Archive for April, 2013

Protester’s child appeals to PLDT’s Manny Pangilinan

DAVAO CITY — An eight-year old child of one of the protesting-members of the Digitel Employees Union (DEU) wrote a letter addressed to Manuel V. Pangilinan, president of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), to listen to the demands of her father and his companions to be reinstated.

Grade 3 pupil Pearl Benild Furaque told Pangilinan in her letter dated April 21, 2013 that her father, Jesse, was one of those who went on an 11-day hunger strike at the PLDT main office in Makati, and then asked him to grant her wish for her father and all other children’s fathers who were dismissed from work by Digitel before PLDT bought it last year.

“Sir MVP at PLDT management, di po ba ang sabi na pag ang bata ay nag-pray kay Jesus ay pinapakinggan? Sana po pakinggan nyo ang aking kahilingan na makabalik na po sila sa kanilang trabaho. Malapit na po ang pasukan. Salamat po, pray ko rin po kayo kay Jesus na ingatan din kayo (Sir MVP and PLDT management, they say that if children will pray to Jesus they will be heard? I hope that you will also listen to my simple wish for my father and his companions to be reinstated. School opening is already near. Thank you sir. I also pray to Jesus to take good care of you),” Pearl Benild said.

She said that she already missed her father, who already failed to go home because he was in the picket line for 11 days already.

But as of this time, there were still no words coming the end of Pangilinan on the appeal of the protester’s daughter.

The High Court, in its October 10, 2012 decision with finality, ordered Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc. (Digitel) to implement the order of the Department of Labor and Employment directing Digitel to commence collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations and at the same time declared the dismissal of 13 Digitel employees as illegal.

By the time the SC final decision came out, PLDT already owns Digitel. PLDT  bought Digitel last year with a promise that the merger would not cause lay-offs.

There were about 87 remaining members of their union that opted to fight it out with the telecom giant to enforce their worker’s right for a CBA. It was learned that more than 300 of their members opted to accept PLDT’s offer of early retirement plan for the Digitel employees. (ASA)



Compostela Valley solon boasts of passing 10 landmark legislations

DAVAO CITY, April 29 (PNA) — With her first term as district representative winding down, Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora of Compostela Valley’s first congressional district, expressed pride in what she termed as her humble contribution to lawmaking in the 15th House of Congress.
“We may not be as vocal as other legislators in pushing for our legislative advocacies and priorities but, in our modest reckoning, we have sufficiently and diligently done our sworn duties and responsibilities as the representative of our people,” said Zamora, who is running unopposed for her second term.
Among the many bills and resolutions she principally authored and co-authored in the national assembly, at least nine legislations stood out for having been adopted by the legislature or signed by the President into law
They were the Republic Act (RA) No. 10445 nationalizing the Bango High School in Barangay Ngan, Compostela; RA No. 10252 creating two additional Regional Trial Court branches for Compostela Valley Province to be stationed in the municipalities of Mabini and Compostela; RA Nos. 10147, 10155 and 10352 or the General Appropriations Acts for FY 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively;  RA No. 10149 or the Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations Governance Act of 2011; RA No. 10156 conferring civil service eligibility to Members of the Sanggunian Bayan, Panlungsod and Panlalawigan under certain circumstances; RA No. 10361 or the Kasambahay Law; RA No. 1015 or the Mandatory Kindergarten Education Act; RA No. 10354 or the Reproductive Health Law; RA No. 10351 or the new law on Excise Taxes governing alcohol and tobacco products; and House Concurrent Resolution No. 22 urging the President to create a Presidential Task Force for Typhoon Pablo victims.
Zamora has also expressed optimism that other legislative proposals which she actively supported and pushed for, including the establishment of the Compostela Valley State College, creation of the ComVal Department of Education Schools Division, the new K to 12 Basic Education Program, universal Philhealth coverage\all of which are either pending with the Office of the President for signature or awaiting enrolment for executive action will also be passed into law before the adjournment of the 15th Congress.
“We look forward to doing more in the lawmaking front when our constituents grant us a new mandate in the coming elections,” she said. (PNA)

Angara says surveys are 90% accurate


DAVAO CITY, April 30 (PNA) — Aurora Representative and Team Pnoy senatorial candidate Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said he is a survey believer because he finds it to be 90 percent accurate.

In an interview during his recent visit here in the city over the weekend, Angara said that the results of pre-election surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia only slightly differ from the final and official results.

He described survey non-believers to be neophytes in running for national elective offices and only have a little grasp of what a survey really means.

Angara said when he was not yet a lawmaker, he would always accompany his father, former Senate president Edgardo J. Angara, and would keenly observe the accuracy of the surveys.

“There was a time when my father ran for vice president and we found in the survey that his rival, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, had been leading all the time. And the result was then true. He lost to Arroyo,” he said.

Based on the latest SWS survey, Angara ranked 9, a big leap from his 12th rank in the March survey among with eight other Team Pnoy senatoriables.

“As we can observe, nine of us from Team Pnoy have been consistent in the ranking. So that means, the possibility is 9-3 in favor to us and three from UNA (United Nationalist Alliance),” he said.

But he said the rankings could still change and there is still a possibility for a 10-2 victory for the administration ticket.

He is referring to Vice Presidential daughter Nancy Binay and San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito Estrada from UNA to get the two slots.

The 10 Team Pnoy senatorial aspirants who could make it to the Magic 12 are Senators Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Koko Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes, former rep. Cynthia Villar, Rep. Sonny Angara, Grace Poe and former Sen. Jamby Madrigal. (PNA)

IP party-list hopeful courting Mindanaoan votes


DAVAO CITY, April 29 (PNA) -– The Luzon-based Ang National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples Action Na Inc. (ANAC-IP) party-list candidate, has focused their campaign in Mindanao areas since this month in efforts to land a seat in the House of Congress.

ANAC-IP, which is a first timer in the party-list derby, is based in the province of Isabela and its first nominee is Jose Panganiban Jr., the current vice mayor of Angadanan town, and a pure-blooded member of the Itawes and Gaddang cultural minority.

In a press conference Sunday night at the Grand Menseng Hotel, Panganiban said that as of April 1, they concentrated to campaign in Mindanao because they wanted to make it feel that their group is the genuine party-list representing the voice of indigenous peoples not just in Luzon but in the entire country.

“We had conducted a series of caucus with various tribal leaders and council of elders. We also conducted summits here in Davao, Cotabato, Zamboanga, and General Santos City. On Tuesday, our biggest summit-rally will be held in Cagayan de Oro City,” Panganiban told reporters.

He said that even as ANAC-IP is not yet a party-list it has already helped 5,000 IPs as scholars to different schools in Luzon.

“We want that we can reach all IP groups in the entire country and this is the only way that we can do so – to be voted upon as party-list representative,” he said.

Panganiban said that there are laws and government offices that should protect the rights and interest of IPs but nothing has happened.

“We have to amend the IPRA (Indigenous People’s Republic Act) Law because it has a lot of loopholes,” he said. (PNA)

Davao soldiers try in vain to save dying NPA member

DAVAO CITY, April 29 (PNA) -– Soldiers had tried to save the life of a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) who was wounded and rescued during an encounter in Barangay Katipunan, Nabunturan in Compostela Valley on April 25.

Renier Perez, a resident of Barangay Tulalian, Sto. Tomas town in Davao del Norte, expired at 2 a.m. Sunday at the Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City.

“I gave specific instructions to my men for him to be given humane treatment. I enjoined my men to pray for his complete recovery. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. God’s will be done. He suffered enough,” said Lt. Col. Michael Logico, commander of the 66th Infantry Battalion.

Logico condoled with the family of Perez and assured that they will be closely coordinating with the provincial government of Compostela Valley to facilitate the hospital requirements and decent burial of the NPA rebel.

He said since Perez was evacuated at the hospital, soldiers were on alternate duty at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) pumping the manual ventilator that supported Perez as he fought for survival.

“They were the same troops who alternately carried him from the mountainous area towards the poblacion using an improvised stretcher. He died of multiple organ failure according to the attending physician,” he said.

According to Logico, the surgeon said Perez’s intestines and liver were severely damaged.

The body of Perez now lies in state at Villa Real Funeral Homes in Tagum City. The family will later decide where his remains will be laid. (PNA)

Militants hold protest rally vs Davao Oriental governor

MATI CITY, Davao Oriental, April 23 (PNA) — Several militant protesters barricaded a road in Mati City Tuesday morning to air their grievances against Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon whom they accused of using rice donation for typhoon victims for their political campaign in the city.

The protesters from Barug Mindanao secured a permit to rally from the city government of Mati and were allowed to hold their protest action from 10:00 a.m to 12:00 noon.

Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat said the rallyists followed the conditions the local government set and peacefully dispersed before noontime.

It was learned that the protesters criticized Malanyaon for allegedly using the rice donation for victims of typhoon “Pablo” to help the political campaign of Mati City Vice Mayor Carlo Rabat who is running for mayor against cousin Michelle Rabat.

The protesters chanted “Cora, Cora, Corakot. Ang bigas kay Pablo di kay Carlo (Cora, Cora, Corrupt. The rice is for Pablo not for Carlo.)”

In an interview with the media, Malanyaon dismissed the accusations and pointed an accusing finger at Mayor Rabat for being behind the protest rally.

“I am willing to resign as governor if they can prove it. Put up or shut up,” Malanyaon said.

Mayor Rabat, meanwhile, laughed off Malanyaon’s accusation against her.

“I expected that. She blames the whole world except herself. She is the one with the problem. It’s not only happening in Mati but all over the province. What a pity she does not see that. She admitted that she gives rice to her allies. Isn’t that an election offense, tantamount to vote-buying?,” Mayor Rabat said. (PNA)

Davao Oriental eyes development of palm oil industry in 3 typhoon-devastated towns

MATI CITY, Davao Oriental, April 23 (PNA) — At least 20,000 hectares of land in three typhoon-devastated towns of Davao Oriental’s eastern coast were identified potential areas for cultivating oil palm.

This came from a team of expert agronomists and agri-business specialists from the Indo Food Company under Indonesia’s largest conglomerate — the Salim Group of Companies who visited the province in response to an invitation from Governor Corazon Malanyaon who is keen at tapping huge investment opportunities that will fuel economic activities in her towns.

Hisar Sihombing, an expert agronomist and soil scientist from the Indo Food, revealed that the topography, climate, and soil in the areas are favorable for the oil palm. The team identified three locations in Baganga with a combined total area of 14,500 hectares, Cateel with 4,000 hectares and Boston with 1,600 hectares suitable for the crop.

While the lands which used to be planted with coconuts now lay flattened and empty, Hisar Sihombing, said that now would be a perfect moment to shift to a more productive crop such as the oil palm.

The oil palm, he said, requires to be planted on a maximum elevation of 400 meters above sea level. He explains that the higher the elevation is, the thinner the soil becomes, thus, halting the growth of the crop. Climate is also a favorable feature in these areas as there are less dry spells and more wet months.

With these favorable environmental conditions, Sihombing hopes that the industry development will push through in the province.

Oil palm has the average gestation period of four years before farmers could start harvesting the fresh fruit bunches. While waiting for the crops to mature, the Indo Food suggests a scheme involving the company providing farmers with other cash crops for the waiting period.

Meanwhile, to fully and continuously benefit from the venture, Indo Food suggests implementing a staggered approach in planting which means continuously harvest throughout the year since planting is not done simultaneously. In terms of profit sharing, further negotiations are to be done should the investment push through.

While Davao Oriental is bent on exploring this big-ticket oil palm investment opportunity which will tap the province’s vast lands, it also intends to shift the economy away from a reliance on copra and establishing this alternative agri-based industry that is highly profitable for the local farmers and will give a boost to the province’s local economy.

Governor Malanyaon is optimistic that embarking on a new highly-productive crop such as the oil palm will bring about economic surge, especially on the three typhoon-hit towns. She is also looking into expansion of the industry to other towns within the province as well as the other neighboring provinces. (PNA)

%d bloggers like this: