Friday, August 5, 2011

Coins scarcity no excuse
For “candies as change”

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Aug 5, (PIA) –Candies for a change, anyone?

Coins may be admittedly getting scarcely circulated, but that is no reason for department stores to give candies instead of coins for a change, says Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) information Officer Lucille Autentico.

Consumer Act of the Philippines or Republic Act 7394 was enacted to protect the interests of the  consumer,  promote  his general,  welfare  and to  establish  standards  of conduct for business and industry. The same law protects the rights of consumers and to plugs abusive practices of business establishments in the country.

According to DTI, they have been warning department stores and other business establishments for not giving exact change, or worse, giving candies instead.

This is despite the fact that, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Central Visayas Regional Director Ma. Lux Berciles has admitted that the problem of lack of coins in circulation seems to be widespread.

“The problem of loose change getting scarce from stores and business establishments is not just a common problem in Bohol,” Berciles said.

In fact she added that the government has been campaigning to re-circulate these coins that may have been tucked somewhere in wallets, drawers or piggy banks.

One such campaign focuses on schools that could get computer units as incentive for depositing coins back to the banks, according to Berciles.

But, that does not spare the businessmen from the responsibility to give nothing else but the exact change in the same manner that consumers must demand the exact change when they buy, DTI said.

Senate Bill 1329 which seeks to put up a policy on exact change said the practice of  giving insufficient change or giving  no change at all to consumers by product  sellers  or  service  providers  is  something  that  is  often  taken  for  granted, author Manuel Villlar stated. 

This is usually because the change involves only a matter of five, ten, fifteen or twenty centavos, or small bills, which, when added up at the end of the day, amounts to thousands of pesos.

The  failure  to  give  the  change  or the  exact  change  constitutes  a trade  malpractice  that must be stopped, Villar pressed.   

In Bohol, DTI admits having warned several department stores over violations of the Consumer Act, especially on giving candies instead of coins for change.

Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Marietta Gasatan has asked the BSP to help solve the problem by elucidating on the matter in as much as businessmen and DTI have been at odd ends over this. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

Aquino calls Boholanos to help
realize the country’s dreams

TRINIDAD Bohol, August 2, (PIA) -- Magkujog na ta padong sa katumanan sa atong mga pangandoy. (Let us go together towards the realization of our dreams)

Thus urged President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to the estimated 2500 Boholanos gathered at the Trinidad Cultural Center August 2, a few days after delivering a similar call during his State of the Nation Address.

The President came to the town Tuesday after engaging local leaders and stakeholders into a mood of working for the country.

Later, he also unveiled the markers and inaugurated the new P28 million town building which was constructed with the inspiration of the President in the contractor’s mind, Trinidad Mayor Roberto Cajes shared.

Taking on the cue from the President himself, Mayor Cajes said he has ascertained that the new spacious municipal hall features glass walls and automated offices to highlight transparency, efficiency and accountability in government service.

“Let us faithfully serve our bosses - the masses,” the President said.

Full service however can be hampered by an atmosphere of stifling heat in the office, obsolete equipment and sow internet connection.

Over this, Aquino agrees that efficient equipment and stronger capacity to serve the masses is inter-connected.

The President came to Trinidad town to inaugurate a new town hall that has been inspired by his calls for a new kind of leadership.

Trinidad, a town some 94 kilometers from Tagbilaran City used to have an old town hall that has been due for repairs, until then Mayor Judith Cajes decided to forego repairs for a new building where they can work out all the necessary technological upgrades to better serve its people.

With regular funds from then Congressman Roberto Cajes and local development funds, the new Trinidad municipal Hall stands complete.

According to Mayor Cajes, he has made it sure that the new government building would have inter-office internet connections, transparent glass walls and spacious offices that reflect the work philosophy of a town inspired by the President.  

Trinidad also happens to be one of the very few Bohol towns that has set up its own website in consonance with a Department of Interior and Local Government order to be transparent in service. 

“Sa tulong ng inyong lokal na pamahalaan, siniguro nating kumpleto at walang depekto ang mga kagamitan ng inyong munisipyo; tinitiyak din nating mas mabilis, matuwid, at maayos ang takbo ng sistema sa bulwagang ito” the president said.

Highlighting a vision for the country, the president said “Dahil maganda, maayos, at maaliwalas ang munisipyo—papasok si Juan dela Cruz sa pintuan nito nang nakangiti. At dahil naman napaglingkuran siya nang mabuti, lalabas din siya sa pinto nang nakangiti.”

By saying he, he has also reiterated his new government thrust of better service through efficient systems and strong infrastructure support. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

Trade Sec Domingo bares plan
To address SME critical factors

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 5, (PIA) – TRADE secretary Gregory Domingo bares the country’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development plan for the next five years; a plan which focuses on addressing critical factors that push growth and development, during his recent visit to Bohol.

Identified critical factors hindering SME development were creating an enabling business environment, providing better access to finance, opening up more access to markets and working on productivity and Efficiency, according to Sec. Domingo.

“The SME development plan set for 2011 -2016 is product of massive regional stakeholders workshops,” he said during the SME summit held recently at the MetroCenter Hotel.

Seeing for himself the effort to hammer out a better business climate in the region, Sec. Domingo acknowledged the stakeholders active participation in the Summit for Central Visayas.

He cites the effort to spearhead the initiative in establishing public-private partnership to drive the regional SME development forward as a good indication. 

Stressing on the crucial role of the sector, the trade industrialist emphasized that SMEs dominate the business sector.

“The SME sector is critical for investment and economic growth, job creation, local taxation, productivity enhancement, and technological innovation, he said.

For this, he said countries and international organizations are implementing programs to actively promote SME development.

“The SME sector is the entry point for entrepreneurs to build new businesses that can grow into large enterprise to create wealth and employment,” said Domingo.

The SMEs however, he said, are facing challenges that prevent them from realizing their full potentials.

Sec. Domingo identifies high cost of doing business, lack of access to finance and market information, and low productivity and competitiveness.

In the Ease of Doing Business Survey of the World Bank, Domingo said the Philippines ranked number 148 in 2010.

He also pointed out that indicators show that the country performed significantly below our East Asian neighbors in the number of start-up procedures, cost to register a business, and time to enforce a contract.

“In the area of international trade, to our ASEAN neighbors, the Philippines has more documentary requirements to import and export, and has higher costs as well,” he said.
These less than ideal business conditions have affected the performance and competitiveness of Filipino enterprises, according to the Secretary. 

A study also showed that most SMEs have largely remained domestic-oriented instead of targeting the larger global market. This can be traced to a lack of information which limits SMEs access to markets abroad. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

Two public events at
PNoy’s 1st Bohol visit

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 1, (PIA) – TWO public events highlight President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s (PBSA) first official visit to Bohol August 2.

The events also highlight the Administration’s peace agenda and the vision for a country riding on the technological push for its development.

On his first official visit after elections, the President’s public events include attending a multi-sectoral dialogue right at the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting at the Bohol Tropics Resort in the city and officiating the inauguration of a state of the art town hall some 98 kilometers away from Tagbilaran.

Aside from those events, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) briefs the President on the new Panglao Bohol Airport, one of the ten projects his administration puts up for public and private partnership funding.

The president also officiates the oath-taking of the new RPOC chairman and Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto who takes the regional peace council from Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and witnesses the turn over of responsibilities.

At the Bohol Tropics, PBSA would hear acceptance speech from Gov. Chatto, before the multi sectoral forum starts.

At the forum, the president would be responding to representatives from different sectors who would be interacting with him on local and national issues which concern the Boholanos.

From the Bohol Tropics event, the President moves to Trinidad together with Gov. Chatto for the day’s next event.

President Aquino would also be the inaugurating the new Trinidad Town Hall and unveil its markers along with Mayor Roberto Cajes.

In Trinidad, the President would be addressing some 2000 Boholanos gathered for the occasion of the visit.

According to Trinidad town information officer Jojelyn Buendia, Trinidadnons await with excitement the coming of the President not just for inaugurating an edifice but because the highest official in the country comes down to their town.

Taking on the cue from the President himself, Mayor Cajes has made it certain that the new P28 Million spacious municipal hall features glass walls and automated offices to highlight transparency, efficiency and accountability in government service.

In reports, Mayor cajes was quoted as saying the town is grateful to President Noynoy for facilitating the release of the remaining 17.2 M through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary, Hon. Florencio B. Abad, that sped up the completion of the modern Trinidad Municipal Hall.


Indigent “SCs” get
P500/mo pension

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Aug 6, (PIA) -- Senior citizens aging 77 and above, without a dependable source of income and financial sustenance can be eligible for the government’s social pension program.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said this as they bare a program that aims to get to the majority of senior citizens who, by that age, would be hard-up to work for their daily sustenance.

The government’s social pension totals to P500 monthly and is given to indigent senior citizens as provided under Republic Act (RA) 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

According to a website of the DSWD, it aims to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of poor Filipinos above 77 years old.

Aileen Lariba, DSWD information officer at the recent Kapihan sa PIA Thursday said senior citizens aged 77 and above and who qualifies for the government pension can get the P500 a month on a quarterly schedule of pay-offs.

She however said, because the program intends to help the poorest of the poor, senior citizens who are currently receiving any pension, having incomes, or are receiving allotments from any family member can not receive the pension, because obviously, they would not qualify.

Also, those who may qualify for the above requisites can benefit from the pension as long as they are registered at the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in their respective localities.

During the radio forum, Lariba also explained senior citizens as defined are those who have turned 60 and onwards, but some of these people still have capabilities for work and thus could earn incomes.

At 77, it is the average age where most senior citizens could hardly work for periods of time, and assuring for their daily sustenance is the least that the government could do.

DSWD, through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) has identified a total of 145,166 senior citizens who will benefit from the government social pension nationwide.

Lariba also announced that legislators from Central Visayas were set for a learning visit in Pilar Bohol in time for a social pension pay-off and rice allocation distribution there August 5.

DSWD regional Director Evelyn Macapobre, in radio interviews said all qualified indigent senior citizens form all of Bohol towns can avail of the social pension.

Within the month, Macapobre said the DSWD would be going all over Bohol to distribute the pension, adding further that beneficiaries should be physically present during the pay-offs to receive the amount.

The benefit can not be claimed by just anybody, the DSWD is very strict on this, stressed Lariba. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

PNoy: new Trinidad hall 
To model gov’t service
TRINIDAD, Bohol, August 2, (PIA) –Those who dream big make it big.

This town’s big dreams goes back a long time ago when its people kept the name of a President’s wife as its own.

With bigger dreams now, its people again picked two of the country’s most prominent names to stake its claim as Bohol’s Aquino country and perhaps earn for itself a sturdy foothold on its over-all local development plans.

And when it did that, no less than a profusely thankful President Benigno Simeon Aquino III choppered down here to inaugurate a new state of the art municipal town hall.

It also made history as the first Bohol town, which hosted Philippine President Aquino, who first came to Bohol a year and a few months after being elected as the country’s top executive.

Trinidad, the town whose namesake is that of the wife of former President Manuel Roxas, earlier picked former President Corazon Aquino to name the town’s new People’s Park.

It also names an air-conditioned hall in its newly inaugurated government building, Sen. Benigno S. Aquino.

On this, the President said, “hayaan niyo ring pasalamatan ko ang pamunuan ng inyong lungsod sa pagkilala sa aking mga magulang—sa pag-dedicate sa Session Hall ng bulwagang ito sa aking ama, at sa Conference Hall at People’s Park naman para sa aking ina.”

Trinidad under Mayor Roberto Cajes may have a reason to do so. It was President Aquino who allowed the release of the remaining P17 million needed to complete the structure.

Cajes, who idolizes Aquino said he looks up to the president’s transparent leadership and accountability and highlights his appreciation for the release of the funds after it was suspended during the past elections.

In his message before a crowd of Trinidadnons, President Aquino said he did not hesitate to support the town hall project, which he knows would become a center of a straighter and more efficient service to the people.

“…hindi ako nag-alinlangang suportahan ang pagpapaayos ng inyong munisipyo dahil mulat akong ang makikinabang dito ay ang mga kapwa-kawani rin natin sa gobyerno, at ang mga pinagsisilbihan nilang mga Boholano. Kaakibat nito, tiwala naman akong magiging sentro ito ng mas matuwid at mas mabuting pagseserbisyo para sa lungsod ninyo,” the president said.

In his calls for better service to the people, Aquino said this would be hampered by steaming offices, obsolete equipment and snail-paced internet connection.

Trindad recently completed a new town hall building which features full internet connectivity, networked offices and spacious rooms of transparent glass.

I would agree, good facility is connected to a stronger capacity to serve our people, he stressed in Filipino.

Ganito na po tayo ngayon: Dahil maganda, maayos, at maaliwalas ang munisipyo—papasok si Juan dela Cruz sa pintuan nito nang nakangiti. At dahil naman napaglingkuran siya nang mabuti, lalabas din siya sa pinto nang nakangiti,” the president beamed.

For a town that has earned the admiration of the President, Trinidad’s big dreams has hoisted it to model the country’s vision of government service, transparent, efficient and accountable. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

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