Singil na Airport Fee sa mga OFW Ipinatitigil ni Bello


Nagbabala na si Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III na gagawa ng legal na hakbangin laban sa mga airline companies upang mapilitan silang itigil ang pangongolekta o pagsingil ng travel tax at terminal fee sa mga overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

“Ang patuloy na paniningil ng travel tax at terminal fee sa mga OFW ay hindi tama dahil hindi na sila saklaw ng batas na ipinatupad na tatlong taon na ang nakararaan. Dapat ay matagal na ring itinigil ng mga airline company ang paniningil nila,” wika ni Bello.

Ginawa ng kalihim ang pahayag matapos na igiit ng mga airline companies na ititigil lamang nila ang pangongolekta ng nasabing kabayaran sa darating pang Abril 30.

Dagdag pa ni Bello, wala umanong legal na basehan ang Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) at airline companies na mangolekta ng travel tax at terminal fee sa mga OFW dahil hindi na sila kasama rito batay na rin sa bisa ng Presidential Decree No. 1183 at R. A. No. 8042, o ang Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995, as Amended by R. A. No. 10022.

Ang CAAP ang siyang namamahala sa pangongolekta ng mga kaukulang bayarin kaugnay sa operasyon ng mga pampublikong serbisyong panghimpapawid, kabilang na rin ang pagpapanatili ng kaayusan sa mga pambansang paliparan at air navigation.

“Idudulog namin ito sa Office of the Solicitor General upang malaman ang mga legal na aksyon na maaaring gawin para agad itong matigil. Hindi sa Abril 30, kung hindi ngayon na,” sinabi pa ni Bello.

Sinabi rin ng kalihim na ang CAAP ang dapat na nagre-remit ng mga non-refunded na travel tax at terminal fee sa Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) na siyang nangangalaga ng pondo ng OFW. Bilang ahensya ng DOLE, ang OWWA ang siyang namamahala sa mga programa para sa mga OFW.

“Ang mga travel tax at iba pang bayad na nakokolekta mula sa mga OFW at hindi naibabalik sa kanila ay dapat na naire-remit sa OWWA,” dagdag pa ni Bello.

Noong nakaraang buwan, sumulat si Bello kay Director General Jim Sydiongco ng CAAP, at binigyan rin ng kopya nito sina Secretary Arthur Tugade ng Department of Transportation, General Manager Eddie V. Monreal ng Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), at Atty. Guiller B. Asido ng Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, upang gumawa na ng kaukulang hakbangin ang mga nasabing opisina sa ibat ibang terminal ng paliparan para sa pagpapatigil ng pangongolekta ng tax at terminal fee sa mga OFW. (DOLE Communications Office/Abegail De Vega/ Paul Ang)

TESDA to give free skills training to members of the press


NPC-TESDA SKILLS TRAINING
SKILLS TRAINING. National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) president, Paul M. Gutierrez of the Journal Group, proudly shows with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director general, Guiling ‘Gene’ Mamondiong, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) they signed last February 15, 2017, providing for free skills training for members of the press and their families under the ‘Training for Work Scholarship Program’ of TESDA. Others in photo are (from left) NPC Dir. Boying Abasola, Alvin Murcia, Joe Torres, TESDA DDO Alvin Feliciano, NPC Vice Pres. Mina Navarro, NPC Dir. Jean Fernando, Benedict Abaygar and TESDA DDG Rebecca Calzado. The signing was facilitated by DDGO Alvin Feliciano, a former director of the NPC and Murcia, who co-chairs the NPC Education Committee.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will give free skills training for qualified members of National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) and their dependents following the signing of an agreement between the two parties.

TESDA Director General, Secretary Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong and NPC President Paul Gutierrez led the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA), which is “in line with TESDA’s two-pronged strategy on poverty reduction” and “aims to provide interventions through skills and development by providing access to training to journalists for self or wage-employment to uplift their economic status”.

Mamondiong said that the courses under the skills training are part of the Agency’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).

All bonafide and qualified members of the NPC or any two of their children may avail of the skills training program.

Officials and members of the NPC thanked TESDA for the skills training program as initiated by Mamondiong and Deputy Director General for TESDA Operations Alvin Feliciano, who is also a former director of the NPC.

“The NPC extends its sincerest gratitude to TESDA, especially to Director General Guiling Mamondiong and to our colleague DDG Alvin Feliciano for opening this window of opportunity to the members of the press and their families.

“This MOA would act as an inspiration to its hundreds of beneficiaries for a better future ahead of them as any holder of a TESDA certificate has a greater chance of finding work not only here but also abroad,” NPC President Gutierrez said. (Paul Gutierrez)

CREDIT CARD FACILITY PARA SA MGA MAGMAMAIS SA BANSANG PILIPINAS, INILUNSAD


Hawak nina Perlie Joy Paredes at Gerald Tupaz ang DEKALB MLITE credit card na inilunsad para sa mga magmamais. (L-R) Kasama sina Monsanto Philippines Marketing Lead Pamela Faye Mallari, Model Agro Sales CEO Delson Sonza, Monsanto Philippines CEO Rachel Lomibao, at iba pang Monsanto Executive. (3rd from right) Metrobank VP/Head of Product Development Roseanne Tan kasama rin ang iba pang Metrobank Executives.
 BINIGYANG lutas na ng Monsanto ang isa sa matinding suliranin ng mga magsasaka sa Pilipinas, ito ay ang kawalan o kakulangan ng kapital ng mga magmamais.

Una nang inilunsad ng Monsanto at Metrobank sa ating bansa ang Dekalb MLite upang bigyan ng mababang pautang sa loob na apat na buwan ang mga magsasakang magmamais.

Ang credit card facility ay magagamit lamang ng mga biniyayaang magsasaka ng mais sa pambili ng kanilang mga binhi, abono at iba pang kakailanganin nila sa pagtatanim ng kanilang BT corn.

Kailangan lamang na mag-apply ng Dekalb MLite sa alinmang Metrobank Branch sa inyong lugar. Ang credit card ay pautang na may 5.5 porsiyentong interes na babayaran sa loob ng 4 na buwan. Walang kolateral na kailangan. Magsumite lamang ng valid id at rekomendasyon ng binibilhang distributor o dealer ng Monsanto Products.

Mula Php 10,000.00 hanggang 10 milyong piso ang maaaring ipagkaloob na credit limit ng Dekalb MLite. Nasa Php 52,000.00 hanggang Php 55,000.00 kada ektarya ang inaasahang credit card limit ng mga maaprubahang magsasaka ng mais na suki na ng Monsanto.

Matatandaan na ang Pilipinas ay isa lamang sa mga bansang may presensya ang kumpanya ng Monsanto sa Timog Silangang Asya (Southeast Asia) na kinabibilangan din ng bansang Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Pilipinas, South Korea at Vietnam.

Ang Dekalb Mlite credit card facility ay maari rin ilunsad sa iba pang bansa sa Timog Silangang Asya kung matagumpay ang kahihinatnan nito sa mga magsasakang pinagkalooban sa Pilipinas.

Ayon sa pag-aaral, ang bansang Pilipinas ay 60% ng mga magmamais ang umaasa sa mga nagpapautang sa maikling panahon at hindi nangangailangan ng kolateral ngunit nagpapataw ng malaking interes.

Dahil dito, hindi maiwasang ilahad ni Rachel Lomibao, CEO ng Monsanto Philippines at na maala-ala nya ang kanyang karanasan bilang isang probinsya na isinilang at lumaki sa isang pamilya ng magsasaka mula sa lalawigan ng Pangasinan.

Saksi siya at naging karanasan ng kanyang pamilya ang kakulangan ng puhunan ng isang magsasaka upang makapagtanim mula pa lamang sa paghahanda ng lupa hanggang sa pag-ani ng pananim. Sa madaling salita ay gumagastos na umano ang isang magsasaka bago pa man ito tuluyang mapakinabangan.

Nasubaybayan din nya na mula sa dating tabakuan ay naging maisan ang kanyang sinilangang bayan sa Pangasinan.

Kaya naman ninais ng kauna-unahan ding Pilipinang CEO ng Monsanto Philippines, nagtapos sa UP Los Baños, at dati ring nagtrabaho sa SEARCA, na magkaroon ng kakayahan ang mga magsasaka na mamuhunan o magkaroon ng sariling negosyo at hindi na mabaon sa utang upang makapagtanim lamang.

Paniniwala naman si Lomibao na ang pagkakaisa ng Monsanto at Metrobank ay magmumulat sa iba pang commercial banks na pagtuunang mamuhunan rin sa larangan ng agrikultura hindi lamang upang magpautang kundi maging sa pagpapaunlad ng  imprastraktura gaya ng post-harvest facilities at farm mechanization technologies.

Una nang nabigyan ng Metrobank ang Model Agro Sales sa katauhan ni Delson Sonza na mula sa Panay Island na nasa rehiyon ng Visayas. Ang Model Agro Sales ay naging malaking bahagi ng pag-unlad ng industriya ng hybrid corn na nagpatatag din sa mga feed millers sa nabanggit na lugar.

Asahan ng mga magmamais sa iba’t-ibang dako ng bansa na mabibiyayayan din sila ng Dekalb MLite bilang pambansang programa ng dalawang matatatag na kumpanya sa larangan ng agrikultura at pananalapi. (Cathy Cruz)

GM CROPS CAN MEET NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS IN THE PHILIPPINES – DR. MILTON STOKES TOP NUTRITIONIST


Monsanto’s Director for Global Health and Nutrition Outreach, Dr. Milton Stokes said GM crops can help the Philippines meet its nutritional requirements.

 

In a press briefing on March 7 at Sulo Hotel, Dr. Stokes said “crops like Golden Rice with beta-carotene biosynthesis genes to combat Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) can help prevent 1-2 million deaths and 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness annually.”

 

Meantime, Dr. Stokes emphasized that “GMOs are as safe and as nutritious as conventional crops. ”It has been 30 years since GMO crops have been researched and developed with more than 1000 studies which all indicate that GMO crops are just as safe as those developed through traditional breeding,”  said Stokes. GM crops are now planted in 70 countries with more than 3.95 billion acres of land used for GM planting since 1996.

 

In the Philippines, debate is ongoing on the safety and impact of GM crops. Dr. Stokes shared that more than 90 government bodies globally review and approve GMOs. Moreover, there are countries such as the Philippines where multiple agencies are involved in GM regulation.

 

“GM crops are also the most studied crops which explains its record of safety,” said Dr. Stokes. “On the average, a GMO crop takes 13 years and USD 130 M of research and development before it gets into the market.”

 

Dr. Stokes is in Manila to engage with dietitians and other professionals on topics pertaining to food, agriculture, and nutrition. Before coming to Monsanto, Dr. Stokes had a tenure-track professorship in nutrition and directed a dietetic internship at the University of Saint Joseph in Connecticut. He also owned a private nutrition counseling practice with multiple offices throughout Connecticut and is a former restaurateur. His restaurant, co-owned with his mom, Ann, featured traditional food from the Southern region of the United States.

 

Dr. Stokes has a master’s degree is in Public Health from Hunter College and his clinical training was conducted at Yale-New Haven Hospital affiliated with Yale University School of Medicine. His doctoral degree, from the University of Connecticut, is in Communication and Marketing with a specialization in Health Communication. (MonPhil/TN)

Pres. Duterte approves SSS P2k pension hike, backs continuing reforms for fund sustainability

The Social Security System (SSS) has declared its support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to approve an across-the-board pension increase of P2,000.


The Social Security System (SSS) has declared its support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to approve an across-the-board pension increase of P2,000 that would benefit the agency’s over two million pensioners, with the initial P1,000 increase effective this month and another P1,000 in 2022 or earlier.

However, the Chief Executive instructed the SSS to incorporate the proposal of the economic managers to ensure the sustainability of the pension fund by implementing an additional 1.5% contribution rate and lifting the maximum monthly salary credit (MSC) to P20,000 from the current P16,000 by May 2017.
Duterte said that “SSS should be seen as long-term savings and not an expense,” adding that actively-paying members enjoy six types of benefits and loan privileges.
The President added that legal enforcement of the SS Law will be strengthened through issuance of Executive Orders to ensure social protection of workers.
SS Chair Dean Amado Valdez thanked the President on his decision to grant the pension hike. He also acknowledged the assistance of economic managers and lawmakers who showed concern for SSS pensioners and members.
“This shows that the President truly cares for our elderly who have been waiting for the outcome of the proposed P2,000 increase. At the same time, his decision to implement the pension increase with a corresponding contribution hike and increasing the MSC limits supports the continuing reforms in SSS to consider the welfare of the greater population of over 30 million members, who look forward to their own SSS pensions at the time of their retirement.”
Once implemented, the combination of additional contributions and increasing the MSC ceiling would put the SSS lifespan at 2040 as of 2017.
Dean Valdez concurred with the Chief Executive’s pronouncement that the taxpayer’s money should not be used to fund the SSS pension hike. “He is being responsible when he said the government should not subsidize the pension hike because SSS is a private pension fund by nature and it is unfair for taxpayers to shoulder increases in SSS benefits.”
To help fund the proposed pension hike, Dean Valdez said SSS will also intensify its collection efforts and improve its collection efficiency by going after non-complying employers.
Another strategy to improve revenues is in the area of investments. Dean Valdez reiterated SSS plans to diversify assets by directly investing in up to 25 percent ownership in a wide range of industries, including infrastructure projects like toll roads, real estate and even lotto operations.
On the issue of operating expenses, Dean Valdez said that SSS has cut down its operating expenses in its 2017 budget by P1 billion as it seeks measures to improve its performance and address the existing structural imbalance in funding.
Dean Valdez also responded to issue of salaries and bonuses of SSS officials which have been the subject of criticisms in debates around the pension hike issue. He clarified that the compensation and performance-based bonus of SSS have been capped not only for SSS but across all GOCCs with the enactment of the GOCC Governance Act and Executive Order 24 in 2011.
“We will make sure that compensation is performance-based. If all the targets we have set have been accomplished, then I think it is just fair to give incentives for good performance. This is, after all, is a practice in all government offices and private corporations,” said Dean Valdez.
“There are a lot of interventions that we are already doing to raise more funds for the SSS pension fund,” said Dean Valdez.
From SSS MEDIA AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Edited and Posted by Peter Paul Duran

SSS is new brand of people’s capitalism

“With proposed innovations in investments, the Social Security System (SSS) is shaping a new developmental ideology to give the working class an opportunity to be the richest in the country through their pooled savings in the pension fund,” said Social Security Commission (SSC) Chairman Dean Amado Valdez.


             “With proposed innovations in investments, the Social Security System (SSS) is shaping a new developmental ideology to give the working class an opportunity to be the richest in the country through their pooled savings in the pension fund,” said Social Security Commission (SSC) Chairman Dean Amado Valdez.

marketmonitor.com.ph
            Speaking before the prestigious Rotary Club of Manila, Valdez said: “SSS’ approaches to its investments are shaping up a new developmental ideology that goes into the middle of those who are in the extreme right and left, suiting perfectly the people’s aspiration in pursuit of economic development.”
            Dean Valdez said that the new brand of capitalism maybe the start of a peaceful economic revolution that will usher in the marginalized society to the economic mainstream. 
            “SSS is among the top companies with highest profit, therefore, our members and pensioners are the richest, collectively.  The way we invest right now is that we make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer because individually we do not have the capacity to invest.  Can we not give the working man a chance now through its pension fund?,” Dean Valdez said.
            SSS plans to diversify assets by directly investing up to 25 percent ownership in a wide range of industries, including infrastructure projects like toll roads, real estate and even lottery operations, which are being studied rigorously by the SSC.
“For example, these innovative approaches of SSS in earning more for the pension fund may even result in the eradication of jueteng operations which is controlled by the rich.  SSS plans to conduct lottery operations on its own and share the income from it to our pensioners,” Dean Valdez said. 
            “The return on SSS investments has an average of seven percent for 2016, and we hope to bring it up by 15 to 20 percent next year following the enhancements in investment practices and the new investing projects and activities we plan to carry out in the next several months,” Dean Valdez said.
            SSS is pushing for amendments to its Charter specifically on the conservative provisions of the SSS charter on the investing capacities of the Commission.
            The SSS charter provides for certain limitations on the powers of the Commission to invest its reserve fund. At present, SSS could only invest in private securities, housing, real estate, short and medium-term member loans, government financial institutions and corporations, infrastructure projects, foreign currency denominated investments and any particular industry that the Commission deems profitable.

 

From SSS MEDIA AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Edited and Posted by Peter Paul Duran

SSS cuts 2017 Opex by P1B

The Social Security System (SSS) has cut down its 2017 budget for operating expenses (opex) by P1 billion as it seeks measures to improve its financial performance.


The Social Security System (SSS) has cut down its 2017 budget for operating expenses (opex) by P1 billion as it seeks measures to improve its financial performance.

Image result for sss images

 
Dean Amado Valdez, Chairman of the Social Security Commission (SSC) said that from the original proposal of P13.22 billion, the SSC board has only approved the allocation of P12.21 billion for operating expenses, which is 54 percent of the Charter’s limit or 5.7 percent of total revenue.
 
“SSS has seen improvement in its profitability as a result of cost-efficiency measures that greatly reduced expenditures from 2010 to 2016. With the P1-billion budget cut, we can maintain SSS expenses at levels that will help shore up the agency’s profits for 2017,” Valdez explained.
 
Relatedly, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Dooc assured the public of SSS’ strict attention to its duties, particularly the prudent allocation of SSS funds for expenditure.
 
“With close supervision by the SSC and Governance Commission for GOCCs, the pension fund is kept afloat amid the low-growth environment of the market through management activities that conscientiously comply with the discharge of our fiduciary responsibilities,” Dooc said.
 
He explained that SSS costs of operating activities had remained below its allowed Charter limit at an average ratio of 59 percent over the past seven years or at 5.9 percent of total revenue. Despite an annual average increase of eight percent in volume of transactions processed by the agency, it has run the cost of its operations with a moderate increase in opex by six percent every year. Taking out inflation, the rate increase is effectively at three percent.

“This continued prudence was achieved amid branch expansion activities and system-wide upgrades that paved the way for growth in membership and collections across the region,” Dooc noted.
 
He added that SSS will determine how low operating expenses could be further reduced without compromising its operations.
 
Latest data from the agency showed that SSS has posted P10 billion in total expenses last year, comprised of payments made for the salaries, wages and bonuses of employees; and for maintenance of branches, rent and other operating costs.
 
The salaries and bonuses of SSS officials have been the subject of criticisms levelled at the SSS in debates around the pension hike issue. SSS, in its previous statements, clarified that these have been capped not only for SSS but across all GOCCs with the enactment of the GOCC Governance Act and Executive Order 24 in 2011.
 
SSS has 6,000 employees deployed across its 296 branches nationwide and abroad. It has a membership base of over 34 million at present, of which two million are receiving pensions.

 

From SSS MEDIA AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Edited and Posted by Peter Paul Duran