Thursday, August 30, 2012

DOLE 3 plants 500 trees along Mega dike

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga August 30, 2012-Employees of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 3 on Thursday planted around 500 African Tulip and Fringon seeds along the Mega Dike in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga.
DOLE Regional director Raymundo Agravante said “the activity is part of the Green our DOLE program which supports President Aquino’s National Greening Program (NGP).”
NGP was created under Executive Order No.26 of President Benigno Aquino III to pursue sustainable development for poverty reduction, food security, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
It aims to plant 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years (2011-2016) in lands of public domain.
These lands include forestlands, mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations and urban areas.
“We are sending out our message, through this tree-planting undertaking, to the employers and workers from various industries here in the region by urging them to foster genuine care for our environment by keeping their surroundings environmentally cleaned to ensure a safe and healthy workplace which will yield productivity and growth” Agravante added. (Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu)

‘No turning back’ – Aurora vice gov says of Capitol run

BALER, Aurora, August 30, 2012–The man largely considered by political experts as the biggest threat to the decades-old reign of the Angaras at the Capitol declared yesterday he is not withdrawing from the gubernatorial race next year to give way to the Capitol bid of outgoing Sen. Edgardo Angara.

Vice Gov. Gerardo Noveras said his decision to run for governor is final amid backdoor negotiations for him to just seek reelection to accommodate Angara, a little over a month before the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacies of aspirants to local and national posts.

“There’s no turning back,” Noveras said, adding if he loses, it will be his “fitting graceful exit” from politics.

Noveras said he appreciates efforts by the Angara camp for him to forego his gubernatorial bid but said he has “crossed the Rubicon,” meaning, he has made a final decision to seek only the governorship.

“I have made my decision, it is final and I hope they would understand me,” he said.

Earlier, emissaries from the Liberal Party of which Noveras is provincial chairman, tried to persuade the vice governor to abandon his Capitol bid. Among them were Presidential Legislative Liason Office chief Manuel Mamba and Sen. Franklin Drilon, a close friend of Senator Angara.

Noveras said he has the highest respect for Senator Angara, and acknowledged he is in for an uphill fight. “If it’s Senator Angara I am up against, then I have a reason to lose,” he said.

However, he said he could no longer back out of the race because he is “committed” to run for governor. “If I back out, people would think I was paid or I received some favors,” said Noveras who still has a term left as vice governor.

Negotiations for Noveras to give way to Senator Angara have reportedly been going on since last February when President Aquino visited the province on the occasion of its 33rd anniversary. Shortly after, Mr. Aquino announced that Angara’s son, Rep. Juan Edgardo, would be running for senator under the LP.    

President Aquino and the Angaras – this province’s political kingpins - are from different parties. The clan belongs to the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino. But they became close due to the impeachment trial that led to the eventual ouster of then-Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Senator Angara and Congressman Angara played key roles in the impeachment, with the former acting as one of the senator-judges and the latter as one of the spokespersons of the House prosecution panel.

Sources said Mamba even offered Noveras a position as Regional Trial Court judge if he wants.

Reports said Senator Angara and Noveras met in the former’s residential compound in Barangay Reserva sometime in late June during the observance of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day. But nothing came out of the talks. 

The elder Angara, a veteran lawmaker and one of the senior statesman in the Senate, earlier denied he is eyeing the Capitol but reportedly reconsidered after his brother, outgoing Baler Mayor Arthur Angara, would “lose” to Noveras.
        Noveras announced his intention to run for governor in July last year, two months after reports came out that the Angaras were planning to field him as their standard-bearer in tandem with Rommel Angara, the senator’s nephew Rommel, whom he defeated in the 2007 polls.

When Noveras learned of the plan, he looked excited, saying he would gladly accept it when offered. But negotiations fell through after the Angaras’ political leaders reportedly rejected the “Dream Team” tandem.      
         The senator’s Capitol bid has been the subject of much speculation, particularly due to his “increasing visibility” in the province. Since last year, he has been going around the province, meeting ward leaders of the Angaras, particularly local chief executives.  (Manny Galvez)     

Filipino And US Soldiers Construct School Building In Pampanga

Camp Aquino, Tarlac City, August 30, 2012 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), through the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM), and United States Pacific Air Force  (PACAF) formally kicked-off the month-long Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP) at Cacutud Elementary School, Barangay Cacutud, Mabalacat, Pampanga recently.

A simple ceremony which was attended by participating troops, as part of the series of joint and combined Humanitarian Civil Assistance (HCA) and Civil Military Operations (CMO) under the Pacific Unity 12-6.

A U.S. Pacific Command-funded humanitarian assistance mission and a bilateral and joint engineering civic action program conducted by the AFP and US forces in cooperation with the provincial government of Pampanga and Tarlac. Among those who graced the occasion were Lieutenant Colonel Relly Francisco, Civil-Military Operations Officer of the 1st Air Division, Philippine Air Force (1st AD, PAF); Captain Carey Davis US Air Force, Officer-In-Charge, 13th Air Force of the US, and the Principal of Cacutud Elementary School, and other visitors.

Relative to this, a Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) will also be conducted in an exercise scenario to perform joint and combined response in a mass casualty situation. Military doctors and dentists from the AFP Reserve Command together with the participating agencies and partner stakeholders will also conduct Cooperative Health Engagement (CHE) which includes MEDCAP and Dental Civic Action Program (DENCAP) in Villa Bacolor, Tarlac City.

Subject Matter Expertise Exchange (SMEEs) on Master Base Planning, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HA/DR) and Table Top Exercise on HA/DR will also be held at Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, Pampanga and Clark Air Base, Mabalacat, Pampanga. Joining the month-long activity are the Philippine National Police, Local Government Units, Local Government Agencies, and Non-Government Organizations.

Barangay and school officials in the area are very thankful that their place was chosen as beneficiary of the school projects of the soldiers. Barangay Councilor Aurelio Gamtan of Barangay Cacutud said that these projects being undertaken by the soldiers will be of great help to their community especially to school children.


Hanoi, Vietnam, August 30, 2012-Senator Edgardo J. Angara keynoted today the 5th Biennial International Conference of the Korean Studies Association of Southeast Asia (KoSASA) at the Hotel Intercontinental in Hanoi, Vietnam.

In his address, Angara underscored the importance of global cooperation in promoting prosperity, economic equity, and peace.

He said that continued cooperation at the bilateral, regional, and international levels is necessary for the global community to respond to challenges like disasters and financial crises.

"Global cooperation will be crucial in helping developing nations realize their economic potential—and accordingly alleviate the inequalities arising from globalization. As recent events have shown, a single country's fate is inextricably linked and intertwined with the rest of the world’sThe mistakes of one can have haunting effects, far and wide."

Angara proposed four areas of collaboration: climate change mitigation and adaptation, the use of biotechnology to address food and water scarcity, managing the social and economic impact of a greying population, and intensifying socio-economic cooperation to ensure that everyone benefits from progress.

"We ought to work for a future built by a community of nations unified by a shared purpose and bound by mutual trust. We must remember that what one country can do well alone, nations united in cooperation can do better together. 

"In this era of globalization, we must look beyond our own countries and collectively aspire for inclusive prosperity, lasting peace, and provision of opportunities for the fulfillment of individual potential."

Angara cited the strong partnership of Korea and the Philippines as a model for growth and development partnership.

"Our partnership is one of the best examples of how one country invests in the progress of another based on shared goals," he said to an audience composed of academics and decision-makers from all over Asia.

Angara said Korea supports many of the Philippines' projects on agriculture, ICT, education, health, governance, infrastructure development, energy, environment, and disaster relief. 

The Philippines is also one of Korea's top aid recipients. From 2006 to 2010, Korea's ODA to the country totaled US$287 Million. Last year, the ODA ceiling for the Philippines was raised from US$300 Million to US$500 Million.
The Conference is organized by the Korea Development Institute and the Korea Research Institute at University of New South Wales, and hosted by the University of Social Sciences and Humanities-Hanoi, and the Korean Studies Association of Southeast Asia (KoSASA).

Angara is also on a tour of Southeast Asia to promote regional cooperation in anti-corruption among parliamentarians through the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) in anticipation of the 2013 GOPAC Manila Conference. (Rikka Sotto w/ Shielo Mendoza)

Legarda Urges Sustainable Coconut Farming as She Joins Nat’l Coconut Week Celebration

MANILA, August 30, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda today encouraged coconut industry stakeholders to support the programs of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), particularly the practice of sustainable farming, to ensure continuous development of the industry and maximize the benefits gained from it.

Legarda, who was Guest Speaker at the National Coconut Week Celebration held at the PCA Building in Quezon City, noted that the country gains much from the coconut industry.

According to PCA, the country earns as much as US$2-Billion in exporting various coconut products, including coco water and virgin coconut oil. Export rate for coco water increased 300% in the first quarter of 2012 and has earned the country more than US$4-Million; while, export rate for virgin coconut oil for the first three months of 2012 rose to 138% with earnings worth US$7.5-Million.

“These figures alone give us more reason to further improve coconut farming and continuously develop the coconut industry, and I wish to congratulate the PCA for its laudable programs for the industry, including the national coconut planting and replanting; institution building, which is very important to give our coconut farmers the capability to be entrepreneurs and to have their own growing income through the continuous learning of methods in developing their farms; and the livelihood program dubbed as Kasaganahan sa Niyugan ay Kaunlaran ng Bayan,” Legarda said.

The Senator also said that the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009 (RA 10000), which she authored and sponsored, can provide support for farmers as the law requires banks to allocate at least 25 percent of their loanable funds to the agriculture sector, and that modes of alternative compliance must only pertain to activities directly related to agriculture and agrarian reform to ensure that funds are channelled to farmers.

“The theme for this year’s celebration, Masaganang Kinabukasan Mula sa Niyugang Inalagaan, clearly sends the message of gaining from the tree of life by ensuring its sustainability,” she stressed.

“As I urge the PCA to never tire of creating projects and programs that would boost the industry, I encourage all the coconut industry stakeholders to help in the development of this sector, but bear in mind that as we reap the fruits of our labor, we should always give back to the very tree that sustained our livelihood by nourishing the very Earth that sustains our life,” Legarda concluded.


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