cagayan de oro

Moreno leads by wide margin in De Oro race

May 15, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – Reelectionist Mayor Oscar Moreno leads overwhelmingly over his opponent businessman Pompee La Viña based on the ABS-CBN Halalan 2019 poll count. Moreno, running for his third and final term, garnered 155,579 votes compared to the 88,711 votes that La Viña had as of 10:25 a.m. in the ABS-CBN Halalan 2019 poll count. The reelectionist mayor ran under the banner of the PDP Laban while La Viña, who is a supporter of President Duterte, ran under the Padayon Pilipino regional party of the late ex-Mayor Vicente Emano, who adopted him as their mayoralty candidate.. Election officials said the results were based on 97.75% of the election returns transmitted so far. Election officials Tuesday night that SD cards in 14 precincts did not work. Misamis Oriental provincial election director Aleli Ramirez said at least 28 SD cards were found defective out of a total 1,275 SD cards distributed in Misamis Oriental and the two cities of Gingoog and Cagayan de Oro. “This prevented us from proclaiming the winning candidates,” she said. Ramirez said they have to ask Comelec Manila to retool the SD card but given the small number of IT personnel, there would be some delays. “We would be lucky if the problem is solve by Thursday,” she told MindaNews, For congressman in the Cagayan de Oro’s first legislative district, reelectionist Rep. Klarex Uy (PDP-Laban) enjoy a comfortable lead with 83,043 votes over his opponent, Caesar Ian Acenas of Padayon Pilipino, who took only 23,429 votes in the second district congressional race, according to the ABS-CBN count as of 10:25 a.m. today with 96.26% of the votes counted. In the second district, former Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, running under his political party Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines, had an overwhelming lead with 81,092 votes over his opponent, Alam Lim of PDP-Laban, who got only 46,030 votes. For the province of Misamis Oriental, Gov. Yevgeny Emano, who is running for his third term under the Padayon Pilipino banner, got 247,712 votes against his opponent Julio Uy of the National Unity Party, who took 196,609 votes as of 10:25 a.m. today based on 99.08% of election returns transmitted. In the province’s first congressional district, newcomer Christian Unabia (Lakas) got 101,919 votes as against 84,910 of Vice Governor Joey Pelaez of the National Unity Party. Rep. Juliet Uy (National Unity Party) appeared to be clinching a third term when she garnered 157,995 votes over her opponent, Benjo Benaldo of Padayon Party, who got only 73,940 votes. The mother and daughter tandem of Ruthie and Marie Guingona (Nacionalista Party) appeared to be heading to a defeat in the leadership race in Gingoog City. Ruthie, who is making a comeback, got only 30,315 votes against her opponent Erick Canosa who garnered 36,435 votes. Marie Guingona, who slid down to vice mayor, took only 29,533 votes against her opponent, Rep. Peter Unabia who got 36,588 votes.

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SSS maternity disbursements reach P7B in 2018, to increase more in 2019

May 7, 2019

The state-run Social Security System (SSS) over the weekend said more than 326,000 female members were assisted in 2018 with maternity benefit disbursements reaching to around P7.07 billion, a P954.62 million or 15.6 percent increase from over P6.11 billion recorded in 2017. “We are glad that we are able to assist more of our female members financially during their pregnancy in 2018. We have recorded an increase of 12.6 percent or 36,550 female members more who availed of the benefit in 2018 compared to the previous year,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said. Of the total number of beneficiaries in 2018, 68.2 percent or 222,551 are employee-members with total disbursements amounting to P5.98 billion.  Voluntary members followed comprising 25 percent or 81,641 with total disbursements of around P850 million. This is followed by self-employed members with 4.5 percent or 14,692 and Overseas Filipino Worker members with 2.3 percent or 7,429 with total disbursements of around P80 million and P150 million, respectively. Moreover, SSS maternity benefit disbursements in the first two months of 2019 have already reached P1.34 billion with over 62,000 beneficiaries.  “We are expecting that these disbursements will continue to increase this year following the implementation of the 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law (EMLL) after the Implementing Rules and Regulations was already signed on Labor Day last week," Ignacio said.  The EMLL will push the current 60/78-day paid maternity leave to 105 days for live childbirth, regardless of the mode of delivery, with an additional 15 days for solo mothers and an option for an additional 30 days without pay. A 60-day paid leave, on the other hand, will be given to a qualified female member in case of miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy. The maternity benefit may be granted regardless of the frequency of deliveries or miscarriage. Further, the current maximum financial assistance of P32,000 will increase to P70,000 based on the P20,000 Monthly Salary Credit. “SSS is motivated to continuously develop its benefit programs to provide more meaningful assistance to its members,” Ignacio said. “We recognize the needs of mothers and their newborn babies. We hope that through the EMLL, women workers may be able to fully enjoy their rights to health and decent work,” she added. (SSS Cagayan de Oro   SSS pushes for higher retirement savings for OFWs   The state-run Social Security System (SSS) is committed to give Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) higher social security benefits especially during their retirement as it pushes to implement the compulsory coverage of OFWs mandated under Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018. SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said the pension fund will exhaust all ways to come out with the guidelines on compulsory OFW coverage while taking into consideration the concerns and suggestions that were discussed during the public forum with OFW stakeholders last 3 May. "It was clear in the public forum that all stakeholders are united in providing social security protection to all OFWs. However, we must settle some issues in the implementing guidelines. We will continue to hold discussions with our partners in government who are jointly mandated with the SSS under the new law to ensure compulsory OFW coverage, namely the Department of Labor and Employment and its concerned agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and the Department of Foreign Affairs.  Leaders from both land-based and sea-based OFW sectors will also be consulted in the process, and all together, we will see how we can best implement the provisions of the law" said Ignacio. SSS data showed that as of end-2018, there were 1.14 million registered OFWs in the system, of which around 550,000 were paying members during the year. The pension fund also disbursed an estimated P5.65 billion in benefits to more than 63,000 OFW pensioners and members in 2018, or 89 percent of the P6.37 billion contributions collected from OFWs on the same year. The pension fund is proposing that all land-based OFWs should pay at least a minimum monthly contribution of P960 which is equivalent to 12 percent of the new minimum monthly salary credit (MSC) for OFWs of P8,000. Even paying only one month of contribution at the new minimum MSC, an OFW-member will get 61 times in return from his contribution or P58,400 in total lump-sum benefits for disability, death or retirement plus funeral grant. If they opt to pay at the highest MSC of P20,000 or P2,400 monthly contribution, the benefit amount would be P116,000. Sickness benefit of OFW-members will also increase under the new minimum MSC for OFWs. From the previous P150/day, it will increase by 60 percent to P240/day.  Maternity benefit will also increase by more than double from P10,000-P13,000 to P28,000 under the Expanded Maternity Leave Law which took effect on March 11. For retirement benefit, those with 120 qualifying monthly contributions at P8,000 MSC will have a basic monthly pension amounting to P3,200. If they are paying based on the P20,000 MSC, the pension benefit will be P8,000 per month. This shows that the higher the contributions, the higher the benefits. "We'd like our OFWs to know that membership with SSS is for life. Membership does not expire so all contributions you put in are all accounted for. In case you stopped paying due to work abroad, you can always reactivate your membership by continuing to pay your contribution to become eligible to the seven types of SSS benefits including unemployment insurance.  I hope our OFWs will look at SSS contributions as their long-term savings and not an expense burden," Ignacio said.  Ignacio said that SSS as an implementor of the law will make sure that all provisions under the SS Act of 2018 will be fully realized. At present, SSS has 26 foreign representative offices in 18 countries for OFW member assistance services. (SSS Cagayan de Oro)

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19 nabbed in Pagadian City for guns

May 7, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY  – Nineteen persons armed with automatic rifles and pistols on board a convoy of two pick-up trucks were arrested in Pagadian City on Monday afternoon by a joint team of Army and police personnel. Capt. Clint Antipala, public information officer of the 1st Infantry Division said the arrest was supervised by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) which acted on a tip from residents on the presence of the armed men in Barangay Danlugan, Pagadian. “The government troops immediately responded in the area and were able to flag down the two vehicles and immediately apprehended the personalities on board possessing firearms,” Antipala said. He said the soldiers and policemen seized five M16 rifles, seven Cal ..45 pistols, two Cal .357 revolvers, one 9mm pistol, one Cal .38 revolver, one Cal .22 revolver, several assorted ammunition and 17 pieces of bonnet masks. The arrest came after the Armed Forces of the Philippines deployed some 40,000 troops nationwide to help in the conduct of the May 2013 midterm elections. Violence has been the mark of elections in parts of the Philippines while vote buying is rampant in many areas. Over 61 million registered voters are expected to troop to the polling centers on May 13 to vote for 12 senators, congressional district representatives, party-list groups and local government officials. The Comelec declared the entire Mindanao a “Category Red Election Hotspot” in the run-up to the mid-term elections this month. Mindanao, which has been placed under martial law since May 23, 2017, comprises 27 provinces, 33 cities, 422 towns and 10,084 barangays. It has a population of 24.1 million as of 2015 and its voting population in the 2016 Presidential polls was 12.6 million, the second vote-richest island in the country (Luzon’s was 30.4 million and Visayas’ was 11.3 million) AFP public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato said the troops will help the police in ensuring the safety of the voters. "They will be deployed in areas where extra security is needed like areas of conflict or insurgency," Detoyato said. He said the Comelec has tapped the military to transport election paraphernalia or materials like ballot boxes. The Army and police have set up joint election monitoring command centers in Northern Mindanao to prevent the New People’s Army and other armed groups from terrorizing voters on Election Day. “We will deny them any chance to conduct atrocities, threaten election officials and personnel or coerce voters,” 4th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Nemesio Gacal said. Gacal said most of the soldiers and policemen who were deployed had already voted under the supervision of the Comelec. He said most of the voting was done in military and police camps last week. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

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Mindanao youth urged to promote peace thru innovative communications

May 6, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY,  – Through the OURmindaNOW Tech Camp organized by Equal Access International (EAI), thirty-two youth leaders from the different regions in Mindanao have been urged to utilize innovative communications in promoting peace advocacies. The OURmindaNOW Tech Camp aims to provide awareness and understanding on peace and security issues in Mindanao and its conflict history, to capacitate and empower the youth with skills in crafting alternative narratives against recruitment methods of violent extremist groups and to build a network of young influencers to implement online campaigns for peace. Equal Access International Philippines Country Director Atty. Exan Sharief urged the Tech Campers to “further equip themselves with skills and learning as they convey awareness on positive messaging and integrate community media solutions in their peace advocacies.” “I ask the graduates to pay forward the gratitude through modeling norms and behavior using positive deviants and alternative narratives. I urge everyone to co-create exponential impact and support locally-driven initiatives on a lasting peace in Mindanao,” he added. Coming from diverse cultures, the Tech Camp enabled the participants to erase and change their misconceptions, prejudices, and stereotypes on different ethnic groups. Lo Ivan Castillon of Volunteers Initiatives in Bridging and Empowering Society based in Cotabato City said that “cultural tolerance would lead to unity in diversity, and that is peace”. Meanwhile, Huda A. Aldanie, a Yakan from the Island of Basilan urged her fellow youth to take part in building the future. “Let us all be united in contributing to nation building, as early as possible we should take an action,” she said. Some of the discussions during the Tech Camp centered on History Conflict in Mindanao, Introduction to Empowerment, Understanding Social Media and Social Change, Cybersecurity and Data Protection, Journalism, Digital Storytelling, Photography and Filmmaking, Podcast and Public Speaking. “The best thing about Tech Camp is that it provides the right opportunity for us to co-create positive change ideas for our community and work with passionate young leaders all over Mindanao,” said Evan Cullen Alcantara of The Millennial Studio PH. Aside from the Tech Camps, EAI will also conduct Peace Promotion Fellows, Hackathon and Community Forums as part of their initiative to create a messaging hub for Mindanao and to capacitate the youth to amplify alternative narratives. (LEAntonio/PIA)  

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ALCADEV, TRIFPSS Refused DepEd Accreditation

May 5, 2019

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – “We always encourage them to go to the Department of Education (DepEd) if they are really serious and determined to help lumad children of Diatagon but they always refuse”, said Brgy. Diatagon Captain Remegio Pareja on why the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), and Tribal Filipino Program of Lianga, Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS INC.) are not legally accredited by DepEd. This is his statement following the recent congressional inquiry of the Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples (CICCIP) of the House of Representatives in ALCADEV and TRIFPSS in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. He added in an interview by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) CARAGA, “I don’t know why ALCADEV and TRIFPSS don’t want to be accredited and be legalized. Also, very alarming is the fact that they don’t want to accept help from the government.” It can be recalled that last April 28, 2019, the inspection team, duly authorized by the House of Representatives, composed of Atty. Rueben Lingating, Chairman of the Indigenous People’s Peace Panel of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP); Adora Pueblo, CICCIP Committee Secretariat; and representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National Commission on Indigenous People’s (NCIP) visited Km 16, Sitio Han-ayan, Bgy Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur to validate reports citing the said lumad (indigenous people) schools’ connection with the Communist- Terrorist CPP-NPA. CICCIP said “significant data and information (on the alleged involvement) have been endorsed to the committee as well as to the Office of the House Speaker by the National Security Adviser (NSA) in December 2018 and in January this year prompting the conduct of the inquiry. During the Press Conference in Butuan City after the visit of CICCIP, Francis Cesar Bringas, Regional Director DepEd CARAGA said ALCADEV and TRIFPSS need to follow the law, “Both the schools are considered Private Learning institutions that need to be accredited by the DepEd.” “We have been encouraging and asking them to do that and to submit their papers to us but they refused because they said they want to maintain their identity”, Bringas added. Atty. Lingating also emphasized, “As we validate the veracity of the report given to our office, we also want to verify how the Multi-million International funds from the European Union (EU) are utilized by these schools for we know that they don’t use it for the improvement and betterment of the IPs of Surigao del Sur.” Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID Commander said that the inquiry seeks to reveal the truth. “Through the revelations made by Former NPAs and Political Guides, we will be able to divulge these suspicious organizations who continue to deceive our Lumad communities.” “We are confident that the congressional inquiry will have positive results and soon, their true colors and links to the CPP-NPA will be further exposed along with the persons behind them. The government is working hard to put an end to those who use and abuse the innocence of our lumad children”, Gacal added. “Let’s save our children and the youth from the clutches of the CPP-NPA who promotes communist-terrorist ideologies. It is about time we stop them from destroying more lives, families, communities and our entire country”, he emphasized. It can be recalled that last March, the said team also visited Salugpungan Schools in various parts of Davao which, according to former NPAs and captured documents, have been used by CPP-NPA as breeding and training grounds for new recruits for many years. Salugpungan, ALCADEV and TRIFPSS were among the CPP-NPA front organizations cited earlier by Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil- Military Operations, that have duped the European Union and Belgium for support and funding along with the Rural Missionaries, Solidagro, Viva Salud, Kiyo, Gabriela, ANAKPAWIS and others. Parlade said these organizations used “fake reports of Bakwit and IP killings, in order to ask them (foreign NGOs) for donations.

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AFP, PNP gear-up for election 2019, sign joint implan

May 4, 2019

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City, May 4 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) inked a joint plan in yet another bid to ensure peaceful and orderly elections in Northern Mindanao and Caraga region.  Joint implan  The Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) led by its commander, Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal; and PNP’s Regional Office 10 (PRO-10) and PRO-13 represented by Police Brigadier General Jerry Linsagan, deputy regional director for Administration (DRDA), and Police Colonel Jimili Macaraeg, deputy regional director for Operations (DRDO) respectively, signed the “Joint AFP-PNP Implementation Plan (Implan) for the National and Local Election 2019” at Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City last May 3. The said plan provides for a joint security and deployment plan of all AFP and PNP forces in the two regions come May 13. Officials said the plan lays down all available measures to ensure a “Peaceful, Honest, Orderly, Free and Credible May 2019 Election” in all provinces and cities of Region 10 and 13.  Continuous preparations  “This activity is a continuation of our dutiful preparations for the forthcoming elections which we have already started several months back. But it will not end here. We will continue our preparations, and ensure that all available resources, particularly our personnel, are deployed and utilized accordingly to ensure successful elections in our respective areas,” Linsagan said.   This was seconded by Macaraeg who said he is confident that the strong partnership and collaboration between the two uniformed services will spell out the difference come Election Day.   “Our long experiences in working together in all aspects of peace and order, and security is crucial to this endeavor. Our constituents expect a lot from us hence we cannot afford to fail them,” Macaraeg said. Minimal ERVIs  Gacal was equally optimistic the electoral process in the two regions will be both peaceful and orderly.  “Last year, we were successful in minimizing all forms of election-related violent incidents (ERVIs) because of the seamless coordination between AFP and PNP units on the ground, and of course through the support of our stakeholders particularly the Commission on Elections (Comelec). We were able to prevent the communist-terrorist CPP-NPA, Partisan Armed Groups (PAGs) and other lawless elements from conducting major atrocities during, and in the aftermath of the elections. This year, we will do our best to the same or even better,” Gacal said.  “This is our commitment to the Filipino voters- to ensure that they would be able to freely exercise their right of suffrage”, he added.  Combat posture  Gacal clarified that all Army units throughout 4ID’s Area of Responsibility will remain in combat posture, and will have no let-up on its offensive operations against the CPP-NPA.  “We will deny them any chance to conduct atrocities, threaten election officials and personnel or coerce voters.”   He said many soldiers availed of the Local Absentee Voting (LAV) last April 29 and 30 to ensure the readiness of units to perform election-related duties while at the same time continuing Community Support Programs (CSP), and other peace and development activities.  The Joint AFP-PNP implan in Region 10 and CARAGA was crafted based on the AFP-PNP Joint Operational Guidelines, Republic Act 7166 and Comelec resolutions. Last April 15, a Joint Coordinating Conference between the COMELEC, DepEd, Army, and PNP was conducted at Camp Alagar, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City in preparation for the May 2019 elections.  Meanwhile, this year’s joint conference was also attended by Army Brigade and Battalion Commanders whose units cover various parts of the two regions. Northern Mindanao-based units were led by 403rd Brigade Commander, Col. Edgardo de Leon; while Caraga based units were led by Col. Allan Hambala and Col. Maurito Licude, commanders of the 401st and 402nd Brigades respectively. A CDO-based unit of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) was also in attendance.

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