20 APRIL 2015

Gov't targets filling up 87,000 positions in 2015; Abad: Growing Ph economy needs skilled workforce
DTI pushes for self-certification under ATIGA
Sacada’s daughter graduates as valedictorian
BSP allows Unit Investment Trust Funds with unit-paying feature
Dasmarinas City commends Roxas for inspiring local youth
OIC backs Bangsamoro peace process, sees its success despite challenges
Japanese firm to build ten 40-meter vessels for Philippine Coast Guard -- DOTC
Applications now open for Fire Officer Examination
DILG and NAPOLCOM warn public of spurious groups soliciting donations for “SAF 44”
Joint Circular on Guidelines on Assignment of Representatives of Partner Agencies to PHL foreign service posts signed
Philippines delivers Group of 77 and China Statement at 196th UNESCO Executive Board Plenary
Paje urges Filipinos to reflect on spirit of Earth Day
April 2015 Electronics Engineer Licensure Examination results released in three (3) working days
MB places Rural Bank of Labrador (Pangasinan), Inc. under PDIC receivership, all valid insured deposit claims will be paid
First PPP social infra project eases classroom backlog
New records to break in Palaro 2015
OIC renews support to Mindanao peace process
PSA to conduct ASPBI and STEP anew
First PPP social infra project eases classroom backlog
Statement of PDDGEN LEONARDO A ESPINA Officer-in-Charge, PNP

Gov't targets filling up 87,000 positions in 2015; Abad: Growing Ph economy needs skilled workforce
Source: http://www.dbm.gov.ph
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported that a total of P30.8 billion is allotted to fund 86,994 unfilled positions in government, contrary to the 190,000 positions reported in media recently.

The latter figure comprises the Staffing Summary of the 2015 National Expenditure Program (NEP), which shows the number of permanent positions per agency and the amount required for these positions. The 2015 NEP reported that there are 1,433,186 permanent positions in government, and that 86 percent (or 1,244,931) are filled while 188,255 are unfilled. However, of this amount, only 86,994 unfilled positions can be provided for based on the funding requirements of agencies for 2015.

Lodged under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF), the 2015 National Budget can provide funding for unfilled positions of select agencies, which primarily covers education and healthcare. This includes the following agencies:

Department of Education (DepEd)
State Universities and Colleges (SUCs)
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) – also includes the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Philippine National Police
Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
National Defense College of the Philippines, under the Department of National Defense (DND)
Philippine Science High School, under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
For the hiring of hospital personnel, the Department of Health (DOH) and Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VRMMC) under the DND are included in the list. Meanwhile, there is also an allotted amount for funding unfilled positions in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said, “The Administration is committed to providing our people with job opportunities, especially during this period of robust growth, requiring the support of a skilled and able workforce. The National Government needs to employ more teachers, nurses, and other crucial personnel in order to maximize the delivery of social services.”

The breakdown of positions is as follows:

Agency

Unfilled Positions

A. Educational Institutions

74,134

Department of Education 

Office of the Secretary

Philippine High School for the Arts

44,602

44,598

4

State Universities and Colleges 

6,865

Department of Interior and Local Government 

Bureau of Fire Protection

Bureau of Jail Management and Penalogy

Philippine National Police

15,898

3,383

551

11,964

Department of Labor and Employment

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority

767

767

Department of National Defense

National Defense College of the Philippines

DND

5,780

5

5,775

Department of Science and Technology

Philippine Science High School

102

102

Other Executive Offices

Commission on Higher Education

120

120

B. Hospitals

8,681

Department of Health

Office of the Secretary

8,375

8,375

Department of National Defense

Veterans Memorial Medical Center

306

306

C. Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

4,179

TOTAL

86,994


Of the total number of unfilled positions, more than half or 44,602 are for teaching and non-teaching personnel in DepEd. This is followed closely by agencies in charge of safety and security (BFP, BJMP, and PNP) under the DILG, and healthcare personnel in the DOH.

Meanwhile, P16.7 billion has been allotted for the creation of 65,204 positions, which includes various agencies such as DepEd, DOH, and DILG.

Abad said, “It’s in our best interests to fulfill the required job positions in the National Government as they serve a two-fold purpose. We give jobs in the government to Filipinos who have the appropriate work skills and we ensure that our programs are carried out by suitable personnel. In doing so, we’re able to respond to the needs of all of our countrymen.”

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DTI pushes for self-certification under ATIGA
Source: http://www.dti.gov.ph
The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR) recently held an information session and stakeholder consultations on self-certification under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) as part of its continuing advocacy to make Philippine exporters more competitive in foreign markets.

EMB Director Senen M. Perlada urged the participants to take advantage of the free trade agreements (FTA) that the Philippines entered into, and familiarize themselves with the developments to qualify for preferential tariffs provided by these FTAs.

Perlada noted that the most recent development is the self-certification system under ATIGA being implemented in some participating members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This scheme requires a simple declaration that the goods satisfy the ASEAN originating criteria and all other requirements. With this scheme, exporters are no longer required to present a Certificate of Origin (CO) in claiming ATIGA tariff preferences.

Perlada also noted that self-certification under the ATIGA is a matter of trust.

BITR Assistant Director Angelo Salvador M. Benedictos also said that the system is being implemented in pilot stages.

The first stage covers Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, with Cambodia and Myanmar joining them soon. The second stage includes the Philippines, Indonesia, and Lao PDR, with Thailand and Viet Nam joining them in the future.

The first pilot project has 311 participating companies while the second pilot project has 15 companies, wherein three are from the Philippines. These companies are eligible for the ATIGA tariff preferences when they export to participating ASEAN member countries covered in the respective pilot projects.

Benedictos noted that the three firms from the Philippines can avail themselves of the preferential ATIGA tariff when they export to Indonesia and Lao PDR.

Bureau of Customs (BoC) Director Illie Lionel B. Gramata said that he scheme no longer requires exporters to do a face-to-face transaction with the BoC.

He also noted that in the first pilot project, the exporters, producers, and traders may be authorized as certified exporter, while in the second pilot project, it is only the exporters and manufacturers. Also, in the first pilot project, invoice declaration is allowed in the commercial invoice and other export-related documents such as bill of lading and air waybill, while in the second pilot project, it is only on the commercial invoice.

“I urge you to apply for self-certification because it has no cost to you, except for the P115 fee for documentary stamp,” Gramata said to the participants.

He added that the scheme is expected to be implemented across the ASEAN region as a commitment under the ATIGA this year.

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Sacada’s daughter graduates as valedictorian
Source: http://www.dswd.gov.ph
Sagay City, Negros Occidental – With only her dreams and determination as her motivation, a 17-year-old daughter of a ‘sacada’ or sugar cane worker, bested 832 other graduating students of Sagay National High School and emerged as valedictorian.

Sacadas can be found in Negros Occidental, known as the ‘sugar bowl’ of the Philippines.

Living in a remote village in the city, Arlyn Martinez narrated that every day, she has to walk for an hour or ride on a carabao borrowed by her father to get to the main road and then take a tricycle to reach the city’s public high school.

She said that she may not have lived a luxurious life, like living in a comfortable house or riding in a car just like some of her well-off classmates and schoolmates, but she is happy with her simple and poor life.

“Masaya ako dahil puno ng pagmamahalan ang aming pamilya. Pinapahalagahan ko din ang sakripisyo ng aking ama para sa aming sampung anak niya (I am happy because love abounds in our family. I also appreciate my father’s sacrifices to provide for all of us his 10 children),” she said.

Help through Pantawid Pamilya

Arlyn’s family is a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides cash grants to partner-beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for checkups, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

In 2013, the DSWD expanded the coverage of Pantawid Pamilya to include the 15-18 age bracket to ensure that the children-beneficiaries will graduate from high school, and have a higher rate of employability.

Arlyn, together with her two other siblings are covered by the program.

She said that the P500 cash grants she receives monthly as well as the P300 received by each of her two siblings helped them meet their daily expenses, such as their school allowance, school supplies, and uniform.

“Nakatulong ang programa sa akin para maging valedictorian (The program has helped me be the valedictorian of our class),” she enthused.

Proud to be a sacada’s daughter

For Arlyn, there is great pride in being a sacada’s daughter.

“Bilang karga tapas sa tubuhan, tinitiis ng aking ama ang bigat ng trabaho pero kinakaya niya, at sa gabi ay nag-aararo pa para lang matugunan ang aming mga pangangailangan (As a `karga tapas’ in the sugarcane field, my father endures gruelling manual labor, yet he even plows the farm at night to sustain the whole family’s needs),” she narrated.

Now that she finished high school, Arlyn is a step closer to her dreams of uplifting her family’s condition.

“Gaya ng pangako ko sa aking sarili, susuklian ko ang mga sakripisyo ng aking ama. Kaya po ako ay nag-aral ng mabuti (I promised myself that I will repay my father’s sacrifices. This is why I studied hard),” she said.

If given an opportunity, Arlyn wants to be an engineer or a teacher. She promised that when she gets a job and gets her first salary, she wants to buy a carabao for her father so he could finally own one and not borrow from neighbors anymore.

During her valedictory speech, Arlyn told her parents how lucky she is to have them and how thankful she is to them for making sure that she would graduate from high school. Her parents only finished elementary education.

“Sa kabila ng kahirapan, huwag tayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Ipagpatuloy nating mangarap at magsumikap dahil magbubunga rin ang ating pagpupunyagi (Despite poverty, we should not lose hope. Let us keep on dreaming and continue working hard because it will definitely pay off in the end),” Arlyn stated as she proudly stood on the stage wearing her white academe gown.

Recognizing the likes of Arlyn who graduated with honors, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman stressed, “Pinatunayan ng mga benepisyaryo na nagsipagtapos ng high school sa taong ito, at ang iba ay nagkamit pa ng honors, na hindi hadlang ang kahirapan upang makamit ang tagumpay. Ang kaunting tulong mula sa gobyerno ay napayabong nila upang mapabuti ang kanilang katayuan sa buhay (Those who graduated from high school this year, others even graduating with honors, have proven that poverty is not a hindrance towards achieving success. They were able to make good use of the little help from government).”

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BSP allows Unit Investment Trust Funds with unit-paying feature
Source: http://www.bsp.gov.ph
In line with the thrust of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to institute reforms that will take advantage of investment opportunities while ensuring market order, both of which are expected to accrue to the investing public, the Monetary Board in its meeting held on 8 April 2015, approved the amendment of the Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF) regulations to allow for a unit-paying feature that will provide non-guaranteed stream of income to participants.

The unit paying UITFs will invest in various income-generating securities and upon determination of the trust entity shall give out the income in its equivalent units, for automatic redemption. The income distribution shall come from cash dividends or coupon/interest earned and received from these investment outlets. However, income distributions are not guaranteed and will be determined by the trust entity in accordance with the plan rules. Further, such income distribution will decrease the net asset value of the fund, and consequently, a decline in the net asset value per unit (NAVPu) similar to the effect of dividend declaration on stock prices.

Previous to this, UITF regulations do not allow for the distribution of income to the participants, as income earned is automatically reverted back to the fund and the same may only be realized by the investors upon redemption of their participations to the UITF.

This initiative offers several advantages that will ultimately benefit the investing public and the UITF market. In particular, the unit paying UITF will enable the investor to enjoy the fruits of his investment without actually the need to redeem his actual principal investment. Also, the same is expected to expand the investment choices of the investor, thereby allowing him more opportunities for diversification.

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Dasmarinas City commends Roxas for inspiring local youth
Source: http://www.dilg.gov.ph
For serving as an inspiration and a role model for the honor graduates of the city of Dasmarinas, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas received a commendation from the people of Dasmarinas City, Cavite through their Mayor Jennifer Austria-Barzaga on Friday.

Part of the commendation reads:

"It is beyond doubt that your commendable scholastic accomplishments at the Ateneo de Manila University and at the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and your exemplary professional achievements as a public servant for having been a Congressman and a Senator as well as a Cabinet Secretary of three consecutive Administrations have inspired the honorees to not only be the best but to always get better."

During the 16th Gawad Karangalan ng Lungsod ng Dasmarinas held at the Ugnayang La Salle in De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, Roxas presented plaques of appreciation to 85 tertiary honor graduates in recognition of their academic excellence.

"Nasa kamay ninyo ang kagandahan, ang kabutihan, at ang magagandang development ng Dasmarinas," Roxas told the honor graduates.

In his message, Roxas also shared with more than 600 honorees, including post-graduate ones, bar and board passers, and scholars his deliberate, programmatic, and sustained approach in achieving success in all kinds of endeavor.

Deliberate means "hindi bara-bara, hindi patsamba-tsamba;" programmatic means "hindi kanya-kanya;" and sustained means "hindi ningas-cogon; hindi photo opp lang."

Gawad Karangalan ng Lungsod ng Dasmari?as started in 1999 under the administration of then Mayor Elpidio F. Barzaga, Jr. and has since given recognition to more than 12,000 Dasmarineno honor graduates.

This year, 1,330 Dasmarineno honorees received cash incentives amounting to P2.405 million in total.

"Parati po nating alalahanin na marami ang tumulong. Nariyan ang mga local officials, ang mga magulang na nagtrabaho, na nagsakripisyo para maibigay ang magandang buhay," Roxas added.

According to him, this is a way by which local government units can incentivize and encourage the youth to serve as role models for communities.

"Kung pwede, gagawin ko itong programang ito sa buong bansa," he said in his speech.

In the ceremony attended by roughly 1,500 participants, Roxas was joined by Dasmarinas City Lone District Rep. Elpidio F. Barzaga, Jr., City Mayor Jennifer Austria-Barzaga, Vice Mayor Valeriano Encabo, local DILG officials, and members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

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OIC backs Bangsamoro peace process, sees its success despite challenges
Source: http://www.opapp.gov.ph
DAVAO CITY – The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) today formally reaffirmed the group’s support for the Bangsamoro peace process and expressed optimism over its success despite challenges it had faced in the past few months.

OIC Secretary-General Iyad bin Ameen Madani declared after a meeting with officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that the OIC is encouraged by the “sincere desire and the serious effort” displayed by all parties involved in the peace process.

Madani also announced that the OIC will invite representatives of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) in the upcoming 42nd OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Kuwait on May 27. The BCF is an OIC-sponsored body that was formed to harmonize and settle differences between the MILF and the MNLF.

Madani said the people and the government of the Philippines will make the final decision on the fate of the peace process, but the OIC hopes “this political process will continue.”

“We feel -- on both sides (the Philippine government and the Moro fronts) -- the sincere desire, and the serious effort to reach a conclusion,” he said, adding that “We are optimistic. We are supportive.”

Madani, who presided over the meeting of the BCF in Davao City, said the group discussed the current legislative process involving the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that aims to legalize the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Philippine government and the MILF in March last year.

“We had an agenda that includes the peace process that is taking place now – the CAB and the BBL,” he said.

Madani is expected to meet President Benigno S. Aquino III and Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today, April 20 before flying back to Saudi Arabia, which hosts the headquarters of the OIC, a group that has 57 Islamic countries as members.

He leads an eight-member delegation that met Friday with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles after a three-day trip to Malaysia, which facilitated the peace talks between the government and the MILF.

He has also met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who was joined by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, Bai Sandra Sinsuat A. Sema, and Sitti Djalia Hataman. He also met with the Senate Peace, Unity and Reconciliation Committee Chair Senator Teofisto Guingona III.

Madani expressed his gratitude “for the opportunity to come here. We wanted to come here. Symbolically, we want to be in Mindanao.”

“I’m not here to be the first [OIC secretary general to visit Mindanao]. I’m here to show that we are concerned. We are supportive,” he said.

“I have to express my appreciation to government of the Philippines for making this visit possible – their hospitality and accommodations,” he added.

Together with Madani are Sayed El-Masry, OIC Special Envoy for Peace in the Southern Philippines; Maha Mostafa Akeel, director of the OIC Department of Information; Dr. Hassan Ahmad Abdein, Head of the OIC Department of Muslim Communities and Minorities; Saidu Dodo, Liaison Officer for OIC Special Envoy for PCSP; Mohammed Adoum, Personal Assistant to the OIC Secretary-General; Mohammed Naghi, Protocol Officer; and Ahmad Madani.

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Japanese firm to build ten 40-meter vessels for Philippine Coast Guard -- DOTC
Source: http://www.dotc.gov.ph
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has awarded a project to enhance the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) ability to protect our seas, particularly the construction of ten (10) 40-meter multi-role response vessels or MRRVs and their staggered delivery from the third quarter of 2016 up to the third quarter of 2018.

“This project is part of government’s program to equip our forces with necessary assets to protect the national marine interest. These 10 new vessels will help the Coast Guard in its functions of maritime law enforcement, search-and-rescue operations, and upholding maritime security within Philippines seas,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.

The project, formally called the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project, was awarded by the transportation department to the Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) last week. It is being implemented as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) project, via a tied loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The loan facility covers P 7,373,700,000.00 out of the total project of P 8,807,700,000.00. The balance will be sourced from the Philippine counterpart of P 1,434,000,000.00.

Under the project terms, the MRRVs will be used by the PCG for the following purposes:

Primary rescue vessels within the PCG Districts’ areas of responsibility (AOR) when the extent of the disaster is beyond the capability of floating assets deployed within the area
Assistance in the control of oil pollution and protection of the marine environment
Enforcement of applicable maritime laws within the designated AOR, particularly relating to illegal fishing and sea patrol
Service as platform for rapid response during relief operations in the area
Transport of personnel and logistical support.
The MRRVs will be deployed to various PCG Districts across the country, including Manila, La Union, and Puerto Prinsesa.

JMU’s winning bid is in the amount of 12,790,000,000 Japanese Yen, and includes the supply of standard spare parts and tools, crew training, ocean transportation, and marine insurance. The vessels will have a standard cruising speed of 16 knots, and a range of 1,500 nautical miles.

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Applications now open for Fire Officer Examination
Source: http://web.csc.gov.ph
Application for the Fire Officer Examination (FOE) is now open.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) administers the FOE in coordination with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

Applicants should get and file their application forms at the CSC Regional Office (CSCRO), or at any of the CSCRO’s Field Offices where they intend to take the examination. Application form can also be downloaded from the CSC website: csc.gov.ph.

All applicants must be (1) a Filipino citizen, (2) of good moral character, (3) mentally and physically fit, (4) must not have been convicted by final judgment of an offense or crime involving moral turpitude, or of disgraceful or immoral conduct, dishonesty, examination irregularity, drunkenness or addiction to drugs, (5) must not have been dishonorably discharged from military service or dismissed for cause from any civilian positions in the government, (6) must possess a baccalaureate degree from a recognized institution of learning, and (7) must be 21 to 35 years old at the date/time of filing of application.

Deadline for filing of application is June 17. The FOE will be given on August 16.

For more details, please refer to Examination Announcement No. 03, s. 2015 posted on csc.gov.ph.

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DILG and NAPOLCOM warn public of spurious groups soliciting donations for “SAF 44”
Source: http://www.napolcom.gov.ph
The Department and Interior and Local Government and the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) warned the public against spurious groups allegedly soliciting donations through text messages for the families of “SAF 44”, even mentioning the names of the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) and the Secretary of the National Defense (SND) to make the scam more credible.

This was announced by NAPOLCOM Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer Eduardo U. Escueta after the DILG issued a Memorandum categorically denying any involvement in such solicitation activity.

In the said Memorandum, the DILG said that is does not authorize anybody to solicit donations on its behalf nor encourage any form of solicitations for the families of “SAF 44” among its personnel and employees.

Escueta said that the NAPOLCOM is committed in preserving its integrity and enjoins its personnel nationwide to refrain from entertaining or getting involved in this kind of activity.

“Any personnel or employee who will engage in the aforementioned undertaking without justifiable cause shall be dealt with accordingly,” Escueta said.

In case the public receive information on similar incident in the future, please report immediately to the DILG (Attn: PSupt. Jonathan A. Cabal) at telephone number 9286713, mobile nos: 09154208498, 09055269699 and 09167857500 or email at jonathan_cabal@yahoo.com.ph or underarmor2006@yahoo.com.ph. Reports may also be sent to NAPOLCOM Public Information Division at piopress08@yahoo.com.

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Joint Circular on Guidelines on Assignment of Representatives of Partner Agencies to PHL foreign service posts signed
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph
20 April 2015 - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) hosted on April 16 the signing ceremony of the Joint Circular on the Guidelines on the Assignment of Representatives of Partner Agencies to Philippine Foreign Service Posts.

The Joint Circular was crafted pursuant to relevant provisions of Republic Act 7157, otherwise known as the Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991. The Joint Circular aims to provide uniform rules and regulations on the assignment at Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) of officers and employees of Partner Agencies. It also hopes to strengthen cordial and productive interaction among officers and employees of the Philippine Government assigned at the FSPs towards the implementation of the One Country Team Approach.

The signing was led by DFA Undersecretary Linglingay F. Lacanlale as Chair of the Inter-Department Committee among Partner Agencies, and participated by the Undersecretaries from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of National Defense, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Transportation and Communication and the Administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. Also present were representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Tourism, Social Security System and Home Development and Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG).

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Philippines delivers Group of 77 and China Statement at 196th UNESCO Executive Board Plenary
Source: http://www.dfa.gov.ph/
20 April 2015 – Philippine Ambassador and Permanent Delegate Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro delivered a statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China at the Plenary of the 196th session of the UNESCO Executive Board (EB) on April 14 at UNESCO Headquarters, in her capacity as Chair of the Paris Chapter of the G77 and China.

In her statement, Ambassador Lazaro conveyed the G77 and China’s support for UNESCO’s important work across all its sectors. “More than ever, the demands on UNESCO are increasing as we witness the rise of violent extremism and conflicts, widening inequalities, and global challenges such as natural disasters and climate change,” she stated.

The statement encouraged Member States to adopt a constructive and forward-looking approach to strengthen the institution and improve UNESCO’s efficiency in light of the budgetary challenges faced by the organization.

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Paje urges Filipinos to reflect on spirit of Earth Day
Source: http://www.denr.gov.ph
Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje is urging Filipinos to pause and reflect on the most pressing ecological problems and what they can do to protect the environment, as the nation joins the rest of the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22.

“Earth Day is about celebrating the environment and raising awareness of environmental challenges and what we can do about them,” Paje said. “We should never get tired of reminding the public that taking care of the environment is not the sole responsibility of the government.”

Secretary Paje is expected to make a report on the state of the Philippine environment on April 21during the opening of the three-day Earth Day camping to be participated in by students from public high schools in Metro Manila, Bulacan and Cavite at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC) in Quezon City.

This year, over one billion people in 192 countries will commemorate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, the world’s biggest grassroots movement. The theme of Earth Day 2015 is “It’s our turn to lead.”

2015 promises to be one of the most exciting years in environmental history with world leaders expected to gather in Paris, France, at the end of the year in an attempt at a new global climate deal.

“With a significant meeting taking place in Paris in December, the choice of this year’s theme is very timely and appropriate. It seeks to harness the power of Earth Day to compel the world to recognize the urgency of responding to climate change, while uniting people around the globe into a powerful call to action,” Paje said.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its partners, led by the Earth Day Network Philippines (EDNP), have lined up a series of events, climaxing in a whole-day festivity at the NAPWC on April 22.

At least 2,000 people are expected to attend the event which will be highlighted by a cultural show dubbed “Sandiwang: Isang Diwa sa Pagdiriwang ng Kalikasan ,” signing of agreement between the DENR and Dazzling Lite Enterprises for the implementation of “1 Tube, 1 Tree” project, and a concert featuring local artists.

Dazzling Lite, distributor of low emitting diode (LED) tube light, has committed to plant and grow one tree for every tube light sold in support of the government’s National Greening Program.

To kick off the country’s Earth Day celebrations, the National Bicycle Organization (NBO) will lead on Sunday (April 19 ) a bicycle advocacy event called “Earth Day Ride: Community Ride for Clean Air and Road Sharing” within the 34-km route running through the cities of Quezon, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati and Manila.

Bikers are enjoined to be at the Tiendesitas shopping complex in Pasig City at 5:30 a.m. for the bike ride etiquette and safety protcols to be given by NBO Director Benedict Camara. The ride is scheduled to start at around 6:30 a.m. towards the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, and vice-versa.

On April 21 to 23, over a hundred students from national high schools in Metro Manila, Bulacan and Cavite will hold a three-day Earth Day camping at the NAPWC. This will coincide with an exhibition showcasing practical ways to preserve the environment, recycling demonstrations, and a bazaar featuring eco-friendly consumer items and educational materials.

Other activities include:

April 24 – “3Rs Fashion Show” showcasing the viability of recyclable and reusable items as alternatives to traditional garment materials, to be held at the NAPWC;
April 25 – “Pro-Earth Run 2015” at the SM Mall of Asia grounds;
April 26 – “Summer Cycling Convergence: Festival of Fireflies,” a bicycle advocacy event organized by the Firefly Brigade;
April 30 – A tribute program recognizing individuals and organizations for their invaluable contribution to Philippine environmentalism, to be held at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated every 22nd of April, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 in the United States.

It became a global event in 1990, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries. Since then, it has become the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously worldwide by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities.

Earth Day 1990 paved the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the Philippines, the annual celebration of April 22 as Earth Day was declared through Presidential Proclamation No. 1481 signed in 2008, with the DENR as the main convenor of the celebration.

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April 2015 Electronics Engineer Licensure Examination results released in three (3) working days
Source: http://www.prc.gov.ph
The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announces that 892 out of 2,552 passed the Electronics Engineer Licensure Examination and 1,066 out of 1,483 passed the Electronics Technician Licensure Examination given by the Board of Electronics Engineering in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cebu and Davao this April 2015.

The members of the Board of Electronics Engineering are Engr. Alnar L. Detalla, Chairman, Engr. Enrico Claro R. Delmoro and Engr. Herminio J. Orbe, Members.

The results were released in three (3) working days after the last day of examinations.

Registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registration will be on April 23, 24 and 27, 2015. Those who will register are required to bring the following: duly accomplished Oath Form or Panunumpa ng Propesyonal, current Community Tax Certificate (cedula), 1 piece passport size picture (colored with white background and complete name tag), 2 sets of metered documentary stamps and 1 short brown envelope with name and profession and to pay the Initial Registration Fee of P600 and Annual Registration Fee of P450 for 2015-2018. Successful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

The date and venue for the oathtaking ceremony of the new successful examinees in the said examination WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER.

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MB places Rural Bank of Labrador (Pangasinan), Inc. under PDIC receivership, all valid insured deposit claims will be paid
Source: http://www.pdic.gov.ph
The Monetary Board (MB) placed the Rural Bank of Labrador (Pangasinan), Inc. under the receivership of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) by virtue of MB Resolution No. 596 dated April 16, 2015. As Receiver, PDIC took over the bank on April 16, 2015.

Rural Bank of Labrador is a single-unit rural bank with Head Office located in Poblacion, Labrador, Pangasinan. Based on the Bank Information Sheet (BIS) filed by the Rural Bank of Labrador with the PDIC as of December 31, 2014, the bank is owned by Mark Ernest L. Rosario (32.57%), Alicia R. Liboro (13.85%), Eriberto U. Rosario, Jr. (12.89%), Concepcion R. Cristobal (7.91%), Regina Rosario (3.92%), Anna Melissa R. Lichaytoo (3.82%), Jose Eriberto D. Rosario III (3.70%), Manuel P. Rosario (3.62%) and Martin Angelo L. Rosario (3.49%). Its President and Chairman is Mark Ernest L. Rosario.
Latest available records show that as of December 31, 2014, Rural Bank of Labrador had 927 accounts with total deposit liabilities of P44.1 million, all of which are insured.

PDIC said that during the takeover, all bank records shall be gathered, verified and validated. The state deposit insurer assured depositors that all valid deposits shall be paid up to the maximum deposit insurance coverage of P500,000.00.

Depositors with valid deposit accounts with balances of P50,000.00 and below need not file deposit insurance claims, except when they have outstanding obligations with the Rural Bank of Labrador or acted as co-makers of the obligations, and have incomplete and/or have not updated their addresses with the bank. PDIC targets to start mailing payments to these depositors at their addresses recorded in the bank by the third week of April, 2015.

Depositors may update their addresses until April 21, 2015 using the Mailing Address Update Forms to be distributed by PDIC representatives at the bank premises.

For depositors that are required to file deposit insurance claims, the PDIC targets to start claims settlement operations for these accounts by the last week of April, 2015.

The PDIC also announced that it will conduct a Depositors-Borrowers Forum on April 23, 2015 to inform depositors of the requirements and procedures for filing deposit insurance claims. The time and venue of the Forum will be posted in the bank premises and announced in the PDIC website, www.pdic.gov.ph. Likewise, the schedule of the claims settlement operations, as well as the requirements and procedures for filing claims will be announced through notices to be posted in the bank premises, other public places and the PDIC website.

For more information, depositors may communicate with PDIC Public Assistance personnel stationed at the bank premises. They may also call the PDIC Toll Free Hotline at 1-800-1-888-PDIC (7342), the PDIC Public Assistance Hotlines at (02) 841-4630 to (02) 841-4631, or send their e-mail topad@pdic.gov.ph.

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First PPP social infra project eases classroom backlog
Source: http://ppp.gov.ph
Students from Regions III and IV A have reason to celebrate and look forward to the coming school year as brand new classrooms courtesy of the country’s first PPP social infrastructure project were turned over to the Department of Education by its private partner Citicore-Megawide Consortium, Inc. This project will help ease the country’s 66,800 classroom backlog.

The PPPs for School Building Infrastructure Project is the first PPP social infrastructure project undertaken by the DepEd under the Public-Private Partnership program of the government.

Started in October 2012, the PSIP 1 involves the design, financing and construction of 7,144 classrooms through a Build-Lease-Transfer scheme as a PPP project.

President Aquino inspected the PSIP 1 classrooms at the Malolos Integrated School, which was the site of the turnover ceremony.

PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao thanked the Department of Education and Citicore-Megawide for “allowing us to put together this project.”

Canilao added that, “This project is very close to my heart. Even before I started in government, my advocacy was to have more classrooms for the growing population of students.”

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro thanked their private sector partner Citicore-Megawide stating that, “We always say that in our Department that the improvement of any program is a joint effort among all the sectors.”

Luistro added that the classrooms that have been built through the PSIP 1 “are instruments to mold and form good citizens of this nation. By working together, we can achieve this dream and the dreams of the Filipino youth.

Currently, the PPP program has a robust pipeline of projects collectively costing USD 23.417 Billion.

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New records to break in Palaro 2015
Source: http://www.deped.gov.ph
2014 marks the year of triumphs and remarkable feats in the field of Sports. For the 57th Palarong Pambansa, it was also the year for the Athletics and Swimming category as decade-old-records were broken by this generation’s roster of student athletes.

Last year, Luzon excelled through its champions from the National Capital Region (NCR) and Region 3. NCR’s sprint athlete, Jomar Udtohan turned heads as he broke three meet records in the 100M (43.1 s), 200M (21.8 s), and 400M (48.7 s) dash. His performance was even compared to the “Asia’s Sprint Queen” Lydia de Vega-Mercado’s skill in the early 80s. Also, Bryan Pacheco from Central Luzon wowed crowds through his throwing skills as he achieved a new record of 15.32m in the Shot Put category. Pacheco even outdid his old 2013 record in the Javelin Throw, making 62.47m the new number to break.

Likewise, NCR’s elementary students dominated the Olympic-sized pool with their swimming abilities. Imee Joyce Saavedra’s time of 2:16.72 broke the 2010 record in the 200m Freestyle division, while Seth Isaak Martin broke the long-time 1998 record of 1:07.56 by 35 seconds in the Backstroke division. The team of Andrew Gibson, Aryan Anastacio, Orlando Reyes and Michael Pin for the 200m relay, set the new time record of 2:06.02.

Western Visayas soared high through Alexis Soqueno’s score of 1.92m in the High Jump category and, exceeded the former record of 1.90m set in the year 2002.

The 1500m run event stands to be Mindanao’s specialty, as athletes Camila Tubiano, Jie Anne Calis and Kevin Capangpangan shattered records, with their time of 4:48.7, 4:44.4 and 4:05.8 respectively. Silver medalist Gilbert Rutaquio from CALABARZON, almost reached Capangpangan’s time by a second.

With the challenge-stage set and preparations near its completion, the Department of Education (DepEd) hopes that the athletes of the 2015 Palarong Pambansa will see last year’s achievements as a goal to surpass and their names be immortalized in history.

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OIC renews support to Mindanao peace process
Source: http://www.opapp.gov.ph
MANILA – Iyad Bin Amin Madani, the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) led an eight-man delegation for a four-day visit to the Philippines to reaffirm its long support to the Mindanao peace process.

On Friday, April 17, Madani met with Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process on the ongoing peace processes with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front, respectively.

Deles said the visit of Madani shows OIC’s firm commitment to help in the current peace efforts in Mindanao.

“OIC has contributed so much to the peace process since the Tripoli accord and now more than ever, Filipinos both Muslims and Christians look to you for guidance and support to open a new era of social peace and progress in Mindanao,” she told Madani during the meeting.

Madani expressed the OIC’s full support and commitment to the Bangsamoro peace process.

He said their mission is to boost their role in the peace process, saying that the OIC has long been involved in the effort to address the conflict in Mindanao and secure the welfare of Muslims in the country.

Prior to his arrival here on Thursday, Madani had a three-day visit in Malaysia where he met Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak.

The OIC said the two sides “discussed the status of the peace agreement on the Southern Philippines. The Secretary General stressed the need for all parties to remain committed to the peace agreement."

Malaysia, being a member of the OIC, has been facilitating the peace talks between the Philippine government and the MILF which concluded in the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro on March 27, 2014.

Madani also made courtesy calls to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, as well as to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr, who was joined by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, Bai Sandra Sinsuat A. Sema, and Sitti Djalia Hataman. He also met with the Senate Peace, Unity and Reconciliation Committee Chair Senator Teofisto Guingona III. Madani noted during these meetings the current legislative work on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The OIC secretary general will also meet top leaders of the MNLF and MILF to strengthen the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum, which was created by the OIC to harmonize the two Moro fronts.

Together with Madani are Sayed El-Masry, OIC Special Envoy for Peace in the Southern Philippines; Maha Mostafa Akeel, director of the OIC Department of Information; Dr. Hassan Ahmad Abdein, Head of the OIC Department of Muslim Communities and Minorities; Saidu Dodo, Liaison Officer for OIC Special Envoy for PCSP; Mohammed Adoum, Personal Assistant to the OIC Sec-Gen; Mohammed Naghi, Protocol Officer; and Ahmad Madani.

Madani is expected to meet President Benigno S. Aquino III, and Senate President Franklin M. Drilon before flying back to Saudi Arabia on Monday.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization, next to the United ‎Nations, composed of 57 member-states spread over four continents.

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PSA to conduct ASPBI and STEP anew
Source: http://www.census.gov.ph
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will once again conduct the Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) with 2014 as the reference year covering around 36,000 establishments nationwide.

Now on its 43rd round since the conduct of the 1956 Annual Survey of Manufactures, the nationwide survey will collect information on the levels, structures and trends of economic activities of the formal sector of the economy for 2014. It will also gather data on employment, compensation, income, expense, total assets, capital expenditures and inventories and generate indicators from these variables.

Seven types of questionnaires will be used. These questionnaires are: (1) ASPBI Form 1 - Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; (2) ASPBI Form 2 - Mining and Quarrying; Manufacturing; (3) ASPBI Form 3 - Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air-conditioning Supply; and Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities; (4) ASPBI Form 4 - Construction; (5) ASPBI Form 5 - Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles; (6) ASPBI Form 6 - Financial and Insurance Activities; and (7) ASPBI Form 7 - Business and Services. This method is utilized to meet the data requirements of each specific section of the economy as defined under the 2009 Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC).

For this survey round of the ASPBI, the 2014 Survey of Tourism Establishments in the Philippines (STEP) will be the rider. This is the second round for the rider survey which was in conducted for the first time in 2010 with 2009 as the reference year. The survey aims to collect and generate information on the tourism characteristic establishments in the country specifically on the availability of supply from tourism industries that will meet the consumption of goods and services of visitors.

The STEP will be using five types of questionnaires, namely: (1) STEP Form 1 - Accommodation; (2) STEP Form 2 - Restaurants; (3) STEP Form 3 - Transport Operators, Tours and Travel Agencies; (4) STEP Form 4 - Health and Wellness; and (5) STEP Form 5 - Other Tourism Activities.

Unlike the main survey, only those specific industries under seven sections of the 2009 PSIC are covered by the survey, namely: Transportation and Storage (H); Accommodation and Food Service Activities (I); Financial and Insurance Activities (K); Administrative and Support Service Activities (N); Human Health and Social Work Activities (Q); Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (R); and, Other Service Activities (S). This is to cater the data needs of the Philippine Tourism Satellite Account. Health and wellness industries were included due to the increasing demand for statistics on these activities.

Distribution of survey forms will start on April 22, 2015 and collection on May 4, 2015. Accomplished questionnaires submitted by the respondents shall be treated with utmost confidentiality as mandated under Section 26 of the Republic Act 10625 published on September 12, 2013. Those who will refuse to accomplish the survey, however, shall be imposed with the penalty of one year imprisonment and a minimum fine of PHP100,000 to a maximum of PHP500,000 as stipulated under Section 27 of the same law.

Results of the surveys will be made available to the public through special releases to be posted on the PSA website starting May 2016.

(Sgd) ESTELA T. DE GUZMAN
Deputy National Statistician

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First PPP social infra project eases classroom backlog
Source: http://www.ppp.gov.ph
Students from Regions III and IV A have reason to celebrate and look forward to the coming school year as brand new classrooms courtesy of the country’s first PPP social infrastructure project were turned over to the Department of Education by its private partner Citicore-Megawide Consortium, Inc. This project will help ease the country’s 66,800 classroom backlog.

The PPPs for School Building Infrastructure Project is the first PPP social infrastructure project undertaken by the DepEd under the Public-Private Partnership program of the government.

Started in October 2012, the PSIP 1 involves the design, financing and construction of 7,144 classrooms through a Build-Lease-Transfer scheme as a PPP project.

President Aquino inspected the PSIP 1 classrooms at the Malolos Integrated School, which was the site of the turnover ceremony.

PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao thanked the Department of Education and Citicore-Megawide for “allowing us to put together this project.”

Canilao added that, “This project is very close to my heart. Even before I started in government, my advocacy was to have more classrooms for the growing population of students.”

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro thanked their private sector partner Citicore-Megawide stating that, “We always say that in our Department that the improvement of any program is a joint effort among all the sectors.”

Luistro added that the classrooms that have been built through the PSIP 1 “are instruments to mold and form good citizens of this nation. By working together, we can achieve this dream and the dreams of the Filipino youth.

Currently, the PPP program has a robust pipeline of projects collectively costing USD 23.417 Billion.

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Statement of PDDGEN LEONARDO A ESPINA Officer-in-Charge, PNP
Source: http://www.pnp.gov.ph
The PNP leadership is grateful to President Benigno S Aquino III for his responsiveness to the pressing desire of the police Officer Corps to have a full-time leader who will assume command of the PNP.

I didn’t want to get in the way of the President Aquino’s free hand in appointing a new Chief PNP, thus, I earlier signified intention to be relieved as Officer-in-Charge of the PNP.

I am, therefore, humbled at the continued expression of trust and confidence by President Benigno S Aquino III in reaffirming my designation as PNP Officer-in-Charge. I am grateful as well to the National Police Commission Chaired by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas for granting me expanded authority to exercise the position of OIC,PNP.

For my part, I offer President Aquino and the national leadership my sincerest personal pledge of professional commitment to the mission of the PNP to serve and protect the people.

I urge all my colleagues in the police service to rally behind the new leader whom President Aquino will name soon. Until then, as your Officer-in-Charge, I am duty-bound to lead the organization as we continue to move on.

God bless the PNP.

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