26 NOV 2014

Expansion for coco industry eyed with P1.38-B release; Abad: PcA to play key role in PH agri-business growth
More Pablo survivors receive new, safer homes from DSWD
Secretary Del Rosario is “Map Management Man of the Year 2014”
Philippines Reiterates Its Commitments to Implement Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Ex-PCGG Chair indicted for influence peddling
MB Allows Qualified Thrift Banks to Deal in Deliverable FX Forwards
MB Authorizes Thrift Banks, Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks To Buy/Sell Foreign Exchange
'Public Welfare is our Top Priority' - Roxas
DAR Lauds Farmers’ Organizations
DPWH Chief urges contractors to comply with projects' specs
In Oman, Baldoz announces POLOs re-structuring with 162 new positions
Department of Finance and Securities and Exchange Commission Sign Data Sharing Agreement
PHL urged to establish competitive digital niche in Asia
The Coordination Team for the Transition to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) and its Terms of Reference
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation, Bayan Academy and TESDA link to train future entrepreneurs

Expansion for coco industry eyed with P1.38-B release; Abad: PcA to play key role in PH agri-business growth
Source: http://www.dbm.gov.ph
 The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P1.38 billion to the Philippine Coconut Agency (PCA) to support their operations and various programs that can help strengthen the country’s coconut industry.

Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said, “Coconut production is an important agri-business industry in our country. Not only does it contribute to the growth of our economy, it also generates a large number of jobs and income for our farmers. Through their efforts and their programs, the PCA is helping create a resilient and sustainable future for both the farmers and the industry.”

Charged against the 2014 national budget, the P1.38-billion release will pay for the agency’s operating requirements and locally-funded projects for the second semester of the year. The funds will also jumpstart the agency’s procurement activities, which in turn would fast-track their programs.

Of this amount, the PCA will first get P466 million to partially cover their operations and select programs that are ready for implementation, like the payment of farmers’ incentives under the Participatory Coconut Planting Program, as well as the organic fertilizers for the Coconut Fertilization Program. It will also help coconut farmers in capacity-building under the Intercropping Program.

The release will likewise support other projects, including the Accelerated Coconut Planting/Replanting and the KAANIB Enterprise Development. It will also be used to address the coconut scale insect (CSI) infestation that has plagued coconut trees across the country.

Abad said, “With the right measures and funding, the PCA has been able to address an agricultural crisis like the coconut insect infestation. This is a good example of how our agencies’ capacity to deal with major issues has been ably supported by the National Government.”

The PCA had earlier received P400 million to combat the CSI infestation last June under the Scale Insect Emergency Action Program. An estimated 1.2 million trees had been seriously affected by an infestation of the pest Aspidiotus rigidus in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Cavite, and Basilan, leading the government to put parts of CALABARZON and the island of Basilan under a state of emergency.

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More Pablo survivors receive new, safer homes from DSWD
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
Some 2,779 more family-survivors of Typhoon Pablo from the towns of Bangaga, Cateel, Boston, and Tarragona in Davao Oriental have received new safer homes from Secretary of Social Welfare and Development Corazon Juliano-Soliman and Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon during a simple turnover ceremony over the weekend.

The shelter units were built through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) in partnership with the provincial local government.

With the turn over of these houses, a total of 10,716 units have already been completed for ‘Pablo’ survivors .

Each shelter unit has a lot area of 70 square meters. It has a two-room division, bathroom, and separate kitchen. Its walls are concrete and newly-painted.

Upon seeing her new home, Virginia Otig, 69, a widower who lives alone, cannot contain her happiness especially when Sec. Soliman handed her the Certificate of Occupancy.

“Sa totoo lang, mas maganda pa itong bahay na ito kaysa doon sa nawala naming bahay. Bagong buhay talaga ang dala ng bahay na ito [The truth is, this house is even better in terms of materials compared to what I had before the storm wiped it out. I’m truly lucky and I’m really grateful. It’s like claiming a new lease on life],” shared Virgina, as tears welled up her eyes.

Virgina said that after the typhoon, she collected the debris she found on the streets, made herself a makeshift shelter, and went through cold and uncomfortable nights without a proper bed and a roof above her head.

“Iba talaga kapag may totoong bahay kang tinitirahan. Aalagaan ko ang bahay na ito [It is really different if you live in a real house. I will take good care of this house),” Virgina said.

Sec. Soliman in her message emphasized that the permanent homes would not have been completed without the cooperation of the local government units and the beneficiaries who helped build the units through the DSWD Cash for Work program.

“Bawat isa sa inyo dito ay parte ng proyekto. Kayo ang dahilan kung bakit magaganda ang mga bahay ninyo, dahil kayo mismo ang gumawa nito. Ipagpatuloy natin ang pagtutulungan upang tuluyan na ang ating pagbangon [Everyone of you here is part of this project. That’s the reason why these houses are beautiful because you, the owners also assisted in building it. Let us continue to work together and help each one rise up and get on with our interrupted lives],” Sec. Soliman said.

Aside from permanent shelters, earlier on, the survivors also received family food packs, emergency shelter assistance, supplementary feeding program, social pension, cash assistance, and livelihood opportunities from DSWD.

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Secretary Del Rosario is “Map Management Man of the Year 2014”
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
25 November 2014 – The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) conferred on Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario the “MAP Management Man of the Year 2014” in an awarding ceremony held on November 24 at The Peninsula Manila.

MAP conferred the prestigious award on the Secretary for raising the standards of economic diplomacy; for enhancing the country’s bilateral partnerships; for transforming the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) into a strong, professional, and highly competent organization; for restoring morale in the DFA by limiting the number of political appointees and recognizing merit in the career advancement process for foreign service personnel; for rationalizing Philippine presence overseas; and for proactively ensuring the safety and security of overseas Filipinos around the world.

MAP likewise cited Secretary Del Rosario’s “contribution to re-shaping national values by setting an example that Filipino professional managers can emulate through his track record of integrity, professional competence, and strong leadership in his management career in both public and private sectors.”

In his acceptance speech, Secretary Del Rosario said that he was truly honored to receive the award and that he was “particularly pleased with it because it has given the DFA the recognition that it warrants.”

The Secretary then expressed appreciation to the MAP, to the members of the diplomatic corps, and to Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, who nominated him for the award. Under MAP’s rules, only MAP members are eligible to submit nominations. Secretary Del Rosario also conveyed his deep gratitude to President Benigno S. Aquino III “for his guidance, his trust and his confidence.”

By the end of his speech, Secretary Del Rosario noted that “The bottom line is that our foreign policy will evolve. It will continue to evolve. It will be defined by our national government and, at the same time, by the ever-changing environment internationally.”

“And how do we posture the DFA? At all times, we are trying to be smarter. We are trying to be leaner. We are trying to be more innovative,” the Secretary concluded.

The Management Association of the Philippines is the country’s premier management organization whose members represent a cross-section of CEOs, COOs and other top management practitioners from the largest local and multinational companies operating in the Philippines. MAP also counts top management educators and some government officials as its members. It promotes management excellence and continues to serve as a dynamic partner of business, government and civil society. For 2014, its theme is “MAPping a Future of Inclusive Growth with Good Governance.”

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Philippines Reiterates Its Commitments to Implement Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
26 November 2014 - Colonel Gerry Amante, Head of the Munitions Control Center of the Armed Forces of the Philippines reiterated the Philippines’ commitment to implement the provisions of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons when he read the Philippine Statement during the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and Its Protocols, held in Geneva from November 10 to 14.

The Philippines further highlighted its willingness to work closely with its partners in the international community towards a common goal of eradicating threats posed by mines, booby traps and other devices.

The Philippine delegation was headed by Permanent Representative Cecilia B. Rebong. Other members of the delegation included Deputy Permanent Representative Noralyn Jubaira-Baja and Attache Hossana P. Dela Cruz.

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Ex-PCGG Chair indicted for influence peddling
Source: http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph
Former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairman Camilo Sabio faces graft charges for attempting to influence his brother, Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Jose L. Sabio, Jr. to help a party-litigant in a case pending before the CA.

In a Joint Resolution, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found probable cause to indict Chairman Sabio for two counts of violation of Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and for violation of Article 243 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

The Joint Resolution narrated that on 30 May 2008, Justice Sabio received a call from his brother Chairman Sabio informing him that he had been named member of the CA division to which the MERALCO-GSIS case had been raffled. Chairman Sabio tried to convince Justice Sabio “of the rightness of the stand of the GSIS and asked his brother to help the GSIS, which represents the interest of the poor people.” It was also uncovered that Chairman Sabio received a call from GSIS Board Member Atty. Jesus Santos informing him that the MERALCO-GSIS case was already raffled to the division of Justice Sabio, Atty. Santos requested Chairman Sabio’s intercession to convince Justice Sabio to rule against the issuance of Temporary Restraining Order in favor of MERALCO.

Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft Law prohibits public officers from “persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.” On the other hand, Article 243 of the RPC penalizes any “executive officer who shall address any order or suggestion to any judicial authority with respect to any case or business coming within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of justice.”

Justice Sabio was excluded as respondent in the complaint filed by the Field Investigation Office “since records do not show that he had been influenced by his elder brother.”

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MB Allows Qualified Thrift Banks to Deal in Deliverable FX Forwards
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
The Monetary Board approved the amendments to the regulations governing the derivatives activities of banks to allow thrift banks (TBs) with the authority to issue foreign Letters of Credit (LCs) and pay/accept/negotiate import/export drafts/bills of exchange, to act as dealers of deliverable foreign exchange (FX) forwards, if they meet certain criteria. Under the existing regulatory framework, only Universal and Commercial Banks are allowed to offer their own products to clients under either a Type 2 (Limited Dealer) or a Type 1 (Expanded Dealer) Authority. It is expected that policy amendment will expand the FX risk hedging options of SMEs to the extent that they are better served by thrift banks.

Under the new rules, thrift banks with an existing authority to issue foreign letters of credit and pay/accept/negotiate import/export drafts/bills of exchange may apply for a Type 2 Limited Dealer authority to operate as dealer of deliverable FX forwards. Applicant banks shall be subject to the existing licensing process. At a minimum, an applicant bank must demonstrate adequate competence in its general operations, hold capital commensurate to the risk assumed or to be assumed from the derivatives activity and have and maintain a risk management system that conforms to the principles and complies with the risk management guidelines for derivatives.

Once the Type 2 authority is approved, a thrift bank can offer FX forwards to clients subject to certain conditions to ensure that transactions solely relate to clients’ trade-related requirements. Thus, the tenors of the FX forward contracts should match the term of the client’s underlying trade transactions. Further, to ensure banks are undertaking activities in a prudent manner, they will be covered by regulations prescribing capital for market risk. In addition, thrift banks are expected to have appropriate practices for the selling and marketing of FX forwards to their clients. Thrift banks that are granted the authority to engage in said derivative transaction shall likewise comply with the provisions of the Manual of Regulations on Foreign Exchange Transactions (MORFXT).

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MB Authorizes Thrift Banks, Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks To Buy/Sell Foreign Exchange
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
The Monetary Board approved the amendments to the powers and scope of authorities of banks to explicitly recognize the authority of thrift banks, rural banks and cooperative banks to buy and sell foreign exchange. This will enable these banks to play a more active role in the remittance business.

These amendments serve to expressly classify thrift, rural and cooperative banks as authorized agent banks (AABs) under the Manual of Regulations for Foreign Exchange Transactions (MORFXT), thus allowing such entities to buy and sell foreign exchange as part of the banking services these financial institutions can offer its clients.

The BSP emphasizes that the classification of the subject banks as AABs necessarily binds them to strictly abide by the applicable provisions of the MORFXT, particularly on the sale of foreign exchange. Moreover, the banks are expected to manage the risks arising from the exercise of their authority.

While it is recognized that the buying and selling of foreign exchange will entail additional market risks, ample prudential safeguards are in place. Monitoring of foreign exchange exposures are adequately captured in the BSP prudential reports and the extent of thrift, rural and cooperative banks’ compliance and assessment of risk management, and risk exposures are evaluated during the BSP on-site examination.

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'Public Welfare is our Top Priority' - Roxas
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas has assured the Senate that the welfare of the general public has been and will always be the top priority of his department.

Roxas responded following remarks made by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago in a privileged speech delivered on Monday before the Senate, as it resumed its budget hearing for the fiscal year 2015.

Santiago, in her speech, reminded the DILG to focus on its mandate which is “to supervise local government units and to secure the lives and property of every Filipino no matter where they live, what their political colors are and whether they are friends or foes.”

One project that she mentioned was DILG’s Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat (Salintubig), a water program that was started by the late DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo back in 2011.

“Pina-iigting po natin ang mga proyekto ng dating kalihim” (We strengthen the projects of former secretary), Roxas said.

“Potable water is a prime essential need of every community and every LGU must be involved in meeting this need,” he explained.

The secretary added that given that many communities still remain without access to potable water, continuing the P1.53 billion-project will therefore help many Filipinos in 89 waterless municipalities and barangays.

He also maintained that despite attempts made by some sectors to draw political color in the efforts of the DILG, it has always strived to fulfill its mandate even in times of disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, and even armed conflicts, through its wide array of projects and programs.

“Makasisiguro po ang ating butihing senador na hindi nagpapabaya at walang pinipili sa paglilingkod ang DILG (The senator can be sure that DILG is neither negligent nor biased in fulfilling its duties,” the secretary said.)

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DAR Lauds Farmers’ Organizations
Source: http://www.dar.gov.ph
AGRARIAN Reform legal consultant Aison Garcia lauded various organizations of farmers and indigenous peoples for their passion, unity and efforts in finding solutions to their problems on human rights and land problems.

“The government appreciates the big support of various sectors in helping the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) fast-track land acquisition and distribution, especially in provinces with problematic landholdings and resistant landowners,” Garcia said during the “Breaking the Barriers to Peace Forum-Workshop” sponsored by the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC) held recently at the Cocoon Hotel in Quezon City.

“The DAR needs more community organizers to help us efficiently implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Programs (CARP). CARP is not just about rewarding agricultural lands, it also provide its beneficiaries with necessary support services,” Garcia said.

The forum-workshop, dubbed as “Laying Justice on the Ground: Moving from Land Disputes to Land/Domain Rights and Peace,” tackled various issues and explored various ways of finding solutions to the farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ various problems on human and land rights violations.

Former Quezon Province Representative Oscar “Ka Oca” Santos said he believes that a government supported by its people would surely succeed on its objective.

“Last year, around 800 farmers received certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) in Bondoc Peninsula. With the unity of the farmers to let their voices be heard, the DAR spared no effort to realize their dreams in spite of the resistance of influential and rich landowners in this area,” Santos said.

Bondoc Peninsula is tagged as hotbed of agrarian conflict in Southern Tagalog.

The forum-workshop was also attended by other government officials from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Justice (DoJ) and leaders from farmers and indigenous peoples’ sectors.

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DPWH Chief urges contractors to comply with projects' specs
Source: http://www.dpwh.gov.ph
“Do good to your country by being truthful in the implementation of your projects. That’s the least you can do to pay back the taxpayers, after all, they’re the ones paying for your services”, said Public Works and Highways Rogelio L. Singson as he appeals for the contractors’ sense of patriotism in implementing government projects.

While procurement for the 9,278 projects valued at P269.7 Billion for CY 2015 Infrastructure Program has started, Singson asks the contractors to help in the Department’s transparency and accountability efforts by not conniving with anyone or giving “commissions” to anyone including DPWH employees, politicians or with other contractors in securing projects from DPWH. Instead, the contractors are told to give the best price and follow specifications.

Singson also appealed to the contractors to strictly comply with the approved plans and specifications. “Do not shortchange the Filipino people by engaging yourselves to corrupt practices,” he added.

With considerable increase of infrastructure investments programmed in the 2015 national budget, DPWH has enough public works projects for qualified and competent contractors.

However, there are still reports that contractors are giving advance payments to unscrupulous individuals peddling projects in exchange for a promise of bagging government contracts. Nobody in DPWH can commit projects to anyone.

“As corruption perception survey results in the past has shown positive improvement of the Department due to its transformation program to include efficiency and transparency in the procurement process, we continue to appeal to the contractors to refrain from colluding with either DPWH employees or with other contractors”, added Singson.

To lessen opportunities for collusion, DPWH has simplified the bidding process with only five (5) documentary requirements and eliminated the submission of letter of intent to encourage participation of more bidders. DPWH also no longer accepts credit line certification from banks to augment financial contracting capacity which is also another source of corruption.

DPWH is also monitoring the contractors who just participate in many of the biddings without any intention of winning any bid as evidenced by the variance from the approved budget for the contract.

To date, there are at least 89 blacklisted contractors in the list of the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP).

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In Oman, Baldoz announces POLOs re-structuring with 162 new positions
Source: http://www.dole.gov.ph
Aim is to realize Pres. Aquino’s goal for POLOs as centers of care and excellence In Oman, Baldoz announces POLOs re-structuring with 162 new positions Muscat--Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced the re-structuring of all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) starting January 2015 on account of the newly-created 162 positions for overseas posts that President Benigno S. Aquino III has given the DOLE. In an afternoon forum with leaders of over 40 Filipino organizations at the Philippine Embassy in Muscat, Oman, Baldoz said the President has given the DOLE 162 new plantilla positions for overseas posts and this, she said, was a clear signal for the DOLE to intensify its effort to transform all POLOs into centers of care and excellence as the President instructed in his 22-point labor and employment agenda. Earlier, she announced the POLOs re-structuring and the new plantilla positions in a morning meeting with newly-installed POLO-Oman chief, Labor Attacher Nasser Mustafa, and his staff. “While we have begun the transformation of our POLOs into centers of care and excellence which President Aquino III completely supports, we realize that we can do more with additional personnel to really ensure that we perform our mandate of protecting our OFWs and promoting their welfare and interest. The 162 new positions are a welcome reinforcement to this effort and so we have to really be serious in fulfilling the President’s expectations,” she said. “The myriad needs of our OFWs necessitate that we beef up our personnel to meet those needs,” she added. Relative to this, Baldoz said the Human Resources Development Service and the International Labor Affairs Bureau are already working on the new POLOs structure and will come out with qualifications standards for the 162 new plantilla positions in time for the POLO Conference in December in Manila. Initially, the labor and employment chief, who is the main architect of the re-structuring, said the DOLE is contemplating two options for the new organizational structure: (1) POLOs with three operational units and (2) POLOs with two operational units. There will be an internal management unit, welfare unit, and technical unit in the first option, while the welfare unit and technical unit will be fused in the second option. “Whatever the structure the HRDS and the ILAB recommend, I have instructed that the underlying philosophies of good governance with all the elements of accountability, integrity, and transparency be the main consideration. She said that this means all units will use the FLOIS as a tool in the performance of reporting and data management functions. Also, that the number of POLO personnel to be assigned per POLO will be based on the following categories: (a) welfare-heavy post and (b) development-oriented post. According to Baldoz, each POLO will have an ideal complement of 10 to 15 personnel holding permanent plantilla positions, composed of the labor attache, technical staff (from the 162 newly-created positions), welfare officer, and OWWA administrative staff. “Interpreters and drivers may be considered for entry-level positions as option to engaging local hires for these functions,” Baldoz said. She further explained that all POLO personnel shall be governed by the three-year tour-of-duty and two-year home office assignment prescribed in the POLO Manual of Operations. All POLO plantilla positions will be distributed to DOLE offices involved in overseas employment functions on a detail arrangement. POLO personnel returning for home office assignment will be posted at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, National Reintegration Center for OFWs, International Labor Affairs Bureau, and DOLE regional offices. During the meeting with the Filipino community, Baldoz and his delegation, composed of DOLE Undersecretary in charge of the Middle East Ciriaco Lagunzad, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration head Rebecca Calzado, and International Labor Affairs Bureau Director Saul de Vries, responded to various concerns of OFWs, among them the establishment of an OFW hospital, presence in Oman of the Social Security System, outreach in far-lung areas of Oman, repatriation, and ‘Omanization’. She also introduced to the community Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa as the new POLO chief in Oman. Later after the forum, Philippine Ambassador to Muscat Narciso Castaneda hosted a dinner for the community and Secretary Baldoz’s delegation. Also present were Consul General Hjayceelyn Quintana and Welfare Officer Sylvia ‘Bing’ Tolentino. Secretary Baldoz and her delegation visited Oman on their way to attend the 3rd Abu Dhabi Dialgoue Ministerial Meeting in Kuwait.

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Department of Finance and Securities and Exchange Commission Sign Data Sharing Agreement
Source: http://www.dof.gov.ph
The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) last 17 November 2014, allowing both parties to institutionalize data sharing and information exchange. As part of this undertaking, the SEC will share electronic copies of all basic company information and financial data contained in the General Information Sheets (GIS), as well as all financial data contained in the General Form for Financial Statements (GFFS), the Special Form for Financial Statements (SFFS), and the Audited Financial Statements (AFS).

The DOF intends to utilize available data for its internal use in order to enhance policy formulation, research, risk analysis and audit profiling of businesses. Before signing the agreement, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said, “We fully believe in using every tool and resource available in this digital age to enhance our government’s capacity to serve the Filipino people. Instant access to and effective management of information is critical to DOF’s mission to enable the country to stand on a stronger fiscal position, if only to use these resources to empower the least in our society to stand on their own as well.”

Effective starting this month, the agreement is expected to boost DOF knowledge management capacity, using data and information already available to the SEC for more responsive and effective policy development. The agreement also called for the procurement of a data processing service provider, as well as the copying and consolidation of up to 70,000 electronic submissions in 60 working days. SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa said, “We are delighted that information available to SEC can support the Department of Finance in carrying out their mandates and our shared responsibility to build a stronger, more resilient economy under a good governance framework.”

The SEC has jurisdiction and supervision over all corporations, partnerships, or associations which are the grantees of primary franchises, licenses, or permits issued by the Philippine Government. SEC is the repository of general registration information, of audited financial statements (AFS), other periodic and/or event-driven reports and disclosures required under the SRC, CCP, and other SEC-administered laws and regulations, such as general information sheets (GIS), and the general form for financial statements (GFFS)/special form for financial statements (SFFS).

This joint undertaking of the SEC and DOF is supported by the USAID-funded project Facilitating Public Investment (FPI). FPI is working to facilitate the expansion of the “fiscal space” for public and private investment in the Philippines through higher tax revenue and public expenditure reforms. The SEC is under the administrative supervision of the DOF under Executive Order (EO) No. 37 dated 19 April 2011.

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PHL urged to establish competitive digital niche in Asia
Source: http://www.dti.gov.ph/
During the 5th IC Design Training Program, Professors Shuenn-Yuh Lee PhD and Cheng-Han Hsieh of the Taiwan-based National Cheng Kung University urged Filipino engineers to set up companies to encourage innovation in the Integrated Circuit (IC) design and to establish a competitive digital niche in Asia.

The training program, which was held at the JICA-Net Satellite Center in UP Diliman, Quezon City, focused on the importance of analog to digital and digital to analog converters. This is an initiative of the Board of Investments (BOI) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Taiwanese government, and the Philippine Institute for Integrated Circuits (PIIC).

“These four institutions are working together to improve and promote the IC Design industry in our country. Individual Industry Roadmaps have identified training needs to address human resource development and upgrade them with latest technology requirements of the global market,” Industry Development Group (IDG) Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. said.

Professor Lee noted that homegrown engineers have increased their technical capability over the years. He further encouraged the trainees to innovate and even put up IC Design start-ups to boost the digital revolution.

IC Design is an essential part of the Philippine semiconductor and electronics industry. In 2013 alone, the industry accounted for 28% of the country’s GDP output or revenues in excess of USD 21B and employed some 4M employees directly and indirectly.

The country’s Electronics Industry Roadmap envisions the country as a globally competitive electronics hub by 2030 with investments of USD 10B, exports of USD 112B and direct and indirect employment of up to 24M. For the short and medium terms, the country’s total exports are expected to top USD 37B by 2016 and USD 52B by 2022.

Some 29 participants, mostly faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students in the fields of Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of the Philippines (UP_, University of San Carlos, Mindanao State University, Iligan Institute of Technology, and Bulacan State University completed the training. Other attendees include representatives from the electronics companies of Analog Device Inc. and Zynix Design. Also present were representatives from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), UP College of Engineering, PIIC, and the BOI.

Based on the latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s electronics industry exported USD 16.28B from January to August 2014, a 5.2-% increase from USD 15.28B in the same period last year.

In 2012, the DTI and BOI launched the Industry Development Program (IDP) to support the preparation of the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS). The Electronics Industry, as well as 29 other industry sectors, collaborated with government, academe and civil society in the crafting of their respective industry roadmaps. The project aims to chart the direction, goals and strategies for key industries and form the basis for the development of the CNIS.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation, Bayan Academy and TESDA link to train future entrepreneurs
Source: http://tesda.gov.ph
A skills development program combined with entrepreneurship education being made available in poor communities in the country has been yielding high employment rate for its graduates.

This month, a fresh batch of graduates completed the training course and hopes are high that they would soon join the workforce as employees or their own boss.

Since it was piloted in Baseco in Tondo in 2010, the Entrepreneurship Education Program for Community Development has registered an average of 90 percent employment rate for its 395 beneficiaries.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation conceptualized the program and implemented it tapping the assistance of Bayan Academy and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

On November 26, the new graduates were feted at the 4th Culminating Activity of the JPMC Entrepreneurship Education for Community Development Program held at Recruitment Hub, Net Plaza Building in Taguig City.

In his message to the graduates, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said the government and private institutions could never go wrong when they invest in the education of the youth.

“Our technical-vocational (tech-voc) programs are geared towards providing employment to our graduates. Combined with entrepreneurship modules, these programs could help produce technopreneneurs who could generate employment opportunities not only for themselves but even for their families and communities,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva thanked JPMorgan Chase & Co. for its commitment to promote skilled Filipinos for nation-building and for Bayan Academy’s innovation for infusing entrepreneurship modules in TESDA courses.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Philippines executives headed by Mr. Robert Panlilio, senior country officer and Ms. Pixie Gutierrez, vice president and head of communications attended the event. Bayan Academy was represented by its chairman and president Dr. Eduardo A. Morato, Jr., Ms. Gina Lopez, chairperson of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Ms. Marietta Goco, Bayan Academy Board of Trustee and Mr. Raul Manikan, executive director.

The technopreneurship program through private and public collaboration is a powerful formula in addressing unemployment in the country, he said.

He also acknowledged the partners and industry players who were responsible in ensuring the high employment rate of the graduates.

Of the 395 scholars, 80 are from Baseco, while the rest are from different cities of Metro Manila and provinces of Palawan, Victorias, Negros Occidental, Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Tagaytay, Cavite, Porac, Pampanga, and General Santos. The program has been expanded to other areas in the country with the support of TESDA and its regional and district offices.

JPMorgan, one of the world's leading financial services firm, started the program in 2010 aiming to advocate change and empower people in poor areas through holistic community development programs that ranged from education for children, livelihood assistance, and deployment of water towers, technical skills and entrepreneurship training.

It found a partner in Bayan Academy – a social development organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship and technical and livelihood skills training – to facilitate interventions for disengaged youth and adults in Baseco and to assist in creating pathways to employment opportunities.

The program has equipped beneficiaries with the necessary skills to apply for jobs and become successful individuals. Entrepreneurship modules were also developed for beneficiaries who opt to start their own enterprise.

Finally, the program has created a network of social capital consisting of partners who support the employment of graduates and advocate the effectiveness of the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Entrepreneurship Education Program for Community Development.

Bayan Academy and JPMC Foundation was able to forge partnership with TESDA in the selection of tech-voc institutions that have good record in providing quality training to their students. TESDA also assisted in the competency assessment of the graduates and awarded the TESDA National Certificate to the passers.

For 2015, JPMC Foundation and Bayan Academy together with TESDA, ERDA Foundation, Center for Community Transformation, ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Reyes Hair Cutters, Jing & Laica Salon, and many more partners will continue to bring the program to high need communities of Metro Manila and in areas affected by Haiyan.

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