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Maternity leave law giving more benefits to working women set to take effect 

May 1, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN Digital, May 1) - This is good news to all working women in the Philippines! The expanded maternity leave law principally-authored by Senator Risa Hontiveros is set to take effect as its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were signed on Labor Day.    In a statement relayed to MDN Digital, Sen Hontiveros said she is happy that the implementing rules and regulations of this law were signed during the observance of Labor Day on May 1. “I am happy that the implementing rules and regulations of the measure were signed and released today. “I welcome this development as this ensures the full implementation of the law and that all women will benefit from the measure. “This is certainly good news to all women workers and their families who have patiently waited for the law's IRR," the senator pointed out. It was President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who signed the expanded maternity leave law last February which will expand the maternity leave of working women up to 105 days. Working mothers are also allowed by the new law to even extend their leave to 30 days, regardless of civil status but the 30-day leave extension will no longer be paid. The law also extends an additional of 15-day paid leave for single mothers. Another exciting feature of the expanded maternity leave is that seven days of the 105-day paid leave benefits are transferrable to the fathers. It says that said privilege maybe claimed under the 1996 Paternity Leave Act. It can be recalled that the previous paid maternity leave benefit was only 60 days for women of normal delivery and 78 days for deliveries under caesarian section. The author of the previous bill who was Senator Nancy Binay said the new expanded paid maternity leave benefit is a welcome development. “best gift” for mothers on Labor Day, the senator said, adding that "bilang mga magulang at bilang isang bansa na may malasakit sa kapwa, wag nating isantabi ang kontribusyon ng kababaihan. Let us start creating a work environment where women are not discriminated for wanting to be parents.”

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Bong Go joins PMCC prayer for peaceful, honest elections; leaves Senate bid in God’s hands

May 1, 2019

Former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday joined the Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ (PMCC) in praying for clean, honest and peaceful elections in the country on May 13, 2019.      Go thanked the PMCC for inviting him to their gathering at the Marikina City Sports Complex and allowing him to speak before them.      “Isang malaking karangalan po na makasama kayo ngayong araw na ito para sa prayer for the nation for clean, honest and peaceful elections. Maraming salamat po sa inyong pag-imbita lalong-lalo na po sa inyong Goodman of the House, Apostle Arsenio Ferriol,” Go said.      He noted that it was his second time to attend a gathering of the PMCC. Go was also invited to grace the PMCC International Missionary Day last January 14, 2019 the AATF Complex in Malagasang, Imus City in Cavite.      Go said that participating in the PMCC gathering triggered a memory in 2015 when a lot of supporters were trying to convince then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for president. Go said Duterte’s reply made an indelible imprint in his memory.      “Ten percent of your life is ruled by you while 90 percent is destiny. Destiny is instructed by God; it is not ruled by mortals. We do not know when will we be born or die, so let us place everything in the hands of God. If God intends that I will be a candidate of honor, I will be there. But if God does not want, I will not be there,” Go said, quoting Duterte.      “Sa madaling sabi po, ang lahat ng bagay ay itinadhana. Walang sinuman po ang makakapagsabi kung anuman po ang magiging tadhana natin. Tanging ang Panginoon lamang po ang nakakaalam,” Go said.      Likewise, the former SAP said that any position of authority, privilege, or power anybody may have is destined for him in accordance with God’s will and not a product of his own effort or skill.      “Kung anuman pong bagay, kapangyarihan at posisyon meron tayo ngayon, itinadhana po sa atin at ibinigay po sa atin ito ng Diyos. Hindi po dahil sa atin kundi ito po ay dahil sa kanya,” he said.      Respecting the spirit of the PMCC gathering, Go clarified that he is not campaigning before them.      “Ako po hindi po ako nangangampanya sa inyo dito. Itago nyo na lang po sa puso ninyo kung sinong Pilipino po ang makapag-serbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino,” Go said.      “Kasi po para sa akin minsan lang po tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong kabutihan ang pwede nating gawin sa ating kapwa gawin na natin dahil hindi na tayo babalik sa mundong ito,” he added.      However, Go assured the PMCC that they could rely on him to bring to President Duterte’s attention any concern that they may have.      “Noon, ngayon at kung saan man ako ipadpad ng aking tadhana patuloy ninyo akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte,” Go said.      Likewise, he reiterated his commitment to support the programs and policies of President Duterte.      “Sabi po niya sa akin, gagawin at gagawin niya ang lahat para sa Pilipino. Sabi niya, (he is determined to do that) even if it could cost his freedom someday. At hindi ko po siya iiwanan,” Go said.      Go said that in running for the Senate he only wants to help President Duterte serve the Filipino people.      “Para sa amin, ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos. Wala po kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng Pilipino dahil mahal namin ang aming kapwa Pilipino,” Go said.

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Filinvest assist local students overcome reading difficulties

May 1, 2019

Filinvest’s FDC Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis), owner and operator of the biggest baseload plant in Mindanao, has partnered with Mohon Elementary School (MES) in Tagoloan town, Misamis Oriental to improve the reading proficiency of local students.       The collaboration was made possible through MES’ Active Stakeholders Participation in Reading Engagement (ASPIRE) Program.       ASPIRE, which was conceptualized by the MES’ General Parents-Teachers Association (GPTA) and is in partnership with the Barangay Council of Mohon, is a tutorial program intended for poor reader and non-reader students of MES.       Launched last year, the program aims to improve the literacy rate of MES students through the active participation of teachers, parents and other community stakeholders within the area such as private entities like FDC Misamis. The management of FDC Misamis welcomed the opportunity and allowed employees to tutor students based on their available schedules.       FDC Misamis is the pioneering private institution who welcomes this partnership according to school principal, Dr. Carnila Simacon.       This, as FDC Misamis wants to contribute something positive to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) flagship initiative dubbed as “Every Child A Reader Program.” For its initial participation, FDC Misamis employee-volunteers took under their wings five poor-reader six grader pupils earlier last month.       The beneficiaries are graduating students who are under conditional status and must improve their reading skills in the next two months for them to move up to seventh grade. “It’s sad to note that our five beneficiaries have great difficulty knowing the (basic) sounding of the letters in our alphabet,” shared Analiza Miso, FDC Misamis’ Community Relations Specialist, who’s acting as one of the tutors.       “But the kids are showing enthusiasm learning how to identify letters, its sounding, and of course, the proper pronunciation, through our help and encouragement,” Miso added. Five weeks into the program, the students are showing a lot of improvements in their reading skills. One volunteer, Kim Orquillas, FDC Misamis’ Assistant Community Relations Specialist, narrates the changes he observed from the students. “I am very happy and most of all, there is a feeling of fulfillment that after four consecutive Mondays of teaching the kids, I realized that the time and effort I spent with them were never wasted, because I can see that they can now identify letters, phonics and words they have difficulty reading before,” said Orquillas.      MES and other community partners are happy for the developments of the students. They are hopeful that the program will yield positive results in eliminating illiteracy in the community. “What a great help! We’re blessed. And we’re thankful, indeed that FDC Misamis is here to help us teach our non-readers,” said Simacon. Simple but very helpful, was how Francis Jerson Sabio, punong barangay of Mohon in Tagoloan tagged the program.      “Hoping then that FDC Misamis is one among those who can help cure an ‘appalling’ joke that Philippines is a nation of poor-readers,” said Sabio.       FDC Misamis then disclosed plans to continue the tutorial program in the coming years and will be under its Corporate Social Responsibility’s (CSR) “Education for Empowerment” pillar. The program will be replicated to other public elementary schools situated in Tagoloan and Villanueva and will accommodate non-readers and poor-readers from grades one to six.

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AFP, PNP, Comelec pool forces to ensure peaceful polls

May 1, 2019

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Commission on Elections (Comelec) pooled forces to ensure peaceful elections on 13 May 2019.      In two separate interviews, Philippine Army 403rd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Edgardo De Leon and PNP provincial director Senior Supt. Benedicto Pintor said they had ironed out details in the deployment of soldiers and police officers to synchronize movements.      “In coordination with Comelec and AFP, we reviewed guidelines and rules for safety and security. The voting centers, access roads, and perimeters have been identified by PNP in accordance with the security plan,” Pintor said.      In a conference, Bukidnon provincial election supervisor Atty. Milber G. Alinas asked the army and the police to augment personnel in towns identified under “election watchlist” or those with reported threats.      Based on election records and history, PNP has monitored 75 barangays identified as “areas of immediate concern.”      PNP, however, said police officers who will perform election duties, would look after every polling center and augment personnel in barangays with reported threats.      Bukidnon has 20 towns, two cities, and 464 barangays with a total of 875,634 registered voters.      Provincial Comelec data showed there are five candidates vying for the position of the governor; four vie for vice-governor; 22 for provincial board members; 42 for city/municipal mayor; 33 for city/municipal vice mayor; and 389 for city/municipal council members.      Same data showed that in Bukidnon’s four legislative districts, there are a total of eight candidates running for members of the House of Representatives. The number includes two candidates for 1st District; two for 2nd District; three for the 4th District; while the 3rd District candidate is running unopposed. (RLRB/PIA 10, Bukidnon)

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Solon asks status of cases against importers of wastes

May 1, 2019

VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental--Second district Rep. Juliette Uy yesterday urged the government agencies tasked to file charges against the importers of wastes into the country “to keep the cases morning forward.      “What is the status of the cases against the importers of Canadian and Korean wastes?” Uy asked the government agencies like the Department of Justice (DOJ), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).      For instance, she said what happened to the supposed charges filed against Chronic Plastics, Inc. the consignee of the 103 cargo containers of wastes from Canada.      “Chronic Plastics is no different from Verde Soko,” said Uy, adding “both misdeclared their cargoes.”      he congresswoman said the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Justice, and the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court “should now update the public on the status of the cases filed against Chronic Plastics because it has been over five years.”      “This is not a victimless crime. It is clear that Chronic Plastics violated the law, The plaintiff is the People of the Philippines. The Filipino people want justice meted against Chronic Plastics and all its officials and the personnel who conspired with or were accessories to the crimes stated in the charges,” Uy said.      “I also take this opportunity to follow-up with the Department of Justice, the status of the charges against Verde Soko. The NBI investigated and filed the charges with the prosecutor,” the congresswoman also said.      Uy added these cases against Chronic Plastics and Verde Soko should be priorities.      Uy is the principal author of House Resolution 2317 (Hazardous Waste from South Korea probe).      “We will keep close watch over how the executive agencies do their jobs on these solid waste law violations,” she said. (MRS)

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Metro TODA pledges support for Bong Go as former SAP vows to fight for their cause

April 30, 2019

PASIG CITY - Former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Saturday received a pledge of support from the National Capital Region-Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) Coalition.      Signed by TODA leaders in Metro Manila led NCR TODA Coalition President Ace Sevilla, the pledge of support was given to Go during the Pasig City First TODA Summit held at Urbano Velasco Avenue, in Brgy. Pinagbuhatan here.      “..Kami po ay mataimtim na nangangakong susuporta sa pagtakbo ni Kuya Bong Go bilang isa sa mga Senador ng Republika ng Pilipinas ng may buong katapatan at paniniwala. Asahan ninyong kami ay magiging kaakibat nito tungo sa pag-unlad at pagbabagong nais ipagpatuloy ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte,” the manifesto read.      Earlier in the day, Go went around Pasig City in a motorcade. He thanked the people of the city for the enthusiastic reception he received from them.      “Sobrang init ng pagtanggap ng ating mga kababayan sa atin kahit saan kami pumunta. Kanina pinasok natin yung eskinita ng Payatas, ng Quezon City, ngayon naman sa Pasig. Sobrang init ng pagtanggap ng tao, nakakawala talaga ng pagod,” Go said.      He said he goes around the country not merely to pursue his campaign but also to meet with the residents to cheer them up and listen to their concerns.      Speaking at the summit, Go reaffirmed his commitment to champion the cause of the TODA and promote their welfare. He recalled that a chance meeting with Sevilla marked the beginning of his earnest efforts to help the TODA.      “Nagkakilala kami sa isang tabi lang po, sa isang carinderia diyan sa Pasay. Nagkwentuhan kami, sabi niya marami akong gustong iparating, mga hinaing daw ng TODA…so sabi ko ipaparating ko kay Pangulo. Kaya po tayo nagkaroon ng TODA Summit,” Go pointed out.      In January this year, the government held a national TODA Summit in Pasay City to listen to the concern of the tricycle operators and drivers in the country.      “Inimbitahan rin po yung mga presidente ng TODA doon po sa Malacanang at naiparating ni Presidente Ace kay Pangulong Duterte yung mga hinaing po ng TODA at yung mga problema ninyo,” Go added.      “Sa katauhan ni Kuya Bong Go, may magtutulay na ng hinaing ng mga TODA sa Presidente,” said Sevilla for his part, as he also recalled how Go  spearheaded the January National TODA Summit.      Sevilla noted that during their meeting with President Duterte, arranged by Go, he requested fuel subsidy for tricycle drivers similar to that enjoyed by jeepney drivers. He said this would soon be realized through the help of the private sector.      For his part, Go assured the TODA that they can always count on his help if they have any concerns or problems that they want to bring to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte.      “Asahan nyo po, ako bilang Kuya Bong Go ninyo, ako yung tulay ninyo sa Malacanang. Kung may problema po kayo …basta kahit anong reklamo po…isumbong nyo rin po sa akin,” Go said.      He said that if elected to the Senate he would undertake a review of existing laws, including those governing their livelihood and operations, to ensure the regulations would be beneficial to them.      “Mga TODA, mahal po namin kayo ni Pangulong Duterte. Basta kahit ano pong pwede naming gawin sa inyo iparating nyo lang po sa mga presidente ninyo,” he added.      Go also recalled that during his visit to fire victims he would also take time to talk to the TODA in the area just to hear their concerns.      “Tuwing may nasusunugan nakikipag-boodle fight ako sa TODA na malapit, kahit hating-gabi. Doon lang po yung pagkakataon na pwede ko kayong makausap at makahalubilo at (malaman kung) ano po yung mga gusto ninyong iparating po sa ating gobyerno,” Go said.      Go told them that he remains committed to supporting the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte against criminality, corruption, and illegal drugs as he also warned them to stay away from drugs.      “Marami pong mga TODA na naging biktima ng droga. Marami pong lumapit sa akin, sabi nila: Sir salamat po kay Pangulong Duterte, nagbagong-buhay na ako, nag-surrender na ako. ..Iwasan ninyo po yung droga,” Go reminded them.      In addition, Go said he supports the Duterte administration’s development and infrastructure programs, noting there are many on-going and planned projects that would benefit not only Pasig but other adjacent cities in Metro Manila.      Among others, he cited P27.3-billion project for the construction of consisting of 10 bridges crossing the Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway. The government has requested international loan financing for the project since June 6, 2018.      There were also plans for other bridges such as the Mercury-Evangelista Bridge, the J.P. Rizal-Lopez Jaena Bridge, as well as the BGC-Ortigas Link, all meant to reduce traffic and improve travel time between Pasig and nearby cities in Metro Manila, among others.      Likewise, Go told the TODA in Pasig that they could also benefit from his advocacy to improve the delivery of health services in the country, particularly through the establishment of Malasakit Center.      A program of the Duterte administration based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as DOH, DSWD, PCSO, and Philhealth.      “Kung may magkakasakit na TODA o kanilang pamilya pwede po silang matulungan sa Malasakit Center,” Go said. Out of the 34 Malasakit Center currently in operation, three are in the NCR.      Go is pushing for a law to enable the establishment of Malasakit Center in more provinces and key urban centers in the country and allow continuity of the program even after the term of the Duterte administration.      He vowed to serve the Filipino people the best way he could, saying “Bisyo ko na po ang magserbisyo.”      “Magseserbisyo kami (ni Pangulong Duterte) sa inyong lahat. Serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos. Wala kaming ibang hangarin kundi kabutihan ng Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” Go said.      Other priority concerns Go had identified to be part of his legislative agenda include agriculture, housing, education, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW, and improved benefits for senior citizens.

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