Sunday, 8 June 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, June 6, 2014

President Aquino appoints new OWWA chief

President Benigno S. Aquino III on May 30 appointed Rebecca J. Calzado as the new administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), replacing Carmelita Dimzon, it was announced on Friday.

Prior to her appointment as new OWWA chief, Calzado was an assistant secretary at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

Calzado, 59, earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Master of Arts in Economics from the University of the Philippines (UP).

The Palace also announced several nominations for ambassadorial positions. Among those nominated last May 30 were Domingo Nolasco as ambassador to Italy; Wilfredo Santos (Qatar); Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek (Germany); and Nathaniel Imperial (Israel).

Pericles Dakay was named chairman of the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board, and Victorino Benjamin and Farouk Macarambon, Sr. as members of the same board.

Francis Gealogo was designated as member of the board representing the private sector of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Reydeluz Conferido meanwhile was appointed as DOLE undersecretary.

The President also named Gloria Arcos, Carmelita Divinagracia, Carfredda Dumlao, Florence Cawaon, and Glenda Arquiza as members of the Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing under the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC). They will serve for three years. PND (as)

President Aquino issues Executive Order to prevent spread of coconut pest

President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed an order aimed at controlling the infestation in the country's coconut plantations, especially in the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (Calabarzon) area.

The President on Thursday issued Executive Order 169 on Establishing Emergency Measures to Control and Manage the Spread and Damage of Aspidiotus Rigidus in the Philippines and Designating the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) as the Lead Agency for the Purpose.

Under the EO, the PCA is mandated to identify the infested areas and coordinate efforts in formulating appropriate emergency measures to treat infected coconut trees and host plants.

These will include mechanical, chemical and biological measures, as well as quarantine measures to prevent the transport of infected coconut plants.

The PCA was also authorized to grant permits for transporting coconut planting materials from one location to another. Authorities will confiscate illegally transported materials and fine violators up to P5,000.

According to the EO, local government units will help implement emergency control measures by contributing manpower resources, such as volunteers for frontline barangay-level insect control action teams.

The local government units will also help in the massive information dissemination campaign in their areas.

The PCA was mandated to allocate funds for the nationwide implementation of the emergency measures.

The Aspidiotus Rigidus insect attacks plant leaves and feeds on sap directly drawn from the plant's vascular system. This pest has affected bearing and non-bearing coconut trees in the Calabarzon region.

Authorities have warned that failure to control the spread of the pest could ruin the country’s coconut industry.

The Philippines is the world’s top supplier of coconut products.

The coconut industry serves as the economic backbone of 68 of the country’s 80 provinces, employing 3.5 million farmers and bringing in $2 billion in net foreign earnings. PND (as)