Feb 182013

by : Rey Andres

OC FIL AM CHAMBER EDUCATES:  The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County will hold an educational seminar for small business owners on March 13 at Crowne Plaza Resort Anaheim to enhance readiness of small business owners in navigating new rules in their operations. File photo shows the officers and members of Faccoc Board at the organization’s January mixer in Irvine. (webphoto by: Andy Edralin)

OC FIL AM CHAMBER EDUCATES: The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County will hold an educational seminar for small business owners on March 13 at Crowne Plaza Resort Anaheim to enhance readiness of small business owners in navigating new rules in their operations. File photo shows the officers and members of Faccoc Board at the organization’s January mixer in Irvine. (webphoto by: Andy Edralin)

The City of Anaheim’s top “to do list for 2013” includes emphasis on a year-long program to increase volunteerism, a citizen review commission and a districting system which Mayor Tom Tait unveiled  in his Third Annual State of the City speech before some 800 business leaders at the City National Grove of Anaheim recently.

Hosted by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, the City Executive highlighted his administration’s accomplishment for the past year punctuated by the new expansion of world-famous California Adventure, the recently opened outdoor Grand Plaza of the Anaheim Convention Center featuring a world-class approach to event hosting,  and the groundbreaking of the new transportation hub known as Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.

Emphasizing the importance of engaging his constituents  in transforming Anaheim, Mayor Tait invited  the community “to work together in the effort”.

The Mayor also invited the community composed of diverse backgrounds and different ethnicities to work together to transform Anaheim  into a city where “all people feel included, where families feel safe, where schools are successful and jobs are plentiful.”

In announcing 2013 as the “Year of Kindness”, Mayor Tait envisions to encourage Anaheim residents to step up with volunteerism with local nonprofit groups which this year will target connecting people and community organizations and “begin a  lifetime of volunteering and helping those in need.”

Mayor Tait reiterated his support for the creation of a new Neighborhood Improvement Fund  which the City Council recently directed the city manager to evaluate telling  his audience “It is time that the neighborhoods share in the benefit of the tax investment we made in the Resort so many years ago.”

The leader of  one of the nation’s premier municipalities and one of California’s most populous cities with more than more than 343,000  residents took issues with the civil unrest that occurred in Anaheim last summer that showed the extent of divisiveness in the  city and with prevailing sentiment of some residents of “not having a voice.”

“For as long as anyone feels that the people are excluded in their government, their community, their city, then we have an issue,” the Mayor said.

In addressing the issue, the Mayor outlined the findings of  The Disneyland Resort-funded study of the Olin Group through Anaheim Community Foundation where it identified safety, program availability and access as top challenges in helping at-risk youth.

The study identified gangs to be a major issue that “cause  problems in the neighborhoods and schools and make it difficult for teachers and parents to keep kids on the right path.”

Along this area of concern, the Mayor announced that Angels Baseball, with the Ducks, Disney and other local businesses, had committed “to create a plan of action that would engage the local business community in a comprehensive effort to help the city’s most challenged neighborhoods and youth.”

Mayor Tait also apprised his audience on his administration’s achievements in budget/pension reform, regulatory relief and education.  He reported of the City “being back-on-track” in its financial picture. He also noted how over-regulation is hurting small businesses in his jurisdiction  and how the City is working on “eliminating or reducing the burden on local small businesses.”

In the area of education, the Mayor noted the achievement of Anaheim Union High District of having the largest graduating class in the 34 cities of Orange County for two consecutive years with three-quarters of the students going on to attend a two or four-year colleges. He added that the graduation rate is higher than the county and state averages with “2/3 of the students coming from home where a language other than English is spoken.”

The Filipino-American community constitutes two per cent of Anaheim’s demographic pie and the members have notably gained inroads in the City’s professional and business circles.

Feb 182013
Comelec mulls reso to minimize vote-buying

(COMELEC Seal) MANILA, Feb 15 (Mabuhay) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to go strong against vote-buyers as Election Day approaches, its chairman, Sixto Brillantes Jr., said Friday. “Konting warning sa vote-buying, we are coming out with something, which I will not announce,” Brillantes said, adding they may come up with a resolution to minimize the illegal practice of buying and selling votes. “I actually said we are mulling over whether we can come out with a resolution and somehow minimize vote-buying,” he said. He said the resolution may be issued at least 10 days before May 13, Election Day. “Kasi ang vote-buying is really being used a few days before the elections, usually bisperas or two days before.” He refused to give other details, saying it might preempt the plan of the poll body. “Kung sasabihin ko ngayon e di wala na, walang kwenta yung pinaplano namin.” Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code defines vote-buying as “any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value, gives or promises any office or employment, franchise or grant, public or private, or makes or offers to make an expenditure, directly or indirectly, or cause an expenditure to be made to any person, association, corporation, entity, or community in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election, or to vote for or against any aspirant for the nomination or choice of a candidate Read More …

Feb 182013
CA backs Aga Muhlach, wife in CamSur case

Aga Muhlach (MNS Photo) MANILA, Feb 15 (Mabuhay) — The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the reinstatement of actor and Liberal Party congressional bet Aga Muhlach and wife, Charlene Gonzales, in the list of registered voters in Camarines Sur, a move that will bolster his election bid. In a 19-page Decision penned by Associate Justice Vicente Veloso, the appellate court’s 12th Division annulled and set aside the ruling of the San Jose, Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court (RTC) which excluded the Muhlachs in the voters’ list. Judge Noel Paulite of San Jose Branch 30 and Judge Ricky Begino of San Jose, Presentacion, Camarines Sur issued the rulings that removed the Muhlachs’ names from the voters’ list. “Wherefore, the petition is Granted. The assailed decision dated December 17, 2012 and December 21, 2012 Entry of Judgment of the Regional Trial Court of San Jose Camarines Sur, Branch 30, as well as the Decision dated October 25, 2012 of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of San Jose-Presentacion, Camarines Sur are Annulled and Set Aside. The petition for Exclusion is hereby Dismissed for lack of merit,” the CA decision read. The CA ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to include the Muhlachs in the voters list and “annotate them on the Voters Registration Record.” “The Election Registration Board (ERB) is consequently ordered to permanently Reinstate and Reactivate the names of petitioners Ariel A. Muhlach and Charlene Mae B. Muhlach in the list of Voters of Precinct No. 10A, Barangay San Juan, San Read More …

Feb 182013
Palace to review IP Code amendments

Intellectual Property Code Philippines Logo(websafety.com.ph) MANILA, Feb 15 (Mabuhay) — The proposed amendments to the Intellectual Property Code are still under review by the Office of the President. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said position papers of various groups opposing the amendments have been submitted to the OP for consideration. Some sectors have expressed concerns over the proposed ban on jailbreaking, downloading and sharing music, and bringing home books and DVDs from other countries. “Those are three concerns raised by people who are against those particular amendments. Those three are precisely the ones that we have given to the Office of the President, to the team that is reviewing it to see kung ano po ba ang basehan ng mga objections na ito,” Valte said. The President received the amendments on January 29 and has 30 days to either veto the bill or sign it into law. Non-action from the President will make it “lapse into law.” “Hindi po ito revenue bill, hindi rin ito tariff bill. So hindi po ito pwedeng i-line item veto. So either the President vetoes it or he signs it or he lets it lapse into law,” Valte said. Internet rights activists are urging President Aquino to veto proposed amendments to Intellectual Property Code that they say will make jailbreaking an Apple device or importing books from abroad illegal. Officials of Democracy.Net.PH said the proposed amendments to Republic Act 8293 infringe on the right of the people to import books, media and music for their Read More …

Feb 182013
Chiz, Grace, Loren already made their choice: Tañada

Liberal Party (LP) chairman President Benigno S. Aquino III and the Senatorial candidates flashes the Laban sign as Noel Cabangon performs “Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino” during the Team PNoy Senate Campaign Launch at the Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila City on Tuesday (February 12, 2013). The administration candidates for the midterm elections are Aurora Lone District Representative Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, former Akbayan Partylist Representative Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel, Senators Alan Peter “Compañero” Cayetano and Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero, former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Senator Loren Legarda, former Senators Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal and Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., Senators Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III and Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, and former Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar. Team PNoy is the coalition of the Liberal Party (LP), Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) and the Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party (Akbayan). The latest survey shows the Filipinos’ high preference for Team PNoy senatorial candidates is an indication of their confidence to President Aquino and his team. (MNS photo) MANILA, Feb 14 (Mabuhay) -– The spokesperson of the Liberal Party on Thursday said common candidates Grace Poe, Senator Francis Escudero and Senator Loren Legarda have made their choice on which slate to join in the May 2013 election. “Nag-desisyon na sila. They appeared sa proclamation rally, sa Batangas sortie, nandoon sila. Mamaya sa Laguna, kasama sila ulit. Tingin Read More …

Feb 132013
8th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour set for July 9-15, 2013

Discover and experience why ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ By MANNY V. ILAGAN The Los Angeles contingent from last year’s 7th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour poses with President Benigno Aquino III at the Malacañang Palace. The 8th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour is set for July 9-15 this year. (Malacañang photo by Gil Nartea) LOS ANGELES – Filipinos in the United States will experience and discover for themselves why “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” when they join the 8th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour of the Philippines on July 9 – 15, 2013. Launching ceremonies for this year’s Tour is scheduled for Thursday, February 7 at the Philippine Consulate General Office, located at 3600 Wilshire Blvd., 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Highlight of the Tour is the Special Visit to Malacanang and an audience with President Benigno S. Aquino III. Moreover, participants can expect more fun, more adventures and lot of exciting activities as they experience a grand welcome and reception, explore business and investment opportunities, and delight in onsite bazaars and mini-trade fairs. For only $1,933 per person on double occupancy, with fuel tax and surcharges included, the BASIC TOUR features the following: • Round-trip ticket from Los Angeles to Manila via Philippine Airlines (departing on July 7, 2013) • 3 nights stay at the EDSA Shangri-la hotel in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City • Daily buffet breakfast and 2 lunches • Dinners with cultural show and entertainment • Historic Read More …

Feb 132013
Bonta to chair Assembly Committee On Gun Violence in East Bay

California Assemblymember Rob Bonta during oath-taking ceremonies last month. Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) is proud to announce his appointment to the new Assembly Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay.  Bonta will have the opportunity to convene hearings involving key stakeholders from the East Bay to examine the root causes of, and identify effective strategies to reduce, gun violence in cities such as Oakland. Bonta made the following statement after learning of the appointment: “Allow me to first thank Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez for appointing me as Chair of the Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay.  As Chair of this critical committee, my primary goal is to help make the entire East Bay, especially Oakland, a safer place to live and raise our families.  Last year’s 131 homicides in Oakland set a new high since 2006, and in light of the nine deaths that have already occurred this year, Oakland is on track for a similarly violent 2013.  This level of violence in our community must end.” Bonta further explained that his immediate next step will be to collaborate with Speaker Pérez to appoint the full membership of the Select Committee.  Simultaneously, Chair Bonta is formulating the Select Committee’s agenda for its first hearing, to be scheduled soon. “Stemming gun violence in the East Bay will take the entire community’s time and resources.  I welcome input from every individual that cares about improving the quality of life for all of us. Read More …

Feb 132013
Palace assures government funds won’t be used for Team Pnoy campaign

President Benigno Aquino (C) raises the hands of his Liberal Party Senatorial candidates during a proclamation rally in Manila February 12, 2013. The 90-day campaign period for the May 2013 midterm elections began on Tuesday. Pictured are (L-R): Antonio Trillanes, Chiz Escudero, Cynthia Villar, Jamby Madrigal, Koko Pimentel, President Aquino, Grace Poe, Bam Aquino, Alan Peter Cayetano, Loren Legarda and Risa Hontiveros. (MNS photo) MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) — MALACANANG on Wednesday assured that no single centavo from government funds will be spent for the campaign operations of Team PNoy. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said while President Benigno S. Aquino III earlier pledged to actively campaign for Team Pnoy’s senatorial candidates, he will not be using government money and resources noting that his decision to join the campaign trail “involve governance.” “The presence of the President will involve governance in all things that he does,” Lacierda said at a press briefing in Malacanang. “Those are events of the President. You cover them regardless of whatever the President does…that’s part of the President’s work as a president and, in furtherance of his agenda, this is part of those measures that the President would like to do. And part of this pushing forth the agenda of the President is to campaign for the people he wants elected,” he added. The Palace official also defended the presence of several Cabinet secretaries in political sorties saying that they are allowed to campaign and support political candidates. “Let’s take it two-fold: legally, there is no Read More …

Feb 132013
Canada Announces New Program for Professionals to Open May 2013

(screenshot www.moyal.com) By Atty. Henry Moyal As mentioned in previous articles of Immigration Newsweek, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program to take effect on May 4th, 2013. While the official launch of the program and its laws are not yet official, there are key elements that have been proposed. In order to qualify for a Canada Immigrant Visa, professional applicants must:   * Have at least one year of continuous full-time work experience in the past 10 years * Pass a minimum threshold of language ability in English or French * Attain at least 67 points based on Canada`s immigration selection factors. To accumulate the required 67 points the following summarizes the selection factors:   Education:  Secondary and post secondary completion is an important part of demonstrating one can be economically established in Canada. As such, up to 25 points are awarded for education.   Language Skills: Applicants who have been educated in the English language and who have a strong command of English will advantage as the points for English have been increased. Now a maximum of 24 points are allotted for English (in the past max was only 16). Therefore, nationals of the Philippines (who in general have high proficiency in English) will be able to score a large amount of points under this factor.   Work Experience: Applicants who have a long history of working will be able to obtain more points for work experience. In the past, any work after four Read More …

Feb 132013
Cesar Montano admits marital problems

Cesar Montano and Sunshine Dizon (MNS photo) MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) – Veteran actor Cesar Montano revealed he and his wife Sunshine Cruz are currently trying to fix things in their marriage following a recent controversy involving an alleged third party in their relationship. Speaking at the press conference of his upcoming movie “The Turning Cradle: The Untold Story of Alfredo Lim” on Tuesday, Montano said they are encountering marital problems which, he said, is common among couples. “May problema to be quite honest. Hindi totoong walang problema. Pero lahat naman talaga ng marriage imperfect, like tao. Only God is perfect, isa lang ang perfect sa mundo. Lahat naman nagkakaroon ng problema,” he said. Montano, however, vowed to do everything in his power to save his marriage. “Okay naman. Ngayon nasa proseso tayo ng pag-aayos talaga. Inaayos natin iyan. I love my family and I will not do anything to destroy my family. I want my children to grow up with us,” he said. Montano said it has not been easy for him to work and worry about this problem at the same time. “Well, to be quite honest, naapektuhan ako pero talagang pinili ko to get fixated dito sa pelikula. Pero hindi ko kaya dayain ang sarili ko na makialam pa sa ibang bagay na alam kong hindi makakatulong,” he said. Despite this, Montano said he tried not to entertain intrigues while doing the film so as not to affect his work. “Fixated ako sa pelikula kaya mapapansin niyo Read More …