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Groundbreaking for Habitat for Humanity Project in Silay City Today

Cong. Albee News Feed - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 18:57



Thursday, January 18, 2018

Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation Inc. and the Silay City government will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m. today, to start the construction of the multi-million disaster-resilient housing project at the Bon Bon Phase 3 Resettlement Site in Brgy. E Lopez., a press release said

Habitat's Vice President for Asia Pacific Rick Hathaway, Managing Director Michael Meaney, and Project Director Lily Fuentes will join Silay Mayor Mark Golez at the groundbreaking rites.

Ma. Victoria Abello, HHPFI project manager for Western Visayas, said they have also invited Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District), chair of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, to join the groundbreaking for the construction of the initial 100 cement-bamboo framed housing units or 50 duplexes, valued at about P45 million, the press release said.

Also invited to the ground-breaking rites are Vice Mayor Joedith Gallego and the Silay City Council, National Housing Authority Bacolod Area Manager, Engr. Alejandro Ongsuco, Silay City Water District General Manager Jose Luis Ledesma Jr., Central Negros Electric Cooperation Silay Field Office Manager Lilibeth Gabian, and Brgy. E Lopez Punong Barangay Debbie Jinon and Council.

Although the Nov. 13, 2017 Memorandum of Agreement between Habitat and the Silay City initially outlined the first 100 units this year, Habitat has expressed its commitment to construct a total of 546 housing units in Bon Bon Phase 3, including community facilities, within the next few years, the press release said.

Abello added that training of the workers for the cement-bamboo frame technology, and actual construction will start on January 22, while orientation and drawing of priority numbers for identified qualified beneficiaries will be held on January 28.

Under Habitat's program, beneficiaries are required to provide sweat equity, and attendance at seminars or meetings are counted as part of the sweat equity.

Silay City was chosen as the project site because it has an LGU owned property that is already developed and buildable.

Alore Golez, officer-in-charge of the Silay Housing Authority Office, said the Silay City Government availed of the LGU Resettlement Assistance Program of the NHA under which a city can have a maximum P12 million grant and P12 million loan to develop LGU owned property for resettlement sites, the press release added.*

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

Lawmaker sustains push for creation of housing department

Cong. Albee News Feed - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 14:39




Thursday, January 18, 2018

NEGROS Occidental Third District Rep. Alfredo Benitez continued to push for the creation of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development as he delivered his sponsorship remarks of House Bill 6775 on Wednesday.

The committee report on the bill described as “An Act Creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Defining its Mandate, Powers and Functions, and Appropriating Funds Therefor” was submitted by the House committees on government reorganization, housing and urban development, and appropriations on December 11, 2017.

In his sponsorship speech, Benitez said the nation cannot achieve its dream of inclusive development if problems as basic as housing cannot be addressed.

“The creation of this Department of Human Settlements is a critical step towards helping our citizens realize their dream of having their own house. This department will serve as a robust backbone structure towards building a stronger nation,” Benitez said.

In his speech at the 39th National Convention of the Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines Inc. in Bacolod last month, the country is facing a serious problem on the lack of decent housing as 57 percent of the Filipinos is still homeless.

He added that the government has to settle the problem because this has created a community of renters due to high cost of owning a house.

Benitez expressed confidence that with the passage of the law creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, this serious problem will be addressed.

The proposed establishment of public housing, using government owned properties can best address the lack of decent homes for Filipinos, he added.

Benitez said he will push for the utilization of government-owned properties for public housing. (with reports from NLG)

Source: Sunstar Bacolod

Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking in Silay City

Tatak Metro 3rd - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 17:03


January 17, 2018

Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation, Inc. and the Silay City Government will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, to start the construction of the multi-million disaster-resilient housing project at Bon Bon Phase 3 Resettlement Site in Brgy. E Lopez.

Arriving in Silay City to join Mayor Mark Golez for the groundbreaking are Habitat’s Vice President for Asia Pacific Rick Hathaway, Managing Director Michael Meaney, and Project Director Lily Fuentes.

According to Ma. Victoria Abello, HHPFI project manager for Western Visayas, they have also invited Congressman Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, chair of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, to join the groundbreaking for the construction of the initial 100 cement-bamboo framed housing units or 50 duplexes valued at about P45 million.

Also invited to the ground breaking are Vice Mayor Joedith Gallego and the Silay City Council, Naational Housing Authority Bacolod Area Manager, Engr. Alejandro Ongsuco, Silay City Water District General Manager Jose Luis Ledesma, Jr., Central Negros Electric Cooperation Silay Field Office Manager Lilibeth Gabian, and Brgy. E Lopez Punong Barangay Debbie Jinon and Council.

Although the Nov. 13, 2017 Memorandum of Agreement between Habitat and the Silay City initially outlined the first 100 units this year, Habitat has expressed its commitment to construct a total of 546 housing units in Bon Bon Phase 3, including community facilities, within the next few years.

Abello added that training of the workers for the cement-bamboo frame technology, and actual construction will start on January 22, while orientation and drawing of priority numbers for identified qualified beneficiaries will be held on January 28.

Under Habitat’s program, beneficiaries are required to provide sweat equity, and attendance to seminars or meetings are counted as part of the sweat equity.
Silay City was chosen as the project site because it has an LGU owned property which is already developed and buildable.

According to Alore Golez, officer in charge of the Silay Housing Authority Office, the City Government availed of the LGU Resettlement Assistance Program of the NHA under which a city can have a maximum of P12 million grant and P12 million loan to develop LGU owned property for resettlement sites.

Asenso Metro 3rd Assembly Sets Another First

Tatak Metro 3rd - Sat, 12/30/2017 - 06:48

Despite the heavy downpour and the flooded grounds of the Rafael B. Lacson Memorial High School oval, leaders of Partido Asenso proceeded to the new venue of this year's ASENSO METRO 3RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY starting as early as 1:30 pm of December 21, 2017.



The leaders totalled 22,124 - all duly registered as soon as they boarded their respective buses, trucks, jeepneys, cars from the cities of Silay, Talisay and Victorias, and the municipalities of Murcia and EB Magalona.





For the first time in the history of the Third District of Negros Occidental, perhaps even in the whole of the province, this huge gathering of political leaders from the grassroots was realized despite the challenges of finding the venue to accomodate such huge number and the logistical requirements to mount the project.




The ASENSO assembly spearheaded by Congressman Alfredo "Albee" Benitez, Congressman Stephen "Caraps" Paduano together with the local government executives under the ASENSO party is scheduled yearly during December to celebrate thanksgiving and the Yuletide Season. This 2017, the convergence of all leaders from all over the Third District became a symbol of unity and an opportunity for all to confirm and reiterate their commitment to the vision of ASENSO.

Padayon ang Asenso! Asenso ko, katungdanan ko!

These were the buzz words and theme of the program that promptly started at 5 pm.

Vice-Governor Jose Eugenio "Bong" Lacson, Board Member Frederick "Manman"Ko, Talisay Mayor Neil Lizares, Silay Mayor Mark Golez, Victorias Mayor Francis Frederick "Wantan" Palanca", EB Magalona Marvin Malacon, and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano led the participating officials who joined Cong. Albee and Cong. Caraps.

Special guest was Philippine Women's University president Dr. Francisco "Kiko" Benitez, younger brother of Cong. Albee who was unanimously endorsed as the next candidate for Third District Representative in 2019.


Highlight of the program was the call to commitment to ASENSO, led by the party officials.



The celebration was made complete by Jollibee packs for everyone, entertainment by singer-comedian K Brosas, comedian-magician Jeffrey Tam and singer Tammy, more than 2,000 raffle prizes, and fireworks that capped the program.



Cong. Albee rallied everyone to continue championing the mission of ASENSO which is unconditional service for others and the community, as he thanked all for their continued confidence and support for the party.*

Cong. Albee's 51st Birthday

Tatak Metro 3rd - Fri, 12/29/2017 - 20:05


Well-wishers at Cong. Albee Benitez 51st Birthday last December 20, 2017. Family, friends, colleagues in government service took time to greet Cong. Albee at the Toreno Punong in Victorias City who chose to celebrate his birthday quietly.









Another Benitez for congressman

Cong. Albee News Feed - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 18:10



Friday, December 22, 2017
By BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The election fever is on, more than a year before the May 2019 elections.

Dr. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, younger brother of Rep. Alfredo Benitez, was formally endorsed yesterday as a congressional candidate in the 2019 elections during the Asenso Metro 3rd general assembly in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, that was attended by about 22,000 supporters, as reported by organizers.




Dr. Francisco " Kiko" Benitez (right) leads the pledge of commitment to call to duty with Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson,Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, Board Member Manuel Frederick Ko, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano, AbangLingkod Rep Stephen Paduano, Rep. Alfredo Benitez ( 1 st , 3 rd ,4 th , 6 th , 7 th , 10 th , 12 th , 13 th and 14 th from left) and four of the five vice mayors of the district, except for EB Magalona.* ( Gilbert P. Bayoran photo )

But the political plans of Rep. Benitez, who is now on his last term as congressman of the 3rd district, yesterday remained a mystery.

While he accepted the challenge to run for congressman of the third district of Negros Occidental, Dr. Benitez,said “But that is not my decision, but the voters”.

He admitted that he is still going around the district to find out what they really need, and what they want.

At the end of the day, it is really the programs that must stand on their feet, rather than the personality, he stressed.

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, on the other hand, said his political plans for 2019 will still depend on the decision of Rep. Benitez, who heads the Love-Negros.

“But what is important is that Rep. Benitez will remain in the government service. There should be no time for him to rest, as we have witnessed how he had helped the 3rd district,” he said.

Tatak Benitez is TatakAsenso,” Lacson said.

While his priority is to run for senator, Lacson said Rep. Benitez still has to make a decision.

But as a group (Love Negros),we made known to him that the option of being the governor here in Negros Occidental is still for him, he added.

As members of Love-Negros, Rep. Benitez said they have to consult each other on what positions they will have to run for.

“We cannot be against each other,” he said.

“We will talk about it,” Rep.Benitez said, adding that the third option for him, aside from running senator or governor, is to have a rest from politics.

Dr. Benitez was formally endorsed yesterday by his elder brother, Rep. Benitez, five mayors of the 3rd district, including Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares, and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano, Vice-Gov. Lacson and AbangLingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano, before their thousands of leaders and supporters.

If given the chance to serve the people of the 3rd district, Dr. Benitez said he will further improve the socio-economic structures that are still needed to advance. “Obviously, I think my brother is on the right track by starting to transform the district economics by improving the infrastructure”, he added.

Rep. Benitez said the launching of the Asenso Metro 3rd general assembly was a contract for different kinds of services, which should not make it difficult for the people.

He cited the successful implementation of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Care Program, burial services, among others.

Of the 22,076 registered participants in the general assembly of Asenso Metro 3rd, the city of Talisay has 6,500 participants, Silay City – 5,400, Victorias City -3,900, Murcia – 3,500 and EB Magalona- 2,716.

It was the biggest crowd gathered so far in the history of the district, according tosome observers.

Almost majority of the councilors and vicemayors of the five local government units also of the district came in full force, as well as Board Member Manuel Frederick Ko and former Board Member Patrick Lacson.*GPB

 

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

Benitez formally endorses brother as successor

Cong. Albee News Feed - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 15:39




Friday, December 22, 2017
Carla N. Cañet

JOSE Francisco Benitez was endorsed by officials of the Third District of Negros Occidental led by his brother, Representative Alfredo Benitez, in front of the 25,000-strong leaders of Asenso Metro Third District formed by the lawmaker.



NEGROS. Philippine Women’s University president Jose Francisco Benitez (right) leads his brother Negros Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez (2nd from right) and other officials make a pledge of commitment for the Asenso Metro Third District slate for the 2019 elections. (Carla N. Cañet)

The gathering, held at Barangay Zone 12, Talisay City, was attended by the town and city mayors in the district as well as Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Abang Lingkod partylist Representative Stephen Paduano.

Benitez said that when he first ran in 2010, he only had less than 50 leaders, and seven years had passed, the number has grown to more or less 25,000.

He added that he gathered them to introduce a new kind of service where people will have an easy access to government service.

Asked about the endorsement for his brother, Benitez said the people has called him to run for public office and serve them.

All the local leaders in the Third District have asked him also to be his successor, said the lawmaker, who is on his third and last term in the House of Representatives.

“He (Francisco) would like to make sure that if ever he throws his hat in the political arena, he will do a good job. But I know, he will,” Benitez said.

Francisco Benitez, president of Philippine Women’s University, said: “I am going around to find out what it is that the people need and want. At the end of day, it really is the programs that must stand on their own. I have accepted the endorsement.”

He said that he is ready for his possible shift of career from the academe to politics.

He added that his brother was “on the right track in trying to transform the district economics by improving the infrastructure.”

As to the possibility of his brother running for senator, he said, “That is his decision. I wish I knew what my brother’s thoughts were. But he has not decided and he is seriously looking about what the next step will be.”

Benitez said that for now, he has three options – whether to run for senator for governor, or not to run at all.

Source: Sunstar Bacolod

Silay-Victorias highway gets P800M

Cong. Albee News Feed - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 00:06



Thursday, December 21, 2017
BY CARLA GOMEZ

The economic highway being built from Silay City to Victorias City is expected to be almost totally completed next year with about P800 million allocated for 2018, Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) said yesterday.

With its completion, he said, travel time from Bacolod City to Victorias will only be 17 minutes.

Benitez pointed out that the Bacolod Silay Airport Access Road has brought down travel time from Bacolod to Silay to 10 minutes, and travel from Silay to Victorias once the highway is completed will only be 7 minutes.

The economic highway from Silay City will pass through EB Magalona before reaching Victorias City, he said.

It will be a model 4-lane highway of about 12kilometers with solar lights, a bike lane, and a proper pathway for pedestrians, Benitez said.*CPG

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

Sugar inquiry held in abeyance: Albee

Cong. Albee News Feed - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 23:59



Thursday, December 21, 2017
BY CARLA GOMEZ

Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) yesterday said he is holding in abeyance his call for a congressional inquiry into complaints of sugar price manipulation with the recent increase in prices.

He said some industry stakeholders had asked him to call for a House investigation but shortly after he announced it, the prices of sugar started to go up.

So, for now, he is holding the inquiry in abeyance until the situation warrants it, he said.

“If the prices of sugar go down again, I will really push for an investigation,” Benitez said.

On the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) that President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law, Benitez said it will spare 99 percent of Filipinos from paying income taxes.

This is because under TRAIN, those who have an annual income of not more than PHP250,000 will be tax-exempt, he said.

Benitez also said he does not believe the increase in fuel prices under TRAIN will have an inflationary effect and drive up prices of goods.*CPG

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

Benitez to Announce Kin as His Prospective Successor During Meeting Today

Cong. Albee News Feed - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 23:51



December 21, 2017
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga


Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez is expected to announce the endorsement of his brother, Jose Francisco, as his preferred successor when the congressman’s term expires in 2019, during a meeting in Talisay City today before 25,000 local politicians.

Last month, Benitez deployed his elder brother throughout the district to get a pulse of the electorate; to see if they would like the seat to remain within their family.
The congressman is also expected to reveal his ‘Asenso’ slate for the 2019 polls.

While Benitez has been tapped as a possible senatorial candidate after his term ends, he has yet to officially reveal his future plans; however, Benitez has been spotted in different parts of the country, suggesting he may be preparing for a national run.

Earlier, with the congressman deciding between running for Senate or seeking to replace outgoing Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr., he said, “At the proper time, we would make that decision.”

Meanwhile, among third district mayors, most will be seeking re-election in 2019, namely, Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew Golez, Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares III, and EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon./DGB, WDJ

Source: Watchmen Daily Journal

Albee to announce line-up, but federalism seen by 2019

Cong. Albee News Feed - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 23:45



Thursday, December 21, 2017
BY CARLA GOMEZ

Rep. Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, who is announcing the third district candidates for 2019 today, said the elections two years from now could already be under a federal form of government.

Benitez, who celebrated his 51 st birthday in Victorias City yesterday, also said he will support Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson for whatever post he will run for in 2019. Lacson is expected to run for governor of Negros Occidental.

Benitez is believed to be eyeing a senate seat in 2019, but yesterday said he could also opt not to run for any post.

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said his birthday wish for Benitez “is a long life and a successful political career.”

The governor said while he is committed to support Benitez for senator, there may not be an election in 2019 with the shift to a federal form of government.

Marañon said he would then support Benitez for a seat in parliament as he could eventually become the country's prime minister.

Benitez said members of the Lower House, on their last session day before the holiday break, tackled the shift to a federal form of government.

“The initial step toconvening as a constituent assembly has taken place. By early next year we will definitelybe tackling the issue on constitutional amendments,” he said.

Benitez said a push for a shift to a federal form of government will definitely take place next year and maybe presented to the Filipino people for ratification before the 2019 polls.

There may be no elections in 2019 or, if it takes place, it may already be under a federal form of government, he said.

If a bicameral system is retained the proposal is for senators to be elected by region and not on a national scale, he said.

Also being discussed is a unicameral system where members of parliament will be elected, because some people believe that having a Senate and Lower House is a duplication of work, he added.

Under a federal form of government a president will still be elected, he said.

Meanwhile, about 25,000 members of the Asenso party from all over the third district will gather in Talisay City today.

Benitez he will announce the line up of candidates for the third district during that assembly.*CPG

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

25,000 leaders in 3rd District meet today

Cong. Albee News Feed - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 23:36




Thursday, December 21, 2017
Teresa D. Ellera, Carla N. Cañet

NEGROS Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez said about 25,000 political leaders in the district will gather Thursday and the “Asenso” slate for the 2019 elections will also be announced during the assembly at Rafael B. Lacson Memorial High School in Talisay City.

The lawmaker is expected to introduce his brother, Philippine Women University president Jose Francisco Benitez, to be his successor in the Third District.



BACOLOD. Mayors Mark Golez of Silay City (2nd from left) and Neil Lizares of Talisay City (3rd from right) with policemen led by Superintendent Noel Polines (left) are among those who joined the 51st birthday celebration of Third District Rep. Alfredo Benitez (3rd from left) in Victorias City yesterday. (Contributed Photo)

Benitez, who will end his term in 2019, has been included in the senatorial slate of the administration’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Most of the incumbent mayors in the district will be re-electionists in 2019, including Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew Golez, Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares, and E.B. Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon. Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano will also end his term in 2019.

Benitez said that it previous years, his political leaders held gatherings in different venues, but this time they will do it together in one event.

“So we are expecting about 25,000 leaders today to attend the gathering,” he said.

The congressman celebrated his birthday Wednesday in Victorias City, with Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, mayors of the Third District as well as Bacolod City Lone District Representative Greg Gasataya and Mayor Evelio Loenardia, and Abang Lingkod partylist Representative Stephen Paduano in attendance.

Benitez would not reveal yet his political plans for 2019.

“I’m even considering not running at all which is one of the options I’m looking at,” he said.

He added that Love Negros, which he leads, has not discussed local politics yet.

Source: Sunstar Bacolod

11 Negros solons vote yes to extension of martial law

Cong. Albee News Feed - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 19:11



Thursday, December 14, 2017
BY CARLA GOMEZ

All of Negros Island's representatives, except Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano of Sipalay City, yesterday voted to extend martial law in Mindanao for the entire 2018 .

They along with the majority of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, in a joint session, granted President Rodrigo Duterte's request to extend martial law and suspend the privilege of writ of habeas corpus from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018.

It was a 14-4 vote in the Senate, and 226-23 in the Lower House in favor of the extension of martial law.

San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said “rather than martial law, government should focus their efforts on the support of all of us, particularly the Church sector, in addressing the root causes of rebellion – social inequality and injustice which has a long history.”

Alejano said “I believe that the reason behind imposition of martial law and its extension is not to address security problems in the country but to pursue certain political agenda of this administration. This is at our expense, the military, and the Filipino people.”

The representatives of all of the 10 congressional districts in Negros Island voted for the extension of martial law, Rep. Stephen Paduano (AbangLingkod) confirmed.

“I voted yes as almost all of the Mindanao congressmen wanted it. Also I was in Marawi with Cong Albee (Benitez) and locals wanted martial law. Who am I to oppose,” Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves (Neg. Or., 3 rd District) said.

Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) said he voted yes because their colleagues from Mindanao expressed strong support for the measure.

Alejano, in explaining his vote, said “I support our Armed Forces and anything that would make them effective in the performance of their mandate.”

But he said he voted no to extension of martial law because the Marawi crisis is over and he sees no basis for the extension of martial law for another year, he said.

“Extension of martial law would run counter to the provisions of 1987 Constitution which states that martial law would be declared when there is actual rebellion or invasion and when public safety requires it. It is clear that no such thing exist,” Alejano said.

Reports on continuing recruitment of terrorists and skirmishes with NPA could not be the basis of imposition of martial law, he added.

He also said there is no stopping the president and the armed forces from going after terrorists even without declaring martial law. Martial law is not equivalent to combat operations, he said.

The military can very well arrest suspected terrorists and search houses during combat operations as what had been done before even in the absence of martial law, he added.

Defense and intelligence infrastructure are in place in the whole of Mindanao and were provided with operational and intelligence funds, Alejano pointed out.

“There is no doubt that an arrest or search warrant could be secured from courts when supported with solid intelligence information. Relying on martial law to arrest a person is short of admitting that intelligence gathering is inefficient. This could lead to shotgun approach or witch hunt,” he said.

“Extending martial law for one year is an admission that civilian authority is not anymore functioning which necessitates military rule,” he added.

”Prolonged exposure of our military to martial law could weaken civilian supremacy over the military which is a fundamental principle of our democracy,” Alejano said.*CPG

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

‘Majority in Visayan bloc for extending martial law'

Cong. Albee News Feed - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 20:35



Wednedday, December 13, 2017
BY CARLA GOMEZ

The members of the Visayan bloc are expected to join the majority in the Lower Housetoday in voting in favor of President Rodrigo Duterte's request for a full-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District), when asked yesterday how he and the majority of the Visayan bloc will vote on the extension of mayor law, said “in favor”.

Almost all of the representatives from Mindanao support the extension of martial law for one year and we have to support their position, Rep. Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod partylist) of Negros Occidental also said.

“We in the Visayas don't have the moral authority to question the will of the Mindanaoans,” he said.

The Visayan representatives, who include those from Negros Occidental, will most probably support the extension of martial law in Mindanao, Paduanosaid.

Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva (Neg. Occ., 2nd District) also said he will vote for the extension of martial law in Mindanao.

“The government, through the military, need more time to reduce the threat of the ISIS group to make a comeback, “ he said.

“This will also enable the development of Marawi to be fast tracked,” he said.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñasyesterday also said members of the House of Representatives are "overwhelmingly in favor" of a full-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

The House of Representatives and the Senate are set to convene in a joint session today to decide on whether or not to approve Duterte's request for a one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

In his letter dated December 8, President Duterte asked Congress to further extend the declaration of martial law in the whole of Mindanao for the entirety of 2018 to totally eradicate terror threats posed by remnants of Islamic State -linked terrorists and by communist rebels in the region.

He said extending martial law for another year would help state security forces to crush the rebellion in Mindanao and ensure public safety.*CPG/PNA

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

Love Negros

Cong. Albee News Feed - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 20:33



Wednedday, December 13, 2017



LOVE NEGROS. Sipalay Mayor Oscar Montilla, Silay Mayor Mark Golez, Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District), Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District) and Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson (l-r) were among the Love Negros members at the Bacolod Pavillon Monday night for their Christmas party, where they said political plans for 2019 were not tackled.*

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

House probe on sugar price drop: ARBs laud Cong. Albee

Cong. Albee News Feed - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 09:10



Tue, 12/12/2017

The Negros Farm Workers & Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Producer Federation (NEFARB) commends 3rd District Rep. Albee Benitez for filing House Resolution No. 2017, acting promptly on the call to investigate the continuous drop of prices of sugar.

“If the result of the House Investigation will prosper into a positive resolution to the sugar industry problem, this will be a whopping relief for the more than 60,000 small sugarcane farmers who have been suffering from the devastating effect of low sugar prices for months since milling season started in this Crop Year 2017-18,” said NEFARB chair Cornelio Sandrico.

“But still, we must prepare for the worst because of uncontrolled market forces that dictate the prices of commodities under the free trade regime of liberalized economy entered into by the Philippine government,” he added.

The group called on all the stakeholders to be vigilant on the last stretch of the milling season. If the price of sugar is not rewarding for the small farmers, they will be compelled to discontinue sugarcane farming and demand for a government bailout to allow them to diversify, they stated.

They called on all Negros representatives to support their proposed bailout plan which is similar to Republic Act 7202, or the Sugar Restitution Law.

“If the sugar industry does not recover from the price slump, it will negate all government efforts to achieve social justice for small farmers thru the agrarian reform program. If low sugar prices prevents small sugarcane farmers to produce enough to feed their families, then our struggle for the land, and the blood and lives we lost in that struggle, will all be for nothing,” Cornelio pointed out.*

Source: Negros Daily Bulletin

ARBs group commends lawmaker

Cong. Albee News Feed - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 07:45




Monday, December 11, 2017

THE Negros Farm Workers and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Producers Federation (Nefarb) commended Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez for filing House Resolution No. 2017, acting promptly on their call to investigate the continuous drop of sugar prices.

Benitez filed on December 6, House Resolution No. 1512 after he received reports of alleged manipulation by some traders that have pulled down the prices of sugar.

The group in a press release on Sunday said: “If the result of the House investigation will prosper into a positive resolution to the sugar industry problem, this will be a whopping relief for the 60,000 small and medium sugarcane planters that suffer a devastating effect of low sugar prices for months since milling season started this crop year 2017-2018.”

“(S)till, we must prepare for the worst because of the uncontrolled market forces that dictate the prices of commodities under the free trade regime of liberalized economy entered into by the Philippine government,” Nefarb added.

The group also called on all stakeholders to be vigilant on the last stretch of the milling season.

“If the price of sugar is not rewarding for us small and medium planters, we will be compelled to discontinue sugarcane farming. And we will demand for a government bailout to diversify,” Nefarb said.

Source: Sunstar Bacolod

Group praises congressman for investigation into alleged sugar price manipulation

Cong. Albee News Feed - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:54
Cornelio: If farmers are forced out, a government bailout will be demanded



December 11, 2017
By Paulo Loreto Lim

The Negros Farmworkers and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Producers Federation (NeFARB) praised Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez after he filed a resolution last week calling for an investigation into the ongoing decline in “mill gate” sugar prices.

In a statement by the organization, NeFARB Chair Sandrico Cornelio speculated, if the investigation reveals misdeeds in the pricing of sugar, it would be a benefit to local laborers.
“This [would] be a whopping relief for the 60,000 small and medium sugarcane planters,” he asserted.

Cornelio added, if prices continue in the same downward decline, planters will be forced out of the industry.

“We will demand for a government bailout,” he added.

Through the resolution, the congressman cited 2017-2018 crop year data claiming “mill gate prices continued to decline, starting September 2017, dropping by 26 percent to P1,190 per 50-kilogram bag as of November 5.”

“Mill gate” price, sometimes referred to as a “factory gate” price, refers to the actual cost of a product, comprised of elements including labor and energy costs, but free of any markup./PLL, WDJ

Source: Watchmen Daily Journal

Benitez lauded for seeking probe on drop of sugar price

Cong. Albee News Feed - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:44



Monday, December 11, 2017

The Negros Farm Workers and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Producer Federation has commended Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) for filing a House resolution, and acting promptly on its call to investigate the continuous drop in the prices of sugar, its press release said.

The resolution calls on the appropriate committee to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, of the continuous drop in the mill gate prices of domestic sugar.

NEFARB said if the House investigation will prosper into a positive resolution to the sugar industry problem, “this will be a whopping relief for the 60,000 small and medium sugarcane planters that are enduring a devastating effect of the low sugar prices since the start of the milling season for crop year 2017-18”.

“Still, we must prepare for the worst because of uncontrolled market forces that dictate the prices of commodities under the free trade regime of liberalized economy entered into by the Philippine government”, the press release said.

“We call on all the stakeholders to be vigilant on this last stretch of the milling season. If the price of sugar is not rewarding for us small and medium planters, we will be compelled to discontinue sugarcane farming. And we will demand for a government bailout to diversify,” it added.

The group also called on all Negros solons to support its bailout proposal that is similar to Republic Act 7202, or the Sugar Restitution Law, the press release added.*

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

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