national news

Tribal leaders dare solon to help build IP schools

March 23, 2020

BUTUAN City – Tribal leaders in the Surigao del Sur town of Lianga challenged on Thursday Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Eufemia Cullamat to help build schools for the indigenous peoples’ (IP) communities.        “This is our challenge to Congresswoman Cullamat as a member of the House Representatives,” Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a phone interview.      Bucales issued the call on Cullamat amid the effort of the government to start the construction of government-run IP schools in the area.      In a separate statement released early this week, Datu Constancio Duhac, the Manobo tribal chieftain of Lianga, pointed out that Cullamat, also of the Manobo tribe, continues to oppose the establishment of government-run IP schools in their villages.      Duhac said he is perplexed that Cullamat "favors the continuing operations" of the controversial schools with alleged links to the communist New People's Army (NPA), referring to the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural Development (ALCADEV) and the Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS).      The military has long suspected both schools as part of a network run by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the NPA.      “Congresswoman Cullamat has not yet sponsored project for the Manobo tribe in Lianga, not even a school or farm-market road that will connect Manobo communities in Andap Valley to the market centers in the province of Surigao del Sur,” Bucales said.      The IP leaders in the area are urging Cullamat to engage with the legitimate tribal organization in Lianga, and not with the leaders of the leftist IP group Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod MAPASU, whose members are known to have direct links with the CPP-NPA.      They also pointed out that most of the members of the MAPASU council are either siblings or relatives of the lawmaker.      “You must listen to us and adhere to our legitimate IP leadership and should not be biased,” Bucales said.      The two tribal leaders also called on Cullamat to support the government's "whole-of-nation" approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).      “Join the government in delivering the basic and social services to the conflict-affected communities and file a House resolution to condemn the CPP-NPA for the recent attack they made on civilians in Diatagon,” Bucales said.      Bucales, however, said they are disappointed with Cullamat, alleging that the lawmaker has been lambasting the military and even joined other left-leaning groups to call for a military pullout in IP communities.      “The military protects the tribe from the infiltration of the CPP-NPA, especially the far-flung sitios of Andap Valley in Surigao del Sur,” the tribal leader said. (PNA)

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BARMM education exec orders early release of teachers' salaries

March 23, 2020

COTABATO City  – The Ministry of Basic Higher and Technical Education–Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MBHTE-BARMM) has issued an order to fast-track the early release of salaries for all teaching personnel in the region for this month.      The MBHTE-BARMM directive came after President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance of Presidential Proclamation 922 placing the entire country under a state of public health emergency amid threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).      "We made this move to ensure that our employees can act accordingly and finance their necessities in this time of pandemic condition," MBHTE Minister Mohagher Iqbal said in an interview Thursday.      The MBHTE is the largest ministry in the BARMM, covering 60 percent of the workforce in the entire region. It has over 20,000 teaching personnel under its supervision.      "Therefore, it is our responsibility to aid them as much as we could extend in this kind of situation," Iqbal said.      The salary release will also cover the contract of service and casual employees of the ministry.      On top of this, the ministry has also requested the salary differentials for their employees to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) through the region’s Ministry of Finance and Budget Management.      “The focus of the Bangsamoro government now is to keep our employees and constituents safe while helping them in the best manner that we can," he said.      Iqbal urged the employees to do wise and prudent spending of money, especially in this time of crisis. (PNA)

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4ID celebrates Rizal Day with LGU, stakeholders in Cagayan de Oro City

January 7, 2020

The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division Philippine Army joins the whole nation in the commemoration of  123rd Rizal Day with the theme, “Jose Rizal: Huwaran ng Pilipino sa Ikadalawampu’t Isang Siglo."      Around 120 diamond troopers composed of honor guards, firing party, marching band, security elements, general and special staffs led by Colonel Noel Z Plaza, 4ID Assistant Division Commander for Reservist and Retirees Affairs,  assembled in the Heroes Monument, Plaza Divisoria, this city as early as 5:00 a.m.      The activity started with the sounding of sirens followed by a formal program highlighting the raising of the Philippine flag with full military honors and mass wreath-laying participated by various agencies and sectors headed by City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno and Colonel Plaza as the military host.       In his message, Mayor Moreno reminded everyone of the sacrifices of Dr. Jose Rizal and that freedom is earned. “Let the memories of our heroes inspired us to do our task and fulfill our mandate to deliver a better community, a better Mindanao. Let us continue our teamwork, unity despite the diversity and to strive more for the next generation,: he said.      MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID Commander said, “On the commemoration of 123rd Rizal Day celebration, let us be reminded of the courage, commitment, and patriotism of Dr. Jose Rizal who fought for our freedom through peaceful means."      Let this be a fitting reminder to everyone to preserve our freedom against CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNTs) and other unscrupulous organizations that wants to destroy democracy and deterrent to peaceful and develop communities. I urge everyone to do your share for us to attain lasting peace and sustainable development in Regions 10 and Caraga," Gacal further said.      The Rizal Day is celebrated every December 30 as the anniversary of Rizal's 1896 execution at Bagumbayan, at present the Rizal Park in Manila. It is declared a national holiday in commemorating the life and works of Dr. Jose Rizal as the national hero of our country. (4ID, PA)

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DILG Camiguin urges CSOs to apply for accreditation

August 30, 2019

CAMIGUIN--To enhance the awareness of CSOs on the importance of civil society participation and increase their capacity to effectively engage in local governance, and, at the same time, the requirements for accreditation, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Camiguin in partnership with the Provincial Government of Camiguin conducted a CSO Conference, August 7, 2019 at Sanggunian Panlalawigan Session Hall, Mambajao, here.      Led by DILG Provincial Director Rhona G. Pedraza-Abadilla, the activity was participated by 22 Civil Society Organization (CSO) representatives in the province.       The objective of the activity was to enhance the current local development by incorporating the participation of the CSOs in local government structure.      Abadilla urged the CSOs to take part in the LGUs’ program planning, implementation and monitoring at the local level, cited their significance in local development councils, and encouraged the organizations to extensively advocate transparency in governance.      “Para mamaayo ang pang-gobyerno, aduna'y tulo ka pundasyon: Hayag na Pangagamhanan, Accountability ug ang Citizen Inclusion. Wala'y bili ang mga pagpaningkamot sa mga lideres sa panggamhanan, kung ang mga tao mismo magdumili sa pagbuhat sa ilang obligasyon sa pang-gobyerno,” the provincial director added.      (To improve governance, there are three foundations: Transparent Governance, Accountability, and Citizen Inclusion. The government will be ineffective if the people themselves will not do their obligations in governance)      Abadilla also discussed the Critical Importance of Participatory Governance, Codal Avenues for CSO Participation and relevance of Local CSO Network during the activity.      Moreover, Engr. Leonides Oclarit, Provincial Planning and Development coordinator, said the activity aims to ensure that every citizen should participate in the decision-making processes because, in one way or another, they will be influenced by the policies implemented by the government.      Meanwhile, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member, Rony N. Sagocsoc presented and detailed the Guidelines on LGU Accreditation of CSOs and Reconstitution of the Local Special Bodies.      He encouraged the CSOs to apply for accreditation at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Office of Camiguin to be eligible for representation in the Local Special Bodies (LSB).      Submission of requirements for accreditation of new applications and renewal based on Memorandum Circular No. 2016-97 to Sangguniang Panlalawigan Camiguin Office will end August 31 this year.      Once granted with accreditation, representatives to the LSB will be selected from among the organizations with the issuance of executive orders for them to officially function in the LSB such as the Local Development Council, Local Health Board, Local School Board, and Local Peace and Order Council scheduled within the 1stand 2nd week of September. (DILG10/PIA10)

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DTI X: Prices of basic and prime commodities in Region X stable

August 2, 2019

“Per confirmation with provincial offices there were no movements in the movements in the prices of basic and prime commodities monitored by DTI,” said Atty. Fel Lester G. Brillantes, spokesperson and legal counsel for the Dept. of Trade and Industry Region 10 Office (DTI-X). “We have not received any formal charges from DTI provincial offices for violation of The Price Act. Brillantes said the DTI Lanao del Norte provincial office reported that per its local price coordinating council monitoring conducted last Thursday (July 3) for agricultural products, NFA rice was down from P32 to P27 per kilo, thus regular milled rice was also down from P37-39/kg. to P34-35/kg., but well milled and premium rice remained at P40-49/kg. Sugar and oil were stable. Garlic was at P250-260/kg. In its latest Weekly Price Monitoring Report dated July 4, 2014, DTI Misamis Oriental provincial office reported there were no significant changes in the price of basic and prime commodities monitored n Cagayan de Oro city over the past three months.   The report said that “This week’s price ranges for both basic and prime commodities reflect some minor changes in the prevailing prices for several items monitored compared to the previous week. This is per Manufacturers/Suppliers instructions to the different Supermarket/Groceries/Wetmarkets being monitored weekly.” “Newly approved SRPs (Suggested Retail Prices) also reflects price change. Supply of different products monitored remain stable and readily available to consumers.” Commodities monitored include processed milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, evaporada and powder filled milk; coffee refill; detergent/laundry soap, salt (iodized refined/rock salt), load bread, flour, processed canned pork and beef, beef loaf, instant noodles, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap and brown/white sugar.  In fact, the report listed only the following products with slight price increases: Milkmaid 300 ml, Alaska 370 ml, Bear Brand with Iron 150 gms, Nido Fortified Full Cream Milk 160 gms, Birch Tree Full Cream Milk 150 gms and PF Chinese LM. Products reported with price decreases for the period included Ligo, Mega Star canned sardines and Safeguard (white) 90 gms. However, Brillantes clarified that it is the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agriculture Statistics (BAS) and National Food Authority (NFA) and not DTI which is mandated to monitor the prices of agricultural products and rice, respectively. Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno has convened the City Price Coordinating Council (CdO-CPCCP) which is scheduled to have its first meeting on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 at the DTI Misamis Oriental provincial office conference room. As specified by Executive Order No. 089-2014, the CdO-CPCC will have the following functions: 1) Coordinate the production, distribution, and marketing programs of various agencies under the care of the City Government for the purpose of stabilizing price of prime and basic commodities at reasonable levels; 2) Investigate and recommend actions and steps to correct unwarranted price increases and supply shortages, including suspected price manipulation and control activities in the city. 3) Gather pieces of information from its members or other government agencies and offices, as it may deem necessary, for the purpose of assessing the supply, distribution, and price situation of any basic necessity or prime commodity. 4) Conduct in-depth analysis of causes of price fluctuations. 5) Publicize from time to time developments in productivity, supply, distribution and prices of basic necessities and prime commodities; and 6) Whenever automatic price control of basic necessities is imposed under Section 6 of Republic Act 7581 (Price Act of 1992), it shall cause the immediate dissemination of their prevailing prices or the price ceilings imposed in lieu thereof through means that will result in a wide dissemination. The CdO-CPCC will be chaired by Mayor Moreno as chair, with Atty. Jose Edgardo Y. Uy as co-chair and DTI Misamis Oriental Provincial Director Ma. Eliza A. Pabillore as vice chair. Its members include the presidents of the Cagayan de Oro Groceries Association; Konsumanteng Kagay-anon, Inc.; Cagayan de Oro Press Club, Transport Federation of Cagayan de Oro; chair of the City Council Committee on Trade and Industry and the Heads of the Xavier University KKP-SIO, Social Action Center, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro; Agricultural Productivity Office; City Economic Enterprise Department; City Legal Office and the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office Director. The CdO-CPCC was created by virtue of Section 1, Rule IV, Creation of the Local Price Coordinating Council, its Powers and Functions, of the Rules and Regulations Implementing RA 7581 (IRR) otherwise known as the "Price Act of 1992.”  Memorandum Order No. 2004-75 of the Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG) strongly urges the Local Government Units to activate their respective Price Coordinating Councils to monitor, convene and formulate policies and strategies to keep prices of basic consumer goods at reasonable levels.

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Bong Go gets warm welcome from fellow BatangueƱos

April 26, 2019

BATANGAS CITY -- The people of Batangas on Wednesday warmly received one of their own, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who traces his roots from the Tesoro clan of the province.      “Maraming salamat po sa napakainit na pagtanggap sa akin ng aking mga kapatid dito sa Batangas, sing-init po ng panahon.  Batangueno rin po ako dahil ang mga ninuno ko ay galing dito sa Batangas at nag-migrate lang po sa Davao,” Go said after a motorcade around Batangas City.      “Iba po talaga pag nasa sariling bayan. Totoo ang kasabihan na there’s no place like home,” he added.      Aside from having his roots in the province, Go was also formally adopted by Batangas as its own son. In February this year, the governors of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon signed a manifesto supporting Go’s Senate bid and declaring him an adopted son of CALABARZON region.      During the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally at Batangas Sports Coliseum here, President Duterte rallied the Batangueños to support Go, the PDP-Laban senatorial ticket and their guest candidates.      The President noted that Go has proven his integrity all through the 21 years of service to him and the people of the former SAP.     “Kung pera lang... ni piso hindi kumita yan,” Duterte said. “At saka talagang may malasakit sa kapwa.”     “Mahusay ito si Bong, ang bilis pa ng utak niyan,” the President added. In a previous engagement, the President also said Go learned a lot from him about public service.      Likewise, TV host Willie Revillame who joined the rally endorsed the candidacy of Go. It could be recalled that last February, the former SAP appeared as a guest in Revillame’s TV game show “Wowowin.”      “Totoong tao po itong si Bong Go at may isang salita. Nang makilala ko siya, nalaman ko na iisa rin lang ang aming hangarin sa buhay— ang tumulong sa kapwa Pilipino,” Revillame said as he delivered his messaged on stage and performed for the crowd.      Addressing his fellow Batangueños, Go assured them of his full support for the programs and policies of President Duterte.     “Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte. Yung kampanya laban sa corruption, kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, at kampanya laban sa iligal na droga, suportado ko po iyon,” Go said.     The former SAP said he would also help President Duterte in the remaining three years of his term to fulfil his promise of uplifting the lives of Batangueños and the entire Filipino people, particularly through the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program that would further speed up the development of the province.      “Patuloy nyo po akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Asahan nyo po, sa natitirang tatlong taon ni Pangulong Duterte, gagawin namin lahat ng aming makakaya para sa (kabutihan ng) Pilipino lalo na para sa mga kapwa kong Batangueño,” Go said.      Among others, he noted that there are current plans for various infrastructure programs in the province including road projects, construction of public markets, as well as repair of maintenance of seawall to protect lives and properties during storm surges. These projects have been submitted for funding.      He also cited the planned Mindoro-Batangas Super Bridge, a P30.883-billion construction of a bridge to link Mindoro and Batangas, boosting economic and tourism activities in both provinces. Preparations are ongoing for the terms of reference, feasibility study and the approved budget for the contract.     There is also the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, a P2.5-billion project consisting of 18.6-kilometer, 4-lane access road between Brgys. TingaItaas, TingaLabac, San Pedro, Dumantay, Sampaga, SirangLupa and San Isidro, Batangas City, meant to reduce road congestion in Batangas City.     Go said that top in his legislative agenda is his crusade to improve the delivery of health services in the country, not only through the upgrading of facilities of public health institutions but also through the establishment of Malasakit Center.      A project of the Duterte administration based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and Philhealth.     “Gusto ko pong isabatas ito pagdating ng panahon para tuloy-tuloy ang programa kahit hindi na Pangulo si Pangulong Duterte at palawakin, dagdagan pa natin ang mga Malasakit Centers,” Go said.     Go also vowed before his fellow Batangueños that he would serve them and the Filipino people the way he served President Duterte for over two decades.     “Sa loob po ng 21 taon, almusal, pananghalian at hapunan ko na ang pagse-serbisyo. Ang bisyo ko po magserbisyo. Naniniwala po ako na ang serbisyo sa tao, serbisyo sa Diyos,” Go said.     “Minsan lamang po tayo daraan sa mundong ito. Kaya kung anuman ang mabuting pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa gawin na natin ngayon dahil hindi na po tayo daraan muli sa mundong ito,” he added.     Other priority concerns Go has identified to be part of his legislative agenda include programs for agriculture, housing for the poor, education, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW and improved benefits for senior citizens.

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