Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tagum ‘single ladies’ seek pro-active role

By: Tagum City Information Office

TAGUM CITY—Approximately 7,000 women in this city who are single mothers, widows, separated and single women formed themselves into an association as they start to collectively seek a pro-active role in the community.

Councilor Ester L. Angoy, the adviser of the newly-organized Empowered Single Ladies Association (ESLA), said the group will be an avenue for vulnerable women to freely express their concerns especially in uplifting their socio-economic status.

The officials—both barangay-based and the interim confederation—took their oath of office recently before Mayor Allan L. Rellon who pledged the local government’s all-out support to the cause of the organization.

ESLA was formed after a series of consultative assemblies initiated by the office of Councilor Angoy in all the barangays of Tagum which compelled the lady councilor to push for the creation of an organization that caters the needs and concerns of single mothers, widows, separated and single women.
“Solo parents are considered a vulnerable sector since they shoulder the challenges of parenthood by themselves, hence, they must be given special attention and protection,” stressed the lady councilor.

As such, a sustainable livelihood program for all ESLA members is eyed to help them improve their socio-economic status that could mean they can bring food to their respective family’s tables and feed their children.

After their oath-taking, women leaders engaged in a capability-building and planning workshop to strategize their association’s next moves to achieve a sustainable livelihood program, following the nod of the Department of Labor and Employment to include their association as among the informal labor groups in Davao Region.

In the entire Philippines, an estimated 13.9 million single parents (either mothers or fathers) who carry the heavy burden of raising their families alone.
 The national government attends to the needs of this sector through Republic Act 8972, which provides benefits to solo parents and their children. Louie Lapat of CIO Tagum

DSWD pays social pension after validation

DAVAO CITY---Some 1878 senior citizens from different districts here finally received their social pension following a special validation conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

 It was during the first quarter this year that payout for social pension was put on-hold to make way for the special validation, and cross matching process for senior citizens who are not in the DSWD Listahanan data, Director Priscilla N. Razon of DSWD explained.

 Listahanan is an information management system that the government uses in identifying who and where the poor are. It aims to reduce poverty through a scientific and target-focused strategy.

 Identification of social pensioners was based on the Listahanan database and the listing submitted by the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (C/MSWDOs).

 82 years old Leonardo A. Busio of Bry. Tibungco said its worth waiting. “Naghulat man mi og dugay pero pasalamat gihapon nga nagpadayon gihapon akoang benepisyo kay dako gyud ni nga tabang kanamo ug sa akong asawa ug mga anak nga nag asa nalang sa tabang sa gobyerno (We waited for a long time but we are thankful that the benefit has continued as this a big help to our family who rely on government aid).”
 Busio recently received Php 4,500 pension covering the last three quarters. He has 9 children.

 The Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens is one of the provisions under Section 5 of Republic Act 9994 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. The Social Pension is the additional government assistance in the amount of P500.00 monthly stipend to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of needy senior citizens.

 To qualify to the Social Pension Program, a senior citizen must be 77 years old and above, frail, sickly and disabled, without a regular source of income and/or support from any member of the family, and not receiving other pension benefits from government and private agencies.
 To date, 3887 pensioners will receive in Compostela Valley Province; 6,458 in Davao Del Sur; 4319 in Davao Del Norte; and 3709 in Davao Oriental.
 Payout in the LGUs is set in November through the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO).

At the recent celebration of Elderly Filipino Week, Director Razon stressed that, “the older persons are our treasure, our wealth of knowledge, wealth of experience, strength and inspiration. They are a force and our partner in development. We need to take care, nurture and offer them the love they deserve.” DSWD/Florame B. Espada/ccd

2 NPA killed, Firearms Recovered in Davao del Norte anew

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City- Another Two still unidentified NPA bandits were killed and four assorted high powered firearms were recovered by soldiers from the NPA bandit group in Sitio Kimataan II, Brgy. Gupitan, Kapalong Davao del Norte around 3:08 p.m., October 29, 2014. The soldiers of 60th Infantry Battalion recovered one (1) AK-47, two (2) M16 and one (1) M14 rifles; one (1) unexploded improvised explosive device (IED) and one (1) binocular from the NPA bandit group after around 50 minutes firefight.

There was no casualty on the government side who were still on their pursuit operations. The soldiers were on hot pursuit operations against the NPA bandits after a clash on October 26 in the same barangay.

It can be recalled that villagers condemned the extortion activities perpetrated by the NPA bandits and reported it to the government security forces that prompted the AFP-PNP joint operations in the area.

Local officials reported that other NPA wounded members were dragged by their companions on their escape. “We are not sure if they will survive while on escape, we hope that they would listen to our call to return to the folds of the law for their treatment and safety” a civilian said.

On October 26, 2014, Two (2) NPA bandits who were on extortion activities were killed and one (1) AK-47 rifle was recovered by soldiers and Kapalong PNP elements from the NPA bandit group in the same barangay. The said bandit group fired upon the soldiers of 60IB and Kapalong PNP elements by the bandits that prompted the government’s security forces to return fire.

Eastern Mindanao Command Commander Lt. Gen. Aurelio B. Baladad earlier directed all military unit commanders to intensify its operations against NPA bandits on extortion activities in the region. He also encouraged the wounded NPA members who were able to escape to return to the folds of the law immediately for their safety, treatment and return to the community. “In the spirit of Bayanihan, we are waiting for their return to the folds of the law. We have the AFP’s Guns for Peace Program and livelihood package assistance from concerned LGUs as they will embrace peace. Our civilian stakeholders are with us in these peace and development efforts” Lt. Gen. Baladad said. (INF-PA)

AFP urged to recognize tribal chiefs’ authority over warriors turned special CAFGU

DAVAO CITY, Oct 30 (PIA) Tribal chairs urged the government to acknowledge the authority of the tribal chiefs to the bagani or tribal warriors who become members of the special Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit.

Datu Ruben Labawan, chair of the Davao City Supreme Council for Peace and Development and representative of the Ata-Manuvu said leaders of different tribes in the city share the same sentiment.

He said based on their indigenous political structure, the warriors are under the operational control of the datus.

Labawan said that since the bagani became members of the government militia, they were placed under the supervision of a military officer.

“We lost control of the bagani based on this set-up,” he said.

Labawan raised this concern during the regional indigenous peoples’ forum before the officers of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

On development issues, he urged government line agencies to assist the indigenous peoples in making requirements like the making of financial plans.

“They must help us in facilitating the issues and guide us in making the needed plans, useful in addressing the concerns of the IPs,” Labawan said.

He stressed that they do not know the procedure in making formal plans by themselves.

Labawan said the IPs still need the presence of government in the countryside.

He said bearing arms among their members will be illegal without the guidance of the military and police.

“The government must help us legalize the possession of weapons used in defending ourselves against the threat and intimidation by the insurgents,” Labawan said.

He said the IPs remain apprehensive since the Peace and Development Outreach Program of the military in the countryside only has a duration of six months.

Labawan claimed after six months, the soldiers leave and the rebels return to their communities.

“Only the recognition of our authority over our warriors will give us confidence in leading and protecting ourselves in the countryside in asserting our ancestral domain claim,” he said.

Leaders from the different IP groups aired their plight during a consultation with line agencies under the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies and the military and police in Davao Region.

 Lt. General Aurelio Baladad, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command explained the PDOP is not solely the responsibility of the soldiers.

He said before the soldiers leave the community, leaders and people in the area have been linked already with other government line agencies in order for development works to continue.

“Around three to six months, the PDOP teams stay with the communities where we link them up with other government line agencies and institutions with corporate social responsibility which can also extend assistance,” Baladad said.

On the operational control of the bagani turned members of the special government militia, he explained that under the current structure, members of the special Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit have a contract and they consequently need must be a legal entity, and take guidance from an officer of government forces.

Baladad expressed willingness to listen to the sentiments of the IP leaders on this issue. He said peace is critical for development and the baganis can help for peace to prosper.

Baladad stressed that when they become special CAFGUs, the structure calls for them to be under the command of the government.

“With their proper training specifically on human rights, rule of law and international humanitarian law, then the more that there will be investors’ confidence because we can poster peace and invite development,” he said.  (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines) 

BIMP-EAGA Trade Fair and Biz leaders' confab, a success

DAVAO CITY- The BIMP-EAGA IMT-GT (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia Philippines  East Asean Growth Area) (Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle) trade fair and business leaders conference was a booming success said an official of the Mindanao Development Authority.

Romeo Montenegro, director for investment promotions MinDA said that about 25,000 people visited the trade fair which was held at SMX Davao in SM Lanang from October 22 to October 26.

There were about 1,500 registered participants overshooting their targets which were placed at 600 to 800 expected participants. Montenegro said that about 1,000 participants were from different parts of the country while 500 were foreign participants coming from the BIMP-EAGA, IMT countries plus delegates from the United States, Great Britain, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Canada.

The trade fair generated $64-million (P2.4 billion) in book sales. Though not a selling area, the respective countries brought with them samples of their showcased products during the event.

The business-to-business matching sessions also produced 11 proposals for investments. These proposed projects amounted to projected investment costs of $132-million or P6-billion. These projects if realized can generate to about 160,000 jobs.

Montenegro said these projects are agri-business in nature. These include; a corn processing plant in Cotabato, a coconut processing facility in Davao del Sur, oil palm investments in General Santos, Davao and North Cotabato, a coconut processing plant in the Autonomous Region for Moslem Mindanao.

The MinDA official said that there were also businesses or agreements forged which were not included in the business-to-business matching. Montenegro said he is happy most of the investment leads were in Mindanao but they were hoping other countries also had successful business matchings for investments within their respective areas. 

Montenegro said the success of the event highlighted the capability of Mindanao particularly Davao to host such big events in the future. (PIA/RG Alama)

Cateel Irrigation Dam, a model MRDP project

DAVAO DEL NORTE, October 29 (PIA) - - Officials of the Mindanao Rural Development Project (MRDP) hailed the Cateel Irrigation Dam as a model project for the implementation of the Philippine Rural Development Project.

Dir. Lealyn Ramos, MRDP program director, stressed yesterday (October 28) during the inauguration ceremony of the Cateel Irrigation Dam that the project showed the dedication of the people of Davao Oriental and the strong partnership of the local government unit (LGU) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in pursuing the project despite all odds.

“The legacy of the project, which withstands surmountable challenges, will leave as an imprint as we go further and into the implementation of the PRDP,” Director Ramos said.

The irrigation dam, which was identified as the biggest MRDP project both physically and financially costing around P 281-million, was constructed for only seven months. The project was scheduled to be finished for two and a half years; however, initial development was washed away by Typhoons Pablo and Agaton.

To finish the project, the provincial government employed around 700 individuals to work three shifts a day and needed around 5,000 bags of cement daily.

Carol Figueroa-Geron, lead operations office of the World Bank, added that the project showed that there is a level-up in the relationship of the local government unit and the national government through the DA in project collaboration.

“Your partnership and dedication will be an example and inspiration for the PRDP as it will also implement project for the Yolanda victims. If they doubted that they can move forward and make a project, we will tell them to learn from you,” Geron said.

She said that because of the project, many would be eager to visit the province, specifically Cateel, to study on how the irrigation dam was being constructed and eventually implemented.

Meanwhile, Gov. Corazon Malanyaon emphasized that the project was a shared dreams of the people of Cateel and the province as a whole.

“The project is a monument of our answered prayer, a symbol of resiliency and hardwork and an example of what we could do with a will to achieve,” Governor Malanyaon said.

Malanyaon challenged the farmers and irrigators to protect and nurture the project as the dam’s sustainability will now rely on them. (PIA 11, Michael Uy)

Pres. Aquino to push for stronger ties with Latin American countries during APEC Summit

President Benigno S. Aquino III will look into the possibility of getting investment when he meets with leaders of Latin American countries during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing next month, a foreign affairs official said.

The Philippines considers Latin America a new frontier in terms of doing business, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario said.

There are growing economies in Latin America such as Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, and building ties with them would benefit the Philippines, del Rosario said, noting that Brazil is not an APEC member.

"If we strengthen our relations, for instance, with Mexico, Peru, and Chile, then somehow we (will) have a foothold there," she said.

It is already evident that Latin American countries are bringing more investment to the Philippines, she said, adding that Mexico has increased its investment in the Philippines through FEMSA Coca-Cola and cement manufacturer CEMEX.

The President leaves for the APEC Summit in Beijing on November 9 and will proceed to the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar on November 11. (PCOO News Release)

Pres. Aquino swears in Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday (Oct. 29) inducted into office Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza during a ceremony held at the Music Room of MalacaƱang Palace.

Associate Justice Jardeleza, 65, replaced retired Associate Justice Roberto Abad. He is the 173rd Associate Justice and the fifth appointee of President Aquino in the Supreme Court.

He was also sworn into office by Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno last August 20, the same day he was appointed.

Jardeleza had served as Solicitor General since February 2012, after his stint as Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon from July 2011.

He graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1974 and placed third in the bar exams the same year. He earned his Masters of Law degree in 1977 from the Harvard School of Law.

In 1997, he was admitted to the New York Sate Bar and the US Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

Present during the ceremony were his mother Concepcion Jardeleza, wife Maria Carmen Jardeleza, and children Maria Teresa and Francis Albert. (PCOO News