Thursday, January 7, 2010
President Arroyo inaugurates Ifugao State University; Ifugao passes law adopting PGMA as daughter
BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 6 - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated Wednesday the Ifugao State University (ISU) which she said will further fortify the excellent quality of education being offered to the populace of the Cordillera region in northern Luzon.
Meanwhile, through a unanimously approved resolution of the Ifugao provincial board and duly approved by Ifugao provincial Governor Teddy Baguilat Jr., Mrs. Arroyo is now an adopted daughter of the province.
The ISU was the third state tertiary educational institution to be established during the tenure of the President, who remains very popular and loved in the mountainous region like her late father President Diosdado Macapagal.
Prior to the ISU inauguration, the President also inaugurated the Kalinga State University in the City of Tabuk, Kalinga and the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
The other state university in the area is the Benguet State University (BSU) in La Trinidad, Benguet which was established during the term of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
The institution catered to the education of the Cordilleras' youth in agricultural and allied courses like engineering, forestry, and nursing.
Throughout her speech during the ISU inauguration, the President used the local dialect where she is as proficient as a native and opened the same by saying:" Naragsakak a kumablaaw kadakayo a kailiak kas maysa nga anak ti Ifugao". (I am very happy to greet you as my provincemates being now a daughter of Ifugao)."
She underscored her administration's accomplishments on allowing the youths in the area to have quality education like their counterparts in other areas of the Philippines so they could become globally competitive in the 21st century.
President Arroyo also observed that education in the region has helped in furtherance of its socio-economic development.
She thanked the officials of Ifugao province as well as of the national government for the completion of her priority infrastructure projects in the region which included the P2-billion Halsema Highway, various bridges and farm-to-market roads which not only improved the output of the agricultural sector but also boosted tourism "especially with the sustained visit and preservation of the Ifugao rice terraces."
Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao said that only President Arroyo and no other Chief Executive of the country has done that much to the province of Ifugao and the Cordillera region as a whole "that we owe her so much as to the development we now enjoy as well as our future generations."
PGMA told Iloilo flyover operational by June
ILOILO CITY – The General Luna-Jalandoni Flyover will become operational in April, or two months ahead of schedule, according to Regional Director Rolando Asis of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was in town to inspect the ongoing construction, had insisted of an earlier completion date.
The structure is expected to boost investment and increase productivity in the city and sorrounding areas on top of the obvious objective of improving the flow of traffic.
“It is originally scheduled for completion six months from now, but we will work overtime to finish the job earlier,” Asis told the President.
The flyover, the second constructed in the city under the Mega Bridges for Urban and Rural Development Project, has five spans and four piers with a total length of 282 meters. It has a P386.6 million price tag.
Other projects constructed in the province at the behest of the President include the P4.2 billion Iloilo flood control system, the P34 million slaughter house and the electrification of the main road to the new airport in Cabatuan, among others.
WWII Veterans Have Six Weeks Left to Apply for New, One-Time Benefit All Claims Must Be Received By USDVA Office by February 16, 2010
All claims from Filipino WWII veterans for benefits created by the 2009 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 must be received by the U.S. Embassy’s Department of Veterans Affairs office (USDVA) by February 16, 2010. These one-time payments are all new benefits made available when the ARRA was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama in February 2009 to recognize the service of qualified veterans.
The new, one-time benefits are available to eligible veterans and widows of eligible veterans who applied before their death. Any change in the law to provide these additional benefits to other survivors would require new legislation in the U.S. Congress.
Every application is handled expeditiously so that qualified veterans receive their payments as quickly as possible.
As of December 29, USDVA has approved the applications of more than 11,300 eligible Filipino WWII veterans or their widows; these qualified veterans and widows have been paid a total of nearly P6.4 billion. Approximately half of the nearly P6.4 billion in one-time benefits paid out so far has gone to Filipino WWII veterans with American citizenship, and the other half to non-U.S. citizen Filipino WW II veterans.
There is no “master list” of eligible veterans for this new, one-time benefit. Each claim is unique and decided on its own merits. All veterans who feel they may be eligible are encouraged to apply immediately. The application process is free and simple, and there is no need to pay anyone to assist in completing the form, which can be mailed to the U.S. Embassy. If sending the application by mail, veterans are encouraged to send the application early enough to ensure its receipt by USDVA by the February 16, 2010 deadline. Simply mailing the application by the deadline is not sufficient. It must be received by USDVA by the deadline.
Veterans can also submit their application in person to the USDVA offices at the US Embassy. Veterans can call USDVA at (632) 528-2500 or toll free outside Metro Manila at 1-800-1888-5252 for more information about this option. No appointments are necessary to file an initial application for this new benefit.
Additionally, Outreach activities will be conducted in Cebu and Davao to ensure that all eligible veterans have an opportunity to apply, according to the following schedule:
Veterans who have already applied for this new one-time benefit will receive an acknowledgement receipt from USDVA. There is no need to submit multiple applications, nor any need to obtain additional military service information unless requested by USDVA.
Application instructions for the one-time benefits are on the U.S. Embassy website: http://manila.usembassy.gov
BIR reminds taxpayers of their year-end tax obligations
Quezon City, 05 January, 2010 – BIR Commissioner Joel L. Tan-Torres again reminded all taxpayers of their compliance obligations for the year end and the early part of 2010 to avoid penalties and inconvenience.
Tan-Torres told employers that they have to submit to the concerned BIR offices BIR Form No. 1604-CF or the Annual Information Return of Income Taxes Withheld on Compensation and Final Withholding Taxes together with its attachment, the Alphabetical List (Alphalists) of Employees including Minimum Wage Earners on or before February 01, 2010.
BIR Form 1604-CF contains information on taxes withheld and deducted by employers from the wages of their employees which shall be filed with BIR on or before January 31st of the succeeding year.
For this year, since January 31st is a Sunday, the deadline will be automatically moved to the next working day, February 01, 2010.
As required, all withholding agents with less than ten (10) employees shall submit to BIR, BIR Form No.1604-CF with Alphalists of Employees in hard copies, while employers with ten (10) or more employees shall submit the same in hard and soft copies. However, those required to file under the Electronic Filing & Payment System (eFPS) shall submit in soft copies regardless of the number of employees.
The file format to be used by the withholding agents in the submission and filing of the 1604-CF form with the Alphalists attachment thru diskette / CD/ email: email@example.com as embodied under RMC No. 5-2009.
The Technical specifications to be used, can be found in Annex“A-2009”of the said RMC.
Taxpayers are required to use either the excel format or their own extract program which shall pass through the validation module issued by the Bureau.
Commissioner Tan-Torres also told employers of their other obligations to the BIR that have to be complied with, like the conduct of year-end adjustment on wages of all their employees to ensure that their tax due is equal to their tax withheld and to issue BIR Form No. 2316 to every employee on or before February 01, 2010.
He said that with the result of the annualized computation, employers must effect necessary adjustments and refund excess withholding tax to their employees on or before January 25, 2010 or collect that from the last compensation of the year (December 2009) if there is still amount due.
Commissioner Tan-Torres also told them to file Monthly Remittance Return on Income taxes on Compensation (BIR Form No.1601–C) on or before January 15, 2010, and reminded them of the staggered deadline of filing for those under the Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS).
He also reminded Top 20,000 Private Corporations duly identified and notified by the Commissioner, that they are required to submit the Semestral List of Register Suppliers for the second semester of 2009 transactions also on or before February 01, 2010.
He added that taxpayers using calendar basis of accounting (ending December 31) must submit to the BIR the year-end Inventory Lists on or before January 30, 2010.
Teenage hostage freed in Basilan
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 6 - The Basilan-based kidnappers suspected to be Abu Sayyaf bandits have freed Tuesday the 19-year-old grandson of a former Zamboanga del Norte politician after more than four months in captivity, a military official disclosed.
Fourth Civil Relations Group (CRG) chief Lt. Col. Gamal Hayudini said the victim, Donald John Capili, was freed around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay Baiwas, Sumisip, Basilan.
Hayudini said Capili was picked up by Mujiv Sakkalahul, the nephew of Basilan Vice Governor Alrasheed Sakkalahul who chairs the Crisis Management Committee (CMC).
Hayudini said Capili was taken to the farm house of the CMC chairman in Barangay Ubit, Lamitan City where he and Sakkalahul arrived around 8:15 p.m. of the same night.
He said Capili, who was kidnapped on August 27 last year in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, was in good condition when he was released.
Capili, the grandson of former Liloy town Mayor Belchu Uy, was at the family-owned gasoline station in Barangay Baybay, Liloy when the suspects seized him.
Hayudini did not however say whether ransom was paid but reports reaching the CMC that a P100,000 “board and lodging” fee was paid to the kidnappers.
Earlier Tuesday, Zamboanga del Norte police director Senior Supt. Rey Cristeto Gonzalodo told reporters in this city that the kidnappers are asking for P20 million ransom in exchange for the release of Capili.
The numbers of kidnapped hostages who remain in the hands of the kidnappers were brought down to two following the release of Capili.
Still being held captives are Zi Shun Lu alias Oscar Lu, 51 and Bo Shung Tan alias Michael Tan, 27, both Chinese nationals from Guanzhou Province, mainland China, who were kidnapped last November 10 together with Marques Singson, 36, of Magligue, Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province.
They were seized by 30 gunmen who swooped down on a plywood factory in Barangay Marketsite in Maluso town.
The kidnappers believed to be Abu Sayyaf bandits have beheaded Singson whose head was recovered last December 9 at the Isabela City public plaza.
The CMC learned that the kidnappers have contacted three days ago George Tan, the owner of the plywood factory but details of the conversation were not revealed.
BIR RDO 98 (CDO) tops tax goal again!
BIR Cagayan de Oro announced that it has exceeded its collection goal for the month of December 2009 repeating a sterling performance it made in November 2009.
This showed that the plans, programs and policies rolled out by the administration of Revenue District Officer DO Noel B. Gonzales has gone full swing and elicited positive response from the taxpaying public as manifested in the in a consecutive two (2) months excess collections over goals.
Tentative figures showed that BIR CDO has collected P215 million against goal of P198 million or a surplus of near to P17 million.
Against the same period last year (2008) which posted a collection of P142 million, the surplus is 71.5 million or 50%, the difference is by leaps and bounds and emphatically pronouncing an effective leadership in 2009.
The 2009 whole collections surpassed that of 2008 by 200 million or 10% and Regional Director Esmeralda M. Tabule announced in a ceremony that RDO 98 (CDO) is the best performing district in the entire region.
Against cumulative goal however, RDO 98 may not have met its target but the ratio of district collection shortfall is way lower than that of the national revenue deficit.
In the coming months, RDO 98 may have easy time in meeting its goal as an offshoot of the right BIR programs and policies established by RDO Gonzales.
In recognition of an excellent revenue service, RDO Gonzales was transferred and due to report to RDO No. 113-West, Davao City.
RDO Gonzales wish to express his heartfelt thanks to the supportive taxpaying public, the MOFCCCI and the Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., the members of media, the heads of local and national agencies, the hardworking men and women of BIR District Office 98, and the BIR Regional Officials led by RD Esmeralda M. Tabule and Asst. Regional Director Mamapok G. Diro.
RA 9679 mandates all workers membership in Pag-IBIG Fund, by January 2010
Beginning January 1, 2010, membership in Pag-IBIG Fund is already required to all employees compulsorily covered by the Social Security System (SSS), regardless of employment status, as provided by Republic Act 9679.
Republic Act 9679, also known as the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009, further obliges previously waived companies to register their employees, upon expiration of their waiver of coverage.
Moreover, Pag-IBIG Fund membership shall also apply to all employees compulsorily covered by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), including uniformed personnel of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
Foreign-based employers must also register their Filipino employees as required by the law.
The membership of the mandatorily covered employees should take effect upon the date of employment. However, actual membership in the Fund shall commence only upon remittance of the initial contribution and not at point of registration.
To date, the monthly contribution rates shall be as follows: for those with monthly compensation of P1,500.00 or less the employee share is 1% while the employer share is 2%.
For those earning monthly compensation of more than P1,500.00 employee share is 2% and employer share is 2%.
A member may be allowed to contribute more than the required rates should he or she so desires.
The employer, however, shall only be mandated to contribute what is required, unless it agrees to match the member’s increased contribution.
The employer assumes a fiduciary relationship with the Fund and the member concerned relative to the collection and remittance of the member’s contribution, required employer contribution and loan amortization, when the payment is made through salary deduction.
The employer shall be liable for the non-remittance of MCs and loan obligations as they fall due. A Penalty of three percent (3%) of the amounts payable per month, shall be collected, from the date the contributions and loan amortizations or payment fall due.
An annual dividend of not less than 70% of the Fund’s net disposable income is added proportionately to the members’ savings. The member’s earned dividend will be credited to his or her Total Accumulated Value (TAV). The TAV comprises of the member’s personal contributions, employer counterpart and earned dividends.
The benefits of a Pag-IBIG Fund member shall include the following: a) housing; b) short-term loans and other benefit programs; c) portability of membership; d) return of contributions; and e) death benefits.
The termination of Pag-IBIG Fund membership shall be upon the occurrence of any of the following, provided that the member’s financial obligations with the Fund are first fully settled, except in case of death of the member: a) membership term maturity; b) death; c) retirement; d) permanent total disability or insanity; e) permanent departure from the country; f) termination of service by reason of health; and g) other causes as may be approved by the Board. (Therese C.M. Abejo / Pag-IBIG Fund)
Pag-IBIG Fund CEO commends CDO frontliners
Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Jaime A. Fabiana recently commended the Cagayan de Oro branch’s frontline service givers with a plaque of recognition, for the excellent frontline services delivered to members’, during its 29th anniversary ceremonies dubbed as “Gabi Ng Parangal.”
The award was received by CDO branch’s Department Manager III Juliano S. Banghal, along with Vice President for Northern Mindanao Group Fermin A. Sta. Teresa, Jr. The celebration was held at the Justine Building in Makati City and attended by the officers of the different branches nationwide.
Moreover, Pag-IBIG Fund has an in-house committee coined as Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE), which annually pays tribute to the achievement of its employees and the accomplishments of the different branches nationwide.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Regional Operations Sector, Tessie M. Gonzales is Pag-IBIG Fund’s Chair for the PRAISE Committee.
In a related news, the Civil Service Commission‘s Public Service Delivery Audit / Assistance (PASADA) conferred a Certificate of Recognition to the Pag-IBIG Fund Cagayan de Oro branch for having obtained a “Very Good rating in exhibiting the value of customer care, thus, meeting the expectations of the transacting public on prompt, courteous, responsive, facilitative and pleasant service.”
Department Manager III Juliano S. Banghal received the award on the occasion of the Philippine CSC’s 109th anniversary.
The CSC PASADA requests several volunteers to anonymously scrutinize the structures, systems and procedures, the physical condition and the service providers of the different government agencies nationwide. (Therese C.M. Abejo / Pag-IBIG Fund)
Pag-IBIG Fund celebrates 29 years of genuine service to the Filipino workers
CAGAYAN de Oro—December 14, 2009 marks the 29th anniversary of the Home Development Mutual Fund, more popularly known as Pag-IBIG Fund.
This year’s theme, “A New Beginning: One Vision. One Mission.” is inspired from the approval of Republic Act 9679 or the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed RA 9679, on July 21, 2009.
RA 9679 mandates all Filipinos to be members in Pag-IBIG Fund, including those employed by foreign-based employers. With the implementation of the law, effective January 1, 2010, more Filipino workers will have the equal opportunity of enjoying the benefits availed by active Pag-IBIG Fund members nationwide.
As of November 2009, the Marketing and Enforcement personnel were able to conduct 1,306 Fund briefings to various private and government employers. Thus, 48,318 additional members registered and reactivated their membership in Pag-IBIG Fund thereby, mounting the total active members to 173,037.
True to its mission of “uplifting the quality of life of members through savings” the Provident Benefits Division (PBD) of the Pag-IBIG Fund Cagayan de Oro branch was able to release a total of P1.30 Billion in Short-Term Loan (STL) to 63,686 members, as of November 2009.
The STL consists of P375.758 Million worth in Calamity Loan granted to 21,907 member-borrowers and P926.166 Million in Multi-Purpose Loan to 52,329 member-borrowers, covering the period January to November 2009.
The PBD, likewise, reduced its processing time for member’s claims from five (5) working days to only three working (3) days. Thus, qualified members can already withdraw of their Total Accumulated Value, upon submission of complete requirements in three (3) days, except for the Optional Maturity Claims which takes thirty (30) days.
P124.259 Million worth of Provident Benefit Claims was released to 4,822 members, as of November 2009.
As for the Housing Loan End-User Financing, the Pag-IBIG Fund Cagayan de Oro Branch released P1.104 Billion translating to 2,370 housing units, for the period January to November 2009.
Meanwhile, various strategies were employed by the Housing Loan Collection Unit (HLCU) in order to ensure that employers and member-borrowers will be updated and consistent in paying their monthly membership contributions (inclusive of the employer counterpart) and amortizations, as well.
The strategies such as sending of billing notices, door to door collection campaign, telephone brigade, post housing loan counseling and multi-media promotions proved effective because as of November 2009, the Pag-IBIG Fund Cagayan de Oro branch has collected P570.20 Million in Housing Loan amortizations which is 4% higher than its target for the year.
As a result, Pag-IBIG Fund Cagayan de Oro’s Loans and Collection Management Recovery Division (LCMRD) has maintained the highest performance appraisal rating corporate-wide.
Collections for the Institutional Loans amounted to P71.37, for the period covering January to November 2009.
Further, P1.27 Billion worth of Short-Term Loan payments were already collected from January to November 2009 – marking a 9% increase from its expected year-end target.
As of November 2009, collections for the Members Contributions amounted to P392.16 Million and P97.04 Million was collected for Asset Recovery, for the same period, which is 5% more than its anticipated target for the year 2009.
The Pag-IBIG Fund Cagayan de Oro branch operates from Monday to Friday, with no noon break for counter transactions. Services offered every Saturday includes the receiving (Monthly Remittance and Loans) and disbursement of payments.
A Housing Loan Counseling is also scheduled every Saturday (except holidays) from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and every Wednesday (except holidays) from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. (Therese C.M. Abejo / Pag-IBIG Fund)
ICPO celebrates 16th PNP ethics day
ILIGAN City—“Proper and God-fearing values must be uphold at all times by all Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel in their conduct of duties and responsibilities so that trust and confidence will continually emanate from the community.”
Thus said PSSupt Bernardo L. Reamon, Jr., city director, Iligan City Police Office (ICPO-PNP), addressing before the law enforcers and personnel during the Monday flag raising ceremony at the Police Headquarter in Camp Tomas Cabili, Barangay Tipanoy, this city.
“As we joined our national headquarter at Camp Crame down to regional headquarters throughout the country in celebrating the 4th of January as PNP Ethics Day, we commemorate this year with a theme, “Strong, Moral Foundation: The Key to Genuine PNP Transformation,” expressed City Director Reamon.
Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office (PRO) in region 10, Camp Alagar, Cagayan de Oro City, celebrated the day with deserving PNP personnel, non uniformed personnel and private individuals who had done exemplary contribution to the organization.
Among the ICPO awardees who were given recognition by PCSupt. Danilo Empedrad, Region Director of PNP-10, were: a) “Dangal ng PRO 10” to SPO1 Annabel Agan, Women’s Desk Police Non Commissioned Officer (PNCO) of Police Station 4 and Non Uniformed Personnel (NUP) Joyce Doverte, crime statistician; and b) “Most Industrious” to NUP Emma Taluban, supply officer.
Likewise, two (2) private individuals namely Pastor Flordeliz Tejano and Rev. Belzasar Carbero were also given plaque of appreciation in their support to Police Station 5, especially in the conduct of PNP’s Moral Recovery Program (MRP).
City Director Reamon said that part of PNP’s undertaking is to conduct Moral Enhancement Program to all their personnel, moving on with its core values—service, honor and justice. (Lorry V. Gabule-PIA LDN / ICPO)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Pag-IBIG Fund members to avail HDMF transaction card soon
ILIGAN City—A Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) transaction card shall be issued to all active members purposely to transmit permanent Pag-IBIG Fund Member Identification (MID) number.
“The Pag-IBIG MID number written on the card shall be used in all dealings with the Fund,” explained Reynaldo P. Florano, Section Head, Marketing and Enforcement of HDMF in Iligan city, during the year-end Fund Coordinator’s Club Meeting held in December 2009.
He added the Pag-IBIG transaction card will only bear the Pag-IBIG MID number but will not serve as a valid identification number. However, when dealing with the Fund, the HDMF transaction card will serve as the member’s primary ID.
Every Pag-IBIG member will be issued only one (1) Pag-IBIG MID number regardless of the number of his employers. The first issuance will prevail in case a member has been issued multiple Pag-IBIG MID numbers or transaction cards.
As soon as the employer submits to the Fund the completed Members Record Updating Template (MRUT), a member shall be issued his / her Pag-IBIG MID number.
All self-paying members of the Pag-IBIG Fund will also be issued transaction card, likewise, the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) under the Pag-IBIG Overseas Program.
The transaction card can be of use when conducting the following transactions: a) verification of membership contribution payments; b) updating of member’s records; c) on-line filing of short-term loan applications; d) on-line filing of provident benefit claims, which will still be subject to the approval of the branch office concerned; and e) verification of housing loan amortization payments.
The initial transaction card will be issued free, but if a member misplaces it and would like to secure a new one, the Fund will charge the member a minimal fee only.
“The regional office of HDMF in Mindanao North is looking forward to implement the use of transaction card early year 2010,” said Florano. (Lorry V. Gabule / PIA LDN)
Lanao Norte gears up for Sinulog 2010
IN a bid to finally capture the elusive championship in the biggest cultural stage of the Philippines—Cebu’s Sinulog Festival, the provincial government of Lanao del Norte is again sending its own contingent in the much anticipated cultural competition.
“This is the fulfillment to our promise to last year’s winning group in the Municipal Festival contest during our Golden Araw Anniversary. And with their spectacular win, we are sending this year the Kapatagan National High School to the Sinulog to be our contingent,” explained Governor Khalid Dimaporo.
This is the second time that the provincial government is sending an official contingent in the Free Interpretation category where Lanao del Norte placed 4th over-all in a category that saw 25 groups compete.
Last year, Lanao del Norte was also able to grab the coveted title of Best in Costume despite being a first-timer in the festival.
“We are very thankful for the all-out support of Governor Dimaporo. We are inspired to reach for the top prize this time and bring home the trophy here in Lanao del Norte,” said Tourism Officer Minda Regis.
This year, the province’s Sinulog contingent is composed of 95 dancers, 50 propsmen, 30 instrumentalists and 24 support group personnel. Lanao del Norte will also be sending 2 candidates in the prestigious Sinulog Queen Pageant, namely Emilyn Opada of Maranding, Lala and Lota Correos of Tubod.
“This is another chance for us to showcase to the whole world that Lanao del Norte is indeed a beautiful and peaceful province where people live in unity and harmony with one another,” said Information Officer Lyndon Calica.
The Lanao Norte group will depart for Cebu on January 12 for early rehearsals, while the actual Sinulog competitions will be on January 17. (VNL/PIO-Lanao del Norte)
MisOr holds ‘Tabo sa Umahan’ to mark 80th anniversary
THE Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental will hold anew ‘Tabo sa Umahan 2010,’ which carries this year’s theme, “Seguridad sa Pagkaon, Hiyas sa Ekonomiyang Malig-on,” on January 11 to 15, 2010 at the Provincial Capitol grounds, as it marks the 80th Founding Anniversary of the Misamis Oriental as a separate province.
As we mark the occasion with festivities, a Thanksgiving Mass will begin at 7:00 a.m. on January 11 at the kiosk of the Provincial Capitol grounds, to be followed with an opening program and will be highlighted by the unveiling of the heritage monument and the simultaneous provincial and municipal banner raising.
The weeklong event will feature the display of various agricultural products, OTOP (One Town One Product) exhibits, ornamental plants, agri-pasiklaban contests, PINAKA Contest, cooking contest, poster making contest as well as nightly shows bearing different subtitles, that depict the diversity of people, race and culture in Misamis Oriental, to be hosted primarily by the three (3) Rural-Based Organizations (RBOs),i.e., RIC for Higa-onon Night, the 4H Club for the Muslim Night and the P4MP for the Christian / Hispanic Influence Night.
The 4th Night, entitled as Misamis Oriental Today, depicts the widely accepted culture of Misamisnons at present, with the participation of the Provincial Capitol employees.
Various presentations / competitions will also be featured on separate nights such as Search for Mrs RIC, Dance Contest (Nobody, Nobody But You), Modern Dance Contest (Hugyaw Sayaw), OPM Contest, Kuracha Dance Contest (senior citizens level) and Doble-Kara Duet Competition.
The culminating program and awarding ceremony will be on January 15, at 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. with an encore of OPM and Modern Dance Winners. (Zorobabel Wabe-Rabe / Misamis Oriental Provincial Press Office)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
PGMA orders probe of VIP treatment to detained Ampatuans
MANILA, Jan. 4 —President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate the alleged VIP treatment to detained members of the Ampatuan clan, some of the suspects in the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao on Nov. 23, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Gary Olivar said on Monday.
Olivar assured that policemen found giving VIP treatment to the Ampatuan’s will face appropriate actions.
”Malinaw ang patakarang dapat pantay-pantay ang trato sa mga preso mayaman man o mahirap [The government policy is very clear that no VIP treatment should be given to detainees, whether rich or poor],” Deputy Presidential Spokesman Gary Olivar said on Monday.
Four members of the Ampatuan clan -- Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan, Sajid Ampatuan, Anwar Ampatuan and Akmad Ampatuan --reportedly enjoy VIP treatment at their detention cells at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) office in General Santos City.
Reports said the Ampatuan’s enjoyed a catering service for their food and an errand for cleaning their detention cells.
CIDG director Raul Castaneda said on Monday that he had already directed his deputy, Sr. Supt. Benito Estipona to investigate the report and immediately submit recommendations regarding the alleged VIP treatment given to the Ampatuan’s while in detention.
Director Castaneda said, he would not tolerate his personnel in giving VIP treatment to detainees.
He expects Estipona's report and recommendations late Monday afternoon or early Tuesday. Estipona flew to General Santos City on Monday to conduct investigation on the alleged VIP treatment of Ampatuans
DOH: 2009 New Year revelry bloodier than 2008
MANILA, Jan. 4 – The Department of Health (DOH) retracted its earlier declaration that firecracker-related injuries were lower this year as scores of injuries continued in hospitals post New Year’s celebration.
DOH-National Epidemiology Center (NEC) director Eric Tayag clarified that 2009’s New Year revelry is more bloody compared to the previous year as the number of injuries as of January 3 rose 920, which is 26 percent higher to the those injured in 2008 with only 683 cases.
Tayag said out of the total number of cases this year, 877 were fireworks related; 42 stray bullet cases; and one watusi ingestion. There were also three reported dead according to some reports, he said.
Statistics from the NEC surveillance report also showed that 704 of the victims were males; 268 were children less than 10 years of age; 671 with injuries but no amputation; 81 with amputation; 74 with influence of alcohol; and 125 with eye injuries.
The leading cause of firecracker injuries was Piccolo with 267 cases; followed by Kwitis, 123; Luces, 57; Five-star, 53; stray bullet, 42; and Pla-pla, 41
Tayag cited three reasons for the increase of injuries this year; first, that there were a lot of merry-making because the decade had ended; second, that a lot of Filipinos seemed to be happier this year according to surveys; and third, due to the low price of Piccolo, which despite being banned, still reach the hands of mostly children.
The DOH-NEC director also expressed his disappointment over the rise of injuries this year despite their strenuous campaign, the "Iwas Paputok" 2009 program, which started since November 2009.
On January 1, 2010, the DOH reported that there were only 597 cases of firecracker-related injuries, which is supposedly 15 percent lower than 702 cases recorded in the 2008 revelries. However, more cases were recorded in hospitals during the weekend which grew the number of victims.
Tayag said they have been appealing to the police for the last two years to enforce a ban on the deceptively innocent-looking firecrackers that children found attractive, but in some local governments in Metro Manila, it was evident that banned firecrackers are still being sold in streets.
The DOH has actively campaigned on the ban against firecrackers with television ads, posters, billboards, tarpaulins placed in hospitals and government infrastructures nationwide and coordinated with police to confiscate banned firecrackers being sold in markets.
“I think our local government leaders should coordinate next year for them to have a more concrete protocol against the ban on fireworks in their jurisdictions,” he said.
Tayag said they are also expecting that the number of firecracker-related injuries will continue to rise as they will record all cases up to Wednesday (January 5).
Meanwhile, Tayag warned victims of firecrackers that if they failed to seek immediate treatment after sustaining wounds, they can have tetanus that actually lead to death.
The DOH said that tetanus is an acute bacterial disease caused by Clostridium tetani. Although deep wound is needed to support the growth of the bacteria, minor wound is usually the point of entry in children and adults. The incubation period of tetanus could be as short as one day to, usually three to 21 days.
Tayag said injuries sustained from fireworks should be washed immediately with soap and water and referred to medical personnel for proper wound care and tetanus immunization.
Symptoms of tetanus includes severe headache, irritable behavior, weakness, and lock jaw.
DOH seeks total ban of firecrackers after two deaths
The Department of Health (DOH) today recommended the complete banning of firecrackers and fireworks in residential areas after it claimed the lives of two revelers last New Year’s celebration.
“We are recommending the total ban because this is the first time that deaths due to firecrackers have been reported. In the previous years, fatalities were mainly due to watusi ingestion and stray bullets,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.
The health chief said that in the 18 years of the existence of the DOH Philippine Fireworks Injury Surveillance (DOH-PFIS), it is only now that deaths due to pyrotechnic devices were reported.
“The two deaths involved a seven year-old male from Cabanatuan City and a 29 year-old male from Baguio City. Both died of cerebral concussion secondary to blasting last 01 January,” Secretary Duque said.
The DOH-PFIS disclosed that the seven year-old boy was hit by a kwitis, a legal firecracker, on his upper eye lid on December 31. He then suffered a concussion and was rushed to the hospital where he died the next day, January 1. He was a passive case because he was just a bystander.
The other fatality was reportedly intoxicated when he lighted the jumbo kwiton bomb on January 1. When the firecracker exploded, he was hit in his right temple. He was dead on arrival when he was brought to the hospital. His cause of death was brain hemorrhage due to the blasting. The firecracker that killed him is not on the list of legal fireworks.
“We should take the total banning of firecrackers even more seriously now with these two deaths. We should not just ban the kwitis and the new illegal ‘cracker that cause the deaths of these two individuals because if the seemingly harmless watusi is able to not just maim but kill, then the other so-called legal firecrackers might also do the same in the future. We can’t risk more lives anymore before we take the big step of totally banning these potentially killer pyrotechnic devices,” Secretary Duque explained.
The DOH-PFIS reported that compared to the five-year average (2004-2009, from December 21-January 4), there is an increase of 13 cases or 1%.
There are 50 sentinel hospitals nationwide reporting to the DOH-PFIS this year.
Lakas dares presidential wannabes: Do public service, not cheap publicity stunts
MANILA, Jan. 4—- Election candidates should be more concerned doing their jobs as public servants than seeking cheap publicity stunts to brush up their campaign image, a spokesman of Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro Jr. said Monday.
"While image does matter to him (Gibo), he doesn’t consciously and deliberately create it for political purposes,” said Sarangani Governor Miguel “Migz” Dominguez, the ruling party’s president and spokesman for Teodoro’s presidential campaign.
“To Gibo, character is image. Character is everything,” Dominguez added.
Earlier, a political analyst made a scathing attack on Teodoro in a TV public affairs program, citing the alleged failure of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate’s strategists to exploit for free media mileage the round-the-clock relief and rescue efforts following the epic floods spawned by “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” last year.
“We watched with disbelief how Prof. Prospero de Vera shot down the chances of Teodoro in the presidential elections for the failure of his strategists to milk and exploit for free publicity the devastation wrought by the two typhoons,” Dominguez said.
De Vera said Teodoro should have visited the flooded areas to generate television news footage. A man using the same name has also started a smear campaign in newspaper letters putting the blame on Teodoro for some other issues in 2009.
In a letter to TV program host Pia Hontiveros, Dominguez urged candidates to stop funding smear campaigns and engaging in cheap publicity stunts and instead follow Gibo's lead in opting to provide real solutions to substantive national issues.
“Instead of attacking him for not exploiting the destructive floods to gain brownie points for his presidential candidacy, de Vera should have praised Gibo Teodoro’s resolve not to turn the tragedy into a cheap political stunt,” Dominguez said.
"Teodoro reeled from the idea of politics superseding an essential tragedy of human existence. He rejected the hype; he was too honest to say he could not live with it. His public posture is undeniably courageous and one without precedent,” he added.
Dominguez said that while some presidential aspirants called in the media before distributing relief goods, Gibo performed his job as defense secretary and concurrent chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) “without a moist eye on publicity.”
He said Teodoro marshaled the government’s limited resources amid an overwhelming tragedy, and his “conduct is above politics and beyond moral reproach”.
“Too decent a leader and too sensitive a human being, he time and again shot down the idea, proffered to him a countless times by imploring aides and political handlers, to put his face (tired and sleepless for effect) on the TV evening news amid the fleeting, stark images of the dead and the dying,” he said.
Dominguez said political analysts like de Vera hardly reward the likes of Teodoro by exalting him in overcoming the temptations of office to get ahead in the race.
“On the other hand, they see hype and politics riding in tandem, in effect defining for the electorate in a very narrow and superficial sense what and who is electable in the coming presidential election. This is a tragic thought indeed," Dominguez said.
Dominguez also dared de Vera to be forthright and tell the public that he is in fact working for another presidential candidate.
“He (Prof. De Vera) must be talking about his candidate. For a man of his stature we would have expected him to be forthright and to tell his viewers that he is in fact working for another presidential candidate. Enough of hypocrisy,” Dominguez said.
SC procures 3 more buses for Enhanced Justice on Wheels Program
MANILA, Jan. 4 -- The Supreme Court (SC) has procured three more buses to be converted into courtrooms and mediation centers for its Enhanced Justice on Wheels (EJOW) Program.
Chief Justice Reynato Puno led the inauguration of the new buses on Monday at the SC New Building Courtyard along Padre Faura Street in Ermita, Manila. Also present were the other SC justices, including the incoming EJOW Committee chair, Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo.
The mobile courts have brought courtrooms to municipalities that do not have regular courts, detention facilities and youth reception centers, and provinces that have litigants who live far from the nearest court.
The latest procurement, with assistance from the World Bank (WB), brings to eight the total number of mobile courts under the EJOW Program.
Puno is optimistic that the procurement of new buses will further boost the EJOW Program as more people will be provided fast and free resolution of conflicts on-site through conciliation, mediation, or adjudication.
"We bring the Justices on Wheels mobile courts to areas that are in need of adequate and inexpensive access to justice. With more EJOW buses, it is possible to bring fast justice that goes direct to a larger number of people," Puno said.
For his part, WB country manager Bert Hofman said: "We are honored to be a part of the Supreme Court's efforts to bring justice to every Filipino, especially those who have less access to the courts due to poverty and distance. The Justice on Wheels project rates high in the World Bank's list of initiatives that we are proud to be part of."
Hofman assured the SC that "the WB will continue to provide assistance, from project savings or the reallocation of loan proceeds, as appropriate, to expand the coverage of the Program."
The EJOW Program includes medical and dental missions and free legal aid clinics to detainees; dialogues with justice stakeholders and legal information dissemination to barangay officials on top of hearing cases and providing mediation services which the original Justice on Wheels (JOW) Program already provided.
Its mobile courts have travelled throughout the country and made stops at the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan; Kalibo, Aklan; the cities of Caloocan and Quezon; Cebu Province; Digos, Davao del Sur; Tagum, Davao del Norte; Davao City; Bacoor, Cavite; Tacloban, Leyte; Olongapo, Zambales; Pasay City; Baler, Aurora; Sarangani Province; and the cities of Las Piñas and Tagaytay.
As of December 17, 2009, EJOW has facilitated the release of/dismissal of cases against 2,513 inmates, settled 5,361 cases through court-annexed mediation, and provided free legal aid to 1,103 detainees.
At least 6,883 inmates were provided free medical and dental assistance, while 11,900 barangay officials have been oriented on the SC's EJOW and other judicial reform programs and Court rules enhancing human rights.
By the first quarter of 2010, the mobile courts are set to be deployed in Kalibo and Roxas City in the Visayas; Sta. Cruz or Biñan, Laguna; Malolos City, Bulacan; La Union and Baguio City; Cagayan de Oro and Iligan or South Cotabato and Maguindanao; Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Abra; Tarlac and Pangasinan; Iloilo and Bacolod; Bohol and the cities of Marikina, Mandaluyong, Taguig and Muntinlupa.
Six of the eight buses, including the three new ones, have been procured by the SC with assistance from the WB, while the two other buses have been donated by the Sarangani Province and the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FCCCII).
The City of Manila has also donated two customized container vans that have been converted into courtrooms and mediation rooms to hear cases at the Manila City Jail.
QC Senior Citizens get GSIS personal accident insurance
One hundred thousand senior citizens of Quezon City, recently, become policy holders of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), following the availment by the Quezon City local government of the GSIS Group Personal Accident Insurance.
Each of the 100,000 senior citizens gets an insurance coverage of up to P65,000 for a premium of only P52.50. The GSIS Group Personal Accident Insurance offers the cheapest yet the widest accident insurance coverage in the industry today.
The policy covers an indemnity of P50,000 for accidental death or dismemberment and P5,000 for medical reimbursement. In addition, the policy also covers a P10,000 bereavement assistance in case of the accidental death of the insured.
The policy also offers a 24-hour accident insurance coverage of P25,000 and another P25,000 for unprovoked murder or assault.
The availment of the group accident insurance is an initiative of the Quezon City local government led by Mayor Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, who was also once the president and general manager of the GSIS.
“The local government of Quezon City has always been an advocate of preparedness. We want to secure the future of our constituents especially against unforeseen events that may severely affect them and their family’s future,” said Mayor Belmonte.
“With preparedness in mind, we have always relied on the dependability of the GSIS as a pension fund and as the country’s largest insurer. We went beyond insuring our properties, we also want to protect the future of our constituents,” he added.
Meanwhile, GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia lauded the efforts of Mayor Belmonte for securing the future of his constituents through insurance. “This project is something that all local governments should do. The GSIS has a wide array of insurance products that will protect your future at the lowest premium.”
The GSIS also offers personal accident insurance, dubbed as My Shield, under its GCare Umbrella of Products. My Shield covers an individual ages three to 80 years old for the lowest premium of .40.
For just 40 centavos, an individual can already get P1,000 worth of personal accident coverage . My Shield offers a minimum coverage of P50,000 to a maximum protection of P5 million.
The GSIS, by virtue of Republic Act 656 as amended by Presidential Decree 245, is allowed to engage in all kinds of insurance and reinsurance business. In addition, the state-run pension fund is empowered to insure all properties, assets, and interests of the government against any insurable risk.
GSIS declares P893-M in 2009 cash dividends for members
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has allotted P893 million for the 2009 cash dividends to be given to its eligible members after the System again recorded earnings from its life insurance fund in 2008.
“This is a result of the reforms we have initiated which required the prudent management of GSIS funds, in line with the vision of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” said GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia.
The earnings in life insurance are principally derived from two sources: investment income and mortality gains or savings.
All active members including the members of the Judiciary and Constitutional Offices whose life insurance coverage have been in force for at least one year as of December 31, 2008 and are still active as of the declaration date shall be entitled to the 2009 GSIS cash dividends.
In addition, active members issued with Life Endowment Policy (LEP) or with new or converted Enhanced Life Policy (ELP) will be entitled to cash dividends provided their policies have been in force for at least one year as of December 31, 2008.
Active members whose LEP matured after December 31, 2008 and who were issued a renewal policy under the ELP will likewise be entitled to the 2009 cash dividends based on their LEP. Active members who opted to convert their LEP to ELP after December 31, 2008 will also be entitled based on their LEP.
On the other hand, those with lapsed policies in calendar year 2008 up to the declaration date are not entitled to receive the 2009 GSIS cash dividends.
In addition, those with terminated policies due to retirement, maturity, and separation in calendar year 2008 up to the declaration date and active members who have defaulted in their Consoloans and salary loans for at least 12 months and/or have unpaid premiums for at least 12 months as of declaration date will not receive the dividends.
The 2009 GSIS cash dividends were disbursed through the savings account of the members’ eCard Plus.
Christmas cash gift for GSIS pensioners grows for 4th straight year
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Board of Trustees has approved the allocation of P1.291 billion for the 2009 GSIS Christmas Cash Gift to be given to eligible active old-age pensioners this December, an improvement of 9.4 percent from the previous year’s budget of P1.18 billion.
In fact, the amount of Christmas cash gift the pension fund has been allocating for its pensioners has been increasing over the years, from P923 million in 2007, P623 million in 2006, and P587 million in 2005.
“This has become an annual tradition for the GSIS, and we are very glad to share this blessing to our old-age pensioners,” said GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia.
The GSIS chief noted that the earnings growth the GSIS has been enjoying over the years contributed significantly to the steady increase in the budget allotted for the Christmas cash gift.
Meanwhile, only active old-age pensioners as of the declaration of the Christmas cash gift are eligible to receive the said benefit.
For old-age pensioners whose 2008 Christmas Cash Gift is above P10,000, they shall be granted an amount equivalent to one month current pension up to a maximum of P12,600.
Those whose 2008 Christmas Cash Gift is P10,000 and below shall be granted an amount equivalent to one month current pension up to a maximum of P10,000, while old-age pensioners who resumed their regular monthly pensions after December 15, 2008 (after the 5-year guaranteed period) shall be granted an amount equivalent to one-month current pension up to a maximum of P10,000.
Entitled to the Christmas Cash Gift are old-age/retirement pensioners, including joint-life retirees, and disability pensioners under Republic Act 8291, Presidential Decree 1146, and R..A. 660 who are receiving their regular monthly pensions and are still qualified to their corresponding pensions and living as of December 15, 2009.
On the other hand, those not entitled to receive the Christmas cash gift are basic survivorship pensioners, dependent pensioners, and joint-life beneficiaries; retirees who received in advance their guaranteed pensions in the form of lump sums who are still within the guaranteed period and who shall be resuming their regular monthly pensions after December 15, 2009; new retirees from 2006 to 2009. They shall only be entitled to the Christmas Cash Gift that will be granted five years after their retirement date; members who separated from the service from 2006 to 2009 before reaching age 60 and who started their regular monthly pension in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. They shall only be entitled to the Christmas Cash Gift once they have been regular pensioners for at least five years; and pensioners under Republic Act 7699 or the Portability Law who are receiving their regular pro-rata pension including those who are receiving pro-rata pension as a result of the Premium-Based Policy.
GSIS disburses P32.10 billion in Consoloan proceeds
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is close to surpassing the amount of Consolidated Loan (ConsoLoan) proceeds it disbursed last year, as it keeps its commitment to pump-prime the economy.
Figures showed the state-run pension fund disbursed close to P32.1-billion in ConsoLoan proceeds in the first ten months of the year, against P34.70 billion in the entire 2008 which benefited some 342,765 GSIS members.
As of end-October this year, 290,856 GSIS members availed and benefited from the ConsoLoan program.
“The GSIS is aware of the many other aspirations of our members. These may include owning a house, a car, or putting up a business. With our ConsoLoan program, these dreams become a reality,” GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia said.
The ConsoLoan is a loan window that consolidates five different loan packages into one—Salary Loan, Restructured Salary Loan, Enhanced Salary Loan, Emergency Loan Assistance, and Summer One-Month Salary Loan—thus, making it easier to manage. The outstanding penalties or surcharges incurred from these five loans are also waived when availing of this loan.
Furthermore, the ConsoLoan, which has a repayment period of up to six years, gives members higher loanable amount with the additional amount of twice the basic monthly salary on top of the existing salary.
GSIS members can avail of a loan equivalent to up to 10 months of their basic salary with the ConsoLoan.
For members who have been in government service for at least 10 years, they can avail of a ConsoLoan equivalent to 10 months of their monthly salary. The minimum creditable years in service a member has to have to qualify is 20 months, with the ConsoLoan proceeds equivalent to three months of his monthly salary.
To qualify for the ConsoLoan, the applicant has to be an active GSIS member for at least 20 months; the agency has paid at least three correct premium payments in the last six months; the agency also should not be on the suspended list of the GSIS due to arrearages; the member has had no administrative charge and his take home pay should be sufficient to pay the loan.
Members with a GSIS eCard Plus can apply for the Conso-Loan via the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System or G-W@PS kiosk or over-the-counter in their servicing GSIS offices.
Meantime, the GSIS has recently offered an optional one-year moratorium program for members badly hit by typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” covering their ConsoLoan accounts. This is to enable the calamity victims attend to more pressing financial needs like food, clothing, relocation and/or repair of shelter.
The one-year moratorium program covers only the amortizations within the month of October 2009 up to September 2010. All ConsoLoan accounts not declared in default as of Sept. 30, 2009 are eligible to be applied for this program.
Borrowers with arrears shall be allowed to avail of the moratorium. However, the moratorium period shall be limited to the difference between 12 months and the number of months in arrears.
GSIS, CSC collaborate to address members’ concerns
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is working closely with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to address members’ issues that were brought to the attention of the CSC and subsequently communicated with the pension fund for appropriate action.
The two agencies have formed a joint committee composed of key executives from the GSIS—headed by Executive Vice President for Operations Consuelo D. Manansala—and the CSC—headed by Asst. Commissioner Anicia M. De Lima—to thresh out concerns from different sectors of the government through a series of meetings. One of the issues discussed relates to members who will soon be retiring that have concerns on their unposted GSIS records. In response, the GSIS is reminding agencies to submit the names as well as the applications of employees who will avail of early retirement 60 days prior to their preferred retirement date to facilitate the reconciliation of the members’ accounts.
The pension fund added that the early notification mechanism will ensure the judicious settlement of their retirement benefits.
GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia said the full compliance of all agencies concerned is crucial in ensuring the success of the program, especially in meeting the GSIS’s aforementioned objectives.
“The success of this activity would require the cooperation and full support of all agencies by providing us the names of their employees below 65 years old who intend to avail of early retirement,” he said.
Consequently, members who will avail of the early retirement are required to submit their application as endorsed by their respective heads of agencies.
Garcia added that the GSIS is prioritizing the reconciliation of premium and loan payments of prospective retirees to facilitate the timely and accurate computation of their benefits.
For further details on this program, the pension fund has advised the Authorized Agency Officers of different agencies to coordinate with the Membership Group of the GSIS.
Meanwhile, the GSIS said concerns on questionable loan accounts allegedly incurred by some members are referred to its Investigation Department. On the other hand, issues on the alleged inability of some members to avail of loans are referred to the GSIS’s Internal Reconciliation Unit for appropriate examination.
“If the CSC has any knowledge of such cases, we ask them to provide us the names so we can look into the matter,” said Garcia.
The GSIS’s problems with unposted payments stemmed from the deficiency in its database management system software dubbed as DB2 and supplied by IBM. Despite the problems with IBM-DB2, Mr. Garcia assured members that the GSIS continues to process loans and claims although the processing of such has experienced delays.
“The integrity of all membership data has not been compromised and no data has been lost, as records have been preserved and kept in perpetual storage,” he said.
Meanwhile, the GSIS said names of employees who will retire at age 65, or the compulsory age of retirement, need not be submitted since the reconciliation of their accounts shall be done 60 days prior their 65th birthday.
Per GSIS records, there are a total of 3,893 compulsory retirees by March 31, 2010.
The GSIS has four retirement modes, namely: Republic Act 660 that took effect on June 16, 1951; R.A. 1616 which took effect on May 31, 1957; Presidential Decree 1146 which took effect on June 1, 1977; and R.A. 8291 which took effect on June 24, 1997.
Under R.A. 660, the so-called Magic 87 is used, wherein the age of the member and the years in service he has rendered will be added. If the sum is 87, he will be qualified to retire under R.A. 660 with pension. This mode is applicable only to employees who entered government service before June 1, 1977.
For R.A. 1616, the retiree must have rendered at least 20 years of service regardless of age and employment status. His last three years of service prior to retirement must also be continuous, except in cases of death, disability, abolition or phase out of position due to reorganization.
On the other hand, P.D. 1146 involves the pension benefit from the amended R.A. 660. Under this mode, a member can retire if he is 60 years old, a permanent employee, and has rendered at least 15 years in service.
Meanwhile, under R.A. 8291, there are two (2) options: the 5-year lump sum and the 18-month cash payment and pension. The requirements under this mode include a minimum years in service of 15 years and the retiree must be at least 60 years old.
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P4.6 covered court inaugurated
MAHINOG, Camiguin—Camiguin Lone District Congressman Pedro P. Romualdo and Governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo inaugurated recently the newly-completed P4.6 million covered court in barangay Hubangon this municipality.
The Romualdos led the ribbon cutting along with Vice Governor Leo G. Lasacar, Mayor Alex R. Jajalla, Vice Mayor Rogerio C. Acle, Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members, Barangay Captain Epifanio V. Yamit and members of the barangay council.
The inauguration was held during the 12th Grand Alumni Homecoming of Mahinog National High School, which formally opened with a caravan around the island province on the same day.
The barangay covered court which stands at the vicinity of the Mahinog National High School, is another flag ship project of the Romualdo administration which aims to provide residents here of a conducive facility for their sports activities and public assemblies.
Barangay Captain Yamit thanked Cong. PPR and Gov. JJ for making the barangay covered court into reality especially in time with their barangay fiesta.
"This year's fiesta celebration is different because today we mark another milestone in our barangay history as we inaugurate our new covered court," Yamit said in his published fiesta message.
The barangay executive further said this facility is considered one of the first in the province, where the social, cultural, political and sports activities of the barangay could be held "rain or shine."
"I wish to express my thanks and gratitude to our beloved Cong. PPR and Gov. JJ for making our dream come true. Appreciation also goes out to our town officials led by Mayor Jajalla and Vice Mayor Acle for their all out support for this landmark project of the barangay," he said. (Homer R. Jajalla, Mahinog Information Office)