Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New NOLCOM Commander seeks continued collaboration with various stakeholders in pursuit of just, lasting peace

CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City-Newly-installed Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) head Major General Felicito Virgilio Trinidad Jr. called on various stakeholders- from national and local government to civil society organizations and the private sector to continue supporting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in pursuit of a just and lasting peace in Regions 1,2, 3, and Cordillera.

“Anchored on the whole of nation approach, we shall continue to collaborate with our stakeholders in the delivery of basic social services and other developmental programs and projects to the far-flung communities in order to improve the well-being of our kababayans thereby denying the remnants of the New People’s Army (NPA) of issues to exploit on,” Trinidad said during Monday’s turn of command rites.

Through our partners, we will collectively build social pressure on what remains of the NPA in this area and the other armed groups for them to shun the culture of arms and violence and to instead embrace a culture of peace and development,” Trinidad added.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1982, Trinidad previously served as Commander of the Army 1st Infantry Division.

He was the overall ground commander during the 2013 defense of Zamboanga City against rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front.

Trinidad replaced Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. who was promoted as Vice Chief of Staff.

Last January, AFP declared the entire Northern Luzon as insurgency-free with Pampanga becoming the 22nd and final province to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

The MOA delegated to the Philippine National Police the lead role in fighting remnants of insurgents with the support of the military that will remain primarily for stakeholder engagement programs.
This was likewise a way to accept and assert the local government's lead role in orchestrating the efforts of all stakeholders in the delivery of services designed to address the primary socio-economic issues.
Prior to this, other provinces in Regions 1,2,3 and Cordillera were declared peaceful and ready for further development from 2009 to 2013.

These are La union and Nueva Viscaya in 2009; Apayao, Aurora, Quirino, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Kalinga in 2010; Ilocos Norte and Benguet in 2011; Zambales, Abra and Bataan in 2012; and Batanes, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Cagayan, Ifugao, Bulacan and Mt. Province in 2013. 


MANILA-Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada took the floor on Monday to sponsor a legislative measure which penalizes discriminatory acts on the basis of age against workers and even job applicants.
Sen. Estrada, Chairman of the Senate on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, cites that age discrimination claims in the workplace tend to rise, as young applicants are preferred by employers than the older applicants.
“But both young and older workers are part of the trend of discrimination by reason of age. The jobs of older workers are vulnerable because, with their longer tenure and greater experience, they cost employers more in a tight economy. Also, stereotypes about loss of speed and acuity might make employers question the employees’ productivity. Meanwhile, young workers are denied employment due to perceived lack of loyalty, instability and experience,” Jinggoy laments.
Committee Report 38 seeks the passage of the proposed act prohibiting the discrimination of the employment of any individual on the basis merely of age. Senate Bill 29 authored by Sen. Pia Cayetano enumerates the following acts as discriminatory:
-        Print or publish any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications and discrimination of age
-        Require the declaration of age or birthdate during the application process
-        Decline any employment application because of the individual’s age
-        Discriminate against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions, or privileges of employment on account of such individual’s age
-        Deny any employee’s promotions or opportunities for trainings on the basis of his/her age
-        Forcibly lay off an employee merely because of old age
-        Impose early retirement on the basis of such employee’s age
Violation of the act shall be punished with a fine of not less than 50,000 but not more than 500,000 or imprisonment term of three months up to two years, or both at the discretion of the court.
“I believe that every qualified individual needing a job must be given the chance to get employed based on his/her experience, qualification, competencies and potentials.  With the increasing labor force, competition is high and inevitable but impartial treatment among the jobseekers possessing competencies that best fit the market demands must be observed,” Jinggoy states.

Bautista lauds Catapang for accomplishing an ‘insurgency-free’ Northern Luzon

CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City-Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista lauded Monday erstwhile Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) head Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. for being able to accomplish the decades-old dream of having all provinces in Regions 1,2, 3 and Cordillera be declared insurgency-free.
“With General Catapang at the helm of NOLCOM, Northern Luzon was declared peaceful and ready for further development. By his leadership and development programs, we have emerged victorious against armed insurgency. His leadership has resulted into the realization that peace is achievable and that peace is necessary for development. With this, much work still lie ahead,” Bautista said during the turn of command rites.
“Likewise, General Catapang strengthened his command’s capacity to support humanitarian assistance and disaster response. He also forged partnerships and enduring friendships with our stakeholders under the Internal Peace and Security Plan-Bayanihan and helped in the rebuilding of indigenous communities that have been affected by armed conflict,” Bautista added.
Catapang, who was promoted as Vice Chief of Staff of the AFP, was replaced by Major General Felicito Virgilio Trinidad Jr.
A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1982, Trinidad previously served as Commander of the Army 1st Infantry Division.
He was the overall ground commander during the 2013 defense of Zamboanga City against rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front. 


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