Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Are we getting money’s worth 
For buying fuel at gas pumps?
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 8, 2013 (PIA) –Just how certain are we, that the one liter we are getting from gas stations is really one liter? 

In times when even a single drop of gas matters with the way fuel is priced, Department of Energy (DOE) authorities admitted cases of under deliveries can happen, and it could be nearly impossible for the energy bureau to effectively cover all gas stations and check their pumps if these have been calibrated right. 

Under delivery happens when a consumer gets way below the volume he should get from the amount he paid.

For a station to dispense a thousand liters a day and at the current price of fuel, a small difference in under-deliveries can sum up to huge profits for the gas stations and huge loss to industries. 

On this, DOE Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) Director Zenaida Monsada said the task of making sure the gas pumps are calibrated right to prevent shortchanged users, is now entrusted to the Local Government Units (LGUs).

“The LGUs, which issue the business permits of these pump station owners, are now delegated to inspect and calibrate the pumps on a regular basis, to make sure there is no fuel under-delivery, to the loss of fuel consumers,” Director Monsada shared to oil industry stakeholders during a briefing held at the Crown Regency Hotel in Cebu Friday. 

The DOE trains Municipal, City and Provincial Treasurers Office personnel on the technical aspects of calibrating these gas pumps, to make sure that fuel consumers get what they pay, according to DOE’s Engr Rey Malleza. 

In the absence of an LGU technical staff to do the calibration, the LGU should send in a person who oversees the calibration of the pumps, before that person puts in the seal to prevent station owners from tampering the calibrated pumps anew, she added. 

During calibration, the team, composed of pump station owners, an LGU representative and a technician, would be using a calibration bucket which the DOE uses to maintain a standard tool. 

In calibrations, gas is pumped out of the station stand on a 10 liter calibration bucket and inspectors would make sure that the gas does not go beyond 50 milliliters mark off the 10 liter mark, otherwise the station can be liable for under deliveries, according to Monsada. 

Consuming public can file a formal complaint to the LGU and the DOE if they have probable cause to suspect that a station is under delivering fuel. 

This also means that if a station is under delivering fuel to consumers, it could be because LGUs care less about their job of protecting their consumer constituents, notes an information officer who attended the briefing which also had members of the media present. 

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Gasoline refills from bottle 
could be adulterated, dyed 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 8, 2013 (PIA) –If you think buying your gasoline from a bottle assures you of the right quality fuel for your vehicle or engine, think again. 

“It’s clearly unleaded when you see the color, and it’s a liter, so this is safe, motor service drivers said. 

But the Department of Energy (DOE) leaked a recent modus operandi of unscrupulous businessmen who put in dye in regular fuel to produce the color of unleaded fuel, and sell it as is. 

The proliferation of illegal refilling stations via glass soda bottles has helped motorists who run out of gas kilometers away from the next pump station, but DOE authorities warned: you may be buying a low octane rated fuel made to appear as of high rating. 

Illegal, DOE said because these stalls do not own business permits as it is against the law to stow gasoline in unauthorized containers. Moreover, these gas stations are fire hazards, and deprive the town of revenues lost as legitimate gas stations are denied of their patrons. 

Some of these gasoline sold are dyed so they would appear to be unleaded and thus priced higher, or the fuel you bought was illegally smuggled from tanks through “paihi.” 

Still others sell fuel which, are grossly overpriced, from hazardous business stalls without getting permits from local authorities. 

Oil Industry Management Bureau chief, DOE Director Zenaida Monsada said the agency has already noted cases where regular gasoline sold in bottles are just regular gasoline, dyed to appear like these are unleaded and then priced more. 

“Putting in regular gasoline on your vehicle which feeds on unleaded gas hastens the engines wear and tear, making it break down faster,” an engine mechanic warns. 

Monzada also shared that another case of regular gasoline sold as special has caused insoluble dye to clog in the engine compartments necessitating more often engine overhauls, which eventually end up more expensive for motorists. 

At the recent DOE-PIA Multi-sectoral Advocacy Campaign for Downstream Oil Industry at the Crown Regency Hotel and Towers Friday, Monzada also hinted that the proliferation of bottle filling stations are indications of a thriving smuggled fuel industry. 

“Bote (bottled gasoline sold in the sidewalks) could be used as a venue for technical smuggling,” she told members of the media and multi-stakeholders present during the briefing. 

By technical smuggling, DOE refers to a practice called “paihi” or illegally bleeding fuel from a fuel tank, to be sold to waiting bottle station buyers. 

DOE reasoned that a bottled gas refilling would not buy from a station and sell it cheap like it was priced in the station, so these must be bought somewhere, at a cheaper price, hinting a potentially smuggled source. 

The agency however understands that there are places where there is a need for bottle gas refilling, especially in areas where pump stations are too far apart. 

Before the oil deregulation law was passed, gas stations are banned from sitting less than a kilometer away. 

Now, LGUs may allow new gas stations near each other, but considerations of ease of access and planning are considered, sources said.

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For failure to curb swertres 
Pre-charge suit awaits 
41 Bohol police chiefs 

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 8, 2013 (PIA) –Less than a week after Bohol chiefs of police signed their names in a solemn commitment to fight swertres and other illegal gambling, Camp Sergio Osmeña thinks their overall accomplishment lacks the luster true officers and men brag. 

Newspaper reports quoted Police Regional Office 7’s chief Danilo Constantino ordering the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) to place Bohol’s 41 chiefs of police under a pre-charge evaluation, over reports that they have not significantly impacted on the campaign to rid towns of illegal gambling. 

While Bohol Police Office Intelligence Division Chief Police Inspector Pelagio Rosagaran said he has yet to receive the official order for the investigation for Bohol’s chiefs, he admitted he has heard rumors about the evaluation during command conferences. 

Inspector Rosagaran, in a telephone interview said police chiefs in Bohol has recently signed a “No Take Policy” commitment which new Camp Dagohoy Chief PSSupt Dennis Agustin proposed. 

With the investigation in the pipeline, new chiefs stand the risk of getting booted for their apparent failure to curb illegal gambling in the towns, and much worse, they could be facing administrative charges when found guilty. 

Also in reports, Police Regional Director Constantino said he does not believe all of these men are directly involved, but he still wants the pre-charge investigation to pursue, possibly to weed out the crooked from the straight, separate the chaff from the grain. 

A pre-charge evaluation is a process to determine if there is probable cause in the complaints and gathered evidence reaching Camp Sergio Osmeña, alleging the town chiefs of failing to effectively curb illegal gambling. 

Constantino, who personally oversaw the turn over ceremonies of the new police provincial director last August 14, ordered Bohol chiefs of police to set their targets and continue apprehending persons involved in illegal activities. 

Even as Camp Dagohoy under PSSupt Agustin, has molded Task Force Sandiganan, their successes seem to be inconsequential to the magnitude of the problem, thus the pre charge evaluation. 

Task Force Sandiganan is a special quick action urban reaction and anti-crime team to perform lightning strikes against criminals. 

Meanwhile, Camp Sergio Osmena’s acting chief of the RIDMD, PSSupt Armando Radoc has confirmed the order for investigation, the RIDMD being the right body to initiate the proceedings before it could be elevated to higher police investigating bodies. 

Police Discipline, Law and Order Division will handle the in depth investigation, sources said. 

The division, the one responsible for the pre-charge evaluation is set to release their investigation findings in a form of a decision, after 60 days. 

Officers found to be neglecting their duties and mandate, could face suspension, while those with slightly lighter transgressions, would lose their benefits and freebies, PRO 7 said.

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Aquino declares October 15 
Eid’l Adha a regular holiday 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 8, 2013 (PIA) – President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared one more holiday in October, bringing the holidays in the month to two. 

The President recently declared October 15, a Tuesday, a regular holiday in celebration of the Islamic feast of the Eid’l Adha or the feast of the Sacrifice. 

Through Proclamation No. 658, the President then formally set the date for the movable celebration, which is dependent on the declaration of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body. 

Earlier, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos recommended the formal declaration of the Islamic feast in the country, being one of the two biggest Islamic Feasts Muslims in the country celebrate, according to reports. 

Two regular but movable holidays in celebration of Muslim feasts are Eid’l Fit’r and Eid’l Adha. 

Eid’l Fit’r, or Festival of Breaking the Fast, is a festival for breaking a month-long fasting during the Ramadan, while Eid’l Adha is a festival of the Sacrifice and commemorates Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Ishmael in obedience to God. 

On the other hand, Malacanang has also declared October 28 as a special non-working holiday to give Filipinos the fullest opportunity to exercise their right to vote and participate in the Barangay Elections. 

Through Proclamation No. 656 signed by President Benigno Aquino September 25, October 28, which falls on a Monday, adds another long week-end in the country’s list of holidays. 

This as both Senate and the House of Representatives approved a bill seeking to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls, effectively passing the ball into the executive courtyard. 

With the ball now in the hands of the President, the postponement, if enacted by the President, allows more time for both houses to deliberate on reforms or the proposed abolition of the SK. 

DOLE pay rules 

Under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) pay rules, employees not working on regular holidays, like on Eid’l Adha are still entitled to 100 percent of their regular daily rate, “provided that they [they were] present, or [were] on leave with pay on the workday immediately preceding the holiday.” 

For workers with regular holidays falling on their rest days, they will be entitled 200% of their daily rate for the first regular and mandated working hours and an add-on of 30% for every excess hour of rendered service. 

For special non-working holidays, like the October 28 Barangay Polls, according to DOLE, if the day is unworked, the 'no work, no pay' principle shall apply, unless the company puts up a favorable policy like collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment on a special day even if the day is unworked. 

If the employee works, he gets an additional 30 percent of the daily rate of 100 percent on the first eight hours of work and some 30% more of the hourly rate of his rendered service. 

When the special nn-working holiday falls in the worker’s rest day and he still works, he shall be paid an additional 50 percent of the daily rate of 100 percent on the first eight hours of work. 

Over eight hours, he shall be paid an additional 30 percent of the hourly rate.” 

Under the Labor department's pay rules, employees not working on regular holidays are still entitled to 100 percent of their regular daily rate, “provided that they [they were] present, or [were] on leave with pay on the workday immediately preceding the holiday.”

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PIA offers “movie analysis” 
Workshop for SIA-Trinidad 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 8 (PIA)—The kind of movie or entertainment people view, shapes their social consciousness, hints social critic and literary artist Nicanor Tiongson. 

Using this as a launching pad, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Bohol crafts a workshop module on Movie analysis for students, to equip them of the skills to be selective or if not, to be extremely critical of the kind of entertainment or mass media pastime they engage themselves in. 

First ran at the Saint Isidore Academy (SIA) in Trinidad Bohol, the module entitled “Values in Philippine Movie and Film” earned ravings from both students and faculty members who joined the workshop. 

Held in time for PIA Information Campaign Caravan September 24 in the town, the movie analysis and workshop preceded a film screening activity held at the SIA Computer Room. 

“What are the kinds of movie and entertainment that we watch today, are they the ones that should get us into thinking about the solutions to the widespread problems that we are facing?,” the PIA asked the students and faculty members during the late afternoon activity. 

Aimed at opening the consciousness of students into critically thinking about the subliminal lessons inserted in most films, the workshop also urges viewers not to be passively accepting the movie or entertainment for only its face or entertainment value. 

Faculty member and seminarian Zeno Vincent Gucor, teacher of values education said the movies today follow the “white is beautiful” and “blessed are those persecuted” without even asking if getting unreasonably meek is still a real virtue. 

“I never realized that indeed movies, and even commercials prime our minds into thinking the only beautiful persons are those with white complexion, have long noses and perfectly carved faces, making Filipinos splurge their earning to but whitening creams, fix their faces and go on endless trips to the saloon,” commented a student. 

The subliminal messages as well as the false values imbedded in the movies and entertainment have so corrupted the value system of the Filipinos, forgetting that the biggest struggle is to strive harder for a reward, PIA explained at the beginning of the session. 

“We seem to forget that the value of a person is not in his being white, but that beauty which is inside his heart, a personality that transcends the outward look,” Gucor added. 

“It is as if, brown is ugly because white is beautiful,” adds Jejoma Ray Dumaran, another faculty member and values teacher. 

The workshop was a PIA offer, coursed through Mayor Judith Cajes and Information Officer Jojeline Buendia. 

PIA used Nicanor Tiongson’s Four Values in Drama and Film, a classic essay by the famed national writer and social critic, as basis for analyzing the values in the movie or presented entertainment.

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