Tuesday, December 15, 2009

LTO XI vows to implement Citizen’s Charter Program

Land Transportation Office XI officer-in-charge Assistant Regional Director Atty. Jesus Joseph Zozobrado III yesterday vowed to implement the Citizen’s Charter and Road Safety Advocacy Program in all offices of the LTO in Region XI.

The Citizen’s Charter and Road Safety Program was formally launched in Region XI yesterday, December 15, at the Grand Menseng Hotel, with LTO Assistant Secretary Arturo Lomibao in attendance.

“The Citizen’s Charter may as well be the center piece of LTO’s operations as it is based on our vision of establishing a well-developed transportation system that will play a vital role in improving the lives of the Filipino people,” Zozobrado said.

And since travel is an unavoidable part of daily life, it is LTO’s goal to provide the people with a more viable, efficient and secured travel, he said. But that is only part of LTO’s mandate, which requires us to be in close contact with the very people that aim to serve, he added.

To make the public benefit from government service particularly LTO’s services, he said, the agency is bent on making sure that the public is able to accomplish their tasks in a fast and efficient manner and the Citizen’s Charter plays a big role in accomplishing this.

The Citizen’s Charter is being implemented in support of the Anti-Red Tape Law otherwise known as Republic Act 9485. This requires the government agencies, to make known to the public the necessary steps, documents and payment needed to accomplish certain transaction involving their offices.

Zozobrado said the global efforts being exerted for Road Safety Advocacy is overwhelming but LTO XI can do its part by making sure that all transactions involving their office is properly managed and implemented without unnecessary delays.

Street dance to stop juvenile delinquency in Davao

Davao City’s local hip hop dance community Groove Unlimited Dance Community will pitch in to keep street children away from becoming juvenile delinquents by teaching them how to dance starting January next year.

Groove Unlimited, an umbrella organization of hip hop dancers who share their passion for dancing, as founded by Bryan Grandeza and Cristopher Nellas in 2005.

“We were tapped by the local government to teach street dancing to children from the different barangays of Davao City,” Grandeza said. Aside from being a hip hop dancer and choreographer, Grandeza is also a Muay Thai black belter and represented the country (along with his brother Steve Grandez) to the World Kickboxing Championship in Dublin, Ireland last month.

The “PLDT-Smart Smartkids ---Samahang Ayaw sa Riot 1st Street Dance Competition in Davao City” project, which was launched at Taboan, MTS in Matina Monday, will run from January next year and will culminate in a street dance competition during the Araw ng Dabaw celebration on March 16, 2010.

“This is a community response to the country’s problem on juvenile delinquency and is actually a preventive program,” PLDT-Smart Foundation Executive Director for Juvenile Rehabilitation Anthony Pangilinan said during the project launch Monday, December 14. Pangilinan said street dancing is one way to keep children on the street for a good reason.

He said the community should present an alternative to these children instead of just blaming them for becoming juveniles. It all started when PLDT Chairperson Manny Pangilinan realized the increasing number of young children on the streets.

This led to the establishment of Bahay Pag-Asa, a P40 million facility for children in conflict with the law located in Dasmarinas, Cavite. Pangilinan said this is a true picture of what the community can do if it works together, since PLDT Smart Foundation allotted only about P15 million for the project while P25 million was contributed by the local community.

Grandeza said they have committed to train children from seven barangays. Among the hip hop groups that will help train these children include Bandila Fusion, JAZ Up Danz Crew, 411, infinity, FACES, Alternative Groove, Faces of Groove and Groove Unlimited.

City Social Services Development Office head Maria Luisa Bermudo said the city is very grateful to the support being given by PLDT-Smart Foundation to provide a solution to juvenile delinquency in the city, considering the existence of Republic Act 9344 or An Act Establishing A Comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Welfare System which prohibits the imprisonment of children 15 years old and below.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mindanao Heart Fund needs more funds to help heart patients

Over 200 pediatric and adult heart patients from all over Mindanao are waiting for simple heart treatments, from simple 2-D echocardiograms to open heart operations, to be conducted by the Mindanao Heart Center. However, these patients may have to wait longer than necessary until enough funds are sourced for their treatments.

For one, the one year old Dr. Gerry Cunanan Mindanao Heart Fund is not even a full-pledged foundation yet so it could not yet avail of financial and other support from local and foreign donors. The Fund only has P200,000 in its coffers, and still lacks P800,000 to meet the Securities and Exchange requirement for those wanting to establish a foundation.

“The most we can do right now given our resources is to help two children and 2 adult heart patients undergo a 2-D Echo examination every month,” Fund Board of Trustee Dr. Mark Maruya said. A 2-D echo examination costs P1,100 so for that and other related services alone, the Fund needs at least P10,000 a month to sustain the simple services it is providing the people.

Maruya, who appeared frustrated about not being able to help as many heart patients as possible due to funding constraints, said they are having a hard time raising the remaining money needed to become a foundation which would open doors of opportunity for the Fund abroad when it comes to financial and other donations.

“It is useless to establish a Fund or a Foundation such as this if we could not help these people by operating on them,” he said. Maruya said they have already written different government agencies and most of these offices have contributed P10,000 each.

However, he said, the donation only sums up to a small amount not even enough to comply with SEC requirements for a foundation. First we need help so we can be declared a foundation already and ask for donations abroad, he said. However, he added, we also need more so we can provide 2-D echo, surgery and other treatments for indigent patients.

While the Mindanao Heart Center of the Davao Medical Center pays for the personnel expenses, he said, the supplies being used are on consignment basis which should be paid after being consumed.

“We are pleading to all those who have the heart and the means to help finance our organization so we can help more people suffering from heart problems,” Maruya said.

Sending money through rural banks now cheaper with blockchain

Sending money anywhere in the Philippines is now a lot easier thanks to the various money remittance centers like Palawan Express, Cebuana ...