Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Local Wood Producers complain of Chinese smuggled wood

  • As if local producers do not produce and sell sub-standard wood anyway. At least, if the Chinese are selling sub-standard products, they sell them cheaper and forces the Philippine producers to do the same. On another bright side, at least, the Chinese are cutting their own forests, hindi ba?

  • let that chinese plywood come inside tha philippines. para sa kaalaman ng lahat ang local plywood producers ay gumagawa din lang sub standard na plywood. Dito sa mindanao lahat ng plywood producers undersized lahat and plywood at walang quality pa natutuklap.

  • Wood producers want govt to check plywood smuggling

    Wood producers are calling the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) attention regarding the illegal importation of plywood from China, saying the product is threatening the businesses of local producers and the safety of consumers.

    Smuggled plywood, the Philippine Woods Producers Association (PWPA) said in a press conference on Tuesday, is only 4.5mm thin but often marketed to be 5mm thick. Chinese plywood is also unable to handle sanding and contains glue with high formaldehyde emissions, endangering those who work with the material, it added.

    The Chinese version sells at a lower price and has forced local producers to lower their own prices in order to compete with the smuggled plywood.

    "This is a coy attempt at tricking consumers who are usually naive of the existence of such standards. It also robs the government of unpaid VAT and import duties amounting to about P76 to P80 million monthly for 400 forty-foot container vans. These illegal imports unfairly compete and undercut the prices of local plywood manufacturers," said PWPA deputy director Maila Vasquez.

    The group said that for every container van shipment that is smuggled, a local container van is displaced and indirectly causes 16 local plywood workers to lose their jobs.

    PWPA called on government to be more vigilant as most Chinese plywood shipments that enter the country are either misdeclared or simply smuggled.

    “Misdeclared goods can fall under technical smuggling. We received information that about 300 forty-foot container vans of illegal plywood arrived in the country last April and more are about to arrive this May. Word we got is that about 400 to 500 containers will arrive this month," said Vasquez.

    Plywood is covered by mandatory standards under the Bureau of Product Standards. Locally produced plywood must be marked with a product standard label, something which the illegally imported plywood does not have.

    Philippines to import less rice in 2012

    Who will remember this prediction in 2012 anyway? In 2012, somebody will make another prediction that the Philippines will import less rice in 2013. 

    PHL to import less rice in 2012 — Agri chief

    The country may import less rice in 2012 or only 500,000 metric tons (MT) if the current wet season cropping proves to be a good harvest.

    This year, the Philippines set its rice importation limit to 860,000 MT or a third of the volume imported in 2010.

    “After 2013 siguro, we hope, self sufficient na tayo at hopefully sana tayo na iyung nag-e-export ng ating bigas," Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said Monday, referring to government’s plans to be rice self-sufficient during the term of President Benigno Aquino III.

    The country is already looking at possible export buyers once the rice production exceeds the country’s need.

    Alcala pointed out an existing memorandum of understanding with Vietnam and Thailand for possible rice imports in 2013 as a fallback in case the country fails to be self-sufficient. The agreement does not compel the Philippines to buy solely from these two countries.

    However, President Benigno Aquino III has expressed confidence that the country could be self-sufficient as early as next year given the projections for rice production in 2012.

    The Agriculture Department, he said, only set the target to 2013 given the possibility of typhoons and other calamities that might hinder production.

    “Mga 286,000 tons ang natitirang kailangan nating punuin sa 2012," the President said.

    “Sabi [ni Alacala] sa akin, ‘Boss, sa 2013 tiyak na meron na tayong kakayahan o kasiguruhan sa ating sinasaka. Mapapakain na natin ang Pilipino sa sariling pagsiskap natin.’ Hindi na gagawing uso ang dating uso na wala na tayong ginawa kundi umasa sa ating mga kalapit bayan para tugunan ang ating pangangailangan sa pagkain," he added.

    There are also plans to expand agriculture production to include vegetable exportation by the first semester next year. — BC/MRT/VS, GMA News

    President Aquino wants no casualty as typhoon enters Philippines

    Then, he should move the country out of the way of the storm.

    PNoy wants zero casualty when ‘Chedeng’ enters PHL

    President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the concerned government agencies to ensure that no one will perish when tropical storm “Chedeng" enters the country this week.

    Ang marching orders ng Presidente ay zero casualty. It’s not really about the livelihood and properties but the lives of the people," Science and Technology Undersecretary Graciano Yumul Jr said at a press briefing in Malacañang Tuesday.

    He said Aquino also directed the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to give an hourly weather advisory once a weather disturbance with a category of a typhoon enters the country.

    Hindi na kami maghihintay ng signal. We are going to go every hour on the hour," he said.

    Before, PAGASA, which is under the Department of Science and Technology, gave hourly updates only when there was already an existing public storm signal.

    Yumul, however, said their advisories will only be effective if the public follows it.

    He said there are three components of a good forecast, which are timely and reliable forecast, good communication, and response by the community.

    Yumul said PAGASA and the Office of the Civil Defense are already doing the first component. The second component, he said, is being done with the help of the media.

    “The third critical component is that the appropriate response by the community should be attained," Yumul said. “Everybody has to cooperate, one’s safety is the individual’s responsibility."

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Senators to grill Pacquiao on RH bill

    If Jinkee Pacquiao is not using birth control pills anymore, does that mean that they are not having sex anymore? I'd like to hear Pacquiao say it in his own words that he is using the rhythm method. Let's see how good and convincing a liar he can be. And if he calims the rhythm method, ask him to explain it in detail.

    Solons ready to face Pacquiao

    PROPONENTS of the controversial Reproductive Health bill are ready to face boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.

    For the first time, the Sarangani representative stood up to interpellate House Bill 4244. At least 38 lawmakers wanted to say their piece on the floor as the House started debates on the measure.

    Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, one of the authors and first defender of the bill, said he wants to listen to Pacquiao’s opinion on the use of artificial birth control. He said he suspects that the Catholic Church gave Pacquiao the go signal to oppose the bill.

    “I think the Catholic hierarchy might be lacking arguments that is why they have to look for a popular face to advocate their cause. But I don’t want to preempt what Rep. Manny Pacquiao would like to say on the floor,” Lagman told reporters.

    Pacquiao said he read the bill and was convinced that the measure is against God’s laws.

    “Kung babasahin natin ang bill, makikita naman na papunta sa abortion. Malinaw na pwede ang abortion. This bill is totally (about) abortion,” he said.

    He admitted that his wife took pills after giving birth to their firstborn but he convinced her to stop.

    “Pag naipasa ito, I’m sure another budget na naman, billion kasi ang usapan dito. Alam naman natin na kulang na nga tayo sa budget, saan kukunin ang budget para dito?” he asked.

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday hit Pacquiao for his “hypocrisy” in opposing artificial family planning methods, saying his wife Jinky had admitted taking pills.

    Lagman however is confident that Pacquiao won’t be able to sway pro-RH people.

    At least 20 neophyte lawmakers supported the bill.

    DIWA party-list Rep. Emmeline Aglipay said the measure should be passed not just to curb population growth but to ensure the health of women and children.

    Aglipay said their survey showed more than 120 lawmakers are supporting the measure with 60 still undecided.

    Joey Marquez Exonerated

    Why did it take them 14 years to figure this out? In the United States, an ordinary toilet will cost $35,000 - 35,000 if it is being purchased by a government agency when the exact same toilet will cost the regular person probably $300 from a hardware store. There is no bribery involved. The purchasing manager was not bribed. It's just the way business is done when it is the government who is doing the buying. 


    THE Sandiganbayan yesterday acquitted comedian and former Parañaque City Mayor Joey Marquez of the nine counts of graft charges filed against him in connection with overpriced broomsticks for lack of evidence.

    “Without competent proof that the transactions were overpriced, then the prosecution failed to establish that the transactions involving the purchase of walis tingting are grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the city government of Paranaque,” the Second Division said.

    Aside from Marquez, also exonerated were Marilou Tanael, city accountant, Flocerfida Babida, city budget officer, Ofelia Caunan, officer-in-charge of General ServicesOffice, Ailyn Romea, former head staff of the Office of the Mayor, Ricardo Adriano, enterpreneur and owner of RDJ Enterprise and Realina Ty, owner of REAL Trading.

    Silvestre de Leon, city accountant, was dropped as respondent because of his death.

    The case stemmed from the report made by the Commission on Audit on overpriced broomsticks during the stint of Marquez as city mayor from 1996 to 1997.

    Based on the audit report, the 63,430 pieces of broomsticks were bought for P14 to P25 each when the actual price is only P11 each.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Regulate Sex Toys

    A Sex Toy Regulation  
    Buhay Rep. Irwin Tieng is seeking to regulate the increasing proliferation of “sex toys” in the local market as he warned that this may lead to the rise of sex-related crimes in the country. 
    I did not know that. Then, what were the cause of sex-related crimes before the proliferation of these sex toys in the country? Do sex criminals really need a reason, such as sex toys, to commit their crimes? The FDA also said that they will corrdinate with their counterparts aborad. Coordinate what? What other country in the world has a regulation for sex toys? 

    MANILA, Philippines - Buhay Rep. Irwin Tieng is seeking to regulate the increasing proliferation of “sex toys” in the local market as he warned that this may lead to the rise of sex-related crimes in the country.
    In filing House Bill 4509 entitled “An Act Penalizing the Distribution, Possession with Intent to Distribute and Production of Any Device for the Physical Stimulation of Human Genitals for Anything of Pecuniary Value,” Tieng said he was out to safeguard the moral, spiritual and social being of the citizens from the destructive effects of these “obscene devices.”
    “The influence of obscene devices designed primarily for the physical stimulation of human genitals, commonly called as sex toys and gadgets may seem unnoticed. However, there is now an influx of this kind of devices in the country, especially in Metro Manila,” Tieng said in the bill’s explanatory note.
    “The proliferation of these obscene devices which are insensitively and openly displayed in shops or stalls is very alarming. The public, especially minors, being exposed to these obscenities may suffer disturbing effects and could trigger sexually impure ideas and acts that give room to sex-related offenses,” Tieng said.

    The Buhay party-list solon pointed to Quiapo, Sta. Cruz and Recto, the so-called University Belt in Metro Manila, as among the areas where sex toys are allegedly proliferating.
    According to him, the bill seeks to “penalize the distribution, possession with intent to distribute and production of any obscene device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the physical stimulation of human genital organs for anything of pecuniary value in order to protect the morals of the society.”
    “This is also in keeping with the policy of the state to value the dignity of every human person and to promote and safeguard its integrity and the moral, spiritual and social being of its citizenry from the pernicious effects of obscene devices,” he added.
    The bill calls on government agents to “pursue an intensive and unrelenting campaign against the distribution, possession with intent to distribute and production of any obscene device.”
    Under the bill, it will be unlawful for any person to: a.) Knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute, any obscene device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the physical stimulation of human genital organs for anything of pecuniary value; b.) Become a wholesaler, to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute, for the purpose of resale or commercial distribution at retail of sex toys; and c.) To knowingly produce, or offer or agree to produce sex toys.
    Violators of the proposed law will suffer the “penalty of imprisonment of not more than one year and/or fine ranging from P10,000 to P20,000” and for acts falling under Section 3(a);” and the “penalty of imprisonment of not more than one year and/or a fine ranging from P20,000 to P30,000 for acts falling under Section (b) and (c).”
    The bill tasks the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Justice to implement and promulgate the proposed law.
    Buhay Rep. Michael Velarde co-authored Tieng’s bill.
    Sex Toys being sold
    Amid the filing of a proposed law penalizing the production and sale of sex toys by a pro-life lawmaker, such items continue to be sold in downtown Manila.
    The day after, the items continue to be sold at an overpass in Raon and near the Light Rail Transit station in Sta. Cruz, radio dzBB’s Carlo Mateo reported.
    The report said the toys were on display, even as police in the area admitted that they could not go after the vendors because there is no law against these items.
    Among the toys being sold were a rubberized battery-operated toy for P450, the report said.
    Other items included sex rings that claim to enhance the user’s experience.
    The bill tasks the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Justice to implement the measure once it becomes a law.

    Sex Toy sellers raided
    Authorities vowed tougher action on unregistered Chinese sex toys and enhancing drugs, following the seizure of P1.5 million worth of such items in Manila.
    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) head Nancy Tacandong admitted in a radio interview they lack still coordination with law enforcers and importers of Chinese medicines.
    “It is one big problem of the FDA, so we will have to form a technical working group to coordinate with Chinese drug importers and drugstores. In the first place, we do not even understand the Chinese documentation on Chinese medicines,” Tacandong said in an interview on dzRH radio.
    She said that while the FDA presently does not have the capability to register Chinese medicines, many Chinese drugstores in Manila’s Chinatown district are registered with the government.
    Tacandong said the government allowed some sort of autonomy for these Chinese drugstores, on the assumption that Chinese pharmacists can understand and prepare Chinese medications.
    “Originally, Chinese drugstores employed Chinese doctors and pharmacists who can read and prepare Chinese medications. But now, there are few Chinese druggists left and the pharmacists are now Filipinos who may not understand how to prepare Chinese medication,” she said.
    On the other hand, she said the FDA will have to coordinate more closely with law enforcers, noting her agency was not informed about the raid.
    Last Thursday, Manila police seized some P1.5 million worth of fake sex enhancers and sex toys without license from the FDA, following a raid on a mall in Manila’s Binondo district.
    “We have to coordinate better with police. As far as I know, we were not informed of Thursday’s raid,” Tacandong said.
    Tacandong also said the FDA plans to inspect facilities of Chinese drug firms abroad, to see if they comply with good manufacturing standards.
    She said her agency will likewise improve its coordination with its counterparts abroad.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Conservatives finally win the ethnic vote

    Globe Editorial

    Stephen Harper’s double victory

    From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
    The Conservative election victory is a double victory for Stephen Harper. Not only have the Conservatives secured their elusive majority, but the election also produced a New Democratic official opposition. The relegation of the Liberals to third-party status represents an historic moment in Canadian politics, and an opportunity that the Conservatives can build on if they listen to their better angels and demonstrate moderation and the politics of consensus.

    The Conservatives have successfully redefined the middle ground in Canadian politics. The Liberals ceded that ground by being perceived to have moved left, and by focusing on leadership politics over rebuilding their party. The NDP’s success shows that many Canadians hunger for a strong alternative and a positive message.

    Mr. Harper’s win is an endorsement of the Conservative Party’s steady stewardship of the economy and comparative respect for the free market, its relative moderation and its concerted effort to reach out to new Canadians. Jason Kenney’s relentless outreach to communities that the Liberals had long taken for granted has produced a sea change in Canadian politics. His immigration reforms, far from alienating immigrants, were welcomed by them. And Canadians wished to reward the governing party for this country’s resiliency.

    The worst of the downturn is over; the country is finding its feet again.

    The majority provides an opportunity for a stable, four-year government, which allows Mr. Harper and the Conservatives to take the long view in tackling Canada’s biggest challenges – especially economic growth and fiscal restraint in an era of global uncertainty, and the imperative to make health-care delivery sustainable as the population ages. Beyond simple economic recovery, he needs to build on his innovation agenda to make Canadian growth a phenomenon much more oriented to research and development. He will need to make clear to the provinces that increases in health-care transfers will need to be accompanied by substantial reforms, with a stronger element of publicly funded private delivery, where appropriate.

    The victory, however, should not be read as an endorsement of Mr. Harper’s unfortunate tendencies to secrecy and control, or of his low regard for Parliament and its officers.

    Whatever their partisan preferences, Canadians should take heart from the Quebec results. The Bloc Québécois is effectively extinct, its leader defeated, its approach to federal politics rebuked. Three in four Quebeckers cast a vote for federalist parties. It may be a protest vote, a vote for the charisma and the nationalist-friendly promises of Jack Layton. But still, after years of Bloc obstructionism, Quebeckers are expressing a desire to participate in the affairs of their nation – of Canada.
    But with that, a strong word of caution. Quebec has gone from being a faint aspiration for the NDP to supplying a majority of its caucus. That influence, to be held by rookie (in some cases accidental) MPs, is unprecedented. At the same time, not since 1917 has a majority government been so underrepresented in Quebec.

    And with the Parti Québécois well-placed to take eventual power in Quebec City, we are entering a new phase in Canada’s dealings with Quebec. Mr. Layton and Mr. Harper will be fierce opponents in the House of Commons. On national unity, they must speak, as much as possible, with one voice.
    The Liberals have been humbled. They have lost their foothold at the centre – in all senses – of Canadian political life. The party of Laurier, King, Pearson and Trudeau, a party that under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin slew the deficit in the 1990s, now risks falling into complete irrelevancy. Michael Ignatieff said last night that “democracy teaches hard lessons,” and that it was time that Liberals “look at ourselves in the mirror.” They have a daunting challenge ahead to rebuild their grassroots, their finances and their ideas about who they are and what Canada needs them to be. On Parliament Hill, they will need to go in with elbows up, serving as a scrappy, principled opposition, as they did in 1984.

    Mr. Harper has a clear mandate from Canadians. His economic stewardship has been strong, and the country is positioned to take a further step, with greater productivity growth. What the new Parliament needs to do is avoid further polarization between left and right and work for the common interest of Canadians.