Dec 22, 2010

TUCP Workers’ College Training Program

Posted December 20, 2010


For inquiries, call (02) 924.7551; (02) 433.2208; (02) 922.0917
Mobile: 0917.855.1225/0908.584.0541

Courses offered:

Housekeeping NC II (100 slots)
Wellness Massage/Hilot NC II (100 slots)
Finishing Course for Call Center Agents NC II (200)

For qualifications, read here:
- 18 to 55 years old
- Completed at least High School
- Not working; no longer studying
- Willing to work
- Must undergo and pass the qualification assessment administered by TESDA

- For Finishing Course for Call Center Agents (FCCCA), must be computer literate

Dec 15, 2010

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Sep 18, 2010

Rep. Apacible pushes for China's tax stamp technology

China is interested in providing the Philippines with a laser-based, excise-tax stamp technology.

Batangas Rep. Tom Apacible said that the Chinese met with Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares to signify that they want to compete with Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. or PMFTC in supply the government with a reliable technology.

PMFTC has an outstanding offer for government to take its technology in place of that offered by a Lausanne, Switzerland-based security products maker, SICPA.

“The Chinese are not turning away from the country. They want to make a Swiss challenge to whatever technology is already on the table of the BIR," said Apacible, a former Customs commissioner.

Job quality is a concern, says NEDA's Paderanga

Despite the lower numbers of underemployed and unemployed Filipinos in July, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday said the quality of jobs in the Philippines is a concern.

“While the Philippine economy has shown relative improvements in the labor sector in July 2010, the quality of employment remains a concern," NEDA Director General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. said in a statement.

Korea’s Lotte Chilsung to buy 34% of Pepsi Philippines

Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of South Korea’s Lotte Group, has agreed to buy 34.4 percent of beverage firm Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc

Jeddah post warns Pinoys vs repatriation fixers 09/17/2010 | 08:27 PM

The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has warned overstaying and runaway Filipinos in Saudi Arabia against paying fixers who promise to facilitate their repatriation for a fee.

The Consulate issued the warning after receiving complaints from two Filipinas, who claimed they were swindled by a man who promised to assist them in processing their repatriation.

According to the victims, the man – who goes by the names Hassan, Toto or Joe – claimed to have connections or contacts with Saudi authorities that could expedite their return to the Philippines.

The unnamed victims came from two different places in Saudi Arabia and traveled all the way to Jeddah, the Consulate said.

They victims said they paid Hassan a total of 6,500 Saudi riyals (about P76,500), but later realized that the man will never deliver on his promise.

The victims then approached the Consulate to avail of its “voluntary deportation" process, conducted through the Hajj Seaport Terminal as arranged with local authorities, at the expense of the Philippine Government.

“The Consulate urges all overstaying Filipinos in the Kingdom to be very cautious and circumspect in dealing with individuals who pretend to have connections and contacts with Saudi authorities, and could facilitate repatriation to the Philippines for a fee," the Consulate advisory read.

It also advised Filipinos to directly contact the Consulate for matters relating to repatriation.

Last month, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said at least 800 Filipinos were still stranded in Jeddah despite government efforts to send them home. (See: Some 800 Filipinos still stranded in Jeddah — OWWA)

“The 800 remaining OFWs in the Jeddah center could be growing again as more runaways and unregistered OFWs from outside Jeddah seek sanctuary," OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon earlier said.

She said the agency has shouldered the repatriation of 466 OFWs and their children from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from June 27 to August 9 this year.

A total of 1,757 stranded OFWs have been repatriated during the first six months of 2010. OWWA said it repatriated 1,903 OFWs in 2009.—Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMANews.TV

Sep 13, 2010

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PAL labor issues scaring investors away — official

The numerous labor issues hounding the Lucio Tan-led Philippine Airlines (PAL) have scared away potential investors from bailing out the cash-strapped flag carrier.

According to Jaime J. Bautista, PAL president and chief operating officer, potential investors have asked the airline to resolve its several labor issues before discussions about infusing fresh funds into the airline can resume.

“Investors’ appetite has decreased due to the company’s labor problems," Bautista told reporters at the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting on Thursday.

He said the company has not been in contact with its potential investors for the past few months.

PAL on Thursday approved the restructuring of its equity by reducing the par value of its shares to 20 centavos from 80 centavos, which will make it easier for outside investors to get a bigger voting block in PAL.

Potential investors in PAL were reported to be Middle Eastern groups and companies in the Asia Pacific region that are also involved in airline operations.

“We want new money to come in because if [PAL chairman Lucio Tan] simply sells his shares, then the money will go to him and not to the company," Bautista said.

PAL has been in search of investors since last year, after suffering over $300 million in losses due to high oil prices and low demand.

“There are investors that want to be passive but we are also willing to get investors that wish to have a more active role," Bautista said.

Among PAL’s many labor issues is the opposition to the company’s plans to outsource non-core services like in-flight catering, airport services and call centers, retrenching over 2,600 workers in the process.

PAL’s flight attendants are also protesting a policy that requires them to retire at the age of 40. All other PAL employees are allowed to work until they are 65.

Bautista said these labor issues have also affected bookings, with many passengers growing weary of a potential labor strike.

Bautista denied that the company approached the groups of San Miguel Corp. president Ramon S. Ang and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, inviting them to invest in PAL.

Flights to India

PAL is increasing its flights to India by the first quarter of next year, as it confronts challenges from is labor force and the country's tourism sector.

By March of next year, the airline will mount three direct flights a week to India's main airport in New Delhi, said PAL president Jaime Bautista on Thursday.

"There are a lot of Indian nationals here in the Philippines," he told reporters.

Bautista said PAL will use its wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft for its flight to India, making PAL the only local carrier that serves routes to the sub-continent.

He said international carriers once found it hard to compete against Middle Eastern airlines, which get their fuel at a discount, allowing them to offer cheaper fare rates.

PAL introduced new flights to Brisbane, Australia earlier this year. It already flies to Sydney and Melbourne.

Also, the airline has introduced new flights to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, making PAL the only local company that serves Middle Eastern routes.

"Another opportunity for us is to get the market of Indian nationals that want to go the North America," Bautista said, adding that it may opt to increase its flights to seven days a week if the demand is enough.

PAL earlier wanted to expand its flights to the US. But because of the country's poor regulatory environment, the Federal Aviation Administration has banned Philippine carriers from expanding there.

Passengers, said Bautista, can stopover in the Philippines and take connecting flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas in the US or to Vancouver in Canada. —With Paul de Leon/JE/KBK/VS, GMANews.TV

South Korea exec says global recovery faces increased risk

September 12, 2010

The global economy faces increased risk to its recovery as growth slows in the US and China, and Japan battles the yen’s appreciation, South Korean Finance Minister Yoon Jeung Hyun said.

“We’re seeing some unexpected troubles in major economies,” Yoon said. “Their policy focus has shifted from exit policy to sustaining the economic-recovery momentum with fiscal consolidation.” Yoon made his comments at a September 10 media seminar in Icheon, southeast of Seoul.

He said the uncertain global outlook calls for a balanced approach by South Korea’s government between exit policy and recovery, even as domestic economic indicators excepting the property market show strength.

Yoon echoed Bank of Korea Governor Kim Choong Soo’s cautious view on the economic outlook after the central bank unexpectedly left its benchmark interest rate at 2.25 percent on September 9, a sign of concern that slowing external demand will hurt exports in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.

South Korean officials joined counterparts in Australia and Japan last week in flagging worries about the strength of the global recovery amid elevated US unemployment and potential losses at European banks. At the same time, any prolonged delay in raising the nation’s borrowing costs may risk faster inflation.

Japan’s government rolled out an $11-billion stimulus package last week to shelter the world’s second-biggest economy from slower global growth and the yen’s climb to a 15-year high against the dollar.

Cooling global growth has soured prospects for the trade gains that propelled South Korea’s economy to its fastest first-half expansion in a decade. A possible US slowdown and persistent European fiscal problems are risks to economic growth, the central bank said in a statement after the rate decision. –(Bloomberg News)

Germany open to migrant workers, but…

September 12, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – As Germany expands its labor market, it will keep its doors open to highly qualified migrants but strictly enforce the law on low-skilled labor illegally crossing its borders, sounding off a fair warning to migrants, including Filipinos.

“If you are highly qualified, Germany wants you, especially in the healthcare and technology sector.

But for low skilled jobs, it is much more complicated,” lady pastor Fanny Dethloff, national representative of Kirchenasyl (Asylum in Churches), said.

Dethloff made the statement before participants to this year’s 27-day Summer Academy on Freedom and Responsibility in Media held recently in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany.

The topic on 7.8 million foreign nationals living and working in Germany came up as Dethloff explained to mostly Asian and African participants how the Deutschland wants to expand its labor market without neglecting its irregular migration policy.

She said Germany’s preference for highly-skilled rather than the low skilled labor migrants prompted the latter group to enter the European country through unlawful means.

Most of them who violate the regular process end up being deported, and detained.

While, German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle called for the easing up of the Germany’s migration law to address its labor needs, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on the other hand, rejected this proposal, saying that there was no need to modify the law controlling migrant workers, which took effect in January last year.

German Education Minister Schavan as well as business leaders also called for the opening of doors to skilled immigrants to boost their economy.

German economic experts warned that in the next 14 years, Germany will be in need of more than 200,000 technicians, engineers, and even scientists.

Dethloff, also the chairwoman of the German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum, is into giving spiritual and psychological support to imprisoned asylum seekers and irregular migrants.

The ecumenical committee, which is led by the lady pastor is a network of associations of German Protestant, Catholic and Free Church parishes offering asylum to refugees who flee due to fear of persecution or life-threatening situation in their home country.

According to the briefer from the German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum posted on its website, these parishes place themselves between refugees and the authorities in order to bring about a re-examination of cases and to prevent deportation.

Dethloff said every year, there are 33,000 people seeking asylum in Germany.

She said they never discriminate asylum seekers, whatever his or her religion or race. “We help them to stay they don’t have to be baptized as a requirement,” she said.

She said they had difficulty in identifying and distinguishing who is a labor migrant, refugee or an asylum seeker, since irregular migrants claim that they are refugees and have to seek asylum because they are being persecuted or threatened in their country of origin.

“It’s really hard to tell who is persecuted in one’s home country. What if they are dying of hunger there because they don’t have opportunities? Do we consider them persecuted?” Dethloff said. “It is not very easy to live in Germany,” she said.

With the intervention of asylum churches, from 1999 and 2001, over 75 per cent of church asylum cases ended with a solution protecting refugees from human rights violations and from danger of physical harm, according to the statistical information gathered by the German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum.

Marcelle Bugre, who works at refugee and asylum camps in Malta, noted the maltreatment committed by a number of foreign employers against labor migrants.

“They are treated similar to slaves. They can’t go out,” she said.

She recalled instances in which Filipino migrants sought her assistance because of their deplorable conditions.

“They have legal documents, but the problem is they are being treated badly by their employers,” Bugre said, calling Filipino migrants as “friendly and kind people.”

The German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum said it is possible that applications for refugee status, for protection from deportation or for a residence permit on humanitarian grounds (as provided for by the German Residence Act or “Aufenthaltsgesetz”) as well as claims to special treatment because of unacceptable hardships, have been refused, although the situation does in fact call for protection from forcible deportation.

“Investigations related to church asylum cases have so far mostly been closed without ending in a court proceeding. However, in some cases pastors or members of the church council had to pay a fine,” it said.

From October 7 to 9, a conference in Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche (Holy Cross Church) will be held in Berlin on “The New Sanctuary Movement in Europe, Healing and Sanctifying Movement in the Churches.”

A number of speakers and guests from several European countries will participate in the conference where they are expected to share experiences with church asylum, and discuss the harmonization of the EU asylum law, and the Dublin II regulation.

Germany has turned into a country of immigrants in the past 50 years. About 10 percent of about 82 million people living in Germany do not have a German passport making it a multicultural European country. (Charissa M. Luci, Businessmirror)

Aug 20, 2010

Key labor challenges facing the Aquino administration

 The Aquino Administration shall be inheriting from the Arroyo Administration complex and numerous labor problems. These include, among others, the following –
Labor market: over three million unemployed, six million underemployed (but over 14 million estimated to be working at less than 40 hours a week), large informal economy (estimates range from 45 to 77 per cent of the labor force), one million plus annual labor entrants, eroding capacity of domestic industry and agriculture to generate jobs, expanding service sector but with limited capacity to create well-paid jobs (except in a narrow call center/BPO sub-sector);

Migration: diaspora of close to ten million Filipinos (immigrants, temporaries and undocumented) dividing families and the nation, high dependence of the economy on remittances (now roughly $1.5 billion a month), high rate of deployment taxing the processing capacity of POEA to the limits (over a million a year), endless sad OFW stories on abuses and contract violations in various climes;

Industrial relations system: dramatic decline in the number of strikes paralleled by a dramatic decline in the number of unions and collective bargaining agreements, rampant outsourcing of jobs to avoid labor and social security obligations, polarized positions of labor and industry on outsourcing and labor reforms, perennial delays in case disposition in the NLRC, quality of decisions generally weak; and

Skills/education of the work force: declining competitiveness of the country due to eroded or eroding educational and skills readiness of the work force, fund misuse in TESDA documented by COA, industry not investing enough on skills development (and relying instead on replaceable short-term labor for competitiveness), and weaknesses in national skills anticipation and job-skills matching.

On top of the foregoing, the country is facing labor-related concerns such as high urban-rural migration due to job weaknesses in the agricultural sector compounded by risks and disasters associated with climate change (resulting in the rise of “climate change refugees”).

Most of the above problems can not be solved overnight.

However, the Aquino Administration should be able to show that
it has a full understanding of these manifold labor problems,

it has the strategic development perspective on how these problems should be tackled, and

it has the fortitude and willingness to buckle down to work, on day one, as it tries to address these problems under a Team Aquino.

An energized labor administration machinery is central in the fulfillment of the above tasks. The incoming Administration should be able to drill in the mind of every DOLE man and woman that each has a historic task to perform in support of the Aquino Administration’s platform of employment, industrial relations and social reforms. In broad strokes, this platform should include the following:
Labor market: While job creation is the task of the entire government (with DTI, DA and other agencies seen as job creation leaders), DOLE has the task of helping in the labor market facilitation business. This means assisting LGUs in upgrading the PESOs, propagating and documenting good PESO practices in job-skills matching and skills enhancement, etc., and improving its own Phil-JobNet. It should do a job-skills map of the country, complete with the identification of measures on how to help out-of-school youth, unemployed educated, handicapped and other disadvantaged workers become productive and active members of the labor market. It should also get involved in strategizing offensive (job-creating) and defensive (job-preserving) measures under globalization, including adjustment measures under varied bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements, for the specific purpose of preserving and creating more and better jobs. With the technical assistance of the ILO and in cooperation with other agencies such as DWSD and DOH, DOLE should find ways to promote or create jobs for the long-term unemployed and develop a program of “social protection for all”.

Migration: Aside from strengthening the existing machinery on OFW deployment (POEA) and protection (OWWA, bilateral agreements, anti-illegal-recruitment campaign, overseas RP missions, etc.), DOLE should push for an honest-to-goodness review and updating of the 1995 Migrant Workers Law (not just a program of insuring the insurers!). One key issue is OFW policy clarification. Instead of the old policy declaration that migration is a short-term stop-gap employment program (from Marcos to Estrada) or the more nuanced policy declaration under GMA that “migration is a choice”, the Aquino Administration should state forthrightly that migration is a central reality in the Philippine economy and society today and that the State policy on migration is guided by three intertwining guiding principles – extension of maximum protection to life and dignity to every Filipino migrant and family, assistance to Filipino migrants in their individual and collective search for life fulfillment and empowerment such as organizing for their own protection and advancement and investing on the well being of family and community in the home land, and enlisting the participation of the global community of Filipino migrants in building a balanced, equitable and prosperous Philippine economy in order to make working and living in the home country a first choice for every Filipino.

Industrial relations system: DOLE, under Article V (rule-making) of the Labor Code, should move more vigorously for the empowerment of workers by recognizing and strengthening organizations of all types and categories of workers for various collective purposes (e.g., collective bargaining, common guild/skills interests, etc.) in order to implement the Constitutional mandate that all workers, in the formal and informal sectors, should enjoy the right to self-organization. It should also help end the long-running debate on outsourcing (liberalization per demand by some business groups and criminalization as espoused by many trade union groups). How? By insisting that outsourcing, while legitimate when undertaken for legitimate business exigencies, should not be abetted when done to avoid the labor and social security obligations of business, which is a narrow and short-sighted way of building up competitiveness. The system of dispute settlement should also be reformed not only to fast-track case settlement but also to improve the quality of decisions. On the other hand, DOLE should re-launch the campaign for proactive labor relations programs at the plant/company level and should ask non-unionized firms to set up grievance machinery and employee consultation mechanisms. The bipartite, tripartite and even multipartite systems of dialogue and consultation at various levels (national, regional, industry, etc.) should also be maintained and strengthened and should cover broader social development concerns such as social partnership in support of job preservation and job creation. For the reality is that a lot has to be done to promote better adjustment measures necessary to insure the preservation and creation of industries and decent jobs, e.g., adoption of winning adjustment programs, more employee-employer dialogues on appropriate adjustment measures.

On legislated labor reforms, this should be pursued but more in the context of the need for positive labor or industrial relations transformation, that is, how to make such transformation a source of competitiveness and a guarantee for the increased welfare of workers and other sectors. There should also be reforms to strengthen institutions of workers’ representation, collective bargaining, conciliation, mediation, labor-management cooperation and voluntary modes of dispute settlement. The point is that the Philippines can become more competitive as a nation if it strengthens, not downgrades, institutions of industrial democracy.

Skills/education of the work force: The declining competitiveness of the country due to eroding educational and skills readiness of the work force should be arrested through reforms in TESDA by making its operations transparent and its programs not only industry-focused but also community-oriented and anticipatory of changes in the labor market. There should be a greater enhancement of the trifocal or convergence administration of the educational/skills system involving CHED, DepEd and TESDA.

Internal migration/climate change: DOLE should support inter-agency efforts in addressing poverty and development issues arising from the rapid urbanization of the country, continuous rural-to-urban migration, expansion of urban and rural poor communities with limited facilities and increasing risks and disasters arising from climate change and environmental degradation. All these have labor and employment dimensions. One area where DOLE can play a major role is in the promotion of greener businesses and greener jobs in the context of a green development program meant to combat threats of climate change. A greening or renewal of communities nationwide to make them resilient to climate change means creation of millions of jobs through labor-intensive community-based infrastructure projects such as flood controls, river/estero dredging, housing upgrades, pathways construction, building of community centers, etc.

Conclusion. To reiterate, the Aquino Administration is inheriting a host of daunting labor and employment problems. However, formidable as they may seem, they can and should be overcome – not overnight – but through a clearer vision of development, an energized bureaucracy and a firm leadership under Team Aquino.

P.Noy unveils 22-point platform for labor

 MANILA, Philippines - Keen on creating jobs here at home, President Benigno Aquino III underscored in his inaugural address the need to provide an environment conducive to business in the country, so Filipinos need not look for jobs abroad.

Speaking on ANC's "The Rundown" on Friday, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said President Aquino has issued a 22-point platform and policy on labor and employment for the department.

The measures include addressing the labor-mismatch, investing in skills training, promoting the rights of workers and involving them in the policy-making process, strengthening tripartite cooperation, and streamlining procedures and removing red tape.

The Aquino government also seeks to align the country's labor policies with international treaties and international labor organization conventions, review the continued deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), facilitate their re-integration, address the social cost of migration, and improve coordination with aligned agencies to ensure the well-being of workers in the Philippines and in other shores.

"The government, thru the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has the responsibility to see to it that the rights of Filipino workers we deploy to other countries are protected," Baldoz said. "There's a new law on that. The Department of Foreign Affairs will examine if there's a national law protecting workers in the destination country, if we have a bilateral agreement with them, if they are signatory to the International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers."

Citing her interview with the President days before his inauguration, Baldoz said Aquino had expressed his desire to provide an ideal environment for business in order to make more and quality jobs available to Filipinos so they can make genuine choices, and that they will choose to stay in the country.

PAL labor dispute is litmus test

President Aquino has also tasked the DOLE to review and evaluate a department ruling, allowing the Philippine Airlines management to outsource its critical operations, resulting in the possible mass layoff of some 3,000 employees. Aquino wants the labor dispute resolved to see how the outcome may serve as a litmus test of his administration's handling of labor management issues.

Citing the low number of strikes due to the country's very effective conciliatory machinery, Baldoz said industrial peace comes from mutual cooperation of labor and management, where the parties are not adversarial and engage in a voluntary settlement of dispute.

On the matter of wages, Baldoz said it may also be necessary to reassess the minimum wage in Metro Manila, as it is no longer competitive with the country's Asian neighbors.

"We should release a minimum wage. We have a problem with the wage and if it’s affordable to industry. We talk of minimum wage, and yet there are exemptions. Where is the so-called minimum wage there? And for those who pay, there is a 50 percent compliance."

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines has asked the National Wages and Productivity Commission to reconsider the P22 daily minimum wage hike ordered by its Metro Manila board and consider instead a P75 increase in the minimum wage.

Amid the challenges facing the labor sector today, the labor department trains its sights on maximizing the country's human resource and making it competitive with the rest of the world.

Baldoz, who has been involved in the labor department for 35 years, has handled labor relations, overseas employment, and was at the helm of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration for nearly 8 years before returning to labor relations.

Jul 27, 2010

SONA: English translation of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III's State of the Nation Address

State of the Nation Address
of His Excellency
Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
to the Congress of the Philippines
Session Hall of the House of Representatives
July 26, 2010
[Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City]


Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay, Chief Justice Renato Corona, Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps;

My beloved countrymen:

Our administration is facing a forked road. On one direction, decisions are made to protect the welfare of our people; to look after the interest of the majority; to have a firm grip on principles; and to be faithful to the public servant’s sworn oath to serve the country honestly.
This is the straight path.

On the other side, personal interest is the priority, and where one becomes a slave to political considerations to the detriment of our nation.

This is the crooked path.

For a long time, our country lost its way in the crooked path. As days go by (since I became President), the massive scope of the problems we have inherited becomes much clearer. I could almost feel the weight of my responsibilities.

In the first three weeks of our administration, we discovered many things, and I will report to you some of the problems we have uncovered, and the steps we are taking to solve them.
This report is merely a glimpse of our situation. It is not the entire picture of the crises we are facing. The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state of our nation.

In the first six years of this year, government expenditure exceeded our revenues. Our deficit further increased to PhP196.7 billion. Our collection targets, which lack PhP23.8 billion, were not fully met, while we went beyond our spending by PhP45.1 billion.

Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion - or 6.5% of the total budget – can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.

Where did the funds go?

A calamity fund worth PhP2 billion was reserved in preparation for anticipated calamities. Of this already miniscule amount, at a time when the rainy season has yet to set in, PhP1.4 billion or 70% was already spent.

The entire province of Pampanga received PhP108 million. Of this, PhP105 million went to only one district. On the other hand, the province of Pangasinan, which was severely affected by Typhoon Pepeng, received a mere PhP5 million, which had to be used to fix damages inflicted not even by Pepeng, but by a previous typhoon, Cosme.

The funds were released on election month, which was seven months after the typhoon. What will happen if a typhoon arrives tomorrow? The fund has been used up to repair damage from typhoons that hit us last year. Our future will pay for the greed of yesterday.

This is also what happened to the funds of the MWSS. Just recently, people lined up for water while the leadership of the MWSS rewarded itself even though the pensions of retired employees remain unpaid.

The entire payroll of the MWSS amounts to 51.4 million pesos annually. But this isn’t the full extent of what they receive: they receive additional allowances and benefits amounting to 81.1 million pesos. In short, they receive 211.5 million pesos annually. Twenty four percent of this is for normal salaries, and sixty six percent is added on.

The average worker receives up to 13th month pay plus a cash gift. In the MWSS, they receive the equivalent of over thirty months pay if you include all their additional bonuses and allowances.

What we discovered in the case of the salaries of their board of trustees is even more shocking. Let’s take a look at the allowances they receive:

Attending board of trustees and board committee meetings, and you get fourteen thousands pesos. This totals ninety eight thousand pesos a month. They also get an annual grocery incentive of eighty thousand pesos.

And that’s not all. They get a mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, and financial assistance. They not only get a Christmas bonus, but an additional Christmas package as well. Each of these amounts to eighty thousand pesos. All in all, each member of the board receives two and a half million pesos a year exclusive of car service, technical assistance, and loans. Let me repeat. They award themselves all of these while being in arrears for the pensions of their retired employees.

Even the La Mesa watershed wasn’t spared. In order to ensure an adequate supply of water, we need to protect our watersheds. In watersheds, trees are needed. Where there should be trees, they built homes for the top officials of the MWSS.

We cannot remove them from their positions quickly because they are among the midnight appointees of former president Arroyo. We are investigating all of these things. But if they have any shame left, they should voluntarily relinquish their positions.

Now let’s discuss funds for infrastructure. The DPWH identified two hundred forty six priority safety projects to be funded by the motor vehicle user’s charge. This needs a budget of 425 million pesos. What they ended up funding were only 28 projects. They disregarded 218 projects and replaced these with seventy projects that weren’t in the plans. The 425 million pesos originally asked for became 480 million pesos, increasing because of projects allocated for a favored few.

These projects make no sense: unstudied and unprepared for, sprouting like mushrooms.
The era of such projects is at an end. Under our administration, there will be no quotas, there will be no overpricing, the funds of the people will be spent for the people.

There’s more. Five days before the term of the previous administration ended, they ordered 3.5 billion pesos to be released for the rehabilitation of those affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. This was supposed to fund eighty-nine projects. But nineteen of these projects amounting to 981 million pesos didn’t go through public bidding. Special Allotment Release Orders hadn’t even been released and yet the contracts were already signed. It’s a good thing Secretary Rogelio Singson spotted and stopped them. Instead, they will all go through the proper bidding, and the funds will be used to provide relief to those who lost their homes due to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

Let’s discuss what happened in Napocor. From 2001 to 2004, the government forced Napocor to sell electricity at a loss to prevent increases in electricity rates. The real motivation for this is that they were preparing for the election.

As a result, in 2004, NAPOCOR slumped deeply in debt. The government was obligated to shoulder the 200 billion pesos it owed.

What the public thought they saved from electricity, we are now paying for using public coffers. Not only are we paying for the cost of electricity; we are also paying for the interest arising from the debt.

If the money we borrowed was used properly, then there would be added assurance that constant supply of electricity is available. However, this decision was based on bad politics, not on the true needs of the people. The people, after having to sacrifice, suffered even more.

This is also what happened to the MRT. The government tried again to buy the people’s love. The operator was forced to keep the rates low.

In effect, the guarantee given to the operator that he will still be able to recoup his investment was not fulfilled. Because of this, Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines were ordered to purchase the MRT.

The money of the people was used in exchange for an operation that was losing money.
Let us now move on to the funds of the National Food Authority (NFA).

In 2004: 117,000 metric tons (of rice) was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they (the government) bought were 900,000 metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than seven times the amount of shortage, they still bought more than what was needed.

In 2007: 589,000 metric tons was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they bought were 1.827 million metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than three times the amount of shortage, they again bought more than what was needed.

What hurts is, because they keep purchasing more than what they need year after year, the excess rice that had to be stored in warehouses ended up rotting, just like what happened in 2008.

Is this not a crime, letting rice rot, despite the fact that there are 4 million Filipinos who do not eat three times a day?

The result is NFA’s current debt of 177 billion pesos.

This money that was wasted could have funded the following:

- The budget of the entire judiciary, which is at 12.7 billion pesos this year.
- The Conditional Cash Transfers for the following year, which cost 29.6 billion pesos.
- All the classrooms that our country needs, which cost 130 billion pesos.

This way of doing things is revolting. Money was there only to be wasted.

You have heard how the public coffers were squandered. This is what is clear to me now: change can only come from our determination to stamp out this extravagance and profligacy.
That is why starting now: we will stop the wasteful use of government funds. We will eradicate projects that are wrong.

This is the point of what we call the zero-based approach in our budget. What used to be the norm was every year, the budget merely gets re-enacted without plugging the holes.
Next month we will be submitting a budget that accurately identifies the problem and gives much attention on the right solution.

Those that I have mentioned were only some of the problems we have discovered. Here now are examples of the steps we are undertaking to solve them.

There is a case of one pawnshop owner. He purchased a vehicle at an estimated cost of 26 million pesos.

If he can afford to buy a Lamborghini, why can’t he pay his taxes?

A case has already been filed against him. Through the leadership of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, every week we have new cases filed against smugglers and against those who do not pay the right taxes.

We have also already identified the suspects of the cases of Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio and Miguel Belen, 3 of the 6 incidents of extralegal killings since we assumed the Presidency.

Fifty percent (50%) of these incidents of extralegal killings are now on their way to being resolved.

We will not stop the pursuit of the remaining half of these killings until justice has been achieved.

We will hold murderers accountable. We will also hold those who are corrupt that work in government accountable for their actions.

We have begun forming our Truth Commission, through the leadership of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide. We will search for the truth on the alleged wrongdoing committed in the last nine years.

This week, I will sign the first ever Executive Order on the formation of this Truth Commission.

If the answer to justice is accountability, the answer to the dearth in funds is a new and creative approach to our long-standing problems.

We have so many needs: from education, infrastructure, health, military, police and more. Our funds will not be enough to meet them.

No matter how massive the deficit is that may keep us from paying for this list of needs, I am heartened because many have already expressed renewed interest and confidence in the Philippines.

Our solution: public-private partnerships. Although no contract has been signed yet, I can say that ongoing talks with interested investors will yield fruitful outcomes.
There are some who have already shown interest and want to build an expressway from Manila that will pass through Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, until the end of Cagayan Valley, without the government having to spend a single peso.

On national defense:

We have 36,000 nautical miles of shoreline, but we only have 32 boats. These boats are as old as the time of (US General Douglas) MacArthur.

Some had this proposition: they will rent the Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard and the Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio.

They will take care of the funding necessary to transfer the Navy Headquarters to Camp Aguinaldo. Immediately, we will be given 100 million dollars. Furthermore, they will give us a portion of their profits from their businesses that would occupy the land they will rent.
In short, we will meet our needs without spending, and we will also earn.

There have already been many proposals from local to foreign investors to provide for our various needs.

From these public-private partnerships, our economy will grow and every Filipino will be the beneficiary. There are so many sectors that could benefit from this.

We will be able to construct the needed infrastructure in order to help tourism grow.
In agriculture, we will be able to have access to grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, orderly road networks and post-harvest facilities.

If we can fix out food supply chain with the help of the private sector, instead of importing, we will hopefully be able to supply for the needs of the global market.

The prices of commodities will go down if we are able to make this efficient railway system a reality. It will be cheaper and faster, and it will be easier for travelers to avoid crooked cops and rebels.

A reminder to all: creating jobs is foremost on our agenda, and the creation of jobs will come from the growth of our industries. Growth will only be possible if we streamline processes to make them predictable, reliable and efficient for those who want to invest.

We make sure that the Build-Operate-and-Transfer projects will undergo quick and efficient processes. With the help of all government agencies concerned and the people, a process that used to take as short as a year and as long as a decade will now only take six months.
The Department of Trade and Industry has already taken steps to effect this change, under the leadership of Secretary Gregory Domingo:

The never-ending horror story of registering business names, which used to take a minimum of four to eight hours depending on the day, will be cut down drastically to fifteen minutes.
What used to be a check list of thirty-six documents will be shortened to a list of six, and the old eight-page application form will be whittled down to one page.

I call on our local government units to review its own procedures. While we look for more ways to streamline our processes to make business start-ups easier, I hope the LGUs can also find ways to implement reforms that will be consistent with the ones we have already started.

All will certainly benefit from this streamlining -- be it businessmen, soldiers, rebels and ordinary Filipinos. As long as the interests of Filipinos will not be jeopardized, we will explore all available avenues to make this a reality. We must start now, and we should all help achieve this and not stand in each other’s way.

The time when we will no longer be made to choose between our people’s security and the future of our children is upon us now.

Once we implement these public-private partnerships, we will be able to fund public service in accordance with our platform.

This will enable us to fund our plans for education.

We will be able to expand our basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of twelve years.

We can build more classrooms, and we will fund service contracting under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE).
Conditional cash transfers that aim to lessen the burden of education on parents will also be funded if this partnership becomes a reality.

Our plans for improving PhilHealth can now be within reach.

First, we will identify the correct number of Filipinos who sorely need PhilHealth coverage, as current data is conflicting on this matter. On one hand, PhilHealth says that eighty-seven percent (87%) of Filipinos are covered, then lowers the number to only fifty-three percent (53%). On the other hand, the National Statistics Office says that only thirty-eight percent (38%) of Filipinos are covered by Philhealth.

Even as we speak, Secretary Dinky Soliman and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are moving to implement the National Household Targeting System that will identify the families that most urgently need assistance. An estimated 9 billion pesos is needed in order to provide coverage for five million poor Filipinos.

Our country is beginning to see better days ahead. The private sector, the League of Provinces headed by Governor Alfonso Umali, together with Governors L-Ray Villafuerte and Icot Petilla, are now ready to do their share when it comes to shouldering the financial burden. I know that the League of Cities under the leadership of Mayor Oscar Rodriguez will not be far behind.

If the local governments share in our goals, I know that I can surely count on Congress, the institution where I began public service, to push for our agenda for change.
Our Cabinet has already showed it skill by identifying not just problems but also proposing solutions in a matter of three weeks.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Basyang, we were told by those in the power sector that we would be without electricity for four days. The quick action of Secretary Rene Almendras and the Department of Energy resulted in the restoration of power to almost all those affected within twenty-four hours.

The so-called water shortage in Metro Manila was quickly attended to by Secretary Rogelio Singson and the Department of Public Works and Highways. Secretary Singson did it without prodding, which alleviated the suffering of those affected.

We also witnessed the competence and initiative of those we appointed to be part of our Cabinet. It is but just that they not be forced to go through the eye of a needle to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Should this happen, competent Filipinos will be encouraged to help our country by becoming public servants.

In the soonest possible time, we will convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to discuss the important bills that need to be addressed. Rest assured that I will keep an open mind and treat you honorably.

We will push for the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will limit spending bills only for appropriations that have identified a source of funding. We need 104.1 billion pesos to fund those laws already passed but whose implementation remains pending because of lack of funds.

We will re-evaluate fiscal incentives given in the past. Now that we are tightening our purse strings, we need to identify those incentives that will remain and those that need to be done away with.

We will not allow another NBN-ZTE scandal to happen again. Whether from local or foreign sources, all proposed contracts must undergo the scrutiny of correct procedures. I now ask for your help with amending our Procurement Law.

According to our Constitution, it is the government’s duty to ensure that the market is fair for all. No monopolies, no cartels that kill competition. We need an Anti-Trust Law that will give life to these principles, to afford Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises the opportunity to participate in the growth of our economy.

Let us pass into law the National Land Use Bill.

It was in 1935, during the Commonwealth, that the National Defense Act was passed. There is a need to amend for a new law that is more responsive to the current needs of national security.

I appeal to our legislators to pass the Whistleblower’s Bill to eradicate the prevalent culture of fear and silence that has hounded our system.

We will strengthen the Witness Protection Program. We must remember that from 2009 to 2010 alone, cases which involved the participation of witnesses under the program resulted in a ninety-five percent conviction.

There is a need to review our laws. I call on our lawmakers to begin a re-codification of our laws to ensure harmony in legislation and eliminate contradictions.

These laws serve as the basis of order in our land, but the foundation of all rests on the principle that we cannot grow without peace and order.

We face two obstacles on our road to peace: the situation in Mindanao and the continued revolt of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Our view has not changed when it comes to the situation in Mindanao. We will only achieve lasting peace if all stakeholders engage in an honest dialogue: may they be Moro, Lumad, or Christian. We have asked Dean Marvic Leonen to head our efforts to talk to the MILF.

We will learn from the mistakes of the past administration, that suddenly announced an agreement reached without consultations from all concerned. We are not blind to the fact that it was done with political motivation, and that the interest behind it was not that of the people.
We recognize the efforts of the MILF to discipline those within its ranks. We are hopeful that the negotiations will begin after Ramadan.

To the CPP-NPA-NDF: are you prepared to put forth concrete solutions rather than pure criticism and finger-pointing?

If it is peace you truly desire, then we are ready for an immediate cease-fire. Let us go back to the table and begin talking again.

It is difficult to begin discussions in earnest if the smell of gun powder still hangs in the air. I call on everyone concerned not to waste a good opportunity to rally behind our common aspiration for peace.

Our foundation for growth is peace. We will continue to be shackled by poverty if the crossfire persists.

We must understand that now is a time for sacrifice. It is this sacrifice that will pave the way for a better future. With our freedom comes our responsibility to do good unto our fellows and to our country.

To our friends in media, especially those in radio and print, to the block-timers and those in our community newspapers, I trust that you will take up the cudgels to police your own ranks.
May you give new meaning to the principles of your vocation: to provide clarity to pressing issues; to be fair and truthful in your reporting, and to raise the level of public discourse.
It is every Filipino’s duty to closely watch the leaders that you have elected. I encourage everyone to take a step towards participation rather than fault-finding. The former takes part in finding a solution; from the latter, never-ending complaints.

We have always known that the key to growth is putting the interest of others beyond one’s own. One thing is clear: how do we move forward if we keep putting others down?

How will those without education secure quality jobs? How will the unemployed become consumers? How will they save money for their future needs?

If we change all this, if we prioritize enabling others, we will open a world of opportunities not just for ourselves but for those who direly need it.

We have already begun the process of change, and we are now able to dream of better things for our country. Let us not forget that there are those who wish us to fail, so that they will once again reclaim power to do as they please at the expense of our people.

My firm belief is that our fate is in the hands of God and our people. While we focus on uplifting the lives of our fellow men, I have an unshakeable faith that Almighty God will give us His blessings and support. If we remain firm in our belief that God is on our side, is there anything impossible for us to achieve?

The mandate we received last May 10 is testament to the fact that the Filipino continues to hope for true change. The situation is not what it was before; we can all dream again. Let us all become one in achieving a fulfilment of our hopes and aspirations for our country.

Maraming Salamat Po!

DOLE: Region 6 wage board raises minimum wage by P15

Workers in Western Visayas stand to benefit from a P15 daily wage hike ordered by the regional wage board there, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Monday.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the new minimum wage in the region is now at P265 per day for non-agricultural establishments employing more than 10 workers.

The minimum wage will be P223 for non-agricultural establishments employing 10 workers or less; P233 for workers in the agricultural plantation sector; and P223 for workers in the agriculture–nonplantation sector, according to an article posted Monday on the DOLE website.

DOLE said the wage hike is contained in Wage Order No. RB-VI-18 issued on July 9 by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB). The order came a few weeks after the RTWPB of Metro Manila ordered a P22 increase earlier this month.

DOLE said the new minimum wage rates applies to all minimum wage earners in the private sector in the region, regardless of their position, designation, status of employment, and method by which they are paid.

However, the order also allows distressed establishments and new businesses a one-year exemption from the payment of the new minimum wage, upon seeking the approval of the RTWPB.

“The period for application for exemption shall be within 75 days from publication of its approved Implementing Rules," the DOLE said.

The new Wage Order was issued on the basis of a petition filed by the Trade Union of Filipino Workers (TUFW) which sought an across-the-board P50 daily wage increase.

DOLE said the new wage order becomes effective 15 days from its publication. However, it the Regional Board has yet to come up with its implementing rules. –VVP, GMANews.TV

Jul 24, 2010


Filtrepreneur Franchise, Inc. (FFI) was established with the primary purpose of tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit that we believe lies in most Filipinos aiming to succeed in a business venture. The current economic trend has placed a new focus on how to generate more "job creators" in our economic system, and has made the idea of a global celebration of entrepreneurship as a path to positive growth especially relevant.

The Filipino Dream embodies the value of innovation as a breeding ground of job creation through the promotion of entrepreneurship. Guiding our business model is the goal of giving business to every Juan.

Frequently Ask Questions

What do you look for in a potential Franchisee?
A potential dealer should be willing to invest money, willing to find a good location for the unit, and willing to follow set standards. Potential dealer should possess an entrepreneurial spirit and the commitment to push sales of products.

How can a potential dealer apply for a Franchise?
A potential dealer can inquire about the Franchise opportunity via telephone, fax, email, and personal visit. The potential dealer should provide the following requirements in order to facilitate the application process: completed application form, photograph and location map of proposed site.

How much does Franchise cost? What is included in the Franchisee fee?
For a cart Php21,888.00 to P250,000.00. The Franchise fee is inclusive of the following: cart with signages and equipment. There are no annual franchise fees, no royalty fees and no store-opening fees. Also, the franchise fee includes the license which allows the dealer to operate and use the trademark of Franchise. The Franchise Cart terms is three (3) years.

When does the dealer have to pay the fee?
Once dealer’s application is approved, franchisee needs to sign a franchise contract and pay the required franchise fee.

How long does it take to open a Franchise shop?
The Franchise business development process takes 3 to 4 weeks. The activities include processing of applications, construction of the cart, equipment and materials preparation and training.

How many units can a single franchisee own?
A single franchisee can own multiple units for as long as they can pay the necessary fees for the said units and observe the standard operation procedures set by Franchisor.

Where can dealers locate their Franchise Outlet?
Franchisee can locate in high foot traffic areas. They can sell in schools, malls, bazaars and during special events. The company will ensure that no two Franchise outlet are located within 500 meter radius to dealers can fully realize the returns of his investment and not compete with another Franchisee.
In cases where in the unit is located within a building which has a potential for expansion within or around the said location, the dealer is given the right of first refusal to proposals which shall arise in the future.

Are all franchise package available nationwide?
Yes, we are open for franchising Nationwide, we have distributors all over the country. List of distributors are made upon request

Is the package all-inclusive? Any other hidden charges?
Yes, packages are All-In and NO HIDDEN CHARGES.

Do you accept terms or installment?
One time payment Only. Modes of Payments are Cash, Check or Credit Card. Installment is not an option.

Do you assist in finding location?
Yes, we offer location assistance for only P3,000. Our Locator will provide 3-5 locations for the franchisee for his/her preferred area.

What is the dimension of the cart and area requirement?
The cart has the following dimensions: Height 7 ft., Width 2 ft., Length 3 ft.
Area requirement: 2.5 m. x 2.5 m.

Is it advisable to put the carts inside big malls like SM or Robinsons?
Yes and We have carts available for Malls

What are the best locations to put the cart? Locations to avoid?
Franchisee can locate in high foot traffic areas. They can sell in schools, malls, bazaars and during special events. The company will ensure that no two Franchise outlet are located within 500 meter radius to dealers can fully realize the returns of his investment and not compete with another Franchisee.

What’s your after-sales support?
Franchisor will designate employees and agents who shall audit shop operations on the basis of Franchisor's approved standards on service, product quality, cleanliness, equipment maintenance, atmosphere, etc.
The Franchisee is given an option to change the concept during the contract but will be charged P3,500 for the franchisor to change the signages, tarpaulins, etc.
Product Dealership is lifetime, provided that franchisee have to renew the contract every (3) years.

Will you supply all the foods or raw materials?
Yes, the company supplies the food products and packaging. The Factory of the Food Products to be sold is owned by Filtrepreneur Franchise, Inc. FREE DELIVERY within Metro Manila if minimum purchase is P3,500.
For Outside Metro Manila, Franchisee can contact the distributors at their place. After the purchase of franchise, Franchisee would be informed if there are any distributors in their place.

Are you giving seminars or orientation for those interested?
Yes, we conduct daily Business Orientation/Presentation daily at the office. Franchise Seminar, Business Registration Seminar and Crew Trainings are included with the Package and are scheduled after the package had been purchased.

Who will process business permits and registrations?
Business Permits and Registration will be handled/processed by the Franchisee

How much can a franchisee earn?
Franchisee profitability depends highly on where he locates his cart. Gross margin is estimated at 40%.

What kind of training will the Franchisee receive?
The franchisee and his manpower pool will be trained in basic cart operation and product handling by Franchisor personnel.

Who will be responsible in the recruitment and training of the personnel?
Franchisee shall source, screen and select the required personnel. For Cart operation minimum of one (1) person per shift.
Franchisor will conduct certain training programs which the dealer and his personnel must personally attend and successfully complete before they are allowed to operate and/or manage the unit.

What products will be sold in the Franchise outlet?
For the cart operation, all Franchise products.

At what price would the products be sold?
Franchisee is not allowed to sell any other food item other than those specified by Franchisor. Franchisor will provide the standard price list of the products indicating the dealer’s selling price to the consumers. Franchisor shall peg the prices of such products according to the targetted profitability rates that will provide reasonable returns to the dealer.

How will Franchisor ensure product quality and standard of operations are being upheld?
Franchisor will designate employees and agents who shall audit shop operations on the basis of Franchisor's approved standards on service, product quality, cleanliness, equipment maintenance, atmosphere, etc.

Food Cart Selection
Pinoy Pao (Siopao and siomai)
O'Noodles (Str-fry noodles)
Pizza Pinoy
Burgeroo (Buy 1 take 1 burger)
Emperor Siomai
Happy Waffle
Jack's Eatabols (Fried bites)
Red Bowl (Rice toppings)
Sisig Stop
Rainbow Juicers (Sago and juice)
Put Pot (Puto and puto pao)

Please call  Alex V. Rutagines 09393989400, 9941334

Jollibee To Build New Dining Chain

Jul 21, 2010

Jul 20, 2010



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Jollibee to build new dining chain

Jollibee to build new dining chain
By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 5, 2010

JOLLIBEE FOODS Corp. is building a new casual dining chain specializing on coffee and Italian ice cream using a newly acquired master franchise for a popular Korean brand.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Wednesday, JFC said it had entered into a joint venture to obtain the local master franchise for “Caffe Ti-Amo” (which means Coffee I love You). The joint venture will be 50-percent owned by JFC and 50-percent by local entrepreneur Pamela Tan and her siblings.

In the disclosure, JFC said that the joint venture partners were not related to the controlling shareholders of JFC.

The franchisor will be Caffe Ti-Amo Korea Co. Ltd., owner of the “Caffe Ti-Amo” trademarks based in the Republic of Korea. The restaurant brand was established in Korea in 2006 and had grown its network to 269 stores to become a very successful chain, the disclosure said.

JFC said the joint venture, which will have an initial capital of P10 million, would develop and build a business around gelato and coffee.

“The joint venture plans to open in the Philippines mostly franchised stores and a few joint venture-owned stores,” the disclosure said.

JFC said the first of the “Ti-Amo” stores would open in The Annex at SM North Edsa.”

Analysts said JFC’s entry into this new format was meant to diversify its brand offering and capture opportunities from a growing demand for gourmet coffee shops popularized by the likes of Starbucks. However, this new brand is seen offering a more affordable alternative to other foreign as well as homegrown coffee shop brands.

JFC operates the dominant fast-food service chain in the Philippines. As of end-March, it had a total of domestic 1,569 stores, 692 of which are under the flagship Jollibee brand, 401 under Chinese fast-food chain Chowking, 227 under pizzeria Greenwich, 211 under bakeshop Red Ribbon, 24 under European-inspired deli Delifrance and 14 under budget brand Manong Pepe’s.

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Jul 17, 2010

DOH stresses importance of RH bill as Pinoys reach 100M

Aabot sa 100 milyon ang populasyon ng Pilipinas sa susunod na limang taon. Ito ang tantya ng National Statistics Office. Kaya naman binibigyang diin ng Department of Health ang kahalagahan ng reproductive health bill.
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Nursing grads must be flexible to find jobs in US

DALY CITY, California – New nursing graduates are advised to be more patient and flexible in order to find jobs in the US.
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Thousands of jobs await Pinoys in Singapore

May 100,000 bagong trabaho na magbubukas ngayon sa Singapore na pwedeng pasukan ng mga Pilipino. Pero ayon sa isang job hunting agency, sa mga ayaw nang umalis pa ng bansa, marami ring nagbubukas na oporunidad dito.

Jul 14, 2010

Retirement: Live Long and Work

If you are planning to retire soon, think again. Retirement, it appears, is only for the few, the rich or the benefit endowed. The stats of both Corporate Pensions and OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) is somewhere between dismal and don't ask because I don't want to know. Via the link below, ...


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Jul 13, 2010

What is the POSITIVE programme?

POSITIVE stands for "Participation-Oriented Safety Improvement by Trade-union InitiatiVE. " The POSITIVE programme was developed as a participatory training programme for the promotion of occupational safety and health by trade unions. This programme is implemented by national centers in ten countries in Asia by the support of JILAF.

The POSITIVE programme holds short training seminars of three or four days to train trade union members in order to improve the working conditions and environment. The objective is to promote, through trade union activities, occupational safety and health activities from the perspective of workers so that they can ensure their human rights.

The basic principle of the programme is participation. Participants in the seminars learn from local good examples that have already been put into practice in order to improve the working environment. Attention is given to low-cost improvement. By using an action checklist in an actual workplace and discussing the results with their colleagues, union members are provided training that leads to workplace improvement activities related to occupational safety and health. As follow-up activities as well, discussions are held with the objective of supporting the continued activities of workers.

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Six technical sessions of the POSITIVE program & Examples of good improvements

1. Good ways of materials handling help workers carry materials easily and safety.
2. Good workstations will protect workers from having shoulder and back pains while improving productivities.
3. Proper measures in machine safety protect workers from serious accidents and promote high quality work.
4. There are many simple, practical approaches for establishing safe and healthy work environment.
5. Toilets and washing facilities are essential requirements for all workers.
6. Workers can contribute to environmental protection through separate waste collection.

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Role of POSITIVE trainers

Role of POSITIVE trainers

Anyone can become a POSITIVE trainer as long as they are union members with an interest in occupational safety and health in the workplace. The participation of union members who can support the implementation of seminars held on the initiative of unions is important.

In order to become a POSITIVE trainer, first of all the union member participates in a basic POSITIVE seminar and learns the basic manner of POSITIVE programme. It is hoped that a pilot seminar participants will become trainers in next seminars. Trainers with a lot of experiences in holding the POSITIVE programme (core trainers) play a leading role in seminar plans to groom trainers. Then they plan serial training at the factory or regional level.

In the POSITIVE seminars, union members in workplaces receive training from core POSITIVE trainers. After completing the course, they take the training tools back with them and are able to implement seminars in the region or workplace where they themselves work. In order to support trainers who have engaged in these activities, follow-up seminars and trainer meetings at the domestic or regional level are held, as well as international meetings for the exchange of experiences.

POSITIVE trainers have the following five basic roles:

To consider the composition and schedule of planned POSITIVE programme seminars
To prepare necessary training materials and places
To compile a concise presentation on the six technical areas of the POSITIVE programme
To support the active participation of participants using facilitating technology
To plan and implement the continuous follow-up of improvement activities

For each seminar, they select the district for holding the seminar, eligible participants, plants for checklist practice, and so on in coordination with the national center and regional centers. Since it is important to study local good examples in the seminar, the trainers visit candidate plants for checklist practice beforehand, collect good examples, and utilize them in the seminar. After studying the good examples, the trainers outline specific and effective improvement proposals and compile action plans for improvement in their own workplaces.

It is important for POSITIVE trainers to act not as teachers giving lectures but as facilitators who encourage participants to take an active part in group discussions.

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1. Improvement of workplaces and reduction of industrial accidents
To conduct occupational safety and health activities suited to actual conditions from the perspective of workers. It is noted to protect workers and their families from industrial accidents through an occupational safety and health programme led not by management but by labour unions.

2. Improvement of labour-management relations

To increase opportunities for dialogue between labour and management and improve relations by raising awareness by the promotion of occupational safety and health. These are in the interest of both sides and encouraging mutual cooperation. By negotiating with management, union members gain the skills of persuasion.

3. Changing workers’ attitudes

To increase the self-confidence of workers and promote to change attitudes by making workers think and act by themselves through participating the programme.

4. Strengthening of union organization

To build and strengthen the network among union leaders through their participation in the programme together; to make nonunion members aware of the importance of labour unions and to promote their formation of organizations and union membership by teaching them about occupational safety and health.

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Benefiting from its experience with the WISE (work improvement in small enterprises) programme, the Philippines added its own contents in 1995 and has engaged enthusiastically in activities. Since 2001 the emphasis has been placed on the grooming of trainers, and experts have been dispatched for this purpose. Groups of core trainers and trainers now hold regional and workplace seminars independently. Prompted by the holding of an evaluation meeting, industrial efforts are making progress, and the construction of a database and website utilization are also advancing.

The Education Department of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) plays a leading role in organizing seminars in the regions in cooperation with core trainers. Trainers have been groomed as core actors in these regions.

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Social Protection

Updated: 5 July 2010
Reducing risks, increasing opportunities

Social protection consists of policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labor markets, diminishing people's exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption/loss of income.

There are five main areas in social protection:
labor market policies and programs designed to promote employment, the efficient operation of labor markets and the protection of workers
social insurance programs to cushion the risks associated with unemployment, ill health, disability, work-related injury and old age
social assistance and welfare service programs for the most vulnerable groups with no other means of adequate support, including single mothers, the homeless, or physically or mentally challenged people
micro-and area-based schemes to address vulnerability at the community level, including microinsurance, agricultural insurance, social funds and programs to manage natural disasters
child protection to ensure the healthy and productive development of children

When implemented properly, these policies and programs can make a major contribution to ADB's overarching goal of poverty reduction.

*This link takes you outside the ADB website. Please use the back button to return to

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Jul 12, 2010

Republic Act No. 8972 An Act Providing for Benefits and Privileges to Solo Parents and their Children,

Republic Act No. 8972 An Act Providing for Benefits and Privileges to Solo Parents and their Children,

Congress of the Philippines, Third Regular Session (2000). Republic Act 8972: An Act Providing for Benefits and Privileges to Solo Parents and their Children, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes. In Laws on Women: A Compilation. Volume II. Manila: National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women in cooperation with the Office of Senator Teresa Aquino Oreta, 2000. Pp. 213a - 213f.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Republic Act No. 8972, known as the ''Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000,'' provides for the development of a comprehensive program of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their children, to be carried out by several government agencies in coordination with local government units and non-governmental agencies. In line with this, it establishes an inter-agency committee, headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which shall formulate the implementing rules and regulations of this act. Notably, this Republic Act specifically prohibits discrimination against a solo parent with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his or her status.

Written by Jack Victor Nera; Edited by Kristina Joy Panogot

Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila
Third Regular Session
Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-fourth day of July, two thousand.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Title. — This Act shall be known as the "Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000."

SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy. — It is the policy of the State to promote the family as the foundation of the nation, strengthen its solidarity and ensure its total development. Towards this end, it shall develop a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children to be carried out by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and other related government and nongovernment agencies.

SECTION 3. Definition of Terms. — Whenever used in this Act, the following terms shall mean as follows:

(a) "Solo parent" — any individual who falls under any of the following categories:
1) A woman who gives birth as a result of rape and other crimes against chastity even without a final conviction of the offender: Provided, That the mother keeps and raises the child;
2) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to death of spouse;
3) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood while the spouse is detained or is serving sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one (1) year;
4) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner;
5) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to legal separation or de facto separation from spouse for at least one (1) year, as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children;
6) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or by a church as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children;
7) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to abandonment of spouse for at least one (1) year;
8) Unmarried mother/father who has preferred to keep and rear her/his child/children instead of having others care for them or give them up to a welfare institution;
9) Any other person who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children;
10) Any family member who assumes the responsibility of head of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent.

A change in the status or circumstance of the parent claiming benefits under this Act, such that he/she is no longer left alone with the responsibility of parenthood, shall terminate his/her eligibility for these benefits.

(b) "Children" — refer to those living with and dependent upon the solo parent for support who are unmarried, unemployed and not more than eighteen (18) years of age, or even over eighteen (18) years but are incapable of self-support because of mental and/or physical defect/disability.

(c) "Parental responsibility" — with respect to their minor children shall refer to the rights and duties of the parents as defined in Article 220 of Executive Order No. 209, as amended, otherwise known as the "Family Code of the Philippines."

(d) "Parental leave" — shall mean leave benefits granted to a solo parent to enable him/her to perform parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required.

(e) "Flexible work schedule" — is the right granted to a solo parent employee to vary his/her arrival and departure time without affecting the core work hours as defined by the employer.

SECTION 4. Criteria for Support. — Any solo parent whose income in the place of domicile falls below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the assessment of the DSWD worker in the area shall be eligible for assistance: Provided, however, That any solo parent whose income is above the poverty threshold shall enjoy the benefits mentioned in Sections 6, 7 and 8 of this Act.

SECTION 5. Comprehensive Package of Social Development and Welfare Services. — A comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families will be developed by the DSWD, DOH, DECS, CHED, TESDA, DOLE, NHA and DILG, in coordination with local government units and a nongovernmental organization with proven track record in providing services for solo parents.

The DSWD shall coordinate with concerned agencies the implementation of the comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families. The package will initially include:
(a) Livelihood development services which include trainings on livelihood skills, basic business management, value orientation and the provision of seed capital or job placement.
(b) Counseling services which include individual, peer group or family counseling. This will focus on the resolution of personal relationship and role conflicts.
(c) Parent effectiveness services which include the provision and expansion of knowledge and skills of the solo parent on early childhood development, behavior management, health care, rights and duties of parents and children.
(d) Critical incidence stress debriefing which includes preventive stress management strategy designed to assist solo parents in coping with crisis situations and cases of abuse.
(e) Special projects for individuals in need of protection which include temporary shelter, counseling, legal assistance, medical care, self-concept or ego-building, crisis management and spiritual enrichment.

SECTION 6. Flexible Work Schedule. — The employer shall provide for a flexible working schedule for solo parents: Provided, That the same shall not affect individual and company productivity: Provided, further, That any employer may request exemption from the above requirements from the DOLE on certain meritorious grounds.

SECTION 7. Work Discrimination. — No employer shall discriminate against any solo parent employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his/her status.

SECTION 8. Parental Leave. — In addition to leave privileges under existing laws, parental leave of not more than seven (7) working days every year shall be granted to any solo parent employee who has rendered service of at least one (1) year.

SECTION 9. Educational Benefits. — The DECS, CHED and TESDA shall provide the following benefits and privileges:
(1) Scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and their children in institutions of basic, tertiary and technical/skills education; and
(2) Non-formal education programs appropriate for solo parents and their children.

The DECS, CHED and TESDA shall promulgate rules and regulations for the proper implementation of this program.

SECTION 10. Housing Benefits. — Solo parents shall be given allocation in housing projects and shall be provided with liberal terms of payment on said government low-cost housing projects in accordance with housing law provisions prioritizing applicants below the poverty line as declared by the NEDA.

SECTION 11. Medical Assistance. — The DOH shall develop a comprehensive health care program for solo parents and their children. The program shall be implemented by the DOH through their retained hospitals and medical centers and the local government units (LGUs) through their provincial/district/city/municipal hospitals and rural health units (RHUs).

SECTION 12. Additional Powers and Functions of the DSWD. — The DSWD shall perform the following additional powers and functions relative to the welfare of solo parents and their families:

(a) Conduct research necessary to: (1) develop a new body of knowledge on solo parents; (2) define executive and legislative measures needed to promote and protect the interest of solo parents and their children; and (3) assess the effectiveness of programs designed for disadvantaged solo parents and their children;

(b) Coordinate the activities of various governmental and nongovernmental organizations engaged in promoting and protecting the interests of solo parents and their children; and

(c) Monitor the implementation of the provisions of this Act and suggest mechanisms by which such provisions are effectively implemented.

SECTION 13. Implementing Rules and Regulations. — An inter-agency committee headed by the DSWD, in coordination with the DOH, the DECS, the CHED, the TESDA, the DOLE, the NHA, and the DILG is hereby established which shall formulate, within ninety (90) days upon the effectivity of this Act, the implementing rules and regulations in consultation with the local government units, nongovernment organizations and people's organizations.

SECTION 14. Appropriations. — The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the budget of concerned government agencies in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter.

SECTION 15. Repealing Clause. — All laws, decrees, executive orders, administrative orders or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

SECTION 16. Separability Clause. — If any provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.

SECTION 17. Effectivity Clause. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: November 7, 2000

Speaker of the House of Representatives President of the Senate

This Act, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1404 and House Bill No. 10615 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on August 30, 2000 and September 26, 2000, respectively.

Secretary General House of Representatives Acting Secretary of the Senate

Approved: November 7, 2000

President of the Philippines

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