Friday, February 11, 2011

Phl effective prevention of natural hazard and unnatural hazard is needed

SENATE OFFICE Manila, February 11, 2011-In a recent report on the economics of disaster prevention jointly produced by the World Bank (WB) and the United Nations (UN) publication entitled: “Natural Hazard, Unnatural Disasters: The Economics of Prevention”, Senator Loren Legarda said that the country should have an effective disaster preparedness to pursue sustainable development for our economy.

Legarda cited the lessons of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng which taught the citizenry in enhancing the capacities to re-build after each and every disaster, saying that for without effective disaster prevention, hundreds of lives, thousands of homes, billions worth of properties and livelihoods, even government's growth and revenue targets, can be at the mercy of a single extreme weather event.
The country has to face time and again the impacts of natural hazards which have been a major constraint and an important development issue especially the climate change hazards that can be more frequent and intense, adding that the occurrence of it must be turn to be not disasters.

Early prevention will preserve risk reduction as the key of success in fighting disasters where the Senator said that the country is second in the world to receive the recent special briefing by WB and UN.

Legarda lauded the report of Mr. Apurva Sanghi, leader of the technical working group who made the presentation, the World Bank-Philippines’ Country Director Mr. Bert Hofman, and World Bank- Sector Coordinator Ms Yan Zhang, who also shared their insights, adding that the event was joined by the Secretary of the Department of Finance Cesar Purisima, Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority Cayetano Paderanga, Jr. and Presidential Assistant for Climate Change Elizea Gozun and other legislators, who are chairpersons of major committees in Congress, key government officials, members of international organizations and the diplomatic corps, heads of non-government organizations and various institutions and members of the academe.

“Disasters maim and kill. They devastate the environment and set back economic development,” Legarda said, stressing that reducing disaster risk is a critical development issue that affects everybody and concerns every sector of the society.

Legarda urged the political leaders of the country to realize that reducing disaster risk is a moral responsibility to the people and a commitment to good governance that transcends political boundaries.

She calls to PNoy that now is the time to make a difference and must act now, pointing out that leaders of the country should not allow another Ondoy and Pepeng to happen again in Metro Manila.

The Senator recommended that there is a need to improve the country’s early warning system and strengthen Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAG-ASA) as deemed the most cost effective in reducing the impacts of disasters, adding that there is a need to invest in flood protection and earthquake mitigation in Metro Manila and other low land areas heeding the lessons of Ondoy and Pepeng.

There is a need to convene the Climate Change Commission and make disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation high in the development agenda, saying that there is a need to engage local government leaders in the fight against disaster and climate risks.  They are in the frontline and most in need of capability building, act decisively and secure the children’s future to make economic good sense. (Jason de Asis)

Grievance committee formed to probe Gapan scams amid boy's forged certificate of live birth

GAPAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, February 11, 2011-Mayor Christian Tinio has formed a grievance committee to investigate and conduct summary hearings against appointive officials and employees following the involvement of an employee of the city’s civil registrar office here in the falsification of the certificate of live birth of an eight-year-old boy and for the mysterious disappearance of the marriage contract of his parents.

In Executive Order 2011-02, Tinio designated his executive assistant Danilo Padiernos as chairman of the five-men grievance committee. The other members of the committee are human resource management officer Cesar Mendoza, city administrator Eduardo Almera, city engineer Carl Anthony Alfaro and assistant city treasurer Mauro Marcelo.

Tinio said he formed the committee after his office received numerous complaints against appointive local city officials and employees. He stressed that its formation was in line with Section 86 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code which provides that administrative investigation may be conducted by a person or a committee duly authorized by the local chief executive.

The committee’s creation came after the Sangguniang Panlunsod, presided over by Vice Mayor Rodel Matias, opened its probe on Jocelyn Dimacale, clerk of the office of the city civil registrar following a complaint-affidavit lodged before the council by Desiree Bonifacio of Barangay San Nicolas here.

Tinio said whoever was responsible for the anomaly will be held responsible once proven guilty.  

Bonifacio is the mother of Davis Mandy Afable.        Afable was born last May 28, 2002 to Bonifacio and Manuel Afable, an American citizen. Exactly a month later, the elder Afable and Bonifacio got married.

Bonifacio said in the process, Davis Mandy was “legitimated through subsequent marriage,” as borne by the couple’s application for marriage license and the certificate of live birth.   The couple’s relationship, however, went sour and they later separated.

Sometime last year, Bonifacio went to the National Statistics Office to request a copy of their authenticated marriage contract and Davis Mandy’s certificate of live birth. To her surprise, the copy of the marriage contract could not be found and the certificate of her son’s live birth was forged through false entries.

A copy of the certificate of live birth of Davis Mandy showed that the boy’s middle name and surname Afable were erased. The same document, however, clearly indicated that Davis Mandy was “legitimated” through the subsequent marriage of his parents on June 28, 2002. Because of the forged certificate of live birth, Bonifacio said it would appear that Davis Mandy was an illegitimate child and was deprived of benefits.

In her complaint-affidavit, she also attached a copy of certificate of live birth signed by city civil registrar Danilo Tan and Dimacale dated July 5, 2002 showing that she and Afable got married. But in another certificate of live birth dated January 21, 2011 also signed by Tan and clerk 2 Arthur Merle, there were no entries opposite the lines “date and place of marriage of parents.”

Bonifacio said when she confronted Dimacale about the falsified certificate of live birth and the missing marriage contract, the latter admitted she pulled out the authentic documents on the request of the elder Afable. (Jason de Asis)

NOLCOM AFP lighted candles for peace inside Camp Aquino

CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City, February 11, 2011-To signify the institution’s will to remain as the “knight in shining armor” of the citizenry, the men and women of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) jointly lighted candles, Tuesday Amidst controversies hounding the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in respond to the calls of Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David, Jr. to all military personnel to remain strong and united.

The candle lighting took place in a covered court here and was voluntarily participated in by dependents of uniformed men and residents living nearby who believe in the peace and advocacy of the AFP.

“The candle lighting was done simultaneously with similar activity spearheaded by the general headquarters at Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, participated in by the AFP major services, some non-government organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations, government agencies and was replicated in other military camps nationwide,” NOLCOM Spokesman Major Rosendo Armas said.

NOLCOM Chief Lieutenant General Gaudencio S. Pangilinan said that the symbolic lighting of candles was very timely considering the issues currently besetting the AFP, referring to allegations of corrupt practices in the organization particularly the so-called “pasalubong” and “pabaon” given to top-brass AFP officials, saying that sometimes it pays to know and experience a disease to be able to make the right dose of medicine for that particular ailment, nevertheless, he believes that after all these trying times for the organization, the AFP will emerge much stronger than before.

To prevent abuses, Pangilinan emphasized that so many reforms in the system have been  already instituted, pointing out that no conversion is happening right now in all AFP units including NOLCOM and instead, they resort to cash advance to be able to give timely support especially for the troops in the field. Check and balance are also in place.

Pangilinan urged to give peace a chance by actively supporting the Internal Peace and Security Plan of the AFP, adding that the Bayanihan is not new to the local populace because Filipinos are well-known for the spirit of cooperation.

“There is a need that the people should be one hundred percent behind us, every step of the way the AFP can accomplish many things to scrap rebels and that is the reason why soldiers are calling on the support of all stakeholders so that if everybody is united, there is a lasting peace in the community. Peace can be won,” he ended.

Earlier, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David, Jr. ordered all military officials and soldiers to remain loyal to and yielding of their sworn duties to the country and its people, saying that the ongoing investigation on corruption against some former top-brass officials of the AFP is “part of the past” that “serves as basis for fixing the system and creating tight reforms.”

“What is important is to maintain the trust, respect and support of the public to Filipino soldiers,” David asserted.

While David expressed dismay over things that has been exposed in the senate trials on the alleged corrupt practices in the AFP, the highest ranking military official still believes that the AFP can still walk with pride as it faced the controversy with valour considering that what has transpired would give way to further solidifying the strength of the military force.

David ensured authorities of the AFP’s, as well as of the Department of National Defense’s full cooperation in the ongoing investigation relative to the alleged corrupt practices in the military. (Jason de Asis)


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