Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cynthia Villar leads clean-up of Manila Bay

First Clean-up Drive: Villar Foundation led by former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar (Extreme Right) partners anew with DZRH in Cleaning up Manila Bay
First Clean-up Drive: Villar Foundation led by former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar (Extreme Right) partners anew with DZRH in Cleaning up Manila Bay

 FORMER Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar on Saturday led the clean-up drive at Manila Bay in the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat & Eco-Tourism Area or LPPCHEA where some 1,500 sacks of garbage were collected by thousands of volunteers. Villar, also managing director of Villar Foundation, underscored the need to clean our environment to prevent flooding. “Protection of the environment will save us from disasters and calamities. Calamities are added burden to us.
It can make one poorer because all efforts would be futile if properties acquired through hard labor will only be destroyed by floods and other calamities,” explained Villar.
To avert occurrence of this worst scenario, Villar cited the need to clean our rivers, our creeks and other bodies of water especially Manila Bay. She said the LPPCHEA, also called Freedom Island, which is accessible from the Coastal Road, is a very important area for the nearby cities of Las Pinas and Paranaque and some municipalities of Cavite to prevent flooding. “All our waters go here, said Villar who served as Las Pinas City congresswoman for three terms or nine consecutive years.
 She said, regularly cleaning Manila Bay of tons of garbage and other debris is in consonance with the foundation’s partnership with radio DZRH. This year’s clean-up drive has for its theme, “Makabagong Bayanihan Manila Bay Clean Up”.
he Villar Foundation had inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) represented by radio station DZRH in its Manila Bay Cleanup drive. “The Villar Foundation and DZRH agree that this is not only a joint cooperative undertaking, but more importantly, it is a major public service activity that would help contribute to the promotion of a livable, healthier and ecological sustainable Manila Bay,” read the MoA. The Villar Foundation together with students and other volunteers also conduct weekly cleanups. “The more partners we work with, the better it will be for the environment,” she said. In cleaning Manila Bay, Villar was joined by at least 1,000 volunteers from schools, barangays, NGOs, socio-civic organizations, and other private individuals and groups. “We are pleased with the improvement that we are seeing at LPPCHEA.
The number of truckloads of garbage that we are getting here has considerably decreased. We attribute that to our consistent cleanup efforts,” she said. Villar has been vocal about her strong support for the protection of Manila Bay. Last March 16, 2012, she filed a petition for Writ of Kalikasan against a Manila Bay reclamation project that is seen to cause catastrophic flooding in the area. The Supreme Court granted her petition and issued a writ of kalikasan on April 10. “We will continue to support campaigns or drives to protect Manila Bay and neighboring areas including LPPCHEA. Moreover, we will continue to oppose projects that will cause damage and destruction to the bay and nearby cities,” cited Villar. If carried out, the Manila Bay reclamation project that Villar is opposing is seen to cause severe flooding in numerous barangays: 11 in Parañaque, 37 in Bacoor and 17 in Las Piñas. For more details about the projects and programs of the Villar Foundation, please visit its website or follow its Twitter account ### Rep. Villar Bats for the Creation of Department of OFWs Filed House Bill No. 6637 Las Pinas Representative Mark A. Villar sees the urgent need for the creation of a separate department for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to better uphold the welfare and address the unique requirements of migrant workers, who are contributing significantly to the country’s economy. Villar filed House Bill No. 6637 seeking the creation of the Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (DOFW), “This umbrella organization will not only unify but also streamline the services for OFWs by having POEA and OWWA as attached agencies, together with bureaus and allied offices in order to adequately support and give assistance to the OFWs wherever they may be”, the bill cited. “We owe so much to our OFWs, whom we even refer to as ‘modern day heroes’, so it is about time we offer them more assistance, benefits and protection. And we can provide them all of these when there is a dedicated department that will attend to their requirements. The proposed Department of OFWs can address all OFW-related concerns and issues,” said Villar. OFW remittances continue to boost the country’s economy. The World Bank itself OFW remittances could reach $24 billion this year, making the Philippines the world’s third-largest recipient of remittances. It is even higher than the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’s (BSP) estimate of $21.5 billion for the entire 2012. Villar also cited on his bill that the various confusions arising from the numerous agencies, organizations and bureaus related to OFWs is getting counterproductive and is creating more problems for OFWs, rather than solving their various concerns regarding employment, benefits etc. “The number of OFWs in distress continues to rise. Our OFWs are getting into various legal tussles abroad regarding the terms of their employment; many suffer maltreatment and still many others get stranded in war-torn countries. They need assurance that there is an efficient and focused department that they can turn to back home here in the Philippines ,” said Villar. Villar’s bill also features the establishment of a permanent fund—the OFW Assistance Fund, intended to guarantee support to all Filipinos working abroad in times of contingencies, including the payment of blood money if need be and the creation of programs to support the reintegration and well being of OFW returnees. ###

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