SEC office now open; accepts reports from corporations

By Jennifer C. Tilos

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Bacolod Extension Office has announced that its office is open starting today to serve the public and accept submission of reports from Monday to Thursday.

SEC Information Officer Clyde Linaja-Padilla said that their office has jurisdiction over all corporations and partnerships in the whole of Negros Island which include Negros Oriental.

Padilla said on Friday, it will be a “work from home” arrangement to allow the staff to do their monitoring job, disinfection of the office, and prepare documents for the succeeding week of processing.

However, SEC clients are still highly encouraged to submit their reports by mail (either through private courier or government postal service) with pre-paid self-addressed return envelope.

A copy of the mailing official receipt shall be enclosed in the envelope as proof of mailing.

Designated boxes have been put up for those who will submit their reports to SEC Bacolod Office.

Documents will first be subject to disinfection before turning over to SEC’s receiving officers.

Padilla said clients may leave their documents and wait for the text/email/call when they shall be picked up or to wait for their copy depending on the number of reports that can be processed for the day.

Priority will be given to the elderly, persons with disability, pregnant women, and those from out of town.

Meanwhile, non-stock corporations’ submission of the printed notarized Mandatory Disclosure Form has been extended 15 days from the lifting of the Manila-issued Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Padilla said for COVID-19 measures and mutual protection of staff and the clients, social/physical distancing will be strictly observed which means the number of clients inside the office premises will be limited.

He added that a “no mask, no entry” policy, temperature check before entry, hand sanitation, and disinfection of the premises will be strictly implemented.

“As this is the new normal, clients are advised to be patient since the process of their requests, queries, and submissions will take longer than usual,” he said.

For submissions of reports online, email while queries may be sent to or or through landline nos. 455-5713 and 455-5714.

Pag-IBIG invites members to apply for Loyalty Card Plus

By Roi Lomotan

Pag-IBIG Fund Dumaguete Branch Head Julio Carmel Alfarero (leftmost) presents a sample of the Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card Plus during a press briefing held Feb. 17, 2020 at Bethel Guest House, Dumaguete City. (PIA7-NegOr)

The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG Fund branch here is encouraging its members to apply for a Loyalty Card Plus and enjoy privileges in partner business establishments in the city.

Pag-IBIG Fund Dumaguete City Branch Head Julio Carmel Alfarero said holders of the Loyalty Card Plus can avail of freebies in their partner establishments in the city such as additional free meal at Gerry’s Grill for orders reaching 1,000 and five to 40 percent discount when buying Pfizer medicines in drug stores.

Tan-awon lang ninyo kung asa naay ‘We honor Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card here’ (Just look for any establishments with the signage ‘We honor Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card here),” Alfarero said.

Aside from the perks that cardholders can enjoy with the Loyalty Card Plus, Alfarero emphasized it is important that members should have this because of its functionality.

He said the card is similar to the old Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card as it serves as an identification card but the Loyalty Plus card features an EMV chip and can be used as a cash card.

“The moment na mo-avail ka ug multi-purpose loan dire na isulod sa imong loyalty card. This will serve as a cash card, ipasulod ang imong loan at the same time debit card ni siya and pwede siya nimo mapadepositohan (as regular) savings (The moment you avail a multi-purpose loan, the money will be deposited in the loyalty card. This will serve as a cash card and at the same time a debit card. You can also deposit money here as regular savings),” Alfarero added.

Currently, the Pag-IBIG Fund-Dumaguete Branch has partnered with Asia United Bank for the issuance of Loyalty Card Plus, but Alfarero announced that the agency is also negotiating with Union Bank to be their second partner bank in issuing the cards so that there will be two banks servicing Pag-IBIG members here.

However, Alfarero cited that the Loyalty card Plus must be renewed every five years in compliance to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) regulation on cash cards.

Interested members will have to pay P125 as enrollment fee.

With this, the Pag-IBIG Branch manager hopes many members will apply for a Loyalty Card Plus.

Meanwhile, members are highly encouraged to maximize their membership with Pag-IBIG and apply for the agency’s housing loan programs.

Pag-IBIG Fund Loans Management and Recovery Department Manager III Wilmer Lirazan said now is the time to invest in real property.

“Owning a house is a big decision but it is a decision we should not delay. If you keep on delaying it would be more pricey in the future. You should get a property now. Whether you are married or single or getting married soon, still, now is the best time to get a property. Ang properties, especially the lots, dili man mag-ubos iya price (Properties, especially lots, their value will not go down). It will only go up. It will appreciate. It will give you income in the future,” Lirazan elaborated.

He also added that Pag-IBIG members can now apply for multiple loans, noting that a housing loan can be a form of investment as well.

“As a Pag-IBIG member, kung may balay na ka and you don’t need another house you can still invest. You can still get a property kay sayang ang imong membership sa Pag-IBIG. You are entitled to get a housing loan in Pag-IBIG so kanang balay na imong gi-invest pwede mo siyang maparentahan and you will earn income from it (If you are a Pag-IBIG member and you already have a house and think you don’t need another one, you can still invest. You can apply for a loan in Pag-IBIG and get property. The house you bought can be rented by others and you will earn income from it. You are entitled to get a housing loan in Pag-IBIG and it will go to waste if you don’t use it. The loan can be a form of investment),” Lirazan said.

DA allocates P250M for agri-fishery projects in NegOr

By Jennifer C. Tilos

MOA singing between Sec. William Dar of the Department of Agriculture (center) together with DA-7 Regional Executive Director Salvador Diputado (right) and NORSU President Joel Limson (left) for “TREEwardship” project. (PIA Negros Oriental)

Agriculture Secretary William Dar of the Department of Agriculture (DA) pledged P250M worth of various agricultural and fishery projects to Negros Oriental during a Farmers’ Forum in Dumaguete City recently.

Of the total funds allocated for the province, Dar awarded P74.176M worth of farm inputs as additional assistance and intervention amounting to P65M under the Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

The windfall for Negros Oriental also includes the P11.22M under the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance for rice farmer (SURE Aid), P30M for fisheries, P10M for the Negros Oriental State University (NORSU), and P50M for the construction of a Solar Power Irrigation System (SPIS) here.

For Siquijor province, the DA also gave P65M for the implementation of different agri-fishery projects and P35M for the establishment of a SPIS in the area.

Dar cited that he is mandated to alleviate the lives of the farmers and fisherfolks and help boost the productivity and profitability for agri-fishery sector in the country.

With this, DA seeks to pursue more collaborative projects with the local government units for the improvement of agri-fishery sector and enable farmers and fishers to live comfortable lives.

In the memorandum of agreement signing between NORSU and DA, Dar said the P10M for NORSU is for students taking up agri-entrepreneurship and massive production of major high value crop seedlings such as fruits.

This is to improve farm income and supply these commodities in the domestic and international markets, he added.

NORSU has been implementing “TREEwardship Project” under the National Greening Program to promote agriculture and entrepreneurship among students.

ar also announced that his agency has set aside P2.5B for the programs for the millenials aged 18-30 years old.

The government now initially shares P1 billion for this project which is called CAYA or Capital Access for Young Agripreneurs.

“This is for the youth who want to farm or do business even without experience,” Dar said.

DA is also giving P500,000 to an individual who can lend an innovative idea in converting a product under its agri-business incubation program.

Dar said the government is also setting aside P1B for another program available for those currently engaged in farming or in agri-business and wants to expand their farming or business activities.

He urged local officials in the province to take advantage of the funds and help agricultural sectors including the youth to increase productivity and achieve profitability and competitiveness.