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July 22-July 29, 2011



Let’s settle Spratly conflict by peaceful means -- Evardone Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said that the conflict on the disputed Spratly Islands could be settled through peaceful means, which could benefit all claimant countries. Evardone visited Wednesday the disputed Kalayaan Islands with . Rep. Walden Bello (Akbayan partylist), Kaka Bag-Ao (Akbayan), Emmeline Aglipay of DIWA party-list, and Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao. Their trip to the disputed islands, was allegedly financed by Filipino-Chinese businessmen as a “civilian peace mission.” Evardone said the Philippine government should consider launching a diplomatic offensive and review its bilateral relations and agreement with China including its multi-lateral partners like

our border relations with our neighbors,” he said.


Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei for the region’s peaceful coexistence and beneficial economic advantages to all claimants. “National security depends to a significant extent on the quality of

Negotiating table “This is the reason why we must exert every effort to bring the claimants to the negotiating table and discuss the way forward. We cannot indefinitely shelve the disputes as one country would want,” he said. Evardone said the Philippine government could initiate a review of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which could be used as a parameter in settling the Spratly issue. Under the UNCLOS, the Eastern Samar solon said, countries bordering an enclosed or semi-enclosed sea were mandated to cooperate with each other in the exer-

Chiz urges DepEd to insure school properties in disaster-prone areas WITH the onset of rainy season, Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to immediately insure all school buildings and properties in the country’s northeastern seaboard where disasters usually strike. Escudero made his call as he pursued this plan together with the

DepEd and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), who will serve as the education department’s insurance underwriter. “When disaster ravages the country, one of the first to go down with the mud and water is our school buildings. Classrooms have always bore nature’s brunt. Different per-

ils of disasters either damage or destroy these structures, which are supposed to be the bastion of knowledge for our children,” Escudero explained. “Insuring these structures is a guarantee that after a direct impact with disaster, damage control, repair or replacement is an outright order.”

Gov’t eyes PPP...

to directly link the public sector, the private sector, and civil society organizations in re-engineering our settlements and involvement of our civil society organizations and people’s organizations in estate management particularly in providing training and livelihood assistance,” he added. The Vice President said the country’s key shelter agencies are cur-

rently formulating housing policies that are designed to significantly reduce the country’s housing gap by half in 2016. He also said that the government is seriously considering portions of the land previously declared as housing sites to be developed as commercial areas to make them the enabling component for socialized and low-cost housing.

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needed reforms in the housing sector. “We would like to solicit your support to push for the strict enforcement of RA 7279 or the Urban Development Housing Act (UDHA),” he said. “Furthermore, we would like to encourage volunteerism as a means

Paje wants financiers, poachers of black corals, marine turtles jailed DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has ordered the department's lawyers to start summary proceedings against personalities behind the smuggle try of some P35-million worth of turtles and corals seized from two container vans last May 1 aboard a vessel that came from Cotabato province. Paje gave the order as he condemned the poachers and their financiers who, he said, “have practically robbed the present and future generations of Filipinos” the benefits that would have come from these marine species in unquantifiable terms and should face the full extent of the law “in whatever way necessary.” The incident comes at a time when the DENR is shoring up its efforts to stop wildlife trade through stricter enforcement of wildlife laws and more aggressive legal actions against violators of the country's environmental laws through the prosecution in special courts – or green courts – that have been designated by the Supreme Court. “We shall certainly act with dispatch to make sure that the suspects face the punishment to the fullest extent,” Paje said.

Villar proposes... (From page 1)

teachers are required to render a total of eight hours a day. “A shorter work day would be a great relief for the teachers. We are also proposing that any work performed in excess of six hours a day shall be paid an additional compensation of at least 25 percent of their regular remuneration,” he said. The bill seeks to exempt teachers from the generally established rule on 8-hour workday under the Civil Service Rules. Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 also states that: “Officers and employees of all departments and agencies except those covered by special laws shall render not less than eight hours of work a day for five days a week or a total of 40 hours a week, exclusive of time for lunch.” The proposed bill provides that co-curricula, out-of-school activities and other activities of any teacher outside of their normal duties shall be paid an additional compensation of at least 25 percent of his/her regular remuneration after the teacher has completed at least six hours of work.

WB leader says gov’t, civil society should join hands vs. criminality AN OFFICIAL of World Bank (WB) has said government and civil society should unite against political and criminal violence. “Today, 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by political and criminal violence,” said Nigel Roberts, World Development Report 2011 CoDirector. Roberts was the main speaker in a round-table discussion hosted by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in partnership with the World Bank Office in Manila on Friday. Attended by members of civil society organizations, Roberts presented the World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development

at the Taberna Barcelona Function Room in Linden Suites, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. The Report, which was launched last April 2011 by the World Bank, focused on strengthening efficient and legitimate institutions to provide citizen security, justice and jobs in order to gain stakeholders and escape the vicious cycle of violence. “It’s important to have a dialogue between the government and civil society. They cannot do without each other. It’s not enough to have a political agreement unless reinforced by intense work and social consciousness. And civil society can only do so much without the aid of the government,” he said.

cise of their rights and in the performance of their duties. “Under UNCLOS, cooperation among the concerned countries could include the management, conservation, exploration and exploitation of the living resources of the sea; protection and preservation of the marine environment; and joint program of scientific research in the area,” he said. Though the UNCLOS does not aim at settling territorial disputes, Evardone said, “it could be an instrument for confidence building.” Limited measurement He also cited the proposal of Hasjim Ajalal, first president of the International Seabed Authority of Indonesia, who proposed that a more limited measurement of the EEZ of each littoral country in the

South China Sea should be put in place so that a certain portion of the area would not fall into any exclusive economic zone. Evardone said some experts from the East-West Center in Hawaii also proposed the establishment of a Spratly Management Authority, which would act as body to administer the disputed area. He also urged Congress to conduct an inquiry to review the Philippines’ legal claim over the Spratlys, the presence of Philippine troops in the Kalayaan Islands, and the efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the diplomatic front.


No ‘Bangkang Papel,’ ‘Mang Pandoy’ props in P-Noy’s 2nd SONA From page 1... Thousands of Philippine National Police personnel are expected to be deployed on standby along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City leading to, and around the Batasan Hills area where the House of Representatives is located. Unaffacted by the recent allegation of massive poll cheating thrown at her by detractors, GMA said she will definitely attened P-Noy’s second SONA. Meantime, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) released a pre-SONA situationer. It is targetting and highly optimistic a seven to eight percent economic growth could be achieved by the P-Noy Administration in the next five years it said. “The 7 percent to 8 percent GDP growth is still our target in the next five years. We hope the increase in investment will continue. We saw an underspending midway to the second quarter but we will increase our infrastructure spending,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga said. The NEDA chief said he expects the second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) to exceed the 4.9 percent growth in the first quarter of the year. Paderanga, however, said that GDP is likely to be “slower” than the 8.4 percent growth in the second quarter last year. In the first quarter, the country’s GDP grew by 4.9 percent amidst the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, the rising oil prices, and the contraction in public spending. Compared with the performance of its Asian neighbors, Paderanga said the country’s GDP growth in the first quarter is higher than that of Thailand’s 3 percent, Republic of Korea’s 4.2 percent and Malaysia’s 4.6 percent. He also said that the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC) will review the 7 percent to 8 percent economic target this year after the second quarter numbers are out. “Growth would be higher in 2012,” said Paderanga. Earlier, Paderanga projected a stronger growth in the coming quarters in spite of the risks and uncertainties surrounding the country because of the timely and effective implementation of appropriate policies and reforms that are being undertaken. These include measures such as addressing corruption and making the bureaucracy more efficient by streamlining processes to lower the cost of doing business for the private sector as well as expediting the release and utilization of budget for a more efficient and timely implementation of programs and projects, Paderanga said. He said the GDP for the next five years would be boosted by the government’s public-private partnership initiatives. Paderanga added that the government is on track to bid out 10 infrastructure projects under the PPP scheme this year. The 10 PPP infrastructure projects lined up for this year include the P70-billion South Extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 1, P11.3-billion East Extension of LRT 2, P7.7-billion Privatization of LRT 1, P6.3-billion Privatization of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, P11.8-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway, and P10.6-billion second phase of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway. the government’s Philippine Development Plan for 2011 to 2016, the 7-8 percent annual growth target will generate an average of one million new jobs annually and these will be found primarily in industry and services sectors. It added that the 7-8 percent GDP target per year implies a tripling of per capita income to about $ 5,000 in two decades. “This is a higher growth trajectory than the past decade’s and shall be attained through a higher contribution of physical capital to GDP growth, as well as through the increase in total factor productivity through massive investment in transport, water, energy and other infrastructure and through good governance,” the country’s economic blueprint said. The PDP said sustaining growth in later year will require even higher investment ratios reaching 22 percent by 2016. The government approved a total investment of P3.796 trillion by 2016. Paderanga also said that the country’s Medium-Term Public Investment Program (MTPIP) for 2011 to 2016 is expected to be completed this month or after President Aquino delivers his second stateof-the-nation address (SONA) on July 25.

Metro Express page 5  

Metro Express newspaper page 5