Group slams Int’l River Summit as ‘greenwashing’

By: Tara Yap

MILITANT groups criticized the Iloilo City for playing host to the upcoming 1st Philippine International River Summit.

“It is nothing but a greenwashing attempt of the city government under the helm of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog,” said Bayan Muna-Panay coordinator Jory Porquia.

The international summit is scheduled on May 30 until June 1.

Porquia explained that greenwashing is an attempt of the city government to cover up the true socio-environmental state of the Iloilo River.

Porquia also lambasted Sen. Franklin Drilon for spearheading the Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council that implements the P500-million cleanup and development efforts at the two rivers.

China air carrier cuts number of flights to PHL amid territorial row

CITING supposedly shrinking numbers of Chinese tourists amid the tension over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, one of three Chinese major air carriers is cutting down the number of its flights to the Philippines.

An article on the Chinese government portal on Tuesday night said China Southern Airlines announced it will reduce flights between Guangzhou City and Manila to just once a day on certain dates from May 26 to June 30.

It quoted a spokesman for the airline as saying the adjustment was due to the cancellation of “a large number of tourist groups” lately.

The airline normally operates two flights daily on the route, the article said.

Major airlines serving the Chinese mainland and cities in the Philippines include Air China, China Southern, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air.

Iloilo City to present 14 Dev’t projects to PNoy

By: Lydia C. Pendon

A TOTAL of 14 development projects in Iloilo City will be presented to President Benigno Aquino III during his visit on June 1, 2012 to speak before some 1,000 international and national delegates to the first Philippine International River Summit here.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said nine projects will be inaugurated while groundbreaking rites will be held for five other projects slated to be completed before the term of the President expires in 2016.

Up for inauguration are the imposing 7-storey new Iloilo City Hall building, the new Iloilo City Community College, the upgraded Iloilo City slaughterhouse, the Iloilo River Esplanade, and the viewing deck of the city’s wetlands and bird sanctuary in Brgy. Hinactacan, La Paz district, among others.

DOLE: PHL in transition to better wage system

WITH the first two-tiered wage order issued for Southern Luzon, the Philippines is now on its way to joining its “progressive” colleagues in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Department of Labor and Employment said.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Wage Order No. 15 covered workers in the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (CALABARZON) region.

“The Philippines is definitely in transition to a two-tiered wage system, which offers better protection to minimum wage earners, ensures better viability of enterprises, recognizes and rewards productivity and performance, and strengthens collective bargaining,” she said.

With such a wage order, she said even barangay micro business enterprises will benefit from the wage system because a productivity-based wage “does not exempt any industry.”

NEDA to hold orientations on Reg’l Development Plan

By: Lilibeth A. French

THE NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority (NEDA6) will hold a series of orientations on the Regional Development Plan (RDP) for 2011- 2016 in the different provinces and cities of Western Visayas.

After Guimaras, Capiz, and Iloilo City, the next RDP orientation will be conducted in the province of Iloilo on Friday, May 18. Other schedules are: Negros Occidental on June 13; Bacolod City on June 14; and Aklan and Antique in July.

According to NEDA 6, the gathering aims to explain the highlights of the RDP and to generate support from the local government units, the civil society, and the academe in pro-actively contributing to the attainment of the region’s goals and targets.

NEDA 6 Director Ro-Ann Bacal will present during the orientation the state of the region’s growth and development and the overview and highlights of the goals, objectives, targets, strategies, and policy reforms spelled out in the 11 chapters of the RDP.

Iloilo town launches hymn composition contest

By: Jaime S. Cabag Jr. THE MUNICIPAL government of San Miguel, Iloilo officially launched this week the competition for the composition of the town’s hymn. Sangguniang Bayan Member Rochin Sherwin S. Sanchez, chair of the committee spearheading the competition, said contestants have until June 29, 2012 to compose their entries and submit them to his committee. […]

Drive vs illegal recruitment, trafficking in persons

By: Margie L. Gadian SAN JOSE, Antique – The campaign against illegal recruitment, trafficking in persons and irregular migration is strengthened with the continued information campaign being conducted by the MDG-F Joint Programme on Youth, Employment and Migration (MDG-Yem) with the support of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). A Pre-Employment Orientation Programme: Trainor’s Training and orientation […]

NBI eyes ‘influential group’ in Arles slay

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The chief of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said the probe on the ambush-slay of Kabankalan Regional Trial Court Judge Henry Arles is progressing.

This, as the focus of the investigation dwells on the possible involvement of an influential group in southern Negros.

Atty. Ferdinand Lavin, NBI chief here, said “We are progressing and moving the case well.”

He, however, declined to elaborate on the “influential group” because “we are validating some things.”

He maintained their earlier theory that the assassination is 90 percent work-related.

Marañon confident of Mirasol victory

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – It was like a repeat of the United Negros Alliance’s announcement of the candidacy of Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol for the special elections in the 5th District.

Mirasol filed his certificate of candidacy yesterday at the provincial Comelec office backed by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and four mayors of the district, vice mayors, councilors and barangay captains of Binalbagan town.

Marañon said he is confident Mirasol will win the post vacated by the departed Congressman Iggy T. Arroyo.

“I am 101 percent sure,” Marañon told reporters here, predicting that Mirasol will register a minimum of 5,000 votes margin over his nephew, provincial board member Dino Yulo.

Ombudsman queries NIA on Basiao status

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas through Assistant Ombudsman Virginia Palanca-Santiago is asking a report from the regional office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) about the status of Engineer Joel Basiao, provincial irrigation officer II of the Bago River Irrigation System (BRIS).

In a letter to the administrative officer of NIA regional office, Santiago asked the agency to inform the office of the Ombudsman if they are aware of the stay of Basiao at the guest house of the BRIS after they received reports that Basiao together with his wife and two children used it as his permanent residence since 1996.

Peace covenant pushed

By: Dolly Yasa BACOLOD City – The contending parties in the special elections in the 5th District on June 2, 2012 are open to sign a peace covenant to ensure peaceful, orderly, honest and credible elections. This as the campaign period for the said electoral exercise starts today with a reminder from the Commission on Elections […]

Yulo’s files CoC without fanfare

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Provincial Board member Dino Yulo’s filing of his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) paled in comparison with that of his uncle and opponent in the 5th District special elections.

Yulo who filed his CoC at 9:30am at the provincial Comelec office was only accompanied by his wife Rosalie, father Emilio Yulo-Montalvo, mother Linda and his six children.

There were only about 20 personalities who accompanied Yulo including Himamaylan Mayor Agustin Bascon compared to the more or less 80 persons who were with Binalbagan mayor Alejandro Mirasol.

Yulo, after filing his CoC, distributed his trademark lollipop at the Comelec office.