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Severe consequences.

How would you feel if government starts dictating to you from whom you should be borrowing money?

In a bid to make sure that it puts into effect government's mandate that public school teachers should have a net take home pay of at least P5,000, the Department of Education issued DepEd Order 5 - 2018 which enumerated in what order allowable deductions from the teachers' pay should be deducted.

The deductions should be made in the following order: first, BIR, Philhealth, GSIS and HDMF; second, non-stock savings and loans associations and cooperatives mandated by and/or for the benefit of government employees; third, associations or provident funds organized and managed by government employees for their benefit and welfare; fourth, government financial institutions authorized to engage in lending; fifth, licensed insurance companies; and last, thrift banks and rural banks.

But unlike in the case of the first category, there shall be no splitting of deductions for others. So if by the time one to five are deducted and what remains in the salary is P5,000, then thrift banks and rural banks do not get any.

According to the agreement for the auto payroll deduct system (APDS) between DepEd and private banks, a first-in, first-served system is to be observed, which means older obligations get priority in terms of payment. However, the system was changed so that the order of preference applies to both existing and new obligations. So if a public school teacher gets a new loan from a lender under category two, that gets priority even if his loan from a thrift bank was incurred much earlier.

Private lending institutions (PLIs) now have to rethink whether they should be lending to public school teachers and DepEd employees. Because let's face it, there is no assurance that they will be paid.

Why are these teachers borrowing from PLIs? This is because these banks charge lower effective interest rates, some as low as 7.5 percent per annum compared to those from other sources which charge as high as 50 percent.

Government may have the best of intentions, but the unintended consequence is that teachers will be left with fewer choices in times of need such as for medical expenses or other emergencies. Worse, they will be left at the mercy of loan sharks who do not care if the teachers are left with P100 in their pocket.

ASEAN Law Institute in Manila

There is now a bigger chance that the proposed ASEAN Law Institute will be based in Manila.

This was revealed by ASEAN Law Association (ALA) president Atty. Avelino Cruz following a special meeting last June 8 in Siem Reap, Cambodia of the 10-country ALA. The final recommendations will be submitted for approval of the ALA Governing Council at the ALA General Assembly from July 25 to 28, 2018 in Singapore.

Last Oct. 25, 2017, the council approved the proposal to establish the institute at the ALA meeting in Manila, subject to further discussions regarding details.

The special ALA meeting was presided by Cruz and hosted by ALA Cambodia, led by its president, Atty. Suan Visal.

The meeting was attended by Atty. Regina P. Geraldez, ALA secretary general, and representatives of the ALA National Committees: Atty. Suon Visal and Atty. Prom Vicheth Akara (Cambodia); Normin Pakpahan (Indonesia); T. Tharumarajah (Malaysia); Dr. Swe Swe Aung (Myanmar); Atty. Andre Palacios and Atty. Patricia Ann Prodigalidad (Philippines); Justice Lee Seiu Kin and Mr. Ramu Miyapan (Singapore); and Judge Dr. Watchara Neitivanich and Judge Dr. Sutatip Yuthayotin (Thailand).

The ALA Law Institute initially to be based in Manila, will play a key role in hastening ASEAN regional integration and economic development as it seeks to promote the harmonization of ASEAN national laws and regulations. It seeks to develop ASEAN regional laws and legal structures, as well as mechanisms for the avoidance and resolution of intra-ASEAN trade and investment disputes.

On recent contacts by ALA with the ASEAN Secretariat, it was agreed that ALA is to assist the ASEAN in monitoring compliance by ASEAN member countries with existing ASEAN legal instruments and treaties.

Travel Madness Expo

The biggest tour associations in the Philippines will gather once again for the grandest tourism convention in the country.

The SMX Convention Center in Pasay City will be home to exhibitors from various tourism industry shareholders who will all be part of Travel Madness Expo 2018.

Organized by Travel Innovators Inc., Travel Madness Expo 2018 will be held from July 6-8, with an exclusive opening for BPI cardholders on July 5, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Visitors can avail of amazing deals from participating travel agencies, airlines, resorts, and hotels.

Travel Madness is a yearly event that hosts many of the country's top travel agencies, as well as representatives from the food and retail industry, domestic hotels and resorts, airlines, theme parks, and cruise agencies. This year's event is sponsored by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), together with Philippine Airlines, Duty Free Philippines, and Sabre, in cooperation with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau based in Kuala Lumpur.

This unique travel expo was started seven years ago by TII president Raymond Tee president and TII vice president Pat Alberto who decided to help other travel agencies market during tourism's lean months and to encourage people to travel. The latter is made through tons of promotions and special offers made available by the exhibitors.

With a bigger venue this year, Travel Madness is expected to attract tens of thousands of attendees, following successful turnouts from the previous years.
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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jun 24, 2018
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