Friday, December 16, 2016


4th CMO set to hold Young Cultural Minority Professionals’ Forum

By Regal C. Oribia

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 16 (PIA) – The 4th CMO Battalion, Philippine Army in partnership with the government line agencies (GLAs) will conduct a two-day Young Cultural Minority Professionals’ Forum (YCMPF) this coming December 21 to 22, 2016 at Division Advance Command Post, Barangay Bancasi, this city.

The activity will be participated by the Officers of the Caraga Mindanao Cultural Development Incorporated (CMCDI), an IP youth organization which was organized by the unit and partner government agencies as IP Youth Leaders and Communicators in Caraga region, students leaders and Muslim young professionals.

“This forum is part of empowering and developing the youth leadership potential and transforms them to become responsible citizen and catalyst for peace and development,” said LTC Rey Pasco, 4th CMO commanding officer. (PIA-Caraga)


DOLE Caraga taps LGUs to ensure success in ending 'ENDO'

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 16 (PIA) - “We will end ENDO now” is the tag line for the regionwide forum dubbed Exploring Local Government Units’ (LGUs) Role In Ending “ENDO” (End-of-Contract) held recently in the city.

A first in Caraga, the forum was graced by no less than Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). An overwhelming 180 participants from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan/Panlungsod members, SB member-Committee on Labor, PESO managers, DOLE personnel, Regional Coordinating Council and media partners were able to attend. The interactions of the public servants from the different cities, municipalities and provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands became a venue for sharing common illegal contracting arrangements and practices; and manifesting commitments to deliver tangible results in putting an end to “ENDO”.

Usec. Maglunsod shared the need to end the unfair and abusive practices under labor contractualization and the highly controversial end-of-contract or ‘ENDO’ scheme. He reported the series of orientation and consultation meetings conducted in different parts of the country reiterating to the Filipino people the drive in ending ENDO. He is enthusiastic in bringing back the trust and confidence of the Filipino people in the government and one way to do this is to make sure that Filipino workers are given importance.

The directives of DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, shared by Usec. Maglunsod, were supported by an Orientation on Labor Laws Relating to Contractualization. The PESO Institutionalization Act was also discussed reiterating the need for its creation such as building a strong market-oriented PESOs which can respond to training and labor market needs.

DOLE Caraga OIC-Regional Director Evelyn R. Ramos presented the ENDO status and the way forward. As of November 24, 2016, there are 2,693 regularized workers in Caraga Region. “The said figure is already a positive development albeit a fraction of the total workers in Caraga. The forum is one way forward and we can do more with LGUs strong support in the policy directive of President Rodrigo Duterte,” said Ramos.

Ramos’ message encouraged and motivated the participants to support the drive on ending “ENDO”.

The highlight of the forum was the expression of support coming from the key officers of different LGUs in the region. Some of these are the following: Board Member Virgilio Escasinas, Jr. of Agusan del Norte, expressed his enthusiasm in ending ENDO.

Mayor Philip Pichay of Cantilan conveyed that he will be supporting the drive of DOLE in ending ENDO as well as the PESO Institutionalization and the drive to eradicate the provincial rate and making the minimum wage the same across the board.

Butuan City Councilor John Gil Unay, Sr. mentioned that they will create a resolution to institutionalize the PESO. He mentioned also of OSSCO that was already operational, emphasizing that this is the right time to “walk the talk”.

Atty. Arturo Charlos Egay, Jr., vice-governor of Surigao del Norte expressed his willingness to support by requiring business establishments to be compliant with labor laws in renewing business permit to ensure that illegal contractualization will be  avoided. PESO Institutionalization will be supported too but he is seeing the budgetary requirement as a challenge.

SB Member Ronilo Bohoc of Buenavista, expressed his support and as a matter of fact they had just conducted a meeting related to ENDO and they will fully support the drive. They will create an ordinance to have a meeting with the businessmen in Buenavista to ensure that they are DOLE compliant. Candelario Viola, vice-mayor of Hinatuan, mentioned that the government should interfere on the contract of the businesses to see to it that all contracts are legal.

SB Member Gerardo Magluctao of Veruela, Agusan del Sur was honest in mentioning that this drive is not timely for them as they already submitted their budget preparation for 2017. However, Director Ramos suggested that it can be included in the supplementary budget. Hon. Edelberto Bastareche, SP member, Agusan del Sur reported that they already follow the PESO Institutionalization. He pointed out the number one commitment stated that “all” establishments should comply but he wanted to make exceptions for those businesses with minimal employees. Director Ramos explained that the Agusan del Norte proposes to exempt all establishments, however, the details can be ironed out in the provisions of the resolution or ordinance.

The significant activity ended with the signing of the commitment of support by the participants, facilitated by the field office heads. The overwhelming support is indeed a boost to the workers in Caraga region with the realization that DOLE is not alone in this journey. “Together we can put an end to ENDO,” exclaimed director Ramos. (DOLE-13/PIA-Caraga)