AKBAYAN Rep. Mayong Aguja

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HOR News Release: Akbayan asks inquiry on misuse of UN Support Fund for Peacekeeping

Posted by tin on August 23, 2006

Congress to probe alleged misuse of UN Support Fund for Peacekeeping

23 August 2006 09:06:51 AM
Writer: Vicki Palomar, PRID

Akbayan representatives are calling for a congressional inquiry into the Armed Forces of the Philippines’s (AFP) decision to cut by forty percent the allowance a Filipino soldier receives for joining a UN peacekeeping mission.

Reps. Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel, Loretta Ann Rosales and Mario Joyo Aguja filed House Resolution 1313 directing the House Committees on National Defense and Security, Foreign Affairs and Good Government to conduct an inquiry into the Philippines’ participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations and alleged irregularities in the use and management by the AFP of the United Nation Support Fund for Peacekeeping.

The solons said that this year, the AFP has reduced the allowance that a Filipino soldier receives even though the AFP gets full allowance for the soldiers or the so-called Troop Cost Allowance (TCA) from the UN.

The AFP, Aguja said, implemented a scheme where the base pay of soldiers in peacekeeping missions with ranks ranging from corporal to master sergeant is tripled while those from captains to colonels get 150% more than their salary, such that a soldier who receives a monthly salary of P10,000.00 will only get P30,000.00 instead of the P50,000.00 additional allowance from the peacekeeping operations.

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Cong. Mayong attends hearing on Senior Citizen’s Act

Posted by tin on June 7, 2006

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Cong. Mayong Aguja together with House Representatives Reynaldo S. Uy (1st District, Western Samar) and Rodante D. Marcoleta (Alagad Patylist) conducted a public hearing on the implementation of the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2004.

 

Read more on PIA’s Press Release:

Only 2 Bohol drugstores found to grant senior citizens 20% discount

by Rey Anthonmy Chiu

Tagbilaran City (26 May) — IN Bohol, only two drugstores are granting the legislated 20% discount as privileges to senior citizens, according to Porferio Ligason, a retiree from Bool District here.

Ligason and several other senior citizens converged at the Jjs Seafoods Village where the House Committee on Population and Family Relations conducted its Bohol sortie for a hearing on the implementation of the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2004.

Ligason named Mercury Drug Store and Rose Pharmacy as only those who are sympathetic to their cause by granting them the discount on medicine purchases after showing them necessary documents.

Similarly complaining senior citizens share Ligason’s plight as they bemoan of the pathetic treatment they get the moment they start presenting their Office of the Senior Citizen’s Affairs identifications cards to drugstores.

They reported to Representatives Reynaldo S. Uy, Partylist Reps. Rodante D. Marcoleta (Alagad) and Mario Joyo Aguja (Akbayan) that drugstores initially tell that their prescription medicines are available but suddenly goes out of stock when they draw their purchase forms and identification cards.

As senior citizens here condemn in harshest possible terms the drugstores and pharmacies for denying them of the legislated 20% discounts as privileges, participants during the hearing on the implementation of the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act believe the government is partly to blame for the glitch.

In an oversight hearing, May 24, lawyer Rogelio Balaga disclosed that the Bureau of Internal Revenue has no guidelines on the tax incentives for drugstores offering the legislated discounts.

Balaga, Tagbilaran Revenue District Officer said while drugstores which earlier extended services to senior citizens found out that the BIR could not credit their discounted sales as tax incentive, they rather not claim the costs as tax credits and charge full.

Rule VI of the Republic Act 9257 states that establishments may claim the discounts granted for establishments provided that the discount cost is deduced from gross income of the taxable year when the discount is granted. This is also in coordination with the BIR regulations and the provisions of the national internal revenue code, the law states.

Meanwhile Western Samar Representative and House Committee on Population and Family Relations Chair Representative Reynaldo Uy said it is precisely the reason why the oversight committee is doing the provincial sorties to see how the law is implemented.

Rep. Uy said if it needs to be, the oversight would want a test case by penalizing erring drugstores denying the privileges.

Erring drugstores may get fined for P100T for the first offense or P200T and imprisonment for the second offense, RA 9257 states. (PIA)

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Cong. Mayong meets up with Cebuanos

Posted by tin on June 5, 2006

Cong. Mayong together with Institute for Popular Democracy’s executive director Joel Rocamora attended an Akbayan Division Assembly last Sunday, June 4, 2006. The creation of Cebu provinces was discussed as covered by Sun Star.

Monday, June 05, 2006
Time running out for new provinces, House rep says
By Rene H. Martel

WITH elections drawing close, the House of Representatives will have no more time to prioritize the bills to create three more provinces in Cebu, a party-list congressman said yesterday.

Akbayan party-list Rep. Mario Aguja said that unlike the first time the bills were brought up in early 2005, today’s legislators are engrossed in the discussion on Charter Change and in preparing for next year’s elections.

Reps. Simeon Kintanar (second district), Antonio Yapha (third district) and Clavel Martinez (fourth district) have filed bills creating Cebu del Sur, Cebu Occidental and Cebu del Norte, respectively, from their districts. All are on their last term of office.

Aguja, a member of the House committee on local government, said Oriental Negros Rep. Emilio Macias II, who heads the committee, can say all he want but in the end, it is the members who must decide whether to hold a hearing in Cebu.

Macias has repeatedly said there is no need for a public hearing in Cebu because both those against and in favor of the proposals are represented in the committee.

He also argued that it will be too expensive to send congressmen to Cebu just to conduct a public hearing.

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) last week passed a resolution requesting the House committee on local government to bring to Cebu the public hearings on the bills that seek to create three more Cebu provinces.

PB Member Victor Maambong said the House needs to do this for a “judicious calibration of the wisdom and propriety” of the bills.

Committee decides

Better yet, said PB Member Carmiano Kintanar, hearings must be held in areas that are directly affected, such as Bogo and Argao towns, and Toledo City.

Maambong is against the division of Cebu, while Kintanar is for the creation of new provinces.

“He (Macias) is entitled to his own decision and opinions. But at the end of the day, it is the committee that will decide,” Aguja said.

He was in town along with the Institute for Popular Democracy’s executive director Joel Rocamora to speak in Akbayan’s division assembly in the Luz barangay hall in Cebu City yesterday.

“Except when na-file ang bills, I don’t remember na-follow-up na sa House inquiry. Busy na ang mga tawo. I don’t think ma-prioritize sa House….Cha-cha ang nag-angkon sa among panahon. Kulang ang panahon i-process na because of the 2007 elections,” Aguja said.

Lack of support

Rocamora, on the other hand, said it is a normal phenomenon in the country for “so-called leaders” to try to cling to power. They will seek ways, like creating new provinces and districts for themselves, he added.

“Pero dili na nila mahimo kung kuwang og support,” he said.

Aguja actually agrees that at this stage, the committee could do away with a public hearing if the bulk of position papers they received would suffice as a gauge of the public’s views.

He said that if the position papers indeed echo the sentiments of the Cebuanos, then the bills should be discarded now.

He said he will help ensure that the true sentiments of the Cebuanos will be heard and considered by each member of the committee when the time for them to discuss the bills comes.

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Solo Parents are foundations of families too, says Akbayan Rep. Mayong Aguja

Posted by tin on June 1, 2006

In a hearing conducted to review the Solo Parenting Act of 2000 (RA 8972), Akbayan Rep. Aguja stressed that the said law was not designed to promote solo parenthood but aimed to promote the family as the foundation of the nation by protecting the rights and welfare of solo parents and their children.

"Solo parents are parents too, and are also foundations of strong families. They should be provided with institutional support to care for their children", said Rep. Aguja. Among the benefits provided for in the said law are provisions for a Flexible Work Schedule and Parental Leave, Protection against Work Discrimination, and a Comprehensive Package of Social Development and Welfare Services ( Livelihood development services, Counseling services, Parent effectiveness services, Critical incidence stress debriefing) for Solo Parents.

"We Filipinos give much importance to our families as our basic support system. While a traditional Filipino family does consist of both parents in the household, or even extending to grandparents and close relatives, our concept of the family has evolved with the changing times. And it is essential that we also recognize families headed by solo parents, may they be unwed mothers or fathers, foster parents, or separated parents left with the responsibility of parenthood", elaborated Rep. Aguja. The RA 8972 defines solo parents and provides the procedure for obtaining relevant services.

Rep. Aguja together with Reps. Rodante Marcoleta (Alagad), and Reynaldo Uy (Western Samar) went to Bohol for the said oversight function.

Related Article:

Solo parents welfare act not to be an "incentive", says solon (PIA Information Service)

Solo parents welfare act not to be an "incentive", says solon

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (1 June) — WHILE it may be true that the Solo Parents Welfare Act is a government attempt to help promote family relations, let it not operate as an incentive, says Partylist Representative Rodante Marcoleta, while coming as a guest at the weekly Kapihan sa PIA last week.

Marcoleta aired his apprehension adding that people might see the government abetting in "eroding the basic foundations of the Philippine society."

The Philippines' largely Catholic population still looks up to a single parenthood and broken families differently and often treats the victims with derision.

The tense situation has loosened lately but still, many people still think of solo parents as deserving of what they get. This has so far affected their (solo parents and children) social adaptations while countering discrimination.

With this and with the government cognizant of its policy to promote the family as the foundation of the nation, it intends to develop a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children.

The Solo Parents Welfare Act packs a system of support for solo parents.

Included in the comprehensive package of social welfare and development services are: livelihood development, training benefits, seed capital provision, counseling, flexible works schedules, work discrimination protection, parental leaves, educational benefits, medical assistance and needed health packages.

The benefits and services however are given with due assessment by government welfare authorities to implement a balancing factor for its avail-ment, says Marcoleta.

House Population and Family Relations oversight Committee breezed through Bohol to assess the national implementation of the act.

The team was composed of Representatives Marcoleta (Alagad), Mario Aguha (Akbayan) and Reynaldo Uy (Western Samar).

The team was from Samar and was set to land in General Santos for similar sortie. (PIA)

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