All set for transfer of first 8 Philippine eagles to new breeding sanctuary

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 February) – Preparations are now in full swing for the transfer of the first eight Philippine eagles to the isolated National Bird Breeding Sanctuary (NBBS) in Barangay Eden, Toril District on Tuesday, February 13, a Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) official said Friday. PEF communications officer Nathaniele Noelle Nuelan told MindaNews the raptors […].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanews mindanewsFeb 12th, 2024

8 PH eagles to be transferred to new breeding facility in Barangay Eden

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 1 February)—Eight Philippine eagles will be transferred to a new breeding sanctuary of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) in Barangay Eden, Toril District in this city from its center in Barangay Malagos on the evening of February 13. The transfer will coincide with the foundation’s 37th anniversary. Nathaniele Noelle Nuelan, PEF […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2024

8 breeding Philippine eagles transferred to new facility

EIGHT breeding Philippine eagles were finally transferred on February 13 to the National Bird Breeding Sanctuary (NBBS) located in Barangay Eden, Toril, Davao City......»»

Category: newsSource:  sunstarRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2024

Preserving the Philippine Eagle sanctuary in Bukidnon

The preservation of the environment has never been more critical than it is today. The world is facing a dual crisis: climate change and biodiversity loss. These crises are interconnected and addressing them requires an integrated approach. The Filinvest Group, through subsidiary FDC Misamis Power Corporation, has partnered anew with the Philippine Eagle Foundation to establish an initial 20-hectare reforestation and carbon sink area in Barangay Guilang-guilang, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Under the Memorandum of Agreement recently signed by FDC Misamis and PEF, within the next three years, PEF will lead the reforestation of the grasslands planting endemic species, while FDC Misamis will provide funding for the entire project. Within the project area is Mt. Tago, home to a pair of Philippine Eagles — female Kalabugao and male Guilang-guilang — and their eaglet Maluko. PEF first released Kalabugao into the wild in 2010 after nursing her back to health, following a period where she was kept as a pet by a local farmer. After her release, Kalabugao crossed to the new-found territory at Mt. Tago, where she met Guilang-guilang. Their first nesting attempt failed but succeeded the following courtship season, successfully hatching Maluko. Just recently, PEF, along with forest guards, spotted their second eaglet. According to PEF research and development director Dr. Jayson Ibanez, Kalabugao's milestone "became the world's first case of a rescued, rehabilitated and released juvenile Philippine eagle surviving to sexual maturity and breeding in the wild." The Philippine eagles have thrived in the area through the years with the help of the local community, specifically the Guilang-guilang Apo Datu Nanikonan Association, Inc., as the site is part of their ancestral domain. Carbon sink management, eagle preservation and the involvement of indigenous peoples are essential components of environmental sustainability. These issues are interrelated, thus a balanced approach is necessary for long-term success. "FDC Misamis understands that managing carbon sinks is necessary to mitigate the impacts of climate change while preserving the Philippine eagle is crucial to maintaining biodiversity. Indigenous peoples, who have longstanding relationships with these ecosystems, play an essential role in ensuring these efforts succeed," said FDC Misamis president and CEO Juan Eugenio L. Roxas. [caption id="attachment_132490" align="aligncenter" width="525"] PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE FILINVEST GROUP | Officials of PEF, FDC Misamis, GADNAI and LGU Manolo Fortich during the unveiling of the GADNAI Kapulinagan Carbon Forest: (from left) PEF research and development director Dr. Jayson Ibañez, PEF executive director Dennis Salvador, FDC Misamis president and CEO Juan Eugenio L. Roxas, GADNAI chairman and head claimant Datu Honorio Sumohoy, Manolo Fortich municipal administrator Joey Gaid and Guilang-guilang barangay captain Glenn Sumohoy Gulle.[/caption] "We are happy to link GADNAI with FDC Misamis and help build this new partnership. Hopefully, this collaboration will prosper into the future not only for the eagles but for the benefit of the people and ultimately for the nation's interest," said PEF executive director Dennis Salvador. GADNAI plays a critical role in reforestation's success. Part of the project component is capacity building for locals and providing alternate livelihood. Indigenous communities have often been excluded from conservation efforts or have had their knowledge and practices disregarded. Their involvement in these efforts can promote social and environmental justice. "By recognizing and respecting GADNAI's rights and contributions, we can work toward a more equitable and sustainable future," added Roxas. FDC Misamis owns and operates a 405-megawatt thermal baseload power plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, which significantly contributes to the stability of the Mindanao grid. Its parent company, FDC Utilities, Inc., the power and utility arm of the Filinvest Group, is also pursuing the development of sustainable energy projects such as solar, hydropower, biomass and waste-to-energy projects. The carbon sink management program is the Filinvest Group's second project with PEF. Initial conservation efforts started in 2019 when Filinvest, through FDCUI, adopted Philippine Eagle PE-A-84-WM022 formally, now known as Dagitab. The post Preserving the Philippine Eagle sanctuary in Bukidnon appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 14th, 2023

PBA dreams within reach at Letran, says ex-UST Tiger Rhenz Abando

RHENZ ABANDO (UAAP image) Rhenz Abando says that his transfer to defending NCAA champion Letran from embattled University of Santo Tomas is more than just a school-to-school move, but one that would likely benefit his career in the long run because of the opportunities he thinks he would get with the Knights.  Abando – one of three former UST players who changed address from España to Intramuros – met Tuesday with Knights mentor Bonnie Tan and Alfrancis Chua, sports director of San Miguel Miguel Corporation, which backs the school’s basketball program. “May mga opportunities kasi sa Letran, mga coaches nila nasa PBA na din,” says Abando, referring to Tan – team manager of GlobalPort – and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel guard LA Tenorio, who is part of Letran’s coaching staff, in an interview Wednesday with Manila Bulletin. “Magiging malaking tulong sa improvement ko as a player, siempre goal ko is makatuntong din sa PBA. Saka ang Letran Dominican school din naman kaya mas pinili ko na doon lumipat.” Aside from Tan and Tenorio, there’s also Chua, who coached PBL Grand Slam champion Stag in the mid-90s and the PBA teams of Tanduay, Sta. Lucia Realty and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, also represents SMC, which owns Ginebra, Magnolia Hotshots and San Miguel Beer in the pros, and volleyball team Petron Blaze in the PSL. Chua, in an interview Tuesday, said that Letran players are well taken care of by SMC similar to what they do with professional athletes, exactly what was assured Abando, Brent Paraiso and Ira Bataller. “Siguro naniniwala sila sa system ng Letran at sa pag-aalaga ng San Miguel sa players. Alam nila kung paano kami magpatakbo ng team,” said Chua, also the governor of Ginebra in the PBA board. “Hindi sila nagkamali sa pagpili sa Letran, kasi kung paano kami mag-alaga ng players sa professional, ganun din sa collegiate level. Malaking karagdagan sila sa team, siguro mas sasaya ang mga ka-Arriba natin.” Abando begged off to comment when asked the other schools that sought his services, although sources said Letran’s arch nemesis San Beda University, as well as De La Salle University, tried to recruit the La Union native. He, however, may have indirectly answered questions of offers from a UAAP school when he said he doesn’t want to play in the same league where his former alma mater is a member. “Ayoko na din kasi maglaro sa UAAP dahil ayoko din makalaban ang UST,” said Abando. “Baka kasi kapag madinig ko yung “GO USTe” baka play ng UST gawin ko or depensahan ko mga kakampi ko. Kaya din mas pinili ko ang NCAA kesa sa UAAP ako maglaro,” Abando added in jest. The decision to leave UST was not an easy thing to do, according to Abando, but he thanked his mother Lorena for the guidance, saying: “Mother ko yung tumulong sa akin… hindi madali e.” Abando, Paraiso and Bataller need to serve one-year residency as per NCAA guidelines for transferees. After that, both Abando and Paraiso have two years to play while Bataller has three more.  Although the addition of the 6-foot-5 Bataller and the 6-foot-2 Paraiso are considered important for the Knights, it was the recruitment of the 6-foot-4 Abando that really made the difference. After two seasons with the Philippine College Science and Technology in Calasiao, Pangasinan, Abando transferred to UST in 2019 and played one season – the 82nd UAAP where he helped the Tigers reach the final against eventual champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. i.....»»

Category: newsSource: NewsSep 9th, 2020

Grievance system in 4Ps needs improvement – PIDS

The government needs to enhance the capability of staff in handling complaints and concerns of beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, as well as improve data management for better implementation of the conditional cash transfer program, according to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2024

Uncertainty looms over Davao-Samal Bridge project amid RoW hurdles

The construction of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC), also known as the Davao-Samal Bridge project, has faced numerous setbacks due to right-of-way (ROW) acquisition challenges. The project was halted on January 3, 2024, due to issues with landowners near a pier in Lanang at Davao City, leading to delays in the project's implementation. While there have been conflicting statements regarding the project's status, the National Economic and Development Authority-Davao Region (Neda-Davao) aims to complete the detailed engineering plans for the substructure of the west land via dock once the Deed of Transfer Possession in Davao City is released. However, ROW issues continue to persist. Despite these challenges, the project is still considered a priority and is included in the Davao Region Development Plan (DRDP) for 2023–2028. The project is funded through China’s Official Development Assistance with an estimated budget of P23.04 billion, and negotiations with the Philippine government are ongoing with a target completion date in 2027. The uncertainty surrounding the project's timeline remains as ROW hurdles persist, impacting the much-anticipated toll-free four-lane concrete exodus bridge spanning a 3.98-kilometer distance......»»

Category: newsSource:  sunstarRelated NewsJan 30th, 2024

BCDA sets transfer of PAF facilities to New Clark City

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority is moving forward with the P4.24 billion project to transfer the Philippine Air Force housing facilities from the Air Force City in Clark Freeport Zone to an 85-hectare property in New Clark City......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 30th, 2024

PCG eyes transfer to Bilibid

The Philippine Coast Guard is looking into the possibility of transferring its headquarters from Port Area, Manila to the New Bilibid Prison reservation in Muntinlupa City, a PCG official said yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 17th, 2024

Wings of hope: PH eagles to be translocated to Leyte in conservation effort

The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) is undertaking a conservation effort to translocate two Philippine eagles to Leyte in collaboration with the Mohamed Bin Zayed Raptor Conservation Fund (MBZRCF). The aim is to reintroduce and establish a self-sustaining population of Philippine Eagles in Leyte. The decision to focus on juvenile and immature eagles for translocation is driven by the high rate of shooting and trapping of these birds in Mindanao. Leyte was chosen as the relocation site due to the commitment of the Local Government Unit (LGU), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Energy Development Corporation to protect the habitat. Pending government permits, a male and a female eagle will be released to the mountains of Leyte, with identified release sites. Over the course of three years, the foundation hopes to release a total of six eagles. Before their release, the eagles will undergo the hacking process and will be monitored using GPS trackers. Leyte was chosen as a relocation site due to the absence of Philippine Eagle sightings after Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. The loss of the eagle population on the island highlights the importance of repopulating Leyte, and the MBZRCF partnership is crucial in.....»»

Category: newsSource:  sunstarRelated NewsNov 28th, 2023

Philracom stages expo at Sta. Lucia East

The Philippine Racing Commission brings the horseracing industry closer to the public with the holding of the second Philippine Horseracing and Breeding Expo from Nov. 14 to 16 at the Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall in Cainta......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 11th, 2023

PBBM skips PCCI annual event’s end

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. failed to attend the final day of the 49th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, or PBCE, sending Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin instead. PBCE is the main assembly yearly of the country’s biggest trade group Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. An incumbent president usually attends the second day of the PBCE to personally receive the business group’s resolution and suggestions on various issues. Malacañang did not give any detail on Marcos’ failure the biggest gathering of businessmen yearly. However, Vice President Sara Duterte attended the first day of the conference, in which she urged PCCI officials and members to join the Department of Education in reviewing the current senior high school system and provide valuable insights on skills matching in order to produce employable graduates. Besides the President, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual also did not make it which according to the Department of Trade and Industry communication’s chief, Undersecretary Kim Lokin, Pascual has not been feeling well since Wednesday. Cabinet officials, however, were in the event. They included Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy, Energy Assistant Secretary Mario Marasigan and Internal Revenue Commissioner Artemio Lumagui Jr. Resolution submitted Bersamin received PCCI’s resolution, handed over by PCCI president George Barcelon and PBCE chairperson Felino Palafox. The resolution included the positions of various sectors, namely agriculture, energy and power; the environment and climate change; education and human resources development; industry and trade; ease of doing business and stability of rules and regulations; infrastructure, transport and logistics; innovation and digitalization; taxation, and tourism. Under the sectors of agriculture, energy and power, the business group urged the national government to develop a long-term plan to attain food security in agriculture and fishery through infrastructure support, technology transfer, product diversification, export enhancement, economies of scale, and adherence to the improvement of value chains and supply chains. For energy and power, the PCCI wanted the Marcos administration to ensure adequate and affordable power supply throughout the country by considering modern technology and harnessing renewable energy resources that meet the criteria of reliability and affordability. In terms of caring for the environment and climate change, PCCI officers and members also wanted the government to update and continue the execution of the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (2010- 2022) which envisions a climate risk-resilient Philippines with healthy, safe, prosperous, and self-reliant communities and thriving and productive ecosystems. For education and human resources development, the government was urged to propel the Philippine education system to world-class status by harnessing new technologies, fostering innovation, and implementing comprehensive reforms that will prepare students for success in the digital age and the globalized world of work. Empowering businesses For industry and trade, the Marcos administration wanted to empower industries and enterprises by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support programs to enhance their competitiveness both in the domestic and international markets, contribute to economic growth, and promote innovation in the Philippines’ industrial and trade sectors. Furthermore, the government was also advised to provide a stable and predictable business environment by ensuring clear, consistent, and transparent regulations, streamlining and simplifying bureaucratic processes, reducing unnecessary red tape, and eliminating barriers that hinder business growth and development. Bersamin received PCCI’s resolution, handed over by PCCI president George Barcelon and PBCE chairperson Felino Palafox. Despite the ongoing Build, Better More infrastructure program, PCCI urged the government to implement a comprehensive national infrastructure, transportation and logistics master plan that outlines a long-term vision for connectivity and country-wide development. Together with the goal of urban decongestion, the strategy shall encompass the development of growth/business centers in different regions to create more employment opportunities and encourage people to relocate outside Metro Manila. The post PBBM skips PCCI annual event’s end appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 26th, 2023

DAP placed under NEDA

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered the transfer of the Development Academy of the Philippines from the Office of the President to the National Economic and Development Authority as part of the current administration’s rightsizing policy. Based on Executive Order 45, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Malacañang transferred DAP to NEDA  to strengthen the relationship between NEDA and DAP for human resource development programs, research, data collection and information services. Socioeconomic goals The EO also wants to make sure that its study, education, and training are in line with the socioeconomic goals of the national government. “Pursuant to the rightsizing policy of the national government, it is imperative to streamline and rationalize the functional relationships of agencies with complementary mandates to promote coordination, efficiency, and organizational coherence in the bureaucracy,” part of the EO released to media showed on Thursday. The DAP, established under Presidential Decree No. 205, is currently connected to the OP under Section 23, Chapter 8, Title II, Book II of Executive Order 292, also known as the Administrative Code of 1987. Run programs for human resources It was created to help and promote the country’s development efforts by running programs for human resources that are meant to train people about development and improve management skills in the key parts of the government and the economy. NEDA is the main organization ensuring that all social and economic policies, plans and programs are ongoing, coordinated and thoroughly integrated. Its other job is to improve the analytical, operational, and evaluation skills of civil workers and the productivity of agencies listed in the Philippine Development Plan 2023–2028 in order to make the government run more smoothly. The post DAP placed under NEDA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 26th, 2023

PCG’s problematic dualism

There is a world of difference between the roles of a civilian agency and those of a military command. No civilian agency or military command should be doing the role of the other, lest they overlap, conflict, or render redundant their authority. The role of the Philippine Coast Guard is a good subject for legislative review — whether it fulfills a purely civilian function or a purely military one. The fact that it’s an attached agency of the Department of Transportation as much as an attached service of the Department of National Defense “confers” upon it a dualism that may be at cross purposes. While the PCG can fit either role, it shouldn’t. For in so doing, the line between maritime law enforcement and national defense is blurred.  One may be led to think that, perforce, the PCG is unadulteratedly a military organization as it used to be part of the Philippine Navy, a major branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Something explains this duality, but it may require assessment as to whether it must continue to have this dual character. In principle, any individual or unit that performs a task or mandate that essentially belongs solely to the military must forthwith be under a military commander or military organization. Who can even begin to fathom what it means when the Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard reports directly to the Transportation Secretary in the enforcement of maritime law, but also reports to the Defense Secretary if not the President in wartime? If one should take a cursory look at those who served as commandants of the PCG since its founding in 1967 under different presidents, one would find, viz.: 1) During Rodrigo Duterte’s term, only three served for over a year, while four served for less than a year, and one for only 18 days; 2) Under Benigno Aquino, four barely completed a year, one just a year, and one more than two years; 3) Under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, three served for barely a year, two served over two years or so; 4) Under Joseph Estrada, one served for two years; 5) In Fidel Ramos’ time, five served for less than a year, one for 32 days, and one for almost three years; 6) Under Corazon Aquino, two served for two years, one for three years, and two for a week or so; 7) Under Ferdinand Marcos Sr., four served for over a year, three served for 3, 4, 5 years, respectively. This tells us that commandants, as presidential appointees, must be the personal choices of the presidents they serve. With a change of the occupant in Malacañang, a change in the leadership of the PCG also takes place, good or bad. It’s said that the PCG’s “transformation into a non-military organization” and its “civilian character” allowed it “to receive offers of vessels, equipment, technology, services, cooperation and other needed assistance from other countries,” that otherwise would not have been feasible were it a military agency. President Fidel Ramos signed Executive Order 475 on 30 March 1998 to separate the PCG from the Philippine Navy, and Executive Order 477 to transfer it from the DND to the DoTC, a month thereafter. Thus, even FM Jr. has been heard saying, “Our friends from other countries will help strengthen the PCG’s capabilities.” Today, the President envisions the PCG as a “central actor” insofar as West Philippine Sea matters are concerned; thus, he ordered several 40-foot long patrol vessels to be built in Cebu to improve the PCG’s capabilities in maritime territorial disputes. In the face of China’s unprecedented coast guard expansion — the largest in the world — “civilianizing” the PCG makes little sense. It’s a Catch-22 on how to “reinvent” the PCG. Military strategists had miserably failed. The post PCG’s problematic dualism appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Record 9 vehicles, CoA orders PNR

The Commission on Audit has admonished the Philippine National Railways, or PNR, for omitting nine serviceable motor vehicles valued at P6.622 million from its books or financial records. According to state auditors, the issue was brought to the PNR’s attention as early as 2016, but the organization has taken no measures so far. The nine motor vehicles were from the completed projects of PNR from 2010 to 2015. The 2022 audit showed that the PNR failed to provide documentation to substantiate the transfer of ownership of the nine vehicles from the contractor despite the PNR making annual registration payments for the said vehicles. “Further investigation revealed that the certificate of registration of the said nine motor vehicles are registered under the name of the previous contractors,” the CoA report said. CoA Circular 2017-004 stipulates that as long as the agency controls the PPE, or property, plant and equipment, the same shall be recognized as part of the PPE of the agency. PPE is subject to agency control but not ownership. The agency under audit, CoA said, is still responsible for acknowledging the expenses and corresponding accumulated depreciation and impairment losses of existing PPE, which were not previously recognized due to lack of ownership or title based on contracts, memoranda of agreement, and other pertinent factors.   Understatement  “The non-recognition of the cost of motor vehicles and corresponding depreciation and accumulated depreciation understated the Transportation Equipment, Accumulated Depreciation, and Accumulated Deficit as of December 31, 2022,” CoA said. PNR in 2022 incurred an understatement of Depreciation Expenses and Accumulated Deficit, amounting to P50.546 million and P253.729 million, respectively. Moreover, audit findings revealed that several PNR offices assign and use the motor vehicles, necessitating their inclusion in the books or official records. Citing the reason of PNR, the CoA disclosed that the motor vehicles remained unrecorded due to a lack of proof of ownership. It then directed the PNR to mandate its Controllership Division to officially acknowledge the nine motor vehicles in their books. PNR said it would comply with the CoA order. The post Record 9 vehicles, CoA orders PNR appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

LandBank named best for financial inclusion

The Land Bank of the Philippines, or LandBank, was recognized by Kantar Philippines as one of 2023’s Best Philippine Brands under the “Banking” category for providing convenient, accessible and innovative banking services to unbanked and underserved Filipinos nationwide. Kantar conferred the award to LandBank for its strong brand of service, decades of empowering the underserved, and for advancing financial inclusion in the country through the accessibility of its integrated physical and digital banking services. The market research firm also highlighted the Bank’s efficient delivery of cash grants to beneficiaries of the National Government’s social amelioration programs, particularly the digital disbursement of financial assistance under the Conditional Cash Transfer Program. “This recognition is a testament to LandBank’s unwavering pursuit to reach and serve more Filipinos nationwide. We are continuously working towards the strategic expansion of our physical touchpoints and the enhancement of our digital channels to deliver exceptional and accessible banking service,” said president and CEO Lynette V. Ortiz. In support of the National Government’s financial inclusion drive, LandBank has also onboarded 8.35 million Philippine Identification System, or PhilSys, registrants for their own transaction accounts, under the Bank’s co-location strategy with the Philippine Statistics Authority. The partnership aims to bank previously unbanked PhilSys registrants and grant them formal access to basic banking and other financial services. LandBank likewise has 1,111 agent banking partners, or ABPs, nationwide offering services such as cash out, cash in, fund transfer, bills payment, and opening and issuance of LandBank Agent Banking Cards in unbanked and underserved communities. The bank also offers individuals who have no capacity for operationalizing a regular deposit savings account to open a LandBank “Perang Inimpok Savings Option” or PISO account with only P1 as minimum initial deposit and up to a maximum of P50,000 account balance. As of end-August 2023, LandBank has opened 52,406 PISO accounts for unbanked and underserved Filipinos including students, public utility vehicle drivers, vendors, farmers and fishers. Kantar BrandZ report LandBank was recognized for its strong brand image in the Kantar BrandZ Philippine Report, which was based on a comprehensive survey conducted in 2022 covering 44 local brands across four categories — banks, communication providers, general retailers and beverages. Kantar is a global marketing and data analytics company that specializes in analyzing, understanding, and interpreting consumer behavior and trends. The 2023 Philippines Brand Awards is the first edition held by Kantar Philippines in the country to honor the top brands that bring value to the lives of Filipino consumers. The post LandBank named best for financial inclusion appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 5th, 2023

US poultry breeder eyes Philippine operations

Alabama-based poultry breeding company Aviagen Inc. is eyeing to set up operations in the Philippines as part of an agricultural technology trade mission with other US firms that are eyeing to invest in the country’s agriculture sector to help contribute to food security......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 5th, 2023

New mission: BuCor reform

Following his tenure as chief of staff in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 2015, retired four-star General Gregorio Pio Catapang chose to settle in Pampanga. Here, he embraced a simpler life as a farmer, relishing in the delights of native chicken, fresh produce, and the serene natural surroundings. “I am an environmentalist, so I decided to stay in Arayat, Pampanga, to be a farmer upon my retirement in October 2015, and I prayed, ‘Lord, it has been mission accomplished, so give me a new mission,’” Catapang narrated. The former military chief, the AFP’s 45th from July 2014 to 2015, is not a stranger to close encounters with mortality. Throughout his extensive service in the Philippine Army, from graduating from the Philippine Military Academy in 1981, he has endured several clashes with enemies, even more than one could count with the fingers. He held major positions in the AFP as commander of the 2nd Infantry Division — the Army’s largest unit, 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, 703 Infantry Brigade, and 28th Infantry Brigade, among others. He also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3, of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. His rise to prominence was not without hitches because he barely survived nine brushes with death. His strong faith in the Lord enabled him to be alive today. “The first incident that I encountered that almost ended my life was when I fell from the second floor of our house when I was just a kid; the second was when I was in the field where a provincial bus liner rammed the car I was in,” Catapang said. He was airlifted from Basa Airbase to V. Luna General Hospital and eventually transferred to Quezon City Medical City as he continued to bleed due to his severe injuries. “The doctor told me not to sleep because I might turn into a coma. So I fight on as the doctors continue to treat me,” he added. While still recovering, with his facial wounds still not yet fully healed, he was called by his commander to report back to work. “Nakangiwi pa ako dahil sa sugat (I was still grimacing in pain), but as a soldier, I followed the order, and that was then I realized that he was teaching me how to become chief of staff,” Catapang said, adding that as a good soldier, he had to endure the pain. He recalled that a chopper ride in the mountains of Cagayan also nearly took his life as it flew at 1,000 feet and traveled 18 knots. “The chopper is already old. I just have to make the sign of the cross as the chopper made a low-altitude flight due to poor visibility. We plunged downward, and I thought it was the end for me. But thankfully, the chopper normalized, and we safely landed,” he said. While in a restaurant in Angeles, Pampanga, Catapang said he was informed that NPA (New People’s Army) rebels would ambush him. “We ate at a chicken restaurant in Angeles and received information that I would be ambushed on returning to our camp. It was retaliation for the death of eight commanders of the NPA after movement patterns were detected based on information from barangay chairpersons,” he said. He cannot forget, too, that during the Pinatubo eruption in 1991, the roof of the building they were occupying collapsed due to the accumulated volcanic ash. Catapang, named after two generals — Gregorio del Pilar and Pio del Pilar — led his soldiers in helping the indigenous peoples in the area, giving them food, clothing, and other necessities. “The natives very loved us because of that,” he added. He said he is thankful to have emerged victorious and alive from the all-out war against Muslim secessionists in Mindanao. It almost ended his life, but he survived with solid faith in the Lord. Throughout his life, he consistently believed that prayers are always answered, particularly when reciting the rosary. Proof was when he fervently prayed to the Lord to allow him to marry his first girlfriend, and his request was granted. He married Maria Lourdes and has three children. Catapang’s early life lacked the excitement it later encompassed. He was a typical teenager. He attended high school at the Claret School of Quezon City. Shortly after graduating from PMA, he pursued graduate courses at the University of the Philippines. He is the second of four children of Gregorio Catapang Sr., a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Lourdes Punzalan, an accountant at the Department of Finance, from whom he learned the value of public service. As a military officer, Catapang rallied the troops to strictly adhere to the AFP’s slogan of “Kawal DISIPLINADO, bawal ABUSADO, dapat ASINTADO” — three key words that spell out the Do’s and DON’T’s to become proficient in fire and maneuver and avoid collateral damage; be respectful of human rights, adhere to international humanitarian law and the rule of law, and the rules of engagement. Catapang moved on with his career and retirement life, carrying an excellent performance standard, exemplary leadership and a keen vision.   Answered post-retirement prayer After retiring from active military service spanning 34 years, he received a divine blessing through a new mission. Following seven years of working as a farmer, he experienced a life-altering moment on the evening of October 19, 2021. Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla gave him an offer to lead the Bureau of Corrections. Unaware of the challenges that awaited him within the BuCor, especially at the New Bilibid Prison, he accepted the offer. It was only later that he discovered the appalling issues of corruption among the prison staff and the dire condition of the overcrowded facilities. Under the guidance of Secretary Remulla, Catapang’s mission to reform the BuCor is yielding positive results. They are actively organizing culminating activities to release eligible individuals who have been deprived of their liberty. To alleviate the overcrowding in the jail facilities, the BuCor is actively organizing and implementing various reforms. The main goal is to transfer all persons deprived of liberty from the maximum security compound of the NBP to new facilities outside of Metro Manila. Catapang is confident plans will come to fruition, as they have already presented their long-term reform plan to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for approval. “At present, the reformation of BuCor is in full swing. I am confident we will accomplish and make things happen,” he said. The NBP, he said, is undergoing a significant transformation. The plan is to shut down the NBP in Muntinlupa and repurpose the area into a new business district similar to Bonifacio Global City in the southern part of Metro Manila. Explaining the reason behind the decision, he said high-end residential communities surround the current location of the NBP in Muntinlupa. To align with the surrounding environment, the intention is to close down the NBP and relocate all inmates to regional jail facilities nationwide. Catapang shared plans to dedicate eight hectares of land within the NBP to improve the living conditions of the settlers and provide them with opportunities for reintegration into society. “We will build condominium units for the settlers at the NBP, complete with amenities like a swimming pool, multipurpose facilities, and the like. Repair of residential houses is no longer possible, including power lines, so we decided to allocate the lands for them,” he added. The government will optimally use the land area by developing it into a business and government center, aligning with the DoJ’s plan. To support the food security initiatives of the President, he said they have already started the cultivation of approximately 10 hectares of land at the Iwahig Penal Colony. The aim is to grow rice and high-yield crops, contributing to the government’s long-term food security plans. “Hopefully, this will be done also to other penal farms of BuCor because we have ample lands for cultivation,” Catapang said. For the BuCor Director General who refused to be defined by limitations and setbacks, the relentless spirit and passion for reforms radiate triumphs against the most formidable odds. The post New mission: BuCor reform appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 1st, 2023

Two eagles highlight Uy’s winning charge

Daniella Uy fired a stunning eight-under 64 yesterday to secure the ICTSI Mimosa Plus Championship yesterday and emerge the winningest player on this year’s Ladies Philippine Golf Tour......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 29th, 2023

Budget season

Marathon meetings were held this week in the Senate and the House of Representatives in line with the budget season leading to the approval of the ever-increasing P5.7-trillion budget for 2024. The yearly “budget-serye” (budget series) never fails to disappoint in bringing out issues that extract the tiniest of details in our government that are given monetary figures in the form of public funds, amounting to millions and even billions of pesos. And every year, we see how the majority gets its way, especially early in the Administration, such as where we are right now. My biggest pet peeve in these sessions is the consistent usage of incompetent sponsors for specific government offices who deserve much better. These sponsors, whose mandate is to defend their sponsored government office before the increasingly knowledgeable and wise interpolators, must be technically and legally verbose and experts in the Philippine budget process. Clearly, this is all wishful thinking since we see neophyte, inarticulate, incapable, yet extremely loyal sponsors who would do anything to prove their worth to the powers that be, even if it means being humiliated and trending on social media for the wrong reasons. Indeed, this is the time for the opposition lawmakers to shine and feast on the mental shortcomings of their counterparts. The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives finds itself in the limelight as it engages in its own “hunting season” against willing victims, may they be Cabinet secretaries or, gasp, the Office of the Vice President, whose massive confidential and intelligence funds are being questioned repeatedly anew. Lo and behold, we have a statement from the House Appropriations Committee chairman that these OVP allocations will be realigned to more deserving government agencies, i.e., the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard. However, we have yet to see the indisputable evidence to prove this happened. Nevertheless, it is a fair and conclusive presumption to say that the majority will still get its way despite the awkward and unconvincing defenses and sponsorships in favor of the government agencies. Is the budget process faulty? It appears not since the correct agencies still receive what is due them. The problem, in my humble opinion, lies in the implementation of these budgets granted to them. For instance, the alleged spending by the OVP of its confidential funds amounting to P125 million in 19 days or 11 days, whichever is true, is a problem of implementation, not allocation. What prevented the OVP from spending this amount earlier? What’s likely is that the OVP rushed the spending so they would not be accused of failure in spending public funds for the right and correct reasons. The other issue on the alleged unconstitutional transfer of funds by the Office of the President to the OVP, while the GAA of 2023 was in effect, is likewise the product of faulty, inefficient implementation of the law. It is illegal for a government office, such as the Office of the President, to casually assign a portion of its fund to the OVP because this renders the budget process faulty and even useless. If there is something that may be attributed to faulty implementation, it can be its failure to set proper safeguards that would lead to the enforcement of new ones. In fact, a Supreme Court decision on the alleged unconstitutional transfer made by the OP to the OVP is in the works. This would place the 2023 “budget-serye” on record as the landmark budget season that would define those in the coming years. For comments, email him at The post Budget season appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 28th, 2023

Marcos inks jobs act

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed into law Republic Act 11962, or the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act on Wednesday, a landmark measure addressing the challenges plaguing the Philippine labor sector and laying the foundation for sustainable and inclusive development. In a ceremonial signing held at Malacañang, Marcos thanked the Senate and the House of Representatives for the timely passage of the bill, one of his administration’s priority legislative measures. “The Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act is a significant milestone towards our country’s sustainable and inclusive development,” Marcos said. “It will help us solve the various challenges plaguing our labor sector such as low-quality jobs, skills mismatch, and underemployment, among others,” he added. The law also addresses the need to update the skills of Filipino workers and promote the use of digital technologies, particularly for micro, small and medium enterprises. The Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act will establish the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Interagency Council, which will craft a master plan for employment generation and recovery. The council will be chaired by the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority, or NEDA, and co-chaired by the secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment, with representatives from other agencies and various sectors. All government agencies, including local government units, were enjoined to cooperate and coordinate with the council to ensure the effective integration of the plan into their policies and programs. Marcos directed the council and all government agencies concerned to fast-track the issuance of the law’s implementing rules and regulations so that workers and stakeholders could immediately benefit from it. He also urged the DoLE and NEDA to harmonize the Labor and Employment Plan 2023-2028 and the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Plan to ensure that all government efforts and resources will be effectively and efficiently managed. Marcos said the government will continue to provide support and other incentives to businesses, especially MSMEs, such as increased access to financing and capital to promote self-reliance and spur employment generation. Under the law, the government will also incentivize employers, industry stakeholders, and private partners to facilitate skills development, technology transfer, and knowledge sharing among businesses and workers. “With this concerted effort, I am confident that we will not only achieve the goals of this law, but we will also realize our vision of Bagong Pilipinas,” Marcos said. The President added that the government knows Filipinos desire decent, stable and dignified jobs. “With the passage of this law, we are opening a new chapter in our country where there will be sufficient and high-quality employment opportunities for everyone,” he said. He called on everyone to join the government in ensuring the law’s success and shaping a prosperous and new Philippines. In a separate statement, NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan welcomed the passage of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act. “We support the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act as it contributes to the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, which aims to increase employability, expand access to employment opportunities, and achieve shared labor market governance,” Balisacan said. “With the passage of the TPB, this will facilitate stronger coordination and partnership among relevant agencies and stakeholders for the efficient implementation of employment programs,” he added. The TPB Plan shall serve as the State’s master plan for employment generation and recovery, aiming to achieve short-term goals and a long-term vision of a “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay Para sa Bawat Pilipino.” The latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed 2.27 million unemployed Filipinos in July of this year. This resulted in a 4.8-percent unemployment rate in July, higher than the 4.5 percent in June. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva lauded President Marcos for signing the Trabaho Para sa Bayan bill. “I am thankful to President Marcos for his trust and support to me to lead the legislation of this important measure, which is the key to addressing various challenges and creating jobs in the country,” Villanueva said in a statement. The new law, which Villanueva principally sponsored and authored, aims to institutionalize a National Employment Master Plan to promote jobs-led economic growth and enhanced industry collaboration, provide overall services for worker development, and push for support and incentives to businesses. Under the law, the government shall establish a national employment generation and recovery master plan with a three-, six-, and 10-year development timeline. The post Marcos inks jobs act appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 27th, 2023