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Samuel Medenilla

‘Restore P1-B fund,’ reproductive health supporters urge

Supporters of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law will launch a campaign today to call for the restoration of the P1-billion funds for the implementation of the legislation’s family planning component. The fund was slashed from the Department of Health’s (DOH) budget this year. In a phone interview, Partido Manggagawa (PM) disclosed it will join the press conference organized by Reproductive Health Action Network in Quezon City to bare the details of the campaign. Other non-government organizations and lawmakers, who pushed for the passage of the RH law, will attend the event. “We vow more actions and a vigorous campaign until the budget cut is reversed,” Judy Ann Miranda, secretary-general of PM, said. Last week, DOH Secretary Janette Garin announced it is now faced with a looming shortage of artificial contraceptives for the implementation of …

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DOLE: At least 100,000 local, overseas jobs available for job seekers

More than 100,000 local and overseas job vacancies in the private sector are now up for grabs for job seekers. As of Jan. 12, the PhilJobNet, the official job search website of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), has already registered 116,295 jobs from its partner companies. Majority or 18,764 of the local job vacancies are for customer service clerks. It was followed by personal and protective sales workers with 14,129, and laborers in sales with 12,081. For overseas employment opportunities, workers in the metal, machinery and other industry posted the higher available position with 4,527. Other in-demand jobs abroad are in the mining in the construction industry with 3,481 positions and professionals in the science and health sector. DOLE has been urging job seekers to use PhilJobNet since it offers thousands of job …

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Number of Middle East OFWs predicted to decline amid oil price slump

With the steady decline of oil prices in the global market, the recruitment industry urged the government to start coming out with a new program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who may be displaced as oil-rich countries in the Middle East start implementing austerity measures. LBS Recruitment Solutions Corp. President Loreto "Lito" Soriano disclosed they are projecting fewer OFWs will be deployed in Middle East if the oil prices slump persists up to June. He said the declining revenues from oil has prompted some Arab countries to postpone some infrastructure projects and forced some oil companies to cut cost. Citing the case of their deployment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the recruitment leader noted they already observed a decline in the number of Saudi employers, who arrived in the country to …

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OFWs in Saudi-Yemen border seek gov’t help for repatriation

Several overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Najran, near the southern border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) which has been recently hit by bombings, are now seeking government assistance for their repatriation. Since last year, the area has been subjected to attacks by Yemeni rebels after the Saudi forces started aiding the Yemeni government in regaining control of the country, which has now descended into civil war. Blas F. Ople Policy Center president Susan Ople disclosed at least four OFWs have already sought their assistance to leave Najran. “The Center referred their appeals for help to the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) for appropriate action. According to the worker, their employer has agreed to let them go provided that he is paid back all the recruitment costs,” Ople said. The migrant advocate leader …

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Guanzon, Lim to argue Comelec case before SC

With the Solicitor General unable to represent them, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc has assigned Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Arthur Lim to defend the poll body’s decision to nullify the certificate of candidacy (COC) of Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares for president before the Supreme Court (SC). Guanzon and Lim are members of the First and Second Divisions of the Comelec, respectively. “The en banc of the Commission on Election decided to assign me and Commissioner Arthur Lim for the oral arguments,” Guanzon said. The Comelec en banc upheld on Dec. 23, 2015 the decision of the two poll divisions to disqualify Poe over “material misrepresentation” in her COC, where she claimed to be a natural-born Filipino citizen despite being a foundling. “Unless Petitioner can show that a foundling with no known parentage or …

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Duterte faces another DQ case

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is now facing another disqualification case after the Commission on Election (Comelec) confirmed it has officially accepted the petition filed by Eli Pamatong against him. Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said they are now considering merging the petition filed by Pamatong to the cases filed by broadcaster Ruben Castor, nuisance presidential candidate Rizalito David, and University of the Philippines (UP) Student Council chairman John Paulo Delas Nieves. She said this is part of the poll body's initiative to speed up the resolution of the Durterte's case. "The en banc is now deliberating. It is considering consolidating all the cases of Mayo Duterte," Guanzon told reporters in an interview. "Our objective is to finish (its deliberation) in Comelec at the best possible time so they elevate it to the Supreme Court," …

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Comelec to start hearing Duterte’s DQ cases next week

The Commission on Election (Comelec) said it will start hearing the consolidated three disqualification cases filed against Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte next week. "Our First Division will be having a hearing on (these cases) on Tuesday, Jan. 12," Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said during a press conference at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila. The poll chief disclosed the Comelec First Division opted to consolidate  the three cases filed against Duterte since the issues raised by its respective petitioners were the same. Duterte is currently facing disqualification charges filed by Ruben Castor, nuisance presidential candidate Rizalito David, and University of the Philippines (UP) Student Council chairman John Paulo Delas Nieves. Castor was the first to file his petition on Nov. and was later followed by David and Nieves the following month. The three petitioners questioned …

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Comelec to start hearing on Duterte DQ cases

The Commission on Election (Comelec) announced on January 5, 2016 that it will start hearing the consolidated three disqualification cases filed against Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte next week. "Our First Division will be having a hearing on [these cases] on Tuesday, Jan. 12," Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said during a press conference at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila. The poll chief disclosed the Comelec First Division opted to consolidate the three cases filed against Duterte since the issues raised by its respective petitioners were the same. Duterte is currently facing disqualification charges filed by Ruben Castor, nuisance presidential candidate Rizalito David, and University of the Philippines (UP) Student Council chairman John Paulo Delas Nieves.

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DOT tapping emerging markets, eyeing 6 million tourist arrivals

To achieve its target of 6 million tourist arrivals in 2016, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is intensifying its promotion campaign in five emerging markets and attract more visitors to the Philippines for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE). “This is apart from the traditional MICE market like US, Japan, Korea,” Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. told reporters in a interview. He tagged India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Russia as countries with increasing demand for MICE venues. The tourism official said that DOT will increase its presence in these new markets especially as it launches its events-based Visit the Philippine, Again (VPA) 2016 campaign. The sequel to DOT’s Visit the Philippines Year (VPY) 2015, VPA aims to raise the number of foreign visitors by having them hold their major meetings here in the country. DOT …

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TUCP airs alien employment concerns

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said it is now monitoring the possible arrival of illegal migrants, who may be victims of human trafficking, with the start of the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) last month. ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “So far, we have not monitored any (surge in the number of foreign workers)... we will just continue our monitoring,” TUCP official Gerard Seno told reporters in an interview. The country’s largest labor group expressed this concern after it reported in 2013 the some 3,000 foreigners without the necessary alien employment permit (AEP) to be working in construction sites in Bataan and Batangas. The incident was immediately addressed by the Bureau of Immigration and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Earlier, DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment …

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