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Fine, jail time for violators of province’s COVID-19 measures

CEBU CITY, Philippines —  Up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of P5,000 are among the penalties that individuals, who will defy the measures of the provincial government against the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Provincial Board (PB) has approved on Monday, March 16, 2020, an ordinance adopting the class suspension, […] The post Fine, jail time for violators of province’s COVID-19 measures appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerMar 16th, 2020

Disrespect to Covid-19 Frontliners Gets 1-Yr Jail Time

A fine of around Php 5,000 and imprisonment of not more than one year will be meted to any person who harasses, discriminates, dishonors, and disrespects frontliners currently considered heroes in the fight against the dreaded 2019 Coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The “Frontliners Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Ordinance of the Province of Cebu” considers it unlawful for […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

P5k fine, jail term await tourism protocol violators in Cebu province

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A fine not exceeding P5,000 or one-year imprisonment, or both, await persons who would be found violating the protocols set for the tourism operations in Cebu province. This is after the Provincial Board on Monday, September 28, 2020, approved in third reading an ordinance adopting the tourism operation protocols in the […] The post P5k fine, jail term await tourism protocol violators in Cebu province appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 29th, 2020

1,350 riders apprehended on 1st day of motorcycle pillion riding policy — Eleazar

Police have apprehended a total of 1,350 motorcycle riders during the first day of the strict implementation of rules on motorcycle pillion riding on Saturday, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield disclosed on Sunday. (JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Based on the data of the JTF COVIDShield, a total of 704 motorcycle riders were apprehended for failure to install barriers while back-riding their spouses or live-in partners—a total of 697 of them were cited for various traffic violations while seven were arrested and taken to police stations.Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, explained that several violators  were taken to the police stations because of being disrespectful to the apprehending authorities, or, due to local ordinances that require violators to be taken to the police stations to arrange for a community service as a penalty.Back-riding married couples and living-in partners without the required barrier, not wearing face masks and not wearing helmets fall under Reckless Driving with penalties ranging from P1,000 to P10,000 depending on the number of the same offense committed;Also, a total of 580 more motorcycle riders were also accosted for failure to comply with the installation of barriers while having a back-rider other than their spouses or live-in partners. Of the figure, 551 were cited for violations while 29 were taken to the police station.For those who are not authorized to back-ride (those who are not married or living-in partners), Eleazar said the violation would be Overloading of Passengers with a penalty of P1,000.Meanwhile, a total of 66 motorcycles were also cited for violation even with the installed barriers since police found out that they were back-riding people other than their spouses or live-in partners. The penalty also falls under Overloading of Passengers.Eleazar said most of the violators were flagged down by the PNP Highway Patrol Group headed by Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz with 284. The Police Regional Office 7 also has the most number of apprehensions with 187, followed by Police Regional Office 5 with 158, Police Regional Office 9 with 129 and Police Regional Office 12 with 120.The 1,350 apprehended motorcycle riders on Saturday alone is on top of the more than 30,000 violators accosted during the July 10 to July 31 grace period given for motorcycle riders to comply with the installed barriers. The deadline for compliance was on July 31 and all those caught within the three-week grace period were just warned.Eleazar then urged motorcycle riders to comply with the rules, saying their defiance would just be met with appropriate sanctions based on the guidelines.“When our motorcycle riders repeatedly pleaded for them to be allowed to back-ride at least their spouses or live-in partners, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 listened to their appeal. What the NTF Against COVID-19 was asking in return is for them to install barriers because it is part of the safety measures against coronavirus infection,” said Eleazar. “As per Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año, we are not requiring all motorcycles to install barriers. But if they are going to use their motorcycles for back-riding, then they should follow the rules. The deadline for them to comply was extended twice and they were given a total of 22 days to install the barriers, we believe that it is more than enough time to do what is asked from them,” he added.Eleazar stressed that the continuous defiance of some motorcycle riders in the coming days would only compromise the NTF Against COVID-19 plan to eventually allow more people other than married couples and living-in partners to back-ride......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Couple gets 32-year jail time, P5-M fine for online child pornography

ANGELES, Philippines – A regional trial court here has imposed a 32-year imprisonment on a couple from the island province of Bohol for the online sexual abuse of their 3-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old girl who had been under their custody for several years. The International Justice Mission, a global ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 4th, 2019

DILG supports community service for quarantine violators — spokesperson

"Let me first say that our policy is not to go straight to arrests. In fact, most of the time the first offense only yields a warning, and the second offense is usually a fine," Malaya said in mixed Filipino and English. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 6th, 2021

Bulacan also imposes curfew, taps cops and troops for necessary assistance

"We have been able to reduce the case of COVID in our province and I believe we can do it again. As long as we work together, follow health protocols and unite with our government so that this time we can completely eradicate the virus," the governor said......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 17th, 2021

SOPA: Need for a Grandmaster Plan

                  Gov. Joseph C. Cua’s state-of-the-province-address (SOPA) delivered the most comprehensive, in fact, the most serious and compelling report  in this harsh and trying times.  That is, devastated that we are with Covid-19 pandemic, 3 typhoons and recently African swine fever (ASF) cases.                   Delivered at the most auspicious time on January 18, 2021 […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  bicolperyodikoRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2021

Samboan officials order ‘stricter’ security measures to prevent COVID-19 spread

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu–Following the discovery of new cases of the coronavirus disease in the town and the rise in cases in Metro Cebu and the rest of Cebu province, the municipal government of Samboan said that it will again impose strict regulations among those who will be coming home or visiting their locality from January […] The post Samboan officials order ‘stricter’ security measures to prevent COVID-19 spread appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Word to the artistic

From national artists to award-winning actors and drag queens, inspirational words of advice from our local creatives Last year brought us to our knees, yet here we are standing tall with courage, facing 2021 with hope and a positive perspective. To give us more inspiration to create and explore new things this year, the Manila Bulletin has compiled some quotes from creative individuals, from national artists to award-winning actress. May their words of wisdom bring out the creative urges in all of us, as we make this world a better, more colorful, more meaningful place to live in. Kidlat Tahimik, national artist for film We are all adjusting to the new normal—new rules and new protocols. I’m sure that most artists are taking this time to take art deeper into their hearts. After all, you have nothing to do but just to be productive. *** Ian Inoy, biromantic pansexual artist Every move I made with my art before had this follow up question in my head, asking if it would look gay or not. Now that I’ve fully accepted myself, nothing like that matters anymore. I no longer have the fear of hearing people perceiving my art as “too gay or girly.” *** Heart Evangelista/Love Marie Ongpauco Escudero, actor, painter Express yourself in art. See how art can move you or distract you from distress or how art can bring the best out of you. I notice that my paintings have been a bit muted these days. I feel it’s a bit because of the drama that’s going on around us. In a weird way, I find beauty in sorrow and the way my colors have been coming out, I like what’s happening. I’ve always been like this anyway. I find something beautiful about my emotions, no matter how dark they are, and I translate all that into art. *** Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economic, then it is creative.—Osho, Creativity unleashing the forces within *** Kate Adajar, blogger artist The uncertainty Covid-19 brings has triggered confusion, anxiety, and mixed emotions in me. But the lockdown has also given me time to focus on and practice my art. Being in quarantine has allowed me to look at my craft not only as a creative outlet but also as a form of stress release. It has suddenly become therapeutic and meditative. *** F. Sionil Jose, national artist for literature Photo by Noel Pabalate Artistry is something that is created not just by intellect but by passion. And you stop being a craftsman. That is when you become an artist. You cannot be an artist without being a craftsman first. *** Miz Kiki Krunch, drag queen I am more creative as a gay person. My drag persona brings out the best and most authentic part of me. I can express myself better, I can perform better when I channel my weirdness, my “freak,” my truth. *** Cherie Gil, actor Everything can be learned as long as one sets one’s mind and heart to it. There is also no age limit to learning anything. Acting—what is it really but reliving lives and telling their stories. But this requires a lot of work to excavate the instrument to be able to truthfully do just that. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of balls to share one’s personal inner sanctum. *** Iana Cris Forbes, owner of art shop Quiversmiths Pursue what you want. At first, it was hard for me because I wanted to be a painter, I wanted to be a sculptor, I wanted to be a graphic artist, I wanted to be a wedding colorist, I wanted to stitch, I wanted to make bags and shoes and jewelry. But I haven’t seen a person doing all of those!. Before, I could not see any future in them but here they are now. I’m doing everything all at once and I’m fine. I’m happy living multiple lives. It’s like connecting the dots. My hobbies are now my sources of living and I couldn’t be more thankful. *** BenCab, national artist for visual arts This pandemic gives artists more time for their art. It’s usually better for an artist to be locked-in because you work on your own. *** Natasha Aliño, jewelry artist It’s been said many times and my mother always says this whenever I feel frustrated, which most people would feel when they’re starting something new—“trust the process.” This is more of a reminder when you’re in that headspace. Another thing is when you are learning a certain skill, do it so with purpose and authenticity. Then you can confidently say after some time that you can indeed trust the process. Never stop learning and inspiring others on your journey. Photos from the artists’ respective social media accounts and websites.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Bontoc mayor catches COVID-19

  BONTOC, Mountain Province – Mayor Franklin Odsey here has tested for COVID-19. In a message in the municipality’s social media account, Odsey said: “It is (with a) heavy heart that I inform you of the positive result of my RT-PCR (real time-polymerase chain reaction) test which I received today, Jan. 15.” “I am asymptomatic […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJan 16th, 2021

Meeting family or friends for Christmas? Make it quick, and avoid gathering indoors, experts say

MANILA, Philippines — Health professionals are advocating precautionary measures to ensure a coronavirus-free Christmas season, such as limiting encounters with other people, and if it can’t be avoided, to hold gatherings outdoors for a short time only. These measures were among four precautionary steps proposed by the Health Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC). The two […] The post Meeting family or friends for Christmas? Make it quick, and avoid gathering indoors, experts say appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 1st, 2020

Ampatuan Massacre@11:  kin of slain media workers forego site visit; Mangudadatu expects 500 to 1,000 visitors

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 22 November) — For the first time in a decade, families of the media workers killed in the infamous Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao province on November 23, 2009 will not visit and offer prayers at the massacre site on its 11th anniversary on Monday due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Mary […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2020

COVID-19’s impact on banks manageable – BSP report

The banking system remains on “solid footing” in terms of assets, loans, deposits, profitability, capital and liquidity buffers despite the COVID-19 health crisis, a report from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.  “The impact of the pandemic on the overall condition and performance of the banking system, which remains the core of the domestic financial system, has been manageable,” according to the BSP’s second semester report on the Philippine financial system. The total assets of the banking system account for 81.9 percent of the financial system’s total resources. MB file photo. The banks remained resilient during the worst of the lockdown period because of the “timely, time-bound and crucial” regulatory relief measures that BSP granted to them during the most severe quarantine months of March until June. These relief measures “helped address the adverse repercussions of the pandemic.” One of these reprieves was the suspension of the submission of some bank reports while most of the country was on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) restrictions. Banks have had to adjust operations and deal with the slowdown in economic activities that affected their borrowers’ capacity to pay. Based on a set of financial soundness indicators (FSI) to assess banks’ health and soundness, it noted that the banking system is “stable and resilient despite global uncertainties related to the extent and path of COVID-19 menace.”  But, the BSP said that the FSI analysis also implies that “consequent risks from lending should be monitored especially in the event of excessive uncertainties that could place additional pressures on the banking system in the short and medium run.” As of the report timeline, banks surveyed have yet to determine the total impact of the grace periods under the Bayanihan law but generally, based on the BSP’s comprehensive baseline survey conducted in April, banks have proactive control measures that will ensure the continued delivery of financial services to the general public and also to protect their personnel, said the BSP. Banks’ business continuity plans, and previous efforts at digitalization, also helped them to respond quickly to conditions brought about by the ECQ. Despite the economy in recession due to the pandemic, the banking system’s total assets reached P18.6 trillion as of end-June, 98.8 percent of the GDP. The end-June tally was 7.9 percent higher year-on-year but was slower than the 9.8 percent growth recorded in June 2019 and the 8.4 percent growth as of end-December 2019. Assets continue to grow because of the expansion of funds that went to lending activities while funding came from deposits, bond issuances and capital infusion. In the meantime, the report said banks’ profitability or net income fell by 22.5 percent to P86.5 billion as of end-June 2020 because of higher provisioning requirements. This was a reversal of the 27.7 percent growth in earnings same time in 2019.  “Provisions on credit losses for loans and financial assets significantly increased, weighing heavily on bank profitability. Other income sources are expected to slow down due to lower volume of transactions, waiver of inter-branch and interbank fees as well as the temporary grace period moratorium on the imposition of bank fees, penalties and charges under the Bayanihan Act,” said the BSP. Based on the BSP survey, banks have measures to cushion the adverse impact of the pandemic on profitability such as banks’ plans to impose cost-cutting measures that includes deferred capital spending and freeze hiring of non-critical positions. The BSP said banks have also intensified loan collection activities and its loan monitoring. They have also become more prudent in loan releases, reduced the cost of funds and at the same time boosted marketing campaigns for new loans and deposits.  “Across banking groups, (the big banks) also intend to reduce their exposures to vulnerable sectors and to increase ancillary or fee-based business while thrift banks and rural/cooperative banks plan to fast track digitization initiatives to reduce operating expenses,” said the BSP......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 8th, 2020

Benguet seeks suspension of mass testing

Saying they should be given time to prepare more isolation facilities, Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas has appealed to the National Task Force Against COVID-19 to suspend mass testing in the province......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 5th, 2020

‘Rolly’ may pass close to Metro Manila after Quezon landfall Sunday

After its landfall over Quezon province this Sunday, typhoon “Rolly” (international name: “Goni”) will possibly pass close to Metro Manila between Sunday evening and Monday morning. In its weather bulletin Saturday morning, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather specialist Benison Estareja said Rolly will move west-southwest this Saturday toward the sea off the coast of Bicol region. (DOST PAGASA / MANILA BULLETIN) The typhoon was already around 540 kilometers east-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, moving at 20 kilometers per hour (kph) around 7 a.m. Beginning early Sunday, it will gradually turn west-northwest, bringing its inner rainbands-eyewall region near or over Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur during the morning-afternoon hours and over Quezon-southern Aurora area during the afternoon-evening hours. The center of the eye of the typhoon may pass very close or over the Calaguas Islands by Sunday afternoon and make landfall in Polillo Islands and mainland Quezon in the evening. Estareja said the eye of Rolly will likely pass directly over Quezon-Aurora, entire Central Luzon, “where Metro Manila and Rizal will be closest,” and over parts of Ilocos Region, particularly Pangasinan and La Union. After crossing Central Luzon, the center of Rolly may exit the mainland Luzon landmass, most likely through the Zambales-Bataan area by Monday morning, Estareja said. Signal No. 2 up; Metro Manila under signal No. 1 The wind signal in some provinces in the Bicol region were upgraded to tropical cyclone wind signal No. 2 as damaging gale-force to storm-force winds is expected to affect these areas in the next 24 hours. Signal No. 2 has been hoisted over Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias Island, and the southeastern portion of Quezon (San Francisco, San Andres, San Narciso, Mulanay, Catanauan, Buenavista, Lopez, Guinayangan, Calauag, Tagkawayan). More areas were also placed under signal No. 1 in anticipation of strong breeze to near gale conditions associated with the approaching typhoon. These areas were Metro Manila, the rest of Masbate including Ticao Island, the rest of Quezon including Polillo Islands, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Marinduque, Romblon, Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, Oriental Mindoro, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Pangasinan, La Union, Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, southern portion of Isabela (Aurora, Luna, Reina Mercedes, Naguilian, Benito Soliven, San Mariano, Palanan, Dinapigue, San Guillermo, Echague, San Agustin, Jones, Cordon, Santiago City, Ramon, San Isidro, Angadanan, Alicia, Cauayan City, Cabatuan, San Mateo), Northern Samar, northern portion of Samar (Tagapul-An, Almagro, Santo Nino, Tarangnan, Catbalogan City, Calbayog City, Santa Margarita, Gandara, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, San Jose de Buan, Matuguinao), the northern portion of Eastern Samar (Taft, Can-Avid, Dolores, Maslog, Jipapad, Arteche, Oras, San Policarpo), and the northern portion of Biliran (Kawayan, Maripipi). PAGASA said signal No. 3 may be raised over portions of Bicol region late Saturday. Based on the intensity forecast, the highest possible wind signal to be raised will be signal No. 4 for very destructive typhoon-force winds. Elsewhere, areas that are not under not under tropical cyclone warning signal may experience strong breeze to near gale conditions due to the northeasterlies, particularly over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Apayao, and the coastal and mountainous areas of Cagayan and Isabela. Nears super-typhoon status As of Saturday morning, Rolly has maximum sustained winds of 215 kph and gustiness of up to 265 kph. It is close to reaching the 220 kph maximum wind speed to be classified as a supertyphoon. PAGASA is not ruling its possible intensification into a supertyphoon within 12 hours. Estareja said Rolly has a high chance of intensifying into a supertyphoon while on its way to the country, but there is still a slim probability that it may make landfall as a supertyphoon. However, it is still expected to remain a strong typhoon or near supertyphoon strength by the time it makes landfall over Quezon. While traversing Luzon, the tropical cyclone may weaken considerably to a minimal typhoon (120 kph to 140 kph yung maximum sustained winds), Estareja said. Nonetheless, Rolly is still possibly destructive. It may emerge as a severe tropical storm over the West Philippine Sea. Typhoon impacts This Saturday, the trough or extension of Rolly will bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Central Visayas, Negros Occidental, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Palawan, including Cuyo Islands, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and Sulu archipelago. From late Saturday throughout Sunday, heavy to intense rains due to the direct impact of Rolly will already be felt over Bicol region, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Metro Manila, Central Luzon Marinduque, and the northern portions of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro. Moderate to heavy rains will also be experienced over Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino. PAGASA warned that flooding, rain-induced landslides, and sediment-laden streamflows or lahar may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards. There is a moderate to high risk of storm surge of up to 3.0 meters (m) over the northern coastal areas of Quezon including Polillo Islands and up to 2.0 m over the coastal areas of Aurora, Marinduque, Bicol region, and Northern Samar, and the other coastal areas of Quezon in the next 48 hours which may result in life-threatening and damaging coastal inundation. PAGASA said this storm surge may be accompanied by swells and breaking waves reaching the coast. Rough to “phenomenal” seas (2.5 to 15.0 m) will be experienced over the seaboard of areas where tropical cyclone warning signal is in effect and rough to very rough seas (2.5 to 5.0 m) over the remaining seaboards of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas (that are not under tropical cyclone warning signals) and Caraga. Sea travel is risky for all types of seacraft over these waters, especially those under storm warning signals. Meanwhile, moderate to rough seas (1.2 to 2.5 m) will be experienced over the remaining seaboards of the country. Mariners of small sea vessels were advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea, while inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions. Another cyclone approaching While Rolly is raging over Luzon, Estareja said the tropical depression with international name “Atsani” could enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Sunday afternoon. It will be assigned its local name “Siony” once inside the PAR. It was estimated at 1,605 km east of Visayas around 4 a.m. Saturday. Atsani has maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph, while moving west-northwestward at 25 kph. It is likely to re-intensify into a tropical storm in the next 24 to 48 hours, and further into a typhoon in the next few days. It remains less likely to affect any portion of the country over the next three days. But Estareja said PAGASA is not ruling out a possible landfall in Central or Southern Luzon, before recurving toward the southern islands of Japan in the coming days. He also reiterated that a Fujiwhara effect is unlikely between Rolly and Atsani. Fujiwhara effect happens when two typhoons pull each other in a seesaw-like motion......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Cebu City gives encroachers of easement zone time to undo damage

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City government is urging violators of the easement zone in rivers and other waterways here to undo the damage and violation they have done if they don’t want the government to impose harsher measures. This was what transpired during a meeting Mayor Edgardo Labella called for owners of structures […] The post Cebu City gives encroachers of easement zone time to undo damage appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 26th, 2020

Ilocos Sur guv says province now COVID-19 free

ILOCOS SUR, Oct. 25 (PIA) - After a series of localized lockdowns and restrictive measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the province of Ilocos Sur is now free of the d.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 25th, 2020

Rice farmers seek bigger financial aid

The one-time financial assistance that the Senate directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide to rice farmers amid the declining prices of palay would not be enough, a group of rice farmers said. (MB file, Keith Bacongco) Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) National Manager Raul Montemayor said rice farmers have lost an average of P10,000 per hectare in the ongoing cropping season due to severely depressed palay prices.   This was his response to the joint resolution recently passed by the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, which ordered the DA to appropriate some P3 billion in tariffs from rice imports through the 2021 national budget for cash aid to rice farmers. Under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), which allowed unlimited rice importation in the Philippines, tariff collections in excess of P10 billion per year can be used for additional support to farmers, including cash transfers. FFF, however, noted that the proposed appropriation would only provide P5,000 per farmer if distributed to some 600,000 farmers tilling one hectare or less.   If the actual number of qualified farmers is raised to 1.1 million, the subsidy would only amount to about P2,700 per farmer. Either proposal will be unfair to equally affected rice farmers tilling larger areas, the farmers’ group said.   Instead, Montemayor said the government could keep palay prices stable by temporarily imposing safeguard duties or additional tariffs on imported rice. “The government allowed unlimited rice imports, resulting in low palay prices.  Now, it will spend P3 billion to partially offset farmers’ losses. If it had instead imposed additional duties on imports, palay prices would not have dropped too much, there would have been no need for cash aid to farmers, and the government might have even earned extra revenues from the safeguard duties,” said Montemayor. Under the Section 10 of RTL or Republic Act (RA) 11203, in order to protect the Philippine rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations, a special safeguard duty on rice shall be imposed in accordance with Safeguard Measures Act.   R.A. 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act, on the other hand, allows additional safeguard duties on top of regular tariffs in case an import surge is shown to be harmful to local farmers.   “Safeguard duties will not be inflationary as claimed by the DA, because they will be applied only when there is already a proven oversupply in the market.  They can be removed once the situation stabilizes,” said Montemayor. Agriculture Secretary William Dar is not keen on slapping additional tariff on rice imports, and has repeatedly appealed for public understanding about the “short-term” effects of RTL to palay prices. However, he promised to look for other solutions to the plea of the farmers like asking the National Food Authority (NFA), which buys palay at P19 per kilogram (/kg) to boost the government’s buffer stock, to intensify its palay procurement.   Instead of cash aid, the FFF proposed that existing funds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) and extra tariff collections be re-focused to address current problems of farmers.   It noted that half of farmers receiving free seeds under the RCEF had already been using certified seeds in the past, and that many were seeking other types of support that were not available under RCEF.   Numerous farmers have also questioned the DA’s promotion of seed varieties like NSIC Rc222, which is of poor quality and are being shunned by traders. “Also, the P5 billion annual fund for mechanization is not moving well, and it might be more practical at this time to preserve job opportunities for farm laborers instead of displacing them with machines,” Montemayor said.   “Moreover, the P1 billion budget for extension and training could be realigned, considering that farmers cannot attend training activities due to COVID-related restrictions. The P1 billion for credit could be better used for interest rate subsidies or loan guarantee programs, instead of direct loans which will benefit only 20,000 farmers,” he added......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

Being a poor kid taught me empathy

Mayor Isko Moreno BATANG MAYNILA In a recent interview, I was asked by a reporter if I am amenable to the idea of placing the beggars under arrest.  These are the homeless people who end up in the streets begging for alms due to lack of income. Flatly, I rejected the idea. It is just not my cup of tea. Having been in that rock-bottom situation before, I cannot say that being poor is a sin or a fault in any way.  It is the kind of situation in which no one would ever, ever  want to be. I do not question the wisdom of national authorities who broached the idea of having the beggars arrested, for fear that they may be spreading COVID-19, since they do not observe any safety protocols particularly wearing of face masks. Maybe those from the national government have a different perspective about this issue but to me, sending the homeless people to jail is another thing, not only because I was also homeless at one point in my life but as I’ve said, it just isn’t my cup of tea. I would rather get these homeless people off the streets and care for them in our very own facilities designated for the purpose. In fact, for almost eight months now, we in the city government of Manila, through our social welfare department headed by Re Fugoso, had been taking care of hundreds upon hundreds of homeless people who ended up living in the streets and begging for alms, due to the pandemic. Since the quarantine and lockdowns began in March, we gathered these homeless, unwanted individuals and have been taking care of them since. We have three facilities for them. Modesty aside, we do not only feed these streetdwellers three square meals a day. We also provide them with clothes, toiletries, various forms of entertainment — like regular movie showing and zumba sessions— and even extras, since most donations of clothes and food that that land in our office from time to time are automatically sent to them. We also ensure their health and safety, by making them undergo regular medical tests. Our medical teams go to them and conduct the checking. While their life in our city-run facilities may not be luxurious, it is comfortable enough and definitely, a lot better than living in the streets. In fact, I suspect that a lot of homeless troop to Manila probably upon learning that the city provides the basic needs of those gathered. Those who would want to go to their native hometowns are being assisted by social welfare chief Re Fugoso herself, as in fact, 200 such families have already been sent to their respective provinces about a week ago. Back to the issue and let me be clear. There is no question that we in the city government are all for instilling discipline among everyone in the city, including the homeless. No exception. However, I firmly believe that when you are at the helm of governance, you have to strike a balance between putting discipline and certainty in place on one hand, and then compassion and humanity on the other. Addressing the poor is never easy. Actions need to be taken but there is a need to learn to stretch your patience to the maximum. I remember clearly what former President Ramon Magsaysay once said: “Those who have less in life should have more in law.” This creed of one of the greatest Presidents who ever lived, is what endeared him to the masses and had been my guiding rule since I entered politics. Simply put, this means that the  ordinary citizens or those in the lower rung of society, specially the poor, should get the necessary attention from government which they need more than those who are well off. Maybe having grown up knowing precisely what poverty means and actually feels like, also instilled in me the value of empathy. *** Gaya ng paulit-ulit  kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first! *** For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account — “Isko Moreno Domagoso”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

PNP denies ‘overkill’ security for Nasino during baby’s funeral

The Philippine National Police (PNP) denied criticisms of an overkill in the security measures it implemented during the burial of the baby of jailed activist Reina Mae Nasino in Manila on Friday. In a statement, PNP spokesman Col. Ysmael Yu said that the security measures implemented were intended for Nasino who is under government custody after her arrest and subsequent filing of a criminal case for allegedly yielding a grenade during a raid inside the office of an urban poor group in Manila. “It is the subject (Nasino) who we were protecting,” said Yu. Netizens and other groups and personalities criticized the PNP and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology for what they described as disrespecting Filipino funeral rites. A video that went viral showed the police allegedly speeding off in a vehicle carrying the coffin of Nasino’s baby, which prompted the grandmother and other relatives to chase the vehicle. The funeral parlor and the cemetery were heavily-guarded. Nasino, who was handcuffed, arrived at the cemetery wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) gown and face mask and shield, with BJMP personnel heavily guarding her. The image of Nasino in a PPE gown, handcuffed and surrounded by BJMP personnel while grieving in front of her baby’s coffin triggered sympathy and anger from netizens who criticized the government for the treatment of a grieving mother. “That execution on security is appropriate, considering crowd control,” he added. Nasino was arrested in November last year in Manila during a raid at the office of urban poor group Kadamay. She and two others were charged with illegal possession of explosives, which they claimed had been planted by the police. She gave birth on July 1 but on Aug. 13 had to entrust the baby to the grandmother after the court handling the case denied her lawyers appeal to give Baby River more time with her mother either at the hospital or inside a detention facility where Nasino is jailed. During that time, Baby River was reportedly frail and underweight. The baby died last week at only three months old due to acute respiratory distress syndrome......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020