Bidding for Power Barges 101-104 fails

SECTOR Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation on Wednesday, 16 May 2012, declared the bidding for Power Barge Nos. 101-104 a failure after only one of the seven qualified bidders submitted an offer for the assets.

Only ACTA Power, a joint venture between the power companies of Ayala Corporation’s AC Energy Holdings and PHINMA’s Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation, submitted the required bidding documents prior to the expiration of the bid submission deadline at 12 noon.

PSALM, in accordance with its bidding procedures, declares a failure of bidding when less than two bidders participate in the exercise.

Roving Diskwento Caravan Program to benefit consumers

THE DTI’s nationwide Roving Diskwento Caravan Program will benefit consumers as prices of basic and prime commodities including school supplies are sold at a discounte of not less than 10% based on the product’s suggested retail price (SRP).

The Roving Diskwento Caravan is conducted in an accessible, secured and preferably covered place taking into consideration the volume of people passing through it like town plaza or municipal hall.

The DTI coordinates with the local government units and some government agencies like BIR, SSS, Philhealth, TESDA, AFP and the PNP to provide free health and wellness services like back massage, hand massage, haircut, manicure and pedicure or information campaign on their programs and services that can help our constituents especially in the countryside.  Distribution of free seedlings from the Bureau of Plant Industry/Forestry is also done to benefit more people. These side activities make the caravan more meaningful and festive.

PH papayas, pineapples also impounded in China

AFTER holding huge shipments of Philippine banana in their ports recently, Chinese authorities have also started impounding Philippine papayas and pineapples, an official said on Wednesday.

Clarito Barron, director of the Bureau of Plant Industry, said some 43 crates of papayas and pineapples worth around $1 million were held at Chinese ports last May 2 after being found infested with “mealybugs” during a random inspection.

Barron explained a mealybug is a cosmopolitan pest which can also be found in China and other parts of the world.

He said after the discovery of the supposed pests, Chinese authorities decided to conduct a total inspection of the fruits. He expects the impounded fruits will already be rotten by the time Chinese authorities finish inspecting them.

The official also said he is puzzled that Chinese authorities are suddenly claiming that the fruits were fraught with bugs when their counterparts in Japan and Korea are not reporting of a similar infestation.

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.