Powershift 2015 youth heads of delegations from Singapore,
Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, The Philippines,
Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand. (Photo credit: Dorothy
PH youth delegates
make a stand on climate justice
By The Climate Reality
July 31, 2015
QUEZON CITY – Six
national delegates from the Philippines attended the ASEAN Powershift
Conference held at the University World College of South East Asia in
Singapore from July 24-26. The conference, organized by 350 Singapore,
gathered more than 100 youth delegates from the ASEAN region who
worked together to create a regional policy paper on climate. The
paper will be submitted to the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris
this coming December.
“As one of the most
vulnerable regions in the world, it is important to bring
ASEAN-specific issues and corresponding commitments into light,”
Beatrice Tulagan, one of the Philippine delegates, said.
“The Philippine team
reiterated the human rights approach to climate change, emphasizing
quite a number of times that one cannot reduce the most vulnerable
communities to a lazy statistic and there is a moral imperative for
the ASEAN Youth Paper to highlight this unfortunate reality,” Tulagan
The Philippines has always
been at the top of the list of countries most vulnerable to climate
change. The country has experienced climate change impacts such as
extreme weather events, El Niño, warming waters, and rising sea
levels. Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in history,
left more than 6,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands without
homes and livelihood.
“After experiencing climate
impacts first hand and working directly with the most vulnerable
communities who have lost homes and livelihoods in the wake of natural
disasters, I look forward to seeing a legally binding treaty come to
be,” Erin Sinogba, also a Philippine delegate, said.
The COP21 which will be held
in Paris this December is expected to come up with a legally binding
treaty among countries to address climate change and its impacts.
Countries are also expected to commit to keeping global warming below
2 degrees celsius relative to pre-industrialization through their
Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). The INDC reflects
each country’s ambition for reducing carbon emissions, one of the
major causes of climate change.
Among countries in the ASEAN
region, only Singapore has submitted their INDC commitments. The
Philippines, meanwhile, through the Climate Change Commission, has
opened the INDC for consultation until August 10.
“We call on the Philippine
government to urgently prepare an ambitious and a strong INDC and to
legislate and strictly implement laws that will help our country
address climate change, such as RA No. 10174 or People’s Survival
Fund,” said Napoleon Paris, another Philippine delegate.
The role of youth in climate
talks and in pushing countries take climate action was highlighted
during the conference. According to H.E. Dr. AKP Mochtan, Deputy
Secretary General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, “the
youth has much at stake, because the youth has much future to live.”
“The youth needs to have a
stronger voice in the climate talks. They will bear the brunt of
climate change impacts which will be felt for years to come. Global
leaders should always remember that what they will decide on in Paris
will be a decision which will impact the lives of young people today
and the future generation,” Rodne Galicha from The Climate Reality
Project and adviser of the youth delegates, said.
"We are running out of time.
If we don't commit to ambitious targets this year, the damage to our
planet will be irreversible. This is a question of social justice as
much as it is a question of our morality," said Renee Karunungan,
Dakila advocacy director who also participated in the conference.
As the rest of the world
waits for global leaders to take climate action, the youth of the
Philippines, together with the youth of other ASEAN countries, are
ready to make a stand and fight for climate justice.
Other Philippine delegates
who were part of the ASEAN Power Shift were Mark Conrad Ravanzo, Jan
Michael Rase, and Alfhonso Jose Platero.
Army encounters NPA
in Eastern Samar, recovered M16 rifle and NPA body count
By DPAO, 8ID PA
July 29, 2015
CAMP GENERAL VICENTE
LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Army troops operating in Eastern Samar
Province encountered NPA members in a remote area of Sitio Sumlot,
Barangay Magtino, Llorente, Eastern Samar at about 12:05 P.M. on July
According to Lt. Col. Peter
P. Burgonio, Commanding Officer of the 14th Infantry (Avenger)
Battalion, his troops were conducting Peace and Security Operations in
the outskirts of barangay Magtino when they chanced upon seven (7) NPA
rebels which resulted to a 15 minute encounter.
The brief encounter resulted
to the recovery of one (1) M16 rifle and one (1) NPA body count. In
addition, the troops also recovered one (1) bandoleer, three (3) camel
backpacks containing sim cards, memory cards and personal belongings
from the fleeing NPAs. There was no reported casualty on the
MGEN Jet B. Velarmino AFP
8ID Commander, expressed his appreciation to the operating troops of
the 14IB for their dedication and commitment in safeguarding the
communities against the rebels which resulted to a commendable
Further, he reiterated the
government’s call for non-violence, for the NPA rebels to return to
the mainstream society and take advantage of the government’s
public high school student who joined the Ramon Aboitiz
Foundation Inc – Kool Adventure Camp Servant Leadership Program
writes down her personal improvement plan as a servant leader.
Cebu Province youth
to train as servant leaders
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
July 28, 2015
CEBU CITY – A
thousand public high school students from more than 100 schools in
Cebu province will undergo a leadership program where they would be
trained before the year ends on how to be good servant leaders of the
The students would go
through a Servant Leadership Program designed by the Ramon Aboitiz
Foundation Inc – Kool Adventure Camp and are expected to create change
in their schools and communities.
The program aims to promote
the principles of servant leadership through an adventure program,
establish a common behaviour and personal improvement plan for the
students to better execute their roles and responsibilities as young
“The debriefing process
after each activity during the program was really helpful because it
gave me the opportunity to discover what was wrong and what I must do.
It also helped me identify my strengths and improve it even more,”
shared Wryppner Wolter Wurbey Timbal, one of the participants.
The program would teach the
students the 10 principles of servant leadership: listening, empathy,
healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight,
stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building a
The students who either
already underwent the program or are set to experience the program are
from 30 cities and municipalities of Cebu, namely: Alcoy, Alegria,
Aloguinsan, Argao, Asturias, Badian, Balamban, Bantayan, Barili,
Boljoon, Camotes, Consolacion, Cordova, Daanbantayan, Dalaguete,
Dumanjug, Ginatilan, Madridejos, Malabuyoc, Medellin, Minglanilla,
Moalboal, Oslob, Pinamungajan, Ronda, Samboan, Santander, Sibonga,
Tuburan, San Fernando.
The first 200 student
leaders have completed the training last June and first week of July.
The next sessions so all 1,000 students will be able to finish the
program will be conducted in the next five months, or until December,
KAC has been offering
adventure education programs for leadership and team development for
youth and professionals for the last decade. It is a program under the
Leadership and Citizenship focus area of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
Inc. (RAFI). It has recently opened the Philippines’ first fully
dedicated adventure education center last August 2.
For more information on KAC
and its services, contact 260-9000 local 1001 and look for Althea May
Santillan, or visit www.kac.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/kooladventurecamp
5th SONA: Salary of
24.4 million workers still can’t cope with rising cost of basic needs
July 25, 2015
QUEZON CITY – Five
years into the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III,
there are still an estimated 24.4 million poor Filipino workers’ whose
income still cannot cope even with the barest cost of basic food and
non-food needs set by the government’s National Economic Development
The biggest group of labor
federation in the country the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa
(TUCP-Nagkaisa) said they are baffled why Aquino remains reluctant to
raise the wages of poor working people amid results of government’s
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey conducted in July 2014
and released on March 2015 showing big disparity between family income
and barest expenditures.
Informal sector workers
The poverty threshold set by
NEDA for 2014 was at P8,778 a month for a family of five to survive.
However, in the first semester of 2014, average incomes of poor
families were short by 27 per cent of the poverty threshold.
According to the NEDA,
poverty threshold is the minimum income set by government as required
to meet basic food and non-food needs for a family of five to ensure
that one remains economically and socially productive.
It showed poor workers in
the informal economy, estimated to be at 21 million, who received less
than the mandated minimum wage, were found to earn average monthly
income of measly P6,408. This means they needed P2,370 more per month
to move out of poverty in that year.
“This is an actionable set
of information on the part of the President. It’s very alarming that a
huge problems confronting workers who fell through the cracks has not
been acted upon ever since. Right now, they are coping on their own,
coping by the means available to them and we feel they are totally
excluded from the agenda sharing the profits,” TUCP-Nagkaisa
spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.
Workers in the informal
economy include construction workers, farmers, vendors, jeepney, bus,
tricycle, pedicab drivers, conductors, salesladies, barbers,
street-sweepers and garbage collectors.
For minimum wage earners in
Metro Manila, a disparity of P1,082.31 a month from the prescribed
P8,778 poverty threshold amount last year. PSA computation show the
real value of P466 minimum wage for the National Capital Region (NCR)
last year was P356.64 a day or P7,695.69 a month.
This year, the current value
of the current highest minimum wage of P481 is only P371.64 a day or
P8,176.08 a month – still aP601.92 short compared with the 2014 P8,778
estimated the mid-year poverty threshold at P9,177 a month, Tanjusay
Implications of gaps
The impact of a widening gap
between income and expenditure, he said, largely contribute to the
increasing ranks of underemployed Filipinos now numbering to close 11
million working people.
The gap also undermines the
effectiveness of Aquino’s ongoing flagship poverty alleviating
programs including the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program
otherwise known as Pantawid Pamilya Program (PPP) being implemented by
the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the
Community-based Employment Program and the Sustainable Livelihood
Program by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Labor group proposed menu of
Gerard Seno, executive vice
president of the 61-year old Associated Labor Unions (ALU) said the
latest ideal minimum wage should be at P1,068 a day to cover the fast
rising costs of prices of basic food and non-food needs can be
achieved through a priority legislated wage hike measure or through a
uniform decision of regional wage boards.
“That is why with less than
a year in office, we are still hoping President Aquino to make tough
policy decisions in raising Filipino family income both at the formal
and informal sector workers. As a leader, he must ensure that the
country’s growth is widely shared with the workforce who provided the
backbone in building and sustaining the vibrant economy in the last
five years of his administration,” said Seno.
On the other hand, Seno said
aside from increasing government and private sector wages, Aquino can
otherwise alleviate the impact of the economic burden by lowering the
cost of power and ensure its reliable supply, minimize contractual job
scheme in private and public sector, and allow government employees to
form unions and bargain collectively.
He added the ALU has
submitted in March 2014 a proposal for Aquino to use the Executive
department’s annual excess budget to subsidize informal sector and
minimum-wage workers with a P2,000 worth of rice, groceries or
medicines a month using an electronic debit card.
“We know what it means when
they say our proposal is being considered by the Office of the
President. But we will never run out of variety of ways to address
directly or indirectly this problem of worsening poverty among poorest
of the poor and minimum-waged workers,” Seno said.
senate committee to reopen probe on Mamasapano
By Office of the Senate
July 24, 2015
PASAY CITY – "Why are
we dishonoring the memory of the SAF 44?"
Senate Majority Leader Alan
Peter Cayetano wants the Senate committee on public order and
dangerous drugs to reopen its investigation into the January-25
Mamasapano incident amid the seemingly conflicting findings of various
investigative bodies that conducted a probe on the case.
In a series of interviews on
Friday, Cayetano expressed his deep concern over the Ombudsman’s
recent approval of a recommendation to conduct preliminary
investigation proceedings and administrative adjudication even against
the junior officers and some survivors of the operation, stressing
that the decision could lead to a chilling effect on the entire police
chain of command.
“Gulat na gulat po ako nang
pinaimbestigahan pati ang mga Junior Officers ng SAF (who were part of
the Mamasapano operation and survived). Isipin mo, kung ikaw ay isang
police officer, police superintendent, o kaya colonel, kapag hindi ka
sumunod sa utos na kunin ang teroristang si Usman o Marwan, kakasuhan
ka ng insubordination. Ngayon, sumunod ka pero hindi perfect ang
operation, at maraming namatay, pero nahuli ang terorista, kakasuhan
ka pa din," the senator said.
As such, he wrote a letter
to Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public
order and dangerous drugs that led the probe into the incident,
seeking for a reopening of the investigation.
"The Senate committee, once
and for all, should set out to reveal the entire truth behind this
gruesome massacre," he said, noting that finding justice for the
deaths of the 44 elite cops should be a prerequisite for conducting
peace talks with armed rebels and securing the safety of the entire
He further lamented that
justice has not even been served in relation to the deaths of the SAF
members who were killed in the operation, and now two of the survivors
are facing cases.
While admitting that there
are varying liabilities in the operation that claimed the lives of 44
elite cops, Cayetano said the Ombudsman's decision demoralizes both
police and military officials in the front lines who were merely
obeying legitimate orders from their superiors.
He pointed out that command
responsibility over the failed operation should only rest with those
who gave the orders – such as dismissed Philippine National Police
(PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Alan Purisima – not the ones receiving them.
Cayetano also expressed
dismay over the conflicting reports released regarding the incident,
including reports from the Department of Justice, Philippine National
Police Board of Inquiry, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the MILF.
Engineer Virgilio Eduarte (left) giving instructions during the
Samar First Regular staff meeting.
DPWH SFDEO’s school
building projects on progress
By DONNA C. DEBUTON
July 23, 2015
CALBAYOG CITY – Samar
First District Engineering Office headed by District Engineer Virgilio
C. Eduarte gives priority to school building programs for senior high
school CY 2015. During the conference held, DE Eduarte instructs all
assigned programming engineers to conduct site inspection on the
different school sites. The three-storey buildings require soil
exploration which should be conducted as early as possible. In
addition to DE Eduarte’s instructions, reports should be submitted to
the DPWH Central Office for the release of fund estimating P150,000.00
for six (6) classrooms per school building site.
Including in the list order
of the Basic Educational Facilities Fund is the first batch of school
building projects for CY 2015. With the total number of 23 school
buildings in Region VIII wherein 14 senior high school buildings
coming from the Division of Calbayog, and 9 senior high school
buildings coming from the Division of Samar. The total appropriation
reaches to P121,405,895.06 for Calbayog Division and P79,565,979.59
for Samar Division.
According to one of the
Project Engineers of the said program, the school sites need
embankment, and soil exploration first in accordance to DE’s
instruction for a better foundation to produce high quality school
buildings which are typhoon resilient.
DPWH orders SAMELCO
I to observe ROW limit
By MARIANETTE Y. GOMEZ
July 22, 2015
CALBAYOG CITY – The
ongoing pole replacement and repair/rehabilitation of the primary
distribution lines along National Roads by Samar I Electric
Cooperative, Inc., has caught the attention of the Maintenance Point
Persons assigned in road sections where the activity is undertaken.
Samar First District
Engineering Office in Brgy. San Policarpo, Calbayog City immediately
calls the attention of SAMELCO I invoking Department Order No. 73,
Series of 2014 which prohibits the construction of all kinds of
temporary and permanent structures within the right-of-way (ROW) of
all national roads which is 15 meters from the centerline.
The prohibition includes
posts and towers of electric cooperatives and major electric power
distributors, distribution lines, posts for cable of phones and mobile
Although SAMELCO I is
mandated to undertake pole replacement and repair / rehabilitation of
primary distribution lines along national roads, DPWH - Samar I poses
no objection to the installation of electrical posts as long as it is
beyond the Road-Right-of-Way limit, 15 meters from the centerline of
the road along Daang Maharlika and 10 meters from the centerline along
Calbayog - Catarman Road via Lope de Vega road.
District Engineer Virgilio
Eduarte discloses that all road sections are scheduled for road
widening this year hence, the observance by SAMELCO I of installing
the posts beyond ROW to prevent the waste of fund and incurrence of
damages on both parties. Non-compliance to DPWH Dept. Order No. 73,
series of 2014 will oblige your office to make a commitment that no
payment will be made to that end once the widening projects commence.
Alan Peter Cayetano reiterates his call for the Land
Transportation Office (LTO) to stop collecting fees from car
owners for the purchase of its new license plates amid
allegations of overcharging and irregularities involving the
agency's license plate standardization program.
Cayetano slams LTO
officials for continuing license plates program
By Office of the Senate
July 22, 2015
PASAY CITY – "LTO,
kayo na ang nakaperwisyo at nang-hassle sa delay ng mga plaka, kayo pa
ang magpe-penalize sa car owners."
Senate Majority Leader Alan
Peter Cayetano castigated Land Transportation Office (LTO) officials
anew over their refusal to suspend the license plate standardization
program despite a notice of disallowance that was already issued by
the Commission on Audit (COA).
"The sole mandate of this
government is to serve the people, not the other way around. If public
officials in agencies like the LTO or the DOTC fall short of
fulfilling this task, or worse, if they repeatedly burden the public
with their inefficiencies, then I see no other immediate solution but
to fire and replace them," Cayetano said.
COA recently disallowed
P477,901,329 in procurement transaction between the LTO and the
Dutch-Filipino consortium PPI-JKG Philippines Inc., saying the
agency's procurement process violated the procedures in accordance
with Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Despite this, LTO spokesman
Jason Salvador said the agency will still push through with the
program as there is no "explicit" instruction from COA to stop it.
Cayetano, however, said
until and unless allegations of overcharging and irregularities
involving the issuance of new license plates are clarified, collection
of fees from vehicle owners should be put on hold.
The senator continued to
protest the additional P50 being charged to motorists for registration
He said the P450 fee is
supposed to include license plates, plate screws and registration
stickers, but pointed out that motorists are being forced to pay for
something already covered by the bidding.
In light of these
controversies, Cayetano says he plans to pass an "anti-hassle bill" in
Congress that will make government officials accountable for any
inefficiencies in public service.
"Kapag na peperwisyo ang tao,
ang mga opisyal at mga contractor ng gobyerno ang dapat managot at
maparusahan. Hindi ang tao," Cayetano said.
"This is the only way by
which we can give the public the proper services they deserve. Let us
set the bar for public service by appointing more efficient and
competent officials who will take the lead in creating great changes
in our system of government," he added.