security plan on Pope’s visit next year
By RPCRD, Police Regional
September 12, 2014
CAMP RUPERTO K KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – Eastern Visayas is eagerly awaiting the coming of
His Highness Pope Francis next year from January 15-19. Police
Regional Office is now intensifying its security plan to ensure the
peace and order of the momentous event.
PRO8 Regional Director,
PCSupt. Henry P. Losañes expresses his optimism that Pope’s Visit in
January will be very peaceful and orderly one. He said that
augmentation forces which are approximately three thousand PNP
personnel to include personnel who are handling administrative
functions will be deployed to secure the safety of the Pope and other
visitors, both domestic and international.
Around 1 to 2 million people
are expected to attend the High Mass which he will officiate. The
Archdiocese of Palo has yet to announce the venue of the Pope’s Mass.
Reports have indicated that the Pope will be visiting areas devastated
by super typhoon Yolanda. Initial meetings have been conducted between
the church, the police and the local officials to ensure everybody’s
safety. The Pope is likewise expected to visit the Palo Metropolitan
Cathedral which is now under renovation after it was heavily damaged
by ST Yolanda last year.
Traffic Plan during the
visit was discussed during the Coordinating Conference last September
11, 2014 at PRO8 Conference Room.
Other significant matters
were the following: Traffic flow; Camping and parking area which will
be in first come, first serve basis at the Government Center, Brgy
Candahug and Youth Camp fronting Andoks at Brgy. Pawing, Palo, Leyte.
Tents will also be installed for the visitors, Decals will be issued
to all vehicles which will be used as convoy and color coding will be
implemented for the VIPs. Strictly, no parking from Coca Cola junction
to Palo, Leyte, a tow truck will be available to clear the areas where
parking is prohibited. Umbrellas are not allowed around the venue.
Vehicles traveling from San
Juanico Bridge going to Ormoc City will take the Tigbao to Sta. Fe
route and those from Tanuaun, Leyte can pass thru the Government
Center and Vice Versa. Passengers can be picked up or unloaded along
this route but parking will not be allowed. All commercial flights are
expected to be cancelled during the visit. PNP personnel and other
force multipliers will be deployed along the said routes.
The influx of people who
will be coming to the region to witness the Papal Visit presents an
opportunity to lawless elements and threat groups, who may take
advantage of the situation however, the Police, the Church and the
local officials, will undertake police operations and other
security-related activities and/or measures to ensure the success as
well as the orderly and peaceful visit of the Pope.
Awards receives 295 nominations
By MARDA JOYCE M. RAYCO
September 12, 2014
CEBU CITY – The Ramon
Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) has received 295 nominations for the
6th run of the RAFI Triennial Awards, 97 of which were for the
Outstanding Institution category while the rest were for the Exemplary
Of the 295 nominees, only 98
accepted the nomination and submitted their documents for screening;
thirty-four of these were for the Outstanding Institution category,
and the remaining 64 were for the Exemplary Individual category.
In September, the RTA
Internal Screening Working Group (ISWG), which is composed of RAFI
employees and officers, would evaluate and identify the top 30
nominees per category. The remaining 60 nominees would then be
endorsed to the RTA Search Committee, which would further screen the
list to come up with the seven semi-finalists per category.
Field validations by the
ISWG and RAFI’s external field partners would follow for most of the
last quarter of 2014 and early next year. The awarding ceremony is
slated in June 2015.
Mel Yan, RAFI for
Citizenship, Leadership and Governance senior program officer, shared
that recognizing those who exemplify in uplifting communities is not
just the goal of the award-giving body. RTA was also created to share
the stories of these people and organizations to inspire others and
get people to support the cause, initiative or advocacy they are
“We want to tell the whole
world, that in the Philippines – the Visayas and Mindanao in
particular – there are people and institutions out there that are
doing good work for the community and contributing to community
development. The purpose of the Triennial Awards is to tell stories
and to tell good news,” he said.
The Triennial Awards which
is conferred every three years, recognizes individuals and
institutions who have contributed to community development and who
shares the ideals and beliefs of the founders of RAFI, Don Ramon
Aboitiz and his son Don Eduardo Aboitiz.
commissioner at Arctic sea ice edge to appeal for global climate
September 11, 2014
– As the Arctic sea ice reaches its lowest extent of the year,
Filipino climate commissioner Naderev “Yeb” Saño is at the ice edge
with Greenpeace to demand that world leaders take action on climate
change at the upcoming summit in New York.
“I was born over 8500
kilometers from the North Pole, and yet I have come to realize that my
future, and the future of my country, is tied to the fate of the
melting Arctic,” said Saño, speaking from the ice edge north of
Svalbard. “The science is clear that climate change could mean more
frequent and more intense extreme weather. It is countries like the
Philippines that feel the immediate effects of climate change. I
appeal to the world's leaders at the climate summit in New York to take
actions to protect the Arctic, and cut fossil fuel emissions that are
driving climate change,” said Yeb Saño.
Yeb Saño is a climate change commissioner and negotiator for the
Philippines at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC). Saño caught global attention after an emotional
speech at the UN's climate meeting in Warsaw in November 2013, during
typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Overnight, he became a voice for
climate-impacted nations on the urgent need to address climate change.
“What I am seeing here in the Arctic is something that is in danger of
being lost forever. It is quite clear that burning fossil fuels is the
chief cause of climate change, and the Arctic is at the very center of
this man-made crisis. If the world wishes to avert the most
catastrophic impacts of climate change, we must rapidly transition to
a clean energy future, and abandon crazy projects like oil drilling in
the Arctic,” said Yeb Saño.
The seven summers with the lowest minimum sea ice extents have all
occurred in the last seven years. Current ice conditions suggest that
this year is highly unlikely to match the record low level of sea ice
extent we saw in the Arctic in 2012. However, the level is likely to
be considerably below the long term average, and is consistent with a
dramatic collapse in ice extent that has been witnessed in recent
years. The sea ice is expected to reach its yearly minimum in the
Yeb Saño has signed the Arctic Declaration, a ten point charter for
Arctic protection to tackle climate change and to establish an Arctic
Sanctuary on top of the world. He is also seeking climate justice on
behalf of climate-impacted nations like the Philippines, which had
been devastated by super typhoons Bopha and Haiyan. He began his
Arctic tour with the Greenpeace ship Esperanza from Longyearbyen, the
major port on Svalbard, Norway, situated at 78 degrees north latitude.
Yeb Saño is onboard until September 12.
Chiz on zero-based
budgeting approach: I don’t see it happening
By Office of Senator Chiz
September 10, 2014
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero said he was dubious about the zero-based budgeting (ZBB)
of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and feared that
government agencies were unable to comply with the budget approach put
in place in 2010 by the Aquino administration.
In the budget hearing of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Sept. 8,
Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said that while
the ZBB sounded good, "in practice, I don't see it happening in
According to DBM, through
ZBB, programs and projects that will be identified inefficient and
ineffective will be terminated and scaled down. On the other hand,
those that are still capable of delivering the predetermined end
result, especially if the projects directly affect the poor, will be
given additional budget.
However, Escudero explained
that if the government agencies were given a price ceiling--the
maximum price that a seller can charge for a product or service--that
perhaps they can work on while preparing their budget proposals, and
if there was a need to adjust their programs appropriately, then they
will do the same per region and each region will probably do the same
He further said there was an
urgent need to identify how much it costs for a department or agency
to build or create one unit of product or service, known as per unit
cost, in order to see a more vivid structure of the budget.
“If it’s indeed zero-based
budgeting then I guess all of you can answer me how much is the per
unit cost of doing anything in government. That’s why it is zero-based
so I get to find out how much does it cost me,” Escudero said.
“How much does it cost
government to secure the Filipinos from criminals? How much does it
cost the government to secure us against external threats through AFP?
For example, we can only secure X number of our population because
this is how much it actually costs to secure the lives and property of
our citizens,” Escudero explained. “It is the same on the part of DENR.
How much does it cost to monitor soil, water and air? How much does it
cost to plant a tree, maintain it and protect it until its sturdy
enough to grow on its own?” he asked.
However, DBM Director
Teresita Salud said ZBB was an approach in budgeting and did not
literally mean zero.
“We are not saying it will
start from zero, but determining exactly the efficiency or
effectiveness of a particular program or project. If that is so, we
may be able to support this project or program to be able to achieve
its objective,” Salud said. “Such that we are not into the unit cost,
actually, we are into performance base. So at any rate, unit cost is
also determines when we budget, such that we would know exactly how
much will go to what particular activity or program,” said the
director on how DBM sees the ZBB approach.
Despite DBM’s explanation,
Escudero is insistent in getting DENR’s per unit cost in order to see
a clearer view of their budget, particularly on the National Greening
Program (NGP)-established plantations, which according to the
Commission on Audit (COA) findings were not monitored and
non-compliant with the NGP requirements during validation.
The DENR is operating under
its P23 billion budget this year. However, for Fiscal Year 2015, its
budget was reduced to P21 billion since the agency had unfinished
With no solution in
sight, power crisis will spillover 2016 - TUCP
September 9, 2014
QUEZON CITY – Without
an acceptable and genuine national strategy addressing the forthcoming
energy crisis in 2015, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP)
is seeing more brownouts to happen in 2016.
TUCP warned that the real
extent of the problem will kick in 2016 and beyond if the current
Department of Energy (DOE) secretary resort to quick fix and expensive
band aid solutions such as renting power barges and generator sets,
gas turbines and effect the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) – a
program by the DOE allowing malls to run their generator sets with
consumers paying for their maintenance and operation costs.
Under these schemes, TUCP
insists the generating companies and their distribution utility will
merrily do their supply and demand games while continuously burdening
consumers with high power rates and more brownouts. The implications
for workers who will be laid off, for jobs that will never be created,
for imperiled businessmen, and for the poor consumers are disaster.
“We are alarmed at the
silence of the government to directly and genuinely address the power
crisis. The silence of Secretary Petilla is deafening. After his
‘emergency powers’ call was made, he is now backpedalling and trying
to portray the problem as less than it is. Either he is the ‘boy who
cried wolf’ or simply trying to place a band-aid fix because he was
unable to make a case for surgery to the president, he clearly has not
grasped the true extent of the problem,” said TUCP executive director
Corral warned that the ILP
program is just a stopgap measure. He said Meralco customers will now
be financially obligated to cover the costs for Messrs. Sy and
Gokongwei running their mall generators for their own use on the
theory that by freeing Meralco to keep the lights on in other areas
that these oligarchs are doing consumers a favor.
“We are going to end up
subsidizing their malls. But the 2015 power deficit is just the tip of
the iceberg. The failure of both the DOE to address the policy gap now
makes it inevitable that the crisis will repeat itself in 2016 and
onwards,” Corral emphasized.
The major policy gap is that
government does not incentivize the entry of additional and cheaper
power capacity if it continues to allow Meralco to enter ‘sweetheart’
bilateral contracts from their preferred suppliers which will always
mean low reserves to ensure high power rates.
To bring in genuine
competition and additional supply, TUCP is proposing that there is
enough leeway in EPIRA for DOE to mandate that henceforth all the
distribution utilities such as the market-dominant Meralco,
controlling 74%of the Luzon market, to source their power supply every
3 years from international public bidding held under the supervision
of the DOE and ERC.
TUCP suspects Meralco is
again behind the power crisis. Meralco allegedly hostaged its
consumers to their Redondo coal plant supplier in Subic. When the 600
MW coal plant was stymied by the Supreme Court issuance of Writ of
Kalikasan and the objections of environmental groups, Meralco could
have chosen 2 to 3 years ago to take their supply from AES Masinloc
which also wanted to set up 600 MW plant or even from GN Power in
Quezon. Instead they insisted on Redondo.
With 74% of the market share
in Luzon, Meralco is proverbial ‘only game in town’ and if they chose
any other source, this would have prevented the power shortfall for
2015. “Our call is therefore to clip this self-serving option of their
subject the choice of who will supply them to international public
bidding under DOE supervision,” he added.
Cayetano: Pour more
funds outside Metro Manila
By Office of the Senate
September 9, 2014
PASAY CITY – Senate
Majority Leader Alan Peter “Companero” S. Cayetano is pushing for a
massive infusion of government resources and infrastructure funds into
the development of regions outside Metro Manila as a way to address
the congestion problem in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“This has been the answer
that was given to us: the way to solve congestion in Metro Manila is
to build, build, and build; more, more, and more. That is what makes
it ridiculous. If you have a house na punong puno na, ang tama bang
sagot ay hatiin ang kwarto? Hindi ba ang solusyon is to buy another
house o palakihin mo ang lote mo?” he said.
Stressing that billions of
pesos are being lost due to traffic in NCR every day, Cayetano noted
that the NCR-centric policy of the government is the primary reason
why Metro Manila is already congested and why other regions in the
country continue to experience slow development.
“There are 19,137 Filipinos
per square kilometer in Metro Manila, ganoon kadami ang tao dito. Ang
pinakamalapit nang bilang ay sa Calabarzon, which only has 758 people
per sq.km. The rest, ang average is around 300 per sq.km. Karamihan
nasa Metro Manila na,” he said.
“The solution to
decongesting Metro Manila ay hindi ang pinapakita sa telebisyon na mga
bagong kalye, bagong skyway. Hindi yun ang solusyon. Lalo lang sisikip
ang NCR. Ang solusyon ay gawin ang mga projects na yan sa labas ng
Metro Manila,” he added.
Citing data from the Chamber
of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI), Cayetano
noted that around 230,000 to 250,000 vehicles will be purchased in the
country next year, 58 percent of which will be filling up the
already-congested streets of Metro Manila.
“100,000 new cars entered
this year in Metro Manila. Add the 100,000 next year, for a total of
2.2 million vehicles in Metro Manila every year na gumagala, kaya
traffic. Hindi dahil sa [provincial] buses kung hindi sa dami ng
sasakyan. So how would we get inclusive growth? Bakit kasi sa Metro
Manila lang?” he quipped.
Cayetano suggested that a
more feasible solution to decongest NCR is to allot more funds for
infrastructure programs in other regions to encourage people to
consider looking for employment opportunities and moving in to cities
outside the capital region.
He also lamented that many
Filipino families are robbed of opportunities because the biggest
chunk of the national budget pie is allocated to NCR.
In 2013 alone, the National
Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved P184.2 billion
worth of 10 major infrastructure projects, eight of which are located
in NCR. The two other projects are the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply
Project worth P24.4 billion and Mactan Cebu International Airport
Expansion at P17.5 billion.
Cayetano said this stresses
the need for government to promote a more inclusive economic plan that
will allow the implementation of a specific economic strategy for each
of the 17 regions.
“There is no one cure, there
is no one-size-fits-all. Kapag nag-economic planning tayo, dapat may
national vision; may coherent policy. Pero dapat may 17 regional
strategies kung saan ang bawat region ay may strategy at mabibigyan ng
pera,” he said.
8ID commander urges
new scout rangers: Be ready to take on greater responsibility
By DPAO, 8ID PA
September 8, 2014
VICENTE LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Major General Jet B Velarmino,
AFP, Commander, 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army
graced the graduation ceremony of sixty-four (64) students of the
Scout Ranger Course Class 189-2013 at Headquarters, First Scout Ranger
Regiment, SOCOM, PA, Camp Tecson, San Miguel, Bulacan on September 8,
sixty-four (64) students that comprise SRC Class 189-2013 came from
the different units of Philippine Army and Philippine National Police.
After undergoing the tough and rigid preparatory leadership and combat
skills training at Camp Tecson, the students were then deployed here
in Samar last July 14, 2014 to test and hone their skills and
expertise in tactical operations against rebel armed groups operating
in the region.
Notwithstanding their short stint in the area, the class significantly
yielded various accomplishments to include the recovery of two (2)
carbine rifles; capture of enemy camps specifically at Barangay Capoto-an
and Poponton both of Las Navas, Northern Samar.
In his message, Major
General Jet B Velarmino humbly acknowledged the sacrifices made by
each student in undergoing the rigid of the course, “I believe that
there were times in your training that you feel like giving up, as if
you were put into extreme torment, but you never let that overcome
you.” Addressing the families, friends and loved ones of the
graduates, “… you have been the inspiration and motivation of our
graduates. You are the very reason why they have made it this far.”
“Be ready to take on greater
responsibility in fighting against unprincipled individuals who intend
to obliterate the peace and freedom that our nation have”, Velarmino
The Scout Rangers are elite
forces of the Philippine Army. Ranger qualified personnel are
highly-skilled in guerilla warfare able to match the enemy’s cunning,
agility, and combat strategies. Their success in the field of combat
operations is a replete of stories of heroism, sacrifices, and
exceptional combat accomplishments, sometimes beyond the call of duty.
During the program, as a
token of sincere gratitude to the Commander of the 8ID for supporting
the culmination phase of the SRC Class 189-13 training in the
Stormtroopers’ area of responsibility, Major General Velarmino was
conferred as an honorary member of Scout Ranger class 189-13 making
him part of one of the proud and elite forces of the Philippine Army.
former rebel received a check from Gov. Leopoldo Dominico
Petilla during the special PPOC meeting on Tuesday, September 2,
Former rebels get
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
September 5, 2014
KANANGA, Leyte –
Three (3) former rebels get cash assistance during the Provincial
Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting held at Governor’s Hall, Leyte
Provincial Capitol Bldg., Tacloban City on Tuesday, September 2.
The three, whose anonymity
was requested by the Leyte Provincial Social Welfare and Development
Office (PSWDO), received each a total of P75,000.00 worth of checks.
Ms. Gwyndalyn Malate, CLIP
Focal Person said the bounty comprised P65,000 livelihood assistance
from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
and P10,000 basic assistance from the provincial government of Leyte.
The checks were awarded by
Leyte Governor Leopoldo Domico Petilla who hoped the said amount will
be used by the recipients in improving their living conditions. The
governor also accorded one (1) sack of rice and food packs each to the
former rebels who were present during the meeting.
Cpt. Christopher Badong,
Civil Military Operation Officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion based
in Kananga, Leyte, said the recipients surrendered to the military,
after experiencing hardships in the underground movement of New
Board of Trustees Member Romy Ronquillo (fourth from left) leads
donor partners and students and teachers of Maya National High
School in having their photo taken in front of the
newly-constructed school building. (Photo from RAFI-EDU)
RAFI, partners turn
over school buildings
By CELINE AMPARO and
GENEVIEVE CAÑETE, RAFI Comm. Interns
September 5, 2014
CEBU CITY – In
fulfillment of their promise to help Yolanda survivors, The Ramon
Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) and its international partners turned
over five reconstructed classrooms last August 27 in Daanbantayan,
RAFI, in partnership with
Let's Help Philippines, Christ Leather Fashion, Pesch Family &
Friends, Action Calligaro-Mueller Family & Friends, raised funds
amounting to P3.4 Million to rehabilitate the school’s heavily damaged
classrooms after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The international partners
were a group of German businessmen who have long been living and doing
business in the country and have been helping Yolanda survivors
immediately after the devastation through relief operations and
providing housing materials.
School Principal Eva
Casinillo and the students of Maya National High School (NHS) in
Daanbantayan were overjoyed to receive the two-classroom school
building and another three-classroom single-storey building.
Casinillo said she was very
grateful to the donors because not only that the students have their
classrooms back, they now have better ones.
With stronger columns and
beams, elevated flooring, roof insulation, and natural ventilation,
the reconstructed buildings were designed to be disaster-resilient.
Each classroom also has a lavatory, sink, toilet, concaved
blackboards, and two ceiling fans.
During the ribbon-cutting
and unveiling of the marker, the German donors were delighted to see
their names imprinted on the stainless marker, happy that their
efforts were also recognized.
Anthony Dignadice, RAFI
Education Development Unit, said Let’s Help Philippines’ Miranda
Konstantinidou and her employees forewent having a Christmas party
last year and instead had their money donated to their Yolanda relief
Action Calligaro-Muller and
Pesch Family and Friends, on the other hand, are private groups
created after Yolanda hit the Philippines. The groups' objective was
to provide emergency aid to those greatly affected by the super
"They (partners) wanted to
have a long term and sustainable community project to help schools and
children, so they decided to partner with RAFI to help them find a
school," Dignadice said, adding that donor Jurgen Pesch of Christ
Leather Fashion invited the school to have its graduates apply for
work in his company.
Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto
Corro, Vice Mayor Gilbert Arrabis, municipal council member,Maya
Barangay Captain Ali Abucay and barangay council members were also
present to witness the turnover ceremony.
Romy Ronquillo, RAFI Board
of Trustees member, expressed his gratitude to the donor partners,
adding that if non-Filipinos are this generous, he hoped Cebuanos
would also “be like them.”
“One of the good things that
Typhoon Yolanda did was to make the generous people come forward to
provide and offer their help...and the nice thing about this is these
people are foreigners,” Ronquillo said.
Ronquillo further told the
school that the best way to show gratitude to the donors is to take
care of the building and maintain it properly.