12.08.2009

PIA News Service - Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009

PGMA set to inaugurate multi million corn processing and trading center in Agsur
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President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo will inaugurate on Monday, December 14 some P68 million worth of Corn Post Harvest Processing and Trading Center (CPHPTC) in Barangay Mabuhay, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur that will signal the start of the joint business venture between the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) and the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur (PGAS). 
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According to Engr. Armando Lagumbay of the Provincial Agriculture Office, the new processing and trading center will be the center for buying corn on cobs, processing, selling of corn grains and production of food grade corn grain.
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“With the establishment of CPHPTC, we can ensure market of farmer’s produce at competitive price, provide mechanism that reduces the corn drying and processing cost by at least 50 percent, ensure continuous supply of premium quality corn grains at 14 percent moisture content and decrease post harvest losses from 15 percent to 5 percent of production,” Engr. Lagumbay added.
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According to Provincial Agriculturist Max Gegato, the CPHPTC has the capacity to process 1,375 metric tons of grains at 14 percent moisture content per month because it has a capability to dry corn on cob and grains even during rainy season.
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“This is just an initial establishment. The same structures will be established in Trento at the southern part of the province, and somewhere in San Francisco at the center part. Meantime, to address the transport problems, trucks will be provided free for farms within 15 kilometers distance from the center. In case of farms beyond the 15 kilometers distance limit, a 20 centavos per kilogram, regardless of distance, will be charged to farmers. All expenses in loading of corn on cobs from the farm to the truck shall be shouldered by the farmer,” Gegato added.
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Being a joint venture, NABCOR will be responsible for funding the machineries and equipment, trucks, tools, office furniture and fixtures, project preparation fund and initial working capital. They will also participate in the bidding, construction and installation and management of operations, while PGAS will take charge in funding the warehouse and office building, land and improvements, three-phase line installation, water system and connection, transformer and metering. PGAS will also facilitate local requirements like permits, licenses clearances and will ensure sources of raw materials.
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“We decided to venture in this project because I know this will ensure continuous supply of guaranteed premium quality corn in our province even during rainy season and will surely open opportunity for other investments in corn,” Gov. Maria Vaqlentina “Tina” said. (Dave M. Suyao, PIA Agusan del Sur)
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Protect the environment, state workers told

In line with the celebration of National Government Employees’ Week, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) encouraged civil servants nationwide to join and support efforts to protect the environment, stressing that a 1.3 million-strong workforce can have a huge impact on environmental conservation.
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“As public servants, it is our primary duty to uphold public interest, and part of that duty is to protect the citizenry against the threats of climate change and natural disasters. By observing environment-friendly practices in and out of our workplace and encouraging others to do the same, we can be green advocates in our own right,” CSC Acting Chair Cesar D. Buenaflor said.
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Presidential Proclamation No. 1130 dated November 11, 1997 declared the first week of December of every year as Government Employees Week. The theme for this year’s celebration is“Paglingap sa Kalikasan, Tungkulin ng Bawat Kawani ng Pamahalaan”.

Environmental experts pointed to climate change as a culprit in the recent spate of disasters brought by Tropical Depression Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng. The continuous rains caused massive flooding in many parts of the country, claiming many lives and damaging millions worth of property. (CSC)
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CSC seeks stronger protection for civil servants against sexual harassment

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) called for the strengthening of the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) in all government agencies to protect civil servants against work-related sexual harassment.

Acting Chair Cesar D. Buenaflor said that an active CODI will bring swift justice to victims and deter offenders. “We should assure government workers who are or may have been victims of sexual harassment that they can turn to the law for recourse.”

Buenaflor stressed that sexual harassment and other forms of violence in the public sector weaken the morale and productivity of victim-employees and, thus, are a deterrent to the smooth and timely delivery of government services.

From 1994 to 2009, the CSC’s Office for Legal Affairs has recorded a total of 132 sexual harassment cases where 61% or 81 have been resolved. Of the resolved cases, 73% or 59 were decided in favor of the complainant.

Republic Act No. 7877, otherwise known as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, mandates the creation of a CODI in all work, educational or training institutions. The committee shall be tasked to increase understanding and prevent incidents of sexual harassments, as well as conduct investigation of alleged cases.

In 2001, the CSC issued the Administrative Disciplinary Rules on Sexual Harassment or Resolution No. 01-0940 that directed all national and local agencies, state universities and colleges, and government-owned or controlled corporations with original charter to create a CODI that will receive and investigate complaints of sexual harassment, make recommendations to the disciplining authority, and lead efforts to protect employees from sexual harassment.

In a work-related environment, the Committee shall be composed of at least one representative each from the management, the accredited union (if any), the second level employees, and the first level employees, duly selected by the unit concerned.

In an educational or training institution, at least one representative each from the administration, the faculty, and the student body, duly selected by the level concerned, should make up the CODI.

The said Resolution defines sexual harassment as “an act, or a series of acts, involving any unwelcome sexual advance, request or demand for a sexual favor, or other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, committed by a government employee or official in a work-related, training or education related environment of the person complained of.”

The act may come in the form of malicious touching, overt sexual advances and gestures with lewd insinuation (physical); requests or demands for sexual favors and lurid remarks (verbal); and use of objects, pictures or graphics, letters or writing notes with sexual underpinnings.

After due investigation and legal process, an employee who is found guilty of sexual harassment shall be meted administrative penalty ranging from reprimand to dismissal, depending on the gravity and seriousness of offense.

The CSC, as the central personnel agency of government, initiates and supports efforts to ensure that sexual harassment has no place in government offices and activities/operations. In line with its participation in the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW), which runs from November 25 to December 12, the CSC will undertake a series of discussions on VAW- and gender-related topics that aims to prevent violence and promote gender equality and awareness in the public sector. (CSC)