Wednesday, July 29, 2015

News Pictorial



RC Kalibo Holds 49th Induction
And Turn-Over Program

Engr. Lydio “JONG” I. Ureta (center front) became the 49th president of the Rotary Club of Kalibo after his Induction on Saturday evening, July 25, 2015. He was inducted by  District Governor Nominee Ronnie Gabalda (Extreme right) held at ROZ & ANGELIQUE’S CAFE Pook, Kalibo, Aklan. Inducted with Ureta are; Roger de Guzman-Vice president, Morris Morier-Secretary, Niovady Marin-Treasurer, Epifanio Rebuelta-Protocol Officer, Herminio Yatar-Asst. Secretary, Dennis Lim-Asst. Treasurer, and Leonardo Tayco Jr.-Asst. Dist. Gov./Club Adviser. The Board of Directors are as follows.

Rotary Club of Kalibo Spouses Association being inducted by PDG Mark Anthony Ortiz. They are Dra. Angelita Ureta-President, Ms. Gloria Solmirano-Vice President, Ms. Rebecca Morier-Secretary, Ms. Sheila Mercurio-Asst. Secretary, Ms. Dolce Lim-Treasurer, Ms. Cora Macahilig-Auditor, Ms. Jezebel Rebuelta-PRO and Ms.Nikki Rose Tayco-Ex-Officio, IPP.

New Members: Right photo shows new members being inducted to the Rotary Club of Kalibo by IPDG Joe Jay Doctora. They are Fabian “FABIE” S. Espino (right) and Rosalie “ROSE” Abriam Rutsch.Rotarian  Fabie  Philippine Airlines Manager in Kalibo and Rotarian Rose is a business woman.

Picture at left shows the Guest Speaker, Maj. Gen. Lysander Suerte of the 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army. Others in the picture (forefront from left to right) are Asst. District Gov. Raphy Tayco, Jr., DGE Ronnie Gabalda and PDG Mark Anthony Ortiz.
Photo below shows the officers and members of the Rotary Club of Kalibo during their induction program held on Saturday evening, July 25, 2015 at ROZ & ANGELIQUE’S CAFE Pook, Kalibo, Aklan with their guest speaker, Maj. Gen. Dodoy Suerte and wife Bing. /MP

NP DENIES COALESCING WITH NPC TO SUPPORT A ‘GRACE-CHIZ’ TANDEM


NP DENIES COALESCING WITH NPC
TO SUPPORT A ‘GRACE-CHIZ’ TANDEM

THE Nacionalista Party (NP) has denied reports that it is throwing its support behind the tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who are said to be running for President and Vice-President in the 2016 national elections.

In a statement, the NP clarified that the media reports were devoid of basis since the party has not yet made any firm or final decision on the 2016 elections.

“The Nacionalista Party has not spoken to the Nationalist People’s Coalition or any of its representatives, much less come to an agreement on matters like supporting a common presidential and vice presidential candidates. Definitely, we have not, as a party, expressed support for any candidates for that matter. It is most prudent for the Filipino voters to be more circumspect when information like this comes out,” the NP said.

Reports said a tactical alliance is looming between the NP, under former Senator Manuel “Manny” Villar, and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), founded by Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., to support the “Poe-Escudero” presidential and vice presidential run.

The NP said the party is still in the process of conducting meetings and studying the role it will play in the 2016 elections.

The NP also assured that it has a deep bench with several members of presidential timbre like Senators Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., Alan Peter Cayetano, and Antonio Trillanes IV.

“The NP is scouting from its roster and will field its own presidential and vice presidential candidates, senators, congressmen down to the last councilor. The NP has its own timetable and never in any discussion did it entertain the idea of supporting non-party member presidential and vice presidential candidates,” it said. /MP

AAMBIS-OWA PARTY-LIST CARES FOR ILONGGO DAY CARE CENTER KIDS


AAMBIS-OWA PARTY-LIST CARES
FOR ILONGGO DAY CARE CENTER KIDS


Farmer’s voice in Congress, AAMBIS-Owa Party-list continues to implement the day care center project dubbed as “Bayanihan Para sa Musmos na Kabataan” which has been designed to rehabilitate and upgrade the child care facilities.

Over 200 day care pupils—infants to four-year-olds—in the 4th class municipality of Guimbal and 2nd class municipality of San Joaquin in Iloilo province are the intended beneficiaries of the recent leg of the continuing project.

“We supplement the efforts of the government and take upon ourselves to help improve the day care facilities whenever we can. After all, the clients of these facilities are poor farmers and their families who we represent in Congress,” AAMBIS-Owa Party-list Representative Sharon S. Garin said.

AAMBIS-Owa tapped the “Bayanihan spirit” within and among the parents-teachers associations (PTA), youth volunteers, barangay officials, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Local Government Units to make the project possible.

The 61 year-old PTA President Mrs. Erlinda J. Cuenca is one of those who volunteered to help clean and improve the day care facilities of Brgy. Guibongan-Bayunan day care center in San Joaquin.

“I’m still strong and capable; I don’t mind the manual labor. I’m doing this for my three year-old granddaughter. I love what I do,” Mrs. Cuenca said in Hiligaynon.

The AAMBIS-Owa Party-list donated toys, different appliances such as television and electric fans, and carpentry materials.

The local government units of Guimbal and San Joaquin contributed toys, carpentry materials, and educational materials, while the DSWD provided kitchen and eating utensils. In addition, they also provided technical assistance to the day care center personnel.

 The PTAs devised instructional materials for use during day care hours.

Barangay officials, LGU staff, and parents provided the manpower for the carpentry and painting of the day care centers. They also provided snacks for the working groups.

 The five (5) day care centers located in Barangays Cabubugan, Lubacan, Libo-on, Igcocolo, Sipitan in Guimbal and  the five (5) centers located in Barangays Balabago, Cata-an, Purok 4, Guibungan-Bayunan, Amboyu-an in San Joaquin are the beneficiaries of the Bayanihan this June and July.

Rep. Garin said the project is partly inspired by the first 1000 days program of the UNICEF, which has found out that proper nourishment on the first 1000 days of children from conception until 2 years old is very crucial in terms of their physical and intellectual development.

Aside from adequate nutrition, the importance of early childhood education and development was also given a nudge towards the right direction.

All local government units (LGUs) nationwide are mandated by Republic Act 6972 (Barangay Level Total Development and Protection of Children Act) to establish one day care center in every barangay. As of 2013, there were 52, 665 day care centers nationwide. /MP

FSSGAA Elect New Set Of Officers By: Tyding B. Quinicio, Teacher-I Father Julian C. Rago MNHS


FSSGAA Elect New Set Of Officers

Since its formation in the year 2000, the FEDERATION OF SUPREME STUDENT GOVERNMENT ADVISERS OF AKLAN (FSSGAA) inspired many teachers to train and mold student leaders to become more capable and competent to lead the school activities. Thanks to the bright mind of then Education Program Specialist for Social Studies, Mrs. Corazon G. Beluso. She is also one of the outstanding teachers of the Philippines.

Throughout the years, this organization became more active in its activities that are being initiated by the central office. Advisers are sending student leaders to National Leadership Training and other seminars to be more capable in their endeavors.

Some notable advisers that served and became Presidents of this organization are Mr. Charles Retamar of Candelaria National High School and the former Master Teacher – I, Mrs. Ruby Agnes B. Estrada of Regional Science High School for Region VI.

In order to continue the mission of the organization, last June 3, 2015, Mrs. Ruby Agnes B. Estrada-Education Program Supervisor for Social Studies called a meeting for all SSG Advisers of 83 Secondary Schools in the Division of Aklan.

The meeting was held at Kalibo Elementary School DLRC. One of the Agenda of the meeting is the election of new officers for the Federation of Supreme Student Government Advisers of Aklan.

The following are elected officers of FSSGAA: President-Mr. Tyding B. Quinicio; Vice President-Mr. Raffy F. Paller, Secretary-Miss Josephine P. Vicente, Treasurer-Mr. Rhett H. Motus, Auditor-Mr. Ryan N. Tolentino, P.I.O.-Mr. Walter P. Saluta, and Peace Officer-Mr. Elmar John R. Gumban.

The Board Of Directors are as follows. Mr. George F. Salvador, Miss Raquel N. Nerviol, Mr. Hector B. Hormillosa, Mrs. Marichu T. Daroy, Mr. Chirald G. Villanueva, and Mr. Jacob S. Solivel.

The main objective is to oversee the activities of Supreme Student Government in the Division of Aklan. As mandated, the new set of officers will serve for two years. The Induction Program will follow at the Division Leadership Training of SSG in Balete Elementary School, Balete, Aklan this coming August.

The detail of the Induction Program will be announced later as to the date, venue, the inducting officer and other preparations among others./MP

Buena Familia Premieres On July 27 on GMA Afternoon Prime


Buena Familia Premieres
On July 27 on GMA Afternoon Prime

Another gripping drama is set to captivate the viewers of all ages as GMA Network presents the Afternoon Prime series Buena Familia, which is set to premiere this Monday, July 27.

Buena Familia aims to reflect every person’s struggle to provide for his or her family’s welfare and how good fortune is attained through one’s endeavor to live nobly.

Witness stellar performances as Buena Familia pulls off an ensemble cast beginning with the reunion of the hottest love team in the 90s—Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon. They will give light to the characters of Arthur and Bettina. People sees them as the perfect couple not until Arthur got himself involved in a pyramiding scheme which turned their affluence into a misfortune.

Very much affected with this are their four children—Celine, Darling, Edwin, and Faye—who are unaccustomed to hardships. These interesting characters will be given depth by Kapuso artists Kylie Padilla, Julie Anne San Jose, Julian Trono, and Mona Louise Rey.

Bringing their family into a deeper dilemma is Josephine, the former assistant who used to be the mistress of Arthur. Because of her hatred towards Arthur, she will plan a retribution that will lead Arthur’s family to far-reaching consequences. Portraying this challenging role is Sheryl Cruz.

Set to add more twists in the story are characters of Jake Vargas and Martin del Rosario. Jake plays the role of Kevin, a composer who will get close to Darling as she tries her luck in the music industry. Meanwhile, portraying the role of Harry is the award-winning actor Martin. Harry is a young businessman who has an ax to grind against the family of Buena who caused him pain in the past.

Completing the cast are exceptional portrayals by Jackie Rice, Ryza Cenon, Aicelle Santos, Mayton Eugenio, Mel Kimura, Lou Sison, and Ms. Tessie Tomas.

Under the helm of Gil Tejada Jr., Buena Familia is created by the GMA Drama Group headed by Lilybeth G. Rasonable, Senior Vice President for Entertainment TV; Redgie A. Magno, Vice President for Drama; Cheryl Ching-Sy, Assistant Vice President for Drama; Ali Marie Nokom-Dedicatoria, Program Manager; and Arlene D. Pilapil, Executive Producer.

Buena Familia airs weekdays after The Half Sisters on GMA Afternoon Prime. /MP

KAPIHAN SA SENADO WITH SENATE PRESIDENT DRILON


KAPIHAN SA SENADO WITH
SENATE PRESIDENT DRILON


Public Relations and Information Bureau (PRIB). Senate President Franklin Drilon tells reporters that the Senate has lined up for the 3rd Regular Session several proposed measures such as the Customs and Tariff Modernization Act, the National Identification System, the Prepaid SIM Card Registration Act, and the 2016 National Budget, in today's Kapihan Sa Senado media forum, July 23, 2015. “There is a lot on our plate but we intend to achieve as much as we can. We have six months up to December 18, kaya puspusan ang trabaho,” he said. (Cesar Tomambo photo 2015). /MP

TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED INSTRUCTION SHOWS PROMISE IN AKLAN SCHOOL By Raffy F. Paller,Teacher III, Gaudencio L. Vega National High School


TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED INSTRUCTION
SHOWS PROMISE IN AKLAN SCHOOL

The “Effectiveness of Technology-Enhanced Instruction In World History” is the title of the study conducted in Gaudencio I. Vega National High School in Nalook, Kalibo, Aklan. The study showed that those who were exposed to technology-enhanced instruction performed better in the post-test given to the respondents of the study than those not exposed.

The respondents or the subjects of the study are the 27 Grade IX students studying in Gaudencio I. Vega National High School. They were made to take pre-test/post-test on their knowledge of World History after exposing them to both traditional and technology-enhanced education.

Technology-enhanced educational instruction is an innovative approach to modern teaching which is why many teachers with access to technology favor it nowadays. Moreover, newly collected evidence shows that technology-enhanced educational instruction is more effective in delivering educational subject matters to its end recipients, being the students.  More teachers have found technology-enhanced educational instruction easy to prepare. They believed it is an opportunity for them to develop their technological skills and abilities in the teaching-learning process. Students and pupils have shown increased interest in the subject matter while finding lessons more interactive with the use of technology. The changing landscape of the 21st century now demands that teachers and learners be technologically literate for global competence.

What makes technologically-enhanced educational instruction is a more attractive option for both teachers and students. That teachers begin to have more access to various technological tools appropriate for a particular lesson, while students respond better to subject matter that is more akin to the kind of technology they are exposed to on a daily basis. Common technological tools that teachers may utilize include such programs as Microsoft Powerpoint, e-publications, and even social media; all have promising applications in the field of educational instruction.

Aside from being less cumbersome, e-publications, for instance, offer more than just the regular book because the digital format allows the author of the material to supplement the text with video and even interactive demonstrations which is not possible with traditional publications. Information technology such as the World Wide Web allows the rapid transfer of information and communication. Thus, aides the learning process by allowing more interaction so long as the proper regulatory measures are put in place for such a media.  In addition, the use of multi-media accessed through technological channels may increase creativity, critical thinking and develop communication skills among learners.

While it is true that there have been arguments against technology-enhanced instruction claiming that traditional teaching is better, this particular study in Kalibo, Aklan scientifically gives light on a much more different scenario. The study shows that while the time-tested approaches in traditional teaching have not decreased in effectiveness and have remained true to its objectives, the innovative option of technology-enhanced instruction is an attractive possibility, not even just for teachers, but more for students.

Nonetheless, while this study presents scientific data supporting the enhanced performance of students exposed to technology-enhanced education, it does not, in any way, guarantee that one method is better than the other.  Various teaching methods have its respective strengths and weaknesses, while technology-enhanced educational instruction may show significant promise in its effects on academic performance. There are other aspects of educational instruction that should be addressed. Traditional instruction now is one with the additional option of technological enhancement./MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda Ni Tita Linda Belayro


Ro Mapintas Nga Sawa

Tanan ro mga kasapatan sa kagueangan hay mahugod sa pag tinipon it pagkaun agod haum sanda pag-abot it tinguean .

Isaeang adlaw, naabutan kong kuneho nga naga kinato-eog ro sawa.

“Amigong sawa, matsa uwa ka gid nahakat. Kami tanan hay sigi eot-a nga tinipon it pagka-on. Ogaling ikaw hay naga kinato-eog pat-a.” hambae it koneho.

“Ag sin-o ka nga magpadumdum kakon? Bahala tana ako. Sigurado ako nga abu nga pagkaon kon mag-abot rong tag-uean”.  Sabat it sawa ag bumalik eon man sa anang pagkato-eog.

Sumunod nga nakapan-o hay si Bao.

“Amigong sawa, bangon eon ag mag amat-amat it tipon it pagkaon. Indi magbuhay hay tag-uean eon” padumdum man ni Bao.

“Ayaw ngani ninyo ako pagkinulita. Indi matabo nga magutoman ako sa tinguean” sabat man gihapon ni Sawa.

Ag umabot rong tag-uean. Tanan ro mga sapat hay mansig sueod sa andang mga gina estahan. Malinong tanan sanda ag uwa naga kabaeaka sa gutom bangod bastante ro andang tinipon nga pagkaon.

Samtang rong sawa hay amat-amat nga nakabatyag it gutom. Tongod uwa imaw it tinipon, nag adto imaw sa baeay ni kuneho. Nakita nana ro mga nagatumpok nga pagkaon nga tinipon ni Kuneho. Duro gid rong kalipay ni sawa bangod naka paayaw ayaw imaw it pagkaon ugaling nahapit nana ro isaeang ka lata ag nagta-o it sangag. Gulpi nga nahabugtaw rong Kuneho. Hakita nana si sawa nga gina kina-on ro anang pagkaon. Nag singgit imaw ag nagbugtaw tanan ro mga sapat. Nag-adto sanda sa baeay ni Kuneho. Nakita nanda si Sawa busog nga busog ngani gin pulihan kong tanan nga sapat sa kaakig.

Duro guid rong kahuya ni Sawa. Amat-amat imaw nga tumalikud ag uwa eon nagpakita halin kato sa mga kasapatan. /MP

Validation of Voters Need Biometrics by Ernesto Sulidom


Validation of Voters
Need Biometrics

Kapihan at NVC Carmen Hotel on July 18, 2015 discussed two topics namely: “Operation Lista” of Comelec and National Consciousness month of DILG. The guests are Atty. Rommel Benliro and Mr. Crispin Raymund Gerardo - Comelec Officers (CO) and Mr. John Ace  Azarcon, Provincial Director, DILG.

Mr. Gerardo explained that Operation Lista is voters’ biometrics validation and registration waged by the Commision on Elections to insure voting rights in May 9, 2016 elections. The deadline is October 31, 2015. He urged all concerned to go to Municipal Comelec Offices at the earliest possible time so as not to create serious backlog at the eleventh hour.

Atty. Benliro underscored the slogan “No Bio, No Boto”. This Comelec resolution is based on RA 10367 or Biometrics Law. Biometrics is defined as digital capture of picture of voter, his signature and thumbmark. Those who fail to meet the deadline will have their voting right deactivated.

Comelec is keen on holding credible, orderly and peaceful elections. It has started the bidding process to refurbish and acquire Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOs) machines preparatory to full automation in next years polls.

Under the biometrics technology, one touch of the key button shows digital image of the prospective voter and another push indicate whether he has voted elsewhere or not. This is a significant step in thwarting shenanigans and misdeeds in the electoral process. At least we have learned dark lessons of the past, concluded Atty. Benliro.

According to Mr. Azarcon the theme of this month’s celebration is “Tamang Paghahanda, Tamang Kaalaman. DILG is involved in Disaster Risk Reduction Management since LGUs are in the forefront of disaster relief, rehabilitation and recovery.

Before super typhoon Yolanda, we had no program or strategies in place to cope with calamities, Mr. Azarcon admitted. Presently, we are better prepared such as closed coordination among LGUs, training program especially involving youth and coded communication based on Pag-asa weather forecast. Alpha, Brabo, Charlie coded messages bear standard response as to preparedness and action to be relayed to residents at risk of impending disaster.

Mr. Azarcon averred that a Youth Jamboree on Capacity Development Intervention will be held at Camp Jizmundo, Banga on July 25-26, 2015. Participants shall come from all 17 towns of Aklan.

Atty. Allen S. Quimpo has raised the issue of casuals in the payroll of LGUs who are assigned as Clerks of Comelec officials. Based on previous experience, casuals could easily be “programmed” to favor certain voters allied to the Mayor’s political party. This is a contentious issue and has legitimate basis, Hence, Atty. Quimpo asked Comelec to have casuals under their payroll. The only problem: Comelec has no budget reserved for casuals.

There have been thousands of flying voters listed in two previous automated elections and yet Comelec chose to ignore the need of prosecuting suspects. If we are committed to uphold the sanctity of the ballot and credibility of elections, then it is high time to prosecute wayward individuals.

DILG’s mission/goal is on transparency, efficiency and accountability of local governance. Sec. Mar Roxas was directed by Pres. P-noy to handle rehabilitation and recovery of Yolanda victims but this is on temporary basis. Assignment is never permanent. Hence, to terminate rehabilitation for Yolanda and turn this over to Presidential Assistance on Rehabilitation and Recovery. So many chefs spoil the broth is an apt reminder.

Even with full automation, it seems eight years away where voters could get their laminated ID’s is very long. They are important to people who need to present two valid ID’s for quick identification. This time CO’s promises to issues the ID’s within this year.

The right of suffrage is one basis in any democratic institutions. Let every qualified voter register and be validated before the October 31 deadline set by Comelec. Let your vote be counted. /MP

Editorial


CHIZ BELIEVES DA UNDERSPENDING:
A THREAT TO FOOD SECURITY

The government’s P89 billion farm budget for 2015 must be exempt from underspending, Sen. Chiz Escudero said, as he called for more investments to boost the agriculture sector and increase the household income of farmers.

Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance made the call when he met over the weekend with farmer leaders on the sidelines of the T’nalak Festival in South Cotabato, one of the country’s agricultural powerhouses.

“Two heads are better than one, or make that two carabaos pulling one plow are better than one, so I can’t imagine why there can be slackening in the implementation of our farm programs, “ Escudero said.

He was referring to Proceso Alcala, secretary of Agriculture, and Francis Pangilinan, presidential assistant for Food Security and Agriculture Modernization, which is a Cabinet rank designation.

For 2015, the DA offices under Alcala have a budget of P51.7 billion while the four agencies in Pangilinan’s turf – the National Food Authority (NFA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), National Irrigation Authority (NIA), and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) – have a combined allocation of P37.3 billion.
With the country‘s food import now climbing to almost P300 billion a year and with 36 percent of families considering themselves as “food poor,” funding to boost food production must be released without delay, Escudero said.

The major programs this year are the following: P22.3 billion worth of irrigation projects to cover 54,954 hectares; P15.2 billion for various farm-to-market roads; P1.3 billion in assorted fishery infrastructure; P4.2 billion for farm mechanization; P7 billion in support activities to boost rice production; and P4.1 billion to increase coconut production.  

But completing these, plus the important aim of raising farming household income by up to four (4) percent this year, is contingent on the quick and timely release of funds, Escudero said.

“Hindi yan matutupad kung may artificial drought of funds,“ Escudero said.

The lawmaker cited the case of cassava farming, which may not be able to achieve its full potential and target of 13 tons of produce per hectare every year if there is always a delay in the release of some P2.1 billion in available funds for high-value crops.

Escudero described the agriculture budget “as something of a good conditional cash transfer” to the sector which, despite making up 12 percent of the GDP, hosts the most number of poor people.

According to official statistics, poverty incidence among fishermen is the highest among nine surveyed sectors at 41.4 percent, followed by farmers at 36.7 percent.

One in three employed Filipinos are in the agriculture, or about 12 million as of latest count.

Escudero said he will soon ask his counterparts in the House of Representatives to convene the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures to look into the spending trends of agriculture agencies. 

“Titingnan natin ang absorptive capacity, ang status ng mga projects nila. Mahalaga ang agrikutura kasi ang investment mo doon mabilis ang balik. Magbigay ka ng pondo, may sukli kaagad na pagkain, “ Escudero said.

Escudero announced the mid-year review as the national government spent P78 billion short of its P582.2 billion spending program in the first quarter.

Last year, underspending reached P303 billion, or 13 percent of the total appropriations for 2014.

In 2011, the expenditure program was set at P1.711 trillion, but actual spending was P1.557 trillion, or an underspending of P154 billion.

Underspending tapered down in 2012 to P62 billion based on actual disbursements of P1.778 trillion against a budget of P1.84 trillion.

Out of the P1.984 trillion budget in 2013, only P1.88 trillion was utilized, resulting to an underspending of P104 billion. /MP

GOV’T OFFICIALS WILL ACCOUNT LUMP SUM APPROPRIATIONS


GOV’T OFFICIALS WILL ACCOUNT
LUMP SUM APPROPRIATIONS

Senator Chiz Escudero said that all finance officials and department heads will be made to explain and account for the implementation of programs funded by the 2015 National Budget, including lump sums and discretionary funds which strictly require itemized and detailed listing of projects prior to disbursement as mandated by the General Appropriations Act (GAA). 

“We want to know how finance officials and department heads spent every single centavo of the budget they had requested. We want to know the status of all the projects. We want to know why underspending still exists despite the availability of funds,” said Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

While he confirmed that there are indeed lump-sum funds in the 2015 GAA, Escudero explained these are just temporary and with appropriate safeguards.

“The observations of Senator Ping Lacson regarding the lump sums are correct. There are indeed lump sums. However, it is important to note that these funds cannot be used unless an itemized listing is submitted,” Escudero said.

The lawmaker cited Section 65 of the 2015 GAA, which provides that before any lump sum can be used, an itemized listing should be submitted to the Department of Budget and Management, copy furnished to the Commission on Audit and Congress.

“Lump sums are designed to give the agencies needed flexibility subject to, among others, Section 65 of the GAA,” Escudero pointed out.

He added: “Please take note that the 2015 national budget is, by far, the most detailed/itemized budget with the least number/amount of lump sums and we continue to strive to lessen it further.”

Nevertheless, Escudero assured Lacson that the Senate finance panel will “study and review his observations and I look forward to working with him to improve on the 2015, as well as next year’s budget.”

Escudero earlier vowed to scrutinize the details of the proposed P3.002-trillion national budget for 2016, which Malaca├▒ang is expected to submit to Congress on July 28, a day after President Benigno Aquino III delivers his final State of the Nation Address.

He said the Senate will review the administration’s proposed spending package thoroughly to address the problem of underspending, which has been interfering with the economy’s ability to reach its full potential in recent years.

Underspending, he said, was largely due to the low absorptive capacity of state agencies.

Escudero has been insisting that it is not good for the government to underspend because it deprives citizens of essential public goods and services they rightly deserve such as improved education, better healthcare, and more roads and bridges. /MP

The Good Life By Megs S. Lunn


GOD FIGHTS FOR YOU

Can you recall the times when you have found yourself in a dangerous situation? If yes, what did you do?

Do you know that God saves not just our lives but also opportunities that we think we have lost over time due to some unplanned circumstances? He saved us in some situations we never imagine we can get away with it. He saves us from the work of the devil and evil people. He fought a good fight for us, even before we were born, and He continuously fights for us to victory.

When I pray, I pray for a heart to forgive and forget. I pray for people that I hurt, that they may come out in the open so I can say ‘sorry’ or either way, to come out and they can tell me that I have hurt them and so that I can say ‘sorry’ to them in return. Indeed, God knows everything. God has His way to make people realize that they are wrong and have wronged. Someone long time ago gave me this Healing Prayer at Bedtime:

“Lord, Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, go back into my memory as I sleep.

Every hurt that has ever been done to me, heal that hurt.

Every hurt that I have ever caused another person, heal that hurt.

All the relationships that have been damaged in my whole life that I am not aware of, heal those relationship.

I chose to forgive and to ask to be forgiven.

Remove whatever bitterness may be in my heart.

Lord, fill the empty spaces with Your love. Thank you Jesus. Amen.”

Just recently, a letter arrived from someone who sent a ‘sincere apology’ for he had wronged me. Was I happy? So-so. I felt thankful at first, and then I felt sorry for him  after. Thankful that God answered my prayers fighting for justice and the truth to come out. ‘Sorry ‘because it’s a pity for these people to just believe someone who use the abused of power to implicate others just to sustain their greed of power. Does justice prevail? What will you do in this situation? Will you forgive and forget? or just forgive and do not forget? Forgiveness is easier said than done. But God promised that, “The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still.” (Exodus 14:14)

With this promise, I have never failed to trust God and hope in His goodness and promises. Along the road, God did not promise for a ‘smooth ride.’ But I have to take up my crosses and face my challenges and implement it faithfully. Because no matter how big the battle I am facing, in quietness, God will fight for me and for us. My priest friend said, “God is greater than the battle we are facing. Trust the Lord to fight for you, to lead  you.” That was an inspiration to keep still because yes, God is fighting for us.

At the end of the day, I believed that life is still about relationship. It may be difficult to know God’s will, but keep still, for God has lined up many opportunities for you to render good in this world, there are good people around you that will help you stand when it’s needed and face the right opportunities for you to show your worth. Keep still and keep your faith. Hold on tight to Him and pray without ceasing.  God will indeed fight for you! /MP

SEN. MARCOS BACKS BID OF COCO FARMERS TO USE P74.3B COCO LEVY FUNDS


SEN. MARCOS BACKS BID OF COCO
FARMERS TO USE P74.3B COCO LEVY FUNDS

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. assured coconut farmers on Saturday, July 18, 2015 of his support for their efforts to ensure that the P74.3-billion coco levy fund will be used for their benefit and the development of the country’s coconut industry.

Marcos offered his help during a consultation with around 500 leaders of the coconut industry from the Southern Luzon provinces of Quezon, Laguna, Batangas, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Catanduanes, as well as from MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) at the Queen Margarette Hotel in Lucena City.

Charles Avila, spokesperson of the Confederation of Coconut Farmers Organizations of the Philippines (CONFED), noted that coconut farmers have been pushing in vain for a bill that would ensure the coco levy funds are used solely for the benefit of the coconut farmers and to promote the coconut industry.

“If you would allow me, I volunteer to help you towards the realization of your vision to improve the coconut industry and to ensure the fund that grew through your hard work will not be misused,” Marcos said.

Marcos said that if used properly and prudently, the coco levy funds could help propel coconut as the country’s premiere product, which would benefit not only the small farmers but the entire country as well.

In its decision on January 24, 2012, the Supreme Court declared that the coco levy funds are “owned by the government to be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.”

“The Philippines has the potential to be world’s number one when it comes to coconut products but we have not taken advantage of this potential,” Marcos said.

Marcos said the coco levy funds should be used to make the Philippine coconut industry the best in the world so that the country can be “price giver”—dictating the price of the product in the international market---instead of being a mere “price taker”.

CONFED chairman Efren Villasenor said his group proposed to enact a law constituting the coconut levy funds and assets into a Coconut Industry Trust Fund (CITF), provide an administrative structure to manage the trust funds, and ensure that its use will benefit the coconut industry and the coconut farmers.

“I will await for your proposals so we can jointly develop a bill that will truly address your concerns and aspirations,” Marcos told the coconut farmers. He said, he will also seek the help of the four other senators of the Nacionalista Party to help push the bill in the Senate.

The coconut farmers also deplored attempts of the current administration to control the use of coco levy funds, through Executive Orders 179 and 180. However, the SC has issued a TRO against the twin order last June 30.

EO 179 calls for the inventory, privatization and reconveyance in favor of the government of all coconut levy assets, including the shares of stock in the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Companies and CIIF Holding Companies, as well as the 5,500,000 San Miguel Corporation shares in the name of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

On the other hand, EO180 sought the immediate transfer and reconveyance of the coconut levy assets to the government and use them for the Integrated Coconut Industry Roadmap and the Roadmap for Coco Levy.
 “With such a huge fund, it is not surprising that some people would attempt to control it so it can be used for their own agenda. We must be vigilant to ensure such efforts would not succeed,” Marcos said.

 He said the CONFED leaders should be commended for their timely action before the SC that stopped the implementation of the twin executive orders. /MP

HFC Partners With PNB To Curb Homelessness


HFC Partners With PNB
To Curb Homelessness
FRUITFUL PARTNERSHIP AHEAD. The Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and the Philippine National Bank (PNB) forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that aims to solve the problem of illegal and informal settlements in PNB – owned properties. Leading the MOU signing are SHFC officials led by Ma. Ana Oliveros and PNB executives headed by Atty. Reynaldo Maclang.
To ensure a larger number of assisted informal settler families (ISFs) through housing finance, the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) on July 15 at the SHFC Headquarters in Makati City.
The partnership aims to address the problems of illegal and informal settlements in PNB – owned properties across the country, by enrolling the encroached families in the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) of the SHFC.

The CMP is a financing scheme, which assists legally-organized ISFs to purchase the lot where their houses are currently built, or to buy the lot in wherever available location they prefer. The program offers a maximum loanable amount of P250,000 per ISF, payable within 25 years with a yearly interest of 6 percent.
During the MOU signing, SHFC President Ma. Ana Oliveros said that the partnership with PNB is in line with the Corporation’s goal of making its programs proactive in order to respond to the problem of homelessness in the country.

“We wanted SHFC, not to wait for applications but to move forward certain demands on the ground. We’ve started working with local government units and we are now dealing with big landowners, corporations, and also the banks, whose properties are occupied by informal settlers, so that we are able to program our interventions with our prospective loan applications,” Oliveros added.

Since 2011, the PNB has a couple of successful projects with the SHFC, wherein the bank’s squatting problems have been addressed through the CMP. This prompted the PNB to ink a formal partnership with the SHFC.

“We share in your vision in being an active participant in helping our underprivileged brothers, to own the place they live in,” a PNB official said.

The PNB has already identified a total of 800 properties that can be enrolled through the CMP. 9 priority projects in Valenzuela City, Quezon City, Isabela, and Negros Oriental that will benefit at least 1,500 ISFs are expected to be under the CMP before the year ends.
Aside from the identification of the properties, the PNB will also assist the ISFs in organizing themselves in order to qualify for CMP.

SHFC, on the other hand, will ensure faster processing of loan documents within 120 working days and will provide technical assistance to loan applicants.

SHFC is the lead agency providing flexible, affordable, innovative, and responsive shelter financing solutions to underprivileged communities. /MP

DA-PRDP Approves P264M Budget For 28km FMR

DA-PRDP Approves

P264M Budget For 28km FMR

The 28-kilometer farm-to-market road project approved for P264, 013, 219.00 funding by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) in Passi City is aimed to benefit people in Central Panay which is linked to towns of the fourth district of Iloilo and to the province of Capiz.

After the World Bank (WB) approved the “No Objection Letter” on June 8, 2015, the DA-PRDP signaled the start of the rehabilitation of the Imbang Grande-Tagubong-Gemumua Agahon-Agtabo farm-to-market road. It will directly cover the barangays of Imbang Grande, Salngan, Alimono, Tagubong, Gemumua Agahon, Dalicanan, and the barangays of Magdungao and Talonganon as part of the total Road Influence Area of 12, 635.49 hectares.

As to date, the said FMR is the biggest infrastructure development project under PRDP which was approved in the Visayas Cluster.

The said FMR project in Passi City will have concrete pavement with 5 meters wide and 9 inches thick (230mm). The project’s allocation will come from 80 percent WB loan, 10 percent from the DA-PRDP and 10 percent equity from the local government of Iloilo and Passi City.

On June 21, the DA-PRDP held a groundbreaking ceremony at Brgy. Imbang Grande, Passi City for the official laying of time capsule  led and witnessed by representatives from the WB team, PRDP National Project Coordinating Office, Project Support Office (PSO)-Visayas, Regional Project Coordinating Office-Region 6, DA Regional Field Office 6, Iloilo provincial government and city government of Passi.

Engr. Roy M. Abaya, the PRDP-PSO Visayas Cluster Project Director and the DA 6 OIC Regional Executive Director, said that the Passi City FMR project which was proposed under the Infrastructure Development (I-BUILD) component of PRDP will support mainly the production and marketing of the primary commodities of the city such as swine, rice, sugarcane, and corn. /MP