P41.2-BILLION MILITARY UPGRADE COMPLETED IN NOY'S 3 YEARS

A total of P41.2 billion worth of military upgrade projects have been completed and awarded during the first three years of the Aquino administration, data from the Department of National Defense (DND) showed. The amount represents 36 projects that were spread out to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Headquarters, the Government Arsenal and the three major services namely the Army, the Air Force and the Navy. Twelve of the projects went to the Army while four others benefited the Air Force. The Navy got 16 projects including the frigates BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz. Two projects each went to the Armed Forces General Headquarters and the Government Arsenal. “We are steadily addressing our Armed Forces’ capability upgrade. Our Bids and Awards Committees at the DND (Department of National Defense) are doing their best to fast-track our acquisitions while fully adhering to the established rules and procedures set by law,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said in a statement. The completed Army projects totaled P2.8-billion, including the acquisition of 190 units of 1 ¼ ton truck troop carriers worth P494 million, 60 units of field ambulance units worth P3007 million, and 250 units of 2 ½ ton troop carriers worth P837.65 million.

PNoy's  Conditional Cash Transfer Program: Surviving poverty in Metro less govt dole

THE government describes its Conditional Cash Transfer Program as a tool to help the poor, but Eduardo Nartia, a junk collector, says you need the right connections to receive the dole. Nartia, 54, a resident of a squatter colony in Las Piñas City, says he tried to enroll in the program three times but failed. “Every time I applied to become a beneficiary I was always rejected. I don’t know why,” Nartia said. “Perhaps I’m not strongly connected unlike some of my neighbors who are known to the president of our homeowners’ association.” Nartia says the head of the homeowners’ association in their area chooses who should receive the government’s monthly financial assistance through the Department of Social Welfare and Development. But he says he knows some people there who are not qualified to receive the monthly dole because they are not poor enough but receive it anyway.

ALSO: Palace: Cash transfer program to continue amid anomalies

Malacanang on Sunday assured that the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program will continue and that all aid goes only to the intended recipients. Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. issued the statement after the irregularities were reported in implementing the CCT or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Coloma said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has put in place several safeguards, including the adoption of a biometric system.
”We continue to fine-tune our implementation of the law. We must understand this program benefits more than four million families,” he added. Coloma said that it is up to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to address issues raised by the Commission on Audit (COA). In its 2012 report, COA said P50.15 million was granted to 7,782 families whose names were not in the List of Validated and Registered Household Beneficiaries of the National Household Targeting Office.

 


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P41.2-B military upgrade completed in Noy's 3 years

MANILA, JANUARY 14, 2013 (PHILSTAR)   By Alexis Romero - A total of P41.2 billion worth of military upgrade projects have been completed and awarded during the first three years of the Aquino administration, data from the Department of National Defense (DND) showed.

The amount represents 36 projects that were spread out to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Headquarters, the Government Arsenal and the three major services namely the Army, the Air Force and the Navy.

Twelve of the projects went to the Army while four others benefited the Air Force. The Navy got 16 projects including the frigates BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz.

Two projects each went to the Armed Forces General Headquarters and the Government Arsenal.

“We are steadily addressing our Armed Forces’ capability upgrade. Our Bids and Awards Committees at the DND (Department of National Defense) are doing their best to fast-track our acquisitions while fully adhering to the established rules and procedures set by law,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said in a statement.

The completed Army projects totaled P2.8-billion, including the acquisition of 190 units of 1 ¼ ton truck troop carriers worth P494 million, 60 units of field ambulance units worth P3007 million, and 250 units of 2 ½ ton troop carriers worth P837.65 million.

Another P5.5 billion worth of projects have been awarded and are awaiting delivery within this year and 2015 including armored vehicles, assault rifles and prime movers or trucks used to transport armed vehicles.

Four Air Force projects worth P3.7 billion have been completed including the purchase of 18 units of basic trainer aircraft worth P621.67 million and eight combat utility helicopters worth P2.86 billion that are now under the 505th Search and Rescue Group.

Air Force projects that are in the pipeline are the acquisition of light-lift aircraft and attack helicopters due for delivery within the next two years and 21 units of UH-1 helicopters, which may arrive in the country within the first half.

A total of 16 Navy projects worth P5.3 billion have been completed including the acquisition of warships BRP Alcaraz and BRP del Pilar and three naval helicopters worth P1.34-billion.

The Navy is expecting the delivery of P6.4 billion worth of equipment including the strategic sealift vessels, additional naval helicopters and amphibious vehicles.

Two Armed Forces General Headquarters projects worth P445 million were completed during the first half of the Aquino presidency namely the upgrade of the AFP Medical Center operating rooms and the acquisition of a fixed communication system.

The Government Arsenal projects that have been completed in the last three years were the acquisition of raw and input materials for its bullet assembly machine. The agency is awaiting the delivery of the equipment for the manufacture of ammunition.

“The AFP modernization projects for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including the upgrades for the Government Arsenal, have been expedited during the first half of the Aquino administration,” said Arsenio Andolong, acting public affairs chief of the Defense department.

In 1995, Congress passed the Armed Forces Modernization Act, which provided the military the chance to modernize in 15 years with a total budget of P331 billion.

The program was hampered by the lack of funds and the changing priorities of the national leadership.

As a result, the Philippine military has become one of the most poorly-equipped in the region.

In 2012, President Aquino signed a new modernization law that seeks to allot more resources to the military’s upgrade efforts. More than P85-billion is needed to fund the program in the next four years.

FROM MANILA STANDARD

Surviving poverty in Metro less govt dole By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Jan. 15, 2014 at 12:01am


COMMENTARY: The Department of Social Welfare and Development has the biggest budget increase because of the Aquino government’s flagship anti-poverty program: the Conditional Cash Transfer Program, which aims to distribute money to poor families. This is merely a continuation of the dole-out program began by the previous Arroyo administration, but is being intensified and expanded at a rate which even former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo finds unsustainable. But the essential question is, what would happen to the poor after the funds for the program have been spent? By FLON FAURILLO (Bulatlat.com)

THE government describes its Conditional Cash Transfer Program as a tool to help the poor, but Eduardo Nartia, a junk collector, says you need the right connections to receive the dole.

Nartia, 54, a resident of a squatter colony in Las Piñas City, says he tried to enroll in the program three times but failed.

“Every time I applied to become a beneficiary I was always rejected. I don’t know why,” Nartia said.

“Perhaps I’m not strongly connected unlike some of my neighbors who are known to the president of our homeowners’ association.”

Nartia says the head of the homeowners’ association in their area chooses who should receive the government’s monthly financial assistance through the Department of Social Welfare and Development. But he says he knows some people there who are not qualified to receive the monthly dole because they are not poor enough but receive it anyway.

“I am much more qualified to become a beneficiary than these people who can afford many more things in life,” Nartia says.

Nartia earns P200 daily driving his pedicab on the streets of Pulang Lupa Dos village from dawn to dusk to buy broken appliances, scrap metals, empty bottles, old newspapers, plastic wares and other things he can sell to a junk shop. “If I’m lucky I can bring home 250 pesos,” Nartia said.

He and his wife Eduarda have four children aged 14, 13, 11 and nine. They all go to school. To augment his meager income his wife washes other people’s clothes for a fee.

Nartia says life is hard but they never fail to eat three square meals a day.

“We eat mainly vegetables with a lot of soup, and if we’re lucky we have fish,” he said.

Nartia is no stranger to poverty. He grew up in the slums of Tondo, Manila, one of nine children that his father, a maintenance man at the Export Processing Zone Authority in Rosario, Cavite, had to feed.

He had to stop schooling when he was in second year at the Torres High School also in Tondo. Then he worked as a messenger at the EPZA but was fired after 13 years because, he says, he was not well-connected.

Benhil Fajaris, another straggler, says he is hopeful he and his family will get out of poverty one day.

Fajaris, 49, and his wife Nepta Dolon, 48, have six children of whom three have finished schooling. He financed their education by vending taho or tofu that he himself makes in his house in Las Piñas. He earns P1,000 a day selling taho.

Fajaris say a son is a computer technician with the Saulog Transit and a daughter works at the Mapanas Municipal Hall in Northern Samar.

Asked why he still needs to keep on selling taho when three of their children are already making money, Fajaris says he needs to support three more kids.

“We are used to living this kind of life in Manila,” Fajaris said. “I have always been struggling.”

Rose Fetalvero, 67, lives on the P2,000 that her daughter Ailene, who works as house help in Las Piñas, sends her each month. She lives with another daughter, who is half-blind, in a house in San Narciso, Quezon.

Fetalvero says she and her daughter survive by eating only vegetables, but sometimes they are able to buy fish when a son, who works at a construction site in Cubao, Quezon City, sends them money.

Ailene says the money she sends her mother and younger sister is enough because they spend only for rice and viand and pay only P100 a month for the two electric bulbs they light up each night in their one-room house.

Jessie and Betty Figiras have 10 children but would like to have two more to form a basketball team. They live in a nipa hut that they built in a vacant lot beside a creek.

Jessie, a native of Bicol, collects bets on the “loteng,” an illegal numbers game, at the St. Joseph Subdivision on Naga Road. Betty sells vegetables in the same neighborhood.

When not in school their children collect anything they could sell to a junk shop.

The couple says they eat only vegetables that they plant near their nipa hut.

“We just have a few clothes to wear,” Betty said. She says if there is not enough food for all of them, they skip one meal and take the next.

If it’s cold they share a pack of “Lucky Me” noodles that they buy at the corner store for P8 or P9.

“We put several glasses of water on a single pack and add much salt for flavoring,” Betty said.

FROM MANILA TIMES

Palace: Cash transfer program to continue amid anomalies
January 12, 2014 7:21 pm


REACHING OUT. One of the many Filipino families helped by the 4Ps program. Photo from the DSWD website - See more at: http://www.dswd.gov.ph/2013/07/why-conditional-cash-transfers-work/#sthash.8GeTkuUb.dpuf

MANILA - Malacanang on Sunday assured that the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program will continue and that all aid goes only to the intended recipients.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. issued the statement after the irregularities were reported in implementing the CCT or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Coloma said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has put in place several safeguards, including the adoption of a biometric system.

”We continue to fine-tune our implementation of the law. We must understand this program benefits more than four million families,” he added.

Coloma said that it is up to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to address issues raised by the Commission on Audit (COA).

In its 2012 report, COA said P50.15 million was granted to 7,782 families whose names were not in the List of Validated and Registered Household Beneficiaries of the National Household Targeting Office.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said the agency has accounted for the unlisted families.

The DSWD, she said, has put in place a replication mechanism of the database where all households encoded are automatically copied in another file.

She said officials or employees found to be negligent in allowing the unauthorized inclusion of household-beneficiaries face sanctions. CATHERINE VALENTE


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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