22 MAY 2015

450,000 Listahanan households to benefit from DOE’s electrification program
Public and Private Sectors Consulted on the Draft National Strategy for Financial Inclusion
Bataan is first PH province to have labor laws-compliant markers in all its eco-zones
Baldoz hails Supreme Court resolution against GAMCA “decking system”
DPWH now ISO 9001:2008 Certified
PNP draws-up nationwide security plan for school opening; NCRPO sweeps U-Belt of criminal elements
PHL Ambassador to ASEAN Calls for Transparency and Inclusivity in ASEAN-China Center
Project For South Cotabato Farmers
Welcome Remarks of Sec. Arsenio Balisacan at the Philippine-Australia PPP Policy Dialogue with Partnerships Victoria
Pectin extraction technology undergoes pilot testing
DepEd launches the first Tboli Senior High School
Former Deputy Ombudsman guilty of misconduct
Villanueva: Use social media to push tech-voc
Double tracking of PNR's Sucat-Alabang stretch up for bidding
DSWD’s second family assessment ongoing nationwide
BSP: Old banknotes good for daily transactions up to December 31, 2015
Banking industry Tripartite Council signs resolutions
Secretary De Lima on the issue of VP Binay's purported immunity from suit
Philippines to hold ITU Regional Radio communication Seminar
Regional IPP Roadshow to start 22 May

450,000 Listahanan households to benefit from DOE’s electrification program
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
 
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) signs a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) for their partnership in the implementation of the National Intensification of Household Electrification (NIHE) project.

NIHE is project that intends to provide basic electricity services to poor households with no access to electricity. This initiative by the DOE is in line with the implementation of their 2014-2017 Household Electrification Development Plan (HEDP), which aims to achieve 90% household electrification by 2017.

As a partner agency, the DSWD shall provide a list of potential household beneficiaries for the NIHE project using the Listahanan, or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It makes available to implementers of social protection programs a comprehensive socio-economic database of poor families identified through objective and verifiable means.

Based on the 2011 data of Listahanan, at least 2.6 million poor households nationwide have no access to electricity.

“We deemed that the said database is a powerful tool in the efficient targeting of beneficiaries for the electricity connections under the NIHE Project,” DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla said.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman added, “This is an opportunity for the DSWD and the DOE to converge their efforts and resources to improve the lives of the poor.”

The NIHE program, which will run from 2015 to 2017, will prioritize 450,000 poor households who are residing in forty-six (46) selected provinces and are also beneficiaries of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

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Public and Private Sectors Consulted on the Draft National Strategy for Financial Inclusion
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
 
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), together with key government agencies and members of the private sector convened a consultation meeting to discuss the national strategy for financial inclusion (NSFI) last May 20, 2015 at the BSP Main Office in Manila.

BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. opened the first NSFI consultation meeting. He cited the importance of financial inclusion in effectively contributing to inclusive growth—one that provides jobs, reduces mass poverty and draws majority of the population into the economic and social mainstream—and underscored how a National Strategy can ensure coordinated efforts toward a shared objective.

The draft national strategy was prepared by an inter-agency committee convened by the BSP in 2014. The inter-agency committee is comprised of thirteen (13) agencies, namely Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Cooperative Development Authority, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Education, Department of Finance, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Insurance Commission, National Economic Development Authority, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, Philippine Statistics Authority, and Securities and Exchange Commission. These agencies are involved, either directly or indirectly, in promoting an inclusive financial system and serving unserved and underserved markets. Considering the importance of expanding access to financial services for all Filipinos, especially the unserved and underserved, the inter-agency committee recognized that it is ideal to create a platform where the public and private sector can cooperate and coordinate to make financial inclusion, and eventually, inclusive growth, a reality. The World Bank has noted that countries with financial inclusion strategies have more significant growth in financial inclusion than countries without one.

The consultation meeting subjected the draft to comments and inputs from a broad range of stakeholders from the public and private sector such as banks, cooperatives, civil society organizations, international development organizations, payment providers, and the academe, among others. The ultimate objective is to ensure that the NSFI is a product of collective and collaborative efforts.

The NSFI Regional consultations in Visayas and Mindanao will be held in Cebu on 26 May 2015 and in Davao on 29 May 2015.

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Bataan is first PH province to have labor laws-compliant markers in all its eco-zones
Source: http://www.dole.gov.ph
 
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday unveiled labor laws-compliant markers in three Bataan economic zones—the Freeport Area of Bataan; PAFC Petrochemical Industrial Park; and Hermosa Industrial Park—earning the province the distinction of being the first in the country to have all its economic zones certified labor laws compliant under the new Labor Laws Compliance System, or LLCS.

“I am pleased to unveil these markers, indicating our country’s inexorable march towards the path of reform in labor laws compliance,” said Baldoz.

“However, our gladness is tempered by the looming, grim shadow of the fire accident in the Kentex rubber slipper factory in Valenzuela City that killed 72 workers, and which brought to the surface the twin issue of occupational safety and health and general labor standards, including subcontracting, which our LLCS reform precisely seeks to address,” Baldoz said in message before unveiling markers.

“I remember the FAB, formerly the Bataan Export Processing Zone, as a hotbed of labor unrest that earned the country the derisive title of being the ‘strike capital’ of Asia. I am happy to note that that history is behind us now because the Philippines is now known as the ‘industrial peace hub’ of Asia. Much of the credit goes to our workers and management who have matured and now engages in social dialogue, as well as President Benigno S. Aquino III’s labor governance reforms to sustain industrial peace. In fact, I am happy to note that even the unions at the FAB have organized themselves into a Coalition of Labor Unions of Bataan (CLUB),” Baldoz added.

Accompanied by DOLE Regional Office No. 3 Regional Director Ana Dione, Assistant Regional Director Geraldine Panlilio, and other DOLE technical staff, Secretary Baldoz unveiled a marker first at the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles, where Atty. Patrick Lester Ty, Authority of the Freeport of Bataan (AFAB) officer-in-charge; Bataan Vice Governor Efren Pascual, and Mariveles Mayor Jesse Concepcion, hosted her.

“This marker is the seventh such marker we have unveiled in the country since the full implementation of the new LLCS, and it shows our determination and commitment to make the new system work for the benefit of our workers, our employers and investors, and our economy,” said Baldoz.

Before the unveiling, she distributed Certificates of Compliance (COCs) on General Labor Standards and Occupational Safety and Health Standards to worker and management representatives of 47 AFAB companies operating in the zone and employing 11,585 workers. She likewise awarded COCs on GLS and OSHS to the 47 locators’ 20 contractors/subcontractors employing another 6,219 workers.

Baldoz noted that 17 of the locators in the Freeport are unionized. These establishments are Almatech Manufacturing Corporation; Bahrain Fiberglass International, Inc.; Chun Chiang Enterprise Manufacturing Co., Inc.; Dong In Entech K-1 Inc.; Dunlop Slazenger Phils., Inc.; East Cam tech Corporation; Edge Soft Woods Solution, Inc.; Essilor Manufacturing Philippines, Inc.; Medtecs International Corporation; Medtecs Material Tech Corporation; Mitsumi Philippines; Monasteria Knitting, Inc.; Mountaineering Instruments Corp.; Qualitek Delta Philippines; and Universal Weavers Corporation.

“Remembering the lives that have been lost in last week’s fire accident, I urge all of you to reflect on the real meaning and significance of these COCs, that it was you who joined us in the assessment, a process which you have a stake and which you must own now for the welfare of your workers and the competitiveness and growth of your enterprises. Therefore, make sure that the system works,” she explained.

Baldoz next unveiled a labor laws compliant economic zone marker at the Philippine Alternative Fuels Corporation (PAFC) Industrial Park in nearby Brgy. Batangas II, which is home to power/fuel giants Philippine Resin Industries, Inc.; NPC Alliance Corporation; Petron Corporation Mariveles PP Plant; and Team Energy Philippines, with only Petron having a workers’ union.

These four companies have a total workforce of 389. Likewise, Baldoz awarded COCs on GLS and OSHS to the locators’ nine sub-contractors that employ 216 workers. The industrial zone is the 8th economic zone to be certified labor laws compliant.

In Hermosa, Baldoz distributed COCs on GLS and OSHS to Sumi Philippines Wiring Systems Corporation, one of two locators at the 162-hectare Hermosa Economic Industrial Park in Barangay Palihan. A sister company of International Wiring Systems, also a labor laws compliant company located at the Luisita Industrial Park, SPWS manufactures electric wiring harnesses and employs 1,952 workers.

She likewise awarded COCs on GLS and OSHS to the company’s two subcontractors---Salvation Security Agency and Faith in God and to two other subcontractors of Biotech, a zone locator that is not yet operational, MMA Competent Manpower and General Services and W. Security Agency Corporation. A fifth company, SP Deloraya Job Contracting and General Services, a subcontractor of SPWS, has earned its COC in September 2104. Together, these five subcontractors deploy a combined workforce of 1,430 in the industrial zone.

At these events, Baldoz signed memorandum of agreements with the zone management on the continuous monitoring of compliance by the locators with all labor laws and occupational safety and health regulations.

Since the LLCS’ full implementation last year, Baldoz has been going around the country to unveil labor laws compliant markers in economic zones, companies, and even in tourist destinations, to promote and advocate for labor laws compliance among the country’s business establishments under the Labor Laws Compliance System, a landmark reform in labor inspection that veers away from the purely regulatory to a more developmental approach involving the participation of workers and management, where companies undergo joint assessment to assess and evaluate compliance.

As of date, markers have been installed and unveiled in nine economic zones including the three in Bataan. These are Hacienda Luisita Industrial Park in Tarlac; Phividec Industrial Park in Misamis Oriental; Mactan Export Processing Zone II and Cebu Light Industrial Park in Cebu; Baguio Economic Zone in Baguio City, Benguet; and Cagayan Economic Zone in Sta. Ana, Cagayan Valley.

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Baldoz hails Supreme Court resolution against GAMCA “decking system”
Source: http://www.dole.gov.ph
 
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday lauded a Supreme Court en banc resolution that denied the motion of the GCC Accredited Medical Clinics Association (GAMCA) to stop the Department of Health (DOH) from implementing the prohibition of the so-called medical referral “decking system”.

The GAMCA is a group of 19 medical clinics accredited by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is the association of countries of the Persian Gulf, for the medical examination of overseas Filipino workers bound for member states Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman.

“The Supreme Court Resolution is a welcome development for thousands of overseas Filipino workers,” said Baldoz.

“The medical referral 'decking system' brought inconvenience and unwanted delays to aspiring OFWs, as it required them to line up at the GAMCA Manila office or file online requests, just to get forced referrals to medical clinics that were far from their places of origin," said Baldoz.

It was then POEA Administrator Secretary Baldoz who initiated the removal of the GAMCA medical referral “decking system", and who questioned an unnecessary second examination at the host country to be paid by the worker, even if the worker had already passed a medical examination administered by a Philippine clinic.

Both the decking system and the matter of disregarding the certified results of Philippine medical clinics have been outlawed by Congress, pursuant to Republic Act No. 10022, which amended the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act.

Citing R.A. 10022, the Supreme Court denied the motion by GAMCA that sought to stop a 20 February 2015 DOH order to implement the prohibition of the "decking system”. In the same Resolution, the Supreme Court also suspended the permanent injunction issued by Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 110, which stopped previous DOH issuances against the decking system.

With the Resolution, the stage is set for the High Court to pass upon the main issue of constitutionality of the prohibition of the "decking system" under RA 10022, which is the subject of separate petitions filed before the Court by the GAMCA and DOH. Pending such a decision on the constitutionality issue, the High Court in the aforesaid Resolution proclaimed that the DOH “has the solemn duty to faithfully implement the law prohibiting the decking practice."

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DPWH now ISO 9001:2008 Certified
Source: http://www.dpwh.gov.ph
 
The Quality Management System (QMS) of the Department of Public Works and Highways is now certified against the requirements of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 standards.

The DPWH ISO 9001:2008 Certification, received from Anglo Japanese American (AJA) Registrars, Inc., is aligned with President Aquino’s call on government agencies to improve public service delivery and in ensuring good governance and sustaining the “tuwid na daan” reform efforts.

Having an ISO 9001:2008 certification is an affirmation that the Quality Management System being implemented in the DPWH comprising inter-related processes are of international standards.

DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said that the ISO 901:2008 certification should be maintained and “will really push every employee to continually improve the Department’s processes to sustain public satisfaction.”

Included in the DPWH QMS ISO 9001:2008 certificate of registration are nine (9) Services, six (6) Bureaus, two (2) pilot Regional Offices (National Capital Region and Region XI), and two (2) pilot District Engineering Offices (South Manila District Engineering Office and Davao 1st District Engineering Office) for a total of 19 Offices.

For the second phase, Secretary Singson has directed 33 DPWH offices or sites comprising five (5) Unified Project Management Offices, the remaining 14 Regional Offices with one (1) corresponding pilot District Engineering Office each to undergo the same ISO 9001:2008 assessment and certification process.

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) has provided technical assistance to DPWH to comply with all the requirements for ISO Certification.

Present during the simple hand-over ceremony at DPWH Head Office were DAP President Antonio D. Kalaw Jr. and Vice President Arnel Abanto, and AJA Registrars Philippines, Inc. Vice President, Paul B. Bagatsing.

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PNP draws-up nationwide security plan for school opening; NCRPO sweeps U-Belt of criminal elements
Source: http://pnp.gov.ph
 
The Philippine National Police will implement a nationwide security and public safety plan for the opening of the school year on June first.

On instructions of PNP Officer in Charge, PDDG Leonardo A Espina, the Directorate for Operations issued the Operational Guidelines for Lig tas Balik-Eskwela 2015 mobilizing all PNP Regional Offices and National Support Units to perform specific tasks and coordinating instructions to implement the nationwide security and public safety plan.

The Directorate for Operations is also conducting periodic assessment of the situation ahead of the school opening on June 1 for possible upgrading of alert conditions in different areas of the country.

An estimated 25-million students in different levels are expected to troop to school for the simultaneous opening of classes in both public and private learning institutions.

Espina said Oplan Balik-Eskwela 2015 ensures the operational readiness of police units in responding to peace and order concerns including threats from criminal elements that may take advantage of the situation.

The OIC, Chief PNP gave the Regional Directors the discretionary authority to raise alert conditions as they deem necessary to effectively implement their respective security and public safety plans.

Of priority concern to the PNP are incidents of street crimes such as pickpocket, snatching, swindling, robbery/hold-up, and street-level drug trafficking. Police patrols in the vicinity of schools will also be on the look-out for drug traffickers and violent street gangs that may infiltrate the ranks of students.

The PNP will also designate dedicated personnel to address bullying inside and outside the school premises in coordination with school officials and local ordinances that prohibit the operation of drinking places, gambling activities and computer gaming shops.

Local PNP units were instructed to coordinate closely with school administrators and officials of the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission of Higher Education (CHED), Local Government Units, Parent-Teachers Associations (PTAs) and other concerned agencies to ensure safety and security of students.

In Metro Manila, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) including its five Police Districts will field its entire 24,000-strong personnel in strategic areas within the vicinity of schools for foot, mobile and police visibility patrols and establish Police Assistance Desks (PADs) manned by police and BPAT personnel with the strategic goal of “zero crime incident in all school and university areas”.

NCRPO Chief, PDir Carmelo Valmoria fielded more personnel to compliment foot and mobile patrol operations of BPAT and local police units in vicinity of schools.

In coordination with LGUs, DOTC and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the NCRPO will spearhead traffic management operations in the vicinity of schools particularly in the University Belt area of Manila.

Similar security measures will be implemented in seaports, airports, and land transport terminals in anticipation of the heavy volume of incoming passengers from the provinces.

If unnecessary actions or suspicious person or group are observed, the PNP advised the public to immediately report it or go to the nearest PADs or police stations or through PNP hotlines I-Txt Mo Kay Tsip at 0917-847-5757. (PNP-PIO)

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PHL Ambassador to ASEAN Calls for Transparency and Inclusivity in ASEAN-China Center
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
 
21 May 2015 – Philippine Ambassador to ASEAN Elizabeth P. Buensuceso encouraged participants at the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session held on May 05 at the ACC Secretariat in Beijing, to use the Center as a venue to promote ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and strict adherence to ASEAN Centrality.

The brainstorming session, which was attended by the ACC’s Joint Council and Joint Executive Board members, conducted a mid-term review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC promotes ASEAN-China cooperation through its work on trade, investment, education, culture and tourism promotion.

In one of her interventions, Ambassador Buensuceso, Philippine representative to the ACC Joint Council, encouraged the ACC to be inclusive by conducting joint promotion programs and activities in its various priority areas, rather than focusing on individual ASEAN Member States.

Ambassador Buensuceso also recommended that regular meetings be convened among the commercial counsellors of the ASEAN Embassies in Beijing and the trade and investment representatives from the China Council to explore and discuss opportunities and initiatives to further promote and facilitate ASEAN-China trade and investments.

As part of its initiative to raise the profile of ASEAN and its member countries in China, the ACC has initiated a program called “Touring ASEAN with Diplomats” microblog interview series. Last April 13, Philippine Ambassador to China Erlinda F. Basilio was featured and her interview via the ACC microblog on Philippines-China relations and ASEAN-related matters garnered more than 300,000 hits, the most so far in the program.

The brainstorming session agreed to amend the memorandum of understanding between ASEAN Member States and China on the establishment of the ACC to align it with realities on the ground and to further strengthen the capacity of the ACC to effectively and efficiently fulfill its mandate in promoting ASEAN-China dialogue relations. The MOU, which came into force in November 2011 for five years, will expire in November 2016.

The brainstorming session also endorsed the appointment of China’s Ambassador to ASEAN Yang Xiuping as the next ACC Secretary-General for a three-year term.

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Project For South Cotabato Farmers
Source: http://www.dar.gov.ph
 
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Region XII and the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Ned Settlement for the implementation of the Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD) project in Ned Settlement, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Felix C. Frias said the agreement is necessary to obtain a Certificate of Pre-Condition from NCIP, ensure the protection of the rights and culture of indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) and maintain their ancestral domains and cultural well-being in the area.

Frias said the MOA covers all functions of the agencies and parties, including areas of cooperation, responsibilities and obligations of all parties, the effectivity, termination and other provisions, as well as the monitoring to be conducted by NCIP once the project starts.may 22 2015 2

“We support the implementation of this project because we know that all will benefit from it.” Datu Maquil said.

MinSAAD is a joint project of the Philippine Government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which the DAR is implementing in cooperation with other national line agencies.

The project aims to alleviate poverty, develop agribusinesses, generate employment, promote peace and order as well as improve the quality of life of the indigenous people through the provision of rural infrastructure and capacity building measures in the target settlement areas.

The project covers 12 settlements in Mindanao covering 7 provinces: Lanao Norte, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Compostela Valley and Davao del Sur.

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Welcome Remarks of Sec. Arsenio Balisacan at the Philippine-Australia PPP Policy Dialogue with Partnerships Victoria
Source: http://www.neda.gov.ph
 
Colleagues from the Philippine Government (Sec. Rogelio Singson, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Ambassador Belen Anota, Director Cosette Canilao), partners from the Australian Government, guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen– good morning and welcome to the Philippine-Australia PPP Policy Dialogue with Partnerships Victoria.

Let me also welcome Hon. Adem Somyurek, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade of the State Government of Victoria; and of course, officials and representatives from Partnerships Victoria, Australian Trade Commission, and the Asian Development Bank.

On behalf of the Philippine Government, I am pleased to open this important event today, which seeks to engage various stakeholders in discussions that enrich our knowledge, insights, and experiences on PPPs. My sincere appreciation goes to the PPP Center of the Philippines for making this Policy Dialogue possible, and our gratitude to the Australian Government, particularly to the State Government of Victoria and Australian Trade Commission, for your continued support in strengthening the Philippine PPP Program and partnering with us in realizing this activity. I hope thatp you will also learn from our PPP experience in today’s sharing.

Indeed, over the years, public private partnerships have become an increasingly important tool for accelerating infrastructure development, not only in the Philippines but also in many emerging countries. As we may very well know, PPPs are good instruments to mobilize capital resources and tap the private sector’s expertise and state-of-the-art technology in constructing public infrastructure facilities or services. Importantly, PPPs can assist governments in addressing infrastructure backlogs as well as in accelerating the delivery of critical development projects and facilities.

I am proud to say that the Philippines’ PPP program has come a long way in terms of developing bankable PPP projects and ensuring that they are successfully tendered. At present we have a pipeline of about 50 PPP projects worth over USD 23 billion. Nine (9) PPP contracts have also been successfully awarded to the private sector since 2011 totaling to around USD 3 billion (PHP 136.36 billion).

Thus, as we ramp up our public infrastructure spending target to at least five percent of the Gross Domestic Product by 2016, the government through its PPP program will continue to tap the private sector as partners in development to help overcome our resource constraints, deliver much-needed social services and public infrastructure facilities, and importantly, to help sustain the robust economic growth that we have been enjoying in recent times.

To this end, we are continuously working to streamline processes and institutionalize reforms and best practices. In particular, we have advocated measures to further enhance the legal and policy environment for private sector participation.

A major policy advocacy we are now pushing for is the enactment of the PPP Act or Amendments to the Revised Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT) Law envisioned to sustain the gains of our current PPP Program. In addition the government is also seeking to amend the law on Right of Way Acquisition (ROWA) that would address bottlenecks in infrastructure provision, including implementation delays in our PPP projects.

This advocacy is part of the reason why we are all here today: By listening to and learning from Australia’s experience on PPPs—particularly that of Victoria—this Policy Dialogue will provide useful insights on how they were able to sustain their PPP Program over the years, including an understanding of their PPP legal and institutional framework, appraisal methodologies, procurement policies, and implementation and monitoring of projects.

We have invited the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, the committee in charge of legislating the BOT Law Amendments as well as the amendments to the Right-of-Way Acquisition Act, and some government officials directly involved in our PPP processes for them to also gain valuable insights that would guide them in pushing forward this major policy reform.

On that note, I am inviting everyone to actively participate in today’s discussions and sharing of best PPP practices. Let us take advantage of what we will learn today to further strengthen the enabling framework for PPPs in the Philippines and work together for a progressive and sustainable PPP program in the coming years.

Thank you and a pleasant day to all!

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Pectin extraction technology undergoes pilot testing
Source: http://www.da.gov.ph
 
The technology to extract pectin from mango peels is being tested at a pilot scale by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) in collaboration with agribusiness companies.

DA-PhilMech Executive Director Rex L. Bingabing said the agency wants to determine the viability of the process and acceptability of the pectin products under a pilot-scale level of operation.

“After this phase, DA-PhilMech can push for the commercialization of the pectin extraction technology where mango peels are the raw materials. Over the medium to long term, this will be very helpful for the pharmaceutical and food industries in the Philippines which still import their pectin requirements,” he said.

The local technology to extract pectin from mango peels is one of the technologies that will be exhibited during Postharvest week that will mark the founding anniversary of PhilMech. It was on May 24, 1978 that the National Postharvest Institute for Research and Extension (NAPHIRE) was founded, which evolved to Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE) in 2010 and then to PhilMech.

The pilot sites to test the locally-developed pectin extraction technology are in Cebu and Bulacan.The pilot testing in Cebu is being undertaken by DA-PhilMech in partnership with ProFoods International Corp., the biggest mango processor in the country, and Suki Trading Corporation, a manufacturer of various agricultural and food processing machinery and equipment.

Meanwhile, the pilot testing in Bulacan is being undertaken by the agency with Green Ops Corp., a subsidiary of MONHEIM Group of Companies. Green Ops produces tropical fruit concentrate and juices.

The expected output of the pilot plant in Profoods is about 2 kilograms of mango pectin per batch, while Green Ops is aiming to produce a bigger output of about 8-10 kgs of mango pectin per batch.

Besides the pectin extracting technology, PhilMech is also pilot testing in Camarines Sur the coconut water extraction machine it developed, with commercial production to commence in June. The capacity of the coconut water extraction machine is 2,000 coconuts per day, which will help coconut farmers in Camarines Sur improve their incomes.

In 2012, researchers from DA-PhilMech and the Department of Science and Technology-Industry Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) led by Dr. Ma. Cristina B. Gragasin successfully developed a processing system for the production of pharmaceutical grade pectin from mango peels. The project garnered numerous awards from various scientific fora. The utility model for the pectin production has Intellectual Property Registration No. 22013000466.

Pectin is a high-value product used as a gelling and thickening agent, stabilizer in cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical industries. However, the Philippines still imports all of its pectin requirements.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, the country imported around 94,848.93 kilograms of pectin from various countries with a total custom value of $52.38 million or P2.2 billion in 2011 at an average landed cost of P27,000 per kilogram.

Mango presents a better opportunity for the Philippines to produce pectin since the country’s mango farms has an output of around 884,000 metric tons per year. Mango peelings from processors and restaurants are usually thrown away or composted with other food wastes.

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DepEd launches the first Tboli Senior High School
Source: http://www.deped.gov.ph
 
Lake Sebu, South Cotabato—After extensive consultations and planning with the indigenous peoples’ community, local government, and education partners, the Department of Education (DepEd) established the first Tboli Senior High School.

Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC said, “This is the first of its kind. We endeavored to make sure that the curriculum as well as its [senior high school] offerings are in line with Indigenous Peoples culture and language. Ang eskwelahan dapat ang link between culture and development.”

He said, “Ito po ang kauna-unahang Senior High School na sinikap ng DepEd—kasama ang Ateneo de Davao—na kunsultahin at pakinggan ang mga hinaing at mga pangarap ng ating mga katutubo.”

He emphasized the need of the education system to be inclusive and centered on the needs and context of the learners, saying, “We are a nation in search of who we are. Until we are able to return to the roots of our indigenous peoples, we will never be able to find our soul.”

“If we are serious about being learner-centered, we should also be serious about being culturally sensitive,” Luistro added.

Luistro also dedicated the launching of the Tboli Senior High School to the late Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan awardee Lang Dulay, saying that “we need to understand and to nurture of our culture so that the works of Lang Dulay will not be lost with her and that we can pass on her dreams and arts to the next generation.”

Tboli Senior High School (TSHS), which will be initially lodged at Lake Sebu National High School with approximately 45 students for its early implementation of Grade 11 in SY 2015-2016, will be offering technical-vocational track, focusing on Sustainable Community Resources Management with two options: Agriculture and Ecotourism.

Active engagement of the indigenous community

Datu Benito Blonto, chair of the Municipal Tribal Council of Lake Sebu, said that proper consultations and coordination with the parents and students in the Tboli community, Lake Sebu NHS, and other education stakeholders have been crucial in creating the program.

Through consultations with Tboli elders, teachers, parents, students, and other education stakeholders, TSHS came up with its aspirations for its students that seek to uphold, preserve, and promote the Tboli cultural identity through an inclusive, participative, environmentally-friendly, and quality culture-based education.

Blonto said the program will be beneficial to the students, adding, “Pagkatapos nila sa K to 12, makakapasok sila sa employment dahil may skills and qualifications na sila. Sa pamamagitan ng programang ito, ide-develop natin ang skills ng mga estudyante base sa kultura. Sasanayin sila sa ecotourism at paggamit ng resources na mayroon sa lugar.”

The program intends to create graduates who are capable of developing and managing their own resources, creating sustainable livelihood and opportunities for the Tboli community, where the school is situated. Through the program, graduates will be equipped with entrepreneurial and management skills to prepare them for small-scale business ventures or communal cooperative management.

The development of the TSHS is an initiative being undertaken by DepEd in partnership with Ateneo de Davao University, particularly in the areas of curriculum development, teacher training and mentoring, and research.

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Former Deputy Ombudsman guilty of misconduct
Source: http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph
 
The Internal Affairs Board (IAB) of the Office of the Ombudsman found former Deputy Ombudsman (DO) for Mindanao Humphrey Monteroso guilty of Grave Misconduct, Simple Neglect of Duty, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, in two separate Decisions approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.

Investigation disclosed that in September 2011, Monteroso hired Emmanuel Arquellano as a member of his co-terminus staff occupying the position of Administrative Aide II with Salary Grade 2. In an affidavit executed before the IAB, Arquellano attested that while employed at the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao (OMB-Mindanao), he was asked to perform domestic chores for the Monteroso family, such as feeding the animals (e.g., sea eagle, crows, ducks, lambs, sea hawks, box turtles, iguanas and lizard) and accompanying Monteroso to the market on weekends.

The Decision held that Monteroso unfairly took advantage of Arquellano when he made him perform household chores for his family during his tenure as a civil servant without proper compensation. “Not only were DO Monteroso’s actions willful and intentional, these were clearly illegal, wrongful and improper, especially considering that OMB Mindanao was paying for Arquellano’s salary.

In holding Monteroso liable for Grave Misconduct, the Decision also found that on two separate occasions, Monteroso instructed Arquellano to open bank accounts in his (Arquellano) name and turn over the passbook and ATM to Monteroso. Arquellano testified that several transactions were undertaken using these bank accounts and he withdrew significant sums totaling P1,250,000.00 and remitted the money to Monteroso. Increasingly bothered by the arrangement, Arquellano resigned in March 2012. During the investigation, documents such as statement of account, bank certifications and consent to examine bank account with waiver were submitted to the IAB.

The IAB considered Monteroso’s denial that he used Arquellano as a dummy to facilitate bank transactions “as inherently weak because it is self-serving and unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence.”

The Decision explained that the bank transactions coursed through Arquellano’s name are suspicious transactions covered by the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). The Office thus directed that the Anti-Money Laundering Council be furnished with copies of the case records in order to conduct an inquiry into the suspicious financial transactions to determine Monteroso’s criminal or civil liability under the AMLA.

Grave Misconduct is punishable by dismissal from the service. Considering, however, that Monteroso’s term expired in December 2013, the penalty of dismissal from the service was converted into a fine equivalent to six months’ salary. He was also meted out the accessory penalties of cancellation of civil service eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

In a separate Decision, Monteroso was also found administratively liable for Simple Neglect of Duty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, in connection with his deliberate failure to act on a criminal case pending before his office for four years. He was also faulted for deliberately failing to reply to complainant’s letters requesting for follow-up and to act on several indorsements and directives to act on the case.

The Decision stated that Monteroso’s “continued non-compliance with the directive appears to spring from his lackadaisical attitude towards said case and of this Office’s role in the speedy and efficient administration of justice” resulting to “tarnishing the image of his office and for which he should be held accountable.”

Simple Neglect of Duty is punishable by suspension of one month and one day to six months while Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service carries a penalty of suspension of six months and one day to one year. With Monteroso’s separation from the service, the penalty was converted into a fine equivalent to six months’ salary.

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Villanueva: Use social media to push tech-voc
Source: http://www.tesda.gov.ph
 
As among the most sociable in the world, Filipinos, especially the youth, can harness the use of social media in promoting technical vocational education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva said.

Villanueva said tech-voc graduates who are fanatics of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and other social media sites can also make use of these platforms to market their skills and connect to potential employers.

He cited the graduates who joined the TESDA Video Making Contest Year 2 as among those who have taken to the social media in sharing their success stories to inspire others.

The entries came in the form of dramatization, storytelling, music video and other creative format and were uploaded in Youtube and Facebook. The winners for the individual category and the school category for the Best in Story, Best in Video, People's Choice Award and the Tatak TESDA Grand Winner were awarded last May 12.

"Social media sites offer a creative and meaningful way to connect with a huge audience, including potential employers," Villanueva said.

"By now, the stories of hundreds of our tech-voc graduates who took part in the TESDA video contest have already been viewed by thousands. Opportunities may just come knocking one of these days," he added.

The school category winners were dominated by the Westmin Institute of Technology Inc., Region IX and graduate Celso Pobadora Jr. (Automotive Servicing NC II) who bagged the grand prize and the best in story awards.

The best in video award went to the East and West Center for Excellence in Training Corp., Region IV-A and graduate Rodalyn Pumupula (Finishing Course for Call Center Agent). The people's choice award was received by the United Christian Academy College of Asia, NCR and graduate Imee Gorobat (Bookkeeping NC III).

Born to a family of farmers, Pobadora started working at a young age to help augment the family income. An accident left him crippled and unable to continue schooling. After his recovery, he started helping in the machine works of a shop in their community, and found his calling. He enrolled in a tech-voc course and finished as a certified mechanic. He is now assistant trainor at the Westmin Institute of Technology, Inc.

Pumupula worked abroad, but returned to the country after being maltreated by her employer. Unable to find a job, she enrolled in a Finishing Course for Call Center Agent at the East and West Center for Excellence in Training Corp. and was immediately hired as trainer and supervisor. She now oversees several branches of the training center.

Despite having an associate degree, Gorobat found it hard to get a permanent job. When she heard about a tech-voc course in Bookkeeping at the United Christian Academy College of Asia, she enrolled and completed it. She now works in an accounting firm.

Renji Arcilla of Region IV-A (Ubeda Manpower Training Center, Inc) was adjudged the best in story, and Geraldine Dorado of Region III was awarded for having the best video entry in the individual category.

Santos was discouraged by family and friends from pursuing a tech-voc course, but she enrolled in Visual Graphic Design NC III and became a certified graduate. Now, she is engaging in projects that allow her to practice her graphic design skills. She is also a trainor to budding artists in a tech-voc institution.

A college education was elusive to Arcilla, who comes from a family of 11 siblings. But when he chances upon an announcement that free tech-voc education is being offered in their community, he enrolled and got a certificate in Pipefitting NC III. Now, Arcilla not only makes a living as a pipefitter, but also as a trainer to the youth.

A mother to three children, Dorado needed a job to sustain her family, but could not find one. When she learned about the TESDA courses in their community she enrolled in Bread and Pastry production and got a certificate. From being a helper in a bakery, she now tends her own bakeshop, with the help of her kids.

"These graduates are proof of positive change because of tech-voc," Villanueva said.

"Because of quality and relevant training, better opportunities now await them. The future is no longer uncertain for them," he added.

The awarding ceremony was held last May 12 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). It was hosted by television actress Pauleen Luna and Maximo Closa, a tech-voc graduate and TESDA-certified event organizer who was among last year's winners in the TESDA video contest.

The top video entries were evaluated by prestigious personalities who served as judges: Eugenio Villareal, chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB); Herman Basbano, president of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas; Ramon "Bong" Osorio, vice president and head of corporate communications of ASB-CBN network; Francis Cardona, chief operating officer of Radio Corporation of the Philippines; Dante Velasco, former undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications; Rachelle Villanueva-Munji from the Las Pinas City government; and, Rosauro "Uro" Dela Cruz, film writer and director.

The entries to the TESDA video making contest may be accessed at the agency's website: www.tesda.gov.ph and Facebook account TESDA official.

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Double tracking of PNR's Sucat-Alabang stretch up for bidding
Source: http://www.dotc.gov.ph
 
P144-Million Project Targeted for Completion in Q3 2016

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has published today an Invitation to Bid for a rail track improvement project for the Philippine National Railways (PNR) worth P 144,377,624.62, as part of its effort to revive and improve Southeast Asia’s oldest railway system.

The project will add a second track to run parallel to the single track currently connecting the Sucat and Alabang stations, by adding 3.97 kilometers of rails which will allow simultaneous two-way traffic to run in that section. Presently, PNR’s rails are double-tracked from Tutuban to Sucat only.

Prospective bidders may purchase the bid documents beginning today. A pre-bid conference which will be open to all interested parties is scheduled on May 26, while the submission and opening of bids is set on June 9.

The award and start of construction of the project are targeted by the 3rd quarter of 2015, and the winning bidder will have two hundred (200) calendar days to complete the construction of the double rail tracks.

The state-owned PNR is temporarily not operating for safety reasons, as the status of its rail tracks are being investigated by management following the April 29 derailment incident near its Magallanes station.

The investigation is expected to yield a precise inventory of missing or needed parts such as rail joints, angle bars, and rail clips – which will then be procured and installed in order to allow the PNR to resume its operations as soon as possible. Prior to the incident, the railway system had been servicing the Tutuban-Calamba route daily.

The PNR is also expecting the arrival of two second-hand donated trains from Japan in the coming weeks. Aside from replacing missing parts and constructing double-track rails, the PNR has other rehabilitation projects for near-term implementation such as roofing extension to shield passengers from heat and rain, installation of turnstiles in major stations, and rail and comfort room rehabilitation. These immediate improvements are targeted for completion by the end of 2015 or early next year.

Meanwhile, the DOTC is scheduled to begin the procurement process for its long-term solution to revitalize the PNR later this month. This project, called the North-South Railway Project, aims to revive PNR’s services from Malolos to Tutuban as its North Line and Tutuban to Legazpi City as its South Line by the end of 2020.

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DSWD’s second family assessment ongoing nationwide
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
 
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has deployed more than 20,000 field staff nationwide to kick-off the 2nd round of assessment of the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a socio-economic database as basis for identifying beneficiaries of their programs and services.

These field staff have been assigned to collect data from families using the traditional paper and pen in rural barangays all over the country.

“We prioritized remote and hard-to-reach areas to ensure that its residents will be included in the database and given an opportunity to benefit from a social protection program or service,” stated DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

All households in rural areas will be enumerated, while assessment in urban areas will be done in pockets of poverty or areas in the barangay where clusters of poor reside. Field staff who will be assigned in these areas will use a mobile device as data collection tool.

Around 27,000 more field staff will be trained and deployed to complete the assessment of 15.3 million households within 11 months.

“Results of this assessment will provide the department an update on the poor households who were identified in the 1st assessment,” Secretary Soliman said.

It may be recalled that in 2009, the DSWD conducted the first assessment which resulted to the identification of 5.2 million poor households out of the 10.9 million assessed.

These households have since become beneficiaries of the Philhealth Indigent Program. Some 4.4 million households have also been enrolled in the Pantawid Pamilya program.

Households are asked to cooperate in the assessment by providing true and accurate information to the enumerators. They may also send their complaints to the DSWD hotline number 0918-9122813 if they have observed irregularities in the conduct of the assessment.

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BSP: Old banknotes good for daily transactions up to December 31, 2015
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
 
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo today reminded the public that the old banknote series launched in 1985 can still be used for daily transactions up to December 31, 2015.

From January 1, 2016 up to December 31, 2016, the old banknotes can still be exchanged in authorized agent banks and the BSP Cash Department. However, starting January 1, 2017, the old banknote series will be fully demonetized or without monetary value.

This means that the New Generation Banknotes introduced in December 2010 will result in the circulation of a single currency series in the country. The New Generation Banknotes have more and enhanced security features to protect the safety of the public against counterfeiters.

The demonetization process of the old banknotes is in line with the provisions of Section 57 of Republic Act No. 7653, otherwise known as the New Central Bank Act, which authorizes the BSP to replace banknotes that are more than 5 years old. The old banknotes have been in circulation for almost three decades.

The public is advised of the following important information:

1. The public may continue to use the old banknotes up to 31 December 2015 in paying and buying of goods and services and other business or financial transactions requiring the use of cash. Thereafter, these old banknotes will no longer be accepted for payment transactions;

2. From 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016, the public may exchange with authorized financial institutions, namely universal and commercial banks, thrift banks, and rural as well as cooperative banks, their old banknotes with the New Generation Currency (NGC) Series at full face value, without charge.The public may also opt to exchange their old banknotes with the BSP or any of its regional offices/branches around the Philippines.

3. Government institutions holding old banknotes in which could not be exchanged during the prescribed period, such as banknotes used as evidence in a litigation case, will have to request the BSP Cash Department in writing, within the period of exchange, for a special exchange arrangement;

4. For Overseas Filipinos (OFs) abroad, who have in their possession old banknotes which could not be exchanged within the prescribed period, they may register online starting 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016 through the BSP Website. These old banknotes may be exchanged with the BSP within one (1) year from date of registration; and

5. Starting 1 January 2017, NDS banknotes that have not been exchanged shall no longer have any monetary value, and are considered demonetized.

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Banking industry Tripartite Council signs resolutions
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
 
The Banking Industry Tripartite Council (BITC), led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. [center] and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz [third from left], yesterday has signed four new resolutions that further enhance labor-management relations in the Philippine banking industry. Signatories were, from left, Atty. Jose Sonny G. Matula, National President of the Federation of Free Workers, and Mr. Jose P. Umali, Jr., President of the National Union of Bank Employees, on behalf of the workers’ sector, Sec. Dimapilis-Baldoz and Gov. Tetangco, and on behalf of bank management, Mr. Lorenzo V. Tan, President of the Bankers Association of the Philippines, Mr. Rommel S. Latinazo, President of the Chamber of Thrift Banks, and Mr. Jose Misael B. Moraleda, President of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines. The BITC, co-chaired by the BSP and DOLE, gathers representatives from labor unions, bank management and the government as the forum for nurturing harmonious labor-management relations and tripartite cooperation in the banking industry.

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Secretary De Lima on the issue of VP Binay's purported immunity from suit
Source: http://www.doj.gov.ph
 
The Vice President is not immune from suit. He is an impeachable official but he is not immune from suit. Among the impeachable officials, only the President is immune from suit. Impeachability only means that he cannot be removed from public office except by impeachment. Any suit filed against him that would not result in his removal from office, like a civil suit for forfeiture of ill-gotten wealth, is allowed.

In jurisprudence, only the President, the State, and members of the diplomatic corps under international law, are immune from suit, for respective reasons. In the case of the President, he has to be protected from suits in order for him to concentrate on the business of running the government. He cannot be left attending to personal law suits left and right, instead of performing his job as the President. The State is immune from suit, and cannot be sued without its consent, under the principle that there can be no right against that which is the source of said right. Diplomats cannot be sued under the doctrine in international law that foreign envoys remain to be under the jurisdiction of their governments, not of the receiving state. This is a reciprocal privilege that is observed among countries with diplomatic relations with each other.

There is no doctrine in constitutional or political law that serves as a legal basis or rationale for immunity from suit of impeachable officials, other than for the President.

VP Binay is not the President, the State, or a member of the diplomatic corps representing a foreign state or government in the Philippines. Atty. Roque cites the case of former President Arroyo where he was prevented from filing a case for human rights violations against her. Precisely, President Arroyo was then the President. VP Binay is not the President.

Under the AMLA, the AMLC is authorized to file petitions for a freeze order or bank inquiry before the CA. In the case of a freeze order, the same shall be lifted if no case is eventually filed against the person who is the subject of the freeze order. The case to be filed need not be a criminal case for money-laundering. It can be a civil case for forfeiture of ill-gotten wealth, which is independent of a prosecution for a criminal case of money-laundering or its predicate crimes, such as plunder, graft and corruption, and malversation. According to Section 27 of the Rules of Procedure for Civil Forfeiture (A.M. No. 05-11-04-SC), "no prior criminal charge, pendency of or conviction for an unlawful activity or money laundering offense is necessary for the commencement or the resolution of a petition for civil forfeiture". In a civil forfeiture case, the degree of proof needed is only preponderance of evidence, not guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

After the freeze order and further examination of VP Binay's, and his relatives' and dummies' bank accounts, the AMLC can file a civil case for forfeiture of ill-gotten wealth through the Solicitor General. The filing, trial, hearing and decision in said case will not violate his impeachability since this civil case will only result in the forfeiture of his alleged ill-gotten wealth, not his removal from office.

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Philippines to hold ITU Regional Radio communication Seminar
Source: http://icto.dost.gov.ph
 
Manila, PH – Even in the midst of technological progress, radiocommunication remains a primary channel when it comes to relaying information from person to person. Most people continue to use radio frequency due to its ease of access, especially during times of emergency. In times of disaster, radiocommunication becomes instrumental in delivering crucial news vital to the survival of families and communities.

Aside from being utilized as a tool to deliver vital messages across communities, radiocommunication also serves an outlet for normal community messaging and activities such as local sports, community events, special events, and local business advertising. As such, proper management is needed to ensure that radiocommunication is used to its fullest potential.

That said, the International Telecommunication Union shall conduct its Regional Radiocommunication Seminar 2015 and Workshop on Satellite Coordination for Asia-Pacific (RSS-15-Asia-Pacific) from the 25th to the 30th of May, with the participation of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), and the Department of Communications, Government of Australia.

The 6-day event shall cover various topics concerning spectrum management which will include the correct procedures pertaining to the recording of frequency assignment in the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR), a review of the modifications to the ITU Radio Regulations (RR) and WR Resolutions that were agreed upon during the previous World Radio Conference (WRC-12), the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-12), as well as the upcoming WRC-15 agenda. The current regulatory framework for international frequency management and the ITU-R Recommendations and best practices shall also be focused.

Over the succeeding days, the event shall conduct workshops on Terrestrial Services, a Regional Workshop on Satellite Coordination, wherein participants get the chance to experience the actual procedures of ITU notification, apart from software and electronic publications, all made available by the Radiocommunication Bureau to the Administration of Member States and to the ITU Sector Members; The RRS-15-Asia shall end with a Forum on “Space Planned Services: Current Status and Challenges” with the assistance of various regulators, operators, and other industry experts to offer a multidisciplinary take on the regulation, commercial, and technical aspects, as well as the future of such services in the region.

The Radiocommunication Bureau (BR) organizes world seminars on spectrum management in Geneva every two years. Administrations that are interested in hosting a regional seminar may contact the BR and, subject to availability of time and resources, the BR undertakes all the necessary steps to organize the event. Such seminars provide member states the necessary knowledge and understanding about spectrum management. The BR gives priority to developing countries and member states that have joined the Union.

To learn more about the event, kindly click on the link to visit their website.

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Regional IPP Roadshow to start 22 May
Source: http://www.dti.gov.ph
 
The Board of Investments (BOI) will conduct an Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) Regional Roadshow in several key cities in the country starting on 22 May in General Santos City.

The IPP Roadshow is an agency initiative to bring its services to the regions by informing the public on the salient features of the IPP 2014-2016 and its implementing guidelines, specifically on the investment opportunities for potential and existing investors.

The IPP is a fundamental investment policy tool for industry development, which aims to build industries not necessarily through incentives, but through policy interventions and initiatives. The IPP targets investment opportunities and needs to create jobs, expand industries’ capacity and enhance the competitiveness of local industries.

This year’s IPP Roadshow will be held in the following cities:
Regions 11 and 12, General Santos: 22 May
CAR Baguio: 29 May
Region 09, Dipolog: 19 June*
Regions 01 & 02, Ilocos, San Fernando, La Union: 25 June*
Region 10 and CARAGA, Cagayan de Oro: 02 July*
Region 05, Naga City: 10 July*
Region 07, Cebu: 23 July
Region 04-B, Puerto Princesa: 06 August*
NCR, Regions 03 and 04-A, Metro Manila: 18 August*
Region 06, Iloilo: 24 August*

Participants from various the national government agencies, chambers of commerce, business support organizations, the academe, local government agencies (LGUs), members of the Regional Development Council, non-government organizations (NGOs), consumer organizations, and the media are expected to attend the forum.

The IPP 2014-2016 is more focused on eight preferred activities (four broad sectors and four specific activities), subsectors, and specific supply or value-chain gaps. These are Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Fishery, Services, Economic and Low-cost Housing, Hospitals, Energy, Public Infrastructure and Logistics, and PPP Projects.

Officials from the BOI who will be the speakers in the roadshows include BOI Governor Oliver B. Butalid, Governor Pelagio Tan Ricalde, Governor Lucita P. Reyes, Executive Director Efren V. Leaño, Executive Director Raul V. Angeles, and Supervising Director Ma. Corazon H. Halili-Dichosa.

President Benigno S. Aquino III issued Memorandum Order No. 74 dated 28 October 2014 approving the 2014–2016 IPP.

For more information and for the final forum schedules, please visit www.boi.gov.ph or you may email your inquiries at 2014ipp@gmail.com or contact Ms. Raquel Echagu at (02) 896.9239.

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