Monday, August 27, 2012

Jesuits vow support for CBCP vs RH bill

MANILA, August 27, 2012— The Jesuit hierarchy has assured support for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in its position against a proposed population control measure.
In a letter to the CBCP, Fr. Jose Magadia, provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, said they are behind the bishops in their campaign against the reproductive health (RH) bill.
He said that in the country’s many struggles, the Jesuits have always sought to work with the bishops as their “pastors and guides.”
“This means, as has happened in many prior issues of national concern, it is our preference not to lead you but to follow you, our Bishops,” Magadia said in a letter to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president.
“May such spirit continue even as we remain one with you in prayer and in desire that fullness of the Gospel be proclaimed for all our people,” he said.
Copies of the letter were also sent to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education, and Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.
Same letter were also sent to retired Archbishops Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila and Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebu and Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.
The Jesuits’ position on the issue was put into question after one of their confreres, constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas vocally threw his support behind the artificial contraception measure.
Bernas even released a statement of support for the RH bill right on the day when several dioceses across the country were holding a prayer rally against the measure last August 4.
Around 150 professors of the Jesuit-run Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) also expressed support for the RH bill.
While they respect the individual consciences of Ateneo professors supporting the bill, Magadia said they will continue to dialogue with them about the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life and the family. [RL/CBCPNews]

DSWD calls on Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in CL to follow change of residency procedures

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, August 27, 2012-Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is calling all Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Central Luzon who intend to transfer residency in another barangay, municipality, city, province or region to coordinate with their respective city or municipal links to ensure their continued enrollment into the program.
Pantawid Pamilya regional information officer Dennis Garcia said “we follow certain change of residency procedures under our Beneficiary Update System that is why it is important for these transferees to immediately inform our coordinators on the field in the soonest possible time so that they may still receive cash grants.”
Garcia added “a system is also being followed for those who had already transferred and are having problems in the receipt of their stipends.”
Garcia enjoins those who have questions to call or text their regional hotline- 09178451707.
Pantawid Pamilya provides cash grants of P1,400 per month during school months (June-March) and P500 per month during non-school months (April-May) or P300 per child per month as education grant and P500 per household per month as health grant to household beneficiaries as long as they comply with certain conditions like the regular visit of children in health centers to avail immunization and maintenance of a class attendance rate of at least 85% per month for those who are enrolled in day care centers or schools.
Grantees were selected through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) - the similar instrument used in determining the recipients of the Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K), Social Pension and Cash-for-Work programs.
NHTS-PR is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country. It uses the Proxy Means Test (PMT) in the selection of beneficiaries for social welfare programs and services.
The PMT is a statistical model that estimates household income using proxy variables included in the household assessment form (HAF).
Some of the variables used in the PMT are family composition, education of household members, housing conditions and access to basic services.
These variables were sourced out from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) and Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the National Statistics Office.
A household whose economic condition falls on or below the poverty line would qualify for the specific programs and services of DSWD.

Pampanga governor lauds media role in times of calamity

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, August 27, 2012-Governor Lilia Pineda lauded the local and national media entities for their significant role of disseminating accurate and timely information to Kapampangans during the occurrence of the southwest monsoon and tropical storm “Helen” that submerged around 390 villages in 19 towns and two cities of the province.

“Media’s role is worthy of genuine appreciation and must be lauded by all of us –Kapampangans – especially in this time of great need and calamity,” the governor said.

The provincial government through the Provincial Information Office had worked closely with national television station such as GMA 7, ABS-CBN, TV5, Net 25, PTV 4, UNTV, ANC and national newspapers such as Business Mirror, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin,
Philippine Star, Manila Times, Manila Standard Today, Journal Group, among others.

The governor has also recognized local papers namely: Sunstar Pampanga, Punto, Central Luzon Daily, The Voice, Angeles Observer, Business Week, Headline Gitnang Luzon, among others for the publication of accurate and developmental news for Kapampangan readers.

Pineda also valued the important role of radio stations like RW95.1 FM, GVAM 792, GVFM 99.1, Bright 91.9, DZMM, DZBB, DZEC, DZRH, in the instantaneous delivery of reports from the towns and cities of the province.

She also recognized the efforts of CLTV36 and GNN44 for its role in closely monitoring the flood situations throughout the province.

“We continue to ask for your support during this time of need. Let us maintain the delivery of accurate news for Kapampangans to avoid confusion and avert the spread of wrong information causing panic and distress among the people of Pampanga,” Pineda appealed.

The media also played an important role in motivating the people and the non-government organizations (NGOs) to come forward with significant assistance to alleviate the sufferings of the affected families.

According to the reports from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development a total of 176,593 families or 905, 302 individuals in Pampanga were affected and experienced flooding during the height of
the southwest monsoon in the past week.

“Despite the unfortunate event experienced by our province, the Kapampangans were able to respond accordingly and remained aware of the situation in their areas through the efforts of media entities aiming to equip the masses with correct and reliable information,” the
governor added. (Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu with reports from Joel P. Mapiles-PIO Pampanga)

P44-B CCT program to face Senate scrutiny today

MANILA, August 27, 2012-The government’s P44.26-billion flagship poverty alleviation program will face scrutiny of a Senate panel today (Tuesday), announced Senate Finance Committee chairman Senator Franklin M. Drilon.

The Senate Committee on Finance that is reviewing the proposed P2.006-trillion national expenditure in 2013 is expected to grill the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) over the implementation of the conditional cash transfer program (CCT), also known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

”We must emphasize that this program is not strictly a poverty alleviation program but bridge towards alleviating poverty by investing to education and health of the children,” Drilon said.

“The CCT program will get an increase of 12.2 percent from its 2012 allocation of P39.45 billion to benefit additional 700,000 households in 2013,” said Drilon, noting that this year’s beneficiaries have already reached 3,106,979.

CCT or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) provides cash grants to beneficiaries to be used for health and nutrition and for educational expenses, noted Drilon. The beneficiaries were identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

It provides a monthly stipend composed of up to P1,400, on condition that they send or keep their children in school, that their children receive immunization and that mothers avail of pre-natal and other check-ups, added Drilon.

“The allocation for CCT program is 78.8 percent of the total proposed budget of the DSWD amounting P56.2 billion,” said Drilon.

With the proposed budget, the DSWD is committed to implement other social protection programs aside from CCT such as the pension program to senior citizens which has a budget of P1.53 billion in 2013 and feeding program for daycare children amounting P2.96 billion, said Drilon.

Legarda Alarmed over Phl’s Low Ranking in Ocean Health Index

MANILA, August 27, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda today expressed alarm over the results of the Ocean Health Index, which ranked the Philippines 105th out of 117 territories, making it among the most deteriorated marine ecosystems in the world.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, detailed that the Ocean Health Index focuses not only how pristine the ocean is but how it can sustainably deliver benefits for the people within its territory. It uses 50 distinct indicators such as the sustainability of methods of seafood harvesting and coastal protection.

“The Ocean Health Index is a new kind of yardstick because it measures how well our oceans can continue to deliver the needs of our growing population. It recognizes people as a legitimate component of ocean health. And based on the 2012 results, it is clear that the health and socio-economic value of our oceans will continue to deteriorate if we do not innovate our strategies towards their conservation,” she said.

The Ocean Health Index is an initiative led by Conservation International, launched with the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Oceans' endorsement.

“The Philippines performed very poorly in the amount of seafood harvested for human consumption and the sustainability of methods to that end, natural marine products, and sense of place or protection of indigenous species and their habitats. We should orient our policies accordingly, and make sure that we continue improving in the areas we are doing well in,” Legarda explained.

She noted that the Philippines scored fairly high in indicators such as access for local fishing communities, preservation of habitats that absorb carbon, coastal protection, coastal livelihoods and economies, clean waters, and marine biodiversity.

“We must focus on how we can make our oceans sustainably benefit us. We must find the much-needed balance in marine resource use while protecting our marine ecosystems. The fact that our existence depends largely on these oceans, just as its health depends on us, must be incorporated into our initiatives,” Legarda concluded.


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