participants of the Leyte Bantay Bayanihan Forum held at the
19th Infantry Battalion camp in Brgy. Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte
on April 14, 2015.
Bayanihan holds forum at Army camp in Leyte
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
April 16, 2015
KANANGA, Leyte – A
civil society-led initiative that aims to create an oversight body
over the armed forces, including defense and security policies, holds
its quarterly meeting here on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.
The Leyte-Bantay Bayanihan,
which was successfully launched at the Visayas State University (VSU)
in Baybay City, June 23 last year, facilitated its forum inside 19th
Infantry Battalion’s camp for the first time.
The forum, dubbed as the
“Security Sector-Leyte BB Team Building Activity and Dialogue” was
conducted to pursue partnership with the security sector, particularly
the AFP and to evaluate its implementation of the Internal Peace and
Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan”.
During the forum, Lt. Col.
Nedy Espulgar and Lt. Col. Allan Jose Taguba, battalion commanders of
19IB and 78IB, respectively, presented the “bayanihan” accomplishment
of their units for the first quarter of calendar year 2015.
It was learned that nine out
of 37 municipalities in the province of Leyte were already declared
insurgency-free. The said towns are Matag-ob, Merida, Palompon,
Matalom, Bato, Inopacan, Dulag, Tabon-tabon, and Tabango. Efforts are
already being made to declare other towns as well as cities as
In his message, Col. Dinoh
Dolina, commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade stated that the
military is now giving more emphasis on resolving the root causes of
insurgency. This can be manifested in the military’s various peace and
development initiatives, especially in far flung barangays which are
barely reached by the services of the local government.
“As catalyzers, we tried to
fill the gaps between the communities and the government”, he
stressed. Col. Dolina likewise vowed to fully support the Leyte-Bantay
Bayanihan and its initiatives.
The forum also includes
conflict resolution workshops which Col. Dolina himself and his two
battalion commanders has ably participated in.
Other participants of the
activity were Ms. Imelda Bonifacio, area manager of the Office of the
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), and representatives
from Civil Society Organizations and media networks from Ormoc and
In her presentation, Ms.
Gina Ragudo, the LBB convenor discussed that the core objective of
Bantay Bayanihan is to reform the security sector institutions so that
they are transparent, respectful of the Rule of Law, Human Rights and
International Humanitarian Law, and accountable to democratic civilian
She furthered that “Security
Sector Reform” is an important component of peace building,
democratization and development”.
demolition of encroachments along national roads pursued
By Marianette Y. Gomez and
Donna C. Debuton
April 16, 2015
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways-Samar First District
Engineering Office in Calbayog City strictly enforced its
reacquisition of the road-right-of-way (RROW) in compliance with
Department Order No. 73, series of 2014 “Prohibited Uses within the
Road- Right-of-Way of National Roads”.
According to Engr. Lazana,
Chief of the Maintenance Section, 6,867 structures are identified
within the ten meters limit from the centerline as a result of the
re-inventory undertaken of the encroachments along National Road
within the coverage of the district.
The said encroachments
include stalls, fences, houses, stores, walls, and boxes constructed
within the RROW which obstruct the use of the roads shoulders intended
for pedestrians and motorists.
To make sure for the
complete removal of these obstructions, Undersecretary Raul C. Asis in
memorandum dated 04 March 2015 added two categories as to the
complexity of the removal in the report of inventory which is doable-
for obstructions that can be removed outright and long term- for those
considered as permanent structures.
Timelines in the report will
guide the department in the monitoring of these structures from
various district offices.
tripartite committee to monitor influx of foreign workers
April 14, 2015
QUEZON CITY – The
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa) is
urging the Philippine government to create tripartite committee to
monitor the unabated influx of illegal migrant workers in the country.
The biggest labor group in
the country says the proposed committee is to ensure migrant workers
go through the legal process by complying with the requirements of the
Alien Employment Permit (AEP) at the same time that we wanted them
covered by labor standards, safe working conditions, and lawful wages
The committee is made up of
the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Immigration
(BI), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA),
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Professional
Regulation Commission (PRC), civil society, trade unions, and various
“The influx of migrant
workers is a growing phenomenon in the country today. It is developing
very fast that it immediately needs government oversight to ensure
that labor laws and standards are in place and are working to make
sure there are no abuses and exploitations taking place,” explained
TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
Last year, Senator Mirriam
Defensor-Santiago and TUCP Party-list Rep. Raymond Santiago filed
separate resolutions in the Senate and in the House of Representatives
calling for an investigation of reported influx of illegal migrant
workers into the country, particularly the alleged three thousand
(3,000) unregistered and undocumented Chinese workers who were
deployed in Bataan and Batangas working in certain construction
Tanjusay said they are
anticipating for the respective committee reports and possible policy
recommendations by next month.
line-item budgeting of P70-B BBL funds
By Office of Senator Chiz
April 14, 2015
PASAY CITY – The
proposed Bangsamoro government stands to receive at least P70 billion
during its first fiscal year alone, but Senator Chiz Escudero wants a
line-item budgeting of this allocation just like the appropriation of
every local government unit in the country.
Escudero, whose Senate
Committee on Finance has come out with a breakdown of the total
funding under the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) proposal, said the
spending package could still go up.
“This is just a ballpark
figure. They can impose taxes and fees and charges on their own. They
can explore and exploit natural resources and these have not yet been
factored in,” Escudero explained.
Based on the computation of
the finance committee, P25.2 billion of the P70 billion will come from
the Annual Block Grant; P7 billion from the Special Development Fund;
P1 billion from the Transition Fund; P12.6 billion from the National
Government Subsidy; P19.9 billion from the Internal Revenue Allotment
(IRA); P1.7 billion from the ARMM/Bangsamoro collections; and a
one-time P2.6 billion Normalization Fund.
These allocations, Escudero
said, do not include revenue-generating measures that the Bangsamoro
government is empowered to impose such as taxes and fees.
He said he will push for the
line-item budgeting of this amount during the deliberation of the
proposal in the Senate.
“I don’t question the amount
per se. I have always said that Mindanao should get its fair share
from the government. But we want to know how, where, when and who will
spend this. Will it be beneficial to all Bangsamoro people? Will it go
to where it should go?” Escudero pointed out.
He added: “Let's face it.
The government is providing P70 billion in one swoop, and every
Filipino contributed his or her hard earned money there. We want to
know if this will be spent fairly and judiciously to all Bangsamoro
people, whether they belong with the MILF or not.”
Itemizing the budget, he
further said, will also show redundancy of funding as already shown in
the lump sum proposal.
“The current ARMM-IRA share
for 2015 is at P18 billion. In the additional LGU (local government
unit) under the BBL proposal, there is an additional P1.80 billion
share, which makes the IRA share at P19.8 billion. BBL still wants a
continuous IRA share coming from different parts of the Philippines
even after the law is passed, but the national government will not
have a single centavo share from their IRA,” Escudero explained.
He also debunked the
position of the government peace negotiators that the BBL does not
have a high price tag in terms of budget. He said the Annual Block
Grant alone, which is by far the biggest amount among the breakdown,
seems to have been left out in terms of numbers in the proposal.
“The proposal did not
specify the exact amount of this fund. But take note that under
Article XII, Section 15 of the BBL proposal, the block grant cannot be
lower than the last budget received by the ARMM. For 2015, ARMM
received P25.22 billion,” he said.
“We are pouring in so much
money in the region. What are we, our people, getting out of it?
That’s why we have to study it carefully, specify all items carefully,
fairly and judiciously,” Escudero said.
TUCP submits agenda
for May 1 Labor Day breakfast meeting with PNoy
April 12, 2015
QUEZON CITY – The
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa has submitted to
Malacanang last Friday its proposed discount card and unemployment
insurance programs for minimum-waged workers for approval of President
Aquino on the traditional Labor day breakfast with labor groups in the
palace on May 1.
The group also proposed to
Aquino to approved a majority coconut-farmer administered trust fund
to ensure the proceeds of the P77 billion coco levy are used to
promote jobs in the coconut industry and to set up coco-industrial
hubs, ensure the completion of CARP with respect to lands under
current Notice of Coverage, assist the peasant farmers through
appropriate support measures and financing including trainings,
appropriate technology, and easy-term credit; a return of the subsidy
for MRT and LRT users to cushion rising costs for ordinary workers;
and pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) law.
“We have submitted to
President Aquino our agenda on the May 1 breakfast meeting agenda.
These are what we believe as amelioration programs aimed at empowering
workers to cope with rising cost of living,” said Gerard Seno,
executive vice president.
The measure, under the
proposed Labor Enhancement Assistance Program (LEAP), will assist and
empower the basic sectors include an unemployment insurance policy for
the 3.4 million minimum wage earners providing three months of minimum
wage salary coverage in cases of retrenchment and a minimum discount
card that serves as a voucher or CCT-like program for minimum wage
employees to give them a monthly discount on tuition fees, purchase of
rice, basic food commodities, medicines worth P2,000.
On March 1 to 7 Pulse Asia
Survey on urgent national concerns surfaced that 4 of the top 5
concerns relate to the daily survival needs of ordinary Filipinos. It
showed 46% are crying out at inflation, 44% have said salaries are too
small to cover daily expenses and another 34% said there are no decent
On March 18, the wage board
approved only a measly P15 daily wage increase for the minimum wage in
Metro Manila amid the TUCP-Nagkaisa petition of P136. They said the
government value of the current minimum wage is only P356.64 or
P7,846.08 a monthly salary or P931.92 short of the P8,778 national
poverty threshold set by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for 2014.
Karapatan hits BS
Aquino gov’t neglect of Veloso, OFWs on death row
April 10, 2015
QUEZON CITY –
Philippine human rights group Karapatan denounced the BS Aquino
regime’s gross criminal negligence of overseas Filipino workers on
death row, especially in the case of Mary Jane Veloso.
“We denounce the gross
inability of the Philippine government to protect its citizens who, in
the absence of better opportunities in the country, venture to seek
employment abroad despite immense difficulties,” said Cristina Palabay,
Karapatan secretary general.
According to Migrante
International, Mary Jane Veloso is the eighth OFW put on death row
under B. S. Aquino’s watch. Seven have already been executed before
her, earning for the Aquino regime the stature of having the most
number of OFW executions since the Philippine Labor Export Policy was
hatched in 1970. There are at least 125 more OFWs on death row in
other countries where capital punishment is also imposed.
Veloso has been in jail
since 2010. According to her family and the United Nations Special
Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Christof Heyns, she underwent an
unfair trial. She was not given a lawyer and an interpreter when the
police first interrogated her in Bahasa Indonesia. During the trial
proper, she was given a public lawyer by the police and a student
translator not licensed by the Association of Indonesian Translators
to translate the proceedings from Bahasa Indonesia to English, both
languages Mary Jane is not fluent in. Mary Jane was sentenced to
The Philippine government
did not give her any legal assistance from investigation to
conviction. Even the first visit to jail in Indonesia of the Veloso
family was financed through contributions from fellow inmates and jail
guards. “It was only lately when the appeals for clemency for Mary
Jane have intensified and when the final verdict of execution by
firing squad is nearing that the B.S. Aquino government is frantically
acting,” said Palabay.
“We appeal for justice and
clemency for Veloso. Aside from the injustice she is suffering under
the Indonesian legal system, she is a victim of government neglect –
the inability to provide jobs in the country, the avarice for dollar
remittances to keep the economy afloat amidst bureaucrat-capitalist
corruption and foreign-and-elite-interest’s domination. Veloso is
another victim of vulnerability and desperation of a life immersed in
poverty,” Palabay concluded.
Groups tell PHL
government: Be courageous against Canada waste
April 8, 2015
Environmental and public health groups tell the Philippine government
agencies to be more courageous against the dirty tactics of Canada
concerning the latter’s illegal waste exports that were intercepted in
the Port of Manila in 2013.
On the eve of Araw ng
Kagitingan, BAN Toxics, Ang Nars Partylist, Global Alliance for
Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Ecowaste Coalition and Greenpeace
Philippines staged a rally in front of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) following its pronouncement that the
illegal Canadian waste shipment will be disposed of in the country.
“In light of Araw ng
Kagitingan, we can’t help but feel ashamed of our own government who
are backing off to accommodate the Canadian wastes. We can’t allow any
country to treat our own as their dumping ground. We must defend our
sovereignty the way our heroes did. We must send these wastes back to
where they belong,” said Paeng Lopez of GAIA.
“The Filipino people look up
to the Philippine government agencies to be the hero that will uphold
the nation’s sovereignty against other nation’s attempts,” said Rene
Pineda of Ecowaste Coalition. “To stand up to defend our rights and
the law of the land particularly for Canada to clean up their stinking
The Canadian government
continues to dodge the issue by saying this is a private matter
between the Canadian exporter, Chronic Inc., and its Filipino
counterpart, Chronic Plastics. However, various sectors have pointed
out that the illegal shipment is a violation of the Basel Convention,
to which both Canada and the Philippines are parties.
“There is nothing honorable
in letting the Canadian government make the Philippines its dumpsite.
Whatever reason they give or however way we look at it, the dumping is
illegal, improper and immoral. The Philippine government should have
been firm and not allow itself to be bullied by other nations. Doing
so would not only set a bad precedent, but also show the world that
our government has no backbone to defend its sovereignty. In the end,
who else will the Filipinos trust to defend their rights to a safe and
healthful ecology?” said Abigail Aguilar of Greenpeace Philippines.
As per the Basel Convention
on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal,
a United Nations treaty to which both Canada and the Philippines are
parties, the illegal shipment, containing a mixture of household and
toxic wastes, should be re-exported to Canada. The Basel Convention is
an international treaty that regulates toxic waste and other wastes,
similar to what the Canadian shipper sent to the Philippines, and
prohibits illegal waste trade. The Convention requires the exporting
country, in this case Canada, to take back the illegally seized
shipment and to pay the costs for the return.
Apart from the Basel
Convention, 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
The shipment has been
festering in the Philippine ports for 700 days and, according to the
groups’ calculations, the government is spending at least P144,000 a
day for the loss of income for storage space and the additional
expenses for demurrage, which, to date, costs around P76 million.
Last year, a petition was
signed by international organizations to express their concern over
the illegal waste shipment and urged Canada to take back its waste.
Representatives from NGOs in several countries, including Australia,
China, Germany, India, Russia, and the US, signed the letter.
In an effort to gain public
attention on the issue, the coalition filed an online petition on
change.org that drew more than 25,000 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 Canadian
choose a business school, rankings aren't top priority
Regional and generational
preferences impact top selection criteria
April 7, 2015
RESTON, VA –
Conventional wisdom holds that students considering business school
give great weight, if not the greatest weight, to published school
rankings as a guide to their decision. The truth, however, is that
students place other factors above rankings in selecting a school
according to the Graduate Management Admission Council's 2015 mba.com
Prospective Students Survey Report released today.
The survey – of nearly
12,000 registrants to GMAC's mba.com website and conducted throughout
2014 – provides both schools and students with valuable insight into
the business school decision-making process for MBA and specialized
business master's degree candidates (such as a Master in Management,
Accounting or Finance). The survey uncovers that students from various
parts of the world display distinct differences in ascribing what
factors matter most to them and the order of importance in which they
consider those factors when making decisions about b-school.
When students listed their
top five consideration criteria for actually selecting a program and a
study destination, rankings didn't rank. The study destination
distinction is important as more than half of prospective students (52
percent) seek to study outside their country of citizenship, up from
40 percent in 2010 (and noticeable among Asia-Pacific and Middle
Eastern citizens). The top 10 preferred study destinations worldwide
are the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, France, India, Hong Kong,
Germany, Singapore, Netherlands, and Australia.
The survey does show that
published rankings have influence in candidates' school consideration
but places rankings overall as the third most consulted information
resource for prospective students, finishing behind school websites
and friends and family.
"Given the degree to which
school rankings dominate the discussion, it is interesting that as
their decision making progresses, students themselves say that
rankings fall in importance," said Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC's director
of Management Education Research. "While the survey is geared toward
helping schools market to prospective students, applicants can use
report insights to inform and strengthen their selection process."
In addition to these
findings, the 2015 report also explores regional and generational
differences regarding prospective students' career goals, program
preferences, decision-making time lines, top study destinations, as
well as, education financing choices, motivations, online/offline
course delivery, the role of social media and preferences about
b-school culture. With analysis of survey responses available for
world regions and more than 30 specific countries, this is the largest
data resource of its kind available to the graduate management
An especially interesting
finding focuses on aspiring entrepreneurs, with 28 percent of survey
respondents indicating that they plan to start their own businesses
compared with 19 percent just five years ago. Respondents in Africa
(45 percent), Latin America (44 percent) and Central and South Asia
including India (43 percent) led this segment.
Highlights from the survey
Even as business school
portfolios of master's programs continue to diversify, the MBA remains
the degree most often considered by prospective students. MBA programs
are exclusively considered by half (52 percent) of prospective
students, globally. Gauging the interest of prospective students
across more than 25 MBA and specialized business master's program
options, 26 percent of today's candidates are considering both degree
Sixty-five percent of
prospective students pursue graduate management education to increase
the job opportunities that are available to them.
students by career goals reveals three groups: career enhancers (34
percent of respondents), career switchers (38 percent), and aspiring
entrepreneurs (28 percent).
The Millennial generation
(those born from 1980 to 1998) dominates the distribution of today's
prospective business school students and represented 88 percent of all
survey respondents. Schools have three-months, on average, to engage
Millennials from when they take the GMAT exam and when they submit
their first application to business school.
Although the U.S. remains
the top preferred study destination for prospective students around
the world (66 percent of respondents), destinations such as Hong Kong
(up 2.4 percentage points since 2010), Canada and Germany (up one
percentage point each) have seen the greatest increase as preferred
study destinations in the past five years.
Financial issues remain the
most prominent reservation among all prospective students; 48 percent
of candidates say attending business school requires more money than
they have available and 44 percent are hesitant about taking on a
large financial debt. Both of these figures have declined, however,
NPAs fired on a
former CAFGU, kills a two year-old child instead
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 6, 2015
GANDARA, Samar – A
two year old female child was killed by six armed members of the New
People’s Army in Barangay Mahanud, Matuguinao, Samar on April 3, 2015
at 8:30 in the morning.
The incident took place when
the rebels opened fire at the former CAFGU member long targeted for
liquidation by the NPAs. The former CAFGU, who was identified as Mr
Jovic Dela Cruz Obiado, 38 years old, a resident of Brgy Mahanud,
Matuguinao, Samar was resting inside a waiting shed near the house of
a local resident identified as Mr Junie Arandia.
Obiado disclosed that a
certain Noynoy Erasga, a known NPA member, together with six other
armed men approached him and suddenly fired their rifles towards him.
Obiado managed to evade the group and ran to safety as the rebels
continued to fire their rifles towards him.
At that point, the owner of
the house, Mr Junie Arandia, shouted that his 2 year-old daughter,
Disley Arandia who was sleeping inside their house, was fatally hit
and was bleeding profusely. Instead of helping Mr Arandia, the NPA
perpetrators ran away towards unknown direction.
Obiado reported the incident
to the Matuguinao Police Station and the elements of 43rd Infantry
Battalion based in the area immediately conducted hot pursuit.
LTC Seigfred C Tubalado,
Commanding Officer of 43IB, condemned the barbaric acts done by the
NPA. He said that the NPA clearly ignored the CARHRIL in which the CPP/NPA/NDF
are signatories thereby killing innocent civilians. Tubalado further
said that the barbaric act is a clear violation of Human Rights.
Meanwhile, the parents of
the child sought the help of local authorities for justice and vowed
to pursue the filing of criminal charges against the perpetrators.