Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CSC, nagbabala sa public officials na iwasang magtungo sa casino

PINAALALAHANAN ng Civil Service Commission (CSC) ang mga government official na iwasang magtungo sa mga casino dahil ipinagbabawal ito sa ilalim ng isang executive policy.

Ang Memorandum Circular No. 8 , na ipinalabas noong Agosto 2001, ay ipinagbabawal ang lahat ng public officials na may direktang kaugnayan sa operasyon ng pamahalaan , maliban sa mga tauhan sa casino, na pumasok o magsugal sa casino.

Ipinagbabawal din sa ilalim ng circular ang mga miyembro ng Philippine National Police (PNP) at Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), kabilang ang Army , Navy at Air Force.

Binigyang-diin din ng CSC na ang Republic Act No. 6713, na lalong kilala na Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, na dapat na sundin ng lahat ng government employees ang ethical standards sa kanilang pro-pesyonal , gayundin sa kanilang personal na pamumuhay.

Dahil dito, nananawagan ang CSC sa publiko na maging alerto at i-report ang mga lumalabag sa Memorandum Circular No. 8 at Republic Act No.6713 .

I-report sa Mamamayan Muna Action Center hotline sa 932-0111 o magpadala ng mensahe sa 0917-TEXTCSC (0917-839-8272). Journal online

16 senators now back Pimentel's shift to federalism

Four more senators expressed support for Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr.'s resolution to convene Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution to adopt a federal system of government.

Pimentel said this brings to 16 the number of senators supporting Senate Resolution No. 10.

The four news supporters of Pimentel’s proposal are Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Loren Legarda, Manuel "Lito" Lapid, and Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

They joined Senators Edgardo Angara, Rodolfo Biazon, Pia Cayetano, Juan Ponce Enrile, Francis Escudero, Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Manuel Villar, who had signed Pimentel’s resolution earlier.

Pangilinan said his only two reservations are that the system be adopted after 2010, when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is out of power, and that a constitutional convention instead of a constituent assembly be authorized to draft the Charter changes.

Under a federal form of government, Pimentel said, senators will be elected by federal states and not at large nationwide. Members of the House of Representatives will continue to be elected by legislative districts, he added.

The resolution calls for the election of six senators in each of the 11 component federal states that are envisioned to be created. Nine other senators will be elected to represent the Filipinos overseas. This will expand the membership of the Senate from the current 24 members to 75.

On the other hand, the members of the House of Representatives will be elected by district but limited to a maximum of 350.

The resolution provides that the senators will serve for a term of six years and congressmen, three years. The senators will be limited to two terms and congressmen, four terms.

Pimentel said his proposed mode of electing senators will considerably lessen the cost of elections and keep election victors from resorting to corruption to recover campaign expenses and pay off poll-related debts.

By electing senators by federal states, Pimentel said the chronic problem of lack of representation or under-representation of certain regions of the country will be effectively solved.

"This will remove a major cause of social discontent and national disunity. With this scheme, no federal state will complain that they have no voice in the Senate," the senator from Mindanao said.

With a majority of senators signing his resolution, Pimentel said he is confident that the Senate will start deliberations on the proposed federal system as soon as possible.

But Pimentel's hope to start deliberations on his proposal were quickly dashed when the chairman of the committee on constitutional amendments, Senator Richard Gordon, declared on Monday that Charter change is not on his list of priorities.

Gordon said he wanted to concentrate on implementing automated elections in the August 11 Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao elections and other electoral reforms in time for the 2010 presidential elections.

The shift to federalism through a constituent assembly also has yet to gain ground in the House of Representatives although Pimentel claims Speaker Prospero Nograles, who is also from Mindanao, declared support for the federalism proposal.

He added that the former speaker, Pangasinan Representative Jose de Venecia, Jr. who failed in his bid in 2007 to amend the Charter to shift to a parliamentary and unicameral form of government, promised to file a counterpart resolution.

Previously, the Senate strongly opposed De Venecia's campaign for Charter change through people's initiative, which was also supported by MalacaƱang, since De Venecia's proposal would abolish the Senate.

Pimentel said he was in favor of Charter Change only as a means to pave the way for a federal system of government which he said would "correct the over-concentration of powers" in the national government.

"Apparently, there is some misconception that the adoption of a federal system will mean the phase-out of the presidential form of government and this is causing apprehensions in a lot of people, especially those who intend to run for top government positions in the 2010 elections," the senator said.

"But this is farthest from truth because the presidential set-up will be retained even if we shift to a federal system," he added. by Dona Pazzibugan, Philippine Daily Inquirer

LTO warns owners of configured cars

THE Land Transportation Office-Traffic Safety Division (LTO-TSD) discouraged motorists to configure their vehicles.

Daisy Jacobo, chief of LTO-TSD, said many enterprising Filipinos have illegally configured their units to avoid truck ban and the required specifications mandated by law.

Jacobo said the LTO-Law Enforcement Section indicated that many of the apprehended vehicles were illegally configured.

“Marami ’yung double tires ginagawang single tire. ’Yung iba naman nag- expand ng body lampas sa required na haba at lapad.

Ang madalas na gumagawa ng mga ganito ay ’yung mga truck ng gravel and sand at ibang mga delivery mini trucks” Jacobo said.

Jacobo said once a vehicle was illegally configured it would endanger the lives of the driver as well its rider or passenger, and the vehicle was considered unsafe and no longer roadworthy. By: Jun Icban-Legaspi - Journal online

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Checkpoint guidelines

SEARCHES, seizures and arrests in checkpoints shall be done with civility and with due respect to innocent passersby, commuters or bystanders.

Top “Mamang Pulis,” Director General Avelino I. Razon Jr. said this is just among the guidelines to be followed by his men at checkpoints, as he stressed that the “plain view” doctrine must be followed up at all times.

Under Police Operational Procedures (POP), the establishment of permanent checkpoints must always be authorized by the PNP and manned by uniformed personnel.

The guidelines state that checkpoints may be established when there is a need to arrest a criminal or fugitive from justice. Only mobile checkpoints are authorized and they shall be established only in conjunction with ongoing operations. Only official and marked vehicles shall be used in establishing such road blocks.

Enforcement officers manning the checkpoints shall be in proper uniform at all times with their identification cards and nameplates on; and shall always be led by an officer with the rank of police inspector at least. They shall not mulct, extort or harass drivers, passengers, traders, among others.

In the event that checkpoints/roadblocks are ignored and the motorists/suspects attempt to avoid inspection, the team leader shall immediately contact adjacent units to inform them of the situation and immediately conduct dragnet operations, while those at the checkpoint shall pursue the errant fleeing motorists;

Warning shots shall be discouraged. Megaphones or police sirens shall be used instead during the pursuit.

The plate number of the vehicle shall be noted and given to other units in adjacent areas. In the event that the occupants of the vehicle open fire on the personnel manning the checkpoint, reasonable force to overcome the suspect’s aggression may be employed.

Section 4 of the POP also states that “searches made at check or choke points shall be limited to visual search and neither the vehicle nor the occupants shall be subjected to physical search. An extensive search may be allowed only if the officers conducting the search have probable cause to believe that they would find evidence pertaining to the commission of a crime in the vehicle to be searched and there is no sufficient time to secure a valid warrant.”

Last week, National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Geary L. Barias ordered the investigation of some Manila officers who allegedly conducted an illegal checkpoint near Manila Zoo and terrorized a Filipino-Chinese businessman.

Manila cops reportedly ordered the trader’s driver to open the four doors before thoroughly searching the vehicle. They were allowed to go when the search yielded negative results.

Manila Police District director Chief Supt. Roberto L. Rosales said that through their hi-tech Global Position System (GPS) devices, they have identified six crewmen of three prowl cars who were involved in the incident.

(The PNP urges victims of crime and rogue officers to send their complaints through Isumbong Mo Kay Tsip at 0917-8475757, the Anti-Kotong Text 0927-5151515; PNP TXT 2920, DILG Patrol 117 or e-mail to tsip1@pnp.gov.ph or tsip@pnp.gov.ph) By: Alfred P. Dalizon - Journal online

11 senators want Charter change for federal system

By Veronica Uy - INQUIRER.net
Eleven senators say they want Congress convened into a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution to establish a federal system of government.

"Now, therefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved by the Senate with the House of Representatives concurring, upon a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of both Houses voting separately, to convene Congress into a constituent assembly pursuant to Section 1, paragraph 1 of Article XVII of the Constitution, and revise the Constitution for the purpose of adopting a federal system of government that will create 11 States, constitute Metro-Manila as the Federal Administrative Region, and convert the nation into the Federal Republic of the Philippines," Senate Joint Resolution No. 10 said.

The resolution was introduced by Senate President Manuel Villar and Senators Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Edgardo Angara, Rodolfo Biazon, Pia Cayetano, Juan Ponce-Enrile, Francis Escudero, Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, and Ramon Revilla Jr.

The 11 senators want to create the following 11 states or centers of finance and development: Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Minparom (Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon), Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, and BangsaMoro (Moro Nation).

The resolution noted that "the highly centralized system of government has brought about a spotty development of the nation where preferential treatment has been given to localities whose officials are friendly with or have easy access to an incumbent administration."

"[This] lopsided arrangement has spawned a host of problems including massive nationwide poverty to runaway insurgencies and rebellions that feed on the societal inequalities in the nation," it added.

Pimentel, the principal proponent of the resolution, said going federal would disperse political and economic power and solve many of the country's problems, including the decades-long rebellion in Mindanao.

"The 63-page resolution requires the revision of 14 of the existing 18 Articles of the Constitution and the addition of two new Articles. To use the more picturesque terms of surgeons, the revision requires an invasive surgery into the constitutional structure of our body politic," he said.

Sanitation problems hound RP

THE Water and Sanitation for East Asia of the World Bank yesterday warned that the absence of comfort rooms for 20 million Filipinos could result in illnesses, including schistosomiasis.

SEA-WB specialist Jemima Sy, in a health forum in Quezon City, said the shortage of toilets remains a major concern in the squatters’ colony, “home along da riles” and remote areas.

Studies conducted by SEA-WB showed that parts of East Asia, including the Philippines, are feared to be swamped with illnesses due to sanitation problems.

Sy said schistosomiasis, which usually strikes on children, is already in the country aside from diarrhea, acute gastroenteritis, iron deficiency and malnutrition. Rolando Santiago, sanitation engineer of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control of the Department of Health, said the provinces with the lowest sanitation rate nclude Sulu, Lanao del Sur, Marinduque, Masbate, Zamboanga Sibugay, Maguindanao, Lanao del Norte, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

Santiago said local government officials should focus on sanitation problems as a gram of human waste is composed of 10 million viruses, a million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs that will become worms that affect children. By: Joel dela Torre - Journal online

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No. of registered motor vehicles: 5.5 million (and counting)

No. of registered motor vehicles: 5.5 million (and counting)

DESPITE the economic uncertainties brought about by soaring prices of crude oil, there is no stopping Filipinos from buying motor vehicles.

In a date released a few weeks ago by the National Statistical Coordiation Board, Filipinos bought more cars, motorcycles and other vehicles despite the hard times.

The total volume of registered motor vehicles hit 5.523 million at the end of the year 2007, which is 191,792 units or 3.6 percent more than the 5.332 million sold in 2006.

The data, culled from the number of vehicles registered at the Land Transportation Office, include all types of vehicles such as cars, utility vehicles (including vans and jeepneys), sports utility vehicles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, tricycles, trailers and others.

The growth in the number of registered vehicles slowed from the 5.8 percent increase registered in 2006, after the Supreme Court affirmed its decision prohibiting the importation of used vehicles last year.

A total of 4.553 million (82 percent) are private vehicles while 886,540 units or 16 percent are for hire. The rest are government and diplomatic units.

Data showed that the volume of newly-registered units grew 9.6 percent to 857,171 in 2007 while renewed permits totaled 4,666 million or a 2.6 percent growth. Journal online

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pacific Spotlight: Rosalito Corillo

Stars and Stripes Pacific edition
Petty Officer 1st Class Rosalito Corilla
Job: Recruiter, Naval Recruiting Processing Station Far East, Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan

Pacific readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Call Paul Newell at Stars and Stripes with the person’s name and contact information at DSN 229-3158 or e-mail him at: newellp@pstripes.osd.mil.

Rosalito, if you’re from the Philippines, how did you come to join the Navy?
Under the Philippine National Enlistment Program, which was a special agreement between the U.S. Navy and the Philippines.

Was it difficult to join?
Oh yes. During the time I joined, 600 of us were applying for six U.S. Navy positions. We took the ASVB test, and only 33 of us remained. The same day, we had the English language interview with three recruiters, one master chief and two first-class petty officers. We waited 30 minutes for the selection, and from that number, only six of us were allowed to join the Navy that day. It took six months of processing, and then I had to take the ASVB again and the physical exam.

When did the Navy stop allowing Philippine natives into the military?
The agreement between the United States and Philippines ended in 1992 after Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base closed down, which happened because of two events — the rupture of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, which destroyed Clark Air Base and severely damaged Subic Bay, and the failure of the U.S. and the Philippine government to reach a base-extension agreement.

Were you sad to leave the Philippines?
Not really, but the day I left was interesting. There was a coup d’etat the day we left, as the military was trying to take over the country, so we had to change flight plans and flew from Subic Bay to Clark Air Base to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa to Anchorage, Alaska, to L.A. to San Diego. Then I had to show up to boot camp. Luckily, I already knew my 11 general orders.

What has been you favorite thing since joining the Navy?
Actually, being a recruiter. I have been able to help young kids achieve the same dream I did by putting them in the Navy.

What is the area of responsibility for Naval Recruiting Processing Station Far East?
Along with mainland Japan, we cover South Korea, Taiwan, Okinawa and Singapore. We actually spend a lot of time traveling.

Do you have a monthly quota?
We don’t call it quota anymore. We call them goals. It’s three a month.

How have you done on your goals?
In 2007, I was given the Master Chief Bakarian Award for the distinction of being the best rookie recruiter for the Navy Recruiting District, Los Angeles, which Yokosuka falls under.

Why do you think you are so successful?
Honestly, part of the reason is because I know the area so well. Even though I can’t go outside the gate and recruit Japanese, I was stationed here before, and I am involved with the base community and know a lot of the parents here.

What’s the most important characteristic of a recruiter?
Patience. You have to have patience and perseverance. If you are talking to an applicant who says that they aren’t interested in joining the Navy, a few months later they might change their minds, but you might not know unless you follow up with them.

Is it difficult to join the Navy today?
To join the Navy, you have to be morally, mentally and medically qualified. It’s not like the old days when the guys standing before the judge had the choice of doing jail time or joining the military. Now they must have clean records and meet stronger criteria.

What do you like to do in your off time?
I like to go to the library and read about Philippine history, especially Philippine national heroes.