Cite DAP and other workers’ issues as
grounds for ouster
group calls for the ouster of Aquino
By Bukluran ng Manggagawang
July 14, 2014
QUEZON CITY – A labor
group has joined the crescendo of peoples’ organizations calling for
the ouster of President Noynoy Aquino from office, this came after
Aquino refused to accept the resignation of Butch Abad as Secretary
Budget and Management over the public uproar on their Disbursement
Acceleration Program (DAP).
Workers under the militant
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) bearing axes made out of
cardboards, streamers and placards with “Patalsikin si Aquino, Itakwil
ang gobyernong elitista” and “Abad, arkitekto ng DAP, Aquino,
mastermind ng DAP” slogans held a protest action at Department of
Budget and Management and also at Mendiola Bridge to call for the
ouster of both DAP signatories.
“Even before the Supreme
Court’s decision on the DAP, workers and the toiling masses have long
been suffering heavily from Aquino’s economic policies. For the
wage-earners, Aquino’s DAP is just the icing on the cake. We can no
longer stomach another day with him at the helm”, said Leody De
Guzman, national chairman of BMP, in an e-mailed statement to the
“For the past four years,
Aquino’s regime exacerbated the already extremely miserable conditions
of workers with the legitimization of contractualization, stagnant
wages, double-digit unemployment rates, abandonment of social services
and policies that placed profits of private companies over peoples’
interests,” De Guzman cited as the deep-seated issues that founded
BMP’s position to call for Aquino’s ouster.
On the DAP’s Impact on Economy
The BMP leader explained
that the intoxicating mantra of Palace officials and allies in the
Batasan Pambansa that the DAP was “implemented in good faith” and that
it “benefitted the economy” is a mere pretense to paint a picture of
the nation’s economic and political health.
impact of his DAP on the economy does not translate to living wages,
job security and recognition of our constitutionally guaranteed
rights. Aquino may fool anyone but he will not fool the lowly
wage-earners for they are the ones who have religiously paid their
taxes and yet get nothing in return from this corruption-riddled
government,” he added.
De Guzman claimed that if
there were any direct beneficiaries of the DAP; these would be the
cronies and relatives of Aquino who were generously awarded with
abundant government contracts. He also pushed for the full-disclosure
of the bidding process and transactions with private companies and
individuals that were awarded with projects from DAP funds.
Abad’s Moro-Moro Resignation
On Abad’s resignation from
the Budget post, the labor group called it a “moro-moro”, explaining
that it was merely the administration’s ploy to cleanse their guilt in
public and end the public outcry for accountability.
“To begin with, Aquino has
no moral ascendancy to neither accept nor reject Abad’s resignation,
given that both of them are implementers and signatories to the
illegal disbursement of public funds. More importantly, they willfully
hid it from the public and used it to undermine both the legislative
and judiciary branches, De Guzman asserted.
On Aquino’s Public Address
Meantime, reacting to the
Palace announcement that Aquino shall address the public Monday night,
Anthony Barnedo of Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod
implied that, “No amount of hijacking of the airwaves will be able to
discourage the poor and desolate from continuously pouring into the
streets and set in motion Aquino’s ouster from office”.
The groups expect Aquino to
unleash a bundle of falsified government statistics, motherhood
statements and shallow reforms to justify the usage of unused funds.
Barnedo averred that, “We
expect Aquino will falsely claim and attribute the positive
developments in the economy in the past four years to his DAP and his
economic policies. If there is anyone who should take credit for the
economic growth, it should be no less than the back-breaking toil of
the laborers and farmers and the remittances of overseas contract
“Aquino and cohorts are but
shameless freeloaders,” the urban poor leader maintained.
held Mountain Bike Challenge in Catbalogan City
By DPAO, 8ID PA
July 13, 2014
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division recently held a Mountain
Bike Challenge in Catbalogan City as a prelude in celebration of its
26th Founding Anniversary on Aug 1, 2014.
The mountain bike challenge
has 12.1 kilometers circuit and runs along the rugged terrain along
the vicinity of Headquarters 8ID and Catbalogan City.
The mountain bike challenge
has 58 mountain biker participants composed of 40 bikers from the Army
led by Maj. Gen Jet B. Velarmino, Commander 8ID and 18 civilians. The
race started at 5:00 a.m. The first finisher clocked-in 26.7 minutes.
The following were the top
ten participants: Mark Johncine Abay - 1st, Benjamin D. Solarte - 2nd,
Henry T. Castillo - 3rd, Raymar M. Cruz - 4th, Major Angelo D. Malaran
- 5th, Pfc Ardel P. Calvintos - 6th, Sergeant Aris M. Gacula - 7th,
Corporal Reyno B. Marines - 8th, Private First Class Gerome D. Lebiste
- 9th and Pernito A. Zeta Jr. - 10th. The top ten finishers were
awarded with trophies by Maj. Gen Velarmino after the race.
Other sporting challenge
slated to be conducted at Headquarters 8ID are: Badminton Competition - July 20,
2014; Shooting competition dubbed as “Band of Brothers Shooting
Events” - July 26, 2014 and Lawn Tennis Fellowship - July 27, 2014.
kicks-off with a mountain trail run competition
By DPAO, 8ID PA
July 13, 2014
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– The 8th Infantry Division conducted the “Stormtroopers Trail Run” on
July 12, 2014 as a prelude to a series of activities in celebration of
its 26th Founding Anniversary on August 1, 2014.
The 9.1 kms trail run
circuit was designed along the trails and ridges passing along the
hills adjacent to Headquarters 8ID and Catbalogan City.
163 runners participated in
the challenging running event composed of running enthusiasts from
Catbalogan City and personnel of 8ID. Gun start was at exactly 5:30
a.m. The first finisher clocked-in at 48 minutes.
The following were the top 5
male and female participants. For the male category: Mc Allan Latoja -
1st, Captain Albert P Guloy - 2nd, Richard O. Oblino - 3rd, Corporal
Rolando Villa - 4th and Private First Class Ranny Rodrigito - 5th.
For the female category:
Leonila Tan - 1st, Mary Grace Solarte - 2nd, Marilyn Solobayba - 3rd,
Ethyl Marie Cailo - 4th, Corporal Dally Lagawad - 5th.
The top 5 male and female
participants were given trophies as top finishers of the competition
by no less than the Commander of the 8ID, Major General Jet B
Velarmino AFP in a simple awarding ceremony at the finish line.
For most of the participants
who experienced the trail run for the first time, the excitement was
the challenge of the terrain, and the experience of enjoying the joy
of running with mother nature.
Yolanda Heroism Award
By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
July 12, 2014
TACLOBAN CITY – Do
you have a personal story to tell of witnessing or benefitting from
the heroism or bravery of people during Super Typhoon Yolanda and its
immediate aftermath? If so, now is the chance to let the world know,
through the Yolanda Heroism Award of the Department of the Interior
and Local Government (DILG) Region 8.
The award, which seeks to
recognize people who risked their lives in the service of the
community during the brunt of Super Typhoon Yolanda and to glorify
exemplars of the virtues of courage, selflessness, gallantry, bravery
worthy of emulation, will be conferred by DILG-8 in time for the first
anniversary of the typhoon on November 8, 2014.
Nominations, which shall be
for two categories: Acts of Valor and Acts of a Good Samaritan, is
already open and will last until the end of July, said DILG-8 Regional
Director Pedro A. Noval Jr., who conceptualized the award. Winners
will receive both plaques of citations and a soon-to-be-determined
“In many ways, the storm,
which was the strongest ever to hit land, tested the resolve and
character of the people. The award is thus a fitting tribute to the
individuals who performed extreme acts of selflessness and sacrifice
during and after Yolanda,” said Dir. Noval.
According to the guidelines,
DILG Regional Memo Circular 2014-02, a “Hero” who must be present in a
severely affected Barangay, Municipality or City during the Super
Typhoon Yolanda, may be nominated several times by multiple people. To
be eligible for selection for the Yolanda Heroism Award, a nominated
Hero must either be a private, local or government official(s) and
employee(s) who meet either of the categories.
Acts of Valor. The
recognition is given where the evidence presented shows that he or she
saved human life at extreme risk to self. “Extreme risk” shall mean of
greatest severity to one’s self or even at the cost of his/her life.
The nominator will give consideration to resourcefulness and heroism
demonstrated during the rescue operation.
A major point to consider in
this category is the number of lives saved from the water surge,
debris, and raging wind during super typhoon. This award may be
conferred posthumously, in behalf of the deceased nominee, to his/her
legal heir or nearest kin.
Acts of a Good Samaritan.
The award recognizes notable acts of service that need not involve
attempts of rescue or risk to self but has shown/performed extreme
acts of selflessness and sacrifice. The individual has performed an
act of service of rare or exceptional character that reflects an
uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.
The acts may include
emergency relief/assistance such as, first- aid, food, clothing,
temporary shelter, and such other acts that may lessen the impact of
the disaster to the victim right after the typhoon. The length of time
or number of hours/days of service may vary according to the need for
The major point to consider
here is the number of individuals or families who were accorded help
and their general condition, stated the DILG Regional Director.
The Regional Selection
Committee shall be led by the DILG-8 Regional Director, with a civil
society organization partner from the religious sector as Vice Chair.
The rest of the panel will be composed of the Regional Directors of
DOH, DSWD, DEPED, and a media representative. A similar setup will be
followed at the provincial level, said Dir. Noval.
A nominator must be at least
18 years old who has a personal/actual knowledge/account of the
incident, an eyewitness or a rescued/assisted victim. All Nominations
shall be forwarded to the local government unit(LGU) concerned duly
noted by the LCE and shall then be recommended by the Parish Priest
for submission to the Provincial Screening Committee (PSC).
According to Dir. Noval, a
nominator may only nominate one Hero and there shall be no
self-nominations. Nominations must be submitted on behalf of another
person who is not a member of the nominee’s immediate family. The
nominator must provide the contact information, including email
address and telephone number (whenever available) for the nominated
Hero. The nominator must have been physically present in the Yolanda
affected LGU during the Typhoon.
The nominator bears the
responsibility to write a summary of the event and complete the
application in detail that pertains to the case (Please refer to the
basic factors to highlight in the nomination write-up), using the
prescribed YHA Nomination Form-01 with attached supporting documents,
such as: Rescued/Assisted Person’s Statement; Eyewitness Statement;
with accompanying photos or video, if any. Likewise the nominator must
submit nominations either in English or in the local language.
Nominators are asked to tell
the story about the incident or the nominee in an inspirational,
compelling manner that can in turn be told to the community.
“Make sure to give details
about how your Hero has dedicated his/her life during the Super
Typhoon Yolanda so as to inspire other people,“ said Dir. Noval. They
are also asked to include as much facts and supportive data as
possible, including how many people their Hero has impacted or how
many hours of service they have committed.
For details and copies of
the nomination forms, interested parties may visit the concerned DILG
municipal or city office or the DILG Regional Office at Kanhuraw Hill,
Tacloban City with tel. no. 321-2060 or 832-0894.
Download Guidelines and Nomination Form here
TUCP slams Petilla
for inutility on brownouts, world class rates; proposes declaration of
national emergency on power to address problem once and for all
July 12, 2014
QUEZON CITY – The
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) chided Energy Secretary
Petilla for his being inability to address brownouts and increasing
The group, instead, proposes
a declaration of national emergency on power so that the country will
cease being a victim of the vicious cycle.
TUCP described the “red
alert” status issued by the Department of Energy, warning as to
insufficient supply this weekend as the tip of the iceberg.
“Our ship-of-state is
sailing full speed ahead, in a collision course with the twin -peak
iceberg of lack of power and MERALCO’s never-ending price increases.
The DOE is placing our economic take-off at risk and is setting the
stage for an impending economic meltdown,” said TUCP Executive
Director Luis Corral.
“The TUCP requests that the
DOE Secretary to call a spade a spade and advice President Aquino that
there is now an emergency in the power sector, requiring a
multi-agency response with clear directions from the President, “said
The labor center in a
two-hour audience with President Aquino this April 30 requested the
President to declare an emergency and establish a multi-agency group
under him to address the power crisis. The DOE instead set up a task
force study group which the TUCP and labor coalition Nagkaisa.
Corral laid the
responsibility with the DOE for not laying down clear policy
parameters and accompanying strategies to ensure secure power supply
or to define competitive rates.
“The DOE doesn’t have these
two items which can be technically defined by engineers, financial
analysts and industry practitioners. In the absence of crisis
leadership, electric power policy is veering from one Supreme Court
case, still unresolved, to a new Supreme Court case, from ERC caps on
a supposedly free-market activity to a more complex two price-cap
mechanism and now to a pitiful DOE Task Force on Power Rates whose
arcane and complex debates are further obscuring one central fact:
That power Philippine Power Policy is in this climate of drift is
firmly in the hands of a socially irresponsible and financially greedy
power generation sector,” he explained.
In the midst of this,
consumers are supposed to rely on the oversight of an Energy
Regulatory Commission headed by the Napoles-challenged Zeny Ducut,”
said TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
“While there is a lack of
secure and reliable supply, government should step in to put up
additional capacity. If bilateral contracts between power distributors
and generators will better lower rates and approximate true costs,
then suspend the WESM until a technically developed percentage of
supply reserve is set up to engender real competition. If there is
cheap hydropower available during the rainy season, then run it
instead of keeping it as ancillary reserve while the more expensive
coal and oil plants are run,” Tanjusay said.
He said this can be done
without need of amending EPIRA,” All it takes is Presidential courage
to announce an emergency and the need for a national response. Then
all the players can be prodded, cajoled and otherwise mobilized to
restore sanity to the electricity industry."
The TUCP also called for an
end to “blue skies” wishful thinking that somehow the DOE target to
increase solar from 50 Megawatts to 500 Megawatts, will ease the
burden of the supply deficit.
Solar has at best an
efficiency capacity at best of 20%, 500 MW really means 100 MW and
that will never be large enough or reliable enough to be base load for
large industries. Also, this will be done with a feed-in-tariff that
will jack up rates by an average of 18 centavos per kWh for the next
"Solar seems to be the
flavor of the month, Two years ago the flavor was privatizing the
power barges and last year it was pushing generation sets. In Mindanao
DOE could have rehabilitated the Agus Pulangui hydro-electric complex
as demanded by Mindanawons, they did not , so the UP experts are
predicting 200 plus days of brownouts for Mindanao next year. In the
meantime the DOE rushed implementation of the Retail Competition and
Open Access program which we fear will further drive up rates for the
captive residential households of MERALCO,” Corral added.
TUCP attributes the deflated
5.9% GDP growth rate in the first quarter as being driven by
insecurity of businesses in our power supply. TUCP also attributed the
inflation rate of 4.7% in May, the highest in 30 months, on the
spiraling cost of power. They said energy officials preen with
confidence about the manageability of our power crisis and yet we are
made to pay for their failure of political leadership.
The labor group said the
country is hit by the triple whammy of spiraling costs of goods and
commodities, an interruptible load program that allows Robinson's and
SM to power up their generators to energize the lights and
air-conditioning of their malls when there are NCR brownouts and be
able to charge it to MERALCO customers, and now the real threat of
retrenchments because businesses are losing because of no power and
high power costs.
TUCP has warned that the
ASEAN Integration come 2015 requires a clear energy roadmap. "A
wrong-headed energy roadmap will be fatal to all other industry
roadmaps. If there is no power, there will be no investors and there
will be no jobs," Tanjusay said.
committee summons Abad to explain DAP
By Office of Senator Chiz
July 11, 2014
PASAY CITY – The Senate
Committee on Finance has summoned Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch”
Abad to explain before a public hearing scheduled for July 21 the
controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
The committee hearing is the
continuation of the previous proceedings by the Senate that were
suspended out of courtesy to the Supreme Court, which was then
deliberating the various challenges questioning the legality of the
DAP. The high court declared parts of the government’s spending
Senator Chiz Escudero,
chairman of the finance committee, has directed the secretary of the
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to submit to the Senate
panel the complete list of the all the Special Allotment Release
Orders or SARO that were disbursed under the DAP, including
“projects/purpose and the amount of the releases.”
“You have been asking us
which among our programs and projects were funded by the DAP… This is
what we have been asking the DBM too since our last committee hearing:
where is the list?” Escudero pointed out.
Escudero wanted Abad to
clarify reports that total disbursed funds under the DAP amounted to
P372 billion, which did not tally with the list provided by the budget
department. “What DBM gave to the committee only amounted to over P200
According to Escudero, he
would also ask Abad to identify the fund releases under the DAP that
were considered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
“If we want to scrutinize
the DAP releases under the guidance of the SC decision, we need all
the papers that only DBM can provide. We are entering the budget
season and on the part of the finance committee, we are carefully
studying the court decision to ensure that the next budget we will be
crafting and approving will be compliant with the Supreme Court
decision on the DAP,” Escudero said.
Calbayog City now a
Manageable Conflict-affected and Development-ready Area
By DPAO, 8ID PA
July 10, 2014
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– In a ceremony conducted on July 9, 2014 at Calbayog City Convention
Center, the Peace and Order Council (POC) of Calbayog City declared
the city as Manageable Conflict-affected and Development-ready (MCADR).
The ceremony was attended by
Hon. Ronaldo P. Aquino, Mayor of Calbayog City; Rev. Niceas Abenoja of
Calbayog City Diocese; Ms. Imelda C. Bonifacio, PAMANA Regional
Manager of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Peace Process;
BGen. Wilson M. Leyva AFP, Commander 801st Infantry Brigade, other
local officials of Calbayog City and military and police officers. The
declaration of the City as MCADR was a symbol of desire of the
Calbayognon’s for peace and progress.
The declaration means that
the basic issues that beset the people were already addressed by the
City and concerned government agencies. It also means that the NPA
rebel’s interference to the economic activity in the City is already
negligible and can be easily address by the PNP.
Commenting on the
declaration of Calbayog City as MCADR, Brig. Gen. Leyva said, “We
should recognize the effort of all the barangay chairmen of Calbayog
City, the POC, the PNP, our soldiers and the people in the barangays
for without them and their contribution, the much awaited declaration
of Calbayog city as MCADR could not have been possible.”
“The joint effort of the
stakeholders depicted the treasured tradition of the Filipino people
which is the true spirit of working together or “Bayanihan”. Let us
not rest in our laurels, let us sustain the momentum, let us continue
what we started and do not let the peace that we worked for be taken
from our grasp again,” Leyva added.
Army encounters NPA,
recovers assorted firearms
By DPAO, 8ID PA
July 10, 2014
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Army troops operating in Northern Samar encountered seven (7) NPA
members in an operation conducted at Brgy. Acedillo, Victoria,
Northern Samar on the dawn of July 8, 2014.
According to Lt. Col. Arvin
R. Lagamon, Commanding Officer of the 63rd Infantry Battalion, the
presence of said armed men was reported by a concerned citizen at Brgy.
While approaching said
barangay to verify the report however, the government troops were
fired upon by suspected NPA member prompting the troops to fire back.
A brief firefight ensued afterwhich the rebels immediately withdrew.
The encounter resulted to
the recovery of one caliber .38 revolver, one caliber .38 pistol, two
home-made 12 gauge shotguns and assorted ammunitions inside a vacated
house occupied by the rebels. There was no reported casualty on both
Meanwhile, a certain Ronald
Francisco, aka “Gaga” believed to be among the NPA group encountered
by the government troops was positively identified by a concerned
citizen from the same place. The suspect was arrested and was placed
under the custody of Victoria PNP for further investigation. Follow-up
operation against the fleeing rebels is ongoing as of press time.
Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino,
Commander of the 8th Infantry Division lauded his troops for the
success of the operation. “I commend the officers and men of the 63IB
for the successful operation. I also would like to express my
appreciation to the peace-loving citizen of Brgy. Acedillo who
reported the NPA presence in their community”.
“It is high time that all
stakeholders, especially in far-flung areas to voice out their
objection on the NPA presence in their communities. The message is
very clear in Brgy Acedillo, NPAs are not welcome in their community.
As the Commander of your Army in the region, I assure everyone that if
we work hand in hand, we can flush out the remnants of NPA rebels from
your communities and end their overdue terrorizing presence,” Velarmino said.