31 OCTOBER 2014

DSWD extends P1.2-B worth of ‘Yolanda’ aid to Tacloban City
Philippines signs World Bank Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project
DOST bats on rapid charging station for e-vehicles
Region 1 proclaims 2014 Regional MOFYA winners
Blessed Luisa School Senior wins 16th BSP-DepEd NCR oratorical contest
PH bags gold, bronze in ASEAN Skills Competition
General Retail Price Index in the National Capital Region (2000=100) : September 2014
Survey says local govts most trusted: DILG chief feels 'encouraged'
Roxas: PNP 'on the ball' for the holidays
'No Misuse of DILG funds' - DILG exec
Paje urges public to minimize trash during Undas
European models show autonomy as win-win solution for conflict resolution -- diplomats
First EPS skills test in PH a success--Baldoz
Proposed 2015 monitoring and evaluation budget of CCT, only P429-M not P4.2-B
OWWA Region VI bares regional winners for MOFYA 2014
In Makati's posh Bel-Air, DOLE Makati/Pasay Field Office orients 150 kasambahay and employers
OWWA SOCCSKSARGEN Hails 2014 MOFYA Regional Winners
Total Gross Revenue Index of Industries posts 10.8% growth in Q2 2014
Statement of Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima on the September NG Fiscal Performance
NG incurs P5.2 billion Fiscal Deficit in September 2014 January to September Fiscal Deficit at P31.1 billion
DILG, PNP declare crackdown on crime
'Don't Play Around with the Truth' - DILG to Bayan Muna

DSWD extends P1.2-B worth of ‘Yolanda’ aid to Tacloban City
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that around P1.2-billion worth of goods, services, and on-going projects continue to be extended to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City.

These include those provided from November 9, 2013 to October 17, 2014 such as food and non-food items; emergency shelter and livelihood assistance; supplemental feeding; and, the construction of an evacuation center/regional facility.

Based on record, DSWD has spent more than P575 million in food assistance for 58,823 families.

It comprises of food packs with 3-kg and 6-kg rice packs, 15-kg and 25-kg rice packs, bottled water, canned goods, high energy biscuits, noodles, and coffee, among others.

Non-food items were likewise distributed such as tents, tarps, mosquito nets, blankets, hygiene kits, mats, used clothing, plastic glass/cups, collapsible containers, plastic pails, slippers, frying pans, cooking pots, canvass, towels, flashlights, and water jugs.

Around P35.8 million was also released for the implementation of the Cash for Building Livelihood Assets for 9,395 families.

Some P3 million will also be released to fund the livelihood projects of 17 Self-Employment Association-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) groups. Another P103,212 is allocated for for the long term livelihood of other survivors.

Around P23.86 million is also intended for the livelihood skills training of survivors to include 600 beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Likewise, P188 million has been used for the ongoing regular supplementary feeding and feeding program in bunkhouses for 112,227 children.

As committed by the Department, P10 million is also allocated for the construction of an evacuation center cum regional facility, which is part of the preparation for other future disasters that may hit the area. DSWD is just awaiting for the finalization of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and documents for the change of location site.

Furthermore, DSWD has also allocated funds for the construction of 113 bunkhouses amounting to P68.9 million.

“Sinisiguro namin na walang maiiwan sa pagbangon na biktima ng bagyong ‘Yolanda’. Lahat ng bayan na nasalanta ay meron tayong kaukulang programa na binibigay para sa kanilang pagbangon (We ensure that no one is left behind in the rehabilitation efforts for ‘Yolanda’ survivors. There are recovery and rehabilitation programs and services implemented in all towns devastated by the typhoon),” Sec. Soliman added.

At present, DSWD continues to provide relief assistance to 48 families staying at the San Fernando Elementary School, the lone evacuation center still operating in the city.

Further, the Department has also been paying for the electric consumption of families staying in the three bunkhouses in the city.

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Philippines signs World Bank Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project
Source: http://www.dof.gov.ph
Purisima: Investing on BRT system supports rapid and sustainable growth Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima signed the loan agreement for the World Bank’s Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project on behalf of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines last 14 October 2014. The project is set to improve the overall performance of the urban passenger transport system in the Project Corridor in Cebu City, with an emphasis on the quality and level of service, safety, and environmental efficiency.

The Cebu BRT Project includes the development of segregated BRT bus-ways from Bulacao to Ayala, with a link to Cebu’s South Road Property, a feeder service between Ayala and Talamban with signal priority, 33 stations expected to service 330, 000 people per day in 2015, 176 buses, an area stop light control for the whole city of Cebu, and a central transport control room. The World Bank will provide funding of USD 116 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and USD 25 million from its Clean Technology Fund (CTF).

The project, once complete, is expected to service an average of 433, 000 individual trips per day. The Cebu BRT is projected to save 25 minutes of travel time and P7.50 in fares. In signing the agreement, Secretary Purisima said, “Our improved public finances have enabled us to spend more confidently on public investments supporting our rapid growth. As Cebu City is fast becoming one of our prime urban centers, investing in sound infrastructure lays solid groundwork for a more sustainable growth trajectory.”

The Philippine government and the World Bank chose to undertake the development of a bus rapid transit system because of its low cost (5% to 10% of rail), quick construction (around 2 years), and its higher quality of service despite having the same capacity as rail. Cebu City was also a prime location for the BRT system, as it is governed by a single local government unit supportive of the project and has high Public Utility Jeep (PUJ) dominance with no significant bus presence.

The Department of Transportation and Communications will serve as the implementing agency. The project is expected to run from 2013-2018, and will be operation from 2018 to 2030 and beyond.

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DOST bats on rapid charging station for e-vehicles
Source: http://www.dost.gov.ph
As e-trykes and other e-vehicles (EVs) start to ply on Metro Manila streets, the Department of Science and Technology gears up its support to these new modes of transport. One of DOST-supported initiatives is a locally developed facility that can charge e-vehicles in less than 30 minutes instead of the usual six hours. This quick charging station for EVs will soon be available in Mandaluyong City.

The facility is called Rapid Charging E-Vehicle Station, or simply CharM – a project by the University of the Philippines-Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP-EEEI) with P15 million funding from the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The CharM for e-trykes, also called Charging in Minutes, is a new technology in the country.

According to PCIEERD Senior Science Research Specialist Patrick Montero, CharM is similar to a regular refueling station where the user utilizes a Chademo-compliant connector to re-charge the e-tryke. The difference lies in CharM’s ability to charge the e-tryke’s batteries in less than 30 minutes.

One unit of CharM equipment has been completed, with the charging infrastructure now being put up in Mandaluyong and expected to be operational by December 2014.

CharM will feature an on-board Battery Management System to balance the charge of the batteries while running. “Normally, e-vehicle runs in different environment conditions, route, load, and it affects the discharging of the batteries,” Montero explains.

It is also equipped with the Top-up Payment Scheme or Near Field Card Payment system which allows the user to charge the e-tryke without the use of actual money.

“If the technology demonstration in Mandaluyong is found successful, the government especially the Department of Energy, may consider the adaptation of CharM to sustain the E-tryke program. Since CharM is locally developed, private sectors engaged in e-vehicle technology may tie up with UP-EEEI and DOST for possible collaboration,” Montero adds.

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Region 1 proclaims 2014 Regional MOFYA winners
Source: http://www.owwa.gov.ph
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration- Regional Welfare Office 1 (OWWA- RWO1) proclaimed the families of OFW Isidro M. Cabantac and OFW Alberto C. Calsada as Regional Winners for the 2014 Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) in Region 1. The awarding ceremony was held last October 23, 2014 at Hotel Ariana, Bauang, La Union.

Five (5) contenders, comprising of three (3) Sea-based and two (2) Land- Based nominees, competed for this year’s title. The nominees were accompanied by their respective families and nominating parties during the awarding ceremony. The members of the Regional Screening and Selection Committee were also present during the momentous event. The committee was chaired by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) represented by Assistant Regional Director Florence Marie Gacad- Ulep and Supervising Labor Employment Officer Veronica A. Corsino. Other members of the committee are the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) represented by OIC- Chief Delfina M. Camarillo and Ms. Lalaine R. Casugay, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) represented by Provincial Director Daria R. Mingaracal, the Diocesan Ministry for Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People (DMMI) represented by Sr. Lolita J. Guibac and Ms. Magda De Guzman and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) represented by Director Ma. Luisa S. Reyes.

Engineer Isidro Montero Cabantac and Family of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur bagged the 2014 Regional MOFYA for Sea- based Category while Engineer Alberto Castillo Calsada and Family of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte won the title 2014 Regional MOFYA for Land-based Category. Engineer Cabantac was nominated by the Ilocos Sur OFC Association while Engineer Calsada was nominated by the Local Government of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte and the Bacarra OFW Association. Both winners received a titled plaque from OWWA RWO1.

Engineers Cabantac and Calsada also grabbed the two special awards for OFWs and their families who excelled in community involvement and entrepreneurship. The Outstanding Achievement in Community Projects was awarded to Engineer Isidro M. Cabantac while the Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship was awarded to Engineer Alberto C. Calsada.

MOFYA is an annual event of OWWA. MOFYA is now on its 10th year of giving recognition to outstanding OFWs and their families who have maintained strong family relations, properly harnessed financial gains from the OFWs’ overseas employment, attained educational achievements and shown exemplary performance in their respective professions, and at the same time have a positive impact in the community where they reside. The nominees were evaluated according to the following criteria: Wholesome OFW Family; Civic/Community Involvement of OFW and/or family members; Success in family member/s’ education, and, Success in managing family finances.

OWWA Region 1 is in full support to Engineer Isidro M. Cabantac and Engineer Alberto C. Calsada who will represent Region I in the upcoming 2014 National MOFYA.

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Blessed Luisa School Senior wins 16th BSP-DepEd NCR oratorical contest
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
Trisha Gwyne B. Arancon, a fourth year high school student from Blessed Luisa School in Parañaque, topped the 16th BSP-DepEd National Capital Region (NCR) Oratorical Contest held on 27 October 2014 at the BSP Assembly Hall. Her winning oratorical piece focused on the theme “NSM at 25 and Beyond: Solid and Responsive Philippine Statistical System in Support of Globalization and Regional Economic Integration.” Trained by Ma. Victoria Luisa S. Salazar, Arancon was awarded a cash prize of P25,000 and trophy by Monetary Board Member Felipe M. Medalla and DepEd Director Marilette Almayda.

Phoenix Anne Margarette L. Beronio from Caloocan City Science High School placed second while Claire Domingo from Navotas National High School bagged the third place. Fifteen contestants representing the 15 divisions of the NCR participated in this year’s oratorical contest. The other 12 finalists were: (1) Victor Ronald G. Relosa from Las Piñas High School Main; (2) Lanz Tomas V. More from Fort Bonifacio High School—Makati; (3) Jessica Mae R. Dela Cruz from Malabon National High School; (4) Ram Christian S. Agustin from Mandaluyong High School; (5) Ferdin L. Sanchez from Manila Science High School; (6) Kenneth A. Capalar from Fortune High School—Marikina; (7) Virgina G. Herrera from Pedro E. Diaz High School—Muntinlupa; (8) Dan Alfonso Valentin V. Soria from Pasay City West High School; (9) Keithleen Anne R. Durante from Sta. Lucia High School—Pasig; (10) Bryan Vincent M. Medina from Novaliches High School—Quezon City; (11) Mark Christian C. Sarmiento from Taguig Science High School; and (12) John Paul S. Perocho from Arkong Bato National High School—Valenzuela.

This is the first time Parañaque City bagged the top oratorical prize since the BSP-DepEd Oratorical Contest was organized in 1996, with past winners coming from Quezon City, Marikina, Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Malabon, Pasig, Pasay, Caloocan, and Taguig.

Since 1996, the contest has served to instill awareness and appreciation of the importance of statistics to the different sectors of society. It has also encouraged the public to support activities aimed at upgrading the quality and standards of statistics in the country. The event served as the culminating activity of the 25th National Statistics Month.

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PH bags gold, bronze in ASEAN Skills Competition
Source: http://www.tesda.gov.ph
A student of Central Luzon State University (CLSU) made a display of the dominance of the Filipino skills, bagging a gold medal at the recently-concluded 10th ASEAN Skills Competition (ASC) in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Joshua D. Mina of the CLSU-CTC Foundation in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, bested other competitors in Mechanical Engineering Design-CAD, getting the highest score in the trade area and securing the gold for the country.

In the Industrial Automation trade area, Glenn Christopher B. Silang and Jemuel Gerson S. Isnec, both of the MFI Foundation Inc., received the bronze medal.

Eight other members of the Philippine delegation who took part in different trade areas were given the medallion of excellence during the competition.

On Friday, October 31, the Philippine team got a rousing welcome from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) after returning home from Vietnam.

"TESDA is one with the nation in praising the skill and performance of the medalists and the entire Philippine team after their triumph at the ASEAN Skills Competition," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.

"Their win proves the high level of competence of the Filipino workforce. They are a symbol of inspiration to all technical vocational students who are aspiring for better life," Villanueva said.

The Philippine delegation was composed of 18 competitors, 18 coaches/experts and six TESDA officials. They participated in the biennial event from October 19 to 29.

The competition was designed to showcase the skills of students and graduates, and promote and improve technical vocational skills in the region.

Aside from the medal winners, the following competitors were awarded with the medallion of excellence: Marc Jason B. Torio and Michelle D. Navarro for Mechatronics; Lhemuel C. Endaya for Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning; Jessica P. Babon for Fashion Technology; Keith A. Beja for Electronics; Rey Mark S. De Mayo for Beauty Therapy; Francis Erizz C. Florentino for IT Software Solutions for Business; and, Joshua F. Lizardo for Cooking.

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Survey says local govts most trusted: DILG chief feels 'encouraged'
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
QUEZON CITY - Upon seeing the results of the 2014 Philippine Trust Index survey on Monday, Interior and Local Government secretary Mar Roxas revealed that he feels encouraged that Filipinos have regained their trust in their local governments.

"We in the department are even more motivated to do our job knowing that citizens trust our partners at the local level," said Sec. Roxas briefly.

According to the survey conducted by EON Inc., an affiliate of the renowned Edelman firm, the informed Filipino public (i.e. those have at least 3 years of tertiary education at have access of print, online and broadcast media) gave local governments a 15 percent rating, surpassing the office of the president by one percent and the Supreme Court by three. The general public also gave their local governments a proximate rating, at 17 percent, tying with the cabinet.

There were 1,626 respondents to the survey, Filipinos aged 25-65 across different socioeconomic classifications.

The DILG for its part has many projects and programs with local government units lined up for the last quarter, including a citywide launch of an anti-criminal campaign in partnership with the Philippine National Police, the finalization and implementation of the grassroots participatory budgeting and the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in areas struck by the earthquake and super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) last year.

"Many challenges lie ahead of us. Marami pang dapat ayusin. We appreciate the moral support from our partners and allies in introducing and sustaining more reforms," the secretary remarked.

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Roxas: PNP 'on the ball' for the holidays
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
CAMP CRAME - DILG Sec. Mar Roxas announced earlier that more than 41,600 police personnel will be deployed on "full alert" status nationwide in preparation for the upcoming holidays on November 1 and 2.

"As early as October 30, we will deploy all manoeuvring units to various convergence areas such as cemeteries, terminals ports and places of worship," said Roxas in the press conference.

Under "Ligtas Undas," the Philippine National Police (PNP) is tasked to provide security for millions of Filipinos expected to commemorate the All Saints' and All Souls' days by strategically deploying police personnel to "convergence areas" or locations where there will be an expected huge influx of people.

"The PNP is coordinating with the regional and provincial offices to make sure that everyone is on board," the secretary added.

In NCR alone, more than 4,200 uniformed personnel will maintain peace and order within the metro during a 12-hour shift, which is fifty percent longer than the usual 8. This is part of the protocol under a "full alert" status, which will be lifted in the afternoon of November 3.

Although only 8 incidents were reported from October 31 to November 2 last year, the DILG and the PNP expressed their commitment to maintain such incidents at minimum levels.

Sec. Roxas also highlighted the importance of DILG and PNP's partners outside government who render their service and assistance to the public during holidays. "Force multipliers" composed of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) police, security guards and volunteer civic organizations will also be mobilized to participate in peacekeeping efforts.

"The cooperation of everyone involved is crucial in guaranteeing that police and other security services are available to the public, 24/7," the secretary ended.

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'No Misuse of DILG funds' - DILG exec
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
"No public funds were used for such purposes," said Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero, in response to UNA's claims that taxpayers' money was used for political purposes.

UNA previously claimed that political ads were being broadcasted in provincial TV and radio stations, as efforts to increase the chances of DILG Sec. Mar Roxas in 2016.

"As far as the DILG is concerned, no such ads exist in any of the provinces in both Visayas and Mindanao," Usec. Panadero added.

Roxas has already disputed claims that he was behind the controversial "OPLAN: Stop Nognog 2016," saying that they lack basis for making such bold allegations.

Usec. Panadero was also bewildered by UNA's allegations, citing the questionable and dubious nature of such claims.

"We don't know where they [UNA] got it. Perhaps they can find the answer to their questions by asking themselves," Panadero commented.

In the latest polls by Pulse Asia, Sec. Roxas received an additional 6% of the public's approval, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

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Paje urges public to minimize trash during Undas
Source: http://www.denr.gov.ph
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje has called on Filipinos to avoid generating unnecessary waste and pollution as they troop to cemeteries to remember their departed loved ones this weekend.

“Let us turn All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day into a more meaningful and memorable experience by minimizing waste and pollution in cemeteries,” Paje said.

He warned that “small acts, whether negative or positive, when taken collectively can have such a drastic impact on the environment.”

“It takes as little as using recyclable containers to contain your food, from candies to meals and drinks, to reduce the waste that is collected or otherwise end up in our waterways,” Paje pointed out.

Citing a 2013 report by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Paje said that about a hundred truckloads of garbage were collected from various cemeteries in the nation’s capital region alone.

As a friendly reminder, Paje urged those who will troop to cemeteries to bring only enough food to avoid wastage, use fresh flowers or potted plants without plastic wrappings, and not to leave their trash behind.

The environment chief also encouraged cemetery administrators to set up enough strategically-located receptacles for different types of waste, and to strictly implement waste-related local ordinances like prohibiting the use of plastic bags.

Paje likewise proposed setting up barangay brigades that would go around cemeteries and monitor littering incidents.

“Local government units should exercise political will in enforcing provisions of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. This includes penalizing a person caught littering with a fine from P300 to P1,000, or render community service,” he said.

He also provided the following tips for motorists during Undas:

• Carpool or use bigger vehicles to accommodate more family members, and lessen the number of trips to and from the cemeteries.

• Use alternate roads with less traffic, and avoid peak traffic hours.

• Park a good distance from the cemetery to lessen congestion, and walk the rest of the way. Use bicycles, if possible.

• Make sure that vehicles are well-maintained prior to the trip. Avail of free tune-up services offered by oil companies during the holidays.

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European models show autonomy as win-win solution for conflict resolution -- diplomats
Source: http://www.opapp.gov.ph
MANILA – Autonomy has proven to be a win-win solution for countries trying to address long-drawn conflict situations, European diplomats said during a Media and Peace Program Roundtable forum organized by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).

“Granting autonomy to the constituents of the Åland Islands had proven effective in settling a massive political and military crisis in Finland in 1921,” said Dr. Kimmu Kiljunen, Special Representative for Peace Mediation of the Foreign Minister of Finland. “The same impact is what the Philippine government is trying to create with the creation of the Bangsamoro in Mindanao,” he added.

The Åland Islands are an archipelagic region in the Baltic Sea that hosts a population of mostly Swedish descent. It was part of the Kingdom of Sweden until Russia claimed the territory under the Treaty of Fredrikshamn in 1809.

In 1917, Finland declared sovereignty over Åland, whereas the Åland islanders sought reintegration with Sweden. With Finland’s initial rejection of the Åland Islands proposal, political and military tensions arose, until in 1921, the Finnish Parliament offered extensive autonomy to the Åland Islands, assuring the latter that their Swedish heritage, language, and culture and traditions will be respected.

According to Dr. Kiljunen, 97% of the Åland Islands population wanted to separate from Finland back in 1918, yet today there is unanimous acceptance and support for their current setup as an autonomous region.

Adding to the discussion was Thomas Phipps of the British Embassy in Manila, who likewise shared successful iterations of peaceful conflict resolutions and devolution based on the experience of the United Kingdom.

Phipps talked about the Irish-British conflict from 1916 to 1922, wherein Northern Ireland demanded to separate from the UK. Eventually, the parties in conflict agreed to a peaceful resolution which resulted in the UK Parliament granting Northern Ireland the right to self-rule as a devolved government that remained a subordinate of the national sovereignty.

Key to the resolution of the conflict was that “the national government gave the people a say on the issue,” said Phipps. “This commitment was the contributing factor that helped secure the peace in Northern Ireland.”

“In the end, the people chose what they believed made the most economic sense as a people,” he further added. “That meant staying with the UK and receiving the economic and political support they needed while being able to autonomously determine their path to progress.”

The Åland Islands and Northern Ireland experiences share many parallels with the prospective Bangsamoro entity, said the experts. Dr. Kiljunen however made clear that historical contexts and issues in conflict always vary from one situation to the other, so peaceful resolutions successful in certain places and conditions cannot be replicated directly, but rather adapted to suit the particular concerns and interests of the local situation.

The diplomats affirmed that key to the resolution of any conflict is the matter of trust.

“Secessionist sentiments are always rooted in mistrust. By assuring real autonomy in the Bangsamoro (through the provisions in the finalized Bangsamoro Basic Law), the Philippine government will be able to build real trust that will curb any feared intentions of secession,” Dr. Kiljunen said.

For Phipps, “peace in Mindanao can help the Philippines realize its potential to become the world’s 16th largest economy by 2050.”

“If the Philippines can successfully achieve peace through the creation of the Bangsamoro, it can become a positive regional and global example to help put an end to various other conflicts in the world,” he added.

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First EPS skills test in PH a success--Baldoz
Source: http://www.dole.gov.ph
 Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the first skills test held in the Philippines under the Employment Permit System (EPS) of Korea was successful, with the majority of the 684 examinees getting normal (50.6 percent) rating, and 49.3 percent obtaining good grades.

"I am pleased that the first EPS skills test in the country was successful. Those who passed the skills test will be prioritized for selection by Korean employers under the EPS," Baldoz said, citing the report of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POES) chief Hans Leo J. Cacdac on the results of the skills test.

"Only two of the examinees got a low grade of less than 100 scores," Baldoz added.

Administrator Cacdac said EPS Manila Director Eunhee Jeong commented that the Philippines emerged as the sending country with the best EPS skills test venue among the 15 EPS countries.

Accroding to Cacdac, the EPS skills test, which were conducted in Metro Manila and Cebu, is a series of basic skills and physical tests of agility and strength.

"The skills test alilities of the Philippines-Korea Technological Cooperation Center in Taguig City, which is managed by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

Cacdac said EPS applicants who will pass the next EPS-TOPIK on 16 November will have the option to take the skills test in December.

Secretary Baldoz said the skills test in the Philippines under the EPS system is provided for under the latest Memorandum of Understanding?Service Commitment Agreement which Baldoz signed as Secretary of Labor and Employment with Korea's Ministry of Labor and Employment and the Human Resources Development of Korea.

"The skills test is on a voluntary basis and it is free, or at no cost to the worker," said Baldoz.

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Proposed 2015 monitoring and evaluation budget of CCT, only P429-M not P4.2-B
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarified that the P4.2 billion which Senator Chiz Escudero was quoted to have said as the 2015 proposed budget for the monitoring and evaluation of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is actually the proposed overall incremental operating cost of the program for next year.

“The proposed budget for monitoring and evaluation of the program is only P429,298,000 and not P4.2 billion,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman explained.

The monitoring and evaluation component covers for the conduct of spot checks, researches, impact evaluations, technical assistance, rapid assessment of existing policies, and consultation dialogues with civil society organizations, and other external partners, among others.

“The output of which are used to further improve the program implementation,” Sec. Soliman added.

Aside from the monitoring and evaluation, other components of the billion incremental operating cost are: Cost of service or salaries of workers: P2,249,168,776; Trainings: P403,664,000; Advocacy/printing: P114,912,876; Administrative cost for office supplies, communications, gas, and utilities: P321,604,373; Financial expenses or fees for the services of banks, remittance centers, and other conduits which deliver the cash grants to beneficiaries: P700,000,000; and, Capital outlay for equipment: P24,400,000.

Sec. Soliman said the P4.2 billion is just 6.5% of the total 2015 proposed Pantawid Pamilya budget of P64.7 billion.

The Secretary assured that the bulk of the proposed budget is still for the cash grants of beneficiaries.

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OWWA Region VI bares regional winners for MOFYA 2014
Source: http://www.owwa.gov.ph
Western Visayas now has its contenders for the 2014 National Search for Model OFW Family of the Year Award in December.

This is after the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office VI (OWWA RWO VI) declared Mr. Norberto R. Buyoc and Mr. Agustin G. Garilva Jr. and their families as this year’s regional winners for MOFYA for the land-based and sea-based categories, respectively.

The land-based category regional winner, Mr. Norberto R. Buyoc from New Washington, Aklan, was a Civil Engineer in Libya for five years. The 59-year-old businessman currently owns Buyoc Fishfarm which produces sugpo, bangus, and crabs distributed in Aklan and shipped to Manila. He is married to Mrs. Marlyn R. Buyoc and is blessed with four daughters.

The sea-based contender, Mr. Agustin G. Garilva Jr., from Concepcion, Iloilo, was a seafarer for 15 years before he decided to retire from being a Chief Engineer aboard a vessel. The 55-year-old incumbent Sanggunian Bayan member of the Municipality of Concepcion is a staunch advocate of children with disability. His family also owns the Jun Bee Garilva Recreation Center, a pool resort and hotel. He is wed to Mrs. Rubenie C. Garilva and has a son and a daughter.

Other nominees included Mr. Jaime G. Sequio of Jordan, Guimaras for the land-based category and Mr. Pablo F. Ferancullo of San Jose, Antique and Mr. Peter F. Malhabour Jr. for the sea-based category.

The winners were adjudged based on the following criteria: Wholesome OFW Family, Civic/Community Involvement of the OFW and Family, Success in OFW/Children’s/Family Members Education, and Success in Managing Family Finances, the news portal reported.

Miss Rhea Glynda D. Calantas, Officer in Charge of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Regional Extension Unit VI, and Miss. Rosario H. Asong, Vice President of Soroptismist Iloilo served as members of this year’s selection committee.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ponciano M. Ligutom, Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment Region VI, acted as the chief judge for the search.

The nationwide search is now on its 10th year of recognizing outstanding OFWs and their families who have overcome the challenges of overseas employment and have exhibited financial stability, steady and enduring family relations and outstanding community service.

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In Makati's posh Bel-Air, DOLE Makati/Pasay Field Office orients 150 kasambahay and employers
Source: http://www.dole.gov.ph
 Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday lauded the DOLE National Capital Region and its field offices in Makati and Pasay for bringing the benefits of the Kasambahay Law, or R.A. 10361, also known as “An Act of Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers” to the kasambahay and their employers right where they are--at Barangay Bel-Air, the posh enclave of Makati's rich. In a report to Secretary Baldoz, Regional Director Alex Avila of the DOLE-NCR said the Makati/Pasay Field Office conducted the orientation on 13 October 2014 at the Gemini Room of Barangay Bel-Air Multi Purpose Hall, Makati City. "More than 150 kasambahay and their employers attended the orientation which we conducted in coordination with Punong Barangay Constancia Q. Lichauco," Avila said. The regional official said Barangay Bel-Air has a program called “Kabalikat sa Tahanan” (KST), designed for kasambahay, and the DOLE complemented this program with the orientation. "The DOLE and the barangay's KST program are complementary. We both aim to develop better persons and Filipino citizens among our household helpers," he said. He said the DOLE-NCR is committed to implement the letter and spirit of the Kasambahay Law and the orientation is in pursuit of that commitment. During the orientation, Atty. Benjo Benavidez of the Bureau of Labor Relations discussed the salient provisions of the law. The DOLE-Makati/Pasay Field Office's Julita Mendoza, Medolyn Tariman, and Francisco Gregorio also took turns in the discussion of the provisions of Department Advisory No. 01, Series of 2014, otherwise known as the “Occupational Safety and Health Protection Tips for Kasambahay and Employers” (OSH Tips) signed by Secretary Rosalinda Dimapillis-Baldoz on 9 May 2014. The presence of representatives of the Social Security System, Pag-IBIG Fund, and Philhealth made the orientation complete and well-rounded, as they answered the employers' and the kasambahay's questions and concerns on legislated social benefits. "This is the second time that Barangay Bel-Air partnered with the DOLE in conducting a Kasambahay Orientation, and I am grateful to the DOLE for DOLE for setting aside valuable time to conduct the activity that highlighted the provisions of the Kasambahay Law," Punong Barangay Lichauco said.

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OWWA SOCCSKSARGEN Hails 2014 MOFYA Regional Winners
Source: http://www.owwa.gov.ph
KORONADAL CITY – A hospital worker-turned entrepreneur and a foreign vessel ship master reigned in the recently concluded 2014 Model OFW Family of the Year Award (MOFYA) Regional Awarding held on October 16, 2014 at the Farm @ Carpenter Hill in Koronadal City.

Regina S. Ruferos, 60, a resident of Banga, South Cotabato worked as a hospital worker in Libya for 8 years. Regina having decided to stay for good pursued a tilapia hatchery business which was supported by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration thru its Loaning Facility, the 2B OFW Reintegration Program (2B ORP).

Ronald W. Sarmiento, 49, a seafarer from Brgy. Labangal, General Santos City started as a Cadet Officer boarding a foreign cargo vessel in 1984. With determination and perseverance, Ronald is now working as a ship master of a foreign vessel.

tories of both Filipino migrant worker families, showed an exemplary potential of being a Model OFW Family thereby allowing them to yield a greater advantage during the 2014 MOFYA Regional Screening and Selection held on October 13, 2014 at the Farm @ Carpenter Hill in Koronadal City.

Composing the 2014 MOFYA Regional Screening and Selection Committee were renowned critics from the religious sector, academe sector, business sector, and some of the agency’s social partners including Abdulghani K. Umag, Al-Haj, Former OIC, Regional Director of OWWA RWO XII and Ofelia B. Domingo, CESO III, Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment XII.

Ruferos during the Awarding Ceremony said she wasn’t expecting the award knowing there’s a great number of qualified Filipino Migrant Workers vying for it. Nonetheless, she extended her gratitude to all people who believed in her and expressed her salute to all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) including her fellow candidates.

In behalf of Ronald W. Sarmiento, his wife Marilyn received the award teary-eyed with honor and pride which later was joined by her son Jonald and some of her relatives.

2013 MOFYA Regional Winners namely Victoria Motril for the Landbased Category who at the same time bagged the Entrepreneurship Award in the National Search; and Lawrence Pogoña for the Seabased Category also graced the awarding ceremony.

According to the Regional Welfare Office XII OIC, Regional Director Marilou M. Sumalinog, the 2014 MOFYA Regional Winners will represent the SOCCSKSARGEN Region in the National Search to be held in Metro Manila this coming December 2014.

“We are confident that our representatives for this year, embodied the ideals of a true model OFW family, who’s life’s journey and achievements are worth emulating”, Sumalinog said. “Thus the chance to grab the National award is big”, she added.

The annual search for MOFYA is one way of recognizing the outstanding achievements of OFW Family in managing the impact of overseas employment on their lives as well as reciprocate their invaluable contribution in keeping the country’s economy afloat.

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Total Gross Revenue Index of Industries posts 10.8% growth in Q2 2014
Source: http://www.nscb.gov.ph
Total Gross Revenue Index of key industries grew by 10.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014, higher than the 9.6 percent expansion a year ago.

Among industries, Transportation and Communication sustained its double digit growth at 21.1 percent in the period, compared to only 2.7 percent growth in the same period in 2013. It was followed by Real Estate which accelerated to 15.8 percent from 11.9 percent. All other industries posted positive growths, except for Private Services which contracted this quarter. Manufacturing grew by 13.8 percent from 3.0 percent last year. Meanwhile, Finance and Trade likewise slowed down, with 10.3 percent and 9.6 percent from 12.0 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively.

Total Employment Index improved from 1.1 percent growth in 2013 to 4.7 percent this year. Except for Electricity and Water which declined by 0.3 percent, all sectors went up. This growth of the Total Employment Index was largely contributed by the upturn of Transportation and Communication with 5.9 percent, and Manufacturing with 5.2 percent. Mining and Quarrying rebounded to 7.8 percent growth this year from the 1.7 percent drop posted in the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, Finance accelerated to 8.7 percent from 1.2 percent last year. Real Estate and Private Services slowed down to 10.4 percent and 5.3 from 11.2 percent and 5.8 percent last year. On the other hand, Trade slightly grew with 0.1 percent, albeit slower than the 3.1 percent in 2013.

Total Compensation Index accelerated to 6.3 percent, from 4.5 percent growth posted last year. The growth in compensation was led by Real Estate and Finance, which maintained its double-digit growth for the past two quarters with 26.9 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively. Private Services sped up with 8.3 percent growth from 6.6 percent growth last year. Transportation and Communication likewise accelerated with 7.3 percent growth compared to 6.8 percent in the same quarter in 2013. Similarly, Manufacturing went up by 6.1 percent growth this quarter from 1.6 percent growth last year. Mining and Quarrying slowed down in Q2 2014 only posting a 2.0 percent growth compared to the 12.7 percent in 2013.

Total Compensation per Employee Index decelerated to 1.5 percent from 3.3 percent registered last year. The deceleration was attributed to the decline in Mining and Quarrying which posted a negative 5.4 percent, Transport and Communication with 1.3 percent growth from 6.8 percent, Finance with 5.3 from 15.8 percent growth. Private Services, and Electricity and Water improved with 2.8 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. The remaining industries, namely: Manufacturing, Real Estate, and Trade recorded decelerated growths in this quarter.

This report is based on the October 2014 issue of the Quarterly Economic Indices (QEI) of the Philippines.

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Statement of Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima on the September NG Fiscal Performance
Source: http://www.dof.gov.ph
“I am pleased to report that the National Government has registered a budget deficit of P5.2 billion in September 2014, narrower than year-ago deficit, as a result of fast-paced year-on-year growth of revenue collections. For the period of January to September, the budget balance was at a deficit of P31.1 billion, well-within the program.

“The primary balance for the month was at a surplus of P23.6 billion, wider than the year-ago figure of P10.6 billion. As of end September 2014, the primary balance was also recorded at a surplus of P226.3 billion and wider than comparable figures last year.

Revenue, BIR, and BOC collections grow above 20 percent

“Total revenues amounted to P154.7 billion in September, higher than last year’s comparable figures by 21.4% and exceeding the program by 1.8%. Year-to-date, total revenues reached P1.425 trillion, a growth of 12.5% year-on-year.

“The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) raked in P105.7 billion for the month, also exceeding its target. The Bureau posted a growth of 22.9% over the same period in 2013, registering the highest year-on-year growth rate for 2014. For the first three quarters of the year, the BIR collected P996.4 billion, also posting a double-digit year-on-year increase of 11.0%.

“The Bureau of Customs (BOC) continued its streak of double-digit growth rates, increasing its collections by 27.7% to reach a record high of P32.9 billion for September. Year-to-date, the BOC’s collections totaled P265.8 billion, an improvement of 18.3% from the same period last year.

“For the period of January to September, the collections of the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) have totaled P81.3 billion, up 19.3% year-on-year. As of end-September, the BTr has exceeded its target collections for the period by 82.3%.

“News of record highs in the collections of the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue comes on the heel of our second non-deal roadshow this month, which happened in four major cities in the United States. Whereas the Philippine officials in the Tokyo roadshow covered several sectors, the Philippine delegation in the US met with key executives in banking to drum up even greater interest in the industry, which was recently liberalized to foreign companies.

Interest payments generate savings of P19.0 billion

“National Government disbursements for the month totaled P159.8 billion, higher than year-ago figures by 9.5%. For the first three quarters of the year, expenditures amounted to P1.456 trillion, expanding 6.5% year-on-year.

“Year-to-date interest payments came in at P257.4 billion, lower than programmed and thus generating savings of P19.0 billion. Interest payments as a share of the National Government’s disbursements continued its downward trend – as of the third quarter of this year, the percentage has dropped to 17.7% from 18.9% in the same period a year ago.

Holistic, revenue-neutral, and equitable reforms to the tax system

“Our fiscal performance through the past four years has shown that through efficient tax administration alone, we have come a long way in augmenting revenues. However, in the light of efforts to accelerate ASEAN integration and boost the Philippines’ competitiveness, the Department of Finance expresses openness to a change in the tax system, particularly in the review of our income tax structure.

“Lowering income tax rates will attract even more foreign investors into the country but will be detrimental to our fiscal health if they are not offset by revenue-generating measures. Hence, we remain resolute in our stand that anytax reformpursued must be holistic, revenue-neutral, and equitable so all Filipinosmay continue to benefit from a robust fiscal position. This is the mindset that we possess as we engage in discussions with legislators concerning tax reform.”

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NG incurs P5.2 billion Fiscal Deficit in September 2014 January to September Fiscal Deficit at P31.1 billion
Source: http://www.dof.gov.ph
October 2014 Manila, Philippines – The National Government (NG) ran a P5.2 billion fiscal deficit in September after posting a surplus in August. The recorded September deficit is P13.4 billion lower compared to last year due to improved revenue collection by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The cumulative budget shortfall of P31.1 billion for the first three quarters of 2014 is P70.2 billion lower from a year ago and well within the P235.5 billion program for the period.

Revenue Performance

Total revenue for the month amounted to P154.6 billion, reflecting 21% growth compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date collections of P1.4 trillion registered a 13% increment over comparable 2013 figures.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) continued its double-digit growth with a 28% year-on-year increase in actual collections of P32.9 billion for September. The Custom Bureau has raised P265.8 billion in 2014, 18% better than last year but still 12% short of program.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P105.7 billion for the month, posting 23% growth over the same period in 2013 – its highest monthly year-on-year growth for the 2014. Total BIR collections from January to September has grown 11% year-on-year to P996.4 billion but falls 7% behind target for the period.

The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) raised P5.6 billion in September, down 23% from a year ago, due to lower interest earned from investments and deposits. Nonetheless, cumulative BTr income from January to September still increased by 19% year-on-year, surpassing its target by 82% mostly due to higher dividend collections and interest income.

Collections from other offices grew by 25% to P10.4 billion in September. The year-to-date revenue of P81.5 billion shows a 7% improvement in collections over the same period last year and is 15% above program.

Expenditures

NG disbursements amounted to P159.8 billion in September, 9% or P13.8 billion higher over the same period in 2013. Meanwhile, year-to-date expenditures is 6% higher year-on-year at P1.5 trillion despite being 16% below budget.

As a part of expenditures, Interest payments (IP) for September declined by 1% year-on-year to P28.8 billion from P29.2 billion in the previous year. Total IP for the first nine months have remained relatively stable from last year but has managed to remain 7% below program.

Primary Surplus/ (Deficit)

Netting out IP from total expenditures, NG recorded a P23.6 billion primary surplus for the month of September contributing to a cumulative primary surplus of P226.3 billion thus far for 2014.

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DILG, PNP declare crackdown on crime
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
CAMP CRAME - During the weekly meeting with the NCR Police Office (NCRPO), Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas urged the different units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify their crime-fighting efforts to make the streets of Metro Manila safer for its dense population.

"Our efforts to improve PNP's operations are not occurring in a vacuum. As we move towards progress, we also need to revisit our strategies and streamline our processes to catch law breakers at the shortest time possible," the secretary explained.

A few months ago, the DILG introduced a set of changes under a specific, measurable, attainable, replicable and time-bound (SMART) policing strategy, which will harness specific, programmatic and deliberate measures to address the criminal situation in the country, starting from the nation's capital.

"We've been working on this for months now, starting from data gathering, crime monitoring and police operations. With the changes underway, we expect to see better numbers in the future," Sec. Roxas commented.

During the meeting, statistics based on newly implemented crime monitoring tools of the PNP revealed that there have been significant changes in Metro Manila's crime status. The NCRPO reported a downward trend in all crimes in the region for the past two weeks. Murders and homicides slid down from 32 to 26 cases. The number of reported robbery and theft incidents decreased from 611 to 548. Car napping went down from 10 to 3 while motorcycle napping was at 37 from 58.

Some city police offices in NCR showed laudable performance, particularly in the cities of Pasig and Caloocan. The significant reduction of criminal activity in these cities contributed to the overall decrease in NCR's statistics. For the first time, Quezon City showed a slight drop in robbery and theft incidents from 234 to 187 cases.

However, the secretary admitted that the PNP has yet to take the necessary steps to institutionalize the new practices to keep crime rates at minimal levels for longer periods of time.

"This is in line with the reform agenda of the government. While everybody else is doing their jobs, our joint initiatives can attest to the fact that the men and women in blue uniform are also faithfully doing theirs," said Roxas.

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'Don't Play Around with the Truth' - DILG to Bayan Muna
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
After Bayan Muna representatives admitted that they have made a "mistake" in alleging that Department of the Interior and Local Government's budget increased by almost P 423 billion, the department reminded them to ensure that their figures are accurate before making bold claims about the national budget.

In fact, the DILG said that in view of the errata issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the DILG's total budget of P 104,574,005,000.00 was actually decreased by P 2.607 million, to P 104,571,398,000.00 for fiscal year 2015.

In a briefing on Tuesday, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas disputed the claims of Colmenares, who was "entitled to his own opinion" but not "to his own facts."

By admitting their fault, Bayan Muna representatives Carlos Zarate and Neri Colmenares has also confirmed DILG's theory that it was a result of misconstruing the P398 billion Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), which is automatically appropriated to all local government units to deliver basic public goods and services.

"Maging maingat po tayo sa ating mga paratang. Alalahanin po nating pera ng taumbayan ang pinag-uusapan natin dito. (Let's be more responsible with what we are saying. It's taxpayers' money that we're talking about here.)," commented the secretary.

"We're not playing around with the people's hard-earned money, so don't play around with the truth," he added.

The DILG also urged the accusers to take responsibility for their claims that have caused unwarranted discomfort for the public, especially at these crucial times in governance.

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