GUESSING GAME: ANOTHER HIGH-PROFILE FUGITIVE TO FALL - PNoy

President Aquino hinted yesterday that another top fugitive will soon fall following the arrest of real estate developer Delfin Lee recently. Aquino, however, refused to disclose the fugitive’s identity so as not to jeopardize the ongoing operations of law enforcement agencies. “Let’s just wait for the police operations to end and you will see the competence shown by our law enforcement entities,” he said, adding the public might be surprised at how the authorities managed to monitor the fugitive’s trail. The President disclosed that authorities have raised the reward for the arrest of the high-profile criminal. Other high-profile fugitives who remain at large are retired military general Jovito Palparan, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother ex-Coron mayor Mario Reyes, former police officer Cezar Mancao, former Dinagat congressman Ruben Ecleo Jr. and Reynald Lim, brother of alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. Only Lee and Napoles, who surrendered to Aquino in August last year, are the high-profile fugitives now under government custody.

ALSO: Aquino: We’ll catch a big fish soon

The guessing game is on as President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday revealed that authorities would soon capture an “important fugitive.” President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday revealed to media that authorities would soon capture an important fugitive. “Ang kaya kong masabi sa inyo ngayon, may ine-expect kami. Hindi ko na muna sasabihin sa inyo kung sino, ang masasabi ko muna ay pag nagtagumpay ang isang kasalukuyang operasyon, mabibilib kayo sa kalibre ng mga dadakip at madadakip,” Aquino said in an ambush interview during The Pinoy Music Summit in Manila. (What I can tell you now is that we are expecting someone. I won’t tell you who. What I can say is that if the operation succeeds, you will be impressed with the caliber of those who will arrest him and the fugitive who will be captured.) “So hintayin na lang po (Let’s just wait),” he added. Aquino gave the statement two weeks after real estate magnate Delfin Lee, founder of the Globe Asiatique and the alleged brains behind a housing scam, was arrested by the Philippine National Police. Lee was among the “Big Five” or the country’s most wanted men. Like Lee, General Jovito Palparan, Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, his brother Coron Mayor Mario Reyes and Dinagat Island Representative Ruben Ecleo Jr. Authorities put up a P2-million bounty for the capture of each wanted man. Palparan was accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan while the Reyes brothers were the primary suspects in the murder of radio broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega. Ecleo, on the other hand, was convicted in 2012 for killing his wife.

ALSO: Food aid for Yolanda victims rotting?

The country could be put in a bad light before the international donor community following reports that food aid for Super Typhoon Yolanda victims are left rotting without being distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), an administration lawmaker said yesterday. Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian said such reports are “simply unacceptable by any standard,” adding the government has a moral obligation to feed and help Yolanda victims. He pushed for an immediate congressional investigation into the reported dumping of rotten food aid, which according to reports was done in batches in Leyte. “Even if the House (of Representatives) is on recess, a committee probe on the alleged dumping can be launched to shed light on the issue,” Gatchalian said. “This is not only of national interest as it does not only affect our fellow Filipinos who are victims of the typhoon. This also affects the countries and international institutions that have reached out to us in our time of need. What would donor countries think of the Philippines?” he said. The lawmaker cited the World Bank (WB)’s recent report on tackling food loss, which showed that a quarter to one-third of all food produced globally is either thrown in the trash or lost while being transported to market. WB Group president Jim Yong Kim said the amount of food lost or wasted is “shameful,” adding that “millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night.”

ALSO: ‘Crony capitalism being addressed’

Perceptions that crony capitalism has persisted in the country are being addressed by the Aquino administration, a Palace spokesman said Wednesday. “Through good governance, we are consciously leveling the playing field and dismantling the remaining vestiges of cronyism,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said. He issued the statement in reaction to the “Planet Plutocrat” article in The Economist, which ranked the Philippines sixth among countries where crony capitalism is still active. “As we endeavor to attain inclusive growth, we would like to see that the benefits of economic development are tangibly enjoyed by more and more Filipinos,” Coloma said in a text message. In its Crony Capitalism Index last week, the British magazine said the rich get richer in developing countries such as the Philippines as billionaires saw their wealth “doubling relative to the size of the economy.” “Most countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, saw their scores get worse between 2007 and 2014, as tycoons active in real estate and natural resources got richer,” according to the study. The Economist said these countries have “huge crony-sector wealth, created by rent-seeking practices of the wealthy.” “In technical terms, an economic rent is the difference between what people are paid and what they would have to be paid for their labor, capital, land (or any other inputs into production) to remain in their current use,” The Economist’s print edition stated. It also simplified the behavior of rent-seekers as “grabbing a bigger slice of the pie rather than making the pie bigger,” it added.

FRANCISCO TATAD: If PNoy were an honest man

Sen. Sergio Osmena III has done President B. S. Aquino III a signal service by describing him in terms none of his propagandists, domestic or foreign, have done---he called him “an awful manager, but an honest man.” I have inverted the original quote to put the accent on “an honest man;” Osmena puts the accent on “awful manager.” The world knows Aquino is an incompetent manager, but the jury is still out as far as his “honesty” is concerned. So Osmena, who is Aquino’s friend and ally, tells us----he is an honest man. This means he will neither bribe nor be bribed; he will not lie, cheat or steal. The quote is quite crisp, but it has very little to stand on. Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmena puts it, he would have been the first one to say the presidency was far beyond his depth. The job requires brains and skills to solve problems, manage people and processes, motivate, inspire and lead. Aquino would have been the first to know he had neither the aptitude nor the patience for these things; he is, as Osmena puts it, an “awful manager.” Nothing in his past or present life says otherwise. His late mother had to campaign house to house and plead with then-Governor Jose V. “Aping” Yap, the political kingpin of Tarlac, to allow his son to win as congressman. He served for three terms and went on to become a senator for three years. But his record was totally unblemished by anything resembling an achievement. Not even his late mother thought he should aim for higher office. In fact, when Local Government Secretary Manuel Araneta Roxas II was still trying to promote himself as the unchallenged Liberal Party presidential candidate for 2010, and his problem was how to find a suitable running mate, the LP top dogs could only respond with obscene laughter when then Batangas congressman Hermilando Mandanas made the mistake of suggesting PNoy. Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have found this a good opportunity to acknowledge his many sins as president. Not all his mistakes have been willful or grave. But he has committed grievous crimes. His use of the PDAF and DAP to bribe Congress in order to impeach and convict a Supreme Court Chief Justice and to railroad a constitutionally infirm, blatantly anti-Catholic and thoroughly divisive Reproductive Health bill is one such crime. No president has done it before. He could go down in history as the first corruptor of Congress. Nothing in the world can support the claim that he is an honest man or president....READ MORE

ALSO: WB's Food Loss and Waste a Barrier to Poverty Reduction

The world loses or wastes one-quarter to one-third of all food produced for human consumption, according to the latest issue of the World Bank's quarterly Food Price Watch citing FAO and World Resources Institute estimates. In regions rife with undernourishment, such as Africa and South Asia, this shocking loss translates to 400 to 500 calories per person, per day—and up to 1520 calories in the developed world. “The amount of food wasted and lost globally is shameful,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night, and yet millions of tons of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market. We have to tackle this problem in every country in order to improve food security and to end poverty.” According to the latest edition of Food Price Watch, global food prices declined by 3 percent over the last quarter but remain close to historical peaks, driven by record-setting harvests in wheat, maize and rice, increased supplies, and stronger global stocks.


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Another high-profile fugitive to fall – Noy


Palparan, Ecleo, J. Reyes, M. Reyes

MANILA, MARCH 24, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  By Delon Porcalla -  President Aquino hinted yesterday that another top fugitive will soon fall following the arrest of real estate developer Delfin Lee recently.

Aquino, however, refused to disclose the fugitive’s identity so as not to jeopardize the ongoing operations of law enforcement agencies.

“Let’s just wait for the police operations to end and you will see the competence shown by our law enforcement entities,” he said, adding the public might be surprised at how the authorities managed to monitor the fugitive’s trail.

The President disclosed that authorities have raised the reward for the arrest of the high-profile criminal.

Other high-profile fugitives who remain at large are retired military general Jovito Palparan, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother ex-Coron mayor Mario Reyes, former police officer Cezar Mancao, former Dinagat congressman Ruben Ecleo Jr. and Reynald Lim, brother of alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

Only Lee and Napoles, who surrendered to Aquino in August last year, are the high-profile fugitives now under government custody.

Lee, owner of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp., is facing syndicated estafa charges for defrauding Pag-IBIG Fund of more than P7 billion from March 2008 to August 2010. The amount far exceeded the P500-million annual limit that Pag-IBIG grants to accredited developers.

Palparan, on the other hand, is facing serious illegal detention charges for the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeo in 2006. Authorities have raised from P1 million to P2 million the reward for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of Palparan, once a member of a paramilitary party-list group.

The Reyes brothers, who have a P2-million bounty on their heads, were accused of masterminding the murder of environmentalist and broadcaster Gerry Ortega.

Ecleo was convicted of parricide for killing his wife in Cebu City in 2002.

Cezar Mancao is implicated in the double murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000. He escaped from the NBI jail in Manila in May 2013.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino: We’ll catch a big fish soon By Kristine Angeli Sabillo INQUIRER.net
11:09 am | Wednesday, March 19th, 2014


The guessing game is on as President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday revealed that authorities would soon capture an “important fugitive.” VIDEO BY INQUIRER.net’s RYAN LEAGOGO

Manila, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday revealed to media that authorities would soon capture an important fugitive.

“Ang kaya kong masabi sa inyo ngayon, may ine-expect kami. Hindi ko na muna sasabihin sa inyo kung sino, ang masasabi ko muna ay pag nagtagumpay ang isang kasalukuyang operasyon, mabibilib kayo sa kalibre ng mga dadakip at madadakip,” Aquino said in an ambush interview during The Pinoy Music Summit in Manila.
(What I can tell you now is that we are expecting someone. I won’t tell you who. What I can say is that if the operation succeeds, you will be impressed with the caliber of those who will arrest him and the fugitive who will be captured.)

He declined to give details so as not to preempt the arrest.

“Ngayon ’pag tinanong nyo ako ng detalye, baka naman itong malapit na madampot ay mapansin na sya ang tinutukoy ay mawala na naman,” he said.

(Now if you would ask me for more, this person who is about to fall might realize he is the one being referred to and be able to allude arrest.)

“So hintayin na lang po (Let’s just wait),” he added.

Aquino gave the statement two weeks after real estate magnate Delfin Lee, founder of the Globe Asiatique and the alleged brains behind a housing scam, was arrested by the Philippine National Police.

Lee was among the “Big Five” or the country’s most wanted men. Like Lee, General Jovito Palparan, Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, his brother Coron Mayor Mario Reyes and Dinagat Island Representative Ruben Ecleo Jr. Authorities put up a P2-million bounty for the capture of each wanted man.

Palparan was accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and disappearance of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan while the Reyes brothers were the primary suspects in the murder of radio broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega. Ecleo, on the other hand, was convicted in 2012 for killing his wife.

Palparan, who once served as a partylist representative, has been missing since 2011. Meanwhile, the Reyes brother disappeared in March 2012 after the Puerto Princesa City trial court ordered their arrest.

FROM PHILSTAR

Food aid for Yolanda victims rotting? By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 20, 2014 - 12:00am 1 168 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The country could be put in a bad light before the international donor community following reports that food aid for Super Typhoon Yolanda victims are left rotting without being distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), an administration lawmaker said yesterday.

Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian said such reports are “simply unacceptable by any standard,” adding the government has a moral obligation to feed and help Yolanda victims.

He pushed for an immediate congressional investigation into the reported dumping of rotten food aid, which according to reports was done in batches in Leyte.

“Even if the House (of Representatives) is on recess, a committee probe on the alleged dumping can be launched to shed light on the issue,” Gatchalian said.

“This is not only of national interest as it does not only affect our fellow Filipinos who are victims of the typhoon. This also affects the countries and international institutions that have reached out to us in our time of need. What would donor countries think of the Philippines?” he said.

The lawmaker cited the World Bank (WB)’s recent report on tackling food loss, which showed that a quarter to one-third of all food produced globally is either thrown in the trash or lost while being transported to market.

WB Group president Jim Yong Kim said the amount of food lost or wasted is “shameful,” adding that “millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night.”

The investigation, Gatchalian said, should lead to prosecution of the people responsible for this blunder and improvement in logistical support in times of disasters.

“With the unprecedented volume of donations, DSWD should have planned a better logistical support. Or the more pragmatic approach is to just give away the donations to whoever needs it. With all the aid coming in, we have a moral obligation to feed and help the victims of Yolanda,” he said.

No confirmation

Meanwhile, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, who earlier denied such claims, said Gatchalian failed to identify the specific barangay, municipality or city where the alleged dumping of spoiled food aid took place.

She said there is also no confirmation of reports that are circulating in various social media on alleged waste of food relief assistance due to non-distribution in local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas.

She said the DSWD turned over relief food supplies to LGUs, which in turn should distribute these to their constituents as provided under the Local Government Code.

She said the DSWD also checks any complaint or report regarding relief goods that have not been distributed.

Soliman said the DSWD had set up a text hotline (0920-9463766) where any relief assistance-related complaints can be sent, even as she assured the public that it would be immediately investigated by the DSWD.

She said they would welcome any investigation to be initiated by Congress into alleged massive waste of food relief.

“Give us some details so we can prepare also,” she added. – With Rainier Allan Ronda

‘Crony capitalism being addressed’ By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 21, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Perceptions that crony capitalism has persisted in the country are being addressed by the Aquino administration, a Palace spokesman said Wednesday.

“Through good governance, we are consciously leveling the playing field and dismantling the remaining vestiges of cronyism,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

He issued the statement in reaction to the “Planet Plutocrat” article in The Economist, which ranked the Philippines sixth among countries where crony capitalism is still active.

“As we endeavor to attain inclusive growth, we would like to see that the benefits of economic development are tangibly enjoyed by more and more Filipinos,” Coloma said in a text message.

In its Crony Capitalism Index last week, the British magazine said the rich get richer in developing countries such as the Philippines as billionaires saw their wealth “doubling relative to the size of the economy.”

“Most countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, saw their scores get worse between 2007 and 2014, as tycoons active in real estate and natural resources got richer,” according to the study.

The Economist said these countries have “huge crony-sector wealth, created by rent-seeking practices of the wealthy.”

“In technical terms, an economic rent is the difference between what people are paid and what they would have to be paid for their labor, capital, land (or any other inputs into production) to remain in their current use,” The Economist’s print edition stated.

It also simplified the behavior of rent-seekers as “grabbing a bigger slice of the pie rather than making the pie bigger,” it added.

The study showed the Philippines rose to sixth from ninth since 2007 for a rising share of crony sectors in its Gross Domestic Product, currently at about 13 percent.

‘Stimulate discussion’

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the article apparently only wanted to “stimulate discussion.”

“The article is meant to stimulate discussion on wealth creation and rent-seeking, as it focused on the ratio of billionaires in various countries to industries that rely on government permits or other approvals,” he said in a statement.

Lacierda also noted the magazine’s admission about “three big shortcomings” in its index. “This index is certainly an exercise to provoke discussion, given the self-admitted limitations of the article,” he said.

FROM MANILA STANDARD

If PNoy were an honest man By Francisco S. Tatad | Mar. 17, 2014 at 12:01am

Sen. Sergio Osmena III has done President B. S. Aquino III a signal service by describing him in terms none of his propagandists, domestic or foreign, have done---he called him “an awful manager, but an honest man.” I have inverted the original quote to put the accent on “an honest man;” Osmena puts the accent on “awful manager.” The world knows Aquino is an incompetent manager, but the jury is still out as far as his “honesty” is concerned. So Osmena, who is Aquino’s friend and ally, tells us----he is an honest man. This means he will neither bribe nor be bribed; he will not lie, cheat or steal.


Aquino

The quote is quite crisp, but it has very little to stand on.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmena puts it, he would have been the first one to say the presidency was far beyond his depth. The job requires brains and skills to solve problems, manage people and processes, motivate, inspire and lead. Aquino would have been the first to know he had neither the aptitude nor the patience for these things; he is, as Osmena puts it, an “awful manager.”

Nothing in his past or present life says otherwise. His late mother had to campaign house to house and plead with then-Governor Jose V. “Aping” Yap, the political kingpin of Tarlac, to allow him to win as congressman. He served for three terms and went on to become a senator for three years. But his record was totally unblemished by anything resembling an achievement. Not even his late mother thought he should aim for higher office.

In fact, when Local Government Secretary Manuel Araneta Roxas II was still trying to promote himself as the unchallenged Liberal Party presidential candidate for 2010, and his problem was how to find a suitable running mate, the LP top dogs could only respond with obscene laughter when then Batangas congressman Hermilando Mandanas made the mistake of suggesting PNoy. How life loves a jest!

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would not have allowed the two biggest organs of the conscript media, in collaboration with the usual foreign agents, to manufacture “popular support” for his candidacy upon Cory Aquino’s passing. The very idea of necropolitics would have turned him off, and he would have rejected using his mother’s death as the vehicle for his sudden desire to become president. He would have remembered that Cory had used her husband’s death to become “revolutionary president” after the civilian-backed military ousted Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, and that she had failed to deliver. Miserably.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have objected to the use of rigged Smartmatic voting machines in the 2010 presidential elections —rigged, because they had been divested of all the built-in accuracy and safety features intended by the manufacturer to ensure transparency of the elections. He did not.

Were he an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have declined to receive United States Ambassador Harry Thomas and some European ambassadors at his residence on Times Street in Quezon City before the presidential count could be completed and the winner formally proclaimed. That would have avoided any suspicion that the US Embassy had the real authority to decide the winner rather than Congress. He did not.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have disassociated himself from the disputed results of the 2013 senatorial elections where his party’s candidates won by an unerring pattern of 60-30-10 even in the voting precincts inside the known opposition bailiwicks. He did not. He took full credit for the results.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would not have used his State of the Nation Address to tell his countrymen “kayo ang aking boss” (you are my boss), only to declare later on that he had decided to stop listening to those who disagreed with him and criticized his incompetence and ineptitude.

Were he an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have confessed in his SONA that his delicate physical condition did not allow him to endure the noise of the “wang wang”piercing his ears, therefore he had decided to do away with it for reasons of personal health. But he made a big thing of it, and tried to make the people believe he had embarked on a major moral and political reform to put “the President” on the same footing as the average motorist who had to bear the daily ordeal of the Metro Manila traffic.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have ordered the release of his psychiatric records, if only to put an end to all the foolish talk about his alleged autism, and his being allegedly afflicted with “the madness of (England’s) King George III.” He could have challenged his critics then to also release their own records. But he did not.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have quickly apologized to the Hong Kong government for the death of the eight Chinese tourists in the hostage-taking in Manila in 2010, which happened after the police rescue operation was bungled. He would have acted promptly and expeditiously on the recommendations of the team that had investigated the incident, instead of allowing the report to be edited, just to spare certain officials close to him of any culpability for the deaths. Relations between Hong Kong and Manila would not have deteriorated. Hong Kong would not have revoked the visa-free entry and short term visit of Filipino diplomats and officials, while allowing ordinary Filipino travelers to visit without any visa requirement.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have tried to find out, on the anniversary of his father’s death during his first year in office, who really masterminded that murder at the Manila International Airport. The country needed (needs) to know the truth about it for its historical enlightenment. But he did not.

Why did his late mother never exert any effort to ascertain the truth about her husband’s murder in all of her six years and a half in office? And why has her only son not done anything to dig up the facts? Is he afraid that the truth, if known, might show that Marcos had nothing at all to do with it, just as he had nothing to do with the 1981 Plaza Miranda bombing for which he had been severely excoriated until the communists finally claimed credit for it?

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, shouldn’t he have asked or started asking the U.S. government to declassify whatever secret documents it might have on that murder, after the lapse of 31 years? Under the Freedom of Information Act, the US declassifies some secret documents upon request, even after 25 years. Why has he failed to show any interest?

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have authorized a full official report on the fatal plane crash of Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo on Aug 18, 2012, instead of simply trying to cover him with various posthumous honors, in an obvious effort to make up for the stupid decision not to let him perform as a full-fledged Secretary of Interior and Local Government but to assign some of his powers to his undersecretary instead. A full report is needed to quiet down certain concerns that continue to be raised.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have sacked and ordered the prosecution of favored officials implicated in various anomalies, instead of ignoring the accusations against them with the same determination that he pursues cases against his perceived enemies. He has not.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have told the people of Leyte, Samar and the rest of eastern Visayas that the national government did not have the capability to respond adequately and quickly to a crisis of super-typhoon Yolanda’s proportions, but that it would henceforth try to catch up. He would not have wasted any time looking for a scapegoat, and berating typhoon victims for wanting to know where all the foreign donations had gone, and why they were not receiving any help at all.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have exercised greater prudence in the use of precious government resources. He would have ordered the Department of Budget and Management to publish the full listing of the releases made under the Priority Development Assistance Fund, which the Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional, and the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which certain petitioners are asking the Court to similarly declare as unconstitutional. He would have ordered DBM to release the full listing of the nearly P2 trillion “fake SAROs” as demanded by Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, and partylist Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz. And he would have sacked and ordered the immediate prosecution of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad for his role in all these anomalies.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have revealed to the nation what commitments he has made to the United States, Japan and Malaysia, and what things the Philippines is getting from these countries to become a “frontline state” in the China sea, and to drop its Sabah claim. Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have been the first one to declare that the Philippines will fight for its own interests, without trying to become the 51st state of the United States, or a surrogate to Japan, or a province of China, or a client-state of Malaysia.

Were Aquino an honest man, as Osmeña puts it, he would have found this a good opportunity to acknowledge his many sins as president. Not all his mistakes have been willful or grave. But he has committed grievous crimes. His use of the PDAF and DAP to bribe Congress in order to impeach and convict a Supreme Court Chief Justice and to railroad a constitutionally infirm, blatantly anti-Catholic and thoroughly divisive Reproductive Health bill is one such crime. No president has done it before. He could go down in history as the first corruptor of Congress. Nothing in the world can support the claim that he is an honest man or president.

Food Loss and Waste a Barrier to Poverty Reduction February 27, 2014

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2014 -- The world loses or wastes one-quarter to one-third of all food produced for human consumption, according to the latest issue of the World Bank's quarterly Food Price Watch citing FAO and World Resources Institute estimates. In regions rife with undernourishment, such as Africa and South Asia, this shocking loss translates to 400 to 500 calories per person, per day—and up to 1520 calories in the developed world.

“The amount of food wasted and lost globally is shameful,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.

“Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night, and yet millions of tons of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market. We have to tackle this problem in every country in order to improve food security and to end poverty.”

According to the latest edition of Food Price Watch, global food prices declined by 3 percent over the last quarter but remain close to historical peaks, driven by record-setting harvests in wheat, maize and rice, increased supplies, and stronger global stocks.

Domestic prices showed large variations across countries, as is typical. Stable prices continue among a number of regions, while mixed trends are evident in East and South Asia as a result of seasonal factors, procurement policies, and localized production shortfalls.

According to the report, the Bank’s Food Price Index in January 2014 was 11 percent lower than a year ago and 18 percent below the all-time peak in August 2012.

However, prices over the last quarter declined by only half the amount of the previous quarter (June-October 2013). Wheat prices notably declined by 15 percent this quarter, reversing previously seen increases (especially in October 2013), and the price of internationally traded maize fell by 2 percent, extending the consecutive price decline to nine months.

Pressures on food prices are expected to weaken in the short term, with normal trends in terms of crop conditions anticipated in the coming months. However, weather concerns in Argentina, Australia, and parts of China, higher oil prices, and the anticipated release of rice stockpiles in Thailand need continued careful monitoring.

The report also outlines the economic, environmental, natural resources, and poverty implications of food loss and waste and suggests engineering and policy interventions in developing and developed countries to tackle this growing issue.

How the World Bank Group is helping

The World Bank Group is committed to boosting agriculture and agriculture-related investment. In 2013, new Bank Group commitments to agriculture and related sectors were $8.1 billion. For IBRD/IDA, assistance to agriculture and related sectors has risen from an average of nine percent of total lending in FY10-12, to 12 percent in FY13.

IFC made $4.4 billion in private sector investments across the food supply chain in FY13. These investments supported projects that promote access to finance, access to inputs like seeds, equipment and advice, and access to markets through infrastructure and food-processing facilities.

The WBG supports the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). Nine countries and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged about $1.4 billion over 3 years, with $1.2 billion received.

Boosting IBRD/IDA allocations to safety nets (rose ninefold from $1.2 billion in the FY06-08 pre-crises period to over $11.3 billion in FY09-13).

Coordinating with UN agencies through the High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis and with non-governmental organizations, and supporting the Partnership for Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) to improve food market transparency.

Advocacy for more investment in agriculture research–including through the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR) – and monitoring trade to identify potential food shortages.

Supporting improved nutrition among vulnerable groups: During the past decade (2003-2013), the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's fund for the poorest, has ensured that more than 210 million pregnant/lactating women, adolescent girls, and/or children under age five were reached by basic nutrition services.

The Bank is also an active member of the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and supports the SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform, which aims to improve nutrition through agriculture investments.

IFC is launching the Global Irrigation Program (GIP), providing support to irrigation suppliers to increase availability and access for efficient irrigation equipment to better manage water use for agriculture.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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