8.12.2009

PIA News Service - Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NAPOLCOM promotional and entrance exam set 

BUTUAN CITY (August 12) - The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) will conduct a nationwide examination set on October 25, 2009 while the filing is set on August 3 to September 4, 2009 for the following examination categories: 

  1) PNP Entrance Examination open to all filipino citizen who posses the age, height, educational requirements and PO1s whose appointments are temporary for lack of appropriate eligibility.  

  2) PNP Promotional Examinations for Police Officer, Senior Police Officer, Police Inspector and Police Superintendent. 

Duly accomplished Application Form and Index Card which can be obtained for free at the NAPOLCOM Regional Office, four recent and identical 1"x1" colored ID pictures in white background and complete name tag. (Indicate rank before the first, middle and last names if PNP member) are the requirements to comply for all applicants.  

Examination Fees are set for different categories: 

• PNP Entrance and Police Officer Exam- Php 400.00 

• Senior Police Officer Exam- Php 450.00 

• Police Inspector Exam- Php 500.00 

• Police Superintendent Exam- Php 600.00 

C-  Two legal size window envelops with nine pesos (p9.00) worth of mailing stamps.  

D- For PNP Entrance Exam- TOR or diploma with Special Order from CHED. For PNP Promotional Exam- Certified true copy of Attested Appointment, Plantilla Appointment or PNP Absorption Order  

E - For PNP Entrance Exam Only- Birth Certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar or by the main and field offices of the National Statistics Office (NSO). For a PO1 with Temporary Appointment- Certified true copy of Attested Appointment, Plantilla Appointment or Special Order. 

Applicants for NAPOLCOM entrance examination should file his/her application personally at any NAPOLCOM or Provincial Office where he/she intends to take the exam while applicants for PNP promotional exam may file his/her application personally or by mail at any NAPOLCOM Regional Office where he/she intends to take the exam. For more inquiries you can log on to the NAPOLCOM web address at www.napolcom.gov.ph .For widest dissemination. (PCI Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia, PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)
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High-powered firearms surrendered to Caraga police 

BUTUAN CITY (August 12) – The Police Regional Office-13 (PRO 13) campaign for loose firearms resulted to the surrender of High-powered firearms to the joint teams from Agusan Sur PPO, 14O2nd 14O3rd PPMGs and Prosperidad Municipal Police Station personnel while operating in remote Barangays in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

The operation conducted early dawn on Sunday, August 9, 2009 is supposed to serve the arrest warrant to murder suspects in a multiple murder case in the area last year. The operating troops harbored at Sitio Gacub, Barangay La Purisima, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur when Datu Simon, a lumad of said place approached them and negotiated for the surrender of three high powered firearms owned by undisclosed persons who refused to show up for fear of being arrested.

The troops welcomed the initiative of said tribal leader. Datu Simon were able to facilitate the surrender of firearms at around 3:45 in the afternoon with the following description: one unit M16 Armalite Rifle Elisco brand, defaced serial number with four long magazines loaded with 79 rounds of ammos and three rifle grenade, one unit US Rifle caliber 30 M1 Garand, defaced serial number with seven clips loaded with 56 rounds of ammos and one unit US Carbine Rifle caliber 30 M1 with defaced serial number. 

Said firearms were acknowledged with receipt and brought to Agusan del Sur PPO for safe keeping and proper disposition.  

The leadership of PRO-13 under the new Regional Director PCSUPT Lino De Guzman Calingasan calls for the public to support the government "National Firearms Control Program". (PCI Nelly Tabornal Villagarcia, PNP-13/ PIA-Caraga)

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PIA MEDIA RELEASE

12 August 2009

NEDA says RP no longer in danger of a recession

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan has announced that the country is no longer in danger of falling into a recession, but will improve instead as forecasted by various foreign analysts.

Tungpalan said “the economy has demonstrated greater resiliency,” as US economy begins to get better.

Tungpalan also reported that overseas Filipino workers (OFW)’ remittances have continued to pour in, with May records showing 3.7 percent growth.

According to him, the threat of an economic recession is unlikely as the Philippines is being backed by external factors. Specifically, he mentioned the growth in auto loans in May by 48 percent and the expansion of major malls in the country.

Tungpalan has also reported that employment has risen recently in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector and tourism industry.

In a related story, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative Dennis P. Botman has given an early advisory for the Philippine’s next president, saying reforms in the monetary, fiscal and financial sectors must be sustained as these “reforms have insulated the Philippine economy from the worst of the global financial crisis”.


PGMA stands by veracity of her SALN

MANILA - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stands by the veracity of her statement of assets and liabilities and networth (SALN), assuring the people that she did not use her position for personal gain or profit.

The President’s lawyer, Atty. Romulo Makalintal, reiterated this today during a media briefing also attended by Press Secretary Cerge Remonde and Atty. Ruy Rondain, the lawyer of First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

“The President reiterates her position that she stands by the truth and veracity of her statement of assets and liabilities and networth. The disclosure document clearly states that these are the true statements of her assets, liabilities, networth and business interests including those of her husband (First Gentleman Atty Jose Miguel Arroyo) as of December 31, 2008,” Makalintal said.

Makalintal said there is nothing in the SALN that would prove the President used her position for personal gain or profit particularly in the stock market investments acquired by the First Family.

“As regards the investments reported in her statement, the same were the proceeds or results of the investments made by the First Gentleman as head of the family, who personally handles all business interests of the family,” Makalintal said.

Atty. Rondain said the stock market investments made by the First Gentleman are transparent and above board and can easily be traced and verified at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Rondain pointed out that stocks acquired by the First Gentleman does not necessarily mean a gain as the SALN requires that assets be reflected on its acquisition value.

Rondain said the First Family has also divested themselves from any holdings which can also be easily validated at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Rondain said consultation with experts, particularly those involved in the stock market and business, show that the First Family’s growth in net worth since 2001 is still conservative.

“The President assures the people that there has been no conflict of interest involved in these investments,” Makalintal said.

Makalintal said malicious insinuations of irregularity in the SALN will not stop the President from continuing her governance to preserve the country’s economic gains and uplift the lives of the people.

“The President’s regular schedule involving her duties and functions as Chief Executive will not be hampered by any uncalled for or malicious insinuations of irregularities in the preparation of her statement of assets and liabilities just because she made a disclosure bigger or higher than that of her predecessors,” Makalintal said.

In filing the SALN, Makalintal said the President also authorized the Office of the Ombudsman to look into any allegation of defect or irregularities in the preparation of the document. (PNA)


PGMA authorizes Ombudsman to probe her statement of assets, liabilities and networth

MANILA - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo authorized today the Office of the Ombudsman to probe her statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALN).

This was announced by her lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Ruy Rondain during a press briefing with Press Secretary Cerge Remonde in Malacañang’s New Executive Building (NEB) this afternoon.

”The President reiterates her position that she stands by the truth and veracity of her statement of assets and liabilities and networth,” Macalintal and Rondain said.

They added that the disclosure clearly reflects the true value of the Chief Executive's assets, liabilities, networth and business interests, including those of her husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, as of December 31, 2008.

Macalintal and Rondain said the President authorized the Ombudsman to obtain and secure from all appropriate government agencies, including the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), such documents that may show her assets, liabilities, networth and business interests.

”Her position as President does not exempt her from being investigated on any matter stated in her SALN,” Macalintal and Rondain said.
(PNA)


Enrile says there's nothing wrong with President buying share of stocks

MANILA - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Tuesday there is nothing wrong with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo investing in the stock market even as he urged Malacanang to explain the big increase in the statement of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALN) of the President in a span of eight years.

”There are no prohibitions for the government officials to buy share of stocks. There is nothing wrong with that,” Enrile said a media interview.

Enrile has been asked to react on the criticisms that President Arroyo committed a conflict of interest when she played in the stock market, leading to the over 100 percent increase of the President’s declared net worth from P66.8 million in 2001 to P143.54 million in 2008.

”There is no conflict of interest. I don’t know how her assets generated. Perhaps she has sold assets. The President has to explain and I’m sure she can explain that,” Enrile said.

When asked if the Senate will call an investigation, Enrile quickly brushed aside any move to follow the step to be taken by a partylist lawmaker in the House of Representatives.

”I will not encourage any investigation like that. The President is immune during her term,” Enrile said.

Enrile said proper government agency like the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) should look into the validity of the SALN of the President.

”Let the people who are handling that SALN handle that. I don’t know the details of that SALN,” the veteran lawmaker said.

Malacanang has already explained the President did not enrich herself during the entire stint of her presidency, saying the Chief Executive is open to any question on her SALN.

”The President assures the public that she filed the SALN in good faith without any intention to deceive anyone,” the President's lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, said.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the President should even be commended for her transparency on her increasing wealth.

Remonde said the increase in Mrs. Arroyo’s wealth was mainly due to the investments that she and husband First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo made in the real estate business.
(PNA)


Private hospitals shun 'hospital holiday' – DOH

MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said it has convinced several private hospitals to decline from joining the planned hospital holiday to protest the 50 percent price cut of 43 essential medicines which will take effect on August 15.

Robert So, DOH-Pharmaceutical Management Unit program manager, said some hospitals have called off their plans for a strike following a meeting with the Private Hospitals Associations of the Philippines (PHAP) on Monday.

So said they with met representatives of hospitals and members of the PHAP and explained that pharmaceutical companies will shoulder their losses from the maximum retail price (MRP) of essential drugs which will take effect this coming Saturday.

So admitted that while the government has not actually convinced all PHAP members to participate in a hospital holiday, the DOH assured that not all private hospitals will take part in such action.

The DOH declared that the 50 percent price cut will take effect on August 15 despite threats of some PHAP members.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier stood his ground that there will be no extension on the August 15 deadline set by a presidential order in compliance with the Cheaper Medicines Law.

Duque said if private hospitals will continue with the planned hospital holiday, they can be penalized, filed with appropriate charges or altogether lose their accreditation.

He also warned hospitals that they can also face losing PhilHealth accreditation, citing charter violations.

Duque said only small drugstores that cannot cope with their inventory will have the September 15 deadline to lower their prices.

The PHAP last week asked for another extension as it expressed concerns that hospitals will go bankrupt with the abrupt implementation of MRP on essential medicines.

It said that hospital pharmacies still have sell old stocks of essential medicines which were bought with the original price tag.

The Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association of the Philippines, on the other hand, assured hospital pharmacies and drugstores that drug manufacturers will give rebates or reimbursements with regard to old stocks of medicines.

Essential medicines that will be half priced after August 15 include anti-hypertensives, anti-thrombotics, anti-diabetic, antibiotics, anti-neoplastic or anti cancer.

Last July 28, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Executive Order 821, which imposes a 50-percent reduction on the cost of five essential medicines after drug firms refused voluntary price cuts on the said products in compliance with the Cheaper Medicines Law.
(PNA)


EC approves P430-M grant to support food security in Mindanao's 5 provinces

KIDAPAWAN CITY – The European Commission (EC), the executive branch of the European Union, has approved a grant of €6.4 million (P430 million) to support food security in war-torn and impoverished areas in Mindanao, a statement from the World Food Program (WFP) said.

Mae Chatto, senior program and public information assistant of the WFP, said the grant is part of the €1.0 billion EU Food Facility, which was established in 2008 to respond to the dramatic increase in food prices in developing countries around the world.

The overall plan for the Food Facility contains a list of 50 target countries, Philippines included, which will receive assistance during a three-year period.

The fund is the second of the three grants for the Philippines approved by the European Commission under the Food Facility. The project has a total allocation of more than €30 million, according to WFP.

“Food prices have stabilized somewhat since then but remain high, and vulnerable communities continue to face the threat of poverty, malnourishment and asset depletion,” the statement said.

The WFP, the world's largest humanitarian agency, will work closely with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), its main counterpart, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the local government units in areas in Mindanao, which would benefit from the program.

The areas would include Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat in Central Mindanao; and Lanao del Norte in Northern Mindanao.

Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, head of delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines, said the latest grant reaffirms the EU's commitment to helping the Philippines address the challenges of food security and poverty.

“We hope this will help the Philippines increase domestic food production and strengthen social safety nets, and in particular to lighten the impact of the food crisis on poor farming communities in Mindanao," said Ambassador MacDonald.

He also stressed this new program will strengthen EC's partnership with the World Food Programme in the Philippines.

Stephen Anderson, WFP Country Director and Representative in the Philippines, said this grant will enable the WFP to address the impact of high food prices on the poorest of the poor in Mindanao, by expanding food-for-assets activities as a complement to government safety net initiatives such as cash transfers.

"Improving food production will mean both better nutrition and a better standard of living for the poor in Mindanao, who remain chronically food-insecure. Our focus will be on increasing crop production through the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes, storage facilities and feeder roads,” Anderson said.

It aims to restore small scale agricultural infrastructure in poor and food-insecure areas in the highly vulnerable areas of Mindanao and to assist the Philippine Government at the national level on better targeting through vulnerability analysis mapping.

The WFP will also help the government establish early warning systems, and train key stakeholders in food security data collection and analysis. This will help improve targeting for government social safety-net programmes, including large-scale rice subsidies in areas of urgent need.

The main beneficiaries will be poor farming communities in five Mindanao provinces through food-for-assets initiatives, which will build local infrastructure and develop skills through the provision of food in return for work or attendance at training courses.

Women from these provinces will also benefit from literacy training, support in using improved seed varieties and training on post-harvesting techniques, storage and irrigation management. Fisherfolks are also expected to benefit from some training programs, said the WFP.

The project will be implemented in two years starting in September this year.
(PNA)


NFA keeps commitment to buy corn from farmers

MANILA - The National Food Authority (NFA) is conducting intensive buying of corn in major producing regions as the agency keeps its commitment to buy as much of the local produce.

NFA administrator Jessup P. Navarro said the NFA is targeting to buy 4.6 million bags of yellow corn grains equivalent to P2.8 billion and 1.3 million bags of white corn grains worth P892 million until December this year.

Navarro said that by end of July, cumulative corn procurement of NFA has already reached 383,426 bags or an equivalent of 19,171 metric tons.

"Actual corn procurement may still be lower as the main harvest for corn has yet to peak," he noted. Main harvest for corn usually begins in August and peaks until November, but harvest in some areas last until the first week of January the following year.

"We are expecting the average volume of corn bought on a per month basis to increase soon," he said.

Intensive buying of yellow corn is ongoing in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog.

For the white corn variety, procurement is ongoing in the Ilocos Regions, Northern and Central Mindanao.

In all these regions, farmers are enjoying a high ex-farm price averaging P15.11 and P10.62, respectively, for white and yellow corn varieties, according to Navarro.

With the government focusing on domestic corn buying, aside from the support price of P12.30 per kilogram, the NFA, Navarro said is also granting additional incentives of P0.20 per kg each for drying and transport and another P0.30 per kg for cooperative development. "This translates to an effective P13 per kg buying price for clean and dry corn kernels," he cited.

"We are confident that at this buying price, the farmers will have better income and this will entice them to sell their produce to the agency," he added.

He likewise noted that since it has been some years the NFA stopped buying corn, some farmers have yet to familiarize themselves delivering their produce once again to the agency.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is also intensifying its support to the local corn industry from production up to post harvest stage to ensure farmers will attain higher yield, lower production and marketing costs and reduced post harvest losses.

DA Assistant Secretary and GMA Corn Program Director Dennis Araullo said one particular strategy it is implementing is to allow farmers to produce quality feed and food grade corn and to reduce post harvest losses from 15 to seven percent through the provision of post harvest facilities for growers in major producing areas across the country.

For this year, Araullo said DA is aiming to complete the construction of 50 corn postharvest processing and trading centers and 44 village-type corn cob dryers in strategic corn-growing areas all over the country.

To date, there are already nine processing and trading centers operating in the country; one each in Kabacan, North Cotabato; Banga, South Cotabato; Malungon, Saranggani Province; Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga del Norte; Sagay, Negros Occidental; Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur; Carmen Rosales, Pangasinan; Bantay, Ilocos Sur; and Talacag, Bukidnon, which provide drying and marketing services to thousands of corn farmers. (PNA)


UPLB receives P30-M grant from DA-BAR to boost the regions' food security

LOS BANOS, LAGUNA - The University of the Philippines – Los Banos (UPLB) has received P30-million grant from the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) in line with the government’s effort to ensure and sustain rice self-sufficiency.

In simple ceremonies held at the UPLB Operations Room recently, DA-BAR director Nicomedes P. Eleazar, who represented Secretary Arthur C. Yap, turned over the P30-million checks to university officials led by Chancellor Luis Rey I. Velasco.

Dubbed “Collaborative Research, Development and Extension Services for Food Security," the UPLB-led participatory program will focus on the rice producing areas of Regions 4A, 4B and 5.

During turnover rites, Eleazar said the concept of the project resulted from a series of consultations that DA-BAR held with various institutions, including UPLB and other state colleges and universities when the DA started the implementation of its FIELDS program.

The DA’s FIELDS program seeks to increase the productivity of the agricultural sector by providing funds for fertilizer, infrastructure, education and extension work, loans, post-harvest facilities, and seeds.

Eleazar said the DA recognizes the role of UPLB in providing the technical and training support to the current extension delivery system of the department in the rice sector.

Aside from rice, he said, more commodities will be included in the program.

Velasco, on behalf of the UPLB, expressed gratitude to DA-BAR officials for their confidence with the university’s capability in providing research and extension services needed by agricultural technicians and farmers in the said regions.

Dr. Agnes C. Rola, the program proponent and dean of College of Public Affairs (CPAf) said they will document the best practices in the implementation of the FIELDS program in the three regions and analyze the constraints in the production of rice and other commodities.

Rola said the program will be implemented by CPAf in collaboration with the College of Agriculture and other units of UPLB.

The program will also focus on strengthening the capability of the DA regional field units, state universities and colleges, local government units, and other organizations in effectively managing the government's rice self-sufficiency program, she said.

To strengthen and sustain a multi-stakeholder partnership among rice stakeholders in the three regions, Rola added, the program will also help provincial and municipal government institutions in creating the legal frameworks needed to support agricultural development planning. (PNA)