87IB hands over a
Philippine hawk eagle to DENR
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 15, 2014
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The 87th Infantry (Hinirang) Battalion, Philippine
Army handed over to DENR Samar a captured Philippine Hawk Eagle in a
ceremony held at 87IB Headquarters, Brgy Polangi, Calbiga, Samar.
The captured Philippine Hawk
Eagle was formally handed over by Maj Gen Jet B Velarmino, Commander
of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division and Lt Col Antonio B.
Dulnuan, Commanding Officer of 87IB to Mr. Danilo A Javier, DENR
Regional Technical Director, Protected Area, Wildlife and Coastal Zone
Management Service based at Tacloban City.
The Philippine Hawk Eagle
estimated to be five months old when found by the troops conducting
assessment at the hinterlands of Pinabacdao-Sta Rita, Samar area on
the effects of the super typhoon Yolanda after it struck the country
on November 8, 2013.
The troops named the bird “MURAYAW”,
a Waray-Waray word which means “Peace” and nursed its leg wounds for
four (4) months. After the bird regained its strength, Lt Col. Dulnuan
directed his troops to contact DENR and arranged for the bird’s turn
over for its eventual return to the wild where it belongs.
Maj Gen Jet B. Velarmino AFP,
the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division said: “While our primary
mandate is to protect the people from threat groups, we are fully
aware of the national government on its environmental conservation
programs and as such, we always provide necessary assistance to DENR.
The handing over of the Philippine Hawk Eagle to DENR that was nursed
by the 87IB for four (4) months is a manifestation of our support to
the environment conservation program of the government.”
“The people in Eastern
Visayas can rest assured that your Army in this part of the country is
not only looking after the welfare and protection of the people from
the NPA rebels, but is also looking after the welfare and protection
of our environment, he added.”
program is new DOE’s scheme for poor to subsidize the rich – TUCP
April 15, 2014
QUEZON CITY –
Describing the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) as "the poor
subsidizing the very rich,’’ the Trade Union Congress of the
Philippines (TUCP) expressed strong opposition to the program that the
Department of Energy (DOE) will operationalize with MERALCO once the
"red alert" level indicating a power supply deficit is reached this
Under the ILP, large
commercial and industrial corporations, including malls, will run
their own generator sets to power up their energy needs for their
air-conditioning, lighting and operations as a solution to the
anticipated power shortage this summer. This will free-up power supply
that MERALCO can use to service the captive residential households and
small enterprises within the MERALCO franchise area. Those ILP
participants running their own generator sets – the most expensive
power source – will then pass through their fuel and maintenance costs
to the MERALCO consumers.
“Why are MERALCO residential
customers going to be made to pay for power they did not use and never
consumed in their households? Powering up the malls through their own
generators is not a cost incurred by MERALCO that we, the household
consumers, actually ended up using. Why will we be made to pay for the
air-conditioning of the SM and Robinsons Malls? Anong pakialam natin
kung patakbuhin nila o hindi ang mga aircon nila? Kailan naging
utang-na-loob natin sa SM o Robinsons na kailangan tayo bilang mga
customer ng MERALCO ang singilin para sa air-conditioning nila?”
Gerard Seno, executive vice president of Associated Labor Unions-TUCP.
He said that this is
tantamount to a direct subsidy from the mostly poor and middle-class
customers of MERALCO to the participating industries like SM Malls and
Robinson Malls owned respectively by the Sy and Gokongwei families.
“This appears to be a wily
scheme that will benefit most the big shopping mall owners like Henry
Sy, Jr. of SM Group and John Gokongwei, Jr. of Robinsons Group who
both hold controlling shares in the power industry,” said Mendoza. “We
believe that in times of crisis, ALL must sacrifice and ALL must bear
the burden. This means including the big businesses, the commercial
and industrial sector, not just the poor hapless residential
consumers,” added Seno.
Henry Sy, Jr. is also the
owner of One Taipan Holdings which owns 30% of the National Grid
Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) that has monopoly in the
transmission sector in the power industry in the Philippines. John
Gokongwei, Jr. on the other hand now owns 27.1% shares in MERALCO
which were previously held by the Ramon Ang-led San Miguel.
TUCP slammed the scheme,
questioning its legality as it has not even gone through the due
process of a public hearing at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
“It is as if Meralco and DOE have not learned some lessons from the
automatic rate increase last December, it is as if walang natutunan
and here they go again implementing a scheme without consulting the
public who again be made to shell out hard-earned money for power they
are not even directly consuming. ERC created rules on ILP for Visayas
and Mindanao. There are no rules for Luzon and yet Meralco is rushing
this, he added.
"We remind both Government
and these oligarchs that capitalism without risk is not part of the
social contract. Consumers are not supposed to assume all risks and
expenses of the business owners. Consumers never agreed to be their
insurers against all risks,” said TUCP Executive Director Luis Corral.
“Malls run airconditioning
through their own generators at their own cost during brownouts
because that is the commercial come-on for them to bring hordes of
customers in from whom they will earn profits hands over fist. In the
past, they ran their generator sets – without being subsidized by
Meralco consumers. But now that these mall operators are also in the
power business they want to earn both ways – in fact, in all ways
possible – with all costs passed through to the captive MERALCO
DOE is now giving these
businesses a very special “license to kill.” Pinapaalala namin na si
Juan dela Cruz ay hindi charitable institution para sagutin ang lahat
ng gastusin ng MERALCO at ng power industry. Ano sila sinusuwerte?”
Corral warned that the
dominant position of the Sy, Gokongwei and Manny Pangilinan groups in
the power industry and their equally dominant role in the telecoms,
real estate, retail and hospital sectors make ILP rife with
"What is DOE thinking? Even
the Pangilinan-led TV 5 and Smart Communications will qualify as ILP
participants. Consumers will be bled dry on all fronts by a
price-gouging MERALCO and by all these ILP participants pretending to
do us a good deed. They are not doing MERALCO consumers any favors
because they are just really trying to double or triple their profits
at our expense" he added.
“Why will MERALCO
residential customers have to pay for the electricity that SM and
Robinsons will use for their airconditioning and lighting? When did
subsidizing the already hefty profit margins of SM and Robinsons malls
become a social good?” maintained Corral.
Corral also expressed
apprehension as to why the DOE has even deigned to look at the ILP as
a solution to the power shortage problem, instead of setting up
strategies and policies to ensure the stable and long-term supply of
electricity in the country. "When MERALCO management spectacularly
failed to ensure alternative supply for the prescheduled Malampaya
shutdown last December, its automatic solution was to charge to the
consumers the expensive power it got from the Wholesale Electricity
Spot Market (WESM). Now, MERALCO will again make our hapless consumers
serve as the insurers and fall guy to cover and answer for all their
policy failings and management errors in their highly profitable power
“The power companies and big
corporations of Sy, Gokongwei, and Pangilinan are not sacrificing,
they continue to benefit and are behaving like vultures trying to
double their profit during the crisis while the rest of us suffer the
double whammy of the heat and the high price of electricity," stressed
NPAs harass a CAFGU
detachment in Catarman, Northern Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 15, 2014
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – New People’s Army operating in Northern Samar
harassed a CAFGU detachment at Brgy, San Pascual, Catarman, Northern
Samar at around 10:35 a.m. on April 14, 2014.
Based on the report from the
803rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army more or less 10 NPAs
positioned themselves 200 to 300 meters from the detachment and
started shooting. The CAFGU and military personnel assigned in the
detachment did not return fire as the rebels immediately ran away
after firing few rounds. No one was reported hurt on both sides.
Troops under the 803rd
Infantry Brigade were immediately dispatched and are currently
conducting pursuit operation against the NPA rebels that fired at the
When reached for comment,
Col. Herminigildo C. Aquino, the Commander of the 803rd Infantry
Brigade said: “The action of the NPAs in Northern Samar is an act of
desperation since they were not able to launch any significant
tactical offensives in Northern Samar before, during or after their
45th anniversary on March 29, 2014.”
“While we are inviting the
rebels to return to the mainstream of the society and spend their
productive years nurturing their families thereby contributing to
peace and progress of Northern Samar Province, we remain committed to
ensure the security and well-being of our people,” he added.
8 Nagkaisa Labor Day Demands:
asks BIR to enhance fringe benefits & minimum wage tax exempt for
workers for Labor Day
April 14, 2014
QUEZON CITY – A
coalition of labor groups called Nagkaisa had asked the Bureau of
Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares to approve their
proposal to enhance the current fringe benefits and improve taxes on
minimum wage received by employees as part of Aquino administration
overtures for workers on May 1 Labor day.
Trade Union Congress of the
Philippines (TUCP) spokesman Alan Tanjusay said the idea is part the
eight issues finalized April 9 between Nagkaisa and select members of
the cabinet in a series of dialogues since 2012 for approval of
President Aquino on or before the traditional May 1 Labor day
breakfast with labor sector in Malacanang Palace. He said the group
believed these issues were the agenda in a cabinet meeting with Aquino
Friday last week.
Employees Association (PALEA) president Gerry Rivera said Nagkaisa is
pushing for Henares to impose tax only on the incremental amount of
the negotiated minimum wage and not the entire amount itself.
"If union workers, for
example, were able to successfully negotiate for a P10 wage increase
on top of their minimum of P500 a day, we want only the added P10 to
be taxed and not the entire P510," Rivera said adding: "we desire it
to be like this in reverence of and to preserve the sanctity of
collective bargaining negotiations between the worker and his
employer. It's useless to negotiate for a higher wage if the entire
amount is taxed."
At the same time, he said
the Nagkaisa is also campaigning for BIR to revise the current version
of the de minimis fringe benefits enjoyed by unionized or regularized
Not subject to any tax, the
de minimis benefits are facilities or privileges given or offered by
an employer to its employees but such are relatively small value but
offered or given by employers as a means of promoting the workers'
health, company goodwill, contentment or efficiency of its employees.
The Nagkaisa proposal is to
revise the (1) monetized unused vacation leave credits from the
current 10 days to 15 days; (2) retain the monetized value of vacation
and sick leave credits paid to government officials and employees; (3)
medical cash allowance to dependents from P750 to P1,500 per employee
per month; (4) rice subsidy from P1,500 to P2,500 or 1 sack of 50kg of
rice per month; (5) uniform and clothing allowance from P4,000 to
P6,000 per year; (6) actual medical assistance – e.g. medical
allowance to cover medical and healthcare needs, annual medical
executive check-up, maternity assistance and routine consultation from
P10,000 to P15,000; (7) laundry allowance from P300 to P900; (8)
employees achievement awards in the form of tangible personal property
other than cash gift or gift certificate with annual value not
exceeding P10,000 to P15,000; (9) gifts given during Christmas and
major anniversary celebrations from P5,000 to P10,000 per year per
employee; and (10) daily meal allowance for overtime work and
night/graveyard shift from 25% to 34% of the basic minimum wage per
"If the proposed revisions
are approved by BIR, it will encourage more employers to provide
fringe benefits to their employees. On one hand, the employees will be
happy. And if employees are happy, then they will be more productive
and loyal to the company," said Sonny Matula, president of the
Federation of Free Workers (FFW).
Bukluran ng Manggagawang
Pilipino (BMP) president Leody de Guzman, said that apart from
enhancement of tax exemptions, the Nagkaisa is also pressuring for
Aquino to criminalize and eliminate contractualization of labor,
enhance labor rights by deterring union-busting and actively prosecute
extrajudicial killings of labor organizers and journalists,
institutionalize core labor standards in the agro-industrial plan,
address affordability and supply sufficiency of power, reform key
provisions of EPIRA law, labor representation in the Energy Regulatory
Commission (ERC), provide affordable housing program and non-violent
transfer of urban poor communities from danger zones, ratification of
ILO Convention 151 – a convention concerning protection of the right
to organize and procedures for determining conditions for employment
in the government service, approve into law the Freedom of Information
measure and ensure a jobs-led and workers' sector participation in the
planning and implementation of programs of the rehabilitation and
reconstruction of Yolanda-hit areas.
Aside from the TUCP, some of
the more than 40 other members of the Nagkaisa coalition is the
Associated Labor Unions (ALU), Sentro, Alliance of Progressive Labor
(APL), Partido Manggagawa (PM), Federation of Free Workers (FFW),
Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), Bukluran ng
Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Philippine Government Employees
Association (PGEA), Association of Genuine Labor Organizations (AGLO),
Kilusan ng Maralitang Obrero (KAMAO), Confederation of Independent
Unions (CIU), Philippine Airlines Employee Association (PALEA).
8ID gains heavily
against the NPA rebels during 1st quarter 2014
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 14, 2014
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army scored
heavily against the New People’s Army rebels operating in Eastern
Visayas during the 1st quarter of 2014.
Based from 8ID
accomplishment record for the 1st quarter 2014, the NPA rebels
suffered blows in all fronts. On manpower, twenty six (26) rebels
surrendered, seven (7) were arrested and one (1) was killed during an
encounter, for a total of 34 rebels neutralized. On the part of the
8ID, one (1) soldier was killed in action, while two (2) were wounded
in action. On firearms, troops recovered five (5) high powered
firearms and fourteen (14) low powered firearms. Government forces
incurred no loss during the period.
8ID was also able to hand
over five (5) of the twenty six (26) towns of Samar Province and ten
(10) of the twenty four (24) towns of Northern Samar Province to their
LGUs as Manageable Conflict-Affected and Development-Ready areas (MCADR)
which is a manifestation that the NPA rebels have lost their influence
in these 15 towns that were handed over.
The provinces of Samar and
Northern Samar in their entirety are scheduled to be handed over by
8ID to their respective provincial peace and order councils in June
2014 and December 2014 as MCADR areas.
In their desperate attempt
to offset their setbacks and woes the rebels resorted to killing
innocent people compounding their violations against people’s rights.
During the period, the rebels perpetrated murders against four (4)
innocent and hapless civilians. The NPA murdered one (1) former rebel,
one (1) civilian, one (1) Cafgu Active Auxilliary or CAA and one (1)
Army reservist. These commissions of heinous crimes by the NPA rebels
will further alienate them from the people who already resent their
Maj Gen Jet B. Velarmino AFP,
Commander of the 8th Infantry Division said: “As the timeline of 8ID
to accomplish its mission to create an environment conducive to peace
and development for the whole of Eastern Visayas is nearing, we expect
strong resistance from the rebels to defend their dwindling
strongholds. But the rebels will not be able to stop the inevitable.”
“In the coming months, we
will press on with the fight but we welcome peaceful resolution to
this armed conflict being waged by the NPA rebels. To pre-empt
violence, we invite all stakeholders to get involved in winning the
peace by pressuring the rebels to return to the mainstream and to
abandon armed struggle. We all need peace for the security and
well-being of our people and sustainable development in the region,”
VP Binay - PHL no
pushover, will defend territories "to the last blood"
By OVP Media
April 11, 2014
MANILA – Vice
President Jejomar C. Binay said Thursday evening that the Philippines
is no "pushover" and will defend its disputed territories to the last
blood, but only after all peaceful means have been exhausted.
"Up to the last blood. I
think that must be our position. That we are ready to die up to the
"But as much as possible, we
will always resort to peaceful means," the Vice President said after
meeting some of the Marines stationed at the Ayungin Shoal detachment.
1Lt Mike C. Pelotera, TSgt
Julio Ventoza, Pfc Mario Gerlene Pajarillo, Cpl Rogelio Tabilisma,
Tsgt Joselito D. Panganiban, and Sgt Edwin Galvan, members of the "Ayungin
9," met with Binay to relate their experiences at the BRP Sierra Madre
stationed at the disputed shoal. The other members who were unable to
meet with Binay are Pfc Ryan Esteban, Sgt. Rey Sarmiento, and Cpl.
Sheffrey T. Luna.
The "Ayungin 9" were
replaced by fresh troops during the March 29 mission twice blocked by
According to Binay, the fact
that the Philippine Navy was able to send replacements to defend the
shoal sends the message that the Philippines will always assert its
The Vice President also
expressed his pride at the actions of his fellow Marines, adding that
all Filipinos should be "very proud" of their heroism. Binay is a
reserve Marine colonel.
"Kita mo naman iyong
sacrifice doon. Katulad nito five months ito na-delay pa, dapat three
months lang. Pero sabi nga, sundalo ay sundalo. Walang iyakan. I think
when they were assigned there, that was in compliance with the order,
so the order must have to be defended by all means," he said.
Binay also expressed hope
that relations between the Philippines and China will continue even
while the issue of sovereignty over the territories is being resolved.
He acknowledged that the resolution of the issue will take time.
DOH: health, major strategy
for poverty reduction
Ona inaugurates new
hospital buildings in Romblon
By PICO Romblon
April 11, 2014
ODIONGAN, Romblon –
Secretary of Health Enrique T. Ona, with Romblon Governor Eduardo C.
Firmalo, Vice Governor Jose R. Riano and Congressman Eleandro Jesus F.
Madrona, alongside regional and provincial officials, unveiled the new
buildings at the Romblon Provincial Hospital, constructed under the
Department of Health's (DOH) Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP).
The objective of the HFEP
program is to upgrade health facilities and provide training to health
professionals, and improve access of people to quality health care
services. It also aims to enhance the delivery of basic, essential,
and specialized health services in the community.
The hospital was upgraded
and modernized under the DOH-HFEP program with an allotment of
P138,243,162.27 in 2010 and 2011 for Phase 1 of the project.
It included the repair of
the emergency room and intensive care unit, and the construction of a
two-storey building for patients' wards, surgery and obstetrics,
out-patient department, x-ray and additional offices for hospital
staff. In 2012, it received an additional P118,499,301 and
P140,000,000 for Phase 2 of the project.
In his inauguration speech,
universal health care champion Ona stressed that health is part of the
major strategy for poverty reduction and inclusive growth which shall
be felt by the poorest of the poor.
"Government hospitals are
for the people and if one does not like to be admitted or confined in
such facilities, then there must be something wrong. In short, whether
it is a government or private hospital, it must be best for all – the
services must be the same, the facilities must be, in terms of
diagnosis and curative aspects, must be the same. This concept is
affirmed today, that public hospitals are not dilapidated but
presentable," Ona said.
The health chief was hailed
"Father of Modern Health Facilities of the Philippines" by the
newly-appointed DOH-MIMAROPA Regional Director, Dr. Eduardo Januario.
The Romblon Provincial
Hospital is a Level 1 health facility, with a 75-bed capacity and a 63
percent bed occupancy rate. It is operated by the provincial
government of Romblon.
According to hospital
records, there were a total of 4,883 admissions in 2013, excluding the
newborn. It also administered a total of 378 newborn screening tests,
and discharged a total of 4,749 patients (alive). It provided
in-patient service to a total of 17,250 patients. It caters to an
average of 45 patients daily.
Among its existing ancillary
services includes a clinical laboratory for blood services, pharmacy,
diagnosis, and x-ray and ultrasound services.
"We thank the national
government through the DOH for supporting our health programs
especially facility development which is a vital necessity for a
geographically isolated and disadvantaged area (GIDA) like the
archipelagic province of Romblon," said Governor Eduardo C. Firmalo, a
medical doctor himself.
"One of our top priorities
is health as embodied in our program H.E.A.R.T. (health, education and
environment, agriculture, revenue generation, tourism, transparency
and true public service) all for the people of Romblon towards
sustainable and inclusive development," added Firmalo.
Lone district of Romblon
Representative Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona expressed his happiness that
Firmalo managed to encourage private doctors to become consultants for
"We need this kind of
facility and we want our people to have the best health care through
this facility towards a better life and we will support any measure
that will increase the salary rates of our doctors," Madrona said.
Madrona assured that the
funding for the Phase 3 of the hospital shall be appropriated in the
2015 national budget.
With a population of
289,867, Romblon is one of the provinces under DOH Region IV-B.
According to the region’s 2013 Vital Health Indices, the province has
a 19.68% (5,706) live birth and 5.32% (1,541) death rate. The leading
causes of mortality in the province are heart diseases, pneumonia,
cancer, cerebro vascular accidents, and hypertension.
"This hospital is the symbol
of hope for the people of Romblon' proof of the Aquino
administration's commitment to the universal health care program for
all," said Hospital Chief Dr. Benedict Anatalio.
Also inaugurated were the
Romblon Blood Collection Unit and the Conference Hall.
Other personalities present
during the ceremonies were the vice mayors of Romblon, barangay
officials of Odiongan town, Provincial Health Officer Ederlina
Aguirre, and various health workers in the province.