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The Treasury Department criticizes Mexican government support for Pemex and CFE

The US Treasury Department criticized the Mexican government’s support for its “deficit state companies”. The United States Department of the Treasury Confirmed that Support for.....»»

Category: newsSource: thedailyguardian thedailyguardianApr 18th, 2021

DILG reports 500+k signatures from LGUs back & lsquo;surgical& rsquo; Cha-cha

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has presented to Congress the half-million signatures gathered across different provinces to signify grassroots support for “surgical” amendments to the 1987 Constitution, especially its economic provisions......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 14th, 2021

GOCC subsidies hit P229 billion from January to November 2020

Subsidies received by state-run corporations rose to P228.7 billion in the first 11 months of 2020, boosted by the government’s funding support for various coronavirus pandemic response programs, according to the Bureau of the Treasury......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 4th, 2021

Gov’t prepares for dual-tranche benchmark-sized dollar bond sale

Credit watchers S&P Global Ratings, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday assigned investment-grade scores to the Philippine government’s proposed dual-tranche and benchmark-sized US dollar-denominated bond offerings that will mature in 2031 and 2045.The proceeds from the bond issuances are intended for general purposes, including budgetary support.  The Bureau of the Treasury did not […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2020

Dominguez asks DTI to return interest earnings of PITC to Treasury

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III formally asked the Department of Trade and Industry to return to the Bureau of the Treasury the interest earnings of the Philippine International Trading Corp. to help augment the government’s COVID-19 response and disaster relief efforts......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 1st, 2020

DTI willing to return PITC’s P1.15 billion interest income

The Department of Trade and Industry is willing to return to the national government the balance of interest income earned from funds with its attached agency Philippine International Trading Corp., as the Department of Finance called for the funds to be given back to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 30th, 2020

Government releases P92.35 billion for COVID-19 measures

The government has released a total of P92.35 billion to support the COVID-19 recovery programs of various agencies, the Department of Budget and Management reported yesterday......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 25th, 2020

1 million farmers to get land titles under CARP

The Department of Agrarian Reform has launched a P24.6-billion project which aims to subdivide 1.3 million hectares of agricultural land for the benefit of one million agrarian reform beneficiaries.In a virtual launching ceremony yesterday, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said the project, dubbed Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling or SPLIT, was designed to “uplift the economic lives of farmers” through improved land tenure security and continued financial and technical assistance from the government and private sector......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 20th, 2020

DBM releases P1.5 billion to LGUs hit by Quinta, Rolly

The Department of Budget and Management yesterday released P1.5 billion to local government units to support their disaster relief efforts following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Quinta......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 17th, 2020

DBM releases P82.5 billion in Bayanihan 2 funds

The Department of Budget and Management has so far released P82.5 billion in funds to support the coronavirus response efforts of various government agencies......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 10th, 2020

PH eyes modest $31-M export deals at China expo participation

The Philippine delegation is targeting to attract over 1,300 buyers and generate a modest  $31 million worth export deals at the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE),  significantly lower than the $300 million the Philippines realized during last year’s China International Import Exposition (CIIE). Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the apparently lower sales target this year may mean on the spot deals only and may not include post CIIE sales attributed to said expo. “Factoring also that this year is Pandemic year. This is a hybrid show this year, where the goods are displayed but negotiations are done via the online B2B facility.  The target is also based on the reduced pavilion size this year, as well as the projected decrease in the number of buyers attending CIIE this year,” said Lopez. Philippine mango and pili nuts are among the products that will be showcased under the FOODPhilippines Pavilion. Already, DTI’s Export Marketing Board and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) facilitated initial talks with the Philippine delegation and 40 Chinese buyers in a video conferencing. These Chinese buyers are importers, distributors, and retailers. During last year’s CIIE, Philippine exhibitors booked around $300 million in sales at the second CIIE, more than double the $124 million recorded sales in 2018. This year’s third CIIE will be held on Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai. In the B2B session, Chinese buyers expressed interest in working together with Philippine companies that produce fresh fruits and vegetables, chocolates, healthy snacks, seafood, beverages, and condiments.  For this hybrid participation, there will be a mix of physical product presentation in the pavilion that will be facilitated by onsite officers from the DTI trade posts in China and online B2B matching activities between our companies in Manila and the Chinese buyers who will visit the Philippine booth in Shanghai, according to CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan. With the theme “Healthy and Natural,” 40 Philippine companies will exhibit and sample the country’s wide range of tropical fruits and vegetables, processed fruits and nuts, healthy snacks, seafood and marine products, and other premium food selections. The FOODPhilippines pavilion will feature interactive conference pods for the first time in CIIE to enable virtual business-to-business (B2B) activities and video conferencing. In place of actual Philippine exhibitors manning the booths, Philippine Commercial Counsellors will represent the government and exhibitors, promote exhibitor brands and products onsite, and relay all business leads and contacts generated during the show. The participation in CIIE is organized in partnership with the Foreign Trade Services Corps (FTSC) through the Philippine Trade & Investment Centers (PTICs) in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, and the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB). Government partners are the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Office of the Agricultural Counsellor in Beijing (DA-OAC-Beijing) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Philippine mango and pili nuts are among the products that will be showcased under the FOODPhilippines Pavilion.project is likewise supported by business associations such as the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).          Leading the FOODPhilippines’ opening in CIIE are representatives from the Philippines and China, namely the Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, Philippines’ DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, FFCCCII President Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Deputy Director General Yang Weiqun from the Department of Asian Affairs of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). Under the FOODPhilippines delegation, 40 companies that will highlight tropical fruits and vegetables will be Hilas Marketing Corporation, Agrinurture, Inc., Mancoco Food Processing, Inc., Excellent Quality Goods Supply Company, Castillo Import Export Ventures Inc., Doxo International Trading, Magsasakang Progresibo Marketing Cooperative, See’s International Food Mfg, Corp., Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures, Inc., Team Asia Corporation, Eau de Coco, Inc., Eng Seng Food Products, Greenlife Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Tongsan Industrial Development Corporation, Islandfun Inc., Limketkai Manufacturing Corporation (LMC), KLT Fruits, Inc., Zigmund Enterprise, Business Innovations Gateway, Inc., Sangkutsa Food Products, Inc., AG Grays Farm, Marigold Manufacturing Corporation, and the Federation of People’s Sustainable Development Cooperative. To show its goodwill to the Chinese market, the Philippine delegation will donate healthy products to Food Bank China as part of the launch of the Shanghai Food Bank Project with Liwayway China on November 5. The donation will include 200 packs of banana chips from Excellent Quality Goods Supply Company, 50 tuna packs of premium handline tuna from Century Pacific Food Inc., and bundles of virgin coconut oil (VCO) and various coconut products from Team Asia Corporation. The food donation to the Food Bank China serves as a way of giving back and a token of appreciation to the Chinese community for its continued support towards the Filipino representatives and communities in China, according to Commercial Vice Consul Mario Tani of the PTIC in Shanghai. Meanwhile, healthy snack varieties will be showcased by Magic Melt Foods Inc., Sandria’s Delicious Concept, Vegetari Vegetarian Products, Market Reach International Resources, SL Agritech Corporation, and the Philippine Franchise Association. Tuna and other seafood selections will be presented by Century Pacific Food Inc., Universal Canning, Inc., Fisher Farms, Incorporated, Jam Seafoods, Inc., Phil. Union Frozen Foods, Inc., and Gerabuenas Trading. Likewise, premium food selections will be offered by Global Basic Co., Ltd, Subic Superfood Incorporated, Chocoloco, Inc., Filipinas de Oro de Cacao, Inc., and Seabeth Food Processing......»»

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

Gov’t pushes digitalized, mechanized farm sector

The Department of Finance (DOF) said the government is rapidly digitalizing the country’s agricultural systems and mechanizing farm production to ensure food security over the long run. During the virtual 2020 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the government wants to turn the coronavirus-induced health emergency into an opportunity. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) To do so, Dominguez said efforts to implement the twin measures are being done to expand Filipinos’ market access for food producers while keeping food supply available and prices affordable. “We are confident that the innovative measures we are putting in place today will transform Philippine agriculture into a dynamic, high-growth sector that will fuel our country’s strong recovery,” Dominguez said during the high-level Food Security Roundtable at the meeting. Dominguez said the government is also promoting digital marketing to support ongoing efforts to boost consumer spending in the new normal and sustaining public investments in rural infrastructure. He added that the government is accelerating the move towards agricultural technology-based farming and value chain development to ensure long-term food security.  To channel more funds into the agriculture sector, the government is also encouraging more private-sector financing in the sector by proposing reforms in the Congress that will provide more access to credit for the entire agricultural value chain, Dominguez said.   “We all aspire for greater food and nutrition security for our people. Only an efficient and modern agriculture sector can fully deliver that,” Dominguez, who was Agriculture secretary during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, said. Amid pandemic, Dominguez III said the Philippines has been handling the COVID-19 crisis “with strength on the food security front” duets reforms, particularly with the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). According to Dominguez, the agriculture sector was “one of the brightest spots” of the Philippines’s response to the pandemic owing in large part to the RTL. He pointed out that agriculture sector even continued to grow when the rest of the economy contracted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dominguez said rice tariffication was among the main reasons why the government has succeeded in keeping food prices and supply stable, and inflation low during the COVID-19 emergency.  Keeping rice prices stable has been helpful for low-income households that spend a fifth of their budgets on rice alone, he added.   “The Philippines faced the COVID-19 pandemic with strength on the food security front,” Dominguez said.  He pointed out that despite logistical restrictions resulting from the lockdowns imposed to protect people and communities from the lethal coronavirus, the government was able to sustain the flow of produce from local farms to Filipino consumers.   “A food crisis did not happen. This is credited to the effective management of the food supply by our Agriculture Department,” Dominguez said......»»

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

Duterte appoints Galvez as vaccine czar; ‘good choice’, say lawmakers

By Genalyn D. Kabiling and Charissa Luci-Atienza In a meeting with government officials on the disaster response Monday, President Duterte announced he wanted former AFP chief and now Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr Galvez to lead the government’s vaccine acquisition and distribution effort.  Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Duterte said Galvez would be the only authorized official to negotiate for the country’s’ vaccine supply. He expressed his dislike with the creation of committees since the process will take long.  “As I have said earlier during the start of the COVID, I only want one line of authority coming from dito sa the Task Force sa pagbili ng bakuna, the negotiation, manufacture, negotiation, production or distribution is ibinigay ko ‘yan kay Secretary Galvez,” he said. “I have great faith in Charlie to really come up with the solutions for the problem,” he added. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque defended the additional assignment given to Galvez, saying the planned immunization drive would involve “more of a logistics challenge than a medical challenge.” Galvez, who joined the Duterte Cabinet in 2018, also currently serves as chief implementer of the government’s plan to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives lauded Galvez’s designation as vaccine war, among them: Representatives Michael Defensor, Roger Mercado, Ronnie Ong, Alfred Vargas and Rosanna Vergara. “It’s more of a logistics challenge than a medical challenge,” Roque explained. He said the only medical issues involved in the vaccine purchase are related to safety and efficacy of the drugs. This matter, he said, will be handled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  He said Galvez is expected to continue his close coordination with the Department of Health and other agencies that will be involved in the vaccination drive. “Gen. Galvez would have the hindsight of what happened and the understanding of the COVID baseline. What we need is the leadership and managerial skills in taking the lead of the COVID vaccine campaign,” Defensor, chairperson of the House Committee on Public Accounts, said in a text message when asked if the vaccine czar should have been a medical doctor.  “I support the President’s appointment of Sec Galvez.  Galvez is an innovative  administrator. He can be trusted to implement the program well,”  Mercado said in a separate text message.  “We are happy that the president is preparing early and appointing someone to lead is good news,” Ong said.  Vargas also rallied behind the  the decision of President Duterte to appoint Galvez, saying that “we don’t need a doctor but a manager for this job.” Vergara also gave her vote of confidence to Galvez.  “Being the COVID-19 policy chief implementer, he has a clear overview of the COVID-19 situation in the county and such knowledge is very crucial in the distribution of the vaccine. I am sure, there are medical experts who advise the good Secretary,” she said.  “I am assuming  the vaccine chosen has already passed all testing and FDA approvals , the challenge will be to properly allocate and distribute it fairly across the country to the most vulnerable  and this is the challenge anyone who heads this Task Force will face– how do you properly allocate this should the vaccine supply be limited because of world wide demand? Thus, the need to plan for equally expedited distribution and delivery. Building a delivery system that is quick, fair and will not result to inequitable distribution,”  Vergara added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

GOCCs subsidies hit P200 billion in 9 months

The national government has extended nearly P200 billion in subsidies to state-run firms from January to September to support their operations and coronavirus response efforts, according to the Bureau of the Treasury......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 1st, 2020

DILG lauds Pangasinan prov’l govt for its efforts in slowing down COVID-19 spread

PANGASINAN — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has commended the provincial government headed by Gov. Amado Espino III and the people of Pangasinan for their collective effort in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. Governor Amado I. Espino III (Photo from the official website of the Province of Pangasinan/ MANILA BULLETIN/ FILE) “Binabati natin si Governor dahil maganda ang pagha-handle nila sa COVID situation. In fact, bumaba na yung kanilang active cases. Magandang development na ito sa pangunguna ng ating Governor at sa pagtutulungan ng ating mga kababayan sa Pangasinan,” (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said. The DILG Secretary, together with Gov. Espino and Board Member Jerome Vic Espino were guests at the October 27 episode of Laging Handa Network Briefing hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar. Año said that despite being a huge province and the gateway to Northern Luzon, Pangasinan is faring well in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. “Sana ay tuluyan na ring mawala ang COVID dyan,” the DILG Secretary said. Espino thanked his constituents for cooperating with the provincial government in the enforcement of strict health protocols. “Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mga kababayan na nakikinig at sumusunod sa alituntunin at sa mga LGUs na nakikiisa sa mga programa. Sa guidance po ng national Inter-Agency Task Force, maganda ang pagkakaisa at komunikasyon po namin dito kaya patuloy na bumababa ang mga kaso ng COVID-19,” he said. The province has a total of 1,611 COVID-19 cases, 351 of which are active, 60 deaths, and 1,200 recoveries.  Espino thanked national government agencies and President Duterte for their support to the Province of Pangasinan in curbing the spread of COVID-19. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 29th, 2020

Coconut farmers are poorest agri people

Coconut farmers are now the poorest people in the agriculture sector, much poorer than when they were 30 years ago.  This was the assessment of Danny Carranza, a coconut farmer and member the Kilusan Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan (Katarungan). (MB FILE, Keith Bacongco) Carranza blamed the coconut farmers’ poverty on the low copra prices, inability to intercrop and modernize, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, which isolates some of them who are living in far-flung areas.                “If you’re going to compare, we are much poorer now than we were back in 1990,” said Carranza. Carranza said the “crisis in coconut” that started in the 1990s was never resolved, but even worsened especially when farmers failed to diversify and intercrop before copra prices, dictated by world prices, crashed in 2019 and in the previous years.              “The price of copra is improving, reaching P16/kg from P8/kg last year, but that is still not enough,” Carranza said, adding that farmers’ income from a hectare of coconut plantation does not reach P10,000 anymore.            At present, about 95 percent of the 3.5 million hectares of coconut farms in the Philippines are meant to produce copra, which is the material for coconut oil manufacturing.  But with the collapse of the prices of coconut oil in the world market over the last two years, prices of copra have also dropped plunging farmers into deeper poverty. According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), prices of copra at farmgate as of October 15 stood at P21.86/kg, which is higher compared to P14.55/kg price level during the same day last year.           But Carranza said that it normally takes three to four years for coconut farmers to recover when a typhoon hits their plantation because coconut trees don’t recover fast. Several typhoons have devastated coconut trees lately.  “Farmers’ income is dictated by world prices, they don’t have enough funds to modernize their industry, and the government has failed to support them in the diversification of their coconut plantations,” Carranza said.  “Then things got worse because of climate change. And then, because of lockdown, a lot of farmers who live in far-flung areas were isolated and couldn’t deliver their produce,” he added.   In 2018, farmers working in coconut farms only received a daily nominal wage rate of P264, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.   To alleviate the current situation of coconut farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has announced that it will soon distribute a P5,000 worth of assistance to coconut farmers, which will be withdrawn from the agency’s P24-billion stimulus package granted under ‘Bayanihan 2’. The problem, according to Carranza, is that the assistance may only benefit farmers who own 1 hectare of coconut plantations or less. The PCA is also setting aside a portion of its budget to finance on-farm and off-farm livelihood projects for coconut farmers such as intercropping and livestock. Meanwhile, Pambansang Kilusan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (PKMP) Chairman Eduardo Mora said the legal team of Senator Bong Go pledged to help coconut farmers push for provisions that they want to be included in the Coco Levy Act, the proposed law that will pave the way for the release of the P100-billion coco levy fund.           “It was the office of Senator Bong Go that informed us that the senate version of Coco Levy Act was already passed in third and final reading. But his legal team also assured to help us in the congress version of the law, in bicameral, and in the drafting of the IRR [implementing rules and regulation] of the law,” Mora told Business Bulletin.         Mora’s group, which represents more than a hundred thousand coconut farmers in the country, has been calling for increased farmers’ representation in the planned coconut trust fund management committee.         Coconut farmers also don’t want the funds to be handled by PCA, Mora said.         Business Bulletin already sought for Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s reaction regarding the farmers’ opposition of the Coco Levy Act, but he hasn’t responded yet. .....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Duterte asked to act on slow disbursement of aid for seniors

President Duterte has been urged to step in on the supposed slow disbursement of financial assistance to senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior Citizen partylist Rep. Rodolfo “Ompong” Ordanes brought to the attention of the Chief Executive the “continuous troubles” hounding the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s implementation and disbursement of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) , Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), and Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens. “To date, we continually receive reports from thousands of our senior citizens all around the Philippines on how the DSWD fails to timely disburse the monetary aid that our government promised to them,” he said in his letter to Duterte dated Oct. 21. He laments that some of the senior citizens have perished before receiving a single centavo from the monetary aid due them. “This slow implementation and disbursement of the DSWD of critical monetary aid for our senior citizens clearly runs contrary to the directive of Your Excellency for the government to do whatever it takes to protect the welfare of our almost 10 million vulnerable senior citizens,” he said. “Thus, we humbly seek the assistance of Your Excellency in requesting that the DSWD fast-track the implementation and disbursement of the monetary aid for our senior citizens,” Ordanes said. During the House of Representatives’ plenary deliberations on the proposed P171-billion budget of the DSWD for 2021 last Oct. 13, it was relayed that some 1.404 million senior citizens have benefited from the national government’s SAP. In a virtual press briefing last week, over 2.9 million indigent senior citizens have received their social pension worth about P8.7 billion. The number is almost 83 percent of the 3.5 million indigent elderly targeted to receive the government stipend. During his 58th birth anniversary last Oct. 15, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista led the distribution of social pension worth P2.178 million to around 726 indigent senior citizens in Dinalupihan, Bataan. Republic Act No. 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” provides that seniors qualified to receive social pension are those who are frail, sickly, or with disability; without any pension from other government agencies; and without a permanent source of income or source of financial assistance and compensation to support their basic needs. However, the DSWD said those senior citizens who are not included in the list, but are eligible, can still appeal to the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), their local governments, and the nearest Field Office, which has jurisdiction over their areas, for assessment......»»

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

Roque to Congress: Consult Palace on increasing budget for vaccines

Any congressional move to raise the proposed 2021 budget for the coronavirus vaccine should at least be done in consultation with the Executive branch, according to a Palace official.  Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said while they respect Congress’ wisdom to hike the vaccine budget for the next year, the issue on its funding source must also be addressed. “The power of purse is vested in Congress. We will bow to the wisdom of Congress should they deem it fit to increase the budget for the vaccine, and of course, may pagkukuhanan po iyan (there will be a funding source for that),” he said during a Palace press briefing Thursday. “So we hope that Congress will at least confer with the Executive kung saan nila kukunin iyong pondo para itaas ang budget for the vaccine (on where the funds will be obtained to raise the budget for the vaccine),” he added. Nonetheless, Roque affirmed the administration’s resolve to ensure the country has adequate funds for the vaccine procurement once the life-saving drug becomes available.“We join Congress in our desire that we should have sufficient funds to pay for the vaccine, which according po to (Philippine) Ambassador (to China) Chito (Sta. Romana) is really forthcoming in the near future,” he said.The House of Representatives has reportedly introduced several amendments to its approved 2021 national budget, including a higher budget for the purchase of COVID vaccines to P8 billion.  In the original Palace-backed P4.5 trillion national budget proposal, at least P2.5 billion has been allocated for the COVID-19 vaccination program under the Department of Health’s budget. House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, who leads a small group in charge of amendments to the budget bill, said the additional P5.5 billion to augment the vaccine budget aims to ensure safe and effective vaccine will be available to Filipinos. “This is to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s program to strengthen the country’s health care system. We believe that vaccines play a very crucial role in keeping the population safe and healthy from the pandemic,” the Leyte lawmaker said.  On the part of the Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson disclosed plans to increase funding for the coronavirus vaccine under the proposed 2021 national budget. Last week, the President said the government has the funds to buy the coronavirus vaccine once it is available but would need more money to vaccinate all Filipinos. Duterte earlier vowed to give priority to the poor, the police and military personnel in the distribution of free vaccines.  He said the country will buy the most affordable vaccine to be sold in the market given the government’s limited resources. .....»»

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

DILG urges LGUs to support the operation of 12 FMAs

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged the local government units (LGUs) on Monday to support the operation of the 12 Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) in the country. (MANILA BULLETIN) DILG Secretary Eduardo Año issued the call specifically to the localities lying near the coastal areas. He explained that the FMA is a spatial delineation of Philippine waters as a means to manage fisheries at an appropriate scale.  Año noted that the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has established 12 FMAs composed of contiguous regions which share the same coasts. The DILG chief also emphasized that the preservation and management of aquatic resources, including coastal and fisheries, like other functions of the government, must not cease despite the COVID-19 crisis. Año said the LGUs should lead in the management of shared coasts and ocean for the benefit of all. “The establishment of FMAs is provided by law and it is the enshrined mandate of LGUs to protect and preserve our natural resources, including all coastal areas,” Año said. The Department of Agriculture had earlier issued  Fisheries Administrative Order (DA FAO) No. 263, s. 2019 which pushes for the creation of FMAs that are fully functional and supervised by a governing body. In support of the DA directive, Año issued DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-121 directing LGUs to be part of  the multi-sectoral Management Board and to work with other sectors in ensuring that the shared resources and fish stocks within the FMAs are properly managed. Año said that “one or more local chief executive (LCE) of LGUs  shall co-chair the said management board, together with the BFAR Regional Fisheries Office.’’ “Aquatic and fisheries resources are aspects of local governance that demand LGUs’ attention and with a representative from the LGUs in the FMA Management Board,’’ he added. “Regional composition of the 12 FMAs are as follows: Regions 2, 3, 4A, and 5 for FMA 1; Regions 8, 13 and 11 for FMA 2; Regions 12, 9 and BARMM for FMA 3; Regions 6, 7, 9, and BARMM for FMA 4; Regions 4B and 6 for FMA 5; Regions 1, 3, 4A, 4B and NCR for FMA 6; Regions 4A, 5, and 8 for FMA 7; Regions 8 and 13 for FMA 8; Regions 7, 8, 9, 10, and 13 for FMA 9; Regions 7, and 8 for FMA 10; Regions 5, 6, 7, and 8 for FMA 11; and, Regions 4A, 4B, 5, and 6 for FMA 12,’’ the DILG said. Año also urged LGUs to participate in the development of the FMA Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) Plan or EAFM Framework. He said that this will lay down the policies and strategic actions of the FMA to be implemented by the LGUs and BFAR field offices within the FMA......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 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

Laos, Afghanistan lift inbound restrictions for Pinoys travellers

Two countries in Asia and the Pacific – Laos and Afghanistan – have lifted inbound restrictions on Filipino travelers, subject to flight availability and medical protocols amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a report on Monday.  (ALI VICOY / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) On the other hand, Malaysia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Hong Kong have imposed stricter medical protocols and visa regulations for those who are exempt from entry restrictions. Mongolia’s borders, meanwhile, remain open but inbound travelers in the country are now required to present negative COVID-19 test results and must have all applicable documents to support their visa status. In Tokyo, the Japanese government has gradually opened up inbound entry for students, dependents, and technical interns but still prohibit entry of short-stay travelers, including tourists.  Back here at home, beginning October 21, Filipinos may resume their overseas plans after Malacañang announced the lifting of restrictions for non-essential outbound travelers, including tourists.  Outbound Filipino tourists may be allowed to leave the country after submitting confirmed roundtrip tickets and adequate travel and health insurance. With the still evolving changes in travel restrictions worldwide due to the pandemic, the DFA advises Filipino travelers to always check ahead of their travel dates with airlines, as well as with relevant Embassies or Consulates before booking a ticket and before departure.  .....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020