PIA News Service - Wednesday, December 19, 2012


GSIS grants emergency loan to members hit by ‘Pablo’ in Visayas, Mindanao

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 19 (PIA) - The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has announced the grant of emergency loan for more than 345,000 GSIS members in Visayas and Mindanao who were adversely affected by typhoon Pablo.

Emergency loan will be made available to GSIS members living or working in the following areas in Mindanao and Visayas: Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Camiguin, Surigao del Norte, Siargao, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Province, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, Samal Island, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, North Cotabato, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Maguindanao, Bohol, Siquijor, Southern Cebu, Southern Negros Oriental, Southern Negros Occidental, Southern Leyte, Antique, Iloilo, Camotes Island.

Under the GSIS emergency loan program, each eligible member may borrow Php20,000, payable in three years in equal monthly instalment. The initial payment for the loan will start three months after the loan drawdown.

Eligible members who may file for emergency loan include bona fide employees of the agency located in the declared calamity area or are resident of the declared calamity area; in active service and not on leave of absence without pay; have no pending criminal or administrative charges; have no arrears in the payment of mandatory social insurance contributions; and have no loan that has been declared in default.

Members may apply for the loan from December 7, 2012 to January 5, 2013, through the GWAPS kiosk using either the eCard or UMID eCard. Those with temporary eCards may apply over-the-counter in any GSIS office.

Meanwhile, members who have existing emergency loans may be allowed to renew their emergency loan after payment of 12 monthly repayments but not later than the anniversary date of the previous loan.

In August, the GSIS gave a supplemental budget of Php10 billion for the Loan Program.

For any inquiry about the program, members may call the hotline number at 847.4747. (GSIS/PIA-Caraga)


Provide continuous service, gov’t agencies told

MANILA, Dec. 19 (PIA) - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has urged government agencies to provide continuous, high-quality service amid the conduct of Christmas office parties and other year-end activities.

“Christmas is the season of gift-giving, and the best gift we can give to the Filipino public is the promise of excellent and honest public service, not only this holiday season but onwards,” said CSC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III.

The CSC chief said that government offices may implement appropriate strategies, such as shifting schedules, to ensure that the public is consistently served within the prescribed government working hours.

“Even if Christmas parties are scheduled during lunch break, the law says that there should be no interruption in service,” added Duque.

Republic Act No. 9485, also known as the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) of 2007, provides that “heads of offices and agencies which render frontline services shall adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients who are within their premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to and served even during lunch break and after regular working hours.”

‘Do not accept gifts’ The CSC chief also reminded civil servants not to accept gifts in exchange for performing their duties, especially from clients, suppliers and contractors with whom they are facilitating business.

“Gifts may be construed as a bribe or reward in exchange for a favor or better treatment. Serving the public is our duty and we must give the best possible service without expecting anything in return,” Duque said.

He cited Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees that prohibits civil servants from soliciting or accepting gifts, favors, loans or anything of monetary value in the course of their official duties.

The said violation is classified as a grave offense punishable by dismissal from the service on the first offense.

Under the law, a gift is deemed proper or improper depending on the value of the gift, the relationship between the giver and the receiver, and the intent. Something of monetary value is “one which is evidently or manifestly excessive by its very nature”.

Gifts exempted from the prohibition are those from family members given without expectation of pecuniary benefit; those coming from persons with no regular, pending or expected transactions with the government office where the receiver belongs; those from private organizations given with humanitarian and altruistic intent; and those donated by one government entity to another. (CSC/PIA-Caraga)


Butuan City gov’t receives $1.2-M PET CT scanner from World Medical Relief, Inc.

By Maria Luisa Dianah Z. Generalao

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 19 (PIA) -- World Medical Relief, Inc. President and CEO Mr. George Samson along with World Medical Relief, Inc. Ambassador of Health Dr. David Zarate turned over to Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. the 10 pacemakers donated by World Medical Relief, Inc. to the City Government of Butuan during the Turnover Ceremony of Donated Medical Supplies and Equipment recently held at the city hall grounds.

Already the third batch of donations received from the World Medical Relief, Inc., the 10 pacemakers amounts to Php1 Million each and the PET CT Scanner that’s due to arrive in the city by January for use at the Butuan Medical Center amounts to $1.2 Million or a whooping Php60 Million.

In his acceptance speech, Mayor Amante conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Samson and Dr. Zarate for the overwhelming support that the World Medical Relief, Inc. has continuously been extending to the city government. He added that we all should really be thankful that out of the hundreds of hospitals in the country, the World Medical Relief, Inc. chose our Butuan Medical Center (BMC). With these and previous donations, Mayor Amante said that we are better equipped in taking care of our sick, especially the less fortunate.

But as though a simple thank you in its sincerest tone isn’t enough to show the city government’s appreciation to the World Medical Relief, Inc., the Sangguniang Panlungsod here immediately passed a resolution to proclaim Mr. Samson as an Honorary Butuanon to recognize his valuable contribution to the improvement of the city government’s medical services to its people.

A plaque made from magkono wood declaring Mr. Samson as an Honorary Butuanon was presented to him by Mayor Amante and Vice Mayor Lawrence Lemuel Fortun during the Turnover Ceremony.

Mr. Samson upon accepting the honor given to him revealed that there are more to come and that things are just starting to get better for the Butuanons. The World Medical Relief, Inc., he assured, will continue to include Butuan in their mission to serve the sick and the poor. He also made known that the recent donation of PET CT Scanner, the most advanced version of which is just the second of its kind in the whole Philippines. The only other hospital that has this is St. Luke’s Medical Center in Manila. The said PET CT Scanner has the ability to identify even the most undetectable cancer cells.

After the Turnover Ceremony, Mr. Samson and Dr. Zarate then went for an ocular inspection at the BMC to see for themselves the present state of the hospital, and to check for the lacking medical supplies and equipment. They took note of every detail and gave their word to make sure that the hospital gets what it needs in the next donations to come.

The first and second batches of donated medical supplies and equipment including beds and cushions, wheelchairs, crutches, disposable diapers, gauzes, and many others arrived January 2011 and July 2012 and have reached a total of Php 40 Million. These are now being used at the BMC. (CMO-PIO/PIA-Caraga)


Local poverty reduction action plan approved

By Junesther Jean S. Iway

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 19 (PIA) - The Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved a resolution regarding the supplemental 2013 Local Poverty Reduction Plan as endorsed by the City Development Council through CDC Executive Committee Resolution No. 09 series of 2012.

This is in consonance with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01, Series of 2012 directing all the local government units to adhere to the policy guidelines and procedures in the implementation of the Bottom-Up Planning and Budgeting for the Fiscal Year 2013.

The end goal for the approval was for the enhancement and enrichment of the physical assets of the poor. Such as empowering the Senior Citizens sector through the effective delivery of the basic services they need, another is through promoting a continued education by providing sufficient learning facilities for the students and lastly, through supporting and sustaining the livelihood and economic opportunities especially those of the displaced workers in the forestry sector to purposely improve the quality life of all Butuanons.

The replanning of the Special Purpose Fund (SPF) for the LPRAP was administered but the LPRA Team chaired by City Mayor together with the different sectoral representatives as members thereof. (Vice Mayor’s Office/LGU-Butuan/PIA-Caraga)


Butuan Watershed Management Council convened

By Junesther Jean S. Iway and Eldie N. David

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 19 (PIA) - The Butuan City Watershed Management Council, the implementing body of the Watershed Code of Butuan, has been formally convened.

The Council was created pursuant to SP Ordinance No. 3829-2012 to primarily address and ensure the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and management of the watersheds within Butuan and to see to it that its implementation is properly and strictly executed within the bounds of the law.

Apart from the Council, a Barangay Watershed Management Council (BWMC) and the Watershed Multipartite Monitoring Team (WMMT) will also be created in ensuring compliance with the Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulations and other environmental laws.

The council is composed of representatives from the different government agencies as well as from the private sector who are stakeholders in the protection of the environment.

According to Vice Mayor Law Fortun, the principal author of the Watershed code, the convening of the council is just a manifestation of the local government’s serious effort of the local government to protect the environment at all cost.

In the meeting, the Council has already decided on actions to initially commence its operation and on how to implement the Code effectively thereby giving paramount attention on matters needed to be completed.

Such as identifying the representatives that will be coming from the different sectors and non-governmental organizations who will partake in overseeing the execution of the Code. (Vice Mayor’s Office/PIA-Caraga)