“Ultimately, we will be fighting a different war, a war on Climate Change,” he said. (Manny Galvez)
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – The chief of the Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division (7th ID) based in this camp yesterday called on the National Democratic Front (NDF), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) to forge a bilateral ceasefire with government forces in known disaster-prone areas all over the country.
Brig. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr, 7th ID commanding general said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the NDF-CPP-NPA are waging a struggle against a common enemy of the state which is climate change.
“We are now fighting a new war that is climate change. The challenge is for our counterparts from the NDF-CPP-NPA to agree to a ceasefire in disaster-prone areas all over the country and to help build disaster-proof facilities such as school buildings that can be converted into evacuation centers during calamities,” Catapang said.
“Why do we only declare a ceasefire after a disaster has happened when there is already loss of lives. Let us declare it now,” he said.
Catapang said the gravity of the damage wrought by typhoon Pablo in Mindanao where over 1,000 died, 800 still missing and P24 billion was lost calls for concerted action. “It is high time to roll up our sleeves and instead of
engaging in warfare against fellow Filipinos, we must unite and help rebuild the affected communities,” he said.
Catapang said the 7th ID has fully committed itself to helping those affected by deploying soldiers in the affected areas.
He said the division, which holds jurisdiction over Army units in 13 provinces in Central Luzon and Northern Luzon cancelled most of its Christmas Celebration activities and the money that was intended for these was instead donated to calamity victims.
Each one of the 7th ID’s soldiers also pledged to donate at least one canned good.
Catapang said the division also held fund-raising events such as the commander’s cup, battle of the bands among others, proceeds of which will be forwarded to the affected communities.
A collection booth will be set-up by the 7th ID at NE Pacific Mall in Cabanatuan City for those who want to donate relief goods to the calamity victims. These donations and relief goods will be transported to Villamor Air Base via military truck and delivered to Davao via a cargo plane and received by one of its brigades based in Davao Oriental on December 28.
Catapang’s call on the NDF-CPP-NPA was prompted by a study conducted by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) International Disaster Data Base from 1905-2003 which indicated that typhoons and storms account for the highest percentage of deaths (66%) of the nine listed form of natural and man-made disasters such as earthquake, volcanic eruptions, flood, landslide, infectious diseases, tidal waves, drought, fire and pest infestation.
Based on records, from January to December of 2011, of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), 19 tropical cyclones entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility, 10 of which were destructive among them Bebeng (May 8-11), Chedeng (May 20-28), Falcon (June 21-25), Juaning (July 25-28), Kabayan (July 28-Aug 5), Mina (Aug 21-29), Pedring (Sept 24-28), Quiel (Sept 29-Oct 2), Ramon (Oct 10-14), and Sendong (Dec 15-18).
Affected by these cyclones were Regions 1, 2I, 3II, 4-A, 4-B, 5 to 13, the Cordillera Administrative Region and the National Capital Region which left 1,541 dead, affected 2,062,647 families (9,867,622 persons), totally damaged 38,088 houses, and P26,502,337,198.73 trillion worth of properties.
Catapang said based on these, it is evident that the threat posed by these natural calamities further enhanced by climate change and global warming generates more casualties than any other threats like crimes and insurgency.
He said the AFP is seeing the death of insurgency and the ushering in of development in Regions 1 and 3.
“Ultimately, we will be fighting a different war, a war on Climate Change,” he said. (Manny Galvez)
BRIGADIER GENERAL CATAPANG: Challenges the CPP-NDF-NPA to Unite with the AFP Against Common Enemy “Climate Change”
FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija – Brigadier General Gregorio Pio P Catapang Jr AFP, Commander, 7ID, PA challenged the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army (CPP-NDF-NPA) to join the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in fighting the common enemy, “Climate Change”, today.
“We are now fighting a new war that is Climate change”, General Catapang said. The challenge was for the CNN to declare a bilateral ceasefire on disaster prone areas all over the country and to help in building disaster proof school building that can be converted into evacuation centers during disasters, which is based on the geo-hazard maps, jointly with the AFP and other stakeholders.
“With the recent disaster that struck Davao Regions in Mindanao when troops of 7th Infantry are also assigned, which resulted to more than 700 deaths, more than 800 still missing and destruction of agricultural and infrastructures with a total damage of more or less P19 billion, it is high time for us to consider the threat brought about by these natural calamities.”
“We will help those who were affected by Typhoon Pablo in Davao Regions”, the Commander said.
The Division had already cancelled most of its Christmas Celebration activities and the money that was intended for the said activity will be donated to the victims of the said disaster. Moreover, individual soldiers from this unit will donate at least one canned good. Proceeds from the Commanders Cup, Battle of the Bands and Soul runner will also be donated to the victims. In partnership with the Civil Society Group, the Division had collected relief goods and other pledges from other sectors. A collection booth will also be set-up in NE Pacific Mall, Cabanatuan City for those who still wants to donate relief goods to the victims of Typhoon Pablo. The donations and relief goods will be consolidated at the Division Headquarters and will be transported to Villamor Airbase via military truck and will be delivered to Davao Region via C130 Cargo plane which will be received by one of our Brigade in Mindanao based in Davao Oriental on 28 December 2012.
The threat posed by these natural calamities was further enhanced by the effects of “climate change/global warming”.
Base on the study conducted by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) International Disaster Data Base from 1905-2003 data, typhoons/storms gain the highest percentage for death (66%), injured (62%) and affected (78%) out of the nine (9) listed form of disaster (Earthquake, Volcanic disaster, Floods, Slope disaster, Infectious diseases, Tidal waves, Drought, Fire and Pest disasters).
Base on records, from January to December of 2011, of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), nineteen (19) Tropical Cyclones entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). Among the nineteen (19) TCs listed, ten (10) were destructive namely; Tropical Storm (TS) Bebeng (May 8-11), Typhoon Chedeng (May 20-28), TS Falcon (June 21-25), Typhoon Juaning (July 25-28), Typhoon Kabayan (July 28-Aug 5), Typhoon Mina (Aug 21-29), Typhoon Pedring (Sept 24-28), Typhoon Quiel (Sept 29-Oct 2), Tropical Depression Ramon (Oct 10-14), and TS Sendong (Dec 15-18).
The affected Regions by these Tropical Cyclones were Regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, CAR and NCR left a devastating effects. On casualties-1,541 dead, affected families/person-2,062,647 families/9,867,622 persons, totally damage houses-38,088 houses, and damage to properties-Php 26,502,337,198.73 Trillion. Among the 10 destructive TCs, TS Sendong was the most destructive.
With these records, it is evident that the threat posed by these natural calamities further enhanced by climate change/global warming generates more casualties than any other threats like crimes and insurgency problem.
“We will be seeing the death of insurgency and the birth of development in Regions 1 and 3 and we will be fighting a different war, a war on Climate Change”, General Catapang said.
“Why do we only declare ceasefire after a disaster happened when there are already loss of lives and casualties; Let us declare it NOW”, Commander added.
FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – The 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army spearheaded by Brigadier General Gregorio Pio P Catapang Jr, meets the press to provide information to the public during a one (1) day media fellowship at the Kaugnay Clubhouse, Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija on December 15, 2012.
The activity was highlighted by a press conference of on the Year-End Report of the 7ID, Operations’ Accomplishments, Bayanihan efforts in ‘Winning the Peace”, contribution to the Peace and Development endeavors of the National Government and other current activities on the Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Operations efforts for the victims of typhoon “Pablo.”
The Commander, 7ID also took the opportunity to discuss actions of the Command in helping the victims of typhoon Pablo like cancellation of Division Christmas party, donation of Ninety Pesos (P 90.00) equivalent to one (1) day Subsistence allowance, fund raising such as “Battle of the Band” and “Commanders’ Cup” and partnership with the stakeholders to provide humanitarian assistance.
“Used clothing, food stuffs, items for personal hygiene, toys and cash donations is highly appreciated and on December 22, 2012, all collected donations will be brought to the victims of typhoon Pablo in Davao Region via C130 Cargo plane.” the Commander said.
“I also extend my deepest sympathy to the families, relatives and friends of typhoon victims, we at 7ID always find ways to make them happy specially this coming Christmas day.”, he added.
MANILA, December 19, 2012-Senator Franklin M. Drilon today sought the approval of a proposed measure removing the taxes on international carriers and shippers, a move that will help achieve government’s target of 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.
In his sponsorship speech delivered today, Drilon, acting chairman of Senate Ways and Means Committee, said the approval of Senate Bill 3343 will establish the country as a tourism hub and elevate its status as a viable gateway to Asian neighbors.
“I stand before you today to present a measure that will help usher in the great promises of the highly-touted tourism sector of our country. More work has to be put in place to achieve a sustainable growth in the tourism sector,” stressed Drilon.
He said that in order to boost tourist arrivals in 2016, the government should move to increase the capacity of local and foreign carriers for tourists to 15 million seats from current six million seats.
However, Drilon said airline companies seemed reluctant to increase their seating capacity because of the alleged “inequitable airline tax regime” in the country.
At present, international carriers and shippers are required to pay 2.5 percent Gross Philippine Billings Tax (GPBT) and 3 percent common carriers’ tax (CCT).
It was revealed in a public hearing conducted by the Committee then headed by Senator Ralph Recto that the Philippines remains the only country that imposes such taxes on international carriers, noted Drilon.
“There is an urgent need to address this very serious matter to avert undue escalation. We should dissuade the few remaining foreign carriers operating locally from transferring to other countries,” stressed Drilon.
In a move to resolve this, the Committee proposes a reciprocity clause in which GPBT will only be waived when foreign carriers whose home countries likewise give a similar tax exemption to Philippine carriers.
For the CCT or the percentage tax, the Committee proposes to exempt from the payment international carriers insofar as the transport of passengers is concerned. Likewise, the bill also included the transport of passengers by international carriers in the list of transactions that are exempt from the payment of the value-added tax.
“The removal of these airline taxes will improve the present situation where our tax policies seem to directly contravene our tourism goals,” said Drilon.
Even though the bill will forego revenues of up to P2.5 billion (P919 million from GPBT and P1.602 billion from CCT), Drilon emphasized that such foregone revenues can be easily recouped, if not surpassed, amidst projected increases in tourist arrivals due to lower and more affordable airline fares and the expected surge in the airline industry.
“The Department of Tourism estimates that the increase in tourist arrivals will generate P455 billion in 2016 and will provide six million jobs,” said Drilon, noting that, with the approval of the bill, international arrival is expected to increase to 5.55 million in 2013, 6.75 million in 2014, 8.126 million in 2015 and 10 million in 2016. For the first 10 months of 2012, tourist arrival is recorded at 3.5 million, 9.18 percent higher than the 3.1 million recorded in 2011.
Lastly, the enactment of this measure will translate to lower traveling costs for overseas Filipino workers who will be enjoying lower fares to the country. Likewise, it will lower business costs for domestic carriers with foreign operations as soon as the tax exemptions on their gross billings are reciprocated by other countries, ended Drilon.
FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija – Two heavy duty construction equipment owned by Northern Builders Corporation (NBC) were burned down by the New Peoples Army in Barangay Putlan, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija on Saturday, 7:30pm.
Two heavy duty mixer truck were burned down by more or less eight unidentified men and two amazons armed with two Cal.45 pistols, one M653 rifle, two M16 rifles and one Garand rifle within the compound of the sub-office of NBC at the said barangay.
Based on initial investigation, five fully armed men with one amazon pretending to be locals asking for solicitations gained entry in the compound of Northern Builders Corporation and immediately detained the security guard.
Responding forces of 3rd Infantry Battalions immediately rushed to the scene and found out that all of the workers were detained in one room. They were immediately freed by the troops.
Initial investigation also reveals that the same NPA group is responsible for the similar five burning incident during the recent past. An attempted burning of one steam roller (pison) owned by Northern Builders Corporation at Sitio Calvelo, Brgy Piut, Carranglan, NuevaEcija on 01 September 2012. The burning of six dump trucks and one mixer truck owned by RBR Builders along TPLEX in Brgy Singat, Gerona, Tarlac on 02 September 2012. The burning of one backhoe, one grader and one steam roller (pison) owned by Northern Builders Corporation at Sitio Maligaya, Brgy Sta Ines East, Sta Ignacia, Tarlac with damages amounting to P8 Million on 12 September 12. The burning of one dump truck at Regoyal Construction Site in Brgy Pesa, Bongabon, NE on 12 November 2012 and the burning of one backhoe and one dump truck owned by AP Palacious contracting in Sitio Dimani, Brgy Villa, Maria Aurora, Aurora with damages amounting to P9 million that resulted to the death of 2 civilians and wounding of one police officer and 2 other civilians when they responded to an arson incident perpetrators.
Commander, 7ID, PA, General Gegorio Pio P Catapang Jr AFP, condemns this criminal act.
“These are criminal syndicates who extort money from contractors. They resort to burning equipment when their extortion demand were denied”, General Catapang said.
“We will ensure that developmental projects by the government will push through and we encourage the support of all stakeholders to help in securing and protecting this projects by providing information to the whereabouts of these perpetrators so that justice may be served”, he added.
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