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 ADB.org

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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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Jul 11, 2010

CHEd vows again to close non-performing nursing schools

Kamakailan ay ibinalita natin dito sa Bandila na higit 187,000 nursing graduates ang walang trabaho ngayon. Ngayon naman, nagbanta na ang Commission on Higher Education na ipasasara ang higit sa kalahati ng kabuaang bilang ng nursing schools sa bansa! Iyan ay kung hindi nila maayos ang kalidad ng pagtuturo! Magba-Bandila si Gretchen Malalad. Bandila, Miyerkules, Hulyo 7, 2010
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Ricky Carandang resigns from ABS-CBN

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) anchor and correspondent Ricky Carandang resigned from the network on Friday.

"ANC Management accepted the resignation of Anchor Ricky Carandang, which he submitted Friday, July 9, 2010," the statement from ANC read.

According to sources, Carandang has accepted the offer to be part of the communications team of President Benigno Aquino III.

Carandang will reportedly craft the government's messages while BusinessWorld columnist Herminio Coloma will handle operations.

Earlier Friday, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said that they were still talking to Carandang and former ANC's The Explainer host Manolo Quezon III to be part of the team.

Communications group

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said earlier on Friday they were still finalizing the structure and composition of the communications group. They were also choosing who will lead the team.

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the government-owned television and radio stations will also be part of the group.

Lacierda had said the team will be finalized within the week.

He also said that by next week, they will be able to name a deputy presidential spokesperson.

"We will leave it to the President to announce," Lacierda said. With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

PINOY ABROAD Pinoy worker stabbed dead in Iran

A Filipino worker holding an Iranian tourist visa was stabbed dead July 1 in a reported altercation with foreign nationals on Kish Island, the Philippine Embassy in Iran confirmed.

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PINOY ABROAD 5 Pinoys killed in road accident in Saudi

Four members of a Filipino family, including a five-year-old boy, and their Filipino driver died instantly when their car figured in a vehicular accident in Al-Hassa in eastern Saudi Arabia Wednesday night.

Labor Attache David Dicang of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Al-Khobar identified the fatalities as Roberto Demetrio, a building transmission worker, and his wife Elizabeth, a teacher, both of whom were over 60 years old; their daughter Joyce Hassan, a nurse; and a five-year-old grandson Hope.

Also killed was Gener de Java, a friend of the family who was driving the car.

The lone survivor was identified as Pedro Ibañez, who, along with de Java, accompanied the Demetrio family to the airport for a vacation in the Philippines.

The victims were from Kidapawan City in North Cotabato, Dicang said.

According to Dicang, the family was traveling Wednesday night along a highway in Al-Hassa, a province approximately 400 km away from the capital city of Riyadh, hoping to catch a flight to the Philippines when the accident happened.

The Demetrio family’s car was just among the five cars involved in a mishap caused by a speeding truck, which resulted in a total of at least 15 fatalities.

Reports are still sketchy, Dicang said, and the lone survivor said he was asleep and was unable to witness the accident.

“Philippine Embassy officials are now coordinating with the Filipinos’ employers with respect to their survivors’ entitlement to benefits and other arrangements," Foreign Affairs spokesperson Eduardo Malaya said in a text message.

Dicang said he is not aware if there are other family members in Al-Hassa or in any other part of Saudi Arabia.

Roberto and Elizabeth had been working in Saudi for over five years when the tragedy happened, while daughter Joyce had been working there for only two years.

Her husband is in the Philippines, Dicang added.

“We are working on the case, such as the issuance of police and medical reports and other requirements for the repatriation of their remains, and we will help the family secure entitlements from the victims’ companies," he explained.

The World Health Organization reported in 2009 that Saudi Arabia has the world’s highest number of deaths from road accidents, which make up the country’s principal cause of death particularly among adult males. - RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV

Jul 10, 2010

5 jailed Pinoy seafarers home from Martinique

After spending more than four years in detention in Martinique over drug trafficking charges, five Filipino seafarers finally arrived home.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday night the five seafarers arrived in Manila Thursday morning.

"Upon the DFA's instructions, the Philippine Embassy in Paris made strong representations with the French authorities, which effected the reduction of sentences and earlier release of the five seafarers," the DFA said on its website.

The five seafarers were among the 11 Filipinos aboard the Panamanian-registered MV Master Endeavor, who were arrested and detained in Martinique on March 22, 2006 over drug trafficking charges.

This was after French Navy and Customs officials discovered 1.8 tons of cocaine hidden in the vessel's water tank on February 27, 2006.

The 11 Filipino seafarers were found guilty of the charges in February 2010 and the French court imposed sentences ranging from five to 14 years' imprisonment.

Earlier, two seafarers from the same vessel were released and repatriated to the Philippines in March 2010.

The DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs continues to work closely with the Embassy to facilitate the repatriation of the four other seafarers who are still detained in Martinique, the release stated.

While the DFA did not name the five seafarers, an article on the United Filipino Seafarers (UFS) website named the 11 seafarers, mostly over 50 years old, as Capt. Lee Macoy, Ramil Aguilar, Porferio Atienza, Christopher Baylosis, Joseph Cosare, Basilio Cuyos, Johnny Galapon, Reynaldo Galedo, Samuel Lubiano, Hermogenes Misa and Efren Nillos.

The UFS article said the Filipinos and three Latino crewmembers of the vessel were "shipped like animals for slaughter on a 20-day trip to Martinique, France."

“Nakaposas ang mga kamay at mga paa naming, kaya pagdating namin sa France, magang-maga ang aming mga katawan (Our hands and feet were shackled so that when we reached France, our bodies were badly swollen)," said Misa.

The Filipino crewmembers earlier claimed they did not know that the 120 sacks they picked up at Tobago, Venezuela, contained cocaine with an estimated worth of $200 million.

Martinique, an island in the eastern Caribbean sea, is an overseas region of France. —JV, GMANews.TV

Lupong Tagapamayapa saves govt P2.3B

Thanks to the efforts of the barangay dispute mediator councils all over the country or the Lupong Tagapamayapa (LT), the government saved an estimated P2.3-billion in adjucation costs.


New Labor chief pushes for worker protection, social dialogue

New Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz expressed her intention to promote worker protection and social dialogue between employers and trade unions.

During the turnover rites at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) earlier this week, Baldoz said the priority goals of the Aquino administration include the promotion of workers’ rights and industrial peace.

She vowed to address the concerns of local workers and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) such as skills-job mismatch, lack of employment opportunities, illegal recruitment, and trafficking in women and children.

“President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III is correct in saying that the people are our real bosses," she said as she took over the post from her predecessor Marianito Roque, who has returned to the private sector.

Baldoz has extensive experience in labor relations, management, and international labor migration.

Her previous posts include: Mediator-Arbiter of the DOLE’s Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR); Labor Arbiter of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC); Executive Director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), and Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Baldoz says the POEA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) must enhance their services in coordination with the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

She noted the need for skills upgrading to lessen the vulnerabilities of OFWs. “We shall expand our Filipino Workers Resource Centers (FWRCs) in host destinations," she says.

“Every distressed overseas worker must be given every possible assistance until they are fully reintegrated with their families at their residence," she adds.

For local workers, Baldoz pledged to continue DOLE’s “Project Jobs Fit" which teaches people how to search for jobs, solve the skills-jobs mismatch, and increase their employability.

“Our labor market information (LMI) system must be linked with the rest of the electronic job sources available, and disseminated to the community and barangay levels," she said. –VVP, GMANews.TV

Pinay worker in Perth settles suit vs McDonalds over ‘forced abortion’

A Filipina worker in west Australia has dropped a suit that she filed against a Perth franchise of global fast food giant McDonald’s for causing her alleged “forced abortion,” and accepted instead a confidential settlement, according to a report posted Thursday on an Australian news site.

According to the West Australian report, Rechilda Moll-Sequitin, a 31-year-old Filipina working at the Mindarie branch of the fast food chain, had accused the McDonald’s franchisee of racial and sexual discrimination and had claimed $140,000 in compensation.

“The court application has been satisfactorily resolved by a confidential settlement between the parties,” Moll-Sequitin’s lawyer Simon Millman said as quoted in the report.

The report did not state the details of the settlement.

According to the report, Moll-Sequitin arrived in Australia in June 2008 on a 457 visa for temporary employment.

She was appointed as the store’s assistant manager by franchisee Neil Platts.

Three months after, she became pregnant, with her then fiancé Australian Guiller Sequitin as the presumed father.

In September 2008, however, Moll-Sequitin had an abortion after Platts allegedly threatened her that she would lose her job if she does not terminate her pregnancy.

She again became pregnant in February last year. About a month after, Platt called her to a meeting where he again allegedly cautioned her against continuing with her pregnancy.

“He told me… that if I go on with the pregnancy, he’d give me a letter of redundancy and I’d go back to the Philippines right away, pregnant, jobless and without (my husband),” Moll-Sequitin said in her complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission as quoted in the report.

She said she refused to have another abortion, and as a consequence was made redundant three days later.

She married Sequitin and gave birth to her daughter late last year.

Platt’s company Kandoo Investments initially denied the accusation, but Moll-Sequitin’s lawyer said his client had a tape recording of the second series of threats.

The Federal Court was supposed to hear arguments on the tape’s admissibility as evidence on July 8.—JV, GMANews.TV

‘Promos’ prompt fine-tuning of rules in senior citizens’ discount

So-called promo meals some restaurants offer have prompted the Department of Social Welfare and Development to fine-tune its enforcement of the 20-percent discount for senior citizens.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman on Friday said she will meet with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to see if restaurants are justified in denying a 20-percent discount for such promo meals.

“Aking uugnayin ang BIR at DTI tungkol diyan. (Pero) ang aking interpretation, ang 20-percent discount para sa senior citizens, promo o hindi, dapat ina-apply yan. Kailangan ibigay yan, promo o hindi (I will meet with the BIR and DTI on the matter. But my personal interpretation is that the 20-percent discount should apply regardless of the promo),” Soliman said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Soliman cited complaints reaching her office that some restaurants refused to grant the 20-percent discount for “value” meals being offered at discounted prices.

She noted senior citizens comprise less than 10 percent of the population. She said there are seven million senior citizens out of a population of 90 million.

“Kung 10 percent ang kakain doon araw-araw di malaking kalugihan yun (If less than 10 percent of their clients eat there and are entitled to discounts, I don’t think it will be a big loss for the establishments),” she said.

The DSWD on Tuesday started enforcement of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

A jail term of up to one year and a hefty fine await establishments that do not give senior citizens a full 20-percent discount in medicines, goods and services.

The law exempts senior citizens from the 12-percent value added tax (VAT), effectively allowing them full 20-percent discount on purchases.

Now, senior citizens enjoy only eight percent of the mandated 20-percent discount because of the VAT. There are around six million senior citizens in the country.

The discount covers purchases of medicine and essential medical supplies, accessories and equipment; medical, dental, and diagnostic and laboratory fees; fares for buses, jeepneys, taxis, shuttle services, railways, domestic air and sea transports.

No excuses

On the other hand, Soliman said there are no excuses for big establishments to deny senior citizens of the discount.

Most big hotels and restaurants have a 20-percent discount for members of the diplomatic community, so they can easily make similar provisions for senior citizens, she said.

Also, she urged senior citizens to report violations of the law. Earlier, the DSWD said complaints can be sent through the text hotline 0999-3417425. — LBG, GMANews.TV

Top 10 Richest Filipinos (2009)

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the richest of them all?

If you’re interested to know who the wealthiest people are in the Philippines, you need not ask the magic mirror but instead refer to Forbes Magazine’s list of The Philippines’ 40 Richest released this August 2009.

Who are the richest Filipinos? Read below.

SM mall mogul Henry Sy is still the richest man in the Philippines for two consecutive years now. In the 2008 Richest Filipinos list, he topped the list followed by Lucio Tan, Jaime Zobel de Ayala, and Andrew Tan. There is no change in the Top 4 this year.

There are three new Filipinos added to the list. Robert Coyiuto Jr. (#18) is the president of Oriental Petroleum & Minerals. Imelda Marcos’ younger brother, Benjamin Romualdez (#30) has stakes in Banco de Oro and Benguet Mining Corporation. The third, Marian Rosario Fong (#40), is a former partner of Sy’s supermarkets and has a 1% stake in SM Investments.

Last year’s #39, Manuel Pangilinan of PLDT and Metro Pacific, is out of the list this year.

The complete 40 Richest Filipinos list below.

Top 10 Richest People in the Philippines – 2009

1. Henry Sy

Networth: $3.8 billion
Age: 84
Marital Status: Married, 6 children

Stock price of his SM Investments has almost doubled since December low. Group, with interests in malls, retail, property, posted 14% increase in net income in first half of 2009. Daughter Teresita Sy-Coson runs its Banco de Oro Unibank, country’s largest bank by assets, which signed deal in May to acquire GE Capital’s Philippines banking arm in exchange for strategic investment from the U.S. company; deal expected to close this month. Sy, who got start selling shoes, shares fortune with wife and children.

2. Lucio Tan

Networth: $1.7 billion
Age: 75
Marital Status: Married, 6 children

His Philippine National Bank received regulatory approval to buy 38% of China’s Allied Commercial Bank in August. Former electrical engineer’s other holdings include Fortune Tobacco, Asia Brewery, Philippine Airlines and Hong Kong properties. Government case against Tan for allegedly holding assets for the late Ferdinand Marcos has dragged on for 22 years. Some of his fortune still sequestered as part of the long-running investigation.

3. Jaime Zobel de Ayala

Networth: $1.2 billion
Age: 75
Marital Status: Married, 7 children

Chairman emeritus of family’s Ayala Corp., one of the country’s largest conglomerates, which celebrated its 175th birthday this year. Eldest son, Jaime II, replaced his dad as chairman more than a decade ago; son Ferdinando is vice-chairman. Family’s shares now in his children’s hands.

4. Andrew Tan

Networth: $850 million
Age: 57
Marital Status: Married, 4 children

His holding company, Alliance Global Group, reported jump in first-quarter earnings thanks in part to strong food, beverage businesses (he owns the Philippines’ McDonald’s franchise) and improving real estate sales. Resort World Manila, his $1.35 billion casino joint venture with Malaysia’s Star Cruises, opened last month. Son of a factory worker made his first fortune in brandy, and later in property development through Megaworld.
5. John Gokongwei

Networth: $720 million
Age: 82
Marital Status: Married, 6 children

Shares of his conglomerate JG Summit — which has interests in airlines, telecoms, power, banking and real estate — are up more than 300% since last December’s low. Also owns Robinsons retail department store operations, with stores in 7 countries. Brother James Go chairs the group and son Lance is president.

6. Tony Tan CaktiongNetworth: $710 million
Age: 59
Marital Status: Married, 3 children

His fast-food company Jollibee Foods is expanding: it already has 1,800 locations, 9 brands in 11 countries, including popular burger joint Jollibee; plans to open another 200 this year in such countries as China, Vietnam and the U.S. Completed purchase of a congee restaurant chain in China last October. Got his start 34 years ago when he opened 2 ice cream parlors.

7. Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.

Networth: $660 million
Age: 74
Marital Status: Married, 4 children

Chief executive of Southeast Asia’s largest food and beverage conglomerate, San Miguel. Company has been buying up stakes in a power company, oil refiner and bank; has shown interest in buying Dole Food’s Asian assets. In July announced it is negotiating with potential investors to sell part of branded food, alcohol operations. Son Mark is a member of the Philippines’ House of Representatives.

8. Enrique Razon

Networth: $620 million
Age: 49
Marital Status: Married, 2 children

Was part of consortium, which also included China’s State Grid and Robert Coyiuto (No. 18), that paid $3.95 billion for National Grid Corp. of the Philippines. Runs port operator International Container Terminal Services, with operations in 10 countries; it posted one-third drop in net income for first half of year due to decline in global trade.

9. Manuel Villar
Networth: $530 million, Age: 59
Marital Status: Married, 3 children

Philippines Senate president, known as Manny, is a candidate in the 2010 presidential race. He is also the largest shareholder in property firms Vista Land & Lifescapes and Polar Property Holdings. Both sons are on board of Vista Land, whose stock hit 52-week high in August. Shrimp vendor’s son grew up in slum.

10. George Ty
Networth: $515 million Age: 76
Marital Status: Married, 5 children

His Metrobank, the country’s second-largest lender, saw profits rise in first quarter for first time in a year. Founded bank decades ago. His son Arthur replaced him as chairman 2006. Family, which includes Ty and his children, hold 40% of the bank.

Source: Forbes


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Jul 9, 2010

Marcos' $658-M Swiss bank deposits gone, Bongbong says

MANILA (PNA) - No less than Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, son of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, revealed on Thursday that the $658 million Swiss bank deposits, believed to be the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, are gone.
Bongbong Marcos, now a senator, revealed this to the Senate media during the weekly Kapihan sa Senado forum.
When asked where is the money which is now held in escrow at the Philippine National Bank, the neophyte senator answered: “I don’t know why it is now gone.”
”What I’ve heard is that the money was used during the 2007 elections. You should look for it. Ask them where is the money because every time I asked them, they cannot answer me,” Marcos said.
Asked if he would initiate an investigation to find the money, Marcos said that the government has problems that should be given priority.
”The problem of the Marcoses is not priority,” he added.
The funds were frozen by the Swiss government after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was toppled in a bloodless popular revolt in 1986, and transferred to the escrow account in 1998. Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in September 1989.
The funds are believed to form part of a huge fortune allegedly ransacked by Marcos during his 20-year rule.
Aside from Sen. Marcos, his mother Imelda and sister Imee have been elected in the last May 10 elections, winning as mayor of Laoag City and governor of Ilocos Norte, respectively. (PNA)

Jul 8, 2010


Joyce, the wife of the OFW whose husband remits to her $300 or PhP15,000 monthly wants to consider just buying real estate as an investment. She understood from our last talk that she should not invest more than PhP7,000 in real estate so that she can spread her risks.

Her cousin, Tina, is offering her a piece of land in her province as an investment. It is 1,000 sq.m. for only PhP400,000. Her cousin is even willing to accept installment payments if she just makes a 10% down payment of PhP40,000. Joyce has the money for the down payment because her husband just received a bonus.

Tina is willing to accept payment for the balance of PhP360,000 at the installment payments of PhP7,000 per month for 5 years or 60 months. This is actually equivalent to paying Tina an interest rate of only 6.24% p.a. for the PhP360,000 balance due. Tina told Joyce that this is a good deal because the property is well located and there are talks that prices will at least double in five years (this means that the value of the property will increase by 14.4% per year) because the area will be developed very soon. Tina can’t wait for the development because she is getting married and living abroad. The monthly installment is something that she wants to give to her parents as a monthly gift because her husband will be giving her the same amount to give to her parents anyway.

My comments are:

In terms of the money involved the deal does look okay if Joyce is able to:

Make sure that the PhP15,000 or at least PhP7,000 monthly remittance of her husband will really continue for 5 years and that she will have no other need for it except to pay for this property.

Investigate with the Registrar of Deeds that the value of property recently sold in the area to be really at least PhP400 per square meter.

Check out that the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) is clean and that it really corresponds to the property that was shown to you.

Visit the property to see that it does not have any squatters. Joyce will be paying less than the Php15,000 that she has available monthly so she has the budget to pay for real estate taxes and other expenses to maintain the land free of “talahib” and future possible squatters.

Ensure that the TCT can readily be transferred to Joyce after full payment considering that Tina will already be living abroad. Joyce should consult with a lawyer on this.

Joyce should try to understand if there is real basis in expecting the value to double in five years. She should verify from the local government whether or not there are approved infrastructure developments in the area and how long it will take. “Chismis” can never be reliable. She has to go there herself and check with the Registry or Deeds and the companies who will be developing the area.

However, even plans of big companies can change. Then, she has to make an educated guess if the future increase in value will give her returns that are at least higher than the average annual inflation rate of 7%.

If the property appreciates by only 7% annually, which is the average increase of property values, then the sales value of the property after five years will be PhP 561,000 or PhP527,000 after a 6% capital gains tax. This will mean that the effective return of this investment will only be 5.1%. This is lower than the average inflation rate of 7% and is therefore not that attractive as an investment

I need to remind Joyce that land, as an investment, is generally an illiquid investment. It is something she cannot sell very quickly if she needs cash. In this case, she can only sell the property after she has completed her installment payments and the TCT has been transferred to her. Again, this is an issue that ought to be discussed with Tina and the lawyer before the down payment is made.

In this case, she should be able to sell the land at PhP600 per square meter after five years if she wants to make a return equal to at least the inflation rate of 7%. She must remember that she will have to pay for the transfer of the TCT (about 2% of selling price) after she has completed the installment payments. Also she has capital gains tax of 6% when she sells the property.

If Joyce is able to find other uses for the real estate to give her income, she should include that income in the computation of the returns she has derived from the property. This would of course improve the return on that property investment.

Let us assume that there is a small building on the property that Joyce has been offered for the terms given above. Let’s say that Joyce has the option to rent out space in that building. In such a case, when she estimates her rental income, she should remember that she has to deduct the following from her rental income:

Cost of daily maintenance if there will be more than one tenant in the building as there will be common areas.

20% vacancy rate. This means that there will be no income for about 2.5 months per year.

Cost of major repairs of the building

Possible non-payment of rent by the tenants.

In addition to real estate tax, municipal permits and income taxes.

I also told Joyce, for her information that others also buy real estate to develop into buildings to rent, sell or into condominiums. However, these involve bigger capital and a lot more serious business management expertise.

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Loan to grow a business- COLAYCO

I received a question some time back on a matter that applies even today.

Would it be wise to borrow to grow our catering business?

Ten years ago, my husband and I took over his mother's catering business. Although the business has been around for 50 years and has built a solid reputation for quality food and exceptional service, we soon realized it needed a lot of improvement. We had to spend most of our savings to build a new kitchen, get a new service vehicle, buy new equipment and utensils, design a new logo, etc. We also had to re-introduce the business to the market because most of its old customers were gone. In this kind of business, we always have to change outdated equipment and design to keep up with the changing trends and keep the competition at bay.

Most of our revenues go into these improvements. However, since we only rely on our sales from the bookings that we get, we realize that it will take several more years before we can take our business to a whole new level.

We have contemplated on taking out a business loan, at least P1M but kept postponing it because we were too afraid of the monthly amortization. But I think it's about time we did this while we are still young, have the energy and enthusiasm, and while we're still bursting with ideas on how to run this business effectively. I can't wait for another 10 years while we see our competition take off.

My reply:

Based on the information you gave, it seems that you are in a perfect position to make your business dreams come true. You both have the passion for your food and catering business, a main ingredient in any business. You have started building up your productive assets to support your catering business and you need a process to validate your plan to borrow to grow your business. Borrowing is leverage and properly used, the most powerful tool to build capital and grow a business. Since both of you are still of prime age, you can still be more aggressive as clearly, you can still recover from any mistakes you might make.

Your immediate need is to make your actual Financial Statements for your business, that is, Cash Flow, Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet as of the end of the latest month to understand the real condition and the true net worth of your business. I strongly advise that you seek professional assistance to make these financial statements for you. Any prospective lender will require the information from you anyway before they even start evaluating your loan application.

After you have established your true financial condition, think out your business plan in detail: what market you will sell to, what product and/or services you will sell and your best estimates as to how much it will cost you to produce and deliver these products and services. The most important projection is your Cash Flow, which provides the true and total amount of cash (capital and debt) required to sustain the profitability of your business. You need to make your monthly projections for the next few years. These must be based on your most realistic set of assumptions pertaining to all aspects of the business requiring cash (cash out) or producing cash (cash in).

Make as many projections as you want using different assumptions for each item. These include all the cash that you receive and all the amounts you need to spend for. For each item, use different assumptions. On one sheet, you can have optimistic assumptions. On another sheet, you can use the pessimistic assumptions. Then, choose what assumption in each item is the most realistic and come out with a working financial plan, which will be a combination of all the scenarios you make. Some items can change monthly and some can be the same all throughout. You have to put some thought to each amount you use.

The negative amounts in your Net monthly Cash Flow represent the Equity and/or temporary funding (loan) needed by your business during those months. If you see the need for a loan based on your initial projections, your inflows and outflow projections will change with the benefit of the improved operations from your loan and the cash flows related to the loan. Go back and forth with all these changes until you arrive at what in your best judgment truly represents the most likely and conservative outcome. This will determine whether or not you can afford to take out a loan; how much; what payment terms and the interest rate you can absorb.

In taking out a loan, the most critical ingredient is your source of repayment and the cost or interest rate of the loan. Note that a loan is a definite and firm obligation for you to repay specific amounts at specific dates in the future. You must pay this obligation whether or not you achieve your business projections. To lower your borrowing rates, you may need to put up some collateral (most likely real estate). As a matter of fact, while the borrowing cost is important, what is more important is that you understand your true financial burden. As a final note, don’t rush into getting any loan until you have determined (from various cash flow projections) the amount of temporary borrowing you will need and the amount of amortization your business can comfortably service on a periodic basis (i.e., monthly quarterly, or even yearly).

You must make sure that under the worst conditions, you will have real and sufficient source for repayment.

Remember that your business financials should be separate from your personal financial statements. Your business should pay you and your husband a salary. If you are using your home and vehicles for your business, your business should pay you for the use of these assets. This will give you a true picture of what your business profitability really is.

Join our July Seminars:
July 15 Thursday – 9AM-12NN Investability: The Stock Market Fundamental
July 24 Saturday – 2-5PM Pisobilities: Managing Your Personal Finances
July 30 Friday – 6-9PM Investability: The Stock Market Technical Analysis

Call 6373731 o 6373741 or write info@colaycofoundation.com or check out www.colaycofoundation.com

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