leadership corps to hold training in Manila in March
Applications open now to be
trained in the Philippines by former Vice President Al Gore and other
experts to become a Climate Reality Leader
January 20, 2016
Washington, DC –
Today The Climate Reality Project announced the 31st Climate Reality
Leadership Corps training to be held in the Philippines, March 14-16.
The application period for the Manila training is now open, and we
will be accepting applications until February.
Al Gore, former Vice
President of the United States and chairman of The Climate Reality
Project, will lead the Manila training for hundreds of new Climate
Reality Leaders providing them with the knowledge and tools to build
public awareness of our global climate challenge and drive action for
This is the first Climate
Reality Leadership Corps training after the COP21 summit held in Paris
this past December.
“In December, the nations of
the world concluded a bold and historic agreement, demonstrating a
strong and unified global determination to solve the climate crisis,”
said Al Gore, Chairman and Founder of The Climate Reality Project. “It
is now time to take the next step. The Paris agreement lays the
foundation for nations, businesses, investors and individuals around
the world to work together to bring an end to the fossil fuel era and
support the sustainable growth of a clean energy economy. My hope for
this training is to build upon the momentum from Paris to work toward
solutions from all corners of the world, starting with the Philippines
– one of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate
Joining Vice President Gore
will be an impressive list of world-class scientists, strategists,
communicators, and technical specialists discussing the science of
climate change, the direct cost climate impacts are having on
communities around the world and solutions available to solve the
The intensive program is
designed to formally train a new group of community, government and
business leaders to become Climate Reality Leaders, who then become
change agents in their own communities. They will emerge from the
program as energized and skilled communicators with the knowledge,
tools and drive to educate diverse communities on the costs of carbon
pollution and what can be done to solve the climate crisis.
Thus far, The Climate
Reality Project has thousands of Climate Reality Leaders from more
than 130 countries, including recent trainings held in Miami, Toronto,
New Delhi, Istanbul, Chicago, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, and
For the citizens of the
Philippines, climate change is not a far-off, vague notion. It is an
everyday reality. The Philippines currently ranks third on the list of
countries most vulnerable to climate change due to harsh weather
patterns and rapidly rising sea levels. The islands are dangerously
exposed to tropical storms, which have increased in frequency and
intensity, in fact the country has experience four of its ten most
devastating storms in the last decade. Additionally, due to the lack
of resources available to many in the Philippines, the impacts of
these storms leave a lasting mark.
However, in addition to
highlighting the daily challenges faced in the Philippines every day,
the training will focus on the country’s unique position to combat
climate change on a global scale. As ground-zero for climate change
impacts, the Philippines is the strongest voice to lend credence to
the global movement, combat the problem and ultimately adapt to the
effects. Even though the Philippines is responsible for less than
0.35% of global emissions, the country is actively working to make
local alterative energy options the norm. Rooftop solar panels,
coconut-based biodiesel and wind farms in Ilocos Norte and Panay are
leading to new jobs in the Philippines and supporting the growth of
the clean energy economy.
“As a native of the
Philippines, I have spent my life working to protect biodiversity and
foster sustainable development especially in the small island of
Sibuyan, in Romblon province, where we enjoy 100% clean energy through
mini-hydro while protecting our watersheds, home to many endangered
species of flora and fauna", said Rodne Galicha, Branch Manager for
The Climate Reality Project in the Philippines. "I have participated
in numerous Climate Reality trainings as a trainee, a mentor and a
presenter and am eager to bring this powerful network to the
Philippines; the frontlines of those impacted by climate change."
Bringing together business,
local citizens and political climate voices in Manila will raise
awareness about the significant impact climate change is already
having while also continuing the 2015 Paris momentum and start to put
into practice solutions and policies that will have a global impact.
River Control Structure, Brgy. Lonoy, Calbayog City
88% accomplishment in flood control & drainage projects
By ARDEL S. MALANOG, DPWH
January 20, 2016
CALBAYOG CITY – CY 2015 saw
65 accomplished projects from DPWH Samar I. Among these, fourteen
accomplished projects with total programmed amount of P159,730,741
were related to flood control and drainage projects.
Among the flood/river
control structures constructed, rehabilitated and/or improved for CY
2015 are those located along Kinawan River in Brgy. San Joaquin,
Bulongto River in Brgy. Malopalo, Malajog River in Brgy. Malajog
(Phase II), Jibatang River in Brgy. Lonoy.
There were also flood
control projects in Brgy. Bantian, Brgy. Malaga (Phase II), Brgy. Peña
and two more projects in Brgy. San Joaquin. On the other hand, Rueda
St. Calbayog City, Brgy. Balud, Brgy. Payahan, Brgy. Aguit-itan and
Brgy. Ba-ay were the situs barangays for the construction, repair
and/or rehabilitation of drainage systems.
Of these fourteen projects
six were under contract with B. Vicencio Construction, three by JFR
Construction, three by CDU Construction and two by Rhyes Construction.
As of December 31, 2015,
only three flood control-related and four drainage-related projects
accountable for death of NDFP peace consultant Eduardo Serrano – Karapatan
January 15, 2016
QUEZON CITY – "No
less than President BS Aquino is accountable for the death of detained
peace consultant Eduardo Serrano; and so are the Office of the
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the 204th
Infantry Brigade (IB) of the Philippine Army,” Cristina Palabay,
Karapatan secretary-general said in a picket protest in front of the
"It is BS Aquino and the
OPAPP’s disinterest in pursuing peace negotiations with the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and their intransigence on
keeping Serrano in prison that led to the deterioration of his health
and eventual death after undergoing heart surgery,” Palabay claimed.
On the other hand, it was
the 204th IB in 2004 during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime that
cooked up criminal charges against Serrano, insisting that the NDFP
peace consultant was in fact Rogelio Villanueva, supposedly a New
People's Army leader who led an ambush against the state troopers. For
more than 11 years, political prisoner Serrano and his legal counsels
told the same thing in different courts: that Serrano was not
Villanueva. Finally, in 2015, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch
98 said as much, and ruled in Serrano's favor. "If only the OPAPP
honored the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG),
did not block the release of NDFP consultants, and pursued peace
negotiations, Serrano would still be alive and enjoying his much
deserved freedom," lamented Palabay.
"As if it was not enough to
sabotage the peace talks with the NDFP, the OPAPP has the gall to make
monkey business out of the peace process," Palabay argued. She cited
as proof of corruption the P1.14B unliquidated OPAPP funds from the
Disbursement Acceleration Program, or presidential pork; and the P45M
worth of car rentals and fake signatures of attendees in OPAPP
activities. It looked like OPAPP Secretary Teresita 'Ging' Deles
deliberately stalled the peace talks to make money,” said Palabay.
"Was the P1.14B fund the
largesse of paramilitaries in Mindanao? Or was it the money used in
the counter-insurgency programs disguised as peace initiatives, one of
which facilitated the Lumad killings and the displacement of Lumad
communities?" Palabay asked.
Currently there are 18
detained NDFP peace consultants who have been slapped with various
trumped-up criminal charges," Palabay revealed. Serrano used to be the
political prisoner held the longest among the peace consultants, until
he was rushed to the hospital last December for his serious heart
ailment. He died three weeks later. Leopoldo Caloza now holds the
dubious title among the NDFP consultants. Imprisoned since 2006, he
was convicted of murder in 2015, together with Emeterio Antalan.
"OPAPP does not stand for
peace. In fact, it is now exposed as a conduit for funding and
implementation of the bloody counter-insurgency program Oplan
Bayanihan," Palabay said.
Karapatan demands justice
for Eduardo Serrano, the release of all political prisoners, and the
resumption of the peace talks with the NDFP.
Sydney to host sundeck
catwalk overlooking famous harbour
Jessica Minh Anh adds
Australia in her impressive portfolio of world’s most iconic catwalks
PARIS – After shaking up the fashion world with a 4000-feet catwalk
over the Grand Canyon and the Eiffel Tower phenomenon, Jessica Minh
Anh will transform the sky-high sundeck of the luxurious Costa
Luminosa cruise ship in Sydney into the world’s newest runway. With
the iconic backdrop featuring Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour
Bridge, J Spring Fashion Show on 14 March 2016 will mark yet another
breakthrough in the modern fashion presentation.
Costa Luminosa will be at anchor during the show, providing exclusive
VIPs and the press with an opportunity to experience the unique
catwalk right in the middle of the ocean. This is the second time
Jessica Minh Anh has worked with Costa Cruises after the international
success of J Winter Fashion Show on Costa Atlantica in Dubai in 2013.
“Jessica Minh Anh is known worldwide for producing the world’s most
extraordinary catwalks at places such as London’s Tower Bridge, the
Seine in Paris, and One World Trade Center in New York City. We are
extremely honored to work with her again on our Costa Luminosa (the
ship of light) new flagship, providing a “Italy’s finest” location to
this important event” said Neil Palomba, President Costa Cruises.
Similar to Jessica’s previous history-making catwalks, J Spring
Fashion Show 2016 will feature a combination of haute couture, high
end ready-to-wear, and jewelry collections from 4 continents.
According to ABC New York, Jessica Minh Anh is special in many ways,
one of which is her ability to mix art, architecture, culture, and
fashion. The “queen of catwalk stunts” (CNN) has worked with not only
top labels such as Montblanc, Graff Diamonds, Paul Costelloe, Addy van
den Krommenacker, Yumi Katsura, Shiatzy Chen, and Tony Ward, but also
promoted young talents including Ivanka Trump, Shilpa Reddy, Ziad
Nakad, and Rami Kadi.
The highly anticipated catwalk will welcome country ambassadors,
ministers, international fashion designers, Fortune 500 company
directors, influential faces from various industries, and of course
the international press. The full list of participating fashion brands
and partners will be revealed in February 2016.
Yesterday, Jessica Minh Anh visited Costa Luminosa in Barcelona where
she finalized the details for the grand show. The official pre-show
photo shoot in Sydney will take place in mid-February 2016. For more
information, visit www.jmodelmanagement.co.uk and
8 out of 10
Filipinos will go for Pres’l bet with food and agriculture in platform
January 11, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Nearly
eight out of 10, or 76% of 1200 respondents will vote for candidates
whose platforms include ensuring food sufficiency and addressing
farmers’ needs, reveals results from the Social Weather Station (SWS)
2015 3rd Quarter Social Weather Survey, in the items commissioned by
environmental group Greenpeace Philippines.
The nationwide survey,
conducted from September 2-5, 2015, also showed that 75% of the
respondents prefer presidential candidates who will ensure that food
needs are met and 70% would support candidates who will promote
Moreover, 44% of the survey
respondents entreated the government to focus on financial support to
farmers to make farming climate resilient while 39% expressed support
for ecological agriculture such as organic farming.
Ecological Agriculture, has taken a back seat in terms of government
prioritization. We have the Organic Agriculture Act but actual
implementation and government support has to improve tremendously. Our
presidential candidates should take these survey results seriously, as
these show how concerned Filipinos are with our current food and
agriculture systems,” said Vigie Benosa-Llorin, Food and Ecological
Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace Philippines.
which includes organic farming, is a climate resilient farming system
that will address the issue of food security concerns. It is a farming
system that combines modern science and innovation with respect for
nature and biodiversity, and ensures healthy farming and food
production while protecting the soil, water and the climate.
Ecological agriculture does not contaminate the environment with
chemical inputs or use genetically engineered crops.
“We challenge our
Presidential candidates to clearly state how he/she will support the
farmers, address issues on food sufficiency, and make farming climate
resilient and environment-friendly. While each candidate may have
their own lines about agriculture, the voters are looking and
demanding for more than mere rhetoric, but rather real programs and
policies towards safe, healthy and sustainable food and agriculture
systems that respond to the continuing plight of Filipino farmers, the
majority of whom continue to reel from mass poverty, hunger and
destitution,” added Benosa-Llorin.
On the other hand, Kilusang
Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) laments the poor state of agriculture in
the Philippines, and calls on the government to stop supporting
chemical-based and corporate agriculture and instead develop policies
that will help farmers through the promotion of Ecological
"In recent decades, the
promotion of agricultural liberalization and corporatization has also
intensified the condition where toxic chemicals and engineered
organisms bear down on the Filipino farmers and consumers and their
efforts to promote socially-desirable practices including organic,
sustainable and ecological agriculture,” said Rafael Mariano of
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. “In fact, the Philippine government
has generally negated the objectives of sustainable and ecological
agriculture as it continues to promote an overall policy of chemical
farming that is founded on rural monopolies in land, income, wealth
In a landmark decision from
the Supreme Court released last December 2015, the high court barred
the field testing of Bt eggplant and placed a temporary ban on the
development of genetically modified organisms (GMO)s. Greenpeace sees
this an opportune time for the next president to lead the country away
from conventional agriculture and to shift to Ecological Agriculture.
The Philippine weather and
climate agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical
Services Administration (PAGASA) also announced that the Philippines
will experience the full impact of the prevailing strong El Nino
phenomenon's peak intensity during the first semester of 2016, which
is expected to usher in drought and dry spell conditions from
below-normal rainfall and warmer-than-normal air temperature.
“With the Supreme Court
decision in place and the effects of El Nino threatening the
agriculture sector and thus, our food sufficiency, now is the time for
the Philippine government – especially for the next president – to
look into appropriate, innovative, climate-resilient,
environment-friendly and science-based farming, which is what
Ecological Agriculture is,” concludes Benosa-Llorin.
impact is bane or boon for workers, TUCP says
January 10, 2016
QUEZON CITY – The
movement of capital, skills and professions in the Association of
Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) integration which began last week is
both an opportunity and misery for workers in the region, said the
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa.
Positive and Negative Impact
“The integration will
further stimulate jobless growth, race to the bottom phenomenon and
promote other forms of precarious work conditions including lowered
standard in occupational safety and health particularly if labor laws
enforcement is weak and regulatory institutions are irrelevant,” said
TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
However, if the Philippine’s
institutions law enforcement are relevant, the integration will prove
to be potential for workers.
“On the other hand, we can
expect a wider job market for Filipino workers who are highly sought
after because of their reputation for excellent craftsmanship. Thus,
we see a rise in remittances and the spike of job-creating allied
services which are additional perk to the economy,” Tanjusay said.
But the social cost of
outward migration would have further adverse impact on family ties and
compound the domestic “brain drain” conundrum.
Jobless Growth and Race to
Jobless growth is the
growing of wealth and enhancing of economy but unemployment,
underemployment and poverty is also growing alongside. With the
integration, employers will have more leeway to pursue leaner and
meaner operations, outsource jobs within and across borders and
relocate production in the cheapest location.
Race to the bottom,
meanwhile, is a situation in which companies and governments try to
compete with each other by cutting wages and living standards for
Unemployment Impact of
In the Philippines, an
estimated 60,000 to 70,000 sugar workers were already in the process
of losing their jobs with the reduction of sugar tariff to 5%. This is
exacerbated by the inability of the sugar mills to modernize and
compete with other ASEAN economies.
The next segment of workers
to who might their lose jobs are those in the banking and construction
“We also fear that the
integration will also encourage widespread contractualization,
non-regularization of jobs, and prevalence of many other forms of
precarious work arrangements that require proactive regulatory
institutions,” Tanjusay said.
Poor and Ageing
However, the country’s
dilapidated infrastructures, the ageing air and seaport logistics
system, the high cost of doing business, and the high cost of
electricity, unreliable mass transport system, the routine monstrous
traffic congestion, and the turtle-paced government response to
modernize these remains to be the obstacles to investments, Tanjusay
“We hope that there would be
transfer of knowledge and technology when professionals practice in
the Philippines and vice versa which we hope would redound to a
lowered cost but efficient service,” he added.
Alien Employment Permit and
Special Work Permit
With the integration,
Tanjusay stressed that the country’s Alien Employment Permit issued by
the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Work Visa and
the Special Work Permit (SWP) issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI)
should be reviewed.
Because of these double
functions and lack of coordination between these two agencies, work
permits are rife with graft and corruption resulting to lack of
protection for foreign workers working in the country.
“There has been so many
government initiated tripartite discussions in the past. We recommend
that a single government oversight unit that grant, supervise and
manage these work permits for practical purposes,” Tanjusay said.
Enhanced Vigilance of Labor
Due to many variables at
play in the process of integration, labor groups will be more vigilant
to ensure government is doing its rightful job of enforcing labor laws
and that employers are responsible in doing business.
“Labor groups will be more
vigilant against labor abuses. We also have established links and
coordination with global union federations in the ASEAN region with
the goal of ensuring the integration process also benefits workers,”
PRO8 to undertake
checkpoint operations regionwide to implement total gun ban
By RPCRD, Police Regional
January 9, 2016
CAMP KANGLEON, Palo,
Leyte – PCSupt Jose Erwin T. Villacorte, the newly assumed Acting
Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8 ensures the public that
Police authorities will intensify its effort to undertake public
safety activities to achieve a peaceful and orderly 2016 elections on
The PNP, as one of the
deputized agencies of the COMELEC, has already disseminated to all its
units that the gun ban will start midnight January 9, 2016 until June
In this connection, Police
authorities throughout the Eastern Visayas will simultaneously
establish COMELEC checkpoints to implement the total gun ban which
will start midnight of January 9, 2016, in time for the start of
election period for the May 2016 presidential and local polls.
PCSupt. Villacorte said, the
propagation of loose firearms has been identified as one of the main
causes of violence during election period.
"This is one of the dos' and
don'ts that we are going to enforce during the election period which
will start on January 10. All candidates cannot hire or bring
bodyguards without gun ban exemption," Villacorte added.
Comelec Resolution No. 3328
provides for the poll body to prohibit during the election period the
carrying and transporting of firearms or deadly weapons by any person.
He added that those
qualified candidates are not allowed to hire private armed men, only
professional security personnel.
Only members of the
Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
including blue guards and other security government agencies are
allowed to carry firearms during work hours in its areas of
The campaign period for
national candidates (president, vice president, senator, and
party-list groups) is set on February 9 to May 7, 2016 while for local
candidates will be on March 25 to May 7, 2016.
According to COMELEC, the
Certificates of Authority/Gun Ban Exemptions issued in previous
National and Local Elections shall not be recognized anymore in this
year’s Elections. Thus, all law enforcers and security personnel in
the country are reminded to apply for the renewal of their
Certificates of Authority/Gun Ban Exemptions.
Furthermore, all existing
authority previously granted to security personnel or body guards are
likewise revoked, except the regular security complement of the
President, Vice President, Senators, Congressmen and Governors, all
local Elective Officials (except Barangay Officials), Justices,
Judges, Cabinet Secretaries, Chairman and Commissioners of the
Commission on Elections, Chief of Staff of the AFP and AFP Major
Service Commanders, Director Generals and Senior Officers of the PNP.
According to the Acting
Regional Director, PNP will also continue its intensified conduct of
checkpoint operations as one of the measures of implementing the gun
ban. Thus, the public is advised not to carry their firearms as such
act is prohibited under the pain of criminal and administrative
sanctions. Also, the PNP further asks the public, especially the
motorists, for their cooperation and patience during the checkpoints.
Likewise, PCSupt. Villacorte
reminds all its personnel especially those manning checkpoints to
always observe the Police Operational Procedure (POP) and to respect
The PNP, as one of the
deputized agencies of the Commission on Elections plays a vital role
in ensuring a peaceful, orderly and successful SK Elections.
Furthermore, the PNP
encourages the public to help the police and other law enforcement
agencies by providing relevant and timely information and other
unscrupulous activities through social media (Twitter - @Pro8Pcrd or
Facebook Page – RupertoKangleon) or through the following: Dial 117 or
text 2920; RPCRD 09173238683/09088146421; RTOC 09173114794/09478907155
and Isumbong Mo Kay Tsip 09178475757.
Chiz urges more
schools to turn to renewable energy
By Office of Senator Chiz
January 7, 2016
PASAY CITY – Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero has urged more universities
and colleges to follow the lead of Silliman University in Dumaguete
City, which is on its way to becoming the first academic institution
in the country to run completely on solar power.
Silliman recently signed an agreement with First Solar Orion Energy
Solutions Inc. (FSO), one of the largest producers of solar power in
the world, to install in the 62-hectare campus a 1.2-megawatt solar
power generating capacity to supply the power needs of the university.
“We commend Silliman University for this milestone and we also
encourage other educational institutions to promote the use of
renewable energy (RE) in order to show the world that we are faithful
in our commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the country,” said
Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural
The Silliman-FSO deal was signed on December 18, or five days after
the Philippines pledged to stop global warming and signed the historic
climate accord in Paris, along with nearly 200 nations.
“We should be proud that even schools have the initiative to use
renewable sources because we need collaborative effort to be able to
achieve a sustainable energy system and to end this fossil fuel era,”
Escudero had welcomed the Paris accord as “an important milestone
especially for countries that are most vulnerable to climate change
impacts like the Philippines.”
As Senate environment chief, Escudero also expressed his willingness
to work with policymakers for the crafting and passage of new
legislation that would help the country fulfill its climate change
The deal, agreed at the UN talks in Paris, lays the foundation for
countries to work together in trying to limit the global temperature
below 1.5 degrees Celsius, well below the level of 2 degrees Celsius
that is likely to signal the worst effects of climate change.
The agreement also requires developed nations to continue to provide
funding to help less developed countries cut their carbon emissions
and adapt to the challenges posed by the changing climate.
In a statement, Silliman said its agreement with FSO further bolsters
its environmental advocacy and “walks its talk in reducing its carbon
footprint” as its share in helping achieve the country’s climate
Under the deal, the university will be the principal consumer and FSO
will be the developer and supplier of the solar power.
The cost of the solar energy consumption will be 20 percent less per
kilowatt hour than what they are currently paying Negros Oriental
Electric Cooperative II.
At the same time, FSO pledges to provide free solar power to 240 poor
families living around Silliman.
According to data from the Department of Energy (DOE), only 37 percent
of power generated in 2014 was sourced from renewable energy sources
while 63 percent was sourced from non-renewable sources of power.
However, DOE intends to triple the increase of the country’s RE
capacity to 15,304 megawatts by 2030 from 5,438 megawatts in 2010.