Thursday, December 13, 2012


MANILA, December 13, 2012-Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada visited last Saturday the municipality of New Bataan, Compostela Valley after the onslaught of superstorm “Pablo.”
Sen. Estrada, who took a quick sidetrip to a Compostela Valley after a speaking engagement in Cagayan de Oro City, also brought and distributed relief goods and supplies for thousands of affected families.
Sen. Estrada was the guest speaker during the 47th Induction of Officers of the Orobankers Club, Inc. which is composed of commercial, thrift and rural banks from all over Cagayan de Oro City.
“Nakakalungkot ang nangyari sa mga kababayan natin sa Mindanao, partikular sa Compostela Valley. Napakalawak ng iniwang pinsala ng bagyong Pablo at sa tingin ko, mahabang panahon ang kanilang kakailanganin upang tuluyang makabangon sa delubyong ito,” Sen. Estrada laments, as he appeals to the private citizens and civic society to continue providing assistance and giving donations for the needy, especially during this Christmas holidays.
Compostela Valley is one of the worst-hit areas by typhoon “Pablo” (International name: “Bopha”). According to a December 12 update of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Compostela Valley recorded 309 casualties. The storm affected 234 barangays and more than 600,000 persons.
Typhoon “Pablo” also left an estimated two billion peso damage in roads, bridges and flood control structures.
Sen. Estrada, who handed out relief bags containing assorted canned goods, rice, drinking water, biscuits, milk, among others at a local sports grandstand, was joined by Gov. Arturo Uy and New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo Balbin, Jr.

JINGGOY VISITS COMPOSTELA VALLEY. Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada offers relief to the people of Compostela Valley as he visited the typhoon-ravaged province last Saturday afternoon. Sen. Estrada, who took a side trip to Compostela Valley after a speaking engagement in Cagayan de Oro City, brought with him a truck load of relief goods and supplies for the affected residents and families. Compostela Valley is one of the worst-hit areas by typhoon “Pablo” which has affected 234 barangays and more than 600,000 persons. Typhoon “Pablo” also left estimated 2.25 billion peso damage to agriculture and infrastructure.

Legarda Hails Signing into Law of AFP Modernization Act

MANILA, December 13, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda hailed the signing into law of the AFP Modernization Act, a measure that allocates at least P75 billion for the first five years of implementation of the AFP modernization program subject to the capacity of the Department of National Defense (DND).

“Tasked to be where the threats and dangers are, we cannot overemphasize the value of the arduous mission our soldiers have to undertake in order to protect the people and the State from lawless violence, invasion, rebellion, terrorist acts and other activities that might affect national security and bring harm to the independence of our nation. This is why they need our support,” she explained.

President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 10349 on Tuesday. Legarda, an AFP reserve officer, co-sponsored the said measure, stating that the new security and defense environment has radically changed since the last AFP modernization law.

“The linchpin of our security is now in the waters where our energy, food and environmental security lie. Thus, capabilities and equipment of the AFP should be reinforced to reflect this need,” she said.

“Through the AFP Modernization Act, we are addressing the long-standing concerns of our soldiers who constantly put their lives on the line in the service of our nation. The passage of this Act is a commendable contribution to our national security,” Legarda concluded.

Legarda Hopes to Increase Awareness on Int'l Anti-Human Trafficking Day

MANILA, December 13, 2012-In light of December 12 being International Anti-Human Trafficking Day, Senator Loren Legarda hopes to increase awareness about the plight of human trafficking victims and efforts to combat human traffickers.

"Today, I wish to underscore the message that everyone must join in the effort to combat human trafficking and the related problems of the illegal sex trade, forced labor, and other forms of slavery. Human traffickers target the most vulnerable sectors of society – men, women, and children from marginalized communities are exploited every day, and this is the injustice that we must all act against," she said.

"By the end of 2011, the country's Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking reported 62 convictions out of a total of 1,519 cases filed between 2003 and 2011. From January to October of this year, however, 38 convictions were made, equivalent to more than half of the total convictions made over an 8-year period," she explained.

Legarda, author of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208) and sponsor of the proposed Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (Senate Bill 2625), said that we are already making significant strides.

"The immediate enactment of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill, the bicameral report of which has already been ratified by the Senate, brings us closer to our goal of fighting trafficking effectively and I hope the President will sign the measure into law soon," the Senator noted.

"We acknowledge that the problem of human trafficking continues to hound our society, and this is precisely the reason why we need to strengthen our existing law and spread awareness about human trafficking. Let us be vigilant and in doing so, eliminate these injustices in our society," Legarda concluded.


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