Author: Raffy Rico

SSS PESO FUND REGISTRATION UPDATE

The Social Security System (SSS) advises its members that the start of registration for the SSS Personal Equity and Savings Option (SSS PESO) Fund this December has been postponed until further notice, while enhancements are underway. The SSS Peso Fund program, is a voluntary and tax-free investment that allows members to accumulate bigger savings at retirement. For program details and other inquiries email member-relations@sss.gov.ph or call the SSS Hotline (02) 924-6446 to 55. Registration sa SSS PESO Fund Ipinagpaliban Pansamantalang ipinagpaliban ng Social Security System (SSS) ang simula ng pagtanggap ng aplikasyon sa SSS Personal Equity and Savings Option (SSS PESO) Fund ngayong Disyembre habang inaayos pa ang Information Technology (IT) system nito. Abangan ang anunsyo ng SSS sa simula ng registration sa SSS PESO Fund. Ang SSS PESO Fund program ay isang boluntaryo at tax-free investment na nagbibigay ng pagkakataon sa mga miyembro na makapag-ipon ng mas malaki para sa kanilang pagreretiro. Makipag-ugnayan sa SSS Hotline (02) 924-6446 to 55 o mag-email sa member_relations@sss.gov.ph para sa mga detalye ng SSS PESO Fund at iba pang katanungan dito. (SSS Media Affairs...

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P37-M DAR infra projects completed in Biliran

ALMERIA, BILIRAN—The town people’s dream of becoming the rice basket of the province is gradually coming true as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently turned over P37 million worth of rural infrastructure projects that would help farmers increase their harvest. DAR Assistant Regional Director for Program Beneficiaries Development Ismael Aya-ay led the turnover of three irrigation projects, a farm-to-market road and a potable water system to the local government of Cabucgayan and Almeria. Aya-ay said that the farmers would greatly increase their yield with the construction and rehabilitation of three irrigation systems in the towns of Cabucgayan and Almeria. “In Almeria, the constructed irrigation in Barangay Iyusan and the rehabilitated one in Barangay Jamorawon can service about 102 hectares of rice terraces in the upland villages, and the rehabilitated irrigation system in Cabucgayan can supply water to about 53 hectares of rice fields in Barangay Magbangon and the adjacent Barangay, Libertad,” said Aya-ay. Almeria Mayor Dominador Agajan said during the turnover that this is the first step towards the realization of their town’s vision of becoming the tourism hub and the rice basket of the province. On the concreted 4.4-kilometer farm-to-market road project turned over by DAR, Agajan said he is awed by its beauty and durability. “The road stretching from Pitoguhan of Barangay Jamorawon to Barangay Iyusan, was so nicely concreted.  The 2,600 residents are so glad...

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Farmers also our focus, not only ASEAN competition—Alcala

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Alcala clarified that although the government has been proactively working towards increasing the Philippine agriculture sector’s competitive advantage in the ASEAN integration, DA has remained focused on empowering farmers and improving their lives. Speaking at the 6th Anniversary of the Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management (CHARM) Project and International Year of Family Farming Knowledge and Learning Market and Policy Engagement (KLM-PE) in Baguio City on November 20, 2014, Alcala said that DA is not only improving its programs in anticipation of the increased regional competition in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) but also to further capacitate farmers to be more productive.  “We just want our farmers get the most out of their efforts. We want them to be empowered. And we need to address the needs of the domestic market,” Alcala stressed. Alcala explained that development roadmaps have been crafted by DA for each of the major agricultural commodities of the country and meeting the demands of the AEC is only one of its objectives. The primary aim of these roadmaps according to Alcala is to improve farmers’ yields to meet food security targets and increase farmers’ income. Alcala also reiterated in an interview that the Philippines cannot compete in all commodities so the agriculture sector should focus on what the country are good at. He emphasized though that the country has lots of...

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Benguet trading center to serve as model of value-chain approach to agribusiness dev’t—Alcala

The Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Complex (BAPTC) in La Trinidad, which is expected to open within first quarter next year, is seen by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as a pilot model of value-chain approach in developing and strengthening the agribusiness sector in the Philippines. The P655-million BAPTC, the biggest agricultural trading center to be constructed in the country, is being prepared to become a center of excellence and model of cooperation among stakeholders. “The Complex will showcase a holistic approach in stimulating growth in the sector through value-chain analysis—that is, we do not stop at production, but we assist farmers in processing, value-adding and marketing,” DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said. Fast-rising on a four-hectare land owned by the Benguet State University, the complex will include three huge buildings that will house trading spaces and processing facilities for local produce of highland vegetables such as carrots, lettuce and broccoli. It will also include dry and cold storage facilities and a dormitory to house farmers and traders from outside Benguet. Alcala visited the project site on Friday to personally see the progress of the ongoing construction – his second in less than two months – then met with the Project Steering Committee to firm up the details of the management contract for the facility. Composed of representatives from the municipal and provincial government, DA, BSU and farmers’ organizations, the Project Steering...

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British Embassy-NVAP inks accord to promote PWD empowerment

The British Embassy and the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) today holds a simple ceremonial signing of a partnership that seeks to enhance the economic and political participation of persons with disabilities (PWDs) at the Manila Polo Club, Mc Kinley Road, Makati City. The project, entitled "Implementation of an Inclusive Development Agenda Anchored on Political Participation and Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities”, aims to raise awareness on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and open opportunities wherein they can exercise their economic and political rights. “The British government is happy to support this project in recognition of the important contribution of persons with disabilities. PWDs’ participation in the political and economic agenda is vital in nation building and in pushing equal opportunities for all sectors”, British Ambassador Asif Ahmad said. PWDs are one of the most disadvantaged sectors in the Philippines. Based on the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, it is estimated that there are about 16 Filipinos with a disability for every 1,000 population. The same census showed that three out of every five PWDs belong to the working age group. NVAP President Emer Rojas said these numbers might just represent the tip of the iceberg as there is no national registry dedicated to PWDs. The group, comprising of cancer survivors who have lost their sources of livelihood because of their disability, are advocating for the...

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Gov’t turns over 1,700 chairs made from seized ‘hot logs’ to public schools

Over 1,700 armchairs, made with wood confiscated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), were turned over Tuesday to three densely populated public schools in the cities of Quezon and Parañaque under the Aquino administration’s logs-to-chair project. DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said the three schools – Pasong Tamo Elementary School and Old Balara Elementary School, both on Tandang Sora Avenue in Quezon City, and Tambo Elementary School on MIA Road in Parañaque City – were beneficiaries of a public-private partnership (PPP) project between the government and food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC). “Through this kind of partnership, we were able to find an innovative way of turning a problem into a solution by transforming seized illegal logs into chairs for public schools. It also shows how PPPs can facilitate the delivery of basic government services,” Paje said. A turnover ceremony was held at the Pasong Tamo Elementary School, where some 300 armchairs were officially turned over to the school management.  Another 330 armchairs were brought to Old Balara Elementary School, while the remaining 1,079 were delivered to Tambo Elementary School. The DENR, along with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), had earlier signed a P2-million deal with JFC to produce school chairs out of seized logs. The agreement was part of the government’s PNoy Bayanihan Project (PBP) in...

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TWO FEMALE DRUG PUSHERS BUSTED IN NAGA CITY, 1.5 Million worth of shabu confiscated

Two female drug pushers were apprehended by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Triangulo, Naga City on November 21, 2014. The operation also led to the confiscation of shabu weighing approximately 300 grams worth P1.5 million. PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. identified the suspects as Gemma Brojan y Guevarra, 32 years old, married and a resident of Zone 7, Magsaysay, Tonambac, Camarines Sur; and Aileen Piamonte y Buñag, 35, jobless and a resident of Purok 2, Brgy. 8, Daet, Camarines Norte. At around 11:00 am, agents of PDEA RO5 under Director Archie A. Grande conducted a buy-bust operation at BCDC Road, Triangulo, Naga City which led to the arrest of Brojan and Piamonte, after conspiring with each other in selling one knot-tied transparent plastic sachet containing suspected shabu weighing more or less 300 grams in exchange for the P1000 marked money. Brojan and Piamonte are temporarily detained at the PDEA Camarines Sur Provincial Office, while a case for violation of Section 5 (Sale of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of RA 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, is now being filed in court against...

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SSS cites Best Employer for NCR

Social Security System (SSS) President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. (second from left) awarded J.C. Food Corporation as the Top Employer for the NCR Group during the Balikat ng Bayan Awards for the NCR Group Level held on October 01, 2014 at the SSS Main Office in Quezon City. Other division winners were Goldwin Manufacturing Corporation for East/West Division, Kajima Philippines Inc. for South Division and J.C. Food Corporation for North Division. Photo also shows Social Security Commissioner Ibarra Malonzo (right), Vice President for NCR Division Jose Bautista (left), Assistant Vice President for NCR East/West Leticia...

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ASEAN to heighten public awareness of biodiversity issues

officers from the ten ASEAN Member States will gather in Manila for a three-day workshop on heightening public awareness of biodiversity issues and concerns. The ASEAN Biodiversity Communication, Education and PubGovernment communication lic Awareness (CEPA) Workshop will be conducted from November 24 to 26 at the Legend Villas in Mandaluyong City. The opening program will be addressed by Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, executive director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Atty. Roberto Oliva, executive director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), and Dr. Bertholt Seibert, project director of the ACB-GIZ Biodiversity and Climate Change Project (BCCP). According to Rolando Inciong, head of ACB’s communication and public affairs, the workshop aims to strengthen the capacity of ASEAN Member States in promoting public awareness of the values of biodiversity to help reduce the rate of biodiversity loss. “The workshop is a contribution of the ASEAN Member States and ACB in realizing Target No. 1 of the global biodiversity Aichi Targets. Target No. 1 states that by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably”. “Today, the trend us to plant trees, advocate green technology, segregate waste, or bring reusable bags to the supermarket. Awareness is the key and when people, communities, organizations and governments become more aware...

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Paje: Gov’t measures to counter climate change in place

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said the Aquino administration has put in place adequate, long-term measures to counter the effects of climate change, which benefits can come well beyond 2016. “We have very focused anti-climate change programs being implemented by the government such as the nationwide geohazard mapping and the massive restoration of watersheds that serve as the country’s natural defense against environmental impacts caused by climate change,” Paje said. He said that geohazard maps, which indicate areas susceptible to landslide and floods, could spare the government further losses and expensive rehabilitation works that may be brought about by natural disasters and poor geologic planning. “One of the biggest costs the government faces right now is rehabilitation. Why are we doing rehab? Because we have damaged facilities,” Paje pointed out. “But if we have good plans, we need not invest in areas which will be affected by landslide. Remember Guinsaugon? Had we have a good plan at the time, we would have not built school in the area, which will be covered by landslide and cause 300 casualties,” he added. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through its Mines and Geosciences Bureau, is close to completing more detailed geohazard maps at a scale of 1:10,000, replacing the previous maps with 1:50,000 scale. Paje said the government is also enhancing climate change resilience in watershed areas...

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