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Poultry industry still recovering from the after effects of bird flu outbreak

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Farm gate price of chicken remains low while the volume of supply is still high.

The United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) said their fowls have grown overweight. The group added they are expecting a large supply in the coming holiday season.

“Most of the cold storages are full. The competition is tight so recovery might still be delayed,” said UBRA President Elias Jose Inciong.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) wants raisers to take part in the control and marketing of their products.

Secretary Manny Piñol said there are those who are taking advantage of the situation despite the crisis.

“They have a problem right now. Because the price of chicken in the market is around p120-130 [per kilo]. But the farm gate price is P30-50,” said Piñol.

DA also plans to revise the protocol in handling bird flu outbreak due to its impact in the industry after all fowls in 1 km radius were culled.

“If a specific farm is affected, it will only be the one to subject for depopulation. Other farms will just be monitored,” said the agriculture secretary.

Piñol said, aside from the P29M assistance given to the affected farmers, President Rodrigo Duterte also pledged to allot P100-million for their livelihood. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte counters Sison’s threat: Kill 5 NPA rebels for every soldier killed

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, February 9th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is unshaken by the threat of Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair, Jose Maria Sison that New People’s Army (NPA) rebels can kill one soldier every day.

In his meeting over snacks with 215 former NPA rebels in Malacañang on Wednesday night, the President said he would have five NPA rebels killed for every soldier slain.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Sison should not belittle what the government can do against the communist rebels.

“I think the message is: you don’t threaten us, Joma Sison. We are the state, if we haven’t eradicated you, it’s because we opted not to eradicate you as Filipinos. But if you want war, we are ready to go to war,” said Roque.

Meanwhile, President Duterte wants the 48 former female rebels to tour Hong Kong and China and be exposed to capitalism.

He will bring them with him on his next visit in China where he will discuss with the Chinese government the Philippines’ concerns about the Philippine Rise.

Meanwhile, 683 former NPA rebels from various parts of Eastern Mindanao have returned to the fold of the law and the first batch of them has toured Rizal Park, Intramuros and Malacañang.

President Duterte promised them security, shelter, jobs and education for their children. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Labor groups express dismay over Duterte meeting on endo

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, February 9th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Labor groups were dismayed when President Rodrigo Duterte did not sign the proposed executive order that would end contractualization in the country in their meeting in Malacañang Wednesday night.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Nagkaisa Labor Coalition, Associated Labor Unions – Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Sentro, Federation of Free Workers and Partido Manggagawa.

The militant groups believe the EO, which was drafted in May last year, is now long overdue.

“Nalungkot at siyempre may galit dahil pauulit-ulit naman na yung meetings namin. At yun nga napaasa kami kahapon dahil marami nang pakikipag-usap na nangyari sa secretary of labor,” KMU Chairman Elmer Labug said.

(We were saddened and of course, angered because we’ve been doing these meetings time and again. And we were hopeful yesterday because there had been a number of talks already with the Labor secretary.)

“Hindi pinirmahan ni Presidente Duterte at ang aming fear nga diyan yung time nahinihingi ay mawawater down yung version habang tumatagal,”Labug added.

(President Duterte did not sign. With the extended time being asked, we fear that the proposed version [of the executive order] will be watered down as time goes by.)

“Akala naming yun na na happy kami, pwede na kami mag-inom then nag-inom kami sa dismaya,” TUCP Partylist Cong. Raymond Mendoza said.

(We thought the time has come. We were happy and that we can finally drink a toast, but we ended up drinking in dismay.)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque clarified that the President asked for more time to decide on the issue of endo.

“Well it was closed doors and although I was invited, I have previous engagement. But I was made to understand that he asked for more time to issue the executive order on endo. And that’s all that I was informed by head of protocol,” he said.

The President asked the groups to give him until March 15 to think about the EO and to have a meeting with the groups again regarding this.

But KMU Chairman Elmer Labug fears that if the EO will be kept pending, the hope for it to be signed will soon be gone.

“Hindi ako naniniwalang may sincerity kasi ang sinasabi niya ay kakausapin pa niya yung mga grupong kapitalista (I don’t believe there is sincerity because he said he needs to talk with the capitalist groups) ,” he said.

“Kapag kinausap niya ito, di talagang sasabihin nila na investors sila therefore kailangang masunod yung mga demands nila,” Labug added.

(When he talks to them, they will surely say they are investors therefore there demands should be followed.)

On the other hand, the Employees’ Confederation of the Philippines said they do not want to meddle with the issue on endo.

ECOP President Donald Dee said it is up to the President to decide.

“Na-explain na namin ang impact niyan (We have already explained its impact) so therefore, we’ll have just to wait ,” Dee said.

– Rajel Adora | 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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