Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Repost From Alvin Elchico Of ABS-CBN News

Thousands of government workers may lose jobs
Thousands of government workers may lose jobs

MANILA, Philippnes - Thousands more are facing the prospect of joining the swelling ranks of the unemployed, as several government bureaus and agencies are planning to reorganize and streamline their operations.

COURAGE Philippines or the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees-Philippines, the umbrella organization of public sector unions in the country, is appealing to incoming President Benigno Aquino III, to reverse the previous government's policy of privatization.

COURAGE also called for Aquino to rescind Executive Order 366, signed in 2004 by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

EO 366 called for the review of the operations and organizations of the executive branch, and provided options and incentives for government employees who may be affected by the rationalization of all functions and agencies of the government.

Among those that are affected by EO 366 are the Philippine Ports Authority, National Housing Authority, National Food Authority and the Philippines Postal Service.

"Unless the situation is reversed by the incoming administration, this is the proverbial Damocles sword that could be dropped on small workers of the government," said Ferdie Garte, president of COURAGE.

At the National Power Corp., employees are bracing for the reorganization.

From 8,000 employees in 2001, the workforce was cut to 6,000 in 2003 and a further 3,000 this year.

In the planned Napocor reorganization,50% of the existing manpower will be terminated, with 90% of the company's power generation plants already privatized or sold to the private sector.

Jimmy Salman, North Luzon president of the Power Generation Employees Association, said employees are preparing for the eventuality, but are pressing for a bigger separation package to help them cope while they are unemployed.

Meanwhile, the Civil Service commission reminded newly-elected officials that they cannot remove regular employees, and replace them with workers of their choice.

"Just to remind the new local government executives, they should respect career civil servants," said Francisco Duque, chairman of the Civil Service Commission.

He said that even the transfer, promotion or demotion of regular employees are governed by civil service laws.based on a report of Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Reposted From Alvin Elchico Of ABS-CBN News

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Repost From GMA News.TV

Bangit bows out of AFP, warns of ‘dangerous precedent’

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Delfin Bangit on Tuesday bowed out of service with a warning: that what happened to him may set a "dangerous precedent" to future heads of the Philippine military organization.

"My concern is that this might set a dangerous precedent. What happened to me might happen to future chiefs of staff during a transition of government," Bangit said in a speech during the turnover ceremony held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

"I am concerned that because of what happened to me, people will think that the [post of] AFP chief of staff is co-terminus with the president. It is not and will never be," he told the audience, which included outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Bangit was forced to cut short his tour of duty after President-elect Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III openly rejected him to be his military chief of staff. He was supposed to retire on July 31, 2011 when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.

Bangit is the first Armed Forces chief in recent history to have been eased out during the turn of a new administration. Last week, he submitted his early retirement application to Mrs. Arroyo, who in turn approved it on June 21.

Arroyo soldier?

Bangit is perceived to be loyal to President Arroyo, their professional relationship dating back when she was still vice president. Bangit then was commanding officer of her security detachment.

President Arroyo is an honorary member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class of 1978, of which Bangit is a member.

President Arroyo, in her speech, praised Bangit for opting to retire early. "He still has 13 months to go before he retires, but he chose the early exit as the more honorable path. I thank you for that... and I thank you for your many sacrifices," she said.

In his speech, Bangit pointed out that while he remained loyal to the Philippine Constitution, his detractors had consistently cast a blanket of doubt over his allegiance.

"I must be the most badly hit by the word [loyalty]. My loyalty to the Constitution has been doubted to have been misplaced. I have delivered sincerely every oath I made, that oath of a Filipino soldier. And the oath when I said, ‘Sa Diyos lang ako magpapagamit (I will be an instrument only to God’," he said, referring to his oath when he took over the top military post last March.

The replacement

Armed Forces vice chief of staff Lt. Gen. Nestor Ochoa will assume Bangit’s post in an acting capacity and stay there for the remainder of President Arroyo’s tenure, which ends on June 30.

Ochoa is associated with Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, having served as the battalion commander of the presidential guards during her administration.

In his assumption speech, Ochoa praised Bangit for his "soft spot" for soldiers and the entire military organization. He also lauded Bangit for leading the military during what he considered as "honest, orderly, and peaceful elections" last May 10.

He said he believes Bangit would "bounce back from this experience and come out successful in the end" as he expressed readiness to head the "caretaker" leadership of the Armed Forces.

Ochoa also urged his men to support not only Aquino but whoever the next military chief of staff will be.

Present during Tuesday's ceremony were Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, and Deputy Director General Jefferson Soriano, who represented Philippine National Police chief Director General Jesus Verzosa.

Last week, Bangit started making the rounds in a number of military detachments across the country to bid his soldiers goodbye. [See: Bangit on early retirement: A service to Filipinos, not a 'sacrifice']— KBK/RSJ, GMANews.TV

Reposted From GMA News.TV

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Repost From Philstar.Com

Comelec executive's son kidnapped in Lanao

Comelec executive's son kidnapped in Lanao

MANILA, Philippines - The son of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Elias Yusoph was kidnapped by unidentified men allegedly demanding the nullification of the results of the elections in several towns in Lanao del Sur.

Police said 22-year-old Nuraldin Yusoph was kidnapped by hooded gunmen while praying at the VicBato Alih mosque in Barangay Sabala Amanao, Marawi City late Sunday.

Several hours later, the elder Yusoph received a call from the supposed kidnappers demanding that he nullify the election results in the towns of Malabang, Pilong, Taraka, and Masiu in exchange for the release of his son.

The Comelec held special elections in the four towns following a failure of elections during the May 10 polls.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police director Chief Superintendent Bienvenido Latag said they have yet to identify the group behind the kidnapping.

Latag said police are coordinating with the Yusoph family since initial findings indicate that the kidnapping could be politically motivated.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, however, confirmed the kidnappers made contact with Yusoph and announced their demands.

“There is proof of life and he is calm and in good condition. Commissioner Yusoph was allowed to talk to his son right after the kidnapping,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the Yusoph family and the Comelec are closely coordinating with the police in the effort to secure the safe release of the younger Yusoph.

“Right now we’re establishing what they need, what they want but the policy is no negotiation. I don’t think that there’s any reason to assume (a change in the policy),” he said.

According to Jimenez, the kidnapping of the son of the Comelec official could be classified as election-related.

“It’s not exactly about nullification of votes, although it has something to do with elections,” Jimenez said.

Although the kidnapping could be election-related, Jimenez said the authorities have yet to identify the culprits.

He said it would be unfair to tag losing candidates as being behind the kidnapping. -With Sheila Crisostomo, John Unson - By Cecille Suerte Felipe (Philstar News Service,

Reposted From Cecille Suerte Felipe, With Sheila Crisostomo And John Unson (Philstar.Com)