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Updated: 15 min 1 sec ago

Mayor Rama threatens to fire 3,000 more City Hall workers

Mon, 2022-07-04 20:26
AFTER not renewing the contracts of 500 City Hall casual and job order employees in July 2022, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has threatened to fire 3,000 more employees if they will not perform their duties.

During the flag-raising ceremony at the Plaza Sugbo Monday, July 4, 2022, Rama again warned that employees should do their tasks or face termination.

“I want to announce today that if nothing improves and no program (is) being instituted, expect 3,000 employees to lose their jobs. I am serious about it,” said Rama.

Rama said there will be an evaluation after six months to determine the performance of the employees.

Currently, City Hall has 10,000 employees on its payroll, and 5,000 of them are job order workers, 3,600 are casual employees, and 1,500 are regular employees.

Rama also directed all heads of the various City Hall departments to monitor the operations in their respective offices.

“I am directing all heads, give them (employees) your cooperation, bring them where they should be. I do not wish to hear that they are not being given an assignment,” said Rama.

Rama further said that he will remove department heads who will not perform their jobs.

On July 1, Rama made good on his threats to get rid of 500 workers after he did not approve the renewal of the contracts of 500 employees who failed to pass the local government’s evaluation.

The mayor’s warning to employees started when he issued a memorandum last May 16 informing them that contracts of all coterminous, casual and job order employees would expire on June 30.

The employees must undergo an evaluation to determine if they would still be included in the city’s payroll on July 1.

Under the memo, the employees were evaluated based on the following: “kawatan (thief), tapulan (lazy), hugawan (messy), intregero (intriguer), pala-away (quarrelsome), walay nahibaw-an (ignorant), dili mo bayad og utang (does not pay debts), and mo buko-buko (backstabber).”
Categories: Philippines News

Mandaue’s Lolypop eyes 6 priority bills

Mon, 2022-07-04 20:22
MANDAUE Lone District Rep. Emmarie “Lolypop” Ouano-Dizon will have at least six priority bills during the 19th Congress.

Ouano-Dizon told SunStar Cebu on Monday, July 4, 2022, that these bills will prioritize education, health, solutions to traffic congestion, and disaster preparedness.

The bills comprise new and follow-up bills to those she filed during the 18th Congress.

First on her list is to file a resolution urging the House of Representatives to call for a review and assessment of the K-12 program.

The program was implemented by the Department of Education nearly a decade ago, following the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.

Ouano-Dizon hopes to re-evaluate the program to see if it has achieved its goal or purpose.

She looks forward to education stakeholders identifying the challenges and gaps of the program since its implementation and deciding on whether to discontinue or modify it.

This, she said, after some sectors reported that it has become financially burdensome to parents.

To prioritize education, Ouano-Dizon will also refile a bill converting the Mandaue City College into a state college that will be called Mandaue State College.

She plans to refile the bill following the successful conversion of Consolacion Community College into one of Cebu Technological University’s satellite campuses.

In the aspect of health, Ouano-Dizon plans to follow up on the bill making renal replacement therapy (RRT) more accessible in national, regional and provincial hospitals that she co-sponsored during the 18th Congress.

The lawmaker cited the rise of kidney diseases, as stated by the Philippine Renal Disease Industry in 2017. She added that a lot of individuals die without experiencing kidney treatments as it is costly in the country.

She said the bill had already passed three readings in the House of Representatives, and this time she hoped it would also pass in the Senate.

To solve traffic congestion in Mandaue City, the congresswoman aims to refile the bill providing a tri-level interchange along M.C. Briones Street corner U.N. Avenue.

The bill passed three Congress readings and was approved by the Senate committee on public works. But it did not pass the second and third readings in the Senate due to lack of time.

Ouano-Dizon also aims to refile the bill she co-sponsored during the 18th Congress that aims to create a Department of Disaster Resilience that will coordinate and integrate the various government disaster and resilience programs.

She will also revisit the bill she co-sponsored proposing to incentivize the services of barangay officials with the inclusion of Government Service Insurance System life insurance, other social security benefits and health protection.
Categories: Philippines News

3 Capitol dep’t heads retire, administrator steps down

Mon, 2022-07-04 19:52
THREE department heads of the Cebu Provincial Government have retired while another official has not renewed his appointment as Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia starts her fifth term.

In a press conference on Monday, July 4, 2022, Garcia said Dr. Christina Giango, head of the Provincial Health Office (PHO); Ramon Dumayac, head of the Provincial Accounting Office; and Marivic Garces, head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) have retired from government service.

Aside from the three department heads, Provincial Administrator Noli Valencia also didn’t renew his appointment despite being a coterminus employee due to reasons related to his health.


Garcia said Dr. Rannie Corazon Pepito-Gravador is currently the PHO’s acting head after Giango recommended her to the governor.

For PSWDO, Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy, who currently heads the Provincial Veterinary Office, will serve as acting head until Garcia will be able to get a permanent replacement for Garces.

Garcia said that she is still waiting for Dumayac’s recommendation on who will replace him as head of the Provincial Accounting Office.

As to Valencia’s case, Garcia said she wants the next provincial administrator to have “institutional knowledge” in order to keep up with the demands of the position.

“I will not doubt your competence but you have to make up for your institutional knowledge,” Garcia added.

Garcia has hoped that the future officers-in-charge of the four offices will show true dedication and service to the public.
Categories: Philippines News

Bzzzzz: It's official: The first Cebu-Mactan bridge is now Serging Osmeña Bridge, named after the son, not Don Sergio. Raul del Mar bill lapsed into law... Cordova mayor's office stripped of all furniture, which ex-mayor Sitoy-Cho says are hers.

Mon, 2022-07-04 19:49
BY OPERATION OF LAW. The bill naming the first Cebu-Mactan bridge Serging Veloso Osmeña Bridge, after the late former Cebu City mayor and senator, lapsed into law, as Republic Act # 11828, last June 2.

The president is required to act on a bill in 30 days or it becomes a law by inaction. It takes effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

Filed on December 14, 2020 in the House of Representatives by the late Cebu City north congressman Raul V. del Mar as principal author, the bill was approved on third reading last January 20, 2021. Last May 2, 2022, it was transmitted to the president after Senate approval. Bzzzzz learned Monday, July 4, about the official passage of the measure by operation of law.

The bridge traversing the Mactan Channel -- located at A.C. Cortes Ave. in Barangay Looc, Mandaue City up to the Mandaue-Mactan Road in Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City -- was variously named as Mactan-Cebu Bridge, First Bridge, Old Bridge, then Serging Osmeña Bridge. Last April 12, 2013, the Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) recommended that the first bridge be officially named Serging Osmeña Bridge.

Earlier, some confusion arose because news reports said the new name was Sergio Osmeña Sr., Serging's father and Cebu's Grand Old Man. MCBMB's choice was Serging Osmeña but it was merely recommendatory as only the president by executive order or Congress by law could officially name a national bridge.

Of the two other Cebu-Mactan bridges, only Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge is officially named, by act of Congress. The third bridge, linking Cordova town in Mactan to Cebu City, is named CCLEX or Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway by its management board but the name may be replaced by the president or Congress.

[Related story, February 9, 2022: Explainer: First Mactan-Cebu bridge still has no official name.]


'MISSING' FURNITURE IN CORDOVA. They were her personal property, some of which dating back to years when she was still vice mayor. That's the public explanation of former Cordova, Cebu mayor Teche Sitoy-Cho whom Mayor Cesar "Didoy" Suan defeated in the last election.

Suan reported Saturday, July 2, that he found when he went to the mayor's office Thursday, June 30, it to be bare except for a table. Besides, he learned that "hundreds of chairs" the town hall lends for wakes and barangay activities were missing. He ordered an inventory.

2019 INCIDENT IN CEBU CITY. People inevitably recall the news reports of June 28, 2019 when then outgoing mayor Tomas Osmeña "stripped" his office of fixtures, "literally taking the entire office with him when his term ended." Images of the empty office, with not a single object visible, and the cannibalized comfort room shocked the city and many parts of the country.

The Cordova case, which Mayor Suan is complaining about, is not half as stupefying as the Cebu City Hall shocker. Which, by the way, has not produced a follow-up story until now: Was Tomas Osmeña right? Did he take only what belonged to him? Was any piece of City Hall property missing and returned? With all the uproar, was it over nothing?

TRANSITION RULES. Mayor Suan praised the "smooth transition." If there was, how come he's now complaining of lost or missing furniture?

LGTTs or Local Governance Transition Teams were ordered organized by DILG for an "effective turnover of responsibilities." The teams were supposed to be formed already by last April 7. And they were to care of the job of inventory and turnover -- not just of records but also of assets "for the seamless continuance of ongoing programs for the people."

Then mayor Sitoy-Cho, as local chief executive, was to be the chairperson. The members are the LGU department heads, the municipal local government operations officer, the Sanggunian secretary and a representative from a civil society organization.

The matter of Sitoy-Cho's furniture and those hundreds of activity chairs should've been settled by then. Now Mayor Suan talks of having an inventory.

Given the 2019 incident in Cebu City, Cordova's LGTT should've been more diligent about its task.


Tell us about it.


Categories: Philippines News

Espina: USJR in our hearts

Mon, 2022-07-04 19:30
I joined then Colegio de San Jose Recoletos (CSJ-R) now University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) in 1964. I would have taught at the University of San Carlos upon the invitation of Fr. Wadslwick, or at Colegio Immaculada under then Directress Sor Encarnacion.

But, one Sunday afternoon in 1964, Sonny and I were strolling along Colon St., we saw the gates of CSJ-R open so we entered. We saw a priest walking in the school’s quadrangle. He was the rector then, Fr. Francisco Monasterio, who upon knowing I was an English teacher, readily offered me a teaching job which Sonny accepted.

I didn’t know what to say because I knew I had a pending offer from two schools. But I had no choice. Sonny said that CSJ-R was the sister school of San Sebastian College in Manila where he graduated. He felt the school will protect me. He also pursued his College of Law, until third year, evening schedules, while I had some evening English classes too.

The rest is history. I never left San Jose and San Jose never left me until 2000 when I retired as Dean of College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Up to this time, I still handle a few doctoral classes in English and literature.

The many milestones I chaired, or helped in the history of USJ-R include founding of the Little Theater in 1964 and the USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble, conceptualization of new courses: Mass Communication, Liacom, Effective Communication or Efcom, and the BS Hotel and Restaurant Management and BS Tourism which later were transferred to the College of Commerce after I retired, and this broke my heart.

I established linkages and built the first HRM mini hotel, the Benedicto Masscom Studio, the Norberto Quisumbing HRM facilities, then the first Audio Visual studio under then president, Fr. Francisco Siguenza. (He wanted to name it after me before he left USJ-R. Wow, it would have been a testimony of my services).

I helped upgrade the speech labs, biology labs and had for awhile a space for the American Studies library, which was abandoned when I retired. I sent faculty members in the US Fulbright and International Visitors Programs. I established partnerships with the Department of Tourism, Zonta Club Cebu 1, Amcham, CCCI, Cebu City Tourism Commission and Eatof, among others.

There were short term courses in tourism and HRM, when they were with the CAS during the terms of Father Presidents Blas Montenegro, Rafael Cabarles and Hernando Coja.

For “academic, theater and cultural enrichment”, I brought four faculty members in Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia in preparation for the tourism courses.

The USJ-R Dramatics and Cultural Ensemble performed in Utah, California, USA, then in Xiamen, Beijing with the support of Fathers Anthony Morillo and Raul Buhay, who appointed me as PR and Cultural consultant.

Oh, I had so many meaningful episodes as an adopted Josenian, and the crowning glory was my installation as “Hermana General” by the Recollect Order, Prior General, Miguel Mitra Miro.

My dream during childhood inspired by the Maryknoll and Dominican sisters to be a nun had been realized.

I directed so many musicales as literature and drama enrichment and produced great thespians now successful here and abroad. I will treasure West Side Story, Sister Acts 1 and 2, Sound of Music, The Restless Journey of St. Augustine, St. Ezekiel, the Healing Priest. Broadway, Broadway!

The 75 years of the Recoletos in Cebu will be commemorated this year onward with meaningful events. All these years, the USJ-R had achieved academic excellence as certified by Paascu.

Its branches in strategic places in Cebu delineate its goal of Quality Christian Community Oriented Education, a concept of then president, Fr. Blas Montenegro.

As the school met current demands in education, it has adopted new perspectives and relevant linkages across the globe through the efforts of the new administration, deans and faculty. Its commerce and business courses expanded. The Teachers College became a Center of Excellence. The Graduate school increased its enrolment because of innovative courses in business, English and engineering supported by state of the art facilities as well as the IT courses with a separate building in Basak run by a competent dean, quality faculty and upgraded facilities.

The school’s community projects, the “Panagtiayun” series, and departmental programs, were pacesetters.

Adelante! It’s 400 Years of presence in Cebu then 75 years of CSJ-R /USJ-R, are glorious epochs of history.

My most meaningful memories of USJR are intact as Fr. Nonie Morillo, OAR, continued to be my guiding light from the time I served, then retired. He is God’s gift to my family, who truly believed in me and continuously assures me of our well-being through the masses he offers for us.

I join the series of celebration of the 400 Years of Recoletos Presence in Cebu and the 75 years of the University of San Jose Recoletos. The USJ-R Dramatics and Allef Alumni are preparing an October concert. Adelante!
Categories: Philippines News

Science Made Easy

Mon, 2022-07-04 19:13
Youtube used to be a space mainly for entertainment but lately, people are watching videos to learn.

One of these educational sources is “Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell” (pronounced ‘kurts-guh-zaakt’), a Germany-based science Youtube channel with over 18 million subscribers.

But don’t mistake this channel for a typical Science lesson that bores viewers with discussion of the periodic table.

With its eye-catching visuals, smooth narration, and an engaging story, the team at Kurzgesagt are masters at sparking your curiosity and inspiring you to learn more.

Here’s why you should watch Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell.

It answers your wildest questions and discusses the craziest situations

Kurzgesagt which roughly translates into “in a nutshell,” is famous for its crazy what-if? Scenarios like what would happen if we nuked the moon? Or what if the Earth got kicked out of the solar system?

When you’re ready to be humbled, hop over to “The Existential Crisis Playlist” and understand how small you are in the grand scheme of the universe and learn that a million cosmic events can destroy the Earth at any time.

Or just discover the ongoing Ant War beneath our ground. It’s up to you!

The channel makes it easier to understand Science

It’s a balancing act choosing which information cut and which to keep:

“We need to find metaphors and stories that capture the true nature of things as much as possible, while using a language that our brains can deal with.”

Imagine discussing topics like wormholes, black holes, and string theory in a way that everyone can understand.

Which is why “Kurzgesagt - In A Nutshell” is praised for how well the people behind it explain such complicated ideas simply; through stories audience can follow along in a language that makes sense to everyone.

You can trust it for correct information

Each video takes over 1,200 hours from conceptualization to uploading the video on Youtube. After deciding on a topic, the writers gather books and research papers and come up with a script—which can take anywhere from a few weeks to years to complete.

At every step, they consult with scientists and experts to review and fact-check that the team got it right. Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell focuses on quality over quantity and ensures that the team behind it is doing all they can to be accurate.

Its visual is accurate

“Kurzgesagt - In A Nutshell” has a distinct art style, inspired by various minimalist flat designers. This vector style art, combined with clever animation, creates an eye-catching visual which keeps viewers interested.

Its mascot, the Duck or “birb” as fans affectionately call it, features in almost all their videos as an astronaut, a scientist, an explorer, or whatever needed. It is also very cute and endearing.

The team behind the channel is not afraid to make mistakes

The team at “Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell” prides itself on its factual accuracy and reliability as a source of information; but, like any human, can make mistakes once in a while.

One of its videos titled “Addiction” was criticized for presenting a complicated and divisive subject as having one simple answer and not conducting further research.

Instead of deflecting blame, “Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell” took responsibility and publicly acknowledged that a mistake was made.

“Addiction” was taken down from the channel despite being one of its most popular videos.
Categories: Philippines News

Neda: New admin to address soaring debt, food prices

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:53
NEWLY appointed secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Arsenio Balisacan on Monday said that addressing the country’s rising debt and food prices are among the priorities of the new administration.

“I am happy to share that the President and the Economic Team are in substantial agreement on the overall goal of the new administration. We all agree to quickly revive job creation and poverty reduction by steering the economy back to the high-growth path while addressing government debt and the sharply rising prices of food and essential commodities,” said Balisacan in his statement during the Neda turnover ceremony on July 4, 2022.

Neda has welcomed the appointment of Balisacan as the country’s socioeconomic plannning secretary under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration.

The returning secretary expressed eagerness in reprising his role as Neda chief.

“I am deeply honored to serve Neda once again. When President Bongbong Marcos invited me to join his Cabinet as socioeconomic planning secretary, I was fully aware that the challenges before me were far more complex than the last time I was at Neda’s helm. Nevertheless, having always viewed public service as a great privilege, when the invitation to serve again came, I humbly accepted the challenge and responsibility of leading Neda, recognizing its critical role in the country’s recovery and post-pandemic development,” Balisacan said.

The Neda chief also stated his priorities to further the country’s economic recovery in 2022 and beyond.

Given these goals, Balisacan also shared three things stakeholders and Filipinos can expect from Neda under his leadership.

“First, expect Neda to be committed to pushing for necessary measures to raise the country’s economic performance. During my previous tenure here, Neda helped shepherd the country to a growth trajectory that was quite rapid relative to our Asian neighbors,” he stated.

Balisacan also emphasized enhancing Neda’s proactive engagement with its stakeholders on policy advising, planning, and monitoring.

“Second, we shall strive to be in the front rather than behind the curve of critical policy issues involving national and local development, including policy and program coordination,” he said.

Lastly, Balisacan highlighted Neda’s mandate to uphold a culture of openness, transparency, and professionalism concerning the direction of national economic policies, plans, and programs.

The ceremony, which was held in the agency’s new multi-purpose building, was led by former Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, who passed on to Balisacan the symbolic Neda flag and a set of transition notes.

“There are many challenges to address, notably the scarring effects, in particular in education sector, and the rising risk of global stagflation. But I am confident that I am leaving Neda in very capable hands. It is my highest honor to welcome back Secretary Arsenio Balisacan to Neda,” Chua said.

“To Secretary Arsi and my Neda family, I assure you of my continued support as you steer this country out of the pandemic, manage the external risks, and lead the country closer to AmBisyon Natin 2040,” he added.

Balisacan served as the socioeconomic planning secretary during the late President Benigno S. Aquino III’s administration from 2012 to 2016. He spearheaded the conception of the AmBisyon Natin 2040, the country’s long-term vision and the basis for planning that aims to provide every Filipino with a strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life by 2040. (PR)
Categories: Philippines News

Bill seeks to suspend VAT, excise taxes on fuel

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:53
SENATOR Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday filed a bill seeking the suspension of value added tax (VAT) and excise taxes on petroleum if the Dubai Crude Oil based on the Mean of Platts Singapore reaches $80 per barrel.

The bill, which tops Pimentel’s priority bills in the 19th Congress, seeks to amend Sections 106, 107, and 148 of the National Internal Revenue Code.

Pimentel has urged the government to temporarily suspend the VAT and excise taxes on fuel products amid the soaring oil prices of oil in the global market.

To recuperate the revenue losses from the supposed non-imposition of fuel taxes, the senator instead urged the government to “tighten its belt” in terms of the annual budget and skip the allocation of funds to programs and projects which are not considered as a priority.

Presidential sister Sen. Imee Marcos filed a similar bill specifically granting the President the authority to enforce the suspension.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, on the other hand, filed a measure seeking fixed monthly salaries for public utility drivers and conductors.
Categories: Philippines News

K-Pop World Festival back offline; 'Rhapsody' wins preliminary

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:19
THE Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Cebu and Cebu Korean Association finally hosted physically the 2022 K-Pop World Festival on Saturday, July 2, two years after holding it online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Named grand winner in the event held around 5 p.m. Saturday at the Ayala Terraces Center Cebu was Rhapsody, an all-boy cover group founded in 2018.

First runner-up was Understatement, a group formed in 2012, while second runner-up was The Glitz. Consolation prizes went to the Groups Ortus, XY 28, and Mi6x.

These teams were among the 30 groups that made it to the final cut out of the 79 that auditioned for the festival.

Rhapsody went home with P20,000. It will move on to the semi-finals of the 2022 K-Pop World Festival in Changwon, South Korea.

The event will be covered by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and will be televised worldwide through KBS World.

The rest of the winners will join the Cebu delegation and represent the province in the international music competition.

“We will be giving three finalists for Korean Broadcasting System and it's up to them kung pila ilang kuhaon, but the winning team today will be part of worldwide semi-finals and will fly to Korea. They will be competing with other participating countries,” said Blanche Conlu, one of the head organizers.

Conlu was happy that the event was finally held physically after two years.

"It's overwhelming but in a good way. It's really good to be back seeing performers and audiences. We feel grateful. Even if the pandemic is still here, we are very happy that we are allowed to do this," she said.

Consulate General Choi Sewon of the Republic of Korea in Cebu said the festival started as a way to introduce Korean pop culture to the world, and then it became an activity for promoting cooperation and cultural exchanges between Korea and the Philippines.

Choi expressed his gratitude to the volunteers, participants, and guests on Saturday. (Ryan Megabon, CNU intern)
Categories: Philippines News

Mendoza: Gilas bounces back big time

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:07
Nice to know that Gilas Pilipinas defeated India running away on Sunday in the Fiba World Cup qualifiers. It came just days after we absorbed an uncharacteristic 106-60 rout at the hands of New Zealand last week.

A no-bearing game, indeed, as in all of Gilas’ remaining matches—including that one in New Zealand—in the eliminations leading to the Worlds proper next year.

But, still, that win over India was something special, especially so that Gilas fashioned the 79-63 thumping before a hometown crowd aching to see a big win following that shellacking administered us by the NZ Tall Blacks.

“It was an important game for us,” said Nenad Vucinic, doing the coaching chores on behalf of head coach Chot Reyes. “We had a tough trip to New Zealand. The way we got there, it was very difficult to play that game because of the level of opposition.”

Good recognition. At least Vucinic was being honest. New Zealand has always been a tough nut to crack for us for the longest time. He was dismayed—but that’s understandable.

The morale-boosting victory over India gave Gilas a 2-2, win-loss record in this Fiba window and will next face Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. All games are no-bearing since, as host, Gilas is seeded to the 2023 Fiba World Cup.

But before completing its remaining three assignments, Gilas will see action in the Fiba Asia Cup set to start on July 12 in Jakarta.

On the global arena, Branden Grace won the LIV Golf leg in Oregon last week, becoming the second South African after Charl Swchartzel to do so. Like Swchartzel, Grace pocketed the whopping $4-million top purse in the eight-stop, money-rich series.

Saudi money fuels the brand-new loop played only 54 holes in each outing.

And in Wimbledon, a massive upset was authored last weekend by French Alize Cornet, ranked a lowly 37th, when she ousted Iga Swiatek, the Polish world No. 1, in the third round.

The 6-4, 6-2 shocker ended a 37-match unbeaten Wimbledon run for Swiatek, 21, who had won her previous six tournaments including the French Open.

“It wasn’t a good performance,” said Swiatek. “I was pretty confused about my tactics.”

Even the best cannot be at their best at all times.

Nature decrees days off—unannounced.
Categories: Philippines News

Tax Notes: Updated list of documentary requirements for sickness, disability benefits in line with business process re-engineering

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:07
The Social Security System (SSS) has issued an updated list of documentary requirements for sickness and disability benefits in support of the digitalization of the SSS benefit process and in compliance with Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

Cited below are the basic documentary requirements forsickness benefits and disability claims:

I. Sickness Benefits

1. SSS Medical Certificate; and

2. Attending physician’s Medical Certificate issued with the following information:

a. Full name,

b. PRC number,

c. Clinic address,

d. Contact information,

e. History of present illness and complete diagnosis, and

f. Recommended number of days of convalescence including recuperation.

II. Disability Claims

1. Disability Claim Application (DisCA) Form;

2. Member’s photo and signature; and

3. Attending physician’s Medical Certificate issued within six months from the date of filing with the following information:

a. Full name,

b. PRC number,

c. Clinic address,

d. Contact information,

e. History of present illness and complete diagnosis.

Additional supporting documents depending on the nature of the sickness or disability will also be requested by SSS.

For the complete list of additional supporting documents, please refer to SSS Circular No. 2022-013.


P&A Grant Thornton

Certified Public Accountants

P&A Grant Thornton is the Philippine member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd.
Categories: Philippines News

New governor to sustain game-changing reforms in BSP, Diokno says

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:05
FINANCE Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Monday he is confident that new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Felipe Medalla will continue the game-changing reforms implemented in the agency, which include its rapid shift to digitalization and other measures that has kept it “agile and innovative” amid the pandemic-induced crisis and other challenges to the country’s financial system.

In his first speech as Finance secretary at the BSP’s 29th anniversary and turnover ceremony, Diokno recounted the time of uncertainties at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when he was BSP governor, and how the institution provided “a sense of confidence and predictability” during this period.

Diokno said that through these trying times, the BSP ensured the continuity of much-needed financial services and remained sensitive to the needs of its fellow Filipinos by providing financial relief, incentivizing lending, and facilitating access to more financial services.

He pointed out that even in the midst of a pandemic, “it has remained business as usual” for banks, money changers, and other BSP-supervised institutions.

“We have gone through a crisis like no other, with no emergency response playbook to which we could refer. But we kept our eyes on the ball. We remained agile and innovative. We boosted market confidence. We implemented extraordinary liquidity measures,” Diokno said.

The BSP has also worked closely with other agencies and stakeholders in getting financial reforms such as the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Act and the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act passed in Congress to provide relief to pandemic-hit sectors and safeguard consumers from unethical and fraudulent financial schemes.

Diokno also cited the BSP’s hand in the approval of the Gold Law, the Philippine Identification System Act, the Islamic Banking Law, and the amendments to the BSP charter prior to the pandemic.

He said the BSP acted prudently in issuing monetary policies and expanded opportunities to boost digital payments and financial inclusion among Filipinos.

“We have kept a patient hand on our monetary policy levers in the face of rising inflation to allow our economic recovery to gain a stronger foothold,” Diokno said.

“Our banking sector continues to be sound and stable—the result of good corporate governance and appropriate risk management practices, as well as sound banking sector regulations and a robust supervisory framework,” he added.

Acknowledging his confidence in the new BSP governor, Diokno said he is certain that the central bank’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap will make significant strides under Medalla’s leadership.

“There are many more improvements in store for us and for the Filipino people. You and I have so much to offer in the service of our country regardless of what hat we wear,” Diokno said.

“I am confident that with the leadership of your new team captain—Governor Medalla—and the Monetary Board, you will continue to deliver game-changing reforms and bring the BSP even closer to the Filipino people,” he added. (PR)
Categories: Philippines News

CVFA elated over President’s Cup

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:01
Central Visayas Regional Football Association president Rodney Orale is elated over the success of the President’s Cup, which attracted over 150 teams from Cebu and nearby provinces and staged over three days at the Cebu City Sports Center.

“All in all, it was a very successful event. It made us proud hearing comments from coaches, spectators and players that the event was well organized, from the organizing officials, to the technical support—the referees, security, medical team, ball boys and field marshall,” said Orale of the event, Cebu City’s first football festival in two years.

Orale admitted that there were some complaints but these were not related to the games. Seven players from Tubigon, Bohol lost their money to thieves because they forgot to leave someone to guard their bags.

“Their happiness in playing football was replaced by sorrow when they found out they lost their money,” said Orale. Fortunately, the board decided to give them money for their fare and for food.

“I’m very thankful to the CVFA Board of Governors who supported the event, Chad Songalia, Nimrod Quiñones, Josey Guy Ceniza and especially to Engineer Noli Ferraren and Archie Reyes, who really worked hard to make the hosting of the event successful,” said Orale. “We are looking forward for another tournament soon.”

After the Presidents Cup, the CVFA is hoping to hold an awarding ceremony to close out the postponed Aboitiz Cup and start preparing for the next edition of Cebu’s oldest and biggest football tournament.

Meanwhile, only two teams managed to win more than one title in the festival, unlike before when the traditional football powers would dominate three or more divisions.

Cebu United won two titles in the Mixed 9 and Boys 17 divisions, while Sheba FC won the Boys 13 and Girls 17 divisions. The rest of the champions are Futbolitos FC Dumaguete (Boys 15), Pamplona Pontevedra FC of Negros Occidental in the Mixed 11-Under, Forza FC in the Boys 19, Urduja FC in the Girls 19, Danao FC in the Men’s 21, Winners FC in the Men’s Open, Fatboyz FC in the 38-Above, SR-KNF United FC in the 50-Above division and the USC Gurlz Alumni in the Ladies Open. (ML)
Categories: Philippines News

Tell it to SunStar: Graduation in pandemic times

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:01
Graduation season is here once again. But unlike in the previous year, this time, it is a face-to-face activity amid the Covid-19 threat. Physical graduation is allowed by the Department of Education in the areas under Alert Level 1 and 2, with the consultation of local government units and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases with strict compliance to health safety protocol and standards.

It means that wearing of face masks and observance of social distancing are still very much required. The limited face-to-face classes extend to limited audiences and participants during graduation. Only the completers, parents/guardians, teachers, school officials and guests shall be present during the ceremony.

Many are excited to join the scheduled graduation from July 4 to 9 in public schools nationwide. Both teachers and students are happy to conduct the activity to be witnessed and attended by supportive parents.

So what is graduation like in pandemic times? Because of economic and health crises, it will be a simple, solemn and a safe school activity.

Simplicity to the activity means no extravagant decorations and lavish preparations.

Monetary contributions from parents and students are not allowed. A short program is designed without long talks and speeches by guests, honored students and politicians, unlike the traditional ways. The singing of a graduation song is even optional.

The solemnity of the ceremony is observed because it is a formal occasion. Even if it is a joyful moment for many graduates, talking, yelling, shouting, loud music and dancing are highly discouraged. Graduation parties and family celebrations can be done exclusively at home after the ceremony but not in school.

Safety measures from the start, during, and until the end of the program must be observed. School personnel will conduct a temperature check, impose wearing of face masks and apply hygienic solutions to participants at the entrance. They will also enforce social distancing during the activity. Shaking of hands and hugging are not allowed. Removal of face masks is discouraged because there are still so many unvaccinated students in public and private schools.

Physical graduation is a more meaningful experience than a virtual ceremony. The theme of the Department of Education graduation rites is: “K to 12 Graduates: Pursuing Dreams and Fostering Resilience in the Face of Adversity.”
Categories: Philippines News

Wenceslao: Filipino-American friendship

Mon, 2022-07-04 18:00
The celebration of July 4 as Philippine Independence Day has long been set aside. I know that. And its replacement, the Filipino-American friendship day, has also long been set aside, too, as a holiday. Even the word “friendship” lost its meaning when Rodrigo Duterte took over as president and declared that aligning with China was the better posture. And the new president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. cannot stand differently, considering recent history.

But if you ask me, Bongbong Marcos and his family should be eternally grateful to the United States for saving them from the mob that entered Malacañang at the height of the 1986 Edsa People Power uprising. Who knows what the mob could have done at that time to the then First Family? Ruling families in other nations suffered sadder fates when unable to escape during insurrections.

True, the American justice system eventually wanted the Marcoses to pay the price for their excesses during the dictatorship. The Marcoses were again lucky that then president Fidel V. Ramos allowed them to come back to the country. But I read somewhere that after Marcos Jr. won the Philippine presidency, the US will be more lenient to him this time around.

Call it “realpolitik.” The United States now needs an ally badly considering recent Chinese actions in the Pacific. In the past, the same “realpolitik” had the US supporting Marcos Sr. even after he declared military rule and declared himself a dictator. One US legislator summed that “friendship” up with the infamous quote: “He might be a son of a ***** but he is our son of a *****.”

I am against US imperialism, but to be practical, I’d rather that Marcos Jr. would align himself to the US than to China. China is virtually in control of some of our territories in the West Philippine Sea, and we need to align ourselves with a country that is militarily superior to this expansionist force.

Considering China’s expansionist tendencies in the West Philippine Sea, a Filipino-American friendship day is better celebrated than a Philippine-China friendship day. The former at least celebrates the status quo, no matter how imbalanced that status quo is.

Marcos Jr. is seemingly more malleable as far as the US is concerned than former President Rodrigo Duterte. The US has more aces than China as far as pressure politics is concerned. The US can make Bongbong’s life difficult both in the personal and in the official capacity. The Marcoses, after all, have a closer and longer link to the US than to China.
Categories: Philippines News

Tell it to SunStar: Peasant women group supports Makabayan bloc’s bill to repeal Anti-Terror Law

Mon, 2022-07-04 17:56
The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women has expressed support for Makabayan bloc’s proposed measure to repeal Republic Act 11479 (Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020) and urged lawmakers in Congress to heed the people’s demand to uphold and protect people’s civil and democratic rights which the draconian law disregarded.

“The two years of Anti-Terror Law is nothing but state terrorism targeting farmers, peasant women, fisher folks, agricultural workers, human rights and land reform advocates, progressive organizations and alternative media organizations. The law has been an instrument used by the Duterte government to silence and sow fear among the people and organizations calling out the anti-people policies of the government and pushing for legitimate demands and alternatives,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

The peasant women group said human rights abuses intensified after the implementation of the Anti-Terror Law, which resulted in illegal arrests and detention based on trumped-up charges, extrajudicial killings, red-tagging and terrorist-tagging, harassment and intimidation, and militarization of peasant communities.

Amihan, its leaders and members, have been victims of intensifying red-tagging and trumped-up charges.

Amihan’s bank accounts have been frozen since last year by the Anti-Money Laundering Council based on mere allegations of violations of Terrorism Financing and Suppression Act of 2012.

The law was also used by the National Telecommunications Commission and the National Security Council in order to block access to websites allegedly “found to be affiliated to and supporting terrorists and terrorist organizations,” including Amihan’s website and 27 others.

“Dapat nang matigil ang paglabag sa karapatan ng mamamayan batay lamang sa walang batayang mga alegasyon at red-tagging. Dapat matiyak ang karapatan ng mamamayan lalo na ng mga maralitang sektor na magpahayag at mag-organisa na siyang tanging pagmumulan ng kanilang lakas at pagkakaisa,” Soriano said.

“We are urging the public to stand with the peasantry and the marginalized sector and support the call to repeal the ATA (Anti-Terror Act). We must remain vigilant and critical of government programs and policies as the country continues the struggle against Covid-19 and the socioeconomic crisis. We must ensure that our civil and political rights are recognized and respected under the leadership of Marcos Jr.,” Soriano said.
Categories: Philippines News

'Depression' leads widow to kill self

Mon, 2022-07-04 17:14
A 52-YEAR-OLD widow was found dead inside her house after she allegedly committed suicide due to depression in Sitio Patag, Barangay Bawo, Sogod town in northern Cebu on Monday morning, July 4, 2022.

Staff Sergeant Avito Mansing of Sogod Police Station identified the victim as Eve (real name withheld).

Mansing told SunStar Cebu that they received a call from a concerned citizen around 7:40 a.m. informing them about the incident.

Mansing said the victim might have killed herself late afternoon of July 3 as her body already started to stiffen when they arrived at the scene.

The victim was hanging on a beam of her house with a rope tied on her neck when found.

The family of the victim rushed Eve to Sogod Rural Health Unit and later transferred her to Sogod District Hospital but failed in their efforts to revive her.

Eve was living with her 14-year-old niece as her children already have their own families.

Mansing said that according to her neighbors, Eve might have been depressed by the passing of her husband last year.

"Daghan kaayo siya ug problema nga nagpatong-patong unya wala ka share-an sa problema iya ra giluom-luom mao ni resulta sa iyang paghikog," Mansing said.

(She had many problems and she kept these to herself, the reason why she committed suicide).

She was also struggling financially due to her worsening health condition. (GDC, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

Motorcycle-bus collision in Sibonga leaves 1 dead, another injured

Mon, 2022-07-04 16:26
A MOTORCYCLE rider died, while his backrider got injured after they collided with a Ceres bus in Sibonga town, southern Cebu at 6:05 a.m. Monday, July 4, 2022.

Alfonso Canoy, a construction worker and driver of the motorcycle, and his backrider Josielo Masillones, 27, both from Balamban town, were brought to the hospital in Carcar City, but Canoy died along the way due to severe wounds in the head and body.

Police Major Rodgene Fudotan, chief of Sibonga Police Station, said in an interview with SunStar Cebu that Canoy was traveling toward south when he collided head on with the Cebu City-bound Ceres bus driven by Jimuel Cayudi Saldasa, 40, from Barangay Tisa, Cebu City.

Saldasa surrendered to the police after the incident.

It was learned that Canoy encroached the opposite lane while maneuvering a curve in Barangay Poblacion, Sibonga and crashed into the incoming Ceres bus.

"Na-overshot ang motorsiklo wapa makabawi sa manobela ang driver mao nga mipilit sa wala nga bahin sa atubangan sa bus," Fudotan said.

(The motorcycle overshot and the driver lost control of his bike's handlebars, hitting the left front portion of the bus).

Fudotan described the area where the collision occurred as prone to accident. (GPL, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

Mamalinta new Comelec Carcar head; lawyer Sarno back to Cebu City

Mon, 2022-07-04 13:44
AN ELECTION officer who was previously assigned in Cebu City and Oslob town in southern Cebu has assumed head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Carcar City on the first day of registration for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on Monday, July 4, 2022.

Omar Sharif Dilangalen Mamalinta said this a big challenge for him since Carcar City is so far the biggest local government unit that he will be handling.

Mamalinta said that aside from the new registrants, they will also process transfer of registration, correction of entry and reactivation, among others.

Lawyer Marchel Sarno was also reassigned to the Comelec Cebu City North District after being transferred to Comelec Lapu-Lapu during the national and local elections.

Lawyer John Rex Laudiangco, spokesperson for Comelec, said the registration for barangay and SK elections will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, until July 23.

The barangay and SK election is scheduled on December 5, 2022. (PAC, TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

Farmer beaten by son after argument

Mon, 2022-07-04 13:05
A 69-year-old farmer was injured after being beaten by his son in Barangay Kanghumaod, Dumanjug town in southwest Cebu on Sunday evening, July 3, 2022.

Corporal Marlou Sentillas, investigating officer of Dumanjug Police Station, said that the victim Pablo Blanca Tuto and his son Esmeraldo, 39, were having an argument

when the incident took place around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Sentillas said that Esmeraldo got a pipe and hit his father's head with it at the height of their argument.

The victim was rushed to Barili District Hospital after sustaining a wound on his head.

Sentillas said the suspect was under the influence of liquor at the time of the incident.

It was learned that the two were always bickering with one another prior to the incident.

The father said he is determined to file a case against his son as he could not bear anymore his abuses.

"Kadaghan na ni nahitabo nga permi ni pasakitan ang biktima nga papa aning suspek, napuno na ang biktima kay gibunalan naman gyud, naay intent to kill maayo kay na

ulang sa mama ug sa tabang sad sa mga kasilinganan," Sentillas said.

The suspect is currently detained at the Dumanjug Police Station and will face charges of attempted parricide. (TPT)
Categories: Philippines News