28 NOVEMBER 2015

PhilMech develops more efficient palay drying system
Abad: Q4 GDP will be better
Mayors ink MANILA BAYanihan for Manila Bay clean-up
Aid for displaced Lumads in Surigao del Sur continues
DSWD capacity to receive boost from Australian support
OPAPP, civil society remain steadfast for BBL passage
Post-harvest facilities with solar dryer for Catanduanes farmers
A Philippine Merchant Marine Academy-Mindanao campus urged
Fifty-percent discount on entrance fees in tourism areas for Filipinos sought
November 2015 approved applicants for registration without examination as Agriculturists
Phl Senior Associate Justice gives legal perspective in International Security Forum in Canada
Phl embassy in Doha launches cervical cancer, prostate cancer awareness campaign
PPP Center wins Agency of the Year Award
Statement of Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad on the 2015 Q3 GDP growth
Philippine economy posts 6.0 percent GDP growth
From street thug to hardworking mother
Visit, shop at bazaar of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries -DSWD

PhilMech develops more efficient palay drying system
Source: http://www.da.gov.ph
The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, has developed a prototype machine that uses a more efficient drying technology for palay (unmilled) rice called fluidized bed drying.

Tests conducted so far on the pilot Fluidized Bed Drying System has shown it can dry grains at a cost of only P0.63 per kilogram and has a capacity of 500 kilograms per hour. The Fluidized Bed Drying System developed by PhilMech runs on electricity.

“While still undergoing tests, the Fluidized Bed Drying System shows potential in drying palay more efficiently than present drying systems. Notably, the system uses an efficient drying system that has been in use in different industries,” said PhilMech Executive Director Rex L. Bingabing.

A typical fluidized bed drying system uses heated air to dry commodities like grains. During the fluidization process, hot air or gas flow is introduced through the bed of solid particulates. The gas or air will move upwards through the spaces between the particles.

Based on field tests conducted by PhilMech, the optimum drying time can be achieved in about two hours. The study where the results of the tests were discussed was authored by Bingabing and Reagan J. Pontawe, Nestor T. Asuncion, Roselyn B. Villacorte, and Romualdo C. Martinez all from PhilMech. The study’s title is “Fluidized Bed Drying System for Complete Drying of Paddy Phase II – Development of Fully-Automated Pilot-Scale System.”

Bingabing said the Fluidized Bed Drying System to dry grains is a product of the Agrinnovation Research and Development (R&D) approach where the PhilMech taps existing technologies to modify them for use in the country’s farms. Agrinnovation differs from the traditional R&D approach, which is to produce something out of nothing. Through PhilMech’s new approach, the agency is making something new out of an existing technology.

The Agrinnovation approach of PhilMech has resulted to the development of prototype models in six to 12 months compared to usual three to five years. Among the farm machineries developed under the Agrinnovation approach are: Coconut Water Pasteurizer; Tractor Mounted Combine Harvester; Onion Seeder; Compact Village Corn Mill; Brown Rice Huller; Cassava Digger; and Granulated Cassava Belt Dryer. (DA-PhilMech Communication Team)


Abad: Q4 GDP will be better
Source: http://www.dbm.gov.ph
Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad foresees even higher GDP growth in the fourth quarter after the economy registered a 6 percent growth in the third quarter, the third highest in Asia after China and Vietnam.

“We have now the momentum after a slow start in the first quarter at 5 percent, recovery in the second quarter at 5.8 percent, and sustained growth in the third quarter. It’s still possible to grow at 6 percent for the whole year of 2015.” Abad said.

“As in the third quarter, public spending will once again play a pivotal role in the economic expansion in the fourth quarter. Historically, Q4 has always been a strong quarter in terms of public spending as agencies rush to finish their projects. Because of the reforms introduced, like the elimination of the need for SAROs, the significant reduction of lump sums and the advance procurement of goods and services, the DBM is certain to match its yearly average of 98 percent releases. As of end September, 96 percent of agency budgets have already been released.”

“Government executives will even be motivated to improve performance further as the proposed SSL 2015, which, according to both Houses of Congress, is certain to pass this year. This will double their performance-based bonuses next year.” Abad added.

“What will further boost spending,” Abad further added, “is the pressure to finish infrastructure projects from political leaders in the run up to the May 2016 elections. Performance is always an election platform and political leaders demonstrate that through the delivery of social services and public works projects.”


Mayors ink MANILA BAYanihan for Manila Bay clean-up
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
DILG Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento leads the pledging of commitment of 32 mayors, one vice mayor and representatives from 96 LGUs from Region 3, Region 4A, and NCR to the MANILA BAYanihan during the Manila Bay Local Chief Executives Forum on November 25, 2015 at DILG Central Office.

Mayors ink MANILA BAYanihan for Manila Bay clean-up

City and municipal mayors of local government units (LGUs) near Manila Bay converged Wednesday to sign the MANILA BAYanihan, a manifesto of their commitment to clean-up and save the once glorious Manila Bay.

A total of 32 mayors, one vice mayor and representatives from 96 LGUs from Region 3, Region 4A, and National Capital Region inked the MANILA BAYanihan during the Manila Bay Local Chief Executives Forum organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) at the DILG Central Office in Quezon City.

DILG is one of the agencies ordered by the Supreme Court mandamus to clean-up the Manila Bay.

Part of the manifesto reads: “Ako ay magiging isang mabuting halimbawa sa aking mga kababayan, mga kaibigan, at sa aking pamilya upang mapanatili ang kalinisan sa kapaligiran ng aking nasasakupan...Bilang isang responsableng mamamayan, tutupadin ko ang aking pangako sa abot ng aking makakaya, sapagkat ako ay bahagi ng Manila Bay, at ako ay kabahagi sa MANILA BAYanihan.”

DILG Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento said the forum allowed the DILG officials and the participants to? discuss and give updates on the accomplishments and action plan for the Manila Bay clean-up, rehabilitation, and preservation program.

As of second quarter of 2015, 89% of estimated 60,074 commercial establishments in the said regions have been inspected by the LGUs for adequate waste water treatment facility and hygienic septic tank. 98% of estimated 2,407 factories were inspected. But inspection of private homes turned out lowest at 54% only of estimated 730,720 houses.

Other roles of LGUs include, among others, the submission to the DILG of their respective compliance reports which shall contain the names and addresses or offices of the owners of all the non-complying factories, commercial establishments and private homes, copy furnished the concerned environmental agency, be it the local Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office or the Laguna Lake Development Authority.

During the forum, Sarmiento also urged the local chief executives to go beyond inspection by doing actions on non-compliance. “Bottom-up po iyong ating proseso. Mas gugustuhin po naming manggaling sa inyo ang rekomendasyon. Kung ano mang input ninyo, bubuo kami ng grupo. Pag-aaralan ito at gagawa ng isang programa that hopefully we adhere to implement.”

“Sana po ang una pong modelo sa pag-aalaga po ng tubig sa ating lugar ay ang LGU mismo. Umpisahan nating sa ating mga palengke,” Sarmiento added.

Manuel Q. Gotis, Director of DILG Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS), said that the goal is to make Manila Bay a Class SB status, that is, safe for swimming and bathing or beach activity.

Dir. Marivel Sacendoncillo, Executive Director of the Local Government Academy (LGA), led the workshop to identify issues and challenges in complying with the mandamus on the Manila Bay clean-up.

One of the challenges pointed out by the local chief executives and other participants is the lack of manpower, budget, and technical capability on the conduct of inspection and monitoring and establishment of communal septic tanks.

Among their recommendations is that cities, municipalities and barangays should be allocated with adequate funds for the inspection of wastewater treatment facilities and hygienic septic tanks, and other environmental activities.

They recommended the enabling of concerned offices through the conduct of capability building; and the engagement in multi-sectoral partnerships on information, education and communication campaign such as commercials in television and social media.


Aid for displaced Lumads in Surigao del Sur continues
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
Some 574 families or 2,793 persons from Surigao del Sur affected by the civil unrest in the province continue to receive the converged services of concerned government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs), and the local government unit (LGU).

The government and NGOs continue to ensure the safety and well-being of those who are still staying at the three evacuation centers as the civil unrest in the province is being resolved.

To date, close to P7.5 million worth of relief assistance has been provided to the displaced families from the combined resources of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with P2.7 million, P2.1 million from other government agencies and private individuals/institutions, P1.5 million from NGOs, and P1.1 million from the LGU.

The DSWD reiterated it has enough relief supplies to augment the resources of the LGU of Surigao del Sur for the evacuees.

To maintain hygiene in the evacuation centers, additional latrines were constructed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and are now being used by the evacuees inside the SDS Sports Center in Tandag City.

On the other hand, a consultation dialogue with 27 community leaders was conducted by the DSWD-Field Office CARAGA to enable the evacuees to avail of the Cash-for-Work (CFW) and Food-for-Work (FFW) programs while at the evacuation center.

Qualified evacuees will render CFW and FFW activities such as declogging and making of canals, gravelling, weeding, and grass cutting. The Field Office and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office are now preparing the proposal for the CFW and FFW.

The DSWD Field Office is also consolidating the list of children-evacuees who will be granted college scholarship by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other agencies.

Social workers from the DSWD-Field Office and from the LGU hold continuous dialogue with community leaders to determine how the evacuees can be further assisted.


DSWD capacity to receive boost from Australian support
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Australian Government are set to launch a partnership project that will enhance the capacity of the DSWD in responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

The launch, which includes the groundbreaking for a new warehouse, will be held on December 3 at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell will lead the groundbreaking ceremonies, signifying the start of the construction of the warehouse. They are also expected to make the announcement on the new partnership and what the public can expect from it.

Other guests from partner agencies like the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other member-agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) are expected to attend the ceremony.

The DPWH will take the lead in the construction of the warehouse, which is expected to be finished within the first semester of 2016.


OPAPP, civil society remain steadfast for BBL passage
Source: http://www.opapp.gov.ph
QUEZON CITY – Despite persistent delays on the legislative deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) together with civil society organizations and other peace stakeholders continue to push for its passage in pursuit of peace in Mindanao and the rest of the country.

“[We are] not giving up on the BBL. We are asking all stakeholders to stand firm on the peace process. The panels have been continuously meeting on different issues for the immediate passage of this law. The fight for peace continues,” said Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles.

Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325) National Coordinator and Miriam College – Center for Peace Education Executive Director Jasmine Nario–Galace called on legislators to attend plenary sessions and resume the discussions on the BBL.

“This is a task that the lawmakers should fulfill. The BBL is not a simple legislation but a compilation of the Bangsamoro dreams and aspirations for self-determination. Passing this law is a duty of the Congress," Galace said.

Last October, WE ACT 1325, All-Out Peace, PILIPINA and Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI) launched a signature campaign at the Congress committing legislators to pass the BBL under the Aquino administration. “Cong. Rufus Rodriguez, alongside other peace champions in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, has kept faith that the challenges in the plenary floor will be hurdled and that they will continue attending sessions to take up the BBL.”

Galace also appealed to the Filipino people to play their part on the peace process by pushing their representatives to continue the plenary discussions on the BBL and put the Bangsamoro peace process on their agenda before their term ends.

“The passage of the BBL does not only concern the people in Mindanao but the whole country. Various CSOs, non-government organizations (NGO) and sectors of the society are campaigning for the enactment of this law. We are not alone in this fight for peace.”

Solons vow to pass BBL under Aquino admin

Last October, several House members reaffirmed their commitment to the BBL passage in line with efforts by the government and Mindanao stakeholders to establish genuine and meaningful Bangsamoro autonomy before the end of the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2016.

“We are committed to the following: 1. Expeditious and principled debates on the substitute bills towards the legislation for meaningful Moro autonomy; 2. Passage and approval of the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro region in the 16th Congress,” the statement, which was signed by House Deputy Speaker and Lanao del Sur 2nd District Representative Pangalian Balindong, read.

Also signatory to the statement were Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Anthony del Rosario; Misamis Occidental 2nd District Representative Henry Oaminal; Batanes Representative Henedina Abad; Party-list representatives Ibarra Gutierrez of Akbayan; Reymond Democrito Mendoza of TUCP; and Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman of Anak Mindanao.

“Recognizing our moral, public and constitutional duty to enact public policies for sustainable peace and development in Muslim Mindanao, [we are] aware that the 1987 Constitution has mandated the legislation of meaningful autonomous governance in Muslim Mindanao as one of the means for attaining [these objectives],” the solons stated.

“Defining meaningful autonomous arrangement as one that vests the Bangsamoro autonomous region with clear and workable powers, structures and processes towards real political and fiscal autonomy and relevant justice and security mechanisms [is our commitment],” the group added.

Solons who signed the statement also recognized the importance of the government’s 2014 negotiated peace accord with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in establishing a regional government to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). “[We consider] the peace agreements with the Moro revolutionary groups and in particular the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) as roadmaps in the development of meaningful autonomy.”

“[We believe] that the development of autonomy is evolving and incremental thus the imperative to build on the gains already achieved than postponing the legislation of Moro autonomy to an uncertain future,” the statement concludes.


Post-harvest facilities with solar dryer for Catanduanes farmers
Source: http://www.dar.gov.ph
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has recently turned over a post-harvest facility (PHF) with solar dryer pavement worth Php 6.9 million in Catanduanes.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Alexander T. Teves said the project was implemented under the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project III (ARISP-III).

He said the facility is formally turned-over to the San Andres municipal government through Councilor Medin Zafe, who represented Mayor Peter C. Cua and to the farmer beneficiary organization of BisCab Multipurpose Cooperative represented by its Chairperson, Marites V. Santelices.news national pix 2 nov. 27 2015

Teves said the post harvest facility was built on the lot donated by Mayor Cua at barangay Datag, one of the covered areas of ARC-SAHA in this municipality.

Teves added that the project is worth Php6,882,681.00 funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), its implementing arm. The MLGU-San Andres served its project equity as partner –recipient of the project.

The Agrarian Reform Information and Marketing Center (AIM-C) building which is the PHF infrastructure support given under ARISP-III in Burabod ARC, will be host to different purposes in support to agri-product warehousing and trading, databank, investment forums and trainings, processing, and other extension services.

Aside from BISCAB-MPC, tasked to take charge of the building is the barangay council of Datag led by its Punong Barangay, Julio Avila. The village chief joined other officials present in the turn-over in assuring that the project located in his barangay would properly serve its purpose.

PARPO Teves, Mayor Cua and Mr. Gilbert Gualberto who represented Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, were one in saying that the project would be a great help to CARP beneficiaries in the municipality. (EDUARDO S. VILLAR)


A Philippine Merchant Marine Academy-Mindanao campus urged
Source: http://www.congress.gov.ph
If young Filipinos in Mindanao can't afford to get a maritime diploma in private schools, then government should bring the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) to Mindanao, Angkla Party-list Rep. Jesulito A. Manalo stressed.

This is why Rep. Manalo is appealing to the Senate to pass HB 5711, approved by the House of Representatives and transmitted to the Senate in May 2015, establishing a campus of the PMMA in Mindanao with its corresponding appropriations.

"The PMMA-Mindanao Campus should provide the youth in Mindanao who cannot afford to enroll in private schools access to maritime education and training which meet the international demands for Filipino seafarers," Manalo said.

The bill was approved and subsequently sponsored until its final plenary passage, jointly by the Committee on Higher & Technical Education chaired by Rep. Roman Romulo, the Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Isidro T. Ungab, and the Committee on Ways and Means headed by Rep. Romero S. Quimbo, who all endorsed and signed-in as among the co-authors of the bill contained in Committee Report 709.

The proposed "PMMA-Mindanao Campus Act", the author explained, will definitely support the maritime industry and help maintain the status of the Philippines as the premier provider of competent and certified seafarers in the international seaborne trade.

"It is a concrete step that would contribute to the development of Mindanao as a maritime hub," Manalo stressed.

The proposed PMMA campus in Mindanao shall offer the same degree programs and courses that the PMMA offers in its main campus in Zambales, he said.

The House-approved measure, now pending in the Senate, the author added, vests exclusively in the PMMA Board of Regents the administration of the PMMA Mindanao campus.

Among the various key provisions of HB 5711, the Board of Regents shall fix or decide on which province or city in Mindanao the PMMA Mindanao Campus shall be established.

The proposed campus shall be headed by a campus administrator who shall render full-time service and to be appointed by the Board of Regents upon the recommendation of a duly-constituted search committee and the PMMA president, subject to the guidelines, qualifications and/or standards set by the PMMA Board.

The measure mandates that the amount necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. Any donation or bequest made to the PMMA-Mindanao Campus shall be exempt from donor's tax and shall be considered as allowable deduction from the gross income of the donor.

The proposed PMMA-Mindanao campus shall enjoy academic freedom and institutional autonomy. However, in the first two (2) years, it shall be under the direct supervision and management of the PMMA Board. Thereafter, it shall enjoy autonomy from the Main Campus.

The measure also mandates, among other key provisions, that within the period of 120 days after approval of the Act, the PMMA-Mindanao Campus shall accomplish the following:

(a) Submit a five (5)-year development plan, including its corresponding program, budget, to the CHED for corresponding recommendation to the Department of Budget and Management;

(b) Undergo a management audit in cooperation with the CHED; and

(c) Organize administrative as well as academic structure by appointing and designating PMMA-Mindanao Campus officials.


Fifty-percent discount on entrance fees in tourism areas for Filipinos sought
Source: http://www.congress.gov.ph/
A bill granting Filipinos a 50-percent discount on entrance fees in tourism areas all around the country was filed in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 6001 authored by Buhay Partylist Rep. Jose L. Atienza, Jr. aims to provide the Filipinos the chance to visit local destinations that are well-loved and recognized internationally.

In filing the bill, Atienza said the country has been receiving international acclaim because of its tourist attractions, and the Filipinos' culture, and warmth. "Millions of foreign nationals have been coming to our country to experience the beauty of the Philippines," Atienza said.

With the influx of tourists, Atienza said the tourist spots and national parks had to raise entrance fees not only because of higher management and upkeep costs but also to continue to raise the standards of facilities.

The downside of this, according to Atienza, is that Filipinos have started to lose the chance to visit the spots and parks. "The bill seeks to address that imbalance," Atienza said.

To ensure that Filipinos continue to enjoy access to tourism areas, the bill mandates a 50% discount to all locals on entrance fees at tourism areas all over the country.

Covered by the bill are the tourist spots accredited by the Department of Tourism, National Heritage sites and areas around the country, such as museums, parks, and wildlife areas.


November 2015 approved applicants for registration without examination as Agriculturists
Source: http://www.prc.gov.ph

Manila, November 26, 2015 --- The Professional Regulation Commission announces the approved list of applicants who have qualified to be registered without examination as Agriculturists pursuant to Sections 25, Article V of PRC Resolution No. 2000-663, Series of 2000 and Section 39, Article VII of Board Resolution No. 02, Series of 2002, as amended by Board Resolution No. 01, Series of 2003 and Board Resolution No. 8, Series of 2013, approved by the Commission as follows: 


The Certificates of Registration and Professional Identification Cards will be issued after they have taken their respective oaths as professionals.

The oath taking date and venue will be announced.


Phl Senior Associate Justice gives legal perspective in International Security Forum in Canada
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
27 November 2015 - Amid the backdrop of the terrorist attacks in Paris, the suicide bombings in Lebanon, the lockdown in Brussels, and the mall attacks in Mali, as well as having three international flights diverted to its airport practically one after the other by bomb threats, the City of Halifax in Nova Scotia hosted the 7th and 2015 Edition of the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) from November 20 to 22. Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan welcomed all delegates and led all officials and military leaders of Canada in attendance.

Philippine Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio was among the distinguished roster of speakers at the forum, which Maclean’s magazine billed as the definitive event where “people who wield power on matters of war and international security” converge, as the Magazine noted how “dozens of defence ministers, military leaders, think-tank leaders, academics and journalists will have it out on today’s toughest global issues.”

Joining Justice Carpio were Minister and Consul General Eric Gerardo Tamayo of the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, Philippine Honorary Consul General Sean Sears, and Honorary Vice Consul Elizabeth Eustaquio-Domondon of the Philippine Consulate General in Halifax.

Justice Carpio shared top billing in the panel discussion held on November 21 devoted to Broken China: Handle With Care, moderated by Ms. Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Joining Justice Carpio were Dr. Masashi Nishihara, President, Research Institute for Peace and Security; Admiral Michael Rogers, Commander, United States Cyber Command, Director National Security Agency / Chief, Central Security Service; and Dr. Russell Trood, Professor International Relations and Director of the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University

The panel discussion was framed by compelling introductory remarks by Admiral Harry T. Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Fleet who noted that “as China's economy has grown, so have its ambitions.” Nevertheless, Admiral Harris underscored that US-China relations are more constructive than destructive. The Admiral referred to the building spree of China in the South China Sea as "Sandcastles in the Sea" and as the "Great Wall of Sand" in referring to the "extreme scope" of China's claims. He indicated that adhering to international law is important and China cannot do whatever it pleases.

The Defense News magazine notes that the Philippines has filed a legal objection to China’s activities in the South China Sea, and echoed the statement of Justice Carpio that the Philippines is no match for China, so it brought the dispute to a forum where armaments do not count. Justice Carpio emphasized that “we cannot live with a dispute where China claims everything.”

Justice Carpio explained that it is hoped that the maritime dispute will be resolved in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), but we still have that territorial dispute over the Spratlys. – and the way we propose to solve that is through the proposal of marine biologists – to say that the Spratlys are the hatchery of the South China Sea – the fish that we catch in the South China Sea are spawned in the Spratlys.

Justice Carpio remarked that while China may not be broken, it is breaking the law by building artificial islands in international waters. He expressed concern that China will resort to declaring an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) once they have completed their building spree in the South China Sea. When asked what he would say to Chinese President Xi Jingping, Justice Carpio would recall what Deng Xiaoping aid at the United Nations in 1974 that “if one day China should change her color and turn into a superpower, if she too should play the tyrant in the world, and everywhere subject others to her bullying, aggression and exploitation, the people of the world should identify her as social-imperialism, expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it.”


Phl embassy in Doha launches cervical cancer, prostate cancer awareness campaign
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
27 November 2015 - The Philippine Embassy in Doha, in cooperation with the Filipino Medical Association in Qatar (FMAQ), launched the Cervical and Prostate Cancer Awareness Campaign on November 20 at the Embassy grounds. The campaign is part of the Embassy's Gender and Development continuing program aimed at promoting health and wellness among Filipinos in Qatar.

The lecture/forum conducted by volunteer doctors from the Filipino community, Dr. Emirah Latiph-Tamano and Dr. Mohammad Minanga, raised awareness on health issues related to cervical cancer and prostate cancer detection and prevention. The lecture forum was attended by more than 50 Filipinos who actively participated in the Q&A session.

As part of the campaign, the embassy also facilitated the registration for a discounted HPV vaccination which may be availed of in designated duly accredited clinics in Qatar. The lecture/forum will also be conducted in January 2016 as part of the Cervical Health Awareness Month.


PPP Center wins Agency of the Year Award
Source: http://ppp.gov.ph
The Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines wins Agency of the Year Award by The Asset’s Triple A Asia Infrastructure Awards 2015.

In the Photo: Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao, together with PPP Center officials, receives the plaque of recognition as Agency of the Year Award from Mr. Daniel Yu, Editor-in-Chief of The Asset Magazine.

Watch the interview of Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao with Mr. Daniel Yu:


Statement of Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad on the 2015 Q3 GDP growth
Source: http://www.dbm.gov.ph
We are pleased to hear today of the country’s economic performance for the third quarter of 2015. As expected, real GDP grew by 6.0 percent for Q3 of 2015, faster than the 5.8 percent recorded in Q2, and the 5.5 percent in Q3 of last year. The Philippines is now the third fastest growing economy among major Asian countries, and the second fastest among the ASEAN-5 countries, the biggest economies in Southeast Asia.

We are confident that our economic performance for the third quarter of 2015 provides a strong foundation for higher quality growth and a positive momentum for taking the Daang Matuwid to inclusive growth in the years ahead.

Sustaining inclusive growth remains a huge challenge. At the DBM, we work to align the budget to priorities in sustaining inclusive growth. We ensure that each peso is spent properly and with direct, immediate and substantial benefit to the people.

Government spending, which continues to grow annually, points to the wider reach of government’s delivery of goods and services to the general public. Our high maintenance expenditures for the third quarter is due to, among others, increased provision for social protection programs. Our increased capital expenditures is due to, among others, capital outlay requirements for the construction and upgrading of educational facilities and repair of roads and bridges.

Government spending continues to grow by a two-digit-year-on-year growth as of end September to wrap up the biggest quarterly growth since 2012. This means our efforts to address institutional weaknesses that hamper the agencies from spending public funds and delivering services quickly and with measurable impact are working.

We are optimistic that the spending momentum in the third quarter will be sustained until the end of the year as disbursements accelerate towards the latter part of the year when agencies rush the completion of projects.

Our budget for next year, which is set to be approved in the Senate, is one that seeks to expand our hard-won gains in reforming public spending by focusing on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable provinces, expanding social protection programs, continuing funding for Yolanda-devastated areas, and sustaining infrastructure development by allocating P766.3 billion to finally hit the benchmark 5 percent of the GDP.

Over the last five years, this administration has proven that good governance leads to good economic performance and sustained growth. It is now up to all of us to ensure that good governance reforms are irreversible in order to sustain inclusive development.


Philippine economy posts 6.0 percent GDP growth
Source: http://www.nscb.gov.ph
GDP grew year-on-year by 6.0 percent in the third quarter of 2015. This is higher than the growth rates of 5.8 percent in the second quarter of 2015 and the 5.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

The third quarter growth was driven by the Services sector which accelerated to 7.3 percent from 5.6 percent. This performance is the highest since the 7.4 percent growth recorded in the third quarter of 2013. The entire Agriculture sector recovered in the third quarter by 0.4 percent from a 2.6 percent decline posted during the same period last year. On the other hand, the Industry sector slowed down to 5.4 percent from 7.8 percent last year.

Among the three major economic sectors, Services gave the highest contribution to the GDP growth in the third quarter with 4.2 percentage points. This was followed by Industry with 1.8 percentage points while Agriculture contributed 0.03 percentage point.

The Net Primary Income (NPI) rebounded to 4.7 percent from a contraction of 3.1 percent in the previous year. As a result, the Gross National Income (GNI) accelerated to 5.8 percent from 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

With projected population reaching to a level of 101.8 million, per capita GDP grew by 4.3 percent from 3.7 percent, while per capita GNI accelerated to 4.1 percent from 2.2 percent. Likewise, per capita Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) went up by 4.6 percent from 3.2 percent.


From street thug to hardworking mother
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
Life took a complete turn for May Lacson, who used to call the streets of Manila home before becoming a beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). 

“Kung dati po patalim ang hawak ko, ngayon rosary na (I used to hold a knife, but now, I just hold a rosary),” recounted May in an interview during the initial broadcast of the I-PUSH Natin ang Pagbabago radio program of DZRH. The show airs every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 nn. May added, 

“Napakahirap po ng buhay sa kalye, dapat po matuto ka talagang maging matigas. Inaamin ko pong matigas ang ulo ko dati. Nasubukan ko na din mag-drugs.

Kaya nagpapasalamat ako at iniabot ng DSWD ang kamay ng pagtulong sa amin na parang patapon ang turing ng iba (Life on the streets is difficult.

You must learn how to be tough. I admit that I was hardheaded before. I even tried using drugs. 

That is why I am thankful to DSWD for reaching their helping hands out to us who are considered by many as social outcasts).”

Tough life on the streets The MCCT-HSF is an expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program which provides a complete package of assistance to street families, including responsive shelter program, access to social services, and economic opportunities for the improvement of their living conditions.

It also extends house rental assistance of up to P4,000 per month from six months to one year. MCCT-HSF started in 2012. To date, a total of 4,408 families are registered in the program. Some 700 families are already paying their own house rental after they gained a steady source of income through the livelihood component of the program. 

A single parent, May and her two children were among the first beneficiaries of the MCCT-HSF program in August 2012. According to May, she actually had three children but lost one child to meningitis in 2004 while they were still living on the streets. Recounting her previous life, 

May said they used to live within the Port Area, Manila near the office of the Department of Public Works and Highways. They were staying in a makeshift house made of tarpaulins and empty boxes when the DSWD found them. After further assessment, the Lacson family was transferred to a rented house as part of the program assistance in November 2012. Life changing program With her voice breaking, May said, 

“Napakalaki ng pasasalamat ko sa DSWD sa tulong na ito. Ngayon ay masaya ako at ligtas na ang pamilya ko dahil may sarili na kaming bahay (We greatly thank DSWD for the help. I am happy that my family is now safe inside our own rented house).” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said the MCCT-HSF is designed particularly to help the homeless street families year-round.

“Contrary to reports that street families are just given attention during big events like the APEC, the DSWD has been implementing the program as early as 2012.” 

“Hindi kami nagtatago ng mga street families, kasi hindi naman naitatago ang kahirapan. Talagang parte ng programa ang oryentasyon na ginagawa (We do not hide the street families, as we all know we can never hide poverty. Orienting the beneficiaries is an integral part of the MCCT-HSF program),” the Secretary added. May affirmed saying, “Hindi po kami itinago, tinulungan po kami. 

Tinuruan din kaming maging mabuting tao, maging mabuting magulang, at mabuting anak sa pamamagitan ng Family Development Sessions o FDS (We were never hidden, we were helped by DSWD. We were taught to be good citizens, be better parents and children through the FDS.)” 

Sec. Soliman explained that the FDS is ​one of the conditions of​ the MCCT-HSF program wherein beneficiaries attend monthly sessions on responsible parenting and values formation as well as trainings on livelihood to ensure that they will have a sustainable source of income. 

For May, she is employed as a street sweeper under the Cash-for-Work, also a component of MCCT-HSF. “Nag-street sweeper po ako bilang parte nung Cash-for-Work program ng MCCT-HSF, tapos nagpepedicab din po ako. Sa umaga, pedicab po tapos sa tanghali pasok na sa trabaho (I work as a street sweeper as part of the cash for work program, and I also work as a pedicab driver in the morning),” 

May said. When asked for her final message, May has this to say for her fellow beneficiaries, “Sa mga kapwa ko mga dating nasa lansangan, dapat po natin alalahanin na dapat pagyamanin natin ang tulong ng gobyerno. Hindi lahat iaasa, dapat magtrabaho din. Ako,​ ​narealize ko kaya ko din pala,​ ​kaya nagsisikap ako. Gusto ko din makapag-aral pa balang araw (To all my fellow former street dwellers, we should treasure the assistance of government. We should not rely only on their help. We should also work to help ourselves).”


Visit, shop at bazaar of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries -DSWD
Source: https://www.dswd.gov.ph
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program is inviting the public to visit and shop at PaskuJuan 2015, a holiday bazaar on November 29(Sunday) from 9 am to 8pm at the Araneta Gateway Food Park, Cubao, Quezon City. 

PaskuJuan will feature products crafted by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries from different parts of the country. PaskuJuan is a yearly project of the DSWD to help Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, who are also being provided with livelihood assistance through SLP, market their products. 

“The success of PaskuJuan last year prompted us to institutionalize it as a yearly activity. It is one way of helping the beneficiaries market their products to the public,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said. “If you buy their products, then you are also helping them earn for their family,” Sec. Soliman continued as she enjoined the public to do their holiday shopping at the bazaar. 

SLP is a community-based capacity building program that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of program participants or the beneficiaries. It is implemented through two tracks: Micro-enterprise Development and Employment Facilitation. 

The Micro-enterprise Development track supports micro-enterprises in becoming organizationally and economically viable, whereas the Employment Facilitation track assists participants to access appropriate employment opportunities. Both tracks are executed based on the Community-Driven Enterprise Development (CDED) approach, which equips program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets. 

From January 2011 to October 2015, SLP served a total of 851,505 families wherein 87 percent or 740,665 are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and 13 percent or 110,840 are non-Pantawid Pamilya assessed as poor through the Listahanan or data base of poor families. -