July 6, 2022 1:46 p.m.
AS LONG as he is in power, newly appointed Commission on Audit chairman Atty. Jose Callangan Calida recently assured Filipinos that public public funds will be safeguarded.
“We are not just acting to promote excellence, but also to make it a habit here in COA. We have to do our job properly, be the best in our field,” Calida of Davao City said, adding that the government’s auditing agency will be transparent and fair to the public.
Calida met the media during his first day in the office, saying that he would do whatever it takes to protect every single centavo of the people’s money.
The Commission on Audit is an independent constitutional commission with the primary function to examine, audit and settle all accounts and expenditures of the funds and properties of the Philippine government.
“COA auditors should correctly scrutinize and carefully inspect accounts. I believe they are the best in the field and we’re here to fight corruption in the government,” he added. “I am warning anybody in COA that if there are shenanigans and mischievous activities, I will remove them.”
The former Solicitor General under the term of former President Rodrigo Duterte met for the first time COA’s commissioners, lawyers and other officials on Monday morning at the COA main office in Quezon City.
Calida, who will be turning 72 on Thursday, also thanked employees of COA for the warm welcome. “Those who are earnest in their work, they will remain in this office and will be rewarded.”
Jayke Joson, a former actor producer, and Jay Ruiz, former news anchor and TV host, were seen accompanying Chairman Calida in his first day at COA.
“We are here to help the new COA chairman set up everything in his first day in office. We believe in him, that’s why we volunteered to give an extra hand to help our Good Chairman in his first day. Atty. Calida is our idol. We call him the Enforcer, because he always enforces the law,” Joson said.
“President Marcos appointed a very reliable person to COA. With his track record, he always get the job done. He will not let us down,” he added.
Newly proclaimed President Ferdinand “BongBong Marcos Jr. appointed Calida to lead the COA due to his superb expertise in law and achievements when he led the Office of the Solicitor General, among other government agencies.
Australian delegates visit Clark
August 18, 2022 7:23 p.m.
CLARK FREEPORT – As part of their business mission in the Philippines, a delegation from Australia composed of industry leaders on various business sectors recently visited this Freeport to explore potential trade, tourism, and investment opportunities.
In a simple activity held at the New Clark City (NCC) on Wednesday, the delegates were given presentations on the current developments in NCC, Clark Freeport Zone, Clark International Airport, and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Aileen Zosa, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) Chairman Atty. Edgardo Pamintuan, CDC Vice President for Engineering Services Group (ESG) Dennis C. Legaspi, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) Officer-In-Charge Darwin Cunanan and TIEZA Division Manager Donald Maldonado welcomed the delegation led by Philippine Ambassador to Australia Hellen De La Vega.
Former President and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also delivered a message for the delegation through a video message.
“The province of Pampanga has already prepared its land development plan with Clark as its hub, and implementing this is underway. The BCDA has integrated four major contiguous investment districts, mainly the Clark Freeport Zone, Clark Global City, Clark International Airport, and Subic. My wish related to your visit is for the Philippines to have closer ties and expand the depth of scope of our economic cooperation with Australia and New Zealand,” Arroyo said.
Meanwhile, in his speech, Pamintuan thanked the delegation for visiting Clark and for choosing the Philippines as an investment destination. He also mentioned that the business mission will fortify the economic cooperation between Australia and the investment hubs in the Philippines.
“Your visit signifies the strengthening of the economic partnership between Australia and the Freeport Zones in Clark, Subic, represented by Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Clark International Airport Corporation, Clark Development Corporation, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority,” he said.
Pamintuan also cited how new investment opportunities will intensify the promotion of inclusive development that will benefit the communities surrounding the Freeport.
“The forging of new investment and trade cooperation will benefit the local government units that form massive economic and investment corridor traversed by the Subic-Clark- Tarlac Expressway,” he added.
For her part, Zosa, in her presentation, underscored the suitability of Clark as an investment hub.
“Our jewel is really Clark. It’s the biggest and has the best potential for unlocking the value of these prime properties,” she added.
Aside from Clark, the delegation also visited the areas of Bataan and Subic for other set of activities that include investment briefings and business-to-business meetings.
Rep. Matibag files ‘Anti No-Permit, No-Exam Bill’
August 17, 2022 11:30 p.m.
The Anti No-Permit, No-Exam Bill of Rep. Ann Matibag of San Pedro City of the first district of province of Laguna passed on first reading in the House of Representatives.
The proposed house bill (1486) seeks to allow students to take their preliminary, midterm or final examinations without the need to secure a permit as proof of payment of tuition and other school fees.
“It is really high time to get rid of the ‘no permit, no exam policy’ being imposed in schools and most universities,” said Matibag, whose anti-trans fat bill was also passed on first reading.
“Every student has a right to finish his/her studies. Now that the opening of classes is near, no student should have his/her education interrupted just because he or she cannot pay tuition fees at the moment,” added Matibag, who is known for her initiatives for the youth and mother sectors.
Despite the ongoing global economic inflation caused by the pandemic and the rise in fuel prices, Rep. Matibag explained that the right of Filipino students to study in private and public universities must not be affected by their economic status.
Matibag believes that education is not a privilege, but an absolute right — reassuring parents that their children should be able to pursue their education without the heavy pressure to settle debts.
“In my explanatory note, it is time to have an act penalizing the ‘no permit, no exam policy’ in all educational institutions,” said Matibag, also a former Laguna provincial board member. “This is consistent with State policy to prioritize education, science and technology, arts and sports to foster patriotism.”
She added despite this mandate, many schools and college universities still prohibit their students to take their exams if they don’t settle or pay their tuition fees.
Matibag added that she is sad to learn that some colleges and universities are also capitalizing on hybrid classes, which cost them less on overhead expenses such as electricity and maintenance.
“We cannot allow our students and their parents to be exploited and used as milking cows especially during these hard economic times. The present condition is very depressing. We must correct it to guarantee the universal right to education of the Filipino youth,” Matibag added.
The Department of Education, meanwhile, announced the resumption of classes on August 22, 2022, while the full implementation of face-to-face classes will start on November 2, 2022.
Obiena back with PH team
August 17, 2022 9:15 p.m.
Olympian Pole Vaulter Ernest John Obiena has been formally reinstated to the national team after Philippine Athletic Track and Field Association (PATAFA) endorsed his re-inclusion along with five other athletes to the Philippine Sports Commission.
This happy development came after majority of PATAFA Board members voted on it during their special board meeting held last Saturday, August 13.
This was bared by PATAFA Executive Vice President Willie Torres, as instructed by PATAFA President Terry Capistrano.
PSC Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy Jr. said that this decision takes effect this month and that the changes fall within the existing team quota of athletics.
Current PSC Officer in charge, Commissioner Bong Coo is pleased with this turn of events saying that “we are thankful to the PATAFA leadership” for taking this step to solidify the strength of our national athletics team.