Workers ask for P145/day salary increase in Central Visayas: Cebu News Digest – July 14, 2015

A labor group filed a petition yesterday for an across the board P145 increase in the daily wage of Central Visayas workers.

The Cebu Labor Coalition (CELAC) filed the petition with the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 7. The wage board last increased salaries in Central Visayas in November 2014, according to a Sun.Star Cebu report, when it issued an order for a P13 per day basic pay adjustment in Bohol and in 10 towns and 1 city in northern Cebu. It ordered companies in the rest of Central Visayas to incorporate an earlier P13 cost of living allowance into the basic pay of their employees.

“It is also about time for the wage board of Region 7 to assess and evaluate their failure to provide substantial and significant wage increase for the workers.” — CELAC said in its petition, according to Sun.Star Cebu.

CELAC said the wage board has been merely ordering “token” salary increases in the 26 years of its existence.

The minimum pay in Central Visayas ranges from P275 to P340, the fourth largest rate among 17 regions, according to Sun.Star Cebu.


Central Visayas salary increase
TOKEN INCREASES. The Cebu Labor Coalition accused the Central Visayas wage board of merely granting workers token pay increases. (Creative Commons Photo by Jocelyn Kelly)

Pope Francis won’t be able to attend IEC in Cebu

Pope Francis will not be able to attend the International Eucharistic Congress 2016 that will be held in Cebu City in January, according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

Villegas, in a report at the official CBCP website, also ruled out another papal.

“Let us give other countries the chance to see him. Because if we insist, it’s as if we’re being selfish because it will lessen his opportunities to visit other countries.” — Archbishop Socrates Villegas, as quoted by the official CBCP website.


Rama asks Citom to go after illegally parked motorcycles; Mandaue to clear roads of motor repair shops

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has asked the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management to clear narrow roads of illegally parked motorcycles. Rama said parking motorcycles anywhere violates the city’s traffic code and carries a fine of P1,500. Car owners face a fine of P2,500.

“Kanang mga areas nga naay allowable parking, okay ra na pero kon sa sidewalk, dakpon gyud na…I’m having CITOM to focus sa tibuok syudad asa ang naay mga side roads nga dakong space, naay nose in and nose out (parking scheme) dili kay mo-backing.” — Mayor Michael Rama, according to The Freeman

In neighboring Mandaue City, authorities are going after motor repair shops that block the sidewalks and force pedestrians to walk on the streets. A council resolution authorizing the crackdown was passed last Monday.

Councilor Jimmy Lumapas, who sponsored the resolution, said many of these shops are in Barangays Ibabao, Mantuyong and Guizo.


Ombudsman suspends 4 Highway Patrol Group policemen linked to killing of lawyer Noel Archival

The Office of the Ombudsman suspended 4 of 5 Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 policemen accused of killing lawyer Noel Archival and two of his companions in an ambush in Dalaguete last year.

Former HPG 7 director Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, former HPG 7 Special Operations Team chief Insp. Joselito Lerion, SPO4 Edwin Galan, and PO1 Alex Bacani have been suspended for six months without pay. Former HPG provincial chief Eduardo Mara was not included in the order because he has retired from government service, according to the ombudsman.

Iglesia, Lerion and Bacani are facing a multiple murder case for the killing of Archival, his aide Candido Miñoza and driver Alejandro Jayme. They also face a frustrated murder case for injuries sustained by Paolo Cortes, the sole person to survive the ambush. Galan was cleared by prosecutors.

“Considering that the pieces of evidence gathered by NBI-PNP Task Force Archival appear to be strongly indicative of the culpability of the respondents for grave misconduct…it is warranted that respondents be placed under preventive suspension for the duration of the case.” — read the order written by graft investigation and prosecution officer Myra Zipagan and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

The policemen are fugitives and the subject of a nationwide manhunt by the National Bureau of Investigation.


Police go over the vehicle lawyer Noel Archival was riding when he was ambushed and killed in Dalaguete. (Photo by Mark Luzano)
Police go over the vehicle lawyer Noel Archival was riding when he was ambushed and killed in Dalaguete. (Photo by Mark Luzano)

Other Cebu News Headlines

»‘Overspeeding’ bus hits, kills still unidentified woman who crossed street in Cebu City

“The wheel’s skid mark on the road reached 16 meters; it wouldn’t have reached that far had the bus’s speed been under 40 kph.” — Citom Operations Division Chief Jonathan Tumulak, according to Sun.Star Cebu

» South Road Properties developers to hire drainage consultant to address flooding

» Cebu City closes Fuente Osmeña rotunda for facelift, upgrading in time for APEC, IEC

» Couple, 3 public school teachers lose P562,000 worth of gadgets, items in Balamban highway robbery

» Boy who studied on sidewalk, became social media phenomenon gets college scholarship

» NBI 7 charges Mactan airport customs examiner for allegedly stealing 100,000 yen from Japanese lawyer

» PB Member Sanchez asks courts to stop takeover of Bantay Radyo by CFI Cooperative

“I was aware the Garcias were interested in the radio stations.  But I’m just one person holding on.  There are nine of them in politics.” — Provincial Board Member Gigi Sanchez-Zaballero, according to Cebu Daily News

Cebu Business Headlines

» 40,000 foreign retirees in the Philippines, reports agency

» Diving accident that killed Korean won’t affect tourism: DOT 7 director

» Value of Central Visayas projects hit P13.7 billion in 2nd quarter: Board of Investments

» DTI orders ICC issuance within 3 days from filing


Cebu News Digest: Feb. 18, 2015: Group who wants President Aquino to resign insists: Vidal is with us; Foreigner killed in SRP accident

Despite the clarification by officials of the Archdiocese of Cebu, a group that called for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III insisted retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal supports them in the call for the President to resign.

Seven years after the sinking of Sulpicio Line’s MV Princess of the Stars, the Maritime Industry Authority, in a 50-page ruling on the administrative case against Sulpicio Lines (now Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. or PSACC), cancelled and revoked the shipping firm’s Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for carriage of passengers. To an official inside PSACC, the ruling will not have an impact on the company’s operations since they are no longer transporting passengers.

At the South Road Properties (SRP) yesterday, a Dutchman was run over by a cement mixer. Meanwhile, 16 drivers of colorum vehicles plying the SRP were apprehended.

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Here are the top stories for today, Feb. 18, 2015:

Archival ambush
YEAR AFTER. One year after the killing of lawyer Noel Archival in an ambush in Dalaguete, Cebu, the suspects are still free. Officials of the Highway Patrol Group have been accused of killing the lawyer. (Photo by Mark Luzano)

National Transformation Council insists: Cardinal Vidal is with us

The group that is calling for President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay and the entire government to resign insisted that retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal supports their call.

Last February 13, Vidal read in front of reporters a statement calling on President Aquino to resign. With him were Church officials and former government executives who are members of the National Transformation Council (NTC).

Among those present during the gathering in Vidal’s retirement home in Banilad were former senator Francisco Tatad and former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, who has been accused by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of organizing a coup against Aquino.

“On Feb. 13, about 99% of the guests of Cardinal Vidal at his home were members of the National Transformation Council (NTC). They had a mass, ate a sumptuous meal, had a press conference amply attended by media people, and conducted a high-level NTC meeting right there at the Cardinal’s office, all in all lasting for about 5 to 6 hours. For someone who “does not” believe in NTC, the Cardinal was surely very accommodating to NTC.” — Status update posted on the official NTC Facebook page to respond to reports that Vidal denied asking President Aquino to step down

“Posible ba na basahin ni Cardinal in front of media cameras ang isang bagay na hindi niya pinaniniwalaan, a statement that was so controversial because it was asking the President of the Philippines to step down?” — NTC Facebook page

Businessman Valeriano “Bobit” Avila, who also writes a newspaper column, said only archdiocese officials issued the denial and not Vidal himself.

“I suggest that you get the clarification from Cardinal Vidal himself. Those denials did not come from him. These denials are meant to confuse.” — Businessman Valeriano “Bobit” Avila, as quoted by The Freeman, where he writes a column

Marina ruling has no impact on shipping company, officials say

Marina granted the Sulpicio Lines, now the Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp., a certificate of public convenience to allow it to ferry passengers last May 16, 2005. the CPC was supposed to be effective for 25 years but this was cancelled and revoked following the sinking of Sulpicio Line’s MV Princess of the Stars off Sibuyan Island in Romblon Province last June 21, 2008.

Nestor Ponteres, PSACC port captain, said company owners and officials decided last year to halt the operation of all passenger vessels due to the high cost of fuel and maintenance. Whenever an accident happens, the company also has to deal with complaints from passengers.

Michael Go of PSACC said the company is now operating only 15 vessels exclusively for the transport of cargo to different ports of the country. With cargo vessels sailing only once a week (compared to passenger vessels sailing everyday), this means lower operational costs for the shipping firm.

Dutchman dies in SRP accident

Harald Heinz Walter, 55, was driving his motorcycle heading south when he bumped into the mixer truck owned by Geo Transport and driven by Roger Visitacion.

Visitacion said he came from Talisay City on his way to deliver concrete mix at the University of the Philippines. He said he made a left turn and did not see Walter coming. He only noticed a bump, only to realize later that Walter was already run over by the truck.

Walter was declared dead on arrival at the Cebu City Medical Center. Visitacion will be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

While both drivers were in the correct lane, according to Cebu City Traffic Operations and Management (Citom), the foreigner may have been overspeeding because of a 12-meter skid mark and a seven-meter drag mark.

The speed limit at SRP has been reduced from 60 kph to 40 kph.

Meanwhile, Citom apprehended 16 drivers plying the SRP using colorum vehicles within its 15-day operation. These vehicles operate as public transportation without franchise and reportedly collect a fare of P10, from Senior Citizeon’s Park to Kasadya sa SRP to Talisay City.

A list of the apprehended colorum vehicles with their plate numbers has been forward to the Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for appropriate action.

Citom said the operations against these vehicles will continue until the practice is stopped.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: City of Naga mayor ‘caught in crossfire’ between two rival LPG firms

The Freeman: One year since the crime Archival slay suspects still free

Sun.Star Cebu: Archival ambush survivor talks about 3rd lease on life

The Freeman: Health official confirms water contamination behind Danao City cholera outbreak

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: Leuterio, Lamudi sign deal

Sun.Star Cebu: Smart, Sun to bring Google Android One phones to Philippines

The Freeman: In 2014 BOI-Cebu registered over P9B investments in Central Visayas

The Freeman: Business leaders to government ‘Make ecozones friendly to SMEs’