Saturday, September 9, 2017

COA Report on the PNA reveals discrepancies with the 2017 GAA

COA Report on the PNA reveals discrepancies with the 2017 GAA

About the repeated mishaps at the Philippines News Agency (PNA), now is the time for Secretary Martin Andanar and Undersecretary Joel Egco of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to investigate.
I urge them to file appropriate administrative and disciplinary cases.
Let due process run its course. The mishaps at the PNA have now reached the level of several too many. It is now time for some order amid the chaos.
Our understanding is Undersecretary Joel Egco now has the unenviable task of cleaning up the PNA. Given what we have seen ever since late 2016, he has a lot of house cleaning to do.
Sec. Andanar and Usec. Egco clearly need to enforce discipline and professionalism at the PNA. They should apply the civil service rules on administrative cases.  Have administrative cases been filed?
It is reasonable to conclude that such administrative cases would have charges ranging from simple neglect of duty to gross neglect of duty, to dishonesty.  The penalties for these vary from suspension of at least one month to the maximum of dismissal.
The 2017 GAA and the 2016 COA report
Searching for the PNA in the 2017 General Appropriations Act is not an easy task, unless you know where to look.
The PNA is not even mentioned by name in the GAA because it is a part of a little-known agency called the News and Information Bureau or NIB.
This year, NIB has a budget of P124.765 million. For 2018, the administration is asking for a P129.125 million budget for the NIB, including the PNA.
According to the proposed 2018 GAA, NIB has 266 authorized positions and 169 filled positions.
According to the latest Commission on Audit (COA) report on the NIB, the NIB is headed by Director Virginia R. Arcilla-Agtay. The COA report says she is there in an acting capacity.
The COA report further says the PNA is a division of the NIB.
The state news agency of the entire Philippine Government is a mere division in the entire bureaucracy.
The COA report also says the PNA has 99 permanent positions filled and 30 job orders (contractual employees) for a total of 129 civil servants.
The 2016 COA report says NIB has 81 job orders in total. That includes the 30 job orders at PNA. We note that in the 2017 GAA for the NIB, the job orders are not counted in the staffing summary.
I want to know as committee chair: Who are the PCOO editors, reporters, IT personnel and PNA bureau personnel who hold plantilla positions and who are mere job orders?
The COA report says the NIB has 241 authorized plantilla positions but the GAA says the NIB has 266 authorized positions.
Which is which? There is a difference of 15 plantilla positions.
I also take this opportunity to ask Sec. Andanar and Usec. Egco to count and list all the job orders there in the PNA, NIB, and all of the PCOO.

PCSO Desk in Philippine Hospitals



Nananawagan si Assistant Minority Leader at AANGAT Tayo Party-list Congressman Harlin Neil Abayon, III na dapat ay dagdagan ng Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) ang mga desks nito sa mga ospital sa buong Pilipinas para mas makapaghatid ng tulong sa mga mahihirap na pasyente.


Sa ngayon kasi, meron lamang 45 na PCSO desks sa buong Pilipinas – 16 sa mga government hospitals sa Metro-Manila, 5 lamang sa mga probinsya, at 24 sa mga pribadong ospital.


"Nakakaawang makita na yung mga pasyenteng nangangailangan ng tulong ay kelangan pang magsadya at pumila sa tanggapan ng PCSO sa Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong para lang makakuha ng tulong. Dapat gawing mas accessible ng PCSO ang ayuda nito sa mga mahihirap sa pamamagitan ng dagdag na PCSO desks," giit ni Abayon na isa ring registered nurse.

Sinabihan ni Abayon ang PCSO na magsumite sa Kongreso ng plano kung paano mas mapapabilis at mapapabisa ang implementasyon ng "At Source Ang Processing (ASAP)" Project ng PCSO para magkaroon na ng PCSO desks sa lahat ng 64 medical facilities ng Department of Health na binubuo ng 8 special hospitals, 24 medical centers, 18 regional hospitals, 6 district hospitals, and 8 sanitaria. 

Sa ngayon, binubusisi sa House of Representatives ang budget ng bawat sangay ng gobyerno para sa taong 2018.


Bilin ni Abayon na dapat ang nakalagay na sa isusumiteng report ng PCSO ang mga bagong plantilla items, equipment, furniture, internet, at iba pang maintenance and operating expenses para matiyak na magkakaroon ng silbi at gagana nang mahusay ang mga ilalagay na PCSO desks sa mga ospital.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

PH showcases top ASEAN food brands

PH showcases top ASEAN food brands. ASEAN Director General for Operations Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., (4th from left) with DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group and ASEAN Committee on Business and Investments Promotion Chairperson Nora K. Terrado (3rd from left) led the ribbon cutting ceremonies of the TASTE ASEAN exhibit at International Food Exhibition Philippines held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City last 19 May. Also in photo (L-R): Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Leandro Gazmin, European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen, Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng and CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon.

Philippines highlights ASEAN food brands at int’l food expo

Philippines highlights ASEAN food brands at int'l food expo

Philippines, through its Department of Trade and Industry's Center for International Exhibition and Mission (DTI-CITEM), highlighted top ASEAN food brands during the International Food Exhibition Philippines (IFEX) at the World Trade Center and Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City last 19-21 May.

Dubbed as TASTE ASEAN, the 11th edition of IFEX Philippines highlighted the leading food products and ingredients from 10 ASEAN countries with their dynamic and visually enticing food presentations of native and iconic delicacies. The exhibit also featured the contribution of South East Asia to the vibrant global food market.

With ASEAN's focus on inclusive growth, DTI noted the Philippines efforts' in helping micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in accessing global markets through trade exhibitions such as IFEX Philippines.

"More than just a trade show, IFEX served as a trade platform for MSMEs to meet with trade buyers and potential partners. We also aim to further position the Philippines as part of a region that produces high quality food products for consumers around the world," said DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion and ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion Chairperson Nora K. Terrado.

Set at the exhibition's International Hall, TASTE ASEAN with its 21 exhibitors featured tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh and processed seafood, sauces and condiments, and other food products that continue to bring ASEAN brands to the global market.

Aside from the 10 ASEAN member states, partners and exhibitors from the European Union, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey also participated in the said event.

Tagged as Asia's ethnic food and ingredients show, TASTE ASEAN@IFEX is among the business events developed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under the ASEAN Committee on Business and Investment Promotion (ASEAN CBIP), an inter-agency committee created to assist the ASEAN-National Organizing Council (NOC). It developed events and activities that complement and reinforce the country's priority deliverables for ASEAN 2017 highlighting the promotion of inclusive, innovation-led growth.

APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in November 2017

DTI CHIEF LOPEZ PUSHES FOR MSME AGENDA IN THE APEC TRADE MINISTERS MEET. Top trade officials from the member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) refined themes and priorities to be discussed at the APEC Economic Leaders' Week in November 2017.  Representing the Philippines at the 23rd APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting (MRT 23) in Hanoi on 20-21 May 2017, Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez (5th from L; back) presented the importance of APEC's sustainable and inclusive growth strategy, citing the Philippine government's thrust to include the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the value chain of bigger companies. APEC complements the trade agenda not only of the Philippines, but also of ASEAN. As a driving force of regional economic growth, APEC, together with its top trade leaders aimed at realizing a sustainable, inclusive and transparent trading system in the region. Major discussions of MRT 23 touched on the development of cross-border e-commerce or digital trade, the strengthening of industry initiatives, innovation and the review of action plans on economic and financial matters, as well as human resources development and social equity/inclusion. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano




President Duterte has been grooming them for their new posts, which means his confidence in them is high.


President Duterte wants to be sure his agenda is done the way he wants it done. In his mind he is certain they are the men he needs for the mission.


The new secretaries need to make sure their agencies' priorities are funded well in the 2018 budget.

DepEd muling binuksan ang SHS Voucher Program online application

DepEd muling binuksan ang SHS Voucher Program online application para sa mga Grade 10 completers


PASIG CITY, May 9, 2017 – Bilang paghahanda sa darating na pasukan sa Hunyo, muling binuksan ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ang Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP) online application para sa Grade 10 completers na nagnanais mag-enroll sa mga pribadong paaralan.


Ayon sa Kagawaran, ang programa ay naglalayong matulungan ang mga estudyante na makapag-aral ng Senior High School sa mga pribadong eskwelahan sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng tulong pinansyal para sa matrikula.


Ang online application ay mula Mayo 1-15 lamang at ang resulta ay ilalabas sa Mayo 30. Ito ay upang bigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga Grade 10 completers na hindi nakapag-apply noong unang application period na mula Nobyembre 2016 hanggang Pebrero 2017.


Ang maaari lamang mag-apply ay ang mga Grade 10 completers sa pribadong paaralan na hindi kabilang sa Educational Service Contracting(ESC). Samantalang ang mga Grade 10 completers na galing sa pampublikong paaralan at ESC grantees ng pribadong paaralan ay awtomatikong kwalipikado na sa programa.


Sa ilalim ng programa, ang mga Grade 10 completers mula sa pampublikong paaralan ay mayroong P22,500 halaga ng voucher kung sila ay mag-aaral sa pribadong paaralan na nasa National Capital Region (NCR); samantalang  P18,000 naman para sa mga Grade 10 completers mula pribadong paaralan.  Ang mga Grade 10 completers mula sa pampubliko at pribadong paaralan na nais mag-enrol sa State at Local Universities at Colleges ay may P11,250 halaga ng voucher.


Mayroon ding nakalaan ang programa para sa mga estudyanteng nasa labas ng Metro Manila o nasa Highly-Urbanized Cities. Ang halaga ng voucher ay P20,000 para sa mga Grade 10 completers mula sa pampublikong paaralan; at P16,000 naman para sa mga Grade 10 completersmula sa pribadong eskwelahan. Para sa mga nag-nanais na mag-enrol sa State at Local Universities at Colleges, ang halaga ng voucher ay P10,000.


Ang programa ay may nakalaan din para sa mga mag-aaral sa malalayong siyudad at munisipalidad. Ang halaga ng voucher para sa mga Grade 10 completers mula sa pampublikong paaralan ay P17,500; samantalang P14,000 para sa nagmula sa pribadong paaralan; at P8,750 para sa mga nagnanais na mag-enrol sa State at Local Universities at Colleges.


Binigyang-diin ng DepEd na walang bayad at pamantayang grado upang makapag-apply sa Voucher Program. Ang mga interesado ay dapat lamang mag-apply sa pamamagitan ng application lamang ang muling binuksan at hindi tatanggapin ang manual applications.


Ang SHS Voucher Program at ESC ay bahagi ng Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) ng pamahalaan na naglalayong mapalawak ang pagbibigay sa mga kabataang Pilipino ng oportunidad na makapag-aral sa pamamagitan ng pinansiyal na ayuda.


Kaugnay nito, nais linawin ng Kagawaran: Ang voucher ay hindi tseke o salapi na matatanggap ng mga estudyanteng kwalipikado. Ang halaga ng voucher ay direktang ibinabayad ng Kagawaran sa mga pribadong paaralan kung saan mage-enroll ang mga estudyanteng kabilang sa programa.


Para sa detalyadong impormasyon, maaaring bisitahin ang website na; Facebook: DepEd Philippines; at Twitter: DepEd_PH.

Philippines to draft Philippine Human Rights Plan for next 5 years

Philippines to draft Philippine Human Rights Plan for next 5 years

A Philippine Human Rights Action Plan under the Duterte administration for the next five years is already being prepared. 

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano reported this in his opening statement during the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review last May 8. 

In line with the administration's commitment to uphold the rule of law and protect the human right of all Filipinos, Cayetano said the government is in the process of drafting a five-year human rights plan that will adopt "a culture-sensitive perspective, gender-sensitive paradigm, and human rights-based approach in public service."

The plan seeks to mainstream the government's human rights agenda in its development initiatives to protect all, especially the most vulnerable sectors, including but not limited to, the indigenous people, children, women, migrant workers, the elderly, domestic workers, persons with disabilities, farmers, laborers, and members of the LGBT community. 

It should be recalled that the Human Rights Plan of the past administration was crafted in 2012. 

Cayetano cited the President's statement  during his first State of the Nation Address in July 2016: "There can never be real, tangible and felt development without making our people feel secure."

The senator also highlighted the Duterte administration's effort to augment the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) from P439 million to P724 million. This year's budget of CHR is the highest since 2005. 

"The provision of additional resources for CHR, the President's most outspoken critic, shows that this administration supports human rights programs and initiatives," Cayetano explained

Additionally, Cayetano stressed that the issuance of an Executive Order institutionalizing the Freedom of Information in the executive branch as well as the installation of a direct complaint hotline - 8888 - to the Office of the President are clear proofs that President Rodrigo Duterte is for accountability in government.

He also noted the government's efforts in encouraging private sector participation in ensuring a more effective and sustainable rehabilitation and reintegration program for self-confessed drug users and pushers who surrendered.   

"The Philippine Government under President Duterte is committed to real change, to peace and development and to addressing the problems of poverty and inequality… We are committed to Change. We are committed to the rule of Law. We are committed to upholding human rights," Cayetano concluded.

Marikina Shoe Industry

TRADE CHIEF, JAPANESE SENATOR EXPLORE WAYS TO REVIVE MARIKINA SHOE INDUSTRY. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez (right) recently (2 May) discussed with Japanese Senator Teruhiko Mashiko (left) more possible ventures for trade and investment cooperation between the Philippines and Japan. Specifically, as Senator Mashiko talked about prospects in the shoe manufacturing industry in the Philippines, Sec. Lopez mentioned opportunity for Japanese investors to touch base with the stakeholders of Marikina City, the shoe capital of the Philippines. Also discussed were the complementary demographics between the two sides with Japan having silvering populace and with the Philippines enjoying a sweet spot of younger workforce. In view of its human capital advantage, the Philippines has become one of the most attractive markets for human resources globally. According to Sec. Lopez, President Rodrigo Duterte is very keen in bringing back the glory of Marikina's robust shoe making industry.

Senator Cayetano proposes to change mandatory retirement age for uniformed personnel

Cayetano proposes to change mandatory retirement age for uniformed personnel 

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is proposing to adjust the compulsory retirement age for the country's uniformed men and women from fifty-six (56) to sixty (60) years old.

Cayetano recently filed a measure seeking to adjust the compulsory retirement age for officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), uniformed officers and non-officers of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and members/officers of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

"We need more competent and dedicated uniformed personnel to assist our government pursue its programs to ensure peaceful, orderly, and safe communities," Cayetano said as he filed Senate Bill No. 1436 last May 4.

Cayetano pointed out that the tasks performed by the personnel of the PNP, BJMP, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the BFP require long years of training and experience. 

He said he is confident that at age 56, these personnel can still fulfill the physical, mental, and psychological demands and rigors of their position.

Under existing laws, civilian government employees are compulsorily retired at the age of sixty-five (65), while the retirement age for uniformed personnel is pegged at fifty-six (56). 

Currently, uniformed personnel who have accumulated thirty years of satisfactory service or who have reached the age of 56 are compulsorily retired. 

"Recognizing their indispensable role as protectors of the State and its citizens, the government has heavily invested in the training and development of the officers and members of these agencies," the senator stressed.

"We need to maximize their years of experience and wealth of knowledge, harness their leadership skills and professional competence until the age of 60," he added. 

Cayetano hopes that extending the years of service would also increase the number of qualified personnel in these respective offices. 

He noted that the long-term goal is to keep hardworking and dedicated uniformed personnel longer in service and to remove corrupt officials and scalawags who are destroying the image of the institutions that they serve.

"The senior officials are in the best position to help our administration to lead the reforms in their respective agencies," Cayetano noted.

"Additional years in service would also allow these officers to have more opportunities for career advancement," he added.