Tag Archives: humanitarian

Ethnic Filipinos’ protection sought

PHILIPPINE Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, on Wednesday filed two legislative measures seeking to establish resource centers for indigenous peoples (IPs) and declaring August 9 as National Indigenous Peoples Day in her effort to promote and protect the rights of IPs all over the country.
In her sponsorship speech for Senate Bill 2209 or the Resource Centers For Indigenous Peoples Act and Committee Report No. 141 under House Bill No. 4420 or An Act Declaring August 9 as National Indigenous Peoples Day, Legarda stressed that many IPs remain vulnerable to violations and exploitations despite concerted efforts exerted by the government, various private organizations and international institutions.

PH thanks Widodo for granting Veloso a reprieve

THE Philippine government has expressed its gratitude to Indonesian President Joko Widodo for granting Mary Jane Veloso a reprieve.
“The Philippine government thanks President Widodo and the Indonesian government for giving due consideration to President Aquino’s appeal that Mary Jane Veloso be given a reprieve,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning.

Filipino maid spared from execution!

AN 11th hour miracle came to the rescue of Mary Jane Veloso, who was spared from execution by the Indonesian government!
This report was confirmed by GMA News reporter Emil Sumangil Wednesday at dawn, citing Indonesian authorities.
People holding a vigil in front of the Indonesian embassy in Manila cheered and clapped upon hearing the news.

Phl senator: Protect children during emergencies

ONE year after super typhoon Yolanda devastated parts of the country, Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Saturday said she has filed a bill to institutionalize the protection of children affected by natural disasters.
“Children are the most vulnerable in times of disaster. They are at higher risk of disease, abuse, and exploitation. They are place-oriented, and cannot cope well to changes that result from disaster,” said Santiago, who hails from the Yolanda-hit province of Iloilo.
Yolanda, which flattened towns in Western Visayas, is estimated to have affected six million Filipino children. In 2012, some 2.3 million children in Mindanao bore the brunt of another typhoon, Pablo.

Philippines to improve lives of Filipinos

THE Philippine government on Saturday it will continue to work to improve the lives of Filipinos by carrying out programs that expand assistance to sectors vital to national development.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte mentioned the inflation rate released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The PSA released the inflation rates for June 2014, indicating that inflation has been pegged at 4.4 percent, down from 4.5 percent last month, while core inflation also went down to 2.8 percent from 3.1 percent.
Valte said that according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), inflation rates slowed down due to decelerating growth in prices of non-food items.

Sex workers not criminals, says Philippine lawmaker

A Philippine lawmaker on Sunday said there’s a need for Congress to undertake a critical review of our archaic laws and policies, and one crucial step is the repeal of Articles 202 and 341 of the Revised Penal Code.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said these provisions treat sex workers and other individuals exploited into prostitution as criminal perpetrators instead of victims.
Rodriguez filed House Bill 3299 that provides protective measures and support services for its victims, and decriminalizing vagrancy, repealing for the purpose of Articles 202 and 341 of the Revised Penal Code and amending R.A. 9208, and for other purposes.
“The time is ripe to treat sex workers as victims instead of criminals as currently provided under the country’s antiquated penal code,” the lawmaker stressed.
He said that even as the bill (Section 4) provides actions falling under the definition of the crime of prostitution, Section 5 states: “Any woman, man or child, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identify, used or employed for another person’s sexual gratification, pleasure and/or exploitation and for the monetary gain or profit of others, as defined in Section 4 of this Act, shall be treated as victims of prostitution.”
“As such, they (victims) shall not incur any criminal liability under this Act, except those penalized under Section 6 (b) of this Act,” the bill provides.
The measure also provides that the consent of the person exploited in prostitution to the commission of any of the acts defined in Section 4 of this Act shall not in any way exempt the offender from, or mitigate his/her criminal liability.
The bill (Section 6) also provides for a list of offenses with penalties and sanctions ranging from six months to 20 years imprisonment and fines ranging from P500,000 to P2 million, depending on the violations as classified under Section 4.
Rodriguez likewise proposes that persons exploited in prostitution may file independent civil cases for damages against the persons, natural or juridical, responsible for their exploitation.

It also provides that provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages, in addition to any other criminal or administrative liability under existing laws, to persons exploited in prostitution when it is proven that the responsible authorities had knowledge or were informed of the activities constituting prostitution but did not take proper action within a reasonable period of time.
Under the bill, the responsible authorities shall be deemed to have knowledge of the prostitution activities when the same are common knowledge in the community.
The bill mandates that members of the National Anti-Prostitution Council (Task Force) and DSWD-accredited non-government organizations that are involved in the implementation of the anti-prostitution programs are granted immunity from suit and other legal proceeding in connection with the enforcement of said programs.
Furthermore, any person who has personal knowledge of the commission of any offense under the proposed Act, or the person exploited in prostitution, the parents, spouse, siblings, children or legal guardian, or the law enforcement agencies, or the Task Force created under this Act may file a complaint for prostitution.
Under HB 3299, prostitution is committed by: (a) any person who give or delivers money or any other consideration in exchange for the actual performance or mere demonstration of a sexual act by a person exploited in prostitution, regardless of whether the person giving or delivering money or any other consideration is the recipient of such sexual act;
(b) Any person who offers another for sexual exploitation in exchange for money or any other consideration; (c) any person who is a recipient of a sexual act, whether such recipient has given or delivered money or any other consideration for the procurement of a person exploited in prostitution; Provided, however, that for purposes of this Act, being a recipient shall include persons or crowds before whom a person exploited in prostitution has actually performed or merely demonstrated the sexual Act; and
(d) any person who induces, persuades, entices, compels, kidnaps, recruits or in any manner procures or causes a person to serve in an establishment knowing that the same is involved in prostitution activities or when he/she has reasonable cause to believe that such establishment is involved in said activities, among other acts provided under Section 4.

Houses before Xmas for typhoon victims in Phl

VICTIMS of killer typhoon “Yolanda” that survived but lost their homes can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson on Sunday reported to President Benigno Aquino III that 159 bunkhouse units in the provinces of Leyte and Eastern Samar will be completed before Christmas.

During the ceremonial turnover of two bunkhouse units for 48 displaced families at the Regional Government Center, Candahug Village, Tacloban City, Singson told the Chief Executive that 159 bunkhouse units will be turned over to 3,816 families who were displaced by super typhoon “Yolanda” (internationally known as Haiyan).