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Governor to put up govt centers in all barangays in Palawan

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Jan. 31 (PNA) -– Envisioning clean and orderly government centers with adequate facilities in impressive greener surroundings, Governor Jose Alvarez met the barangay officials of the 19 barangays of the municipality of Aborlan, the first town in the south of Puerto Princesa City, during the weekend to discuss the Barangay Infrastructure Project which is expected to take off this year.

Aiming to fast-track Palawan’s long overdue development, Alvarez is initiating this grand project to steer economic growth in the barangays, which he believes has been neglected for so many years.

In his message to the barangay officials of Aborlan gathered at the multipurpose hall of the municipality, Alvarez said in the vernacular, “Alam ba ninyo na 100 years na and Provincial Government of Palawan pero hanggang ngayon kulang pa rin tayo ng facilities sa mga barangay. Ang ating suhesityon ay habang nandito po ako, tapusin na natin ‘tong probelma sa barangay.” (“Are you aware that the Provincial Government of Palawan is more than 100 years old? Yet our barangays still lack the basic facilities and amenities such as a covered court. My suggestion is that while I am still here, let’s work together to address the needs of our barangays.”)

The Governor presented a perspective of the Barangay Infrastructure Project, designed by the provincial government’s Architect Kim Arvin G. Orar, to the barangay officials and the town Mayor Jaime Ortega together with other local officials.

The proposed barangay government center includes a barangay hall, health care center, day care center, senior citizen center, women’s center and a multipurpose hall which shall also serve as evacuation center in case of calamities.

According to the plan, the seats at the bleachers section of the multipurpose hall should be one meter wide so it can be turned into sleeping boards for evacuees. It should be equipped with clean, comfortable and convenient rest rooms for public use and of tourists as well.

Incorporated in the plan are road network and landscaping to ensure accessibility in a pleasant green environment that should also serve as barangay plaza. It should also be provided with a well-planned drainage system as a flood-control measure.

Regarding the financial and logistical requirements of this massive Barangay Infrastructure Project, the three levels of governance from the provincial, municipal to the barangay have agreed to adopt the bottom up planning and budgeting or BUB which is also tagged by the Department of Budget and Management as grassroots participatory budgeting.

Under this scheme, the provincial, municipal and barangay governments will share the project's funding requirements.

The barangay share would come from its 20% Development Fund to be remitted to the municipal government and in turn remit the same to a trust fund of the provincial government for the said project.

According to Atty. Gil Acosta, Jr., Legal Officer V, the municipal government should also remit its own counterpart fund to the project.

Both shares of the municipal and provincial government should be higher than the barangay share. To start up the project, the provincial government will advance the required funds.

The meeting ended with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement by representatives of the three agencies namely the Barangay, Municipal and the Provincial Government. Expected completion of the Barangay Infrastructure Project province wide is 2017.

Alvarez is hopeful that with the support and cooperation of the barangay and municipal officials of Aborlan, other barangays will have a model to look up to in the implementation of the project in their respective barangays.

There are 367 barangays all over Palawan. (PNA)

Philippine Archive / Salcon Issue in Bohol
« on: March 28, 2015, 01:47:13 PM »
Like a blast from the past, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, who approved the controversial sale of the twin provincial public utilities (light and water) to the Salcon Group of Companies in year 2000, were confronted anew with the allegation of “having received money from the deal.”

Tossed into the limelight is former board member and now provincial administrator Atty. Tomas Abapo, Jr. who was then the defense counsel of the provincial government when it faced a suit in the regional trial court questioning propriety of the sale of the twin facilities (formerly under the Provincial Public Utilities Department -PPUD).

He was emphatic in saying “he did not received a single centavo from that joint-venture-agreement” entered into by the provincial government under former governor Rene Relampagos.

“Kinsa tong, mo-ingon nga usa ko’s nakasapi, I will look at him straight in the eye and say I received not a single centavo,” Abapo said when confronted on the issue during the regular Friday radio program Governor’s Report.

“Gani kon buot hunahunaon, alkansi pa ko,” he added.

He said he was not paid by the provincial government when he acted as lawyer in defending the propriety of the deal in the lower court and up to the Court of Appeals.

Abapo had to explain further, answering the question posed by Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Bohol Chapter president Atty. Salvador Diputado who recalled that the previous public consensus was that the PPUD was not well managed by the government and that private operators can do it better.

“If the propriety of the sale to Salcon was right, then why tinker with the idea of buying it again?” Diputado threw the question to the former Relampagos lawyer.

“There was a meeting held last week at the Bohol Beach Club with the Governor, Vice Governor and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Those board members who previously supported the Salcon deal are now backing the buy-back plan because they are disappointed too”, Abapo revealed.

JVA violations
The lawyer-provincial administrator revealed that there are violations that discouraged the provincial government in continuing with the joint-venture-agreement.

First, there is no accounting report submitted to the provincial government in the last five years of operation; second, the government is not receiving any share of the profits of the operation despite being the second majority stockholder (with 30% share) in the twin utilities.

The final point that triggered the plan to end the joint-venture-agreement is in the decision-making which was supposed to be made unanimous among board of directors as stipulated in the JVA.

Abapo cited the water rate increase petition of 40.79% submitted by the Bohol Water Utilities Inc. which was subsequently approved by the National Water Resources Board in Manila on September 20, 2006.

The BWUI board resolution submitted to NWRB was approved without consultation and the signature of the provincial government representative Engr. Francisco Ceniza.

“The resolution therefore was null and void from the beginning since it has no approval of the whole members of the board which include two representatives from the provincial government,” Abapo said.

Last week, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has authorized the governor and the two water board representatives to initiate appropriate legal steps to nullify the resolution and prevent the implementation and collection of the increased water rates.

Abapo said the Office of the Provincial Legal Office is now finalizing an intra- corporate complaint that will be filed in a regional trial court this week.

Political issue
The Salcon issue has been publicly acknowledge as the Waterloo of the then governor Relampagos.

Touted as the youngest ever-elected governor of the province, he spearheaded the idea of selling the twin public utilities to the Salcon Group of Companies in the year 2000; declaring that he is “putting at stake his political career” for such decision; eyeing a better water and light services under private hands.

Curiously, after a series of public hearings, members of the provincial board, including Abapo, were treated to a leisure trip to Malaysia where they allegedly received the fat pay-off from the multi-national Salcon firm.

And amid separate appraisals that the twin facilities were worth over P500-million, the Salcon deal was consummated in December 2000 for the amount of only P150-million.

It was a year before Relampagos’ re-election bid for his third and final term.

In the May 2001 elections, his contender, then second district congressman Erico Aumentado trounced him badly with a record-high total margin of 49,000 + votes in the final counting.

Light and water consumers in Tagbilaran City also delivered close to10,000 votes for Aumentado in expressing their disagreement in the controversial Salcon deal.

The same issue dealt another defeat for Relampagos in his second attempt in May 2004 to regain his former Capitol seat. - January 7, 2007, The Bohol Standard

Bohol Earthquake 2013 / PCCED's Rehabilitation Program for Bohol
« on: March 28, 2015, 07:23:22 AM »
PCCED's Rehabilitation Program for Bohol

The Basque Agency for Development Cooperation has extended for another 8 months its support for PCCED's Rehabilitation Program in the province of Bohol. Since early this year, PCCED has been implementing various aid and rehabilitation program for the victims of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the Visayas. These programs were focused on livelihood, shelter, food aid, repair of classrooms, infrastructure and health and nutrition.

The programs were implemented in the two municipalities of Loon and Antequera over a period of 8 months. According to program manager Ms. Raiza Cusi, the first phase is already on the exit phase. "We are currently in the process of doing the exit meetings with the communities so this extension is really good news."
While the first phase also included Palompon, Leyte, the new grant will only focus on Bohol and will only include the continuation of the shelter and livelihood programs. Jaime Bernar, Zabalketa's director general, stressed the importance of sustainability. "We need to make sure that these communities become resilient and not dependent on dole-outs." Zabalketa is an NGO based in Spain and which has been working with PCCED in the Philippines since 2007.

Vietnam, Thailand look for garment, textile cooperation

The garment and textile industries in Thailand and Vietnam should strengthen cooperation to improve competitiveness and exploit the ASEAN market, delegates said at a meeting held in HCM City yesterday.

Nguyen Van Tuan, deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said in recent years that Vietnam had emerged as a production hub for garment and textile products.

However, the industry has had to import up to 85 percent of materials needed for production.

He said cooperation with Thailand was necessary as it has advantages in textiles, design and administration.

Phasiree Orawattanasrikul, vice chairwoman of Thai Garment Manufacturers Association's (TGMA) Trade and Investment Promotion sub-committee, said Thailand's textile and garment industry had an entire supply chain cycle from upstream to downstream, from yarn manufacturing to apparel manufacturing. It also includes fashion design.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has the skills and ability to become an apparel production hub for international buyers, but it lacks upstream and midstream channels, she said.

"Therefore, establishing fully vertical integrated-supply chain between Thailand and Vietnam is one of the big steps toward granting and sustaining our competitiveness," she said.

Tuan said total global apparel trade was worth USD 800 billion last year, and is expected to top USD 1,664 billion in 2030, offering a huge opportunity for the industry.

Asian production will account for 60 percent the world's total production by 2030 from the current level of 50 percent, he said.

With increasing costs in China as well as competitiveness with other industries, many garment and textile producers have shifted their production base to ASEAN countries, including Vietnam.

Vietnam has signed, and is negotiating, a number of free trade agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership, which are expected to bring huge benefits to the garment and textile industry.

However, to enjoy benefits, Vietnamese companies must meet product origin as well as yarn-forward regulations.

With Thailand not included in the TPP, Thai enterprises should enhance cooperation with Vietnamese firms to produce fabric and materials in Vietnam to take advantages of benefits brought from trade agreements, he said.

The cooperation of the two sides would also help the industry better exploit the ASEAN market of 600 million people, when the ASEAN Economic Community becomes effective by the end of the year.

Vietnam's textile and garment industry is always on the lookout to improve competitiveness and achieve higher productivity, thus increasing its edge in the world market, he said.

ASEAN apparel shows

The upcoming GFT, the most comprehensive show for garment and textile manufacturing industry in ASEAN, will bring opportunities for Vietnamese firms in the field to broaden knowledge, and update trends and latest technology and network across ASEAN, Duangrat Udomsomporn, senior manager-portfolio Reed Tradex Company, said.

To be held in Bangkok from July 9 to 12, the GFT will be held concurrently with the Garment Manufacturers Sourcing Expo 2015 (GMS), ASEAN's only exhibition on materials, accessories, and equipment for garment and textile manufacturing. It is expected to meet the needs of manufacturers from downstream to upstream, she said.

Besides exhibiting technologies and solutions from around 250 leading brands from 25 countries, the expo will also include the ASEAN garment and textile summit and business matchmaking, allowing participants to receive exciting and in-depth perspective on current and future trends of the industry.

Trade turnover between the two countries totalled USD 10 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 12.5 percent, Malinee Harnboonsong, Thailand's Director of International Trade Promotion, said.

Last year, Vietnam earned USD 76 million from yarn exports to Thailand and spent USD 194 million to import fabric from the country, she said. (PNA/VNS)

Press Release Philippines / Observe Holy Week, Roxas tells LGUs
« on: March 27, 2015, 10:02:19 PM »
Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas ordered all local chief executives (LCEs) to ensure a peaceful and safe observance of Holy Week in their respective localities.

In a memorandum circular, Roxas ordered the LCEs to convene their local peace and order councils to plan actions in anticipation of the “heavy movement of people from various places that shall focus on ensuring adequate transportation, [and] medical emergency services.”

He also directed all LCEs to “establish close coordination with concerned local authorities, cause the mobilization of law enforcers, traffic enforcers, barangay tanods, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams, public safety officers,” and “ensure cleanliness and orderliness by mobilizing all resources in garbage collection and disposal, and clean-up operations of public places.”

Earlier, Roxas called on all DILG employees to consider applying a “programmatic, deliberate and sustainable” approach not only in their work but even in their personal lives, as they reflect this Holy Week.

During the flag-raising ceremony, Roxas said this is the framework that he and the other DILG officials employ in implementing programs and projects.

He explained that programmatic means “coherent across disciplines - hindi silos. hindi kanya-kanya,” while deliberate means “malawakan, integrated na pagtingin sa isang programa, sa isang gawain; hindi bara-bara, hindi patsamba. It’s the same every time, all the time.”

On the other hand, he explained that a sustained method is “an approach to work, an approach to life, that is stable, hindi pansamanatala lamang, hindi ningas-cugon.”

He also advised DILG employees to “plan your work, plan your approach then work your plan, para hindi ka naliligaw. That’s the reflection that I wanted to leave with you this morning."

Question and Answer / How Often Do You Shower?
« on: January 13, 2015, 12:57:22 PM »
How Often Do You Shower?

Showbiz & Celebrity / Emma Stone on Red Carpet
« on: January 09, 2015, 03:35:21 PM »
Emma Stone on Red Carpet

Photos Unlimited / Comet Can Be Seen Every Year
« on: January 06, 2015, 09:32:44 PM »

Comet Can Be Seen Until End of January 2015

Facts and Trivia / What is the Asian Highway?
« on: January 04, 2015, 03:48:37 PM »
What is the Asian Highway?

Facts and Trivia / Proper Way to Poop
« on: January 04, 2015, 03:37:40 PM »
Proper Way to Poop

World Daily News / Cape Town's Muizenberg beach
« on: January 02, 2015, 11:38:21 PM »

Robotics & Wireless Tech / Waterproof Sony Z3
« on: November 09, 2014, 08:15:09 AM »

"Posted via Tapatalk, a free app downloadable at Google Play Store and Apple iOS. Browse and post on through your smartphone or tablet by using Tapatalk app."

Health and Food / Re: Want a healthy liver? Drink coffee!
« on: November 09, 2014, 07:56:46 AM »
Mobibo ug samot ang Starbucks ani. :)

Health and Food / Smoking Depletes Your Body's Vitamin C
« on: November 09, 2014, 07:47:54 AM »

Photos Unlimited / Samar, Philippines
« on: November 09, 2014, 07:45:56 AM »

Photos Unlimited / Sunset at Cabilao Island, Loon, Bohol
« on: November 08, 2014, 05:58:49 PM »

Workplace & Productivity / Leave Your Office On Time
« on: November 08, 2014, 06:55:27 AM »

Photos Unlimited / Pinakagwapang Mananari ug Manok sa Pilipinas
« on: November 06, 2014, 07:41:43 PM »

Photos Unlimited / Monet's Rose Garden
« on: November 03, 2014, 07:48:36 PM »

Photos Unlimited / Into The Eyes of a Child
« on: November 03, 2014, 07:22:58 PM »

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