UNTV Cup Season 7: Charity organizations receive over P10-M cash prizes

UNTV News   •   March 13, 2019   •   9853

UNTV Cup Season 7 2nd Placer Senate Defenders pose for a photo together with their beneficiaries and UNTV Cup Founder Kuya Daniel Razon. (Charlie Miñon / Photoville International)

Aside from fostering camaraderie between players from different government agencies, participating teams of UNTV Cup are given the
opportunity to help people in need — that alone already makes every team a winner.

In line with the public service advocacy of UNTV Cup innovator, Daniel Razon, the charitable event allows each team to choose a charity institution that will receive corresponding cash prizes.

With the recently concluded UNTV Cup Season 7, chosen beneficiaries of respective teams once again received total cash prizes of ten million pesos tax free.

One of these charities is the Senate Defenders’ beneficiary, Pangarap Foundation Incorporated.

Pangarap Foundation provides shelter and care to street children and abused minors.

“Every year, we allocate the fund. So, yung mga previous na binibigay sa amin, dinadagdag namin sa pagkain because that is the most expensive item that we usually [provide], kasi hindi naman pwede magutom ‘yung mga bata. Pero last year, kasi marami, more than one million, ginamit namin sa pagpapa-aral sa mga anak. So, we have 43 na pinag-aaral at lahat sila ay nasa school,” Executive Director Leah Lanzuela of Pangarap Foundation, Inc. said.

(Every year, we allocate fund. So, the previous cash prizes we received, we used it to augment fund for food because that is the most expensive item. But last year, we had a lot — more than one million— which we used on the children’s education. We are currently sending 43 children to school.

The AFP Cavaliers dedicated their victory to the orphans of more than four thousand soldiers who were wounded or killed in action while on service.

It is the team’s third championship, and the cash prizes they have won from previous seasons of UNTV Cup have helped their chosen charity — the Armed Forces of the Philippines Educational Benefit System Office (AFP-EBSO) — in rebuilding the lives of the fallen soldiers’ families.

This season, the AFP Cavaliers once again bagged the grand prize for UNTV Cup Season 7, which means, their beneficiary will receive anew the coveted cash prize of four million pesos.

“Maliban sa pagpapa-aral, mayroon kaming mga allowances na binibigay ‘yung per semester and libreng miscellaneous, ‘yung mga libro, mga pangangailangang pang-araw-araw ng mga beneficiary natin,” AFP-EBSO Chief NCO MSG Manuel de Leon said.

(Aside from education, we have allowances provided per semester and free miscellaneous like books and daily needs of our beneficiaries.)

Senators Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva lauded the advocacy of UNTV Cup.

“Napakaganda, talagang modern fairy tales itong ginagawa ninyo para sa ating mga kababayan. At kami naman, very privileged kami na maging parte nito at nagiging instrument kami through the game we love,” Sen. Sonny Angara said.

Sen. Joel Villanueva echoed the same sentiments, saying, “Itong ginagawa nila Kuya Daniel, ng UNTV leadership, talagang kakaiba ito eh. It’s such a great honor na to be part of really something big, something that has never been done before in the history of this country.”

Meanwhile, public service advocate, Daniel Razon, is thankful for the continued opportunity to help and do good for other people regardless of what others might say or think.

“We will always be happy doing it at nagpapasalamat tayo palagi sa Panginoon sa patuloy na pagbibigay sa atin ng pagkakataon na maipagpatuloy ito at dalangin natin na sana habang mayroon pa tayong pagkakataon ay makapagpatuloy tayo na magawa ‘yung ating natutunan na makagawa ng mabuti sa lahat ng mga tao at ‘yung ating paniniwala na ang paggawa ng mabuti ay hindi magbubunga ng masama,” the UNTV Cup innovator said.

In the next season of UNTV Cup, more teams from other government agencies are expected to participate which will extend help to more of our fellow Filipinos in need. — Asher Cadapan

Villanueva hopes Duterte SONA will tackle massive job creation for workers displaced by pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva on Monday expressed his hope that President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss in his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) the plan of the government in generating jobs for millions of Filipinos who were displaced by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as the country continues to fight its spread.

In a statement, Villanueva said that with a record-high unemployment rate of 17.7% or equivalent to 7.3 million based on the April 2020 labor force survey, the president’s address should serve as a guidepost for all agencies to create and implement policies that would lead to the restart of the economy.

It should also pave the way for the smooth reintegration of overseas Filipino workers to the domestic labor force and provide green lanes for Filipino seafarers for the global supply chain, he added.

Duterte is set to deliver his fifth SONA next Monday, July 27.

“Mahalaga po na matalakay ang plano ng ating gobyerno kung paano tutugunan ang problema sa kawalan ng trabaho ngayong pandemya. Habang wala pang bakuna laban sa COVID-19, tuloy pa rin po dapat ang buhay at kailangan maging handa ang bawat isa sa atin na mag-adjust sa new normal,” he said.

Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resource Development, also called on the government to mount epidemiological monitoring and surveillance in places where is high economic activity such as Metro Manila, CALABARZON, and Cebu.

“With epidemiological monitoring, we will be able to track how the disease is spreading and take appropriate measures to contain and stem it to prevent the healthy population from getting infected,” he added.

Villanueva said he shared the observation of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III who sought the reopening of the said economies in Metro Manila and Region 4A, explaining that about 2/3 of the country’s Gross Domestic Product was generated there.

But Villanueva reiterated that business confidence right now is directly tied to the government’s ability to manage the pandemic well.

“We need to boost the confidence of our businesses to resume their operations and of our workers to come back to work, that is why our government has to step up in preventing the disease from spreading,” he said.

The government should also ensure that repatriated OFWs who lost their jobs abroad are provided enough assistance to start anew, the lawmaker said.

Villanueva cited a report from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III stating that OFW remittances could drop by up to 40 percent or about US$12 billion this year as a result of massive job losses overseas. In 2019, the central bank reported that OFW remittances reached US$30.13 billion.

Aside from employment generation, the President’s address should also provide concrete measures to ensure the continuity of learning for all learners in the new normal, Villanueva said.

As of July 19, the health department reported that 67,456 persons have been infected with COVID-19, with 43,160 cases listed as active. Recoveries also rose to 22,465 while the death toll is at 1,831.

Angara wants more COVID-19 mega quarantine facilities in Cebu

Robie de Guzman   •   June 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sonny Angara on Tuesday called for the establishment of more mega quarantine facilities in Central Visayas, especially in Cebu as it emerges as the new epicenter of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

“The Department of Health should step up its response in Cebu City because the only way that we can flatten the curve is if all areas of the country are able to control the spread of the disease,” Angara said in a statement.

As of June 28, 2020, Region 7 has breached the 8,000 mark on the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with Cebu City accounting for 4,962 of these infections.

A total of 252 COVID-19 deaths have also been recorded, with 157 of these from Cebu City.

Cebu City is the only area in the country placed under enhanced community quarantine.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) earlier said it is now looking for possible sites to construct additional isolation or quarantine facilities in Cebu City.

Angara noted that a newly-constructed quarantine facility in the city, which can accommodate more than 300 patients, was opened on Monday, June 29.

The senator, a COVID-19 survivor, also called on more hospitals in Cebu City to consider using convalescent plasma therapy to treat severe cases of coronavirus disease.

Some hospitals in Metro Manila and Cebu undertook efforts to use convalescent plasma therapy and hybrid therapeutic plasma exchange as possible treatments for COVID-19 patients.

The hybrid therapeutic plasma exchange involves the removal of bad plasma from a patient and replacing these with good plasma from donors.

Gov’t urged to restore TESDA’s scholarship fund for workers displaced by pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   June 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva on Friday called on the national government to restore the funding of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) scholarship programs to help displaced workers become more employable despite the economic fallout caused by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, Villanueva said the agency’s capacity to provide training for displaced workers and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) was “severely hampered” when part of its budget was realigned for the government’s COVID-19 response.

The senator said about P2.3 billion of TESDA’s budget under the 2020 General Appropriations Act was realigned for COVID-19 fight under the Bayanihan Law.

“Mas mabilis at madali po sana ang pagbangon ng ating mga manggagawang nawalan ng trabaho kung may kakayahan ang TESDA na magbigay ng training para sa mga in-demand na trabaho,” Villanueva said.

“Sa panahon natin ngayon mas kailangan ang tech-voc upang i-ahon ang ating mga manggagawa sa kanilang sitwasyon,” he added.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) earlier estimated that around five million Filpino workers will be displaced by the pandemic by the end of the year.

Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, stressed there is a need to restore TESDA’s scholarship fund to help OFWs who have lost their jobs, as well as online sellers trying to make a living amid the pandemic.

“Isa po ang tech-voc training sa mga mabisang sandata ng gobyerno laban sa problema sa kawalan ng trabaho,” Villanueva, who previously served as TESDA secretary, said.

He also appealed to the finance and budget departments to allocate more funding to help TESDA technology institutes (TTI) to purchase the appropriate equipment and software to be able to adequately and effectively deliver blended learning in light of the new normal.

TESDA likewise needs to build up the capacity of its trainers by training them to use learning management systems, and purchasing the necessary tools such as laptops, the senator added.

“The shift to blended learning delivery entails a lot of cost, but rather than seeing it as an expense, our government should look at it as an investment for our workers,” Villanueva said.

“After all, it is our workers who will jumpstart and sustain our economic recovery,” he added.

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