PIA News Service - Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Feature: Trade Unions, Household Workers Associations Unite for Domestic Workers’ Protection in Law and Practice

Bacolod City - “Domestic workers are an important component of the workforce and of the economy. They have legitimate issues, needs and rights under existing laws and regulations,” stressed some 25 trade union leaders and advocates from some 20 unions and associations of household workers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao who participated in the two-day National Trade Union Leaders Conference on Domestic Work last May 20-21, 2010, in Bacolod City.

The participants reflected on their experiences and validated decent work deficits in the employment, treatment of and servicing domestic workers. Using these actual and on-the-ground experiences, the participants improved the 2009 survey instrument which describes the conditions of life and work of domestic workers including working and living conditions, compensation and benefits, recruitment and training, documentation and repatriation and grievance and mechanisms.

“These decent work deficits (for domestic workers) are real, no doubt about it. That’s why we have the survey instrument to give life to anecdotes and common knowledge of what domestic workers go through everyday,” noted Susanita Tesiorna, President, Informal Sector Coalition of the Philippines.

The workshop also highlighted current and existing programs and interventions for domestic workers of trade unions, associations of household workers and governments.

A number of common interventions offered important insights on what constitutes an effective response to domestic workers protection in law and in practice: need for “needs” standard; need for protocol/mechanisms/institutions for servicing/integration of victims; mechanisms for effective response to complaints by domestic workers, by employers; need for career path guidance; advocacy to fill needs, and representation for domestic workers.

Decent wages for domestic workers

Mr. Cedric Bagtas, TUCP Deputy General Secretary and Labor Representative in the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) reported that TUCP wage petitions filed in March 2010 in the National Capital Region (NCR) and elsewhere ask the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to include minimum wage rates for domestic workers in their Wage Orders.

“The last adjustment in their wages was in 1993 and the huge increases in prices of commodities since then have rendered current legislated wage rates inappropriate for needs of domestic workers,” noted Mr. Bagtas. “Also, TUCP, through its Party List, filed a bill asking Congress to devolve to RTWPBs the determination of adjustment in the minimum wage of domestic workers, to correct an ambiguity in the law,” Mr. Bagtas added.

The two-day program, sponsored by the International Trade Union Confederation-Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP) also discussed decent work, the Philippine Decent Work Country Agenda, ILO standards-setting and processes and the Philippine Workers’ Response to the ILO proposed instrument for domestic workers.
(TUCP/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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Surigao del Sur commemorates kalayaan 2010

Tandag Surigao del Sur - “We cannot afford to let it pass without giving significance to our forefathers, and heroes who fought it out and died for our freedom and independence”, thus said Cong. Philip Pichay delivered by Mr. Acosta during the province’s commemoration of “Kalayaan 2010” held here on June 12.

The program started at around 7:00 in the morning held at the City Hall ground participated by employees and officials from the national line agencies, corporate agencies and stakeholders spearheaded by the Local Government of Tandag headed by Mayor Alexander Pimentel.

The commemoration started with the singing of the National Anthem while hoisting briskly the national flag followed by singing of the “Surigao del Sur Hymn” by those in attendance. Afterwards, the motorcade was conducted around the thoroughfares of the City to inform the public of the very significant event in the history of our nation.

Mayor Pimentel, on the other hand, was overwhelmed to welcome everyone who joined this celebration.

Ms. Dorothy Suazo, School principal from Vicente Pimentel High School said in her Historical Insights, “The Philippines was the first Republic in Asia”. She also revealed the brief history of our nation as well as our forefathers who fought and died for our freedom and independence.

Anchored on the theme, “Kalayaan, Tagumpay ka ng Bayan”, the 112th celebration of the Philippine Independence hopes to give brighter future of the country under the Aquino Administration. (Nida Grace B. Tranquilan, PIA-Surigao del Sur)

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Cebuano News: 43 araw ng lalawigan sa Agusan del Norte gibuksan

Ni Michael A. Imbo

BUTUAN CITY –Pormal nga gibuksan ni Governor Erle John Amante ang pagsaulog sa ika-43 araw ng lalawigan sa Agusan del Norte, kagahapon didto sa Capitol Covered Court, ni’ng syudad.

Gisugdan ang selebrasyon sa usa ka santos nga misa nga gipangulohan ni Rev. Fr. Severino S. Diamante, Jr.

Si Gov. Amante ang mihatag sa iyang mensahe sa dakong suporta ug pagsalig sa katawhan sa Probinsya sa Agusan del Norte.

Gisulti ni Amante nga “Niadtong tuig 1967 pa nabuak ang Agusan del Norte ug Agusan del Sur”.

Gidugang niini nga sugod sa pagmugna sa Probinsya sa Agusan del Norte, dinhe nagsugod ang mga development gikan sa miagi nga governors, miagi nga mga congressman, ug miagi nga mga opisyales sa kapitolyo hangtud nga kini napadayon sa mga serbisyong gihatod ngadto sa nagkadaiyang munisipyo ug syudad nga sakop sa probinsya.

Gipasalamatan usab sa gobernador ang mga opisyales sa tibuok probinsya gikan sa mga mayor paubos sa mga barangay opisyales sa paghimo sa ilang mga katungdanan isip pagserbisyo-publiko.

Kini na ang katapusang tulo katuig nga termino sa gobernador sa Agusan del Norte.

Mihangyo kini nga tabangan sa serbisyo publiko nga ikabilin sa probinsya ug nanghinaut nga mahimong malampuson sa mga tinguha ug tumong nga makab-ot ang kalamboan. “Tabangi ko ninyo nga ipadayon ang kalamboan ug mahimong Best performance sa akong liderato ang Agusan del Norte sulod sa tulo ka tuig nga pagpadayon sa pagserbisyo”.

Human sa mensahe gipahigayon ang “cutting of ribbon” sa Agro-Industrial Fair, diin gi-ablihan ang taboan sa nagkadaiyang produkto sa probinsya sa Agusan del Norte.

Apil nga gipasundayag ang viewing sa exhibits ug paghatag sa diskwento gikan sa Department of Trade and Industry-DTI, techno demo, film showing, parlor games ug laro ng lahi.

Karong Huwebes (June 17, 2010) si Gov. Amante ang mopahigayon sa State of the Province Address atol sa ika-7th Special session sa 14th Sanguniang Panlalawigan.

Ang kasulogan sa Araw ng lalawigan sa Agusan del Norte naglatid sa temang “ Ang kakugi sa Pagpanerbisyo naghatag iwag sa Pag-asenso”. (PIA-Caraga)
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Hospital workers and patients to join earthquake drill
By Nora CL Molde

BUTUAN CITY (June 16) - Hospital workers including doctors, nurses and ambulatory out-patients of MJ Santos Hospital are expected to join the simultaneous nationwide earthquake drill on Friday, June 18 at Montilla Boulevard, this city.

According to Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga Regional Director Dr. Blanche T. Gobenciong, this year’s Caraga region’s earthquake drill will focus on MJ Santos Hospital where an estimated 250 workers and out-patients will participate on the said nationwide activity. Exempted from the drill are admitted patients and watchers only.

MJ Santos Hospital management requested the OCD to conduct the drill in order for them to know the needs and what to do in case of earthquakes while inside hospital premises. It is the pilot hospital in the city and even in Caraga region where the drill will be conducted.

Gobenciong also said that the conduct of the earthquake drill hoped to educate and help hospital administrators on how to respond before, during and after the earthquake.

Meantime, Gobenciong said that schools, hospitals and establishments who want to conduct the drill could coordinate with the OCD for scheduling.

Gobenciong said that they would provide a free briefing for the hospital administrators and participants on what to do during the nationwide drill.

The nationwide earthquake drill is part of the continuing implementation of the National Disaster Coordination Council’s (NDCC) Four Point Plan of Action for Disaster Preparedness. (PIA-Caraga)

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Gov’t lauds Spain’s continuing services in Caraga region

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur (June 16) - The local government unit (LGU) officials on Wednesday lauded the effort of the government of Spain, through the Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), on their continuing program in Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region).

“Their continuing assistance is a big help to our local community in supporting our program in the countryside,” said Agusan del Sur Governor-elect Adolph Edward “Eddie Bong” Plaza.

The provincial chief executive also commended the effort of the AECID in focusing their new program to indigenous peoples (IPs) in the Caraga region, particularly in Agusan del Sur.

To date, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Caraga, in partnership with International Labor Organization (ILO), are collaborating efforts to deliver multi-faceted support services to the IPs under the principle of convergence through the Caraga Indigenous Peoples Development Project (IPDP).

The IPDP is a four and a half years project funded by the AECID.

The IPDP aims at developing the institutional capacity of IPs to initiate and pursue integrated development of ancestral domains in the context of the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA).

It also aims at assisting the government and other collaborating institutions to adopt innovative approaches in responding to the development needs of the indigenous peoples.

The project has five components, namely: institutional strengthening, protection of human rights, poverty reduction, environmental conservation and gender equity.

It has already identified eight pilot sites with Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) covering different areas of the Caraga region. Activities have already been initiated and community plans have already been formulated by the communities.
(muc/PIA-Caraga)

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'Combat operation is not only the solution to end insurgency,' Gen. Bangit says

CAMP EDILBERTO EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City (June 16) - Combat operation is one part of the solution in eliminating the more than four decade communist insurgency but civil military operation (CMO) also plays a vital role, this was disclosed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin N. Bangit on Tuesday.

Before field unit commanders and personnel, the top military officer of the AFP said that it was the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (ID) that nurtured his realization that combat is not the only solution to the problem of insurgency.

“I appreciated the value of Civil-Military Operations here at 4th ID and this division reflects the fulfillment of my labor,” said Gen. Bangit, who once served as 4th ID intelligence officer during his years as a field grade officer in Northeastern and Northern Mindanao regions.

In his farewell speech, the AFP chief narrowed down his service since he was then junior officer. “The best years in my life have been years when I served my country as a Filipino Soldier,” he said.

With these words, Gen. Bangit bid the officers and men of the 4th ID goodbye.

The former field officer in this two regions lauded the troops for their “wholehearted support and professionalism” that led to the successful conduct of the May 10 local and national elections.

He also lauded the officers and men of the 4th ID for neutralizing some communist fronts in the region.

Bangit said the nation owes the peaceful elections to the Filipino soldiers, who “deserve the respect not only from his comrade but also from his countrymen.”

He also stressed that every soldier must adhere to the “Code of Conduct of a Filipino Soldier,” specifically that of “civilian supremacy over the military.”

He, however, said that “recognition and respect of civilian supremacy” does not mean that the military are of lesser stature.

As to his plan to retire from the service, the AFP chief said that it was time for him to go because he believes that his retirement would be good for the AFP.

He stressed that his retirement must not be interpreted as a “sacrifice” on his part because he believes that his decision to retire is the right thing to do.

In his closing statement, Bangit rallied the soldiers to “respect, support, obey and honor the next Commander in Chief and the next Chief of Staff of the AFP.”

Along with combat maneuvering battalion commanders, three brigade commanders and other operational control unit (Opcon) commanders, Maj. Gen. Mario Chan, commanding general of the 4th ID along with command group gave recognitions and appreciations for Gen. Bangit’s laudable services in the 4th ID and the AFP. (muc/PIA-Caraga)

Philpost, LGU Magallanes launch centennial tree commemorative stamp

By : Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (16 June) – The Philippine Postal Corporation and the local government unit of the Municipality of Magallanes, Agusan del Norte on Wednesday (June 16) launch the first issuance of Bitaug Tree commemorative stamps at Brgy. Caloc-an, Magallanes, Agusan del Norte – the site where the Bitaug tree is located, touted as the centennial tree in the country living at present.

In his welcome address, Magallanes Mayor Carlito Cumba emphasized the launching as one of the legacies of his administration. “Ito pong nangyayari sa umagang ito ay isang mahalagang proyekto ng aking administrasyon through the efforts of all the Sangguniang Bayan members,” he said.

Also, Mayor Cumba lauded the efforts of SB Member Leah Georgette Amodia – Tourism Chairwoman of the Municipality of Magallanes. “Gusto ko rin pong pasalamatan ang ating Tourism Chairwoman. Thank you very much for your effort. Na-realize natin ang ating mga panaginip na maiiwan natin sa ating mga kababayan dito sa Magallanes,” Mayor Cumba said.

Moreover, Mayor Cumba enjoined the people of Magallanes to be proud of being part of the country’s history since the Centennial Tree – Baug tree whose scientific name is calophyllum inophyllum is the oldest tree in the Philippines recorded to date. The tree is 500 years old and measures 386 centimeters wide.

“Matagal na po nating pinapangarap na mailagay ang ating Bitaug Tree sa Philippine stamps at sa umagang ito ay magiging katuparan ng pangarap na ‘yun,” Mayor Cumba said.

Gracing the activity is Postmaster General Hector R.R. Villanueva who came over from Manila. In his speech, Villanueva emphasized that the Bitaug Tree is a historical document in the Philippine history since the country has very few authentic and validated histories. “During the second World War, many of our documents were lost and destroyed by bombings… The stamp is considered a historical document and Philippine stamps today are very popular around the world by stamp collectors. “I am sure that these beautiful stamps will be collected by avid collectors worldwide,” he said.

“Whether this tree will last for the next 300 years, the Philippine stamp will definitely be around for the next 300 years,” Villanueva said.

Meanwhile, the official website of the Municipality of Magallanes was also formally launched in time with the activity. The website can be accessed in www.magallanesadn.gov.ph. (PIA-Caraga)


NPA exploits wrong info to media, says military official

By : Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (16 June) –
Following the propaganda brought out by the leftists and opportunists members of the New People’s Army claiming that on Sunday, June 13 at 8:00 a.m., they attacked a camp in Sitio Pigdusuan, Brgy. Binikalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur is totally misleading the correct information.

This is what Lt. Col. Benjamin Pedralvez, Commanding Officer of the 23rd Cadre Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army said in an interview.

Pedralvez said the camp, which the NPA claimed is not a military camp, but instead, a village. The military camp is situated in Sitio Balong-balong and not in Sitio Pigdusuan, as the NPA claimed. During the attack, NPAs torched 10 houses and wounding one CAFGU and two civilians.

It can be recalled that on Thursday, June 10, NPAs went to the said area, tying tribal chieftains because they were looking for their comrades who surrendered to the military because they want to kill them, it was gathered.

“This is another information-exploitation of the leftists as they fed wrong and misleading information to members of the media,” Pedralvez said.

With this, Pedralvez enjoined the media to be cautious with such critical information from the NPA as they tend to use them as a channel of disseminating wrong and misleading information. (PIA-Caraga)