Sara Duterte in the US for month-long US-sponsored exchange program

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is now in the United States of America for a month-long tour as part of an exchange program sponsored by the US State Department for selected young leaders all over the world.

In a post on her official Linkedin account, Mayor Duterte said that she is with Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco for the International Visitor Leadership program.

Duterte said the program is an initiative to combat the rising threat of terrorism in Southeast Asia.

“I am delighted to be part of International Visitor Leadership program led by the US Department of State. Joining with me is Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco, we will be in the United States for an initiative to combat the rising threat of terrorism in Southeast Asia,” Duterte said.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program.

Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.

Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Each year nearly 5,000 International Visitors come to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including more than 500 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government.

There is no application for IVLP. Participants are nominated and selected annually by the staff at U.S. Embassies around the world.

5 arrested in buybust

WHAT: OPLAN PAGLALANSAG OMEGA OPLAN BIG BERTHA and OPLAN SALIKOP

WHEN: JANUARY 23, 2020/ 5:40am

WHERE: North San Juan, Brgy Centro, Agdao, Davao city.

WHO:

1. CHRISTIAN JAUVE LIBATON ALAPAG:

2. MARITON BALUYOT SANCHEZ:

3. HARRIS OCON BENDULA:

4. JAUVANY TORRES AGRAVANTE: and

5. PAUL JOHN TENIO NUEZ

HOW: CIDG RFU11 DCFU together with Sasa PS and PDEA Davao City conducted buybust operation that resulted to the arrest of the five (5) above mentioned persons.

OTHER DETAILS:

Confiscated from their possession and control were to wit:

a. One (1) unit .45 caliber pistol with serial #. 663127

b. One (1) pc magazine for cal. .45 pistol loaded three (3) live ammo.

c. one (1) square size heatsealed plastic sachet containing suspected shabu:

d. Bodle money with one (1) pc 1000 peso bill bearing serial # GM198337:

Arrested persons were identified as member of Sabani CG, engaged in gun running and peddling of illegal drugs in the area of Davao City and neighboring provinces with in Davao Region. Subject arrested persons were brougth to this office for booking and documentation and subsequently turned over to Sasa PS for their detention.

SEC ORDERS PESO TREE, PESOALO, PINOY CASH LOAN TO STOP ILLEGAL ONLINE LENDING ACTIVITIES


 
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Peso Tree, Pesoalo and Pinoy Cash Loan to stop offering loans to the public through online platforms without the necessary licenses.
 
The Commission En Banc issued the order on January 21, enjoining the owners, operators, promoters, representatives, agents and any and all persons claiming and acting for and on their behalf to immediately cease and desist, under pain of contempt, from engaging in, promoting and facilitating unauthorized lending activities.
 
The SEC likewise ordered Peso Tree, Pesoalo and Pinoy Cash Loan to cease from offering and advertising their lending business through the internet and to delete or remove promotional presentations and offerings from the internet, including the lending applications they operate.
 
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 9474, or the Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007, requires that a lending company be established only as a corporation. It further provides that “no lending company shall conduct business unless granted an authority to operate by the SEC.”
 
Any person who shall engage in the business of lending without a validly subsisting authority to operate from the SEC may face a fine ranging from P10,000 to P50,000 or imprisonment of six months to 10 years or both, under Section 12 of the Lending Company Regulation Act.
 
Peso Tree, Pesoalo and Pinoy Cash Loan offered loans to the public through their respective websites, mobile applications, Facebook pages and other similar online platforms, based on the findings of the Commission’s Corporate Governance and Finance Department and Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD).
 
Certifications by the SEC Company Registration and Monitoring Department (CRMD), however, showed that Peso Tree, Pesoalo and Pinoy Cash Loan were not registered as corporations and that they were not issued the necessary certificate of authority to operate as lending companies.
 
The EIPD further found the online lending operators to have employed abusive collection practices by imposing high interest rates, onerous and misleading terms and conditions, making misrepresentations as to non-collection of charges and fees and subjecting their debtors to public humiliation and ridicule to the extent of violating their right to privacy to ensure prompt and full collection of indebtedness.
 
“Considering that the Online Lending Operators are not incorporated entities and have no Certificate of Authority to Operate as Lending Companies or Financing Companies, the lending activities and transaction are illegal and have to be stopped immediately by this Commission,” the order read.
 
“Finally, the Commission cannot turn a blind eye on the fact that the Online Lending Operator’s violation in the instant case was aggravated by the fact that they conducted their business in an unscrupulous manner with evident bad faith, by charging their borrowers unconscionable interest rates, subjecting them to inhumane treatment using abusive and degrading language, and similar other harassment strategies in order to collect debts. This has to stop immediately.”
 
The SEC earlier issued cease and desist orders covering a total of 48 online lending platforms and their operators for engaging in the business of lending or financing without incorporating and securing a certificate of authority. More information is available on the Lending & Financing Companies page on the Commission’s website.

Inday Sara chosen by US Embassy for exchange program

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has reportedly been chosen by the US Embassy in the Philippines as one of the recipients of the leadership exchange program that will bring the city mayor to the United States of America for over a month.

The presidential daughter has been chosen as one of the Filipinos who will participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) funded by the US State Department.

Photo below shows Mayor Duterte with Deputy Chief of Mission to the Philippines John Law and the United States Department of State.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program.

Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.

Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Each year nearly 5,000 International Visitors come to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including more than 500 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government.

There is no application for IVLP. Participants are nominated and selected annually by the staff at U.S. Embassies around the world.

SEN BONG GO PUSHES FOR EXTENSION OF PILOT PROGRAM OF MOTORCYCLE TAXIS PROVIDED THAT THE INTEREST AND SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC ARE ENSURED

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday, January 20, said that he will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade the extension of the pilot program for motorcycle taxis as long as they “abide and care for the safety of the passengers.”

This comes after the technical working group (TWG) studying the pilot run of the transport service recommended to “immediately terminate the implementation of the pilot study.”

“Ngayong umaga po nabalitaan ko na may recommendation ang Technical Working Group na itigil ang pilot program ng Motorcycle Taxis. I will support the continuation of the program and the amendments to Republic Act (RA) 4136 to include motorcycles as an alternative for public transport because I recognize the benefits they provide to the commuting public,” Go said during a public hearing of the Committee on Public Services joint with Local Government Committee at the Senate Session Hall.

Under existing laws, motorcycles are not allowed to be used for public transport. An amendment to RA 4136 is therefore needed to allow motorcycles to be used as means of public transport.

“Ang gusto ko lamang, ay gawin lahat ng maayos and, most importantly, maprotektahan ang interest ng commuting public,” he added.

Go also urged his fellow senators to prioritize the interests of Filipinos on issues hounding Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS).

“When it comes to choosing between public and private interests, it is a given to me—both as a Senator and as a Filipino—to first prioritize the interests of the Filipino people,” Go said.

Go further said that public safety should be prioritized when it comes to public services. He added that service providers are responsible for the welfare of their consumers.

“Mahalaga po na public interest at safety ang parating mangunguna. Mahalaga man na hindi mawalan ng hanapbuhay ang mga empleyado at importante man na protektahan din natin ang karapatan ng karamihan na mag-negosyo, hindi po natin dapat isawalang-bahala ang ating mga batas at ang interes ng bawat Pilipino.,” Go said.

“Ngunit bilang service providers, may mga responsibilidad din po kayo na dapat gampanan sa Filipino consumers. Trabaho namin na proteksyunan ang kanilang interes at seguridad,” he added.

Go also shed light on fake news circulating on social media alleging his involvement in motorcycle ridesharing app and Angkas competitor, JoyRide.

The senator belied the allegations, saying, “Hindi po totoo ‘yung kumakalat sa Twitter at ibang social media outlets na ako raw ang may-ari o may interes ako sa JoyRide. Nagsalita na po si Mr. Noli Eala. Isang malaking kasinungalingan po ito, fake news po ito.”

“Sa totoo lang, noong lumabas lang ang isyung ito na narinig ko ang kumpanyang JoyRide na iyan,” he said.

Go then asked transport regulators to immediately deny applications of groups that use his name and the President’s to push their own interests.

“Sa LTFRB naman, magkakilala naman po tayo, kilala ninyo naman po ako, Chairman Delgra, General Gardiola, kayong lahat, kapag ginamit po ang pangalan ko, at ginamit ang pangalan ni Pangulo, at ginamit, kahit kaanak ni Pangulo, please deny that application immediately, automatic na po ‘yun. Wala ng dapat pag-usapan, matagal ng sinasabi yan ni Pangulo. ‘Wag kayong magpapadala.”

“Kagaya ng sinabi ng Pangulo, hindi kami sumasali sa anumang government contracts at walang dumadaan sa aming lamesa na ganyan. Ang hangarin namin ay ang interest ng publiko at makapagserbisyo sa bawat Pilipino,” he added.

Go also warned the perpetrators of fake news, saying “Sa promotor na nagkakalat naman ng fake news, hindi ko kayo palalampasin. I will surely keep you busy. Huwag mong gawin sa kapwa mo ang ayaw mong gawin sa iyo.”

TNVS companies, such as Grab and Angkas, have come under public scrutiny in recent months due to various concerns regarding their services, including legal limitations which restrict their operations, safety concerns, and overpricing. Despite the issues, Go acknowledged the benefits of the services, particularly those of Angkas.

“The service helps ease the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila and other key cities in the country by providing an alternate option to existing public transportation. It provides cheaper and faster services compared to many offered by other 4-wheeled vehicles in the sector. It also helps thousands of previously unregulated habal-habal drivers in our country by enabling them to become part of the formal economy,” he said.

Go also mentioned that if he can have his way, he would allow all qualified players to compete in the market so long as they ensure the safety of their passengers.

“Anyway, kung ako lang ang masusunod, lahat ng industry players ay bibigyan natin ng prangkisa para mabigyan ng hanapbuhay ang lahat basta’t siguradong ligtas ang seguridad ng bawat pasahero,” Go said.

Emphasizing the welfare of Filipino consumers, Go also urged the stakeholders to talk and come up with preventive measures to current issues of safety before untoward incidents happen in the future.

“Huwag na nating hintayin na meron pang di kanais-nais na mangyari—sa mga driver at pasahero—bago tayo mag-iimbestiga sa Senado. Pag usapan na natin ngayon ang safety ng mga pasahero—yun ang importante sa akin at kay Pangulong Duterte,” he ended.

After the hearing, Go talked to the Angkas riders protesting outside the Senate building to express his support for their welfare while reminding them to ensure the safety of their passengers.

“Kung maaari lang lahat kayo ayaw naming mawalan ng trabaho. Basta unahin natin ang safety ng pasahero,” he said.

The senator also shared with them that he has already discussed the extension of their pilot program with Secretary Tugade, and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra.

“Ngayon pinakiusapan ko na si Secretary Tugade at si Chairman Delgra, pati ang TWG, na mag-usap na kayo. Sa ngayon, pumayag sila na wala munang huhulihin,” he said.

“Basta makinig lang tayo. Pakinggan nila kayo, pakinggan niyo rin sila. ‘Yun lang ang importante,” he said.

Go added that the President is also concerned about their livelihood, saying “Si Pangulo, ayaw niyang may mawalan ng trabaho. Pero siguraduhin ninyo ‘yung kapakanan ng pasahero ninyo. Ingat kayo parati. Ayaw namin may masaktan,” he said.