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Benitez vows more ways to serve Third District

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:09




Monday, July 17, 2017
By Carla N. Canet

NEGROS Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez vowed to continue to find more ways to be relevant and bring more meaningful service and governance to his constituents and even beyond.

The statement was echoed by Abang Lingkod partylist Representative Stephen Paduano, who represented Benitez as the guest of honor and speaker during the 35th inauguration of officers, directors, and new members of the Rotary Club of Bacolod-East, held at O Hotel in Bacolod City over the weekend.

“It is always a privilege to represent the good congressman who might be the next governor or the next senator of the Republic of the Philippines. After 50 years and by God’s grace, he can become the next either governor or senator,” Paduano said.

Benitez, in his statement relayed by Paduano, promised his constituents a more exciting and fulfilling third and last term until 2019.

“I have done my best in my office,” Benitez said, telling the Rotarians that he foresees a busy and exciting year for them, knowing how Rotarians bury themselves in community service.

“But what is the real challenge of this new year of service? Many of you have been Rotarians for a number of years and must feel at times that even serving mankind in the most noble of ways, can be boring. You have to be in constant search for relevance of your programs and meaning for your activities,” he said.

Meanwhile, District Governor Enigardo Legislador Jr., who served as the inducting officer and inspirational speaker, urged his fellow Rotarians to “make this Rotary Year, the greatest ever. Find meaning in your projects and when we do it, do it with all our hearts.” (CNC)

NOCHP Enrollment in 3rd District Intensifies

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 08:07



on Tue, 07/18/2017

The Third District of Negros Occidental continues to intensify its campaign to reach more families to enroll in the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program (NOCHP) to avail of free medical services in times of need.


Congressman Alfredo Benitez continues to mobilize his District Office and satellite offices in cities of Victorias, Silay , Talisay and municipalities of Murcia and EB Magalona to reach far-flung upland and coastal communities, educating families of the benefits of the program.

With a total of 59,080 families enrolled in NOCHP to date, the Third District keeps its lead in the implementation of the program in the whole province.

Recently, the NOCHP team led by Governor Alfredo Marañon, Congressman Benitez and Mayor Neil Lizares distributed a total of 1,960 NOCHP cards to qualified members; and another 1,641 beneficiaries in Murcia received their cards from the group together with Mayor Andrew Montelibano and Vice-Mayor Gerardo Rojas.

Enrollment for senior citizens is also a priority in the Third District.

Congressman Benitez has urged mayors in his district to continue fully supporting NOCHP enrollment to reach a target of 75,000 beneficiaries.

The Third District NOCHP enrollment has the following record update: EB Magalona – 8,059; Murcia – 10,895; Silay – 18,018; Talisay – 9,546 and Victorias – 12,562.*

Reclamation Project to Boost Talisay

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 07:17



on Mon, 07/17/2017

Mayor Neil Lizares III, with Congressman Albee Benitez, met with Atty. Alberto C. Agra, Chairman of the Board, Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) to explore on the possibilities of a reclamation and other development projects in Talisay City, Third District of Negros Occidental.



TALISAY RECLAMATION. The exploratory meeting of the 3rd District with the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) & the Bacolod Real State Development Corp. (BREDCO) at the Bacolod Pavillon Hotel on July 13. Shown are Talisay City Mayor Neil E. Lizares III (seated 3rd from right) 3rd District Cong. Albee Benitez and PRA Chairman of the Board Atty. Alberto C. Agra (seated 3rd from left).*

Also in the meeting were Atty. Sammy Palanca, Atty. Jack Maalat, Mr. Rolando Corona of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (BREDCO) and Mr. Ismael Penado, Assistant City Administrator, Talisay City.

The PRA is a Government Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC) with a mandate which includes a) Regulatory & and Proprietary Land Reclamation; b) Infrastructure Development; and c) Public Estates Development & Management

In Negros, the PRA has a joint undertaking with BREDCO and the City of Bacolod, the project is a 108-hectare reclamation area located in the City of Bacolod for commercial and industrial uses.

Recently, a bill providing for the construction of a 36 kilometers coastal road traversing Bacolod, Talisay, Silay and Victorias cities and E. B. Magalona was filed at the House of Representative by Congressman Albee Benitez.

The construction of the reclamation and coastal projects, when completed, will pave the way for new areas for development in Talisay and in the third district of the province.*(Chuck Diaz / Talisay PIO)

3rd district intensified NOCHP

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 09:17




Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Third District of Negros Occidental continues to intensify its campaign to reach more families to enroll in the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program or NOCHP to avail of free medical services in times of need, a press release from the Office of Rep. Alfredo Benitez said yesterday.



Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and Mayor Neil Lizares with the NOCHP beneficiaries of Talisay City*

Benitez continues to mobilize his District Office and satellite offices in the cities of Victorias, Silay, Talisay and municipalities of Murcia and EB Magalona to reach far-flung upland and coastal communities, educating families of the benefits of the program, the press release said.

With a total of 59,080 families enrolled in NOCHP to date, the Third District keeps its lead in the implementation of the program in the whole province.

Recently, the NOCHP team led by Governor Alfredo Marañon, Benitez, and Mayor Neil Lizares distributed 1,960 NOCHP cards to qualified members; and another 1,641 beneficiaries in Murcia received their cards from the group together with Mayor Andrew Montelibano and ViceMayor Gerardo Rojas.

Enrollment for senior citizens is also a priority in the Third District.

Benitez has urged mayors in his district to continue fully supporting NOCHP enrollment to reach a target of 75,000 beneficiaries.

The Third District NOCHP enrollment has the following record update: EB Magalona – 8,059; Murcia – 10,895; Silay – 18,018; Talisay – 9,546 and Victorias – 12,562, the press release added*

Talisay eyeing reclamation project

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 09:11




Saturday, July 15, 2017

The possibility of land reclamation and other development projects in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, were explored recently by Talisay Mayor Neil Lizares III and Rep. Albee Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District), with Alberto Agra, chairman of the Board of the Philippine Reclamation Authority, in Bacolod City.



Jack Ma-alat, Sammy Palanca, PRA Chairman of the Board Alberto Agra, Rep. Alfredo Benitez, Talisay Mayor Neil Lizares III, Reynaldo Bantug and Willy Au(l-r) at the exploratory meeting with the Philippine Reclamation Authority and the Bacolod Real State Development Corp. at the Bacolod Pavillion Hotel,recently.*

Also at the meeting were Sammy Palanca, Jack Maalat, Rolando Corona of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (BREDCO) and Ismael Penado, Talisay Assistant City Administrator, a press release from Talisay City said.

The PRA is a Government Owned and Controlled Corporation with a mandate that includes regulatory and proprietaryland reclamation; infrastructure development; and public estates development and management, the press release said.

In Negros, the PRA has a joint undertaking with BREDCO and the City of Bacolod. The project is a 108-hectare reclamation area located in Bacolod for commercial and industrial uses.

Recently, a bill providing for the construction of a 36 kilometers coastal road traversing Bacolod, Talisay, Silay and Victorias cities and E.B. Magalona was filed at the House of Representative byBenitez, it added.

The construction of the reclamation and coastal projects, when completed, will pave the way for new areas for development in Talisay and in the third district of the province, the press release also said.*


Cong. Albee Benitez, Mayor Lizares Exploratory Meeting on Talisay Reclamation Project

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 08:59




Friday, July 14, 2017



MEETING. Negros Occidental 3rd District Representative Alfredo Benitez (left) and Talisay City Mayor Nilo Jesus Antonio Lizares III (2nd from left) with Assistant Asst. Administrator Ismael Penado (right) hold and exploratory meeting with Philippine Reclamation Authority Chairman Alberto Agra (2nd from right) at the Pavillon Hotel on Thursday to discuss the possibility of a reclamation and other development projects in Talisay. *Talisay PIO Photo

Access road to north getting P1.35B more

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 19:32



BY CARLA GOMEZ
on Friday, July 14, 2017

The allocation of P1.35 billion more for the north Negros alternative road is expected to further ease travel, Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) said yesterday.

He said P350 million has been allocated for the lengthening and widening to four lanes of the Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road this year.

About P1 billion more is also expected to be allocated in the 2018 budget for it to reach Victorias City, he added.

Some areas of the BSAAR are already four lanes and streetlights are in place, he said.

Allotted this year is P150 million to make the rest of the BSAAR four lanes and another P200 million for its extension.

The goal is to make the BSAAR that at present ends in Silay, reach all the way to Victorias, he said.

After that they will figure out how the road can be lengthened to enable access all the way to Sagay City, he said.

The goal is to further lengthen the road, expanding it to six lanes is not in the pipeline, and no budget has been allocated for that, he added.

Six lanes would only be considered, depending on the increase in the volume of cars, the priority is to lengthen the road to cover more ground to ease and cut travel time for commuters, he said.*CPG

Unega convention proposed

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 20:03




Wednesday, July 12, 2017
By Teresa D. Ellera

NEGROS Occidental Fifth District Board Member Alain Gatuslao said on Tuesday, July 11, that party members are proposing that the United Negros Alliance (Unega) hold a convention to set their plans and agenda for the 2019 elections.

“This will be a fellowship among Unega members because we have been talking to each other but we haven’t met as a group,” he said.

Unega is chaired by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who is on his third and final term.

Gatuslao said Unega members are united although they do not belong to the same national party.

He added that since Marañon is already on his last term, their ultimate goal is to unify Negros like what it used to be.

The board member also hinted that an alliance with rival party Love Negros is possible before end of the year.

Gatuslao added that Unega has already pledged support to Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez’s future political plans.

“As what the governor said, we will support him whether he runs for governor or senator. The window is very much open for Congressman Albee for senator. It has been our dream to have a senator from Negros. He has been supporting local candidates and now if he runs for governor, he is very much qualified and capable so he is worthy of our support,” Gatuslao said.

As to Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson running for governor, Gatuslao said he is only speaking based on what he has heard with Unega that their leaning is more on Benitez.

He added that he has also been supportive of the legislative agenda of Lacson.

UNegA eyes convention

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 19:57



on Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The holding of a general assembly by the United Negros Alliance is being proposed for a fellowship of its members, Board Member Alain Gatuslao said yesterday.

They are hoping that before Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. steps down in 2019, Negros Occidental's politicians can be united again under one group, Gatuslaoalso said.

Gatuslao who ran under the Liberal Party in 2016 quit membershiplast year because of professional obligations, but has since returned to UNegA headed by Marañon.

UNegA is open to alliances during the elections, he added.

Gastuslao said they will support Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) should he run for the Senate or for governor of Negros Occidental.

The window is open for Benitez to run for senator now, but he can also run for governor, he added.

Gatuslao said he does not know what Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson plans to run for.

He noted that aside from Benitez and Lacson, Board Member Salvador Escalante also has potential to be governor.

Escalante has the experience to be governor and is the number one board member, but he has said he wants to return to being mayor of Cadiz City, Gatuslao said.*CPG

UNEGA TO HOLD CONVENTION AHEAD OF 2019 ELECTIONS BOARD MEMBER: PARTY BACKS BENITEZ

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 19:51



By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
July 12, 2017

Negros Occidental Provincial Board Member Alain Gatuslao recently revealed the United Negros Alliance (UNegA) is planning to hold a convention ahead of the 2019 elections.
He called it a “fellowship,” saying members have not met as a group lately.

With Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. in his third and final term, talk has arisen surrounding a possible gubernatorial run for Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who was recently backed by the mayors of his district.

Gatuslao said UNegA has already pledged their support for the congressman, despite being from rival local coalitions.

“If he runs for governor, he is very much qualified and capable,” he affirmed. “He is worthy of our support.”

The board member also left open the possibility of an UNegA-Love Negros alliance before the year ends.

Meanwhile, with incumbent Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson indicating an interest in being Marañon’s successor, Gatuslao said he has always been supportive of Lacson’s legislative agenda./WDJ

48 Negros LGUs receive DILG child-friendly seal

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 22:02



on Friday, July 7, 2017

Forty-eight of the 57 local government units in the Negros Island Region yesterday received the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance, in ceremonies held in Dumaguete City.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Interior and Local Government spearheaded the awarding at a local hotel, attended by local chief executives and other LGU representatives, among others.

The 20 LGU-awardees for Negros Oriental are Ayungon, Bacong, Bais City, Basay, Bayawan City, Bindoy, Canlaon City, Dauin, Dumaguete City, Guihulngan City, La Libertad, Mabinay, Manjuyod, Pamplona, San Jose, Sta. Catalina, Sibulan, Tanjay City, Valencia, and Zamboanguita.

For Negros Occidental, 28 LGUs received the award, namely, Bacolod City, Bago City, Binalbagan, Calatrava, Candoni, City of Victorias, EB Magalona, Escalante City, Himamaylan City, Hinigaran, Hinoba-an, Ilog, Isabela, Kabankalan City, La Carlota City, La Castellana, Manapla, Murcia, Pontevedra, Pulupandan, Sagay City, Salvador Benedicto, San Carlos City, San Enrique, Silay City, Sipalay City, Talisay City, and Toboso.

Shalaine Marie Lucero, DSWD NIR regional director, said these are the awardees for year 2016 and will be competing again in the next round to determine who will represent the region in the national competition.

“This is an award given to the local government units that are giving support to children in the areas of planning, budgeting, legislation and services,” she said.

Lucero said there are 12 criteria for the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance.

Out of the 48 awardees, 10 will be sent to Manila to vie for the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly municipalities and cities, Lucero added.

Although the Seal does not have a financial incentive for the LGUs, it will promote the advocacy of a local government unit that is advocating for the protection and the welfare of children, Lucero said.

“We all know that the children are the future of this land”, she said.

The Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance is one of the many requirements for another award, the Seal of Local Good Governance, Lucero said.*

P30-M burial aid in Negros

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 19:11




Published July 7, 2017, 10:00 PM
By Carla N. Canet

Talisay City — A P30-million burial aid program has been launched in Negros Occidental’s third district.

Rep. Alfredo Benitez said the program will hasten the burial process for the less privileged in the district that comprises of Silay City, Talisay City, Victorias City, E. B. Magalona town, and Murcia town.

For funding, the congressional office of Benitez will combine its resources with that of local governments.

He said that with the program, bereaved families do not have to waste time in processing the release of the burial aid.

Identified funeral parlors in each locality will be the one to work out with the local governments. Payments will be directly made to the funeral parlors.

Benitez added it will enable low-income families to have loved ones buried with minimum delay.

Rep. Alfredo Benitez at the meeting of the Silay City Tourism Council

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:58



on Friday, July 7, 2017



TOURISM.Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District), center,at the meeting of the Silay City Tourism Council that reviewed the Silay City Tourism Code, with City Treasurer Elsie Jimenea, Reynaldo Bantug - vice-chairman representing the private sector, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez - honorary chairman of the Council, and Silay Tourism Officer Girlie Sulmaca (l-r).*

3-cornered fight for governor in 2019?

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 20:40



BY CARLA GOMEZ
on Thursday, July 6, 2017

Will the race for governor of Negros Occidental in 2019 be a three-cornered fight, or will two of the major contenders join forces?

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. is on his third and last term, leaving the field for governor in 2019 wide open.

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said running for governor in 2019 is a consideration, but he has yet to make a decision. He will announce his plans forthe 2019polls in October next year.

Former Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer yesterday told the DAILY STAR running for governor or vice governor are options he may consider, since his wife Juliet Marie Ferrer is doing well in his previous post as congressional representative of the fourth district of Negros Occidental.

Marañon, an ally of Ferrer in the United Negros Alliance, has announced that he will support Rep. Alfredo AbelardoBenitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) if he runs for governor or senator in 2019.

The mayors of the third district on Monday also said they will support Benitez if he runs for governor, or for whatever post he decides on.

Both Benitez and Marañon now belong to PDP Laban, the national party of President Rodrigo Duterte.

No confirmation has been made on whether Benitez and Ferrer have discussed plans for 2019. Benitez said he has not decided on what post to run for in 2019, he is still weighing his options.

Lacson, who won against Ferrer in the race for vice governor in 2016, is a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition headed by Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco. He and Benitez also belong to the local group Love Negros.

The vice governor said he is not surprised that the mayors of the third district announced their support for Benitez should he run from governor, “I know they will support the congressman for whatever position he will run for”.

Lacson said his only question is, have they lost sight of supporting Benitez all the way to the Senate, “I hope their pronouncement does not mean they have given up hope”.

“We in the first district have not given up hope on having a senator from the third district in 2019…it is an exciting possibility,” Lacson added.

He said the endorsement by the third district mayors for Benitez for governorcould have been a spur of the moment reaction from them.

It is really up to Benitez what position he will run for, he and the congressman belong to the same group and he does not want to fuel any misunderstanding, Lacson said.

“I value friendship very much…At this point in time I have no doubt, that as a group, we are together, we are united,”Lacson said, in apparent reference to Love Negros.

Lacsonsaid he and Benitez have not decided on what to run for, but have somewhat talked about 2019.

Talk of a tandem between Benitez and Sagay Mayor Alfredo Marañon III in the 2019 polls is all speculation, Lacson also said.

Lacson said he will not be close minded on the 2019 election, he will consider what is best for the province in making a decision.

Meanwhile, Lacson gave President Duterte a passing rate in his first year in office.

The president has maintained the GDP rate as far as the economy is concerned and his idea of build, build, build, is on the right track, Lacson said.

Lacson said he is also preparing a report on his first year performance to be released this month.*CPG

Tight Rope: Year in office

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 20:33



TIGHT ROPE WITH MODESTO P. SA-ONOY
Thursday, July 6, 2017

All elected officials, except those in the barangays have now completed one year in office. The President is expected to deliver his State of the Nation Address and as surely as tomorrow will come (unless Divine Providence intervenes) he will be telling the nation all the good things, the successes, that he had achieved.

Strong in this area will be his campaign against illegal drugs. If we measure this campaign in terms of the number of users, pushers and protectors exterminated, he has mainly succeeded. If we take it in terms of the guilty and innocents lives that paid for this “success” then he is a total failure.

If we speak of the time line that he promised during the elections, he flunked. He promised to erase this social disease in three to six months otherwise he would resign. The war is still going on without hope for an end and he is still enjoying his role as President.

Well, we usually delineate what was promised in the elections and what the politician do when in office. In this sense we as a nation fail because we accept promises that we know would be broken. No wonder politicians make fools of the voters.

Of course he has successes, but let us leave that to his legion of supporters and government-paid propagandists although their words always carry a hint of deception. But that is good in a sense that we learn to become more perceptive and depend and leave to Divine Justice what we know we have no power to demand correction. At least by believing in Divine Justice we have not joined the increasing number of people who think there is no hell. Indeed if there is no hell, then there is no Divine Justice.

On the local front, Governor Alfredo Marañon will surely speak of his many accomplishments. He has plenty to tell and he is constantly covered by media because he is, in media speak, “news source”.

Magallon Mayor Magdaleno Peña will also be busy filing charges against the governor while the mayor's ward, Ricky Serenio will be producing one additional affidavit after another. Why he cannot make up his mind makes his next episode a dull and exposes a fault line. These exchanges however make life in the province exciting and the media enjoying filing reports.

Congressmen will also be reporting what they had done. The most active are Bacolod Cong. Greg Gasataya and Third District Cong. Alfredo Benitez. Both are allies and they brought plenty of infrastructures for their district that in a way also helps the entire province. Gasataya has more projects for Bacolod in one year than ex-Congressman Monico Puentevella had in nine years.

Of course Puentevella remains in the news with his several graft and corruption cases in the Commission on Audit, the Ombudsman and the Sandigan. If these three agencies keep on moving so slowly and Puentevella keeps his lawyers busy with more motions, the ex-solon will be in the news for years.

Cong. Gasataya is proving an excellent representative of Bacolod and an exemplary cooperator of the city government, the reason the city is all gung ho in infrastructure and social services. Nitpickers are also busy but without substance.

Cong. Benetiz is graduating in 2019 but he has his eyes on the Senate. He is not in the national news as yet but with his resources he can get into the national consciousness with performance in his district to boast about. Its only two years to 2019 and a national electoral office is demanding of exposure.

If you are wondering about the other congressmen, I am also curious what they have to report as accomplishment. Surely they have, but we haven't heard of them although in the game of politics being heard is vital.

But lately Benitez is said to be eyeing the governor's seat with the endorsement of mayors. If that happens what of Vice Governor Eugenio Lacson? He has been doing quite well and cooperating with governor Marañon whose support is crucial. A Benitez-Lacson fight would be exciting and expensive.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia is decidedly the center of the news and has kept the public well-aware of his accomplishments. As he usually deliver his State of the City Address in July, let's wait for the bacon. He has plenty to report, not only about what we see but what others say. *

Lacson refuses to comment on possible clash with Benitez

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 15:47




Thursday, July 06, 2017
By Teresa D. Ellera

NEGROS Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Wednesday, July 5, refused to comment on a possible clash with Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez for the gubernatorial post in the 2019 elections.

Both Lacson and Benitez are leaders of Love Negros, rival political party of the United Negros Alliance headed by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who is on his third and final term.

“I will refrain from answering that because that is very speculative. We belong to one group so we don’t want to fuel any misunderstanding,” the vice governor said in response to queries from reporters.

"I guess Congressman Albee will make his decision next year, 2018 and that’s what I’ve been saying. October of 2018 will be the most appropriate month to come up with a decision. We talk not regularly but we talk. Although both of us have not yet decided on what to do. We have somehow talked about 2019," he added.

Lacson said running for governor in 2019 is an option considering that the governor is now on his last term.

“I guess it’s natural that I will be considered by the party to run for governor,” he added.

On Monday, all five mayors of the Third District endorsed Benitez to be the successor of Marañon.

The endorsement was made by Talisay Mayor Nilo Jesus Antonio Lizares III Lizares, Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew Golez, Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, E.B. Magalona Mayor Marlon Malacon, and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano during the launching of the “Asenso Metro 3rd Burial Assistance: Tabang sa Kalisod” program.

Lacson said he is not surprised if the mayors of the Third District would support Benitez.

“The point here is Congressman Albee has not declared for what position he will run. But I know for a fact that these mayors and their respective constituents will support their congressman for whatever position he decides to run for. So I’m not surprised at all,” he said.

Lacson, however, noted that the pronouncement of the mayors might lose sight of the vision to support Benitez for senator.

“I hope not because we in Negros are excited to see the possibility of having a senator from Negros Occidental. So I hope that pronouncement does not give up that hope,” he added.

“I’m sure that it’s not Congressman Albee who orchestrated that pronouncement. That I am sure. It could be a spur of the moment reaction of the mayors of the Third District. At this point, I have no doubt that as a group we are still united and together,” the vice governor said.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has offered Benitez a slot in the senatorial line-up of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan for the 2019 elections.

‘Running for Guv an Option’ - VG Bong

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 08:07



on Thu, 07/06/2017
by Eugene Adiong

‘Running for Guv an Option’ - VG Bong

Is Love Negros now singing “Torn between two lovers?”

This developed as Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said that running for the province’ top post is “an option.”

Lacson said that all politicians have “their own ambitions and want to step up the ladder.”

“I will not close my mind. I cannot be hard-headed on this. I think the most important thing is what is good for the province,” the Vice Governor said.

But I will not make any definite pronouncement at this time, he said.

“If we don’t handle this well, the group will break up,” Lacson said.

“I value friendship like any member of our group,” he said.

He added that he wants to believe that the endorsement of the mayors of the third district that Rep. Alfredo Benitez run for governor in 2019 was “a spur of the moment.”

On Monday, Victorias Mayor Frederick Palanca, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, Talisay Mayor Neil Lizares and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano each aired their support for Benitez if he decides to take over the post to be vacated by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who is on his final term.

“I am not surprised if they support the congressman, “ Lacson said, but pointing out that Benitez “has not declared what position he will run.”

He, however refused to answer the question if what will happen to their group if Benitez decides to run for senator saying that “it is very speculative.”

“We belong to one group and I don’t want to fuel any misunderstanding. I will make my decision in October 2018,” Lacson said.

My only question about the pronouncement of the mayors is, have they lost sight of supporting Rep. Benitez all the way to the Senate?, he asked, “I hope not.”

“We in Negros have been excited of the possibility of having a senator from Negros Occidental. I hope the pronouncement does not mean we have given up hope because we in the first district have not given up hope,” Lacson said.

“Let us not lost sight of that,” he said.*(Eugene Y. Adiong)

‘Choice of vice guv in 2019 up to Albee'

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 19:29



BY CARLA GOMEZ
on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday reiterated that he will support Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) in whatever position he runs for in 2019.

“It is up to Albee to decide” if he will run for governor of Negros Occidental or for senator, Marañon said, in reaction to support aired by the mayors of the third district for Benitez for governor.

Should Benitez opt to run for governor, Marañon said it will also be up to the congressman to choose his vice governor.

The governor also lauded the Asenso Metro 3 rd Burial Assistance Program of Benitez that will give P10,000 in aid to indigent families in the third district of Negros Occidental for the burial of their kin.

“That is good…I hope every congressman will adopt that program also,” the governor said.

Benitez, in answer to the mayors of the third district of Negros Occidental and AbangLingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano'sstatements of support for whatever he opts to run for in 2019, on Monday said he is “weighing all options”.*CPG

Asenso Metro 3rd Burial Assistance Program Launched

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 06:58



on Wed, 07/05/2017

The Asenso Metro 3rd Burial Assistance Program provides access to funeral and burial services to qualified residents of the Third District of Negros Occidental. The Program brings together the resources and efforts of the Local Government Units (LGUs) of the Third District with the leadership of Congressman Alfredo Benitez, formalizing the district-wide implementation with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The Program is open to all bona-fide residents of the cities of Talisay, Silay and Victorias , and the municipalities of E.B. Magalona and Murcia. The claimant is the resident who requests for burial assistance for a deceased immediate family member. The beneficiary who is the deceased must also be a bona-fide resident of the Third District. It will start today with the signing of the MOU and formal launching. The MOU sets the duration of the program for two years, July 2017 to July 2019.

All LGUs have designated Technical Working Groups tasked to properly implement the Program. Each LGU has a designated office to receive and process requests for burial assistance. Requests received by the Congressional District Office will be endorsed for the processing and action to the claimant’s city municipality.

The claimant must process all requirements within 45 working days after death of the family member: a) Duly accomplished request form for burial assistance; (b) Photocopy of voter’s ID/Voter certification or any government issued ID of claimant; (c) Certificate of residency or claimant stating his/her relationship with deceased; (d) Certified True Copy of Death Certificate; (e) SSS/GSIS verification letter; (f) Duly accomplished Burial Assistance Program Form.

Qualified beneficiaries will receive burial assistance depending on the following circumstances. Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) for deceased who is not a member of the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) or any private insurance. Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) for deceased who is a member of the SSS, GSIS or any private insurance. The beneficiary or the deceased can only received burial assistance once. In cases where there are more than one claimant for only one beneficiary, the claimant who is the nearest of kin will receive the burial assistance.

When Cong. Albee started his first term in 2010, he committed to bring change in the delivery of programs and services through a new mind-set in governance and public service.

Working on his I-HELP (infra-health-housing-social services-livelihood-policy) Programs, Congressman Alfredo “Albee” Benitez led LGUs to convergence and synergy to transform lives of constituents by veering away from traditional ways. His focus is always on thinking outside the box and innovation to ensure that basic services and development are readily accessible to all.

For the first time in the Third District, a basic need of constituents to cope with the inevitable loss of a loved one-the grief and expenses, is attended to and the delivery of this assistance is now integrated and institutionalized for residents from all walks of life. Padayon ang Asenso saTabang sa Kalisod”.*

Benitez leads launching of ‘Tabang sa Kalisod’

Tue, 07/04/2017 - 17:55




By CARLA N. CAÑET
Tuesday, July 4, 2017

THIRD District Representative Alfredo Benitez on Monday, July 3, led the launching of the “Asenso Metro 3rd Burial Assistance: Tabang sa Kalisod” program aimed to institutionalize burial assistance for the district’s less privileged residents.



BACOLOD. Negros Occidental Third District Rep. Alfredo Benitez (center) and Abang Lingkod partylist Rep. Stephen Paduano (3rd from left) with (from left) Mayors Andrew Montelibano of Murcia, Neil Lizares of Talisay City, Francis Frederick Palanca of Victorias City, Mark Andrew Golez of Silay City, and Marvin Malacon of E.B. Magalona show the memorandum of agreement for the burial assistance program. (Carla N. Cañet)

In rites held at Nature’s Village Hotel in Talisay City, Benitez signed a memorandum of agreement with Talisay Mayor Nilo Jesus Antonio Lizares III Lizares, Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew Golez, Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, E.B. Magalona Mayor Marlon Malacon, and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano to formalize the implementation.

The program, which will provide residents with access to free funeral and burial services, brings together the resources and efforts of the local government units (LGUs) in the Third District through the initiative of Benitez.

Beneficiaries will receive a uniform financial assistance amounting to P10,000.

Benitez said it is always a big burden for a family if one member dies, and although other occasions can just be postponed, a burial or funeral of a person can never be moved or reset.

“It's always been a big problem for the family every time this situation occurs because this is inevitable. It happens to all. But for those residents who can hardly afford, the government will come in and extend the needed assistance,” he added.

Under the program, LGUs will have a partnership with funeral parlors in the district that every time an indigent dies, they have to go their LGU and ask for assistance. The LGU will then refer the family to the partner funeral parlor.

The burial assistance will cover the cost of embalming and casket. The minimum days for the embalming are five days. The LGU will shoulder the expense up to a maximum of P10,000.

Benitez said they will set aside P30 million for the program this year.

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