Series of benefit hikes highlighted in 58th anniversary exhibit

The series of benefit enhancements done by the Social Security System (SSS) in the past five years highlight the ongoing exhibit at the ground floor lobby of SSS Main Office along East Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City. Among the benefit hikes include the 10 percent ATB pension increase for all EC disability and death pensioners in August 2013; higher P20,000 EC funeral benefit that was twice the previous P10,000 burial grant, with both EC increases taking effect on September 2013; five percent across-the-board (ATB) increase for 1.9 million pensioners in June 2014; higher P20,000 EC funeral benefit that was twice the previous P10,000 burial grant; and higher SS funeral benefits from a fixed amount of P20,000 to a maximum of P40,000 under a variable benefit scheme based on the member’s number of contributions and average monthly salary credit starting August 2015.

Photo shows SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. (2nd from right) opening the SSS’ 58th Anniversary Photo Exhibit last September 1 with (from left) Commissioners Bienvenido R. Laguesma, Eva B. Arcos and Diana B. Pardo-Aguilar during the ribbon-cutting ceremonies. The photo exhibit, which will run until end of the month, showcases the efforts made by the SSS over the past five years to improve its service delivery and long-term viability, expand the social security coverage to more types of members, and to provide more meaningful benefits for millions of Filipino workers and beneficiaries.

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By pia3tarlac Posted in Photos

TRADOC, magsisilbing host ng Training Activity Land Malaysia-Philippines

CAPAS, Tarlac, Setyembre 7 (PIA) – Magsisilbing host ang Training and Doctrine Command o TRADOC sa ika-16 na Training Activity Land Malaysia-Philippines o MALPHI na gaganapin sa Setyembre 9—21 sa Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.

Ang taunang bilateral exercise sa pagitan ng Philippine Army at Malaysian Army ay naglalayong hubugin ang interoperability ng hukbo gamit ang combined army operation exercise.

Ayon kay Civil Military Operations chief Lt. Col. Oscar Partuza, patuloy na pinagtitibay ng Philippine Army ang defense ties nito sa Malaysian Army sa pamamagitan ng mga cross-training activities na nakapokus sa interoperability at counter-insurgency operations.

Dagdag ni Partuza, ang mga cross-trainings na ito ay bahagi ng international agreements ng Army na nakatuon sa pagpapaunlad at pagpapalawig ng mga cooperative activities ng defense at security ng Malaysia at Pilipinas.

Aniya, patuloy ang Philippine Army sa paglahok sa mga international defense at security engagements na hindi lamang naglalayong paunlarin ang kanilang pakikisama sa allied at foreign armed forces, kundi nagbibigay daan din sa capability development.

Pitumpu’t anim na kawani ng Philippine Army at 30 mula sa Malaysian Army ang lalahok sa nasabing pagsasanay. (LGCC/PIA-3)

By pia3tarlac Posted in News

TRADOC to host Training Activity Land Malaysia-Philippines

CAPAS, Tarlac, September 7 (PIA) – The Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) will host the 16th series of the Training Activity Land Malaysia-Philippines (MALPHI) on September 9—21 in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.

The yearly bilateral exercise between the Philippine Army and Malaysian Army aims to enhance the interoperability of the troops through a combined army operation exercise.

“The Philippine Army strengthens its defense ties with the Malaysian armies with the conduct of cross-training activities which focus on interoperability and counter-insurgency operations,” Civil Military Operations chief Lt. Col. Oscar Partuza said.

Partuza added that these cross-trainings are part of the Army’s international agreements aimed at developing and promoting cooperative activities in the defense and security of Malaysia and Philippines.

“The Philippine Army will continue to participate in international defense and security engagements that will not only enhance our military relations with allied and other foreign armed forces, but also provide impetus for capability development,” Partuza explained.

The participants of the said exercise include 76 Philippine Army personnel and 30 personnel from the Malaysian army. (LGCC/PIA-3)

By pia3tarlac Posted in News

SSS rated “Very Good” in fighting corruption, ranked 2nd among gov’t institutions

The Social Security System (SSS) earned a “Very Good” net sincerity rating of +57 for its efforts to fight corruption, placing second overall among government institutions based on the latest results of a periodic survey of business executives from hundreds of enterp
rises across the country.

SSS Officer-in-Charge of Management Services and Planning Division Eleonora Y. Cinco said the SSS net sincerity rating in the 2014/15 Social Weather Stations (SWS) Survey of Enterprises on Corruption was five points higher than the pension fund’s +52 “Very Good” net rating for 2013.

“Our +57 net sincerity rating for the 2014/15 survey represents the highest mark attained by SSS in the past ten years, improving on our previous high of +52 since 2006. We will continue to foster strong relations with our partners in the business sector by adhering to good governance policies, ensuring compliance with the Social Security Law and implementing enhancements in SSS processes,” Cinco noted.

Past installments of the SWS anti-corruption survey showed the SSS attaining a “Very Good” net sincerity rating of +52 in 2013 and 2007. It also achieved “Good” net sincerity ratings of +40 in 2009, +46 in 2008 and +38 in 2006. No SWS ratings for SSS were available for the years 2010 to 2012.

“From our frontline personnel all the way to our top management, the SSS workforce observes existing policies that promote good governance within and outside the organization. For example, ‘No Gift Policy’ notices are highly visible in SSS offices to send a clear message to our transacting members and the general public,” Cinco noted.

SSS representatives in governing boards of companies with SSS investments also turn over to the agency the checks for per diems and directors fees, in strict adherence to the guidelines on executives’ compensation.

“The SSS does not tolerate delinquency of companies. Thru the combined actions of our account officers and legal teams, the SSS has collected P1.6 billion due to over 7,000 cases filed against erring employers since 2010. Nearly eight out of every 10 employers sued by SSS have settled their delinquencies, while a total of 24 have been sentenced to six to 20 years in jail on top of paying fines and penalties,” Cinco said.

“The digitization of SSS records and automation of processes are also part of our anti-corruption efforts for these discourage unnecessary interference with SSS procedures that can compromise the integrity of our processing of benefits and loans,” she added.

The SSS ranked second in the SWS survey behind the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that garnered a “Very Good” +63 net rating. Joining SEC and SSS in the top five were the Philippine Stock Exchange (+55), Office of the President (+54) and the Department of Trade and Industry (+51).

SWS net sincerity ratings are classified according to “Excellent” (+70 and above), “Very Good” (+50 to +69), “Good” (+30 to +49), “Moderate” (+10 to +29), “Neutral” (+9 to -9), “Poor” (-29 to -10), “Bad” (-49 to -30), and “Very Bad” (-69 to -50).

During the 12th installment of the SWS survey, executives from nearly 970 companies in Metro Manila, Metro Angeles, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas, Metro Iloilo, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao and Cagayan de Oro-Iligan areas participated in face-to-face interviews within November 14, 2014 to May 12, 2015.

Organizations such as the Integrity for Investments Initiative, United States Agency for International Development, National Competitiveness Council and The Asia Foundation offered the SWS support in conducting its survey.

The results of the survey came out as SSS celebrates its 58th year this month.

By pia3tarlac Posted in News

PIA nagdaos ng basic journalism workshop sa TRADOC

CAPAS, Tarlac, Setyembre 3 (PIA) — May 25 unipormadong kawani ng Army Training and Doctrine Command o TRADOC ang nakibahagi sa katatapos na tatlong araw na basic journalism workshop na inorganisa ng Philippine Information Agency o PIA.

Nakapokus ang Agosto 26 hanggang 28 na aktibidad sa mga diskusyon at practical exercises sa pagsulat ng balita sa print at broadcast format, management ng mga social media platform, potograpya, at photo editing.

Nagsilbing mga ispiker sina PIA Regional News Desk Editor at TRADOC Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board Strategic Communications Committee chair Carlo Lorenzo Datu, PIA Tarlac Provincial Manager Lorie Gene Cruz, TRADOC Public Affairs Officer Elsie Biag, at Tarlac State University Information Systems alumna Angelica Querido.

Ayon kay TRADOC Chief of Staff Col. Pedro Sumayo, mahalaga ang pagsasanay sa pagkamit ng Army Transformation Roadmap o ATR 2028 na naglalayong hubugin ang Hukbong Katihan bilang mas responsableng organisasyon na tapat sa tungkuling paglingkuran ang taumbayan at proteksyunan ang bansa.

Binigyang diin din ni Sumayo ang papel ng pagsasanay sa pagbuo ng brand na nagsusulong sa mga core value ng Army na makakatulong sa pagpapalawig ng partnership sa mga key stakeholder na magiging katuwang sa pagsulong ng mabuting pamamahala at resource management.

Sinabi naman ni Civil Military Operations Chief Lt. Col. Oscar Partuza na importante ang komunikasyon sa pagtamo ng Network Infrastructure Development Program ng ATR pagkat ito aniya ang siyang magiging susi sa adbokasiya para sa mga internal at external stakeholder nila. (CLJD/LGCC-PIA 3)

By pia3tarlac Posted in News

PIA holds basic journalism workshop for TRADOC personnel

CAPAS, Tarlac, September 3 (PIA) — Around 25 uniformed personnel of the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) participated in the three-day basic journalism workshop organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

The August 26-28 activity had discussions and practical exercises on writing news in print and broadcast format, management of social media platforms, photography, and photo editing.

Speakers included PIA Regional News Desk Editor and TRADOC Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board Strategic Communications Committee chair Carlo Lorenzo Datu, PIA Tarlac Provincial Manager Lorie Gene Cruz, TRADOC Public Affairs Officer Elsie Biag, and Tarlac State University Information Systems alumna Angelica Querido.

“The training was significant in realizing the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) 2028 whose primary purpose is to transform the Army into a more credible, dynamic, responsive, capable, and professional body committed to its mandate of serving the people and securing the land,” TRADOC Chief of Staff Col. Pedro Sumayo said.

“With the in
puts that we had learned, we wish to develop and communicate a brand image consistent with the Army’s core values that engages partnership with key stakeholders. This would facilitate institutionalizing good governance and adopting best practices in resource management for the purpose of generating sufficient financial and logistical resources,” Sumayo added.

For his part, Civil Military Operations chief Lt. Col. Oscar Partuza stressed the role of communication in attaining the ATR’s Network Infrastructure Development Program which aims to improve the information systems of the operations processes of the Army.

“By honing our communication skills, we can effectively introduce the ATR advocacy and information campaigns to both the internal and the external stakeholders of the Army,” Partuza furthered. (CLJD/LGCC-PIA 3)

Pamunuan ng NLEX, suportado ang planong high speed railway na kokonekta sa NAIA, Clark Airport

Suportado ng Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), holding company ng Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), ang planong pagkonekta sa Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at Clark International Airport (CIA) sa pamamagitan ng high-speed train na daraan sa North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Sa isang panayam, sinabi ni MPIC President Ramoncito Fernandez na handa silang padaanin ang tren sa gitna ng NLEX basta’t maisapinal na ng pamahalaan ang “airport strategy” nito.

Magpahanggang sa ngayon kasi ay patuloy pa rin ang isinasagawang pag-a-aral ng Department of Transportation and Communications sa kung ano ang pinakamainam na paraan upang mapabuti ang airport system ng bansa.

Kabilang rito ang single kung saan isasara ang NAIA at ililipat lahat ng operasyon nito sa CIA, dual kung saan kapwa magiging complementary airports ang NAIA at CIA at paghahanap ng bagong lokasyon para sa paliparan sa Metro Manila. (SFV/PIA)

TPLEX mas palalaguin ang turismo, kalakalan sa Hilagang Luzon- PNoy

Kumpyansa si Pangulong Benigno Aquino III na mas palalaguin ng 88.85-kilometrong Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) hindi lamang ang turismo kundi maging ang kalakalan sa Hilagang Luzon.

Sa kanyang talumpati sa opisyal na pagbubukas ng Tarlac City-Gerona-Paniqui bahagi nitong Lunes, sinabi ni Aquino na ang TPLEX ay napakagandang pamasko sa mga Pilipino dahil mas accessible na ang mga sikat na tanawin sa Rehiyon Uno gaya ng Hundred Islands at ang lungsod ng Baguio.

Bukod rito, magbibigay ito ng oportunidad upang magkaroon ng produktibo at progresibong kabuhayan at trabaho.

Nang dahil sa Paniqui portion ay aabot na sa 23 kilometero ng kabuuang haba ng TPLEX ang operational matapos magbukas ang 17-kilometrong Phase1A mula lungsod ng Tarlac hanggang Victoria, Pura, at patungong Gerona na inisyal na libre sa publiko.

Sa ngayon, tinatrabaho na ng San Miguel Corporation (SMC) sa pamamagitan ng subsidiary nito at TPLEX concessionaire- Private Infra Dev Corporation, Inc. (PIDC) ang 27-kilometrong stretch mula Panqui hanggang Moncada sa Tarlac patungong Carmen sa Pangasinan kabilang na ang konstruksyon ng 950-metrong Agno viaduct.

Target ng PIDC na makumpleto ang bahaging ito sa April 2014- maaga sa December 2014 na tantiya.

Aabot na lamang nun ng 30 minuto ang biyahe mula Tarlac hanggang Carmen mula sa kasalukuyang dalawang oras.

Samantala, ang nalalabing 25.83-kilometro mula Urdaneta, Pangasinan hanggang Rosario, La Union ay makukumpleto sa 2015.

Tatahak ang TPLEX sa 17 bayan at dalawang lungsod sa mga lalawigan ng Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union at Nueva Ecija.

Ito ang siyang nagdurugtong sa mga Hilaga at Gitnang lalawigan ng Luzon sa Metro Manila sa pamamagitan ng North Luzon at Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressways.

Orihinal na dinisenyo bilang two-lanes, ginawang four-lanes ito ng SMC upang maseguro ang kaligtasan ng mga manlalakbay at bilang paghahanda sa inaasahang traffic growth sa hinaharap.

Kapag nakumpleto, isang oras na lamang ang travel time mula Tarlac hanggang La Union mula sa kasalukuyang tatlo at kalahating oras.(CLJD/PIA)

TPLEX to boost tourism, trade in Northern Luzon – PNoy

President Benigno Aquino III expressed confidence that the 88.85-kilometer Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) will not only boost tourism in picturesque locations in Northern Luzon but would also stimulate further economic activity in this part of the archipelago.

“(With TPLEX), areas like Hundred Islands suddenly become that much more accessible. Baguio and the surrounding areas in Cordillera suddenly seems like but a short trip away,” Aquino said during Monday’s official opening of the Tarlac City-Gerona-Paniqui part.

“Projects like these opened up more and more possibilities for our countrymen to engage in gainful productive and progressive livelihood. Government can do all of these at some point in time, but that some point in time might take 10 generations to accomplish something like this. Together with private partnership, who believe in the same vision that we have, then we will achieve the dreams sooner rather than later, and to that, really, it is truly a splendid Christmas gift,” the Chief Executive added.

The opening of Paniqui portion in Tarlac brings to 23 kilometers the total length of the TPLEX that is operational following the opening of the 17-kilometer Phase 1A from Tarlac City to Victoria, Pura, then Gerona initially for free to the public.

At present, diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) through its subsidiary and TPLEX concessionaire- Private Infra Dev Corporation, Inc. (PIDC) is working on the 27-kilometer stretch from Paniqui to Moncada in Tarlac then Carmen in Pangasinan including the construction of the 950-meter Agno viaduct.

PIDC eyes an April 2014 completion of this section, ahead of its December 2014 estimate.

By then, the two-hour travel time from Tarlac to Carmen will be cut to only 30 minutes.

Moreover, the remaining 25.83-kilometer part from Urdaneta, Pangasinan to Rosario, La Union will be completed by 2015.

From end-to-end, TPLEX will traverse 17 towns and two cities in the provinces of Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union and Nueva Ecija.

It connects the Northern and Central provinces of Luzon to Metro Manila via the North Luzon and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressways.

Originally designed as a two-lane road, SMC decided to upgrade the infrastructure to four lanes to ensure road safety and in anticipation of future traffic growth.

Once completed, it will cut travel time from Tarlac to La Union to only an hour from the present three and a half hours.(CLJD/PIA)

GLF 2013: Glow of light and hope

The Filipino Christmas celebration has been one of the highlights of the worldwide festivity during the December 25 gaiety.

Aside from its rooted traditions to pay respect for the birth of the Almighty, the whole world has been waiting for the superb event of the Kabaleng’s famous Giant Lantern Festival (GLF).

As a well-recognized fair, GLF has paved the way for the City of San Fernando, Pampanga to be coined as the Christmas Capital of the Philippines, which features the top and pre-eminent lanterns of various participating barangays.

However, beyond the beauty of these glowing founts of light, the annual competition does not only showcase the incomparable talent of the Kapampangans in creating world class and first rate lantern.

Rather, what the City of San Fernando intends to display is the Filipino Christmas symbol – “colorful, crafted with love and aglow with the spirit of the season”.

Mindful about the recent catastrophes that test the Filipino spirit, the Fernandinos focus on drawing attention to how the Parul Sampernandu will impart hope and strength to the nation, especially to the communities affected by the massive October 15-earthquake, Zamboanga warfare and Yolanda’s wrath.

Perhaps, for some, the competition is just a place to exhibit innovation, talent and flairs. But for Filipinos and, above all, for Sampernandu communities, the annual festivity of GLF is an avenue to express gratefulness for a fruitful and blessed year; a track to scatter quantum of light; a means to uplift the underlying essence of the Christmas season; and a mode to keep the zealous Filipino spirit burning.

In reality, none can break the truth and idealism behind the Filipino Christmas celebration. It is through this season when we are able to really unite as a nation to spread hope, to disperse the spirit of love and to make viral of the worship we offer to Jesus – the reason behind the Christmas season.

Certainly, more than the prize of topping the competition, still, the limelight and topmost award of the Giant Lantern Festival 2013 is seen on the glow of light and hope it has continuously radiated to the hearts of the Filipinos, especially the Fernandinos. (PIA-3/LGCC)