Wednesday, December 21, 2011

RDC Visayas pushes for family
visitation rights for RDs, ARDs
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol Dec. 20 (PIA) -- Christmases and holidays in the Philippines are special opportunities for family gatherings and reunions.

But, realities tell of several government officials who may not necessarily have that quality time, in the service of men and country.

For them who are on distant assignments from their residences, Christmas and such supposed to be get together holidays can be that of a scourge.

Feeling for these workers and seeing the need to find a happy and healthy compromise, the Central Visayas Regional Development council agrees with other peace councils in the country when they push for a presidential approval of granting visitation privileges to third level government officials.

By third level, the beneficiaries are above division chiefs that exercise managerial positions like under secretaries, assistant secretaries, bureau director and assistant director, regional director, assistant regional director, department service chief and other positions defined by the Career Service Board. 

In its effort to be of help and minimize the adverse effects of absentee parenthood by third level government officials, the RDC here believes these officials should be granted visitation privileges of at least 2 working days per month, excluding travel time.

If acted upon positively, the visitation privileges come with transportation expenses: a round trip transportation expense paid by the office, but without the usual per diems.

In its draft administrative order presented during its past meeting, the Visayas RDC cites section 1 article 15 of the Philippine Constitution which states that the state recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation.

The council also added that the state shall strengthen the family’s solidarity and actively promote its total development. 

The council also argues that the state must, by public policy, cherish and protect the family as a basic social institution, citing Article 149 of Executive Order 209 of the Family Code.

Because of this, family relations then are governed by law and no custom, practice or agreement which destroys the family shall be recognized or given effect, the council members said

In support of the goal of National Decade Plan for the Filipino Family, to foster a family-friendly environment, promote strong family ties among its officials and employees to promote efficiency and improve morale, the council has officially asked President Benigno S. Aquino to authorize the granting of family visit privileges to third level officials.

To be covered then, are third level officials assigned to an official station outside the region where his family is permanently residing. (30)

Chatto: get anti-drug 
Drive down to puroks 
By: Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Dec 20, (PIA) – Seemingly losing grips on the illegal drugs tug of war, Governor Edgar, who has seen the battle plans topple one after another, now wants the war to be fought in the puroks.

Himself starting the innovation of mobilizing the puroks as the barangay’s smaller political units during his stint as a mayor, Chatto has seen the potent power in the barangay zones.

At the closing ceremonies of the recent Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) strategic planning workshop at the CrabHouse in Mansasa District this city December 13-14, Chatto issued the challenge to council members who had two days of digesting the hard facts in the country’s seemingly losing anti-drug campaign.

During the workshop, PADAC members’ expectations include the participation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the lead government agency in the campaign against illegal drugs and the provision of hard data upon which the council can anchor its plans.

To everybody’s frustration, the PDEA first begged off, and then came late during the workshop, and worse, its representative was not ready with the needed data.

At the workshops where law enforcement agents, legislators, members and representatives of the academe, the youth, civil society, church and government sector, everybody agreed that the anti-drug campaign can never be left to the narcotics agents and the law enforcement agents alone.

With lack of manpower and logistics saddling the government’s anti-drug campaign, law enforcers also add up to the sorry pile when they complained about very low conviction rates for drug cases.

Meanwhile, as these issues rage on, PDEA reports that drugs continue to enter Bohol through sea and airports, the mail and parcel services, the unguarded coastline and even through the RORO systems.

Even with the continuing information education and communication campaigns by well meaning groups, which hardly dent upon the problem, drugs now have reportedly breached into schools, unconfirmed intelligence sources said.

At this, council members divided into workshop groups and tackled issues by presenting programs projects and activities that tend to respond to the issues raised.

With the plans to be implemented in the coming year, the last thing members ask was: could they bank on logistical support from its allies.

In response to the poser, Gov. Chatto assured Capitol and its official’s support while pressing on the need to bring the fight down to the puroks where the governor believes the battle with finally find its traction.

At the puroks, everybody knows everyone and it would be easy to pinpoint the drug users and pushers who supply them with the commodities.

At the puroks, Chatto said it would facilitate parental accountability for their errant children and thus engage the parent’s support in the campaign. (30) 

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