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Angeles City News September 2016

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Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Angeles City Catholic Church
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Sacrifice of the faithfuls by crucifying themselves.
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.

Contents

Clark locators set to use biodegradable waste bags

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- Locators inside the Freeport are set to use biodegradable garbage bags in support of the environmental protection program of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) that bans the use of plastic bags.

Clark Investors and Locator Association (CILA) president Josh Go said the use of environment-friendly materials and containers forms part of CILA’s corporate social responsibility program.

“We will be introducing the CILA green biodegradable garbage bags effective immediately after disposing all the remaining inventory of black and clear garbage bags,” Go stated in his letter to CILA members last week.

In the same letter, Go urged the investors to "support and be engaged in fighting climate change to provide a greener and healthier environment for the next generations.”

For his part, CDC Officer-in-Charge Noel Manangkil lauded and thanked locators for supporting the environment program of the state-run firm.

He said that the CILA members play an important role in implementing programs and projects aimed at preserving the environment.

Early this year, CDC issued a memorandum to all employees, locators and residents of the Freeport that it is set to ban plastics and polystyrene here.

Rogelio Magat, Environment Permits Department Manager of CDC, said the guidelines prohibiting, regulating and prescribing certain usage of plastics and Styrofoam (polystyrene) was implemented last April 22.

“CDC promotes biodegradable plastics and environment-friendly alternatives to plastics and polystyrene such as corn-based, fiber, pulp, biodegradable polystyrene, reusable food containers, and other similar materials,” Magat said.

Based on the CDC circular, plastic bags commonly known as "sando bags" may only be used as primary packaging material only for wet goods.

Stakeholders are enjoined to use eco bags or reusable bags and the residents and visitors shall bring bags and containers when going to the shopping centers and market places.

Biodegradable plastics and polystyrene may only be allowed with a certification from the manufacturer of the said materials and that sample product must be submitted to CDC-EPD for approval prior to its use.

CDC has recommended the use of alternative packing materials such as used papers, old newspapers and banana leaves, Magat said in his previous circular.

Councilors request inclusion of 2nd tranche of pay hikes in 2017 budget

(AC-CMG)

ANGELES CITY - Councilors Edgardo Pamintuan Jr., Jericho Aguas and Alex Indiongco have asked City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and the Local Finance Committee to include the second tranche of the mandated salary increases and benefits of city plantilla personnel in the 2017 annual budget of the city government.

"Subject to availability of funds and viable fund sources, we are respectfully requesting the City Mayor and the Local Finance Committee to include the second tranche of the salary increases and benefits for plantilla city employees in the 2017 annual budget which will pass through the Sangguniang Panglungsod," the three councilors said in a resolution.

The additional compensations are authorized under Section 10 of Executive Order No. 201, Series of 2016 dated February 19, 2016.

Section 10 of the said E.O. stated that, "The modified Salary Schedule and additional benefits... may likewise be granted to LGU personnel, subject to the following: a) Authorization from their respective sanggunian; and, b) Compliance with the Personnel Services (PS) limitation."

"Of course, the pay hikes to be real need the certification of the City Treasurer and the approval of the City Mayor, and must conform with the provisions of the executive measure. Mahirap yung walang basehan ang ating panukala," Indiongco said.

Under the law, particularly the Local Government Code, any ordinance requiring appropriation needs the certification of the city treasurer and approved by the local chief executive.

Mall workers undergo bomb threat seminar

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the 710th Special Operations Wing (SPOW) of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Tuesday conducted a bomb threat management seminar at the SM City Clark here.

The project is aimed to educate mall employees on how to handle a bomb threat including the immediate reporting of incidents and evacuation of shoppers.

During the seminar, the mall tenants were also taught about different kinds of explosives and how terrorists can plant a bomb in commercial establishments, transportation terminals, and other public places.

Ryan Pamintuan, SM City Clark assistant mall manager, said the mall management decided to conduct the bomb threat workshop following terrorist attacks and bombings in several countries including the Philippines.

“These times when there are several terrorist attacks and bombings around the world and closed to home is in Davao, I think it is very good to always be prepared. They say that 90 percent of bomb threats are hoax but you can never be sure and there is always a chance so the best thing is that you know what to do if there is a situation like this,” Pamintuan said.

About 30 percent of the mall tenants were able to attend the seminar, according to Pamintuan. “But we want to increase that to really spread the awareness. Internally also, we continuously reiterate and schedule spot drills with our people so that we know that they are always prepared.”

SPO4 Bernard Damasco of the Angeles City police EOD talked about different types of explosives while Sgt Robert Lacanlale of the 710th SPOW discussed several ways on how to handle a bomb threat.

Angeleño elders get free anti-pneumonia vaccination

(PNA), FPV/ZST/MDDR

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga (PNA) --As part of the Grandparents Day celebration, the city government here and the Department of Health - Region III (DOH-R3) on Monday administered a pneumococcal disease immunization program to over 250 senior citizens here.

The program aims to prevent pneumonia among the elderly by intensifying DOH’s nationwide efforts in implementing the Expanded Immunization Program for Senior Citizens.

This is in cooperation with US-based pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD).

The program encourages senior citizens, aged 60 and 65 years old to avail of free pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination which will be administered in their community health centers.

“Vaccines have long been available in the Philippines, specifically in the private sector. DOH is ensuring that there are enough resources and access to life-saving medicines and services, particularly to the Filipinos who need them most,” Dr. Leonita Gorgolon, DOH Cluster Head for Central Luzon and Visayas, said.

The vaccination consists of two doses: senior citizens aged 60 years old will be given the first dose and will receive the second dose after a 5-year interval.

On the other hand, senior citizens aged 65 years old will receive one dose.

For his part, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan lauded the efforts of the DOH and vowed to continue the implementation of the city’s health programs designed for the elderly community.

“I dearly value our elders for they are an important component of the society. In fact, through the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA), we are continuously implementing the “Lakas Sigla Para kay Lolo at Lola”, a health and fitness program designed for the Angeleño elderlies,” Pamintuan said.

“We also assure that free medicines are distributed, and health consultations are being held regularly through our community health centers and through the conduct of Barangay Day,” the mayor added.

Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness throughout the world. It is caused by a common type of bacteria, the Streptococcus Pneumonia, which can attack different parts of the body. Illnesses caused by pneumococcus include pneumonia, meningitis, middle ear and sinus infections and a condition called sepsis or infection of the bloodstream.

DOH urges senior citizens to avail of free anti-pneumonia vaccination in designated health centers in the city.

Angeles City to host traffic summit

(PNA), LAP/ZST/MDDR

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga, Sept. 26 (PNA) -- The city government will host a traffic summit this coming Wednesday to address the growing problem of traffic congestion here.

The day-long conference to be held at Royce Hotel in Clark will tackle the issues on public transportation, traffic management, traffic legislation, the impact of the full-utilization of Clark International Airport (CIA) and the future plans and projects of the local government that are geared towards the improvement of traffic.

Expected to attend the conference are officials from the neighboring municipalities of Porac and Magalang and the neighboring cities of San Fernando and Mabalacat.

Officials from regional government offices, including Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) were also invited.

Other invited participants include the public transport sector, represented by PASADA for the public utility jeepneys and FEDTODA, representing the tricycle drivers and operators, not only from Angeles City and Pampanga, but from other provinces in the region, as well.

Commuters, private vehicle drivers, students, office workers and businessmen are very vocal in their frustrations and anger during rush traffic hour, especially along Angeles-Magalang Road in Cutud, Sapa Libutad, Pandan Road. Friendship Road, where Korea town is located, as well as the intersection of Angeles-Porac and Friendship Highway in Barangay Cutcut, are among the traffic hotspots in the city.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan ordered the Angeles City Traffic Management Board (ACTMB) to conduct this summit in order to prepare the city and the people for the massive development, especially now that the focus of the national government is to fully utilize CIA as a regional gateway of the country.

"We cannot allow Angeles to be the next EDSA and we cannot allow our city to suffocate because our main arterial roads are blocked. While we at the government level are working and doing our best to mitigate the problem, we need the support and cooperation of the people, motorists, pedestrians, business people, and all major stakeholders.” Pamintuan stated.

"We have to impose discipline on the road and there will be no let-up in our campaign to clean our roads from illegally parked vehicles, encroachment, obstructions, sidewalk vendors and garbage,” he said.

The mayor even mentioned that "no matter how many roads will be constructed, there will always be traffic because roads attract vehicles."

Government team 'ready for peace'

By Reynaldo G. Navales (SunStar Pampanga)

ANGELES CITY -- The entire Philippine government team is all set for the next round of negotiation in Oslo, Norway, on October 6 to 10, an official said Sunday.

“All the Reciprocal Working Groups are functioning well and the Reciprocal Working Committees have conducted meetings too. I think it's all systems go for the next round. We're ready for peace,” said Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, League of Cities of Philippines national president and adviser of the Philippine Government Peace Panel for the talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP was stalled during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III and was revived when President Rodrigo Duterte gave the go signal for the release on bail of several top-ranking leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) who are said to be advisers of the NDFP for the negotiations.

Among them are Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, who are said to be the CPP chairman and secretary general, respectively.

The Tiamzon couple and other CPP leaders were released several days before the first round of talks last August 22 to 28, also held in Oslo, Norway. They traveled to the Norwegian capital and participated in the talks and went back to country a few days after. They are expected to join the next round of peace negotiation.

The CPP and NDFP, together with its armed wing, the New People's Army, have been waging a nearly five-decade war in the Philippine countryside. They are pushing for genuine agrarian reform, national industrialization, independent foreign policy and other programs.

"President Duterte has acknowledged that basic reforms must be implemented. In fact, the choice of progressive individuals in key social reform departments of government was a clear indication that the President is serious in addressing the roots causes of this protracted war,” Pamintuan said.

Village chief denounces extrajudicial killings

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- A village chief in this city has condemned extrajudicial killings allegedly perpetrated by drug lords, Ninja cops, and other vigilante groups.

Chairman Tony Mamac of Barangay Balibago said that he supports legitimate Philippine National Police (PNP) operations against drug pushers and users.

Mamac said that the 33 barangay chairmen of Angeles City, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, and Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) head Alex Cauguiran supported the nation-wide anti-drug campaign held at the Quezon City Circle on Friday.

Barangay and city officials of this city expressed support to President Duterte’s anti-drugs drive.

Mamac said that he, with help of other barangay officials in Balibago, has intensified the village’s anti-drug drive in support of President Duterte’s nationwide campaign.

The village chief said the barangay council has allotted P500,000 to augment funds for surrenderees who availed of the government’s recovery program for drug pushers and users.

The barangay also hired some of the suspected drug users and their spouses as street sweepers and garbage collectors.

Malaysian rating firm visits Clark

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- Officials of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) recently welcomed sovereign analysts from RAM Ratings Service Berhad to study the investment climate in the Philippines.

The Malaysian analysts' visit to Clark was arranged by the Investor Relations Office of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (IRO-BSP).

The tour was aimed at helping RAM to better understand the investment climate in the Philippines through a peek at business activities in Clark.

Established in 1990, RAM is a leading credit rating firm in Southeast Asia, providing crucial and independent credit opinions sought after by portfolio investors, fund managers, and other financial industry players in and out of the region for their investment decisions.

The visit to Clark highlighted the vibrant economic activities outside Metro Manila, which is consistent with the aim of the Duterte administration to make the country's economic growth geographically broad.

The RAM analysts who visited Clark included Esther Lai, head of Sovereign Ratings; and Lynette Lee, Analyst of Sovereign Ratings.

They were accompanied by Editha Martin, executive director of the IRO-BSP; and Rica Amador, Bank Officer V of the IRO-BSP.

The visitors were met by CDC Officer-in-Charge Noel F. Manankil and representatives from several Clark locators belonging to the manufacturing and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries.

Manankil and the locators' representatives shared with the RAM analysts their positive outlook on the economic climate in Clark and in the whole Philippines.

The locators' representatives also shared their favorable experiences in doing business in Clark and in the country.

Their inputs are seen to help in RAM's assessment of the Philippines' credit profile.

RAM currently assigns the Philippines a global credit rating of gBBB3/stable and a regional rating of seaA2/positive. Both ratings are within the investment grade scale.

These ratings may or may not change, depending on the results of the review by RAM of the Philippines' latest credit profile.

"RAM analysts noted that they were very impressed with the country's exceptional economic performance, reflecting its resilient consumption and buoyant investment growth, improvements in governance standards, sustained external strengths, and reduced debt burden," the IRO-BSP said in a letter to CDC.

The central bank also explained the rationale behind the existing investment-grade credit ratings assigned by RAM to the Philippines.

The IRO-BSP arranged the visit of RAM analysts to Clark as part of the former's proactive investor relations strategy.

The IRO-BSP, established in 2001, is mandated to undertake a wide range of activities that promote awareness among domestic and international audiences of the Philippine economy, particularly the government's economic reform programs, macroeconomic developments, and investment opportunities.

The IRO-BSP has expressed its appreciation CDC for supporting the country's investor relations activities.

Bello to Clark Freeport Zone companies: Do not be afraid, we are here to help you

(DOLE)

MANILA -- “Do not be afraid, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is not here to close your companies; rather, it is here to help you.”

This was Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s message to some 300 representatives from different Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) locators who recently attended the Employer’s Forum at the Royce Hotel and Casino.

Bello told the CFZ locators that the DOLE has started a regional information dissemination drive to educate employers and employees on contractualization, ‘endo’, and labor-only contracting (LOC).

“Many are confused between the so-called ‘endo’ and contractualization. Today’s employer’s forum is the best opportunity for you to learn and know more about these prevailing issued faced by industries and how they can be addressed,” Bello explained.

“The Clark Freeport Zone is one of the best locations for your business and if we continue to look out for the best interest of our people, then we are assured that the companies continue to make economic progress, and so will its workers,” Bello said.

Bello also assured Clark Freeport Zone companies will not have any problem as long as they will support and cooperate with the government’s call to stop contractualization and ‘endo’.

“We assure you all that we don’t intend to persecute or harass anybody in the business. What we want to stress here is the most important element of employment, which is security of tenure. If you can assure us that your employees are secured, then you have nothing to worry about,” Bello said.

The Secretary said no other than President Rodrigo Duterte consistenly reminds him to urge all to stop any form of contractualization and other similar work arrangements where security of tenure of workers are at the mercy of their employers. I’m sure that it has been explained to you what ‘endo’ and contractualization means, so you don’t have to worry, as long as your employees have security of tenure, we are allies.”

Bureau of Labor Relations Director Atty. Benjo Santos Benavidez, who served as the forum’s resource person, said that contracting or subcontracting in itself is not illegal since this is allowed under the provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines.

“Contracting is legal if the contractor or subcontractor is registered under Department Order No. 18-A or the rules and regulations governing contracting and subcontracting, carries a distinct and independent business, and has a substantial capital or investment,” Benavidez explained.

“Labor-only contracting is an arrangement where the contractor or subcontractor merely recruits, supplies, or places workers to perform job, work, or service for a principal; does not have substantial capital or investment; and does not exercise the right of control over the performance of the work of the employee,” Benavidez said.

He added that ‘endo’ or end of contract, which is a system where employers hire and fire probationary employees to avoid making them regular employees, deprives workers from benefits that come with being regular employees, such as paid leaves, bonuses, overtime, and member contributions to social and health benefits.

This month, the DOLE will continue its series of information dissemination on contractualization, ‘endo’, and LOC with the different Industrial Tripartite Councils residing in the region.

AC councilors express support to NUJP national

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY --- Members of the City Council of Angeles expressed support to the National Union of Journalist of the Philippines (NUJP) stand against threats to media men and declaration that media welcomes criticism.

"We fully support the declaration of the NUJP national leadership. By stating openly that media is open to criticism but at the same time standing up against any form violence against the press, whether physical or verbal threats, the NUJP showed that it is a democratic organization," said Councilor Jericho Aguas.

The NUJP earlier stated that "the media, whether here or elsewhere, will always welcome engagement, including criticism, from their audience for this is also how we learn to be more effective communicators. However, we will never take any threats, whether of physical harm or to silence us, lightly for we have lost far too many of our colleagues and hardly seen justice for them."

"Physical or verbal threats against media or any other organization cannot be tolerated. Press freedom is guaranteed in the Constitution," said Councilor Edu Pamintuan, chair of the city council's education and environment committees.

For his part, Councilor Alex Indiongco, chairman of the health and finance committees, echoed the councilors' call to netizens to exercise restraint and let media do its job.

"The NUJP itself said that they welcome criticisms. But criticisms are different from threats of physical violence and must not be condoned," Indiongco said.

Angeles City intensifies solid waste management drive

(PNA), LAP/ZST/MDDR

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga, Sept. 20 (PNA) -- The local government here, through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), is intensifying the city's solid waste management campaign through the launching of “Angeles Malinis 365."

Angeles Malinis 365 is a project of the local government that aims to raise awareness on the existing City Ordinance No. 365 also known as the city’s waste segregation ordinance.

City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said this coastal cleanup drive aims to address the issue of improper waste disposal that can lead to severe flooding especially during the rainy season.

"We may be far from the shores but we are still responsible for making our waterways clean as they are all connected to the rivers and the seas,” Pamintuan said.

"This campaign is an opportunity for the different sectors in the community to take part in the beautification and development of Angeles City," he said.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno said that “the true sign of progress is seen in the discipline of the people towards cleanliness.”

"No one will clean and care for our beloved city but us, so we have to be united in this campaign,” Nepomuceno said.

"Rest assured that the city council will always come up with needed legislations that will support the interest and goodwill of the Angeleños and the city as a whole. One of which is the Ordinance 365,” he added.

GMA7 corrects mistake, apologizes

(Sun.Star Pampanga)

GMA7 has apologized for its mistake in a report which quoted GRP Peace Panel Adviser and League of Cities of the Philippines National President Edgardo Pamintuan as saying the communist rebels are behind the killings of farmers in Nueva Ecija.

In an erratum, the website said, "GMA News Online corrected its article to remove the line saying that Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan had alleged that the CPP-NPA was behind the killings, which was published in error. We apologize for the mistake."

The incumbent mayor of Angeles City has threatened to file a formal case against television and radio network GMA 7 and its reporter Jessica Bartolome for publishing a "wrong and very dangerous and damaging report."

Pamintuan's statement condemning the slayings of farmer-leaders in Isabela and Nueva Ecija came out in the official website of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

"GMA7 is humble enough to admit a mistake and I salute them," he said.

Central Luzon farmers, nation to benefit from BROWN4good challenge

(CLJD/MJLS-PIA 3)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO-- Various Central Luzon farmers and farmers’ associations will benefit from the BROWN4good challenge spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

PhilRice’s Be Riceposible Campaign Director Hazel Antonio said that one of the problems of the country related to agriculture is the low income of farmers, averaging P50,000 per annum.

“Our BROWN4good challenge can help solve this because one of its goals is to link farmers to food establishments and retailers and to help them directly market their produce,” Antonio explained.

She added that with this, farmers can gross an additional PhP10,000 per ton of paddy rice as compared to selling it at farmgate.

“This is a win-win situation since this strategy enables consumers to avail of brown (unpolished) rice at a cheaper price while at the same time giving the farmers an opportunity to at least double their income,” the director said.

On the other hand, DA Regional Executive Director Andrew Villacorta said that the consumption of brown rice will be a big boost to the country’s efforts of attaining rice self-sufficiency.

To achieve rice self-sufficiency, Villacorta said that we must increase our yield, planting area and milling recovery, and decrease or lower our post-harvest losses.

“At present, we have only around 63 percent milling recovery. The good news is that brown rice results to 10 percent higher milling recovery which is equivalent to an additional of one cavan for every 10 cavans of rice,” the director explained.

With these benefits, the PhilRice and DA call on the residents of Central Luzon to take part in the challenge and be advocates of brown rice consumption.

The BROWN4good challenge is a social media campaign that aims to promote brown rice as a good food.

It aims to gather social media posts with the hashtags #BROWN4good #region3. Per hashtag is equivalent to 100 grams of brown rice to be given to the less fortunate.

Pamintuan lauded for anti-drugs, cleanliness programs

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- A barangay chairman here has lauded Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan for initiating anti-drugs and cleanliness drive all over the city.

Rodelio “Tony” Mamac, chairman of Barangay Balibago, said the mayor on Friday met with the 33 village chiefs here and discussed the programs.

“Do what is good for your barangay and constituents. This was the marching order of our City Mayor Ed Pamintuan in an emergency meeting he called with all 33 barangay captains of Angeles City,” Mamac said.

Pamintuan emphasized and called the attention of the barangay chairmen to support the nation-wide programs to eradicate illegal drugs in our respective jurisdictions, according to Mamac.

Aside from this, the mayor also directed the barangay leaders to maintain cleanliness and clear roads, drainage and waterways of garbage.

Mamac said the mayor also asked the village chairmen to “maintain traffic order and instill camaraderie and unity among elected officials.”

“We must act good for our people and do it right,” Mamac said.

DoTr, DOLE open one-stop center for OFWs in Clark

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT --- The Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are set to open Friday a one-stop business center for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) inside the Freeport.

Several government agencies dealing with Filipino overseas workers (OFWs) are establishing their respective satellite offices here to provide OFWs easy access of documents and other requirements.

The move is in line with President Duterte's commitment to streamline government processes particularly for OFWs.

The Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) and the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) provided support for the establishment of the facility, which will house 16 government agencies.

The one-stop shop is located at Clark Polytechnic, just a few kilometers from the Clark International Airport (CRK).

The agencies include the Bureau of Immigration (BI), Philhealth, Pag-IBIG Fund, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare (OWWA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Social Security System (SSS), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) and Bayad Center.

The one-stop center will provide services such as the processing of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), NBI clearances , the processing of Pag-Ibig OFW members contributions, Philhealth payment premium contributions and membership, SSS registration and membership data amendment including acceptance of loans and benefits claim applications, PSA's processing and issuance of birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, and CENOMAR.

MARINA's issuance and revalidation of seaman's book, issuance of PRC's professional licenses and TESDA's issuance of training certifications and applications for scholarship programs will also be facilitated in the center.

The facility will be equipped with a WiFi internet connection for the convenience of the agencies and the OFWs.

Higher minimum wage will scare off investors

By Ding Cervantes

CLARK FREEPORT - A group advocating market-oriented reforms, property rights, consumer welfare and good governance cautioned yesterday the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on a proposal for a higher national minimum wage.

The Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) said such a move “will only drive investments and jobs away from the countryside.”

In a statement, FEF cited the World Bank as saying that the Philippines “already has one of the highest minimum wages in the world relative to average wages.”

“Seeking to impose high minimum wages in the entire country irrespective of local conditions of unemployment and cost of living will only drive investments and jobs away from the countryside,” the group said.

This, after the Anakpawis party list and the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) pressed for their demand for a nationwide P750 daily minimum wage, on top of their call for an immediate stop to the socalled “endo” or contractualization of workers.

FEF said, however, that “a national minimum wage policy will further deepen poverty and unemployment in the countryside, contrary to the administration’s policy to rebalance growth away from the National Capital Region. “

“In order to encourage investments in labor-intensive industries which will reduce the country’s high unemployment problem, we urge the modernization of the labor code to relax the code’s short and strict labor security provisions and to allow for workers and companies to freely negotiate wages,” the FEF statement said.

The group also urged the Duterte administration “to consider the creation of special economic zones where labor-intensive industries can be set up, exempted from the mandatory implementation of legal minimum wages.”

It noted that “ labor-intensive industries like garments and light manufacturing are avoiding the Philippines because of its high minimum wages and they now prefer Vietnam and Indonesia.”

Angeles City LGU statement on cracked cement along Clark perimeter road

(Angeles CIO)

ANGELES CITY – Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan is making sure that the cracked road along Don Juico Avenue will be repaired as soon as possible.

This was announced by the mayor’s communications officer, Jose “Jay” Pelayo IV, on Monday.

Pelayo said that the city mayor has called the attention of former CDC president and now Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade regarding a portion of cracked road along Don Juico Avenue as soon as Pamintuan saw the photo on FB last August 31, 2016. At around 8:15PM on that evening, Secretary Tugade made an acknowledgement to the mayor’s report.

The following day (September 1) around 7:13 in the morning, Tugade sent a forwarded message from CDC OIC Noel Manankil who wrote: “Good morning po sir, pinapa-rush na po namin yung pag seal nung mga cracks sa daan at kausap na po namin yung mga engineers ng Capillion.”

Pelayo added: “We hope that this clears the issue as to the lack of interest in bringing the matter to whoever was responsible for the damage and repair.”

On a separate message, Pelayo forwarded the offi cial statement of CDC on road cracks along Don Juico Avenue.

Mayor Pamintuan also sent a copy of the same to the vice mayor and city councilors to keep them updated as the local government continues to monitor the promise of CDC.

The making of Pampanga megalopolis

By Tonette Orejas (Inquirer Northern Luzon)

ARCHITECT Felino Palafox Jr. is doing what local leaders describe as an important task pro patria (for country). In three months, the urban planner will have already completed the study and designs for what he calls the Pampanga Megalopolis.

A megalopolis is a mega city or a chain of adjacent metropolitan areas.

To Palafox, the development of the triangle of the City of San Fernando-Lubao, Angeles-Clark Freeport, and Porac-Subic Bay Freeport makes up a super city for Pampanga, and could evolve into one of the country’s most sustainable growth centers.

But in the visioning of this so-called Golden Corridor, at least in the medium-term or up to 2021, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda wants the province to avoid the urban ills of Metro Manila, such as land and air traffic, housing backlogs, water shortage and environmental decay, while it addresses its own, such as flooding.

Decongest

The megalopolis idea fits into the advocacy of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham), which has been urging the government to decongest Metro Manila for the sake of the whole country.

“If Metro Manila experiences an earthquake of magnitude 7 due to the movement in the West Valley Fault, the whole country would be on its knees. The government shouldn’t be putting all its eggs in one basket,” said Levy Laus, chair emeritus of PamCham.

“We’re too glad that President Duterte is pushing to decongest Metro Manila,” he said, referring to the administration’s plans to transfer several flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in Pasay City to Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga and a fast railway connecting the two gateways.

In a meeting with PamCham leaders, regional directors of government agencies and elected officials, including former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on Aug. 24, Palafox said almost everybody looks to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade as a staunch advocate of the Clark-Subic potentials in logistics.

He said Tugade realized these when he served as president of the state-owned Clark Development Corp. during the Aquino administration.

Economic hubs

Clark and Subic are former American military bases redeveloped as economic hubs after the Senate closed these down and banned foreign bases and troops in September 1991.

Reverted to the Philippines were over 100,000 hectares of lands, including facilities, buildings and structures left by the US military.

Mamac cites challenges of drug war

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- “Are we ready to meet the challenges of eradication of illegal drugs in our communities?”

This was the question raised by Balibago Chairman Rodelio “Tony” Mamac during the presentation of the Narcotic Anonymous Moral Recovery Program by the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) on September 8.

“Are we prepared to face the challenges amidst the national campaign to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs nationwide? It is a must to all government units to formulate plans and programs to ensure the success of the war against drugs,” Mamac, a retired Superintendent of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

In Balibago, the village chief said that Bantay Bayan auxiliary police force members were mobilized and trained under the BADAC.

The anti-drug council also allotted cellphone hotlines to encourage concerned citizens to report and identify drug pushers and users, said Mamac.

Aside from these, the barangay anti-narcotics group has also intensified its intelligence to determine the modus operandi of drug traders, he added.

Mamac said that some 253 drug pushers and users have surrendered following the village’s anti-drug drive where suspected drug personalities were identified and summoned with the help the PNP.

“As expected, we included alternative programs and we employed surrenderees as street sweepers, and cleaners of waterways and canals,” Mamac said.

The barangay officials are planning to appropriate P500,000 to fund the recovery program for surrenderes.

“We will continue these operations and programs until we achieve a crime and drug-free barangay,” he added.

30,000 ‘endos’ in CL can look forward to regular job status

(Punto Central Luzon)

CLARK FREEPORT -- Some 30,000 contractual or “endo” employees in Central Luzon can look forward to be “regularized” by their employers starting this year up to 2017, the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday.

DOLE regional director Anna Dione said in a recent press conference here a total of 235 private firms in Central Luzon are now “subject of special assessment” by the government in line with Pres. Duterte’s election promise to put a stop to “endo” or contractualization of employees.

A directive on the assessment to be done on the firms was issued yesterday by Dione who expressed confidence that at least 50 percent of the fi rms, which employ contractors and sub-contractors, would regularize their contractual workers by the end of the year.

Dione estimated that Central Luzon has about 30,000 “endo” workers who could look forward to being classified as regular employees with corresponding benefi ts once their employers comply with the regularization campaign of the government.

Dione met with all DOLE personnel in Central Luzon to “re-echo” Labor Advisory No. 10 issued by Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello reiterating the Labor Code’s “strong prohibition of companies in engaging in labor-only- contracting.”

“Our regional action plan targets the assessment and reassessment of 236 medium to large firms in various industries operating in Central Luzon to validate and determine the extent of contractualization of any kind,” she said.

She said “ the priority industries to be subjected to the special assessment include hotels, malls, food chains, manufacturing, agricultural plantation, and corporate farms.”

Environmentalists submit infra project study to CDC

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT --- Environment advocates have recently submitted to Clark Development Corporation (CDC) a study on the proposed infrastructure development to assist the state-run firm to plan and design future infrastructure development inside this premiere investment destination in Central Luzon.

Kabang Kalikasan Ng Pilipinas Foundation Inc. (KKPFI) has turned over recently "maps and e-files" which will serve as CDC's planning tool on infrastructure development inside the Freeport.

The study was committed by the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) for CDC at no cost to the government.

Last December 2015, CDC entered into an agreement with KKPFI-- also known as the World Wide Fund for Nature -- Philippines (WWF-Philippines)--for the development of "All-Weather Urban Corridor Project" funded by the YGC.

The project is a map comprising of road networks with good drainage systems installed which are passable to vehicles despite the presence of water, with low impact to affect the transportation of goods, services and people.

KKPFI is a non-stock, non-profit organization engaged in the conservation and preservation of the environment in selected areas of the Philippines by helping communities adapt to climate change, switch to clean renewable sources of energy and infuse sustainability into the lives and businesses of Filipinos.

Clark has been selected by WWF-Philippines because of its strategic location and high elevation.

CDC and KKPFI have tied up to spread awareness on the urgency of the climate change crisis, including its adverse impacts and how to provide solutions.

The foundation conducted transport access mapping study focusing on the connection of Clark and Angeles City.

The project study includes an assessment of "road vulnerability" which refers to the inability of the road network to withstand the effects of extreme weather conditions.

Reformation Center for women opens in Angeles City

(PNA), LAP/ZST/MDDR

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga (PNA) -- The new Bahay Pag-asa Reformation Center for women was formally opened in this city.

Angeles City Police Office (ACPO) Chief Sr. Supt. Sidney Villaflor said the reformation center which is located at Camp Tomas J. Pepito, Sto. Domingo here was built for the female victims of drug abuse in the city.

The drug dependents will have a physical evaluation and mental examination before undergoing the program which will last for one month.

"This program aims to give a new beginning for the drug victims where they will be provided with emotional and mental counseling. This center is not a rehabilitation center but a home for reformation,” Villaflor said.

For his part, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan plans to extend the facility by adding more buildings to accommodate more victims.

"We are planning to build more centers here in the camp to help these victims have their second chance at life. The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) will provide social workers and doctors for the counseling of the victims,” Pamintuan said.

Pamintuan also plans to construct additional edifices to decongest the existing city jail because of the state of the inmates cramped by lack of space.

The mayor is also eyeing to provide employment and livelihood opportunities to the victims who would participate and do well in the program.

"There is really a need to construct additional facilities to entertain the growing number of prisoners in our city jail. Not for them to just be confined but, to facilitate more rehabilitation and reformation programs for them,” Pamintuan added.

"The reason why they indulge in this kind of vice (drug addiction) is because of lack of opportunity to work. Poverty is the main root of these problems our country is facing now,” the mayor said.

On the other hand, Pamintuan extended his gratitude to the the Soroptimist organization, Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholic Anonymous, who helped him and the ACPO in building the reformation center.

He also congratulated Villaflor for being named the best police chief in the region and ACPO as one of the best police offices in the country in the implementation of “Oplan Tokhang”.

As the president of the Leagues of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), Pamintuan issued a memorandum that requires all the camps in the country to have a rehabilitation facility as per the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He is eyeing the newly established reformation center to be a “model facility” to other local government units.

WWF-Ph submits infra project study to CDC

(PNA), LAP/ZST/MDDR

CLARK, Pampanga, Sept. 8 (PNA) -- A study on the proposed infrastructure development for the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has been submitted by environment advocate Kabang Kalikasan Ng Pilipinas Foundation Inc. (KKPFI).

KKPFI aims to assist the state-run firm to plan and design future infrastructure development inside this premiere investment destination in Central Luzon.

It has turned over "maps and e-files" to CDC which will serve as a planning tool of its corporate planners and designers on future infrastructure development inside the zone.

The study was a commitment of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) for CDC at no cost to the government.

Last December 2015, CDC entered into an agreement with KKPFI - also known as the World Wide Fund for Nature–Philippines (WWF-Philippines) - for the development of the “All-Weather Urban Corridor Project.” The project is funded by YGC.

The project is a map comprising of road networks with good drainage systems installed and are passable to vehicles despite the presence of water, with low impact to affect the transportation of goods, services and people.

KKPFI is a non-stock, non-profit organization engaged in the conservation and preservation of the environment in selected areas of the Philippines by helping communities adapt to climate change, switch to clean renewable sources of energy and infuse sustainability into the lives and businesses of Filipinos.

Clark has been selected by WWF-Philippines because of its strategic location and elevation of the area above sea-level which is unlikely to be affected by climate change, especially during heavy downpour.

CDC and KKPFI have agreed to work together as partners to spread awareness on the urgency of the climate change crisis, its adverse impacts, and provide crucial solutions to address the crisis.

The Foundation conducted transport access mapping study looking into the connection of Clark vis-à-vis City of Angeles.

Aside from thorough in-site data gathering, verification and processing; the project study includes an assessment of “road vulnerability” which refers to the inability of the road network to withstand the effects of extreme weather conditions such as the accessibility and serviceability of the road.

Japanese firm allots P211-M on Clark expansion project

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT --- A Japanese firm manufacturing wires used in advanced surgical procedures has allotted an additional P211-million on its expansion program inside the Freeport.

In the lease agreement with Clark Development Corporation (CDC), the TRS Philippines Corporation (TRS) is set to acquire an additional 4,355 square meter property here in the next 25 years.

The lease agreement was signed on September 2 by CDC Officer-In-Charge Noel F. Manankil and TRS Philippines Chairman Teruo Hashimoto.

TRS General Manager Girlie Jane Santos said TRS is manufacturing surgical guide wires mostly used for angioplasty, angiogram, endoscopy and other similar medical fields.

These products are being exported to medical companies in Japan, Singapore, Germany, China, U.S., Brazil and India.

TRS has been a registered locator in Clark since 2006 with 116 employees hired over the last 10 years.

With the expansion, the firm is expected to hire an additional 80 employees within one year.

According to Santos, the company offers unique benefits to workers, who are mostly females.

The workers receive rice subsidy, fruits, milk supplement, vitamin C, meal and transportation allowances, among others.

The company also manufactures disposable surgery suite, medical accessories for medical equipment and apparatus and other products.

The expansion project will soon rise at Claro M. Recto Highway here.

Also present during the lease agreement signing were CDC Vice-President for Business Development and Business Enhancement Group Eva G. Tejada and Santos, who is also the firm's Japanese interpreter.

25,328 CL students given SPES jobs

By Ashley Manabat

CLARK FREEPORT –Poor but deserving students in Central Luzon numbering 25,328 have been provided with short-term employment opportunities for this year through the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES).

Around P37 million SPES funds, which represent the government’s 40 percent share, have already been released and paid to them as of the month of August,, Alejandro Inza Cruz, head of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Technical Support and Services Division for Employment and Welfare, said during the Public Employment Services Office (PESO) Mid-Year Performance Assessment here.

The remaining 60 percent of their salaries were shouldered by DOLE’s SPES partners from participating local government units (LGUs) and private firms, he said.

Meanwhile, 1,195 beneficiaries composed of high school, college and technical- vocational graduates and undergraduates were engaged in government work under the DOLE’s Government Internship Program (GIP).

“GIP beneficiaries have all undergone life skills training and worked for six months in partner LGUs, public schools, and national government agencies,” Cruz explained.

He said around 20,000 students from 123 educational institutions region-wide attended the Career Guidance and Employment Coaching Seminars, which were co-organized, by the PESOs and Career Guidance Networks in an eff ort at minimizing future jobs mismatch.

Angeles University Foundation offers data science graduate program in tie-up with Clark-based software firm, US NGO

(PNA), LAP/ZST/MDDR

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Sept. 5 (PNA) -- A software firm based in this Freeport has tied up with a university in Angeles City and United States non-government organization that will collaborate on the design of graduate course on data science.

Noel F. Manankil, officer-in-charge of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), said this is a welcome development as the course on data science will help on the improvement of software development in the Philippines, especially in this Freeport.


FilAm Software Technology, Inc. (FilAm) is leading provider of
outsourced software based in Clark with customers from the US and
Europe.

It has been operating here for nine years with 70 employees
 and it expected to expand employment opportunities.


The Data Science Graduate Program will be offered at the Angeles
 University Foundation (AUF) through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), a USAID-funded Science and Technology, Research and Innovation Development (STRIDE) project based in North Carolina, and the FilAm Software. 


Michael Shane, president of FilAm Software, said graduates of the 
master’s degree can be employed in his software firm — a leading 
provider of outsourced software and database development, quality 
assurance testing and consulting services.


It has several offices based in US and Philippines that provide 
enterprise class software solutions throughout the United States,
 Europe and Asia.


The firm offers software development, cloud development, mobile
development, database development and quality assurance which are commonly used in the development of technology.


AUF president Joseph E.L. Angeles said data science is one of the most lucrative and fastest growing fields of the new millennium in the advent of technology here and abroad.


AUF will start offering the course immediately once the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) concludes a curriculum review.


Shane, during his interview at Clark in Action, Clark Development Corporation public affairs radio program aired over UFM 105.5 hosted by Eric Jimenez, said that “Data Analytics and Data Science are among the areas the company is focusing on as the forefront of the efforts to develop this sunrise industry through academe, industry linkage and training of future data scientists under the AUF Graduate Program.”


"We already have initial 10 students which were provided by our
industry partners, and we have already some inquiries from the AUF
communities and even outside. We're hoping that the enrollees will 
increase during the start of the program. We are targeting to launch
it during the second trimester, upon the approval of CHED," Shane
 said.


The FilAm Software, on the other hand, is committed to sponsor the first scholars to the graduate program.


Interested applicants without the background in programming,
 statistics or similar competencies can still enroll by taking up
bridge coursework in order to be prepared for the science and capstone project, Shane added.

Angeles business group opens 14-storey commercial complex

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- The Juan D. Nepomuceno Sons, Incorporated (JDN Sons, Inc.) opened on Friday, September 2, the city’s tallest mix-used facility where six floors were dedicated to the expanding business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and other city officials joined the Nepomuceno family during the inauguration of the New Point Mall situated at the middle of Nepo Center, a famous shopping area in Pampanga.

The JDN Sons Incorporated, together with its sister company TGN Realty Corporation, is the owner and developer of Nepo Center. The company started operations in the mid-1960s with the development of the Villa Teresa, the premier subdivision in Angeles City and Nepo Mart as its flagship enterprise.

In 1985, the company started real estate development and its first project was a 60-hectare land located in the City of San Fernando and Bacolor town in Pampanga.

Another project of the realty group was the establishment of the 32-hectare Angeles Industrial Park, Incorporated AIPI (formerly known as the Holy Angel Industrial Estate in 1992 which is also located in Barangay Calibutbut in Bacolor town.

The AIPI was established to complement the government’s rehabilitation program of providing livelihood opportunities for the Kapampangans adversely affected by the eruptions of Mount Pinatubo.

In 1996, the AIPI was granted Special Economic Zone status by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and has evolved into a premier industrial complex, with 11 locators and more than 10,000 workers.

The Nepo Center is situated at the city’s prime commercial, educational, religious, cultural and residential districts.

Free movies for seniors, PWDs in AC malls

By Ashley Manabat

ANGELES CITY – A city council ordinance granting free movie admissions to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the different malls in this city was unanimously passed during the council’s regular session last week.

Ordinance No. 394, S-2016 is an amendment to the Senior Citizens’ Code which now grants free movie admissions twice a week during Mondays and Tuesdays fi rst and second screenings.

However, the privilege cannot be availed during official and special holidays falling on either Monday or Tuesday provided that the senior citizen’s discount given by virtue of RA 9994 shall continue to take eff ect.

Senior citizens will also have to sign in the logbook provided by the cinema operators to record those who availed themselves of free admission benefi ts. The cinema operators, in turn, are required to submit a quarterly report to the Offi ce of the Senior Citizens Aff airs (OSCA).

Under Ordinance No. 395, S-2016, PWDs residing in this city are granted free admission to cinemas and theaters operating in the city.

The said ordinance was unanimously approved by the city council citing the policy of the state under the 1987 Constitution to protect the rights of PWDs and promote their welfare and development.

However, the privilege falls under the same restrictions as that of the senior citizens where it cannot be availed on offi cial and special holidays falling on either Mondays or Tuesdays.

Both ordinances were sponsored by Councilor Alfi e T. Bonifacio.

Both senior citizens and PWDs can now avail of the privilege in movie theaters on Mondays and Tuesdays at SM cinemas, Robinsons, Marquee Mall , Jenra Mall and Nepo Mall, among other malls located in this city.

The privilege, however, does not cover Imax theaters and 3D screenings and is also not valid on nonworking public holidays. Free admission to movies classified as blockbusters may be availed of a week after initial screening.

New traffic scheme near Clark bared

(PNA), FPV/ZST/RKM

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Sept. 2 (PNA)--The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) said that a new traffic scheme will be implemented soon by its Public Safety Department (PSD) at the newly constructed Clark Alley near Clark Main Gate and SM City Clark.

The CDC bared this plan to inform the locators, commuters, private and public motorists on the enforcement of a new traffic scheme following the completion of the new service road that is set to ‘soft open’ next week.

PSD personnel will be deployed to assist motorists and pedestrians during the opening of new Clark Alley.

The new Clark Alley is a 100-meter strip at the southern tip of the six-kilometer Clark Mabalacat Angeles Road (CMAR) which is expected to be completed in the first week of October 2016, assistant vice president Teresito Tiotuyco of the Technical Services and Construction Management Division of CDC said.

The construction of the new Clark Alley is also part of the recommendation of the University of the Philippines National Center for Traffic Studies (UPNCTS).

The new Clark Alley road will be equipped with computerized signal light going to and from Clark Freeport, SM City Clark, and the cities of Mabalacat and Angeles, Tiotuyco said.

He added that the access road, which is parallel to M.A. Roxas Highway in Clark to SM City will also be opened to out-bound private motorists and locator buses to avoid congestion at the new Clark alley.

The CDC is also fast tracking the construction of the Clark View Gate for private motorists.

PAF unit, international school forge scholarship program pact

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- The 2nd Philippine Air Force Reserve Command has forged a scholarship program with an international school in a bid to help select reserve soldiers and their families.

The signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) was led by Brigadier General Enrico Ignacio, commander of the 2nd Air Reserve Center, and Reynante Intal, director of Gentry International School Incorporated.

Under the agreement, the Air Force unit is seeking scholarship grant from the school "to aid its personnel in their educational needs and those of their spouses and children."

Gentry officials in response stated that the school is willing to extend educational assistance to the beneficiaries free tuition and miscellaneous fees.

The school shall extend and grant up to 100 percent discount on tuition fee to the PAF reservists and their dependents.

The scholarship grant will be limited to five scholars per contract.

They must complete their respective courses before another set of scholars will be accommodated, the MOA stated.

Ignacio expressed gratitude to the officials of the school, which offers primary and secondary education courses.