Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aurora Lycean and Army Sprint for Greening Environment and Gender Equality

MARIA AURORA, Aurora, August 12, 2012-The National Service Training Program (NSTP) Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) of the two (2) campuses of Lyceum of the East in Aurora and the 48th Infantry “Guardians” Battalion, Philippine Army will be conducting “TAKBO PARA SA INANG KALIKASAN” with the theme “ONE SPIRIT, ONE ADVOCACY, ONE GOAL…A Sustainable National Greening Program thru Gender and Development (GAD) Principles and Initiatives” on August 20, 2012 (Monday), 3:30pm. It will start and will end at Lyceum of the East-Aurora (LEA) in Maria Aurora, Aurora.

Hundreds of runners are expected to join in the 1st joint fun-run initiated by the two colleges and the army which will benefit the people of Aurora and committed in a series of seminars and symposiums on GAD, NGP environmental awareness, tree planting, nursery, zero waste management, adopt a mountain, water and marine life conservation, illegal logging prevention and livelihood among others.
The activity is in pursuant to RA 9512 otherwise known as the National Greening Program (NGP), serves as a catalyst which drives and encourages all government offices and private offices to participate and join in the greening program.
Likewise, the newly launched program: GAD is given impetus for the protection of humans particularly the youth. At present, the school and the army are designing a program in pursuance to RA 7192 (Women in Development and Nation Building Act), RA 9710 or Magna Carta for Women and other related legislations to be implemented in the province, adding that the activity will showcase women empowerment and equality, embodying the principles of GAD.

Corollary to this, Lyceum of the East President Engr. Jaime S. Gose, Chairperson and 48th IB Battalion Commander LTC Kurt A Decapia, Co-Chairperson of the activity are calling the attention of professional and avid runners, amateur runners, health aficionados, environment advocates and students to run for the benefit of the environment. The fun run will boost the joint activity to pursue other programs for GAD and NGP in the entire province.

It is a joint School-Army activity to foster cooperation and camaraderie wherein they decided a Registration fee of P50 pesos for each participant to cover logistics and administration. 

This endeavor is for the future of the generation of today with due respect to the gender equality and environmental protection and awareness in the changing world.

As of this report, a Technical Working Group whose members came from both colleges and the army is completing a Four-Year Strategic Plan incorporating all programs, activities, and targets where all students, males and females will have equal chances and opportunities to participate and contribute productively. (Jason de Asis)


MANILA, August 12, 2012-Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized that the solution to country's the employment woes is creating “employment zones” that can absorb the unemployed and underemployed.

“I’m very obsessed with the issue of lack of income because that’s the root cause of many social problems in this country – the inability to go to school, 
inability to take care of the sick, and rampant malnutrition. How do we create employment in this country? By creating employment zones in underserved, very poor areas,” Angara said during the launch of the Angara Centre for Law and Economics.

Angara explained that by creating employment zones, where one can bypass the maze of regulatory tapes, the country can start giving immediate employment to Filipinos.

He added that these employment zones, which are similar to economic zones, should be created in areas along the pacific coast of the country such as in Samar, Leyte, Davao Oriental, Palawan, Cagayan and Aurora.

Dr. John V.C. Nye, 
Executive Director of the Angara Centre, seconded the senator’s suggestion. He pointed out that problems of capitalism, competition, monopoly, poor infrastructure, overly rigid commercial labor laws, complicated taxation, constitutional restrictions, and zoning needs make it very hard to convert agricultural land into commercial land in the Philippines.

“Structural transformation is just a buzz word for moving people out of poor or underperforming agriculture into faster performing industry especially export promoting industry. Almost all studies of development say that the fastest way to grow is to move people from low productive sector to high productive sector and yet, the bulk of Philippine rules, regulations and laws work against that,” said Nye, the F
rederic Bastiat Chair in Political Economy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

He continued, “The best evidence for that is we have all these OFWs – these highly skilled, highly desirable workers who cannot get jobs at home. Why is it so easy to employ Filipinos abroad? How do you employ Filipinos in the Philippines? If it’s easier to employ them abroad than in the Philippines then there must be something preventing you from opening factories and businesses in the Philippines. We need to understand why that’s the case.”

The Angara Centre is a premier think tank that aims to raise the standards of academic research and policy studies by tapping the growing ranks of internationally trained Filipino scholars and a network of international law and economics experts.

Angara urged the government to address this employment issue soon and consider implementing these employment zones in key areas in the country.

“We should now create a zone, where we can bypass this regulatory maze and all these things that we’re complaining about, and start giving immediate employment. I think that’s our concern now, not five years from now because five years from now, we will be 115 million in population; 10 years from we will be almost 120 million then it will be harder for us to cope with those demographics,” the senator said. 

NICA, 3 other agencies budgets to be examined as Senate resumes budget hearings today

MANILA, August 12, 2012-The proposed budgets of the country’s lead intelligence collection unit and three other agencies will be examined by the Senate Finance Committee as they defend their proposed budgets for 2013 today (Monday).

Senator Franklin M. Drilon who chairs the committee that reviews the proposed P2.006-trillion 2013 national budget said budget hearings will resume today after they were cancelled last week because of heavy rains.

To kick off the budget hearing this week, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) is expected to present details of its proposed budget of P491.32 million budget – net of automatic appropriation – an increase of percent 7.8 percent from its current appropriation of P458.62 million.

Similarly, the Philippine Dangerous Drug Board (PDDB) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will also lay out their proposed spending in 2013 align with their mandates to solve problems on illegal drugs.

PDDB is proposed to receive P170.84 million for 2013, P69.83 million below its current budget. And as opposed to PDDB, PDEA will get an increase of P175.69 million, or PP755.46 million, from its 2012 budget of P579.78 million.

Lastly, the National Security Council will also defend today its proposed 2013 budget of P109.55 million, 45.19 percent higher than its current budget of P75.45 million.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DAF) is set to face the committee on Tuesday to defend its proposed budget of P11.55 billion, net of automatic appropriation, which is 5.71 percent higher than its 2012 budget of P10.92 billion.

Finally, the President’s communication units will present their proposed appropriations on Wednesday. Presidential Communication Operation Office is seeking P1.25 billion in 2013 from P1.05 billion in 2012, while the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office is proposed to get P68.72 million from P53.3 million this year.


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