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Shopee issues statement on riders salaries and benefits

Online shopping platform issued a statement on partner riders' salaries and benefits......»»

Category: financeSource: thestandard thestandardJan 13th, 2021

US women s team players have options after setback in court

By ANNE M. PETERSON AP Sports Writer Players for the U.S. women’s national team may have been dealt a blow by a judge’s ruling in their gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation but the case is far from over. The women have vowed to keep up the fight, encouraged by the likes of Joe Biden, Billie Jean King and even the men's national team. “This is just a setback,” King said when asked what she would tell the team. “There’s so many of these ups and downs. Just keep learning from it, keep going for it. You’re still such a great influence, not only in soccer, but for equality for everyone.” King, who was calling for equitable prize money in tennis in the 1970s, once famously proclaimed: “Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing and the cherry on top, too.” The players sued the federation last year, claiming they have not been paid equally under their collective bargaining agreement to what the men’s national team receives under its labor deal. They asked for more than $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The federal judge threw out the players' claim of discriminatory pay Friday in a surprising loss for the defending World Cup champions. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner said the women rejected a pay-to-play structure like the men's agreement and accepted greater base salaries and benefits. But he allowed aspects of their allegations of discriminatory working conditions to go forward. The trial remains scheduled for June 16 in federal court in Los Angeles. Players have vowed to appeal the judge's decision. There are several legal options. Players could seek to overturn Friday's decision at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and could even discuss with the USSF the possibility of a joint application for a stay pending appeal. They could proceed with a trial limited to working conditions such as flights, hotels and medical staff, then appeal Friday's ruling. Or the sides could seek to settle, perhaps as part of a deal to replace and extend the current collective bargaining agreement, which expires on Dec. 31, 2021. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, went to Twitter this weekend to encourage the players. “To @USWNT: don’t give up this fight. This is not over yet. To @ussoccer: equal pay, now. Or else when I’m president, you can go elsewhere for World Cup funding,” he posted, referring to the 2026 men’s World Cup, set to be hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada. The players’ association for the men’s national team also released a statement Monday expressing support. “For a year and a half the USMNT players have made proposals to the federation that would achieve equal pay for the USMNT and USWNT players,” the statement said. “We understand the WNT players plan to appeal last week’s decision and we support them.” Steven A. Bank, a professor at UCLA, said he was expecting Klausner's decision on the summary judgment to focus the case but not to the degree it did. “Frequently, judges will do that in order to narrow down the issues, but because it also spurs the parties to settle by essentially using a heavy hand and saying, ‘Hey, a lot of these things you have is fluff, so let’s get rid of this, and neither of you have as great a case that you think you do.' So I’m not surprised that there was some level of summary judgment granted and some level denied,” he said. “But I was surprised that the judge came down with what is a fairly complete victory for U.S. Soccer.” In an appearance on ABC's “Good Morning America” on Monday, Megan Rapinoe said she was shocked by the decision. She pointed out the women’s team was far more successful than the men, winning consecutive World Cup titles and playing more games. “If I earn $1 every time I play, and a man earns $3, just because I win 10 games and he only wins three games, so I made $10 and he made $9, I’m not sure how that’s me making more money, while having to essentially win everything we could’ve possibly won over these last two years: two World Cups and just about every game we’ve played,” Rapinoe said. “For me, it missed the point, and was very disappointing, to be honest.” Attorney Hampton Dellinger, who represented players in a battle over artificial turf at the 2015 World Cup in Canada, said the case will take time to play out. “Obviously, I think it’d be great if the parties could reach a reasonable settlement,” Dellinger said. “But to my mind, if the legal fight is going to continue, I don’t think the judge’s first word is necessarily going to be the last word.” Arguments could be made that the team has already made it's case in the court of public opinion. Following the U.S. victory in the World Cup final last year in France, the crowd chanted "Equal Pay" as the players celebrated on the field. The women also drew support from some of U.S. Soccer's most high-profile sponsors when the federation argued in court documents that the women lacked the skills and responsibilities of their male counterparts. The so-called scorched earth argument led to the resignation of USSF President Carlos Cordeiro, who was replaced by former national team player Cindy Parlow Cone. “I think it’s great that they brought the case forward, because I think any visibility into this issue is just going to help further the cause, because it’s going to make more people sensitive and aware that the issue of unequal pay persists in all spectrums of our economy," said Mary Ellen Carter, an associate professor of accounting at Boston College. "I happen to know it well in the executive space, but it’s not only there. So I think the courage that they had to come forward with the suit keeps the issue at the forefront, and I think that that’s important.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2020

P245 M allocated for Judges-at-Large Act; Angara sees faster resolution of cases

Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara assured the Judiciary Sunday it would be able to expedite the adjudication of several pending court cases with the funds Congress provided for the appointment of judges-at-large under the 2021 national budget.  Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Senator Sonny Angara Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, said a total of P244.988 million was included in the budget of the Judiciary for the implementation of Republic Act 11459 or the Judges-at-Large Act.Enacted on Aug. 13, 2019, the law mandates the creation of judges-at-large posts for the regional and municipal trial courts in order to decongest the courts of its dockets.These judges-at-large would have no permanent salas and may be assigned by the Supreme Court as acting or assisting judges to any Regional Trial Court (RTC) or Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in order to decongest the courts of its dockets.“For 2020, the first year of implementation of the law, we provided funding to cover for the creation of 50 judges-at-large posts,” Angara said in a statement.“For 2021, we will double the number of posts to 100 as requested by our Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta,” Angara said.The senator also said these judges-at-large are entitled to salaries, privileges, allowances, emoluments, benefits, rank, and title of regular RTC and MTC judges.Angara also said the Judiciary’s budget for 2021 also includes a P50-million augmentation to cover for the deployment of Judiciary marshals to secure the justices, judges, and other court officials.He said the inclusion of this funding was prompted by the appeals of the Judiciary for the creation of a judicial marshal service as the threats and attacks against judges and other court officials continue to take place in the country. The Senate is set to approve Senate Bill No. 1947 or the proposed Judiciary Marshals Act, of which Angara is one of the authors. Once approved, an office of the Judiciary marshals would be established under the Supreme Court and its continued funding will be ensured as part of the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).“We want to sustain the implementation of the Judges-at-Large Act to help ensure the delivery of speedy justice in the country,” the lawmaker said.“With the appointment of more judges, we can expect to see the resolution of more cases and eventually free up the courts of its backlog,” Angara added. .....»»

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

Shopee to address concerns of riders

Online seller Shopee said Tuesday it will investigate concerns raised by partner riders on allegations of delays in receiving their salaries and incentive payments......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 13th, 2021

Shopee drivers protest over delayed salary

Delivery motorcycle riders expressed dismay at online seller Shopee and its contractors for alleged delayed salary, unpaid incentives and benefits and non-payment of accident insurance......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2021

Chinese football: action planned on 'irrational' salaries

BEIJING (AP) — China's football association said Monday it plans a series of measures in response to 'irrational' spending by clubs on transfer fees and player salaries, amid concerns that foreign stars are crowding out local talent and harming the country's goal of becoming a global force in world football. The Chinese Football Association said in a statement Monday that the unidentified steps would target the 'operations and management' of teams in the top-tier China Super League and the China Premier League one step below it. The new measures will address 'recent irrational investments by clubs, high-figure transfer fees and salaries paid to domestic and international athletes and other issues,' the CFA said in a news release. Gaudy spending by Chinese clubs on players such as Argentina's Carlos Tevez has drawn global attention, raising fears among some that foreign stars are depriving local players of opportunities to grow. That could stifle the government's attempts to produce talent capable of achieving its stated goal of winning the World Cup by 2050, part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's push to make football success a national priority. Even in that endeavor, China is relying heavily on foreign talent, having hired veteran Italian coach Marcello Lippi to helm the men's national team. Other rules announced by the CFA appeared firmly aimed at addressing the lack of opportunities for Chinese players. They reduce the number of foreign club players who can appear at any given time from four to three and state that each team's starting list must include at least two Chinese players under age 23. Despite misgivings, Chinese clubs have continued to spend heavily over the past year to attract mainly South American stars. Apart from Tevez, whom Shanghai Shenhua said it paid an $11 million transfer fee to Argentine club Boca Juniors to acquire, they include Oscar, purchased from Chelsea, Brazilians Hulk, Ramires, Alex Teixeira and Paulinho, Colombian striker Jackson Martinez and Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi. Altogether, Chinese Super League clubs splashed out close to $300 million in the winter transfer window on big names. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

Shopee harnesses power of e-commerce to help small businesses and local communities get through pandemic

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, shares the benefits of e-commerce as the Philippines faces the pandemic. .....»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 18th, 2020

Nurses decry delay in salaries, benefits, set protest on Friday

Nurses are planning another protest on Friday to call for the timely payment of salaries and benefits of government health workers, after last week’s demonstration by workers of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 1st, 2020

‘Unjust’: Nurses seek pending salaries, benefits

‘Unjust’: Nurses seek pending salaries, benefits.....»»

Category: newsSource:  cnnphilippinesRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2020

Labella on Edlab riders gathering: Supporters are not exempted from the law

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said that no special treatment should be given to violators of the law, even to his own supporters. This was his response to the statement of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, that they will be filing charges to over a […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsNov 18th, 2020

Labella on Edlab riders gathering: Supporters are not exempted from the law

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said that no special treatment should be given to violators of the law, even to his own supporters. This was his response to the statement of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, that they will be filing charges to over a […] The post Labella on Edlab riders gathering: Supporters are not exempted from the law appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 17th, 2020

Ombudsman suspends 5 DOH officials

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered a six-month preventive suspension order against five officials of the Department of Health (DOH) over the late releasing of benefits of healthcare workers amid the pandemic.  In an order signed on Tuesday, Ombudsman Samuel Martires preventively suspended Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-An, Kenneth Ronquillo, Maylene Beltran, Laureano Cruz, and Esperanza Carating for six months without pay due to neglect of duty and inefficiency as government officials. The order only addressed the issue of the alleged delay in releasing benefits to health workers, the first action made by the Ombudsman since the investigation was opened in June. However, Martires said that the overall probe regarding the Department’s supposed irregularities on COVID-19 response was still ongoing. The Ombudsman formed investigation teams last June to look into the delayed procurement of physical protective equipment (PPEs) and other items needed for the protection of medical frontliners, and the reported lapses and irregularities that led to the death of health workers. Other issues include the department’s inaction in the release and processing of financial assistance to infected and “fallen” medical workers, as well as the “confusing and delayed” reporting of COVID-19 deaths and confirmed cases. The probe was based on the recommendations of Assistant Ombudsman Caesar D. Asuncion, Assistant Ombudsman Joselito P. Fangon, and Assistant Ombudsman Jose M. Balmeo Jr. Martires previously said that investigators faced difficulties during the early part of the probe as some DOH officials refused to cooperate. With this, Martires authorized the filing of necessary criminal or administrative charges against any official or employee who fails or refuses to comply with the Ombudsman’s legal processes, orders, and requests. Any DOH official or employee who willfully obstructs or hinders the conduct of the investigation or even anyone who misleads the Ombudsman investigators will likewise be charged......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 27th, 2020

Dev’t program for Filipino teachers in Cambodia launched

To help more than 1,000 Filipinos working as teachers in Cambodia, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh have launched a development program to enhance their competencies and ensure high salaries. CHED Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III and Chargé d’Affaires Myca Magnolia signed last Friday a Memorandum of Cooperation to introduce the “Developing Global Filipino Teachers” program which aims to equip, capacitate, and enhance competencies of the 1,152 Filipino teachers in Cambodia. According to De Vera, the embassy alerted the commission last year on the plight of these Filipinos working as teachers in Cambodia as the majority of them are not licensed to teach due to lack of proper credentials. The CHED partnered with some universities, including St. Paul University, Cebu Normal University, and the Philippine Normal University, which are centers of excellence in teacher education, for the realization of professionalization of some of the OFWs who are not licensed professional teachers. “We cannot emphasize the importance of higher education in playing a critical role in the development of our citizens here and abroad. This memorandum of cooperation produces better collaboration and easier grasp of the problem at hand,” De Vera said. “The solution is now within our reach, thanks to the Developing Global Filipino Teachers program,” he added. Under the memorandum, those who are qualified for the program include professionals who are not graduates of the teacher education program who intend to take the Philippine Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET); in-service teachers who want to enhance their competencies and their impact in the classroom and beyond to understand global issues; graduates of education program but have not passed the Philippine LET; and those Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). “This program is one of the manifestations of the Filipino ‘bayanihan’ spirit driving the Philippine higher education during this COVID-19 crisis. We grappled with the pandemic individually but we will conquer it together as one,” the CHED chief added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Opposition solons chide General Parlade on red-tagging

Opposition lawmakers chided Thursday Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, a staunch anti-communist military official, for allegedly red-tagging actress Liza Soberano after appearing in a webinar against gender-based exploitation and sexual harassment. Parlade commented on Soberano when she appeared in the webinar sponsored by Gabriela Youth. Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said Parlade has been “red-tagging anyone who works or espousing the same cause and issues of progressive groups.” “Anybody and everybody should speak out against abuse and not let them be until they are extinguished,” said Zarate. He chided Parlade for allegedly assuming that “celebrities, the youth, women, urban poor, lumad and rural folk are ignorant or even stupid, to stand up for their rights and beliefs on their own.” In a separate statement, Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas finds it “starkly ironic” for Parlade to appeal to stop red-tagging Soberano when it was the military official who actually made the accusation. “By saying that Soberano is “not yet an NPA,” he is maliciously associating the actress with the armed movement when what she did in the youth forum was only to speak up for all the victims of gender-based violence and abuse,” said Brosas. She stated: “It is clear that Parlade, the NTF-ELCAC and the paid trolls are the ones who are rabidly red-tagging Liza Soberano and other female celebrities and influencers who are taking a stand and speaking out against the macho-fascism under the Duterte regime.” Reacting to the statements of the Makabayan solons and Senator Risa Hontiveros, Parlade said it is “government’s job to expose this duplicitous nature of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines). “But we differ in the way Gabriela exploits these genuine advocates, because the CPP’s underground MAKIBAKA, is the one stirring and orchestrating it,” said the general. He described the CPP as a monster that “knows no friend.” “They will feed you to the lion’s den if you are not careful. This is what happened to Jo Lapira, Ren Manalo, Camille Manangan etc., Gabriela Youth who were all killed for ceasing to be a plain activist and ended up being with the terrorist,” Parlade noted. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Students accuse DepEd of ‘washing hands‘ of distance education issues

MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) accused the Department of Education (DepEd) of trying to avoid accountability for the challenges posed by distance and blended learning on the mental health of students and teachers. The NUSP was referring to a DepEd statement issued on Tuesday asking the public not […] The post Students accuse DepEd of ‘washing hands‘ of distance education issues appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

PNP will launch massive recruitment drive

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing a visit in every college and university across the country—not to discourage students from joining rallies but to recruit them to join the police service.PNP chief Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan said the move is part of the effort to recruit the best and the brightest among the next breed of policemen in the country, citing that the salaries of policemen are now competitive with private companies.“We are going to colleges and universities talking to them so that we will come up with recruits that are best for the PNP,” said Cascolan.Over the years, the PNP has been re-strategizing the recruitment of its personnel amid the perennial problem of the involvement of rookie policemen to illegal activities that include extortion and various crimes.During the time of PNP chief Raul Bacalzo, the recruitment was shifted from the ‘muscle to brains’ in a bid to encourage more smart students to join the police force.By muscle, then PNP chief Bacalzo said they would avail more slots for academic achievers rather than those who are entering the police service because of easily hurdling past the physical examinations.The move, however, failed as smart students would prefer working in private companies due to low monthly salary and perks being offered for policemen.Former PNP chief Alan Purisima had expressed strong preference for recruits who graduated with an education degree rather than criminology, as he noted that the PNP needs more recruits who have a strong foundation on character and the ability to teach good manners and right conduct. But with the competitive salary and benefits for the PNP, Cascolan expressed confidence that they would be able to recruit academically prepared college graduates......»»

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

What spokespersons do

THE VIEW FROM RIZAL Dr. Jun Ynares An apparent “word war” recently erupted between the science community of the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The tussle seems to have been triggered by what the DENR spokesperson described as a criticism from the UP scientists, particularly those who are part of the UP Marine Science Institute (UP MSI). The institute, according to its website, is UP’s “coordinating base for marine research.” Its mandate is to “pursue research, teaching and extension work” related to marine life in the large bodies of water in the country. The spokesperson of the DENR was visibly angry when he fired verbal shots against UP’s science community at a televised media conference last week. The DENR spokesperson labeled the UP scientists “bayaran” which roughly translates in English as “mercenaries” or “whore.” The televised rant was apparently triggered by what the spokesperson said was the criticism by UP scientists against the DENR’s “white sand” project for the Manila Bay shore. The project, it will be recalled, involved the use of so-called “dolomite” – the residue derived from crushing rocks and stones and which visually resembles white sand. Media described the DENR spokesperson’s action as “lashing out” against the UP experts, saying the latter have no right to air their criticism. He accused the scientists of having received some P500 million from the government and delivering nothing but consultation services. According to media, the DENR spokesperson called the UP scientists “blood-suckers.” In reporting the rant by the DENR spokesperson, media used the headline “DENR slams UP scientists.” This led to confusion among media consumers like us. Wasn’t it the DENR spokesperson who “slammed” UP scientists and not DENR per se? Why should the rant dished out by a spokesperson be attributed to the entire department? To explain the role of a spokesperson and the nature of that job, we turned to international training consultant and fellow Antipoleño Archie Inlong. Archie served as spokesperson for three major agencies – the erstwhile Department of Transportation and Communication, and the two Presidential Task Forces which rebuilt the areas affected by major disasters, the earthquake of 1990 and the subsequent eruptions of Mt. Pinatubo. “There are three important tasks that the spokesperson of a government agency performs,” he told us. “These are, first, to provide relevant information and instructions; second, to issue clarification when needed; and, third, to give assurances to the public on behalf of the organization he represents,” Archie explained. “Occasionally, the spokesperson also shares the point of view of the head of the agency, the latter’s prognosis, and position on certain issues,” he added. “There are items outside of what the spokesperson may safely say to the public, and these include rants, insults, accusations,” he continued. “When these come out of the spokesperson’s mouth,” the public interprets them as the official statement of the entire organization and its head,” he pointed out. This should explain why media now interprets the “mercenary/whore” label given by the DENR spokesperson to the scientists of UP as a “slam” coming from the DENR itself. “The spokesperson is a mouthpiece, that’s all,” Archie added. “We, spokespersons, must be good mouthpieces,” he said. Does that mean that a spokesperson is not entitled to express his own opinion, his own views, his own sentiment? This was his answer: “No, his job is to speak on behalf of the organization and its head, period.” “That disclaimer used by some spokespersons that the comment he or she made ‘is just my own opinion’ does not work,” Archie explained. “Outside of his role as the mouthpiece of the organization, the spokesperson has no personality and his words would carry no weight,” he added. So, does that mean we have to interpret the labels “mercenary” and “whore” given to UP scientists as having come from the DENR secretary himself, I asked. This was the answer I got. “Unless and until the head of agency disowns the statement, that would be the case.” Lesson learned: what the spokesperson says is the official stand of the organization and its head. That means the spokesperson job is something that must be taken seriously and must be handled with utmost prudence and care. Words have power. Particularly those that come from a spokesperson’s mouth......»»

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

Addressing mental health amid a pandemic

BETTER DAYS Senator Sonny Angara Mental health has historically been a difficult subject to talk about in Philippine society. Many of us, no doubt, have our own stories, personal or otherwise, of how difficult it is to seek help. In fact, in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, an August, 2020, analysis of many studies on the matter confirmed that the low utilization of mental health services among Filipinos could be attributed in part to the stigma associated with mental health issues, with resilience and self-reliance becoming possible alternate coping strategies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made mental health an even bigger issue. The quarantine, the economic effects of the pandemic, and the anxieties brought about by the virus’ unpredictability have had a negative effect on the mental health of many Filipinos. Although we as a country are consistently rated to be in the Top 5 of a global optimism index, according to the DOH, the calls for help have been increasing. According to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), their helpline received about 400 calls monthly from May, 2019, to February, 2020. That’s an average of 13 to 15 calls daily. By March, 672 calls were serviced, and this grew steadily in the following months, until there were 1,034 calls in July – and 440 for the half of August. These double the monthly average from March to August to 876 calls, or 32 to 37 calls daily. Many government and private mental health services are available for people who are seeking help or just someone to talk to. Aside from the NCMH crisis hotline, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has confidential crisis lines and a referral system to partnered psychologists. The foundation is also a hub for prevention, recognition, and treatment of depression. The Philippine Mental Health Association also offers similar services, and universities like UST, UP Diliman, and Ateneo de Manila have their own mental health service organizations. Some, like Ateneo’s Center for Family Ministries have affordable or negotiable fees. Online resources like the Silakbo.Ph website have listings for many other mental health service providers outside of the NCR. In fact, many organizations have already partnered with the Department of Health (DOH); perhaps more of them should be invited to the table to plan new policies, projects, and initiatives that will address the growing number of mental health cases. The DOH is also encouraging people to learn more about general mental health through free e-learning courses translated into Filipino.  The source material is from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) QualityRights initiative, which is a global project that aims to help participants improve their own mental health, learn how to support their loved ones and communities, and gain knowledge and skills to tackle mental health issues. Clearly, we need to reassess and adapt to the fact that more Filipinos are now looking for mental health services and treatments. This is why I am seeking to amend Republic Act 11036, the Mental Health Act, particularly its existing chapter on “Rights of Service Users and Other Stakeholders.” Our proposed amendment seek to give health service users the right to immediately receive compensation benefits and special financial assistance they are entitled to under law, should they sustain temporary or permanent mental disability in the line of duty or by reason of a person’s office or position. This is an important amendment, as the Mental Health Act requires that PhilHealth provide insurance packages to patients with mental health conditions, and that access to medicines is ensured. With the observation of World Mental Health Day last October 10, it is important to remember the DOH’s theme for this year, “Mental Health for All: Unifying Voices for Greater Investment and Access.”  This theme encourages that we open conversations on the various challenges that our mental health care system faces every day, such as social stigma and limited funding. In fact, the simple act of marking the day itself is important. It shows those who are suffering that we see them, and care for them. It tells others who are hiding their issues that it is perfectly normal to seek help. And most of all, it encourages the whole world to stand in solidarity in recognition of the need for all of society to help those with mental health issues. E-mail: sensonnyangara@yahoo.com| Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 16 years—9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 7 as Senator. He has authored and sponsored more than 200 laws.  He is currently serving his second term in the Senate. .....»»

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

Go urges BFP to push modernization efforts

Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go on Friday urged the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to continue its efforts to modernize and enhance its ranks by acquiring more fire trucks and equipment especially for the  remote areas in the country. Sen. Bong Go (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) Go issued the statement after attending yesterday the ceremonial turnover at the Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City of the recently procured equipment of the BFP, including 84 units of 1,000 gallons capacity fire trucks, five units of aerial ladder, and three units of rescue trucks to be distributed by BFP to various local government units around the country.  “All over the country po ito ipapamahagi. Natutuwa po ako dahil ang gusto naman po natin ay mabigyan ng sapat na kagamitan laban sa sunog ang mga iba’t ibang lugar — hopefully sa lahat ng sulok po ng bansa ay handa po tayo,” Go said. (These will be distributed all over the country. I am happy because we want to give the appropriate fire-fighting equipment to different parts of the country.)    Go said there are many municipalities that have no financial capabilities to buy such an equipment. “Hopefully, patuloy pa ang pag-acquire nila ng mga panibagong equipment. Kinausap ko rin po si Dir. Embang na ikonsidera rin nila ‘yung mga maliliit na fire trucks na puwedeng pumasok sa mga liblib o masisikip na lugar kasi doon po madalas nagkakasunog,” Go said, referring to BFP Chief Jose Embang, Jr. (Hopefully, their acquisition of fire-fighting equipment will continue. I told Director Embang that BFP should consider buying small fire trucks that can enter narrow roads and congested areas where fires usually originate from.) Last February 11, 2020, Go joined President Duterte in witnessing the turnover of 74 fire trucks. The Senator also continues to provide aid to fire victims in different parts of the country.  “Mahirap po mawalan ng bahay at kagamitan dahil sa sunog at iba pang sakuna. Kaya po patuloy akong nagbibigay ng tulong sa mga biktima at nag-iiwan ng ngiti sa oras ng kanilang pagdadalamhati,” Go said. (It is hard to lose a house and personal belongings due to fires. That is why I continue to extend help to fire victims and give them a reason to smile during a time of grief.) “Bilang isang Senador at public servant, patuloy po akong magseserbisyo, lalo na sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan na apektado ng krisis tulad ng sunog. Kasabay nito ay pagsisikapan ko bilang mambabatas na mas palakasin pa ang ating fire prevention and protection measures,” he added. (As a senator and a public servant, I continue to be of service, particularly to victims of crises like fires. As a lawmaker, I continue to help to strengthen our fire prevention and protection measures.)     As vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Peace and Order and as a main advocate of fire protection modernization initiatives, one of Go’s priority bills is Senate Bill 204 which is now consolidated under Committee Report No. 111, otherwise known as BFP Modernization Act of 2020.  The measure is currently undergoing the period of interpellation in the Senate. The bill aims to ensure the hiring of more personnel, acquisition of modern fire equipment, and the conduct of training for firefighters of the BFP.  The bill will also empower local communities in preventing fire incidents by mandating the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in all local government units (LGUs), especially in vulnerable areas.  Go said President Duterte fully supports the modernization efforts of the BFP. “Ang sabi ng Pangulo, sabihin mo sa kanila huwag na nila ako unahin, ‘yung kagamitan ng mga sundalo at kapulisan at bumbero ang unahin natin,” he said. (The President said the equipment of soldiers, policemen, and firemen should come first.) During the event, Go expressed his and Duterte’s full support for the country’s fire personnel, citing the government’s recent effort to increase the salaries and promote the welfare of the military and uniformed personnel.  “Full support po kami sa inyo. Unang-una po, ‘yung pangako niya pagkaupo pa lang niya bilang Pangulo, tinupad niya agad ang pangako niya,” Go said, referring to the increase in salaries provided to uniformed personnel, including firefighters. (We give our full support to you. The President fulfills his promises when he took over the presidency in 2016.) Go also said that he supports the President’s position of arming BFP personnel so they can help in the fight against criminality.  “We are currently studying this added measure of arming firefighters. Nabanggit na rin ito ng Pangulo. Makakatulong din sila sa paglaban ng kriminalidad at para rin maproteksyunan ang kanilang mga sarili. Pati sa kampanya laban sa droga, makakatulong din sila,” Go said. (This was mentioned by the President. They can help fight criminality and also protect themselves. They can also help in containing the spread of dangerous drugs.)    In addition to fire trucks and other modern equipment, Go also said that he is coordinating with BFP officials, government finance managers, and concerned agencies on how to also provide additional ambulance units to the BFP.  He said that providing ambulances will make the BFP more responsive in fulfilling its mandate and will be useful, especially in times of national emergencies given that their personnel are well-trained frontliners.  “Kapag mayroon nang vaccine kontra COVID-19, pwede pong tumulong ang BFP para mabakunahan ang mga tao. Nagtutulungan po lahat ng ating uniformed personnel, mula military, pulis, bumbero, at iba pa para maprotektahan ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan,” Go explained. (Our firemen can also help in the vaccination of our countrymen to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Our uniformed personnel, from the military, policemen, firemen and others can help in protecting the interests of Filipinos.)  Go thanked officials for their efforts to modernize the BFP and for their continuing service, especially during the pandemic, specifically Department of the Interior and Local Government officials led by Secretary Eduardo Año and BFP officials led by Embang, Jr.  Go also acknowledged local officials and district representatives who were present, including Congressman Onyx Crisologo of the 1st District of Quezon City, Congresswoman Angel Amante-Matba of the 2nd District of Agusan del Norte, Mayor Marcy Teodoro of Marikina City, and Mayor Judy Amante of Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte and thanked them for their support to the national government in the bayanihan efforts to overcome the pandemic.  “Dahil mahirap ang panahon ngayon, we have to adjust to the new normal pero konting tiis lang po. Alam kong hirap po kayo. Kami ni Pangulong Duterte, hindi kami nawawalan ng pag-asa, magtulungan lang po tayo. Sino pa ba ang magtutulungan kundi tayong kapwa Pilipino,” he said, (Because times are hard, we have to adjust to the new normal. Please bear with us. I know you are suffering. I and President Go have not lost hope. We should help one another.).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2020

Christmas 2020 for workers and farmers

HOTSPOT Tonyo Cruz Two things workers are looking forward to at the end of each year are the 13th month pay and the Christmas bonus. And it seems about two million workers may not get any 13th month pay at all, if the Duterte government would have its way. The reason? Because of the pandemic. In reaction, Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog  issued his shortest statement yet this year, unable to hide labor’s frustration: “It is the government’s responsibility to bail out MSMEs in times of emergencies.” Indeed, it is the state’s obligation to support and prop up micro, small and medium-scale enterprises especially now in the time of pandemic. By saying MSMEs could dispense with the 13th month pay, the government is practically passing on its responsibility to MSMEs. Workers continue to give their share through the cheap, underpaid and overstressed labor power that makes sure MSMEs continue to function and perform their role as main engines of the economy. The government must do its job: Bail out the MSMEs. It is quite surprising that the Duterte government seems disinterested in bailing out MSMEs, considering the avalanche of news about the borrowings here and there. According to Sonny Africa, executive director of the think-tank Ibon Foundation, the borrowings has reached a historic high: “It took 118 years for the country’s debt to reach P6.1-trillion in 2016. President Duterte is taking just six years to more than than double that to P13.7-trillion in 2022.” Again, the reason for the borrowing has been “because of the pandemic.” Regardless of where the money goes, and whether or not MSMEs and workers received only a drop from it, they would pay the entire debt through more and higher taxes for years to come. Workers are not asking for something they have not earned through hard work. They earned that 13th month pay. It is not an optional thing. It is part of the law. The pandemic should oblige the state to bail out our MSMEs to enable them to fully function, and to give the workers’ their due under the law. Workers have given and lost a lot because of the pandemic. Workers have not asked for free rides to work, but the government fails to provide adequate and safe mass transport. Workers have asked for free mass testing in their companies and communities, but the government has other ideas. Workers and their families would have fared better with unemployment benefits amid the dismal pandemic response of government, but it seems the same government wishes to push them instead to pawnshops and loan sharks. We haven’t even factored in the laid-off, underemployed and unemployed workers, as well as the undetermined number of overseas Filipino healthcare workers stranded in the country since April. They all don’t wish to be “patay-gutom” and “pala-asa”.  They don’t wish to stay unemployed and be dependent on aid. They are ready to work and earn their keep. But since the president made policy decisions affecting their ability to obtain work, it is the government’s obligation to bail them out as well. The situation of our nation’s farmers is no different. For instance, rice farmers continue to produce our national staple. The pandemic made even worse the effects on them of the combined power of policies such as rice tarrification, the stranglehold of Big Landlords, the vast influence of rice cartels, and the continued operation of illegal rice importers. Price monitoring by Bantay Bigas and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reveals the outrageously low palay prices nationwide, which means ruin to our nation’s rice farmers: Negros Occidental and Bicol region P10; Capiz P10-P11; Caraga P11; Tarlac P11-12; Ilocos Sur and Nueva Ecija P11-13; Camarines Sur P11.50-14; Bulacan and Mindoro P12; Isabela P12-P13.50; Pangasinan P12-P12.30; Antique P12.50; Agusan del Sur P13; Davao de Oro P13.14; Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato P13.50; North Cotabato P14; and Lanao del Norte P15. If you look at it, plantitos and plantitas today pay 20 to 50 times more for ornamental plants, compared to the prices traders and the NFA offer to our farmers. According to Bantay Bigas and KMP, the government procures way less than 20 percent of the produce of rice farmers.  And then we hear that the NFA would rather import rice from other countries, at pandemic-affected prices at that. Without any state intervention, by way of NFA buying rice farmers’ produce at P20 per kilo, and providing loans to farmers, there could be worse rural poverty in the coming months and years. Between our workers and farmers, their families have been made to sacrifice a lot since March, with prices of basic goods spiking, with new and higher expenses arising from online classes for the children. There cannot be no aid for them.  Neither should workers and farmers shoulder the burden of the failure or refusal of government to provide funding for bailouts sorely needed by MSMEs, and be forced to accept new national debts to pay for policies such as rice tarrification and importation. The government knows the scale of the problem. The Department of Labor and Employment says 13,127 companies have either laid off workers or permanently closed. The response cannot be “pass the burden to workers”. The answer should be: “the state must do everything to rescue the companies and the workers.” OFWs across the world should be familiar with bailouts and economic protections because of the pandemic. Many countries that host OFWs enacted huge bailouts and stimulus to their economies, partly so that migrant labor could continue to be employed. They enjoy health insurance, and special COVID19 coverage. Governments handed out checks to both citizens and companies. Is it too much to ask that the same be done in our own country? Or do Filipinos have to go abroad to experience such social and economic protections?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Be wary of 20-Piso coin sold online, BSP warns

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday warned the public against selling the supposed “Brilliant Uncirculated 20-Piso” coin online. In a statement, the central bank said it had yet to issue the coin, which was being advertised on online shopping platforms like Shopee and Carousell. The Bangko Sentral also told the public that what […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020