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PCA: Cutting of coconut trees, banned

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Coconut tree plantation as captured by UNTV drone.

 

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has discovered that monitoring of permit for coco tree cutting activities in the country has become ineffective.

For this, a moratorium or the prohibition of cutting down coco trees will be in effect on January 3 and will last for three months.

PCA administrator Billy Andal said several PCA officials had been negligent in issuing cutting permits, mostly in Quezon Province.

“For example the 20 trees that they applied for cutting supposedly due to maturity, there is no actual checking if there are really cutting trees in the area. The permits were eventually used to cut other trees located in where they want to cut,” Andal said.

However, moratorium excludes areas devastated by the typhoon wherein, around 300 thousand coconut trees were damaged, such as in the Bicol area.

Areas infested by cocolisap are also not included under the memorandum for the reason that some trees need to be cut to control the infestation.

There are about 340 million coconut trees in the country and 20% of them are subject for cutting due to maturity. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News and Rescue

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Philippine Competition Commission studies rice issues, warns traders vs manipulating rice prices

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

 

Prices of rice

MANILA, Philippines — One of the sectors that the Philippine Competition Council (PCC) is focusing on is agriculture, including the movement of rice prices.

The National Food Authority (NFA) already admitted that the stock of NFA rice has been depleted, but the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Office of the President are both resolute that there is no shortage of rice in the country.

PCC was created in 2015 and its primary mandate is to ensure that there is a competition in the market.

“Tinitingnan namin yung production, tinitingnan naming yung distribution at saka paano siya nakakaapekto sa merkado (We are looking at production, distribution and how these affect the market),” said PCC enforcement office director Atty. Orlando Polinar.

The PCC has warned businessmen against manipulating the supply and price of rice.

Polinar said they may face a million peso fine for the first offense with five to seven years imprisonment.

“Bawal na mag-uusap na mag-fix ng price. Bawal na mag-uusap para i-manipulate ang bidding. Bawal sa mga competitors na mag manipulate ng supply,” said the Polinar.

(It is illegal to discuss the fixing of prices. It is illegal to discuss the manipulation of the bidding process. Competitors are not allowed to manipulate supply.)

Meanwhile, the National Food Authority (NFA) is now drafting measures on how to beef up their buffer stock.

One of which is by way of encouraging rice farmers to sell their products to the agency.

The NFA Council earlier announced that the government-to-private mode of procurement will be used for the importation of 250,000 metric tons of NFA rice which will arrive in the country in two to three months time.

“Anytime na may nagbebentang farmer tinatanggap yun (Anytime there is a farmer willing to sell, it is accepted),” said NFA spokesperson Rebecca Olarte.

NFA assured that they still have enough supply of rice for relief operations in the country. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Canada orders review of deal to sell helicopters to Philippines

by UNTV NEWS   |   Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Canada’s Minister of international trade Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks during an interview with Reuters in Danang, Vietnam November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Just one day after signing a $233 million agreement to sell 16 helicopters to the Philippines, the Canadian government on Wednesday ordered a review of the deal amid concerns the aircraft could be used to fight rebels.

Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said that the deal – formally signed on Tuesday – had been struck in 2012 on the understanding the helicopters would be used for search-and-rescue missions.

Philippine Major-General Restituto Padilla, military chief of plans, told Reuters on Tuesday the helicopters would be used for the military’s internal security operations, adding they could also be deployed in search-and-rescue and disaster relief operations.

“When we saw that declaration … we immediately launched a review with the relevant authorities. And we will obviously review the facts and take the right decision,” Champagne told reporters, without giving more details.

The Bell 412EPI helicopters were due be delivered early next year as the Philippine military prepares to step up operations against Islamist and communist rebels.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asked later whether he was concerned the helicopters might be used against Filipino citizens, replied “Absolutely.”

Canada has very clear regulations about to whom it can sell weapons and how they can be used, he said during a question and answer event at the University of Chicago.

“We are going to make sure before this deal or any other deal goes through that we are abiding by the rules … that Canadian governments have to follow,” he said.

In November, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte publicly criticized Trudeau at a regional summit in Manila for raising questions about his war on drugs.

Nearly 4,000 Filipinos have been killed by police in the campaign since June 2016. Human rights groups accuse police of carrying out illegal killings, staging crime scenes and falsifying reports, a charge they deny.

“Human rights is a key element of our foreign policy and of our trade policy,” said Champagne.

In 2016, the Liberal government was criticized for deciding to honor a contract to sell light armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, despite human rights concerns. Like the helicopter contract, the deal had been arranged by Canada’s former Conservative administration.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Cooney and Cynthia Osterman

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Wish FM, UNTV’s “Spotlight” and William Thio get ‘National Customers’ Choice award

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines – On Saturday, the National Customers’ Choice Award 2017-2018 recognized Wish FM as the ‘Most Outstanding Broadcasting and Media Production Company’.

Wish 107.5, on its 3rd year, has been the talk of the town for its FM booth on the wheels, the Wish bus, which runs not only in Metro Manila, but also in various provinces, and will soon be replicated in the U.S. and in Europe.

Its Wishclusive videos have also been the craze of netizens, with reactors across the globe.

And, Wish also takes pride of launching the biggest online singing competition in the Philippines, Wishcovery.

“I think we’re on top of the game because our bosses’ heads are in the game. So ganoon ang edge natin. We’re always the first sa mga innovation and I think iyon ang edge ng Wish FM,” said Wish jock Adam.

“Another ace that we got is our genuine concern and initiative to bring Filipino music across the world and to provide the coolest musical experience,” he added.

Meanwhile, the award giving body also recognized Why News anchor William Thio who was hailed the ‘News and Public Service Broadcasting Achiever’.

The program he hosts, “Spotlight” was also named the ‘Most Outstanding Bio-Documentary Show’.

“Lubos na pasasalamat at saka lalong lalo na sa my UNTV family kasi kayo ang nagbibigay sa akin ng inspirasyon, then lahat ng training and development for already seven years. So siguro ito narin iyong bunga. Swerte tayong lahat sa network natin because Kuya Daniel Razon, he embodies, iyong Mr. Public Service. So sa tingin ko dahil meron akong role model, meron akong mentor, nagiging madali narin to sort of, just try at least to, in our own little ways, to follow in his footsteps, in his advocacies,” said Thio.

The National Customers’ Choice Awards aims to give recognition to individuals, companies, brands, services and products that excel in various fields. – Leslie Longboen | UNTV News & Rescue

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