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

UNTV News   •   March 13, 2019   •   9271

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

Senators mourn the passing of ex-DENR Sec. Gina Lopez

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

Gina Lopez

MANILA, Philippines – Senators on Monday mourned the passing of former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez.

In a statement, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said he is deeply saddened by the passing of Lopez, whom he called a “fearless advocate and a tireless philanthropist,” who dedicated “most her life for the betterment of her fellow Filipinos.”

Go added that Lopez’s “exceptional” dedication to protecting the environment has “no equal today.”

“I had the honor of working with her when she was the environment secretary of the Duterte Administration. As a former colleague in the government, I know how passionate, dedicated and humble she was as a public servant and as an Earth warrior,” he said in a statement.

“Ma’am Gina, taos-pusong pasasalamat po sa inyong hindi napapantayang serbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino. Isa kang katangi-tanging modelo ng tunay na pagmamalasakit sa kapwa tao. May your legacy continue for generations to come,” he added.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel also expressed condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of the late DENR chief. He described Lopez as “a famous philanthropist and staunch children’s rights advocate.”

“I am saddened by the demise of such a great public servant and environmentalist as Gina Lopez. She will truly be remembered for her advocacies and contributions in the service of Filipinos,” Pimentel said.

“As the Filipinos mourn the untimely death of former Secretary Lopez, we also pray that her legacy lives on in every person and community her good heart has touched,” Pimentel added.

READ: Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez dies at 65

Lopez passed away on Monday. She succumbed to multiple organ failure after battling brain cancer.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri recalled Lopez’s many efforts to preserve the environment and helping the aggrieved sectors of society especially poor children.

“Being the chief of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission is just one of the many tasks she carried out well as part of our government. She brought her environmental activism into every Filipino home in her travels around our beautiful archipelago,” he said in a statement.

Zubiri also expressed admiration for Lopez’s causes and for her grace and sublime courage with which she faced the pains of her sickness.

“She walked her talk, be it in defense of helpless children or displaced communities, or in nursing back to life polluted waters or ravaged forests,” he said.

“While in government, her habit of speaking the inconvenient truth to power was actually a strength, and not a character flaw in a bureaucracy straitjacketed by niceties. Though her stint was cut short, Gina was a great ‘secretary of defense of our natural resources’,” he added.

Senator Francis Pangilinan also said many will remember the late environmentalist as “a woman of courage” and a “firebrand,” who pushed for her environmental and child protection advocacies without fear and hesitation.

“She was all that. In or out of government, her life was about tireless creativity for all our collective future, through our children and our environment,” he added.

Senator Sonny Angara likewise paid tribute to Lopez, describing her as a “one-person green warrior” who took her “selfless” fight for environment protection to “where it matters.”

“She spent a lifetime pouring her considerable talents in bringing to the mainstream the powerless and the voiceless who exist forgotten in the margins of society. She fought for children who were incapable of seeking justice and care for themselves and eloquently spoke for the people in the communities whose voices have been crushed by exploitation,” Angara said.

“She was a one-person green warrior who took the fight to where it matters – in boardrooms, chatrooms, government offices, and in her favorite office – out in the open, under a forest canopy or underwater, where she was in her element with people she loved in a country she never gave up hope on,” he added.

Angara also stated that Lopez’s passing has “left us a bucket list to comply with and follow.”

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, thanked Lopez for her efforts to protect the environment.

“Sec. Gina Lopez came in our midst and taught us love for mankind and the environment, our common home. Thank you for touching our lives in your impassioned way,” Poe said in a statement.

Angara asks gov’t agencies to prepare anti-red tape stats for 2020 budget hearings

Robie de Guzman   •   August 6, 2019

Senator Sonny Angara (center)

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sonny Angara on Monday told government agencies to prepare their “anti-red tape performance and targets” to be detailed during the hearing of their 2020 national budget proposals.

Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said agencies will be asked what they have done to implement government’s “ease of doing business” initiative when they face the Senate panel.

“Anti-red tape performance will now be part of the budget review. These will also be part of the key performance indicators that an agency promises to meet in exchange for the appropriations it will get,” Angara said in a statement.

For certain agencies, Angara said he will demand a “before and after” timetable of the processing of a document, from request to release.

“Kung, say, two days today, next year ba kayang one day na lang? Yung ganung pag-measure ng improvement ang kailangan natin. Para sa susunod na taon, pwede natin malaman kung natupad ba nila ang kanilang promissory note,” he said.

The senator reminded agencies that anti-red tape does not only require the “shortening of the processing time but includes cutting the number of documentary requirements.”

“When you reduce the number of documents, the speed by which an application moves increases. Hindi lang bawas oras, bawas gastos na rin,” he said.

In his fourth State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte noted how businessmen were having a hard time in securing their permits, thus causing delays in the start of their operations.

He said clearances and permits should be out in at least three days.

In the World Bank’s 2019 ease of doing business report, the Philippines’ rank slipped 11 notches from 113 in 2018 to 124 in 2019.

The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), however, disputed the report, saying that the government “has been hard at work in implementing initiatives to increase the country’s competitiveness.”

Angara is one of the authors of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business Act, which was enacted in May 2018, but the implementing rules and regulations only came out last month.

The law puts in place the “3-7-20” rule, which requires government offices to complete simple transactions within three days, complex ones within seven days, and highly technical ones within 20 days.

He is also the co-author of Republic Act 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act, which instituted the no-noon break policy, no fixing activities, easy-to-read IDs or nameplates, presence of public assistance and complaints desks, and the implementation of the agency’s Citizen’s Charter which contains the types of frontline services offered with the step-by-step procedure, the person responsible for each step, time needed to transact, documents required, and fees.

Senators expect to hear salary, labor, sea dispute issues in Duterte 4th SONA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, some senators have already picked out certain topics that they want the Chief Executive to discuss in his speech.

According to Senator Sonny Angara, he expects the president to outline his plans not only for his remaining three years in office but for the next decade.

In particular, Angara said the 2020 national budget should lay down the framework for the 10-year development plan for the country.

“This should result in the next administration building on what the President has achieved and what he started during his term and not the perennial focus on going after its predecessors,” he said in a statement.

The lawmaker added he would also like to hear the president fulfilling his promise of raising the teachers’ salaries, as well as his plan on creating more jobs and livelihood opportunities for Filipino workers.

“We want to see the creation of more jobs and opportunities for the Filipino people so that they are able to improve their lives and no longer see the need to go abroad in order to make ends meet,” Angara said.

Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva said he wants to hear during the president’s SONA the administration’s commitment to further protect and promote the interests of Filipino workers.

READ: Villanueva expects gov’t commitment to protect Filipino workers on Duterte SONA

Villanueva said he is particularly eager to find out the outcome of the Security of Tenure bill, popularly known as the “End Endo” bill, which seeks to put an end to the practice of illegal labor contracting.

“The bill adheres to the Constitution, which mandates the regulation of relations between workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and growth,” he said.

“Thus, the Security of Tenure bill manages to strike a balance between contrasting interests of labor and employers,” he added.

For Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel, he wants to hear about the president’s priority bills, as well as his view on the surge of illegal foreign workers in the country.

“His priorities for one year usually, and then priorities for the last second half of his term,” he said.

Aside from labor issues, Senator Risa Hontiveros also expects the president to tackle in his speech the issue on the West Philippine Sea and the country’s assertion of Philippine sovereignty in the disputed waters.

“Wish ko lang na sasabihin ni Presidente na sa wakas after 3 years ay i-champion na niya, itataguyod yung tagumpay natin vis a vis China sa West Philippine Sea,” she said.

Duterte has been facing criticisms over his stance on China’s continued trawling in the country’s exclusive economic zone.

He earlier stressed that his position on allowing Chinese fishermen access to Philippine waters was not a violation of the Philippine constitution. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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