Monday, August 6, 2012

Don’t fear political dynasties – Angara

MANILA, Philippines - Political dynasties are not always bad, said Rep Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, a member of the Angara political clan of Aurora province.
“If you have your own qualifications and you have the name, I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” he told ANC's Headstart on Tuesday, June 26.
“Why deprive the people of their choice?,” he said. Angara is the son of Senator Edgardo Angara and the nephew of Aurora Gov. Bellafor Castillo.
AB issue?
Angara said the opposition to political dynasties appears to be a “Manila-type, intellectual A-B issue.”
“In my talks with people, hindi issue sa kanila yun. Kung magaling ang tatay o asawa, may tatak yun at makatutulong sa tatakbo…. I think it's an issue for the elite, but not for the masa," he said.
Nevertheless, Angara said he could still support a bill against political dynasties. “If it’s a good bill and it doesn’t unduly limit the opportunities for public office and the choice of voters, there is nothing wrong,” he said. “There are bills versus political dynasties but the difficulty lies in defining what is a dynasty and what you are prohibiting."
In the end, Angara said it’s all about voter education. Voters should be able to identify politicians from the issues they stand for.
LP’s senatorial bet?
On his third and last term in the House of Representatives, Angara said he is “inclined” to run for the Senate next year.
President Aquino has named Angara as one of the ruling party's potential senatorial candidates next year. Angara said, however, that there is “no formal invitation from the President to run with LP [Liberal Party].” Angara belongs to the Laban political party.
“We'll cross the bridge when we get there. We're not obsessing over it,” he said.
Running for Aurora’s gubernatorial position is also an option, he said.
He said is watching the surveys and may decide in one or two months. The deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacies is Oct 5, 2012.
Senator Angara’s second and last term in the Senate also expires in 2013. (Courtesy to


CAMP OLIVAS, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, August 6, 2012-To further enhance every PNP personnel’s skills and confidence particularly in public speaking, Police Regional Office 3 under the leadership of PCSUPT EDGARDO T LADAO, RD, PRO3 has organized a Toastmasters Club or PNP Speech Club joined in by the different chiefs of offices of the regional headquarters.

            The organization of the PRO3 Toastmasters Club is in line with the directive of the C, PNP, PDG NICANOR BARTOLOME to reactivate the PNP Toastmasters Club which was organized in 1995 but hibernated four to five years later.

            On August 3, 2012, the PRO3 Toastmasters Club Division A was formally launched along with the Induction of Charter Members and Installation of 2012-2013 Officers which was held at the PRO3 Conference Room, Camp Olivas, City of San Fernando, Pampanga wherein the Keynote Speaker was Toastmasters International Director Christine Temblique.

            In his inaugural message, PSSUPT NOLI G TALIÑO, Deputy Regional Director for Operations/President said that “2012 is a remarkable year for Police Regional Office3 since the reactivation of the PNP Toastmasters Club has been realized. This is another opportunity for us to forge effective community relations through good communication.”

            Meanwhile, in his welcome remarks, PSSUPT OSCAR ALBAYALDE, Chief, Regional Intelligence Division3/Vice President Education said that through the Toastmaster’s Club their communication skills will be honed, polished and developed as well as their ability to speak professionally and eloquently in public or in front of the media will be enhanced.

Legarda: Amend Anti-Hazing Law to Increase Awareness and Accountability

MANILA, August 6, 2012-“Hazing has laid claim to many lives, and will continue to do so unless we take concerted action,” Senator Loren Legarda said today in a privilege speech where she called to amend RA 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law.

“These tragic, untimely deaths prove that hazing remains a serious problem in fraternities, sororities, and other organizations in the country. The Anti-Hazing Law in its current incarnation is evidently not enough,” she explained.

“We are called upon by the Filipino people to act on these tragedies. Let us advocate heightened awareness and participation among all stakeholders, and reestablish accountability among fraternities, sororities, organizations, and administrators of universities and colleges alike,” she emphasized.

She suggested that careful research should be conducted on effective administrative practices to regulate fraternities, sororities, and organizations should be conducted.

“Banning these student endeavors will only result in driving them underground, making it harder for them to be monitored. Alternatives should be sought and implemented immediately,” she added.

Legarda, expressing indignation over the recent hazing-related death of San Beda College of Law freshman Mark Andre Marcos, also reiterated her call to ensure that perpetrators of hazing are held accountable.

“There is a need to revisit the current policy of regulation under the Anti-Hazing Law given its failure to deter violence and the apparent audacity by which these fraternities and sororities and their officers and members perpetrate violence without regard to the existing mandate of the law,” she concluded.

Legarda Hails Senate Concurrence in Domestic Workers’ Convention

MANILA, August 6, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda today hailed the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 189, the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that all 20 senators present during the voting concurred in the ratification of the Convention.

“I am happy for our kasambahays because the approval of ILO Convention 189 will pave the way for the proper recognition of their important role in the households they are employed in and their contribution to the economy,” she stressed.

The Senator cited records of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) which showed that the deployment of domestic workers is increasing year-to-year. In 2011, newly hired overseas Filipino domestic workers breached the 100,000 mark (136,000) for the first time in Philippine history.

She added that through this Convention the government can provide stronger protection and greater support to the 3.4 million Filipino domestic workers here and abroad.

“Domestic workers are not nameless persons. They have families. They send siblings to school.  They work, just like us, but unlike us, many of them are denied their rights and are stripped of their dignity as a human being, and through the ILO Convention 189, we are hopeful that this kind of injustice would end,” Legarda stressed.

“Our kasambahays will now be recognized as legitimate workers, not slaves, and be accorded decent working conditions, just compensation and sufficient benefits they greatly deserve,”  Legarda concluded.

Senate budget deliberation kicks off Drilon says 2013 budget plugs in growth constraints

MANILA, August 6, 2012-Senator Franklin M Drilon is confident that the proposed P2.006-trillion 2013 national budget will address the top growth restrictions identified by the National Economic Development Board (NEDA) in order to achieve the projected 6-7 percent growth rate for the next several years.

 At a Development Budget Coordination Council (DBCC) briefing for the Senators on the proposed budget, the NEDA identified five critical areas hampering the country’s growth: slow infrastructure developments, human capital development, institution of governance, agricultural productivity and strengthening manufacturing and industry.

The Senator, who chairs the Senate Finance that reviews the country’s proposed expenditures, said these bottlenecks must be addressed to catch up with the neighboring countries’ robust economic conditions.

The country’s 2012 first quarter growth of 6.4 percent is the highest in the region except for China, gaining praises from a number of senators present in the hearing who expressed satisfaction for the way the economy has been managed for the past one year, noted Drilon.

Drilon cited, in particular, the slow implementation of government’s infrastructure projects will be addressed by allowing the pre-bidding process to take place, short of awards, through the National Expenditure Program (NEP).  

“In order to meet the requirements of the law and address the need to accelerate infrastructure, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) would now bid out projects based on the NEP. All infrastructure projects should be bidded out by December this year, so that come January 1, awarding of bids will be made on the basis of the approved General Appropriations Act,” said Drilon.

“In this manner, we will be able to commence these projects during summer months, and more importantly, we don’t want to be caught in the ban of awards of infrastructure projects because of the elections in 2013,” added Drilon.

The DPWH is allotted with P152.9 billion in 2013 to build roads, bridges, ports and airports, noted Drilon.

Meanwhile, to improve human capital, Drilon said, strategic investment in education and health are taken into considerations in crating the 2013 budget. The social services sector has the highest allocation of P698.4 billion.
The Department of Education (DepEd) will get P292.7 billion allocation – the highest in the entire bureaucracy. The Department of Health will have a budget of P56.8 billion, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development is provided with P56.2 billion allocation.

“All of these would now address this need to develop our human capital and to address the inadequacy in our investment in our people where we lagged behind in terms of our educational attainment and in preparing our youth for the future,” stressed Drilon.

Drilon also pointed out that the policy of the government is to emphasize transparency, strengthen anti-corruption drive, and continuously address red tape.

On the agricultural productivity, the 2013 budget provides for enough funding to support agriculture, particularly to construct irrigation, farm-to-market roads, post-harvest facilities. The Department of Agriculture is the 5th highest funded department with P74.1 billion in 2013.

“There is need to support agriculture in order that we can lower the cost of food. This can only be achieved in terms of agricultural productivity. Second is that agriculture is essential because food security is critical to our country,” explained Drilon.

Finally, Drilon said manufacturing and industry will be improved through investments in infrastructure and by encouraging participation by the private sector through Publi-Private Partnership programs

The proposed P2.006 trillion 2013 national budget is 10.5 percent higher than the P1.816 trillion budget this year, and represents 16.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, said Drilon.

“The government intends to bring down the deficit to two percent of GDP, equivalent to P241 billion, in 2013 from its current target of 2.6 percent or P279.1 billion, to create a robust and sustainable fiscal space,” he added.

On the other hand, the government’s disbursement capacity in 2013 is pegged at P2,021.1 trillion from its current target of P1,839.7 trillion, and it will be funded by the P1,780.1 trillion proposed revenues from its current target of P1,560.6 trillion.

In addition, government owned and controlled corporations have been provided with P29.8 billion subsidy from current’s P11 billion. 


MANILA, August 6, 2012-At a briefing conducted by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) to senators in preparation for the 2013 budget hearings, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan pushed for the benchmarking of per-capita income data between the Philippines and other ASEAN countries as a way to gauge the impact of government programs.

Pangilinan specifically requested for per-capita income information between “ten, fifteen years ago” and today to determine if the Philippines “is moving forward or running in place.”

“We don’t operate in a vacuum; we operate in the context of our neighbors and our would-be competitors,” Pangilinan pointed out. “We need to see if we are trailing behind our neighbors and if our programs are helping us move forward. Are we really hitting the bull’s eye in terms of addressing what has to be addressed? Otherwise, we just might be running in place.”

NEDA Chief Arsenio Balisacan confirmed that “The Philippines trails [behind] the other nations.” He cited Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) as having grown by seven percent since 2000, while population growth was at roughly two percent, bringing per capita growth to five percent.

“Indonesia is now past us; by now they are much higher by five hundred dollars per person [in terms of per capita income]. Thailand was almost the same as the Philippines in the mid-1980s, but their per capita income is now twice [larger] than us.” Balisacan said.

Pangilinan asked that the figures be submitted to the Senate’s Budget Committee for benchmarking, to determine the effectiveness of government programs. He also recommended that comparative figures be presented in terms of job generation.

“The reason why I’m raising this is that if we view our country as lagging behind, then we’re obviously doing something wrong, or we’re not doing enough. That would justify why we have to put the money into [the programs we want to push for], because we need to do things differently.”

The lawmaker reiterated, “This is something for the DBCC to think about. Ultimately, this is about improving the quality of life of our citizens. Are we moving forward, or we moving in place, or are we lagging behind?”

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Franklin Drilon carried the proposal and requested the DBCC to provide the said data.


Singapore, August 6, 2012-As he attends the Microsoft Southeast Asia Privacy Dialogue in Singapore today, Senator Edgardo J. Angara stressed that the country needs to urgently scale up efforts to protect personal information transmitted via the Internet and other information and communications technologies (ICT).

Angara is the main proponent of the Data Privacy Act which mandates both public and private enterprises to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of all the personal information collected throughout their operations.

The measure, which will boost to the country’s fast-growing Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry, was recently transmitted to Malacanang for the President's signature.  

“I am confident that President Aquino will sign this into law,” said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. “But getting it enacted is only the first step—albeit a very vital one.

“To ensure the smooth implementation of the law, government agencies and private enterprises must look into how they can already incorporate international privacy principles into their systems and internal policies. For sure, some significant changes will have to be made, but that only makes it important for us to start working on them as early as now.”

The veteran lawmaker cited a white paper from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that discusses best practices on how to implement and operationalize privacy frameworks, similar to the proposals made under the Data Privacy Act.

The report proposes three principles as basic guidelines for implementation, which are: 1) Privacy by Design; 2) Simplified Consumer Choice; and 3) Transparency.

Angara explained, “Businesses and government agencies must promote the privacy of their customers or constituents throughout every step of their operations. Their data collection practices should also be clearly explained. It should also be relatively easy for consumers to express their choices on how they want their personal data handled.”

He concluded, “A lot has to be done for the country to meaningfully protect its online data. Therefore, we must build on our capacities and collaborate with our neighbors every chance we can get.”

Aside from Senator Angara, representatives from the Philippine IT-BPO industry, the academe, business leaders, as well as government ICT officials from Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, will also attend the Microsoft Southeast Asia Privacy Dialogue. (Rikka Sotto w/ Shielo Mendoza)

PIA-3 signs agreement with local school for studes' practicum

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, August 6, 2012-The Philippine Information Agency 3 (PIA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the College of Computing Sciences and Information Technology (CCSIT) of the University of the Assumption (UA), here, August 3. 

The MOA signing primarily aims to gain partnership with public and private companies to train students and prepare them for the real world through internship or On the Job Training (OJT). 

Together with PIA, the Bureau of Fire Protection 3 (BFP) and the WALLEM Innovative Solutions also took part in the general assembly and MOA signing themed ,"E.D.I.T.-Explore, Develop, Innovate, Transform." 

"With the agreement between the university and the companies, rejection of the students' application for internship will be avoided," said Joey Suba, CCSIT practicum coordinator. 

"There will be industries ready to adopt their practicum," Suba added. 

On the other hand, the agreement will not only benefit the university and the students but also the practicum site. 

According to PIA regional director Robert Baldago, "the OJTs are of big help to us in the office. We have IT students from UA right now who do computer works and troubleshoot our computers.

Baldago added that PIA may also be the way for a student's employment in the future. 

"In 1996, i was an ojt in PIA Central Office, then I was absorbed as a contractual employee," Baldago narrated. 

Suba expressed the university's gratitute for the companies' invaluable support to the MOA' s goal. (Aurora Catu)

Local gov't, DOLE release salaries of summer studes

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga, Aug 6, 2012-The remaining 40 percent counterpart of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the salary of 252 beneficiaries of the city’s Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) was recently released. 

“The 60 percent of their allowance were already given by our local government in June. What we are distributing now are the remaining 40 percent from DOLE,” said Adelina Deocales PESO (Public Employment Service Office) manager as the student-grantees received their salaries. 

Shaira David, a student-grantee from Angeles City National Trade School, was thankful for the DOLE share. 

“I am thankful because I was able to earn money for my education last summer. It is a perfect opportunity for us since it is vacation time. We gained work experience and met new friends,” said Shaira. 

Edita Dublon, a parent of a SPES scholar from Barangay Salapungan also thanked the city government and DOLE for the timely release of the monetary compensation. 

“We, as parents, are thankful for the opportunity given to our child. The first tranch of the salary was able to help us in paying her tuition fee. The release of this second partition will help us in financing her everyday allowance,” said Dublon. 

For his part, Pamintuan expressed optimism for the success of the summer job program of the city for the students. 

“I laud PESO for continuously catering to the employment needs of the people of Angeles especially the student-beneficiaries of our student-employment program last summer,” said Pamintuan. 

“In cooperation with DOLE, we were able to facilitate opportunities for poor but deserving students of the city to work and earn for their education,” Pamintuan added. 

The SPES, which is a nationwide project, is jointly implemented by the city government and DOLE. 

Mandated under Republic Act 7323, government units are enforced to help indigent but deserving students in pursuing their education by giving them jobs during summer and Christmas vacation. 

Angeles City was able to admit a total of 350 student-beneficiaries during the implementation of the program last April to May this year. 

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting along with Councilor Edu Pamintuan and officials from DOLE at the PESO here handed the salaries to student-beneficiaries. (WLB/AC-CIO)

On CARPer's third anniversary CL farmers dare Aquino to abandon interest on Luisita, implement 'genuine' land reform

BALER, Aurora, August 6, 2012-Farmers belonging to Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (Amgl, Farmers' Alliance in Central Luzon) dared Philippine president Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III to abandon interest on Hacienda Luisita and implement 'genuine' land reform by junking the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with 'Reforms' (CARPer) and passing House Bill 374 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB).  More than a hundred farmers from Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Pampanga protested in front of the Dept. of Agrarian Reform (DAR) central office in Quezon City, joining farmers from other regions under the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Anakpawis Partylist.  The following day, the farmers protested at Mendiola bridge to challenge the Aquino government.  CARPer or Republic Act 9700 is on its third year implementation after former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed it on August 7, 2009.

“Aquino and everyone in the country should accept that without genuine land reform, there would be no social justice and fundamental reforms and all deception and lies about CARPer would be exposed and its multi-billion budget allocation would all go to waste or to the pocket of rich landlords,” Joseph Canlas said, Amgl chairperson.

Amgl primarily demanded Aquino to abandon his and his family's interest on Hacienda Luisita and immediately order its distribution to the 6,296 farmworker-beneficiaries (FWBs) as ordered by the Supreme Court.

“Aquino is sending a wrong signal by delaying the distribution of Hacienda Luisita.  He and the Cojuangco-Aquinos promised to follow the law but when the Supreme Court decided, here he goes ordering DAR to make a new list of FWBs, prolonging the process,” Canlas said.

“DAR's action on Hacienda Luisita is risky as making the new list would sow chaos and unnecessary confusion among the farmworkers.  It is apparent that DAR is making the distribution process complicated, thus, Aquino is not sincere in abiding the law or the SC order,” he added.

Amgl is also demanding the immediate distribution of 3,100-hectares agricultural lands formerly part of the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) in Laur, Nueva Ecija being claimed by the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (IDPA).

“The issue of Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation is the very concrete example of the uselessness of CARPer.  Imagine, its coverage was already ordered by former president Cory Aquino through her executive orders 407 and 448 in 1990, and Deed of Transfer (DOT) between DAR and the Dept. of National Defense (DND) signed by sec. Benjamin Leong and Renato De Villa, respectively in 1990, but the process is being opposed by the AFP, a government entity itself,” Canlas said.

“CARPer could not even compel the AFP to follow the law, thus, harassment against farmers continue and retired police and military officials are grabbing lands in Fort Magsaysay,” he added.

Amgl also demanded Aquino to stop the massive land use conversion(LUCs) in Central Luzon, ejecting farmers from their land.

“These LUCs in Central Luzon is a threat to farmers' rights on land, as well as to the food security of our country,” Canlas said.

Amgl said that the construction  of Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) and Central Luzon Expressway (CLEx) projects in Nueva Ecija has ejected and continue to threaten farmers out of their lands.

“If Aquino was sincere in realizing fundamental reforms, CARP should have covered the subjected lands decades ago and distributed to legitimate farmer-beneficiaries, but he did not.  Hence,  farmers are now defending their rights,” Canlas added.

“We call on other sectors to support our demand to junk CARPer and enact House Bill 374 or GARB.  We should learn that CARP and CARPer  is not a real land reform program in its 24 years of implementation.  If we want to keep our country's food supply secure, we must defend the farmers' cultivation of productive agricultural lands and protect it from LUCs.  The absence of a genuine land reform program would lead to an agrarian unrest in our country,” Canlas said. 


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