Friday, July 8, 2011

53 to 100 million Pinoy Domestic workers to give protection by ILO-Trillanes

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, July 9, 2011-Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV said that there are about 53 to 100 million Pinoy workers abroad who will be given protection as agreed in the recent ILO Convention 189 where he has filed resolution commending the ILO Convention 189, or the Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention.

“It was a major victory for the millions of Filipino and foreign domestic workers who take on this job abroad,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes  lauded the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for spearheading an initiative that led to the adoption by the International Labor Organization (ILO) of the landmark treaty giving protection to millions of domestic workers across the world and also congratulated DOLE Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz and DOLE Undersecretary Hans Leo G. Cacdac, the First Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Workers of ILO, for leading the effort that has resulted to the landmark convention.

He said that the landmark treaty recognizes domestic work as work and not a form of slavery and requires member-countries of the ILO to take steps to protect domestic workers and end their abuses, explaining that the new Convention will provide protection and labor standards to Filipino domestic workers worldwide as well as the world’s domestic workers.

“The convention 189 ensures that our domestic workers will surely enjoy freedom of association and can exercise their right to collective bargaining where this mandates governments to identify and to eliminate any legislative or administrative restrictions or other obstacles to the rights of domestic workers,” Trillanes said.

Last June 16 2011, the Convention was approved during the 100th International Labor Conference of the Geneva-based organization. (Jason de Asis) 

NIA eyes rehab of .52-M hectares Phl irrigation systems

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, July 9, 2011-National Irrigation Administrator Antonio Nangel revealed that the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has bared its own six-year irrigation roadmap to support the government’s Rice Self Sufficiency Roadmap (RSSR) program, anchored principally on the restoration and rehabilitation of 525,017 hectares of non-functional irrigation systems all over the country.

Nangel said that the prioritization of non-functional irrigation systems, classified as national irrigation systems (NIS) and communal irrigation systems (CIS) is in line with the RSSR formulated by the Department of Agriculture under the leadership of Secretary Proceso Alcala which has been supported by President Aquino.

“An initial P30 billion to be sourced from allocations under the General Appropriations Act and loans will be used to finance up to 2013 the rehab and restoration of NIS and CIS nationwide,” Nangel said.

NIS involves systems with serviceable areas of 1,000 hectares and above, among which are the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System which operates the Pantabangan Dam, the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System which supervises the Magat Dam and the Angat-Maasim Irrigation System which manages the Angat Dam.

CIS refers to smaller systems that irrigate less than 1,000 hectares.

Nangel said of the NIA’s total budget of P92.7 billion up to 2016, 68 percent will be allocated for the first three years in which the agency is targeting 2.8 million metric tons of the total incremental palay production from new and restored serviceable areas. This represents 36 percent of the 4.88 million metric tons of the total targeted incremental production.

“For the first three years, NIA expects to generate 166,671 hectares of new serviceable areas, restore 102,612 hectares of inactive serviceable areas and rehabilitate 181,787 hectares of active serviceable areas,” Nangel said, adding that the NIA will be spending an average of P250,000 per  hectare for area generation, some P120,000 per hectare for area restoration and P90,000 per hectare for area rehab.

Aside from focusing on increasing the serviceable area, irrigated area and cropping intensity, the NIA will also embark on promotion of rice-intensifying cropping pattern to increase palay output.

Nangel said NIA will prioritize short-gestation projects fast-track irrigated area roll-out and promote crop yield-enhancing farming system to expand the serviceable area. “This will adopt water saving irrigation methods, including controlled irrigation practices,” Nangel added.

Regarding NIA priority projects up to 2016 in support of the DA’s RSSR, Nangel said that the agency is spending P12.7 billion for agency projects in 2011, P30 billion in 2012, P20 billion in 2013, P15 billion in 2014, P10 billion in 2015 and P5 billion by 2016.

This will be utilized to generate 286,262 hectares, restore 166,130 hectares and rehabilitate 358,887 hectares by 2016. Of the targeted generated areas, some 27,130 hectares are expected to be realized this year;  74,140 has. in 2012; 65,401 has. in 2013; 56,575 has. in 2014; 41,428 has. in 2015 and 14,221 has. in 2016.

Nangel said that for the five-year period, the targeted harvested areas will be 16,917,211 hectares broken down into 8,058,210 for the wet season; 7,687,630 has. for the dry season and 1,171,371 has. for the third crop.  

“Our country has 30 million hectares of agricultural lands of which 3,126,340 hectares are potential irrigable area based on the 3 percent slope criteria. Of the 3,126,340 hectares, NIA has developed 49 percent or 1,542,668 hectares involving 767,006 hectares for NIS, some 558,333 hectares for CIS and 217,329 hectares for private irrigation systems,” Nangel said.

He explained that the government also has identified 1,584,232 hectares in remaining potential areas to be developed. (Jason de Asis)

Bishop warns of unrest over Hacienda Luisita row

MANILA, July 8, 2011-The Aquino government could face a turbulent time of domestic unrest and challenges if it will remain silent on the disputed Hacienda Luisita, a Catholic bishop said. 
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo gave the toughly worded warning Friday and called on President Benigno Aquino III to act on the issue based on what is just and lawful.
“Rural unrest could break out in the absence of genuine implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with extension and reform (CARPer) Law,” Pabillo said in a press conference.
“He, and his advisers, should also bear in mind that the issue of land lies at the heart of the current peace process,” he said.
Pabillo said there is no room for neutrality when agrarian reform is concerned and when what is at stake is the plight of the farmers.
He challenged Aquino to prove his sincerity for the poor by siding with the farmers of Hacienda Luisita, a 6,453-hectare sugar plantation in Tarlac owned by the family the president’s family.
“We call on President Aquino’s leadership to seize the chance presented by the tragic SC ruling. As Chief Executive, he cannot continue washing his hands on this issue,” Pabillo said.
Pabillo, head of the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, stressed that land distribution is “the only path” towards justice and economic sustainability.
Pabillo said that as chief executive, Aquino cannot continue “washing his hands” on the issue.
“What kind of presidency does he hope to offer this country if he cannot even make his own family relinquish its stranglehold on properties that in the first place were acquired through government resources?” he said.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) revoked the stock distribution option (SDO) first offered by the Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) management.
Under the SDO, farm workers were given the option to acquire shares of stocks instead of gaining land ownerships.
The high court, however, ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform to hold another referendum among farm-workers to determine their choice between stocks or parcels of land.
The issue now lies in Aquino’s hands, according to Pabillo.
He said it is well within Aquino’s power to order DAR to distribute the land according to the spirit and conditions of the agrarian reform law.

“The integrity of his social contract is clouded in doubts and mistrust until he finally learns to give precedence to the poor through social justice,” he said. (CBCPNews)


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