urges SSS to transparent investigation, suspend SSS officials
involve in controversy
October 31, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Expressing grave concern over the controversy, workers’ group the
Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP)
is calling for a credible and transparent investigation into the
investment controversy involving some top executives in the Social
Security System (SSS).
The concern raised by
ALU-TUCP stem from a complaint filed by SSS Commissioner Jose
Gabriel “Pompei” La Vina against four SSS top executives for alleged
illegal profiteering from position by trading stocks for their
personal accounts using the same stockbrokers who manage the
investment portfolio of SSS.
“We are calling for a
transparent and credible investigation into the controversy. Kung
hindi pa nagkaroon ng news expose, hindi napag-alaman ng mga
members. Kung kaya’t nangangamba kami na baka na-compromiso na ang
pera ng mga miembro at may collusion ang karamihan ng mga officials
ng SSS,” said ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
The group lauded La Vina
for protecting the funds from wrongdoing but called the SSS
Commission and the SSS management executive officials to task.
“Nadiskubre na pala ito
more than two weeks ago pero bakit hindi kaagad ipinaalam ng
commission and management sa mga miembro ang insidente. This
controversy is causing undue fear and doubt among the members. The
SSS administrators and managers should initiate culture of
transparency, what’s going in the system and how their blood money
is being spent,” Tanjusay said.
“We also urged the SSS
administrators to temporarily suspend all its officials involve to
safeguard the documents and prevent them from influencing the
internal investigation process being conducted on the controversy,”
To safeguard SSS funds
from misuse and similar questionable use, there must be set of rules
and regulations that prohibit all SSS officers and staffs from
making personal investments using the influence and auspices of SSS.
support to Regional Federation of Employees Union
APRIL FATIMA D.
October 27, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
SFDEO hosted the Regional Federation of Employees Union Officers and
Board of Directors Meeting, spearheaded by Engr. Enrico Cobacha on
October 06, 2017, 1:00 pm at DPWH - SFDEO Conference Hall.
District Engineer Alvin A.
Ignacio extends his warm welcome and commitment to support any
activities that will boost the cause of helping the rank and file
employees in investment and financial management. He shares his
endeavors as a previous President in Northern Samar, and he
introduces the Bulig Program that enables the employee to borrow
funds at a lower interest rate and canteen, which enable members of
the association to generate income through dividends.
RFEU consists of 13
Districts namely Biliran, ESED, Leyte I, Leyte II, Leyte II, Leyte
IV, Leyte V, SLED, Northern Samar I, Northern Samar II, Samar I,
Samar II and Tacloban City.
The agenda of the meeting
are the reporting of the financial status of RFEU, submission of
financial status report of DEO RAFEA, synchronize election of RAFEA
Officers, planning of activities and approval of proposed budget for
the next board meeting. The Union addressed the benefits of their
members and how to uphold the status of promotion of rank and file
Stamp out Marcos
PhilPost-issued Marcos centennial stamps
October 27, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
“Another stolen credit, another stamping of Marcos rehabilitation
and revision of history,” was how CARMMA described the issuance of a
commemorative stamp on the birth centennial of the late dictator
“Not in our mails,” said CARMMA spokesperson Bonifacio Ilagan, in
reaction to the stamp, issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation
which featured Marcos’ portrait and signature. “The Duterte regime’s
political rehabilitation of the Marcos goes on and on. One day,
shall we see images of Marcos all over the country? Posters, action
figures? We can only express extreme disgust,” he said.
As to the non-announcement of the release of 50,000 stamps, Ilagan
said the PhilPost knew there will be reactions and protests with
these actions. “However, they sadly chose to be part of the
continuing sanitization of history, stamping out the sins and
accountabilities of the Marcoses, as if he is the one who should be
given high regard. Philippine heroes are definitely rolling in their
graves, with their faces on stamps alongside a dictator who wronged
the people!” Ilagan said.
“Whether PhilPost management is ignorant of the crimes of the
Marcoses against the people and the nations’s history of
anti-dictatorship struggle or is engaged in the deliberate moves to
rehabilitate the dead dictator, the issuance of a commemorative
stamp to pay tribute to a murderer and plunderer is an affront to
our morality and sensibility as a nation. It deserved our strong
rebuke,” said the group.
The group said with this, CARMMA is preparing for actions towards
the one year of the infamous hero’s burial of Marcos at the Libingan
ng mga Bayani.
”The Marcoses, with Duterte as their most reliable patron, are not
stopping at changing what has been stamped in the past, consciously
trampling upon not just history but the hard-fought battles of the
people against tyranny and dictatorship. As for Duterte, his actions
and decisions are all copycats of his idol Marcos. Before he thinks
of being put in a stamp, or becoming an action figure, he should
worry of the people’s verdict to him as one president who won
through popular support, but gave failed change and resulted to
anti-people policies, and creeping towards a tyrannical rule,”
Turn-over of new
school building in Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval
CARL MARK D. PEDRERA
October 26, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways - Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) partakes in the turn-over ceremony of
the newly constructed P2.945-million school building project under
the Department of Education Basic Educational Facilities Fund (DepEd
BEFF) of CY 2016 on September 28, 2017 at the Naval National Highs
School (NNHS) in Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval, Biliran.
Congressman Rogelio J.
Espina (Lone District of Biliran) led the turn-over of the new
1-storey, 3-classroom structure to Naval National High School in
Brgy. Larrazabl, Naval, Biliran. The event was also attended by
District Engineer David P. Adongay (Biliran DEO), Rev. Fr. Kenneth
Hendricks, Schools Division Superintendent (SDS) Pedro T. Escobarte,
Jr., Assistant District Engineer Alfredo L. Bollido, School
Principal Dr. Armando Laude, School Governance Office Division (SGOD)
Chief Lucille Roa, Board Member Justin Roa, Engr. Warlito Alagao (WB
Alagao Construction), teachers, DepEd and LGU Officials.
Part of the program was
the ribbon cutting and blessing of the building followed by the
messages of support from Congressman Espina and District Engineer
Adongay and the ceremonial turning over of the responsibility to the
school. The school gladly accepted the symbolic key and the
Principal, Dr. Laude extended his gratitude to DPWH and its partners
for their continued support and assistance.
All the students and
teachers were very grateful for the new school building granted to
them as they witnessed the turn-over of the symbolic key.
The new school building
has sufficient lighting and is well ventilated making it conducive
for learning. This will accommodate the current and future enrollees
of the school.
DTI cites winners
of Startup World Cup Philippines regional finals
October 26, 2017
MAKATI CITY – In
the recently concluded Slingshot ASEAN led by the Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI), winners for the Startup World Cup -
Philippines Regional were announced to represent the Philippines and
compete with the rest of the world in the upcoming Startup World Cup
Grand Finale in Silicon Valley on May 2018.
Storm Technologies topped
the ten finalists as it bagged the grand prize, which includes an
all-expense paid trip to San Francisco and a chance to win
$1,000,000 by competing in the Startup World Cup Global Finale.
Storm Technologies is the largest flexible benefits and incentives
firm in the Philippines. It serves over 100,000 employees across
include Beam and Go as 4th runner-up; Zennya, 3rd runner-up;
Qwikwire, 2nd runner-up; and Ayannah, 1st runner-up. All runners-up
will be attending Startup World Cup Finale in Silicon Valley.
Startup World Cup
Philippines Regional grand finals is a collaboration between DTI,
Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for
Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development
(DOST-PCIEERD), DENTSU X Philippines, Fenox Venture Capital
Southeast Asia and Brainsparks. Startup World Cup on the other hand,
is a global conference and competition that brings together the top
startups, venture capitalists (VCs), entrepreneurs and world-class
Organized by the
Department of Trade and Industry, Slingshot ASEAN is one of the
official events lined up by the ASEAN Committee on Business and
Investment Promotion (ASEAN-CBIP) being chaired by DTI
Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K.
CARL MARK D. PEDRERA
October 25, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – As
we are approaching halfway of the 4th quarter of the year 2017, the
Department of Public Works and Highways - Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) expedites its remaining projects for
the year 2016.
The Department of
Education with its Basic Educational Facilities Fund, twenty-two
(22) projects on school buildings was implemented having a total
programmed amount of P172.6M.
Fifteen (15) of these
projects having an actual accomplishment of 100%. Six (6) school
project in Naval, Biliran, Caibiran, Kawayan and Maripipi is still
on-going but is already more than halfway from completion. One (1)
school project in Biliran has not been started yet due to the
project being temporarily suspended due to weather condition and
unforeseen source of water within the project site which affects the
foundation works. Thousands of students have benefited from these
newly built school and more will be upon full completion of the
For the Health Facilities
Project with a programmed amount of P10M, the Rehabilitation of the
Biliran Provincial Hospital (BPH) is 100% completed and more
patients will be accommodated.
The Department of
Agriculture’s P42M projects for its construction of seven (7) farm
to market roads is 100% completed. The project was purposely
implemented for residents and merchants to have a short and easy
access to towns especially to those who lived on remote sitios.
With a programmed amount
of P3.2M for the Rain Water Collector, it has an accomplishment of
100%. This greatly help in reducing the consumption water by
distributing the collected rainwater to supply to toilets, washroom
and utilities that needed water.
Having a total actual
accomplishment of 98.997% of the Infrastructure Program, the
DPWH-BDEO has completed sixty-five (65) out of sixty-six (66)
projects. The remaining project that has yet to be completed is the
Construction of Biliran Diversion Road including Slope Protection
and Right-of-Way having an actual accomplishment of 87.2%.
Issues concerning the
delay is the obstruction of three (3) electrical posts. Construction
is still on-going. Completion of the project will mean that more
road users can lessen their travel time and be able to avoid traffic
congestion within the streets of Biliran.
The BDEO have completed
substantial number of projects as of September 30, 2017 and will
continue to finish the remaining projects on time if problem/issues
should not rise to hindrance the operation.
PH to be a
regional automotive hub – trade chief
October 23, 2017
MAKATI CITY – At
the first ever Philippine Auto Parts Expo (PhilApEx) in Pasay on 12
October, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon
Lopez urged local auto parts manufacturers to take part in the
automotive industry revitalization initiative of DTI that will also
complement the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte and the
Department of Transportation (DOTr) to realize Philippine made
modern Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs).
PhilApEx was convened to
showcase and promote the gains of the Comprehensive Automotive
Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program, which will hopefully assist the
local industry to level up against importation into the country,
reaching 700,000 units by 2022.
“The overall goal of the
program is in line with the 10 point socio-economic agenda of
President Duterte, developing the Philippines into a regional
automotive hub, assisting MSMEs to grow, and eventually generate
more job opportunities for those at the bottom of the Pyramid,” said
To further push the
automotive industry’s resurgence, DTI decided to shift the
unsubscribed third slot budget under the program to support the
local manufacturing of replacement vehicles for DOTr’s PUV
Modernization Program, wherein local content and auto-parts to be
manufactured domestically could generate 65,000 additional local
employments, thus improving industry capacity across time.
“We are looking forward
for the Philippines to be a trade surplus country in the coming
years, with seven to eight percent growth in the manufacturing
sector from the former one percent, positive six percent from
agriculture industry development and not to mention the robust
growth in the service sector,” he added.
Sec. Lopez mentioned that
DTI vows to champion the event’s slogan “Gawang Pilipino, para sa
Pilipino,” wherein the government would be providing subsidies for
local car parts manufacturers, who qualify as suppliers for the Eco-jeepneys
for the PUV modernization program.
He also shared that DTI
with DOTr are working hand in hand to monitor developments as
manufacturers are submitting prototypes to be used for the
nationwide PUV modernization scheme.
Also at the event were
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)
Chairman Martin Delgra III (2nd from L), Philippine Parts Maker
Association (PPMA), Inc. President Engr. Ferdi Raquel Santos
(rightmost) with two participating car-maker executives: Mitsubishi
Motors President Mutsuhiro Oshikiri (leftmost) and Toyota Motors
Corporation President Satoru Suzuki (2nd from R).
Samar I extends
support to future artists
APRIL FATIMA DIRA
October 20, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office is given a recognition as
the Most Outstanding Education Stakeholder, for actively engaging
and sharing responsibility for developing life-long learners through
lending the DPWH Heavy Equipment for Construction of Calbayog Arts
and Design School of Eastern Visayas (CADSEV) access road for school
The Department of
Education, Region VIII-Eastern Visayas headed by Ms. Teresa D.
Villa, Public Schools District Supervisor, during their Schools
Banner Project Launching, Stakeholders’ Pasidungog and Teachers’ Day
Celebration on September 25, 2017 at Ciriaco Hotel and Resort,
handed the award to DPWH representative Engr. Hendrix Ortega.
Calbayog Arts and Design
School of Eastern Visayas is the only school in Region VIII that
caters to students who love to express their creativity and passion
in Arts and Design Track. Established in October 13, 2015, during
their first year of operation in June 13, 2016 they had an enrollees
of 34 students in 1st Semester and 28 students in 2nd Semester.
For this year, 96 students
for 1st Semester coming from Leyte, Eastern Samar, Samar, Northern
Samar and Calbayog City flocks to CADSEV for learning.
A showcase of their
learnings can be seen from various awards garnered by students from
the school in almost all competitions such as: Champion - Raul
Isisdro Body Painting Competition 2016, Best Model - Raul Isidro
Body Painting Competition 2016, 2nd Place - Hadang Dance Festival
2016, 3rd Runner-up - Miss Hadang 2016, 1st Place - Kuratsa Dance
Competition, 1st Place - Ballroom Dance Competition, 1st Place - Pop
Dance Competition, 1st Place - Cheer Dance Competition, 1st Place -
Vocal Duet Competition, 1st Place - Vocal Solo Competition, Miss
Siglakas 2016 and 1st Runner-up Mr. Siglakas 2016.
Mr. Aris Ventures, school
teacher in CADSEV extends his grateful appreciation to DPWH for
their continued support to their school in providing the equipment
and everyday maintenance of their area.
They are looking forward
for the extension and construction of their buildings in the future
to cater to more talented and future artists in the likes of the
renowned Raul Isidro, Ombok, and Florence Cinco.
DPWH Samar I
constructs the first arts and design track school building in
JASON T. DE LOS ANGELES
October 20, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office completes the construction
of two (2) storey with eight (8) classroom school building for
Calbayog Arts and Design School of Eastern Visayas (CADSEV), located
at Brgy. Gadgaran Diversion Road. It is accessible by a 15 to 25
minutes Multi-cab and or Jeep service ride from the city proper.
The project is implemented
by SFDEO and is under contract with B. Vicencio Construction costing
P11 million, from the 2016 basic educational facilities fund (BEFF).
CADSEV is the only
Regional Senior High school in the entire Eastern Visayas offering
arts and design track. The students come from all over the Eastern
Samar region, Northern Samar region, Leyte, and are even from the
capital city of Manila. This new school building will directly
benefit around 96 students who are currently enrolled in the school
and will encourage locally artistic inclined residents to hone their
skills in various forms of art.
Mr. Aris Ventures, one of
the teacher-in-charge said students will be exposed to the various
forms of art such as visual arts, media arts, performing arts and
literary arts, to improve their knowledge, innate skills in arts and
design. He expects an influx of enrollees for the next school year
from adjacent cities and municipalities.
Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong listened as ARB member Gloria
Aguilar explained the strategies she will employ to sustain
and expand the egg-laying chickens with egg dispersal
machines project she received during the turnover ceremony
on October 18 in Barangay Centrala, Surallah, South Cotabato.
Secretary Bistoyong was joined by DAR-12 Director Nasser M.
Musali (right) and other top officials of DAR in the region.
told to sustain, expand livelihood projects
October 19, 2017
Cotabato – Beneficiaries of the government’s agrarian reform
program were encouraged to develop, sustain and expand the
livelihood projects that are part of the comprehensive support
services they receive from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
DAR OIC Secretary Rosalina
Bistoyong spearheaded the distribution of various livelihood
projects to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in Barangay
Centrala, Surallah, South Cotabato on Wednesday, October 18.
Bistoyong urged the
beneficiaries to take care of the projects, make them sustainable to
benefit the other ARBs in the area.
The distribution of
livelihood projects was made possible through the joint efforts made
by DAR, Pilmico Foods Corporation, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity
Ventures and Aboitiz Foundation.
Bistoyong said the
livelihood projects is the first Public Private Partnership (PPP)
endeavor that DAR entered into to help ARBs augment their income.
A total of nine selected
ARBs from three barangays in Surallah received egg-laying chickens
with egg dispersal machines and hog dispersal kits.
“Our responsibilities do
not end upon receipt of these livelihood projects. We need to ensure
their sustainability to benefit the other ARBs,” she pointed out.
An increase of household
income of ARBs through livelihood projects will also help end cases
where awarded lands are leased or sold, Bistoyong emphasized.
The turnover ceremony was
also joined by Apol B. Castro, vice president for corporate strategy
and business development of Pilmico; Surallah Mayor Antonio Bendita;
Director Leomides Villareal of the Public Affairs and Media
Relations Service of DAR Central Office; DAR Region 12 Director
Nasser M. Musali and other top DAR officials in the region.
In her message, Castro
said the aim of the project is to develop and build a purpose-driven
community through sustainable livelihood.
She also emphasized that
support to ARBs in the area is part of the corporate social
responsibility of Pilmico and Aboitiz Equity Ventures under the
project “Mahalin Pagkaing Atin” which aims to support home-grown
products and backyard farmers who aspire to become
Among the recipients
present was Gloria Aguilar who expressed gratitude in lieu of her
Aguilar assured they will
take care the projects, sustain and expand to elevate their way of
Mayor Bendita also thanked
DAR and Pilmico for choosing the ARBs of Surallah as recipients of
He also expressed full
support to the thrusts and programs DAR to help farmers uplift their
Cuy: DILG is open
to suggestions on MASA MASID drop box
October 15, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy said
today that the DILG is “open to suggestions” regarding the drop
boxes for the Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal
na Droga (MASA MASID) and that there is no need to scrap the budget
allocated for the purpose altogether.
Cuy made the pronouncement
after the MASA MASID, along with the “drop box mechanism”, was
grilled in the Senate plenary debate for DILG's budget and was
deemed as "prone to malice and abuse which can possibly lead to
"We can do away with the
MASA MASID drop box but not the whole budget earmarked for the
mechanism," he says.
MASA MASID is a barangay-based
anti-criminality, anti-corruption, and anti-illegal drugs program
which encourages multi-sectoral partnership to intensify the spirit
of volunteerism at the community level.
Cuy acknowledges the
adverse reactions from various sectors on the drop box scheme but
maintained that it is meant as a feedback mechanism that will
encourage the people to take an active role in ensuring peace and
order in communities.
“The drop box is not meant
for ‘Tokhang’ as claimed by different groups. We just want the
people to be on board in the government’s efforts for peaceful and
progressive communities,” he says.
He also clarifies that
contrary to reports of the alleged cost for each of the MASA MASID
drop boxes, there was no finality as to how much will be spent to
purchase the controversial drop boxes, though proposals were lobbied
"Even prior to the issue
becoming public, there was no tag price for the drop boxes," he
According to Cuy, instead
of wiping out the budget for the drop box, it is better that some of
the funds be allocated to other DILG programs with similar functions
in monitoring peace and order, data-gathering, and surveillance.
He says that the
Department currently has existing programs where the concept of the
‘drop box’ can be utilized. He said that these programs are "cut
from the same cloth" as the MASA MASID program.
"The possibility of
realigning the MASA MASID budget as an augmentation for programs
like peace and order councils (POCs) and barangay anti-drug abuse
committees (BADAC) will help in the continued efforts for peace and
order down to the grassroots level," he adds.
POCs are reorganized in
the national, regional, provincial, city and municipal levels of the
government to counter threats posed by criminality, insurgency,
violent extremism and other issues on peace and order.
On the other hand, BADAC
is the grassroots program of the DILG aimed at organizing barangay
officials and other stakeholders as first line of defense at
countering drug-related crimes in barangays.
Former DSWD Sec.
Judy Taguiwalo on Pork Barrel
October 13, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and
retired University of the Philippines (UP) professor Judy M.
Taguiwalo today reacted to the declaration of House Committee on
Appropriations chairman Karlos Nograles that the P3.767 trillion
budget for 2018 is “pork barrel free,” saying that while no pork
allocation is apparent in how the budget is presented or written,
the only way that a no pork assertion can be true is if lawmakers
refrain from demanding from national government agency heads for
“their money” and the agency heads stand firm in resisting the
pressure of these lawmakers.
After all, what was
declared by the Supreme Court as illegal pork is the post-enactment
hand of the lawmakers in the implementation of the budget. A number
of lawmakers sanitize the pork by asserting that they are merely
fighting for the money that they worked so hard for their
constituents when they know that such intervention post-enactment is
illegal, not to mention, that irregularities, including corruption
Taguiwalo said that when
she assumed office in DSWD, her commitment was to provide a
leadership that gives no room for corruption by ensuring that fund
allocation is guided by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and by
shielding DSWD funds from external forces that sought to influence
how the department disbursed its funds and implemented its programs
beyond or outside the specifications in the national budget.
With the declaration of
the Supreme Court that any form of direct allocation to legislators
in the budget is unconstitutional, the former practice of specific
amount allocated to a legislator in the approved budget was
officially removed from the GAA. But it appears that some
legislators have not internalized this ruling or are finding ways to
“I am not a lawyer, but I
know that the disbursement of funds is not among the functions of
legislators. Their function is primarily and strictly legislative,
not executive, but they choose to ignore this and continue to engage
in patronage politics. They use pork barrel funds to wield influence
over their constituents. There was even one lawmaker who in an
effort to talk me out of my opposition to specific allocation to
individual legislators assured me that it is not about corruption
but about patronage or ‘in aid of re-election’, making it sound as
if there is nothing wrong at all with patronage, not to mention that
I did not buy the idea that it’s just all about patronage,” she
“I believe there is a need
for us to continue the fight against pork. It did not end when cases
were filed against Napoles and her cohorts. It still exists and its
evils are staring us in the face.
Code's 26th anniversary celebration highlights LGU best practices
October 11, 2017
QUEZON CITY – In
line with the 26th anniversary of the Local Government Code (LGC),
the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) opened
today a two-day event that will highlight the best practices of
local government units (LGUs) that are worthy of emulation.
Dubbed as the “Festival of
Best Practices”, the market-place and fiesta-themed event, which is
ongoing at the Novotel Manila in Quezon City, aims to showcase the
remarkable initiatives and programs of LGUs that they have
implemented using the powers and authority granted to them under the
Signed in 1991, Republic
Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, which is considered as the
bible of local governance, provides for a more responsive and
accountable local government structure whereby LGUs are given more
powers, authority, responsibilities and resources instituted through
a system of decentralization.
The best local government
practices that will be showcased revolve around the following
themes: Environment-Protective, Climate Change Adaptive and Disaster
Resilient LGUs; Business-Friendly and Competitive LGUs; Socially
Protective and Safe LGUs; and Accountable, Transparent,
Participative, and Effective Local Governance.
Among the local chief
executives who will present their respective programs are: Batanes
Gov. Marilou H. Cayco on The Epitome of Disaster Resiliency; Cauayan
City Mayor Bernard Faustino Dy on Public-Private Partnership in
Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals; Piddig, Ilocos Norte
Mayor Georgina Salazar on Organic Coffee Plantation and Farm
Consolidation; Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Mark Pacalioga on
Organic Agriculture and Governance; and Quezon City Vice-Mayor
Josefina Belmonte-Alimurung on Tahanan Drug Rehabilitation Program.
Other presenters are
Iloilo City CDRRMO Donna Magno on Disaster Risk Resiliency Hub; City
of San Fernando’s Regulator Simplification: Agaplikar, Agbayad,
Alaen; and Carmona, Cavite MPDO Mildred Purificacion on Your
Embrace, My Hope: Transforming the Lives of PWDs.
Organized by the DILG’s
Local Government Academy (LGA), in partnership with the Galing Pook
Foundation (GPF), the event also includes the presentation and
awarding of the 2017 Galingpook Outstanding Local Governance
Programs, and a Forum on Renewable Energy for LGUs.
“The Festival of Best
Practices is a festivity wherein the LGUs can learn and further push
good local governance in their respective communities. We hope to
promote, encourage and bring forth considerable harvests of best
practices in local governments which were significantly brought
about by the passage of the Local Government Code,” says DILG OIC-Secretary
Catalino S. Cuy.
Cuy says the event is also
a platform for the DILG to promote their program, the Local
Governance Innovative Solutions Bank, a web-based application that
enables LGUs to access or “withdraw” the best practices that
exemplar LGUs have “deposited”.
multi-purpose building projects near completion
JASON T. DE LOS ANGELES
October 10, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office is aspiringly and in
progression of providing each barangay with multi-purpose halls. The
construction of multi-purpose building projects in 5 Barangays and
one (1) municipal has a total appropriation of P19 million. These
projects are located in Brgy. Anislag, Brgy. Bagacay, Brgy. Binaliw,
Brgy. Central, Brgy. Cagboborac and Brgy. Poblacion 2, San Jorge,
The projects are
beneficial to the residents of said barangays as well as students
that used it as venue for school activities. The project can also be
used by all Barangay residents including its neighboring barangay in
whatever activities they will have. This project will have a great
impact to the community for it will provide a decent venue for their
community-based, socio-cultural and economic activities. On the
otherhand, it will serve as temporary shelter to the affected
families during times of man-made and natural calamities.
As of this writing, out of
six (6) multi-purpose building projects, three (3) projects are
completed while three (3) projects are still ongoing.
P21 wage hike for
5 million NCR workers effective October 5
October 5, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Starting today October 5, the minimum wage in the National Capital
Region is now P512 a day after a P21 salary increase into the basic
pay announced by the wage board two weeks ago.
Under the wage order No.
21 issued September 14 by the seven man members of the Regional
Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region, the
minimum wage for non-agriculture workers will now be P512.
Stated in the same wage
order, those workers in the agriculture plantation and
non-plantation and those in the retail, service and manufacturing
sectors employing less than 10 workers will be receiving P475 a day.
More than 5 million
minimum-waged workers from Metro Manila and workers from Bulacan,
Cavite, Laguna and Batangas working in the metropolis are bound to
benefit from the wage hike.
Inspite of the increase,
however, wage petitioner Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union
Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) who filed in June a P184
additional increase said the P21 increase will not trickle down the
economic wealth the workers help created and is inadequate to meet
the daily nutritional and survival needs of the standard family of
five amid rising the cost services and surging prices of basic
“The P21 increase will not
lift workers and their families from living below poverty. This 4
per cent increase is very small compared to the recent increases in
prices of electricity, water, LPG used in cooking and in the price
of gasoline. This increase will not definitely close the widening
gap between the rich and the poor. There is no shared prosperity
here,” said Alan Tanjusay ALU-TUCP spokesperson.
Citing the Bangko Sentral
ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the National Wages and Productivity
Commission (NWPC), Tanjusay said the buying power of the new P512
daily minimum wage is only P362 a day.
Because of this, the
ALU-TUCP is seeking additional P500 monthly of P16 a day subsidy
from President Rodrigo Duterte utilizing the unspent and unused
budget from different government departments and agencies to help
minimum-waged earners cope with the rising inflation.
“It is important for
workers to cope with the rising cost of living and meet the basic
daily food needs of workers and their families because they are
essential partner of employers and capitalists to helping and
sustaining the country’s economic growth at a competitive level. Yet
the wealth created remains at the top and it’s not trickling down,”
activists slam coal financiers, call for divestment from ‘dirty,
costly, deadly coal’
October 5, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Climate justice activists, composed of civil society groups and
people’s organizations, held a concerted action today at the Bank of
the Philippine Islands (BPI) Ayala Triangle to protest the
Ayala-controlled bank’s planned financing of a new coal-fired power
plant in Atimonan, Quezon. The said bank – housed by the Philippine
Stock Exchange building where many other commercial banks are listed
as coal project investors – was also slammed by climate justice
activists for its continued financing of other coal projects.
The protesters brought
tall, inflatable, "dirty, costly, and deadly coal demons", which
served as a backdrop to a huge image of Ayala Group CEO Jaime Zobel
de Ayala, to highlight the temptations of an obsolete fossil fuel to
private banks such as BPI.
The protest action is part
of Piglas Pilipinas, a nationwide campaign for the Philippines to
break free from fossil fuels. Its main call stressed on the
importance and urgency of divesting from coal and other fossil
Coal: Not Clean, Not Cheap
“Coal is not the answer to
our country’s energy needs,” said Philippine Movement for Climate
Justice Coordinator Ian Rivera.
“Contrary to the coal
industry’s persisting propaganda, coal is neither cheap nor clean.
In fact, it has time and again been proven to be dirty, costly, and
deadly,” said Rivera.
According to Rivera, coal
is the culprit for the health problems suffered by communities that
host coal-fired power plants. He cited a Harvard study conducted in
the Philippines which found an annual estimate of 2,410 deaths as a
consequence to exposure to pollution emitted by coal plants. Rivera
stated that residents of communities that host these coal plants
often suffer from lung, cardiovascular, and skin diseases. He also
added that due to soil and water contamination from coal plant
chemicals, the residents’ livelihood is often left destroyed.
“Coal is also deadly not
just for local communities but for the rest of the world,” continued
“The burning of fossil
fuels, coal being the worst of them, is the lead contributor to
carbon emissions that aggravate global warming, which we know to be
the primary cause of stronger typhoons, longer droughts all over the
planet, and other forms of ecological disasters,” he said.
“Coal is, most of all,
expensive – with most of its costs externalized and paid for by
society at large,” said Rivera, citing huge economic losses from the
environmental, health and livelihood destruction caused by the
extraction and utilization of coal for power generation, and the
establishment and maintenance of coal facilities.
Rivera stated that the
coal industry is now being outstripped by new technologies that make
cheaper solar and wind power, citing a renewable energy sector that
continues to drive down its prices.
“Clean and sustainable
energy sources are steadily making the continued usage of coal not
only an obsolete choice, but also an inexpedient one,” said Rivera.
Reputational Risks and
“Investors and depositors
of BPI should be advised against coal financing for its reputational
risks. Most alarming of all, however, are the investment risks that
continued coal financing poses. As our country, along with the rest
of the world, moves towards renewable energy sources, coal assets
will be nothing more than stranded assets in the future,” warned
According to research
conducted by the climate justice activists, BPI is invested in
presently operating coal plants, such as the SEM Calaca in Batangas,
Team Energy Pagbilao in Quezon, Cebu Energy Development Corporation
and Toledo Power Corporation in Cebu, and GNPower Mariveles in
The group of climate
justice activists stated that BPI also has plans to invest in the
coal pipeline, particularly in the Masinloc Expansion Project in
Zambales, in the Pagbilao Energy Corporation in Quezon, the GNPower
Dinginin in Bataan, and GNPower Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte.
Other coal-fired power
plants have not disclosed their investors.
Reclaim Power 2017: Global
Wave of Actions for Just Energy Transformation
The protest at the Makati
central business district is part of the Reclaim Power Global Wave
of Actions for a just energy transformation for the entire month of
"The science of climate
change is unequivocal, it's undeniable, and so now, action to
transform our energy system is urgent and must be done immediately,”
said Asian Peoples’ Movement of Debt and Development (APMDD)
Coordinator Lidy Nacpil.
“The energy sector
produces over 35% of all climate pollution caused by humans each
year, mainly from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels like
coal, oil and gas. According to the latest numbers from the UN, over
80% of all remaining fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas will have
to remain unburned if the world is to avoid extremely dangerous
climate change,” emphasized Nacpil.
"Reclaim Power is about
demonstrating that while the current energy system fails on so many
levels, including its failure to resolve the energy poverty of 1.2
billion people in the world who continue to have no access to any
electricity, we have solutions using renewable energy technology
that can decentralize power production and actually get it to all
people in a democratic, people-controlled way," explained Nacpil.
“We need to ensure
community and public control of our energy systems, to ensure that
people’s access is prioritized over profit,” concurred 350.org
Digital Communications Campaigner and Coordinator Chuck Baclagon.
“The technology to provide
energy to all of humanity without burning the planet already exists.
Instead of continuously giving handouts to dirty energy companies,
what we need now is to direct public – and private – finance and
subsidies to encourage 100% renewable and clean energy,” Baclagon
Bicol’s best, finest products at SM Mega Trade Halls
October 4, 2017
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to showcase an annual
display of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) excellence by
bringing the best and finest products from Eastern Visayas and Bicol
Regions for the Bahandi Eastern Visayas and OKB-Gayon Bicol Regional
Trade Fairs on October 4 and 5, respectively, at the SM Mega Trade
Halls 1 and 2, SM Megamall.
As part of Marketing, one
of the seven-point strategy (7Ms strategy) advocated by the
Department, DTI is helping MSMEs penetrate the mainstream marketing
through trade fairs.
“With MSMEs being the
backbone of the Philippine economy, it is important that we find
ways to integrate the sector to bigger value chains, either in the
public or the private sectors. Empowering MSMEs can only mean
significant growth that is powered by ever smarter Filipino
entrepreneurs, ready to participate in local, regional and global
marketplace,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Group Supervising Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya explained that
providing platforms for MSMEs to market their products in events
such as trade fairs will test its marketability for bigger markets.
“Participation in Trade
Fairs provide MSMEs an opportunity to test their products for bigger
markets and beyond,” Maglaya said.
These MSMEs, according to
Maglaya, have been assisted by DTI through Negosyo Centers, Shared
Service Facilities (SSF), One Town, One Product, Kapatid Mentor ME
Project, SME Roving Academy, among others.
“By enhancing MSME
products through DTI assistance, we are confident that their
products would be market-acceptable, and supported locally and
globally,” she said.
The Bahandi Trade Fair,
through the DTI-Region 8, will be celebrating its 20th year and will
open the annual 5-day exhibit and selling fair of the best products
from the six provinces of Eastern Visayas on October 4-8, 2017 at
the Megatrade Hall 1, Mega B, SM Megamall.
Under the theme, “Breaking
Grounds for Borderless Markets,” the trade fair is aligned line with
the Philippines’ hosting of the ASEAN Summit, promoting
participation of MSMEs in the global value chain.
The Eastern Visayas trade
fair will also feature products of MSMEs who were victims of Typhoon
Yolanda in November 2013. MSMEs were assisted by the Department to
get back in operation, supporting them through learning, marketing
assistance, product designs and innovations.
A total of 132 MSMEs – 48
are from Leyte, 18 from Southern Leyte, 8 from Biliran, 28 from
Samar, 10 from Eastern Samar, 20 from Northern Samar – from the
processed food, and homestyle and wearables sector, and other
products are expected to join the fair.
The trade fair is in
coordination with Regional Development Council - Region 8,
Department of Tourism, Tacloban Entrepreneurs Associated Marketing
Cooperative (TEAM-COOP), GREAT Women Project 2, and Negosyo Center.
On the other hand,
OKB-Gayon Bicol, now on its 21st year, is expected to banner Bicol
Region’s fine products and tourism potentials ranging from wearables
and homestyle products, processed foods, ceramics, furniture/
furnishing, fine jewelry, and other products. The trade fair will
run on October 5-8, 2017 at the Megatrade Hall 2, SM Megamall.
Joining this year’s
OKB-Gayon Bicol fair are 141 MSME exhibitors from all over the
region – forty (40) from Albay, 15 from Camarines Norte, 22 from
Camarines Sur, 25 from Catanduanes, 11 from Masbate, and 28 from
Sorsogon. It will feature 32 new entrepreneurs that are provided
full marketing assistance and 255 new products resulting from
DTI-Region 5’s product development activities.
The longest running
DTI-organized regional trade fair is a convergence activity of OKB
Association, Inc. in partnership with DTI-Region 5, DOT-Region 5,
Air 21 and Bicol Harvest/Bicol Artist.
127 graduates as
new breed of soldiers
DPAO, 8ID PA
October 2, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine
Army led by Maj. Gen Raul M. Farnacio AFP, Commander 8ID conducted
the Closing Ceremony of the Philippine Army Candidate Soldier Course
Class 462-2017 consisting of 127 soldiers at the 8ID Jungle Base,
Barangay Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar today.
Out of 135 candidate
soldiers who entered on June 1, 2017, only 127 brave and dashing
Candidate Soldiers graduated and graced by Hon. Marcelo Ferdinand A.
Picardal, the Acting Governor, Province of Eastern Samar as the
Guest of Honor and Speaker who further led the ceremonial
entrustment of firearms, distribution of certificates and individual
The majority or 81 new
privates came from Samar; 21 from Leyte; 8 from Luzon; and 17 from
Mindanao. On their educational profile, 23 of them are college
graduates; 45 are college level and 59 are high school graduates
with skills training from TESDA.
In his message, Hon.
Picardal said, “As workers in the government, our greater mission is
to provide protection and security to the Filipino people and our
country. Today, we face the challenges more than ever and the issues
of peace and security are being tested not only by internal
conflicts but by external threats as well. Thus, our vision to
develop into a progressive nation is getting harder to realize. We
see therefore the urgent need to get the real and concrete peace
development initiatives into action.”
Likewise, Maj. Gen.
Farnacio said, “The soldier above all other men is required to
practice the greatest act of rigorous and rigid training. Put
emphasis on the sacrifices you have made and love your profession.
What you are, inside or outside the camp, even if you are not in
uniform, is the extension of you being a soldier. To the 127 new
soldiers, focus on your job. Help the national government in their
effort in Mindanao and make us proud”, Farnacio added.
Maj. Gen. Farnacio extends
his warm appreciation to the stakeholders who untiringly committed
and supported the attainment of a just and lasting peace in the
region. The 8ID is still accepting applicants for Candidate Soldier
Course for CY 2017.
Store launched in Makati
September 29, 2017
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched the Bangon Marawi
Product Store today (29 September) at the Ground Floor of the DTI
Bldg. along Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. in Makati to introduce Maranao
products to the public as well as provide livelihood assistance to
internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi City.
Administrative Order No. 03 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
mandating the creation of an inter-agency task force that would
implement the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi
City and other affected localities.
“While our government is
working tirelessly to give them respite in the wake of the tragedy
afflicting their city, DTI has come up with its own way to help our
Mindanao countrymen” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
“Given that the Maranaos
are inherently traders, we thought it appropriate to find a way to
help them showcase their products and bring them to the mainstream
market,” Lopez added.
Products on sale include
brasswares, wooden furniture, wearables, Maranao woven products,
jewelry, fashion accessories, and Maranao native delicacies. The
sales and proceeds of the Bangon Marawi products will go to help the
Maranaos and others displaced by the conflict in Marawi.
This project is done in
partnership with the Bangsa Moro Federal Business Council, the
Tugaya Local Government, the Muntinlupa Local Government, and
Magsaysay Shipping and Logistics.
Also at the launch were
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (leftmost) with wife Edith
Lorenzana (2nd from L), Undersecretary Rowel Barba (rightmost),
Undersecretary Nora Terrado (3rd from R) with other DTI and other
DTI will carry the Bangon
Marawi products in all Go Lokal! stores nationwide.
Samar I braces
for Road Rating Inspection
APRIL FATIMA DIRA
September 29, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office will undergo a
“Walk-the-Line” Inspection of the road sections covered by the
district with a total length of 741.609 kilometers conducted by the
Inspectorate Team lead by Engr. Roy P. Mate from the Bureau of
Maintenance, Road Condition Monitoring and Evaluation Division (RCMED)
on September 22, 2017 to October 15, 2017 to assess compliance of
the District Office to the provisions of Department Order 41, series
of 2016 regarding the Amended Policy Guidelines on the Maintenance
of National Roads and Bridges.
DPWH in accordance with
its mandate to maintain national roads and bridges being a paramount
priority issued a Department Order to improve the maintenance
service delivery to the public, the Regional and District Engineers
shall strengthen their maintenance unit to keep all national roads
and bridges safe and convenient to the travelling public at all
times. In this regard, the Inspectorate Division of the Bureau of
Maintenance, this department will conduct assessment, the physical
condition of national roads and bridges per semester.
SFDEO under the leadership
of District Engineer Alvin A. Ignacio and supervision of Maintenance
Head Engr. Ramon Calagos make sure that all the relevant documents
for the Inspectorate Team’s reference are ready and updated.
Maintenance field workers do their regular routine of cleaning the
area, cutting grasses and vegetation, canal declogging, patching
path holes, cracks resealling, issuing notice of obstruction and no
parking signs maintained.
Maintenance Point Persons
Engr. Ronale Pelotos (Caglanipao-Carayman Area), Engr. Jeremias Lim
(Calbayog-Catbalogan Area) and Engr. Mario Balane (Calbayog-Catarman
Diversion Road) monitor their respective areas for activities and
implementation of immediate action of road defects and obstructions.
The passing rate for the assessment of roads by the team is pegged
institution backs CCC pronouncements on national energy policy shift
to RE, stresses need for just transition programs
September 29, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED), an independent,
non-profit, non-stock, think-do institution engaged in issues of the
environment, energy, and development in the Philippines, expressed
its support for the pronouncements on an energy policy shift as
stated by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) during the
commission-spearheaded National Energy Policy Review program held on
September 28, 2017.
“The Commission’s strong
emphasis on the need to make key shifts in the nation’s energy
policy is a much needed tone in our government given the pressing
climate realities we face today,” said CEED Legal Research and
Policy Officer Avril De Torres.
policies on shifting current destructive trends in the energy and
environment, the country cannot hope to see better environmental
conditions for itself and achieve its Nationally Determined
Contribution on emission reductions that it committed to as party to
the Paris Agreement,” said De Torres.
“One such proactive policy
direction is that which targets the fossil fuel industry, especially
the coal industry. Policies such as the imposition of taxes on coal
usage and on carbon emissions helps address the issue of high
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change in general,” added
De Torres cited numerous
data that hold the combustion of fossil fuels, especially of coal,
responsible for being the largest human source of carbon dioxide
emissions. Quoting a 2016 study made by the Joint Research Centre of
the European Commission, De Torres stated that coal combustion was
responsible for about 46% of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil
fuel combustion, with 31% of which is emitted from coal-fired power
“The fossil fuel industry
is a major contributor to the global GHG emissions. Imposing an
excise tax on coal and other such tax mechanisms on fossil fuel
products would discourage dependence on fossil fuel,” said De
CEED Research Policy and
Advocacy Officer Arvin Buenaagua claimed that a shift away from
carbon-intensive energy sources not only reduces GHG emissions, but
also helps reduce the costs of coal that burden a number of sectors,
spanning from coal-affected communities to regular electricity
“Although not reflected in
the price by which coal sells, coal comes with financial costs that
are externalized and paid for by society at large. These costs could
take many forms, such as rehabilitation costs and lost revenue from
communities whose environmental resources and sources of income have
been destroyed by the establishment of coal-fired power plants,”
“This makes a proactive
shift to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources imperative –
especially as the Philippine renewable energy sector has been making
great strides in driving down its costs and improving its
technologies,” said Buenaagua.
Aside from the reduction
of carbon emissions and prevention of further environmental
destruction as caused by tapping into renewable energy sources,
Buenaagua also cited significantly lowered electricity prices
offered by a sprouting renewable energy market – prices that are
projected to hit as low as below P5 per kWh.
concurrence with the Commission’s projected energy policy shift from
fossil fuels to renewable energy, CEED highlighted the importance of
further developing a just transition program.
“A global transition to
renewable energy is happening, at any rate,” said Buenaagua, citing
countries like Sweden, Germany, and China where shifts from
carbon-intensive energy are transpiring, “but it must be made
conscientiously so as not to leave anyone behind.”
De Torres pointed out the
lack of program that centered on groups most heavily affected by a
shift away from the fossil fuel industry.
“The nascent Philippine
just transition program, which includes RA 10771 or the Philippine
Green Jobs Act of 2016, although enthusiastic in setting a landscape
for a greener economy, overlooks workers and coal-affected
communities who have served as the backbone of the fossil fuel
industry and who are situated to be the backbone of this new, green
economy,” said De Torres.
De Torres cited the
growing, global movement of workers, situated in energy-shifting
economies, demanding for a just transition program. If the
government is serious in its shift away from the fossil fuel
industry, it should heed transition concerns of workers.
proponents have said this a number of times: a sustainable energy
transition is a just transition,” said De Torres.
“We cannot hope to build a
future ran by clean energy if we leave behind the very people who
have been powering our economy,” concluded De Torres.
delegation for the 2017 Philippine Coconut Roadshow to the
DTI leads coconut
roadshow to US
September 26, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Department of Trade and Industry through its Export Marketing Bureau
(EMB) and Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs) in the
United States recently concluded the 2017 Philippine Coconut
Roadshow held from 6 to 24 September 2017 in key cities including
Los Angeles, Colorado, San Francisco, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
“We see the increasing
healthy, non-GMO, and gluten- free lifestyle of the American market
as a window of opportunity for our exporters to promote their
products as well as showcase the Philippines as an ideal source for
coconut-based products,” said DTI Trade and Investments Promotion
Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.
DTI supported 17
Philippine exporters enrolled in its Regional Interactive Platform
for Philippine Exporters Plus (RIPPLES) program to extensively
promote coconut oil and coconut-based products, including food,
cosmetics, and personal care items to the huge US market.
Together with key
officials from the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP)
and Virgin Coconut Oil Philippines (VCOP), the Philippine Trade and
Investment Centers in the United States (Washington, D.C. and San
Francisco) assisted and organized business meetings between American
and Philippine companies for potential partnerships that seek to
enhance and expand exports of Philippine coconut-based products to
the United States. The group also met with US doctors and scientists
that have in-depth knowledge on the benefits of coconut oil.
The group participated in
the 50th ASEAN Anniversary Forum organized by the ASEAN Trade
Commissioners in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles. The
meetings with leading importers and retail chains in Los Angeles and
San Francisco generated market leads and market access platforms for
For the Washington, D.C.
leg, the Philippine Companies met with the US Department of
Agriculture, the Organic Trade Association, the US–Philippines
Society, Foodshowcase, the USA Halal Chamber of Commerce, and
and Philippine officials were also briefed on the US Generalized
System of Preferences (GSP) Program, including identifying coconut
products that could benefit from GSP treatment. Meetings held in
Washington, D.C. highlighted the importance of trade policy issues
when exporting to the United States, including compliance to US food
safety regulations, labelling, and other non-tariff measures.
From 14 to 16 September,
the delegation held a dialogue with several US companies during the
Natural Product Expo East held in Baltimore, Maryland, considered as
the East Coast’s leading trade show in the natural, organic, and
healthy products industry. The delegation had a chance to exchange
views on how to further promote and increase awareness to American
consumers on the health benefits of coconut oil.
include Amazing Foods Corp, Chemrez Technologies, Inc., Coco Plus,
Coco Veda, Coconut Cures, Dignity, Eau de Coco, Franklin Baker
Company of the Philippines, Galo Organic and Naturals, Greenlife
Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Hancole Corp., Marinduque Land
Corporation, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Nuco/ProSource International,
Inc., Wellness Care International Inc., and Tongsan Industrial
DTI’s Coconut Roadshow to
the United States is in partnership with the Philippine Coconut
Authority (PCA), an agency committed to promote the growth of the
P. Adongay Jr., (wearing black jacket) District Engineer
inspects the on-going widening along Naval-Caibiran Cross
Country Road (NCCR) with a construction budget of
P37,418,424.94. Adongay reported that the project is being
fast-tracked to finish the project on or before October 8,
2017. As of August 30, 2017, it has an accomplishment of
monitors on-going and completed FY 2017 projects
September 24, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran –
Engr. David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer of Biliran District
Engineering Office (BDEO) conducts inspection around the district on
August 16, 2017 together with Engr. Ginisar M. Romero, Engineer II.
The first project
inspected by DE Adongay is the substantially completed Asphalt
overlay along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road with a construction
cost of P33.322M.
The project entails the
application of asphalt overlay on existing concrete pavement with
minor corrections with a width of 6.10 m. and a thickness of 50 mm
covering an area of 7.316 lane km.
According to Adongay,
application of a Reflective Thermoplastic Stripping Materials will
be the last activity of the project. The completion of this project
will provide a smooth riding surface for the traveling public as
well as provide convenience in transporting agricultural and aquatic
products to market centers.
Construction of Drainage
along Biliran Circumferential Road is another project inspected by
DE Adongay. The project is still on-going upon DE’s inspection.
Major scope of work of the project is the construction of both open
drainage on some sections and covered drainage on another section
with a total length of 1,860 ln.m. It is to be constructed after a
3.05 m. widened shoulder.
Adongay reported that the
project has already 58% accomplishment as of August 30, 2017 and is
target to be completed on October 1, 2017. The completion of this
project will provide a drainage structure that will contain runoff
water from the mountain sides during rainy days which will prevent
flooding along the National Road thereby preventing its
The district engineer also
took time to inspect the on-going Rehabilitation of Damaged Paved
National Road along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country road (NCCR).
Adongay said that the major scope of work of the project is the
replacement of damaged concrete pavement to new concrete with a
construction budget of P1.457M.
“The project was
prioritized because of the significant cracking along the above
section which when left unattended might cause vehicular accident,”
Adongay reported that as
of August 30, 2017, the project is already completed.
The last project inspected
by DE Adongay is the Widening along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country
Road (NCCR) with a construction budget of P37.218M The project
involves the construction of additional lanes on both sides of the
existing paved road with a width of 3.35 m., a thickness of 0.28 m.
and a length of 1.30 Kms. on one (1) section along Naval-Caibiran
Cross Country Road. It includes also construction of drainage and
installation of road safety features. Adongay reported that the
project is being fast-tracked to finish the project on or before
October 8, 2017.
As of August 30, 2017, it
has an accomplishment of 58%.
“I will be consistently
monitoring the projects in an alternate schedule without the
knowledge of the contractor so as to see if they are doing their
job,” said Adongay.
Luzon coffee industry
September 22, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to bridge various
gaps in the supply chain to make the local coffee industry more
competitive, the Department of Trade and Industry recently gathered
coffee farmers, processors, manufacturers, Regional Council Chairs,
national government agencies, and members of the academe from the
Island of Luzon for the Luzon Island Coffee Cluster Assembly.
The assembly aimed to
present the national and localized version roadmap of each region,
establish an institutional mechanism of roadmap localization and
implementation, and learn about coffee quality standards and market
Coordinator and DTI Cordillera Administrative Region Regional
Director Myrna Pablo explained the current situation of the
industry, especially the gap between demand and production.
“The Philippine coffee
production is far from serving coffee consumption of the country.
Currently, 90% of the demand is imported for about P12 billion. The
demand is still increasing with expanding consumption based among
younger generation and night shift workers. Likewise, coffee shops
are increasing, and specialty coffee market is expanding,” Pablo
said, adding that while coffee production is almost all over the
country, the country’s production is very far from sufficiency.
In March, DTI Secretary
Ramon Lopez and Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol
signed the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 to bridge
the gap between the steady high demand for coffee and the slow
decline in production, and to provide aid to coffee farmers.
Pablo said that the Coffee
Roadmap is focused on optimizing income for Filipino farmers and the
micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the industry.
The activity also
discussed the Philippine Coffee Market vs. World Market Behaviors,
Consumer Demand Innovation, Coffee Science Researches, Coffee
Development Programs of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources and the Department of Science and Technology, and the High
Value Crops Development Program of the Department of Agriculture.
Coffee is among the
priority industry clusters that DTI is targeting to develop in the
next five years, given its high potential to accelerate the region’s
economic growth. While the sector has so much to offer, development
In 2016, DTI has assisted
2,695 coffee MSMEs while providing 19,232 jobs to Filipinos.
The Philippines envisions
a coffee industry that is cost-competitive, aligned with global
quality standards, reliable and environment-friendly, and provides
sustainable benefits to farmers, processors, traders, and exporters.
Some of the proposed
strategies to achieve the target are to improve quality and
availability of planting material, enhance farm efficiency and
investments, and improve competitiveness, market price, and coffee
Regional Director Edgar B. Tabacon (wearing i.d) awards
District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr. (wearing light blue
checkered polo) of Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO)
the Recognition Certificate citing his leadership of BDEO a
factor in achieving the agency’s Developmental Communication
(DevComm) goals and placing his district office in the
second place. The awarding of certificate is assisted by
Assistant Regional Director, Armando G. Estrella (wearing
green polo shirt), and Regional Public Information Officer
II, Antonieta R. Lim (wearing dress) held at DPWH Regional
Office, Baras, Palo, Leyte on August 11, 2017.
awarded as one of the top achieving district in region 8
September 22, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)- Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) was awarded as one of the top achieving
district in Region VIII under the leadership of David P. Adongay Jr.
In a simple ceremony
conducted on August 11 at DPWH Regional Office, Baras, Palo, Leyte,
Edgar B. Tabacon, Regional Director cited the district engineering
offices which have topped achievement in terms of construction,
maintenance, and finance thereby contributing to the attainment of
the agency’s targets.
In terms of Financial
Accomplishment, Biliran DEO ranked no. four of the top 10 DEOs
recognized by the Regional Director to have attained or surpassed
the 73% Absorptive Capacity target set by the Central Office, having
82.90% absorptive capacity as of July, 2017.
Top Five district
engineers were also named for exemplary leadership that have
contributed to the successful implementation of DPWH’s Development
First Place was awarded to
District Engineer Alvin A. Ignacio of Samar First District
Engineering Office; Second Place - District Engineer David P.
Adongay Jr. of Biliran District Engineering Office; Third Place -
District Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia of Southern Leyte District
Engineering Office; Fourth Place - District Engineer Ferdinand A.
Briones, and Fifth Place awarded both to District Engineers Lino
Francisco C. Gonzalez and Eusebio T. Culas of Leyte 4th District
Engineering Office and Leyte 5th District Engineering Office
RD Tabacon awarded DE
Adongay Jr. the Recognition Certificate citing his leadership of
BDEO a factor in achieving the agency’s Developmental Communication
(DevComm) goals in placing his district office in the second place.
The awarding of
certificate was assisted by Armando G. Estrella, Assistant Regional
Director and Mrs. Antonieta R. Lim, Regional Public Information
Officer II, at DPWH Regional Office, Baras, Palo, Leyte on August
11, 2017. The DPWH’s Developmental Communication Program aims to
promote transparency, advocate its programs, and encourage the
citizenry to participate in governance.
Concreting/ Opening of Biliran Diversion Road is on-going
with base preparation and installation of forms on one lane
in preparation for concrete pouring and embankment on the
other lanes and riprapping. As of August 30, 2017, the
project has 85% accomplishment under contract with Chu
road project 85% completed as of August, this year
September 22, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran –
Travelers are looking forward for the completion of the P43M Biliran
Diversion Road project here in this province with expected to
reduced travel time of about 20 minutes.
Over the local radio
program Kapihan: Pulong-pulong ng Bayan segment hosted by Mrs.
Flordelis E. Jackson, PIA Station Manager and Mrs. Lailanie Tupaz,
PIA Staff on August 10, Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO)
representative, Supremo Victor Sabitsana, Engineer II informed the
public that the project is already 85% completed as of August 30,
“The work was continuous
before but suddenly stops its activities because of the problem on
permit to enter. Just recently, the problem was solved hence project
implementation is resumed”, said Sabitsana.
Sabitsana also informed
the listeners of the program that Biliran DEO encountered new
problem in the implementation of the project due to existing
electrical post of the Biliran Electric Cooperatives Inc. (BILECO).
When asked on the 100%
completion date of the project, Sabitsana explained that the
accomplishment is not yet foreseen because DPWH will depend on when
the BILECO will removed the blocking electrical post.
“The office already
requests BILECO to transfer the electrical post to fast-track the
completion of the by-pass project,” explained Sabitsana.
According to Sabitsana,
completion of the project will save a lot of time say more or less
20 minutes compared to the old route because the diversion road is a
4-lane structure which can accommodate big volume of passing
The population to be
served by the road ranges from 120,000 to 135,000, 7 Municipalities
and 50 Barangays. It will provide the traveling public coming from
Tacloban City, Ormoc City, Baybay City and from other neighboring
municipalities going to the northern and eastern part of Biliran
Province and vice versa a much safer and faster transport of goods.
Peace Buzz: Call
for unity towards peace
DPAO, 8ID PA
September 22, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace
Process (OPAPP) will launch a Peace Buzz that will kick-off in
Baguio City on September 21 and culminates in Marawi City on October
3, 2017 in line with the celebration of National Peace Consciousness
Peace Buzz is an actual
bus ferrying resource speakers, cultural group, various stakeholders
and OPAPP personnel to conduct People’s Conversations, Serbisyo
Caravans and other peace-related activities in multiple strategic
Catbalogan is the third
stopover of the Peace Buzz which is anticipated to arrive on
September 25, 2017. Secretary Jesus G. Dureza, Presidential Adviser
on the Peace Process is also expected to arrive via chopper in 8ID
Headquarters after having an aerial monitoring of OPAPP PAyapa at
MAsaganang PamayaNAn or PAMANA Projects in the municipalities of
Silvino Lubos, Matuguinao and San Jose de Buan.
Through collaboration of
the 8ID, OPAPP, government officials and other key stakeholders, a
series of activities will be conducted like Peace Building
Conversations involving youth, women and indigenous people,
Motorcade/Torch Parade, Solidarity Dinner, Candle-lighting and
launching of Peace and Prosperity Roadmap and Peace Caravans in
selected conflict-affected areas in Eastern Visayas.
Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio,
8ID Commander once said in his solidarity message, “I encourage all
of you as stakeholders to bridge the gap between the government and
the issues set forth by the communist rebels. We shall serve as
bridging leaders, ready to forge a common understanding and a
collaborative response to end the roots of insurgency,” he stated.
These major event calls
the participation not only the government officials and people of
different provinces of Samar and Leyte but also the whole nation to
stand as one who would take their part in achieving a just and
lasting peace in a conducive developing country.
At the UN Review on PH rights
compliance in Geneva
on UN rights council for independent investigation on attacks vs
rights defenders, EJKs
September 22, 2017
QUEZON CITY – At
the 36th United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva,
Switzerland, Karapatan, speaking on behalf of international human
rights organizations Civicus and International Service for Human
Rights (ISHR), called on the member States of the UN HRC to support
the call for “a halt to all forms of attacks on human rights
defenders in the Philippines, the enactment of a law for their
protection, and the acceptance of a full, independent visit to the
Philippines by UN Special Rapporteurs, including on the situation of
Since the previous session
on the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines last May 2017,
the Philippine government received 257 recommendations, of which 103
are supported and 154 noted by the Duterte administration.
Karapatan Deputy Secretary
General Roneo Clamor, who delivered the said statement at the UN HRC,
said that in the first year of the Duterte regime, at least fifty
human rights defenders, many who were leaders of peasant and
indigenous communities, have been killed under the cover of
counter-insurgency programs. This was worsened by President
Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, which has also resulted in thousands more
casualties of regular Filipino citizens, Clamor said.
“Since the May review,
human rights activists have seen no reprieve in the harassment and
threats by State security forces. This includes the Secretary
General of people’s organisation Karapatan, Cristina Palabay.
Duterte’s pronouncements endanger the lives of HRDs who speak out
against his repressive policies, including the drug war and martial
law declarations, as well as for respect of rights, such as to a
safe and healthy environment. The filing of trumped-up charges to
criminalize HRDs has been normalized by the government, hampering us
from doing our work and violating our freedom of association,” he
Karapatan also raised
concerns on the “ominous signs of a nationwide martial law under
Pres. Duterte” that, the organization said, “hover like a sword of
Damocles over HRDs and the Filipino people.”
“Our history shows that
such a decision will worsen the current state of human rights in the
country,” he added.
Secretary General Cristina Palabay criticized the Duterte regime’s
continuing denial of the occurrence of extrajudicial killings and
other rights violations in the Philippines before the international
human rights body, referring to the recent statement of Ambassador
Evan Garcia before the said UN HRC session.
“The truth about the
worsening human rights situation in the Philippines and the rising
protest of Filipino people against Duterte’s tyrannical rule, as
shown by yesterday’s protest actions in Luneta, Manila and other
cities and countries, trumps all their lies, fake news and
misinformation,” she concluded.
District Engineering Office (BDEO) representatives headed by
Supremo Victor Sabistsana (wearing light blue polo shirt),
Engineer II together with Neo Jay Cagabhion, (wearing dark
blue polo shirt) Engineer II, and Ginisar M. Romero,
Engineer II discuss the updates and accomplishments of 2017
BDEO projects in the district over a radio program Kapihan:
Pulong-pulong nga Bayan at Radyo Natin FM hosted by Mrs.
Florelis E. Jackson, (wearing green polo shirt) PIA Station
Manager and Mrs. Lailanie Tupaz, PIA Staff on August 10,
delivered project accomplishment ahead of the planned target as of
August, this year
September 22, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran –
David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer of Biliran District
Engineering Office has sticked to his promise of fast-tracking the
CY 2017 Infrastructure Projects as the district delivered 40.41%
accomplishment ahead from the planned target accomplishment of only
31.33% as of August, this year.
The district engineer
recently conducted various project inspections within the district
for the month of August to make sure projects are implemented
properly and in accordance with quality standards.
Adongay revealed that he
doesn’t have a definite time schedule when conducting project
“I will be consistently
monitoring the projects in an alternate schedule without the
knowledge of the contractor in order to evaluate if they are doing
their job,” said Adongay.
As of August 30, 2017
monitoring report, out of the 57 CY 2017 listed projects based on
General Appropriation Act (GAA), Biliran DEO has completed 45
projects with 9 on-going and three Not-Yet-Started (NYS) projects.
According to Engr. Rosario
B. Rosete, Chief of Planning and Design Section, one project which
is the Rehabilitation of Access Road leading to Naval Port including
Right-of-Way (ROW) at Naval, Biliran is now on the 3rd Revision for
the Program of Work (POW), Detailed Unit Price Analysis (DUPA) and
For the Rehabilitation of
Maripipi Circumferential Road, Rosete revealed that contract for the
project was already forwarded to the Regional Office last August 18,
2017 for signature by the Regional Director.
Rehabilitation of National Road Slips, Soil Collapse and Landslide
along Naval- Caibiran Cross Country Road is up for implementation
soon. Once these projects will be approved, implementation of these
projects will be monitored for fast completion.
Chicago Nightingales. (Photo by Rex Viejon, RN)
Nightingales keeps memory of Church Bells ringing after 116 years
during Balangiga Remembrance
ROSE SAN DIEGO
September 19, 2017
CHICAGO – The
Chicago Nightingales (CN), a nurses organization commemorated a
vigil when they assembled at their regular board meeting in
observance of an occurrence in the Samar Region, nearly 116 years
ago next week on September 28, 1901 in the town of Balangiga during
the Philippine American War 1899-1902.
During the event, the
names of forty-eight soldiers who lost their lives in action from
the roster of the US Army 9th Infantry Regiment of Company “C” were
read by four Chicago Nightingale nurses following an impromptu
strike of a miniature bell each time twelve names were called. The
bells chime echoing out to the group of nurses leaving goosebump
sensations. A separate blank paper was folded in quarters with a
lone chime representing in memoriam the twenty-eight villagers
killed also that day, who either resided in the town or nearby
barangays. The memorial program reading of the names for the nurses
organizations was led by its CN President Phoebe Doruelo, RN.
In an asserted effort the
Chicago Nightingales stands along with Philippine President Duterte
in requesting the assistance of US President Donald Trump to safely
secure the immediate release of the three church bells removed from
the Town of Balangiga, Samar. Our mission is to help remind the
sacrifices made then and to keep the bells ringing for the fallen
until their return.
The healing process must
begin somewhere, from someone and thus far it has taken our nations
heroes of 1942, to include the Forgotten War of Korea and Vietnam to
know first-hand the ugly face of war. The Philippine American War
was unavoidable under its existing colonial conditions that ended
tragically on both sides 116 years ago.
Chicago Nightingales is a
501 c (3) status founded in 2013. A voluntary, impartial, neutral
and independent humanitarian organization whose mission is to
promote health and wellness in the community and provide assistance
to communities stricken by human-induced disaster or calamities
locally and in third world countries, principally the Philippines.
DPWH: Heal Mother
APRIL FATIMA DIRA VILLANUEVA
September 19, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office takes part in saving Mother
Nature thru its compliance to Department Order 57, Series of 2009
“DPWH Solid Waste Management Policy".
The following guidelines
and procedures are hereby issued, pursuant to the provision of the
Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RA 9003 series of 2000
which prescribes that “All Government Offices at the national and
local levels, within the executive, legislative and judicial
branches, and government owned and controlled corporations shall
ensure information, education and actual implementation of waste
management program at the workplaces and work premises, including
the pursuit of the environment-friendly purchasing policies for
their respective offices.”
The Department of Public
Works and Highways is committed to safeguard the environment through
proper waste segregation to reduce the solid waste generated in all
Raising awareness on
something that really matter means our job is more noble. Recycling
helps us save the earth. It limits the amount of harm we do to our
environment on daily basis. It reduces the amount of natural
resources need to produce different products. It lessen impact on
environment. It saves and preserves our planet.
Advisory Committee (AC)
and The Technical Working Group (TWG) work hand in hand to oversee
and monitor the four methods of implementation which are source
reduction, reuse of materials, recycling, and purchase of recycled
content materials. Every month they submit reports of their
accomplishments and receipts of the sale of recyclable materials,
the beneficiary of the proceeds is the DPWH Employees Union members,
which will be used for environmental projects.
DPWH-SFDEO is doing a
proactive participation in Saving Mother Earth and let’s continue to
dare the world to save the planet.
minorities file cases at the GRP-NDFP CARHRIHL monitoring committee;
hit Duterte’s failure to push talks forward
September 18, 2017
QUEZON CITY – On
the second week of the Lakbayan 2017, representatives of National
Minorities are filing complaints against the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) for violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on
Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
The delegation trooped to the Philippine government section of the
GRP-NDFP Joint Monitoring Committee on CARHRIHL.
SANDUGO criticized Pres.
Duterte for the failure to stand by its commitment to implement
CARHRIHL and has, instead, waged an all-out war and declared martial
law, which violates the 1998 agreement.
“Pres. Duterte has driven
the peace talks down the drain by insisting on a ceasefire ahead of
the agreement on social and economic reforms and in total disregard
of the CARHRIHL,” said Jerome Aba, co-chairperson of Sandugo.
Among the cases to be
filed are violations committed in relation to the Marawi siege and
the government’s implementation of all-out war/martial law:
- The killing of the Lumad
youth Obillo Bay-ao who was killed by members of the paramilitary
group Alamara and CAFGU on September 5, 2017. Bay-ao is a student of
a Lumad school, Salugpungan Learning Center, in Talaingod, Davao del
- The case of a 74
year-old Marcos Aggalao of Kalinga province who died while in
detention on Sept. 12, 2017. A veteran of the anti-Chico dam
struggle, Aggalao was arrested on September 2016 and suffered stroke
thrice while in jail. At the time of hisarrest, Aggalao has
dementia, pneumonia and hypertension.
- Extrajudicial killings (EJK),
illegal arrests and detention, harassment and threat and divestment
of properties among the Maranao in Marawi.
Also included are 14 cases
of EJKs, 10 cases of illegal arrest and detention, harassment,
threat and intimidation, and cases of violation of domicile,
physical and mental torture. Also included are violations committed
in the Caraga and Negros regions and those incurred by Consunji
mining in the South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat area.
Duterte’s allout war/martial law and failure to push peace talks
“Duterte’s war against the
national minorities and the poor majority of the people does not
address the root causes of the armed conflict but only adds fuel to
the ongoing people’s war,” said Aba.
Thousands of national
minorities are suffering the brunt of the social and economic crisis
sweeping the country. They are further burdened by the entry of
foreign monopoly capitalist corporations, endorsed by government and
a fascist military, encroaching on their territories and ancestral
Pres. Duterte has dashed
all hoped that a Joint Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms can
be signed. The agreement could have addressed the reforms needed by
the Filipino People, including the demands of the national
minorities for rights and right to self-determination, and for the
protection of their territories and ancestral lands against plunder.
“As the fight for their
economic and political rights continues, so is the pressure by a
fascist military defending landlords, companies and foreign monopoly
corporations getting bigger,” Aba added.
Sandugo calls on the
people to raise the call for the resumption of the peace talks even
as they advance their struggle, with the rest of the Filipino
people, for a just and meaningful peace in the country.
PH-Russia relations bank on complementarity
September 15, 2017
MAKATI CITY – The
Philippine and Russia expressed intention to work closely to enhance
trade and investments relations, as well as to explore cooperation
areas of mutual interest, as both sides take advantage of the
complementarity in each other’s industrial strengths.
At the sidelines of the
Philippine hosting of the 49th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM)
Meeting and Related Meetings, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Secretary Ramon Lopez, who also serves as the 2017 AEM chair,
convened a bilateral meeting with Russian Deputy Minister for
Economic Development Alexey Gruzdev on 11 September in Pasay City.
Both sides discussed
measures for enhancing bilateral economic relations arising from the
successful visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Russia and the
inaugural meeting of the Philippine-Russia Joint Committee for Trade
and Economic Cooperation (JCTEC).
Sec. Lopez conveyed that
the Philippine initiative to engage Russia through the JCTEC is in
line with the present administration’s pursuit for an independent
foreign policy, securing collaboration with non-traditional
partners. Both sides agreed to conduct more business missions and
roundtable discussions with the private sector of both sides to know
more about each other’s business environment.
The Philippines reiterated
the commitment of Russian President Putin to source USD 2.5 billion
worth of agricultural products from the country.
Both sides affirmed the
importance of complying with respective sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS)
requirements for improved market access, as well as agreed to pursue
increased agricultural trade in line with the Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) on Agriculture Cooperation signed during the
Presidential Visit to Russia in May 2017.
PH encouraged Russia to
explore the opportunities from PH industries particularly in
production and manufacturing, iron and steel, pharmaceuticals,
agriculture, oil and gas, energy, transport and infrastructure.
of Escuela Taller of Bohol ready to help restore earthquake-damaged
September 15, 2017
MANILA – On
September 15, Escuela Taller -Bohol holds the graduation of its
first batch of trainees. Among the special guests gracing this
momentous event is Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., who is the
former Mayor of Maribojoc, the Spanish Ambassador to the
Philippines, H.E. Luis Antonio Calvo, and the Bishop of the Diocese
of Tagbilaran, Most Rev. Alberto S. Uy.
A total of 48 young men
and women completes the one-year training program in traditional
construction and conservation techniques for masonry, carpentry and
wall finishing. This group of young people are now part of a unique
pool of specialists and skilled workers in conservation aptly called
Heritage Protectors. They can now be tapped to help conserve and
restore the historical structures of Bohol that were ravaged by the
7.2 magnitude quake in 2013 and other heritage structures in the
region that consistently demand conservation works through
preventive maintenance. They will be soon be part of the
rehabilitation efforts within the Santa Cruz Parish Complex in
Maribojoc. The restoration of the church’s retablo, the repairs of
the stone steps leading to the rear side of the church and the
restoration of the old convent are among the many projects included
in their list of future undertakings.
According to ET Executive
Director Carmen Bettina Bulaong, “Escuela Taller’s mission in Bohol
is to equip the local youth with skills related to the conservation
of built heritage. This new skill set is not simply a means of
livelihood for these young men and women. It is their opportunity,
as members of a community, to actively participate in safeguarding
the legacy of a culture that they are so much a part of. This is our
shared mission with other Escuelas Taller in Spain, North Africa and
Latin America.” In fact to ensure the quality of their training, ET
has sent its finest graduates from Manila to become instructors in
the various trades and workshop areas that were established as a
response to massive damage due to the earthquake in October 2013.
Escuela Taller in
Intramuros was among the first organized groups who conducted
emergency response by conducting the assessment and documentation of
the damage caused by the earthquake. Eventually, ET's first
satellite training program, which was participated in by 28 young
Boholanos, was organized through the support of the Ayala
Foundation. The training involved the restoration of the Dauis Watch
Tower as the “learn-by-doing” project of the trainees. The Dauis
church complex, where the watchtower stands, is a declared National
Cultural Treasure by the National Museum and a National Historical
Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
After the satellite training program in Dauis and the completion of
the Dauis Watch Tower, Escuela Taller established its center for
training in Maribojoc Church Complex through the support of Senator
Loren Legarda and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
About Escuela Taller
Escuela Taller de
Filipinas Foundation, Inc. was organIzed in 2009 as a project by the
Philippine and Spanish governments through the National Commission
for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Agencia Española de
Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), the
international aid agency of the Spanish government. Today it is an
independent Filipino foundation and ET Bohol is its second training
center in the country after the pilot training center in Intramuros.
Women human rights
defenders in Asia and the Pacific say:
Stop the killings
in the Philippines now!
September 10, 2017
QUEZON CITY – More
than a hundred women from different countries in Asia and the
Pacific joined the #BlackFriday protest against extrajudicial
killings in the Philippines held last September 8, 2017, in
Chiangmai, Thailand, in the sidelines of the 3rd Asia Pacific
Feminist Forum (APFF) organized by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women,
Law and Development (APWLD).
“We, participants from the
Philippines at the third Asia-Pacific Feminist Forum, joined by our
sisters in the Asia-Pacific region, condemn in the strongest sense,
the unabated killings in the Philippines in the context of President
Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs and Oplan Kapayapaan,” they said
in a statement.
The women added
“State-sponsored killings in the Philippines have become
relentlessly horrendously, victimizing the poor and marginalized.
State-sponsored killings in the Philippines have become relentlessly
horrendously, victimizing the poor and marginalized. The latest
victims are: Kian Delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, Reynaldo de
Guzman, Obillo Bay-Ao, Vaugh Carl M. Dicang, Luardo Yac, Oscar
Asildo Jr. and Jezreel and Dalia Arrabis.”
Shirley Tagi, artist and member of the DIVA for Equality in Fiji,
offered songs in solidarity with the Philippines. Women human rights
defenders from at least twenty countries (Thailand, Hong Kong,
Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka,
Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Fiji, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, South Korea,
Bangladesh, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Laos)
participated in the said protest action.
“Thousands of poor people have been killed since President Rodrigo
Duterte came into power last year. Peasants and indigenous peoples
have been killed as Duterte continues to implement the State’s dirty
war against its perceived enemies. His war on drugs has resulted to
killings and gross violations on the right to due process in urban
poor communities. The climate of impunity has worsened, with
Duterte’s war on drugs and counter-insurgency program Oplan
Kapayapaan, promoting further unpeace,” they added in the statement.
“We demand an immediate end to the killings. We demand a transparent
and sift investigation on the killings! We demand that perpetrators
be held fully accountable!” they concluded.
On the last night of the APFF, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte won the
Insulting Intelligence award in the What The…Mock Poll by the APWLD
among the more than 350 participants of the forum. On the poll with
the question “Who displayed the most misogyny, sexism, homophobia or
transphobia and made a public statement that was illogical,
irrational or blatantly false?,” majority of the participants
answered Duterte, citing his authorised killing of 13,000 in the war
against drugs, declared martial law in Mindanao, ending peace talks
and encouraging the military to rape women amid the conflict.
Duterte “bested” other sexist government leaders in the Asia Pacific
region nominated such as Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama,
Indian State Minister Abu Azmi and Malaysian Parliamentarian
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Renato Badilla
(seated, center) and Javier Vice Mayor Michael Dragon Javier
(seated, right) signs the turnover and acceptance documents
for the 2.64-kilometer concreted Odiong-Guindapunan road
implemented under the second phase of the Agrarian Reform
Communities Project (ARCP-II).
road, opens opportunities
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
September 6, 2017
JAVIER, Leyte –
With the road leading to Barangay Guindapunan now concreted,
residents here can already eat fresh fish and avail of the various
This was the testimony of
Barangay Councilor Elizabeth Mendoza as she thanked the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Mayor Leonardo Javier Jr. for
concreting the Odiong-Guindapunan road.
Guindapunan is situated on
top of Mount Mairig, some seven kilometers away from the town proper
in this fourth class municipality. Residents here used to ride in a
horse as their mode of transportation in the past as the place has
steep slopes, sharp curves and dangerous for other kinds of vehicles
especially on rainy days.
But with the said road now
concreted, this village is already accessible to all kinds of
vehicles. Hauling of farmers’ products is easier now and a lot of
opportunities were opened to residents here, said Simplicio Bahinti.
ARCP-II National Project
Manager Jean Fornoles disclosed that in 2010 Mayor Javier was among
the first and very few mayors who invested in the second phase of
the Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP-II) when DAR
According to her, many
mayors turned down the offer for they found the share of the LGU in
the total project cost too big that they cannot afford to finance.
But Mayor Javier thought otherwise, Fornoles added.
Under ARCP-II, for a
fourth class municipality, the national government will provide only
40 percent of the project cost through a loan from the Asian
Development Bank (ADB), while the LGU will shoulder the remaining 60
Fornoles further disclosed
that Javier did not only commit to provide equity to one farm-to
market road but wanted six road projects, a road opening and five
road concreting, with an aggregate project cost of P84.5-million.
The concreting of the
2.64-kilometer Odiong-Guindapunan road was the second project
completed and was turned over recently by DAR Assistant Regional
Director Ma. Fe Malinao representing Regional Director Atty. Sheila
Enciso who was then out of the region.
The remaining four other
road projects are expected to be completed before the year ends.
During the said occasion
Malinao reminded the LGU and the recipient villages to maintain the
road in good condition within 10 years otherwise they will also be
shouldering the 40 percent share of the national government thereby
converting the grant into a loan.
In acceptance, Vice Mayor
Michael Dragon Javier in behalf of the mayor, as the latter was
recuperating after undergoing a kidney transplant, thanked DAR for
the assistance and assured “we will take care of this wonderful
In his message, he
confirmed the stories of Mendoza and Bahinti as he himself witnessed
how hard life was in this area which resulted to the mayor (his
father) seeking the assistance of DAR through its Program
Beneficiaries Development (PBD) as there are 1,437 agrarian reform
beneficiaries (ARBs) here.
Meanwhile, Chief of the
PBD Division Melecia Ong explained that the six road projects are
also part of DAR’s commitment to the Regional Convergence Initiative
(RCI) with the Departments of Agriculture, Environment and Natural
Resources, and Interior and Local Government wherein this town was
chosen as the pilot area in Eastern Visayas.
Blood of slain
Lumad youth by CAFGU is on Duterte’s hand
September 6, 2017
QUEZON CITY – Lumad
youth Obillo Bay-ao, 19, died 9:26 p.m. September 5, after eight
hours of fighting for his life at the Davao Regional Hospital in
Tagum City. Bay-ao was shot dead by a certain Ben Salangani, a
member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU), a
paramilitary group. He was a grade six pupil of Salugpongan Ta 'Tanu
Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) in Sitio Dulyan, Brgy.
Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao Del Norte.
“We mark Obillo Bay-ao’s
death with rage! It is another testimony to the mounting crimes of
the US-Duterte regime against the national minorities,” said Datu
Jerome Succor Aba, chairperson of Suara Bangsamoro and
co-chairperson of Sandugo.
Sandugo called for the
punishment of Bay-ao’s killer and the disbandment of the notorious
paramilitary group even as it holds the US-Duterte regime
accountable for the escalation of attacks against the national
minorities as part of its all-out war and counterinsurgency policies
and martial law declaration.
The national minorities –
the Moro and indigenous peoples – are the hardest hit by Duterte’s
martial law and all-out war. “Our people are being killed, harassed,
and almost wiped out by state attacks.” There are at least 29
documented victims of extrajudicial killings among the national
minorities from June 2016 to June 2017, excluding those killed in
the Marawi siege.
Yesterday, the Sandugo
second assembly indicted the US-Duterte for the intensifying fascist
attacks against the national minorities and the worsening landgrab
and plunder of resources in ancestral lands and territories, which
may now lead to ethnocide.
“The President – who
earlier recognized and promised to correct the hundreds of years of
injustice against the national minorities – now embodies national
oppression, which has caused the injustices to and oppression of the
national minorities,” the declaration stated.
The indictment came after
hearing the regional reports of various national minorities all over
the country. Some 2,500 national minorities from the Cordilleras,
Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mindoro, Quezon,Tanay, Palawan, Panay
and the island of Mindanao are in Metro Manila for the assembly and
ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, hold them accountable - Karapatan
September 1, 2017
QUEZON CITY – “The
Marcoses have become legends among thieves and they used public
funds for their political and personal gains. All their ill-gotten
wealth should be returned to the people. We should be vigilant
against any compromise agreement of the Duterte administration with
the Marcoses that enables their getting a free pass for all their
crimes and their continuing political rehabilitation. This will only
perpetuate the injustices they committed against the Filipino
people,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, on
statements of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and Justice Secretary Vitaliano
Aguirre that the Marcoses will return some of their ill-gotten
wealth and that a compromise agreement is being arranged.
The Basel Institute of
Governance/International Center for Asset Recovery (ICAR) estimated
that around $5-$10 billion of Marcos ill-gotten wealth needs to be
recovered from Switzerland and the US. As of 2009, only $658 million
have been recovered.
agreements have been initiated by previous administrations. In 1993,
the Ramos government through then Presidential Commission on Good
Government (PCGG) Chair Magtanggol Gunigundo, entered into a 75%-25%
sharing agreement with the Marcoses. The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees
Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), a group of Marcos’ martial law
victims that led the filing of the class action suit against the
Marcoses in Hawaii, rejected the said arrangement as anomalous.
On September 13, 1995,
while Imelda Marcos was appealing and contesting the US Federal
Court decision before the US Court of Appeals in the class suit of
human rights victims, Atty. Robert Swift, the court-appointed
counsel of victims, and Gunigundo hatched a compromise agreement
accepting a $150 million monetary settlement, in exchange for the
dropping of the entire class suit. According to SELDA, Swift made
this unilateral move, without adequate, thorough and genuine
consultation with the victims. The martial law victims protested and
Pres. Ramos was then forced not to sign the agreement.
On December 9, 1998, under
the Estrada administration, the Philippine Supreme Court declared
the December 28, 1993 agreement invalid, under which the PCGG had
agreed with the Marcoses on a 75%-25% (75% for the PH government,
25% for the HR victims) split in the $150 million settlement. In
February 1999, after SELDA’s opposition before the US Hawaii Court
Judge Manuel Real on the said settlement, Real finally nullified the
$150 million compromise settlement agreement.
Under the Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo administration, in 2004, P544 million were used by Arroyo and
the Department of Agriculture, in the DA’s fertilizer program, which
was exposed as a scam, and serious allegations were made on the
Arroyo’s diversion of said funds to her presidential campaign.
administrations have worked in cahoots with the Marcoses to absolve
them of their grave crimes against the people, and to line up their
pockets with a few millions. With Duterte’s facilitation of the
political rehabilitation of the Marcoses, through the hero’s burial
of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and political horsetrading with the
Marcos family, it is very important that the Filipino people,
especially the martial law victims and their families, keep a close
watch on what transpires between the Duterte administration and the
Marcoses,” Clamor concluded.
centavo of it, but plunderers and criminals they remain,” SELDA says
of reported Marcoses’ return of ill-gotten wealth
August 30, 2017
QUEZON CITY – “The
Marcoses should return all ill-gotten wealth, every centavo of it,
but plunderers and criminals they remain.”
Thus said Danilo dela
Fuente, Marcos’ martial law victim and spokesperson of SELDA (Samahan
ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto), reacting to
statements by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte that the Marcoses will return
some of their ill-gotten wealth.
“But for us, martial law
victims, this does not mean absolution from their crimes of plunder,
human rights violations and massive corruption. We see this as a
token and deceptive gesture of a family seeking to complete their
political rehabilitation,” said dela Fuente.
Dela Fuente is one of the
named plaintiffs in the class action suit filed against the Marcoses
in Hawaii in 1986. US Federal Courts upheld that the Marcoses are
accountable for grave human rights abuses under the Marcos 21-year
“The Marcoses should be in
jail for their crimes against the Filipino people and for the
destruction and plunder of the economy they have committed for 21
years. They should not go scot-free. The political accommodation and
rehabilitation by the Duterte government is unacceptable,” added
Selda said the fact that
the Marcoses continue to weave a string of lies means this alleged
plan to return ill-gotten wealth is part of their unfinished scheme
to return to power in Malacanang, through the dictator’s son
“This seemingly new
development is, in fact, hideous and doublespeak. They continue to
deny that this amassed wealth is ill-gotten, and even have the gall
to make up stories again and again. They plundered the country and
made the economy worse as ever before. Their continuous denial of
the plunderous reign of the Marcoses is the reason why we shouldn’t
be plainly accepting these statements,” said Dela Fuente.
The group urged Pres.
Duterte to disclose details of what seemed like “negotiations” with
“The president should stop
speaking on behalf of the Marcoses and disclose to the people
whatever has transpired in these talks. Duterte should not think the
people have forgotten how he and the Supreme Court have allowed a
hero’s burial for Marcos. He should be wary of the people’s
protest,” dela Fuente.
In the end, the Marcoses
should be made accountable for their crimes of plunder. This
development will in no way exonerate the Marcoses’ crime against the
“It seems like a fix
designed to fool the martial law victims and the people to make the
plunderous and murderous Marcoses look like benevolent family to
complete their rehabilitation and revision of history,” said dela
SELDA rejects the alleged
settlement by Duterte and the Marcos family and their justifications
as to why they hid the loot.
“Not in the name of the
victims of martial law, not in the name of the people who demand
justice for the Marcoses crimes against the people that Pres.
Duterte is acting like a stooge of the dictator’s family. Never
again,” said dela Fuente.
Red Cross website helps reunite families
August 30, 2017
MANILA – It has
been more than three months since fighting broke out in Marawi City,
in Lanao del Sur province, but for families whose loved ones are
still missing, the wait seems never-ending. In an effort to reunite
these families, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently launched an online page
(https://familylinks.icrc.org/Philippines) that helps trace missing
persons. On the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared
(30 August), the ICRC wishes to draws attention to the plight of
these families and stresses that people have a right to know what
happened to their missing relatives.
Camilla Matteucci, head of
the ICRC team working with the PRC to reunite families in the
Philippines, said there are many possible causes of separation
during a conflict situation. “People could be trapped by the
fighting, detained or even killed. They could be in an evacuation
centre but not have the means to contact their kin. At the end of
the day, it’s important to remember that families have a right to
know what has happened to their loved ones, and wherever possible,
be reunited with them. Our tracing website offers a platform for
people to share information about their missing relatives and
request our help in tracing them.”
The website supplements
existing tracing services such as the 12 PRC welfare desks in
evacuation centres in Marawi and Iligan cities. The information
shared by families with the Red Cross remains confidential. Since
the beginning of the Marawi conflict, the Red Cross has received 402
tracing requests, 179 of which are still being looked into.
Aisha (not her real name),
whose husband went missing in Marawi, said: “With each day that the
fighting continues, our hope diminishes. We praise Allah if my
husband is still alive. But if he is dead, then we need to recover
his remains so that we can bury him according to our religion and
traditions. Every Maranao family looking for a loved one wishes for
Reuniting families in
times of conflict or disaster is a key service that is always
provided by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
In Marawi, the ICRC and the PRC have been providing technical and
material support to help the authorities manage dead bodies. Besides
this, the PRC has provided psychosocial support to more than 10,400
people, including children, affected by the conflict.
The ICRC is a neutral,
impartial and independent humanitarian organization whose
exclusively 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. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent
suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and
universal humanitarian principles.