PIA News Service - Thursday, February 28, 2013



MGB-Caraga streamlines MRFC, MMT, CTWG anew



 By Marx Rev A. Buenavidez

SURIGAO CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA) – Seeing the need to further improve the roles and responsibilities of the Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee (MRFC), the Multi-partite Monitoring Team (MMT), and the multi-sectoral Community Technical Working Group (CTWG), the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Caraga recently conducted a two-day reorientation and capacity enhancement workshop attended by some 300 participants.

The activity, in coordination with the Chamber of Mines of Caraga Region Inc., was held at Gateway Grand Convention, this city on February 21-22, 2013 and graced by Surigao del Norte Vice-Governor Arturo Carlos A. Egay, Jr.

Anchored on the theme, “Responsibility and Accountability: Keys toward a progressive mining industry and a prosperous community,” the event drew the participation of various stakeholders from local government units (LGUs), national line agencies, active mining tenement holders, non-government organizations (NGOs), civic groups, academe and the religious sector.

In his welcome remarks, Vice Governor Arturo Carlos Egay, Jr. said that responsible actions should contribute in the attainment of sustainable growth that should meet the needs both of the present and future generations.

On the other hand, MGB-13 Regional Director Roger A. De Dios gave the rationale of the activity and stressed that the Office will institutionalize and establish protocols pertaining to the membership and functions of MRFC, MMT and CTWG.

He added that the two-day activity will delve on the intent of Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee to materialize the programs and projects of SDMP and EPEP, the purpose of MMT and how CTWG works.

Based on RA 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, the primary task of MRFC is to engage in preliminary assessment on the mining company’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP) and “to clarify proposals and to discuss the adequacy of environmental control rehabilitation measures” through the conduct of quarterly meetings or special meeting if deemed necessary. The committee is composed of the MGB Regional Director who sits as the Chair, the Regional Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as Co-Chair, the Regional Director of Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) as member, representative from LGU as member, representative from local NGOs/community organizations which include People’s Organizations, church or civic organizations as member, and representative of the mining contractor/permit holder as member.

Meanwhile, the MMT, as deputized monitoring arm of MRFC, consists of a head representative from MGB Regional Office and one member representative each from DENR, EMB, mining contractor/permit holder, affected community(ies), affected Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs), if any, and environmental NGO.

CTWG is MGB’s initiative in consonance with DENR Administrative Order No. 2001-16 dated May 7, 2001, that institutionalizes the counter-partnership of the civil society action network in DENR programs and projects. As a community relations arm, CTWG is a multi-sectoral social impact team to actively participate and monitor the company’s social development activities and projects under the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP). Aside from MGB, DENR and the company, the group is unanimously composed of LGUs and local civil society groups.

“Although some functions of the MRFC, MMT and even the CTWG have negated, we will endeavor to implement the specific guidelines of SDMP and EPEP and professionalize the composition and roles of each panel,” RD De Dios said.

RD De Dios further mentioned that MGB will strive that the programs and activities of SDMP will certainly give impact to the host and neighboring barangays by molding them to be self-reliant and resource-based communities.

“Upon the issuance of MGB Regional Memorandum Order 2012-001, we are aiming to prevent the emergence of ghost towns in this region by prioritizing livelihood and income generating projects. So that if a mine closes, there will still be economic bustle and societal growth in the locality,” RD De Dios emphasized. (MGB-13/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


NYC to Schools: Follow CHED’s Directive Against ‘No Permit, No Exam’ Policy



MANILA, Feb. 28 - The National Youth Commission (NYC) reiterates its call to schools to comply with the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) directive with regard to the ‘No Permit, No Exam’ Policy.

In a recent interview, NYC Chairman Leon Flores III cited ‘No Permit, No Exam’ as one of the many Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) violations that Filipino students still face.

“Especially since mid-terms exams week is fast approaching, it is important to remind universities that CHED has a standing Memo against the No-Permit, No-Exam policy. We reiterate the stand of the National Youth Commission that there are other ways to collect from the students but the students should not, at any point, be barred from taking their exams owing to their inability to pay at the time of exams.” Flores said.

On October 12, 2011, the Youth Commission approved Resolution No. 146, Series of 2011, A Resolution Supporting the Anti-‘No Permit, No Exam’ Policy. On the same date, CHED also issued a separate Memorandum on the Implementation of Section 99 of CMO No. 40, Series of 2008, directing all Higher Education Institutions to refrain from imposing the said policy.

NYC Chair Flores considered some schools’ “disregard for CHED’s Circular against No Permit, No Exam policy a clear violation of Students’ Rights and Welfare.”

“The NYC STRAW Desk (www.strawdesk.com) has been receiving numerous complaints and cases of STRAW violations since the program was established in 2011. Unfortunately, despite CHED’s directive, we still receive grievances from students denied to take their exams due to unpaid tuition and other school fees,” said Commissioner-at-Large Gio Tingson, who also chairs NYC’s Committee on Education.

“We call on young people to continue to be vigilant and to report STRAW transgressions. All over the country, there are varying levels of such violations,” Flores added in closing.

The National Youth Commission as the voice and advocate of the youth is the lead government agency created under Republic Act 8044 or the Youth in Nation-building Act in charge of policy formulation on youth development and youth participation. (NYC/PIA-Caraga)


CSU, city govt to update comprehensive land use plan



BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA) -- The city government and Caraga State University (CSU) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the conduct of the Comprehensive Land Administration and Information Management of the city of Butuan using a Geographical Information System.

The output will be needed in updating the Comprehansive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of the city.

The partnership is necessary in updating the city’s CLUP as it would lead to a more accurate projection and preparation of the city’s disaster risk reduction plan and climate change adaptation program. One of the requirements in updating the CLUP is the inclusion of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) projections and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) programs.

As indicated in the MOA, it is necessary to quantify the risk coverage in the localities of the city to achieve an effective priority-setting of resources in mitigating risks during calamities. The combination of the Real Property Units and its basic information laid over the base map of the city is an effective strategy in containing the DRR and CCA requirements of the CLUP.

According to Vice Mayor Lawrence “Law” Fortun, this MOA is vital as the city government is embarking on updating its CLUP over a three-year period. Fortun added that the CLUP will attract investors as this is one of the aspects being looked into before an investor comes in. (LGU-BC/VMO/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Cebuano news: Malakanyang misaad nga panghingusgan ang koleksyon sa buhis



Ni Susil D. Ragas



SURIGAO CITY, Peb. 28 (PIA) -- Ang gobyernong Aquino subling misaad nga panghingusgan niini ang mga paningkamot sa pagkolekta sa buhis pinaagi sa pag dakop niadtong mga eskapador human ang Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) nakakolekta og mokantidad P1.058 trilyon sa tuig 2012.

Matud ni Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda kagahapon nga ang gipanghingusgan na sa BIR ang pagpasaka og mga kaso batok sa mga eskapador agig subay sa mandato sa administrasyong Aquino nga daang matuwid o deretso nga dalan.

Sa kasamtangang adunay 28 ka mga bag-ong kaso ang gipasaka batok ngadto sa mga eskapador sugod niadtong bulan sa Nobyermbre tuig 2012.

Sumala sa Department of Finance (DOF), adunay mokabat 11 ka bag-ong mga kaso ang gipasaka ubos sa Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program, samtang 17 ka bag-ong mga kaso ang gipasaka ubos sa Run After the Smugglers (RATS) initiative.

Ang DOF ug sangang buhatan niini nakigtambayayong sa Department of Justice ug mga husgado aron mapadali ang resolusyon sa maong mga kaso.

Uban ang nagkadaiyang mga reporma nga gihimo sa nagkalain-laing ahensya, ang gobyerno nagmalamposon sa pagpa-uswag sa tax koleksyon niini niadtong niaging tuig.

Sumala pa sa taho sa DOF nga ang BIR mipausbaw sa koleksyon niini sa buhis nga hapit 15 porsyento o mokantidad P1.058 trilyon niaging tuig gikan sa P924 bilyon niadtong tuig 2011.

Dugang niini, ang DOF miingon ang mga koleksyon gikan sa mga operayon sa BIR mikantidad og P1.017 trilyon niaging tuig gikan sa P890 bilyon niadtong tuig 2011, samtang ang mga koleskyon gikan sa mga operayon nga mikantidad og P40.95 bilyon gikan sa P33.65 bilyon niadtong tuig 2011. (RER/SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)