as of 11/18/2009 12:41
Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal likens fellow senator Loren Legarda to climate change, the latter's favorite advocacy
In an exclusive interview, an irritated Madrigal said Legarda's decision to become Sen. Manuel Villar’s
running mate after pushing for a Senate ethics investigation against the latter smacks of political opportunism
Date: 02 February
Refer to: Judee
Aguilar/5526601 loc. 6540
STATE OF TRUST FUNDS
UNKNOWN, CHIZ BLASTS SEC, BSP
Senator Chiz Escudero
on Monday bewailed the failure of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to monitor the current state of the trust funds
intended to cover the needs of pre-need planholders.
"SEC has been given
the ample power of regulation among pre-need firms. It is there to watch over these trust funds. But they seem to do nothing
to protect the investing public. They simply watch as these trust funds dissolve into thin air just like the incestuous relationship
of the Legacy Group and its bank subsidiaries," Escudero, chair of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions,
and Currencies, told reporters.
He said the SEC
showed its incompetence when they could not give categorical answers as to how much will Legacy plan holders get out of its
"This is absurd
and disconcerting. We put SEC there to preserve and strengthen the investor's interest but they look like they protect more
pre-need companies' interest which is to earn," Escudero said.
The senator suggested
that the SEC knew about the brewing problems in the Legacy Group since 2004.
"We are asking SEC
to furnish us a copy of the minutes of their business forum to check if the boiling pre-need problems then were already part
of their discussed agenda," said
He also expressed
concern about the allegations of extortion raised by Celso delos Angeles against the Bangko Sentral, saying that this is a
very serious charge that the BSP should squarely address.
'If there is no
truth to it, BSP should categorically express so, but if this is true, they should address it head on and sack those who need
to be sacked," Escudero stressed.
As co-chairman of
the senate inquiry on the problems of pre-need companies, he vowed to look deeper, with dispatch, into the manner by which
the prevailing rules on the registration and sale of pre-need plans under the securities regulation code are implemented.
"We will address
the problems responsible for the closure and mess in pre-need companies. We need to take a closer look at our regulating bodies
and see if rules are executed for the protection of the investing public. It's high time that the laws of securities are properly
implemented in this country," Escudero said. -30-
Developments on swine flu worldwide
05/05/2009 | 09:29 AM
Key developments on swine flu outbreaks, according to Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, World Health Organization, and government officials:
—Deaths: 26 confirmed in Mexico and one
confirmed in US, a toddler from Mexico who died in Texas.
—Confirmed sickened worldwide, 1,447: 802 in Mexico;
383 in US; 140 in Canada; 57 in Spain; 27 in Britain; eight in Germany; six in New Zealand; four in Israel, Italy and France;
two in El Salvador; one each in Austria, Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, South
Korea and Switzerland.
—US health officials reconsider advice about closing schools because of swine flu. The
government now recommends that schools with confirmed cases of swine flu close for at least two weeks.
City high school that had 45 students with confirmed swine flu cases reopens.
—Mexico to allow most businesses
to reopen Wednesday, universities to reopen Thursday. Mexico City cafes, museums and libraries to reopen this week; schools
nationwide to reopen next week after inspections are completed.
—Mexican government charters a plane to bring
its citizens home from China after 70 Mexican nationals traveling in China were quarantined there. China sends its own plane
to retrieve Chinese nationals stranded in Mexico. Mexico also criticizes Argentina, Peru and Cuba for banning flights.
A school spokeswoman says a group of 29 University of Montreal students and their professor has been quarantined at a hotel
in the northern Chinese city of Changchun since the weekend over swine flu fears, although none has exhibited any symptoms
of the virus.
—Hong Kong, where severe acute respiratory syndrome killed 299 in 2003, ordered weeklong quarantine
of downtown hotel where a Mexican tourist was confirmed to have the illness, trapping 274 guests and employees inside.
Health Organization says slaughtering pigs unnecessary because virus is being spread through humans; says swine herd in Canada
likely infected by farmworker who returned from Mexico.
—US Meat Export Federation, which represents pork and
beef interests abroad, estimates that US pork exports have dropped about 10 percent since the swine flu scare started.
at all California prisons is suspended after an ill inmate at Centinela State Prison in Imperial County is tested for swine
flu. - AP
DPWH Gensan renamed, area of jurisdiction expanded
To promote greater efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation and supervision
of infrastructure projects, the General Santos City Sub-District Engineering Office, by virtue of Department Order No. 12,
series of 2008 dated March 18, 2008, was renamed as the South Cotabato Sub-District Engineering Office, and its area of jurisdiction
correspondingly expanded. The new and bigger Sub-District shall include General Santos City, Tampakan, Tupi, and Polomolok.
Regional Director Osop L. Ali, issued Office Order No. 2, series of 2008 dated
April 9, 2008, as a supplementary directive thereto, effectively putting the implementation of all projects
in Tampakan, Tupi, and Polomolok under the auspices of the newly expanded sub-district. Meantime, the maintenance of
national roads and bridges shall be turned over effective July 1, 2008.
Henry Sy now RP’s richest manFriday, October 17, 2008
The Philippines’ biggest mall operator and his family have increased their wealth by $1.4 billion despite the global
financial turmoil, making them the wealthiest Filipinos this year, Forbes Asia magazine said yesterday.
The fortune that 83-year-old Henry Sy made was the “biggest gain in absolute terms” of the country’s
40 wealthiest families, who say their collective wealth plunge 18 percent to $14 billion from $17 billion in 2007 amid the
world credit turmoil, Forbes said in a statement.
Forbes said Sy and his family are worth $3.1 billion. They rose from No. 2 position last year on the back of their holding
company SM Investments Corp., which has interests in a dozen companies, including the country’s second largest bank,
Banco de Oro Unibank.
Tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan and his family, who own national carrier Philippine Airlines and have interests in beer brewing
and mining, came in second with a net worth of $1.5 billion.
Jaime Zobel de Ayala and his family, last year’s richest, dropped to third place after losing $800 million, Forbes
said. The stock of their conglomerate Ayala Corp. has been down 46 percent since last year, partly due to the economic slowdown
and waning profits in banking and electronics, the magazine said.
It said 25 of the 40 Filipino tycoons, including some in real estate and banking, “are poorer” this year because
the Philippine stock exchange had fallen 35 percent in the last 12 months.
The country’s richest politician, Senate President Manuel Villar, who is the largest shareholder in high-end homebuilder
Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., fell outside the top 10 list from No. 5 to No. 11 after his net worth plunged 55 percent
to $425 million.
Also hit hard is property tycoon Andrew Gotianun of Filinvest Land, who fell 10 places to 17th after losing $625 million
to give him a net worth of $235 million.
Placing fourth in the Forbes list is another property kingpin, Andrew Tan, who however saw his net worth plunge by $400
million to $700 million.
Of the 40 richest Filipinos this year, 11 tycoons eked out gains but almost all of those increases were because of reporting
on new assets or shareholdings or the combination of relatives’ stakes, including Sy.
The Philippines had three billionaires this year compared with four last year as Andrew Tan lost this elite status.
Lourdes Montinola seemed to buck the trend as shares of her Far Eastern University increased $38 million to vault her to
number 31 with a net worth of $68 million.
There was only one newcomer, Alfredo Ramos of Atlas Consolidated Mining, who debuted at number 23 with a net worth $126
A net worth of $30 million is required to make the Philippines rich list, unchanged from last year. Fourteen tycoons had
net worth of less than $100 million and four of last year’s members failed to make the cut.
Others in the Top 10 are Tony Tan Caktiong and family (5th place, $690 million); John Gokongwei Jr. and family (6th, $680
million); Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. (7th, $610 million); Enrique Razon Jr. (8th, $525 million); George Ty and family (9th, $435
million); and Inigo & Mercedes Zobel (10th, $430 million).
The list of the Philippines richest will be featured in the Oct. 29 issue of Forbes Asia magazine, which will be available
this week. – AP
Road Safety News and Pics, click to download
|Road Safety Opening Ceremony
|DE Mangolamba Hadji Ali acknowledges LTO and TMG's unequivocal support
DPWH, LTO, TMG lead in road safety month celebration
GSC - In one very rare display of unity and cooperation, the Department of Public
Works and Highways led by Acting Head Mangolamba D. Hadji Ali, the Land Transportation Office, and Traffic Management Group
of the General Santos City-Philippine National Police jointly spearheaded the commemoration of Road Safety Month. The undertaking which was also participated in by the Bureau of Fire Protection, PNP-Traffic Management
Division, Karancho Inc., a Motorcycle Riders Association, Bigkis Balaod, a Tricycle Association, and other transport groups,
aimed to educate our road users about traffic regulations and instill in everybody’s consciousness the appropriate road
courtesies and practices.
With the Theme, “ARRIVE ALIVE!
SAVE DRIVE FOR LONGER LIFE, the celebration kicked off on May 26, 2008 with a motorcade around the city. This
was followed later by a well-attended Opening Ceremony at Oval Gym where the DPWH, LTO and PNP-TMG took turns in reminding
the audience of the latest traffic rules, regulations and ordinances, and the efforts being done to curb the rising tide of
motorcycle-related accidents in the city.
Senior Inspector Aniano Delco of the
Traffic Management Division, revealed in the Opening Ceremony that for the first quarter of the year, five deaths and more
than five hundred other injuries were attributed as traffic-related - figures which show a steady rise in traffic accidents
The City’s LTO Chief Ismael Almanza
on the other hand, proposed the conduct of an inventory of all tricyles plying the city roads.
Only then could a rational traffic plan for public transport be possible. He
also decried the practice of a number of motorcycle dealers and owners based in Gensan of registering newly owned motorcycles
in nearby municipalities depriving the city of its just revenues.
On the second day, May 27, 2008, the DPWH and LTO conducted a mini-symposium on Road Safety for drivers of motorcycles at LTO Conference
Hall. The following day saw the DPWH, LTO and TMG meeting the press in a media
forum hosted by the Samahan ng Mamamahayag at Brodkaster, Inc. (SMBI) at Tierra del Sur Hotel.
The celebration culminated with a visit
by DPWH and LTO officials to Hon. Vice-Mayor Flor Congson, the Acting City Mayor where several ordinances on road safety were
discussed, including other proposed ordinances in the pipeline.
|RD Osop L. Ali: "It's all systems go for the DPWH anniversary celebration."
DPWH foundation anniversary preparations underway
The Department is set to commemorate the 110 years of the public works and highways service in the Philippines
with a big bang! The national festivities which has a Key Message, DPWH at 110: Building on the strength
and experience of 110 years of bridging peoples and progress, shall be highlighted with a host of activities
that shall communicate the length and depth of service of the Department and its role in building the Philippines, and shall
provide a venue for a meaningful and productive interaction that will deepen the appreciation of the service among internal
and external publics.
These activities include the Memorabilia Search, Regional Reunions, Exhibits and Museums, Anniversary Publications
and Productions, Recognition Awards of Partner Organizations, Lectures and Seminars, and a National Sportfest.
Region XII Director Osop Ali in a regional
conference held last April 22, 2008 at Cotabato City exhorted all district engineers under his jurisdiction to actively participate
in the Department festivities, and put flesh and meaning to public service.
"Let's also make sure that we excel in all competitions that we shall participate in.
The Honorable Secretary will be inviting no less that Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the culminating activities
of the anniversary, hence, let's grab this opportunity and make this occasion as a time for us to shine," Regional Director
Osop Ali said.
The festivities' kick-off ceremonies was held by the DPWH Regional Office, Cotabato City last
April 9, 2008 and shall be concluded in Manila on December 14, 2008.
The usual DPWH anniversary is held every 23rd day of the year.
water for life
Water covers almost three-fourths of the earth’s
surface and constitutes more than 60% of the living world. But only 1% of the
water is usable to us since about 97% is salty sea water, and 2% is frozen in
glaciers and polar ice caps.
Drinking water, in crucial quantity and quality is indispensable to
life and economic activity. Thus, creating the conditions necessary to ensure
the most effective and sustainable access to water has become our Government’s concern.
Pursuant to this concern, every year, our Government undertakes the implementation of a number of water system projects
to meet the needs of our growing population.
Santos City alone, many of these projects are being undertaken
to ensure that potable water is accessible to a number of communities living at the fringes of the city’s urban center.
With the regular influx to the city of people looking for job and opportunities, a greater and more substantial demand for
drinking water is also on the rise.
Talking of how a water system project
can impact on the lives of people, there is no better classic story than in General Santos City Jail in Lanton, Brgy. Apopong. With the advent of better facilities, which basically include the provision of a water system, the GSC
Jail has become a place where misguided elements are reformed and appropriately prepared to go back to the society’s
mainstream, rather than being punished for their social indiscretions.
While in some jails, chaos and madness
are almost the order of the day, here in General Santos City, it is the exact opposite. Order,
discipline and harmony prevail. Thanks to a sound management and sufficient water supply.
Where a simple argument and misunderstanding can lead to riots, according to the GSC Jail Management,
it has become imperative for them to provide the restless inmates with their basic necessities, and make them busy with productive
Beauty and order in GSC Jail, thanks to sufficient water supply
In fact, a good number of inmates are becoming
farmhands of sorts to a one-hectare portion of land allocated as agriculture area. Here
they have a milkfish and tilapia fishpond, raise poultry and plant vegetables such as radish, pechay, eggplants, tanglad,
okra, saluyot, among others.
Some portions are planted with fruit-bearing
trees, root crops, flowers, and orchids. Because of this, the food requirements
of all the inmates are met. To some, this even means extra income as inmates
sell their agricultural produce to the market.
But more importantly, they have no more problems on drinking water,
sanitation and appropriate upkeep of the jail and its premises.
supply of potable water can indeed change and improve lives.
Another project, the Water System at Quilantang, Brgy.
Calumpang (a coastal barangay in General Santos City), was more than enough reason to celebrate and rejoice for the barangay
residents who have in the past were forced to buy drinking water from enterprising water system operators.
Completed and became fully operational more than a year ago, the water
system project which included a water tank huge enough to supply hundreds of households, has also become a source of income
for the purok residents who organized themselves into an association to ensure that the potable drinking water is well-maintained
and equitably distributed among themselves.
Purok Quilantang, formerly
a dry, arid, almost listless settlement has now become a thriving and lively community.
is indeed life.