DTI bares year-long
plans as chair of ASEAN’s business and investment promotion committee
January 24, 2017
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez revealed
year-long plans that aim to complement and heighten the impact of the
country’s strategic priorities and deliverables for the ASEAN Economic
Community (AEC), following DTI’s chairmanship of the ASEAN Economic
Ministers (AEM) meeting and the ASEAN’s Committee on Business and
Investment Promotion (CBIP).
Speaking at the formal
launch of the ASEAN 2017 Business and Investment Program on 24
January, Sec. Lopez expressed confidence on ASEAN as an economic
powerhouse, citing that the region is now the third largest market in
the world with over 620 million people, the third largest economy in
Asia, and the seventh largest economy in the world with a combined
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.3 trillion dollars.
He also called on maximizing
the opportunities and benefits from the AEC, and reiterated the four
pillars of AEC as landscape for the dialogue with ASEAN partners in
realizing the ASEAN 2025, starting with the 23rd AEM Retreat.
AEC’s four pillars are the
establishment of a single market and production base, a highly
competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic
development, and a region fully integrated into global economy.
This will solidify our
priorities for the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), the 49th AEM
Meeting and the Leaders’ Summit, to be chaired by President Rodrigo
Duterte, according to him.
“As we host the ASEAN 2017
Summit, the Philippines is one with the ASEAN in increasing trade and
investments in the region; in integrating micro, small, and medium
enterprises (MSMEs) in the digital economy for greater access to trade
information, global market and value chain, and finance, promoting
youth and women entrepreneurship; and in increasing cooperation within
the region and connectivity to the rest of the world,” Sec. Lopez
The trade chief said that
coinciding with the Leaders’ Summit in April is the holding of an
ASEAN MSMEs-Mentors Conference, bringing together ASEAN mentors who
can equip ASEAN local community enablers with the necessary
information on access to capital, markets, ASEAN industries and
An ASEAN Creative Cities
Forum and Exhibit will also be held, showcasing initiatives of 10
ASEAN Member States (AMS) in making culture and creativity a driving
force for sustainable development and urban regeneration, according to
“Taste ASEAN as the
Philippines holds International Food Exposition (IFEX) in May. IFEX
will showcase the best food brands from Southeast Asia and its partner
countries,” he said, adding that DTI’s aim is to increase ASEAN SME
participation in the global production and value chains, through
participation of 10 AMS and ASEAN Dialogue Partners (DPs) in the
country's biggest international trade exhibition on food and
Aside from these, an ASEAN
Women’s Business Conference in August will be held to provide
strategic dialogue among ASEAN, the private sector and DPs in
addressing issues and concerns on women entrepreneurship, focusing on
market access and finance and the identification of innovative
business models which supports the ASEAN’s vision of a stronger, more
inclusive, and integrated economic community.
In September, Sec. Lopez
said that an Inclusive Business Summit, emphasizing the role of the
government in sharing best practices on implementing inclusive
business strategies and in recognizing exemplary inclusive business
models through the ASEAN Inclusive Business Awards.
Meanwhile, the 2nd ASEAN
Young Entrepreneurs Carnival will strengthen the network among young
entrepreneurs from ASEAN and other countries capturing the fast-paced
developments on key sectors such as food, agriculture, information
technology, logistics, business process outsourcing, start-ups, and
Internet of Things (IOT). Through the formal launch of ASEAN Young
Entrepreneurs Association (AYEA) Charter, Sec. Lopez hoped to commit
young entrepreneur towards strengthened ties, cooperation and
In October, driven by the
goal to promote innovation across the ASEAN region, DTI will spearhead
the annual Slingshot event, helping create a regional network of ASEAN
ecosystem players including startups, investors, incubators, mentors,
academe, co-working spaces, and industry experts.
“It shall showcase
investment-ready startups for potential local and international
investors as well as facilitate easy access of information between
governments running start-up development programs in the region,” he
Before the year closes,
another MSME Summit will be held, featuring inspiring MSMEs including
those that have benefited from the mentoring program of the
Philippines and other AMS. The Summit, which is in conjunction with
the concluding ASEAN Leader’s Summit, will be an occasion to formally
introduce the establishment of the ASEAN Mentors Network, an
organization of mentors from AMS.
“We shall work hand-in-hand
in creating paths that will lead our people and our communities
towards a truly inclusive, innovation-led shared prosperity,” Sec.
Claims Board agrees
to Selda demand for early distribution of reparation and speed up
processing of applications
January 22, 2017
QUEZON CITY – The
Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) agreed to the demand made by
SELDA (Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) and human
rights victims to start distributing the reparation and speed up the
processing of claims of martial law victims during a meeting with
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on January 19 in Malacanang.
SELDA sought Pres. Duterte’s
intervention to expedite the process of recognition and
indemnification of thousands of victims who toppled the Marcos
dictatorship in 1986. Leaders and officials of SELDA met with the
President for the first time on Jan. 17 at the Palace. They told the
President that despite the passage of the reparation law four years
ago the victims, many of whom are old and ailing, have yet to receive
recognition and compensation. Worse, the Board has processed only
30,000 applications, not even half of the total 75,000 applications.
“This snail-paced system
that has been the practice of the Claims Board for the last three
years which could remain unfinished until the sunset year of the
Board’s tenure in 2018 is victimizing the already-victimized victim,”
commented Marie Hilao-Enriquez SELDA Chair who attended the said
Pres. Duterte agreed that
indeed the processing is to slow and summoned the Board to speed up
the processing and distribution of the compensation funds for the
At the January 19 dialogue
called by President Duterte between the HRVCB and SELDA, human rights
victims scored a victory when the HRVCB agreed to expedite the
reparation and recognition of Martial Law human rights victims.
The HRVCB will partially
award in advance the indemnification of the already approved
applicants of human rights violations victim claimants numbering in
thousands as of January 18, 2017. It is also agreed that the partial
indemnification shall be done within a sixty days period.
Consequently, non-monetary reparation will also be made available for
the victims who seek assistance from Department of Health (DOH),
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and TESDA.
“Though the victory is
incomplete and partial, it gives hope to the victims who are already
old and ailing. SELDA will continue to press for the speedy processing
of the remaining forty-five thousands applicants so that justice and
indemnification to the victims will be rendered”, said Enriquez.
Also, SELDA assures to help
the HRVCB in the processing of the partial payment and other
requirements that entail coordination.
SELDA expressed deep concern
on the high fall rate of invalid applicants out of the initially
processed 30,000 of which only 9,000 were approved. Likewise, it will
also look in to the validity of the Claims Board statement that only
3,000 Hawaii claimants had applied for reparation and recognition out
of the original 9,539 class action suit members. It must be recalled
that the Hawaii Claimants were accorded conclusive-presumption
according to the law (RA 10368).
Justice must be served to
all Martial Law victims who were recognized by law when the Republic
Act 10368 was signed and approved into law in February 2013. However,
the Human Rights Victims Claims Board(HRVCB), takes a slow pace in
processing the 75,730 applicants since it was created in 2014.
No less than the President
Duterte himself, during the January 17 dialogue with SELDA officials
and leaders stated that the slow paced reparation process and
recognition is a violation of the law itself and an injustice to the
thousands of victims of Marcos martial law. He also promised to
expedite the process.
Likewise, President Duterte
and SELDA agreed that there should be an immediate and advance
reparation for the already approved claimants.
During the last dialogue,
the HRVCB agreed to write the Commission on Audit (COA) to seek for an
exemption on the publication of the accredited claimants to hasten the
advance and partial compensation. According to the law, it is required
that only after processing all the total claimants and its approved
list in order that the awarding of monetary and non-monetary
compensation could commence, there should be publications of
accredited lists of claimants in three consecutive weeks on broadsheet
At present, the Claims Board
had already spent P136.17 M for its operations from the P10 B allotted
fund for reparation. It has fifteen (15) remaining months to complete
its tasks and implement the law.
SELDA shall also look into
the matter of Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission
which is according to the law should be created which until now is
never implemented. The law also stipulates the “The lessons learned
from Martial Law atrocities and the lives and sacrifices of HRVVs
shall be included in the basic and higher education curricula, as well
as in continuing adult learning, prioritizing those most prone to
commit human rights violations (n, 27)." SELDA is looking forward to
the day that all victims of Martial Law by a dictator, plunderer and
human rights violator Ferdinand Marcos will be recognized and given
Army chief visits
By DPAO, 8ID PA
January 20, 2016
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The Army’s highest ranking officer together with his staff
has officially visited the home of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers)
Division, Philippine Army on January 18, 2017.
A full military honor was
accorded to Lieut. Gen. Glorioso V. Miranda AFP, Commanding General of
the Philippine Army upon his arrival at the Openiano Field and was
warmly welcomed by Brig. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio AFP, Commander, 8ID,
together with the officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees
of this Command.
This was his first visit to
8ID which boosted the morale of the troops to pursue development
support to foster the foundation for inclusive and human development
in Eastern Visayas.
“The strength of the
Philippine Army rests on each and every one of us. My function as your
Commanding General, or the function of your Division Commander, your
Assistant Division Commander or your Battalion Commander is no more
important than the function of an individual soldier out there in the
squad. Every component of the organization has a vital role in
accomplishing the mission. Strength is being defined the way we work
together, the way we synchronize our effort, the way we harmonize our
skills. Let’s help together to win the peace and prosperity in our
country.” Lieut. Gen. Miranda added.
ALU lauds Duterte
for approval of SSS pension hike; urges SSS to cut fat bonuses to
Associated Labor Unions
January 10, 2017
QUEZON CITY – Labor
group Associated Labor Unions (ALU) lauded President Rodrigo Duterte
for approving the other day a one thousand peso increase of pension
for 2.3 million pensioners of Social Security System (SSS).
“We thank President Duterte
for listening to the needs of pensioners. We welcome this as it is an
answer to the promise he made to pensioners during the campaign. It
will help pensioners to cope with some but not all of the burdens
caused by rising prices of basic commodities and cost of services,”
ALU spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.
However, the ALU argued that
the government should have fixed the system first and institute
reforms within SSS before requiring new contributions from 14 million
paying members out of the 34 million registered members.
Tanjusay said they urge SSS
management to institute reforms within the system by trimming down
excessive bonuses and introduce reasonable perks to all its top
executives, improve its collection efficiency by pinning down
non-remitting employers, stop corruption within and act on 7,000
delinquent employers now pending in the courts.
“There would be significant
improvement in the life fund of SSS if these reforms are enforced.
Resorting to quick fix and the path of least resistance raises doubts
about ability of SSS commissioners ability to trim corporate fat. We
suggest that President Duterte to direct the SSS open their books and
consult with workers since its workers money that the SSS is doing
placements on,” Tanjusay said.
He said the workers’ daily
wage purchasing power is reduced by at least 30% in the face of prices
of basic commodities and cost of services. There are also impending
bigtime increases in the cost of electricity and water utilities.
iManage for document and email management
Leading Philippines law firm
experiences streamlined workflow and greater efficiency with iManage
work product management
January 9, 2017
CHICAGO, IL - iManage
today announced that the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law
Office (ACCRALAW), a top tier Philippines-based firm servicing local
and international clientele, has chosen iManage Work for document and
email management. Since its establishment in 1972, ACCRALAW has grown
into a celebrated and multi-awarded service organization with over 140
lawyers today. True to its vision of "setting the pace in excellence
in the practice of law," ACCRALAW has pioneered the use of technology
in the legal profession.
"The delivery of legal
services should leverage technology. We believe in taking advantage of
the latest technology not only to improve the efficiency of rendering
legal services but also to reduce cost for the benefit of our clients
and to ensure our lawyers have a more conducive environment within
which to work," said Atty. Leland Villadolid Jr., litigation senior
partner with primary field of practice in Telecommunications and IT
and Head of the Firm's MIS Department. "The Firm recognizes the
advantages of today's technological advancements. Technology is used
exhaustively in ACCRALAW to improve the skills of its lawyers and to
render the best legal services to clients at a managed cost. In
iManage, ACCRALAW has deployed a sophisticated Work Product Management
system that encompasses document management, email management,
knowledge management, analytics, process automation and more."
In the first few months of
going live with iManage Work, ACCRALAW has already experienced
significant benefits. iManage Work integrates seamlessly with
ACCRALAW's existing practice management system, so that when a new
matter is created, a workspace is automatically generated in iManage
Work, without the need of manual intervention. Within minutes, users
can start saving and publishing documents to this centralized
repository, allowing anyone connected to the matter to search, access,
and view the related files -- saving valuable time and enabling more
iManage Work has been rolled
out across all of the Firm's practice departments. As a result, the
Firm can better carry out work on behalf of its clients in areas
ranging from Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Corporate and Special
Projects and Intellectual Property, to Labor, Tax and other
Before deciding on a Work
Product Management system, ACCRALAW exercised due diligence by
visiting several legal firms in neighboring Malaysia that were iManage
customers, to hear their opinions first-hand. "We talked to our peer
firms about iManage, and the feedback we got was very positive," said
Atty. Emerico O. De Guzman, the Firm's Managing Partner. "As we got
deeper into the evaluation process, we saw for ourselves what iManage
Work could do and the way it could make our professionals more
iManage partner Business
Network Solutions (BNS) – headquartered in Malaysia, and serving
Southeast Asia – assisted ACCRALAW with their implementation of
iManage Work. The entire process – from information gathering, to
go-live date -- was completed in approximately four months.
"Forward-looking firms like
ACCRALAW pay attention to what other firms are using to help their
busy professionals get work done more effectively," said Dan Carmel,
iManage chief marketing officer. "With iManage Work, ACCRALAW is now
using tools designed for the modern workforce to improve productivity,
make better decisions, and work smarter."
Construction of Slope Protection along Naval-Caibiran Cross
Country Road (NCCR). The project is under contract with Chu
Construction with a contract cost of P41,600,000.00. The above
road section is prone to flooding hence drainage structure was
included in the Slope Protection project. Other than the slope
protection structure and drainage, concrete paving is also
included in the project. The completed project will provide a
structure that will prevent further landslide along this road
section and contain run-of water during rainy days to prevent
future damage to existing paved National Road.
ending the year with 91.84% accomplishment of 2016 infra projects
By CHELSEA C. QUIJANO
January 9, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – The
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Biliran District
Engineering Office (BDEO) ends the year with high accomplishment
posting 91.84% surpassing the 85% district target set by the DPWH
Biliran DEO has been
allotted P683.745M under FY2016 DPWH Infrastructure Program with 66
David P. Adongay Jr.,
District Engineer revealed that out of the 66 lined-up projects,
Biliran DEO completed 62 projects, with four remaining projects
on-going under the Regular Infrastructure Program.
Adongay previously reported
that these remaining projects encountered delay due to inclement
weather condition in the Province of Biliran that hinders the
contractors to smoothly perform their operation, and other problems
such as the acquisition of Road-Right-of-Way (ROW).
These projects are the P45M
Construction of Slope Protection along Biliran Circumferential Road (BCR);
P45M Construction of Biliran Diversion Road including Slope Protection
and ROW; P8.7M Replacement of Banlas Bridge along Maripipi
Circumferential Road; and the P5M Repair of Biliran Bridge along Leyte-
Adongay said that those
remaining projects will be spilled over on the 1st quarter of 2017.
“We need to fast-track on
our implementation of projects pero hindi ibig sabihin na pag’ inii-speed
natin yung ating implementation ay mawawala na yung quality, speed and
quality of projects should go together," Adongay reminded during the
last day of work on December 29, 2016 during the flag retreat.
Adongay was recently awarded
as Best District Engineer at DPWH Regional Office Baras, Palo Leyte on
Dec. 21, 2016 for his invaluable support and high degree of commitment
in all the undertakings of the Regional Office and for consistently
rendering his superior performance in the attainment of the
Department’s Mission, Vision and Strategic Objectives.
Moreover, Biliran DEO ends
the year garnering the awards as Best in Planning and Design Section (PDS),
Best in Financial Management Section (FMS) and Overall Best District
Engineering Office out of 13 District Offices in Region VIII.
Bayan to AFP:
Disclose contents of new Oplan
January 9, 2017
QUEZON CITY – The AFP
and DND should disclose the actual contents of its new campaign plan,
Development Support and Security Plan Kapayapaan, that was launched
last week at a top level command conference.
If it is a sequel to Oplan
Bayanihan, claiming to put primacy on the peace negotiations and
so-called non-combat "development" work, but continuing the
militarization of communities, then it is not new nor will it succeed.
Will DSSP Kapayapaan cause
the pullout of troops from Lumad and other occupied areas? Will this
cause the suspension of military operations masquerading as
non-combat, development operations in civilian communities? Will this
end the "IP-centric" approach adopted by Oplan Bayanihan that has
resulted in human rights violations in indigenous communities? Will
this make the AFP stop targeting legal activists, whether through
trumped-up charges or by extrajudicial killings? Will the AFP disband
paramilitary groups especially those most notorious for rights abuses
such as massacres?
If the answer to all these
questions is NO, then we are in for more of the same. Maybe even
Oplan Bayanihan of Aquino
also claimed to recognize the primacy of the peace process but instead
unleashed war on the people. It was an utter failure as the peace
talks were stalled while the AFP failed to stop the advance of the
revolutionary forces. It is this reality that served as the basis for
the Duterte government to enter into peace talks with the NDFP.
Government cannot defeat the revolutionary forces because the social,
economic, political and historical basis for the armed conflict
remain. The root causes of armed struggle must be addressed.
The AFP should upload and
make available the new DSSP Kapayapaan to allow its scrutiny by all
stakeholders and interested parties, including human rights groups,
peace advocates, and members of Congress. Kapayapaan's predecessor
Oplan Bayanihan was made available to the pubic by the previous regime
and can be found at the AFP's website.
The people continue to call
for the pull-out of AFP troops operating in civilian communities.
These AFP operations undermine even the government's own ceasefire
declaration, exposing it as a sham as far as affected communities are
concerned. Affected communities have raised many complaints versus the
AFP and hope that these will be discussed during the 3rd round of
formal peace talks that will begin on January 19, 2017.
PRRD’s micro fund
program to pilot-run this month - DTI
January 9, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to replace the “5-6”
money lending system and provide an affordable micro-financing for the
country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the
government’s Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program pilots this
month in Mindoro, Sarangani and Leyte, among the top 30 poorest
provinces, to represent Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the country’s
trade chief said.
“The P3 is designed to bring
down the interest rate at which micro-finance is made available to
micro enterprises,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Secretary Ramon Lopez.
The 2017 General
Appropriations Act has included an initial funding of P1 billion for
financial assistance, a part of the planned P19 billion financing
initiative for micro and small businesses in the next five years.
Helping the poorest
The program’s fund will be
lent out in the business centers of the poorest provinces (based on
poverty incidence), where the participating microfinance institutions
(MFIs) and the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) can operate.
An attached agency of DTI,
SB Corp. shall administer the P3 Program, including the creation of a
Program Management Office (PMO), which will open a separate back
account for the P3 Program, to oversee the management and monitoring
“Fund delivery to
microenterprises shall be carried out in either by wholesale lending
to non-bank financial institutions like MFI-NGOs, and cooperatives
which shall on-lend the fund to beneficiaries or by direct lending by
SB Corp,” Sec. Lopez said.
include microenterprises and entrepreneurs that do not have easy
access to credit, or are accessing credit at very high cost, such as,
micro-entrepreneurs, market vendors, agri-businessmen and members of
cooperatives, industry associations and co-operators.
Loanable amount per
end-borrower can range from P5,000.00 for start-ups to P300,000.00,
with maximum interest rate of 26% per annum with no collateral
requirement. This rate is significantly below the 20% per day/ week/
month charged by “5-6” lenders. It is also lower than what is charged
by most MFIs.
MFIs may opt for portfolio
guarantee cover of up to 15% of their P3 loan portfolio from SB Corp
at a guarantee fee of 0.4%. The guarantee feature is seen to help MFIs
address the P3 Program’s inherent risk. The guarantee fund will be
sourced from the P3 fund.
P3 allocates P100 million
for direct lending by SB Corp. Target loan beneficiaries are the small
enterprises in priority and emerging industries, start-up businesses
and technology innovators.
Minimum loan amount will be
P300,000.00 with interest rate capped at 10% p.a., with or without
“This alternative funding
dedicated for micro and small enterprises is meant to discourage the
5-6 money lending system in our country,” said Sec. Lopez, adding that
through the established MFIs, the government will reach even the
smallest of entrepreneurs in the country.