Archive for October 2, 2017

BFAR set to file administrative case vs Vietnamese fishermen


By Yolanda Sotelo

SAN FERNANDO CITY –  The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is set to file administrative charges against the Vietnamese fishermen caught by the Philippine Navy off Bolinao.

BFAR Ilocos Regional Director Nestor Domenden said the foreign fishermen were caught in the act of poaching in the Philippines’territorial water, or inside the 200 kilometer economic zone.

He said they violated Section 91 of  Republic Act 10654 or the act to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which amended the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

Section 91 provides that it is unlawful for any foreign person, corporation or entity to fish or operate any fishing vessel in Philippine waters. It said the entry of foreign fishing vessel in Philippine waters constitutes a prima facie presumption that the vessel in engaged in fishing in Philippine waters.

The violation is punishable by and administrative fine of US $600,000 to US$1 million, or its equivalent in Philippine currency.

Upon conviction by a court of law, the offender shall be punished with a fine of One million two hundred thousand US dollars (US$1,200,000.00), or its equivalent in Philippine currency, and confiscation of catch, fishing equipment and fishing vessel.

Domenden said the commercial fishing vessel used by the Vietnamese and the equipment are already in the custody of BFAR.

He said on the day before the Vietnamese fishermen were caught poaching in Philippine waters off Bolinao , Pangasinan town, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources received reports that Vietnamese fishing vessels were sighted off Ilocos Norte.

Just two days before, Vietnamese vessels by the Philippine Navy off Zambales province.

Domenden said he was still verifying the reports in Ilocos Norte, but said “if that is the case, they (Vietnamese) are already making out territorial waters their fishing ground.”

This was not the first time that Vietnamese fishermen were caught poaching in Philippine’s exclusive economic zone which is 200 kilometers from the shore towards the sea.

On August 7, 2016, the Philippine Navy apprehended three Vietnamese fishing vessels poaching off Vigan City. The vessels, carrying around 5,000 kilos of deep sea fish (mostly yellow fin tuna) were manned by 16 workers.

The BFAR filed administrative charges against them, but they were later given a send-off party led by President Duterte, on November 2 that year, at the Sual municipal wharf.

The Vietnamese’s  release was Duterte’s promise to Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang during his (Duterte’s)  visit to that country on the last week of September 2016, “as a sign of the country’s goodwill.”

Their tanks were filled with gasoline enough to reach Vietnam shores, and were given food provisions and water that would last their entire sea travel.

 Before the release, Philippine courts cleared the Vietnamese fishermen of violating Philippine laws, saying  there was no intent on their part to violate the laws äs they reached Philippine waters only because  strong winds wrought by storm Ferdie and habagat brought them to Philippine water.

The Bureau of Immigration likewise dismissed the deportation charges against the Vietnamese nationals on ground that there “is substantial reason to believe that they are in good faith and had no deliberate intention to violate Philippine laws, as well as immigration rules and regulations.

October 2, 2017 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

187 beneficiaries completed free basic computer course


 By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

 URDANETA CITY- The Fil-Chi Love & Care Foundation, Inc. (FCLCFI) in coordination with the Chinese Filipino Business Club (CFBC) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Pangasinan), held the 111th Commencement Rites on free basic computer course at the CB Mall Events, this city last September 25.

 A total of 187 computer learners completed the course under the APEC Mobile Digital Opportunity Center, which were divided into two batches.

 The first batch (Batch 341) with 83 learners started their training last August 21 and ended on September 9 while the second batch (Batch 342) with 104 learners started its class last September 11 and ended on September 30.

 The basic computer courses were sponsored by CB Mall and the Metro Urdaneta Business Club (MUBC). (more…)

October 2, 2017 at 7:59 pm Leave a comment

SINAG lauds economic sabotage raps vs Faeldon  


 
A coalition of stakeholders in agriculture has lauded the filing of economic sabotage charges against former Bureau of Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon for alleged involvement in rice smuggling, the first complaint to be lodged since last year’s passage of a new law declaring agricultural smuggling as a form of economic sabotage.
sinag vs faeldon

ECONOMIC SABOTAGE: (Clockwise from left: Senator Panfilo Lacson, former Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldo, and  Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura Chairman Rosendo So. SINAG lauds the filling by Lacson of Economic Sabotage against Faeldon et al.

 
            Rosendo So, chairman of the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, said Senator Panfilo Lacson’s complaint against Faeldon and several others will be a test case for Republic Act No. 10845, otherwise known as “An Act Declaring Large-Scale Agricultural Smuggling as Economic Sabotage” or “Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.”
 
            “We welcome this development because since RA 10845 was passed into law more than a year ago, there have been several cases of illegal shipment of rice, onion, garlic and sugar, but the Bureau of Customs, which is supposed to take the lead in running after smugglers, has not filed a single economic sabotage case,” So lamented.
 
So, who is also chairman of the Abono Party-list that steered the passage of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016” in the House of Representatives, described the failure of the bureau to use the new law against agricultural smugglers as a “missed opportunity.”
 
“We think Customs was dilly-dallying because it was not really serious in pursuing these cases,” he said, citing the failure of the BOC to pursue cases against unscrupulous importers responsible for the smuggling of 87 containers of onions early this year.
 
The Sinag official noted that the 87 containers is worth at least P130 million; much more than the P1 million minimum amount for these smugglers to be charged with economic sabotage, also a non-bailable offense.
 
“This only proves that some unscrupulous officials and personnel not just in Customs, but also in the Department of Agriculture and the National Food Authority are in cahoots with big-time smugglers of agricultural products,” So bewailed.
 
Lacson on Thursday filed a complaint for graft and economic sabotage against Faeldon and nine others, including NFA administrator Jason Aquino, before the Ombudsman for allegedly “conspiring to smuggle” 40,000 bags of rice, in two tranches, to Cebu Lite Trading, Inc. (CLTI) without payment of customs taxes and duties and without the required import permit.
 
Lacson said two shipments of rice entered the country in March through the Port of Cagayan de Oro without necessary permits – one containing 21,800 bags of Vietnamese long grain white rice, valued at $370,600 and another with 18,200 bags of the same rice, valued at $309,400.
 
On April 26, the shipments were declared “abandoned and forfeited” in favor of the government.
 
Aquino, however, disregarded this and issued a certification and confirmation for the shipments on May 17, giving “undue favor to CLTI,” Lacson said.
 
Faeldon heeded Aquino’s advice and ordered the release of the two rice shipments to CLTI.
 
“In other words, in this case, the government was deprived of the use and benefit of the abandoned shipments valued at $680,000.00, or P34,043,520.00, computed based on the prevailing exchange rate of P50.064 to $1,” Lacson said in his complaint.
 
The senator said life imprisonment should be imposed on Faeldon and the others for “large-scale” smuggling.
 
Under RA 10845, the amount of smuggled agricultural products subject to economic sabotage is equal or more than P10 million for rice, and equal or more than P1 million for onion and other agricultural products such as sugar, corn, pork, poultry, garlic, carrots, fish, and cruciferous vegetables.
 
Violators and cohorts will face a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of twice the fair value of the smuggled agricultural product and the aggregate amount of the taxes, duties, and other charges avoided.
 
Data from Sinag showed about P200 billion worth of agricultural commodities were smuggled into the country in the last five years.
 
Sinag said this translates to around P60 billion to P80 billion in lost revenues for the government, since agricultural commodities are supposed to be protected and levied a tariff of 30 percent to 40 percent.
 
The report showed smuggled rice during the period reached P94 billion in terms of market value, making the staple the biggest agricultural commodity being smuggled into the Philippines, followed by pork at P40 billion and sugar at about P25 billion. 
 

(more…)

October 2, 2017 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

DOLE Rosales Field Office to inspect business establishments in 5th, 6th districts


 By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

 ROSALES- The field office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here continues to conduct inspection of business establishments in the 5th and 6th Districts of Pangasinan to look into their compliance too labor laws and standards, occupational and health safety of their workers and employees.

 Fresnaida A. Gundan, Head of DOLE Rosales, said the regular inspection and monitoring of business establishments are done all-year round- first to evaluate and assess the compliance of business establishments on labor laws, and second if they are found to be violating the laws, they will be required to comply, otherwise erring business owners will suffer legal sanctions.

 “ During inspection by our labor inspectors, they have evaluation sheets detailing areas to be inspected such as the compliance of minimum wage law, work benefits and incentives of workers. The working areas are also inspected if they are conducive to the workers along with safety standards,” Gundan said.

 She said the financial statements of business establishments have to be inspected also to reconcile payrolls and other benefits due to the workers and employees.

 “ We do not get copies of the financial statements. The labor inspectors should only look into the compliance of minimum wage orders,” Gundan explained.

 Gundan also said that stringent measures are being undertaken also by DOLE when it comes to contractualization as contained in the Department Order No. 174-17 or the “Rules Implementing Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code, as Amended.” (more…)

October 2, 2017 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

EDITORIAL : Pagpapahalaga ng turismo sa Pangasinan


Ang buwan ng Setyembre ay itinakda ng pamahalaan na “Buwan ng Turismo” sa buong Pilipinas. Ito ay upang bigyan halaga ang mga naggagandahang lugar sa ating bansa- natural man o gawang kamay ng mga tao (man-made) na atraksyon sa mga turista sa bansa, mga lokal o galing sa mga ibat-ibang bansa.

 Mayaman sa mga atraksyong pangturista ang Pilipinas. Subalit, iilan lang ang mga lugar ang sadyang mga dinadayo ng mga turista gaya ng Boracay Beach sa Aklan, Cebu, Siargao dahil sa “surfing”, Vigan (Ilocos Sur) bilang “cultural heritage ng mga Kastila, Baguio City, Ifugao dahil sa “rice terraces”, atbp.

 Sa lalawigan ng Pangasinan, ang mga pinakamatunog na mga destinasyon ng mga turista ay ang Hundred Islands sa Alaminos City, “religious tourist destination” sa Basilica Minor ng Our Lady of Manaoag, mga “beaches’ at “resorts” sa Bolinao, San Fabian at Dagupan City. Sa mga nagdaang mga taon, ito ang mga lugar na namamayagpag sa turismo ng Pangasinan bagamat mayroon ding mga nahihikayat na pumunta sa mga lugar dahil sa mga pista ng tinatawag na “One Town, One Product.”

 Sa lalawigan ng Pangasinan, marami pang mga atraksyong pangturismo ang mga kailangang bigyan ng pansin. Mula sa silangan hanggang kanluran, maraming mga bayan ang naghahangad na mabigyan ng pansin ang kagandahan ng kanilang mga lugar. Sa bandang silangan, nandiyan ang “ Apo Hesus”  sa Natividad kasali na diyan yong mga likas na mga “waterfalls at zipline, sa Tayug makikita naman ang “sunflower garden”, sa Balungao ang “hot spring” at “zipline” nito, sa Rosales and Acop Dam at sa Villasis ang “butterfly garden”. Maraming mga lugar sa silangang Pangasinan ang mga dapat pang ibenta sa turismo. (more…)

October 2, 2017 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: Quo vadis PNP?


virIf there’s one government institution that is publicly criticized today by the Filipinos is the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the leadership of Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa. Because of  the OPLAN Double Barrel- Operation Tokhang and Operation HVT (High Value Targets),  the PNP as of now has a hard time to recover from the flak it is receiving. Owe it also to those killed in legitimate police operations that reached more than 3,000,  and more than 7,000 allegedly under investigation.

The war on illegal drugs, as President Duterte said, will not wane or stop. It will continue, for how long, no one knows. The longer it will continue, the longer also that the PNP will be subjected to too much pressure from the people especially those who are advocating “human rights” and those who frown upon “extra-judicial killings” in the country. People nowadays are becoming critical because of the social media. The access to information is becoming fast because of the internet and smartphones.

Many times, the PNP leadership has not taken responsibility on any “extra judicial killings” against perceived illegal drugs peddlers and users. It has always been on the safe side telling that many of those killed in the war against illegal drugs have fought the police authorities. Well maybe, those who were killed have no recourse except to survive, and fighting the police authorities was the only means to survive. Unluckily, they haven’t. They lost their precious lives, without any opportunity to be reformed and rehabilitated, if indeed they’re drug dependents, pushers or drug lords.

Looking into the data of those crimes committed against the killed alleged “drug users and pushers”, it seemed that there’s something wrong in the implementation of Oplan Tokhang. Many of those killings were perpetrated by policemen with questionable records as what had happened in Caloocan City and Pasay City. At present, the more than 1,000 police personnel in Caloocan City have been relieved and will undergo re-training on police operations.

Apparently, the discipline among police personnel is lacking. Was this because President Duterte said that he will back them up  if ever they will be indicted of any crime as “work related”?

I have many friends in the police force. I pitied them because they’re in a situation that if possible they don’t want to be engaged into those unscrupulous activities. They are in a situation that they have to follow their superiors, whatever the cost maybe. They could not complain because of the “internal policy of superiority”. They are hoodwinked, tongue-tied and always be a part of the “sounds of silence.” They could not complain of what being is told or ordered to them, otherwise they will be branded as “squealers”.

If only to cleanse the rank and file of the police force, Director General Bato should look into this. He should shake up the organization of the PNP, from the national to the provincial levels, and continue the cleansing of rouge policemen. He should order his men that they are supposed to “serve and protect” the Filipino people and not to be subservient to politicians whom we all know have all the means to silence the police officers because of their money. Aside from that, there are also police superiors who allegedly treat the younger police officers at their mercy- no “Combat Duty Pay” and “Combat Incentive Pay”. So sickening! (more…)

October 2, 2017 at 7:52 pm Leave a comment

THIS IS WHERE YOUR TAXES ARE GOING


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THIS IS WHERE YOUR TAXES ARE GOING. Photos show ongoing constructions of drainage and elevation of roads at Greenfields Subdivision (upper left) and Calarin Road in Barangay Malued (lower left) and the construction of extension of the consignacion section of the  Magsaysay Fish Market (right photo). (CIO photo by Jojo Tamayo)

October 2, 2017 at 7:49 pm Leave a comment

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