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People's Journal

People's Journal

Mining review

It’s the classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

Closure of mining facilities or the cancellation of their operations should have only come after a thorough review by the designated state regulatory authority.

Which is the exact opposite of what happened to the industry recently.

But it is always better late than never—never mind the damage done to the industry.

It is water under the bridge now; there is no use crying over spilled milk.
   
And so the multi-stakeholder team of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council has proposed a three-month review of the operations of 23 mining firms ordered closed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
   
Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin said members of the team, which had their first meeting Monday, had agreed on the “composition, scope and process by which we will undertake the review.”
   
”No programs (yet but) essentially the matter by which we will undertake the review,” he told members of the media after the review team’s meeting that finished Monday night.
   
Agabin, the Department of Finance’s Legal Affairs head and in charge of the Domestic Finance Group, said they planned to start the review by March but the team must first get the approval of the MICC on administrative issues as well as on the budget.
   
“We will certainly try to start as soon as we can,” he said.
   
Agabin said the team planned to get experts from academe but decided to exclude those from mining companies as part of the review team. He, however, declined to give names as they have yet to talk to these people.
   
He said the study will be “done in a scientific manner” and will take into account the “technical, economic, and social aspects of the mining operations.”
   
He said any decision on mine site visits would depend on the review team.
   
Results of the fact-finding measure would be submitted to the MICC and recommendatory in line with Executive Order 79, which established the MICC, he said.
   
Agabin said MICC was mandated to conduct review of the country’s mining operations every two years, thus, the team and the MICC, as a whole, would respect the DENR orders.
   
Asked what the team’s decision would be if its audit had different results than that of the DENR, the DoF official said: “I do not know if there is a mismatch.”
   
“We’ll just have to see what the review team comes up,” he said.
   
The review would not include the cancellations of 75 mineral production sharing agreements of sites that were within watershed areas, he said.
   
Agabin added that they had not decided when the next meeting of the review team would be.

  • Published in Newsdesk

Barbie at Ken, meant to be na maging magka-loveteam?

KAMAKAILAN, nagdiwang ng kanyang 24th birthday si Ken Chan o mas kilala ngayon bilang si Yuan Lee, isa sa mga leading men ni Barbie Forteza sa hit series na Meant To Be. At siyempre, hindi magpapahuli si Barbie sa kanyang greeting para dito. Sa kanyang post, sinabi ng mahusay na aktres na: “Happy birthday @akosikenchan. Ang matagal na nating biruan na maging magkaloveteam ay nagkatotoo na! Sobrang proud ako sa lahat ng achievements mo. Sana mabigyan ka pa ng maraming projects na susubok sa versatility mo. P.S. 5 years and counting.”

Na-intriga tuloy kami. Game over na ba para sa iba pang leading men ni Barbie sa pinakabagong Kapuso Primetime series na sina Addy Raj, Jake Roberto at Ivan Dorschner ngayong matagal na palang biruan ng dalawa na maging magka-loveteam? Ano kaya ang masasabi nila dito? Magparaya kaya ang tatlo o ituloy pa rin ang laban?

GMA  malaki ang tiwala kay Kris

KNOWING GMA Network, they know the definition of the word quality entertainment. Kaya naman nang malaman namin sa katatapos lang na launch ng GMA Network para sa kanilang shows ngayong 2017 na si Kris Bernal ang bibida sa remake ng Impostora, isang original series ng Kapuso Network noong 2007, hindi na kami makapaghintay na mapanood ito dahil sigurado kami kakaiba rin ang paghahandang ginagawa ni Kris sa kanyang role. Ani nga ng GMA’s Senior Vice President for Entertainment TV na si Ms. Liliybeth G. Rasonable nang tanungin siya kung bakit si Kris ang napili, isang maikli ngunit meaningful message ang kanyang sinabi: “Kris is a very good actress. Feeling namin kaya niya ang Impostora.”

Which runs counter sa mga pahayag ng GMA executives sa namesake ni Kris na you-know-who.

Jennylyn, handa na para sa kanyang sorpresa
   
THIS year, isa sa mga inaabangan sa telebisyon ay ang remake ng GMA Network sa hit Korean series na My Love From The Star kung saan ang Ultimate Star na si Jennylyn Mercado at Gil Cuerva ang bibida. Speaking of Jen, madalas namin makita sa social media ang posts ng kanyang mga fans na sobrang prepared na ang Kapuso actress bilang maging Pinoy Steffi. Excited na raw sila sa kanyang pasabog dahil sigurado pang-award winning na naman ang kanyang hatid.

  • Published in Showbiz

Peace talks make headway

ROME, Italy—The Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) signed on Saturday the supplemental guidelines for the full operation of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), moving the peace negotiations another step towards final peace settlement.

GRP peace panel chair and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the signing is concrete manifestation of the Duterte administration’s adherence to respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.

He added that the signing is a victory for the people and the Duterte government and a major dividend in the peace process.

“I view the signing today of the supplemental guidelines, therefore, not only as affirmation of the Duterte administration’s commitment to human rights protection and to IHL adherence, but likewise a concrete dividend of this round of talks,” he explained.

The guidelines were crafted in 2004 but the draft of its supplement was not signed after the peace negotiations bogged down in 2011.
     
“The full operation of the Joint Monitoring Committee, with its supplemental guidelines in place, should not be difficult under our legal regime that includes new and bold laws and statutes upholding human rights and international humanitarian laws such as the law against enforced disappearance, Anti-Torture Act, IHL Act, Human Security Act, Writ of Amparo and the Writ of Kalikasan, among others,” Bello said.
   
The supplemental guidelines, signed by GRP panel Chair Silvestre Bello III and NDF panel chair Fidel Agcaoili at Holiday Inn in Rome, Italy in the presence of Royal Norwegian Government Special Envoy Elisabeth Slattum, is a set of mechanisms on how to address complaints of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by government forces and the armed wing of the NDF – the New People’s Army (NPA).
     
Slattum immediately praised both parties for quickly coming to an agreement to activate the JMC.        The guidelines are pursuant to the Operational Guidelines for the JMC issued on 14 February 2004 in Oslo, Norway by the GRP and NDF peace negotiators.
     
This initial victory, Bello said, also bodes well for the possible signing of the bilateral ceasefire, a most-awaited agreement to benefit the Filipino people, especially those living in conflict-affected areas.
   
“This should be taken as an incentive for us to work harder in the remaining days of this round of talks, especially on our efforts to put in place a joint ceasefire agreement—a peace dividend that our people have been waiting for,” he said.

Market mood driving peso weakness

A ranking Bangko Sentral official said the peso, despite its recent weakness remains firm because of the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals.

”We should emphasize that for an economy experiencing good external payments position the depreciation of the peso in 2016 and so far in 2017 is definitely market sentiment trade,” said BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo in a briefing Friday.

The local unit once again touched the P50-level to a US dollar Friday on increased concerns on the policies of US President  Donald Trump, who will have his inauguration early Saturday and the expectations for more increases in the Federal Reserve rates. It, however, ended the week on P49.92.

Guinigundo cited that average depreciation rate of the peso in 2015 to 2016 is about 10 percent, lower than the more than 23 percent depreciation of the Malaysian ringgit and the 11 percent drop of the Chinese yuan.
   
He said the latest weakness of the peso is inconsistent against the continued strengthening of the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals, the robust expansion of the economy, improvement of public finance, low inflation environment and strong external payments position.
   
He pointed out that sans the expectation of at least three increase in the Fed rates this year, among others, “I think it will be the market fundamentals that will be more dominant in driving the exchange rate.”
   
”In other words it is market-driven sentiment,” he said.
   
Meanwhile, Guinigundo said Fed rate hike expectations this year and the possible approval of the Department of Finance’s tax reform proposals have been factored in in the BSP’s inflation forecasting.
   
He said the Fed rate hike expectations will likely generate pressures for capital withdrawals in the Philippines but stressed that if they need to implement measures to address it it will be through macroprudential measures and not monetary policy action.
   
“Because these interest rates will have a lot of collateral more on the real sectors as well as the financial market and we don’t want to complicate the conduct of monetary policy if we change the lever of monetary policy,” he added.

  • Published in Business
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