northern mindanao

Imee: U.S. Dapat Lang Magbayad ng Patas sa Paggamit sa PH Military Bases

February 24, 2021

  Idinepensa ni Senador Imee Marcos ang paninindigan ni Pangulong Duterte na karapat-dapat lang magbayad ng patas ng U.S. sa Pilipinas dahil sa delikadong papel nito sa pagbibigay ng unang depensa sa Amerika sa Indo-Pacific region.  “Hindi lang nabibigyan ng Pilipinas ang American forces ng unang depensa sa Indo-Pacific region kundi pati paggamit nila sa tubig at kuryente sa ating mga military bases ay binabayaran din natin,” ani Marcos. “Napakaraming Pilipino ang hindi kayang magbayad sa tubig at kuryente ngayong may pandemya. Itutuloy pa rin ba ang subsidiya sa mga Amerikano? Tanong ni Marcos, sabay banggit sa U.S. military benefits na nakasaad sa Article 7 ng Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Isinulong muli ni Marcos ang pagsuri sa EDCA dahil napapaikutan ng Amerika ang prohibisyon sa ating Konstitusyon sa mga foreign military bases sa bansa. Dagdag ni Marcos, ang dating bayad sa ating gobyerno bago mapaalis ang mga U.S. bases halos tatlong dekada nang nakaraan ay naiiwasan din ng Amerika.     “Kahit ang mga superpower nangangailangan din ng mga kaibigan, at ang bagong pagtingin ng Amerika sa Asia-Pacific ay nagpapatibay sa malaking ginagampanan ng ating rehiyon at ng Pilipinas,” ani ni Marcos, bilang sagot sa batikos kay Presidente Duterte na ang paghingi ng patas na bayad ay pangingikil. Sumang-ayon ang senadora sa Presidente na ang $3.9 bilyon na ibinabayad ng Amerika sa Pilipinas noong 2001 hanggang 2017 ay napakaliit kumpara sa $16 bilyon na ibinabayad sa Pakistan. “Natatakot ang Amerika na kapag bumagsak ang gobyerno ng Pakistan, ang 150 nuclear warheads nito ay magagamit ng Taliban laban sa Amerika,” ani Marcos. “Kung wala ang Pilipinas, ang kalakal ng Amerika pati na ang mga pangako nito sa seguridad ng rehiyon ay hihina. Ngunit dahil sa pagtanggap natin sa U.S. forces, magiging target naman ang Pilipinas ng mga kalaban ng Amerika, kahit hindi tayo direktang kasali sa anumang gyera na maaring pumutok sa ating rehiyon,” dagdag ni Marcos.  “Kung susugurin ng China ang Taiwan dahil sa pagsulong nito ng independence, hindi gaano magiging mabilis ang pag-responde ng Amerika dahil manggagaling pa ng Japan, South Korea, Guam o Australia ang mga pwersa ng military nito,” paliwanag ni Marcos.  Dagdag pa ni Marcos, maaring gamitin ng Amerika ang mga human rights issues upang tawaran sa isang isyu na dapat pang-seguridad lamang.  

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Rep. Malou Acosta-Alba: advocating for financial resiliency in Bukidnon

February 10, 2021

REP. Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba of the first district of Bukidnon has been doing the rounds ever since the pandemic started both in her constituency and online, campaigning for financial resiliency for each Filipino family. Assisting Acosta-Alba in her quest is husband Joeman Alba, a banker by profession who has lent his financial expertise to his wife’s advocacy, by giving out webinars and in-person seminars on financial resiliency. During his talk with local journalists last Monday (February 8, 2021) here in Cagayan de Oro City, Mr. Alba said that people must build resiliency funds which is equivalent to at least six months of average expenses. “The business of surviving is our personal responsibility. It must be a core competence for every Filipino, whether you’re a student or an adult,” Alba said. Alba said the purpose of the resiliency fund is to bounce back from an unprecedented situation especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet ended. “You sit down with your respective loved ones and evaluate your financial condition. Spouses have a role to complement each other to cushion the financial shock,” he added. “Commit to lower your expenses. Avoid borrowing for consumption. Deposit your resiliency fund to the nearest bank,” Alba continued, even as he encouraged Filipinos young and old to build multiple revenue streams which may be in the form of startups. “Explore what is catchy today like building bamboo cabins especially here in Bukidnon where the climate is cool and where urbanites like Kagay-anons tend to tuck the night away during weekends. There are lots of innovative ways to make income. Be financially resilient,” he concluded.

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GSIS to subsidize education of 5K members’ kin

January 5, 2021

ILIGAN CITY, Jan. 4 - The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is subsidizing the college education of 5,025 of its members’ kin for School Year 2020-2021 under the GSIS Educational Subsidy Program (GESP). The grantees were selected from 5,427 nominees. Priority was given to children of GSIS members with the lowest annual basic salary. The grantees will be notified via email and text message. The list will be uploaded to the GSIS website at www.gsis.gov.ph. GSIS will give a Php10,000 yearly financial assistance to the grantees to augment their educational fund. They will continue to receive the subsidy until they finish their college course provided they meet the 80% general weighted average with no failing grade or incomplete mark in any subject in the previous semester or term of the academic year. The GESP allowance will be deposited to the bank account of the grantees at the Land Bank of the Philippines. GSIS opened GESP from March to September 2020 to accommodate as many active members as possible considering the movement restrictions of the nationwide community quarantine. GESP is the pension fund’s response to President Duterte’s call to provide wider access to quality college education to the marginalized sector. It complements Republic Act No. 10931 or the 2017 Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education which provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees. For GESP concerns and inquiries, interested parties may call Mgr. Raymundo Palad, Leslie Fangonil, or Rodello Giron of the GSIS Corporate Social Advocacies Department through (02) 8479-3588, (02) 8479-3571 to 72. GSIS branch offices nationwide may also assist applicants. (GSIS Iligan)

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Camiguin bans firecrackers, fireworks use on holidays

January 4, 2021

CAMIGUIN, Dec. 28 (PIA)—To further prevent people from unnecessary gatherings, the provincial government here bans the use of firecrackers and fireworks in the province during the holiday season. Through the Executive Order No. 64, Gov. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo strengthens the government’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID)-19. “In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, activities that promote, bring about, or give rise to people gathering together should be discouraged and averted,” Romualdo said. He added that the use of firecrackers and fireworks by all persons in the province in all places, whether public or private, shall be prohibited from the effectivity of the EO, which is on December 22 until January 2, 2021. “Violations of this Executive Order shall be penalized under the appropriate provincial and municipal ordinances, and applicable laws,” Romualdo said. As of December 28, the province has only recorded one confirmed COVID-19 case along with 171 persons with history of travel or exposure of which 128 are from Mambajao, 15 from Mahinog, 9 from Guinsiliban, 5 from Sagay, and 14 from Catarman. (RTP/PIA10)

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9 NPA rebels in Bukidnon surrender as CPP marks 52nd anniversary

January 4, 2021

MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon, Dec. 30 (PIA)—Nine members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered December 26 on the occasion of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) 52nd founding anniversary. The rebels who turned over six high-powered firearms and various ammunition operate under Guerilla Front 68 (GF68). They yielded to the Philippine Army's 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn) based in Mampayag, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon under 403rd Infantry Brigade (403Bde) of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID). LtCol. Vercisio San Jose, 1SFBn commander in a statement said two of the nine surrenderers—Arnie Capin alias Lee, 24 years old and Etchel Litan alias Langlang, 21—is a couple who both served as mass organizers of GF68. He bared that Arnie served as CPP-NPA's political instructor, while Etchel as a medical officer. "The couple shared how they were manipulated and exploited by their top leaders. They have come to a realization that the meaningless guerrilla fighting and deceptive communist recruitment in the mountainous communities have only brought intimidation, violence, and socio-economic despair to the people. With the AFP's peace, development, and security operations in partnership with the government agencies and local government units, we are now starting to reap the fruits of our collective efforts to finally end insurgency," LtCol. San Jose said. The 1SFBn commander disclosed that during the initial debriefing, the NPA rebel surrenderers narrated their hardships—along with their exploited comrades in the communist underground movement. They openly admitted that the unbearable physical and psychological exhaustion, extreme emotional depression, rampant financial abuse, involvement in extortion, and other illegal activities eventually made them decide to abandon the communist armed struggle and go back to the folds of the true and legitimate government of the Philippines. Emphasizing the government’s whole-of-nation approach to end insurgency, San Jose urged the remaining NPA rebels in Bukidnon and in all other parts of the country to peacefully surrender. “For those CPP-NPA terrorists who remain entangled in their twisted violent ideology and terroristic ways; to those who prefer not to heed the government’s call for peaceful surrender, the 1st Special Forces Battalion will be relentless in its operations and we will hunt down the enemy until the last communist terrorist element is prevented from waging violence and intimidation to our peace-loving people,” he said. BGen. Ferdinand Barandon, meanwhile, said in an interview aired over 13 KBP-accredited radio stations that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) cascaded down to the provincial, city, municipal, and barangay level with the military and police units as components, facilitated the responsive delivery of government services in the remotest communities and this helped a lot in encouraging the disgruntled communist rebels to abandon their violent armed struggle. “What we see now is the irreversible collapse of the CPP-NPA terror groups in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental and I think this is also happening in other insurgency-affected areas of the country. As the communists celebrate its 52nd founding anniversary of lies, violence, corruption, and exploitation on 26 December 2020, their guerrilla units are breaking down to their ultimate defeat as manifested by the continuous influx of surrenderers in the past years and recent months. These NPA rebels may have finally reached their breaking point as they realize the meaningless fighting and exploitation of their CPP-NPA leaders,” Barandon said. (Inf PA/PIA Bukidnon)

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DPWH turns over 2 multi-purpose gyms in Brgy. Pugaan, Iligan

December 29, 2020

ILIGAN CITY, Dec. 29 – Members of Pugaan Barangay Council and officials of Espiridion Encabo Memorial High School received two newly-completed multi-purpose buildings constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways  (DPWH) – Lanao del Norte 2nd District Engineering Office. The simple turn-over ceremony was held on December 21, 2020 at the brand-new Pugaan gymnasium.  “We never expected that we can have a beautiful gymnasium like this. We are grateful to District Engineer Ali for transforming our old and dilapidated gym into this modern building," expressed Punong Barangay Virgie Raman. The renovation of the old gymnasium and barangay hall was allocated Php9.6-million under the regular infrastructure program of DPWH. Meanwhile, the construction of a new multi-purpose building in Espiridion Encabo Memorial High School amounting to Php3.3-million is part of the Local Infrastructure Program (LIP) of Representative Frederick Siao of the Lone Congressional District of Iligan City. “We are truly thankful to Congressman Siao because this multi-purpose building is highly important to us, especially when our students return to school and we have to ensure strict compliance of social distancing," explained Principal Eugene Daguio. For his part, District Engineer Alykhan Ali is hopeful that the newly completed buildings will be put to good use and for residents of Brgy. Pugaan to realize that the national government is working hard to improve the lives of Filipinos especially those in remote areas of the country.  “As the infrastructure arm of the national government, it’s not enough to work hard. The public, the people whom we are serving, must know that the government is working for them," said Ali. (VNL/DPWH-PIO)

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