completed road section of Gandara-Matuguinao Road.
Gandara-Matuguinao road to be completed this 2018
MAE ANGELICA R. COMOTA
May 10, 2018
CALBAYOG CITY –
DPWH Samar First District Engineering Office is set to complete the
third and final phase of the road connecting the municipalities of
Gandara and Matuguinao this 2018.
This project covers the
concreting of 3.5 kilometers of road with 80 meters of slope
protection works and 1.5 kilometers of concrete lined canal. It has
an allocation of P100 million from the 2017 Payapa at Masaganang
Pamayanan (PAMANA) Fund.
Considered as one of the
two biggest rice-producing municipalities in the province, this road
will provide faster and easier transport of goods between Gandara
and Matuguinao which increases economic activity.
“Concreting of this road
is part of the District office’s multi-year programming. We started
construction back in 2014 and as of last year, we have received a
combined allocation of P270 million and over 10 kilometers of road
have been concreted,” said Project Engr. Allan Lanuza.
The District office will
soon hold a ground breaking ceremony later this month.
Palm Grass Hotel
to screen a community-created short fiction film to remember the
1898 Cebu Revolution
May 10, 2018
CEBU CITY – Palm
Grass, Cebu’s only heritage hotel, as part of its Heritage Awareness
Campaign, offers a series of firsts to the public in commemoration
of the 120th year of the Cebu Revolution vs. Spain.
On May 20, 2018, Cebuanos
mark the 120th anniversary of the second phase of the 1898 Cebu
Revolution, when Cebu Katipunan leader Heneral Luis Flores regrouped
the Cebu Katipuneros after a temporary setback upon Leon Kilat’s
murder on April 8, 1898.
This May 20, 2018, 6 p.m.
to 9 p.m. at Hawanan Tres de Abril, Palm Grass will hold a special
screening of the short film fiction, “Kinasing” by video creator
Prospero Laput of Hong Kong-based Asia-Pacific Focus Features, in
cooperation with Palm Grass Hotel and Cebu students.
This will be the first
time in Cebu that a short fiction film would tackle the modern-day
relevance of the 1898 Cebu revolution, where a fictional descendant
of Heneral Luis Flores meets a lovely puso-maker from Pasil.
Puso, specifically, the
kinasing, is the central object in this short film and is used to
highlight a historical context and progression.
In this film, the puso-makers
are honored in a song based from a poem that tells about their
pains, struggles, dreams and journey towards a better society. Young
Cebuano artists composed, arranged and interpreted the song.
In addition, students from
two state universities, mga Iskolar ng Bayan of Cebu Normal
University and University of the Philippines-Cebu, are a huge part
of this film production as they are involved from writing the
script, casting, and crewing the short film.
“It’s a real challenge to
organize a short-film production with very fresh talents who either
just graduated from school or are still in school. But somehow
community-driven projects like this are getting to be a familiar
terrain in my marketing and communications content creation
portfolio. And Palm Grass did an excellent job in organizing the
kids into a formidable indie film crew!” says Laput.
In March 2018, Palm Grass
Hotel, with UP-Cebu alumnus Prospero Laput of Asia-Pacific Focus
Features, led workshops on Motion Graphics and Video Creation
participated in by selected University of the Philippines-Cebu and
University of San Carlos students. The workshops were able to
produce two videos on the 1898 Cebu Revolution vs. Spain.
Palm Grass, the Cebu
Heritage Hotel, is facilitating awareness on the 1898 Cebu
Revolution by hosting and leading the community, especially the
youth, in creative ways to relive this nearly forgotten period in
will follow after the Kinasing film screening.
dominate 11th Olango Challenge in Cebu
May 9, 2018
CEBU CITY –
Twenty-year-old Jux Keaton Solita and 15-year-old Raven Faith
Alcoseba were declared 6-kilometer competitive champions during the
11th Olango Challenge organized by Philippine Business for Social
Progress (PBSP) and Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) in Cebu last
Solita, a student of
University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, bested his
contemporaries, including Cebu elites Alfred Latrell Pacabis and
Michael Ichiro Kong, with a time of one hour, twenty-three minutes,
and 15.56 seconds.
Alcoseba, on the other
hand, thwarted former champion Karen Mae Indaya’s chance of a
three-peat by besting the 6-kilometer competitive female swim in
1:33:13.87. Seventeen-year-old Indaya, meanwhile, finished second
with 1:36:58.37, followed by Erica Lukang, 23, with 1:37:59.88.
For the 6-kilometer
competitive male swim, Batangueno Ron Villamor, 16, came second with
one hour, 24 minutes, and 17.69 seconds, while fellow UST swimmer
Allen Miranda finished third with 1:24:30.60. This is the first
Olango challenge that featured 6K competitive male winners not
hailing from Cebu.
Meanwhile, Charles James
Lipura (53:33.02) and Justine Garrido (1:02:46.28) took the 3K
competitive male and female titles while Renz Corbin emerged as the
3K fun champion with 53 minutes and 49.02 seconds. Kevin Alvarez and
Jose Antonio Aboitiz had a 1-2 finish in the 6K fun side with a time
of 1:00:29 and 1:04:28, respectively.
Around 130 swimmers
participated in the country’s premier open water swimming event
organized for the benefit of senior high school students on Olango
The Olango Challenge
follows the format of the open water swim category of the Beijing
Summer Olympics in 2008 and will feature the competitive men’s and
women’s 6K and 3K divisions; and the 6K, 3K, and 1K fun categories.
Swimmers navigated a rectangular race course fronting Pacific Cebu
Swimming for classrooms
It was the first time for
14-year-old Francexianour Travero to join the 6-kilometer
competitive swim of the Olango Challenge, making him the youngest
swimmer of the category. In spite of having previous experience in
other open water swimming events, he finds the Olango Challenge the
most challenging because of the distance and the current, making his
finish one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life.
“What also makes it
special is the idea that I, a 14-year-old, was able to contribute to
students like me,” he said.
Travero is joined by his
uncle and friends from Leyte’s Energy Development Corporation, who
have been supporting the event since last year.
and government agencies helped ensure the safety and success of the
event. Officers and rubber boats from the Navy were deployed while
the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary provided 14 marshals around the
racecourse. A combined 30 lifeguards from the Philippine Red Cross-Lapu-lapu
Chapter and PSI, 18 paddler-marshals from Island Buzz Philippines
SUP and Kayak Adventures, and 10 divers from Kapit Sisid Free Divers
also served as marshals of the event.
Doctors and nurses from
the Cebu Provincial Health Office as well as paramedics and
ambulance unit from the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation were also
present. Fifteen radio communicators from the Kabalikat CVCOM,
meanwhile, ensured the smooth coordination between the safety teams.
Launched in 2008, the
event has gathered over 900 swimmers and raised more than P15
million to fund nine classrooms in Candagsao, Caw-oy, Tungasan, and
Talima elementary schools on Olango island.
It also supported the
senior high school education of 190 students from Sta. Rosa and
Nemesio-Epifania Memorial National High Schools through the
provision of shielded metal arc welding equipment, sewing machines
for dressmaking classes, immersion uniforms, assessment fees for
national and technical vocational certifications, and monthly
allowances for the students.
This year, the proceeds
from the swim meet will be used to provide laboratory equipment for
more schools on the island.
The event is sponsored by
Aboitiz & Company, Dow Chemical Philippines, Inc., Oriental Port &
Allied Services Corporation, Mactan Enerzone, the Visayan Electric
Company, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., City Savings Bank, FINIS,
GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, TMX Philippines, Inc.,
MEDICard Philippines, PASAR Corporation, Monde Nissin Cebu,
Philpacific Insurance Brokers And Managers, Inc., Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Company, Pocari Sweat Philippines, Golden Prince
Hotel & Suites, SM Investments Corporation, Cebu Trip Rent-A-Car,
Scotty’s Dive Shop, All Flip Flops, Boyla Diving Resort, Wellmade
Motors & Development Corporation, Castle Peak Hotel, and San Miguel
Construction/ Extension of Flood Control Structure along
Busali River, Phase 2, Biliran, Biliran is on-going with 38%
accomplishment as of April 30, 2018 under contract with B.M
Marketing. The completion of this project will provide a
structure that will avert flooding thereby preventing damage
to the existing Bridge located along the National Highway
which is the only access in going to the only Provincial
Hospital and Port under PPA from the eastern part of the
in full swing of 2018 project implementation
May 8, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) is now in full swing in the
implementation of its year 2018 Infrastructure Projects.
Contractors mostly started
at their own risks to attain the target schedule and to avail of the
good weather condition.
As of April 30, 2018, the
district has an overall actual accomplishment of 16.82% with a
positive slippage of 3.30%.
Previously, the district
has been allotted P1.8B for the implementation of 61 projects.
However, Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, Planning and Design Section Chief
said that the budget for one project which is the Rehabilitation/
Major Repair of CarayCaray Bridge project along Biliran
Circumferential Road (BCR), Naval, Biliran will be reverted to DPWH
Central Office due to damages on abutments caused by Tropical Storm
“Urduja” on December, 2017 which is supposed to be the site for the
Out of its 60 projects, 38
are on-going, 18 are Not-Yet-Started (NYS) and four are already
completed with now a budget amount of P1.6B.
The completed projects are
the P3.6M road widening at Villa Enage, Biliran, Biliran; P1.4M
rehabilitation/ major repair of Kaulangohan Bridge along Biliran
Circumferential Road (BCR), Caibiran, Biliran; P943,000
rehabilitation/ major repair of Cabadiangan Bridge along Naval-Caibiran
Cross Country Road (NCCR), Naval, Biliran; and P1.4M rehabilitation/
major repair of Calambis Bridge along BCR, Caibiran, Biliran.
Rosete said that the
district had already bid-out 52 projects as of April 30, 2018 while
eight projects are scheduled to be bid out on a later date.
of DaangMaharlika (SM) (San Isidro-San Juanico Bridge),
Projects at 91.34%
MAE ANGELICA R. COMOTA
May 7, 2018
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District
Engineering Office (DPWH-SFDEO) reports a 91.34% accomplishment on
its 2017 Regular Infrastructure Projects.
According to District
Monitoring Engr. Nena Dotado, as of April 30, 2018, 44 projects are
completed while 15 are still ongoing. Most of these ongoing projects
cost P50M and above and cover the improvement and widening of Daang
Maharlika and the upgrading of the District’s major bridges.
Setbacks in project
implementation include problems with Road Right-of-Way acquisition
and the arrival of Typhoons Urduja and Agaton during the latter part
of last year.
The District office has
put in place measures to reach its targets, citing proper
coordination between the District’s project engineers and the
contractors as the key to speeding up project implementation.
“I have already issued a
memorandum directing our project engineers to fast track the
remaining 2017 projects. We also now have a monthly coordination
meeting with contractors so that any issues and concerns regarding
project implementation can be quickly and easily resolved,” said
Construction Chief Engr. Carlos Rañola.
On top of the 2017
projects, SFDEO is also implementing 146 regular infrastructure
projects for 2018 and records a 4.11% accomplishment as of date of
institution, community raise concerns over DENR’s lift of suspension
on special use in protected areas
May 7, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The
Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED), a think-do
institution focused on issues pertaining to the integrity of
ecosystems, questioned the DENR’s recent lifting of the suspension
on the issuance of Special Use Agreements in Protected Areas (SAPAs).
SAPAs are binding
instruments that allow individuals or groups to access and use
protected areas to supposedly reduce poverty incidence and earn
revenues for the management of protected areas. The DENR
indefinitely suspended the issuance of SAPAs on 2011.
“The reasons for reopening
protected areas to special use are unclear. It is also uncertain
whether previous issues surrounding SAPAs are addressed in the
additional rules. Is the community given priority employment? Are
there now benefit sharing schemes with the community? Are there
stricter standards for applicants to ensure that they are indeed
stakeholders of the protected areas and not just big companies
coming in to earn profit?” CEED Legal and Policy Officer, Atty.
Avril De Torres said.
According to CEED
Executive Director Gerry Arances, the need to protect our
environment is a key element of adaptation to climate change. “In
this age of climate change, we should know that the conservation and
protection of our ecology generates more benefits than its
extraction and utilization. The development fees that may be earned
from the use of protected areas are negligible compared to a healthy
environment’s protection from disasters, promotion of biodiversity,
and resiliency from climate change impacts.”
“Being consistently in the
top 10 most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change,
the ability of our country’s ecosystems to deliver essential
services is already under stress. Regardless of the profits that may
be generated from SAPAs, we shouldn’t subject our last frontiers to
further stress by allowing special use,” De Torres added.
Concerned Citizens of Sta
Cruz, Zambales Chairperson Doctor Ben Molino strongly objected to
the issuance of SAPAs, “even without special use agreements, the
protected areas in Zambales are already in peril from existing coal
plants and destructive mining operations. We cannot and should not
allow further activities that would lead to further destruction of
our lands, seas, and bays.”
“This measure does not
only open protected areas to use, it could also potentially open a
floodgate for more ecological destruction,” Arances added.
“strongman” image, a facade of cowardice
May 4, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
“Strongmen” like Rodrigo Duterte exercise power through State terror
and violence with impunity, couched in populist language that
misleads the public and trains the guns of his armed forces and
police on his perceived enemies – the people.
His “strength” comes from
dehumanizing the urban poor and workers by calling them “drug
addicts” and “lazy criminals,” by tagging activists and political
dissenters as “terrorists,” and by branding any and all criticism to
his anti-people policies as forms of “destabilization.”
Contrary to Duterte’s
statement that he has not put his critics in jail, Karapatan’s
documentation puts the number of activists arrested and still
currently detained under Duterte at 173, out of the 503 political
prisoners in the Philippines. Majority of them are peasant and trade
union leaders, members of people’s organizations and organizers who
have been working with the poor communities to push for genuine
agrarian reform, living wages and security of tenure, accessible
social services, among others.
The number includes the
six young peasant organizers illegally arrested in Mabinay, Negros
Oriental, peasant leaders of Compostela Farmers Association, farmers
in Batangas, teachers and supporters of Lumad schools – all charged
with false criminal offenses in an attempt to justify their
incarceration. Rafael Baylosis, peace consultant of the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines, and his son-in-law, trade union
organizer Marklen Maojo Maga, were also arrested and are detained
because of fabricated charges.
His vengefulness against
his critics who are vocal against human rights violations in the
country has resulted to the drawing up of a fake terror list which
includes UN experts and human rights defenders and to the daily
threats and harassment against activists. Laced with so much
vitriol, his vindictive orders and pronouncements against foreign
observers and missionaries like Sr. Patricia Fox have resulted to
violations on the exercise of free speech and expression. His mad
thirst for sole control of power is driving him to persecute
officials in other branches of government who do not share his
propensity for brazen acts of violence.
persona is actually a facade of cowardice of a megalomaniac. Like
all other previous and current despots and tyrants, his so-called
strength is an expression of his greed for power. What he truly
fears is the people’s exercise of our sovereign will to exact
justice and accountability.
movements, civil society groups launch protest action against ADB
“dirty energy policy”
May 4, 2018
MANDALUYONG CITY –
Members of Asian grassroots movements and civil society groups
staged a lightning rally at the gates of the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) Headquarters on the 2nd day of the Bank’s Annual Governors
Meeting, bearing signs that call for the international financial
institution to “Stop Funding Dirty Energy.”
According to Asian
People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) Coordinator Lidy
Nacpil, the protest action served to drive home the urgency of Asian
people’s call for ADB to halt all forms of support to dirty fossil
fuel energy projects, especially coal plants.
“Each year, our call
against the Bank’s support for dirty energy intensifies in urgency.
For every inaction towards the problem of fossil fuels, which has
been established to be the main driver of climate change, Asian
lives and livelihood grow all the more vulnerable as they are
situated at the frontline of climate change’s adverse impacts,” said
“However, ADB’s response
to our urgent, repeating calls has remained to be that of
non-committal lip service,” she added, citing the Asian groups’
“unfruitful” recent engagement with ADB on its Energy Policy.
APMDD Deputy Coordinator
Mae Buenaventura stated that the groups’ call for a review of ADB’s
old and continuously fossil-fuel-supportive 2009 Energy Policy has
been met by a lukewarm response from ADB President Takehiko Nakao,
signifying a lack of seriousness on the part of the major financial
institution to address pressing concerns of civil society groups and
people’s movements regarding the proliferation of dirty energy in
the region and in their communities.
“ADB has merely claimed to
have instituted restrictions in its 2009 Energy Policy, but these
are grossly inadequate in the face of the intensifying climate
crisis,” said Buenaventura.
“This non-committal and
business-as-usual response to the Asian people’s call for an end to
ADB’s support for fossil fuels runs counter to the Bank’s projection
of itself as an institution that listens to civil society groups and
an institution that champions clean energy,” she added.
According to Buenaventura,
the ADB has sought civil society’s input into its 2030 Strategy, but
instills none of the changes urged by the groups. Although the Bank
recognizes the significance of a number of global development
platforms, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris
Agreement on Climate Change, she claimed that the agenda and
operations in ADB’s Strategy for 2030 and its Energy Policy show no
alignment with them.
“Strategy 2030 makes no
new commitments that address civil society concerns,” said
Environics Trust India Sreedhar Ramamurthi.
“Worse, for all of ADB’s
championing of clean energy, its Strategy 2030 leaves the brunt of
work in the pursuit of a clean energy direction to individual
countries, while the Bank continues to make funding for fossil fuel
available,” Ramamurthi continued.
According to him, ADB’s
outdated and unreviewed 2009 Energy Policy also leaves the Bank
great room for continuing support for destructive fossil fuel
industry activities and false climate solutions.
“Activities that promote
continued coal utilization – such as coal bed methane extraction and
use, coal gasification, and coal scrubbers – along with the push for
the myth of clean coal energy through the practice of Carbon Capture
and Storage (CCS) are all proliferating with green light from a
supposed pro-clean energy ADB,” said Ramamurthi.
Philippine Movement for
Climate Justice National Coordinator Ian Rivera called out the
Bank’s record of financing coal projects that reached $10.735
billion from 2009-2017. Rivera brought attention to projects such as
the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project in India, Korea Electric Power
Corporation’s 200-MW coal-fired power plant in Cebu province, the
Masinloc Power Partners Ltd.’s 600-MW coal-fired thermal power plant
in Zambales province and the 552-MW coal-fired power plant in
Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.
“Clearly, the Bank’s
failure to adjust its energy policies and strategies is a result of
its continued, strong financial interest in coal-based power
projects,” said Rivera.
“Amidst the fact that
these projects emit millions of tons of CO2 each year and that there
are global and community efforts to reject fossil fuels which ADB
recognizes, the Bank’s financial interest in coal remains unbudged,”
According to Rivera, ADB’s
continued inaction on pressing global climate demands has incited
further determination and commitment from climate and energy justice
activists to press for the transformation of energy systems in Asia.
“We challenge ADB, an
institution which claims to be for Asian people’s development, to
stop being an obstacle to this process of energy transformation and
to align itself with the agenda of the Asian people – individuals
and communities on the ground that have been impacted most by ADB’s
policies and strategies,” he said.
“Development, the end of
poverty, and the addressing of climate change can be achieved not
through ADB’s business-as-usual approach, but through proactive
strides towards clean, renewable and democratic systems,” he
As a continuation of Asian
civil society groups’ effort to compel ADB’s rethinking of its
energy policies and strategies, groups have also reportedly handed
over a letter – signed by nearly 150 Asian organizations and
networks, which has been endorsed and supported by organizations
from other parts of the globe – to the ADB President and Board of
groups, communities launch protest action against ADB as
May 3, 2018
MANDALUYONG CITY –
Hundreds from Asian civil society organizations and Filipino
communities stormed the gates of the Asian Development Bank on its
51st Annual Meeting, demanding the financial institution to be held
accountable for and to cease its continuous push for anti-poor and
anti-development strategies across Asia and the Pacific.
For its 51st Annual
Meeting, the Asian Development Bank has developed Strategy 2030 as
its new long-term corporate strategy which groups and communities
condemn to largely ensure private sector profit at the expense of
vulnerable communities and the environment.
According to NGO Forum on
ADB Executive Director Rayyan Hassan, the proposed strategy
emphasizes the need to unlock private capital into development
projects while abandoning systems for ensuring due diligence and
compliance with requirements on environmental impact and social
“This is a clear threat to
the communities and environment that will be facing the aftermath of
various ADB-funded projects. Coupled with ADB’s long-standing
immunity against any accountability, the people are left vulnerable
to destructive project impacts without no one to answer for them,”
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa lambasted ADB for falsely posturing as a partner
for Asia and the Pacific in combating poverty and in promoting a
more resilient and sustainable environment amidst its major role in
the privatization of basic services such as water and power, and in
pushing coal and other dirty technologies in the region.
“Due to the history of
ADB’s conditionalities forcing countries to resort to the
privatization of basic services, the region’s impoverished and
marginalized suffer through the deterioration of the quality and
accessibility of basic services and sharp increases in costs,” said
“Along with these harmful
debt conditionalities, ADB also continues to increase the poverty
and vulnerability of communities and their environment by
introducing and financing dirty energy through coal projects,” he
Asian People’s Movement on
Debt and Development Coordinator Lidy Nacpil cited the bank’s vital
role in the introduction of coal-fired power plants in the
Philippines alone through the implementation of EPIRA in 2001.
“Through EPIRA, which
liberalized Philippines’ power industry, the country was made
vulnerable to big coal investors. Today, we have an avalanche of
coal plant projects being railroaded; with ADB leading the growth of
Philippines’ dirty energy through its million dollar loans for
projects like the Korea Electric Power Corporation’s 200-MW
coal-fired power plant in Cebu and the rehabilitation of Masinloc
Power Partners Ltd.’s 600-MW coal-fired thermal power plant in
Zambales province,” said Nacpil.
Center for Energy,
Ecology, and Development Legal and Policy Officer Atty. Avril De
Torres pointed out ADB’s role in promoting dirty energy as
contradictory to its projected agenda for inclusivity and
sustainability in the Asia-Pacific region and its projected
alignment with the Paris agreement on climate change and other
global development platforms.
“In spite of the
well-established fact that fossil fuels, especially coal, spike the
risk for climate change and in spite of many countries and
communities in the Asia-Pacific region standing on the frontlines of
climate change impacts, the ADB still pushes for fossil fuel sourced
energy more than it does for clean energy,” stated De Torres.
According to Philippine
Movement for Climate Justice National Coordinator Ian Rivera, ADB’s
clean energy commitment of $2 billion a year is trumped by its
financing of coal projects that reached $10.735 billion from
Rivera also condemned
ADB’s push for myths of dirty coal being “clean and efficient”
despite “clean coal” technology still greatly contributing to GHG
emissions and warming of the planet – branding it as yet another of
ADB’s false development solutions.
“If the ADB is truly
serious in aligning with global development and climate commitments,
it should explicitly aim for ending its financing and pushing for
anti-development and anti-climate technologies like coal power –
which only serve private interests while being of great disservice
and injustice to the people,” said Rivera.
“In contrast to the
anti-people and anti-environment development rhetoric rampant in
ADB’s support for destructive policies on energy and other sectors,
there are alternatives towards genuine development – as seen in
largely untapped clean energy – which actually safeguard people’s
interests through the promotion of more democratic and sustainable
systems,” concluded Rivera.
Paras delivering his message during the Meet and Greet with
the NMP employees on 23 April 2018.
NMP remains with
the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
April 30, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – “We
have heard in the past that there was an attempt on the part of the
Department of Transportation (DOTr) to absorb NMP but fortunately
with the charm of Assistant Secretary Joji V. Aragon we were able to
convince the DOTr through Undersecretary Felipe A. Judan that NMP
should remain as part of the human capital development rather than
as part merely of the shipping and transportation or whatever the
DOTr has planned”, says Undersecretary Jacinto V. Paras of the Human
Capital Development, Legislative and Media Affairs, and
Administrative Services Cluster of DOLE.
This was the categorical
statement of Usec. Paras during the Meet and Greet with the
employees of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) on 23 April
Usec. Paras stressed that
NMP should continue to remain with DOLE, as the NMP’s clientele, the
Filipino seafarers, are part of the workforce of the country. The
NMP contributes to the attainment of the DOLE’s agenda on Human
Capital Development, with the training and research it conducts that
ensures the Filipino seafarers to acquire the knowledge and skills
required of them to become globally competitive in the international
maritime labor market.
He also emphasized the
need for NMP to move forward and to be true to its mandate as
underscored in Presidential Decree No. 1369. NMP has to focus in
offering specialization and upgrading courses for both licensed
officers and ratings and conducting researches and studies on the
latest maritime technologies and other related matters for the
Based on the above
premise, a paradigm- shift is needed from NMP to come up with a new
and true direction as mandated by the law. As such, a series of
strategic planning and workshop will be conducted in May 2018.
Meanwhile, NMP continues
to upgrade its facilities and provide maritime trainings required
pursuant to the Standards of Training, Certification, and
Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention as amended in 2010
including value-adding courses towards improving the qualifications
of Filipino seafarers for their employment acceptability and
Those interested to take
NMP training programs may visit the NMP website (www.nm.gov.ph) and
its facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter) where all
related information on NMP trainings are available.
K-12 recipients utilizes
new school buildings
DPWH 2nd LED
April 30, 2018
CARIGARA, Leyte – Recipients of the K-12 program of the Department
of Education (DepEd) can now utilize the 27 school building projects
that have been completed by the Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second District Engineering Office.
A total of P466.48 million has been allocated for the construction
of these school buildings under the Basic Educational Facilities
Fund (BEFF) of the DepEd.
These school building projects were built in the towns of Barugo,
Burauen, Capoocan, Carigara, Dagami, Dulag, Jaro, Julita, La Paz,
Mac Arthur, Mayorga, Pastrana, and Tunga.
According to District Engineer Carlos G. Veloso, these projects were
implemented to support the education program of the government and
accommodate the increasing number of enrollees in the different
towns of Leyte’s second district.
He added that it is guaranteed that the quality standards of these
new school buildings comply with the National Structural Code of the
Philippines that ensures reliability and calamity resiliency of the
Moreover, the BEFF is an annual budget of the DepEd for its School
Building Program to address classroom shortage, improvements and
maintenance of school facilities.
donated equipment for the conduct of PFRB (left) and ERS
NMP’s two additional
training courses accredited by MARINA
April 27, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – Two (2) additional training courses of the National
Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a government controlled and operated
maritime training and research institution with principal address
located at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City, have been duly accredited
by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), namely: Proficiency in
Fast Rescue Boats (PFRB) and Engine Room Simulator (ERS).
It can be recalled that NMP submitted its application for
accreditation of the said courses last 20 July 2017. MARINA
conducted its initial inspection last 23-24 October 2017 and issued
a corresponding Notice of Deficiencies on 13 November 2017.
NMP submitted its compliance to the deficiencies noted by the MARINA
on 22 December 2017. In order to validate if indeed the deficiencies
noted were been duly rectified, MARINA conducted a re-inspection on
23-24 January 2018.
As per formal letter received from MARINA dated 10 April 2018, NMP
was granted full course approval of two (2) additional courses valid
for a period of three (3) years along with the accreditation of
instructors, assessors and supervisors who will be handling the said
During the said period, announced and unannounced visits will be
made by MARINA STCW Office or its duly authorized representatives to
ascertain NMP’s compliance with the MARINA’s rules and regulations.
NMP is required to submit the records of review and validation of
the aforementioned courses within six (6) months from the date of
its conduct. Moreover, the records of implementation of corrective
actions for audit results both internal and external, records of
review and validation of the courses including the assessment and
statistical record of trainees enrolled / certificated must be made
available during the conduct of monitoring.
Further, NMP is required to revise and align the course package of
the above-mentioned courses to the new standards once same have been
duly issued by MARINA.
MARINA’s approval ensures that the courses are designed and
structured in accordance with the standards of competence prescribed
under the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for
Seafarers (STCW 1978), as amended in 2010.
PFRB is open to all seafarers who have completed the Basic Training
course while the ERS is open to both operational and management
level marine engine officers.
Upon successful completion of the above courses, the
seafarer-trainees will be able to:
1. Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats (PFRB) - Understand the
construction, maintenance, repair and outfitting of fast rescue
boats; take charge of the launching equipment and appliance as
commonly fitted, during launching and recovery; take charge of the
fast rescue boat as commonly fitted, during launching and recovery;
take charge of a fast rescue boat after launching; and operate a
fast rescue boat engine.
2. Engine Room Simulator (ERS) - Familiarize the use of
instrumentation and controls extensive use in the engine rooms of
modern merchant ships; understand and be aware of the correct
watchkeeping procedures; understand the way in which machinery units
are interdependent; identify operational problems and techniques in
troubleshooting; make decisions to promote the safety and efficiency
of an operational plant; improve managerial skills particularly in
voyage planning, machinery systems and time and resource management;
and recognize the importance of value-added qualities to carry out
and lead a harmonious engine room teamwork.
Meanwhile, NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide
maritime trainings required pursuant to the STCW Convention as
amended in 2010 including value-adding courses towards improving the
qualifications of Filipino seafarers for their employment
acceptability and enhanced competitiveness. It also regularly
conducts maritime studies to come up with policies for the
improvement of the manpower sector of the industry.
Those interested to take NMP training programs may visit the NMP
website (www.nm.gov.ph) and its facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter)
where all related information on NMP trainings are available.
ESSU wins over
LNU in the DILG-8 Federalism Debates
April 26, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – A
team from Eastern Samar State University (ESSU) bested their
counterparts from the Leyte Normal University (LNU) in the
championship match of the Intercollegiate Federalism Debates led by
the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on April
24, 2018 at the DILG-8 Regional Training Center, Tacloban City.
DILG Regional Director
Marivel C. Sacendoncillo bared that ESSU’s Jeric Ueno Montes also
won as Best Debater and Best Speaker. Aside from Montes, other team
members were Wences Alfon Café as first speaker, Joseph Jay Ayon as
second speaker and Christian Daniel Campomanes as Researcher, with
Ma. Teresita Quillo and Minerva Acedillo as coaches.
LNU which was tasked with
the affirmative side of the proposition, “Resolved that the country
shall adopt a federal form of government”, was represented by
Raymond Enriquez (1st Speaker), Larry Mark Orbong (2nd Speaker), Kay
Ann Torre (3rd Speaker) and Ave Maria Elizabeth Nacman as Researcher
with Charles Abanilla and Ara Joy Pacoma as coaches.
The Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP) Leyte Chapter led by Atty. Leo Giron as program
partner brought in its big guns, with Judge Tarcelo A. Sabarre Jr.
(Regional Trial Court Branch 30), Judge Wenifredo C. Cuaton (RTC
Branch 11) and Judge Mario O. Quinit (RTC Branch 17) as adjudicators
for the championship.
According to Director
Sacendoncillo, the Tacloban leg of the debate series was broadcast
live over DYVL AksyonRadyo 819 KHz and streamed live over DILG
Region 8 Facebook Page. A delayed broadcast is set for showing over
IBC 6 Leyte. The championship culminated a series of 10 provincial
elimination matches, 4 quarterfinals matches and 2 semifinal matches
that were joined by some of the biggest colleges and universities in
The champion team received
a plaque, medals, certificates and P20,000 cash, while the 1st
runner-up team likewise received a plaque, medals, certificates and
P10,000 cash. A plaque of appreciation was presented to IBP-Leyte
chapter as program partner. Certificates of appreciation were
presented to DYVL and Prof. Arvin de Veyra, the moderator.
Meanwhile each team of
semifinalists from Visayas State University (VSU) and Samar College
(SC) was awarded medals, certificates, and P5,000 cash prizes during
the previous day’s awarding rites. The debate series was made
possible through the support of the DILG Central Office and DILG
Local Government Academy.
DILG initiated the
collegiate debate championship as part of its information and
education campaign on federalism. It aimed to explain the concept of
federalism and related issues on constitutional change among young
people who compose majority of voters.
Undersecretary Karlo Bello hands certificate of land
ownership award (CLOA) to an agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB)
during CLOA distribution in San Julian, Eastern Samar.
Assisting him from left are Provincial Agrarian Reform
Program Officer Gilberto Apilado, Regional Director Sheila
Enciso and Mayor Dennis Estaron.
farmers receive CLOAs from DAR
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
April 23, 2018
SAN JULIAN, Eastern
Samar – Three hundred twenty farmer-tillers from 11 Eastern
Samar municipalities gathered at this town’s covered court on
Monday, April 16, to receive their certificates of land ownership
award (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
DAR Undersecretary for
Field Operations Office Karlo Bello handed the 350 individual CLOAs
to the 320 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) as proof of
ownership to the land they are tilling.
Bello, speaking in Cebuano,
said to the ARBs, “you are now landowners. You are lucky because the
land (covered by the CLOAs) is a government-owned land (GOL). You
are not going to pay amortization.” But he stressed to them their
obligation to pay taxes being the owners now of the land.
The CLOAs covered an
aggregate area of 617.9 hectares of agricultural land situated in
the municipalities of Lawaan (32.3 hectares), Balanggiga (19
hectares), Giporlos (27.7 hectares), Quinapondan (19.2 hectares),
Salcedo (22.8 hectares), Dolores (33.8 hectares), Can-avid (18.7
hectares), Borongan (6.4 hectares), Maydolong (76.5 hectares),
Balangkayan (3.9 hectares) and San Julian (357.2 hectares).
Regional Director Sheila
Enciso advised the ARBs to take care of their awarded land because
the DAR personnel risked their lives in covering these lands under
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) so they could be
distributed to them.
Brothers Geronimo and
Tomas Batula Jr. from Maydolong, both received CLOAs, could not hide
their happiness. According to them they had been waiting for their
land titles for the past 10 years. They can’t believe that the
document is already in their hands.
Spouses Argie and Maureen
Osias from San Julian, brought with them their two children to
celebrate the occasion. According to Argie, they derive income from
the 2.5 hectares planted to rice and coconut that was awarded to
Remedios Guardiana from
San Julian though thankful for finally receiving her CLOA, asked
that they also be blessed with support services which is part of the
implementation of CARP; while 89-year old Delfina Apita from Dolores
was just silent but obviously happy with the sweet smile in her
DAR-Eastern Samar chief of
the Legal Division Atty. Brian Lassiter reminded the ARBs during the
said occasion of their obligations, responsibilities and prohibited
acts as well as rights and privileges, emphasizing not to sell their
awarded lands within 10 years.
Agrarian Reform Program Officer Gilberto Apilado encouraged them to
join agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) to be able
to avail of the various support services extended by DAR.
Meanwhile, Mayor Dennis
Estaron thanked DAR not only for choosing this municipality to be
the venue of this activity but for uplifting the quality of life of
the farmers wherein San Julian has the most number of recipients.
Likewise, He thanked DAR
for the rural infrastructure projects implemented in his
municipality. This town has been a recipient of four farm-to-market
roads and an agricultural warehouse, all implemented under the
Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP).
Chloride (PVC) Sheet Piles Orientation held at Samar First
District Engineering Office (SFDEO) conference room.
welcomes eco-friendly innovation in infrastructure projects
BON JOSEPH N. ASTILLA
April 20, 2018
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) held an orientation
on a new innovative material called Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) sheet
piles at the Samar First conference room, on April 19, 2018.
representatives from District Engineering Offices (DEOs) of Samar
First, Northern Samar First and Second, and construction firms such
as B. Vicencio Builders Inc., ACME Builders Corp, Victoria CSDC, and
ESD Cruz Construction and Supply, the orientation ushers the use of
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) sheet piles as an excellent alternative to
steel sheet piles used in infrastructure projects.
District Engineer Alvin A.
Ignacio of Samar First invites people from Pietrucha Manufacturing
Philippines Inc. to talk about this innovation. Mr. Raymond
Tenchavez, Business Management Manager of Pietrucha, claims that PVC
sheet piles come with a variety of applications as well as its own
It is light, easy and
simpler to install with the use of standard tools compared to other
sheet piles of this type thanks to the unique flat surface project.
The product contains material obtained from the recycling of
structural PVC with the possibility for further processing serving
as an ecological solution. Long term protection is guaranteed
without the need of maintenance due to the material is completely
resistant to bio-corrosion, rust, cracking, seawater and uv rays.
The total savings in material and installation reach more than 30%
relative to steel sheet piles.
PVC sheet piles can be
used in the regulation of beds of rivers, canals (i.e. irrigation,
channels) or reservoirs; as retaining walls, for securing
excavations, landslides and slopes; as leakproof walls, for
shielding limiting groundwater infiltration; building and improving
dykes; and securing places with a variable water level and flood
PVC sheet piles prove to
be an ecological and cheap, maintenance-free solution, designed for
many years of use.
Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol
sign the Philippine Rubber Industry Roadmap 2017-2022.
DTI, DA lead
efforts to strengthen PH rubber industry
April 17, 2018
MAKATI – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of
Agriculture (DA) led the inter-agency signing of the Joint Statement
of Commitment for the “Philippine Rubber Industry Roadmap 2017-2022”
on 16 April 2018.
“The cluster approach
[that addresses the gaps and opportunities in the entire value chain
from the rubber production to processing and manufacturing of
finished products] is the way to go,” said DTI Secretary Ramon M.
Lopez. “This industry is critical in helping achieve President
Duterte’s vision of real inclusive growth since the rubber
production sector involves over 55,000 small farmers/growers.”
Ninety percent of the
rubber farmers in the country are small growers, most are from the
Mindanao region – Zamboanga Peninsula, SOCCSKSARGEN, and ARMM.
“DTI is committed to
expand market and processing opportunities for their products by
bringing in more investors on rubber processing and rubber-based
products, like tire companies, and linking them with the local
rubber suppliers,” the trade chief added. He also said Philippine
(PH) rubber can be used for rubberized asphalt for road projects in
the government’s “Build Build Build” program.
Meanwhile, DA Secretary
Emmanuel F. Piñol said that rubber has a crucial role in the
reformatting of the PH agriculture plan.
“The agricultural areas
I’ve visited suffer from the same problems: soil erosion and
landslides. These are indications of poor agricultural planning –
where farmers are planting crops where we should be planting rubber
trees,” Sec. Piñol said.
The roadmap outlines steps
in the following aspects of rubber production: (1) Production &
Productivity Improvement; (2) Processing and Manufacturing; (3)
Domestic and Export Marketing, (4) Research, Development and
Extension; (5) Finance and Investment Promotion; and (5)
Information, Policy Formulation and Advocacy.
Aside from the DTI and DA,
the inter-agency cluster consists of the departments of Science and
Technology (DOST), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and
Agrarian Reform (DAR), as well as the Technical Education and Skills
Development Authority (TESDA), the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA),
the Philippine Rubber Industries Association (PRIA), the Philippine
Rubber Farmers Association (PRFA), and the University of Southern
PH is currently a minor
producer of rubber, yielding 1% of the natural rubber in the world
as compared to top producers Indonesia and Thailand that produce 25%
and 34% of global production, respectively. Despite this, the PH
rubber industry is steadily growing – for the last quarter of 2017,
rubber production grew by 8.9% to 138.24 thousand MT from 126.94
thousand MT in the same quarter of 2016.
inflation rate accelerates further by 5.7% in March
April 17, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – The
annual Inflation Rate (IR) of Eastern Visayas accelerated further by
5.7% in March 2018. This IR was 1.4 percentage point faster compared
to the 4.3% IR a month ago, and 2.8 percentage points faster than
the recorded 2.9% IR in the same period last year. The regional
inflation rate was 1.4 percentage point faster than the 4.3%
national average in March.
Four provinces in the
region – Biliran, Samar, Leyte, and Eastern Samar posted faster
inflation rates in March compared with their figures in the previous
month. On the other hand, Southern Leyte registered decreased IR,
while Northern Samar had sustained its inflation rate from February.
Northern Samar registered the highest IR at 7.1%, while Southern
Leyte posted the lowest IR at 0.9% (Table 1).
By major commodity groups,
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas
and Other Fuels, Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Transport,
Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the
House, Health, and Education exhibited higher annual growths from
February to March.
Annual price changes in
Clothing and Footwear slowed down from February to March. The rest
of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s rates.
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region was recorded at P0.82 in March 2018. This
is weaker compared with the P0.83 PPP registered in the previous
month. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in
March 2018 only costs 82 pesos in 2012.
Biliran, Leyte, and Samar
registered decreases in PPP compared with their figures in February.
Southern Leyte recorded a 0.01 centavo increase in PPP, while the
rest of the provinces had sustained PPP. Leyte recorded the
strongest PPP at P0.85, followed by Southern Leyte at P0.84.
Northern Samar and Samar, meanwhile, posted the weakest PPP at P0.77
electricity coops, consumers decry corruption in CA overturn of ERC
April 17, 2018
QUEZON CITY – A
coalition of household electricity consumers, people’s and
environmental groups, faith-based groups, and electricity
cooperatives slammed the Court of Appeals' issue of a permanent
injunction against the Ombudsman’s order of suspension of four ERC
Commissioners alleged to be in collusion with Meralco and its
affiliate coal-sourced electricity generation companies.
“For the second time, and
to the grave detriment of public interest, the Court of Appeals has
turned a blind eye to the rampant corruption being committed in the
ERC,” said Power for People Coalition Convenor and Sanlakas
Secretary-General Atty. Aaron Pedrosa.
“In spite of
well-established facts illuminating the favors given by key ERC
officials to Meralco and its sister energy companies, the Court of
Appeals halted these commissioners’ rightful suspension and now has
allowed them to return to their posts untouched,” continued Pedrosa.
“Moreover, this permanent
injunction by the Court of Appeals is an injunction against the
cheaper, cleaner, and safer energy sources. The CA has sealed
electricity consumers’ fate to costly, dirty, and deadly energy,” he
The Power for People (P4P)
Coalition cited the graft charges filed by a number of petitioners
in the Ombudsman against Commissioners Alfredo Non, Gloria Yap-Taruc,
Josefina Patricia Magpale-Asirit and Geronimo Sta. Ana for their act
of exempting the Power Supply Agreements submitted by Meralco and
other major energy companies from the coverage of the Competitive
Selection Process, a legally required process which seeks to ensure
that electricity consumers are given the cheapest, most competitive
source of electricity.
P4P Coalition Convenor
Erwin Puhawan of Freedom from Debt Coalition also slammed the
judicial body for “normalizing the culture of corruption within the
Energy Regulatory Commission.”
“The Court of Appeals
keeps protecting these commissioners from the legal repercussions of
their collusion with private companies – all under the guise of
preserving the stability of ERC’s operations,” Puhawan said.
“But it is clear as day
that the ERC has long been operating on corruption, and it is high
time that the Commission is made to answer for its repeated
violation of its public mandate. Otherwise, the public is doomed to
suffer through dirtier and costlier electricity alongside the rising
prices of other goods,” he continued.
According to Cris Palabay
from Save the Beauty of La Union, the contested Power Supply
Agreements irregularly accommodated by the ERC all compel the
generation of electricity from coal, an energy source known for
being detrimental to the environment and to the health of
“The Court of Appeals and
the ERC are effectively allowing for the continuation of these coal
companies’ destruction of our communities,” said Palabay whose
group, Save the Beauty of La Union, is currently resisting the
efforts of Global Luzon Energy Development Corp. (one of the
questionable PSAs) to build two 335-MW coal-fired power generating
facility in Brgy. Luna, La Union.
Center for Energy,
Ecology, and Development (CEED) Legal and Policy Officer Atty. Avril
De Torres also called out the coal industry’s continuing influence
over key agencies in the government, which in turn hinders the
entrance and development of cleaner and cheaper alternative,
renewable energy sources in the Philippine market
“At present, the cost of
solar and wind are drastically decreasing, with recently the cost of
wind at P3.50/kwh already leagues away from the present cost of
coal. This is notwithstanding the current cost of solar which is at
P2.99/kwh,” stated De Torres.
“The cost of RE is
projected to decrease even more in the coming years. If the ERC,
with the help of the CA, goes on to greenlight the contested PSAs
entered into by Meralco, they will be stealing at least 20 years of
cleaner, more affordable energy from Filipino communities and
electricity consumers,” she continued.
Philippine Movement for
Climate Justice National Coordinator Ian Rivera expressed alarm at
what he called the administration’s “repeated failure” to address
corruption, an inaction that largely benefits corporations while
exposing the public at large to burdens of costlier goods, and
damaged communities and environment.
“The solution following
the complaints against the ERC Commissioners has been very
straightforward: to remove the accused commissioners from their
posts and to immediately replace them in the continuation of ERC
operations,” said Rivera.
“Instead, gross inaction
on the part of the administration has culminated to a resumption of
posts by these highly contested commissioners who are now in the
position to approve the Power Supply Agreements that greatly
prejudice public interest,” he continued.
“This incompetence in
addressing corruption is a betrayal of the entire administration’s
promise to uphold an accountable government,” he concluded.
universities in NCR intend to hike fees
National Union of
Students of the Philippines
April 16, 2018
QUEZON CITY – Among
the private universities and colleges in the National Capital Region
(NCR), 78 submitted petitions to raise their tuition and other
National Union of Students
of the Philippines (NUSP) spokesperson Mark Vincent Lim slammed the
proposed fee increases as a sign of the “worsening system of
profiteering” on education.
“Rising prices of goods
and commodities due to the TRAIN Law have already been a great
burden to Filipino families under the Duterte administration. Even
the cost of education is no exemption. There are no signs that
Duterte will stop fee increases so as to allow capitalist educators
to amass more profits by selling education,” said Lim.
According to the student
union, private school owners already “milked” millions of pesos from
the Filipino youth. Among those are Lyceum of the Philippines
University (LPU), Far Eastern University (FEU), and University of
the East (UE) who topped the list with at least 600 million pesos
each in gross revenue for 2016 from collecting fees.
“At the end of the day,
kawawa ang mga kabataan if the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
and the Duterte government will favor the interest of capitalist
educators way more than the welfare of students. There is not a time
in history when the interests of big businessmen were not factored
in the policy making of CHED,” claimed Lim.
Included in the 78 schools
are Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University - Manila, De
La Salle Araneta University, Far Eastern University, University of
the East, Centro Escolar University, Adamson University, and
University of Asia and the Pacific.
More profits from public funds
“Profiteering is not just
about the collection of tuition and other school fees in private
schools anymore. Capitalist educators found a way in tapping the
public funds, which are supposedly intended for free education, for
their profit,” said Lim.
Lim added that the
recently released implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the
free ed law allow owners of private schools to rake in profit from
the national budget.
From the data gathered by
the Union, the P40 billion funding for the “free education law” is
allotted for various programs: P16 billion and P7 billion for free
education in SUCs and in technical-vocational programs,
respectively; P16 billion for the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES),
from which the tuition and other school fees of students in private
schools can be billed; and P1 billion for student loans.
“Duterte’s free and
accessible education is just pure press releases and soundbites.
While 1 in every 4 students of state universities and colleges (SUCs)
still paid tuition and other school fees in AY 2017-2018, a huge
portion of funding in the form of the TES go straight to the pockets
of private school owners, at the expense of the students’ right to
free education. This is the government’s way of assuring businessmen
that they will not run out of enrollees and source of superprofits,”
“Duterte is exposed as
insincere in making education more accessible to all. Collection of
various fees is still rampant both in private and public schools.
There is indeed a necessity for us to stand up against Duterte for
his anti-student and pro-businessmen policies disguising as
pro-student reforms. We call on the youth to carry out protest
actions on April 19 in opposition to fees collection and increases
in their respective campuses,” ended Lim.
Duterte order to
Calida and Alvarez to oust Sereno destroys system of checks and
Movement Against Tyranny
April 10, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
President Rodrigo Duterte’s livid response to Chief Justice Ma
Lourdes Sereno’s acceptance speech in yesterday’s Parangal Ng
Kagitingan awards displays how he has swept away the checks and
balances so necessary for democracies to function.
An irate Duterte said he
would personally ensure Sereno’s ouster from the Supreme Court: “I
will egg (Solicitor General) Calida to do his best. Ako na mismo
maglakad, magkalaban sa ‘yo.”
Duterte also said he would
ask Congress to “go into the impeachment right away” and “to ask
Speaker Alvarez now, kindly fast track the impeachment of Sereno.”
Directly addressing Sereno,
Duterte said: “Sige ka diyan, daldal nang daldal, sige, upakan kita.
I will help any investigator, talagang upakan kita. I am putting you
on notice na I am now your enemy and you have to be out of the
In declaring himself an
enemy of the Chief Justice and guaranteeing her ouster from the
Supreme Court, the President also declared war on a Constitution
that clearly stipulates the co-equal status of the executive,
legislative and judicial branches of government.
Likewise, his brusque
order for the House of Representatives to fast track an impeachment
process his solicitor general has tried to derail gives lie to his
efforts to wash his hands off this persecution of Sereno.
Speaker Alvarez’s swift
assurance that his lord’s order be done only cements the reputation
of the House of Representatives as a chamber of servile, venal
politicians who have reduced Congress to a rubber stamp of
We challenge Supreme Court
justices: pull back from the brink. Show the tyrant that there are
lines you will not cross.
But we are sure of one
thing. Even if our so-called democratic institutions crumble from
the rot of corruption and the iron-hand of tyrannical rule, the
Filipino people will resist, we will not give up the fight.
2 CNTs captured,
1 high powered firearm recovered in N. Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
April 6, 2018
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – A platoon from 43rd Infantry (We Search) Battalion while
conducting security patrol in Brgy. San Vicente, Catubig, Northern
Samar encountered undetermined number of CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs)
at around 4:05 A.M. April 5, 2018.
Troops were in the area to
check the validity of the information relayed to them by the
populace on the extortion activities of the armed group. The
encounter resulted in the apprehension of two (2) suspected CNTs
(their names are presently withheld) and the recovery of one M16A1
Elisco rifle SN:039188, two magazines long, two magazines short, 79
rounds for 5.56mm ammunition, one Lenovo laptop, three USB drive,
one memory card, two card readers and, two cellphones. There was no
casualty or injury on the government side.
Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio,
Commander 8ID lauded the troops for a job well done and urged them
to be aggressive against the CNTs who continue to harass civilian
communities thru armed threats and deceptions.
In his statement, Maj.
Gen. Farnacio said that, “troops are there in the area to protect
the people and safeguard the ongoing PAMANA Projects and other
government projects in Northern Samar. This incident clearly shows
that these CNTs are desperate to incur casualties to government
troops to slow down the delivery of basic services of the government
to the communities.”
“This terrorist group is
responsible for large-scale extortion activities, and other criminal
acts that instill fear and anxiety in the hearts and mind of the
peace-loving Filipinos that greatly affects their day-to-day
activities,” Farnacio added.
Duterte urged to sign
Endo EO & free millions of Filipinos from bondage of
April 5, 2018
QUEZON CITY – Labor
group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the
Philippines-Nagkaisa (ALU-TUCP-Nagkaisa) is urging President Rodrigo
Duterte to fulfill his promise to end the precarious short-term Endo
work scheme in the country by signing the Executive Order drafted by
labor groups and free millions of Filipino workers kept in poverty
by contractualization arrangement.
“We are calling on
President Duterte to read the latest Executive Order on
contractualization that he asked us to draft which was submitted
February 7 to his office during our dialogue with him in Malacanang,”
said Michael Mendoza, ALU-TUCP-Nagkaisa National President.
“This EO drafted by labor
is consistent with Article 106 of the Labor Code which says that the
DOLE Secretary may prohibit or regulate the contracting out of jobs.
Further, the DOLE Secretary is just the alter ego of the President
so the EO is feasible contrary to the views of some cabinet
officials,” said Mendoza.
“The President is a
lawyer. By going through the draft, the President will find that
labor groups are no longer pushing for an absolute, total ban on
contractualization and that there is no need to transfer the end
contractualization matter to Congress to amend the law. There’s no
need to amend any laws,” explained Mendoza.
This latest version of the
EO is different from the first and previous drafted EO from labor
which practically abolishes the practice of all forms of short-term
employment including contractualization, Endo (end-of-contract), and
“555” (referring to five months contract duration).
In recognition of
President Duterte’s concern that an absolute ban on
contractualization may discourage new investors in the country,
labor organizations revised the first EO draft by giving
business-owners flexibility to hire the services of contractual or
seasonal jobs on top of the regular and directly-hired workforce.
Section 2 of the EO
drafted by labor group says that: “The Secretary of Labor and
Employment may, however, in consultation with the National
Tripartite Industrial Peace Council under Article 290 of the Labor
Code, as amended, by appropriate regulations, determine activities
which may be contracted out.”
On the other hand, Article
106 of the Labor Code says: “The Secretary of Labor and Employment
may, by appropriate regulations, restrict or prohibit the
contracting-out of labor to protect the rights of workers
established under this Code. In so prohibiting or restricting, he
may make appropriate distinctions between labor-only contracting and
job contracting as well as differentiations within these types of
contracting and determine who among the parties involved shall be
considered the employer for purposes of this Code, to prevent any
violation or circumvention of any provision of this Code.”
“We hope the President
would fulfill and not renege on his commitment to free millions of
workers from the bondage of abusive labor slavery under
contractualization. We hope he would keep his promise to end
contractualization,” said Mendoza.
Around 30 million
Filipinos of the 41 million labor force are working under
contractualization scheme without security of tenure and other
benefits received by regular workers. They are paid poverty wages,
and accorded with poor social protection insurance benefits despite
having rendered labor throughout their productive years.
Engineer David P. Adongay Jr., (wearing shades) inspects the
on-going road widening project along Biliran Circumferential
Road (BCR) - Burabod, Biliran Section on March 6, 2018.
Completion of this project will accommodate huge number of
vehicular users. It is target to be completed on May 1,
DEO’s 2017 projects posts 67.93% accomplishment
April 4, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
Engr. David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer of the Department of
Public Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering Office (DPWH-DEO)
said that the district will finish the on-going 2017 projects based
on their target schedules.
Biliran DEO posts 67.93%
accomplishment for 2017 projects with a negative slippage of 5.55%
as of March 31, 2018. This is already behind of the district’s
73.48% planned target accomplishment.
Adongay said that
contractors were ordered to speed-up the implementation of the
on-going 2017 projects for completion.
“Ginagawa talaga namin
ngayon, una, we are requiring the contractor to render overtime even
during night time. Pangalawa, to add their additional resources,
yung mga equipment nila,” said Adongay.
Adongay revealed that
delayed projects for 2017 implementation were those projects with an
allocation budget of P50M and above.
“Projects more than P50M
were delayed because the approval of the authority to bid and
implement just happened on the 1st quarter of year 2017,” he said.
As of March 31, 2018, out
of the 57 projects, 51 were completed while six are on-going.
Among the on-going
projects for year 2017 implementation are the P61M Rehabilitation of
Slope Protection along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road (NCCR),
P54M Access Road Leading to Naval Port, P49M Rehabilitation of Slope
Protection along Biliran Circumferential Road (BCR), P172M Widening
along Biliran Circumferential Road (BCR) and another P125M Widening
along BCR on six road sections and P128M Rehabilitation of Maripipi
Aside from the late
approval to implement the projects, Adongay said that the
devastation of typhoon Urduja last December, 2017 is also one of the
main reasons for the delay of project implementation in the
“Naapektuhan tayo sa
pagtransport ng ating aggregates, kasi yung ating CarayCaray Bridge
hindi madadaanan ng Malaki (heavy vehicles), so they have to travel
to the alternate road which is 90 kms, malayo din yun,” he said.
The CarayCaray Bridge is
one of the main bridges of the province which was damaged by the
onslaught of typhoon Urduja. It is the only shorter access in going
in and out of Mainland Leyte.
According to Adongay,
remaining 2017 projects will be finished on May and June this year
except for the Maripipi Circumferential Road which is scheduled to
be completed on October, 2018 because of the difficulties in
transporting the equipment and materials to the island town.
“With the good weather,
hindi naman sana mangyari yung katulad sa Urduja, walang reason na
hindi namin matatapos lahat to’,” Adongay said.
expand MSME marketing capabilities through OneSTore.ph
April 4, 2018
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will tie up with the
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to help micro, small and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) expand their market and reach clients
online with the OneSTore.ph.
“MSMEs are the backbone of
the Philippine economy. And as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s
whole-of-government approach to assist MSMEs, we are teaming up with
DOST to impact the lives of more Filipino entrepreneurs,” said DTI
Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
The OneSTore.ph is a first
government e-commerce platform (Business–to-Customer and
Business-to-Business platform) dedicated to marketing high-quality
Filipino products of MSMEs through the worldwide web by “bringing
quality products at Filipino doorsteps.”
This comes as DTI
intensifies marketing capabilities of MSMEs to help them reach the
Under the OneSTore.ph
agreement, DTI will promote the oneSTore.ph to MSMEs through Negosyo
Centers as a platform where they can market their products on-line.
At the same time, DTI will
make Negosyo Centers accessible to clients of DOST and allow clients
to display and dispatch their products with its payment and logistic
partners in One Town One Product (OTOP) Philippines HubStores,
subject to availability of space and to DTI priorities and promote
oneSTore and provide signage for the spaces provided for oneSTore.ph
and oneSTore hub in every OTOP Store identified as co-branded hub,
The One Town, One Product
(OTOP) Philippines is DTI’s collaborative program with national
government agencies and local government units as a customized
intervention to level up the products of various localities and
drive inclusive local economic growth.
DOST, on the other hand,
will develop and maintain oneSTore.ph where its accredited Regional
Hubs and MSMEs may sell products and services to its clients and
engage with payment and logistics partners and provide better
oneSTore.ph services to its accredited Regional Hubs, MSMEs and its
DOST will also provide
priority to jointly identified OTOP products for product development
initiatives including improvements in packaging and labeling,
subsidy or discounts in testing fees, equipment support such as the
Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), and
strengthen research and development efforts.
production in Eastern Visayas declines by 2.9% in 2017
March 28, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY –
Fishery production in Eastern Visayas decreased by 2.9% from 140,275
metric tons (MT) in 2016 to 136,141 MT in 2017.
All provinces registered
decreases in fishery production, except Leyte, the only province
that recorded a significant increase of 24.8%, from 37,163 MT in
2016 to 46,361 MT in 2017. Southern Leyte recorded the highest
decrease by 20.0%, from 7,006 MT in 2016 to 5,605 MT in 2017.
Among provinces, Leyte
produced the highest volume of fisheries at 46,361 MT which
comprised 34.1% of the total fishery production in the region. Samar
ranked second with 35,809 MT which accounted for 26.3% of the
region’s total fishery production. Southern Leyte, meanwhile
registered the lowest volume of production with 4.1% share or 5,605
By subsector, volume of
production in Commercial Fishing went down by 43.1%, from 24,613 MT
in 2016 to 13,995 MT in 2017. All provinces registered decreases
with Leyte recording the largest drop in volume of production at
Volume of production in
Municipal Fishing (marine and inland) also registered a decrease of
5.2%, from 83,443 MT in 2016 to 79,107 MT in 2017. All provinces
registered decreases except for Biliran and Leyte which posted an
increase of 10.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Samar registered the
highest decrease in volume of production at 8.8%.
On the other hand, volume
of production in Aquaculture went up by 33.6%, from 32,219 MT in
2016 to 43,039 in 2017. Increases registered in Southern Leyte
(68.8%), Leyte (58.1%), and Eastern Samar (31.7%) offset the
decreases recorded in Biliran (97.2%), Samar (14.0%), and Northern
Almost three-fifths or
58.1% (79,107 MT) of the total fishery production in the region were
from Municipal Fishing. Aquaculture contributed 31.6% (43,039 MT),
while Commercial Fishing accounted for 10.3% (13,995 MT).
Volume of Fishery Production by sub-sector and province, Region VIII: 2016-2017
Public Information Officers are all smiles at the end of the
workshop posing with the resource speaker Mr. Sarwell Q.
Meniano (wearing white polo shirt).
DPWH-8 PIOs hold
workshop on press release that lands a media coverage
March 28, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the Department of Public Works
and Highways (DPWH) Region VIII continuously exert efforts to
enhance their news writing skills.
Recently, DPWH PIOs held
their first Quarterly Meeting Cum Workshop at Leyte 1st District
Engineering Office (DEO) Maintenance Sub Office, Brgy. Sto. Niño,
Tanauan Leyte on March 22-23 with the topic ‘’Press Release (PR)
That Lands a Media Coverage’’.
With different career
background among DPWH PIOs, Ms. Antonieta R. Lim, DPWH Regional PIO
said that conducting workshops under the department’s Communication
Development Program will improve the capacity of the designated
district PIOs on their duties and responsibilities to inform the
public of its programs, policies and projects.
There were at least 30
PIOs from 13 district engineering offices attended the said workshop
with Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano as the resource speaker.
Meniano is currently the
editor of Philippine News Agency in Eastern Visayas Region.
One of the highlights of
his discussion is sharing the most common mistakes in PR writing.
According to him, there is only 2.6 seconds to win over a visitor.
Having a wrong headline is a total waste while good headlines makes
The best clock worthy
headlines according to him is dealing with statistics. From the
planning stage, design, construction and maintenance of national
infrastructures, DPWH deals with statistics every day. He gave
advice to focus more on the project updates, number of kilometres,
number of beneficiaries and the like.
Aside from writing a good
headline, Meniano also encouraged the participants to use active
voice in their news writing instead of the passive voice because it
is shorter and more direct.
He also shared the most
common mistakes in DPWH press releases. Among of these are having
the very long start, too many names in news lead, too many technical
terms, overuse of unfamiliar acronyms, less attention to the
substance, no direct quotations and more.
“PRs that doesn’t require
much correction from the editor have a bigger chance on landing a
media coverage since it would not cost much time for the editor to
edit,” said Meniano.
To test the learnings of
the participants, they were tasked to re-write and identify mistakes
from the sample news release given by the resource speaker. The
activity gave the participants a better understanding on writing a
The workshop ended with an
open forum from the participants followed by the 1st quarterly
meeting of PIOs.
DPWH PIOs will continue to
conduct trainings and seminars under the Communication Development
Program to acquire and develop their communication skills.
picture: Usec. Jacinto V. Paras delivering his Keynote
Speech. Right picture: NMP Key officials answering the
questions posed by the media.
stakeholders’ forum and media forum
March 28, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – As
part of the Agency’s commitment to improve the maritime industry,
the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) thru its Maritime Research
and Development Division (MRDD) conducted a Stakeholders’ Forum and
Media Forum on 22 March 2018 at The Bayleaf Intramuros, Manila.
The Stakeholders’ Forum served as a venue for NMP to present the
three (3) completed researches in CY 2017, namely: Skills Gaps
Analysis of Maritime Faculty in Philippine Maritime Higher Education
Institutions (MHEIs); Gender Sensitivity Training for Seafarers (GSTS)
Course: A Program Evaluation; and Responding to the Filipino
Seafarers’ Training Requirements in the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments:
Challenges and Opportunities.
Usec. Jacinto V. Paras quoted during his keynote speech an African
proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you
want to go far, go with others.” He said that “Going far simply
can’t be done without people to support you.” He emphasized the need
to sustain cooperation and collaboration between and among maritime
stakeholdersto be able to respond to the ever growing needs of the
Findings of the researches were disseminated to the industry
stakeholders from the government, maritime education and training
(MET) institutions, maritime associations, seafarers’ organizations,
shipping companies and manning agencies. Recommendations from the
researches may serve as valuable inputs to policy making and program
development that impact on the Filipino seafarers as a special
workforce of the country.
The forum also served as a platform for NMP to launch its e-Research
Information System which was developed to communicate to the public
its conducted researches, engage interested stakeholders to
collaborate in ongoing research undertakings, solicit researchable
areas, enjoin the MET practitioners to contribute papers and
articles for the Philippine Journal on Maritime Education and
Training (PJMET) and facilitate linkages between and among
stakeholders and concerned maritime agencies both for the private
and the government entity.
Along with the Philippine Development Plan of the Duterte
Administration, the NMP crafted its Strategic Plan 2018-2020 within
its mandate and towards its vision as “The Philippines’ leader in
maritime training, including e-learning and research”. The said plan
was also presented during the forum for further inputs from the
stakeholders as a way of validating its responsiveness to the
industry that the NMP serves as well as to introduce possible areas
of collaboration in the implementation of the plan.
The conduct of research is one of the mandates of NMP, in which
research output are utilized to formulate policies and regulations
for the improvement of the maritime manpower sector of the industry.
NMP is also mandated to conduct researches on the latest maritime
In the afternoon of the said day, a Media Forum was organized by NMP
to communicate to the national media the highlights of
accomplishments of the Agency, strategic directions and major
programs, projects and activities towards its vision and mission.
There were forty-nine (49) participants to the stakeholders’ forum
while the media forum was attended by twenty (20) media outlets
mostly members of Maritime Journalists Association of the
Philippines (MJAP), Inc., headed by Ms. Carmela I. Huelar, its
Aside from its research function, the NMP continues to upgrade its
facilities and provide maritime trainings required pursuant to the
Standards of Training, Certification, and Watch keeping for
Seafarers (STCW) Convention as amended in 2010 including
value-adding courses towards improving the qualifications of
Filipino seafarers for their employment acceptability and enhanced
Those interested to take NMP training programs may visit the NMP
website www.nmp.gov.ph and its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter)
where all related information on NMP trainings are available.
Eastern Visayas’ construction statistics: 4th quarter 2017
March 28, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – The
region’s total number of constructions in the fourth quarter of 2017
reached 669. This reflected a decrease of 56.5% from the 1,539
constructions recorded during the same quarter in 2016.
Data were based on the
preliminary results of construction statistics from approved
By type of construction,
Residential Building constructions declined by 72.8%, from 1,248
constructions in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 339 constructions in
the fourth quarter of 2017.
On the other hand,
Non-Residential Building constructions increased by 12.2%, from 181
constructions in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 203 constructions in
the same period of the 2017.
Similarly, combined number
for Additions/Alterations and Repairs of existing structures went up
by 15.5%, from 110 constructions in the fourth quarter of 2016 to
127 constructions during the quarter in review.
A little more than half
(50.7%) of the constructions were Residential Buildings.
Non-Residential Buildings comprised 30.3%, while
Additions/Alterations and Repairs accounted for 19.0% of the
region’s total constructions.
The total value of
constructions in the region during the fourth quarter of 2017 was
estimated at P1.9 billion. This figure is 36.1% lower compared with
the P3.0 billion total value of constructions during the same
quarter in 2016.
Total value of Residential
Building constructions significantly dropped by 76.6%, from P1.9
billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P4.4 million in the same
period in 2017.
Similarly, aggregate value
of Additions/Alterations and Repairs declined by 34.5%, from P87.9
million in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P57.5 million in the fourth
quarter of 2017.
On the other hand, total
value of Non-Residential Buildings increased by 34.9%, from P1.1
billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P1.4 billion during the
quarter in review.
Total value of
Non-Residential Building in the region comprised the largest share
in terms of value at 74.4%. Value of constructions of Residential
Building contributed almost a quarter (22.7%), while
Additions/Alterations and Repairs accounted for 3.0% of the region’s
total value of construction.
Average cost per square
meter of residential buildings
Average cost per square
meter of Residential Buildings in the region for the fourth quarter
of 2017 was estimated at P8,811, higher by 3.1% compared with the
P8,544 average cost in the same period last year.
Among the different types
of residential buildings, Single type reported higher average cost
per square meter at P8,639 during the reference period from P7,740
per square meter in the same period in 2016.
Similarly, average cost
per square meter for Apartment/Accessoria/Others increased by 12.6%,
from P8,761 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P9,868 in the same
quarter in 2017. It reported the highest average cost per square
meter among residential buildings.
On the other hand, average
cost of Duplex/Quadruplex decreased by 19.1%, from P10,089 in the
fourth quarter of 2016 to P8,167 during the quarter in review.
Average cost per square
meter of non-residential buildings
Average cost per square
meter of Non-Residential Buildings in the region for the fourth
quarter of 2017 was estimated at P7,237, lower by 18.7% compared
with the P8,903 average cost in the same period last year.
Among the different types
of non-residential buildings, Commercial Buildings reported lower
average cost per square meter at P6,867 during the reference period
from P8,681 per square meter in the same period in 2016.
Similarly, average cost
per square meter for Institutional Buildings decreased by 31.0%,
from P10,556 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P7,286 in the same
quarter in 2017.
On the other hand, average
cost of Agricultural and Other Non-Residential Buildings more than
doubled, posting an increase of 114.0%, from P4,155 in the fourth
quarter of 2016 to P8,891 in the fourth quarter of 2017. It reported
the highest average cost per square meter among non-residential
likewise recorded higher average cost per square meter at P7,018
during the quarter in review from P4,992 per square meter in the
same period in 2016.
Lagman (in blue shirt and khaki shorts) of Samar First
District Engineering Office gets a first-hand experience in
handling drone operation.
Information Officers take training to new heights
BON JOSEPH N. ASTILLA
March 27, 2018
CALBAYOG CITY –
Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the Department of Public Works
and Highways (DPWH) Region VIII upgrade their skills during the
first quarterly meeting on March 22-23, 2018 in Tanauan, Leyte.
Hosted by the joint efforts of Leyte I, II, III District Engineering
Offices and Tacloban City District Engineering Office, the meeting
cum workshop tackles drone operation among many others.
The technical name of
drones is “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (UAVs). They are trending
aerial vehicles which come in wide varieties of sizes and shapes and
functions, which are controlled either by remote or control systems
from the ground. The PIOs take advantage of such device to further
up their game in the field of documentation as well as make use of
it in audio-visual presentations. In the workshop, PIOs get to have
basic knowledge of the tool and equal opportunities in actual flying
it to film and capture pictures in high altitude.
though will be wasted if not properly disseminated by appropriate
means. This is where improving media relations come into play which
is the topic of the resource speaker, Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano, an
editor in the Philippines News Agency. He provided pointers in
making press releases that will land media coverage as well as
steadily trekking the tricky and fragile relationships with the
media. Ms. Antonieta R. Lim, Regional Public Assistance and
Information Officer, and her staff added some updates with the
Communication Development Program in line with the continuing
capability-building effort for PIO designates and it’s alternate.
The training culminates
with Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano leaving a reminder, “Never assume that
others know what you know. Submitting a story online means you are
reaching to a global audience who are not familiar with local and
technical terms. Think global in this digital age.”
Army clashes anew
in Eastern Samar, 1 CPP-NPA terrorist killed, 2 high powered
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 27, 2018
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – A platoon from 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion under
Lt. Col. Manuel Leo Q. Gador while responding to information from
the populace on the presence of an armed group in Barangay San Roque,
Maslog, Eastern, Samar was fired upon by more or less 12 CPP-NPA
Terrrorists (CNTs) today, March 27, 2018 at 6:00 o’ clock in the
The 30-minute firefight
resulted to the recovery of one M16A1 rifle; one AK-47 rifle; one
hand grenade; two landmines; 11 jungle hammock backpacks; 12 poncho
tent; one cellular phone; and subversive documents with high
intelligence value. No reported casualty on the government side
while one dead body of the enemy was recovered at the encounter
This unrelenting campaign
of the Army in the region will deter the criminal activities of the
CNTs to conduct possible attack/atrocities on far-flung communities
during the observance of the Lenten Season.
In his message, Maj. Gen.
Raul M. Farnacio AFP, Commander, 8ID said, “These CPP-NPA Terrorists
are taking advantage from the shadow of fear and weakness of the
community of their threat, we will not put our hands down in
securing the safety and protection of community.”
advocates, citizen’s groups decry Congress’s recommendation for
Meralco’s ‘dirty, costly’ contracts
March 27, 2018
QUEZON CITY – Civil
society organizations slammed the recent recommendation issued by
the House of Representatives Committees on Energy and Good
Governance and Public Accountability supporting the approval of
Meralco’s controversial deals with its affiliate generation
“After almost a year of
investigating the irregularities surrounding Meralco’s seven Power
Supply Agreements (PSAs) with its sister generation corporations,
the House of Representatives Committee on Energy ended up
recommending the approval of the questionable contracts,” said
Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) Executive
Director Gerry Arances. “This goes against the facts and evidence
presented by civil society, affirmed by the Ombudsman’s finding of
possible collusion between Meralco and the ERC,” he continued.
Cong. Danilo Suarez filed the motion to recommend the contracts for
approval after Bayan Representative Cong. Zarate moved to
investigate the anomalous deals entered into by Meralco without the
required competitive selection process (CSP), suspiciously waived by
the ERC for the distribution utility.
“CEED has twice presented
in the hearings conducted by the Committees on Good Governance and
Energy the effect of approving these contracts on the environment,
the electricity bills of consumers, and the country’s commitment to
abandon coal and increase the share of Renewable Energy,” said CEED
Legal Officer Atty. Avril De Torres. “While the decision to approve
these contracts lie solely on the ERC, the recommendation of the
House of Representatives may overshadow the various irregularities
surrounding the deals, and their negative implications on the
consumers,” she continued.
De Torres reiterated how
these PSAs accounting for 3,551 MW of power will “lock in millions
of Filipinos to relying on costly and dirty energy from coal for at
least twenty years” once approved.
“The opportunity cost of
losing the interest of coal investors is not enough to subject the
end-users to such an unfair deal,” De Torres responded to Rep.
Suarez’s comments. “The resolution disregards the willingness of
clean energy companies to fill in the energy needs of the consumers
while respecting the governing rules ensuring that consumers will be
provided the cleanest, most competitive energy option,” De Torres
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa of the
multisectoral coalition Sanlakas, among the oppositors in the
applications filed by Meralco and its affiliate coal companies,
denounced how Meralco has successfully mobilized support from almost
all branches of the government, even with its “blatant disregard for
good governance and the rights of the consumers.”
“From the TRO by the Court
of Appeals lifting the suspension of the seven ERC commissioners
suspected of colluding with Meralco, to the Lower House’s
recommendation of Meralco’s power deals, the country’s largest power
company has successfully maneuvered to getting its way at the
expense of Filipino citizens,” said Pedrosa. “On top of that, it is
using fear tactics to scare consumers into thinking that the
rejection of their contracts will lead to massive brownouts, which
the House of Representatives reflected in their resolution,” he
“The recommendation issued
by the Lower House is also a slap in the face of those who will be
affected by and are actively resisting the construction and
operation of coal fired power plants, most notably those in Atimonan,
Quezon, the very constituents of the recommendation’s mastermind,
Rep. Danilo Suarez,” Pedrosa noted.
in Eastern Visayas declines by 1.0% in 2017
March 26, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY –
Palay production in Eastern Visayas declined by 1.0 percent from
954,844 metric tons (MT) in 2016 to 945,565 MT in 2017.
Among the provinces, Leyte
produced the highest volume of palay at 481,487 MT which comprised a
little more than half (50.9%) of the total palay production in the
region. Eastern Samar, meanwhile, had the lowest volume of
production (59,754 MT) accounting for only 6.3%.
The total harvest area for
palay in the region, on the other hand, inched up by 1.8%, from
268,110 hectares in 2016 to 272,889 hectares in 2017. Increases in
palay area harvested were observed among all provinces, except for
Biliran and Southern Leyte which exhibited decreases of 2.6% and
Leyte recorded more than
two-fifths or 43.4% (481,487 hectares) of the total palay area
harvested in 2017, while Biliran contributed the least (14,383
hectares) accounting for only 5.3%.
Yield for palay in the
region went down by 2.7%, from 3.6 MT per hectare in 2016 to 3.5 MT
per hectare in 2017.
Among the provinces,
Biliran posted the highest yield per hectare at 4.5 MT per hectare
in 2017. Eastern Samar registered the lowest yield per hectare at
2.6 MT per hectare.
NPA terrorists in Eastern Samar, recovers 1 rifle
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 26, 2018
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – A five minute firefight ensued between a squad from 14th
Infantry (Avenger) Battalion and a group of about five members of
the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Sitio Parik, Barangay Cansangaya,
Can-avid, Eastern Samar on March 24, 2018 at 11:05 o’ clock in the
Said troops acted from
information coming from concerned residents on the presence of an
armed group conducting extortion activities in the said community.
Troops immediately conducted a combat operation that resulted to the
recovery of one M1A1 Garand rifle with serial number 2065519 and one
bandolier with four clip of magazine with ammo. No reported casualty
was reported on both sides.
The 49th Anniversary of
the New People’s Army falls within the holy week period, it is
presumed that there is a possibility that they will take violent
actions and terroristic acts by launching atrocities against AFP/PNP
personnel, camps and detachments in Eastern Visayas.
Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio
AFP, Commander, 8ID said, “The Army will remain steadfast in its
campaign in protecting the populace from CNTs and other threat
groups criminal activities, and secure churches/cathedrals, places
of religious worship, resorts, economic centers, seat of government
instrumentalities, and other vital installations to ensure the
peaceful observance of the Lenten Season, in collaboration with the
PNP through the Joint Peace Security and Coordinating Center (JPSCC).”
fight against TB in prisons
March 25, 2018
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health concern in the
Philippines, which remains among the most affected countries in the
world. The country’s overcrowded places of detention are
particularly exposed to the disease. However, in New Bilibid Prison
(NBP) in Muntinlupa City, some significant gains have been made in
the fight to eliminate TB among inmates.
In collaboration with the
Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) launched a pilot project at NBP in 2013 aimed at
improving TB control strategies.
Through the project, more
than 50,000 detainees were screened for TB. Around 2,800 of them
with active TB, including 219 detainees with drug-resistant TB, were
identified and enrolled for the treatment. Over 1,700 patients were
cured, and the TB mortality rate dropped from 157 deaths to 112 per
100,000 people. The prison achieved the national and World Health
Organization’s target of 90 percent success rate in treatment of
drug-susceptible TB cases.
On 20 March 2018, this
pilot project, which is also intended to serve as a model for other
detention facilities to enhance their TB program implementation, was
officially handed over to BuCor for continuance. Speaking on behalf
of the TB Treatment Unit, Dr. Maria Cecilia Villanueva was confident
about the way forward: “I know that our TB team will continue to do
“There are areas that
require strong focus, such as screening upon entry in the Reception
and Diagnostic Center, as it would allow us to efficiently diagnose
inmates and give them the treatment they need at the earliest
possible time. We now have the equipment and skills to do that,”
Owing to this
collaboration, the NBP TB staff work in a renovated and functional
treatment unit. It contains fully equipped offices, clinic,
pharmacy, TB laboratory, and a 200-bed-capacity isolation dormitory
with patients’ access to open air and gardening.
On the occasion of World
TB Day on 24 March, the ICRC affirms its commitment to continue its
mobilization efforts to ensure access to quality TB care in
“We believe that
collaboration among the authorities and external partners is the
best way forward in order for the Philippines to be TB-free by
2035,” said Dr. Kester Maniaul, TB in detention program manager of
“TB in detention
facilities is a serious public health issue. The gains we see now
may not be substantial to eliminate TB among inmates sooner unless
overcrowding, which contributes to the rapid spread of this
preventable disease, and issues such as the overall lack of human
resources in jails and prisons are addressed,” Maniaul added.
The ICRC is a neutral,
impartial, and independent humanitarian organization whose exclusive
humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims
of armed conflict and other situations of violence, and to provide
them with assistance.
In the Philippines,
looking after the rights of people detained in relation to armed
conflicts in the past three decades, the ICRC has been visiting
detention facilities across the country to monitor the conditions
and treatment of detainees. And whenever necessary, it also supports
the authorities in their efforts to address the causes of jail
overcrowding and carries out projects to improve inmates’ living
conditions and their access to health care, water, and sanitation.
Edwin Marino C. Ongchuan during the Ceremonial Entrustment
of Firearms to the Philippine Army Candidate Soldier Course
Class 511-2017 at the 8ID Grandstand, Camp Lukban,
Catbalogan City on March 24, 2018.
enlisted privates strengthens army in Eastern Visayas
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 25, 2018
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The Philippine Army Candidate Soldier Course Class
511-2017 was formally closed on March 24, 2018 at 10 o’clock in the
morning at the 8ID Grandstand, Camp Lukban, Brgy. Maulong,
Catbalogan City, Samar.
The closing ceremony was
graced by Hon. Edwin Marino C. Ongchuan, Representative, 2nd
Congressional District of Northern Samar as the Guest of Honor and
Speaker who further led the ceremonial entrustment of firearms,
distribution of certificates and individual achievements. The
entrustment of firearms to the 235 newly enlisted privates
symbolizes their responsibilities and commitment to the people and
Hon. Ongchuan emphasized
during his inspirational message their duty as public servants of
the country. “As new soldiers, you should always remember the law
for the benefit of the country. You have undergone rigid training,
and some bad make did not survive, but you are in today feeling
victorious because after all the hardship you gained confidence. So
my dear graduates, let us be full upright in performing our duties
with dignity and honor, let us avoid getting involved in any
wrongdoing that will tarnish you being a soldier and servant of the
Republic of the Philippines,” Hon. Ongchuan said.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Raul
M. Farnacio AFP, Commander, 8ID reminded the new soldiers of 8ID the
value of sacrifice. “Natutunan niyo noong kayo ay nag-aaply at
nagsasanay pa lamang na sakripisyo ang kailangan para maging sundalo.
Sakripisyo na mawalay sa inyong pamilya para sa mas maginhawang
kinabukasan. At sa mga susunod na araw bilang mga bagong sundalo ng
Republika ng Pilipinas, mas mararamdaman niyo na para magtagal at
magtagumpay sa propesyon na ito ay kailangan pa ng mas malalim na
sakripisyo. Ito ang sakripisyo para sa ating bayan,” he said.
The youngest members of
the Stormtroopers Division will join the fight against insurgency,
illegal drugs, private armed group, and terrorism.
Visayas registers 96.3% employment rate in January 2018
March 23, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY –
Employment rate in Eastern Visayas in January 2018 was estimated at
96.3%, ranking fifth among the regions with high employment rate in
the country. This figure is higher than the 93.6% ER recorded in
January 2017. Employment rate is the proportion of employed persons
to total labor force.
Out of the estimated 3.1
million population 15 years old and over in January 2018, about 1.9
million were economically active or in the labor force. This number
translates to a Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of 61.6%. This
figure is 5.4 percentage points higher compared with the 56.2% LFPR
in the same period a year ago. Among the regions, Eastern Visayas
registered the fifth lowest LFPR.
The underemployed persons
or those employed persons who express the desire to have additional
hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to
have a new job with longer working hours was estimated at 361
thousand. This is equal to an underemployment rate of 19.4%, lower
than the 23.2% recorded in the same period last year. The region had
the ninth highest underemployment rate in the country.
Meanwhile, about 71
thousand persons in the labor force were unemployed. This translates
to an unemployment rate of 3.7%, lower than the 6.4 percent rate
recorded in January 2017. Eastern Visayas ranked fifth among the
regions with low employment rate.
Data were based on the
preliminary estimates released by the Philippine Statistics
Authority from the Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted in January
Secretary Mark A. Villlar graced the occasion as the keynote
speaker during women’s celebration in behalf of his mother
Senator Cynthia A. Villar on Wednesday, March 14 held at the
Activity Center, Capitol Grounds, Calumpang, Naval, Biliran.
of Biliran DEO participate 23rd provincial women’s congress
March 21, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
Women employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
Biliran District Engineering Office participated the 23rd Provincial
Women’s Congress on Wednesday, March 14 held at the Activity Center,
Capitol Grounds, Calumpang, Naval, Biliran.
There were an estimated
3,000 women-participants coming from the 132 barangays, 49 sitios,
and 186 chapters of Women for Rural Development – Katipunan ng
Liping Pilipino (WORD-KALIPI) province-wide, Provincial Council for
Women's Welfare, Incorporated (PCWWI) officials and members, women
legislators and other women sectors in the province who joined the
The event started with a
holy mass followed with a parade going to the provincial capitol
grounds for the opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Trade
Fair and the opening program.
One of the highlights of
the celebration was the plenary session/ discussions on interesting
topics to provide participants with knowledge on promoting gender
equality and empowerment.
There were also slogan
writing contest, dance contest and skills training simultaneous with
the plenary sessions: skirting, stage decoration, marcotting and
grafting, make-over and vermin composting.
Other activities during
the celebration includes the trade fair which showcased the
livelihood projects of women.
DPWH Secretary Mark A.
Villlar graced the occasion as the keynote speaker during women’s
celebration in behalf of his mother Senator Cynthia A. Villar.
Senator Villar is known
for providing livelihood programs to the people. Biliran Province is
one of the beneficiaries of her legislation under Republic Act No.
10861 otherwise known as An act for the establishment for provincial
fisheries and aquatic resources training, development, and product
On his speech, the DPWH
Secretary highlighted the strong support of her mother to the group
of women. He also vowed to continue supporting the Biliran women’s
organization especially when it comes to infrastructures and
The National Women’s
Celebration every March is part of the worldwide observance of the
International Women’s Day pursuant to R.A. 6469 series of 1996.
This year’s celebration is
in adherence with the theme “We Make Change Work for Women which
shall be used from 2017- 2022.
UPVTC wins over
SPSPS, completes set of quarter finalists in the Intercollegiate
MA. FABIANA B. GARCIA
and MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
March 21, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – The
University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC)
triumphed over St. Paul’s School of Professional Studies (SPSPS) in
the 2nd match of the Preliminary Rounds of the 2018 Intercollegiate
Federalism Debate (Tacloban City/Leyte leg) hosted by the Department
of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) at the 2nd floor,
Student Center, Leyte Normal University on March 21, 2018.
Leonardo Dimatangal of
UPVTC also stood out among other debaters by bagging both the Best
Debater and Best Speaker medals.
The teams argued on the
following proposition, “Resolve that the country shall adopt a
unicameral legislature in a federal system of government”, with
SPSPS taking the affirmative stand and UPVTC tasked with the
The UPVTC team was
composed of Brandon Ian Dela Cruz, Leonardo Dimatangal, Jeffrae
Isaac Albert Damayo, and Gio Martin Ocfemia, with Prof. Dakila Yee
as the coach; while the SPSPS team was composed of Jejomar Bru,
Glydel Jain A. Tacad, Joshua V. Baldo, and Gil Kristopher C. Rosillo,
mentored by Atty. Jose Aguinalde.
Prof. Arvin de Veyra
moderated the debate, which aired live over DYVL AksyonRadyo
Tacloban and on the DILG Region 8 Facebook page. The panel of judges
were from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines - Leyte Chapter,
Atty. Karah Jane A. Tamboong, Atty. Vincent Q. Piga, and Atty. Romeo
UPVTC will be joining the
quarterfinals with the rest of the winning colleges all over the
The quarterfinal rounds of
the debate are scheduled on April 2 for the match between Leyte
Normal University (LNU) and Maasin City College (MCC); April 4 for
Visayas State University (VSU) vs. Naval State University (NSU);
April 11 for the match between University of Eastern Philippines (UEP)
and Eastern Samar State University (ESSU); and April 16 for the
debate between UPVTC and Samar College. The semi-finals and grand
finals are to be scheduled within the same month.
The 2018 Intercollegiate
Federalism Debate is one of DILG Region 8’s responses to the
President’s directive for the department to lead the information
campaign on Federalism. Recognizing that the youth predominantly
compose the voting population, DILG-8 decided to gear many IEC
activities towards this age group. A debate on the merits and
details of Federalism hopes to bring about improved awareness,
knowledge, discussion, and appreciation of Federalism and other
forms of government, and at the same time promote a culture of
discussion on Federalism and relevant issues among various
of DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar with Biliran Island.com
during his visit on March 14 to Biliran Province. The DPWH
Secretary attended the 23rd Biliran Women’s Congress
Celebration as a keynote speaker in behalf of his mother,
Senator Cynthia A. Villar. He also conducted an on-site
inspection of CarayCaray Bridge with Engr. Edgar B. Tabacon,
Regional Director, Engr. David P. Adongay Jr. and Engr.
Alfredo L. Bollido, Assistant District Engineer of Biliran
District Engineering Office.
to construct detour across Caraycaray river for heavy vehicles
March 21, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) will construct a detour across the
This will reduce the
travel time of heavy vehicles from two and a half hour travel
(90Kms) to 30 minutes (19kms) from Biliranto Naval, the capital
DPWH Secretary Mark A.
Villar said that the DPWH will prioritized the funding for the said
detour to solve the problem of using the long route.
Villar was at Biliran on
Wednesday, March 14 as the keynote speaker in behalf of his mother,
Senator Cynthia A. Villar during the 23rd Biliran Women’s Congress
His visit was also an
opportunity for him to conduct an on-site inspection of CarayCaray
Bridge which was damaged by Tropical Storm Urduja last December 15,
According to Villar, there
is really a need to speed-up the construction of the new bridge to
lower the cost of goods in the Province of Biliran.
Since after typhoon Urduja,
trucks, panels and other heavy vehicles were advised to take the
alternate long route Naval-Almeria-Kawayan-Culaba-Caibiran-Cabucgayan
road and vice versa, thus leads price hikes of other goods in the
Engr. David P. Adongay
Jr., District Engineer of Biliran DEO also said that the completion
of detour will also help contractors to fast-track their project
implementation because contractors will no longer have an excuse for
the delay of their projects.
The construction of detour
across CarayCaray River has a length of 45m. with pavement width of
6.10m and a thickness of 0.28m with a budget amount of P4.760M. It
is already under Preliminary and Detailed (PDE) activities.
Energy Research Institution:
companies pushing high-cost, dirty electricity this summer
March 21, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
According to energy research institution Center for Energy, Ecology,
and Development (CEED), higher consumer demand for power during the
summer is now being utilized by Meralco and its affiliate coal
generation companies to push for the approval of their power supply
agreements sourced from coal (coal PSAs). Just three months ago, the
Ombudsman ordered the suspension of four Energy Regulatory
Commission (ERC) Commissioners over the anomalous coal PSAs.
CEED Executive Director
Gerry Arances called out energy giants Meralco and Redondo Peninsula
for bemoaning the delay in the approval of their coal PSAs but
overlooking the interests of consumers, who opposed the said
“Meralco and its affiliate
coal companies have pushed for the approval and operation of their
coal-fired power plants under the guise of protecting consumers from
power outages,” Arances noted.
“However, these coal PSAs
are being contested by the consumers themselves, with the support of
environment and grassroot organizations, for spelling out higher
electricity prices and a dirtier environment for the next twenty
years,” said Arances.
CEED Legal and Policy
Officer Atty. Avril De Torres also lamented the Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals against the
Ombudsman’s suspension order, in order to prevent public service
“Public service disruption
should not be used as a justification to stay the Ombudsman’s
suspension order and to approve the anomalous coal PSAs. Our
remedies should be to immediately appoint acting commissioners, and
to prioritize the approval of cleaner and cheaper energy. This is
how we ensure that we are promoting public service and consumer
interest over the interests of coal companies,” said De Torres.
According to Arances, coal
spells out higher electricity prices since coal is already more
expensive than wind and solar energy. Under the seven coal PSAs, the
average rate of coal electricity is PHP 3.65/kWh, meanwhile wind and
solar are at a lower rate of P3.50/kWh and P2.99/kWh, respectively.
Arances stated that what
is also usually left out in Meralco and other coal giants’ pressure
for more coal is the global transition away from coal, which puts
facilities like coal-fired power plants at risk of becoming stranded
He cited a study conducted
by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)
and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) which
showed that ‘stranded coal assets’ are a growing material risk that
is inevitable in the Philippines.
Arances said that
according to the IEEFA and ICSC study, trends in the coal-fired
electricity generation sector, such as the over-build of coal-fired
power plants, ‘may leave ratepayers at risk of having to pay
“If Meralco and its coal
affiliates have their way in the approval and operation of their
coal plants, Philippine electricity consumers are to be locked into
not only twenty more years of dirty and steadily increasing
electricity prices, but also into paying for stranded asset costs of
these obsolete coal plants,” Arances claimed.
“Necessarily, this will
also prevent consumers from accessing cleaner and cheaper
electricity from sources like renewable energy,” he concluded.