Pedro A. Noval Jr. CESO III DILG 8 Director (left) and Mayor
Edward "Ondo" C. Codilla (on red polo) sign the Memorandum of
Agreement on Regulatory Simplification Project (RSP)-Enhanced
Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) while business
sector representatives witness the occasion.
DILG, Ormoc sign
MOA; Business sector supports RSP-Enhanced BPLS
By RONNIE C. ROA
September 6, 2013
ORMOC CITY – Ormoc City
Mayor Edward “Ondo” C. Codilla and Dr. Pedro A. Noval, Jr. CESO III
DILG 8 Regional Director signed a memorandum of agreement last Friday,
August 30 in the New Ormoc City Hall.
The MOA between LGU-Ormoc
and DILG 8 in coordination and active participation with the Local
Government Academy and International Finance Corporation-World Bank
which entitled Regulatory Simplification Project (RSP)-Enhanced
Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) is designed to introduce
reforms that would enhance the competitiveness of LGU, encourage the
formalization of business and more investment by further enhancing the
streamlining of business registration procedures and to furthermore
reduce the number of steps, time and cost of business registration at
the local level.
The LGA and IFC-WB shall
extend funding support and provide the necessary and essential
consultancy services in line with the project implementation
specifically in the diagnosis, design process and implementation.
DILG 8 shall facilitate and
oversee the overall implementation of the project while LGU-Ormoc
shall take the responsibility in both the quality of work and the
progress being made toward successfully achieving the goals.
representatives present, showed their strong support in the
implementation of the project. Roger Uy Ormoc Filipino Chinese Chamber
President, Iñigo Larrazabal, OCCCI President and Atty. Roy Bernard
Fiel, Governor EV Chamber of Commerce said that they are very willing
and excited to be partnered with LGU and with the government.
Dir. Noval said that it was
his first time he signed a document related to governance in Ormoc.
Saying it could be another milestone in his life as DILG regional
director especially Ormoc as one of the LGUs in Eastern Visayas
considered to be progressive and that could be pivotal aspect as far
as local governance including development in this region.
He added that through this
project it could strengthen the economic development of this city
considering that it will simplify and reduce and even eliminate red
tape in issuing business permits. He hoped that this program will make
Ormoc a business friendly. If happens LGU-Ormoc in partnership with
the business sector will be helping the president in realizing his
vision to have an inclusive growth and poverty reduction. The regional
director lauded Mayor Ondo that without second thought the chief
executive accepted in adopting and implementing the program in this
Ormoc already gained the
most friendly-business city award in 2005, said Emilio Tingson,
BPLO-Ormoc. LGU did not refuse the program for it could help in
improving the system, Tingson added. Tingson recalled that city’s
commitment to GTZ has already expired and now IFC-WB showed in
extending their assistance. Currently, BPLS in the city has only 3
steps and can get permits in just 30 minutes. It could be the existing
laws that might be reviewed, Tingson said in an interview.
Meanwhile, Mayor Codilla
welcomed the program and was very grateful to the business sector’s
P466M reward for
‘communists’ a waste of people’s money – Karapatan
September 6, 2013
QUEZON CITY – “Local
government secretary Mar Roxas should be held accountable for the
organized racket of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
and the Department of National Defense (DND) through the P466 million
bounty for individuals whom they accuse as communists,” said Karapatan
secretary general Cristina Palabay.
The Karapatan statement was
issued in time for the hearing of the DILG 2014 budget by Committee on
Appropriations at the House of Representatives. Palabay said the joint
DILG-DND memorandum 14, announced by Roxas in November 2012 provides
for P466 million reward for those who can provide information that
could lead to the arrest of 235 wanted individuals listed as
“communists”. The said list has been kept confidential until now and,
even during the DND budget hearing at the House of Representatives
last Sept. 3.
Karapatan called the scheme
an “organized racket,” citing the cases of arrests, torture and
detention of security guard Rolly Panesa and farmer Olegario Sebas.
Both were wrongly tagged as leaders of the Communist Party of the
Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).
“The reward money is better
used in productive endeavours that will benefit thousands of hungry
and homeless Filipinos instead of pay-offs to so-called informers who
are used to arbitrarily arrest, detain, torture or kill innocent
people,” Palabay added.
Panesa was arrested on
October 5, 2012, tortured and detained for 11 months because he was
mistaken to be “Benjamin Mendoza”, an alleged high ranking regional
officer of the NPA. On August 29, the Court of Appeals (CA) ruled
positively on Panesa’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, citing his
case as a case of mistaken identity, and ordered the jail warden of
Camp Bagong Diwa to release him from prison.
Sebas, 65, was arrested on
December 25, 2012 by the joint forces of the Philippine Army and the
Philippine National Police in Tubod, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental. Sebas
was mistaken to be the top NPA cadre “Felimon Mendrez”, a subject of
four arrest warrants for rebellion. Sebas was detained in the BJMP
District Jail in Bayawan City for three weeks and was released when
the court granted his petition for writ of habeas corpus.
Last month, AFP Chief of
Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista personally handed P5.25M and P5.6M
rewards to informants who “identified” Panesa as “Benjamin Mendoza”
and Sebas as “Felimon Mendrez,” respectively.
“Now that the Courts have
ruled in both cases that they got the wrong men, the big question is
where is the P10.8 million bounty? Or has the money been pocketed
already by entrepreneurial generals?” Palabay asked.
Karapatan research showed
that the DILG has P73.6 billion at its disposal for the implementation
of the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, including P306
million for intelligence funds.
funds for implementation of Oplan Bayanihan
for Peace and Order Councils (DILG)
Local Integration Program (DILG)
“Many of these items,
including intelligence funds and the budget for PAMANA program, are
discretionary in nature and are not subject for audit by the
Commission on Audit (COA). These programs are also conduits in the
implementation of Oplan Bayanihan’s components, specifically the
psyops and intelligence aspects,” Palabay added.
Karapatan reiterated its
call to scrap Oplan Bayanihan and echoed the people’s clamor to
redirect huge amounts of government money “to social services like
hospitalization and medical care for the poor and marginalized,
education and subsidies to public colleges and universities and,
housing facilities where people could access the funds directly and
benefit from, instead of ending up either in the generals’ pockets or
used to violate people’s rights.”
Chiz finds ZREC,
NABCOR officials feigning ignorance on procurement rules
By Office of Senator Chiz
September 5, 2013
PASAY CITY – Officials of
the ZNAC Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC) and National Agribusiness
Corporation (NABCOR) were grilled by Senator Chiz Escudero on their
knowledge of the government procurement rules during the second
hearing of the senate blue ribbon committee on the pork barrel scam.
ZREC and NABCOR are two of the government implementing agencies
Escudero last week asked to be invited to the hearing for their roles
in awarding funds to non-government organizations (NGO).
Escudero, chairman of the
Senate committee on finance and author of the resolution which asked
the senate to probe the pork barrel scam said “those two are agencies
commonly appearing as conduits for PDAF releases to seemingly favored
NGOs even with questionable existence.”
The senator said under the
Government Procurement Policy Board’s (GPPB) Resolution No. 12-2007,
which stipulates guidelines on NGO participation in public
procurement, there are only two modes of awarding a project to an NGO.
One is by public bidding, two is by negotiated procurement.
Escudero was baffled when
Allan Javellana, former NABCOR president admitted before the committee
that mere endorsement by a legislator already prompted them to award
contract to a particular NGO.
Salvador Salacup, current
Department of Agriculture assistant secretary and former ZREC
president also admitted that “the only set of validation requirements
were the SEC, BIR, LGU permits for project experience and certified
“Who told you that those are
the only requirements?” Escudero asked. “Was just a policy that was
inherited by ZREC,” Salacup answered.
Escudero also asked Salacup
if he is familiar with the COA and GPPB rules on NGO participation in
public procurement to which the latter said no.
“It is very incredible for
these officials to feign ignorance of the existing procurement law
which has been in place since 2007. I asked them about this because
they have been totally ignoring the laws governing procurement. If
it’s a negotiated procurement, the NGO is required to come up with the
performance, security or bond equivalent to the amount of the project.
This is because in cases like when it reneges or dissolves or
disappears, like in most of these 82 NGOs, the government has a hold
“Now in clear violation of
existing laws and regulations, these line agencies simply awarded
funding to the seemingly favored NGOs. As long as there are
endorsements from legislators, as they admitted, they funneled funds
hook, line and sinker.”
Escudero said with the
appalling wastage of public funds from the PDAF, he wants to examine
if there are remaining pending or on-going PDAF allocations to be
implemented by NGOs.
“No matter how late it may
seem, we might be able to preclude further depletion. We directed DA
Secretary Proceso Alcala to furnish the committee with an inventory of
this,” the senator said.
Cayetano pushes for
passage of FOI Bill in 16th Congress
By Office of the Senate
September 4, 2013
PASAY CITY – Senate Majority
Leader Alan Peter Cayetano placed his "complete and unequivocal
support" for the passage of the controversial Freedom of Information (FOI)
Bill in the 16th Congress.
In a letter he sent Senator
Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Information
and Mass Media, he expressed his full support for the immediate
passage of the FOI bill.
"I write to express my
complete and unequivocal support for the passage of the Freedom of
Information (FOI) Bill into law," said the Senator.
He told Senator Poe that as
a fellow advocate of the measure, he shared her "belief that the
recent controversy on the misuse of Priority Development Assistance
Fund (PDAF) would have been avoided should there have been an FOI law
passed in the 15th Congress."
He also endorsed the
petition for indirect initiative on the FOI Bill filed by Atty.
Nepomuceno Malaluan of the RIGHT TO KNOW. RIGHT NOW! COALITION.
Cayetano urged the committee
chairperson to invite the said coalition to the hearing Wednesday in
the Senate as they were "major stakeholders in our struggle towards
transparency, accountability and reform."
The Majority Leader, who has
consistently pushed for the approval of the measure, lamented how the
FOI Bill perished despite its passage in the Senate during the 14th
and 15th Congress.
"It never passed the 3rd
reading in the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress. In the
14th congress, the FOI Bill went as far as passing the Bicameral
Conference Committee, but was not ratified into law by the House of
Representatives," he said.
The Majority Leader however
voiced optimism that the 16th Congress would see the passage of the
"There is so much clamor for
truth, transparency and accountability that there is no way that the
people will allow the FOI Bill to perish once again. I am confident
that it will become a law this time with the help of the Filipino
people who have been outraged by the abuse of government funds," he
Cayetano, on the first day
of the 16th Congress, filed his updated version of FOI bill. According
to the senator, the legislative measure will help the government in
abolishing graft and corruption and ensure that the people’s money
will be spent on programs that will help the people in their daily
“The FOI enhances people's
participation and institutionalizes systems to strengthen citizens'
vigilance in guarding the government by making information more
accessible to those who have the right to know," he said.
“By passing the FOI, we can
institutionalize the government's efforts in implementing Tuwid na
Daan," he added.
Board institutionalizes paperless system
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
September 3, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – The Vice
Governor and the members of the Board Members of the province of Leyte
have collectively agreed to institutionalize the paperless system in
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Leyte Vice Governor Atty.
Carlo P. Loreto told the Philippine Information Agency that the
paperless system is now being used in the Sanggunian.
“At the onset, the new
system will normally entail some major changes and new procedures to
follow which may be perplexing to some of us,” Vice Governor Loreto
said, Nevertheless, he gave the assurance that with the assistance of
the technical personnel, the system will be adapted as expected.
It was learned that the
members of the provincial board now have tablets which they could open
and use anytime and anywhere to see and to study the Agenda for the
Vice Governor Loreto said
the institutionalization of the paperless system in the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan is in harmony with the Provincial Government’s persistent
advocacy for the protection and preservation of the environment and in
compliance with RA 8972 or the Philippine Electronics Commerce Act of
The initiative introduces a
real time transmission of the Agenda and all matters that has to be
considered during the regular sessions of the Sanggunian to the
presiding officer, the members of the Provincial Board and to all
Henceforth, it shall be the
standing policy of the provincial board to minimize the use of papers
and plastics in the sessions of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Another policy is for the
Municipal Sanggunians within Leyte and the Sangguniang Panglungsod of
Baybay and all government and non-government entities transacting
official business with the Provincial Board shall be required to
submit only 1 hard copy and one soft copy in digital format of any
document that has bearing with their official transactions.
The third policy, according
to Vice Governor Loreto, is for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
Secretariat to send by email or through any electronic mode of
transmission, all proposed items in the agenda of the forthcoming
session every Thursday of the week to the vice Governor and the Floor
Thereafter, the Vice
Governor or the Floor Leader will email the approved agenda to the
Board Members, the SP Secretary and the Governor.
With the paperless system in
place, Vice Governor Loreto said, the Sanggunian will be instrumental
to the reduction of paper consumption, a significant contribution to
He said that the production
and use of paper has a number of adverse effects on the environment
known collectively as paper pollution. Pulp mills contribute to air,
water and land pollution, he said. It also contributes in
deforestation, he said.
Moreover, the paperless
system will save time and effort in submission of voluminous documents
to the Sanggunian. It will also redound to savings for the provincial
government, Vice Governor Loreto said.
It may be recalled that the
implementation of the paperless system has been initiated during the
term of then Vice Governor Mimiette Bagulaya with the help of the
Department of Interior and Local Government. However, it is only now
during the term of Vice Governor Loreto that it is fully implemented.
OP budget proposal
gets Senate nod, Chiz says questions to be addressed in plenary
By Office of Senator Chiz
September 3, 2013
PASAY CITY – The senate
committee on finance approved the proposed P2.8 Billion 2014 budget of
the Office of the President (OP) and recommended the same for plenary
Senator Francis Escudero,
chairman of the finance committee said OP’s budget proposal, presented
by Exceutive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. breezed through the
committee because no other member attended the hearing and no issues
were raised when the executive office presented its budget proposal.
The senator also said that
traditionally, the OP and the Office of the Vice President,
respectively are given due courtesies with respect to their budgets.
“There was no reason to
stall the approval for plenary of the OP budget. Congress regularly
gives courtesies to the office of the OP during budget deliberations.
If there are any issues in their respective administrations and
offices, these are directed to the departments and not to the office
Escudero said even the lump
sum amounts associated with the OP and which has been critiqued as of
late belong to the special purpose funds which lie on the Department
of Budget and Management’s (DBM) responsibility to defend.
“Even the social fund is not
in the president’s budget. The DBM will defend the special purpose
funds to include calamity fund, contingency fund, and feasibility
studies fund; all the lump sums that are being questioned by the
public and the media or even the lawmakers fall under the DBM. They
will address these issues during the plenary come November” he
The senator however said
that even though the president’s social fund does not go through
congress, it is still subject to Commission on Audit’s (COA) rules and
regulations and guidelines.
“It was Congress that
appropriated and allocated money for the social fund of the president
when we passed the PAGCOR Charter and the other revenue-generating
laws and how it will be divided and sub-divided into the various
agencies of the government. COA, as the central examiner of all
government funds, has its rules and regulations to govern even the
president’s social fund.”
The budget proposal of OP is
broken down as follows:
Personal Services - 641.132 million
• Maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) - 1.998.435 billion
• Capital outlay - 183.400 million
The OP budget for 2014 is 3%
higher than its 2013 budget which was P2.73 billion.
DND’s Oplan Bayanihan
budget is budget to kill – Karapatan
September 3, 2013
QUEZON CITY – Amid the
people’s call to abolish the presidential and congressional pork, Karapatan and several people’s organizations today held a picket at
the House of Representatives, in time for the hearing of the proposed
budget for the Department of National Defense (DND) for 2014. The
protest underscored the “DND’s more than 82.1 billion-peso proposed
budget meant to oil the Aquino government’s killing machine, the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, the primary implementer of Oplan Bayanihan.”
Karapatan called for “ZERO
budget for the DND.” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay
echoed the people’s clamor to redirect huge amounts of government
money “to social services like hospitalization and medical care for
the poor and marginalized, education and subsidies to public colleges
and universities and, housing facilities where people could access the
funds directly and benefit from, instead of ending up either in the
generals’ pockets or used to bomb communities as what is happening now
in Sagada, Mountain Province.”
Palabay cited the use of
MG520 by the Air Force 1st Division’s Strike Wing on August 31 on
suspected lair of the New People’s Army, destroying communal hunting
grounds, uma (farms) and, water sources near rice fields and
Earlier, on August 23, Blaan
tribal chieftain Anting Freay, 60 and his son 16-year old Victor were
killed by elements of the AFP’s 39th Infantry Battalion and Task Force
Kitaco (Kiblawan, Tampakan, Columbio) Task Force Kitaco was created
under the 1002nd IB-PA to secure the areas covered by the
SMI-Xstrata’s mining project. The Freays were killed when their house
was strafed by the soldiers who were positioned three meters from
their house. The older Freay was immediately killed while his son
sustained 18 gunshot wounds when he was fired at by another group of
“Public funds are being used
to kill the people and perpetrate thousands of rights violations.
Under Aquino’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, Karapatan
has documented and recorded to 142 documented cases of extrajudicial
killing and 164 frustrated killing; 16 incidents of enforced
disappearance; 76 cases of torture; 540 cases of illegal arrest; and
more than 30,000 victims of forced evacuation,” Palabay said.
Included in the DND budget
is the allocation of P2B for compensation of the Civilian Armed Forces
Geographical Units (CAFGUs), despite wide and persistent clamor for
the disbandment of paramilitary groups, civilian volunteer
organisations and private. The European Parliament and several States
also called on the Philippine government, in the Universal Periodic
Review in 2012, to immediately disband all paramilitary groups.
Palabay said Karapatan also
documented several extrajudicial killings and human rights violations
since 2010 involving paramilitary groups, such as the incidents
involving Datu Jimmy Liguyon, Fr. Fausto Tentorio, and the massacre of
Juvy Capion and her two children. “Similarly, the operations of the
Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) units, which are co-funded and
organized by the AFP and mining/transnational corporations, have
continued, with Pres. Aquino categorically giving the go-signal for it
on October 20, 2011. The question then is why are we still funding
CAFGUs and SCAAs?” she asked.
Karapatan’s research showed
the Oplan Bayanihan budget, with at least a total of P162 billion, is
allocated in various government agencies.
Palabay explained the
inclusion of the proposed budgets of the National Intelligence
Coordinating Agency (NICA), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the
Peace Process (OPAPP), National Security Council (NSC) and of some
specific projects as in the case of PAMANA in the overall budget of
Oplan Bayanihan “because these agencies and programs are conduits in
the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan’s components, specifically the
psy-ops and intelligence aspects.”
Oplan Bayanihan Fund
2014 (proposed budget)
of National Defense (DND)
National Police (DILG)
for Peace and Order Councils (DILG)
Local Integration Program (DILG)
Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA)
of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
Security Council (NSC)
(allocated in various government line agencies)
Funds (allocated in various line agencies)
PNP-DILG,DND and NICA allocations)
“The Filipino people deserve
better than a government that is repressive and corrupt. It is the
people’s right to have access to health services, to medical
attention, to attend school and to better education and, to decent
housing at the very least. We can no longer tolerate a government that
has nothing to offer the people but PR spins and catchphrases of
goodwill while violating the people’s rights at the same time,”