Domingo Diaz as he presented updates on the Bangon Mini-Farms
Project during the Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting at Brgy.
Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte on October 9, 2014.
Bangon to grow
vegetables for bigger market this month
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
October 9, 2014
KANANGA, Leyte –
Director Domingo Diaz, member of the Board of Directors of Land Bank
of the Philippines (LBP), said Bangon will be planting vegetables for
Gaisano supermarket by third week of October.
This was what Diaz stressed
during the Board of Trustees meeting of the Bangon Mini-Farms Alpha
Sector Association, Inc. (BMFASAI), held at the headquarters of the
19th Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte on Thursday,
The meeting was attended by
a total of 25 individuals which comprised of cluster heads, LBP and
military personnel who had been advocating the program since January
“Once satisfied with the
quality of our vegetables during our first test delivery on December,
Bangon will be regularly supplying Gaisano supermarket on a weekly
basis”, Diaz said.
Diaz who is also a member of
the Bangon Board of Trustees is confident that their produce will be
patronized by would-be markets, after seeing the quality of vegetables
displayed in leading supermarkets in Tacloban and Ormoc City.
While plans to supply
institutional markets is about to jumpstart, Mr. Gil Carandang, the
Father of Philippine Organic Farming and a Bangon Trustee, is
enjoining all of its farmer-partners to also venture on growing
vegetables for local markets.
Carandang encourages members
to sell their vegetables in designated Bangon Chain of Farmer’s
Markets such as one located at the headquarters of the Army’s 802nd
Infantry Brigade in Camp Downes, Ormoc City as other institutional
markets are still being developed.
The Bangon Mini-Farms Alpha
Sector Association Inc. has at least 10 clusters with a total of 428
farmer-partners in selected parts of Leyte province.
With this recent
development, Bangon will be crafting a master plan which shall aim to
reach its objective to end hunger and poverty, one farmer-family at a
time by November next year.
Groups reveal gov’t
plan to dispose Canada waste in PHL
October 9, 2014
MANILA – In a damning
exposé of the government’s lack of political will, environmental and
public health groups held a press conference today to uncover the plan
of government agencies to dispose of the illegally dumped Canadian
toxic wastes in the Philippines.
The groups revealed that
several government agencies led by the Department of Foreign Affairs,
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Bureau of Customs
are keen on disposing the illegally dumped Canadian toxic waste in the
country instead of fighting to have it sent back to Canada for
violating international law.
"I will not tolerate this
matter sitting down. As a legislator, I filed for a Congressional
Inquiry in aid of legislation the unlawful importation of the 50
container vans filled with garbage. Clearly, this (dumping of wastes
in our country) is a reflection of our dignity as a nation,” said Rep.
Leah Paquiz of AngNars Party-list.
Earlier this year, the
Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized 50 container vans containing various
waste materials and hazardous wastes imported from Canada, with the
consignee Chronic Plastics, Inc. declaring the shipment as ‘assorted
scrap plastic materials for recycling’. Last month, 16 container vans
have been sent to Subic Port to ease the congested Port of Manila.
“The unauthorized movement
of the illegal shipments to Subic is proof that plans are afoot to
have the waste shipments disposed in country. The letter from the DENR
reinforces and confirms this duplicitous intent on the part of our
government authorities. We find it outrageous that the primary
government agency mandated to protect the environment is the main
instigator of the proposal to have these illegal waste shipments
disposed of in our shores. Why should Filipino taxpayers bear the
burden associated with this illegal shipment?” said Von Hernandez,
President of EcoWaste Coalition and Executive Director of Greenpeace
“This government proposal
sends a signal to unscrupulous and illegal waste traders to ship their
unwanted junk to the Philippines. There can be no compromises here,
this garbage shipment must be sent back to Canada, its country of
origin. The Philippine government must do everything it can to prevent
these incidents from happening ever again in the future, and it can
start doing that by ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment.” Hernandez
The groups decry that
allowing the toxic waste shipment to be disposed of in Philippine
territory will set a wrong precedent for other countries to follow
suit. They fear that the country is being primed to be the world’s
toxic waste dumping site in the guise of “green jobs” for recycling.
“Illegal toxic waste trade
is an international crime. It is no different from dealing in illegal
drugs, endangered species, and other forms of trade that the
international community has deemed noxious,” explained Atty. Richard
Gutierrez, Executive Director of BAN Toxics.
“Why our government is even
contemplating on accepting these illegal wastes when international law
is behind us is exasperating,” Gutierrez added.
The importation violates a
number of local laws such as the DENR Administrative Order 28 (Interim
Guidelines for the Importation of Recyclable Materials Containing
Hazardous Substances) and Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid
Waste Management Act of 2000.
It also violates the Basel
Convention, which prohibits illegal toxic waste trade and mandates
such trade to be considered a criminal act. The Convention also
requires the exporting country, in this case Canada, to return the
illegally seized shipment and to pay the costs for the return.
“Pick up your garbage
Canada, and show us the decency that we so rightfully deserve as a
nation. My motherland is not a garbage bin of Canada," Paquiz said.
In an effort to gain public
attention on the issue, the coalition filed an online petition on
change.org that drew 23,600 signers, more than half of which are
Canadians. The group is encouraging more people to sign the online
petition to appeal and urge the Canadian embassy in the Philippines to
facilitate the pick up and return of the garbage back to the Canadian
Joining AngNars, BAN Toxics,
Greenpeace Southeast Asia, and Ecowaste Coalition are Mother Earth
Foundation, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Green
Convergence, and the Ateneo School of Government.
Cebuanos reject GE
‘Golden’ rice anew, calls support for Ecological Agriculture
October 8, 2014
CEBU CITY – At the
People’s Forum on Ecological Agriculture held today in Cebu City, more
than 400 leaders representing various farming group, women and youth
organizations, consumer and health advocates have declared strong
opposition against genetically modified ‘Golden’ rice and called on
the Department of Agriculture to protect their crops from possible
contamination with genetically modified organisms (GMO).
The renewed call was
supported by Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale and 3rd District Board
Member Gigi Sanchez along with other local government and
municipalities of the province. Vice Gov. Magpale in her message
recalled that most of the concerns surrounding GMOs relates to their
potential for negative effects on the human health. “Over a decade
ago, there was an attempt to apply GMOs to crops for mass production,
but this was rejected due to its destructive effects,” she said.
Vice Governor Magpale
pointed out that the second highest budgetary priority of Cebu
province is to agriculture and food production. The thrust of the
present capitol administration is to ensure food security and to
ensure that what we grow, market, buy, cook, feed, serve and eat are
food that are not chemically laden and are non-GMOs.
Urging everyone to fight
GMOs, Magpale said, “let us join hands and declare war against GMOs
for a safe and healthy agricultural food production for Cebuanos.”
In 2013, Greenpeace has
found GMO contamination in white corn sold in various markets in
Sultan Kudarat. Cebuanos who are white corn eaters are wary that GMO
contamination has reached Cebu and endangers their traditional
heirloom variety called Tiniguib.
Environmental releases of
GMOs, whether through field trials or commercial propagation, leads to
contamination which undermines the choice of farmers not to plant and
consumers not to eat GMOs.
White corn eaters especially
diabetics prefer Tiniguib because of its low glycemic index. Farmers
on the other hand favor this variety for its longer shelf life
enabling farmers to keep and continue replanting them without the need
to buy seeds again for planting which is often the case for GMOs and
hybrids. With Tiniguib, farmers’ food, nutrition and source of income
“Farming has been my main
source of income, but I practice organic and diversified farming. This
ensures that the variety of crops I produce will be safe and healthy
to be eaten by people, including my own family,” said Mario Manaban, a
farmer from Carcar City. “There have been offers for me to plant GMO
seeds, saying it will boost my production and provide higher yield
from my farm. But I rejected the offer because there are just so many
uncertainties and risks linked to these GMOs.”
Aside from genetically
modified corn, another GM crop about to be planted and tested in the
Philippines is ‘Golden’ rice, touted to help solve Vitamin A
deficiency and address world hunger.
GM proponents have also
marketed GMOs as economically viable to local farmers. Greenpeace and
other groups disprove this, saying how many farmers worldwide have
been trapped into an endless cycle of dependency and debt from these
powerful agro-chemical corporations. Recently, the ongoing Farmer
Scientists Training Program (FSTP), known for using only Philippine
varieties of white corn cultivated for food, explained how the
domestically-grown open pollinated variety (OPV) of white corn is now
massively propagated by farmers for its high yield, with the seeds
only costing between P20-25 per kilo, compared to the genetically
modified Bt corn seeds which cost P100-150 per kilo.
“Government should support
and promote Ecological Agriculture to farmers, instead of offering
seeds and technologies from agrochemical companies,” stressed Praxides
Embalzado of #GMO Free Cebu.
Unlike genetically modified
organisms, Ecological Agriculture taps into ecological systems and
natural processes to produce food sustainably, making use of natural
and organic fertilizers; diversified farming methods like
intercropping; and the use of cultural, traditional and natural
methods to control pests. Working in harmony with nature, ecological
agriculture boosts Filipino farmers’ livelihood and provides people
with health and nutrition benefits.
“Ecological Agriculture is
the only way to ensure food and nutrition security among Filipinos,”
said Daniel Ocampo, Ecological Agriculture Campaigner for Greenpeace.
“Even the recent UN Study has shown that only small-scale organic
agriculture will feed the world in the future, not these risky GMOs”
McDonald's and RMHC
celebrate 40 years of supporting children and families
McDonald's and its customers
across the globe support charity with donation of change and join
social media conversation with hashtag #forRMHC
October 7, 2014
OAK BROOK, IL – Even
before Caleb Kinnaird was born, it was likely that he would need a
heart transplant. But at 20 months old, the transplant became a
reality, and the Kinnairds were faced with getting their youngest son
the care he needed at a hospital an hour away from home. The
opportunity to stay at a local Ronald McDonald House gave the
Kinnairds the gift of time together when they needed it most. Staying
at a Ronald McDonald House meant they could be there for all the
painful, scary and upsetting moments for Caleb -- and celebrate all
the small strides as well. Nearly one year later, Caleb is happy and
healthy, and the Kinnaird family will never forget the loving home
away from home the Ronald McDonald house provided.
This October, McDonald's and
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) are celebrating 40 years of
dedication to children's happiness and well-being with a renewed call
for donations to directly benefit families, like the Kinnairds, who
need it most. A social media campaign beginning Oct. 8 will also
encourage consumers to show their support by using #forRMHC to share
RMHC-related stories and photos and increase awareness around the
mission of the Charity. As red and white stripes are the visual cue
for RMHC, consumers are asked to share a photo wearing stripes using #forRMHC.
As the largest corporate
donor to RMHC, McDonald's restaurants will be hosting a variety of
different initiatives all around the world to further support and
celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the first Ronald
McDonald House, all starting on or around Oct. 15th. For example, the
United States will host the 'RMHC Day of Change' where customers are
encouraged to collect and donate their change in RMHC Donation Boxes
located on the front counters and drive thrus of participating
"Some people may think a
handful of spare change is insignificant, but every penny counts when
we're making an impact on the lives of children and families going
through challenging times," said J.C. Gonzalez-Mendez, president and
CEO, RMHC. "In fact, last year alone McDonald's customers generously
gave more than $50 million through the RMHC Donation Box programs
worldwide, which could have helped to provide a 'home away from home'
to more than 8,000 families each night. And this year, if each
McDonald's customer dropped a penny into an RMHC Donation Box each
time they visited, the Charity could raise more than $250 million to
support RMHC children and families globally."
McDonald's partnership with
RMHC began in 1974 with one child, Kim Hill, who battled leukemia. The
Hill family's struggle to remain close to their daughter while
receiving treatment inspired one doctor, one professional football
team, one community and McDonald's, to create and build the first
Ronald McDonald House, located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Ronald McDonald House
Charities (RMHC), with the support of the McDonald's system and other
corporate and individual donors, offers programs and provides services
to approximately 9 million children and their families in nearly 62
countries and regions around the world each year. Each day, 20,000
families benefit from RMHC family-centered programs, such as the
Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room, which
collectively saves them more than $649 million in meal and lodging
Each donation to the Charity
helps fund the creation and support of programs that provide stability
and vital resources to families when they need it most. All RMHC-operated
and supported programs provide access to quality health care and give
children and families the time they need together to heal and cope
Purisima chance to
be honest has passed, must be charged
By Bukluran ng Manggagawang
October 6, 2014
QUEZON CITY – A
militant labor group assailed national police chief Allan Purisima and
called his “open house” invitation to the members of the press as an
attempt to cover-up his non-declaration and dishonesty in his
Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
“The mere fact that his
Nueva Ecija estate and poultry farm were not declared in his SALN is
already in direct violation of Republic Act 6713. There is no more use
for the people to view the contents of his house, Gie Relova of
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) insisted.
“The admission of his
non-declaration of properties and construction of the White House in
Camp Crame only came after people from Aparri to Jolo knew about it
watching Ted Failon’s show. His succeeding and defensive statements
even before the Senate and attempts to project “simplicity” of
lifestyle must be considered moot and academic,” Relova added.
The BMP leader suggested
that the controversial general to “do the honorable. Lying to a single
public document is tantamount to lying to the entire nation”.
The labor group reiterated
its call for all public officials to “disclose all” and no longer wait
for lifestyle check be implemented or charges be filed before them or
even an expose by the media. The call to “disclose all” was made
during the height of the impeachment case against former Chief Justice
“It is their sworn duty to
the tax-paying public to be above-board everyday till the day they
retire from public office then it is also logical for them to be
forthright in their annual declarations,” he added.
The militant leader also
took a swipe at the agencies like the Office of the Ombudsman. He
claimed that the agency is “again sitting in its fat ass” for taking
so much time before taking the appropriate administrative measures and
civil charges filed.
“Why has Purisima not been
charged? Why are they allowing a graft case to be “eaten alive” by a
Senate Committee and members of the press before they start acting
upon their mandate?. Their inaction is inexcusable, he said.”
Relova cited that even
former Chief Justice Renato Corona was treated as an ordinary public
“The same heavy-handed
treatment must be used against Purisima. No exception, even if
President Aquino has vouched for him. Aquino is not the law, contrary
to what he thinks he is, Relova asserted”.
for increase in teachers' salaries and benefits
By Office of the Senate
October 4, 2014
PASAY CITY – Better
pay leads to quality education.
Recognizing the important
role of educators in improving the quality of education in the
country, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter “Companero” S. Cayetano is
pushing anew for the immediate passage of a measure that would provide
at the very least P10,000 as additional support and compensation to
public school teachers.
“Coming from a family of
teachers, I very well understand the plight of our educators,
especially those who belong to the public school system. They are the
backbone of our country’s future yet they do not receive the monetary
benefits to commensurate their contributions to our society,” Cayetano
said, in celebration of World Teachers Day today, October 5.
Juliana Cabrera Luna, was a public school teacher at Pateros
Elementary School. His mother, Sandra, was a pre-school directress and
teacher while his father, the late Senator Rene “Compañero” Cayetano,
taught in Law in Lyceum of the Philippines and brother Congressman
Lino taught in U.P. College of Mass Communication.
Senate Bill 94, which he
authored, will primarily benefit public school teachers,
locally-funded teachers, Philippine Science High School System
teaching and non-teaching personnel, and non-teaching personnel of the
Department of Education (DepEd), excluding those occupying positions
from salary grade level 30 upwards.
Once approved, the bill will
give teachers additional compensation of P9,000, support in the form
of allowances and other remuneration from local school board funds, a
P1,000 allowance for medical check-up per year, and a bonus to answer
for the unpaid benefits granted by the Magna Carta for Public School
“Teachers mold the Filipino
youth into becoming responsible citizens. We are who we are, in part,
because of our teachers. To my colleagues in the Senate, let us show
our gratitude to our educators by approving Senate Bill 94,” the
Cayetano also cited a World
Bank study which described teachers as the single most important
factor in the performance of students.
“Better pay for teachers is
equal to better quality education. At hindi tayo mapapagod sa
pagsulong sa kalidad na edukasyon para sa kabataang Pilipino.”
Cayetano said, scoring the government’s inaction because of graft and
“Lately we are seeing action
(good projects) but with massive corruption. Naniniwala tayo na
maraming makikinabang kapag may aksyon na walang korupsyon,” he
forms national organizing committee for Papal Visit
October 3, 2014
MALACAÑANG, Manila –
President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed the mobilization of
government resources to ensure the smooth and orderly visit of His
Holiness Pope Francis in the Philippines on January 15 to 19, 2015.
In Memorandum Circular No.
72, President Aquino ordered the creation of the Papal Visit
2015-National Organizing Committee (PV-NOC) for the state visit of the
Roman Pontiff to coordinate all preparations for this occasion of
great significance to the Filipino people.
“As instructed by President
Aquino, all heads of the different government departments, local
governments as well as the private sectors are encouraged to
participate and coordinate all efforts to make sure that the visit of
His Holiness in our country next year will be well organized and
peaceful,” Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Friday.
The PV-NOC will be chaired
by the Executive Secretary and vice-chaired by the Secretary of the
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Its members will include the
Secretaries of the Departments of National Defense (DND), the Interior
and Local Government (DILG), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Health
(DOH), Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Tourism (DOT), and
the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO); the Armed
Forces Chief of Staff, National Police Chief, and Metropolitan Manila
Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman.
The PV-NOC is tasked to take
up all government participation and responses in connection with the
visit of the Pope, and ensure efficient coordination among public and
private sectors, particularly with the Central Committee of the
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP); peace and
order; and the traffic management plan for the transportation of
persons and goods during the event.
The Central Committee of the
CBCP is at the helm of managing and coordinating all religious and
civil plans and activities of the Papal Visit.
MC No. 72 likewise called
for the establishment of the two local Executive Committees – EXECOM-Manila
and EXECOM-Leyte – in the areas of engagement of His Holiness Pope
Francis. The EXECOMs will serve as the on-site full-time, day-to-day
operations arms of the PV-NOC.
The EXECOM-Manila will be
led by an Undersecretary in the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES).
Its members will include the Undersecretaries of the DFA, DND, DILG,
DPWH, DOH, DOTC, DOT, and PCOO; Chief of the Presidential Protocol
Office; representatives from the OP, the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and MMDA;
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager;
Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander; and head of the
The EXECOM-Leyte, on the
other hand, will be led by an Undersecretary in the OES with members
including the Regional Director of the PNP, Commander of the AFP
Central Command, Regional Directors of the DOTC and DPWH, PSG Security
Task Action Group Commander-Leyte, and a representative from the
MC No. 72 shall take effect
immediately and until the conclusion of the Papal Visit in January