Wednesday, August 12, 2009
RP now out of threats of recession
MANILA, Aug. 11 -- The Philippines is no longer in danger of falling into a recession.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan made this bold announcement in a press briefing in Malacanang today, saying the economy will further improve with positive economic forecasts from the United States, the European Union (EU) and Japan.
“The economy has demonstrated greater resiliency,” Tungpalan said, noting that the United States and the EU are moving out of recession.
The US Federal Reserve, according to him, has also upgraded its outlook on the US economy from a contraction of 1.3 to 2 percent to 1 to 1.5 percent.
Tungpalan said there are clear evidence of positive developments in the economy that included the latest data on overseas Filipino workers’ remittances showing continued growth, contrary to the earlier expectations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
OFW remittances in May this year grew 3.7 percent, debunking predictions of several analysts.
Tungpalan cited several other external factors to back up the government’s optimism on economic growth such as the expansion of the retail trade sector, specifically the growth in car loans by the banks and the expansion of major malls.
Auto loans grew 48 percent in May, up from the negative 6.6 percent growth last year.
Tungpalan cited a Department of Labor and Employment report that more jobs are now available in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector as well as reports from companies that they have started rehiring previous employees.
Add to this the positive outlook rating of Moody’s on the economy, he said.
Tungpalan stressed that the government “expects positive growth but added that adjustment to this year’s 0.8 to 1.8 percent target growth will only be made with the release on Aug. 27 of the second quarter gross domestic product or GDP.
The NEDA official said the government will depend on the ICT and tourism industry, among other sectors, to boost the economy.
Tungpalan said the call center sector is a “bright spot” for new jobs and investments with the emergence of ICT hubs outside Metro Manila such as in Metro Laguna, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and Lipa City.
He also said the government will also look beyond voice calls and seek the opportunities offered by non-voice such as animation.
Tungpalan noted that the President’s Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program or CLEEP “continues to contribute to the resiliency of the economy.”
He also noted that China’s impressive 7.9-percent growth in the second quarter provides a huge opportunity for the Philippine economy in terms of expanding trade and investments.
China is among the major trading partners of the Philippines and with relations between the two countries continuing to be very strong, the country hopes to ride on the strength of China to move the economy forward.
“China continues to post strong growth. We reiterate the importance of engaging China for more trade, investment and tourism,” Tungpalan said.
However, this good news may be dampened by some threats that include water crisis, as it was forecasted that there will be drought later this year due to unusual weather patterns.
He added though that the President has instructed the Department of Agriculture (DA) “to temper expectations” as “water for food production is above (daily) water consumption.”
In today’s cabinet meeting, Tungpalan said the President ordered DA to “look at measures (to be undertaken) especially in the area of water management.”
PGMA inaugurates RP product depot
MANILA, Aug. 11 -- A Philippine Product Depot was opened to the public to showcase of outstanding products from the country's 16 regions as well as serve as a training facility to would-be entrepreneurs.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo together with Trade and Industry Secretary Peter B. Favila and other DTI officials inaugurated the Philippine Product Depot at the HK Sun Plaza along Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City.
The Depot will serve as one-stop facility for the small Filipino entrepreneur to display, and market products for international and Metro Manila buyers. The facility will also serve as an incubation center where entrepreneurs will be trained and given expert advice to upgrade skills and their products.
The Philippine Product Depot, a brainchild of DTI Secretary Peter B. Favila, targets various clients from institutional buyers to traditional connoisseurs, from tourists to balikbayans, even from housewives to everyday budget buy seekers.
About 170 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are presently housed during the inauguration.
“We expect the number to grow to about double in a year’s time when buyers and producers see the benefits of the Depot,” Favila said.
The Depot aims at providing micro, small and medium enterprises from the countryside a three-way push to a better life, Favila said.
These MSMEs shall constitute the nucleus of economically sufficient citizens as they also contribute to showcase Filipino craftsmanship and creativity mostly in products expressly unique in their regions.
They shall be part of a marketing outlet that will allow them to touch base with regular buyers beside the malling crowd. The bonus boost, however, shall be the opportunity to make use of the depot as incubator for design and packaging development and as an alternative
and more affordable venue for them to hold their conventions and product launchings.
"The development MSMEs is an important program of the government that addresses thrust to develop the countryside and generate jobs to the poor sector of the country," he said.
The Arroyo administration prioritized MSMEs through the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) as buffer to absorb the impact of the global financial crisis in the country.
“We are expecting more MSMEs to be housed under this Depot especially those developed under CLEEP which include DTI initiated projects under bayong, bamboo, food etc.,” Favila said.
The Department has been helping SMEs nationwide to showcase their products in Metro Manila through trade fairs which usually runs from three to five days which is not enough marketing exposure, Favila said. “Under the Product Depot, these SMEs will have a permanent home which is very close the future site of the Department’s headquarters.
The proximity of the Depot to the future DTI site will definitely redound to improved assistance to entrepreneurs in the regions. ”
The DTI, in coordination with iNegosyo, is also in the process of developing a website to familiarize the buying public with available OTOP products in 1,491 municipalities and cities all over the country.
This OTOP website carries a virtual brochure to provide a preview of OTOP products which may be procured through the Philippine Product Depot.
DOST extends National Biotech Week Logo Design Contest
The Department of Science and Technology will accept entries for the National Biotech Week (NBW) Logo Design Contest until the end of August.
The winning entry will be rewarded with a Php 50,000 cash prize and a plaque of recognition.
The NBW Logo Design Contest is open to Filipino citizens, individuals and groups except for members of the 2009 NBW Task Force, the screening committee and the board of judges.
Logo designs must symbolize the application and benefits of biotechnology as well as reflect this year’s NBW theme: “Bioteknolohiya para sa Kalikasan, Kalusugan, Kagandahan, Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran” (Biotechnology for the Environment, Health, Beauty, Livelihood and Development).
Each entry must be original, in JPEG format, 5.5 x 5.5 inches in size and never been entered in any competition.
Logo designs must be accompanied with written descriptions of not more than 350 words.
All entries must be e-mailed to email@example.com. gov.ph together with the contestants’ names, mailing addresses, contact details and scanned ID cards with photographs on or before August 31, 2009 at 5 pm.
For more information, call Mr. Chitho Feliciano of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute at 925-9211 or 929-6011 local 273.
National Biotech Week long design contest ng DOST, hanggang August 31 na lang
Pinalawig ng Department of Science and Technology (DOST) ang National Biotech Week (NBW) Logo Design Contest hanggang sa katapusan ng Agosto.
Lahat ng entry ay dapat maipadala sa pamamagitan ng electronic mail o
e-mail sa firstname.lastname@example.org. gov.ph sa ika-31 ng Agosto bago mag-alas-singko ng hapon.
Limangpung libong pisong papremyo at isang plaka ng pagkilala ang mga mapapanalunan sa patimpalak.
Ang NBW Logo Design Contest ay bukas sa lahat ng mga mamamayang Pilipino, mag-isa man o grupo maliban sa mga miyembro ng 2009 NBW Task Force, ng screening committee at ng lupon ng mga hurado.
Bukod sa mga gamit at benepisyo ng bioteknolohiya, kinakailangan sumasalamin din ang disenyo ng logo sa tema ng NBW ngayong taon: Bioteknolohiya para sa Kalikasan, Kalusugan, Kagandahan, Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran.
Kailangang orihinal ang bawat disenyo, naka-JPEG ang format, may sukat na 5.5 x 5.5 inches at hindi pa naisasali sa alinmang kumpetisyon.
Kalakip ng disenyo ang isang maikling paliwanag na hindi hihigit sa 350 salita, mga scanned ID cards na may litrato at iba pang impormasyon hinggil sa kalahok tulad ng pangalan, tirahan at bilang ng telepono o ng cellphone.
Para sa karagdagang detalye, tumawag kay Chitho Feliciano ng Philippine Nuclear Research Institute sa 925-9211 o kaya sa 929-6011 local 273.
Oil firms implement P2/liter hike in gasoline, P1.50/liter for both diesel and kerosene
Major oil companies on Tuesday raised their prices anew to reflect the upward trend in the international prices.
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) was the first oil firm to implement the adjustment at 12:01 a.m. with a P2 per liter hike in gasoline and P1.50 per liter for diesel and kerosene.
Petron Corp., together with Chevron Philippines and independent oil player Seaoil Philippines, also raised their gasoline, diesel and kerosene by the same amount but it took effect at 6 a.m.
Roberto Kanapi, Shell spokesman, and Virginia Ruivivar, public affairs chief of Petron Corp., said the increase merely “reflects the increase in international prices.”
Price monitoring surveillance regularly conducted by the Department of Energy (DoE) showed that as of August 4, 2009, unleaded gasoline was sold between P36 to P42.90 per liter; diesel at P27.70 to P34.15 per liter and kerosene at P36 to P41 per liter.
Dubai crude as of August 6, 2009 averaged at US$ 72 per barrel or US$ 7 per barrel higher than the US$ 65 per barrel average for the month of July.
Unleaded gasoline was pegged at US$ 84 per barrel or US$ 11 per barrel higher than the US$ 73 per barrel average for the month of July while diesel was placed at US$ 82 per barrel or up by US$ 8 per barrel than last month’s US$ 72 per barrel average.
This is the first price hike implemented for this month. So far, only four oil firms imposed the price adjustment and others are expected to follow soon.
P15.3-billion DBP facility for infra development now available
State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is making available a P15.3 billion Y30.380 billion) facility that will finance improvements in the logistics and infrastructure systems in the country.
DBP president & chief executive officer Reynaldo G. David said the Logistics Infrastructure Development Project (LIDP) is a continuation of DBP’s Sustainable Logistics Development Program (SLDP) but on a more expanded scope.
“The LIDP particularly provides long-term funding for critical infrastructure projects such as roll-on, roll-off (roro) vessels and related facilities such as > ports and ramps; toll roads; farm-to-market roads; and related maintenance equipment,” he said during an investor’s briefing held recently at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.
Other projects eligible under this facility are packaging, transport, and distribution facilities, projects under the bulk grains highway which facilitates efficient transport of products from Mindanao to Luzon, and projects under the cold chain highway which re-engineers the logistics system for perishables.
“This facility will improve farm-to-market efficiency and enhance movement of products and goods to the major trading areas to help boost the domestic economy,” David added.
David said the facility can be accessed by private corporations with at least 70% Filipino ownership, government-owned- and-controlled corporations, and local government units. Borrowers are required to provide counterpart funding of 30% of the project cost.
The facility is sourced from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and has a disbursement period of seven years. David added that the LIDP was among the two Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans signed during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s working visit to Japan last June.
RP exports in June up 10.4%, NSO says
MANILA, Aug 11 – Sales of Philippine-made goods abroad in June grew by 10.4 percent compared to the previous month, the government reported Tuesday.
The National Statistics Office (NSO) said exports rose 10.4 percent to $ 3.410 billion in June compared to the $ 3.088 billion exports in May 2009.
Year-on-year, the NSO said exports dropped 24.7 percent to $ 3.410 billion in June from $ 4.527 billion reported in June 2008.
From January to June, exports fell 32.8 percent to $ 17..225 billion from $ 25.623 billion registered during the same six-month period in 2008.
The first six months exports contraction was higher than the government's target of negative 15 percent for the full year of 2009.
Electronics, which accounted for 57.1 percent of the country’s total export revenue in June, fell 26 percent to $ 1.948 billion from $ 2.632 billion recorded in June last year.
However, month-on-month, the NSO said exports increased by 7.6 percent from $ 1.811 billion in May 2009.
Exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories were valued at $ 138.88 million or a negative growth of 19.4 percent over last year's $ 172.28 million.
Woodcrafts and furniture recorded downward trend of 23.6 percent from $ 110.72 million in June last year.
Ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships sale abroad amounted to $ 70.26 million. This value decreased by 10.3 percent from it's year ago level of $ 78.33 million.
Exports of cathodes and sections of cathodes, of refined copper amounted to $ 69.29 million or 43.3 percent decrease from $ 122.16 million in June 2008.
Rounding up the list of the top ten exports for the month of June were other products manufactured from materials imported on consignment basis with export receipts amounting to $ 61.66 million; coconut oil (including crude and refined),$ 61.07 million; petroleum products (including refined petroleum products, manufactured from crude petroleum oil imported on consignment basis), $ 43.24 million; metal components, $ 37.51 million and bananas (Fresh), $ 33.59 million.
Total receipts from the top ten exports reached .548 billion, or 74.7 percent of the total exports.
United States of America (USA)including Alaska and Hawaii, remained as the country's top exports market for June with revenue amounting to $ 607.97 million. It was lower by 13.5 percent from $ 702.67 million recorded a year earlier.
RP's approved foreign direct investment reaches P4-B in first half – NSCB
MANILA – Despite the global financial crisis, approved foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the country amounted to P4 billion in the first half of the year, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said.
Romulo A. Virola, secretary general of NSCB said the first half FDI's from January to June this year were lower by 80.9 percent from P20.7 billion in the same period last year.
Of the investment promotion agencies (IPAs), the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) attracted more investors contributing 70.4 percent.
The agency approved P13.7 billion worth of investments, a deceleration by 50.7 percent from P27.7 billion committed in the first quarter of 2008.
The Board of Investment (BOI) approved investment pledges with 22.2 percent share valued at P4.3 billion, 61 percent lower than the approvals made in the same period last year.
The Clark Development Corporation (CDC), received and approved FDI projects valued at P 62.6 million, one-third of the P 183.9 million it approved in the first quarter of 2008.
While the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority's (SBMA) FDI approval went down by 94.6 percent from P782.7 million to P42.4 million.
Virola said for the past three consecutive quarters, the Netherlands topped the list of foreign investors, pledging P848.9 million or 21.4 percent of the total FDI. Japan and the USA trailed closely with committed investments worth P809.4 million and P758.4 million, respectively.
The Filipino nationals committed investments for the quarter amounting to P15.5 billion and contributing 79.6 percent share to total investments, suffered setback as it dropped by 20 percent from PhP 19..3 billion of the same period last year.
Virola said committed investments intended for the information and communication technology (ICT) industry declined by 54.3 percent to P2.5 billion from January to March from P5.5 billion in the same period last year.
He added that potential investments in the ICT industry from both foreign and Filipino investors slackened from their year ago level by 48.6 percent and 73 percent, respectively.
The NSCB official said the 54.3 percent decrease in the committed investments in ICT was brought about by the contraction in manufacturing and IT services sub-industries.
For the first three months of the year, manufacturing in ICT industry failed to get investment proposals as compared to the P 1.7 billion from the same period a year ago.
IT services, on the other hand, also had a significant decline of 33.9 percent from PhP 3.8 billion to P2.5 billion. Other committed investments in ICT was for telecommunication, at P4 million from P17 million in 2008, and trade at a small amount of P1.2 million.
The NSCB said a total of 19,596 jobs are expected to be generated from the FDI projects approved by the four investment promotion agencies in the first quarter of 2009, down by 29..5 percent from the 27,779 jobs in the same period in 2008.
While, the combined foreign and Filipino projects approved by the IPAs are seen to generate 26,106 jobs, 36.9 percent lower than 41,390 jobs projectedin the first quarter of 2008.
Iligan NDPR Week culminates at camping site
Iligan City—The Persons with Disability (PWDs) had taken themselves out for an over-night stay at a camping site, during the city’s culmination activity of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week (NDPR).
Eva dela Cruz, supervising social welfare officer and in-charge of the PWDs of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) in Iligan City, said that the activity was an event where PWDs are being recognized and given importance to enjoy the same rights and opportunities with other human beings.
Around sixty (60) PWDs joined the camping at the Centennial Park, Dalipuga, this city and participated in parlor games and showing of talents.
Meanwhile, the city government’s effort towards disability prevention, rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities has embodied in with the implementation of Republic Act No. 9442, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons and for Other Purposes.
RA 9442 states that every person with disability shall enjoy a special discount of five percent (5%) of the regular retail price of basic necessities and prime commodities listed of this Order.
The total amount of purchase shall not exceed the amount of PhP1,300.00 per calendar week without carry over of the unused amount.
To avail of the discount, the PWD must present his / her identification card issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NsCDA) or by the authorized office of Local Government Units (LGUs) where she / he resides.
Other activity incurred for the NDPR week-long celebration was the registration of new PWDs living in Iligan. They were encouraged to submit themselves for issuance of identification card to avail other privileges and incentives intended for them, dela Cruz explained.
‘With the implementation of RA 9442, we likewise encourage malls and other grocery stores to have an Express Lane for the persons with disability,” dela Cruz added.
Meanwhile, the local government, this city, has employed 25 PWDs at the city hall. Private companies, likewise, have accepted 10 PWDs as part of their workforce. (Lorry V. Gabule / PIA Lanao del Norte)
DTI Iligan announces transfer of regulation of real estate practice to PRC
ILIGAN CITY—With the passage of Republic Act 9646 also known as the Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) transferred the regulation of the real estate practice to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
Ruel B. Paclipan, provincial director, DTI Iligan City / Lanao del Norte Provincial Office, said that RA 9646 repeals Section 3(e) of Act No. 2728, the law from which DTI draws its authority to regulate the real estate service, thus, we have to transfer the function to the PRC.
He explained further, under Section 17, issuance of the Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card of real estate practitioners will also be released by the PRC.
“A certificate of registration shall be issued to examinees who pass the licensure examination for real estate service subject to payment of fees prescribed by the Commission,” said Paclipan.
The certificate of registration shall remain in full force and effect until revoked or suspended in accordance with the Act.
Paclipan added that a professional identification card bearing the registration number, date of issuance and expiry date, duly signed by the chairperson of the PRC, be issued to every registrant upon payment of the required fees.
The professional identification card shall be renewed every three (3) years and upon satisfying the requirements of the Board such as, but not limited to, attendance in this program.
Also, RA 9646 mandates DTI’s Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection to transfer all pertinent records to the PRC ninety (90) days from the effectivity of the law.
Starting, July 30, 2009, DTI field offices will no longer accept applications for license, whether initial or renewal or real estate consultants, appraisers, brokers and salespersons, Paclipan disclosed. (PIA Lanao del Norte / DTI Iligan)
Baroy prov’l hospital reports increase of in-patients served
TUBOD, Lanao del Norte—For the past six months, the provincial hospital in Baroy town has reported an increase in the number of in-patients served with an average daily occupancy rate of 68.71% with its 100-bed occupancy as compared to last year’s 51.02%.
Competent physicians and technicians rendered services in medical, surgical, obstetrics, gynecology, genito-urinary, EENT, pediatrics, radiology (ultrasound and x-ray) and dialysis.
Hospital records shows that from January to June, 733 patients suffering from urinary tract infection, 397 with acute gastroenteritis, 263 with pulmonary tuberculosis, 141 with acute gastritis, 183 pneumonia cases, 142 hypertension, 133 pediatric community acquired pneumonia, 85 bronchitis, 69 bronchial asthma and 42 with diabetes mellitus have been given adequate medical attention by the hospital.
For surgical cases, 16 major operations have been performed, 70 minor cases, caesarean operations reached 32 and cataract removal is 9.
Further, Dr. Idelfonso Nisnisan, hospital’s Administrator, informed that the ten leading causes of death of patients are pulmonary tuberculosis, urinary tract infection, septicemia, cardiovascular accident, myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bleeding peptic ulcer disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease and pneumonia.
Dr. Nisnisan averred that the increase of in-patients is due to the full support of Governor Mohamad Khalid Q. Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte who exerted all efforts in making the necessary funds available for the improvement of the hospital’s facilities and ensuring that there is an adequate supply of medicines for smooth operation and to serve best the residents of Lanao del Norte. (Breezy C. Jimenez / Lanao del Norte)
Red Cross leads int’l humanitarian law month celebration
The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) will spearhead the observance of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Month in August.
All the members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC), Chief Executive Officers-Northern Mindanao (CEO-NM), local government units (LGU), business sector and NGOs are expected to participate in the 60th anniversary celebration of the Geneva Conventions by joining the “Walk for Humanity” within the Cagayan de Oro City starting at Gaston Park around 6:30 in the morning and will be followed with a program at the Pelaez Sports Center, August 12.
IHL, also known as the law of armed conflict or the law of war, is the body of rules which, in wartime, protects persons who are not or no longer participating in the hostilities, and limits methods and means of warfare. It is composed of the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions and other treaties.
Under the Geneva Law, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) plays as the protector of the International Humanitarian Law.
Being an affiliate of the ICRC, the PNRC will take the lead for this year’s commemoration of the IHL month with the theme: “Geneva Conventions: Humanity Amidst Armed Conflict” which aims to increase awareness on the basic principles of IHL and promote its observance in times of armed conflict.
Casimira V. Balandra, PNRC-Misamis Oriental Chapter Administrator, stated that the celebration of the Geneva Conventions and the IHL is an opportunity to honor the heroism of Henry Dunant, the Father of the Red Cross for his heroic deeds of helping the victims during the Battle of Solferino.
“Let this celebration rejuvenate our mission as Red Crossers to alleviate human suffering, not only in times of war but also during disasters and calamities where our services are mostly needed,” Balandra said.
The Geneva Convention law is now in existence for the past 60 years and the two additional protocols of 1997 are the main treaties of IHL that contain the most important rules limiting the barbarity of war. (Hope Calapis / PIA-Intern)
Feature: The Road after flight
ABOUT 11 million Filipinos migrate to other nations to find employment as well as to support their families in the country (Collymore, 2003). They represent the 11 percent of the country’s population who believes that by doing so, they will be able to uplift their lives and help the government in alleviating poverty.
From the number, more than 2 million Filipinos have gone to Middle East and served as domestic and construction workers.
However, no matter how they strive to pursue their goals, there are instances wherein they are forced to leave their jobs and get back to the country.
Illegal recruitment, mysterious death, racial profiling and discrimination, and kidnapping are among the many obstacles that the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have to face while serving other countries.
A never forgotten trip
Nida P. Sarino, Helen P. Pang-an and Lizel L. Pregoños are among the millions of women OFWs who aspired a quality life for their families but were forced to go back to the Philippines due to several reasons.
It was in 1992 when Nida P. Sarino, 37, decided to go to Abu Dhabi to work as a domestic helper. Nida studied education but has only reached Second Year College. To give her family a good life, she stayed in Abu Dhabi for two years and three months and earned P2,700 per month. Nida shared that though her employer was kind to her, she was not able to bear with the attitude of her employer’s children.
With a horrified face she recalled how she was threatened by her employer when her employer’s youngest child almost drowned in the swimming pool. Even though Nida was able to rescue the child, she was still scared and has decided to go back to the Philippines before things will get worse. Nida just waited for her two-year contract to expire but was forced to stay for three more months in Abu Dhabi since she has no more money left for her fare.
In the same year, Helen P. Pang-an, 38, worked as a domestic helper in Al-Ain, a city in United Arab Emirates. Helen is a college graduate who took up AB Economics but since she has not found any jobs in her place, she tried her luck abroad.
Her employer was an Egyptian and she was paid P7,000 per month but when the her work contract expired, she was also forced to leave the country. Helen requested her employer to let her stay in the country while she looks for another employer but the Egyptian was firm in her decision that Helen should be able to go back to the Philippines before doing another job in Al-Ain. However, due to financial constraints, Helen was not able to go back to Al-Ain since 1995.
Lizel L. Pregoños, 31, on the other hand, decided to go abroad in 2002. She took up education and has only reached first year in college. She is already married and has bore one child when she went to Al-Ain to also work as a domestic helper. Lizel earned P10 000 per month and expressed that her employer was kind to her. She was only obliged to go home when she got sick in Al-Ain.
Lizel shared that maybe it was because of the weather and the work load that triggered her cough and fever but she stressed that her illness was not fatal. Her employer was just too cautious especially on health. The determined mother still tried her luck after she was deported. In 2006, she applied again to work abroad but unfortunately her passport was missing.
Scrolling another page in life
Nida and Helen are now currently living with their respective families in Purok 6, Katipunan, Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental. Nida already has two children aged 12 and 11 who are in grades 6 and 5. Helen also bore two children who are now 9 and 7 years old and are already in grades 4 and 1. Lizel, who currently lives in Camansi 1, Libertad-Bajo, Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental, is now raising her three children aged 9, 5, and 3 months and are in grade 3 and kindergarten.
Nida and Helen’s husbands are both working as farmers, who usually earn P130-150 a day, while Lizel’s husband is earning P180-200 per day as a tricycle driver.
According to the mothers, it is very hard to raise a family and if they have a choice, they would definitely go back abroad where they can earn more.
However, they were very pleased when they learned that they are part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
With a wide grin Nida exclaimed, “Nalipay mi nga naapil mi sa project sa gobyerno. Gamay ra mi nakuha sa among purok (We were very happy when we became part of the government’s project. There were only a few of us in our community who were chosen).”
Helen also added, “Tungod sa 4Ps, naa mi’y nadawat nga wala namu damha (Because of 4Ps, we received something that we did not expect).”
The mothers also expressed how they are thankful for the program since it is the first project of the government that gives them direct assistance.
Helen further mentioned that if not for 4Ps, she would definitely do everything just to go back abroad. She served as a daycare teacher after she went abroad and just a few months ago, her contract is finished. This is one of the reasons why she is very happy that in these times of difficulty, 4Ps was able to aid her in providing for her children.
Lizel also expressed her gratitude to DSWD since the program that the department has initiated really helped her in surviving each day along with her husband’s meager earning.
Overflowing with thankfulness, Nida mentioned that 4Ps really made a big difference in their community since their school children can now go to school with complete school items, school uniform and children in day care centers are dressed properly. She also shared that the active parent groups in their area has encouraged her to participate in the various activities of the barangay.
The three former OFWs are among the 1,170 beneficiaries in the municipality of Sinacaban who believe that after all, there is still a good road ahead of them after taking flights to other countries. (Recthie B. Tolinero / DSWD-10)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Palace debunks report on alleged defect on PGMA SALN
MANILA, Aug. 10 --Malacanang on Monday debunked reports alleging defect or irregularities in the preparation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s statement of Assets and Liabilities Networth or SALN.
In a press briefing at Malacanang this afternoon, Romulo Macalintal, the President’s election lawyer, said a news item insinuating irregularities in the preparation of President Arroyo’s SALN “ is most unfair and uncalled for.”
Macalintal said the President prepared and signed the said document (SALN) under oath to the best of her knowledge and in full compliance with the requirements of the Constitution.
“She (the President) honestly believes that she has been very transparent on her assets and liabilities and she has nothing to hide to the public,” Macalintal stressed.
“We do not now the standard used by the reporter in coming up with her analysis. Para bang kapag malaki ang ini-report mong asset, kailangang imbestigahan ito; kapag maliit lang, okay na ito, at wala nang imbestigahan,” he added.
Macalintal noted that since the Chief Executive had already submitted her SALN to the Ombudsman, “the President invites anyone who may have reservations to question the same before that agency if he or she has any evidence that the President violated or did not comply with the constitutional requirements in the filing of such disclosure documents.”
According to him, the President assures the public that she filed her SALN in good faith without any intention to deceive anyone.
“Those who alleged otherwise should come up with evidence to prove their uncalled for or self-serving accusations instead of being speculative or judgmental on the matter,“ he said.
Macalintal emphasized that the President is just being truthful to the people.
“She made a truthful disclosure of her assets and liabilities as required by the constitution. She made to the best of her knowledge and upon consultation with her husband, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, who is personally in charge of the family business being head of the family,” he said.
In this connection, Macalintal explained that the President has requested the First Gentleman, through his lawyer, Atty. Ruy Rondain, to explain the matter especially the business interest of their family.
He said that President Arroyo has reiterated that she has never used and will never use or take advantage of her position for personal profit as she had declared in her State-of-the- Nation Address and as expected of her by the people.
PGMA honors Ilocos patriarch, World War II heroes
LAOAG CITY – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo honored today the war exploits of the late Governor Roque Blanco Ablan Sr. and some 470,000 World War II heroes recently included by the United States Congress in their stimulus package law.
“The war exploits of Roque Ablan Sr., reminds us of our other veterans of World War II who were recently recognized after 60 long years by the US Congress in their stimulus package law,” the President said in her speech during the 103rd birth anniversary of Ablan Sr. at the
provincial capitol plaza here.
The President said that during her recent visit to the United States, Senator Daniel Inouye, who sponsored the stimulus package law, informed her that the law “is in recognition of the American government to the bravery and heroic act of Filipino veterans.”
The President recalled that when the war ended in February 1946, the US Congress passed a bill rescinding, and repealing the Acts of 1942, a measure thanking the Filipinos for their gallantry and heroism.
“We Filipinos waited all this time. We have had measure after measure presented. We did so in the proper fashion, and we got filibustered, we got ruled out, and everything else. Finally, last February, the US Congress recognized them,” she added.
The President stressed that the entire nation, particularly, Ilocanos should be proud to celebrate Ablan Sr.’s birthday because it is also a tribute to all 470,000 fellow Filipino World War II heroes.”
Born to a poor couple, Victor Ablan of Solsona and Raymunda Blanco of Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Ablan was elected governor at the age of 31 and became the youngest provincial executive of his time.
When the Japanese landed at Vigan, Ablan led the guerilla units in coordination with Lt. Feliciano Madamba of the Philippine Army. By mid-January 1942, the Ablan-Madamba Guerrilla Group of Northern Luzon was well organized.
Palace, DoH tell private hospitals to cancel 'hospital holiday'
Malacañang on Monday appealed to private hospitals which are threatening to declare a hospital holiday to dramatize their opposition to a 50 per cent reduction on medicine prices on August 15.
This developed as the Department of Health (DOH) warned that government will file appropriate charges that may lead to the revocation of government accreditation against private hospitals and hospital owners if they so decide to push through with the hospital holiday.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a morning radio interview that he finds unnecessary for private hospitals threaten a holiday, saying the issue on implementation could be settled amicably.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said it’s not a good idea for private hospitals to threaten the Filipinos of having a hospital holiday. “I encourage them, particularly the members of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) to have a dialogue with Health
Secretary Duque,” he said.
Remonde said it will prove to be unproductive for these hospitals to embark on the move. “They should never allow themselves to be used as tools by the multi-national pharmaceutical companies to perpetuate over pricing of medicines in the country,” he said.
”We appeal to them to cooperate to lower the prices which will be for the good of these hospitals. So that, they can serve their patients better,” Remonde said.
Remonde also accused multinational drug firms of “sabotaging" the government’s efforts to bring down the prices of medicine in the country.
“These multi-national drug companies… because of the huge profits that they are used to making in the Philippines, they will do everything to sabotage all efforts to bring down the prices of medicine," Remonde said.
He added that among the measures employed by the multinational drug firms is sowing intrigue among political leaders and the various sectors of society “to make them fight among themselves." Remonde did not elaborate.
Remonde made the statement following the threat of private hospitals to declare a hospital holiday with the forthcoming implementation of Executive Order 821, which would lower the prices of 21 essential drugs by 50 percent by the middle of this month.
PHAP claimed that they would not be able to dispose of their medicine inventory, which they acquired at its current high price, in a week's time.
They also warned that hospitals would go bankrupt if the government cuts down the prices of their medicines by half.
“We appeal to hospital administrators not to abandon their prime duty of serving the people. Hospitals are established for public service," he said.
SC opinion welcomed in National Artist hullabaloo
“So that once and for all, this issue will be settled legally."
This was the statement of Press Secretary Cerge Remonde as the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) have expressed considerations of filing a case in the Supreme Court (SC) to “seek court injunction against the proclamation of the new national artists”.
Remonde described this as “part of our democratic life.”
“If you want to bring this issue to the Supreme Court that is also well and good. We respect other people's right to protest for as long as they do it within the law," he added.
In a related development, Carlo J. Caparas, one of the two National Artist awardee irked by protests, was quick to defend himself, saying “kaya kong i-represent ang ibinibigay sa aking karangalan bilang pambansang alagad ng sining sapagkat sa pamamagitan ng komiks ko, napapa-abot ko sa sambayanan, ang aking kakayanan at ang aking pagmamahal sa aking bayan.”
Caparas is a former security guard whose passion in Filipino comics writing have created characters Panday, Bakekang, Totoy Bato, Joaquin Bordado, and Kamandag among others. He later ventured into directing massacre movies such as Kuratong Baleleng and The Cory Quirino Kidnap: NBI Files.
For its part, the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA), through its Chairperson, Undersecretary Vilma L. Labrador, belied reports of “dagdag-bawas” for this year’s awardees as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still in the process of choosing other National Artist for other category.
Labrador also revealed that after NCCA and the Cultural Center of Philippines (CCP) have submitted their recommendation list to Malacañang, nomination of other entities, persons and groups to the National Artist award was likewise entertained.
PGMA, Palace cite achievements of 2009 National Artist awardees
MANILA, Aug. 10 –- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Malacañang on Monday defended the nomination and subsequent award of the year 2009 National Artists, maintaining the finalists truly deserve the award.
National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) director Cecile Guidote Alvarez and Filipino comics novelist Carlo Caparas led the National Artist awardees this year, Press Secretary Cerge M. Remonde said.
Other awardees are Manuel Urbano (film); Lazaro Francisco (literature) ; Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (visual arts), Francisco Mañoza (architecture) and Jose Pitoy Moreno (fashion).
Alvarez is also the executive director of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) and co-host of “Radyo Balintataw," a radio program aired on AM radio station DZRH.
Alvarez (born November 13, 1943) founded the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), a pioneering theater group that honed creative artists and audiences through children’s college and community theater.
Alvarez was born in Manila to father Mauricio Guidote, a United States Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE) guerilla captain during the World War II, and mother Caridad, a nurse who supported and nurtured her family after her husband's untimely demise.
After completing her high school at the St. Theresa's College where she graduated as valedictorian, the young Cecile Guidote-Alvarez took up her college studies at the St. Paul's College and in 1962 graduated AB-BSE - summa cum laude. She was also among the first select group of Ten Outstanding Students.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Theater and took special Communications Arts Studies in the State University of New York in Albany on a Fulbright-Hays and John D. Rockefeller III Fund Scholarship at the Dallas Theatre Center.
She then proceeded to Trinity College in Texas where she finished an M.A. with honors.
She is married to former senator and secretary of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Heherson Alvarez.
Her two children were named Hexilon and Herxila to relive the memory of their exile for 13 years to elude arrest and a shoot-to-kill order during the imposition of Martial Law.
From her experiences as drama artist and English teacher at St. Paul's College in Manila along with her broad background in the theater, Alvarez conceived a practical program for a national theater and organized it in 1967.
This became the Philippine Educational Theater Association, better known as PETA. For 38 years, PETA has depicted social issues through original Filipino plays, using the language of the masses and alternative theater spaces.
Today, as Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Alvarez has been described as a “cultural caregiver”.
Aside from being the chairperson of the Central Institute of Theater Arts in the Philippines (CITAP), Alvarez was also the producer-director of the Kalinangan Ensemble primarily devoted to the development and presentation of Filipino plays and the setting up of
people's theater program popularized by peso tickets and even free performances.
She also produced Balintataw (Pupil of the Eye), a television drama which serves as a valuable laboratory and training ground for students and young talents in various areas of TV, stage, and movie production.
Alvarez is also the founder of Earthsavers DREAMS Ensemble, a performing group composed of disadvantaged youth recognized as UNESCO Artists for Peace.
Caparas, on other hand, has written popular Filipino novels such as Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang.
Caparas (born December 14, 1948, in Pampanga) is a Filipino comic strip creator/writer- turned director and producer, who is also best known for creating Filipino superheroes and comic book characters.
Caparas’ works include Panday, Bakekang, Totoy Bato, Joaquin Bordado, Kamagong, Kamandag, Angela Markado, and Tasya Fantasya, Gagambino, Ang huling lalaki ng baluarte, and Pieta, among others.
He is also known as a director of numerous movies dealing with tabloid massacre stories such as Kuratong Baleleng and The Cory Quirino Kidnap: NBI Files. Caparas was awarded the 2008 Sagisag Balagtas Award.
Manuel Conde (born Manuel Urbano (1915-1985) is a Filipino actor, director and producer.
Urbano made his first film, Mahiwagang Biyolin, in 1935 then later signed a contract for LVN Pictures, where he made almost three dozen films, both as an actor and director.
As an actor, he used the screen name Juan Urbano during the 1930s. He is the father of renowned television comedian Jun Urbano (a.k.a Mr. Shoolee).
Lazaro Francisco was a Filipino writer known for his novels such as Ama and Daluyong.
He was awarded the National Artist for Filipino Literature. Francisco also received the "Republic Cultural Heritage Award" for Literature in 1970.
Born in Orani, Bataan, Philippines on February 22, 1898, Francisco was the fourth child of Eulogio Francisco at Clara Angeles. Between 1925 and 1960, Francisco wrote 12 novels which were serialized and eagerly read in Liwayway, the weekly Tagalog magazine.
Francisco’s novels tackled romance, class tensions, tenancy issues and agrarian unrest. His Tagalog novels include: Singsing na Pangkasal, Bayang Nagpatiwakal, Sa Paanan ng Krus, Ilaw sa Hilaga, Binhi at Bunga, Cesar, Sugat ng Alaala, Ama, Maganda Pa Ang Daigdig, and
Alcuaz is a multi-awarded Filipino Painter. He has exhibited extensively in the international painting arena and reaped awards for his Art abroad.
Alcuaz was born on June 6, 1932 in Santa Cruz, Manila . He is the 6th of 11 Children of Mariano Aguilar, a lawyer and a Musician and Encarnacion Alcuaz. He finished early schooling at the Dr. Albert Elementary School and San Beda High School.
Alcuaz studied law at the Ateneo de Manila and finished his degree in 1955. In 1949-1950 he took up painting subjects at the University of the Philippines (UP) School of Fine Arts.
In 1955 he went to Madrid with a scholarship at the Academia de San Fernando which he got thru the help of the Jesuits at Ateneo. In 1956 he chose Barcelona as his career base.
Alcuaz also became a member of the La Punalada Group which counted among its members Tapies, Cuixart and Tharrats. In the same year he began signing his paintings with Aguilar Alcuaz to distinguish himself from two other Aguilars who are also members of the La Punalada Group.
In 1959 Alcuaz met Ute Schmitz, a German girl from Hamburg, whom he married 3 years later. They have 3 sons: Christian, Andreas and Matthias.
Mañosa is a Filipino architect noted for his Filipino inspired architectural designs. He designed The Coconut Palace.
Mañosa, on May, 2008 built his own Ayala-Alabang village Bahay Kubo mansion.
With only 3 posts or "haligi", Manosa’s house has 5 one-inch coconut shell doors, 2nd floor, a "silong", Muslim room, sala, and master's bedroom with a fish pond.
”Pitoy" Moreno is an internationally- renowned fashion designer in the Philippines. He has been named "The Fashion Czar Of Asia".
Pitoy Moreno is an artist, as shown by his achievement as a designer and his stature in Philippine fashion.
As a young and budding fashion artist, Pitoy designed costumes for the world-famous Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company.
Pitoy introduced the words jusi, piña and lepanto to world fashion on international fashion pages of the Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Holiday and Le Figaro. The Filipina bride in a Pitoy Moreno wedding ensemble became the centerspread in the pictorial history of Philippine
His collections have circled the globe: Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, Copenhagen, Athens, Barcelona, Sweden, Viennna, Moscow, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Teheran, Morocco, Honolulu, Tokyo, Hongkong, Bangkok , Kuala Lumpur, Singapore , China, and many more.
Wherever his collections were shown, it was met with praise by critics and patrons alike.
First Ladies of the Philippines have always been dressed by Pitoy, in his trademark ternos.
AFP holds send-off ceremonies for Philippine contingents to Liberia and Haiti
The Armed Forces on Monday announced that a joint send off ceremonies for 12th Philippine contingents to Liberia and the 10the Philippine contingent to Haiti on Tuesday August 11 at around 2pm. All DPC and FOCAP members, TV, radio and Print reporters are invited.
The said event, with AFP Chief of Staff General Victor Ibrado as keynote speaker, will take place at Harribon Hangar,600th ABW, Clark Airbase Pampanga. Transportation will be provided by the Public Affairs Office of the AFP. Jump off time will be at 12noon.