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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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PH-Kuwait agreement on OFW protection to push through amid rift – Cayetano

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait

SINGAPORE – Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has assured that the signing of the bilateral agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait will push through despite the recent setback in the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

Cayetano said it is likely to happen by middle of May this year.

“In fact they are following up on the signing as well as Secretary Bello. We will try to have the signing of the agreement here in the Philippines before Ramadan,” Cayetano said upon his arrival to Singapore to attend the 32nd ASEAN Summit.

The agreement covers protection for Filipino household and skilled workers in Kuwait and a number of privileges such as the use of communication gadget, the right of OFWs to keep their passports and employment documents and to ask the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) the opportunity to choose an employer in case of unfavorable working conditions.

However, Cayetano couldn’t confirm if the agreement has provisions on whether or not the Philippines will lift its deployment ban of workers in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti government is yet to respond to the apology sent by Cayateno over the rescue of distressed OFWs by the Philippine Embassy staff which led to Kuwait’s expulsion of Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa.

Cayateno, however, said Villa will still stay in Kuwait to carry on with assisting our compatriots in need of embassy assistance.

The Secretary also confirmed the arrest of the drivers of the rescue team. However, he is confident of their release as they were just hired by the embassy. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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NFA to return under DA supervision

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Department of Agriculture under Secretary Manny Piñol

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the return of the National Food Authority under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture.

Grains Retailers’ Confederation of the Philippines national president James Magbanua confirmed that aside from NFA, the President also wants the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Philippine Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority be reverted back to DA.

Magbanua was present during last night’s NFA Council meeting presided by President Duterte.

“Ibinalik niya ang pangangasiwa ng tatlong ahensya sa (He returned the supervision of the three agencies to the) Department of Agriculture under Secretary Manny Piñol – NFA, Philippine Coconut Authority at saka (and the) Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority,” he said.

The NFA is currently being handled by Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco.

Meanwhile, NFA spokesperson Rex Estoperez said it does not matter which department they will be under, their priority is to address the agency’s dwindling rice buffer stock. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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PH, China seek common legal framework to jointly explore South China Sea

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, March 23rd, 2018

(L-R) Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano met with his Chinese counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Wednesday.

During the said meeting, China agreed to prudently advance cooperation with the Philippines on joint oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea.

Wang also hopes to turn the disputed territory into a source of friendship and cooperation.

“The South China Sea controversy will be turned into a source of friendship and cooperation and we will jointly uphold regional peace and stability,” said the Chinese foreign minister.

For his part, Cayetano said he is confident that the countries would find a suitable legal framework on future explorations in the South China Sea.

“The Philippines and China are finding a common legal framework to conduct joint exploration and surveys. And with our discussions today, I’m confident that we will find a suitable legal framework for our two countries,” said Cayetano.

The two countries in February agreed to set up a special panel to work out how they can jointly explore offshore oil and gas in areas both sides claim, without needing to address the touchy issue of sovereignty.

The area is currently under a territorial dispute.

China claims most of the South China Sea, a key trade route and home to areas that are believed to hold large quantities of oil and natural gas. Along with China, parts of the South China Sea are subject to competing claims from Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue




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