Cayetano: PH's AIIB
membership crucial to sustaining economic growth
By Office of Senator Alan
Peter S. Cayetano
December 6, 2016
PASAY CITY – Senate
foreign relations committee chair Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano
thanked his colleagues in the Senate for supporting the treaty that
would make the Philippines a founding member of the Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Senate on Monday
(December 5) passed on third and final reading Senate Resolution No.
241, or the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure
Investment Bank, which formally ratifies the country’s AIIB entry
documents. The measure got 20 affirmative votes, one negative vote,
and no abstention.
Cayetano’s Foreign Relations
Committee submitted last November 22 Committee Report No. 11
recommending the approval of the resolution of concurrence.
Cayetano said the Senate’s
concurrence with the treaty formalizing the country’s membership into
the China-led multilateral institution will allow the Philippines
access to funds for major infrastructure projects to sustain the
momentum of economic growth that was started by the Duterte
“Any institution that will
promote human development, accelerate economic and social progress,
and further good relations with neighboring nations should be embraced
and supported,” said Cayetano.
He expressed his gratitude
to the Department of Finance led by Sec. Carlos Dominguez III and
their counterparts in the Chinese government for their assistance,
stressing how the treaty could foster a stronger relationship between
the two countries. He also thanked Senator Loren Legarda, sponsor of
the resolution, for making possible the passage of the measure.
Cayetano explained that,
like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB), the AIIB is
a multilateral funding agency owned by sovereign member-countries,
which specifically aims to promote economic development and strengthen
regional cooperation and partnership in the Asian region.
“Our economy has been cited
recently as the fastest growing in the Asian region. We posted a
robust 7.1% growth in the third quarter are on target to achieving a
7-percent full-year GDP growth this year,” he said.
The administration earlier
expressed its plan to raise the government’s share in infrastructure
spending to the gross domestic product (GDP) to 7 percent before
President Rodrigo Duterte's term ends.
Following the Senate’s
concurrence, the executive branch now has the chance to access US$500
million annually from the Bank to finance infrastructure projects in
the country. This, he said, is apart from over $20 billion that China
is prepared to extend to the Philippines after the President's
historic visit to China.
“AIIB’s role as a major
player in infrastructure development in Asia in the future is
inevitable, and the timing of our membership in AIIB cannot be more
perfect as the Philippines is at the point of development where
increasing our infrastructure capacity can no longer be set aside,”
“As Asia’s fastest growing
economy, we surely cannot afford to pass up on this opportunity to be
able to tap an additional fund source to help sustain the economic
progress we have started to gain under the leadership of President
Rodrigo Duterte,” he added.
killings must stop and the perpetrators should be held accountable
By KARAPATAN via the Asian
Human Rights Commission
December 6, 2016
Karapatan today joined RISE
UP!, a campaign initiated by faith-based groups, institutions and
people’s organizations against the drug menace and for the protection
of human and people’s rights against drug-related extrajudicial
killings, in a protest action in front of the Department of Interior
and Local Government office in Quezon City.
"Drug-related killings must
stop and the perpetrators should be held accountable, whether
government officials, police officers, or drug cartel operatives. It
is unacceptable that the killings are justified or merely explained as
'killed in legitimate police operations,' 'nanlaban' or 'killed by
unidentified assailants,'" Clamor said.
"Majority of the victims of
drug-related killings come from poor communities. Their families chose
not to pursue investigation and prosecution against the perpetrators
out of fear and lack of resources. Thus, the climate of impunity
reigns," Clamor said. Karapatan called on the public “to uphold
people’s and human rights amid a system that breeds the existence and
proliferation of the illegal drug trade.”
“We will support efforts to
educate the general public on the roots and impact of the global drug
on the Filipino people, to document cases of drug-related killings,
and to advocate against the brazen impunity by which these killings
are conducted in direct violation of the right to due process,” said
Jigs Clamor, Karapatan Deputy Secretary General.
reported the use of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs in
the conduct of counter-insurgency operations of the Philippine
National Police in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, where four farmer
activists were illegally arrested and detained last October on charges
related to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Republic Act
The farmers’ personal
belongings were taken and their families were traumatized. They were
wrongly accused as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and one of
them was mauled. The four are members of the Karahumi Farmers
Association (KFA), an organization that has long been resisting the
landgrabbing of more than 1,000 hectares of agricultural lands in
Bulacan. Police authorities planted evidence against them. “Batak kami
sa trabaho, hindi kami batak sa droga,” said one of the arrested
Three of the farmer
activists were released from detention, while another KFA member, Romy
“Nonoy” Gaitero, remains in jail.
“We are also receiving
disturbing reports that the Armed Forces of the Philippines, even
while the GRP has declared a unilateral ceasefire in relation to its
peacetalks with the NDFP, continues military operations under Oplan
Bayanihan by encamping in civilian communities, threatening and
harassing civilians suspected of being members of the NPA and conducts
census of residents in the guise of Oplan Tokhang,” said Clamor.
Karapatan reiterated its
call to Duterte to stop drug-related killings and to respect the
people’s rights to due process.
“The drug menace can be
eliminated without curtailing the basic rights of the people,
especially of the poor. In fact, it is through upholding the rights of
the people, especially social and economic rights, that the people can
repudiate the use and trade of illegal drugs. The government should
instead strive to improve the living conditions of the Filipinos,
especially the marginalized, by providing them secure jobs with living
wages, free education and health care, and land to cultivate,” Clamor
8ID welcomes gov’t
disater response chief
By DPAO, 8ID PA
December 2, 2016
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division welcomed Usec.
Ricardo B. Jalad, Executive Director, National Risk Reduction and
Management council (NDRRMC) and other representatives from the
regional, provincial and local government units and agencies last
December 02, 2016.
Usec Jalad’s visit to 8ID is
part of his itinerary to check the recovery of Eastern Visayas from
the devastation of previous super typhoons and the local governments
and other agencies’ preparedness for upcoming calamities. During his
remarks, Usec Jalad recognized the peculiarity of Region 8 as “highway
of typhoons” of the Philippines.
8th ID Assistant Division
Commander Brig. General Cesar Idio assured that “the men and women of
the 8th Infantry Division are committed in working hand in hand with
various government, non-government, civil sector and private sector
organizations in ensuring the protection and welfare of the people
during disasters or emergencies.”
The conference yielded
discussions on how to increase interoperability among members of the
regional and local DRRMC and capacitate each other in terms of
equipment especially in redundancy of communications and training.
“For our part, we are
looking forward for more capacity-building programs that we can work
together as we prepare for the unknowns of tomorrow,” Idio added.
“Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan: A Blueprint for Decent
Employment and Entrepreneurship 2017-2022” prioritizes decent
job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation,
formalization and growth of micro, small, and medium-sized
enterprises (MSMEs), youth unemployment reduction, education and
New gov’t blueprint
for decent employment envisions 7.5 million jobs by 2022
December 2, 2016
TAGUIG CITY – A new
government blueprint for decent job creation through employment and
entrepreneurship from 2017 to 2022 was adopted at the conclusion of
the two-day Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan (TNK) - Employment and
Livelihood Summit on December 2.
Signed by Secretaries Ramon
Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Silvestre
Bello III of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the
“Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan: A Blueprint for Decent Employment and
Entrepreneurship 2017-2022” prioritizes decent job creation,
entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, formalization and growth
of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), youth
unemployment reduction, education and training.
“By 2022, we want to achieve
full employment at 5% unemployment rate by creating 7.5 million jobs,
mainly in key employment generating sectors (KEGS) such as
manufacturing including food processing, construction, tourism,
Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM),
transportation and logistics, and retail trade,” Sec. Lopez said.
The commitment is in line
with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Goals 8
and 9, on the provision of decent work and economic growth, and on
building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable
industrialization and fostering innovation, respectively.
The 2017-2022 livelihood
agenda envisions the transition of informal and economic units to the
formal economy with full respect to fundamental rights and principles
at work. It also reiterates the implementation of the Comprehensive
National Industrial Strategy to upgrade selected industries that
generate employment, integrate manufacturing, agriculture and
services, address supply chain gaps, and deepen industry participation
in global value chains.
The TNK Summit, participated
in by the public and private sectors and some members of the academe
wrapped up policy recommendations from previously held sectoral
summits to chart a new employment agenda, in line with the
administration’s development path.
Sec. Lopez strongly
encouraged Summit participants to invest in the Industry and Services
sector, as well as in the country’s human capital to help address the
perennial problem of skills mismatch and to sustain the growth of
Policy recommendations from
sectoral summits on MSME, manufacturing, construction and IT-BPM fed
into the TNK Summit, which carried the theme, “Malasakit at Pagbabago
Tungo sa Kaunlaran at Katiwasayan,” preparing the workforce for the
industry’s current and future needs.
includes casinos in AMLA to fortify law
By Office of Senator Escudero
December 1, 2016
PASAY CITY – The
Senate is giving more teeth to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) by
amending its current provisions to include the casino industry under
the scrutiny of the law.
Senator Chiz Escudero,
chairman of the Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and
Currencies which is sponsoring the measure, said a panel report to
further amend Republic Act No. 9160 or AMLA of 2001 has already been
filed and is due for sponsorship on Monday next week.
The inclusion of casinos in
the AMLA coverage is one of the recommendations of the Financial
Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering and
anti-terrorism watchdog, to avoid the potential blacklisting of the
Senate Committee Report No.
13, however, has now expanded its coverage to include casinos as part
of the reporting bodies to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC),
which was left out in the amendments made in 2012.
Escudero said the country is
rushing to comply with prescribed global legal and regulatory
framework on anti-money laundering before FATF’s assessment of the
country in June next year. The Philippines was last assessed three
years ago by the international body, which noted strong concerns on
the exclusion of the casino sector from the law.
In the amended act, the cash
threshold for any covered transactions is now anything exceeding
P500,000.00 or US$10,000.00 or other equivalent monetary instrument.
Also covered by the expanded law are money services business or money
transfer companies, dealers of precious stones, jewels and metals,
dealers of high-value items or goods and real estate developers,
brokers and sales agents.
“We are talking of dealers
or those entities, like lawyers and accountants acting in behalf of
clients whenever they receive cash for profit or gains, exceeding
P500, 000.00. So if they don’t want to be covered by the AMLA law,
then they should transact or act in behalf of their clients with
checks, not cash. Then again, checks are already covered by the
reportorial requirements of banks under AMLA,” Escudero said.
Considered high-value items
under the measure are the following goods or items which value exceeds
one million pesos (P1,000,000.00): motor vehicles, including land, air
and water vehicles; art and antiques; and other luxury items such as
jewelry, watches and bags.
“We put a generic and catch
all terms. In the original act, it simply states jewelry, with 50
percent of its value coming from the precious stone used. But this is
ambiguous and evasive, what if you are paying for the luxury brand
itself and not the stones? Then that’s already left out. There are
strong calls to include luxury car dealers, but those who deal
choppers and planes and yachts will also be left out, so we phrased
the inclusion as high-value goods to cover all,” the senator pointed
C.R. No. 13 also strengthens
the power of AMLC to investigate motu propio or upon the request of
appropriate departments or agencies transactions deemed suspicious for
possible money laundering-activities.
It is already being
empowered to file, directly through the Office of the Solicitor
General, before the Court of Appeals petition for a freeze order
against any monetary instrument or property deemed laundered.
The AMLC can also already
subpoena any person and compel his/her attendance to produce
information for verification and investigation in compliance with AMLA.
Escudero scored the
importance of complying with the country’s commitments to the FATF
action plans and to earn its approval after its review next year as
millions of our overseas workers will be the front liners to receive
the impact of a positive or negative review.
“We are rushing to sponsor
this and hopefully pass the measure first quarter next year, to comply
in time for the review. Otherwise, global remittances of our millions
of overseas workers will go through scrutiny and difficulties,”
8ID supports 18-day
campaign to end VAW
By DPAO, 8ID PA
November 29, 2016
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The Philippine Army in Eastern Visayas joins the nation’s
call to end violence against women (VAW) during the flag-raising
ceremony at Camp Lukban last November 28, 2016.
In all countries of the
world, women and girls are exposed to violence because of their
gender. Its long term effect from physical, sexual and psychological
abuse, oftentimes lead to death. Despite the fact that different
social, cultural and political backgrounds give rise to different
forms of violence, its majority and its patterns are remarkably
endless as it prevents women from fully participating in society.
As enshrined in the 1987
Constitution, the Philippine government is committed to protect the
human rights of women and to address all forms of violence against
them. As this year’s campaign theme, “Violence-free community starts
with me”, 8th ID is actively participating in the quest to achieve a VAW-free community through everyone’s obligation and participation.
8ID has instituted the
gender-based violence (GBV) referral system by handling GBV cases
within the organization and by providing the necessary assistance and
services to survivors and victims of this kind of violence.
In his message, Brig. Gen.
Raul M Farnacio encouraged every female personnel of this command to
empower themselves, to know their rights and available courses of
actions if their rights are violated. Women in the service are also
empowered to speak out and report to authorities and inspire others to
fight for their rights.
On the other hand, Brig.
Gen. Farnacio also directed every male personnel within the
organization to respect women, especially girls in their homes, in
their workplace and community. Male soldiers are encouraged to be a
good role model and enlighten other men not to condone or commit
violence against women and girls.
As he emphasized during his
message, everyone must contribute to the total eradication of violence
in our organization, family and the community.
mega drug rehabilitation center
By Presidential News Desk
November 29, 2016
MANILA – President
Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of the mega Drug Abuse Treatment
and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija on
Tuesday, November 29, as part of the administration's efforts to solve
drug problem in the country.
In his speech, President
Duterte said he would fulfill his campaign promise to eliminate
illegal drugs and create a safer environment for the Filipinos.
"Let me warn you, drugs is a
very virulent agent in any society. The campaign against drug will
continue ‘till the last day of my term. I will not stop until the last
drug pusher is out of the street and the last drug lord or king
killed," he said.
The President said the drug
lords have invested on the lives and sanity of the Filipinos.
"Kaya maraming property, mga
hotel, barko, lahat na nandiyan sa kanila," Duterte said.
He said there will be no let
up in the campaign against illegal drugs and the only compromise is
for the illegal drug users and pushers to surrender.
"The only compromise that’s
acceptable to me is you surrender," Duterte said.
"If you continue, I said,
you might end losing not only your funds but your life," he added.
Duterte meanwhile thanked
Chinese philanthropist Huang Rulun who donated the first large scale
drug rehabilitation center in the country, which can accommodate
10,000 drug addicts.
For his part, Huang stated
that the donation was his way of showing support to the
administration’s war against drugs and as a sign of goodwill for the
President’s efforts to strengthen the country’s ties and friendly
relations with China.
Huang is an honorary
chairman of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Association of the
Philippines Foundation, Inc. (FFCAP) and chairman of the board of
directors of Century Golden Resources Group.
During the event, the
President unveiled the marker of the rehabilitation center together
with Huang and the administration’s top officials.
DATRC is located in Fort
Magsaysay, a military camp that occupies a land area of hectares
divided by four zones. It has a total construction area of 60,000
square meters with 172 building units.
Huang first met with the
President in Davao last June 28 before he donated an amount of about
P1.4 billion to construct two drug rehabilitation centers inside Fort
In expressing his
appreciation for the assistance extended by Huang to the government,
the President stressed that those whom he consider as the country’s
allies should also help him solve the country’s drug problem instead
of criticizing his administration in its war against drugs.
In his speech, the President
also mentioned the ambush that happened in Lanao del Sur wherein seven
members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and two soldiers were
wounded. The PSG personnel were part of the advance team of the
President who is set to fly to Marawi City on Wednesday to visit
wounded soldiers fighting the Maute group.
Duterte said he would push
through with his visit despite ongoing conflict in the province.