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Mindanao newsbits for June 17, 2014

REGIONAL EVENT

TACURONG CITY – The local government here will be hosting a region-wide celebration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dengue Day on June 27 here. Jezzrel Billano, Tacurong City information officer, said some 1,000 stakeholders from the public health sector are expected to attend the activity, which will be held in conjunction with the launching of the anti-filiariasis province-wide campaign in Sultan Kudarat. Billano said city officials here, as host of the regional celebration, decided to merge the two activities since dengue and filariasis are both mosquito-borne diseases. The ASEAN Dengue Day, launched in 2011, is an annual advocacy campaign day for the 10 ASEAN countries committed to dengue prevention and control. (Joseph Jubelag)

HUMAN RIGHTS CLAIMS

DAVAO CITY – Application forms for claims of Martial Law victims in the Davao Region are now available for release at the Region-11 office of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR-11). The CHR-11 recently announced that the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) has commissioned the CHR regional offices to assist for the speedy implementation of Republic Act (RA) 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013. Under RA 10368, the State is mandated to recognize the heroism and sacrifices of human rights violation victims (HRVVs) during the Marcos regime, and orders the government to acknowledge its moral and legal obligation to recognize and provide reparation to the victims. (Alexander Lopez)

REVENUE COLLECTION

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) here is eyeing tax evasion charges against some business establishments, which had been misdeclaring their tax payments due the government. Revenue District Officer Venerando Homez said they are closely monitoring several business firms suspected of understating their tax liabilities to the BIR. Homez did not name the erring business establishments but stressed that many of them do not issue official receipts in their businesses, and misdeclared their gross income to avoid paying higher taxes. He said the Revenue District Office 110 is targeting some P2-billion tax collection goal for this year as projected by the BIR national office. (Joseph Jubelag)

LOGGING TASK FORCE

BUTUAN CITY – The government’s anti-illegal logging task force swooped down on eight wood processing plants that resulted to the confiscation of at least 1,439 illegally-cut logs  during the two-day drive in the town of San Luis, Agusan del Sur, over the weekend. As this developed, some of the owners of the eight mini-sawmills were summoned, while others are being investigated in preparation for the filing of charges for violation of the Forestry Code of the Philippines. With the volume of seized forest products, the anti-illegal logging task force is raising speculations that some local officials might be behind the illegal operations in the area. (Mike Crismundo)

MOTORCYCLE FRANCHISE

TAGUM CITY – The city government here is considering the granting of additional 150 franchises for public motorcycles as response to the public’s weariness over unregistered motorcycles that are operating in the city. Mayor Allan L. Rellon disclosed this in the sidelines of the seminar for tricycle drivers and operators organized by the City Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (CTFRB) as part of the board’s and the city government’s goal of re-educating the participants about traffic rules and regulations being observed in the city. The local chief executive said he constantly received text messages from Tagumeños who aired their concerns over the operation of unregistered public motorcycles. (Cherry Mae Palicte)