Archive for the ‘Bayan at Karapatan’ Category
The Trade Union Congress Party (TUCP Party-List) strongly supports members of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) on their protest action against the impending termination of 2,600 employees.
President Benigno C. Aquino is being badly advised by functionaries and factotums on the possibility of bringing up criminal charges. Workers are merely exercising their legitimate rights which outsourcing will destroy. Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) management decision to terminate regular rank-and-file employees is on its face a blatant violation of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The present difficulties in the airline is a labor dispute caused by unfair labor practices committed by the PAL management – a deliberate attack on the workers’ fundamental rights and core labor standards using the veil of corporate sustainability and competitiveness.
The Palace’s action will undermine the Constitution and create a chilling effect throughout the entire labor movement. PPP cannot be built on workers being the whipping boys, sacrificial lambs as government follows the path of least resistance to curry favor with capital and oligarchs.
What we have now is a two-faced government: liberal democrat with respect to fight against grafters and outright reactionary with respect to workers. President must not be captive to his advisers. It is the kind of gentler, kinder society that President Cory would wish that he places at risk. HON. RAYMOND DEMOCRITO C. MENDOZA, Trade Union Congress Party (TUCP Party-List)
The RP-US AMPHIBIOUS LANDING EXERCISE (PHIBLEX) 2012 will kick off here on October 17, 2011 in an Opening Ceremony. This year’s PHIBLEX is the 28th in the series of bilateral exercises conducted every year to serve as a venue for joint and combined training between the Marine Corps of the Philippine and United States militaries.
The robust defense partnership of the Philippines and the United States is set to magnify its latitude this year by giving primacy to effective interoperability on disaster response preparedness, community development and humanitarian assistance projects.
The joint military training exercises aim to formulate and assess concepts for the Unilateral Defense Plan (UDP). Furthermore, it also envisions evaluating concepts for transition from UDP to Bilateral Defense Plan (BDP) to Post-Conflict response.
These training exercises will be held simultaneously in different venues including Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; Basa Air Base in Clark, Pampanga; Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim in Ternate, Cavite; Crow Valley in Tarlac; Naval Station San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales; and in Palawan.
On the other hand, the joint military exercises will also focus on revitalizing the interoperability of the Philippines and US militaries in post conflict response through the conduct of disaster rehabilitation and rural development projects. These will materialize through the Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP) and Medical Action Program (MEDCAP) activities which will be conducted in Luzon.
Thousands of local residents will benefit from the MEDCAP and a total of two barangays in Cavite and Palawan will benefit from the ENCAP. The vigorous relation between the military and the civilian community will be brought to greater heights as Community Relations activities will be conducted in several exercise areas.
The success of the RP-US military training exercises like the PHIBLEX can also be attributed to the diligent participation of AFP reservists and the cooperation of concerned local government units.
The conduct of PHIBLEX 2012 perpetuates a long and lasting partnership founded firmly on common heritage between freedom-loving countries committed to the preservation of liberty and democracy. 1LT CHERRYL P TINDOG PN(M), Director, Marine Corps Public Affairs Office, Philippine Marine Corps
Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon today ordered the seizure of 100 million-peso worth of high-end laptop computers at the Port of Manila (POM).
Commissioner Biazon said this 3,915 units of Asus-brand laptop computers came from China, stuffed in two container vans and misdeclared by the consignee, Orza Marketing, as computer parts.
In his report to Commissioner Biazon, Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Group Horacio Suansing, Jr. said his office thru the Operations and Intelligence Office (OIO) initiated the operation due to misdeclaration and gross undervaluation of the said shipment, a clear violation of Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).
“Let this serve as a warning to all those who think they can get away with their illegal activities at the bureau. We shall not waver in our anti-smuggling campaign and we will eventually catch up with your illegal activities,” Biazon said.
Joining Commissioner Biazon and Deputy Commissioner Suansing in the media presentation was Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim of the Intelligence Group.
“We will not treat you with kid gloves. We will not treat those who willfully rob the Filipino people and their government gently. To those who get their way through bribery and inducement, don’t even think about it,” Lim said, adding that “The Arroyo government and the corrupt few in the military, which I have fought against, failed to seduce me with money or favor, so will you.”
For his part, Deputy Commissioner Suansing said both IG and EG are working hand in hand by providing intelligence and logistical support to all operating units working under their respective organizations. Jessil A. Felisario, Public Information & Assistance Division, Bureau of Customs (BOC)
Over 500 containers and other break-bulk cargoes with “Special Stop Order” issued by previous BOC Commissioners remain unclaimed at the Asian Terminals Incorporated (ATI) and International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).
In a letter to Commissioner Ruffy Biazon dated Sept. 26, 2011, a week after he assumed the office of the BOC Commissioner, ATI and ICTSI officials advised the Commissioner of the more than 500 unclaimed containers.
Commissioner Biazon for his part explained that upon knowing of the situation through the ATI and ICTSI letters, he was alarmed as no proper turnover by the staff of the previous Commissioner was done about the said cargoes that were put on “special stop.”
To facilitate the release of the subject containers, Commissioner Biazon is asking the affected brokers and consignees to contact Atty. Adelina Molina, Chief of Staff, Office of the Commissioner and to present copies of the corresponding entries (back-to-back) for said containers with the appropriate BOC findings.
According to the ATI Government Relations and Customer Service Officer Jun Hermes M. Balita’s letter, some of the containers on hold have already been processed for release by the BOC but the containers cannot be released in their system because of the Special Stop Order.
The ATI official particularly mentioned two (2) containers consigned to MBME Trading and another seven (7) containers consigned to Bounty Fields Enterprises that were recently requested for release by the BOC but could not be processed because of the Special Stop Order.
In addition to the nine (9) containers, 13 more overstaying containers that have already been approved for condemnation cannot be disposed due to the Special Stop Order.
“The records show some of the cargo has been on special stop for several years.” Biazon said, adding that “this practice of issuing special stop orders especially on practically wholesale scope like the over 500 containers and leaving it unattended is affecting the BOC’s collection, henceforth, we shall address this concern appropriately.” Jessil A. Felisario, Public Information & Assistance Division, Bureau of Customs (BOC)
Bureau of Customs Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim today said the rotting goods reported in the bureau’s different warehouses were the backlog of the previous Arroyo administration. Lim said the customs bureau is already making an inventory of all the seized goods currently stockpiled, many of which were reportedly in a putrid state of condition.
“As ordered by BoC Commisioner Ruffy Biazon, we have already made directives to conduct a comprehensive appraisal of all seized goods currently stored at the bureau’s warehouses,” Lim said.
“If there are perishable goods, then they must be immediately assessed if they can still be of use to the public. If they are not fit for human consumption or a threat to public safety, then they must be immediately destroyed. If they are used clothes, which were originally intentioned as donations to charitable institutions but ended up as ukay-ukay, together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, we will study the possibility of restoring them to their original intent—for charity and relief,” Lim added.
Lim also said all goods that are deemed for auction but are “accumulating cobwebs” in different warehouses would immediately be processed. The customs intelligence chief said the seized goods must help in generating more revenues for the government.
“Without more ado, these seized goods must benefit the people either through increased revenues or relief. The longer they stay at warehouses and gather dust, the more they are prone to pilferage and wastage. We will not let that happen,” Lim stressed.
Lim said many of the hot goods gathering cobwebs at the bureau’s warehouses were the backlog of the previous Arroyo administration.
“Truth is, many of these goods were the backlog of the previous administration. This is the product of inefficiency, which conveniently fused with corruption. These are the things the new leadership of Comm. Biazon is trying to rectify. I hope the public will be more patient as we try to correct the errors of the past and realize meaningful reforms inside the bureau,” Lim concluded.
Some of the hot goods reportedly still stored at the bureau’s warehouses are hot cars, second hand tires, used clothes, flour, iron, canned goods (Maling), electrical wires, unclaimed balikbayan boxes, printers, cigarettes, batteries, plastic resin, tiles, textile and stuffed toys.
Some of the goods have pending cases before the courts, while others have failed biddings. Jessil A. Felisario, Public Information & Assistance Division, Bureau of Customs (BOC)
Overseas Filipinos who would be sending gifts and packages to their loved ones here, especially during the coming yuletide season, have every reason to worry less about their gifts and packages being lost or pilfered. In a working visit to Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Ruffy Biazon by Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) General Manager and former Bulacan Governor Josefina De La Cruz last October 13, 2011, the two heads of office discussed ways to enhance their partnership to facilitate faster releases of packages from abroad and to strengthen the security measures to avoid loss and/or pilferage of packages. According to Biazon, he is glad of the strengthened partnership between the BOC and Philpost, especially in their efforts to provide the “matuwid na daan” type of service to the Filipino nation. De La Cruz offered the BOC a more spacious and secure place within the Philpost building where packages that will have to go through customs shall be safely kept and stored prior to release. “I am glad of this partnership between the BOC and Philpost as it only shows of this government’s desire to provide only the best to the Filipinos,” Biazon said. De La Cruz for her part said, “With the wider space and CCTV covered area provided to the Bureau of Customs, the inspection and storage of packages from abroad shall be secured.” In an incident earlier this year, a Customs official together with another Philpost official were caught by a CCTV camera while pilfering packages from abroad at the NAIA Philpost office. Jessil A. Felisario, Public Information & Assistance Division, Bureau of Customs (BOC)
In an effort to address climate change, the Quezon City government and other local government members of the Alliance of 7 (A7) will be promoting the use of bicycles as a means of transportation to keep the air clean.
Other LGU members of the alliance are Marikina , Pasig , Antipolo. Cainta, Rodriguez and San Mateo.
QC Mayor Herbert M. Bautista is set to give away 10 bicycles to selected community leaders in the city who are active in the rehabilitation of the Marikina Watershed Project and also in the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (CDRR) effort. The bike distribution will be held during the pre-anniversary activities of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) which will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary on October 23 (Sunday).
The event dubbed as “Padyak for CDRR” is a cycling caravan that will start in Quezon City and will end in Marikina. The activity is aimed at promoting the role of the bike as CDRR tool.
The participating cyclists during the caravan will have to stop in each City to discuss the Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction in a simple ceremony headed by the local chief executives like Mayor Bautista.
PRRM, the organizer of the event, believes that the bicycle is a useful CDRR tool in disseminating vital information in the communities, while saving on gasoline and keeping the air clean.
On the other hand, the cycling caravan and the program during the event will enable to promote effort for the rehabilitation of the Marikina Watershed to a wider public, according to the PRRM. Maureen Quiñones, PAISO
The Quezon City government has warned barangay officials against allowing informal settlers to build new colonies within their jurisdiction, particularly in areas along waterways or danger zones.
In a press statement, Mayor Herbert Bautista said “we will not hesitate to prosecute local officials who fail to curtail the proliferation and further increase of informal settlements in their respective areas.”
Mayor Bautista said that makeshift dwellings on waterways and along riverbanks contribute to floods and water contamination, putting at risk the lives of thousands more of other people.
He said: “We have been given the teeth to discipline, suspend and remove such officials by the Department of Interior and Local Government under Memorandum circular MC-2011-017.”
The Mayor reminded barangay officials that allowing more and more families to live in unhygienic surroundings, with more and more poor children getting sick, with more indigent families dying from flood-causing mudslides and collapsing structures, will amount to creating more problems for the city government.
Already, the city government has to contend with the problem of funding its pro-poor housing communities where informal settlers could be resettled. “Given the sheer size of our informal settler population – more than 232,000 families – the funds needed to make a significant reduction in the number is huge. That is why we have began implementing two revenue measures mandated for local governments under the Urban Development and Housing Act way back in 1992: the idle land tax and the socialized housing tax.”
Collection from the two tax measures are estimated at P300 million yearly, which will go into a special fund for housing. Mencio/ Ej/ Maureen Quiñones, PAISO
The Department of Trade and Industry’s campaign to grow exports for the home, holiday décor, and fashion sectors gains momentum as close to 300 exhibitors and 800 local and foreign buyers pre-registered to participate in Manila FAME International trade show this week (October 16-19).
Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo has earlier called on industry players to band together into one signature event for the Philippine furniture industry under the Manila FAME banner. “We are focusing our efforts in areas where we are competitive. Now that we have a unified show for the home and fashion sectors, we look forward to growing our exports to achieve our PEDP target by 2016,” Secretary Domingo said.
The Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2011-2013 outlines key product, market, and promotions strategies to grow Philippine exports to US$120B by 2016. “These strategies are based on the realities in the global supply chain, international negotiations, and innovations in export marketing and promotions,” the trade chief added.
To date, the Philippine home style sector remains among the country’s export winners based on data from the National Statistics Office (NSO). Woodcraft manufactures alone ranked third in total export sales increasing by 70.7% in August 2011 compared to same period last year. Also, holiday décor exports grew by 29.9%, while fine jewelry exports grew by 38.21%.
“Consumers from developed countries like China have become more cosmopolitan and the rising demand of furniture and woodcrafts in Japan, as reconstruction picks up, have helped influence this growth,” said Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Adrian Cristobal Jr. “Manila FAME’s consolidation in promoting one country brand for the sector will further sharpen our competitive advantage and address the emerging markets,” he added.
Philippine baskets and woven products have also found new US clients. The local home décor industry constantly develops more niche markets, thus contributing to the sector’s growth pace.
The Manila FAME International October edition will be the first time the country’s major furniture events are consolidated into an international super show – Manila Now, and Cebu Next. It is organized by the DTI’S Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).
Last April, Philippine business support organizations came together to support the Manila FAME supershow, namely Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP), Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF), Cebu FAME, Association of Negros Producers, Cebu GTH, Christmas Décor Producers and Exporters Association of the Philippines (CDPEAP), Hospitality and Wellness Pilipinas, Home Accents Group of the Philippines, Mindanao Trade Expo, Philippine Chamber of Handicraft Industries (PCHI), and Philippine Exporters Confederation (PHILEXPORT).
Meantime, the DTI’s Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) also organized buying missions from South Korea, India, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia for the October show. Global brands such as Hallmark, Marks & Spencer, Crate & Barrel, and El Corte Ingles among others have confirmed attendance to the show. Reden Miranda, Public Relations Office, Department of Trade and Industry
The Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has virtually declared as illegal the operations of the Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation (MVGC), saying it has not issued any permit or license to operate to the jai-alai off-fronton betting firm which is also allegedly involved in illegal gambling operations.
In response to two queries made by Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, GAB Commissioner Mohammad Aquil Tamano said the DILG-PNP, with GAB as lead agency, could conduct raids against MVGC betting stations and that the DILG can issue a memorandum circular to all local government units (LGUs) that MVGC does not have the appropriate license from GAB to operate.
Tamano explained that the Court of Appeals has upheld the legality of the GAB’s cease and desist order (CDO) against MVGC’s jail-alai off-fronton betting operations via a decision dated August 18, 2011 in CA-G.R. No. 119842.
“In said decision, the CA reiterated the doctrine in the Supreme Court case of Lim vs. Pacquing recognizing the supervisory and regulatory powers of GAB over jai-alai,” Tamano told Robredo.
“Given this, we resumed the implementation of our CDO on the off-fronton stations of MVGC wherever they may be found. As of (this) writing, we have conducted 39 CDO-related operations, the latest being on September 12, 2011,” the GAB chief added.
The CDO operations against MVGC, Tamano explained, is in the nature of administrative enforcement which is the primary responsibility of the GAB.
“However, the GAB needs law enforcement personnel to ensure the peaceful and orderly closure of off-fronton betting stations. The CDOs will be served under this manner, i.e. under the authority and generally in the presence of GAB organic personnel ably assisted by PNP personnel assigned to the GAB anti-illegal gambling unit,” he said.
In reply to Robredo’s second query if the DILG can issue a memo circular to all LGUs banning or outlawing the operations of the MVGC in their localities, Tamano said the agency could do so.
“Going to your second query, the Board (GAB) has no objection to the issuance by the DILG of a memorandum circular to all LGUs advising them that GAB has not issued any permits to any off-fronton betting station of MVGC, as in fact, none has been issued,” Tamano said.
The MVGC, which is widely-believed as co-owned by former President Estrada’s gambling consultant Atong Ang, has established several jai-alai off-fronton betting stations, using business permits approved and issued by mayors, in Metro Manila, Western Visayas, Bicol Region, Southern Tagalog, and Central and Northern Luzon.
It is also supposedly allowed to operate only inside the Cagayan Export Processing Zone (CEZA), which earlier granted it permit to operate, in Cagayan province.
PNP field reports say that MVGC’s jai-alai off-fronton on-line betting stations is being used by its employees as convenient cover in illegal gambling operations, alternately using them reportedly as jueteng bet collecting office. Feliz Regis, PAO-DILG