21 April 2015

APEC News Release

APEC dialogue to discuss integration of Small, Medium Enterprises into Automotive Global Value Chains
Stakeholders in the automotive industry will gather for the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Automotive Dialogue, to be held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City from April 22 to 24 to discuss the challenges facing the industry.

The Automotive Dialogue, with the theme “Integrating SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) into the Automotive Global Value Chains,” aims to encourage economies to move toward more integrated regional and global approaches to automotive policies.

The APEC Automotive Dialogue is an avenue for APEC member economy officials and senior industry representatives to collaborate in formulating strategies to integrate and develop the automotive sector in the Asia-Pacific region.

The biannual event will be attended by more than 100 participants from APEC member economies.

Officials and senior industry representatives of various APEC member economies will update forum participants on ongoing APEC projects.

Presentation updates on projects include “The Electric Vehicle Project” by the People’s Republic of China; “SME Integration into Global Value Chains Project” by South Korea; and “GVC-SME Integration for the Automotive Sector (GSAS) Project” by Malaysia and the Philippines.

Philippine officials who will speak at the forum include Trade Assistant Secretary for Industry Development Ceferino S. Rodolfo.

Ramon Vicente T. Kabigting, also from the Philippines, will discuss “The Role and Contribution of Parts and Components SMEs in the Development of the Automotive Industry,” while Dennis Chan of Famous Secret Precision Machining will present “Integration Experiences of Auto Parts SMEs from Developing APEC Economies”.

Dr. Hangkoo Lee, Senior Research Fellow from the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, will present the “Integration Experiences of Auto Parts SMEs from Developed APEC Economies.” Other regional auto manufacturers will give their recommendations on how to speed up the integration process.

Mainstreaming SMEs into global and regional production networks is one of the four priorities of the Philippines as host of APEC 2015.

This recognizes SME development and capacity building as one of the pillars of the APEC economies’ collective efforts towards building more inclusive societies.

The Automotive Dialogue first met in 1999 in Indonesia and has continued to meet every year since then.

Among the APEC member economies actively participating in the dialogue are Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Viet Nam, and the United States.

The last meeting of the APEC Automotive Dialogue was held in Shanghai, China on September 16 to 19 last year. BOI Report

Political ally’s conviction shows administration’s resolve to stamp out corruption, says Palace
The guilty verdict handed down on Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali, Jr., President Benigno S. Aquino III’s political ally, proves the government’s seriousness in fighting corruption, a Palace official has said.

“People always say that under the Aquino administration, it is only its enemies that get subjected to court procedures. In this particular case, it shows that that is not the case,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during Tuesday’s press briefing.

Umali, the treasurer of President Aquino’s Liberal Party, has been sentenced by the Sandiganbayan to up to 10 years in prison for illegally facilitating a P2.5 million loan to a ship owner in 1994. Umali is serving his third and final term as governor.

“If you are asking what the next step should be, then we leave it up to the legal team of Governor Umali to plot out his next steps. There are legal remedies available to him under the law,” Valte said.Aside from Umali, the court also found former Oriental Mindoro Representative Rodolfo Valencia and former Board Member Romualdo Bawasanta guilty of violating Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Valencia and Umali were respectively governor and provincial administrator in January 1994, when the provincial government approved the irregular loan for the repair, operation, and maintenance of a privately owned passenger vessel. PND (as)

President Aquino signs law strengthening Sandiganbayan
President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed into law Republic Act 10660, which increases the number of divisions of the Sandiganbayan from five to seven.

President Aquino approved last April 16 the act strengthening the functional and structural organization of the Sandiganbayan, further amending Presidential Decree No. 1606 on the creation of the special anti-graft court.

Speaking during a press briefing at Malacañang on Tuesday, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the new law increases the number of divisions of the anti-graft court to seven, as well as provides funding for the new divisions which shall be included in the annual national budget.

Valte said the number of justices to constitute a quorum has also been changed.

“Under the same provision, previously PD 1606 stated that three justices shall constitute a quorum for session in each division. Now, a quorum shall be constituted by two members. So, this will effectively speed things up in terms of deliberations and hearing of the cases before it,” Valte explained.

“In the old law, it says that quorum of three — each division has three members. So, if there is one absent, they cannot do business and they cannot hear the cases that are pending before them. Of course, you cannot avoid absences in certain cases. This new amendment will allow two sitting justices to still conduct the court’s business in the absence of the third member. That will make things faster as well,” she added.

When asked if the new law would have a direct impact on high-profile cases pending at the Sandiganbayan, such as the pork barrel scam and the plunder case against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Valte said “not in specifics but in generalities”.

“If the existing divisions can be unloaded — because remember that the divisions handling the Napoles-related cases also have other cases to contend with. So, effectively, adding more divisions in this case for, effectively doubling the manpower of the Sandiganbayan in terms of justices, will unload some of these cases to the new divisions; and, hopefully, will help the existing justices with their work,” she said.

Valte also noted that Section 5 prescribes a new procedure for decision by majority vote and the proceedings to be conducted by the divisions “that will facilitate faster disposition of cases”. PND (jm)

Palace announces appointment of new judges, prosecutors
The Palace on Tuesday announced the appointment of new judges, prosecutors, and a Department of Trade and Industry official.

During a press briefing in Malacañang, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said all the appointments were signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III last April 6.

Appointed as Regional Trial Court (RTC) judges were Jose Rene Gallemit Dondoyano for Branch 6, and Ric Sister Bastasa for Branch 8 (both in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte); Nida Bringas Alejandro for Branch 12 (Laoag City, Ilocos Norte); Walter Orais Junia for Branch 39 — Special Court for Environmental Cases (Lingayen, Pangasinan); Paul Ramil Attolba, Jr. for Branch 30 (Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya); Kimal Mustapha Salacop for Branch 6 (Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur); Elma Mendoza Rafallo-Lingan for Branch 159 — Special Court for Family Cases and Special Commercial Court (Pasig City); Rowena Nieves Adena Tan for Branch 118 (Pasay City); Ana Marie Train Mas for Branch 52 (City of Manila); and Phoeve Castillo Meer for Branch 275 (Las Pinas City).

Named as Municipal Trial Court (MTC) judges were Jeoffrey Capina Manluyang (Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental); Maria Eloisa Aray Maglana (Baganga, Davao Oriental); Marie Grace Vaflor Entilla-Eborde (Tupi, South Cotabato); Bai Israhayda Cueto Sinsuat (Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao); Alta Grace Narag Briones (Rosales, Pangasinan); Francisco Orlain Pilpil (Solano, Nueva Vizcaya); and Debbie Gamotin Dulay-Del Val (Naguilian, La Union).

Designated as Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) judges were Kim Elauria Ortiz-Liquido (Bislig CIty, Surigao del Sur); Christina Tan Haw Tay-Jovero (Cotobato City, Maguindanao); Jeanylene Tolentino Isip-Fukai for Branch 2 — Special Court for Election Cases (San Fernando City, La Union); and Genevieve Dalos Ande-Ewangan for Branch 1 (Santiago City, Isabela).

Appointed as Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) judges were Cashmere Jo-An Augustia Dagsa Zayas-Cruiz (5th MCTC in Marihatag-San Agustin, Surigao del Sur); Allan Posada Temones (2nd MCTC in Caraga-Manay-Tarragona, Davao Oriental); Josie Abu Felipe (6th MCTC in Surallah-Lake Sebu, South Cotobato); Vicente Valente Imbang (2nd MCTC in M’Lang-Matalam, North Cotobato); Eugene David Rosos Tancino (3rd MCTC in Kabacan-Carmen, North Cotabato); Angelito Vencer Rasalan (5th MCTC in Upi-South Upi, Maguindanao); Trinidad Torres Abad-Ferrer (6th MCTC in Pozorrubio-Sison, Pangasinan); Norbert Bong Sabio Obedoza (Cordon-Dinapigue, Isabela); and Geraldine Balagso Ramos (4th MCTC in Narvacan-Nagbukel-Santa, Ilocos Sur).

Rasad Sarip Laguindab was also appointed as judge for the 4th Shari’a District Court in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

Designated as Prosecutor IV for the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) were Jeremy Bionat and Nestor Ledesma; and as Prosecutor III for the OCP were Rey Camilo Dumlao II, Elmer Surot, Florida Daquiz-Sta. Maria, Joy Marie Frances Cortes, Janet Palanca, Adri Anne Montes-Espanola, Helen Tenchavez, Isabel Corazon Plaza, Maureen Chua, and Ating Diacat.

Named as Prosecutor II for the OCP were Clarinda Martinez, Jose Jay dela Chica, Michelle Hortiz-Abarintos, Jordan Teano, Raulito Villar, Jhaciel Quicho, Venus Gapuz-Taliman, Dulce Ricafort-Fuller, Jennefer Resurreccion, Carol Salvatierra, Ferdinand Thomas Magallanes, and Allan Alavanzas; and as Prosecutor I for the OCP were Roberyn Joy Marinas-Navarro, Victor Esteban Benitez, Jennifer Corpuz-de Guzman, Rowena Figueroa, Leni Garcia-Tepace, Marlon Moises, Romel de los Reyes, Rodolfo Lopez, Alexander Eric Leveriza, Sheila Teodora Diaz, Darwin Dimen, and Ronald Asong.

Appointed as Prosecutor IV for the Office of the Regional Prosecutor (ORP) was Kenneth John Amamanglon; and as Prosecutor III for the ORP was Frank Divinagracia, Jr.

Designated as Prosecutor III for the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor (OPP) were Evangeline Rivera, Raul Campos, Adriano Cabida, Ephraim Tomboc, Arturo Trinidad, Jose de Leon, Jr., Erwin Caparros, Lilibeth Lorena, Ma. Elena Hofilena-Gerochi, and Richard Abangan, Sr.; as Prosecutor II for the OPP were Elpidio Bober, Raymund Gultiano, Hedeliza Cruz, Richard Alvin Japson, Rosemarie Ann Polistico, Godfrey Montes, and Reymund Gunda; and as Prosecutor I for the OPP were Christobal Balangcod, David Bartolome, Jr., Salvador Arnesto, Farah Joi Frondozo, Rosalito Cimanes, Flora Malate-Pante, Prince Joses Lim, Edwin Docena, Crisolito Tavera, Ahmad Arip, Soteo Gardose, Roel Plando, Jojie Balume, and Victor Dennis Gemarino.

President Aquino also appointed Danilo Enriquez as Director IV for the Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry. PND (ag)