More investors eye Caraga region
BUTUAN CITY - More foreign and local investors have expressed interest in doing business in Caraga region, government officials reported Sunday.
Most of the investors were interested in agriculture, mining, tourism, power, tree plantation and fishing business activities.
The Department of Tourism even noted an increase in the arrivals of foreign and domestic business groups after the Regional Business Permit and Licensing System (BPLS) was launched at this region’s capital city last week.
The Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional Para El Desarrollo (AICED) and the USAID Local Implementation of National Competitiveness for Economic Growth (LINC-EG) maintain a positive outlook over the success of the BPLS of some pilot local government units (LGU’s) in the region.
The BPLS project is spearheaded by the regional office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the city government of Butuan.
Region XIII DILG director Rene K. Burdeos, Region XIII DTI director Brielgo O. Pagaran and representatives of the two international development agencies which supported the project, AECID regional director David Arnaldo and the USAID Local Implementation of National Competitiveness for Economic Growth (USAID LINC-EG) Deputy Chief of Party Ofelia M. Templo, have noted the number of business investments pouring in the Caraga region.
The other sponsors of the BPLS, the Embajada De Espana En Pilipinas and the” Biyaheng Pinoy”, also noted the growing economy of the region.
Top city officials, led by Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. and chiefs of offices, representatives of the beneficiary LGU’s, business people and presidents of the chambers of commerce also noted the influx of new investments in the region.
The BPLS project hopes to help investors in the fast lane processing of permits and licensing and to shorten the process of transaction to at least 15 minutes.
BPLS was launched based on the Joint Memorandum Circular of the DILG and the DTI, which were both members of the Philippine Development Forum.
BPLS was piloted in Butuan City, Surigao City, Claver, Tubod and the town of Mainit, all in Surigao del Norte.
Through the assistance of the AICED, the project was expanded to include Cabadbaran, in Agusan del Norte; Bislig and Tandag in Surigao del Sur; Bayugan and San Francisco, all in Agusan del Sur.
The legal basis for the activity is the RA 9484 (otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act), whose objective is to improve the efficient delivery of services to the people by reducing the transaction time, the steps and other aspects involved in the process. (MUC/PIA-Caraga)
Power firm inks agreement with government to protect, preserve environment
NASIPIT, Agusan del Norte - A power firm inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in an effort to help the government in global warming and climate change mitigation program.
Officials of Aboitiz Power Corporation led by firm’s Executive Vice President Venancio P. Batiquin and DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office led by PENR officer Rosendo A. Asunto agreed to help one another in environment preservation and forest protection.
"Protecting and preserving the ecology is one of the priority concerns of Aboitiz Foundation," said Batiquin.
This agreement was lauded by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje.
“This is a good move. There’s a need for everybody’s involvement in preserving the environment, especially a fight against the effects of global warming and climate change,” said Paje.
The signing of the agreement between the officials of Aboitiz and PENRO happened at the covered court of Nasipit National Vocational School in Bayview Hills here.
According to Aboitiz Power Corporation's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Chairman Mr. Victorino Sumalinog of Davao Light, the company is committed to plant one million trees nationwide.
"This is one way of showing the company's commitment to help in mitigating the effects of climate change for which, we are all affected. Also, the company is envisioned to protect and preserve our mother nature," Sumalinog said.
Sumalinog also stressed that the tree-planting activity was already started at Barangay Amontay here, which was also simultaneously conducted in other places in the country.
Meanwhile, the Aboitiz Foundation, through the Therma Marine Inc., also turned-over on Friday 15 computer units with complete peripherals to Nasipit National Vocational School (NNVS) here.
Batiquin led the company in signing the Deed of Donation and was accepted by the school officials through the High School Principal Dr. Evlena Moron who signed the deed of acceptance.
"We would like to express our deepest appreciation to Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. for giving our students the opportunity to avail the cash financial assistance of the company. This is already a big help to the parents of these 15 students," Moron said.
In a related development, at least 30 high school freshmen also received financial assistance from Therma Marine, Inc. Mobile 2, formerly the NAPOCOR Power Barge moored at nearby Nasipit International Port here on Friday.
In a separate ceremonies conducted here, the 15 freshmen students from Agusan National High School who graduated class valedictorians in different elementary schools here received P3,000 from Batiquin at Butuan City Hall, Butuan City.
Butuan City Mayor Dr. Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. stressed his heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Aboitiz Foundation for choosing Butuan City as one of the recipients nationwide.
At least 15 students in Nasipit town, also this province, received same financial assistance from Batiquin in a ceremony conducted on Friday at the covered court of the Nasipit National Vocational School in Bayview Hill, Nasipit.
The students also graduated on top of their respective classes in different elementary schools in the municipality as class valedictorians and salutatorians, respectively.
Sumalinog said the recipients will have to maintain a grade weighed average of 88 percent to qualify for the next school year.
During their second year, they will be receiving P4,000; third year, P5,000 and fourth year, P6,000.
After finishing the secondary education, the recipients may have the chance to be awarded scholarship program for their college education.
"If all of them will qualify until fourth year, the company, depending on the budget, will only get 10 scholars from the fifteen. Thus, five of these recipients will be eliminated from availing the scholarship program," added Sumalinog.
Sumalinog further stressed, the 10 scholarship slots will be determined in a competitive examination for which the 15 recipients from each place will be qualified to take. The examination will be administered by the company.
This noble undertaking of the Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. is in support to the thrusts and programs of the Aquino Administration to promote the "Education for All" program of the Department of Education. (MUC/PIA-Caraga)
By PO3 Arturo Suganob Campania
Report on illegal possession of firearm
PNP elements of Butuan City Police Staiton 3 led by SPO2 Salino responded for police assistance on December 11, 2010 around 10:15 in the evening at Purok 7, Brgy Lumbucan, Butaun City on a complaint of one Rosemarie Narisma Aguilar, 34 years old, married and resident of same place that she was slapped at her face and threatened to shoot by suspect Romulo Palarion Libago, 42 years old, married and resident of same place.
Upon arrival of PNP personnel, negotiation has been made which suspect peacefully turned over his cal .38 revolver paltik with serial number 90364, loaded with five (5) live ammunitions.
Suspect failed to present legal documents of said firearm and he is now temporarily detained at Butuan City Police Station 3 Detention cell while appropriate case now prepared for filing in court. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)
Report on arrested wanted person
One Roldan Ongoy, 20 years old, single, jobless and resident of Brgy Jamoayon, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte was arrested by PNP elements of Carmen Police Station led by PO3 Ramil Polvorosa by virtue of WOA issued by Hon Judge Victor A Canoy of RTC Branch 31, Surigao City, dated November 12, 2010, docketed under CC nr 10-148 for frustrated murder with recommended bailbond amounting to Php 2000,000.00. Apprehension took place at Sitio Canuway, Brgy Jamoyaon, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte on December 11, 2010 at 6:00 am. Subject person is now under the custody of Del Carmen MPS for proper disposition.
PNP elements of Mainit MPS led by PINSP GEORGE CORALES CARIÑO arrested one Pablo Oranio Cayacap, 31 years old, married and resident of Purok Mahusay, Brgy Matin-ao, Mainit, Surigao del Norte by virtue of WOA dated November 4, 2010, issued by Hon Judge Evangeline S Yuipco Bayana of RTC Branch 30, Surigao City, docketed under CC nr 9007 for violation of Section 10 (A) of RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) with recommended bailbond amounting to Php 80,000.00. Apprehension took place at Brgy Matin-ao, Mainit, Surigao del Norte on December 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm. Subject person now under the custody of Mainit MPS for proper disposition.
Also, one Elmer Manlunas Edilo, 42 years old and Omer Manlunas Edilo, 39 years old, both married, fisherman and resident of Brgy Pateño, Taganaan, Surigao del Norte were arrested by NP elements of Taganaan MPS led by PINSP ROMMEL DE GUZMAN SOBRIDO by virtue of WOA issued by Hon Judge Florifinas Buyser of RTC Brach 30, Surigao City for violation of PD 704 (illegal fishing with the use of explosives) under CC nr 4885 with recommended bailbond amounting to Php 20,000.00 each. Apprehension took place at Brgy Patiño, Taganaan, Surigao del Norte on Decemebr 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm. Subject persons are now under the custody of Taganaan MPS for proper disposition.
Meanwhile, another one Arnel Milano Dulpina, 45 years old, married, farmer and resident of Purok 6; Wayde Milano Dulpina, 34 years old, married, carpenter and resident of Purok 2 and one Estanislao Dominos Dulpina, 76 years old, married, farmer and resident of Purok 2, all of Brgy Anibongan, Lingig, Surigao del Sur were arrested by PNP elements of Lingig MPS led by PINSP EPHRAIM ALBARRACIN MEGREÑO by virtue of WOA issued by Hon Judge of RTC Branch 41, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, docketed under CC nr 216 for frustrated murder with recommended bailbond amounting to Php 200,000.00. Apprehension took place at Brgy Anibongan, Lingig, Surigao del Sur on December 11, 2010 at 9:00 am. Subject persons now under the custody of Lingig MPS for proper disposition. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)
Report on robbery incident
PNP personnel of Theft and Robbery Unit of Butuan City Police Station 1 proceeded to Norkis 5r Branch, located at Tallion Building T Calo Extension Butuan City and conducted investigation on robbery incident.
Initial investigation disclosed that one Susan Montilla, legal age, married and res of Guingona Subdivision, Butuan City discovered that on December 12, 2010 at 8:30 am, the rolled-up door of said establishment was damaged after forcibly entered by unidentified suspects. Suspects carted away cash money amounting to Php 44,990.90 place inside the steel cabinet.
Meanwhile, one Cherrymel Gamotin Mantillas reported to Butuan City Police Station 1 on December 12, 2010 around 2:36 pm that the Manila Teachers Savings and Loan Association Incorporated located at said building was forcibly entered by unidentified suspects and carted away cash money amounting to Php 1,800.00 placed inside the steel cabinet.
The discovery took place at around 7:55 am by a certan Casandro Odoña, employee of said establishment. Both establishments have no security guard during night time. PNP personnel still conducting follow-up investigation to trace the identity and whereabouts of the suspects. Progress report to follow. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)
Report on hacking incident
One Nerio Penig, Marieta Penig and Leonardo Maca, all legal age, married and resident of Brgy Pakwan, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur were hacked by suspect Arnel Maca, 22 years old, single.
Initial investigation disclosed that while the victims were sleeping in their bedrooms, suspect entered and without any reasons, hacked them at the different parts of their bodies. Incident took place at Brgy Pakwan, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur on December 11, 2010 at 4:00 am.
Suspect was arrested by responding Brgy Officials and tribal chieftain of said Brgy and properly turned over to Lanuza Police Station while the victims were brought to Madrid District Hospital and were referred to Caraga Regional Hospital for medical treatment. Appropriate case now prepared for filing in court against the suspect. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)
Report on stabbing incident
One Andrew Nunez y Sumalinog, 20 years old, single and resident of P-16, Brgy Doongan, Butuan City was stabbed by suspect Peter John Rias y Delegencia, 20 years old, single and resident of said place.
Victim sustained stabbed wounds at his right chest and immediately brought to Maternity Hospital for medical treatment while suspect fled after the incident. Incident took place at P-16, Brgy Doongan, Butuan City on December 10, 2010 at 8:00 pm. Progress report to follow. (PNP-13/PIA-Caraga)
BUTUAN CITY (December 14) – It is now the civilians who top Human Rights abusers here in the region, according to the 2010 report from the Commission on Human Rights Caraga Regional Office.
Seldio Pilongo of CHR-Caraga disclosed, they recorded 30 cases of abuses committed by civilians from January to November of this year followed by the AFP and PNP each with 24 cases.
CHR likewise documented 13 cases of human rights abuses committed by a group of Lumads, 11 cases from NPA’s, eight (8) cases from paramilitary forces, seven (7) cases from PDEA agents, four (4) human rights abuses perpetrated by government employees, two cases from public officials, two from unidentified armed groups, two from tanods and one BJMP official.
The CHR also handled cases of violation to life topping 14 cases of murder, six frustrated murder, four physical injuries, and four tortures, two attempted murder and one case of violation of RA 8049 or Anti Hazing Law.
Meanwhile, cases relative to the protection of honor and reputation, CHR on record received three cases of acts of lasciviousness and one rape case.
On aspects of right to liberty, record showed two cases of arbitrary arrests, one arbitrary detention, one serious illegal detention and three disappearance cases.
Pilongo also revealed that their office took cognizance of the filing of cases under the right to arbitrary interference wherein two of these falls under harassment case, one case for violation of domicile and one infringement of illegal search.
In 2010, CHR Caraga also received complaints against violation to security of person, namely: two cases of grave threat and another two cases of grave coercion.
In the right to deprivation of property: 7 were malicious mischief and two estafa cases, while violation against rights of children, CHR recorded 4 murder cases and two rape cases.
Pilongo added, “We were able to provide legal assistance to civilians with a total of 198 comprise the giving of legal advice and affidavits, conducted 43 visits to jails all over Caraga, with the main objective of assessing the situation of inmates.”
For the current year, CHR Caraga extended legal assistance to inmates totaling 86 for the period January to November. (Jocelyn E. Morano, Radyo ng Bayan Butuan)
Gov’t pension fund chiefs vow to restore trust, regain members’ confidence
“We will earn it one day at a time”
“We envision GSIS to become the most service-focused agency in government – providing not just any kind of service, but responsive service.”
This was the message of Robert Vergara, President and General Manager of the Government Service Insurance System, as he spoke Tuesday before the officials of the Department of Education-National Employees’ Union (DepEd-NEU), the country’s largest union of non-teaching personnel, in a forum held in Tagaytay City.
Vergara said the pension fund is working to improve its service delivery to all stakeholders especially teachers, who account for more than half of its membership base.
He added, “in compliance with the marching order given by the President in his first 100 Days, the new administration will prioritize resolving the various problems of the teaching and non-teaching personnel of the Education Department.”
The chief of the pension fund cited some of the measures being carried out by the agency to attain service-responsiveness:
1. Reduced the number of members’ unposted payments and unreconciled account balances from P30 billion in September to P3.8 billion as of 2 November 2010.
2. Improved access to GSIS services by tapping the Land Bank of the Philippines as additional depository bank to expand services for members and deploying more GW@Ps kiosks. By the first quarter of 2011, Land Bank will start servicing pensioners and gradually expand its services to include all GSIS members. At the same time, GSIS will deploy additional 500 GW@Ps Kiosks in line with the enrollment of members and pensioners to the Unified Multipurpose Identification (UMID) - compliant eCard.
For his part, Daniel Lacson, Jr., Board Chairman, said the new GSIS Board will be consultative, transparent and service-focused. “We will engage our stakeholders wherever they are and we will always consult them. In whatever we do, there will be no secrets and we will ensure we can defend in Plaza Miranda, any new policy, the Management and the Board will implement.”
Lacson added GSIS is undertaking a comprehensive review of all the reform measures implemented in the past and evaluating their impact to the stakeholders. “ We have asked the different GSIS offices to tell us the history of these reforms so we can understand the reasons behind them.”
Vergara pointed out the review is all about “restoring the heart and the spirit of RA 8291 (Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1997) which is to provide the basic social safety net to look after us in our old age.”
The Union presented a total of 21 national issues related to the GSIS’s policies and programs, which included the Premium-based policy, the Claims and Loans Interdependency Policy, and the recent move of the GSIS to put qualifications on the entitlement to survivorship pension. These policies, the Union said should be scrapped in the interest of all GSIS members and pensioners.
Vergara committed that even as Management is finding the solutions to these concerns, their implementation will take some time. “So I ask for your patience and understanding.”
He vowed GSIS “will work tirelessly to regain your confidence and trust. And we will do this the only way I know: we will earn it one day at a time.”
DepED-NEU and GSIS Cooperation
Atty. Domingo Alidon, national president of the DepED-NEU, said the presence of both the Chairman and PGM to the Forum, ushers a new era of cooperation between the GSIS and the Union. “This is the first time that we hear GSIS officials facing our issues squarely. Gone are the days that we fight GSIS and take our issues to the streets.”
The DepED-NEU pledged its full support to the new GSIS member-friendly administration. “Nakahanda ang unyon na makipagtulungan sa bagong pamunuan ng GSIS para makahanap ng solusyon sa mga problemang idinulog namin sa kanila. Mag-sasagawa ang unyon ng regular na konsultasyon kasama ang GSIS.”
GSIS taps Land Bank as additional bank for pensioners, members
The GSIS yesterday signed a Memorandum of Agreement with government-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) as an additional servicing bank for its old age and survivorship pensioners.
Through the Agreement, pensioners will now be able to take advantage of Land Bank’s extensive branch network nationwide.
“This measure will now make it easier for our members and pensioners, especially in the provinces, to access their benefits and other loans,” said Robert Vergara, President and General Manager.
The GSIS will pilot test the selection of Land Bank as an additional servicing bank in January next year, to nearly 14,000 pensioners covered by the GSIS Batangas Regional Offices and other GSIS servicing offices under its jurisdiction such as the Lucena Branch Office and its Satellite Offices in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro; Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro; and Boac, Marinduque.
Under the agreement, Land Bank will open a savings account and provide automated teller machine services to GSIS pensioners.
The inclusion of pensioners in other areas and members as a whole in this program will be determined after the pilot test phase.
“By March next year, we project that the rest of our pensioners will be able to use Land Bank’s facility; all employees at the GSIS Head Office by May; and all active members by July,” Vergara said.
Pensioners will have to pick up their Land Bank ATM cards from the designated Land Bank branch; ATM cards of non-ambulatory pensioners will be delivered by Land Bank personnel.
They can also use their Land Bank ATM card to withdraw their monthly or accrued pension benefits as well as pension loan proceeds from the nearest Land Bank ATM, free of transaction fee.
Those who choose to keep their existing savings account with the Union Bank of the Philippines can still use the GSIS eCard to withdraw the same from the nearest Union Bank ATM.
Both the Land Bank and Union Bank ATM cards may be used in any of the Megalink, Bancnet and Expressnet networks.
Regardless of whether pensioners choose Land Bank or Union Bank, they must still keep their GSIS eCard (eCard Plus or the Unified Multipurpose ID or UMID-compliant eCard) as this still retains its full features as an official GSIS ID, transactional and debit card (in Megalink-accredited commercial establishments), as well as avail themselves of the following discounts:
· Up to 30-percent hospitalization discount from select GSIS partner-partner hospitals under the GSIS Hospitalization Support Program;
· up to 55-percent discount in select Pfizer medicines from leading drugstores;
· 20-percent college tuition and miscellaneous discounts from any STI school; and
· 20-percent discount on top of the prevailing promo fares of Superferry, Supercat, and Cebu Ferries.
The GSIS eCard can likewise be used to comply with the annual renewal of active status requirement of the GSIS, to ensure continued receipt of their monthly pension.
They do this by placing the eCard on the card reader of the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (GW@PS) kiosk, found in all GSIS offices and other government offices nationwide, and then selecting the appropriate menu on the kiosk’s touch screen.
Meanwhile, pensioners living abroad will continue to use their GSIS eCard to withdraw their monthly pension benefits or pension loan proceeds from any ATM abroad under the VISA PLUS network.
Tagalog News: MOA Nilagdaan ng GSIS, Land Bank
Nilagdaan kamakailan lamang ng Government Service Insurance System at Land Bank of the Philippines ang isang kasundaan kung saan ang Land Bank ay magiging karagdagang servicing bank para sa old-age at survivorship pensioners ng GSIS.
Bilang isang alternatibong depository bank, di na magtatagal at seserbisyuhan na rin ng lahat ng sangay ng Landbank ang may 290,000 na pensyonado ng GSIS, partikular na ang pamamahagi ng kanilang buwanang benepisyo.
Para masiguro magiging maayos ang bagong sistema ng pagpili ng servicing bank ng mga pensyonado, ipa-pilot test muna ito ng GSIS sa may 13,942 old-age at survivorship pensioners na sakop ng GSIS Batangas Regional Office.
Bahagi ng nasabing GSIS office ang mga pensyonadong sineserbisyuhan ng Lucena Branch Office, pati na rin ang GSIS Satellite Offices sa Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro; Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro; at Boac, Marinduque.
Ayon sa pinirmahang MOA, gagawan ng Landbank ng savings account na may kasamang ATM card ang mga pensyonadong gagamit ng kanilang serbisyo. Dito ipapasok ng GSIS ang buwanang benepisyo ng mga nasabing pensyonado.
Kapag nagawan na ng account, kukunin na lamang ng mga GSIS pensioners ang kanilang ATM cards sa pinakamalapit na sangay ng Landbank. Ipapadala naman ng Landbank ang ATM cards ng mga pensioner na di na makabyahe.
Kapag naging maayos ang pilot testing, magkakaroon din ng ganitong sistema ng pagpili ng bangko hindi lamang ang lahat ng mga GSIS pensioner, kundi pati na rin ang lahat ng GSIS members sa buong bansa.