When we unite, We make our life better

Just privatize PNR

 By Boo Chanco (The Philippine Star)

The current PNR general manager should probably be given a medal for his heroic efforts to make the government-owned railroad company run its trains again all the way to Bicol. He is most probably of my generation, albeit a few years younger, to feel so passionately about the Bicol Express. There is something romantic about the PNR in those days… it wasn’t the Orient Express but it served our needs.

So now we are being told that after years of neglect and abuse, PNR will once again run a Bicol Express service. According to newspaper reports, they apparently conducted the test-run the other weekend and it covered more than 400 kilometers through a newly refurbished locomotive train with several hand-me-down tourist class coaches donated by the Japanese government.

“In my assessment, the Bicol test-run we conducted was 95 percent successful and we are nearing our objective to put back in operation the commercial PNR trips to Bicol region,” said PNR general manager Junio Ragragio Jr. The Manila-Naga trip took nine hours, shorter than the usual 10-hour travel time through bus, Ragragio said. He added that all train coaches for the “Bicol Express” will be air-conditioned.

“We also have two types of sleeper coaches. One is a family suite that is good for a family or barkada of four to six persons. And we also have the executive class for passengers who would like extra privacy and the inclusion of a dining car with the ambiance of a first class restaurant,” he added.

“In the tourist class we have reclining chairs with more leg room compared to commercial buses. This includes a wide screen LCD with state-of-the-art sound system to comfortably watch movies during the long trip,” Ragrario said. We didn’t even have it this good in the good ol’ days.

They will also renovate several train stations traversing along the provinces of Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur and Albay. I also heard that they will try to get back the historic Paco Station and restore it to its old grandeur. They are also thinking of putting up railway connections to Batangas, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon. Definitely too good to be true!

Back to reality… the coaches are 30 years old. . . the Japanese gave us train coaches they have already junked. Maintenance costs will be high… for ‘brakepads’. (common source for PNR graft), aircon/engine repairs and extraordinary expenses for regular mishaps and accidents (diskarel) will plague this band-aid solution. . . expect the usual landslides along the old tracks resulting from typhoons and continuous rains during the rainy season.

I e-mailed Ray Altarejos, Ragragio’s high school classmate and fellow Bicolano about this development. Altarejos is a New York-based entrepreneur who is now in Brazil looking for business opportunities. Here is his comment:

“I told Jun Ragragio to focus on changing the narrow-gauge PNR tracks to wide-gauge and make it run freight trains all the way to Sorsogon. In the 1930’s, PNR (then known as the MRR or Manila Rail Road) was extended to Albay to haul abaca to Manila. Manila hemp was a major dollar earner.

“But a PNR for freight has no political constituency. Warren Buffet is now making tons of money with his big bet on Burlington Northern. With the high price of oil, Burlington Northern has stolen the business of long-distance trucks. Brazil has a great train system into the interiors hauling soybeans, corn and iron ore bound for China.

“Bicol despite the usual typhoons could have a dynamic agri sector.”

At least they are doing something to resuscitate the PNR rather than pillage what is left of PNR assets, which politicians in the past apparently did quite well. The next 12 months will show whether the P500M P-Noy gambled on these old coaches running on the old PNR tracks will be worth it. . .

Worthy of praise as these current efforts are, I think there is a better way: privatize PNR. The faster they do this, the better before more of PNR’s assets get dissipated. Somebody in a past administration even sold its air rights over the tracks!

It isn’t as if there isn’t any private sector interest. San Miguel made a proposal to buy 51 percent control of PNR and still have government as a partner in its development. At no further cost to taxpayers, San Miguel offered to develop a national railroad system starting with the Luzon line of PNR that will run slower trains on at-grade level and fast trains on top.

Ramon Ang told The STAR last year that they have commissioned a group that includes international companies with experience in bullet trains to study the possibility of building a bullet train railway that will run from the north to the south end of Luzon. San Miguel proposes to run the bullet train railway on the Laoag-Manila-Bicol route. SMC’s top executive expressed optimism about the possibilities that this venture… a high-speed train service is also expected to help boost the economy in general.

I asked Ramon how he expects to make money considering the large amount of capex he must invest on it upfront. He said he is looking at PNR not only as a train company but a general logistics company. Consumer goods marketers will find the railroad the more efficient way to do Luzon wide distribution of their products… exactly what Altarejos was suggesting. San Miguel will run telecom, water, electricity lines along the right of way. He will develop the adjacent real estate and make money on malls and other property ventures near train stations.

Ramon said he has made a pitch to Secretary Ping de Jesus who just gave him a polite “we will study” kind of reply. But from the discussions, it was clear that the bureaucrats, specially the powerful usec that Ping depends on, do not want anything that does not require ODA financing. They also want to keep government control over PNR even if the past decades have shown government is totally incapable of running it, except to run it to the ground.

It is stupid to ignore a proposal like this. What is there is lose with taking Ramon Ang on his word? PNR isn’t exactly the epitome of operational efficiency and profitability. If Ramon Ang fails, the attempt would still have generated economic activity and the failure will cost PNR and the taxpayers nothing. But if the venture succeeds, the government and the people benefit tremendously.

ODA will only get us so far in rehabilitating PNR. In fact, ODA has failed to do anything for PNR for years now. If San Miguel is willing to stake its money and its reputation on reviving a dead duck like PNR, they should be given the chance to do so. We need bold measures like what San Miguel has proposed.

San Miguel would not give me a copy of their proposal out of respect for Secretary Ping who promised to study it. But such proposals should be made public if only to put pressure on unimaginative bureaucrats that they have to think boldly to move this country onward. Or could it be that the bureaucrats are afraid of losing lucrative rackets imbedded in ODA-financed projects? Secretary Ping should not forget how to think like a private sector manager. Right now, he is allowing his usec to repeat proven failures… the old bureaucratic way.

We are spending money on international road shows supposedly to entice foreign investors to invest on our PPP initiatives. But here, we have a local investor ready and willing to invest big bucks on a major infrastructure program and all our government could tell them is that they “will study it”. This is absolutely ridiculous. The earlier P-Noy cracks the whip to get his people moving and thinking boldly, the better for his credibility rating and for our country’s future.

Filed under: Government, Information, Innovation, Invest in Sorsogon, Sorsogon News Updates, Technology, , , ,

Convergence Benefits Four Municipalities

by Irma A. Guhit

SORSOGON CITY , April 11 (PIA)– The four municipalities of Juban, Casiguran, Magallanes and Sorsogon City were recipients of several projects during the project launch of the Sorsogon Convergence Initiatives on Rural Development held here at Paradise Hotel last week.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over the Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP) 2 which includes rural infrastructure projects, community development programs, survey and agro-enterprise development projects to the municipalities of Juban, Casiguran and Sorsogon City.

USEC Gerundio C. Madueno together with DAR Region 5 regional director Maria Celestina M. Tam turned over the manifesto and description of projects to Mayor Ester Hamor of Casiguran, Mayor Olivia M. Bermillo of Castilla and Mayor Leovic R. Deoneda of Sorsogon City who are the focus of the convergence initiatives..

These three local governments are the pilot areas of the convergence initiative program to run for 5 years from 2011 to 2016.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) headed by Secretary Ramon Paje and region 5 regional director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada turned over to the three local government units under the convergence program the DENR program component which is the Integrated Agroferestry Production /Support to the National Greening Program.

The project includes the establishment of agroforestry farms and maintenance of the existing assisted natural regeneration project in their areas.

In support to the national greening program which these three municipalities will support as stipulated in the memorandum of understanding which earlier during the launch they have signed will include the production of forest and fruit trees for distribution to their identified areas for planting.

DENR have also turned over to these municipalities titles of alienable and disposable lands, the title of issuance of free patents for agricultural lands and issuance of patent for school site.

The programs and projects also given to these three local governments from the Department of Agriculture was turned over by USEC Bernadette Romulo-Puyat together with DA Region 5 regional director Jose V. Dayao which includes Livelihood Projects Facilities, equipments, and other interventions by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The project includes tilapia , bangus fingerlings, prawn, post larvae, tilapia breders, seaweed seedling dispersal; distribution and establishment of the Municipal and City Tilapia Hatchery, Mariculture Zone, Post Harvest Facility, Aquasilviculture Project, Fishing Gears Distribution, Seaweed Input Assistance and the re assessment of the Fish Sanctuary in these three local government units.

These three municipalities also received from the DA small water impounding projects from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) which was turned over by Dr. Silvino Q. Tejada.

Two units of pump and engine sets were also turned over by Dr. Tejada to Congressman Salvador H. Escudero III.

The local government of Casiguran, Castilla and the City of Sorsogon also received Communal Irrigation Project and Communal Irrigation Service Extension from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) thru Engr. Antonio S. Nangel , NIA administrator.

Mayor Roque L. Carranza of the municipality of Magallanes also received the Farm Mecahnization and Post Harvest Program Retrofitting of Mechanical Dryers thru PHILMEC as a separate program from the convergence initiative program implementation.

This project includes provision of farm machineries and dyying facilities such as hand tractor, thresher, flatbed dryer and multi-purpose drill pump in together with the three cluster local government of Castilla, Casiguran and Sorsogon City.

Additional project also turned over includeed the retrofitting of the existing kerosine fed mechanical dryers with rice hull furnace in the City of Sorsogon.

Other projects turned over to the three municipalities, as pilot LGUs of the convergence initiatives program were projects from the Fiber Indusry Development Authority, the Organic Demo Farm by the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Project Standards (BAFPS), the Nursery Developmet, Cassava Development Project in Casiguran and Castilla, the farm to market roads in Burabod-Palanas- Road, distribution of Irrigation pumps and the Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) project in support of the Credit Programs by the Agricultural Credit Facility.

The project launch was a success and the three municipalities piloted will be monitored closely and regularly according to the two congressmen of the the province of Sorsogon, Hon. Salvador H. Escudero III of the 1st district and Hon. Deogracias B. Ramos of the 2nd district.(PIA-Sorsogon)

Filed under: Agriculture, Environment, Get Involved, Government, Sorsogon News Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OFWs have to wait for jobs at home — DOLE

Overseas Filipino workers would have to wait a while before government can generate enough decent jobs for them to come home, the country’s new labor chief said over the weekend.

For now, President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III ordered to increase protection for OFWs in their host countries, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said on government-run dzRB radio.

“Bagamat ang layunin mag-create ng bagong jobs sa ating bansa at magkaroon ng maayos na hanapbuhay, maaaring ‘di agad mangyari ‘yan. Sa ating kababayang nasa ibang bansa na nagtatrabaho at magtatrabaho, mas malawak na proteksyon gustong makita ni Pangulong Aquino (While the intention is to create new jobs in the country – to have decent jobs – this may not happen immediately. For our compatriots working abroad and those planning to work overseas, President Aquino wants to see increased protection.),” Baldoz said.

The Labor Department and other government offices still need to lay down the groundwork to generate more jobs at home, she said.

Aquino, in his inaugural speech on Wednesday, promised to generate more jobs at home leveling the playing field to encourage more investments so that Filipinos need not go abroad for jobs that pay better.

“We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance, to business,” the President said.

“Layunin nating paramihin ang trabaho dito sa ating bansa upang hindi na kailangan ang mangibang-bansa para makahanap ng trabaho (Our goal is to generate enough jobs so Filipinos need not go abroad to find work),” he added.

In the meantime, he ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – previously headed by Baldoz – to address the concerns of OFWs. —VS, GMANews.TV 



Filed under: Government, Jobs, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

Number of jobless Filipino nurses increasing

MANILA, Philippines – Richard Palikpik was one of the 92,000 nursing graduates who took the licensure examinations on Saturday.

Palikpik said he spent the last 3 months reviewing for the exam.

“Ayaw namin bumaba pa ang aming rating para hindi rin bumaba ang tingin ng ibang bansa sa amin,” he said.

But according to an official of the Review Center Association of the Philippines (RECAP), failing in the exams should be the least of the nursing graduates’ concerns.

“Ang pinakamahirap ay ang maghanap ng trabaho. Madali lang naman pumasa,” said Dr. Carl Balita, vice-president of RECAP.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), there are 187,000 unemployed nurses in the country today. They can’t find work because there are no vacancies in hospitals, it added.

Lack of work experience also prevents them from seeking jobs abroad like in the United States and Britain.

That is why Jen Palmero, who took the exams, said she would accept any work abroad even as a caregiver with lower salary.

“Caregiver is okay,” she said. “Related naman.”

For the PRC, it will be a waste of manpower if the government continues to allow nurses to work abroad as caregivers or nursing assistants.

Nursing graduates, meanwhile, called on the new administration to increase the plantilla positions of nurses in government hospitals to accommodate new nurses.

by Apples Jalandoni, ABS-CBN News


Filed under: Government, Jobs, Overseas Jobs,

President Aquino’s Anti-Wang Wang Campaign

The following are some of the highlights of President Aquino’s speech:

  • “Kami ay narito para magsilbi, hindi para maghari.”
  • “Sisimulan natin ang pag-usisa sa midnight appointments.”
  • “Kami, ang pamahalaan ang inyong kampeon… Hindi na puwede ang puwede na.”
  • “Hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa.”
  • “There can be no reconciliation w/o justice.”
  • “Sa tamang pamamahala, gaganda ang buhay ng lahat.”
  • “To our friends and neighbors around the world… we will be a nation where we can say ‘It all works.'”
  • Walang lamangan, walang padrino, at walang pagnananakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong.”
  • “Kung kailan tayo nanalo, saka pa ba tayo susuko? Kayo ang boss ko, kaya hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo.”
  • “I am blessed with this (my parents’) legacy.”
  • “Samahan ninyo ako… sa tuwid na landas. Maraming salamat po.”

Anti-Wang Wang Campaign Held a Congresswoman and Police Officer

Road Bullies!

WOTL: Wang Wang Ina Mo!

‘Walang wang-wang’


DURING HIS INAUGURATION WEDNESDAY, PRESident Aquino assured the Filipino people that he was just like every one of them. “I know and feel the problems of ordinary citizens,” he said. And he proved it immediately by enumerating their hurts, their resentments and their disappointments with an uncaring government.

In one of the most applauded portions of his Inaugural Address, Mr. Aquino asked: “Have you ever been ignored by the very government you put into power? I have. Have you ever been rudely shoved aside by the siren-blaring escorts of those who love to flaunt their position and power over you? I have, too. Have you experienced exasperation and anger at a government that, instead of serving you, needs to be endured by you? So have I.”

And he vowed to end all that, saying: “No more junkets, no more senseless spending. No more turning back on pledges made during the campaign… No more influencing peddling, no more patronage politics, no more stealing. No more sirens, no more counterflow, no more bribes. It is time for us to work together once more.”

Who would have thought that silencing the infernal wang-wang (police siren) would merit mention in a presidential speech? Yet there it was right in the President’s first address to the nation, taking its place alongside such weighty concerns as fighting graft and corruption, reducing poverty, dispensing equal justice and improving government services. And a relieved nation has been applauding in appreciation.

On Mr. Aquino’s second day in office Thursday, pedestrians cheered when they saw his convoy making its way to Malacañang from his Times Street home in Quezon City, without the blinking lights and the blaring sirens that used to announce the passage of the President and other men and women of power. Reporters also noted that the convoy stopped at red lights and dutifully used U-turns instead of turning on some street corners to save time. It seems that Mr. Aquino truly intends to lead by example, starting with following traffic rules.

A trivial gesture? Not at all. Not in a country where anarchy reigns in the streets and road rage can have fatal consequences. Not in a country where the powerful and the influential freely flout traffic rules, beating red lights, ignoring traffic signs, and driving against traffic, as traffic enforcers helplessly look on. Not in a country where public servants behave like kings and masters, especially in the streets. If Mr. Aquino wanted to show how different his administration would be from past administrations and how citizens can be equal before the law, he could not have picked a more powerful signal than this. While they were in use, those blinkers and sirens were the most visible and loudest demonstration of elitism, arrogance and impunity by people in power.

The point has been made and taken. The leadership of the Philippine National Police has ordered the deactivation of those gadgets in their patrol cars, and traffic enforcers have been ordered to go after violators of the ban. It is time to give the rule a second look.

If the ban on sirens is meant to stop arrogant displays of power, then low-numbered protocol plates as well as commemorative plates, particularly those issued by the police, should also be disallowed. Such plates, like sirens and blinkers, encourage their owners to violate the rules and intimidate the lowly traffic enforcers who might want to flag them down.

On the other hand, there is a need to relax the rule in certain cases like police emergencies and certainly the presidential convoy. Time is precious, and even more so the time of the highest official of the land. The President cannot be late for his appointments, like he was yesterday for the handover rites of the Armed Forces chief of staff, because of Metro Manila’s unpredictable traffic. Besides there are security risks involved when the presidential convoy stops at a red light or gets stalled in traffic. Mr. Aquino need not worry about using the privilege reserved for the country’s highest official to move around more quickly, safely and conveniently than everybody else. The people will surely understand, especially now that he has demonstrated how willingly he can give it up.

Filed under: Government, Sorsogon News Updates

$188M awarded by US govt to Pinoy war vets

Some $188 million has been awarded as of June 1 by the United States government to eligible Filipino soldiers who were World War II veterans.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington DC reported that of the approved claims, 7,603 are for Filipino veterans based in the Philippines, while 7,991 are now living in the United States, according to a release posted on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The number of applications received has reached over 41,000, the DFA release added.

The US government initially allocated some $198 million for the Filipino Equity Fund, where Filipino World War II veterans who are US citizens stand to get a lump-sum payment of benefits amounting to $15,000 (about P695,000) each.

Those who are not US citizens are likewise entitled to $9,000 (about P417,000) each.

A proposal is currently pending before the US Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs to allocate $67 million more for the Equity Fund. (See: US senator nixes $67M add’l funds for Pinoy vets)

Meanwhile, about 7,900 applications are pending before the US Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and are being verified at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri.

The NPRC serves as the US Army’s records custodian that keeps the records of over 400,000 World War II-era guerrillas of the US Armed Forces of the Far East, dubbed the “Missouri list.”

On the other hand, 17,632 applications for compensation have so far been denied. About 1,761 Notice of Denials were received by the Manila Regional Office.

The release nevertheless said that the Veterans Affairs Office is continuously conducting outreach programs to help veterans with denied applications go through the appeals process.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs encloses a VA Form 4107, “Your Rights to Appeal Our Decision,” in the FVEC notification letter to explain options available to those with denied claims.

Bienvenido Arcilla, a Filipino war veteran now based in California, for example, is currently appealing his benefits claim which was denied because his name could not be located on the Missouri list.

He also lost the dog tags issued to him, the only pieces of evidence that he was indeed recruited into the US military in 1941 when he was just a 16-year-old high school student in Tarlac.

He has recently filed his appeal before the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, where he narrated, among other things, how he escaped the Bataan Death March by crawling under the skirt of an elderly woman. (See: War veteran hid under woman’s skirt to escape Bataan Death March) —Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMANews.TV

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Filed under: Government, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

The Inaugural Address of Benigno S. Aquino III

(Official English translation provided by Aquino media bureau)

His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta, Former President Fidel V. Ramos, Former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and members of the Senate, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and members of the House, justices of the Supreme Court, members of the foreign delegations,Your Excellencies of the diplomatic corps, fellow colleagues in government, aking mga kababayan.

My presence here today is proof that you are my true strength. I never expected that I will be here taking my oath of office before you, as your president. I never imagined that I would be tasked with continuing the mission of my parents. I never entertained the ambition to be the symbol of hope, and to inherit the problems of our nation.

I had a simple goal in life: to be true to my parents and our country as an honorable son, a caring brother, and a good citizen.

My father offered his life so our democracy could live. My mother devoted her life to nurturing that democracy. I will dedicate my life to making our democracy reach its fullest potential: that of ensuring equality for all. My family has sacrificed much and I am willing to do this again if necessary.

Although I was born to famous parents, I know and feel the problems of ordinary citizens. We all know what it is like to have a government that plays deaf and dumb. We know what it is like to be denied justice, to be ignored by those in whom we placed our trust and tasked to become our advocates.

Have you ever been ignored by the very government you helped put in power? I have. Have you had to endure being rudely shoved aside by the siren-blaring escorts of those who love to display their position and power over you? I have, too. Have you experienced exasperation and anger at a government that instead of serving you, needs to be endured by you? So have I.

I am like you. Many of our countrymen have already voted with their feet – migrating to other countries in search of change or tranquility. They have endured hardship, risked their lives because they believe that compared to their current state here, there is more hope for them in another country, no matter how bleak it may be. In moments when I thought of only my own welfare, I also wondered – is it possible that I can find the peace and quiet that I crave in another country? Is our government beyond redemption? Has it been written that the Filipino’s lot is merely to suffer?

Today marks the end of a regime indifferent to the appeals of the people. It is not Noynoy who found a way. You are the reason why the silent suffering of the nation is about to end. This is the beginning of my burden, but if many of us will bear the cross we will lift it, no matter how heavy it is.

Through good governance in the coming years, we will lessen our problems. The destiny of the Filipino will return to its rightful place, and as each year passes, the Filipino’s problems will continue to lessen with the assurance of progress in their lives.

We are here to serve and not to lord over you. The mandate given to me was one of change. I accept your marching orders to transform our government from one that is self-serving to one that works for the welfare of the nation.

This mandate is the social contract that we agreed upon. It is the promise I made during the campaign, which you accepted on election day.

During the campaign we said, “If no one is corrupt, no one will be poor.” That is no mere slogan for posters — it is the defining principle that will serve as the foundation of our administration.

Our foremost duty is to lift the nation from poverty through honest and effective governance.

The first step is to have leaders who are ethical, honest, and true public servants. I will set the example. I will strive to be a good model. I will not break the trust you have placed in me. I will ensure that this, too, will be the advocacy of my Cabinet and those who will join our government.

I do not believe that all of those who serve in our government are corrupt. In truth, the majority of them are honest. They joined government to serve and do good. Starting today, they will have the opportunity to show that they have what it takes. I am counting on them to help fight corruption within the bureaucracy.

To those who have been put in positions by unlawful means, this is my warning: we will begin earning back the trust of our people by reviewing midnight appointments. Let this serve as a warning to those who intend to continue the crooked ways that have become the norm for too long.

To our impoverished countrymen, starting today, your government will be your champion.

We will not disregard the needs of our students. We will begin by addressing the glaring shortage in classrooms and educational facilities.

Gradually, we will lessen the lack of infrastructures for transportation, tourism and trade. From now on, mediocre work will not be good enough when it comes to roads, bridges, and buildings because we will hold contractors responsible for maintaining their projects in good condition.

We will revive the emergency employment program established by former President Corazon Aquino. This will provide jobs for local communities and will help in the development of their and our economy.

We will not be the cause of your suffering or hardship. We will strengthen collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and we will fight corruption in the Bureau of Customs in order to fund our objectives for the public welfare, such as:

· Quality education, including vocational education, so that those who choose not to attend college or those who cannot afford it can find dignified livelihood;

· Improved public health services such as PhilHealth for all within three years;

· A home for every family, within safe communities.

We will strengthen the armed forces and the police, not to serve the interests of those who want to wield power with impunity, but to give added protection for ordinary folk. The armed forces and the police risk their lives daily so that the nation can live in peace and security. The population has doubled and yet their numbers remain unchanged. It is not right that those who make sacrifices are treated pitifully.

If there was a fertilizer scam in the past, today there will be security for farmers. We will help them with irrigation, extension services, and marketing their products at the best possible prices.

We are directing Secretary Alcala to set up trading centers that will directly link farmers and consumers thereby eliminating middlemen and opportunities for corruption. In this way, funds can be shared by farmers and consumers. We will make our country attractive to investors. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance to business. This is the only means by which we can provide jobs for our people.

Our goal is to create jobs at home so that there will be no need to look for employment abroad. However, as we work towards that end, I am ordering the DFA, POEA, OWWA, and other relevant agencies to be even more responsive to the needs and welfare of our overseas Filipino workers.

We will strengthen the process of consultation and feedback. We will strive to uphold the constitutional right of citizens to information on matters of public concern.

We relived the spirit of people power during the campaign. Let it take us to good and effective governance. Those who believe in people power put the welfare of others before their own.

I can forgive those who did me wrong but I have no right to forgive those who abused our people.

To those who talk about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

We are also happy to inform you the acceptance of Chief Justice Hilario Davide of the challenge of strengthening and heading a Truth Commission that will shed light on many unanswered issues that continue to haunt our country.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflict, inclusive of the interests of all — may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shalI defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. With proper governance life will improve for all. When we are all living well, who will want to go back to living under oppression?

If I have all of you by my side, we will be able to build a nation in which there will be equality of opportunity, because each of us fulfilled our duties and responsibilities equally.

After the elections, you proved that it is the people who wield power in this country.

This is what democracy means. It is the foundation of our unity. We campaigned for change. Because of this, the Filipino stands tall once more. We are all part of a nation that can begin to dream again.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Today, I am inviting you to pledge to yourselves and to our people. No one shall be left behind.

No more junkets, no more senseless spending. No more turning back on pledges made during the campaign, whether today or in the coming challenges that will confront us over the next six years. No more influence-peddling, no more patronage politics, no more stealing. No more sirens, no more short cuts, no more bribes. It is time for us to work together once more.

We are here today because we stood together and believed in hope. We had no resources to campaign other than our common faith in the inherent goodness of the Filipino.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. To those among you who are still undecided about sharing the common burden I have only one question: Are you going to quit now that we have won?

You are the boss so I cannot ignore your orders. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to your needs and aspirations.

You are the ones who brought me here – our volunteers – old, young, celebrity, ordinary folks who went around the country to campaign for change; my household help who provided for all my personal needs; my family, friends, colleagues at work, who shared, cared, and gave their support; my lawyers who stayed all hours to guard my votes and make sure they were counted; and the millions of Filipinos who prevailed, kept faith, and never lost hope – I offer my heartfelt gratitude.

I will not be able to face my parents and you who have brought me here if do not fulfill the promises I made.

My parents sought nothing less, died for nothing less, than democracy and peace. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

My hope is that when I leave office, everyone can say that we have traveled far on the right path, and that we are able to bequeath a better future to the next generation. Join me in continuing this fight for change.

Thank you and long live the Filipino people!



Ang pagtayo ko dito ngayon ay patunay na kayo ang aking tunay na lakas. Hindi ko inakala na darating tayo sa puntong ito, na ako’y manunumpa sa harap ninyo bilang inyong Pangulo. Hindi ko pinangarap maging tagapagtaguyod ng pag-asa at tagapagmana ng mga suliranin ng ating bayan.

Ang layunin ko sa buhay ay simple lang: maging tapat sa aking mga magulang at sa bayan bilang isang marangal na anak, mabait na kuya, at mabuting mamamayan.

Nilabanan ng aking ama ang diktadurya at ibinuwis niya ang kanyang buhay para tubusin ang ating demokrasya. Inalay ng aking ina ang kanyang buhay upang pangalagaan ang demokrasyang ito. Ilalaan ko ang aking buhay para siguraduhin na ang ating demokrasya ay kapaki-pakinabang sa bawat isa. Namuhunan na po kami ng dugo at handa kong gawin ito kung muling kinakailangan.

Tanyag man ang aking mga magulang at ang kanilang mga nagawa, alam ko rin ang problema ng ordinaryong mamamayan. Alam nating lahat ang pakiramdam na magkaroon ng pamahalaang bulag at bingi. Alam natin ang pakiramdam na mapagkaitan ng hustisya, na mabalewala ng mga taong pinagkatiwalaan at inatasan nating maging ating tagapagtanggol.

Kayo ba ay minsan ring nalimutan ng pamahalaang inyong iniluklok sa puwesto? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay nagtiis na sa trapiko para lamang masingitan ng isang naghahari-hariang de-wangwang sa kalsada? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay sawang-sawa na sa pamahalaang sa halip na magsilbi sa taumbayan ay kailangan pa nila itong pagpasensiyahan at tiisin? Ako rin.

Katulad ninyo ako. Marami na sa atin ang bumoto gamit ang kanilang paa – nilisan na nila ang ating bansa sa kanilang paghahanap ng pagbabago at katahimikan. Tiniis nila ang hirap, sinugod ang panganib sa ibang bansa dahil doon may pag-asa kahit kaunti na dito sa atin ay hindi nila nakikita. Sa iilang sandali na sarili ko lang ang aking inaalala, pati ako ay napag-isip din – talaga bang hindi na mababago ang pamamahala natin dito? Hindi kaya nasa ibang bansa ang katahimikang hinahanap ko? Saan ba nakasulat na kailangang puro pagtitiis ang tadhana ng Pilipino?

Ngayon, sa araw na ito – dito magwawakas ang pamumunong manhid sa mga daing ng taumbayan. Hindi si Noynoy ang gumawa ng paraan, kayo ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon, magtatapos na ang pagtitiis ng sambayanan. Ito naman po ang umpisa ng kalbaryo ko, ngunit kung marami tayong magpapasan ng krus ay kakayanin natin ito, gaano man kabigat.

Sa tulong ng wastong pamamahala sa mga darating na taon, maiibsan din ang marami nating problema. Ang tadhana ng Pilipino ay babalik sa tamang kalagayan, na sa bawat taon pabawas ng pabawas ang problema ng Pinoy na nagsusumikap at may kasiguruhan sila na magiging tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbuti ng kanilang sitwasyon.

Kami ay narito para magsilbi at hindi para maghari. Ang mandato ninyo sa amin ay pagbabago – isang malinaw na utos para ayusin ang gobyerno at lipunan mula sa pamahalaang iilan lamang ang nakikinabang tungo sa isang pamahalaang kabutihan ng mamamayan ang pinangangalagaan.

Ang mandatong ito ay isa kung saan kayo at ang inyong pangulo ay nagkasundo para sa pagbabago – isang paninindigan na ipinangako ko noong kampanya at tinanggap ninyo noong araw ng halalan.

Sigaw natin noong kampanya: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Hindi lamang ito pang slogan o pang poster – ito ang mga prinsipyong tinatayuan at nagsisilbing batayan ng ating administrasyon.

Ang ating pangunahing tungkulin ay ang magsikap na maiangat ang bansa mula sa kahirapan, sa pamamagitan ng pagpapairal ng katapatan at mabuting pamamalakad sa pamahalaan.

Ang unang hakbang ay ang pagkakaroon ng tuwid at tapat na hanay ng mga pinuno. Magsisimula ito sa akin. Sisikapin kong maging isang mabuting ehemplo. Hinding hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin. Sisiguraduhin ko na ganito rin ang adhikain ng aking Gabinete at ng mga magiging kasama sa ating pamahalaan.

Naniniwala akong hindi lahat ng nagsisilbi sa gobyerno ay corrupt. Sa katunayan, mas marami sa kanila ay tapat. Pinili nilang maglingkod sa gobyerno upang gumawa ng kabutihan. Ngayon, magkakaroon na sila ng pagkakataong magpakitang-gilas. Inaasahan natin sila sa pagsupil ng korapsyon sa loob mismo ng burukrasya.

Sa mga itinalaga sa paraang labag sa batas, ito ang aking babala: sisimulan natin ang pagbabalik ng tiwala sa pamamagitan ng pag-usisa sa mga “midnight appointments.” Sana ay magsilbi itong babala sa mga nag-iisip na ipagpatuloy ang baluktot na kalakarang nakasanayan na ng marami.

Sa mga kapuspalad nating mga kababayan, ngayon, ang pamahalaan ang inyong kampeon.

Hindi natin ipagpapaliban ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga estudyante, kaya’t sisikapin nating punan ang kakulangan sa ating mga silid-aralan.

Unti-unti din nating babawasan ang mga kakulangan sa imprastraktura para sa transportasyon, turismo at pangangalakal. Mula ngayon, hindi na puwede ang “puwede na” pagdating sa mga kalye, tulay at gusali dahil magiging responsibilidad ng mga kontratista ang panatilihing nasa mabuting kalagayan ang mga proyekto nila.

Bubuhayin natin ang programang “emergency employment” ng dating pangulong Corazon Aquino sa pagtatayo ng mga bagong imprastraktura na ito. Ito ay magbibigay ng trabaho sa mga local na komunidad at makakatulong sa pagpapalago ng kanila at ng ating ekonomiya.

Hindi kami magiging sanhi ng inyong pasakit at perwisyo. Palalakasin natin ang koleksyon at pupuksain natin ang korapsyon sa Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas at Bureau of Customs para mapondohan natin ang ating mga hinahangad para sa lahat, tulad ng:

· dekalidad na edukasyon, kabilang ang edukasyong bokasyonal para makapaghanap ng marangal na trabaho ang hindi makapag-kolehiyo;
· serbisyong pangkalusugan, tulad ng Philhealth para sa lahat sa loob ng tatlong taon;
· tirahan sa loob ng mga ligtas na komunidad.

Palalakasin at palalaguin natin ang bilang ng ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan, hindi para tugunan ang interes ng mga naghahari-harian, ngunit para proteksyunan ang mamamayan. Itinataya nila ang kanilang buhay para mayroong pagkakataon sa katahimikan at kapayapaan sa sambayanan. Dumoble na ang populasyong kanilang binabantayan, nanatili naman sila sa bilang. Hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa.

Kung dati ay may fertilizer scam, ngayon ay may kalinga ng tunay para sa mga magsasaka. Tutulungan natin sila sa irigasyon, extension services, at sa pagbenta ng kanilang produkto sa pinakamataas na presyong maaari.

Inaatasan natin na ang papasok na Secretary Alcala ay magtayo ng mga trading centers kung saan diretso na ang magsasaka sa mamimili – lalaktawan natin ang gitna, kasama na ang kotong cop. Sa ganitong paraan, ang dating napupunta sa gitna ay maari nang paghatian ng magsasaka at mamimili.

Gagawin nating kaaya-aya sa negosyante ang ating bansa. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance, to business. Sa ganitong paraan lamang natin mapupunan ang kakulangan ng trabaho para sa ating mga mamamayan.

Layunin nating paramihin ang trabaho dito sa ating bansa upang hindi na kailanganin ang mangibang-bansa para makahanap lamang ng trabaho. Ngunit habang ito ay hindi pa natin naaabot, inaatasan ko ang mga kawani ng DFA, POEA at ng OWWA at iba pang mga kinauukulang ahensiya na mas lalo pang paigtingin ang pagtugon sa mga hinaing at pangangailangan ng ating mga overseas Filipino workers.

Papaigtingin namin ang proceso ng konsultasyon at pag-uulat sa taumbayan. Sisikapin naming isakatuparan ang nakasaad sa ating Konstitusiyon na kinikilala ang karapatan ng mamamayaan na magkaroon ng kaalaman ukol sa mga pampublikong alintana.

Binuhay natin ang diwa ng people power noong kampanya. Ipagpatuloy natin ito tungo sa tuwid at tapat na pamamahala. Ang naniniwala sa people power ay nakatuon sa kapwa at hindi sa sarili.

Sa mga nang-api sa akin, kaya ko kayong patawarin at pinapatawad ko na kayo. Sa mga nang-api sa sambayanan, wala akong karapatan na limutin ang inyong mga kasalanan.

To those who are talking about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. Sa paglimot ng pagkakasala, sinisigurado mong maulit muli ang mga pagkakasalang ito. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

Ikinagagalak din naming ibahagi sa inyo ang pagtanggap ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. sa hamon ng pagtatatag at pamumuno sa isang Truth Commission na magbibigay linaw sa maraming kahinahinalang isyu na hanggang ngayon ay walang kasagutan at resolusyon.

Ang sinumang nagkamali ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya. Hindi maaaring patuloy ang kalakaran ng walang pananagutan at tuloy na pang-aapi.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflicts, inclusive of the interests of all – may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shall defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. Sa tamang pamamahala gaganda ang buhay ng lahat, at sa buhay na maganda, sino pa ang gugustuhing bumalik sa panahon ng pang-aapi?

Kung kasama ko kayo, maitataguyod natin ang isang bayan kung saan pantay-pantay ang pagkakataon, dahil pantay-pantay nating ginagampanan ang ating mga pananagutan.

Kamakailan lamang, ang bawat isa sa atin ay nanindigan sa presinto. Bumoto tayo ayon sa ating karapatan at konsensiya. Hindi tayo umatras sa tungkulin nating ipaglaban ang karapatan na ito.

Pagkatapos ng bilangan, pinatunayan ninyo na ang tao ang tunay na lakas ng bayan.

Ito ang kahalagahan ng ating demokrasya. Ito ang pundasyon ng ating pagkakaisa. Nangampanya tayo para sa pagbabago. Dahil dito taas-noo muli ang Pilipino. Tayong lahat ay kabilang sa isang bansa kung saan maaari nang mangarap muli.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Inaanyayahan ko kayo ngayon na manumpa sa ating mga sarili, sa sambayanan, WALANG MAIIWAN.

Walang pangingibang-bayan at gastusan na walang wastong dahilan. Walang pagtalikod sa mga salitang binitawan noong kampanya, ngayon at hanggang sa mga susunod pang pagsubok na pagdadaanan sa loob ng anim na taon.

Walang lamangan, walang padrino at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawanggawa.

Nandito tayo ngayon dahil sama-sama tayong nanindigan at nagtiwala na may pag-asa.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. Sa inyong mga nag-iisip pa kung tutulong kayo sa pagpasan ng ating krus, isa lang ang aking tanong – kung kailan tayo nanalo, saka pa ba kayo susuko?

Kayo ang boss ko, kaya’t hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to the people’s needs and aspirations.

Kayo ang nagdala sa akin sa puntong ito – ang ating mga volunteers – matanda, bata, celebrity, ordinaryong tao, na umikot sa Pilipinas para ikampanya ang pagbabago; ang aking mga kasambahay, na nag-asikaso ng lahat ng aking mga personal na pangangailangan; ang aking pamilya, kaibigan at katrabaho, na dumamay, nag-alaga at nagbigay ng suporta sa akin; ang ating mga abogado, na nagpuyat para bantayan ang ating mga boto at siguraduhing mabilang ang bawat isa; ang aking mga kapartido at kaalyado na kasama kong nangahas mangarap; at ang milyun-milyong Pilipinong nagkaisa, nagtiwala at hindi nawalan ng pag-asa – nasa inyo ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat.

Hindi ko makakayang harapin ang aking mga magulang, at kayong mga nagdala sa akin sa yugto ng buhay kong ito, kung hindi ko maisasakatuparan ang aking mga binitawang salita sa araw na ito.

My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

Layunin ko na sa pagbaba ko sa katungkulan, masasabi ng lahat na malayo na ang narating natin sa pagtahak ng tuwid na landas at mas maganda na ang kinabukasang ipapamana natin sa susunod na henerasyon. Samahan ninyo ako sa pagtatapos ng laban na ito. Tayo na sa tuwid na landas.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino! (June 30, 2010)


Filed under: Government, Politics, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

DoLE launches another program for OFWs

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) recently launched a program that ensures the efficient delivery of the social protection services to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Dubbed ‘Kabayanihan,’ the program will be implemented in partnership with the Social Security System
(SSS), Philhealth, Pag-ibig, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said ‘Kabayanihan,’ a one-stop-shop that will be set up at the Philippines Overseas Labor Offices (POLO), uses a ‘bundling approach’ membership and services.

“This means that all government welfare services, social insurance, savings and investment, housing, loans and scholarship benefits to OFWs and their families, among others are unified to make it more accessible, convenient and affordable for the OFWs,’’ said Roque.

“Registration and transaction procedures are also expected to be simplified under the program,’’ said Roque.



Filed under: Government, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

Key Labor Challenges

Facing the Aquino  Administration

The Aquino Administration shall be inheriting from the Arroyo Administration  complex  and numerous labor problems.  These include, among others, the following  –

  • Labor market:      over three million unemployed, six million underemployed (but over 14 million estimated to be working at less than 40 hours a week), large  informal economy (estimates range from 45 to 77 per cent of the labor  force), one million plus annual labor entrants, eroding capacity of domestic industry and agriculture to generate jobs, expanding service sector but with limited capacity to create well-paid jobs (except in a narrow call center/BPO sub-sector);
  • Migration:    diaspora of close to ten million Filipinos (immigrants, temporaries and undocumented) dividing families and the nation, high dependence of the economy on remittances (now roughly $1.5 billion a month), high rate of deployment taxing the processing capacity of POEA to the limits (over a million a year), endless sad OFW stories on abuses and contract violations in various climes;
  • Industrial relations system:     dramatic decline in the number of strikes paralleled by a dramatic decline in the number of unions and collective bargaining agreements, rampant outsourcing of jobs to avoid labor and social security obligations, polarized positions of labor and industry on outsourcing and labor reforms, perennial delays in case disposition in the NLRC, quality of decisions generally weak; and
  • Skills/education of the work force:    declining competitiveness of the country due to eroded or eroding educational and skills readiness of the work force, fund   misuse in TESDA documented by COA, industry not investing enough on skills development (and relying instead on replaceable short-term labor for competitiveness), and weaknesses in national skills anticipation  and job-skills matching.

On top of the foregoing, the country is facing labor-related concerns such as high urban-rural migration due to job weaknesses in the agricultural sector compounded by risks and disasters associated with climate change (resulting in the rise of “climate change refugees”).

Most of the above problems can not be solved overnight.

However, the Aquino Administration should be able to show that

  • it has a full understanding of these  manifold labor problems,
  • it has the strategic development perspective on how these problems should be tackled, and
  • it has the fortitude and willingness to buckle down to work, on day one, as it tries to address these problems under a Team Aquino.

An energized labor administration machinery is central in the fulfillment of the above tasks.   The incoming Administration should be able to drill in the mind of every DOLE man and woman that each has a historic task to perform in support of the Aquino Administration’s platform of employment, industrial relations and social reforms.  In broad strokes, this platform should include the following:

  • Labor market:     While job creation is the task of the entire government (with DTI, DA and other agencies seen as job creation leaders),  DOLE has the task of helping in the labor market facilitation business.  This means assisting LGUs in upgrading the PESOs, propagating and documenting good PESO practices in job-skills matching and skills enhancement, etc., and improving its  own Phil-JobNet.  It should do a job-skills map of the country, complete with the identification of measures on how to help out-of-school youth, unemployed educated, handicapped and other disadvantaged workers become productive and active members of the labor market.  It should also get involved in strategizing offensive (job-creating) and defensive (job-preserving) measures under globalization, including adjustment measures  under varied bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements, for the specific purpose of preserving and creating more and better jobs.  With the technical assistance of the ILO and in cooperation with other agencies such as DWSD and DOH, DOLE should find ways to promote or create jobs for the long-term unemployed and develop a program of “social protection for all”.
  • Migration: Aside from strengthening the existing machinery on OFW deployment (POEA) and protection (OWWA, bilateral agreements, anti-illegal-recruitment campaign, overseas RP missions, etc.), DOLE should push for an honest-to-goodness review and updating of the 1995 Migrant Workers Law (not just a program of insuring the insurers!).  One key issue is OFW policy clarification.  Instead of the old policy declaration that migration is a short-term stop-gap employment program (from Marcos to Estrada) or the more nuanced policy declaration under GMA that “migration is a choice”, the Aquino Administration should state forthrightly that migration is a central reality in the Philippine economy and society today and that the State policy on migration is guided by three intertwining guiding principles – extension of maximum protection to life and dignity to every Filipino migrant and family, assistance to Filipino migrants in their individual and collective search for life fulfillment and empowerment such as organizing for their own protection and advancement and investing on the well being of family and community in the home land, and enlisting  the participation of the global community of Filipino migrants in building a  balanced, equitable and prosperous Philippine economy in order to make working and living in the home country a first choice for every Filipino.

  • Industrial relations system:  DOLE, under Article V (rule-making) of the Labor Code, should move more vigorously for the empowerment of workers by recognizing and strengthening organizations of all types and categories of workers for various collective purposes (e.g., collective bargaining, common guild/skills interests, etc.) in order to implement the Constitutional mandate that all workers, in the formal and informal sectors, should enjoy the right to self-organization.  It should also help end the long-running debate on outsourcing (liberalization per demand by some business groups and criminalization as espoused by many trade union groups).  How?  By insisting that outsourcing, while legitimate when undertaken for legitimate business exigencies, should not be  abetted when done to avoid the labor and social security obligations of business, which is a narrow and short-sighted way of building up competitiveness.  The system of dispute settlement should also be reformed not only to fast-track case settlement but also to improve the quality of decisions.  On the other hand, DOLE should re-launch the campaign for proactive labor relations programs at the  plant/company level and should ask non-unionized firms to set up grievance machinery and employee consultation mechanisms.  The bipartite, tripartite and even multipartite systems of dialogue and consultation at various levels (national, regional, industry, etc.) should also be maintained and strengthened and should cover broader social development concerns such as social partnership in support of job  preservation and job creation.   For the reality is that a lot has to be done to promote better adjustment measures necessary to insure the preservation and creation of industries and decent jobs, e.g., adoption of winning  adjustment programs, more employee-employer dialogues on appropriate adjustment measures.On legislated labor reforms, this should be pursued but more in the context of the need for positive labor or industrial relations transformation, that is, how  to make  such transformation a source of competitiveness and a guarantee for the increased welfare of workers  and other sectors.  There should also be reforms to strengthen   institutions of workers’ representation,  collective bargaining, conciliation, mediation, labor-management cooperation and voluntary modes of dispute settlement.  The point is that the Philippines can become more competitive as a nation if it strengthens, not downgrades, institutions of industrial democracy.
  • Skills/education of the work force:   The declining competitiveness of the country due to eroding educational and skills readiness of the work force should be arrested through reforms in TESDA by making its operations transparent and its programs not only industry-focused but also community-oriented and anticipatory of changes in the labor market.  There should be a greater enhancement of the trifocal or convergence administration of the educational/skills system involving CHED, DepEd and TESDA.
  • Internal migration/climate change: DOLE should support inter-agency efforts in addressing poverty and development issues arising from the rapid urbanization of the country, continuous rural-to-urban migration, expansion of urban and rural poor communities with limited facilities and increasing risks and disasters arising from climate change and environmental degradation.  All these have labor and employment dimensions.  One area where DOLE can play a major role is in the promotion of greener businesses and greener jobs in the context of a green development program meant to combat threats of climate change.  A greening or renewal of communities nationwide to make them resilient to climate change means creation  of millions of jobs through labor-intensive community-based infrastructure projects such as flood controls, river/estero dredging, housing upgrades, pathways construction, building of community centers, etc.

Conclusion. To reiterate, the Aquino Administration is inheriting a host of daunting labor and employment problems.   However, formidable as they may seem, they can and should be overcome  – not overnight – but through a clearer vision of development, an energized bureaucracy and a firm leadership under Team Aquino.

By Prof. Rene Ofreneo, UP SOLAIR


Filed under: Government,

DepEd Library Hub Project

We would like to thank the people behind the continued development of the DepEd Library Hubs. As we all know that library is a treasure-house of knowledge. The Schools in Sorsogon and the neighbouring towns will benefit from this Project.




If every child is to be functionally literate, there must be an infrastructure that makes available reading materials to support this agenda. However, the problem besetting the public schools in the country is the prohibitive cost of setting up libraries.

Hence, in 2003, the Department of Education (DepED), through the office of the Undersecretary for Finance and Administration, launched the Library Hub Project as one of its innovative initiatives. This project aims to develop the love for and habit of reading among public school pupils and students through building a warehouse of supplementary reading materials called the Library Hub. The Hub is anchored on the principle that every child can develop desirable reading habits and skills through greater access to reading materials. Ultimately, it will create pervasive reading culture and environment in public schools. Under the Project, the Department is tapping the support and cooperation of both internal and external stakeholders.

The Vision

A functional Library Hub in every schools division is a reservoir of reading materials envisioned to develop among pupils and students the love for and habit of reading.

The Mission

The Library Hub equipped with adequate and varied quality supplementary reading materials for public elementary and secondary schools shall be established in all schools divisions nationwide.

The Goal

In order to attain its vision and mission, at least one Library Hub shall be established in every schools division nationwide by 2010.


The Library Hub Project aims to:

  1. Provide greater access to reading materials to all public school pupils and    students through Library Hubs
  2. Provide quality and appropriate books to public schools nationwide
  3. Develop the love for books and habit of reading
  4. Make every Filipino child a book lover
  5. Support the development of reading and comprehension skills of public school pupils and students


Filed under: Education, Encouragement, Government, Inspiration, Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon teachers transform conflict affected-area into zone of peace

By Ben Cal/

CASTILLA, SORSOGON, May 16 — The government’s peace education program has paid-off, especially to school children in this conflict-affected area where teachers inculcate the value of peace to ensure a brighter future for their young pupils as law-abiding citizens.

The San Isidro Elementary School here has been selected as one of the pilot areas in the country, where peace education is taught –an initiative of the Bicol Consortium on Peace Education and Development (BCPED), in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) in Region V.

The project is fully supported by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Programme. Technical expertise is provided by the United Nations Act for Peace Program.

The program is to train teachers and administrators on how to mainstream peace perspectives into the basic education curriculum as well as into school policies, processes and relationships to make them conflict-sensitive and peace promoting.

Teachers are trained how to reach out to the families of the students and other members of the community for a holistic approach to build a culture of peace.

Emma J. Sario, a grade one teacher, upon returning from a training seminar, set up a corner in her classroom where she posted several ways on how to transform the classroom into a place of peace.

A co-teacher Sandra Aninipot encouraged her 55 students to come up with their own guidelines, many of which focused on respecting, helping and showing compassion towards their fellow students.

Aninipot has also adapted peaceful approaches in dealing with trying circumstances at home.

Barely five months after the implementation of the project, the teachers noticed remarkable changes in the behavior of their pupils, who now refrain from saying bad and hurting words to fellow students.

They also keep their composure and avoided retaliating when provoked by their classmates.

The phrase “Peace be with you” has become the popular saying heard around the campus.

School principal Teddy Jañola cited the importance of training the pupils on the importance of a lasting peace.

Aside from mainstreaming peace perspectives into the school program, Jañola and his teachers have spread the peace virus outside the school premises.

Jañola said a progress report has been submitted to the municipal and provincial officials about the project.

The school is actively working with the parents’ association to be able to reach out to the community more effectively.

Through peace education, the young students will be trained as peace advocates, he said.

With the success of the peace education program, teachers at the San Isidro Elementary School have felt a sense of personal triumph in helping the transformation of their students into peace- loving individuals.

Relationships among fellow teachers and students also have vastly improved.

For teacher Armie G. Buban, the whole experience reminded her of her commitment to become a peace advocate.

She said that being trained under this project has steadily helped her to keep her composure, especially in dealing with hard-headed students.

The school has already received commendations for the early success of the project resulting in the additional support being granted by the Department of Education and the expansion of the project to more schools in the Bicol region. (PNA) RMA/RBC/rsm

Filed under: Education, Encouragement, Government, Public Service, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?, ,

Never give up, Never Backdown, Never lose faith – Face the GIANT

Its a great movie with inspirational message that made me think of my point of view as well. Am i facing that GIANT right now?

When your back is AGAINST the WALL…

When it seems there is NO WAY OUT….

You have to face your fears…..FACE THE GIANTS













Filed under: Arts and Literature, Baratilyo Updates, Buhay Sorsoganon, Campus Talk, Churches, Community Service Group, Concerned Sorsoganon, Encouragement, Expat Living in Sorsogon, Family, Friends and Society, Food and Drinks, Get Involved, Government, History, Hobbies and Recreation, Inspiration, Jokes & Humor, Kasangayahan 2009, Kumustahan, Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, Love, Courtship and Marriage, Mountaineering Groups, Promote Tourism, Public Service, Religion, Senior Citizen Assoc., Sorsoganon Everywhere, Sorsogon Expat's, sorsogon riders association, Sorsogon Student Awardee, Sports Center, Travel & Adventures, Travel and Lifestyle, What's Happening Here?, , ,

Sorsogon City – Kasanggayahan Festival Opening Parade

Sorsogon celebrates ‘Kasanggayahan’ | ABS-CBN News Online Beta.


Filed under: Buhay Sorsoganon, Family, Friends and Society, Government, Kasangayahan 2009, Promote Tourism, Sorsogon News Updates, Travel & Adventures, Travel and Lifestyle, What's Happening Here?, ,

38 Bicolanos now maritime scholars under DEEP

by BA Recebido

Sorsogon City (12 August) — A total of 38 scholars are now enrolled at the Mariners Polytechnic College Foundation in Baras, Camarines Sur, under the DBP Endowment for Education Program (DEEP).

Abelardo L. Monarquia, DBP senior vice president, said that scholars who were picked from across the region are now sure to finish college through the P1-B DEEP.

Monarquia said government financing institutions (GFIs) like DBP are now being tapped by the government to serve as channels to help develop future pillars of the country by financing special scholarship programs.

Monarquia, who is also the DBP Bicol regional management center head, added that DBP is now on its second year of assisting underprivileged but promising Filipino students to finish their maritime courses, corollary too President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s program of investing in the sustained development of the country’s human resource.

“The initiative is in response to the projected huge demand for Filipino seafarers to man international vessels in the next 15 to 20 years,” he added.

He also said that by forging partnership with ship owners here and abroad, future DEEP maritime graduates are assured of employment.

He explained that under the program, the DBP pays for the scholars’ tuition and other school expenses, from first year college until their graduation, and covers the whole range of the scholars’ requirements.

“Right now, we still encourage applicants who belong to the top 20 of their high school graduating class with an annual family income of not more than P150,000, physically and mentally fit, of good moral character, and passed the entrance/admission tests of DEEP partners schools and the National Career Aptitude Exam,” he noted.

“We would like to encourage our scholars to sustain the program,” Monarquia says. “This way, other poor but deserving students may likewise benefit from the project.

It can be noted, that during the DEEP’s launching, DBP has piloted a career in nursing knowing the country to have very good nursing schools producing excellent nurses.

However, due to oversupply of nursing graduates nowadays, the program has instead shifted to maritime course, taking into account that the Philippines has been a traditional supplier of shipping crew, with a global share estimated at 28 percent.

However, DEEP will not only limit to maritime course but also preparing to help students in Bicol who have inclinations to technical and vocational courses, especially that there is also a continued demand for blue collar jobs like chefs, welders, caregivers, lathe machine operators, and electronics technicians here and abroad. (PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Government, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

DSWD Builds Core Shelter Units for Homeless Juban Villagers

Danny O. Calleja

JUBAN, Sorsogon, Aug. 6 — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has earmarked P7 million for the construction of 100 housing units under the government’s core shelter program implemented nationwide for homeless families.

Town Mayor Maria Theresa Guab-Fragata here said on Thursday the construction of the housing units are in full swing and being undertaken by the beneficiaries themselves through the bayanihan system.

The municipal government provides a food-for-work assistance for the workers and their families, Fragata said.

The project was realized through the coordination of the local government with the DSWD that is tasked by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undertake a massive program towards providing housing units for thousands of poor homeless families nationwide, Fragata said.

The beneficiaries in the locality were identified by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) through thorough evaluation and screening, she said.

Most of the identified beneficiaries were families from coastal barangays of the municipality who rely mainly on fishing for their livelihood. These families live in makeshift shanties along the coastlines that expose them to extreme hazards during typhoons, she said.

“Relocating these families from the shorelines where their lives and properties are at risk and providing them with decent homes in safer areas is the primary objective of this housing program we owe to President Arroyo,” Fragata said.

Earlier, the DSWD had also started building 100 core shelter units for homeless families in the coastal town of Prieto Diaz located at the eastern tip of the province of Sorsogon.

Its mayor, Benito Doma, said 100 families belonging to the poorest-of-the-poor in the municipality were chosen as beneficiaries of the project also being built in Barangay Talisayan through bayanihan system.

The project was realized under a memorandum of agreement entered into between the municipal government and the DSWD.

As its counterpart, the local government of Prieto Diaz provided a two-hectare lot as project site while the DSWD shouldered the cost of construction and building materials, Doma said. (PNA)



Filed under: Government, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?, ,

400 studes to benefit from PESFA, 70 others from LEP

by BA Recebido

Sorsogon Province (7 August) — Some 400 students studying in the private tekbok (technological-vocational) schools across this province will benefit form the Private Education Student Fund Assistance (PESFA) being implemented by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provincial office here

Rodolfo Benemerito, TESDA Sorsogon provincial director, stated the program seeks out indigent and deserving students who want to pursue technological-vocational courses after finishing high school to hone their skills to become more productive and competitive not only in the local labor fronts but also overseas.

Benemerito said TESDA, with the assistance of the local government units (LGUs) through the Community Training and Employment Coordinators (CTECs), has already commenced the selection process for qualified applicants.

He added the scholars under the PESFA program may choose from 13 strategic packages offered in some 19 private tekbok schools in the province.

“Since our programs in TESDA are multi-entry programs, training classes may start anytime of the year as long as the minimum number of scholars required is met,” he noted.

Benemerito further calls on and encourages qualified students grab this opportunity offered by the government to help the poor communities allotting some P3.6 million to finance the scholarship of deserving locals.

TESDA Sorsogon, meanwhile, has announced the Ladderized Education Program (LEP) Scholarship will soon be implemented in the province targeting some 70 students who are already enrolled in the ladderized courses at the Sorsogon State College (SSC) and Aemilianum College, Inc. (ACI), both located in Sorsogon City.

Meanwhile, TESDA Sorsogon was given a total of 2,652 scholarship slots with P24M budget for this year’s Pangulong Gloria Scholarship Program (PGSP).

Mariglo M. Makabuhay, TESDA-PGSP provincial coordinator, said scholars may opt from the 50 technical-vocational courses or special packages offered in various accredited private and public schools in the province.

She averred that since the PGSP’s implemented this year, TESDA has already recorded a total of 1,454 graduates, including the five overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who now have jobs overseas.

“We are presently gathering data from TESDA accredited schools and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to find out the extent of success among our graduates, furthermore, as bases for the PGSP second phase of implementation in the province,” she said. (PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Government, Scholarship Program, Sorsogon News Updates, Upcoming Events, What's Happening Here?, ,

Philippines gives green signal for coal mining

Business Mirror reported that Philippine Department of Energy has approved the mining of this island province’s estimated 1.2 million tonnes of high quality coal deposits under the fourth Philippine Energy Contracting Round of 2009.

The Catanduanes coal district covers 8,000 hectares in 14 upland barangays within Panganiban, San Andres and Caramoran, all major abaca and coconut producing municipalities sitting at the heart of the 1,511.5 square kilometer island. Monte Oro Resources & Energy Inc holds a mining contract for the area awarded by the DOE under the second PECR that year.

MOREI is chaired by Mr Walter Brown, who also a chairman of Philex Mining Corporation. Mr Wilson Sy, former chairman of the Philippine Stock Exchange, is also reportedly a member of its board of directors.

The participation of MOREI in the service contract application with the DOE entitles the joint venture to the Filipino Participation Incentive Allowance that equates to 7.5% of gross proceeds from any future production.

The entire area is capable of yielding 1.2 million metric tonnes of top quality coal with high heating value. Actual mining operations, however, have yet to take place because of opposition by several sectors, including local government units and the Catholic Church.

Mr Rufino Bomansang, a Philippine energy resources expert and VC of MG Mining & Energy Corporation said in a statement that untapped coal resources in the Philippines can produce 1,000 MW to 2,000 MW of electricity in at least 25 years to provide cost effective alternatives to imported oil and coal.

Catanduanes coal is part of the vast energy source prospects in the Bicol region being eyed by the DOE for exploration. The others are in Batan Island of Rapu, Cataingan and Gubat, Bacon and Prieto Diaz in Sorsogon.


Filed under: Government, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

CHED Scholarship Program

Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
5 Fl. DAP Bldg., San Miguel Ave.
 Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines.


Scholarships : Local

CHED provides educational opportunities to poor but deserving students through various student financial assistance programs (STUFAPs)



The SSP was established by virtue of RA 4090 otherwise known as the State Scholarship Law for poor but deserving students who belong to the top 10 of the graduating class in high school and who intend to enroll in priority courses in selected HEIs. Applicants should not be more than 25 years old at the time of application to the program. Their parents or guardians have a combined gross annual income of not more than Php 120,000.00.

SSP Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


The SEGEAP is the PANAMIN Scholarship Program which was transferred to the DECS thru a Memorandum of Agreement duly signed by both Secretaries of the PANAMIN and DECS on July 10, 1997. This study grant can be availed of by members of the “hill tribes” who are poor but belonging to the upper 15% of the graduating class in high school, have leadership potentials, and intend to enroll in priority courses in selected HEIs.

SEGEAP Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


The NISGP was established by virtue of P.D. 193 on May 15, 1973 for the members of the cultural minority groups who are poor but belonging to the upper 15% of the graduating class in high school and who intend to enroll in priority courses in selected HEIs. Applicants should not be more the 25 years old at the time of application to the program and their parents or guardians must have a gross annual income of not more than Php 120,000.00

NISGP Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


This is a study grant provided for MNLF Officer Integrees who are qualified to pursue college undergraduate programs in any curriculum year level in various priority courses. The integree-qualifiers shall enroll in any of the three SUCs namely: Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga City, Region IX; Cotobato City State, Polytechnic College, Cotobato City, Region XII; and Sulu State College, Jolo Sulu, ARMM. The program aims to upgrade the education of the integrees to boost their military career and instill in them the desired value system so that they can contribute to the attainment of peace, order and stability in the country.

CHED-DND-NPUD Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


The PESFA was established by virtue of RA 6728 “An Act Providing Government Assistance to the Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) and Appropriating Funds Therefore.” This is a study grant for qualified and deserving college freshmen who intend to enroll or are presently enrolled in priority courses in selected HEIs and who are not more than 30 years of age at the time of application for the program.

PESFA Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


This is an educational program of the government designed to promote democratization of access to educational opportunities in the tertiary level to poor but deserving students through financial assistance in the form of an educational loan. It is a scheme providing loan or credit to poor but deserving students who are enrolled in priority courses in selected higher education institutions. This special fund is used to finance loans to cover matriculation and other school fees and expenses for books, subsistence, and board and lodging.

SNPLP Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


The College faculty Development Fund was established by the CHED pursuant to RA 8545 amending RA 6728 for the purpose of improving the quality of teaching in higher education. It provides scholarships for graduate programs for faculty members in private colleges and university. This is managed by the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) and open to full-time faculty members or administrators, with teaching assignments at a private college or university. Applicants must not be more than 40 years old for the Master’s Program and not more than 50 years old for Doctoral Program.

CFDF Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


This special study grant was opened to poor but deserving college qualifiers from the 240 Congressional Districts of the country to enroll in a course and in any curriculum year level in public HEIs -SUCs and CHED supervised Institutions (CSIs). The grant is open to selected underprivileged students whose tuition, basic school fees and monthly stipends shall be defrayed from the Higher Education Development Fund.

CHED-SSGD Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


This program is jointly undertaken by the CHED and NPUDC, now part of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), to expand the access of former rebels to college education opportunities.

The study grant program is open to qualified rebel returnees from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), The New Peoples Army (NPA) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) or their next of kin who cannot afford to study in college due to financial constraints. Available slots are equitably distributed among rebel groups and sub-groups considering the member of the present and projected number of rebel returnees. Only one slot will be alloted to the qualified rebel returnee or his designated qualified next-of-kin beneficiary. The rebel returnee or his next-of-kin should apply in the study grant program within two years after the issuance of amnesty certificate. Otherwise, the eligibility for the slot is forfeited.


OPAPP Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


In accordance with the special provision on Student Loan Funds under the General Appropriations Act, FY 2000 CHED adopted and promulgated the guidelines for the implementation of the Student Loan Program for Centers of Excellence in priority courses. The special provision on Student Loan Funds provides that the amount of Thirty Five Million Pesos (P35 M) appropriated under activity III a.3 of RA 8760 shall be considered as grants to participating institutions duly accredited as Centers of Excellence by CHED as of December 1999, to be made available as loans to deserving but financially disadvantaged students.

SLP Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


This scholarship program for selected State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) was initiated by Senator Teresita Aquino-Oreta funded under the General Appropriation Act, FY 2000 to attract and encourage above average students to enroll in the Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in Science and Mathematics in selected SUCs.

SSP-BSE-SUC Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


This student loan program initiated by Senator Raul. S. Roco who made possible the allocation of Twenty Million Pesos (P 20,000,000.00) aims at providing poor but deserving students of Region 5 access to higher education opportunities so that they become productive members of the society. It is a special fund which caters to qualified college students of any curriculum year and out-of-school youth who have earned units in college. The loanees of this fund are residents of the Bicol Region and should qualify under the criteria set in the guidelines.

SLF Region 5 Application Requirements

Scholarship Form


This study grant program established by CHED covers a period of four (4) academic years, from AY 2002-2003 to AY 2005-2006, in accordance with the thrust to further widen the access of poor but deserving students to higher education opportunities. Each of the Senators is allotted twenty (20) scholarship slots. Grantees may take any four-year degree course of their choice preferably in a state college or university.

CHED Senate Grant Application Requirements

Scholarship Form

Filed under: Government, Scholarship Program,

Tita Cory, may you rest in peace in God’s loving arms

coryFormer Pres. Cory Aquino your courage & hope inspired filipinos and you had made a heartbreaking sacrifices with Benigno” Ninoy” Aquino . With the victory that you win led us away from the dictatorship and regain our democracy in this land. We are so blessed by your life. Your mission does’nt end here though you are going back to Our loving God’s hands. We believed that your family and the rest of the supporters will continue what you have started. Thank you Pres Cory, may your SPIRIT guide this country to a better . Rest & Peace. God bless all!

Filed under: Churches, Government, History, Inspiration, Politics, Public Service, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?, ,

Sorsogon City, Magallanes receive P3M fishery livelihood fund assistance

by MA Loterte and BA Recebido

Sorsogon Province (31 July) — Sorsogon City and Magallanes town have received a total of P3 million financial assistance for fishery livelihood projects for the local fisher folks.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), through its Bicol regional office, awarded the P2 million check to the local government of Sorsogon City to finance the implementation of fishery livelihood projects for fisher folks, especially those directly affected by red tide in Sorsogon Bay.

The amount was turned-over recently to Sorsogon City Mayor Leovic Dioneda in a ceremony witnessed by other city officials, Rep. Salvador Escudero III, BFAR Bicol regional officials, fisher folk-beneficiaries and stakeholders, and the media.

Escudero was instrumental in the release of the funds and facilitated the realization of the livelihood assistance for his constituents in the province’s first congressional district.

Dinoeda stated the city government intends to utilize the financial assistance for seven livelihood projects identified by the guidelines set by BFAR.

“These include sea weed farming, culture of bangus and saline tilapia in fish cages, culture of grouper and other high value species, provision of non-motorized bancas, technical skills development training, self-employment assistance through micro-enterprise and post harvest facility for marine products,” he said.

Nelson Del Socorro, BFAR Bicol regional director, said the financial assistance was extended to the fisher folks to eradicate pervasive poverty among coastal communities, specifically among those directly affected by the recurrence of red tide in Sorsogon Bay.

He noted red tide has been recurring in Sorsogon Bay for the past 3 years, displacing thousands from their means of livelihood and costing millions of pesos loses on the shellfish industry.

Magallanes town meanwhile has received the P1 million check from BFAR Bicol to purchase non-motorized bancas and fishing nets for subsistence fishermen who were greatly affected by calamities that this in the municipality recently.

Melchor Deramas, BFAR Bicol Fisheries Extension and Training Division chief awarded the check to Magallanes Mayor Abelardo Arambulo in the presence of Escudero, municipal and barangay officials, and local fishermen.

BFAR also distributed 300,000 prawn post larvae and 30,000 tilapia fingerlings to fishpond operators in the municipality.

The livelihood fund assistance is in consonance with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s directives to the Department of Agriculture to extend support to the fishery sector and to ensure sufficient and affordable food for everyone. (PIA Bikol)

Filed under: Government, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?, , ,

DOH declares Sorsogon malaria and filaria free

by BA Recebido

Sorsogon City (29 July) — “Finally, we won our battle!”

Thus exclaimed Dr. Noli Arevalo, team leader of the Department of Health-Provincial Health Team (DOH-PHT), following the declaration of Sorsogon as Malaria and Filaria Free province.

Dr. Jaime Y. Lagahid, National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDPC) director, officially declared the province Malaria and Filaria Free in a ceremony held at the Sorsogon Provincial Gymnasium on Thursday (July 23).

Arevalo said that their gregarious efforts to combat these diseases that threatened the lives and dampened productivity of several individuals in the province since 1950’s, have finally been rewarded.

“We thank the DOH for recognizing our sustained efforts and partnerships to curb these diseases, and are likewise grateful to the provincial government for making health among its priority agenda, and our NGO partners for their commitment and support in eliminating these diseases even before our target year in 2010,” he stated.

He also cited the local health workers, who in the past years have carried out house-to-house campaigns and mass drug administration (MDA) for residents aged 2-up in order to control the spread of these diseases.

Out of the 40 provinces in the country, only Southern Leyte and Sorsogon has been declared free of Malaria and Filaria diseases.

Arevalo averred Sorsogon province has attained a certain level based on the parameter of DOH wherein these diseases are considered no longer a public threat.

He related recent assessment revealed that only less than 1 percent of the entire population is affected by Filariasis, adding that the province has also maintained a zero case of indigenous malaria transmission over the past five years.

“However, such scenario does not mean we have to sit back, instead, perhaps work harder to prevent the recurrence of the diseases among locals,” he stressed.

“We are looking forward that Sorsogon can achieve the international standard for a Malaria and Filaria free province set by the World Health Organization (WHO),” he positively said.

Meanwhine, Arevalo advised the residents of Gubat, Pto. Diaz, Barcelona, Casiguran, Irosin, Juban, Donsol and Sta. Magdalena towns to take extra precautions and maintain a good environmental sanitation the possibility of recurrence is still there.

Malaria and Filariasis are both mosquito-borne parasitic diseases and endemic in the said areas, mostly with abaca and banana plantations.

Malaria can cause fever, shivering, joint pain, vomiting, anemia, and convulsions to persons inflicted with the disease, while Filaria is debilitating and disfiguring which primarily affects children, women and men living in endemic remote areas.

“The PHT will continue our massive information drive, monitoring and surveillance, partnership with the DOH and conduct border operations in order to sustain the elimination of these infective diseases,” he said.

DOH conferred to Sorsogon province a certificate of recognition and P1 million for successfully eradicating Malaria and Filaria diseases.

Arevalo noted the cash reward will be utilized anew on advocacy campaigns and other measures to prevent the re-emergence of the said diseases.

Present during the declaration ceremonies were Dr. Leda Hernandez, National Filariasis coordinator and NCDPC division chief, Dra. Florence Tienzo, WHO program management officer, Ms. Daisy Sembrano, Glaxo Mith Kline executive director, NGO partners and other stakeholders and cooperators of the program. (PIA)

Filed under: Government, History, Public Service, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

Chiz denies seeking GMA’s support


MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Francis Escudero yesterday denied meeting with President Arroyo and seeking her support for next year’s presidential elections. 

“I have not sought, nor will I seek, the endorsement of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Nor have I authorized anyone to do so,” Escudero said in a statement after reports came out that “young” presidential hopefuls are secretly soliciting Mrs. Arroyo’s support even as they criticize her in public.

“Let Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) Chairman Bayani Fernando or Vice President Noli de Castro, or anyone else who might want her blessings, get that endorsement, which they have been seeking from day one, for all I care,” Escudero said.

The youthful lawmaker said he had not even announced if he is going to run, but if he would, he will “seek only the endorsement of the Filipino people and will run as opposition because he had been consistently against, and had even questioned the mandate of this administration from the very start.”

Escudero stressed that he was the spokesperson for the late Fernando Poe Jr. in the 2004 presidential elections and had led impeachment complaints against Mrs. Arroyo in the House when he was representative of Sorsogon.

He said that he voted consistently against the administration on major policy positions, such as the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement, expanded value-added tax, and the Human Security Act.

“To get back at me, this vengeful administration has withheld the release of my countryside development fund since 2005. And now, its proxies have taken the debate over its performance in the past nine years down to the gutter by spreading intrigues against my person,” Escudero said.

“If all my criticisms were just for show, why are they mad at me now?” he asked in Filipino.

Dancing with the enemy

Senators yesterday urged Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo to name the presidential hopefuls who were seeking the endorsement of his mother so that the country would know who among the members of the opposition were dancing with the enemy.

Senators Manuel Roxas II and Manuel Villar Jr. also denied any meeting with Mrs. Arroyo, even through back channels, saying they would never align with the administration.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Sen. Panfilo Lacson said they would like the Filipino public to realize who were the true oppositionists.

Pimentel said “Mikey (Arroyo) should identify these Trojan horses so we could punish them.”

Roxas and Villar said they would not know who was being referred to.

“Anyway, I have never been engaged in such games and will never be a part of that game. Besides when (President Arroyo) attacked me she made it very clear the presidentiable most different from herself is Mar Roxas,” he said.

Villar bantered that it was a compliment being included among the suspected “young candidates” trying to secretly coalesce with Mrs. Arroyo.

“For sure I will run with the Nacionalista Party as its president,and while we are open to possible alliances or while we were welcoming new members to the party, we are ready to field candidates from president down to the local officials, mayors, councilors,” Villar told reporters.

He said he would not want to make any further comment because he was not sure whether the issue was true.

Lacson said those pretending to be opposition but aligning with the administration should be unmasked, but he expressed doubt that any opposition member would like the President’s endorsement.

Lacson said he also did not have any idea if there were any opposition members indeed seeking Mrs. Arroyo’s help in the 2010 elections.

Name names

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, on the other hand, advised Mikey Arroyo to tell it straight that his mother’s desperation prompted the Palace to court opposition bets.

“Mrs. Arroyo’s son should name names and present proof. We have always maintained that the people should know who the real oppositionists are, and those who are only presenting themselves as opposition but are in fact administration by association,” he said.

Binay said the reality is that the administration is desperately raiding the ranks of the opposition in the absence of credible and winnable national candidates for the 2010 election.

United Opposition spokesman Ernesto Maceda reminded the younger Arroyo that the administration party had earlier admitted they were considering adopting senators identified with the opposition.

“The truth of the matter is that Mikey Arroyo is hiding the fact that it is the administration which is making desperate naked efforts to raid the opposition’s lineup to resuscitate the administration’s ranks which has reached rock bottom credibility with voters,” Maceda said.

Earlier reports had quoted administration party stalwarts Juan Miguel Zubiri, Ray Roquero and Danilo Suarez as saying that the Lakas-Kampi-CMD is seriously open to adopting either Villar or Escudero as its standard-bearer.

“In any event, Mikey should name names. The people and the United Opposition definitely want to know who are traitors within its ranks. If he can name them and show proof beyond mere conjecture and self-serving insinuations, by all means he should do so,” Maceda said.

“Otherwise, we assume that as in the past, Arroyo is just showing character flaws similar to his honesty-challenged mother. Either he is the boy who cried wolf or telling us half-truths meant to inveigle the public once more,” Maceda added. — Jose Rodel Clapano

Filed under: Government, Politics, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

Sorsogon has 3,056 Pangulong Gloria scholars for CY 2009

by BA Recebido

Sorsogon City (29 July) — Some 3,056 students across Sorsogon province have been enlisted to various colleges, universities, and technical-vocational schools for SY 2009-2010 by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) under the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship Program (PGSP).

Rodolfo Benemerito, TESDA Sorsogon provincial director, stated the scholarship program is on the right track having assisted more than 3,000 local scholars with a total funding of P25,088,420.

Benemerito said the amount covers 100 percent tuition fees of the scholars, including training allowances at P60.00/day while on training, and the assessment fee of P500 per graduate.

He added the PGSP covers the following beneficiaries by Strategic Packages (SP) as follows:

  • SP IIa with 734 scholars and a total financial requirement of P6,630,160. This refers to qualifications implemented from January to April 2009. Still on-going is the Health Care Services NC II at the Lewis College, Sorsogon City, with 23 scholars.
  • SP IIb with 1,918 scholars and budgetary requirement of P16,848,440. This refers to qualifications which started February and for implementation until December 2009, with still on-going training courses in private tekbok schools and in TESDA schools.
  • SP IIb (Special Commitment Package) with 110 scholars, of which 10 are scholars of Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II c/o TESDA Central Office thru OCSA amounting to P125,400. This also includes four (4) on-going programs involving 100 scholars in selected hotel and restaurant or tourism-related courses amounting to P697,000 for Sorsogon City as incentive for hosting the “2009 Hairecord” (Haircutting Competition) in April, 2009.
  • SP III which includes qualifications implemented autonomously by two TESDA schools, the Bulan Vocational Technological School with 394 scholars and Sorsogon National Agricultural School with 341 scholars.
  • SP V with 206 scholars of “Sa TEKBOK, May Trabaho Ka” (STMTK) Program amounting to P347,580. It covers 40 hairdressing NC II and Beauty Care NC II scholars from the 2008 STMTK balance and 40 Galing Masahista, 40 Galing Mekaniko and 46 Motorcycle/Small Engine repair scholars for SMTK 2009 with a budgetary requirement of P267,580.
  • SP V (NTTAQP) with 88 scholars including the National TVET Trainers and Assessors Qualification Program with financial requirement of P440,000 and the 40-hr Trainers Methodology (TM1) and 40-hr Assessors Methodology (AM1) courses designed to qualify TVET Trainers and Assessors as TQ1AQ1 Level.

“Corollary with the Economic Resiliency Program (ERP) of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, TESDA remains steadfast to its mandate of ensuring a sustainable supply of skilled workers and technicians to all local industries within internationally and globally accepted standards,” the provincial director stressed. (PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Government, Inspiration, Public Service, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?, , , ,

Sorsogon city approves geothermal expansion project

The government of Sorsogon City, The Philippines, has endorsed the Bacon-Manito geothermal expansion project developed by Energy Development Corp.

The city council voted 8-2 in favour of the project. The endorsement was a requirement imposed on EDC by the Department on Environment and Natural Resources for the issuance of an Environmental Compliance Certificate to the expansion projects.

The expansion will create 90MW of geothermal energy in addition to the 150MW in installed capacity of the existing facilities.

Vice-mayor Edmundo Atutubo, said the EDC management pledged Peso10m (€206,799) to the city government in reparation assistance for at least 10 barangays down the project site that sustained heavy damages from floods and landslides at the height of typhoon Dante last May.

Filed under: Government, What's Happening Here?,

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June 2021



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