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SSS Defers Increase in Contributions of Members in January 2018 to Over 12.5%

October 09, 2017
Starting January next year, the state-run Social Security System (SSS) has deferred the planned increase in contribution of its members to over 12.5 percent of the monthly salary credit. This is to make the pension fund for workers in the private sector possible to cover up the higher pensions for retirees.

SSS Contribution Increase


SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Dooc said that the SSS would approve the increase in the contribution rate to correspond with the implementation in January of the first package of the tax reform package that would lower personal income tax rates, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN). This TRAIN bill is also being discussed in the Senate.

A bill seeking to amend the SSS Charter, as provided in Republic Act 1161 or the Social Security Act, is currently being deliberated in the Senate.

However, Dooc assured that SSS has other revenue measures to enhance the pension fund’s financial standing following the recent adjustment in pensioners’ monthly pension by Php1,000.
It was January of this year, 2017, if remembered, when President Rodrigo Duterte approved a two-stage monthly pension increase of Php2,000, of which Php1,000 a month had been disbursed SSS pensioners since March.

In addition to that, the President also ordered that SSS member’s contribution rate can be adjusted upward in increments of 1.5 percent points per year until 2020 when it will have reached 17 percent from the current 1 percent.

Furthermore, Dooc explained that there are provisions in the new SSS bill that will empower the state fund to increase its members' contribution. He, however, declined to give the new rate of the increase to be imposed in 2018.

Dooc maintained that additional contribution is needed to keep the state fund running even with the pension increase.

Originally, the SSS contribution rate should have been raised by 1.5 percentage points to 12.5 percent as early as May this year; bringing the contribution range to R15 from R740. Under the original proposal, the premium hike of active SSS members will be implemented in tranches until 2022. The SSS earlier said members’ premium could go up to 17 percent from the current 11 percent until 2022.

However, given the unpopularity of the plan, the SSS did not put the increase in operation in the contribution; which was approved by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last January. The pension fund earlier released P33 billion to more than two million retirees after President Duterte approved the pension hike. However, the move shortened the SSS fund life to year 2032 from 2042.

The pension increase was among President Duterte’s promises during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Besides the rate increase, the SSS is considering raising the maximum monthly salary credit to P20,000 from the current P16,000 to prolong its actuarial life.

Dooc added the premium hike would help extend the life of the pension fund up to 2051 from the current actuarial life of until 2042.

Employer-employee sharing

The current contribution rate of 11 percent is being shared by the employer which is 7.37 percent and employee which is 3.63 percent.

Mandatory OFW coverage

Aside from the increase in the contribution rate, the SSS is looking forward to a further rise in membership once all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are required to be members of the pension fund.

At this time, there are 14 million OFWs registered;only 550,000 of those OFWs are SSS members. If passed into law, the amended SSS charter will make it mandatory for at least 9 to 10 million more OFWs to contribute to the SSS, according to Dooc. Since OFWs are expected to disburse higher contributions for the reason that they get better pay, the SSS expects total contributions to further increase and cover the higher expenditures due to the pension increase.

Negosyong Pinoy: The Homemade Rellenong Bangus Business

September 21, 2017
Rellenong bangus  (Stuffed Milk Fish) is one of the most-liked delicacies here in the Philippines. It’s quite backbreaking to make; you will be needing tons of patience but it’s worth doing. Considering the yummy and mouth-watering taste it has.

Rellonong Bangus
Image Via Maggi.ph
Compared to other fish recipes, it has a one-of-a-kind process of preparation.  Doing it is quite tiresome because of all the things that needs to be done.  From scaling, removal of the internal organs and gills, and deboning of the fish to stuffing in the fish meat and mixtures.

Since we Filipinos are known to be food-lovers, starting this business is going to be rewarding; that I can guarantee.

So what are the tips in starting this kind of business?

Before we get to what you need to start this business, let me give you concrete tips. First, you just have to balance everything out; buying accurate amounts that are within your budget. Furthermore, consider the freshness of the fish because it can make or break your recipe; precisely cook the ingredients. With all that,  people will know about your product by word-of-mouth. Soon enough, everyone will know about how it tastes and customers will tend to buy more and they might refer your products to their friends and relatives. You won't realize that your business is getting better and it will grow. Don't think about your profit at first; of course, you would first have to think about how your business will spread and how it will grow. Sparing out  few thousand pesos will get to a rewarding position, and that's a guarantee.

I have put in the steps in removing the fish meat from its skin, the lists of ingredients and also, the procedures of cooking the mixtures.

How can I remove the fish meat from its skin?

This method can actually be done in two (2) ways:
First method would be:
  • Cutting the back of the fish
  • Scrape the meat and bones of the fish from the skin
  • Stuff all the cooked ingredients;
  • Then sew it up with a thread and needle.
The second method is:
  • Break the bone in the neck and tail of the fish and using a spatula, palette knife or the handle of the aluminum ladle to remove the meat without breaking or cutting the skin.
  • Then squeeze out the fish meat from the skin beginning from the tail.
Although the second method looks shorter and easier to make, it actually requires some skill to execute it beautifully. In addition, there are many kinds of kitchen ladle today. We can either use an old typical aluminum sandok” with a straight handle end and a hole for hanging it on a wall. Or, we can also use a pallete knife or frosting spatula.

What are the ingredients for me to make this rellenong bangus?

Note that the ingredients I will be listing here is good for one (1) large milkfish. After you've done it, you can estimate and experiment depending on how you want your stuffed milkfish appears or tastes.

Ingredients for the mixture:

  • 1 large sized bangus/milkfish
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small sized carrot; prepare it in small cubes
  • A big-sized potato; prepare it in small cubes
  • 1 box raisins (optional)
  • ¼  cup pickles
  • 1 raw egg, large
  • 1 tsp. Vetsin (monosodium glutamate)
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper (powder)
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp. Flour

For the milkfish marination:

  • 2 pcs calamansi (lime juice)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Pepper

Now, for frying the milkfish:

  • Cooking oil; and;
  • 1 box of flour

Instructions for scraping the meat fish from the skin:

  • Clean the fish. Of course, the very first step of cooking fish is cleaning it. Ensure that it is well-cleansed and that it does not contain the dirt from where you've bought the fish.
  • Gently pound on the fish to loosen meat from its skin.
    • You can use the flat side of a knife in pounding.
  • Break the big bone at the nape and on the tail. Insert the end of the handle of an aluminum kitchen turner or sandok through the fish neck.
  • Gently scrape down the handle between the meat and the skin.
    • Scrape down to the tail, going around and on the other side of the fish.
  • If you feel the meat is entirely separated from the skin, remove the handle; squeeze and push out meat with the big bone starting from the tail going out through the head. This way, you will be able to push out the whole meat without cutting an opening on the skin.
  • Set aside and boil the fish meat in little water.
  • Drain and pick out its bones. Afterwards, flake the meat.

Instructions on what to do with the skin:

Note that because you've cleansed the skin properly, it's safe to be eaten; depending on how you marinate it, its taste will be one big of a deal. If you will notice, frying bangus or milkfish tends to make its skin crunchy.
  1. Clean the skin with water.
  2. Marinate skin and head of fish with soy sauce and calamansi (lime) juice.

Instructions on how to prepare the mixtures you'll use to stuff the fish:

  • Saute garlic until it turns brown; add the onions.
  • Afterwards, add the bangus meat, carrots and;
  • Season with salt, vetsin, ground pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
    • Add raisins and pickles.
  • Transfer cooked mixture in a bowl. Then mix with raw egg and flour.
  • Fill in the bangus skin with the mixture.
  • Put some flour on the skin of the fish.
  • Fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  • Wrap bangus in wilted banana leaves or in aluminum foil.

After preparing it, keep in mind that there are two (2) ways on how it can be prepared:

  1. You can reheat it by frying it with cooking oil or;
  2. By using the microwave oven
Since we're talking about business, the packaging will depend on how you want it to be presented. Depending on how you market and present it, clients will surely come back to get more! One reason is because it's easy to eat. Easy to eat in a sense that when they buy, it doesn't anymore require them to prepare and to think of the ingredients. They can just unwrap it, reheat it and dig in. Another reason is because this kind of recipe contains different kinds of vegetables in it. In addition to the fish itself which is already healthy, the veggies inside would make a great impact and will complement the health benefits of the fish.

If you can, try reheating or cooking it in olive oil or vegetable oil. There won't be much difference besides the flavor and the moisture that cooking oil gives. However, since we're talking about health here, substituting it for vegetable or olive oil is what I can recommend.

Now, you thought that in order to have and run a business, you need thousands of pesos, right? But no, there are many kinds of businesses that can be rewarding like those businesses wherein you would need a fortune. Before pushing it through, try and create one for your family first. Ask them for their feedback and then decide whether you want it to be your business or not.
Rellenong bangus, I can say, is a Filipino favorite. Not just because of its health benefits and its taste, but also because of the hardwork and finesse behind it.

How to Renew Philippine Passport In Qatar?

September 17, 2017
How can one renew a passport while in Qatar? If you thought, you need to go back here in the Philippines, think again! But before anything else, why are we writing this?Qatar is one of the many countries that have OFWs. As a matter of fact, Qatar is in 2nd place in terms of OFW destinations in 2016. Every year, they give around 12,600 jobs to Filipinos. Despite the Gulf Crisis with Saudia Arabia, Qatar is still currently accepting Filipinos who want to work overseas.
Renew Passport in Qatar


In addition to that, Filipinos are the fourth biggest group of foreign workers in Qatar. That being said, there are of course a handful of Filipino workers in Qatar. Thus, passports may expire and they would need to renew it while in Qatar to avoid expenses in going back in the Philippines.

So how do you renew your passport while in Qatar?

First things first, you woulld need to submit documentation.
The requirements you would need to submit are:
  • Original passport
  • Photocopy of the passport (front cover, inside, and back part of the inside of the passport)
  • Duly accomplished passport application form (you can get a copy by downloading it online or getting it from the embassy)
  • Fee for the renewal: QAR240.00
Take note: Personal appearance of the applicant is a must. 
In addition to the requirements, when you present yourself, you must also be in proper decent attire. Kindly note to avoid the following:
  • Sando, strapless, and/or spaghetti-strap blouse;
  • Transparent shirts and/or blouse that expose underwear;
  • Shorts/mini-skirts that are more than three (3) inches above the knee;
  • Ragged/ripped jeans/shorts; and;
  • Slippers

If you've fully understood and read the requirements, then you are ready to proceed and renew your passports.

  • Directly proceed to the embassy with your requirements. Appointments are not needed just for renewal.
Address: Philippine Embassy Qatar
  • Zone 68, Jelaiah Area Doha, State of Qatar
  • Website: http://dohape.dfa.gov.ph
  • P.O Box No. 24900, St. No. 860, Doha, Qatar
  • Contact No: +974 4483 1585
Office Hours: Sundays to Thursdays, 8:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M & 1:00 P.M. - 3:30 P.M.

The embassy is closed on Fridays, Saturdays and on Philippine and Qatar-declared holidays.

  • Wait for your turn while in the queue for each of the window:
    • Verification of documents (requirements)
    • Data encoding;
    • Picture taking;
    • Payment
  • As for the release, the Qatar Philippine Embassy reports that it may take up to 1-2 months. You can either receive text messages from the embassy if the renewed passport is ready.
TIPS:
  • Since the release of the passport takes a maximum of 2 months, it is just right to make the renewal 3-6 months before your passport expires.
  • Before you proceed to the embassy, ensure that all required documentation you have to submit is ready. Otherwise, they may have to ask you to complete them first.

5 Million Inexpensive Seats For The AirAsia Seat Sale

September 13, 2017
AirAsia, one of the most known airlines is currently spicing up their game. On Sunday, September 10, the group said that they are offering up to 5 million seats which are on sale. Yes, you read it right, ON SALE. In addition to that, AirAsia was able to mention that the travel for this promo will be for travel between the 1st of March until the 21st of November next year (2018). 

AirAsia Seat Sale


So how can you avail this promo? It's simple, you just need to book from the 11th of Septmeber up to the 17th. Yes, only bookings between these dates will be eligible for the sale. Furthermore, travelers can book flights for as low as Php17.00 to and from the following destinations:
  • Bohol
  • Caticlan/Boracay
  • Cebu
  • Clark
  • Davao
  • Iloilo
  • Kalibo
  • Manila
  • Palawan
  • Tacloban
Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You're probably saying that it's only local but wait, there's more! Also, even if the destinations above are local, imagine a 17-peso flight that is already round-trip. Isn't that a very awesome deal? And yes, there also are promotions for international fares. For as low as Php1, 290.00, travelers can book one-way flights from the Philippines to the following destinations:
  • Hong Kong
  • Canton/Guangzhou
  • Incheon/Seoul
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Taipei
  • Singapore
  • Macau
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Shanghai
Yes, you can now visit the famous Asian countries for less than Php10, 000.00! 
"Now is the perfect opportunity for our loyal guests and Filipino travelers to connect from many places conveniently as we continuously add new routes and increase frequencies into our network," said AirAsia Philippines CEO Dexter Comendador.

In addition to all those promotions mentioned above, AirAsia said that they will also work out flights which will be available from the group's hub in Kuala Lumpur to Australia, Japan, Maldives, and other destinations more. Thus, the ones we are seeing now are just kind of the crust to the earth; there's still the mantle and the core.

Well, if I were you, I would be booking flights now! But what if you can't commit to the travel? Well you can always sell your ticket, right? If someone you know is looking for a ticket that is cheap, you can always check the market price and sell a little bit lower so that your friends or some people you know would be able to afford the deal.

Not bad for a promotion, eh? What are you waiting for! Book your flights now!

Source: ABS-CBN

Why You Should Be Aware of Japanese Encephalitis

September 10, 2017
Mosquitoes are well-known pests that carry a multitude of diseases. Moreover, these insects should ALWAYS be avoided because they can cause illnesses or worse - death. Here in our country, we are very much aware what mosquitoes are. Although there are chosen places which are swarmed by these pests, we still need to be careful. Dengue and Malaria are just two (2) of the many diseases mosquitoes bring. A few months ago, a new disease was reported to scatter throughout the country. This new disease is Japanese Encephalitis. 

Japanese Encephalitis


This year, the said disease is reported to have taken nine lives in our country; one from Ilocos, one from CALABARZON, seven from Central Luzon. Currently, government agencies were able to confirm 60 patients (out of 133 suspicions) to have the virus. Let us know more about the disease.

What is this Japanese Encephalitis?


In shorter terms, the Japanese Encephalitis is a virus that is somehow related to dengueAlthough it is a big fear of our country now, not all people who have it will get sick or show symptoms. However, we should still take into consideration that the fatality rate is in about 30%. 

There is no cure for this disease; once you have it, you have it. If you report that you have it, treatment will focus on relieving severe impacts and supporting the patient in overcoming the infection.

The outcome will literally be just dependent on the immune system of the patient. Which leads us to why children are more prone to this disease since their immune systems are weaker.
FUN FACT: The first known clinical case of Japanese Encephalitis traces back to 1871. 

What are the known symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis?

Image: xpertdox

For the most part, the most common symptoms of this disease are:
  • Mild fevers and headaches. However, take note that there are no apparent symptoms.
  • Approximately, the symptoms of JE become evident between 5 and 15 days from the day of the bite.
  • The estimation of severe cases of JE is out of 250.
  • If it goes unnoticed, the later symptoms would include:
    • Seizures
    • Spastic Paralysis
    • Swelling around the brain area
    • Coma
    • Death

What is/are the effects of the disease?

Basically, this type of encephalitis is crucial. Since the disease itself affects the nervous system, it can cause severe neurological damages. A study in Malaysia took 100 patients and examined them. The results were:
  • 3% of the patients had mild disability;
  • 26% had moderate disability;
  • 31% had severe disability;
  • Lastly, 41% of patients made a full recovery
To further explain, the following are the effects that patients in each examinations experienced:
Mild disability
  • Personality changes or mood swings
  • Muscle weakness (twitching of arms and hands)
  • Uncontrollable shaking of the hands
Moderate disability
  • Learning disabilities (mild)
  • Body weakness but only on one side
  • Single limb paralysis
Severe disability
  • Severe learning difficulty
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limb stiffness

How can one get Japanese Encephalitis?



Image: iaspreparationonline
Fortunately, Japanese Encephalitis is not transmitted through people. The main source of the illness is literally a mosquito. According to experts, mosquitoes of the Culex species are the type of mosquitoes carry the infection.
The mosquitoes get this infection from pigs and birds specifically, water birds. Of course, the Japanese Encephalitis-carrying mosquitoes stick around areas where stagnant water is present.

How can a professional medical practitioner diagnose Japanese Encephalitis?

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="624"] Image: capitalkhabar
If you have been bitten by a mosquito and you feel like you have the symptoms, do no hesitate to seek medical help immediately. If the doctor confirms that you have been infected, your body will naturally produce a certain type of antibody to try and destroy the virus that spreads. Around approximately 7-9 days after the symptoms start, the antibody will be evident in the blood stream.
In order for doctors to determine or confirm the presence of the virus in your body, they would have to do a blood test. The antibodies you produce would also be abundant in the cerebrospinal fluid, too. So, for them to be extra sure, a sample or a test of your cerebrospinal fluid must be taken.

If confirmed, how can an individual treat Japanese Encephalitis?

Japanese Encephalitis is a relative of other mosquito diseases like malaria, dengue, and yellow fever. Since this is the case and since the symptoms of all are pretty much the same, you may think that in treating them, it's just also on the same page. However, you might be forgetting that the JE breaks down the neurological pathways which differs this from its relative diseases in a BIG way.
Although this is the case, the Japanese Encephalitis, unfortunately cannot be treated. The only treatment one can get is stabilization and balancing of the chemicals in the body to overcome the complete spread of the virus. Thus, it really just relies on how your immune system works.
Good news is that, patients who survive the disease are more likely to develop lifelong immunity.

Prevention of Japanese Encephalitis


Nationwide, you can have a vaccine to prevent the disease from rooting in you. There are currently four (4) known and main types of vaccines. These are:
  • Inactivated mouse brain-derived vaccines
  • Inactivated Vero cell-derived vaccines
  • Live attenuated vaccines
  • Live recombinant vaccines

Safety Guidelines to avoid Japanese Encephalitis

  • First, make sure that you avoid areas that are abundant in mosquitoes. Since you already know where mosquitoes get this disease, you would have a clear edge on where and where NOT to go.
  • Although the disease is currently incurable, vaccines are out that could prevent the disease from occurring.
  • If  you got bitten by a mosquito, avoid scratching the area of the bite. Why? Because this can hasten the spread of whatever virus that mosquito has. For this purpose, use a cream that could stop the itchiness from occurring and growing.
Even though this disease is currently in big discussion, it's not that crucial based on statistics. However even if this is the case, we cannot be carefree and rely on it. We still need to look after ourselves because who knows what might happen.

Philippine Internet Service Providers (ISPs) notify us of the sluggish internet connection in the next few weeks

September 05, 2017
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) all around the country gave a heads up about the following weeks. A few weeks ago, powerful storms hit Hong Kong; those events damaged undersea cables that link the Philippines to other parts of the globe. Therefore, internet connection and connectivity could become slower in the next few weeks. Two (2) ISPs of the country made the announcement last Saturday.

Slow Internet

Converge ICT Solutions Inc. and PLDT Inc. made the announcement. Furthermore, the said repair could take from three (3) to six (6) weeks. Having that said, the slowing down of the connectivity could be that long as well. Although this is the case, the ISPs said that on top of this, they'll be working on adding capacity and efficiency to their service.

“Due to the recent strong typhoon in Hong Kong, multiple international undersea cable links to the city were cut; causing slowdowns of internet connections to web and social media sites hosted there.

This has affected the services of internet service providers (ISPs) of various Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines,” PLDT said in a statement.

“As one of the affected ISPs in the country, PLDT is working closely with our overseas cable partners to speed up repair work,” they added.

Submarine cables are crucial elements of the world's infrastructure and connectivity. Since they hold and carry telecommunication and data signals across the ocean, damaging them can cause a bit of interference in systems that are running.

“Based on their current plans, our cable partners expect restoration work to be completed in about three weeks. While repair work is being done, PLDT is taking other measures to improve internet services for our Home and Enterprise customers,” PLDT added.

Converge ICT Solutions made the explanation that at least five (5) undersea cables got damaged. These cables are the ones connecting the Philippines to Hong Kong; they were cut last August 27, 2017.

“Three of our international submarine cables were affected by this incident. It is estimated that it will take four to six weeks to repair all the damaged cables,” it said in a social media post.
However, not all of this is bad news. Converge was able to mention that this activity is not just about our services being slowed down; it also is about activating additional capacity.

“We have already added 10Gbps of bandwidth since last week. Earlier this morning, an additional link of the same capacity has been activated. With this, you can expect significant improvements in your internet connection. By next week, we are expecting to activate another 10Gbps of capacity so that your service will finally return to normal,” Converge added.

On the other side of the note, Globe telecom said that their customers would not be affected by this catastrophic event. They said that they are not anymore utilizing the said submarine cables.

“Globe has successfully rerouted its data traffic that goes through the affected cable systems, to its other subsea cable capacity routes. In so doing the multiple subsea cuts had no adverse impact to our enterprise clients and mobile and broadband customers. Our technical teams are closely monitoring the network to ensure voice, SMS and data services are operating at normal levels,” Yoly Crisanto, Globe Senior Vice President for corporate communication, said in a statement.

For now, there are no updates yet as regards to this event. Although we do hope that everything will go well for subscribers in the said ISPs. We will keep you posted on the updates we will receive.

If you spread fake news, you're committing a crime

September 02, 2017
Previously, we discussed the topic on how we can identify fake news on Facebook. We hope we helped a ton of people because it certainly is wrong when you share erroneous information. This week, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the bill which are imposing penalties on people guilty of spreading fake news that might affect public order.



Image: PhilStar

Republic Act 10951 states that if a person is found guilty of delivering incorrect or fake news, then that person would be subject to the law and will face repercussions and consequences. Furthermore, President Duterte signed the law that amended the 87-year-old Revised Penal Code and also placed penalties on unlawful use of publication and unlawful utterances.

"Article 154, Section 18 of the act provides a penalty of arresto mayor and fine ranging from P40,000 to P200,000;" - Philstar

Having said that, the punishment would be applied to a person if that person shares by means of printing, lithiography; or other means and sources of publication that might endanger public order.
In addition, it also covers any person who shall maliciously publish, or cause to be published any official resolution or document without proper authority or before they have been published officially.

The measure will be effective 15 days after its publication in at least two major newspapers. Thus, it shall be applicable to pending cases before the courts where trial has started.

This law will also serve past cases of these “to the extent that it is favorable to the accused or person serving sentence by final judgement.”

On another side, a public officer who will be proven guilty of revealing secrets of privacy shall be subject to the penalties of arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding P200,000. This is from Act 230.

Currently, fake news is everywhere. We cannot deny the fact that spreading something unusual or unbelievable catches the eyes and ears of people. Although people who start these "unlawful trends" already know that it might cause possible danger, they still do it for the sake of being known or popular in the eyes of many. With this new law that our dear President signed, justice will now be served.

So for all of us, we better think and make sure before we share. We might not know what possible danger lies ahead of us when we spread news.

Source: PhilStar

Good News For Everyone! You Can Now Get Your Driver's Licenses On The Day Of Your Application

August 31, 2017
Yes, you heard it right. After so many months of waiting, the hellish experience is finally over. Last year, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) advised that they do not have supply for the issuance of the driver's license card. This news was sad and frustrating especially to those who rely on their licenses for their living. People threw a dozen about this; both on social media and in the news. Although this was the case last year, the agency just announced that from now on, driver's license applicants would be able to claim their licenses on the day they applied. This applies to new candidates and the renewing ones.
New Drivers License Image Credit: Topgear Philippines

Just after President Duterte extended its validity, this sure is music to all of our ears. Furthermore, the government body stated that this applies to all National Capital Region (NCR) Offices. LTO Chief Edgar Galvante protruded this roll-out together with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) head Arthur Tugade last Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

Since people were skeptic about this because of their experiences, Tugade tried the new system for himself. The official filled out the form. Afterwards, an LTO employee processed the official's form and finished it off. The LTO released a press release that would make thousands of Filipinos smile. It reported that Tugade was able to claim his plastic license card not more than 20 minutes later. Tugade on the other hand, purposely put incorrect information to see what type of action the employees and the system would make.

"Yung mga unang issuance simula nung Oktubre, gusto po naming emphasize na wala po silang kailangang bayarang dagdag," Galvante said.

"Kung ano lang po ang nakasaad sa resibo yung lang po ang babayaran. Yung fixer na yan, di po kailangan para maisyuhan ng five-year license card," he added.

In this statement, Galvante added that motorists who applied for driver's license way back October 2016, will start receiving their cards next week without having to pay extra.
In addition to all the good news you've just read, the overall construction of the ID card is now better. The new sets of cards are now made from polycarbonate material and are laser-engraved. Galvante said that this does not only make the ID card look good, it also makes them more secure and durable.
I know, it's very great and exciting considering that you won't have to wait for months to claim your license anymore. So, what do you have to do? Well for you to witness the change, head over to an LTO station and see for yourself.

NOTE: This would only STRONGLY apply for NCR Offices. We'll give you the updates if provinces or some cities would have this roll-out as well.

Pres. Duterte Declares Higher Penalties For Hospitals Asking Deposits Before Treating Emergency Cases

August 26, 2017
Private or publicly-ran hospitals and medical treatment centers or clinics, can no longer demand deposit or initial payment from patients with serious medical conditions. Conditions that require emergency treatment; if they do they will now face stiffer, more serious penalties.
Hospital penalty for not accommodating emergency cases

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed into law Republic Act No. 10932, or “An Act  Strengthening the Anti-Deposit Law."  This amends Batas Pambansa Bilang 702 (as amended by RA 8344) last August 3, 2017; amends the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law, it is stated that it would be unlawful for hospital or clinic to “request, solicit, demand, or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as a prerequisite for administering basic emergency care to any patient.”

The law aims to stop the practice that declines patients even during emergency cases. They will only accommodate if they are able to pay the deposit.

This is good news for everyone when our President officially made it into law; providing higher penalties for hospitals and clinics that refuse to treat emergency or serious cases without deposits.

In this version of the law, hospital personnel or executives who violate its provisions will be fined from Php100,000 to Php300,000. Alternatively, they will get imprisoned from six months and one day to two years and four months; worse,  both. Courts decide to impose both penalties.

Before this amendment, the fines ranged only from Php20,000 to Php100,000. The revised measure also says that if the violation was committed because it complies with established hospital or clinic policy, or was done upon the management's instruction, the hospital officials are responsible for the creation of that policy; they will then be fined from Php500,000 to Php1 million.

In the older version of the law, the fine for this ranged only from Php100,000 to Php500,000.

The penalty is also higher against any employee of a hospital or medical clinic who will violate the Anti-Hospital Deposit Law.

Disobedience from this can also now cause the revocation of a hospital or clinic’s license to operate if the violation of the law was repeated thrice.

Furthermore, RA 10932 also introduces provisions more specific to cases of pregnant women. The previous version stated that hospitals could only be held accountable for cases in which they asked for a deposit for patients who needed basic medical care “to prevent death or permanent disability.”

The new version specifically points that they can also be held accountable if they refuse to attend to a woman to prevent “permanent injury or loss of her unborn child, or non-institutional delivery.”

“Non-institutional delivery” is defined in the law as the “delivery of a newborn child while in transit, outside of a health facility after an initial consultation was done with a health facility.”

There are four new sections under this law. One of these is a new provision and considered to be a crucial update in the law. It states that "a hospital or clinic shall be held liable in case of death, permanent disability, serious impairment of the health condition of the patient, or in the case of a pregnant woman, permanent injury or loss of her unborn child, proceeding from the denial of his or her admission to the health facility."

If the hospital or clinic's facilities are inadequate for the treatment, however, the attending physician may transfer the patient to a more capable clinic after giving the consent.

In addition to all that, it also says that the local government unit has a bigger role to play in the new amended law. IT "must allow the free use of its emergency vehicle to transport the patient" if no ambulance is available for use during the transfer. A staff nurse with advanced cardiovascular life support certification or its equivalent must also accompany the patient in the vehicle.

Section 6, part of the new section creates Health Facilities Oversight Board under the Department of Health to receive complaints or reports about any violation of the law.

Section 7 is an assurance to hospitals that PhilHealth will reimburse the cost of basic emergency care and transportation incurred by the hospital or clinic for the emergency medical services given to poor and indigent patients.

The Department of Health, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Philhealth are now working on the law's Implementing Rules and Regulations.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, author of the law and vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health, expresses gratitude to President Duterte. She says that it is very important especially for the poor who can’t afford the deposit in hospitals that might require before treating emergency cases.

Wives Can Drop Husband's Surname Under CGMA and Senator Binay's Bill

August 19, 2017
"Whatever God hath joined together, let no man put asunder."

A famous stanza from the bible that we frequently take notice of in almost all wedding ceremony. Being together is tolerable and manageable after the marriage, but settling blissfully and happily while married is another story. Moreover, if that happens, the couple has no choice but to part ways. For some, it's not easy to drop the surname from their name if they're using it already for sometime. This is especially if they're using them for
Remove wives surname
  • Identification cards
  • Official documents and;
  • Other records

Many women are still using their husband's surname even if they've already been abandoned for a decade, suffered death, or separation; because doing so need a court order. However, if Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's bill will pass, dropping husbands surname will be easy. She filed a measure / bill which seek to empower women to revert to their maiden name even without judicial court order in cases of legal separation of marriage, presumptive death, and abandonment, separation of property or dissolution of marriage.

Under the proposed measure, House Bill no. 6082, called “Reversion to Maiden Name Act”, a woman may revert to her maiden surname after a decree of legal separation, annulment of marriage, nullity of marriage or divorce in another country without going through a judicial process but only administratively through the Office of Civil Registrar.

According to Arroyo, her bill “deletes the tedious and expensive court process” associated with the reversion of their surname.

"Despite the laws and jurisprudence on the matter, there is still an incomplete realization of the woman’s right to continue using her maiden name," she said.

"Domestic situations such as legal separation, separation de facto and such other similar instances are areas where women may still be required to recourse to a court process for change of name in order to revert to the use of their maiden name," she added.

This bill allows a woman to revert to her maiden name under these circumstances:
  1. After her marriage has been judicially declared null and void or after its annulment;
  2. Succeeding a judicial declaration of legal separation provided that there has been no manifestation of reconciliation filed with the court;
  3. After a judicial declaration of separation of property, provided there has been no subsequent decree reviving the old property regime between the spouses;
  4. If the spouses stipulated in their marriage settlement that a regime of' separation of properties shall govern their property relations;
  5. If the petitioner has been de facto separated from or abandoned by her husband for a period of not less than 10 years;
  6. The petitioner's husband may be presumed dead pursuant to the circumstances, periods and conditions; set forth in the Civil Code of the Philippines and the Rules of Court. The bill grants the Civil Registrar General, the Department of Justice, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Office of the Supreme Court Administrator the power to issue rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the measure.

Arroyo added that women in this case just need to go to the Office of the Civil Registrar to dismiss their surnames' name. Furthermore, for them to accomplish this without spending a lot of money.

In the Senate, Senator Nancy Binay has filed the same bill that would make it easier for women; separated from or abandoned by their husbands;  to simplify the process by going through the local registry and no longer through a court. Binay filed on August 7, 2017, the Senate Bill No. 1547 or the proposed Reversion to Maiden Name Act. This identifies the grounds that would allow a woman to file a verified petition for reversion before the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where her record is kept.

"In accordance with the Constitution, this measure removes the difficult, costly, and unnecessary court processes that women have to endure in order to revert to their maiden name,” Binay said in the bill’s explanatory note.

The petition for reversion may be allowed in any of the following cases:

  1. After a marriage has been judicially declared null and void or after its annulment;
  2. Succeeding a judicial declaration of legal separation; provided, that there has been no manifestation or reconciliation filed with the court;
  3. After a judicial declaration of separation of property; provided, that there has been no subsequent decree reviving the old property regime between the spouses;
  4. If the spouses stipulated in their marriage settlement that a regime of separation of properties shall govern their property relations;
  5. If the petitioner has been de facto separated from or abandoned by her husband; for a period of not less than 10 years; or
  6. If the petitioner’s husband may be presumed dead pursuant to the circumstances, periods and conditions set forth in the Civil Code of the Philippines and the Rules of Court.
They are tasking the Civil Registrar, the Department of Justice, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Office of the Court Administrator to issue the necessary rules and regulations.
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