Meloto calls for solidarity
TORONTO, Canada – Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto yesterday urged solidarity among Filipino-Canadians as the Philippines is making headway as the fastest growing economy is Southeast Asia, second to China.
Citing the recent Philippines National Statistical Coordination Board report that the Philippine GDP grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of the year second to China’s growth, Meloto expressed confidence of the Philippines’ place in Asia as the next global market. He added that the Philippines has been projected to be the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050, with an economy that would “equal to that of Canada by 2035.”
Meloto, who was born in Bacolod, said the support that GK receives from corporations that include Sunlife and Telus International in Canada is an indicator that GK is being seen as the Philippines gateway to the Canadian market. In fact, he said, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Christopher Thornley, an ardent supporter, of GK, is one of the keynote speakers on June 9 during the plenary and workshop sessions of the 4th GK Global Summit at the Allstream Centre, Exhibition Place, in the city.
At the dawn of the Asian age in the global market, the next generation Filipinos are facing the challenge of being producers instead of importers and of being the first patrons of Filipino products, Meloto continues that 99 percent of milk and 80 percent of chocolate products are being imported. “We should be creating world-class products with our proficiency in engineering, our honest government and our honest people,” he says.
He further urged Filipino expats to “rise above partisan politics and parochial interests as one people” extending the concept of family beyond blood relatives. He adds “We should see the Philippines as our home and not abandon nor bash it. We shouldn’t follow a path of conflict.”
GK Canada president Alfredo Pacis, originally from Iloilo, said “Transformation of values starts today with Canada supporting the initiatives of GK.”
GK Canada is hosting the 4th GK Global Summit where 25 percent of North American GK village sponsorships come from Canadian partners which account for 80 villages. GK Canada is expecting an increase in the visibility of the social movement not only to the Filipino-Canadian community, but to the mainstream community as well where Filipinos have become valuable members.
Meloto also announced that the next global summit will be in Paris, France where the GK head is a French man. According to the GK founder, France has recognized the economic gains of the Philippines and has so far sent 500 French student interns to GK villages in the Philippines.*
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Guv aids Bago fire victims
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. distributed P31,000 in cash assistance and goods to fire victims in Brgy. Calumangan, Bago City, yesterday, a press release from the Capitol said.
The five families whose houses were destroyed received P5,000 each, while the two with damaged homes got P3,000. The fire due to faulty electrical wiring hit seven houses at around 9 p.m. Tuesday, the press release also said.
Bago City Mayor Ramon Torres said he is thankful that there was no casualty during the fire and advised residents to take extra precautions in handling electrical gadgets at home.
Marañon said the provincial government will provide livelihood assistance so victims can start a new life, and they will also be enrolled under the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program, the press release said.
One sack of rice and 100 sardines from the provincial government were also divided and distributed to the victims. The assistance was facilitated by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, headed by Liane Garcia, the press release added.*
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Ejercito couple guests
of honor in 55th Charter
Laguna Gov. ER Ejercito and his wife, Pagsanjan, Laguna Mayor Girlie Ejercito, will be the guests of honor during the 55th Charter Day anniversary of Silay City, Negros Occidental, today and tomorrow, a press release from the city said.
Mayor Ejercito, a Silaynon, will be a judge in the Search for Lin-ay sang Silay at 7 p.m. tomorrow, at the Natalio G. Velez Sports and Cultural Center, the press release also said.
The fifth day of the week-long Charter celebration, meanwhile, will highlight the 16 barangays and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation. At 1 p.m., Silay’s rescue team will hold an Olympics, an exhibition-demonstration of emergency responses during fire and vehicular accident, extrication, basic life support, and community action for disaster response, the press release said.
The SK Federation will hold a quiz bee at 9 a.m., and a poster-making contest, at the Sen. Jose C. Locsin Cultural and Civic Center; while a variety show prepared by the Liga ng mga Barangay and the SK will be conducted in the evening, the press release also said.*
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55 complete fire
Fifty-five trainees completed the eight-day fire prevention and suppression training course conducted by the Office of the Provincial Fire Marshall in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, recently, a press release from the city said.
The trainees came from the Bureau of Fire Protection, City Fire Station, Traffic Management Office, rescue volunteer groups, and government employees.
The activity required by Republic Act 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System of 2010, aims to test the trainees in subjects like fire, fire fighting apparatus, tools and equipment, fire suppressions and control and emergency medical operations, the press release said.
Lectures were also held at the Family Life Resource Center in Barangay Binicuil, and simulation drills at the city airport site in Brgy Hilamonan. It was the first BFP training course for a local government unit and will be used as basis for accreditation as BFP Fire Brigade, the press release also said.
The trainees received certificates of completion from provincial fire marshal, Fred Trajeras Jr., and Kabankalan City Mayor Isidro Zayco at the closing rites held at the Farmer’s Training Center Wednesday, the press release added.*
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