Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reorientation training for farmer-groups

To ensure government projects are properly used according to its purpose, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Central Mindanao have provided reorientation training for farmer-groups identified to receive multi-purpose drying pavements (MPDPs) on the mechanics of project implementation.

Provision of MPDPs or solar dryers is under the Agri-Pinoy Rice Program's, Post-harvest Facility Component.

The MPDP, which measures 15 m x 28 m x 0.10 m (4 inches thick) are implemented among rice areas in the region with their registered irrigators or farmers' associations.

DA is allocating P160,000 per unit of MPDP.

Multi-Purpose Drying Pavement is a solar dryer where farmers can dry various agricultural crops such as rice and corn.

Ray Embajador, DA 12 Agri-Pinoy Rice Program focal person, reminded the recipients to complete all the necessary documents required for the project.

As recipients, they should guarantee a total area of 420 square meters where the pavement will be constructed shall be owned by the farmers/irrigators' association.

The recipients should also shoulder the site development expenses like land filling, clearing, leveling, compacting and fencing of the area.

Emabajador said recipients are discouraged from introducing modifications of any structure on the pavement to serve its purpose of boosting rice production of IAs.

Before the start of the construction of the project, the recipients are urged to take photos of the area, its ongoing construction and even completion of the project for comprehensive documentation.

Since the project is under reimbursement basis, the recipients will temporarily utilize their own funds and will later be refunded by the regional field office after liquidation process has been done.

Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office (NEPPO)

At least 1,000 individuals were enlisted as force multipliers of the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office (NEPPO) as 10 non-government organizations (NGOs) were tapped to beef up local peace initiatives, a ranking police officer said on Monday.

Senior Supt. Crizaldo Nieves, Nueva Ecija police director, said that a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the PNP and the NGOs was recently signed at the NEPPO conference hall.

The recent signing was graced by PNP deputy director general for administration Rommel Heredia, who also makes assessments of provinces under the so-called areas of concern, Nieves said.

"We thank those people who willingly support our efforts to keep peace and order in our province," Nieves said, adding that the police makes sure such force multipliers will not be used to advance interest of any individual.

Heredia said the PNP hierarchy continues to make steps to upgrade peace initiatives in areas of concern.

New People’s Army (NPA) of illegal drugs activities

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Eastern Visayas and the Philippine Army (PA) will collaborate to contain the reported protection of the communist New People's Army (NPA) of illegal drugs activities aimed at beefing up their logistical resources.

Liza F. Baoy, PDEA-8 regional information officer said the agency and the Department of National Defense (DND) have received reports that the NPA is turning to the illegal drugs trade as a major source of funds to procure weapons and sustain their more than three-decade old uprising against the government.

"There were confirmed reports that leaders of some local drug syndicates have forged 'unholy alliances' with rebel groups for protection and self-preservation," Baoy said.

Alleged involvement of NPA rebels in the maintenance and cultivation of marijuana plantation sites in the countryside, particularly in Cordillera region, had been exposed since the early 1980s. In some cases, government troops raiding secret cannabis plantation have come under heavy fire from suspected NPA guerrillas guarding these sites.

"Illicit production, trafficking, sale, distribution and use of illegal drugs are potential dangers enough to unsettle our domestic stability and tranquility. There were several heinous crimes committed by perpetrators who are under the influence of illicit substances," Baoy added.

The findings, according to Baoy, are reasons enough for the PDEA and DND to launch a massive campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse. This is by way of providing PDEA with much-needed intelligence and manpower and logistical resources.

"The two bastions of law enforcement and peace likewise vowed to combine their forces and resources in order to keep the citizenry safe and free from drug-related harms," Baoy said.

May 1 Job Fair in Manila

A strategy to prevent jostling and elbowing by job seekers standing in long queues during the May 1 Job Fair which is under the auspices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-6) has been adopted to shun a repeat of past tumultuous job fairs, and thus create a more pleasant atmosphere for both applicants and company representatives.

Labor Information Officer Amy Judicpa said a pre-registration process is now in full swing at the 2nd floor of Marymart Mall here, and applicants are advised to take advantage of the scheme and avoid inconveniences of late registration.

"Pre-registration is going on, and will culminate on April 25 to 27. And we're happy to announce that STI is providing 10 computer sets on the final pre-registration days to receive online pre-registration entries," she said.

The Labor executive also gave specific instructions to job seekers not to forget important documents such as dossiers and transcript of re

Santiago City Police Office (SCPO)

The Santiago City Police Office (SCPO) arrested recently two drug users while in pot session at the Barangay Malvar, Santiago City

Police Regional Office 2 (PRO2) regional director Chief Supt. Rodrigo Purisima De Gracia identified the suspect as Virgilio Quejano, 36, and Harvel Pobre, 31, both residents of Mataas na Kahoy, Alicia, Isabela.

De Gracia said the joint anti-illegal drug operation of Intelligence Operatives and Police Station 1 in Barangay Malvar, Santiago City led to the arrest of Quejano and Pobre.

Confiscated from the suspects were one piece small heat sealed transparent sachet containing white crystalline substance believed to be metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu; two pieces color blue lighter; one piece surgical scissor and four used strip of aluminum foil.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO)

The three district offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the city in cooperation with the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)mounted on Monday the "Operation Baklas", a clean-up drive aimed at ridding political propaganda materials off the non-designated poster areas.

Lawyer Aimee Ampoloquio, election officer of the District 1 of Davao City, said their operation yielded plenty of political propaganda both from the incumbent officials and aspiring candidates gunning for the local elections.

She observed even political materials bearing the names of candidates of the ruling coalition headed by the Liberal Party (LP)and the opposing United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) were forcibly taken away from the posts, trees, walls and even at the facade of commercial establishments, whose owners claimed they were not consulted when these materials were posted.

"These propaganda materials will be used as pieces of evidence by the law department of the Commission on Elections in filing election law-violations against the candidates who violated the rule on posting campaign materials," Ampoloquio said.

Section 3 of the Comelec Resolution No. 7767 bars political candidates and their supporters from nailing or stapling campaign materials on trees and bans posting on bridges, power and telephone lines, schools, islands and monuments.

Comelec Resolution 9615 requires candidates to post propaganda materials only on authorized designated common poster areas or private property with the consent of the owner.

The policy states that violators can be imprisoned from one to six years with the right to vote forfeited and would no longer be allowed to run for public office.

Ampoloquio said that with the resolve of Comelec-Manila to sue violators, it is certain that formal charges will be filed against them with the many pieces of evidence gathered as proof of defying election laws.

"There are violations even from candidates of contending parties. We have all the pieces of evidence like photos and materials taken from the non-designated poster areas," she said.

Senior Superintendent Ronald de la Rosa, director of the Davao City Police Office, who assisted the poll body said his members are also deployed in the two other districts of the city to assist the clean-up drive.

He said simultaneous clean-up drive is also done in Toril, Calinan, Sasa, Bunawan and Buhangin.

Lawyer Joseph Dominic Felizarta, chief of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) said they are still awaiting the order to participate in the clean-up drive from the poll body.

Safe and Secure in Boracay

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said they had tightened the security in this resort island to secure both foreign and local tourists coming amidst bombing cases around the world.

Coast Guard Caticlan Assistant Senior Chief Petty Officer Ronie Hiponia said Monday that aside from the tourists coming, passengers using the roro (roll on roll off) vessels will also be undergoing strict security measures.

"Aside from safety concerns, we also received reports on the existence of illegal drugs trade and other outside world syndicates in the roro vessel," Hiponia said.

Recently, the Highway Patrol Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) had seized three sports utility vehicles which are suspected to be hot cars.

Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES)

The city government here has hired 400 student workers under its Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) this year.

The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) said that the first batch composed of 200 workers have been deployed effective April 1 to various city government offices and barangays. Those assigned in villages undertake the skills registry system- a project that identifies and records skilled workers in the area.

Meanwhile, as part of the holistic approach of the city government to the program, SPES workers will not only be assigned regular office work but will also undergo several activities like leadership training and other socio-civic activities.

Over the weekend they attended a Coastal Resource Management Orientation and coastal clean-up activity.

The second batch, meantime, will be deployed to their respective assignments starting May 6 until May 21.

A minimum wage of 220 pesos will be paid the workers, who will have to work for 22 days.

The city government will shoulder 60 percent of the total wage of students, while the other 40 percent will be paid by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

PNP-AFP action centers (PAACs)

The Pampanga Police Provincial Office (PPPO) has activated the PNP-AFP action centers (PAACs) established within the territorial boundaries of the province.

Senior Supt. R'win Pagkalinawan, Pampanga provincial police director, said that the activation of the PNP-AFP action center is intended to secure the entry and exit points in the province that would help ensure a peaceful and orderly May midterm elections.

The PNP-AFP action centers were activated for the apprehension of those who violate the gun ban and seize illegal firearms, inspect suspicious individuals and vehicles to avoid violence especially election-related incidents, Pagkalinawan said.

The PNP-AFP action center is a joint project of the Pampanga police, Philippine Army, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) through the initiative of the provincial government.

At present, there are four PNP-AFP action centers which are located along boundaries of the province: Barangay Mapalad in Arayat; Barangay San Roque in Magalang; Barangay Dolores in Mabalacat and along the Floridablanca-Dinalupihan boundary.

Meanwhile, the Regional Special Operations Task Force (RSOTG) is likewise conducting regular checkpoints in various municipalities in support to the municipal police personnel to prevent lawless and private armed groups from interfering with the holding of 2013 midterm elections.

The police likewise intensified the campaign against unlicensed firearms following the launching of "Katok Operation" in December last year.

This resulted to confiscation and voluntary surrender of firearms by the gun holders whose supporting papers are expired or application for registration is still pending.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Narco politics in Philippines

A top official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday confirmed the existence of "Narco politics" involving known political personalities in Northern Mindanao.

PDEA regional director Emerson Margate said there are incumbent government officials who are now the object of PDEA's intensive surveillance.

Margate made the disclosure following the conviction by a regional court here of Geodeguil Ursal, a member of the provincial board in Misamis Oriental, to life imprisonment for violation of the anti-drug laws.

"Ursal was an example of 'narco-politics' because in the first place Ursal was an incumbent government official while at the same time found engaged in illegal drugs," Margate said.

He said based on information gathered, Ursal already sold illegal drugs amounting to P 2 million in December 2010 prior to his arrest in a buy-bust operation in October 2011.

Margate said Ursal was the highest government official arrested and convicted for violation of the anti-drug laws in Northern Mindanao.

He said that the PDEA has a list of top government officials engaged in "narco-politics" in the region.

According to Margate, these officials have already established linkages in the region and are now being watch closely.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Certificate Program on Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) signed an agreement with the
University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) that would help improve the quality of instruction of teachers handling Kindergarten and Grades 1-3 pupils in public schools last March 21 at RAFI Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center.

Through the "Certificate Program on Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual
Education (MTB-MLE) for Public School Teachers", 80 teachers from Cebu province will be given intensive training on the utilization of the MTB-MLE in the teaching-learning process. The usage of the mother tongue in Kindergarten to Grade 3 is one of the features of the K-12 educational program.

The 80 teachers will be selected over the summer by a panel composed of
representatives of RAFI, USJ-R College of Education, and Department of Education 7. They will be enrolled in USJ-R for two trimesters under the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education Program, where they are expected to come up with quality MTB-MLE instructional materials and mentor their colleagues on effective MTB-MLE

Complementing the teacher's training is a language mapping research in Cebu, which will be conducted to serve as the basis for the designs of the instructional materials. The university's research team will also study the effectiveness of the MTB-MLE instruction.

The training aims to equip the public school teachers with theoretical and
practical approaches that would be best used in the implementation of the MTB-MLE, which is already employed in Kindergarten and Grade 1, and will be executed in Grade 2 by June.

The partnership is supported by RAFI's Grants through the RAFI Development Fund. It aims to contribute to the improvement of education quality by making relevant and effective resources available and providing access to better learning opportunities.

This year, RAFI once again seeks proposals for projects in Cebu province to
receive financial assistance through the RAFI Development Fund. Priority projects this year include curriculum development, integration, and management; alternative delivery mode (ADM); alternative learning system (ALS); technical and vocational education and training; and initiatives that support or enhance the K-12 program.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Philippine Election Ballot Printing

By Janice M. Cave

Printing of ballots for the May 13 mid-term polls is almost 98 percent complete, an official of the state-run National Printing Office said Monday.

NPO Assistant Director Raul Nagrampa said as of 12 midnight, ballots printed is at 52.1 million or 97.6 percent of the required 53.4 million ballots.

At least one million ballots are left to be printed, he added.

He said they expect to finish the printing of ballots tomorrow, April 2, or three weeks ahead of target schedule.

On Wednesday, April 3, Nagrampa said they will have a ceremonial printing of the last ballot with Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes.

As of today, the NPO is still printing ballots for the National Capital Region.

Nagrampa added that the NPO has turned over 48.8 million ballots to the Comelec.

Earlier, the Comelec directed the NPO to complete the printing by April 25 or less than three weeks before election day. The printing of ballots started on Feb. 4.