on
Children in Armed Conflict (IAC-CIAC) under an executive order aimed
at further strengthening the government’s program for the protection
of children against armed hostilities, abuse and exploitation.
Executive Secretary Paquito
N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday that President Aquino signed on August 2
Executive Order No. 138 amending Executive Order No. 56 (S. 2001), and
places the IAC-CIAC under the direct supervision of the Council for
the Welfare of Children (CWC), instead of the Office of the
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
Under EO No. 138, the CWC
will be the lead agency in the implementation of the CIAC Program
Framework, which addresses the alarming involvement of children in
armed conflict, either as combatants, couriers, spies, medics, cooks
or their recruitment for sexual purposes, among others. The council
will also be in charge of coordinating and monitoring of the program
framework at all levels.
The Department of Social
Welfare and Development had earlier sought the establishment of the
Monitoring, Reporting and Response System for Grave Child Rights’
Violations (MRRS-GCRV) in situations of armed conflict to be headed by
the CWC in order step up government response to the problem of
children being recruited, killed, maimed and abused in areas of armed
“Given the commonalities
between the existing CIAC Program Framework implemented by the OPAPP
and the proposed MRRS to be implemented by the CWC, and in line with
the policy of streamlining government functions to avoid duplication
of efforts, EO No. 56 is hereby amended to incorporate the proposed
MRRS and reorganize the IAC-CIAC, thus strengthening the CIAC Program
Framework,” Ochoa explained.
The MRRS-GCRV will now serve
as the monitoring arm of the inter-agency committee.
The OPAPP remains a member
of the inter-agency committee, along with the Commission on Human
Rights (CHR); the Departments of Education (DepEd), Foreign Affairs (DFA),
the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Health (DOH), National
Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines (DND-AFP), Justice (DOJ), and
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); the Philippine National Police
(PNP); the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC); and the
Presidential Management Staff (PMS).
In line with the enhancement
of the CIAC Program Framework and the new set-up, Ochoa said, the CWC
and member-agencies are mandated to craft a memorandum of agreement to
define and delineate their functions and duties within 60 days after
the presidential directive takes effect.
EO No. 138 also mandates the
IAC-CIAC to observe all international instruments on upholding the
rights and welfare of children and other related human rights treaties
in all initiatives in the formulation of guidelines and programs for
the handling of children involved in armed conflict, among others. It
should also conduct training, advocacy and information campaigns and
capacity-building of local government units (LGUs).
The Philippines is a state
party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed
President Aquino also
ordered national government agencies to formulate and integrate the
program framework in their annual programs and projects in
consultation with the CWC.
“LGUs of areas affected by
armed conflict may also develop and implement complementary programs
to carry out the enhanced CIAC Program Framework in coordination with
the CWC,” Ochoa said.
Funding for the
implementation of the CIAC Program Framework will come from the
current appropriations of participating agencies and subsequent
funding for the implementation of the CIAC Program Framework will be
incorporated in their respective regular appropriations.
EO No. 138 takes effect 15
days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
Corruption in Customs, the new ‘Wangwang’
By Office of the Senate
August 4, 2013
PASAY CITY – “A new
‘wangwang’ reform should take effect in the whole bureaucracy.”
Senate Majority Floor Leader
Alan Cayetano made this statement Friday as he compared the rampant
corruption and other forms of anomalies in the Bureau of Customs (BOC)
as the new ‘wangwang’ irking the President and the people.
In a press conference,
Cayetano urged the government to introduce not just proposals, but
“major, bold, (and) radical reforms” to put an end to alleged corrupt
practices among officials and employees of the BOC.
“Raising the issue in his
SONA is already a stern warning and I believe [President Aquino] will
effect changes himself in the BOC should nothing happen in the next
few weeks,” Cayetano said adding that he would support major reforms
being pushed by the administration to cleanse agencies known for being
Cayetano likewise said this
is the best time for Customs Commissioner Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon to
have the political will to lay down workable and pragmatic yet
comprehensive reforms in his agency.
"I do understand the
difficulty of having to effect a reform, but now that Commissioner
Biazon and Commissioner (Danny) Lim are in the middle of this issue,
and they have the support of the President and the people who want
radical reforms in the agency, they should take this as opportunity to
address the problem of corruption in the BOC," Cayetano pointed out.
He said Biazon's move on
instructing the agency's port directors to resign from their
respective posts as well as leading the bureau's reorganization is “a
good first step” but added that “there should be a next big step
BOC in bad light since 2009
To reaffirm the gravity of
the issue, Cayetano cited a statement from the President's SONA,
claiming that over P200-Billion worth of government money is lost due
to corruption within the bureaucracy.
This amount of money,
according to Cayetano, could have been spent on building 800,000
7x9-meter classrooms, providing 20 million scholarships for primary
and secondary education, paying 650,000 public school teachers, loans
for about 10 million small scale enterprises, or even on increasing
Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiaries by about 13 million –
all of which would have improved the lives of many Filipinos.
The Senator said even if
government tried to fire everyone working within the BOC, this
“radical” move would not entirely put an end to corruption since the
replacements may be just as corrupt as the old officials.
“I am not generalizing but
corruption is still widespread,” he added.
Cayetano cited a 2012 SWS
Survey of Enterprises on Corruption saying that although the Bureau of
Customs improved its net sincerity rating in fighting corruption, the
Bureau (still) distinguishes itself as the sole institution with a Bad
According to the senator,
the survey showed that out of 20 government institutions rated for
sincerity in fighting corruption, 17, including the BOC, improved
their net sincerity ratings from 2009 to 2012. Despite the increase,
however, the BOC's rating remains to be the only bureau recorded to
have a Bad net sincerity rating of -45.
Politics of 'Lagayan'
“Corruption still exists
according to my consultations with the business sector and brokers.
Even legit(imate) kargamento, may politika at lagayan... May lagay sa
bawat container, lagay sa kulang na papeles,” he said.
Cayetano added that
corruption in the BOC has been the problem of past and previous
administrations, with reports about the rampant smuggling of oil
through special economic zones and agricultural products that is
costing the government billions of pesos.
“The past administrations
encountered problems when the government tried to thoroughly
investigate the employees and officials before. But I’m sure if the
President will do this now, he will not back down,” the Senate
majority leader said, adding that he has high hopes that the BOC will
be cleansed through the Aquino administration’s campaign “Tuwid na
“I think this is the time'
for real reform (referring to the BOC). In our country, reforms will
not start until the perpetrators are caught and punished,” Cayetano
Al Gore trains
Pinoys as climate leaders
By The Climate Reality
August 3, 2013
CHICAGO, IL – In a keynote
presentation on Wednesday, former Vice President Al Gore officially
welcomed six Filipinos among more than 1500 new members to the Climate
Reality Leadership Corps. As part of his day-long session with
attendees, Mr. Gore, the Founder and Chairman of The Climate Reality
Project, delivered an updated slideshow presentation first made
popular by the award-winning An Inconvenient Truth.
Among those who were trained
are United Nations news correspondent Tonie Marie Bacala and peace
worker Maria Marasigan based in New York; engineer Marc Caratao D.Mgt.,
sustainable management students Nicole Cruz and Ny-Ann Nolasco from
California; and engineer Francisco Alvarez ME, PME of Chicago.
“We are glad that Filipinos
based in the United States have been trained to spread the reality of
the climate crisis and hoping that they would be able to speak up and
win the conversation on extreme weather brought about dirty energy
which has caused series of disasters in the Philippines,” said Rodne
Galicha, district manager of The Climate Reality Project in the
Philippines who also serves as executive director of Romblon-based
environment organization Sibuyan Island Sentinels League for
Galicha, who mentored more
than 90 Asia-Pacific participants coming from 21 countries, said that
the role of Filipino-Americans in the climate conversations is to make
Americans realize that the burning of fossil fuels, over-consumption
and investing in climate-inducing industries are making the lives of
communities in the developing and least developed countries especially
in the Asia-Pacific region such as Bangladesh, India, the Philippines,
Pakistan, Thailand and India.
“We can directly harness the
power of nature such as wind, water and the heat of the sun – we have
the technology to utilize and the creativity but we need political
will to do it. Our country is blessed with beautiful 7,107 islands:
with free and clean sources of energy – but there is no such thing as
clean coal, it is still coal, dirty coal,” newly-trained Dr. Marc
Caratao, an engineer by profession and born in the province of Cebu.
“I have seen the devastation
of hurricane Sandy in New York but I am also alarmed with the
disasters that are becoming a new normal brought by the climate crisis
in the Philippines affecting our poor communities including the
indigenous peoples. Yes, climate change is the cause but the
vulnerability of our communities is increased by industries with
investors based outside the country – they must be held accountable by
paying their climate debts and pulling out their investments from
disaster-inducing businesses such as mining,” said peace worker Maria
“Some people may deny the
reality of the climate crisis but what we know is that our families,
relatives and friends including our poor vulnerable communities back
home are experiencing unusual weather patterns resulting to loss of
livelihoods and lives. These are all not a hoax nor a scam! Climate
crisis is, indeed, real,” said journalist and UN correspondent Toni
For Chicago-based Engr.
Francisco Alvarez, Filipino families must be able to understand the
reality of the climate crisis haunting their relatives in the
“We must continue educating
our Filipino families about the plight of our people back home, why
are they suffering the effects of climate change and how are we able
to extend assistance which is long term and invest in clean and green
businesses in local communities where we come from,” said Alvarez.
Volunteers from all 50
states and more than 70 countries attended the Climate Reality
Project’s twenty-third training program, and participants included
teachers and students, academics, lawyers, physicians and nurses,
entertainers, homemakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, public
servants, and more. Following the training, Climate Leaders emerge
from the program as energized and skilled communicators with the
knowledge, tools, and drive to educate diverse communities on the
impacts of climate change and to demand action now. Since the
program’s inception, Climate Leaders have reached millions of people
worldwide through their presentations in their communities. In 2013,
Climate Reality CEO Maggie L. Fox challenged Climate Leaders to
undertake more than one thousand Acts of Leadership, including
presentations in their communities, public hearings, and media
outreach to a collective 1.3 million people worldwide.
This is the second Climate
Reality Leadership Corps event in 2013, following the organization’s
largest-ever international training program in Istanbul in late June
2013 with three Filipinos in attendance: Sonja Garcia Antonio from
Davao City, Zephanie Mari Repollo fom Dumaguete City and Elirozz
Carlie Labaria from Tagbilaran City.
Mr. Gore also made several
announcements during his presentation:
Third Annual 24 Hours of Reality
“Today, we’re proud to
announce the third annual 24 Hours of Reality, which will take place
this year in Los Angeles on October 22.”
“Every year, we travel
around the world to explore the reality of the climate crisis and tell
just some of the countless stories of how it’s transforming lives and
how people are joining together to do something about it. The theme of
this year’s 24 Hours of Reality is the exorbitantly high cost of
carbon pollution that we’ve all been paying for way too long now.”
“The cost of carbon
pollution is something we’ve all been living with and paying for years
while the fossil fuel industry just keeps making record profits. It’s
time now to make the polluters pay for the damage they cause in super
storms, wildfires, and rising seas, among other costs of carbon
pollution, and put a price on carbon.”
In 2012, 24 Hours of
Reality: The Dirty Weather Report broke the world record for viewers
of a live online event, with more than 17 million online views, and
won ten prestigious Telly Awards for excellence in online content. The
broadcast also generated more than 165 million impressions on social
media. In 2013, we plan to smash this record. For more information,
please visit www.climaterealityproject.org.
Social Good Summit
Mr. Gore also announced that
The Climate Reality Project will serve as a co-host of the first-ever
climate segment at this year’s Social Good Summit in New York City on
September 23, and that he will provide the keynote address at the
first-ever Climate Segment at the Summit.
“I want you to join with
Climate Reality and me to come together with one shared goal: to
unlock the potential of new media and technology to make our planet a
better place and translate that potential into action. We will also be
unveiling an exciting new campaign called What I Love, and are excited
to debut this in front of some of the most influential personalities
in social media.”
Mr. Gore will be joined by
some of the world’s leading bloggers and social media influencers, as
well as Kandeh Yumkella, head of the United Nations’ Sustainable
Energy For All initiative; Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer
at IKEA; Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable, the world’s largest blog;
Helen Clark, head of the United Nations Development Program; and
dozens of the world’s biggest names on climate change. For more
information, please visit www.mashable.com/sgs.
Cayetano calls for
an open and transparent probe on the PDAF scam; urges public to take
part of the reform process
By Office of the Senate
August 3, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senate
Majority floor leader Alan Cayetano has called for an open and
transparent probe on the alleged corruption in the use of the Priority
Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
“What we want is a full,
independent, and honest investigation that is open to the public. So
far, the NBI is doing a great job but we need to engage the people
more and make them part of reform process since it is their money we
are talking about,” he said in a press conference held last Friday.
The Senator gave his full
support to the investigations being conducted by National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI) and the Ombudsman adding that this will ensure an
independent and credible inquiry into these types of allegations.
Cayetano however stressed
the importance of granting media access and encouraging people
participation in these investigations concerning allegations of high
public interest similar to how the Department of Justice (DOJ)
publicly investigated the 2010 Luneta hostage crisis incident.
“Any case with high public
interest such as this where the people’s money is being talked about,
the people should be part of the reform process rather than just being
aware of the result,” he said.
Cayetano said that media
will play a crucial role in pushing for reforms in government. “If
they are part of the investigations and are able to cover, they will
not only be narrators to the public, they will also be insiders to
investigators given their innate capability to do their own research,”
The Majority Leader also
reiterated his call to fellow legislators to cooperate in the
investigation being conducted by the NBI by being transparent and
opening their books to the assigned authorities in order to resolve
this issue immediately and eventually focus more on pressing
He said that an
investigation conducted by the Senate on itself would not be as
credible and convincing to the people. “First, there is less
credibility if we just investigate ourselves. Second, this will keep
our focus away from our daily responsibilities related to
legislation,” he added.
Cayetano however said that
he is open to a Senate-initiated investigation on the PDAF scam if
there comes a point that the NBI and Ombudsman fail to shed light on
these accusations and eventually hold people accountable for
“I see that that the NBI and
the Office of the Ombudsman are doing good. But if there comes a point
where we see that they are not doing their job, I will be one of the
first to propose that we conduct an investigation of our own,” he
Cayetano said it is crucial
that corruption cases be filed against erring officials involved in
these anomalies in order to fully reform the bureaucracy and rid
government agencies from any semblance of corruption or fund misuse.
“Conducting an investigation
is a first step but we also need to reform faulty systems in
government to stop the cycle of graft and corruption and ensure that
our projects benefit the people,” he said.
The senator stressed that it
is not necessary that the whole PDAF system be abolished just to rid
out corruption. Instead, he recommended the abolition of PDAF projects
that are being commonly used in anomalies.
“Not necessarily abolish
PDAF as a whole, but abolish PDAF projects that are corruption prone
such as items that are hard to account if these benefited the people,”
Cayetano suggested that
rather than using PDAF for items like fertilizers or deodorizers, it
would be better if government focus the funds on medical assistance or
educational grants since these types of ‘soft projects’ go straight to
an institution or directly to the beneficiary.
“If the system is broken,
let us fix it (referring to the PDAF scam). Let us remove the
corruption but not the benefits to our people. We should make sure
that the people still gets the immediate benefits from these
programs,” he said.
‘Why just SK?’ -
Kabataan Partylist Eastern Visayas
reiterates point: reform not abolition
By Kabataan Partylist - EV
August 3, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – “Why not
include the whole Sangguniang Barangay? Or the whole Congress for that
matter? Or even the ones who call for its abolition – the COMELEC?”
Mark Simbajon, Representative for Eastern Visayas of Kabataan
Partylist, on the issue of SK abolition.
“If the whole point of
abolishing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is grounded on the points of
corruption and inefficient governance, why single out the SK?” he
Simbajon explained that it
is rather “fishy” that the COMELEC and their supporting members of the
Congress on the SK abolition is pouring it all on the SK when there
are a lot more other bodies flanged with the issues of corruption and
inefficient governance as well.
“Take for example the
Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) issue with the Congress;
and for the Sangguniang Barangay, not all are truly efficient in their
governance – just the note that the SK is like this, and it is only a
considerable microcosm of the Sangguniang Barangay and other higher
government formations,” Simbajon continued.
“We see this ‘fishiness’ as
a way of the national government to consolidate power in the Barangay
level, by providing more funds – since the fund supposedly allotted
for the SK will now be directly accessible by the Sangguniang Barangay.”
“It is also because of this
that we deem the abolishing of the SK to be extreme and unnecessary;
rather, we reiterate our longstanding point that what it needs is
reform,” Simbajon added.
“Reform and restrengthening
because, yes, we agree that the SK is mired with flaws right now, but
these flaws are not enough grounds to shut the voices of our youth.”
Simbajon pointed that the
representation of the youth in the totality of the government, even
with the SK, is still minimal: only the Kabataan Partylist in
Congress, the SK in the LGUs, and nothing more; thus to abolish the SK
would be almost equal to shutting their voices up.
“And to do so is to go
against the constitution: Art. II, Sec. 13, Philippine Constitution of
1987 gives the State responsibilities to promote the well being of the
youth, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs,”
Simbajon also explained that
statistically speaking, the youth comprise roughly two-thirds of the
total population of the country and not to have enough representation
from this roughly two-thirds of the constituents would also result in
“On the other hand, as
elders, guardians, or parents, when your child commits a mistake, you
do not just easily send them to exile; instead, you try to correct
them, teach them, and this, we believe, is what is supposed to be
done,” Simbajon continued.
Simbajon pointed that as a
measurement of their claim for the SK reform, Kabataan Partylist has
filed in 15th Congress H.B. 1963 or the SK Reform and Restrengthening
“And finally, we call on
President Aquino to reform not abolish the SK, since, looking back on
his inaugural speech, he claims that we, the youth, are part of his
priority list,” Simbajon concluded.
overrun NPA camp in two encounters in Northern Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
August 2, 2013
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – Two (2) separate encounters were recorded between the
troops of 8th Infantry Division and the New People’s Army (NPA) in
An encounter happened
between troops of the 20th Infantry Battalion and undetermined number
of NPAs on August 2, 2013 in the boundary of Barangay Toog, Lavazares,
Northern Samar and Barangay Guindalian, Rosario Northern Samar. After
an hour firefight, the troops overran an NPA camp which has 32
bunkers, one mess hall, one kitchen and two guard posts.
Additionally, the troops
were able to recover assorted ammunitions for high powered firearms
and magazines, one mobile phone, assorted medicines and other personal
belongings. The rebels suffered undetermined number of casualties as
indicated by traces of blood on site.
On same day, another
encounter happened between troops under 34th Infantry Battalion and
more or less five (5) NPAs on August 2, 2013 at Barangay Rebadulla,
Catubig, Northern Samar. Troops recovered one (1) caliber .45 pistol
with one (1) loaded magazine in this encounter.
Brigadier General Rolando
Malinao, Commander of 803rd Brigade said: “Now that the stakeholders
of Northern Samar are working together to stop NPA activities, it is
only a matter of time before the rebel movement will crumble in
Northern Samar which will pave the way for a lasting peace and
development on the province.”