7.08.2012

PIA News Service - Sunday, July 8, 2012


GSIS-Butuan chief updates members on compensation computation

by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, July 8 (PIA) -- To enlighten its members on the issue of the computation on basic and average monthly compensation which was reported to have been revised, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Butuan branch manager Mamole Pangandaman on Friday said the formula for the computation of pension is still the same.

Speaking before members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) during the council’s 71st meeting held in one of the local convention centers here, Pangandaman said their office have not received any office order, guidelines, or any new implementing rule from their top management regarding any revision of the formula in the computation of the members’ pension.

Pangandaman also denied knowing that there is a proposal to change the formula in computing the pension. True to this, she said the current leadership of GSIS chairman Daniel Lacson and GSIS president and general manager (PGM) Robert Vergara implemented the new policies responsive to the needs of its members and pensioners.

She added some of these new policies include the restoration of the survivorship pension. Pangandaman explained that under this revised policy, surviving spouse of members and pensioners can now receive monthly pension benefits even if they are gainfully employed and receiving income.

The GSIS chief of the city also said under the restoration of the pro-rate pension, pensioners can now receive their pension on the actual date of the retirement not on the following month.

Further, Pangandaman said by cancelling the Agency Remittance Advise (ARA), there is no need for the pensioners residing in the Philippines to comply with the ARAs. She added the National Statistics Office (NSO) will provide the GSIS the list of the deceased pensioners.

Meanwhile, Pangandaman said the present stand of the country’s premier insurer is to process based on the current formula provided by Republic Act 8291, an act amending Presidential Decree 1146, expanding and increasing the coverage and benefits of the GSIS.

She said further that only the Congress can mandate or authorize GSIS to revise the computation of the pension. She added that Vergara advised the members during a dialogue early this year here to inquire from their congressmen and if ever there is proposal in Congress requesting them not to alter this computation/provisions in RA 8291. (RER/PIA-Caraga)

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NGP expert takes over headship of DENR Caraga

By Eric F. Gallego

BUTUAN CITY, July 8 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon JP Paje had pulled out his top key official in the National Greening Program (NGP) Mario D. Mendoza on Thursday, to head DENR-Caraga after he relieved its regional director, Leonardo R. Sibbaluca, over unabated illegal logging activities.

Mendoza, who works as Assistant Secretary for Special Projects at the Office of Secretary Paje, said he has left several unfinished projects at the central office when he was ordered to assume his new post.

Mendoza was accompanied by the director of the Forest Management Bureau Nonito M. Tamayo who replaced regional technical director of Forest Management Services Musa Saruang.

Mendoza and Tamayo immediately proceeded to the DENR training Center shortly after they arrived in Butuan City where they were met by cheering employees at the DENR Training Center in Barangay Ambago, this city.

In his acceptance remark, ASec Mendoza said he will worked with different organizations to implement new strategies to uplift the economic condition of the people in the upland barangays.

He, however, clarified that their mission is anchored on pushing the social reform agenda of President Aquino by promoting agri-business in the uplands where about 80 percent of the people are dependent on the forest for a living.

“We will function as technical support to the anti-illegal logging operations being undertaken by the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force Kalikasan headed by executive director Renato Miranda, a retired general of the Philippine Marines,” Mendoza said.

In his farewell statement, Sibbaluca said his 18-month stint in Caraga Region had been challenging although their efforts earned little appreciation from the people. He said he had put his “best foot forward” in pursuing the anti-illegal logging operations even in critical areas such as the rebel-infested mountain forest at the boundary of Loreto, Agusan del Sur and Melale, Compostela Valley Province .

”We have cheated death several times when we dared penetrate critical forest areas to extract the heavy equipment at the height of our operations and these experiences will serve as my inspirations wherever the Secretary may be pleased to assign me,” he said.

“This is our mandate,” Sibbaluca as he expressed his sincere thanks to the employees of the DENR Caraga for their support.

Incoming RED Mendoza said he has not known so far of any regional executive Ddrector of DENR who had put himself at the frontline in the anti-illegal logging operations as Sibbaluca had done and therefore his exemplary service is admirable.”

Mendoza requested the outgoing Sibbaluca to join him for the meantime in crafting new strategies aimed at solving the perennial problems on illegal logging in regions Caraga and 11.

“We are confronted with a complicated problem amidst a tall order from the President to stop illegal logging,” he said.

ASEC Mendoza is a product of the University of the Philippines where he finished Bachelor of Science in Forestry in 1985. He obtained his Master in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in 1993. He served as program director of the Bantay Kalikasan, and consultant and program adviser at the ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.

He is a faculty member of the Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, UPLB. He served as director of Forest Management Bureau, DENR from 2009 to 2010 where he was elevated to assistant secretary of Special Projects. (NCLM/DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)