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Gabriela prepares final push for RH Bill in Congress

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gabriela prepares final push for RH Bill in Congress

“The RH bill is about women’s access to healthcare, the right to informed choice. This is not an issue of population control or a question of religion or faith. Lawmakers, as well as the rest of the Filipino people, should focus on the state of women and children’s ‘un-health’, and this should be the primary consideration when lawmakers cast their vote to end debates and interpellation on August 7.” – Rep. Luz Ilagan, Gabriela Women’s party

MANILA — On August 7, the House of Representatives would end the debate on the so-called RH Bill, or the legislative proposal for a reproductive health bill. For the last two years, the proposal has been alternately vilified and praised; hailed as a solution to the worsening state of maternal health care in the country, on the one hand, then attacked as an instrument of Satan that will send women’s souls straight to hell.

For the proponents of the RH bill, especially Gabriela Women’s Party, the debate is simple: they want a law that will help guarantee universal access to and information on reproductive health and maternal care.

Now nearing the final stretch, the two bills House Bill No. 4244 or An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development, and For Other Purposes and Senate Bill No. 2378 or An Act Providing For a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Population and Development stand to be either approved or dismissed.

Among the strongest voices in Congress pushing for the passage of the RH Bill are the representatives of Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP). From the beginning of the debate, the two lawmakers Luz Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus have argued that the issue goes beyond what the dominant Catholic religious sector says or the lobby for perks and pork barrel: they argue that what makes the RH bill necessary is the right of the women and all Filipinos to affordable and reliable access to health care..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/08/04/gabriela-prepares-final-push-for-rh-bill-in-congress/

Caught lobbying Written by Tribune Editorial

Caught lobbying

Noynoy Aquino is a certified meddlesome president, interfering in affairs that are not his to interfere in, that is for certain.

Even as Noynoy always claims to respect the independence of the constitutional offices, he is always found to have interfered in their affairs, to the extent of directing them give him what he wants to have, which these constitutional officers generally give in to what he wants.

This time around, in a slip of the tongue, Noynoy admitted to lobbying the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to get the IBP to dismiss the disbarment cases against his loyal attack dog, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, which in turn would qualify her as a candidate for the top judicial post.

Of course he claimed it is his legal team that is helping De Lima in her disbarment case. But why should his legal team — and with presidential permission and order, be tasked to aid De Lima in her case pending in the IBP when she already has a slew of lawyers in her department to do that for her — at least in preparing her brief to the IBP to get her case dismissed? Or, short of that, she could easily have hired a private lawyer to help her prepare her arguments before the IBP board.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/2419-caught-lobbying

UN adopts tough resolution on Syria

UN adopts tough resolution on Syria

The UN General Assembly has voted in favor of a non-binding resolution on Syria pushed by several Arab states. Before the vote, Russia announced that it would not support the resolution, calling it unbalanced.
The bill was passed with 133 votes in favor, 12 against, and 31 abstentions.

­The resolution, authored by Saudi Arabia and actively supported by Egypt and Bahrain, demands that President Bashar al-Assad transfer power to a transitional government and that the Syrian Army ceases tank and helicopter attacks against rebel forces..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/syrian-resolution-un-assembly-711/

Ebola at large? Prisoner with suspected case escapes Ugandan hospital

Ebola at large? Prisoner with suspected case escapes Ugandan hospital

A World Health Organization official has stated that the Ebola outbreak in Uganda is now “under control.” However, a prisoner suspected of being infected with the deadly virus managed to escape from a hospital, spurring fears of further contagion.

The inmate’s test results are yet to be determined.

Should his results come back and he is positive, that causes us a lot of worry,” Dr. Jackson Amune, a commissioner at the Ugandan Ministry of Health, was quoted by CNN as saying.

The prisoner broke out on Friday night, prompting hospital officials to handcuff the four remaining prisoners to their beds. The prisoners are among the 30 people suspected of carrying Ebola at a hospital in the western town of Kagadi, the center of the outbreak.  .... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/ebola-uganda-prisoner-hospital-830/

Teachers oppose Aquino’s ban on bonuses

Teachers oppose Aquino’s ban on bonuses

“Instead of heeding the just demands of state workers for adequate remuneration and tighter price controls, Aquino targets public servants, whose basic take-home pay cannot them home.”– ACT

MANILA — The country’s educators led by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have another axe to grind against the administration of Benigno Aquino III.

Last July 20, the president signed Executive Order no. 80. It provides guidelines for a performance-based bonus. Malacañang said the performance-based bonus is an “innovative” system to reward productivity in civil service. The executive order covers national government agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs.) In the meantime, agencies with fiscal autonomy such as Congress and the judiciary are, however, “encouraged” to adopt EO no. 80.

In their declarations to the media, various Malacañang spokespersons said that EO no. 80 aims to encourage government employees to serve the public better. Aquino himself has said that there is a need to rationalize the current incentive system in government. Under the current system, bonuses are given uniformly and across-the-board to all government employees.

In justifying the order, Aquino said the performance monitoring and appraisal systems such as the Organizational Performance Indicator Framework (OPIF) and the Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS) where the performance of individuals and organizations are measured and the Results-Based Performance Monitoring System (RBPMS) should be improved upon or developed..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/08/03/teachers-oppose-aquinos-ban-on-bonuses/

‘2013 budget for electioneering, PPPs’

‘2013 budget for electioneering, PPPs’

“The budget continues to prop up defective policies imposed by foreign creditors such as privatization while allocating huge resources for CCT dole-outs to conceal the harsh social impact of such programs and automatically setting aside a significant portion for debt servicing.” – Bayan

MANILA – As the House of Representatives began deliberating on the proposed P2-trillion ($47.74 billion) national budget for 2013, groups expressed fear that the proposed budget will be “exploited for electioneering and will not provide free social services for the Filipino people.”

The proposed budget next year is 10.5 percent higher than this year’s P1.816 trillion ($43.35 billion).
In a statement, multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said the huge absolute increases in the budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of P21 billion ($501.31 million) and P26.5 billion ($632.69 million), as well as the P4.8-billion ($11.4 million) hike in the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program’s budget, “are meant to buy patronage from local politicians and voters to boost the electoral bid of Liberal Party candidates.

“If the proposed budget is empowering anyone, it would be the Liberal Party (LP) of the administration, which is seeking to clinch more local and senatorial posts in next year’s midterm polls,” Bayan said.

Bayan noted that this could be the motivation behind the rush by the LP-led appropriations committee at the House of Representatives and the Senate to finish the whole budget approval process by December.

Despite the anomalies in the CCT program of the Aquino administration, the budget for CCT or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will be increased by 12.4 percent from this year’s P39.4 billion ($942.58 million). The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) hopes to target 3.8 million households for next year.

In a report, the Commission on Audit (CoA) cited several anomalies in the 4Ps, including double entries of beneficiaries and unliquidated P6.6 billion ($157.89 million) fund transfers.

Moreover, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) also feared that that the P1-billion ($23.92 million) quick response allocation in the proposed budget for the Department of Agriculture (DAR) could be “used as a seed fund for the election of Aquino’s allies.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/08/02/%e2%80%982013-budget-for-electioneering-ppps%e2%80%99/

SC flip-flops anew on 2 Congress JBC vote

SC flip-flops anew on 2 Congress JBC vote

Daily Tribune image

Under the acting Carpio Supreme Court, flip-flopping rulings now appear to be the norm, as the SC yesterday backtracked on its earlier decision reducing the participation of a representative of Congress in the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to one instead of two members of Congress belonging to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The latest ruling by the SC displayed once again its vulnerability to pressure and subservience to Malacañang and Congress as it once again caved in to Palace and congressional pressure while ruling that the administration.s congressional allies may sit in the JBC, despite an earlier decision from the high bench that lawmakers are entitled to only a lone seat in the collegial body.

In a three-page resolution, the Court also suspended the effect of the second paragraph of the dispositive portion of the July 17, 2012 decision which reads: This disposition is immediately executory.

Just last month the high court recalled an injunction order it had issued the previous day which temporarily stopped the government from implementing a fixed salary scheme for bus conductors and drivers in Metro Manila..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2440-sc-flip-flops-anew-on-2-congress-jbc-vote

Unclos experts say China’s sea claims hold no water Written by Mario J. Mallari Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:00

Unclos experts say China’s sea claims hold no water

Two international experts said yesterday that China’s extensive nine-dash line claim on virtually the entire West Philippine Sea — which Beijing anchors on history — lacked merit under modern international laws.

But rival claimants like the Philippines may find it tough to bring the long-hanging territorial disputes to international arbitration because of the usually long time it takes to resolve such rifts and the need for China’s approval before any case could be considered for arbitration, the experts said.

With the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) unable to effectively help bring about a resolution because of its policy of deciding by consensus — which empowers just one of its 10 member-countries to block any proposed solution — the best option for now may be for bilateral or multilateral negotiations or shelving the conflicts to allow joint development of contested areas, the experts explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2439-unclos-experts-say-china%E2%80%99s-sea-claims-hold-no-water

Cocopea backs move to outlaw hazing Written by Gerry Baldo Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:00

Cocopea backs move to outlaw hazing

The move to outlaw hazing and other forms of fraternity initiation rites has gained the support of the country’s largest organizations of private universities and colleges, including Catholic-run schools, Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy of Bagong Henerasyon party-list said recently.

Herrera-Dy, who filed House Bill 6084, said the Coordinating Council for Private Educational Associations (Cocopea) are now in the forefront of other school organizations in supporting HB 6084 which also imposes life prison terms on fraternity men found to have been involved in rituals that may result in the death of aspiring or current members.

HB 6084 will amend Republic Act 8049, otherwise known as “An Act Regulating Hazing and other Forms of Initiation Rites in Fraternities, Sororities, and other Organizations and Providing Penalties Therefor.”
Herrera-Dy, vice chairman of the House committee on the welfare of children, said stringent laws were needed to stop fraternity hazing.  She filed the bill a few days after media reported the death of San Beda law student Marvin Reglos last February.

Last July 30, law student Marc Andrei Marcos, also of San Beda, was reportedly died of injuries suffered from blows during hazing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/2432-cocopea-backs-move-to-outlaw-hazing

Tobacco farmers get nothing in 2013 agri budget

Tobacco farmers get nothing in 2013 agri budget

Tobacco farmers from 10 provinces whose economies largely depend on tobacco production have every reason to be worried over the sin tax reform measure pending at the Senate, as next year’s P73.6-billion agriculture budget allocates nothing for them amid an imminent displacement seen over the passage of the bill warranting a 708-percent increase in the tobacco excise tax.

In a news feed emailed to Palace reporters, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the administration was bent on ensuring sustainability and security of food supplies across the country but no mention was made of helping the tobacco planters, whom the government claimed would not be affected with the passage of the sin tax reform bill.

Thousands of farmers from the tobacco growing provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, Occidental Mindoro, Misamis Oriental, Tarlac and Nueva Vizcaya are expected to be the first casualty of the Palace-backed sin tax reform measure amid the imminent closure of the Associated Anglo-American Tobacco Corp. (AAATC), which buys significant locally grown tobacco yields in the manufacture and sale of low-priced cigarette brands..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/2433-tobacco-farmers-get-nothing-in-2013-agri-budget

39 dead as ‘Gener’ exits RP Written by Mario J. Mallari Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:00

39 dead as ‘Gener’ exits RP

Tropical storm “Gener” yesterday moved out of the country’s area of responsibility but the number of fatalities and affected people continued to rise as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 39 persons have been confirmed dead and more than 100,000 families were affected.

NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Benito Ramos said four persons remained missing while 33 others were injured.

According to Ramos, 13 new fatalities were reported to the NDRRMC headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
Among the latest fatalities were Angela Nicole Gregorio, Patricia Gregorio, and Elisa Mae Dolfino, all of Malinta, Valenzuela City; Anthony Capsuyan, of Tagudin, Iloos Sur, and Reynaldo Frio, and Arlene Tinaza Paz, of Sto. Domingo also in Ilocos Sur; Crisanto Aguilar, and Winnie Capiles, both of Bataan; six-month-old CJ Marco Carlos, of Obando, Bulacan; Hazel Mae Arpullos, of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Angel Ignacio of Pampanga; Justine Francisco of Meycauyan, and Jerome Orea, of Obando, Bulacan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/2434-39-dead-as-%E2%80%98gener%E2%80%99-exits-rp

Aquino, Lim have different plans for Tondo fire victims

Aquino, Lim have different plans for Tondo fire victims

A reactive Malacañang has deemed it logical to get thousands of families out of the shore area Baseco Compound which has been described as openly vulnerable to danger but Manila city government had other plans in the area which was wiped out of shanties early this year due to fire.

In visiting Baseco Compound in Vitas, Tondo, President Aquino hinted at plans to immediately get some 1,500 families from an area referred to as the Isla Puting Bato to a safer place, even as he hinted at an in-city relocation area where he said could still accommodate informal settlers from the area.

However, Manila city government has other plans that seem far from what Malacañang wanted — a walled tent city.

“We have an in-city relocation that has hardly been filled up, from what I remember only 20 percent of the site is occupied. Or you may want to go back to your provinces through our ‘balik-probinsya’ program,” said Aquino who cited the need for a relocation area that is conducive and safe for human settlement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/2425-aquino-lim-have-different-plans-for-tondo-fire-victims

Navotas mayor advises residents: Stay away from floods to avoid leptospirosis

Navotas mayor advises residents: Stay away from floods to avoid leptospirosis

With most areas in the coastal city of Navotas still flooded due to days of incessant rains spawned by tropical storm “Gener,” Mayor John Rey Tiangco yesterday advised the residents to stay away from floodwaters to avoid  contracting leptospiros.

Tiangco issued the statement following report from the Department of Health (DoH) which revealed a 125-percent increase in leptospirosis cases from January to July this year.

There were 2,002 cases recorded nationwide, compared to 887 for the same period last year, the DoH said.
Deaths from the disease,  contracted through contact with water contaminated with the urine of infected animals, also rose from last year’s 85 to 97 this year.

The health department said there were fewer cases recorded this year, 98, compared to last year’s 139.
But the city government would work double-time to make sure that no residents will contract the disease as most areas in the coastal city remain submerged in floodwaters due to days of non-stop rains and strong winds which were worsened by high tides..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/2424-navotas-mayor-advises-residents-stay-away-from-floods-to-avoid-leptospirosis

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