Mindanao Times » mindanao times http://mindanaotimes.net Thu, 20 Sep 2018 01:47:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 Rough Cuts | When is the SSS pension hike due? http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-when-is-the-sss-pension-hike-due/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-when-is-the-sss-pension-hike-due/#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 11:37:10 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53549 ]]> Davao City’s third district councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, Council Committee on Health chair, is lamenting on reports that the Bureau of Customs Davao District Port is allegedly blocking the release of anesthetics and vaccines.

The lady councilor who is a medical doctor by profession is worried that blocking the entry of injectable drugs might result to the failure to address needs of patients who are at risk of rabies due to dog bites, or the possibility of infection or non-performance of tooth extraction due to the absence of anesthetics.

She manifested her fear that due to lack or absence of these injectable drugs and vaccine it would be difficult for medical practitioners to respond with dispatch to such needs created by the prevalence of the ailments.

At a glance we feel there is reason for the lamentation of the doctor politician. However, with the claim that the drugs are being held at the Customs Bureau Davao Port some questions need to have very satisfying answers.

Are the drugs imported by the government? If they are, then why would government allow one of its agencies to block its entry to the Davao Port when it can be safely assumed that its procurement is done by the Department of Health to implement one of its more important program? Why would the Bureau of Customs hold such shipment of the government when these are supposed to be duty free?

Now it would be a totally different story if the drugs are imported by private suppliers from foreign sources. The importers procure the medicines from foreign manufacturers therefore these drugs are subject to the necessary customs duties and taxes.

These questions must be answered by those who approached councilor Villafuerte for assistance so that the local lawmaker can properly address their problem with the Bureau of Customs and that the councilor would not be placed in a bad light for interfering with the responsibility of a national government tax collection agency.

This report though reminded us of an incident several years ago. A group of Filipinos in Australia donated several units of computers to the Department of Education for use in IT-related classes for public schools. Since the DepEd then has no budget to pay for the corresponding duties and taxes levied on the donation by the Bureau of Customs, the units were for the taking by any division who can pay the duties required. The computers were finally released to the Division of Davao del Norte after the Floirendo-owned Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (TADECO) through the intercession of Ms. Margie Moran Floirendo, paid the required taxes and duties.


Remember the law granting P2,000 increase in monthly pension pay for retirees from private employment?

Yes, it was the law that was vetoed by former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III because he was convinced by the Board of the Social Security System (SSS) that if such hike in monthly pension would be implemented it would deplete in due time the funds intended for the millions of Filipino pensioners.

The dismay of the pensioners because of that P-Noy veto was changed to jubilation when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in the middle of 2016 and with his political will, prodded Congress to re-introduce the same bill and have it passed again. When it was finally signed into law the first tranche of P1,000 for the P2,000 pension hike, was released starting February of 2017.

The government has committed that the second P1,000 will be released a year after or by next month. And we are certain the pensioners are already eagerly waiting for such manna from the SSS.

Will the SSS be able to fulfill its commitment? Will it release the amount that could help a lot the pensioners in footing their monthly medicine maintenance expenses? We have no idea for now. But what is clear is that no one from the pension firm is talking about it. Even the government is intriguingly silent on whether the second tranche will be given starting next month.

Of course many pensioners we have talked to, believe in the integrity of the present SSS leadership under former law dean Amado Valdez. They are pinning their hope on him and his team.

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Editorial | Better way http://mindanaotimes.net/editorial-better-way/ http://mindanaotimes.net/editorial-better-way/#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 11:33:24 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53547 ]]> When the story about a measles outbreak in the city came out, parents started to panic.

Those who can afford to do so immediately brought their children to physicians to have them vaccinated, others brought theirs to health centers for the same purpose.

Based on that report, during the three months that the City Health Office was able to document, around 200 cases were reported with four deaths confirmed. The agency also reported that there were 13,000 children vaccinated with anti-measles in two weeks.

The agency, two days later, reported that there were 55,000 children that were vaccinated under its outbreak response program and that the number was about a third of its target.

The agency also issued key steps to ensure that children infants and children are protected: Among those steps are immunization of children, reporting of incidents as well as ensuring that those who get infected are not made to go to work or school to arrest the spread of the illness because it is highly contagious.

The agency also urged the people to always be mindful of the symptoms of the illness, among them high fever, cough, colds, sore throat, skin rashes, inflammation of the eyes and white spots on the inner lining of the cheeks.

This is not to criticize the action of government agencies in responding to the outbreak, but there is much to be done not only to prevent the spread of the disease but also to ensure that one case is too much.

Considering the fund that government agencies set aside for their campaign activities, it would always be better to make a campaign even before any case is reported. A comprehensive campaign will always help arrest, if not completely eradicate, the spread of a disease as the public will have the knowledge not only on how to act when it is reported, but on how a single case can be prevented.

After all, prevention is, indeed, better than cure.


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Teen killed http://mindanaotimes.net/teen-killed/ http://mindanaotimes.net/teen-killed/#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 11:12:19 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53528 ]]> A 16-YEAR-OLD boy was shot to death by an unidentified perpetrator at Angels Hideaway Beach at Punta Dumalag III, Matina Aplaya around 8 p.m. on Friday. Based on the report given by city police director, Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum to TIMES, the victim was identified as Johnny Boy Dabuan, 16, a resident of New Lanzona Street in Matina.

According to the report, the victim was sitting in the area with his 15-year-old girlfriend, when a man wearing a full-faced helmet shot the victim at close range.

The victim fell to the sea below.

The gunman left the place on foot.

Scene of the Crime of the Operatives (SOCO) reported that the victim died from multiple gunshot wounds to the different parts of his body.

The motive of the killing is yet to be determined.

The Talomo police recorded several blotter reports linking the victim to several robbery incidents in the city.

He also had a pending robbery case that was filed on Mar. 22, 2017.

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DILG’s Año vows to sue culprits in deadly NCCC fire http://mindanaotimes.net/dilgs-oic-ano-vows-to-sue-culprits-in-deadly-nccc-fire/ http://mindanaotimes.net/dilgs-oic-ano-vows-to-sue-culprits-in-deadly-nccc-fire/#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 11:09:09 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53522 ]]> DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año has vowed to file charges against those who have the accountability in the deadly Dec. 23, 2017, NCCC fire that killed 38 persons.

Año said the filing of charges is necessary because “we don’t want a repeat of such kind of incident.”

While the investigation is yet to be completed, Año said “more or less you have an idea why it happened and for sure someone is responsible for this.”

He lamented that the recklessness of some responsible individuals had caused so much loss of lives.

Año said the incident is very heartbreaking.

The DILG controls the Bureau of Fire Protection, which is investigating the incident.

The BFP initially relieved five fire officials assigned in the area. Three other retired BFP officials are also implicated.

The Inter-Agency Anti-Arson Task Force initially said that eight active and retired BFP officials assigned in the city may face charges in connection to the fire.

In an earlier interview, Sr. Supt. Jerry Candido, spokesperson of the task force, said they are still collating the documents from 2003 – the year that the NCC started operation — until the day of the fire.

Candido said they are tracing the names of all those who signed and approved the safety certificate, referring to the fire inspectors and the fire marshal, of the ill-fated mall.

“Without those documents, it’s unfair if we reveal names because we don’t have evidence,” Candido said.

Candido said they have requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to issue a subpoena to the district fire marshal to produce all the documents necessary to finish the investigation immediately.

He said the NCCC and SSI management may possibly be included in the charge for their failure to comply on the provisions of fire exits and automatic suppression system.

The task force has already finished its investigation in determining the cause of fire and the three main violations why the victims were trapped to death in the fourth floor.

“For now, we are in the process in determining the people who are liable on this,” Candido said.

The three violations that the task force noted were:
• The fire alarm of SSI was not linked with the shopping mall;
• The exit was not fire-proof;
• The automatic fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers, were not functioning.
Probers established that the fire was caused by electrical short circuit.
Thirty-seven of the victims were call center agents of the American-owned SSI, while the other one was a safety officer of the mall who braved to go to the fourth floor to lead other call agents to escape.

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Eight BFP XI personnel may face raps after NCCC fire http://mindanaotimes.net/eight-bfp-xi-personnel-may-face-raps-after-nccc-fire/ http://mindanaotimes.net/eight-bfp-xi-personnel-may-face-raps-after-nccc-fire/#comments Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:08:40 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=52612 ]]> THE INTER-AGENCY Anti-Arson Task Force revealed on Wednesday, Jan. 10, that eight active and retired personnel of the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) XI may face charges in connection to the deadly NCCC Mall fire that claimed the lives of 38 people on Dec. 23.

Photo by Bing Gonzales

Photo by Bing Gonzales

Speaking at the AFP-PNP press conference held at Royal Mandaya hotel, Sr. Supt. Jerry Candido, spokesperson of the task force, declined to name the eight individuals pending the results of the investigation.
“We can’t reveal names because we are trying to retrieve all the documents from 2003 until the day the fire occurred,” he said.
He said they will try to trace all the names of those who signed the safety certificate, referring to the fire inspectors and the fire marshal.
“No matter that our suspicion may be, without those documents it’s unfair if we reveal names because we don’t have evidence,” Candido said.
The task force also requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to issue a subpoena to the district fire marshal to produce all the documents necessary to finish the investigation quickly.
They have also requested the list of all officers and non-officers of the Office of the District Fire Marshal.
He also said they can’t deny that the NCCC and SSI management will possibly face charges because of the violations and provisions of fire exits and automatic suppression system, which is primarily to be ensured by the NCCC.
“Our timeline hopefully is to submit the final report on Thursday (Jan. 11) and Friday (Jan. 12) and make announcements,” he further said.
He said they have already finished their investigation in determining the cause of fire, why people were trapped and the three main violations (on the Fire Code) contributed why people were trapped in fourth floor.
“For now, we are in the process for determining the people that are liable on this and specific charges,” Candido said.
Candido also explained the three violations that the task force noted on why there were people killed. He outlined one of the main violations as the delayed warning to the SSI personnel because the alarm of the company is not linked with the shopping mall.
“Second violation is the exit, which should be fire-proof. “If there’s an opening, there should be enclosures and fire heating (mechanisms).”
“The fire heating means the material can withstand the heat for at least an hour so that it will still be passable,” he said, adding that automatic fire suppression systems such as sprinklers were also not functioning.
The cause of the fire has been established as electrical short circuit.
Meanwhile, the two foreign investigators paid a courtesy call to the task force on Tuesday morning. They visited the site and remained there for two hours. Yesterday, they also interviewed the witnesses.
“We haven’t asked the management on their reason in hiring foreign investigators,” he said.

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