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Mandaue police to launch 2nd motorcycle skills challenge

Fri, 2022-07-29 15:04
THE Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) will launch its second motorcycle skills challenge as one of the activities to commemorate the city's Charter Day celebration this August.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Franco Rudolf Oriol, MCPO deputy city director for operations and spokesperson, told reporters on Friday, July 29, 2022, they would launch the activity on August 13 and 14 with the same advocacy: to promote safe riding among motorcycle riders.

The competition, in partnership with MCPO's Police Advisory Council, will be held in the same venue in Mantawi Drive in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

Oriol said that unlike the first competition held in March, the contest will now be open to riders obtaining motorcycles below 400cc, stressing that they are the most prevalent members of the riding community.

Its prior categories 400cc above, 600cc above, 800cc above, and 100cc above would still be included. (HIC)

Categories: Philippines News

31 motorcycle riders apprehended for using bike lanes

Fri, 2022-07-29 14:45
SOME motorcycle riders continue to ignore warnings that bike lanes are only for bicycles.

This after 31 motorcycle riders were apprehended by the traffic personnel in Mandaue City for using the bike lane along A.C. Cortes Avenue on Friday morning, July 29, 2022.

Edwin Anthony Jumao-as, executive director of Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM), said traffic violators were issued citation tickets with a corresponding fine of P500.

Bike lanes were installed in some parts of Metro Cebu after seeing that people were using bikes on their way to work due to lack of transportation during the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

On June 3, 2022, the agency had given traffic violators a seven-day grace period to settle their fines, or they would face arrest via a bench warrant. (GDC)
Categories: Philippines News

Suspect in series of highway robberies in Bohol killed

Fri, 2022-07-29 12:01
ONE of the suspects in a series of highway robbery incidents in Bohol was killed during an encounter with the police past 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

The suspect was later identified as Victor Aguilar, 41, single, from Barangay Sagasa, Balilihan town, Bohol based on the documents that were recovered from his wallet.

It was learned the Aguilar, who was driving a Bajaj motorcycle without a helmet, did not stop when the police of Alicia town manning a checkpoint asked him to pull over but instead sped off, prompting the law enforcement officers to chase him up.

Lieutenant Wilson Orapa, chief of Alicia Police Station, also coordinated with their neighboring police stations to set up roadblocks against the suspect.

The operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Unit headed by Lieutenant Colonel John Kareen Escober chanced upon Aguilar in Sitio Cantugop, Barangay Napon, Alicia,

where an exchange of gunfire occurred that resulted in the death of the suspect.

Investigation revealed that Aguilar and his motorcycle had matched with the video clips on CCTV that were obtained by the police from places where the highway robberies occurred. (TPT)
Categories: Philippines News

Consolacion Sarok Weavers thwarts Bogo City, moves to 4-0 in PSL 21-Under

Fri, 2022-07-29 11:54
The Consolacion Sarok Weavers turned back the Bogo City Bugoys, 78-66, for their fourth win in a row in the Pilipinas Super League 21-Under VisMin Leg on Thursday night at the Lawaan 1 gym in Talisay City.

The victory put the Sarok Weavers at the top of the standings and into a tie with the Cagayan de Oro Kingfishers. Both teams hold identical 4-0 win-loss records.

Consolacion played spectacular basketball in the first half, showcasing their trademark full-court defense and crisp ball movement to erect a huge 46-26 advantage at halftime.

However, Bogo City showed moxie in the second half, and rode the hot shooting of James Gica and the relentless hustle of Isaac Gemoto to pull to within 11, 48-59, late in the third period after a deuce by James Gelig off a nice assist by the latter.

Consolacion, though, was hardly fazed as they closed out the third with a bang, getting buckets from Froiland Maglasang, Keaton Taburnal, and Paolo Dalumpines to raise their lead back to 17, 65-48, heading to the last period.

The Sarok Weavers then poured it on in the fourth, raising their lead to a high of 25, to cruise to the victory.

Dalumpines had 11 points and three assists, while Taburnal put up 10 markers, three assists, two rebounds, a steal, and a block.

Gica had 16 points, three rebounds, three assists, and five steals, but it wasn’t enough to keep Bogo City from falling to 0-4.
Categories: Philippines News

Dengue claims girl, 4; Talisay dengue deaths now at 4

Fri, 2022-07-29 10:40
A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl from Barangay Biasong is the latest person to die of dengue in Talisay City since January this year, a local health official said.

Dr. Lino Alanzado, head of the Talisay City Health Office, has urged the public to observe precautionary measures to prevent more dengue cases or deaths from occurring again.

Alanzado told reporters that during an interview with the girl’s mother, they had learned that it took some time before the girl was brought to the hospital for treatment.

“Pag-interview namo sa mother kanang dili lang sad siya sure kon dengue na ba to kay naghilanat ra og kadiyot, unya mokaon sad ang bata. By the time nga nadala siya sa district hospital, luya na gyud ang bata,” Alanzado said.

(When we interviewed the mother, she was not sure if it was dengue because the child only had fever for a while and had not lost her appetite. By the time she was taken to the hospital, she was already weak.)

“Medyo ulahi lang gyud ang bata nga nadala sa ospital mao nang wala na gyud natabang,” he added.

(It was already late when she was brought to the hospital, that’s why her state could not be helped anymore).

Still high

Alanzado said the dengue cases in the city are still high based on their monitoring.

From Jan. 1 to July 2 of this year, Talisay City has 394 cases with four deaths, according to the data provided by the Talisay City Health Office.

To prevent more cases and deaths from happening, Alanzado said he and his personnel have been continuously reminding the city’s 22 barangays and their constituents to implement measures such as eradicating mosquito breeding grounds and regularly cleaning their surroundings.

Alanzado added that they have been conducting fogging operations across the city, especially in areas where dengue cases are prevalent.

Alanzado also advised parents to immediately bring their children to a nearby medical facility if their fever last two or more days.

Dengue cases in PH still rising

In the national level, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that dengue cases continue to rise in all parts of the country, with the numbers almost doubling those of last year.

Data show that as of July 9, there were already a total of 73,909 dengue cases reported nationwide.

“This is cumulatively 96 percent higher compared to the reported cases during the same period last year, which is around 37,000 cases,” said DOH Deputy Spokesperson Dr. Beverly Ho in a virtual press briefing.

She said most of the cases reported came from Central Luzon, Central Visayas, and the National Capital Region.

Ho said there were also 299 dengue deaths reported all over the country, as of July 9.

In a bid to help stop the continued surge in dengue cases, the DOH urged the public anew to practice the “4S” strategy.

The 4S stands for Search and Destroy breeding places; Secure self-protection; Seek early consultation; and Support fogging/spraying in hotspot areas.

“Let us not allow mosquitoes win this rainy season by preventing dengue from happening,” said Ho. (BBT, TPM / TPT )

Categories: Philippines News

Talisay tallies 4 dengue deaths

Fri, 2022-07-29 10:40
A 4-YEAR-OLD girl from Barangay Biasong, Talisay City was the fourth to die of dengue in the city since January 2022.

This was confirmed by Dr. Lino Alanzado, head of the Talisay City Health, in an interview with reporter on Thursday morning, July 28, 2022.

Biasong is one of the barangays hit hard by the mosquito-borne disease.

"Pag interview namo sa mother kanang dili lang sad siya sure kon dengue naba to kay naghilanat ra ug kadiyot unya mokaon sad ang bata, by the time nga nadala siya sa district hospital luya na gyud ang bata," Alanzado said.

(When we interviewed the mother, she was not sure if it was dengue because the child only had fever for a while and had not lost her appetite, but by the time she was taken to the hospital, she was already weak).

"Medyo ulahi lang gyud ang bata nga nadala sa ospital mao nang wala na gyud natabang," he added.

(It was already late when she was brought to the hospital as she could no longer be revived).

The parents said they never expected it to happen, adding they were just surprised to see their child already weak when the hospital staff tried to revive her.

Alanzado said that dengue cases in the city are still high based on their monitoring.

Alanzado said that the City Health Office did not fail to remind the people about the necessary steps to be taken to avoid contracting the disease, such as cleaning their surroundings and get rid of stagnant water in unused vehicle tires, where dengue-carrying mosquitoes usually lay their eggs.

The Talisay City Health has also been conducting fogging around the city, especially in areas where there are many cases of dengue.

Alanzado advised the Talisaynons with fever that lasts two or more days to go to their nearest barangay health center for a checkup. (With TPT)

Categories: Philippines News

Seares: The word that Councilor Alcover’s resolution misspelled.  No queen or king in Cebu City Council.  NBI’s ‘command case.’

Thu, 2022-07-28 22:25
COUNCILOR PESQUERA’S CORRECTION. Cebu City Councilor Jun Alcover misspelled a word in his resolution. And Majority Floorleader Joy Pesquera corrected it during the Sanggunian session Wednesday, August 27. For all the people watching the live-streamed proceedings to hear as well.

Kons Joy didn’t specify the word, which must have sent curiosity-seekers scrambling to find out what it was. I did find out.

It was “gemfowl,” which was still not included in word lists, the first and last time I checked. The word in dictionaries is “game-fowl,” which must be Kons Alcover’s intended word since his resolution seeks to ban entry of captive birds from other parts of the country into Cebu City. He’d like, he said, the city mayor to adopt the policy of Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia.

City Hall watchers may retrace the route the resolution took and yet eluded detection: 1) Alcover’s staff, 2) Alcover himself, 3) copy reviewer or editor at the Secretariat; 4) committee on style (with committee on laws) and 5) Alcover again, when he read the resolution for approval.

CRASH COURSE ON PARLIAMENT RULES. There were shouting matches. A councilor screamed at the presiding officer, “You’re not the queen here!” Things went so bad in that July 12 session that the vice mayor agreed that she and all the councilors undergo a seminar on parliamentary procedure.

That happened in the Cagayan de Oro City Council, whose presiding officer, Vice Mayor Jocelyn Rodriguez, was accused of behaving like a despotic queen.

No way that will be duplicated at the 16th Cebu City Sanggunian, where the chief, Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia, a whiz of a parliamentarian, is firm and focused yet tactful and mindful over each councilor’s rights. VM Raymond apparently read, and follows, the Supreme Court definition of the presiding officer: neither partisan (except to vote in case of a tie) nor tyrannical (except to speed up business so as to adjourn before 5 p.m.).

No queen, or king, at the Cebu City Council. As Minority Flooleader Nestor Archival Sr. would say in moments of pique, “Pareha baya tang nagbarong (o ‘nag-amerikana’) diri,” depending on the session day’s fashion.

AUTHORITY TO RECOGNIZE SPEAKERS. The source of conflict in the Cagayan de Oro City Council was mainly the alleged abuse by the presiding officer in not recognizing councilors she didn’t like.

The councilor who speaks or takes the floor must first get the approval of the presiding officer (“the chair”). The “chair” is supposed to be fair and give equal time to each side of a question. He – or in Cagayan de Oro’s case, she – may not be aware of the role of the presiding officer.

***

TORNI FRANK’S THE BOSS. I missed Atty. Frank’s and Dr. Alma’s 44th wedding anniversary celebration at Casino Español last Sunday, July 24. I also missed the chance of finally figuring out what he meant when he said at his birthday party years earlier. He said then, something like: “In the Malilong house, I’m the boss. Dr. Alma is just the decision-maker.”

LL (for lovely and lovable) journalist Michelle P. So once said she knows the secret of success in the Frank-Alma union. Whenever Torni Frank thinks his wife is wrong, he taps himself on the forehead, mumbling, ”The wife is always

right.”

***

‘COMMAND CASE,’ EXECUTIVE SESSION. “Command case” is the term the NBI uses for a case that “everybody in the office is working hard on.” That should comfort those who’ve been waiting for results of the investigation on the almost P400 million garbage disposal services the two firms Docast Construction and JJ & J Construction and General Supply had supplied the City Government.

As early as Sunday, July 24, City Hall PIO. Cerwin T. Eviota told me Mayor Rama would ask NBI for a report on NBI’s status of its investigation (supposed to have been started last year yet) and a report from the Department of Public Services on how garbage has been collected without Docast and JJ & J.

The City Council also decided to call Docast officials to an executive session and examine all the jobs it has been doing for the City, which include a road project that has been reportedly delayed.

If the garbage mess is being treated as “a command case,” three questions: (1) why has the investigation taken the NBI almost a year already, starting from the date of request; (2) why is it asking for documents from City Hall only now or, if it asked a long time ago yet, why the delay; and (3) if all hands at NBI are working on the Docast case, what happens to its other cases?
Categories: Philippines News

Cash bonuses for Mandaue City Hall employees, honorarium hike for contractuals approved

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:42


THE Mandaue City Government can now provide cash bonuses to the City’s regular, elective and appointed employees and increase the monthly and daily honorariums of contractual employees hired by the City.

This was made possible after the Mandaue City Council approved three ordinances proposed by City Councilor Marie Immaline Cortes-Zafra during its special session on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

Draft Ordinance (DO) 117-2022 seeks to grant a P15,000 cash bonus to City Hall personnel who are occupying elective, appointive and regular positions.

DO 115-2022 seeks to grant an additional increase of P2,400 to the monthly honorarium of Clean and Green personnel and Barangay Health and Nutrition Workers (BHNW) in the city. Before the ordinance, Clean and Green personnel received P4,000 a month while BHNWs receive P3,300.

While DO 116-2022 seeks to grant an increase of P228 to the daily honorarium of the city’s job order workers, especially those hired from July 1, 2022 until July 31 of this year. Before the ordinance, the daily honorarium of the city’s job order workers was P380 a day.

Cortes-Zafra, who chairs the committee on tourism, submitted the three proposed ordinances during the City Council’s regular session on Monday, July 25.

In an interview on Monday, Cortes-Zafra said the three ordinances she proposed was a way for the City Government to reward its hardworking employees and commemorate Mandaue City’s Charter Day celebration on Aug. 30.

“We also have to acknowledge that many of our employees are trying their best to report to work despite their individual struggles, but they still give their 100 percent best service to the Mandauehanons. So, this is our way of giving back,” Cortes-Zafra said.

With the approval of the three ordinances, the funds for the bonuses and honorariums would be sourced out from the city’s annual budget, Cortes-Zafra added.
Categories: Philippines News

Mandaue city council Cash bonuses for Mandaue City Hall employees, honorarium hike for contractuals approved

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:42


THE Mandaue City Government can now provide cash bonuses to the City’s regular, elective and appointed employees and increase the monthly and daily honorariums of contractual employees hired by the City.

This was made possible after the Mandaue City Council approved three ordinances proposed by City Councilor Marie Immaline Cortes-Zafra during its special session on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

Draft Ordinance (DO) 117-2022 seeks to grant a P15,000 cash bonus to City Hall personnel who are occupying elective, appointive and regular positions.

DO 115-2022 seeks to grant an additional increase of P2,400 to the monthly honorarium of Clean and Green personnel and Barangay Health and Nutrition Workers (BHNW) in the city. Before the ordinance, Clean and Green personnel received P4,000 a month while BHNWs receive P3,300.

While DO 116-2022 seeks to grant an increase of P228 to the daily honorarium of the city’s job order workers, especially those hired from July 1, 2022 until July 31 of this year. Before the ordinance, the daily honorarium of the city’s job order workers was P380 a day.

Cortes-Zafra, who chairs the committee on tourism, submitted the three proposed ordinances during the City Council’s regular session on Monday, July 25.

In an interview on Monday, Cortes-Zafra said the three ordinances she proposed was a way for the City Government to reward its hardworking employees and commemorate Mandaue City’s Charter Day celebration on Aug. 30.

“We also have to acknowledge that many of our employees are trying their best to report to work despite their individual struggles, but they still give their 100 percent best service to the Mandauehanons. So, this is our way of giving back,” Cortes-Zafra said.

With the approval of the three ordinances, the funds for the bonuses and honorariums would be sourced out from the city’s annual budget, Cortes-Zafra added.
Categories: Philippines News

Contractor urged to complete drainage projects before Ironman

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:40
LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan has called out the private contractor in charge of drainage projects located in three barangays, urging it to complete their work before the Ironman 70.3 Philippines race on Aug. 7, 2022.

Chan made the demand after expressing his disappointment that the drainage projects located in Barangays Mactan, Maribago and Agus have remained incomplete even though they were supposed to be finished last year.

Chan, who conducted an ocular inspection on those projects on Thursday, July 28, said the incomplete projects could cause accidents for those participating during the Ironman 70.3 Philippines. Around 2,000 participants from 48 countries are expected to join the race, he added.

The incomplete excavations were mostly five meters deep and they were only temporarily covered with thick iron sheets, Chan said.

The project was awarded on Dec. 10, 2020 and it should have been completed within 250 calendar days. The completion date would have been on Aug. 16, 2021.

Causes of accidents

Chan said several accidents have happened in areas where the excavations are located.

Despite pleas to the contractor to finish them, no progress has been made on those projects, according to Chan.

The mayor even met with officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) Sixth District Engineering Office in order to address the matter.

The DPWH officials earlier assured Chan that the drainage projects in the three barangays will be finished before the race could begin.

However, the DPWH officials told Chan that they kept calling the contractor’s attention. They later learned that the contractor reportedly hired a sub-contractor to complete the drainage projects.

According to the DPWH, the contractor does not work on Saturdays due to “religious reasons.” For Chan, the reason is not acceptable.

“Insulto na kaayo ni namo diri nga inyo lang gibiyaan ug gipasagdan ang mga drainage ug road projects kay kami ang ma-perwesyo,” he said.

(This is an insult to us because you [contractor] abandoned your drainage and road projects while we suffer.

This not only affect our work, but also our economy and our local tourism.)

SunStar Cebu tried to get the statement of DPWH Sixth Engineering District head Daisy Toledo but she has yet to respond on the matter.

The mayor also clarified that there is no problem on the side of the Lapu-Lapu City Government when it comes to the preparation for the race, saying everything is all set for the August 7 race.
Categories: Philippines News

Meet Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco’s team

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:39
TOURISM Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco has formed the team that will help her in her goal of revitalizing tourism to propel the Philippines’ post-pandemic economic growth.

Leading the team is former Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu City president Mae Elaine Bathan, who has been appointed Department of Tourism (DOT) undersecretary and chief of staff.

Bathan said her item is undersecretary for legal and special concerns, while her designation is chief of staff.

She said her duties will be with regard to how the office is run.

“Corollary to that, as chief of staff, I’ll be an alter ego of the secretary on matters regarding the department. I represent her,” Bathan told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Asked if that meant she would be Frasco’s spokesman, Bathan said the secretary had not designated any spokesman and so requests for interviews and comments should still go directly to the secretary.

Right now, the department has four undersecretaries, Bathan said.

Besides her, Bathan said, the other undersecretaries are former Liloan councilor Ferdinand “Kokoy” Jumapao, lawyer Shereen Gail Pamintuan and Shahlimar Tamano, who most recently served as DOT Central Visayas director.

Pamintuan previously served as executive director of the League of Cities of the Philippines.

Tamano was appointed undersecretary for regional affairs of the DOT Tourism Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation, according to the DOT-National Capital Region, which congratulated him on his appointment on its Facebook page last Monday, July 25, 2022.

Bathan said the undersecretaries would also serve as alternate delegates to attached agencies and government-owned and -controlled corporations of which the DOT is a member, such as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, if the secretary herself could not be present.

Also part of Frasco’s team at the DOT is Frasco’s former aide in Liloan, Alven Talisic, who is now head executive assistant, Bathan said.

SunStar reported earlier that the secretary’s team also includes Ronald Conopio, who was named director of the department.

Conopio told SunStar Cebu Thursday, July 28, 2022, that he is head of the Protocol and Engagements Unit of the Office of the Secretary.

Prior to his appointment at the DOT, Conopio worked with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, mother of Frasco, for 15 years in various roles including during her time as congresswoman. He later became consultant for her congressmen brother, Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, third district), and son-in-law, Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco (Cebu, fifth district) from 2019.

Secretary Frasco gave up the post of Liloan, Cebu mayor when President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed her to lead the tourism department.

Tourism came to a halt when the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic was declared in March 2020.

The Philippines reopened its doors to foreign tourists only on February 10, 2022.
Categories: Philippines News

Rama to dept heads: Cooperate with NBI in probe on garbage deal

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:32
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama has directed all City Hall departments concerned to cooperate with the National Bureau of Investigation Central Visayas (NBI 7) in its ongoing probe on the City’s controversial garbage deal last year.

Rama’s order came after he talked to NBI 7 Director Rennan Augustus Oliva for updates on the City Council’s request last year for the latter to investigate alleged irregularities in the City’s garbage hauling contracts in 2021.

Earlier, the Commission on Audit (COA) released its annual audit report of the city’s transactions which disclosed the irregularities in the City’s deal with two private firms, Docast Construction and JJ & J Construction and General Supply, for the collection of garbage in 2021.

“I instructed the offices concerned to provide the NBI salient documents it had asked for to complete its investigation on an apparent garbage plunder,” Rama said Thursday, July 28, 2022.

In a statement to the Cebu City Public Information Office, Oliva said the NBI had secured relevant documents on the transactions, particularly those done from January to June 2021, when the controversial deal allegedly took place.

The NBI 7 also issued a subpoena to City Treasurer Mare Vae Reyes to appear before its office on Aug. 9. NBI 7 requested Reyes to bring documents including copies of certified disbursement vouchers in connection with the disposal services provided by Docast and JJ & J from June to December 2021.

Other documents the NBI 7 required from Reyes are the contracts of service, award of bidding, billing statement and summary of deliveries, among others.

Lawyer John Jigo Dacua of the city’s Department of Public Services (DPS) said he and his office are willing to cooperate with the NBI on its investigation.

Oliva assured Rama that those involved in the alleged irregular deal will be sued before the court.

‘Multisectoral’ investigation

Cebu City Councilor and minority floor leader Nestor Archival delivered a privilege speech during the City Council’s regular session on Wednesday, asking Rama, among others, to create a “multisectoral” body that will conduct an investigation on the city’s garbage expenses, to supplement COA’s 2021 investigation.

He also asked Rama to hold an executive session and invite concerned departments and Docast and JJ& J, to inquire if they had ever received payment from the City.

Archival told SunStar Cebu Thursday that there were still unanswered questions concerning the previous administration’s deal with the two firms.

Edgardo Labella was mayor until his death from illness on Nov. 19, 2021, after which then vice mayor Rama assumed the post of mayor.

Aside from what was raised by COA, Archival said he questioned why Docast charged the City full garbage fees in 2021 even though the firm lacked the trucks to manage all areas of the city for trash collection.

He said the two firms were charging full fees to the City even though garbage trucks operated by the city’s DPS and the barangays actually collected the waste not collected by the two firms.

That was the reason he asked Rama to organize an investigating body composed of non-City Hall personnel to probe the City’s deal between the two firms. The results would serve as basis for the possible filing of criminal and administrative charges against those found to be involved.

To avoid conflict of interest, Archival said, the investigating body must be led by a City Hall official but its membership should not include anyone from City Hall.

Archival also asked Rama to request the NBI to submit its report and to hold an executive session with concerned department heads and with the two firms to determine if they had actually been paid for the garbage collection that they didn’t do.

Possible Ombud case

Archival said that while the COA’s annual audit report would have served as evidence for the filing of charges against those involved in the controversy, it was not sufficient.

He preferred that the City gather more evidence to supplement the COA’s findings before pursuing charges against those responsible.

In its annual audit report, state auditors said some Cebu City officials face disallowance for the payment of P81 million to Docast and JJ & J due to “irregularities” found in the city’s garbage deal.

The P80.9 million covered the first billing for services rendered from Jan. 29, 2021 to March 6, 2021.

State auditors pointed out that the firms started hauling garbage even though the city’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) had yet to conduct post qualification activities.

Docast and JJ & J also failed to secure a BAC declaration that they were qualified to provide the garbage hauling service.

State auditors recommended to the City to direct the BAC to submit the lacking documents and to explain why they recommended awarding the contract to the two firms despite “glaring grounds” that would disqualify them as contractors. (PAC, JKV)
Categories: Philippines News

Lolypop files bill requiring gov’t hospitals to provide free dialysis services to indigents

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:28
MANDAUE Lone District Rep. Emmarie “Lolypop” Ouano-Dizon has filed a bill requiring all government hospitals to establish, operate and maintain a dialysis ward and provide free dialysis treatment to indigent patients.

In a statement she sent to SunStar Cebu on Thursday, July 28, 2022, Ouano-Dizon filed House Bill 2373 in compliance with one of the priorities of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during his first State of the Nation Address.

Dizon, who filed the bill during the first regular session of the 19th Congress on Tuesday, July 26, said her legislation, if it becomes a law, would benefit a lot of Filipinos especially those suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Leading causes of death

According to Dizon, chronic kidney disease is one of the primary causes of death among Filipinos and that kidney failure is the ninth leading cause of death in the country, emphasizing that an increase of about 10 to 20 percent of new patients undergoing dialysis in 2018 has been noted by some experts following a study made.

“The optimum frequency of dialysis treatment is three times a week. But some Filipino patients would settle with once or twice a week because of its high cost and inaccessibility. Some patients die without even the chance to undergo the treatment because they could not afford it,” Dizon said in her bill’s explanatory note.

Once the bill becomes a law, all government hospitals in national, regional and provincial levels are given two years from the law’s effectiveness to establish, operate and maintain a dialysis service facility and provide it for free to indigent patients.

Agencies such as PhilHealth, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Health (DOH) must come up with schemes to maximize the application and use of their existing assistance programs in conjunction with the “Malasakit Program” to achieve a zero balance billing for this particular service.

Penalties

Heads or chiefs of hospital, administrator, and health facilities operating these dialysis centers who fail to comply with this proposed law face a fine of P50,000 up to P100,000.

Funding for these facilities, once approved, shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act and the DOH secretary shall promulgate the rules and regulations concerning the implementation of provisions of the proposed law.
Categories: Philippines News

Tisa village chief wants ‘habal-habal’ drivers to get tested, organized

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:27
BARANGAY Tisa, Cebu City chief Renato “Ringo” Pacaña is planning to require habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) drivers in his village to undergo a drug test.

This after some of those arrested in an anti-illegal drug operation conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in his barangay last Wednesday, July 27, 2022, were found to be habal-habal drivers.

Due to the drug operation, Pacaña is contemplating on implementing several measures to regulate habal-habal drivers in his barangay including, and one of which is requiring them to organize in order to identify the drivers operating in their area.

Another measure he plans to implement is the conduct of a surprise drug test on all habal-habal drivers in his barangay to determine who are using illegal drugs.

Those found to be positive of illegal drug use during the surprise drug test will be suspended from operations and will be required to undergo rehabilitation.

Pacaña said he wants to coordinate with PDEA 7 officials to ensure that those measures are implemented.

On Wednesday, July 27, PDEA 7 operatives raided a suspected drug den in Barangay Tisa, during which 12 people were arrested. (BBT / JKV)
Categories: Philippines News

Residents accuse Oppra homeowners group of blocking them by putting ‘toll gate’ on road

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:25
AROUND 100 residents of Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City held a protest rally on Thursday, July 21, 2022, to demand officials of the Old Philippine Railway Residents Association (Oppra) Inc. to remove the “toll gate” that they installed in front of their road right of way.

Residents of the barangay led by engineer Antonio Canoy claimed that the “toll gate” placed in front of the road was aimed by Oppra members to collect fees from them and prevent their vehicles from entering and exiting their area.

Canoy claimed that he and his fellow residents felt like “prisoners in their own homes” over what the association allegedly has done to them.

“Ako lang giawhag nga atong tagaan sa ilang gipangayo nga libreng agianan kay matod pa nila di sila kaagi kay kagahapon lang gialihan sa mga tawo ug dili na gyud maagian,” Canoy added.

(All I ask is that they give us what they are asking, which is to freely pass by the road because they said they cannot pass. Just yesterday, they blocked the road and no one can pass. )

During their protest, Canoy and his fellow disgruntled residents even forcibly removed the padlock placed on the “toll gate” but it was later replaced with a makeshift lock.

Plaza development

In a separate interview, Oppra Inc. chairman Roy Pintor said they particularly asked for payments for those using the road as they wanted to develop the old plaza situated near the area.

“Ang mga miyembro sa Oppra Inc. nangita na sa ilang plaza nga gitukod niadtong 1972 pa. Wala pa na sila dihang tanan naa nay plaza. Tungod lage di man dato ang asosasyon maong gipasagdan lang na,” Pintor added.

(Oppra Inc. members are now looking for the plaza that was constructed back in 1972. They (disgruntled residents) were not even here when the plaza was established. But because the association was not well-off, so the plaza was eventually abandoned) Pintor also claimed that Canoy was hiring “fake protestors” during their rally, an accusation which was denied by the engineer. (PAC / JKV)

Categories: Philippines News

BSP signals further rate hike after Fed raises rates

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:04
THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Thursday signaled its readiness to further hike interest rates in the country after the US Federal Reserve again imposed another aggressive rate hike.

The Fed on Thursday delivered a 75-basis point increase in interest rates to help tame persistent inflation.

“The action of the US Federal Reserve, along with the tightening of global financial conditions and broadening uncertainty over global growth prospects, could continue to drive exchange rate movements in emerging market economies, including in the Philippines,” BSP Gov. Felipe Medalla said in a statement.

In order to manage the spillover effects of such external developments, the BSP is prepared to utilize the full force of available measures in order to address the potential risks to Philippine inflation and inflation expectations arising from an overshooting or excessive depreciation of the Philippine peso.

“At the same time, the BSP will continue to be guided by its assessment of the domestic and global developments that affect the outlook for inflation and growth,” the central bank chief said.

Looking ahead, the BSP said it stands ready to take all necessary monetary policy action to bring inflation back toward a target-consistent path over the medium term.

Further monetary policy adjustment will be carried out in the coming months commensurate with the primary objective of preventing inflation from becoming further entrenched.

The BSP believes the Philippines’ robust economic prospects continue to provide enough room for further tightening of the monetary policy stance. As always, the BSP’s future monetary policy decisions will remain guided by data outcomes for the Philippine economy.​

The Philippine central bank has so far raised its benchmark interest rate by 125 bps this year to 3.25 percent, after keeping it at a record low of two percent for almost two years to support the economy amid the pandemic. /
Categories: Philippines News

PFA: Invest in franchising now AS PHilippine economy recovers

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:02
NOW is the right time to invest in franchising business as the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was the message of Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) president Chris Lim during the launch of the “Franchise Negosyo Para sa Cebu” held at the SM Seaside City Cebu on July 28, 2022.

“We believe that franchising is about nation building and PFA is here to build more business and to help more jobs. You know the industry of franchising contributes to more than 7.8 percent to the GDP and it employs more than two million people nationwide,” Lim said in his speech.

“Beyond business and profit, every franchise that you help open today translates to job oppurtunities for more Filipinos of tomorrow,” Lim added.

In an interview after his speech, Lim noted the importance of investing right now in the franchising industry as a more safer option to own or invest into business especially that the country’s economy is opening up and recovering from the pandemic.

He added that franchising a business has generally a 90 percent success, since it follows the process of replicating an already proven and tested business.

“People are excited to own or invest in something. Some people, they have a business before but closed down, but want to get back into business,”

Lim said.

To avoid risk, they choose franchising, Lim added.

Aside from the usual food and restaurant franchise brands, Lim said that there are other franchise business models to invest in. Aspiring business owners can also invest into retail and service-oriented businesses.

To those who are wanting to franchise, Lim strongly advised to look for businesses that are affiliated with PFA.

“Don’t invest on those franchise na sobrang mura (very cheap), [that’s] too good to be true. Make sure it is a credible franchise and one way to help is to look if it is a member of PFA or if it is developed by a credible organization,” Lim said.

Moreover, Lim said 27 years ago, there was limited or no franchise brands in the Philippines, however, the country has since moved up to seventh place globally for having the most number of franchised companies.

“It is one in a lifetime opportunity, ito ang (now is the) perfect time. As the economy opens up, you want to have your business ready,” Lim added.

The Franchise Expo is a one-stop shop for everyone or business owners looking to invest or franchise, learn from the experts as where and when to franchise or expand their business ventures during the three-day event.

The expo also features leading and famous businesses in the country that are open for franchise.

Exhibitors come from different industries including food, retail, services, bakery and pastry, gasoline station, money transfer, and delivery services, among others.
Categories: Philippines News

DBP to expand lending support to poultry contract growers

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:01
STATE-OWNED Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is looking to strengthen its lending support to poultry contract growers through its partnership with the local subsidiary of an international agro-industrial and food conglomerate, a top official said.

DBP president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Herbosa said the bank has agreed to provide credit assistance to qualified poultry contract growers of the Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corp. (CPFPC) after signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the company.

​“DBP is keen on funding more local poultry contract growers in line with its commitment to promote homegrown agricultural enterprises, and consequently spur economic activities in the countryside and buttress the National Government’s food security efforts,” Herbosa said.

DBP is the sixth largest bank in the country in terms of assets and provides credit support to four strategic sectors of the economy—infrastructure and logistics; micro, small and medium enterprises; environment; social services and community development.

CPFPC is a corporation engaged in the production, processing, and marketing of poultry products in partnership with integrated partners. It is a subsidiary of the Charoen Pokphand Group, an agro-industrial and food conglomerate based in Thailand and one of the largest producers of poultry and pork in the world.

Under the MOA, CPFPC will endorse its existing and potential contract growers to DBP for possible funding support while DBP will evaluate and approve loan applications of qualified poultry contract growers for farm acquisition, development, rehabilitation and other pre-operating expenses.

DBP senior vice president for lending program management Carolyn Olfindo said the bank has also re-opened its Broiler Contract Growing Program (BCGP) for new accounts with contract growing agreements with a DBP-partner integrator as well as existing accounts of good standing with proposed additional loans for expansion.

Olfindo said the DBP BCGP is designed to encourage contract growers to expand their businesses by financing poultry broiler contract growing projects through shortened loan processing.

“Moving forward, DBP will continue to assist contract growers to help boost agricultural productivity towards a stable and reliable food supply in the country,” she stressed.

As of March 31, 2022, DBP had 125 approved accounts under the BGCP with a total loan amount of P8.12-billion. (PR)
Categories: Philippines News

AboitizPower deploys ‘robots’ to improve operations

Thu, 2022-07-28 21:01
ABOITIZ Power Corp. (AboitizPower) made a recent technological breakthrough after concluding its Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Bootcamp, wherein participants successfully developed 23 “robots” meant to improve the company’s customer service and overall business operations.

Among these is a robot created by a team member from Cebu-based distribution utility Visayan Electric that has the capability to consolidate high-volume data from various sources and generate accurate and actionable reports.

“This process involves more than 200,000 customer records. From more than 10 hours it normally takes us to finish the task, we were able to do it in less than half an hour with the robot. That’s more than a 95 percent improvement,” said Gratz Redoble, system operations supervisor at Visayan Electric.

The RPA Bootcamp trained team members from various AboitizPower business units, with some participants having minimal experience or knowledge in information technology.

“The program really helped me gain new skills given that I had no background in programming. It opened a new interest that I would never have imagined indulging in,” said Marc Daryl Lao, quality assurance specialist at Davao Light.

Not to be confused with mechanical robots, RPA technology can be described as “metaphorical software robots” that use artificial intelligence to deal with manual and repetitive tasks that would otherwise be very tedious to complete. These tasks may include capturing customer information, sifting through power outage data, and fast-tracking internal processes in the case of AboitizPower and its distribution utilities like Visayan Electric.

The newly developed robots have brought down turnaround and processing schedules across participating teams by an average of 50 percent, saving time, money, and effort and freeing up team members to do more value-adding work.

AboitizPower vice president for innovation and digital transformation Chat Balita said they intend to transform the organization into a progressive and digital workplace by nurturing the culture of innovation and digital citizenship.

“We envision our people ‘leaping’ from our ordinary roles into digital skills and competencies, to be future-ready and prepared to take on the tall order of disruptive technology. This is what it means to be a digital citizen,” she added.

The RPA Bootcamp is only one of AboitizPower’s DigitaLeap programs. It aims to integrate innovation and digital initiatives across all its business units and inculcate a digital-ready mindset within the organization.

With the Aboitiz Group’s Great Transformation becoming the Philippines’ first “techglomerate,” further enablement programs will take place so more team members can be upskilled with digital competencies.(CSL, PR)
Categories: Philippines News

Tell it to SunStar: EnGendeRights: Sona glaringly silent on the rights of LGBTIQ people

Thu, 2022-07-28 20:59
EnGendeRights executive director Clara Rita Padilla has said that while President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “mentioned addressing violence against women and rights of people who suffer abuses” in his first State of the Nationa Address (Sona) on Monday, July 25, 2022, her group wanted “to hear about his administration’s plans to address the prevailing violations of LGBTIQ people’s rights.”

“We call on the president to uphold the rights of LGBTIQ people against violence and to equality, diversity and inclusivity and certify the Sogie Anti-Discrimination Bills as priority. As the representative of the people, it is incumbent upon the president to push for the immediate passage of the Sogie Anti-Discrimination Bills,” said Padilla, a lawyer.

LGBTIQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer; Sogie stands for sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Padilla said the LGBTIQ people “suffer discrimination and violence at the very hands of their own parents and family, their schools and employers and in their own communities.”

“They are subjected to rape, torture, murder, violence, and abuse because of their Sogie, and experiences of discrimination and violence also lead to suicides of LGBTIQ people,” Padilla said. “All over the Philippines, countless LGBTIQ people suffer discrimination and are subjected to hate crimes. Indeed, this is cause for alarm and signals the urgency to pass the Sogie Anti-Discrimination Law and the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Law to prohibit all types of discrimination and violence against LGBTIQ people and promote equality of LGBTIQ people.”

Padilla further said “lesbian women and girls, bisexual women, and transgender men and boys are preyed upon by sexual predators.”

“I assisted a young lesbian who was sexually assaulted by her supervisor who claimed he will get her to like men and another lesbian minor who was sexually assaulted by a much older man. We need to take immediate actions to end these violations,” the lawyer said.

Such violations are “a cause for grave concern. There is widespread discrimination against LGBTIQ people, yet the national Sogie Anti-Discrimination Law has not been passed into law despite the lapse of over 23 years since the first anti-discrimination bill was first filed in 1999. This delayed passage of the law clearly shows a society that has failed to stand up for the rights of LGBTIQ people. It is time that our national laws clearly provide protection of LGBTIQ people against discrimination and violence; otherwise, LGBTIQ people will continue to suffer human rights violations with impunity and the Philippines will continually fall short of complying with its obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights of LGBTIQ people.”

The EnGendeRights said the Sogie Anti-Discrimination Bills must be passed into law to explicitly prohibit discrimination and abuses against LGBTIQ people and provide effective remedies and affirmative actions.

Padilla said “a law upholding the right to one’s Sogie protects LGBTIQ people against all forms of discrimination and abuses where erring individuals would be held liable and affirmative actions would be in place to promote and respect the rights of LGBTIQ people.”

“With affirmative actions in place,” the lawyer said, “modules and trainings on LGBTIQ rights will be ensured in schools, local government units, and workplaces; establishments will be required to provide All-Gender Comfort Rooms; scholarship, educational, employment, business, health care, and housing needs of LGBTIQ people will be addressed; access to justice will be ensured through responsive services including access to barangay protection orders and restraining orders; discriminatory policies will be repealed and the enactment of inclusive laws and policies will be prioritized.”
Categories: Philippines News

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