>> Friday, February 17, 2017

DOH: Diseases in Cordillera down
BAGUIO CITY – Regional Health officials here bared diseases in the Cordillera drastically decreased last year to date.
The Department of Health- Cordillera Administrative Region and Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit told a media forum here Thursday diseases or syndromes under surveillance in CAR were down.
A DOH report said cases of acute bloody diarrhea decreased by 64 percent from 157 cases in the same period of 2016 to 57 cases in 2017.
Provinces with recorded cases were Benguet, Apayao, Mountain Province, Ifugao and Baguio City. Males were mostly affected with 31 cases with no deaths reported.
Cases of dengue decreased by 84 percent from 602 cases in the same period of 2016 to 95 cases in 2017. Males were majority with 65 cases or 65.7%.
There were no deaths reported as compared to three deaths in 2016.
Influenza also decreased by 75% from 1081 in the same period of 2016 to 269 cases in 2017.
Females with 138 cases were predominantly affected with no deaths.
Cases of typhoid decreased by 52% from 233 cases in the same period of 2016 to 110 cases in 2017 with 58 females affected.
There was one death reported from Region 2.
DOH officials said intensive surveillance of diseases is encouraged. Maintenance of good personal hygiene, proper hand washing and good environmental sanitation was advised. -- Trizha Ocampo

DepEd, schools to make story book using dialects
BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Education in partnership with University of San Jose Recolectos in Cebu and Saint Luis University of Baguio will hold a “writer work shop on book development.”
This aims to train teachers develop story book using local dialects like Kalanguya, Tinubuang Binisaya, Bicolano or Cagayanon. Teachers will be using software called bloom software’s for the development of learning material which is the story book.
Regional Education assistant regional Director Soraya T. Faculo said this project is an opportunity for teachers of kalanguya area in Benguet to be part of the project because they will be trained in making the story book for the learning material and then they will be the author of that learning material itself.
She urged Kalanguya and Ifugao teachers who are interested get in touch with the Benguet Division and register your name to be part of the workshop project. -- Fely Guanzo

Displaced Fontana casino workers seek gov’t help
CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga – Displaced workers of Fontana Leisure Park and Casino owned by Chinese gaming mogul Jack Lam appealed to the government Wednesday  to help them regain their jobs.
Around 2,000 workers have yet to be asked to return to work even though the  state-owned Clark Development Corp. lifted its order suspending the operations of Fontana.
“Punish those who have sinned against the law, but please spare the innocent workers. We need our jobs back. We need to provide for our families.  We need to survive,” the workers said in a statement.
The workers also defended  Lam from accusations of involvement in illegal online gambling operations.
“He knew that his operations were legitimate and complied with government standards,” the workers said.
The casino was closed after 1,316 illegal Chinese workers were arrested during a raid in November.  -- Ding Cervantes

Annual Coffee Festival set in La Trinidad
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The first Coffee Festival will be celebrated on the first week of February in this capital town next year and it will be an annual event from now on.
This after a proposed ordinance authored by councilors Roderick Awingan and  Arthur Shontogan for the event was approved by the sangguniang bayan Tuesday with funds allotted for it.
The festival aims to recognize contribution of coffee producers who have taken great attention and care in producing excellent coffee beans and also it will link coffee producers, buyers and consumers in a one activity.
Awingan said the festival will be a great help to local farmers in boosting their livelihood, adding he was hoping more local folks will be encouraged to plant coffee trees because this is one way to relieve the effects of climate change. – Fely Guanzo

Chinese art group to perform cultural show in Ilocos Norte
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte--  An art group from the Chinese City of Quanzhou, Fujian Province, will be visiting Ilocos Norte this month for a performance on February 16 as part of the China-Philippines Cultural Festival.
The festival allows for cultural exchange between Chinese and Filipinos, promoting greater cooperation and strengthening relations between the countries.
Quanzhou City is known as the birthplace of the "liyuanxi" regional opera tradition and home of the Quanzhou Art Institute, an institution devoted to the preservation and innovation of culture and training of quality talents towards the Chinese art industry's socio-economic development.
In the past, groups on chartered flights coming from the Cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province had already been accommodated by the provincial government of Ilocos Norte and the Consulate of the People's Republic of China in Laoag.
Chinese Consul Mme. Wang Jianqun said Monday that "the Consulate is starting today, working for the upcoming performance.
"I am sure the art group will give a wonderful show to Governor Imee R. Marcos, other officials, and the local people as well."
Marcos said the Chinese Consulate has been Ilocos Norte's "constant partners in sustainable and inclusive progress in boosting agriculture, education, and our tourism industry." -- Mizpah Grace G. Castro

Japan officials visit Trinidad fosters ties
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Mayor Romeo K. Salda and town councilors welcomed officials of Minami Maki Nagano, Japan leaded by Vice Mayor Toshio Ikemot here Tuesday as part of sisterhood relations between the two local government units of both countries.
Salda said the visit was in accordance with the friendship vow they made a year ago to visit each other’s place, speak to each other, share experiences and share means to address concerns like those on agriculture to promote culture, education, tourism and agricultural exchange.
Salda said La Trinidad could learn from Japan as it is advanced in terms of disaster preparedness.
Meanwhile Vice mayor Toshio Ikemoto, said, “not only for exchanging ideas but we train them (Filipinos working in Japan) in understanding culture and knowledge so Filipinos will bring back the knowledge and experiences to contribute to their hometown for their future.”
Ikemoto is hoping for the projects to be successful just like before, saying he looks forward to foster more friendship. -- Fely Guanzo

UB dentistry department offers free dental services
BAGUIO CITY -- The University of Baguio Dentistry Department is offering free dental services to indigent people from Baguio, Benguet and neighboring provinces.
These include tooth extraction, restoration and oral health rehabilitation. Through UB, a top performing dentistry school from Manila also gives free oral prosthetics to people who need it.
Ian Banda-ay, head of clinical instructions said UB had been doing this practice since 1980 and it was started by Dr. Reynaldo Bautista,” He added the school is a  partner of institutions such as Notre Dame Hospital Baguio, Brent School and the city government in dental outreach programs where indigent people reside. The Rotary and the Lions Club are also some of the organizations they work with in conducting this outreach programs. 
Some barangays where such programs were barangay Loakan Apugan, Balacbac and Lucnab. -- Tan Dulag

Kalinga execs: PESO okay but where to get money?
CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga --Local officials here welcomes institutionalization of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in their local government units but said they were constrained by budgetary requirements.
Participants said tough we support the program, the measure has to be studied since LGUs are required by the Local Government Code to set a ceiling cap on personnel services which is percent of the local budget during their orientation on on Republic Act No. 8759 or the PESO law as amended by RA 10691 at the Golden Berries Hotel here.
RA 10691 mandates for the establishment of PESO offices in all provinces, cities and municipalities manned by a PESO manager and one labor and employment officer as maybe determined by the LGU.
However, Dr. Alexander Gumabol, Provincial DOLE head, explained  hiring of PESO personnel is exempted from the personnel services cap. Opening of PESO offices should be funded from LGU’s respective Internal Revenue Allotment then its eventual inclusion in the regular local budget.  
The PESO, according DOLE, shall be a venue for clients to avail the various employment services such as labor markets, information referrals, training and entrepreneurship reintegration. It also serves as information center for DOLE and other government agencies and an established linkage of other PESO for job exchange and other employment-related services
In Kalinga, only Tabuk City has established its own PESO office with support personnel. The Tabuk PESO is among national awardees for “Best PESO” in the past. With the LGU’s support, recruitment agencies frequent this city to receive applicants for work abroad and participate in jobs fair, City Administrator Lawrence Bayongan shared.
In the Cordillera Region, only 17 of 84 LGUS have institutionalized their PESO. DOLE is pushing of the institutionalization of PESO in all local government units. -- Peter A. Balocnit

Bangued officials ban loud mufflers
BANGUED, Abra – Noise pollution due to loud open mufflers  may soon be solved  here with  Traffic Management Group   now  strictly enforcing  Anti-Open Muffler Ordinance.
Acting on  complaints  raised by  general public regarding the irritating noise caused by open mufflers of motors  around this capital town,  Mayor Dominic B. Valera  ordered the TMG headed by  Danilo Adame to confiscate all motor vehicles with open mufflers as these create noise pollution. 
He  directed Adame  to destroy  all  confiscated mufflers  with road rollers (padpadulang) so motor owners cannot  use these again.
“Before we just confront the drivers, tell them to clean their vehicle’s exhaust system and send them home. But now, once confiscated there is no taking back.” Adarme said adding that they  have been confronting the same violators most of the time.
Adame informed there will be more traffic enforcers deployed in the metro vicinity around the clock this time to check on vehicles with loud open mufflers.

Sadanga sets livelihood development program
 SADANGA, Mountain Province -- To uplift low economic status of  constituents here particularly farmer-entrepreneurs, duly registered organizations, and lowly paid employees, the Sangguniang Bayan  enacted an ordinance establishing the Municipal Livelihood Development Program Fund.
The program is funded under the General Fund of P250,000 effective this year.   This shall be loaned out with a very minimal monthly interest of one percent   to be collected and shall accrue to the revolving fund, and a five percent   per annum as administrative cost for operational expenses of the program.
The amount loaned shall be payable in 12 months either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on the kind of livelihood the borrower is undertaking. Borrowers start paying their loans on the third month after the release of the loaned amount.
Qualified beneficiaries under this program include local residents-entrepreneurs engaged in income generating projects with a minimum capital of P20,000.00 as certified by a depository bank or cooperative and must be operational for three years; duly registered organization/association with a minimum capital of P20,000.00  as certified by a depository bank or cooperative and must be operational for at least two years with good financial track record, and municipal employees engaged in livelihood projects.
The amount to be loaned shall be determined by the livelihood committee based on their capacity to pay, kind of livelihood project and subject to availability of funds to be concurred by the Sangguniang Bayan.
It is provided in the ordinance that the loan shall be secured through co-makers who are permanent employees of the municipal government.  The co-maker shall assume the payment of the loan including interest and surcharges the moment the loan shall have become due and demandable as based on the schedule of payment of monthly amortization. --  Juliet B. Saley

Ifugao ‘reflection camp’ brings hope to druggies, families
KIANGAN, Ifugao --  The Ifugao Reflection Camp (IRC) at Tiger Hill in this historic town offers new hope to drug surrenderees and their families.
Jane, 35 and Mary, 26 (not their real names), spouses of two campers (drug surrenderees) in the IRC said through reformatory activities at the center; attitudes of their husbands have changed.
 Jane narrated that before her husband entered the IRC, he just leaves the house without any. word leaving her and the children wondering where he is. Now, he discloses his whereabouts and what time he will come home.
His stay at the IRC entails sacrifices with Jane doing all the work to support the family but she is not complaining for the sake of her husband’s sincere   reformation for them   to have a happy family.
Mary, on the other hand, shared that her husband is now participating in community activities and going to chapel to worship.  
“We are thankful to those who contributed to the successful establishment of the IRC that would help our husbands, brothers and relatives to have straight paths for the benefit of our families and the community as well,” they said in an interview. 
They cited importance of   family support system for drug surrenderees   in their quest to reform for a better life, family and drug-free community.
The IRC is a half-way house that provides drug abuse behavioral therapy, whose results determine the next disposition of the surrenderers. 
It was established by the provincial government last year following the surrender of many drug users and pushers in the province  with the intensified  war against illegal drugs of  President Rodrigo Duterte.  Its supervision and operationalization is a hands-on joint effort of the line agencies that comprise the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council.
Upon entry into the IRC, a drug surrenderee avails of temporary confinement and is given food and water, medical assistance including drug test, health and fitness therapy and counseling.
Unless immediately referred for court-ordered rehabilitation or charged in court by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police, a surrendered stays in the camp for six intermittent rounds of six days each. Between each round, he is returned to his residence and placed under the custody of municipal or barangay anti-drug abuse council   for three weeks.
Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary Jose Antonio Hernandez recently visited the IRC to observe the processes for possible national application. -- Marcelo B. Lihgawon

PCO exec promotes Panagbenga integration into ASEAN
BAGUIO CITY -- A Malacanang official   is promoting integration of internationally-accredited Baguio Flower Festival into the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) community.     
“We are partners for change, we only will not engage other regions of the Philippines - we will be one with ASEAN. We can engage the world,” Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said during Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga opening program at the Athletic Bowl last week.
Banaag said the Panagbenga, now on its 22nd year, can be among the pride of the country to the ASEAN community for having reached international standards and being the only local festival accredited by the International Festival and Events Association. -- Carlito Dar

PCOO to strengthen govt, media presence nationwide
BAGUIO CITY -- Government media organizations    will be strengthened to bring the government closer to the people.
Officials of Presidential Communications Operations Office told Mayor Mauricio Domogan this development   during their courtesy call to him at the Baguio City Hall last week.
PCOO Assistant Secretary for Operations Marie Banaag said they are working with government media entities to upgrade equipment and services that will strengthen the presence of the government media nationwide.
“There is a need to strengthen and improve the facilities and enhance operations of the government media and the communications arm,” said Banaag.
The government media organization includes the Philippine Information Agency, Philippine News Agency-News and Information Bureau, People’s Television (PTV) and the Bureau of Broadcast (BBS) which carries the Radyo ng Bayan station.
PTV General Manager Dino Apolonio and BBS Director Rizal Giovanni Aportadera, Jr. said they are improving their facilities nationwide including that of the Radyo ng Bayan Baguio particularly its broadcast system. There is also  a  newly-built  PTV station  in  Baguio City which will cater not only  Cordillera but  rest of  Northern Luzon .
The PTV and Radyo ng Bayan management also offered their facilities and programs to the different government offices including the local government units for them to bring closer the services of the government to the people.
At present, Radyo ng Bayan Baguio is hosting the weekly Ugnayan Media Forum with Mayor Domogan which is aired live every Wednesday.
Aportadera urged government agencies to plug their various programs and services and to even have programs over RnB for wider dissemination.
Once the PTV –Baguio station   goes on air, there will be TV programs with government offices and local government units aside from the usual news reports and feature stories, Apolonio bared. 
Banaag added that the strengthening of the government media is also part of the advocacy of the PCO with the Philippines  chairing ASEAN this year.
The PCOO officials were in town   for the Baguio leg of the PCOO- ASEAN Roadshow as part of the information education communication campaign to engage the various sectors, increase awareness and appreciation and entice participation to ASEAN and other agency programs.
The PCOO as the communication arm of government is the lead committee on media affairs and communications in spreading awareness and educating the public on ASEAN and the country’s chairmanship of ASEAN 2017. -- Redjie Melvic Cawis

 ASEAN - PCOO Roadshow goes to Baguio; issues tackled
BAGUIO CITY --  Secretary Martin Andanar   of the  Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)   led  an  information, education campaign here  Feb, 2-4 focusing on their office programs. Dubbed 2017 ASEAN-PCOO Roadshow,   this will focus on Philippines chairmanship   of   the 2017 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2017, Freedom of Information, and Presidential Task Force on Media Security. 
As the government’s communication arm, PCOO is heading the IEC campaign on the country’s hosting of ASEAN 2017.
The roadshow featured two fora on Feb. 3, a multi – sectoral forum at Hotel Elizabeth and  youth/communicators forum at Benguet Electric Cooperative conference hall.
In the forum, Department of Foreign Affairs Director Florida Ann Camille Mayo presented the country’s chairmanship of ASEAN 2017 while provisions of Freedom of Information order was be presented by PCOO Undersecretary Kristian Ablan.
Usec Jose Joel Sy Egco, Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security tackled Administrative Order No. 1 and  Protection of Journalists while   Princess Pebbles Duque and Carlos Munda  discussed “new media communications for participatory governance.”
PCOO Asst. Secretary Marie Rafael – Banaag presented “development and formulation of domestic and foreign information and news and print platform.
In between of events, Andanar and other PCOO officials met Baguio media and national correspondents in a forum.
On Feb. 4,  the Secretary  together with  Philippine Information Agency   Deputy Director Gregorio  Angelo Villar, Baguio  Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Rep. Mark Go graced launching of the ASEAN Kiosk at SM City Baguio. 
On the same day, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella talked on Project 181 Days: workshop on presidential messaging and communication for social media, journalists and media workers. -- Carlito Dar

SSS Abra shares good news to its members
BANGUED, Abra -- The Social Security System (SSS) office here said initial  P1, 000 pension hike  for members would take effect this  January.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved  earlier this month an across-the-board pension increase of P2,000  to benefit more than two million SSS  pensioners  with the initial P1,000 effective this month and  another  P1,000 in 2022 or earlier.  Along with the President’s decision to increase pension was the instruction for SSS to incorporate reforms to ensure sustainability of the pension fund.    
 It’s possible to happen because they won’t promise it if they can’t, stressed SSS Provincial Manager Edward Urua following  reactions pension hike is highly improbable to materialize sooner because it may cut down SSS fund life in 10 years if not accompanied by higher contributions.
On calamity assistance loan, Urua said they are still waiting for go signal from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council before they can allow their members who are victims of typhoon Lawin to apply for a loan.  -- Ginalyn B. Brioso

Ifugao town shares good practices in ALS program
KIANGAN, Ifugao -- Networking among stakeholders and municipal government’s investment of resources  in  implementation of Alternative Learning System (ALS) program were among the best practices of the local government of Kiangan.
Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Mario Indopia representing Mayor Joselito Guyguyon shared the town’s best practices in 2016 under the ALS program at Schools Division Office here. The event was conducted to appreciate  LGUs actively engaged in developing learners under the ALS programs.
Indopia said the LGU showed its commitment by allotting financial support to the ALS from its Special Education Fund and its 20% development fund.  It also helped in advocacy of ALS programs and projects, provided data of out-of-school-children, out-of-school-youth and out-of-school-adults which assisted the ALS implementers in their mapping and appropriate intervention.
The LGU also participated in the strategic planning and maintained strong and effective networking with ALS implementers and other stakeholders.
Last year, there were 193 learners in the municipality who passed the Secondary Level ALS Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test, 95 were trained on livelihood skills with 25 engaged on soap making, 33 on corsage making and 37 on detergent making.
ALS program coordinator for Ifugao Arsenio Yongoyong cited Kiangan officias  for their cooperation..  -- Daniel B. Codamon

Youth participation in Baguio disaster programs proposed
BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing youth participation and representation in local disaster risk reduction and management in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated there shall be a youth representative in the city and barangay disaster risk reduction and management councils and the National Youth Commission (NYC), in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) City field office, shall formulate the guidelines for the selection of the youth representative.
Under the proposal, the qualifications of the youth representative to the said councils are: not necessarily college graduate but underwent training and have experience in disaster risk reduction and management or climate change actions, and is willing and capable of serving as a member of the councils;  a member of a community-based organization, preferably those that have disaster risk reduction engagements or have worked with the NYC; at least one year residency in the barangay to help ensure familiarity of the barangay he or she will serve. -- Dexter A. See

4 Abra LGUs use SGLG incentive for infra projects
BANGUED, Abra -- More infrastructures are set to be built or improved in at least four towns in the province using the   Performance Challenge Fund.
Department of Interior and Local Government provincial director Millicent B. Cariño  said the P3 million  incentive as Seal of Good Local Governance awardees was released to four out of six  municipal government unit awardees in Abra last year. All four LGUs have programmed PCF for infrastructure projects.
San Juan Mayor Meynardo Arthur Bautista said they will use their PCF for  concreting of the unfinished portion of their municipal access road in Barangay Bayog to Supiil and Nangobongan to Abualan. 
 Mayor Robert Victor Seares, Jr., of Dolores said their P3 million will be used for  concreteing of canals in Poblacion. 
In Bucay, Mayor Bernadette Cardenas-Baroña   said they will construct a multi-purpose hall in South Poblacion.
For Peñarrubia, Mayor Jane Mamsaang-Cecilia said their PCF was programmed for   farm-to-market road and construction of spillway and stone masonry.
The Tayum and La Paz are yet  to receive their PCF, Carino said. -- Maria Teresa B. Beñas

OCD-CAR honors 2016 Gawad Kalasag awardees, partners 
BAGUIO CITY -- The Office of Civil Defense  recognized  exemplars and  partners in disaster risk reduction and management efforts and actions in Cordillera during the 2016 GawadKalasag awards night here at at Camp John Hay Jan. 18.
The  regional awardees were   University of the Cordilleras – Best School DRRM; La Trinidad, Benguet  and Luna, Apayao – first and second  place respectively  in the Best Municipal DRRM 1st to 3rd class category; Municipality of Tublay, Benguet  for best Municipal DRRM – 4th to 6th class category; Baguio – Benguet Public Info and Civic Action Group as Best Volunteer Group; Tuba Fire Station as Best Government  Emergency Management  Service,  with  Baguio City EMS at second place. Baguio City is the best DRRM for the highly urbanized city category and Apayao as   the best Provincial DRRM   and Mountain Province at second place.
For the DRRM Commitment Awards (individual category), recognized were Benguet DRRM coordinator for Department of Education Nerissa Barbosa; Tublay MDRRMO Abner Lawangen; Licuan-Baay, Abra MDRRMO Erosbon Sabedo; Mountain Province PDRRMO Edward Chumawar; La Trinidad MDRRMO Yoshio Labi and Police Regional Office Deputy Director for Operations, PSSupt. Angelito Casimiro.
OCD also gave recognition to 30 government agencies and organizations, private institutions and volunteer groups for their valuable contribution in the DRRM advocacy and efforts last year especially during the onslaught of super Typhoon Lawin.
Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James “Toby” Purisima, OCD deputy administrator for admin- operations cited  importance of awardees’ work and leadership.
                Gawad Kalasag’ (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) is an annual award that is given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations  in recognition of their initiative in helping the Filipino government uplift the standard of disaster management in the country. -- Carlito C. Dar

OSG wants to improve caliber of solicitors
Solicitor General Jose Calida bared his plans to improve the caliber and quality of solicitors under his watch.
He said he is inviting the brightest lawyers to join the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).
“We have embarked in a campaign to lure the best and the brightest lawyers in the Philippines to join us,” Calida said in a press briefing in Malacañan on Jan. 19.
“If you have friends who are valedictorians or topnotchers of the Bar exams, please endorse them to us because we will accelerate their entry from associate solicitor I to associate solicitor III. And we have capacity-building seminars and conferences. We send our solicitors abroad to study the recent trends in law especially now the arbitration law,” he said.
“Of course, our main mission here is to defend the Republic of the Philippines from its enemies whether internal or external,” he added.
Calida said that the OSG needs to increase its manpower, considering the cases that are filed in court every day.
 “We are still short of the minimum number of assistant solicitor generals,” he said.
 According to Calida, among the recent accomplishments of the OSG include the West Philippine Sea case.
 “This case is the crowning glory of international law and the law of the seas as well as the rule of law,” he said.
In the same press briefing, meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella welcomed the Asia Business Outlook survey for 2017, which showed that 39.4 percent of the respondents said that they will increase investments in the country as compared to the 4.3 percent who said that they will reduce levels. 
“We continue to look at the Philippine socio-economic political landscape and note that based on evidence, there were business [that] seems to be affirming the administration's aggressive efforts on nation-building,” Abella said. 
“The Duterte administration's economic pronouncements appeared to be clear and consistent and want to achieve an economic growth that's not only robust and sustainable but actually inclusive for more Filipinos,” he said.
Just this week, the Palace official had announced that more foreign banks have expressed interest to enter the Philippines this year, which is expected to help potential investors to set up shops in the country.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also said that the Philippines is expected to maintain its strong GDP growth momentum registered in 2016 into 2017 at a pace of 6.8 percent.
In the same press briefing, Abella said the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to release 977 million hardship allowance for teachers.
“Teachers assigned to multi-grade classes, mobile teachers and alternative learning system coordinated is set to receive the respective special hardship allowances (SHA) amounting to 997,405,080,” Abella said.
The Palace official said the incoming SHA covers a total of 14,896 recipient schools for teachers assigned in hardship posts and multi-grade classes; and 2,395 recipient school districts and community learning centers, CLCs, or for mobile and ALS teachers.
 “The allowance of teachers assigned in hardship posts is computed based on the distance from the nearest point of available transport, which corresponds to a certain percentage of their basic salary,” Abella said.
Hardship posts include schools with transport inaccessibility as well as those that are in difficult situations such as exposure to calamities and armed conflicts.
 “Computation of the allowance from multi-grade, mobile and house coordinators are based on the number of classes or learning levels that the teachers handle,” Abella added.
Likewise, in the same briefing, Abella said Filipinos can now use the improved and widened radial road or R-10 as an alternative route to EDSA via Bonifacio Drive and RoxasBoulevard.PND


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