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DPWH-Biliran DEO set to implement DoTS for fast tracking of documents

25 ex-NPA rebels to undergo TESDA community based skills training

High ranking NPA leader and 4 others, apprehended

8ID Marawi heroes welcomed back in Samar

Palm Grass Hotel to mark Leon Kilat birthday and KKK founding with poetry nights

Wanted CNT arrested in Kananga, Leyte

DAR commemorates 30 years of CARP, opens agraryo-trade fair

Occupied housing units in EV reaches 975,625





DPWH Biliran star rating for Materials Testing Laboratory
Engr. Reynaldo P. Peñaflor, Chief of Quality Assurance Section informs Biliran DEO employees for achieving a one star rating for Materials Testing Laboratory on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 after the flag raising ceremony.

DPWH-Biliran DEO now acquires one-star rating for materials testing laboratory

Press Release
August 29, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) achieved a one-star rating this time for Materials Testing Laboratory.

According to District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr., the district has successfully passed the reassessment conducted by the Bureau of Research and Standards (BRS) of DPWH Central Office conducted on April 26-27, 2018 at Biliran DEO’s Materials Testing Laboratory.

BDEO satisfactorily complied with the provisions of Department Order No. 126, Series of 2016 Amendment to D.O. No. 11 Series of 2013 “Star Rating of DPWH Regional and District Materials Testing Laboratories” and hereby classified and categorized as a One-Star Materials Testing Laboratory.

Department Order No. 11, Series of 2013 is being amended to emphasize that the Star Rating System for testing laboratories of the Regional and District Engineering Offices recognizes the need for capable laboratory technicians and Materials Engineers and complete and reliable testing apparatus/equipment.

Engr. Reynaldo P. Peñaflor, Quality Assurance Chief said that after acquiring a one star rating, they will slowly comply with the requirements for applying for a two-star rating.

“If we can complete the testing equipments with capable laboratory technicians and Materials Engineers, we will be applying for a two star rating,” said Peñaflor.

District Engineer Adongay are encouraging the district’s laboratory technicians and materials engineers to attend more trainings and seminars.

Meanwhile, Peñaflor said that meeting all the required testing apparatus would mean that they can already conduct all laboratory tests for contractors without going to outside accredited laboratories.

The system classify testing laboratories into One-Star, Two-Star or Three-Star categories based on the following criteria: Availability of testing equipment and apparatus, Competence/Accreditation of Personnel, Observance of health and safety standards, Working area of the laboratory, Calibration of apparatus/equipment and Third-party certification.

Engr. Reynaldo P. Peñaflor






rgy. Jose Roño slope protection
One of the completed slope protection structures along Brgy. Jose Roño.

DPWH completes P49.9-M slope protection project

August 29, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office completes the P49.9 million project covering the construction of 7,800 square meters of slope protection structures along 293 meters of road section along Calbayog - Catarman Road in Brgy. Jose Roño, Calbayog City.

These structures are designed to prevent abrupt collapse of weakened slopes in cases of heavy rainfall and earthquakes because they help retain the slope’s stability.

The general travelling public directly benefits from this project as it allows for a safer travel environment. It also provides the residents of Brgy. Jose Roño with the necessary protection from harsh road slope disasters.

“I live here in Brgy. Jose Roño and I usually travel from here to work. And this road is very difficult to navigate because of the endless curves that lead to deep ravines. It’s good to know that DPWH is developing safer roads for motorists like me,” said Ariel Cinco.





DTI recognizes most promising MSME brands

Sikat Pinoy National Trade Fair

August 24, 2018

MANDALUYONG – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) awarded four most promising micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) brands that exhibited outstanding performance in terms of sales production, social impact, and innovation during the Sikat Pinoy National Trade Fair on 22 August at the SM Megamall.

“Continuous creativity and innovation will help entrepreneurs be successful. And we are proud of these MSMEs who serve as model and inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

The awardees were Jhaz Footwear, Ai-She Footwear, H.H.S. Leather Goods Enterprises, and Lolo Bobby Handicraft. As start-ups, they joined DTI’s provincial, regional, and national trade fairs, managing to raise the visibility and awareness of their products and brands among institutional buyers and the general public.

Unique feel in quality footwear

Jhaz Footwear started with a young couple, Nepthali and Elvira Moneda from Liliw, Laguna, who resold slippers made by their neighbors. They used to bring the slippers and sell them in various towns during fiestas and festivities. After two years, the couple put up their own footwear brand and started to become a supplier to various stores in the area.

Their small business received assistance from DTI via training, product development, and management. They were also invited to participate in domestic trade fairs and abroad. Their footwear brand offers different types of espadrilles, wedges, clogs, flats, heeled shoes, and even school shoes. They supply footwear apparel to retail stores throughout the country, as well as in Japan and Italy.

Meanwhile, Ai-She Footwear’s owner Corazon Coligado started making her own shoes in a small nipa hut in Liliw, Laguna. As an initial marketing plan, she gave out samples of new and trendy footwear to various retail stores outside their area. This strategy paved the way for her footwear to be patronized by a significant number of clients.

Ai-She Footwear then received an invitation from DTI to join the Calambanga Festival. The Department also invited them to regional and national trade fairs wherein they received an export order to Panama for 5,000 pairs of shoes. DTI also brought Ai-She Footwear to international trade fairs, leading their products to be exported. Currently, they are one of the suppliers of the leading malls in the country. Their shoes are also exported to Japan and Papua New Guinea.

Differently abled, but empowered

Handcrafted by Harl’s (H.H.S. Leather Goods Enterprises) from San Pedro, Laguna engages in the production of innovative genuine leather products. It was established in 2014 to promote the local artistry and craftsmanship. Their products are handmade by differently abled artisans and underprivileged craftsmen. The company’s product collection includes bags, sandals, wallets, coin purses, cell phone cases, gadget organizers, bracelets, guitar leather cases, straps, leather accessories, and souvenir items.

With their advocacy and quality products, the enterprise was invited by DTI to participate at the Manila FAME where their products gained more followers.

Design vision to help Filipino farmers

Lolo Bobby Handicrafts started as a producer of placemats made from coconut shells in Bato, Leyte. They were one of the recipients of product development assistance from DTI and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program initiative.

The assistance from DTI continued with various trade fair invitations, which helped them gain market access and exposure for their products. They also took part in the different product clinics by the Design Center of the Philippines that enabled them to craft high quality components of fashion accessories and housewares. They support local farmers by sourcing their raw materials from the Agrarian Reform Community in their locality. Lolo Bobby Handicrafts has been a regular participant to the Manila FAME and indirectly exports their products to Japan and Australia markets.

Sikat Pinoy

The annual Sikat Pinoy National Trade Fair is one of the programs of DTI that provides market access to various MSMEs and their products. Last year’s run had over 122,000 visitors for its three editions. The events generated P57M-worth of retail sales and P52M-worth of booked and negotiated orders.

“Empowering our MSMEs allow us to empower the nation. President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration will continue all market access programs as well as MSME assistance to encourage more Filipinos to join the entrepreneurial revolution, creating a much-needed economic growth that benefits all, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid,” Sec. Lopez said.

This year’s edition gathers over 250 MSMEs from all over the country and showcases One Town One Product (OTOP) Next Generation products such as gifts, houseware and décor, fashion accessories and wearables, furniture, specialty food, and health and wellness products. A special area also features green, organic, eco-friendly, fair-trade compliant, and halal-certified products. The fair will run until 26 August 2018 at SM Megamall.

PH promising MSME brands






Eastern Visayas partylist leader backs National ID system

August 24, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – The enactment into law of the Philippine Identification System Act got the support of Jude Acidre, the first nominee of Tingog Sinirangan party-list in Eastern Visayas region.

“It is good that finally, the National ID System Act has been signed into a law. This law has also been on the legislative agenda of Tingog Sinirangan,” said Acidre while thanking Leyte First District Rep Yedda Romualdez who was one of the co-authors of the law which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 6.

“There are privacy concerns regarding this law, but it is important to note there are probably more personal information shared on Facebook than what would end up in your National ID,” he reasoned out.

Acidre said that he has been hoping for Filipinos to have their own National ID card.

“Not only for the convenience of a portable proof of identity, but more so because it becomes a tangible marker of citizenship. In fact, a significant number of Filipinos do not have birth certificates, or have yet to be registered with the local civil registry. In a way, they have yet to be ‘counted’ and oftentimes, they have to wait until school age before they finally are issued a birth certificate,” he said.

Acidre, who is married to a Thai national, maintained that having a national ID makes every transaction that requires a proof of identity seamless and convenient, as what he experienced in Thailand.

“My wife, who is a Thai national, always carries with her a National ID card. Everyday she presents it for a number of transactions – from making a money transfer, boarding a plane, applying for a passport, paying taxes, opening a bank account and even buying a sim card. I remember when we had to register our marriage, I had to bring about five documents that took me weeks to process, while all she had to do was bring her National ID,” recalled Acidre, adding that the National ID card cuts additional processing or waiting time.

During the signing of the Republic Act 11055 or Philippine Identification System Act, Duterte said that there is “no basis at all for the apprehensions about the Phil-ID, unless of course that fear is based on anything that borders to illegal.”

Under the national ID law, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will maintain a centralized database of all Filipino citizens and resident aliens which include the information on name, sex, birthdate, address, citizenship and blood type. The government also assured on the security of the information.

The information registered in the National ID would be the same record history indicated in government-issued IDs like Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, Commission on Elections, Government Service Insurance System, and Philhealth card.

The National ID System would eliminate the presentation of multiple IDs and ease up the government transaction as it cuts the bureaucratic red tape, Acidre said.

“For every official or business transaction, we are often asked to present two or more government-issued IDs. The funny experience sometimes is that you will be asked two or more government-issued IDs to apply for a government-issued ID that at times it ends up like a chicken-and-egg-thing,” said Acidre as he described the inconvenience in the Philippines having no National ID System.





P3.4 million rainwater collection system in progress

August 23, 2018

CARIGARA, Leyte – A total of P3.4 million worth of 17 units of Rainwater Collection System (RWCS) are now in progress through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second District Engineering Office.

The RWCS will be installed in CATAMS Elementary School, Tagak Elementary School, Ponong Elementary School, Jugaban Elementary School, Guindapunan Elementary School, Minuhang Elementary School, Minuswang Elementary School, Barugo Central School, Culasian Elementary School, and two units each in Tunga Central School, Gregorio C. Catenza National High School, Capoocan Elementary School and Calingcaguing National High School.

District Engineer Carlos G. Veloso said that schools without access to potable water facilities are the top priority for this project.

Rainwater can be collected through pipes connected from the roofs of school buildings, and can be used in toilets, wash rooms, and other facilities.

Veloso added that rainwater collectors shall follow the prototypes set by DPWH such as reinforced ground storage tank with 4,000 liters water capacity.

The RWCS includes structure excavation, concrete works, reinforcing steel, roof drains with strainers, installation of stainless steel water tank approximately 4,000 liters with plumbing accessories and forms and falseworks.

The RWCS aims to suffice the continuous need for water supply in the Leyte second district.

This project is in compliance to Republic Act 6716, otherwise known as “an act providing for the construction of water wells, rainwater collectors, development of springs and rehabilitation of existing water wells in several barangays.”





Rotary Club of Calbayog and 63rd Infantry Battalion deliver social services in Matuguinao, Samar

Rotary Club of Calbayog and 63rd Infantry Battalion

August 22, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – The Rotary Club of Calbayog led by Club President Alex Gelera jointly conducted Book Donation, Gift Giving, and Feeding Activities with the military officers of the 63rd Infantry Battalion headed by LTC Rizaldo N. Laurena at Angyap Elementary School, Brgy. Angyap, Matuguinao, Samar, today, August 22, 2018.

The club donated more or less 400 books to Angyap and Mahantud Elementary Schools which will be benefited by some 150 pupils. This activity is in line with one of the areas of focus of the club – Basic Education and Literacy Program, that will help deliver quality education to the learners. RC Calbayog aims poverty alleviation by producing professionals in the outskirt villages in Samar and in the country in general.

Meanwhile, members of the club assisted the military officers in the distribution of schools bags followed by a feeding activity to the said recipients. The lady officers of 63rd IB facilitated parlor games to bring fun to the children while RC Calbayog distributed chocolates and biscuits as prizes to the participating pupils. This undertaking is relative to the Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Program of the club, building peace and goodwill between the residents in the locality and the military officers.

It is worth mentioning that Rotary Club of Calbayog and 63rd IB recently participated in the Medical, Surgical and Dental Mission spearheaded by the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) held at Calbayog Convention Center, Brgy. Capoocan, Calbayog City, Samar on August 17, 2018. More than one thousand veterans and non-veterans from Paranas, Catbalogan, San Jorge, Catarman and Calbayog, all located in Samar Province, availed the medical services.

Rotary Club of Calbayog endeavors to extend its programs and services not merely in Calbayog City but also in its neighboring cities and municipalities. It also aims to work with other civic and non-civic organizations in the locality in order to promote brotherhood and to ensure delivery of more services and programs. Brgy. Angyap, Matuguinao, Samar is approximately 55.8 kilometers away from Calbayog City.

Mahantud Elementary School Angyap Elementary School






PH artisan jam maker gains int’l recognition

August 22, 2018

MAKATI CITY – The Fruit Garden, one of the exporters assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was recently awarded one-star by Great Taste for its pineapple coco rhum jam during the release of Great Taste 2018 last 1 August 2018 at The Guild HQ in Gillingham, Dorset, United Kingdom.

Fruit Garden jamThe Fruit Garden’s jam was recognized with One-star of excellence against 12,634 products entered by producers across the globe. According to Great Taste, for this year, 1,207 foods grabbed 2 stars and 3,254 were awarded a 1 star. Meanwhile, 192 foods achieved their highest rating, three stars. These translated to a total of 37% accredited products out of all the entries this year.

Great Taste, tagged as the world’s most coveted food awards, started in 1994. It is considered as the largest and trusted accreditation scheme for fine food and drink. Products were blind-tasted by panels of specialists which include top chefs, food writers, influencers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.

The Fruit Garden is among the enrollees and assisted exporters of the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau under its Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters Plus (RIPPLES Plus).

According to DTI-EMB, Fruit Garden is the first and only Filipino company in the Jam Segment to be selected due to its product’s distinct taste which is achieved by its cooking process in copper cauldrons, in small batches, under strict quality control. The Fruit Garden also takes pride in the achievement of its unique flavor, made of local ingredients.

After its recognition by the prestigious food and beverage guild, Fruit Garden aims to gain more recognition from global markets by expanding abroad, and showcasing its product to foreign markets for greater appreciation of the quality of food products produced in the Philippines.

The DTI-EMB’s RIPPLES Plus Program is assisting emerging entrepreneurs in the development of their products and services through strategic interventions such as trainings and capacity building; investment, marketing and promotions, support for innovation, product development and design; market access facilitation through Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) and certifications. These interventions or modes of assistance ensure that the companies are competent and export-ready. The program has worked towards increasing the number of internationally-competitive Philippine product and services exporters with EMB at the helm.





Bisaya writers’ organization celebrates 49th anniversary


Press Release
August 22, 2018

CEBU CITY – Bisaya writers’ organization celebrates 49th anniversary Bathalan-ong Halad sa Dagang (BATHALAD) celebrated their 49th anniversary through the launching of “BATHALANDONG”, a repository of published works at Palm Grass the Cebu Heritage Hotel on August 18.

The collection of 18 books by acclaimed bisaya writers such as Adonis Durado, Josua Cabrera, Myke Obenieta and more old and young members of BATHALAD will be available both for free reading and for sale at the hotel’s library restaurant Kapihan ni Lumaya.

The festivities were started with poetry readings from well-known bisaya poets Lamberto Ceballos (Sun Star), Rolando Morallo (Sun Star,), and current BATHALAD vice-president Jae Mari Magdadaro (Bisaya Magasin). Former BATHALAD president and one of its oldest members Ernesto Lariosa first reminisced on how the organization changed throughout generations before performing an awe-inspiring bisaya poem. His son, a spectacular poet like Ernesto, also performed in the open mic portion.

Formed in 1969 by brilliant bisaya poet Dr. Melquiadito M. Allego, Jr., BATHALAD is now home to both old and young writers from the region. President Karla Quimsing said that BATHALAD’s doors are open to new members of all ages, gender, sexuality, and even those outside of Cebu but all across the bisaya-speaking regions.

As Cebu’s only heritage hotel, Palm Grass supports the growth of our local literary talents like BATHALAD. Apart from literary works, books on Cebuano history and culture are also available for sale and free reading at the Kapihan ni Lumaya library restaurant.

Guests may also enjoy native drinks at the Kapihan like the Kape Mais and native teas like dulaw (turmeric) and tanglad (lemon grass).

Palm Grass aims to engage all Cebuanos, especially the youth, to learn and explore about Cebu’s colorful and valiant heritage.






Amampacang Elementary School
(L-R) Officiating Priest, DepEd Supervisor Teresa Simon, Construction Chief Engr. Carlos Rañola, DepEd Supervisor Zosimo Mañoza, Punong Barangay Dominadora Rojo, and School Head Leticia Gregorio during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

P2.9 million school building inaugurated

August 17, 2017

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office (DPWH-SFDEO) inaugurates the recently completed one-storey, two-classroom school building in Amampacang Elementary School.

The P2.9 million project, sourced out from the 2017 Basic Educational Facilities Fund, was carried out by DPWH as part of their convergence program, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd)

Construction Chief Engr. Carlos Rañola of DPWH Samar I officiates the turn-over of the symbolic key and the ribbon cutting ceremony. The blessing and turnover of the school building is also graced by DepEd Officials, Supervisors Zosimo Mañozo and Teresa Simon, as well as the school faculty, general PTA officers and students of Amampacang Elementary School.

“We are so fortunate and pleased that our school was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of this project. We, teachers, believe that a good and conducive classroom is extremely beneficial in the development of our learners as it improves the quality of education. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to those fellows who rendered their effort to the realization of this project,” said Leticia S. Gregorio, school head of Amampacang Elementary School. This project benefits about 50 students enrolled in the school.





Second quarter palay production in Eastern Visayas increases by 7.9%

By PSA-8
August 17, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – Palay production in Eastern Visayas increased by 7.9 percent, from 239,600 metric tons (MT) in the second quarter of 2017 to 258,486 MT in the second quarter of 2018. Increases were observed among all provinces, except in Northern Samar, which posted a decrease of 9.3%. Southern Leyte recorded the highest increase in production of 50.3%, from 24,817 in the second quarter of 2017 to 37,306% in the second quarter of 2018.

Among the provinces, Leyte produced the highest volume of palay at 147,221 MT, which comprised more than half (57.0%) of the total palay production in the region. Eastern Samar, meanwhile, had the lowest volume of production (12,215 MT) accounting for only 4.7%.

The total harvest area for palay in the region decreased slightly by 0.2%, from 69,453 hectares in the second quarter of 2017 to 69,289 hectares in the second quarter of 2018. Increases recorded in Biliran (7.0%) and Samar (1.0%) were offset by the decreases registered in Northern Samar (6.8%) and Southern Leyte (2.0%).

Leyte recorded a little over half or 53.6% (37,144 hectares) of the total palay area harvested during the quarter in review, while Biliran contributed the least (4,763 hectares) accounting for only 6.9%.

Yield per hectare for palay in the region went up by 8.8%, from 3.4 MT per hectare in the second quarter of 2017 to 3.7 MT per hectare in the same quarter of 2018.

Among the provinces, Biliran posted the highest yield per hectare during the quarter in review at 4.6 MT per hectare. Eastern Samar registered the lowest yield per hectare at 2.3 MT per hectare.

Eastern Visayas palay production






Bantian Creek flood control
The Inspectorate Team of DPWH Samar I conducts a final inspection of the flood control structures along Bantian creek, Brgy. Bantian, Calbayog City.

P10-M flood control along Bantian Creek completed

August 17, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – As part of the Build Build Build Program of the present administration, the Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) completes the rehabilitation and improvement of the flood control project along Bantian Creek, Brgy. Bantian, Calbayog City.

The project covers the construction of 96 meters of flood mitigating structures in addition to the already existing flood control project along the creek. It is under contract with JFR Construction with an appreciation of P10 million sourced out from the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) Fund.

The flooding in Brgy. Bantian brought about by the monsoon rain affects so much of their residents’ properties. During the last flood, their barangay hall got flooded and even elevated houses were not spared.

The existing flood control project can no longer accommodate the volume of water overflow caused by heavy rainfall, especially during typhoon season. It also worsened during high tides because the creek is connected to Samar Sea.

The rehabilitation and improvement of this flood control project has a widened catchment that can now accommodate an even higher volume of water capacity.

With this, flooding is not only mitigated but prevented.





Q2 fishery production in Eastern Visayas drops by 20.7%

By PSA-8
August 17, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – Fishery production in Eastern Visayas dropped by 20.7% from 34,200 metric tons (MT) in the second quarter of 2017 to 27,124 MT in the second quarter of 2018.

All provinces registered decreases in fishery production, except Biliran and Southern Leyte, which recorded increases of 1.6% and 7.6%, respectively from their levels of production in the same quarter in 2018. Leyte recorded the highest decrease of 37.5%, from 8,292MT in the second quarter of 2017 to 5,185 MT during the quarter in review.

Among provinces, Samar produced the highest volume of fishery production at 8,636 MT, which comprised 31.8% of the total fishery production in the region. Eastern Samar ranked second with 6,003 MT, which accounted for 22.1% of the region’s total fishery production. Biliran, meanwhile registered the lowest volume of production with 5.7% share or 1,538 MT.

By subsector, volume of production in Commercial Fishing went down by 28.0%, from 3,934 MT in the second quarter of 2017 to 2,833 MT in the same period in 2018. All provinces registered decreases, except Biliran, the only province that recorded a slight increase of 2.2%. Southern Leyte recorded the highest decrease of 73.9%, from 367 MT in the second quarter of 2017 to 96 MT during the quarter in review.

Similarly, volume of production in Municipal Fishing (marine and inland) registered a decrease of 20.5%, from 22,939 MT in the second quarter of 2017 to 18,238 MT in the same quarter in 2018. All provinces registered decreases, except Biliran and Southern Leyte, which posted increases of 1.4% and 38.3%, respectively. Leyte registered the highest decrease in volume of production at 55.1%.

Volume of production in Aquaculture also declined by 17.4%, from 7,328 MT in the second quarter of 2017 to 6,052 MT in the same period in 2018. Among provinces, only Biliran and Northern Samar registered growths in production of 20.4% and 21.9%, respectively. However, the increases were negated by the decreases recorded by Eastern Samar (41.9%), Leyte (21.1%), Southern Leyte (47.4%) and Samar (15.1%).

About two-thirds or 67.2% (18,238 MT) of the total fishery production in the region were from Municipal Fishing. Aquaculture contributed 22.3% (6,052 MT), while Commercial Fishing accounted for 10.4% (2,833 MT).

Eastern Visayas fishery production






Biliran flood control projects
P18.5M construction/extension of flood control structure along Mapula river protecting Mapula bridge and Biliran circum road, Biliran, Biliran Province is 100% completed as of July 31, 2018. This project is in contract with YOYEN Enterprises. The completed project will prevent flooding on the said area protecting not only the bridge but the surrounding agricultural lands.

DPWH-Biliran DEO completes 13 flood control projects in Biliran

Press Release
August 15, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – Following the department’s new approved plans and specifications for flood mitigation structures, District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr. assures quality implementation for completed flood control projects in Biliran.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) has a total of 18 flood control projects this year amounting to P371.5M under the Flood Management Program.

Out of the 18 flood control projects, the district office has completed 13 and eyeing for the completion of 5 more for the next two months.

According to Adongay, the previous design of flood control is no longer the same as the design of the district office at present.

“We have already an additional reinforcing bars on the revetment side designed to protect from flooding,” said Adongay.

Recalling tropical storm Urduja last year that badly hit almost the entire province, Adongay said that district’s new design of flood control projects have withstand against major flooding.

“Based on our experience, yung mga bagong design hindi nasira nung Urdjua, pero depende rin sa river at lugar kasi merong lugar na binaha pero walang kasamang debris,” Adongay explained.

Adongay further added that the goal of these flood control projects is to ensure safe environment through these facilities, leading economic growth towards poverty reduction.

“As regards the completed flood control projects in the province, these are important infrastructure projects to the populace and community as their lives and properties are protected against major floods,” said Adongay.

The completed flood control projects are located along the rivers of Bagongbong in Almeria, Busali and Santol in the Municipality of Biliran, Esperanza in Cabucgayan, Mainit, Mapula and Kaulangohan in Caibiran, Bool in Culaba, Madao, Tucdao and Ungali in Kawayan, Banlas in Maripipi, and Anas in Naval, the capital town.





Teachers slam drastic cuts in proposed Duterte 2019 education budget

By Alliance of Concerned Teachers
August 15, 2018

QUEZON CITY – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers lambasted the hefty cuts in the proposed education budget of the Department of Budget and Management for 2019, saying that the Duterte regime’s purported prioritization of human resource development is a “big farce,” as far as education budget is concerned.

“The drastic cuts in the proposed education budget for 2019 more accurately mean ‘human resource destruction’ than development to teachers, students, and the whole nation,” said Raymond Basilio, ACT Philippines Secretary-General.

The DBM-proposed education budget is 6.4% or P44.87 billion lower than the approved 2018 budget for education. The Department of Education is about to suffer an 8.9% budget slash which is equivalent to P51.8 billion. It is in fact 28% short of what the agency requested. Despite the enactment of the Universal Access to tertiary Education Law, budget for State Colleges and Universities will still be decreased by .07% or P45.95 million.

Basilio expressed dismay over DepEd Secretary Briones’ quick retraction of the criticism on the looming budget cuts on the agency, saying that “DepEd exposes itself as spineless in standing up for the interest of teachers and the rest of the education sector.”

“The cuts spell further hardships to education workers on pay and workload, worsening shortages on facilities and materials, and greater inaccessibility of education to Filipinos,” Basilio stated. Aside from President Duterte’s salary increase promise being amiss in the budget, personnel services allocation in the education sector will effect cuts of P6.4B in personnel benefits and P19.8B decrease in allocation for the creation of new teaching and non-teaching items.

The long overdue increase in the allotted special hardship allowance proposed by the Department of Education was totally disregarded. Funds for the implementation of medical treatment and annual health examination of teachers guaranteed in the 1966 Magna Carta, as well as budget for benefits under the collective negotiations agreements were practically non-existent in the draft budget.

“It seems this government is condemning education workers to slow death. While it wrings us of indirect taxes under the TRAIN Law which will fund 39% of the 2019 budget, it deprives us of our legitimate and legal pay. It denies us further of additional teaching and non-teaching personnel much-needed to alleviate overwork which has caused the death of our colleagues recently,” complained Basilio.

The proposed budget for DepEd and SUCs reflect big slashes in the allocation for facilities repair and replacement, procurement and computers, laboratory equipment, textbooks and manuals, and construction of new buildings.

“The cuts are tantamount to the further decline of quality and access to education. This is destructive to the nation’s human resource, especially the next generation. Mr. President, you always say that you cannot just watch our youth being wasted on drugs, but by abandoning education, you let them go to the dogs!” called out Basilio.

However, it is remarkable how payment of vouchers to private schools remains to be included in the top 10 items with the biggest allocation in the budget for education, with a P5B increase for DepEd’s SHS Voucher Program to private secondary schools.

“Instead of investing in public schools which can accommodate large numbers of pupils for years, it would rather hand out public funds to private businesses,” noted Basilio.

The proposed budget will effect as well an 84% decrease in budget for all state colleges and universities.

“The Duterte government now carries out the paralyzation and the eventual death of SUCs. It only goes to show how insincere this regime is in implementing free tertiary education,” Basilio concluded.






Biliran DEO 2019 budget
District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr., (center-right) presiding over the staff meeting with Assistant District Engineer Alfredo L. Bollido (center-left), Section Chiefs, Unit Heads, Project Engineers and Staff on August 9, 2018 at DPWH Conference Room. One of the highlights of the meeting is regarding on the implementation of 2019 Cash-based budgeting System.

Biliran DEO gets P1.2B budget for next year based on NEP

Press Release
August 13, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) has a total allotment budget of P1.2B including region wide projects for year 2019 project implementation based on National Expenditure Program (NEP).

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer disclosed that out of the allotted amount, the district office will only implement P813.9M while P397.9M will be implemented by the DPWH Regional Office VIII. This is 30% lower than the 2018 General Appropriation Act (GAA) budget amounting to P1.6B.

Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, Chief of Planning and Design Section said that BDEO has 61 total proposed projects for 2019 with 56 projects to be implemented by the district office.

Rosete added that out of the 56 projects, 12 are already surveyed and three Plans and Program of Works (POWs) are already completed. Preliminary and Detailed Engineering (PDE) activities are on-going for the remaining projects.

“We can already advertise all projects by August this year,” Rosete said.

According to Adongay, the department is rushing all Regional and District Offices to complete the detailed engineering activities on projects based on NEP to easily implement the same by next year under the cash-based program.

In 2019, the government will be shifting from obligation-based budgeting system to cash-based budgeting system which means that implementing offices has given only one year to finish all projects based on the respective budget allotted.

“Our aim is 100% completion in 2019, although not practical but that is reality,” Adongay said.

“If we want to move ahead, we should shift our paradigm,” he added.

Adongay said that proposed projects in NEP are just minimum proposed projects and should expect changes for additional projects upon approval of the General Appropriations Acts (GAA).





Go assures AFP of PRRD’s full support

By OSAP Media
August 11, 2018

CATBALOGAN CITY – Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Secretary Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go today assured the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of President Rodrigo Duterte’s full support.

Visiting this city for the celebration of Samar Day, Go went to the Camp Lukban Station Hospital to personally check on the condition of three soldiers who had been wounded in action.

“Nagpapagaling na so medyo OK na sila (They are recovering already),” Go said. “Hopefully they can leave the hospital and go back on duty.”

He said he will extend help if the three soldiers need to continue treatment in Manila. “Anything that they need in Manila, the government is willing to help them,” he said.

When Go asked hospital doctor Captain Nikaelle Guevara what the Camp Lukban Station Hospital needs, the latter replied that they need an x-ray machine as well as new hospital mattresses. “You write us a letter, then I will immediately follow it up,” Go said.

He said this is in line with President Duterte’s commitment to support the AFP fully. “‘Do not worry, full support ko kayo,’” Go quoted Duterte as saying. 





CNTs launch pre-dawn raid in Lapinig, N. Samar

NPA raid in Lapinig

August 10, 2018

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The Municipal Police Station (MPS) of Lapinig, Northern Samar manned by six PNP personnel under PCI Noly Montibon, Chief of Police was raided by undetermined number CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) onboard two dump trucks and one jeep at around 2:00 A.M. on August 10, 2018.

The firefight lasted for about 15 minutes that resulted in the wounding of PO1 Edison Aguerre and PO2 Jerry Quilicol. The CNTs carted away the following items: 10 assorted high powered firearms, three handguns, undetermined numbers of ammunition/magazine, undetermined numbers of MPS desktop/laptops, and the MPS hotline cellular phone.

It can be recalled that on July 13, 2018, Marieta “Tayang” Bartolo, Front Secretary of Metro 1, SRC Emporium an NPA unit operating in the municipalities of Pambujan, San Roque, Silvino Lobos, Las Navas, Mondragon, and Catarman all of Northern Samar and Ruth Martirez Figueroa, Bayan Muna President-Northern Samar, an incumbent Barangay Chairwoman of UEP, Zone 3, Catarman, N.Samar and three others were apprehended at a checkpoint. The Lapinig raid coincided with today’s scheduled arraignment of “Tayang” who has two warrants of arrest issued by the Gamay Regional Trial Court.

Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, Commander 8ID condemns the pre-dawn attack conducted by these CNTs as a terrorist act against the people of Lapinig, N. Samar.

In his statement, Maj. Gen. Farnacio said that, “It only shows how desperate they are in their armed struggle, I urged the community to report to the authorities the presence of any armed group in your area. Security is a shared responsibility of everyone; it is not just for us, the security forces and government institutions but also in collaboration with civil society and the communities.”





Eastern Visayas’ inflation rate eases to 5.9% in July 2018

By PSA-8
August 10, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – The annual Inflation Rate (IR) of Eastern Visayas declined to 5.9% in July after posting the record-high 6.3% in June. This IR was 0.4 percentage point lower compared with the 6.3% IR a month ago, but 2.7 percentage points higher than the recorded 3.2% IR in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate was 0.2 percentage point higher than the 5.7% national average in July.

Four provinces in the region – Biliran, Leyte, Northern Samar, and Samar, posted lower inflation rates in July with 0.5 percentage point, 0.4 percentage point, 1.0 percentage point, and 0.1 percentage point decreases, respectively, compared with their figures in the previous month. On the other hand, increases were noted in Eastern Samar (0.3 percentage point) and Southern Leyte (0.1 percentage point). Eastern Samar registered the highest IR at 7.8%, while Southern Leyte posted the lowest IR at 1.5% (Table 1).

By major commodity groups, Education recorded the highest decrease of a hefty 19.7 percentage points, from 3.5% in June to -16.2 percent in July. It posted the lowest and the only commodity with negative inflation among all commodity groups. This may be attributed to the implementation of the free tuition law among State Universities and Colleges.

Annual price changes in Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco slowed down by 0.4 percentage point from its previous month’s rate, but still recorded a double digit inflation rate of 21.6%, the highest among all commodities.

The heavily weighted Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages went up by 0.3 percentage point, from 7.9% in June to 8.2% during the reference month. This can be attributed to faster price increases in rice, corn, fish, vegetables, and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery products. Fish remained to have a double digit inflation at 18.5%, the highest among all food items. Communication, meanwhile, recorded zero inflation rate in July.

The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P 0.81 in July 2018. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in July 2018 only costs 81 pesos in 2012.

All provinces sustained their PPP from last month, except Northern Samar, the only province that registered a 0.01 centavo increase in the PPP with its figure a month ago. Leyte recorded the strongest PPP at P0.84. Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.83, followed by Biliran at P0.82, Eastern Samar at P0.79, and Northern Samar at P0.77. Samar, meanwhile, posted the weakest PPP at P0.76 (Table 1).

Eastern Visayas inflation rate






Gov’t workers decry planned cut on IRA share

August 10, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Local government employees opposed the proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers of lowering the local government units Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share in favor of the national government in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that the IRA must be sourced from “all national taxes and not only internal revenue taxes”.

The IRA amounted to P575.52 billion under the proposed 2019 national budget, a far cry from the P732 billion IRA if the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the “just share” of LGUs would be implemented next fiscal year.

The League of Local Government Units Employees (LEAGUE-COURAGE), a federation of LGU employees associations and unions, said that social services to the people and the security of tenure of rank-and-file employees will be the first casualties if the national government decides to reduce the allotment.

“The jobs of LGUs project-based employees who have been performing the regular mandate of the government would be affected by the cut on the IRA as their salaries are sourced from the revenue allotment. Mass lay-off of government employees nationwide is imminent if the US-Duterte regime decides on the cut on the IRA”, said LEAGUE president Erwin Lanuza.

“The current LGU and national government share of 40%-60% to a possible reduction of 30%-70% can only be altered if there is an “unmanageable public service deficit according to the Local Government Code. If this will happen, it will be greatly disadvantageous to LGUs, local communities and employees especially in the delivery of much needed local social services such as education, health, housing, agriculture, water and others, COURAGE National President Ferdinand Gaite said.

He surmised that the unmanageable public service debt is actually due to Duterte’s adherence to the neo-liberal economic program pushed by US, China and other foreign monopoly capital increasing the debt and debt service, increasing the AFP and PNP budget, the drive for more infrastructure spending under the Build, Build, Build which only favor the few. Another impact is that once allotments are reduced and funding for local hospitals, schools, housing, water and other social services, the privatization of such services (another neo-liberal program) will not be far behind leading to more expensive services and lay-off of employees.

Lanuza said that government workers, are actually clamoring for the regularization of contractuals and have lost faith in Duterte’s promise. Instead, they are pushing for the passage of House Bill 7415 file by Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate and the Makabayan Bloc which will end contractualization and entitle non-regular workers in government security of tenure and civil service eligibility. They are also pushing for a national minimum wage of P16,000 a month for all government employees whether national or local.





Teachers slam drastic cuts in proposed Duterte 2019 education budget

By Alliance of Concerned Teachers
August 9, 2018

QUEZON CITY – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers lambasted the hefty cuts in the proposed education budget of the Department of Budget and Management for 2019, saying that the Duterte regime’s purported prioritization of human resource development is a “big farce,” as far as education budget is concerned.

“The drastic cuts in the proposed education budget for 2019 more accurately mean ‘human resource destruction’ than development to teachers, students, and the whole nation,” said Raymond Basilio, ACT Philippines Secretary-General.

The DBM-proposed education budget is 6.4% or P44.87 billion lower than the approved 2018 budget for education. The Department of Education is about to suffer an 8.9% budget slash which is equivalent to P51.8 billion. It is in fact 28% short of what the agency requested. Despite the enactment of the Universal Access to tertiary Education Law, budget for State Colleges and Universities will still be decreased by .07% or P45.95 million.

Basilio expressed dismay over DepEd Secretary Briones’ quick retraction of the criticism on the looming budget cuts on the agency, saying that “DepEd exposes itself as spineless in standing up for the interest of teachers and the rest of the education sector.”

“The cuts spell further hardships to education workers on pay and workload, worsening shortages on facilities and materials, and greater inaccessibility of education to Filipinos,” Basilio stated. Aside from President Duterte’s salary increase promise being amiss in the budget, personnel services allocation in the education sector will effect cuts of P6.4B in personnel benefits and P19.8B decrease in allocation for the creation of new teaching and non-teaching items. The long overdue increase in the alloted special hardship allowance proposed by the Department of Education was totally disregarded. Funds for the implementation of medical treatment and annual health examination of teachers guaranteed in the 1966 Magna Carta, as well as budget for benefits under the collective negotiations agreements were practically non-existent in the draft budget.

“It seems this government is condemning education workers to slow death. While it wrings us of indirect taxes under the TRAIN Law which will fund 39% of the 2019 budget, it deprives us of our legitimate and legal pay. It denies us further of additional teaching and non-teaching personnel much-needed to alleviate overwork which has caused the death of our colleagues recently,” complained Basilio.

The proposed budget for DepEd and SUCs reflect big slashes in the allocation for facilities repair and replacement, procurement and computers, laboratory equipment, textbooks and manuals, and construction of new buildings.

“The cuts are tantamount to the further decline of quality and access to education. This is destructive to the nation’s human resource, especially the next generation. Mr. President, you always say that you cannot just watch our youth being wasted on drugs, but by abandoning education, you let them go to the dogs!” called out Basilio.

However, it is remarkable how payment of vouchers to private schools remains to be included in the top 10 items with the biggest allocation in the budget for education, with a P5B increase for DepEd’s SHS Voucher Program to private secondary schools.

“Instead of investing in public schools which can accommodate large numbers of pupils for years, it would rather hand out public funds to private businesses,” noted Basilio.

The proposed budget will effect as well an 84% decrease in budget for all state colleges and universities.

“The Duterte government now carries out the paralyzation and the eventual death of SUCs. It only goes to show how insincere this regime is in implementing free tertiary education,” Basilio concluded.





Eastern Visayas records $49.4M trade deficit in May 2018

By PSA-8
August 9, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – The region reflected a continued deficit in the total balance of trade in goods (BoT-G), posting a drastic drop by 424.2% to $49.4 million in May from $9.4 million in May 2017.

The region’s total trade in goods in May 2018 amounted to $177.4 million, equal to the registered value in the same period last year. Total exports amounted to $64.0 million, which was 23.8% lower compared with the $84.0 million in May 2017. Total value of imports, meanwhile, was recorded at $113.4 million, 21.4 percent higher compared with the $93.4 imports posted in the same period last year.

The region’s total volume of exports in May 2018 was posted at 97.0 million kilograms. The commodity group of Copper and Articles thereof was the major export during the month in review with a total revenue of $61.6 million, accounting for 96.4% of the region’s total exports revenue in May 2018.

People’s Republic of China was the top export market destination with a recorded total exports revenue of $61.6 million, which shared 96.4% of the region’s total exports.

Meanwhile, the region’s total imports amounted to $113.4 million in May 2018 with total gross weight of 94.0 million kilograms. Ores, Slag and Ash commodity group was the major import during the month with a total revenue of $104.4 million accounting for 92.0% of the region’s total imports in May 2018.

The top import supplier of the region was Australia, recording a total imports bill of $51.6 million, which comprised more than two-fifths (45.5%) of the region’s total imports.

Eastern Visayas trade deficit






NPA couple surrenders to Army in Cotabato

NPA couple surrenderers

By 19th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
August 8, 2018

MAGPET, North Cotabato – Tired and disgruntled, a couple from the hinterland barangay of Magpet, North Cotabato surrendered to the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion, Tuesday, August 7.

The surrenderers, “Alias George” and his wife “Alias Joan” were formerly full-time members of Guerilla Front 53 and Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 3, under the outlawed Communist New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) that operates in North Cotabato.

The couple was accompanied by local officials headed by village Chief Roldan Pelonio when they surrendered to 1Lt. Prolen Bonacua, Commanding Officer of Alpha Company at Barangay Manobo of the said town. They are now the latest addition to the list of former NPA rebels who surfaced to 19th Infantry Battalion since April this year.

Alias George has already acquired higher position in the organization. But still, he surfaced due to hardships and infighting among members. He also came to knew that the military together with the local officials were aggressively supporting the reintegration process of former NPA rebels.

“I just want to live a normal life together with my wife and children, like our former comrades who already yielded ahead of us”, Alias George said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Ehrlich Noel Paraso, Commanding Officer of 19th Infantry Battalion said that documentary requirements for the enrollment of Alias George and his wife in the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) will be immediately processed.

He also reiterated his call to the remnants of the NPA rebels who are still out in the mountains to surrender for them to avail of the various programs of the government.






DPWH road maintenance rating
(L-R) Assistant Chief Maintenance Engr. Rogelio Bonoan, MPP Engr. Ronalie Pelotos, and Road Inspector Engr. Edgar Cuenco at a road section along Calbayog-Allen Road.

Samar I improves road maintenance rating for 2018

August 6, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) obtains an 88.05% rating in its compliance with the guidelines on the maintenance of national roads and bridges for the first semester of 2018.

Engr. Edgar Cuenco from the Department’s Bureau of Maintenance conducted the road rating inspection and validation last February 2018, inspecting a total of 144.80 kilometers of paved road, divided into 101.2 kilometers of asphalt roads and 43.6 kilometers of concrete road.

The 88.05% road rating, which was released just this month, is higher than last year’s overall rating of 87.4%.

“Public safety is the primary priority in maintaining our roads and bridges. This semester’s accomplishment is a testament to the continuous efforts of our maintenance point persons and their teams who have tendered services beyond the regular working hours just to ensure safe and well-maintained roads for the travelling public,” said District Engineer Alvin Ignacio.

Currently, SFDEO is gearing up for the next semester’s road inspection and validation and is looking forward to surpass this semester’s rating.






Martial law victims
At the press conference of SELDA with martial law victims and lawyers from the National Union of People's Lawyers.

Martial law victims call to get remaining P800M of reparation, seek Congress support

August 6, 2018

QUEZON CITY – “After so many hurdles before being able to receive reparation and recognition, we do not want to leave anyone behind, especially the legitimate victims of martial law. Ultimately, we should make sure that all funds intended for the victims and their kin should be given to them.”

Thus said SELDA chairperson Trinidad Herrera-Repuno, as the group is now appealing to extend the validity and availability of funds intended for reparation for martial law victims for those who have not claimed their compensation.

About P800 million worth of funds remain undistributed, as many approved claimants were unable to encash their checks. The fund, which is currently with the Human Rights Victims Claims Board’s account with Land Bank of the Philippines, will only be maintained until August 11, after which it will be reverted to the Bureau of Treasury.

“We are concerned that many martial law victims from different parts of the country might not be able to resolve these issues before the said date. Ultimately, it would be a disservice and injustice for the legitimate victims to be denied receipt what is justly theirs. It is our responsibility, even when many of us have received reparation, to call on the government to do something to address this,” Herrera-Repuno said.

SELDA cited the case of Cresencia Hizarsa, common-law wife of desaparecido Abner Hizarsa, who was a victim of illegal arrest detention under Marcos. Because he was disappeared in 2007, Cresencia filed for claims in Abner’s absence. However, after fulfilling the requirements said to her like special powers of attorney, birth certificates of their children, the check issued to Cresencia was still named after Abner. There is no possibility that Cresencia can encash the check, only when it is named after her.

“The claims board has ceased existence, which is why we call on the Lower House and the Senate to support the joint resolution to extend the validity of funds, to give more time to resolve concerns such as that of Cresencia,” said Herrera-Repuno.

On July 19, Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate filed Joint Resolution No.24 entitled “Extending the Validity and Availability of the Fund for the Marcos Human Rights Violation Victims wth Land Bank of the Philippines and Authorizing the Commission on Human Rights to Administer the Effective Distribution of the Funds to Qualified Victims of their Heirs or Representatives until December 2019, Amending for the Purpose RA No. 10368 and RA No. 10766.”

SELDA is lobbying for both houses to support the said joint resolution.

“Umaasa ako at ang aming buong pamilya ng tulong mula sa inyo para makamit namin ang hustisya. Alam kong hindi sasapat ang monetary reparation para makamit ang hustisya para sa amin, bagamat maiibsan nito ang bigat ng aming dalahin at ito'y parte ng tagumpay sa matagal nating ipinaglalaban (Me and my family hope for help from you to attain justice. I understand that the monetary reparation is not enough to attain justice for us, although this may give respite from the burden that we carry. This is part of the victory that we have been fighting for a long time,” said Cresencia.





PIO staff conducts project documentation of school building

DPWH school building project documentation

August 5, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office’ (SFDEO) Public Information Office staff conducts project documentation with the beneficiaries of four school building projects within the jurisdiction of the District on August 3, 2018.

The projects documented are Construction of One (1) Storey Two (2) Classroom with toilet Oquendo Central Elementary School, Construction of One (1) Storey Three (3) Classroom (with toilet) Carmen Elementary School, Construction of One (1) Storey Three (3) Classroom with toilet Sinidman Or. Primary School and Construction of One (1) Storey Three (3) Classroom Nijaga Elementary School in Calbayog City. These projects have a combined appropriation of P15,563,196 sourced out from the BEFF CY 2017 fund.

Assistant District Engineer Denis C. Cagomoc, head of the District’s Inspectorate Team, leads the recently held inspection of the project, and School Principal Castante accompanies the team during the inspection.

The beneficiaries of the aforementioned projects attested to the benefits attained from the fulfillment of the projects. Moreover, they gave their testimony specifying the relevance of the latter towards their daily lives.

“In the past few years we have experienced a steady increase in the number of students who enroll at our school. This project comes at an opportune time as it offers a more conducive learning environment,” said Principal Castante.

The project documentation with the beneficiaries is a part of Communication Development Program of the Department.






DTI business workshop for Filipinos in LA
Panel members in photo (L-R): Mr. Armando Bartolome, Ms. Linda Stone, Dr. Ed Arcinue, Mr. Eduardo Romualdo with DTI Trade Commissioner Celynne Layug (standing).

DTI leads business workshop for Filipinos in LA

August 2, 2018

MAKATI CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry through its Philippine Trade and Investment Center Los Angeles (PTIC-LA) in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General and Philippine Department of Tourism in Los Angeles officially launched the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) workshop for Overseas Filipino Investors (OFIs) in Los Angeles, California.

Participated in by more than fifty (50) professionals, food trade entrepreneurs, and representatives of Filipino-American organizations, the workshop was graced by Consul General Adelio S. Cruz of the Philippine Consulate General, Los Angeles. The seminar also served as an avenue for the announcement of the establishment of the TNK clinics as part of the Consulate's regular program in collaboration with PTIC-LA. The TNK clinic is set to be a monthly workshop for OFIs of PTIC-LA.

Meanwhile, Trade Commissioner Celynne Layug provided updates on the Philippines’ overall economic performance and the DTI’s 7Ms strategy for MSME Development which include mindset, mastery, mentoring, markets, money, machines and models of business. Trade Assistant Rowena Namay further shared the available resources in Negosyo Centers located in various regions and provinces in the Philippines.

The seminar also featured a panel discussion on “OFIs as catalyst for growth.” Panel members include APR Consulting, Inc. Founder and CEO, Ms. Linda Stone; Sual Global International, Inc., Owner, Dr. Edgardo Arcinue; GMB Management Services Global, Inc., President Mr. Armando Bartolome; and Asset Laboratories Finance/Administration Representative Mr. Eduardo Romualdo. As professionals in their respective fields, the panel members shared their insights and experiences on the various opportunities and learnings in starting a business in the Philippines with respect to services, testing, livestock/manufacturing, and franchising.

Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) is a new government blueprint for decent job creation through employment and entrepreneurship. It was a joint effort of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).






DPWH-Biliran Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation
Engr. Rosario B. Rosete (left), Chief of Planning and Design Section inspects the surveying equipments worth P3M which includes Real-time kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation and state-of-the-art drone on July 9, 2018 at the Planning and Design Section.

DPWH-Biliran DEO now equipped with enhanced survey use equipments

Press Release
August 2, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) is now advancing its planning processes through the use of the newly acquired surveying equipments.

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that BDEO has recently procured P3M worth of Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation and a state of the art drone that will help surveyors upgrade its planning and surveying methods.

RTK positioning satellite navigation is a technique used to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems such as GPS, among others.

“The procurement of RTK and Drone will keep Biliran in league with its counterpart district offices which have already state of the art surveying instruments,” said Adongay.

Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, Planning and Design Chief said that BDEO is previously using the traditional total station instrument to measure angles in both the horizontal and vertical planes.

“The use of the latest model of RTK will lessen the tediousness in the preparation of plans in as much as the data gathered using RTK can automatically show the profile, traverse, contours and cross section of the project surveyed,” Rosete said.

DPWH-Biliran drone survey equipment






Stormtroopers 30th Founding Anniversary
DENR Sec. Roy A. Cimatu addresses the men and women of the Stormtroopers Division during its 30th Founding Anniversary on August 1, 2018 at the 8ID Covered Court joined by four former 8ID Commanders namely MGen. Glenn Rabonza AFP (Ret.), MGen. Rufo de Veyra AFP (Ret.), LtGen. Arthur Tabaquero AFP (Ret.), and MGen. Mario Chan AFP (Ret.)

Stormtroopers marks its 30th Founding Anniversary

August 2, 2018

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army marked its 30th Founding Anniversary with this years’ theme, “Kabulig han Molupyo ha Kamurayawan, ug Pag-atiman han Kalibungan Pakadto han Kauswagan,” this August 1, 2018 with Secretary Roy A. Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as Guest of Honor and Speaker.

The event included a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the fallen comrade-in-arms and in recognition of their heroism and ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace in Eastern Visayas and in Mindanao. The ceremony was attended and witnessed by four of 8IDs Former Division Commanders, retired MGen. Rufo de Veyra, retired MGen. Glenn Rabonza, Usec. Arthur Tabaquero, the current Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs and retired MGen. Mario Chan, Head Executive Assistant, DENR, soldiers and their loved ones, officers, civilian employees, and invited guests.

Secretary Cimatu also led the awarding to deserving personnel who have shown meritorious achievement in combat and non-combat role that significantly contributed to the overall success of the 8ID’s mission.

In addition, civilian stakeholders who also contributed to the accomplishments of your Army in Eastern Visayas were also awarded with plaques of recognition during the said occasion. Among the awardees were Atty. Bonifacio G. Uy, CESO IV, Regional Director, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 8; Ms. Marivel Sacendoncillo, CESO III, Regional Director, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 8; Mrs. Melba J. Arino, Land Management Officer III, CENRO, Pambujan, Northern Samar; Atty. Eunice U. Babalcon, Municipal Mayor of Paranas, Samar; and Mrs. Elena G. Piczon.

Sec. Roy A. Cimatu in his message expressed that, “Today, the Stormtroopers carry a legacy as partners of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in ensuring the environmental protection as deputized agents in the National Greening Program. Anti-illegal logging, enforcement of other related laws of the environment, and preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity.”

“I wish you all the best. I congratulate each and everyone for a job well-done. Happy 30th Anniversary to you all. Damo nga salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat!” Cimatu concluded. The DENR Secretary also viewed 8ID’s photo display as well as PENRO Samar’s information booth prior to granting interviews with the media. He and his party capped their visit by joining the Stormtroopers in the traditional boodlefight.





DPWH completes flood control extension in Calbayog

Calbayog flood control extension

August 1, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) completes the construction and extension of flood control structures in Brgy. Oquendo, Calbayog City.

The P40 million project which was completed last July 18, 2018, consists of 586 meters of flood mitigating structures using structural concrete and reinforcing steel. It is under contract with Victoria Development and Construction Supply Corp.

This project serves as an extension to the existing flood control structures in Oquendo and aims to protect the residents of nearby barangays; Begaho and Nabang. These areas lie adjacent to Jibatang River and are subjected to the abrupt changes in water levels that cause flooding.

“On behalf of our community, we are very thankful to DPWH for completing this flood control project. I’ve been living here for quite a while and I’ve experienced numerous floods throughout my lifetime. As a resident and a business owner, now I don’t have to worry about the flood damaging my goods and property,” said Christine Oñate.






DTI Anti-Red Tape Authority
DTI Undersecretary Rowel S. Barba urged the MAP members to file a complaint before ARTA against erring government officers who are committing violations of the RA 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

Businesses urged to help end corruption in government

File a complaint with Anti-Red Tape Authority and stop giving bribes – Barba

August 1, 2018

MAKATI CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry, as the temporary Secretariat of Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) appealed to the business community yesterday to take an active part in the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Act by reporting inefficiencies in government services, amid the numerous red-tape related complaints raised by companies in a business forum.

“We call on businesses and our citizens to file a complaint when confronted with incidents of corruption and red tape. We need to file a case against erring government official and businesses should testify.” DTI Undersecretary Rowel Barba said during the open forum of Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) General Membership Meeting in Makati City.

Members of the business sector aired their grievances to the DTI as temporary secretariat of ARTA, enumerating unpleasant and business-unfriendly experiences with government. The complaints range from tedious processing of applications, to unreasonable documentary requirements, and government offices “sitting” on application of businesses.

Undersecretary Barba informed the business sector on the salient provisions of the EODB and cited the violations and penalties under the new law. Violations stipulated in RA11032 include:

a. Refusal to accept application or request with complete requirements being submitted by an applicant or requesting party without due cause;

b. Imposition of additional requirements other than those listed in the Citizen’s Charter;

c. Imposition of additional costs not reflected in the Citizen’s Charter;

d. Failure to give the applicant or requesting party a written notice on the disapproval of an application/request; Department of Trade and Industry;

e. Failure to render government services within the prescribed processing time on any application and/or request without due cause;

f. Failure to attend to applicants or requesting parties who are within the premises of the office or agency concerned prior to the end of official working hours and during lunch break;

g. Failure or refusal to issue official receipts; and

h. Fixing and/or collusion with fixers in consideration of economic and/or other gain or advantage.

Any government officer found liable of committing these violations shall suffer the penalty of six months suspension (administrative liability), and disqualification from public office, and forfeiture of retirement benefits and imprisonment of 1-6 years with a fine ranging from P500,000 to P2,000,000 (administrative and criminal liability). Bribery, extortion, or when the violation was done deliberately and maliciously to solicit favor in cash or in kind shall also incur criminal liability under the Revised Penal Code.

Responding to queries regarding the implementing rules and regulations, Usec. Barba disclosed that a draft version is being prepared by ARTA, and is subject to broad-based public consultations. The IRR is expected to be finalized and signed by October 22, 2018, or 90 working days from the effectivity of the law.

“We wish that there will be no more corruption in the government and there will be no more bribers from the private sector.” told Usec.Barba.





Poultry workers appeal to food giants: Don’t deal with sweatshops

Press Release
August 1, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Dismissed workers of DBSN Agriventures – a poultry dressing plant in Albuera, Leyte, that has a production capacity of 65,000 heads per day and a supplier of food giants San Miguel Foods Corporation and Jollibee Food Corporation – staged a picket in front of the head offices of said food conglomerates in Ortigas Center Wednesday to highlight their sorry plight.

DBSN Agriventures: Reputational Risk to SMC and JFC

Josephine Jaballa, spokesperson of the DBSN Agriventures Workers Union said, “We appeal to San Miguel Foods Corporation and Jollibee Food Corporation to look into the workplace conditions of their contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, particularly DBSN Agriventures that supplies their chicken meat requirements”.

DBSN Agriventures Workers UnionDBSN Agriventures is one of the biggest poultry dressing plants in the country. It was accredited by the National Meat Inspection Service and certified as an ISO company by TUV-Rhineland despite its violations to labor standards. Workers at DBSN Agriventures are paid for P285 per 15-hour shift, which is but the regional minimum wage for workers in Region 8 for 8-hours of work, without overtime pay and premium among its many labor standard violation.

DBSN Farm Agriventures Corporation is owned by Ramon Oñate, Municipal Mayor of Palompon, Leyte.

“SMC Foods and JFC should recognize the reputational risks brought by sweatshop labor to their popular brands. If they want to, both companies, who major industry leaders, could easily put pressure on their suppliers and contractors to comply with labor rights and standards before they could enter into business with them,” she added.

“If not, then we have every reason to declare that the multi-billion peso empires of San Miguel Foods and Jollibee Food Corporation were accumulated through the gross violations to labor standards, severe capitalist abuse and exploitation, and subhuman working conditions of its contractual workers,” she explained.

Workers sought DOLE inspection but was punished by management

Despite working for more than a year and performing functions directly related to the principal, the DBSN Agriventures management forced its employees to sign a contract, under threat of termination, to make them employees of JBC or Manpower Services, an agency which engages in the prohibited practice of labor-only-contracting. The said manpower agency is owned by the daughter of the plant manager.

Upon the inspection of a labor inspector of DOLE Region 8, DBSN was found guilty of the following labor standards violations: (1) No proof of coverage/remittance of SSS, (2) No Service Agreement, (3) Non-payment of Overtime Premium Pay, (4) Non-payment of Service Incentives Leave Pay, (5) Non-payment of Holiday Pay, (6) Illegal deduction (personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and aprons, and delivery and transport expenses of sold products by boat), (7) Non-payment of Night Shift Differential Pay, 8. Non-presentation of D.O 174 Registration Certificate, (8) Non-payment of 13th Month Pay.

Workers’ Campout in Intramuros: Desperate Action in Desperate Times

The DBSN workers are currently holding a camp-out infront of the Intramuros offices of the labor department. They are demanding their reinstatement as regular employees and the implementation of labor standards as defined by the Labor Code. The workers are being assisted by the militant Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).

BMP president Luke Espiritu concluded, “The DBSN workers have travelled by land, risking life and limb, to hold a campout outside the labor department. It is a desperate act brought by subhuman conditions. They are not only up against supplier/contractor that is connected with the food oligarchs. They are also fighting an employer who is also provincial warlord with no regard for human rights. Their plight emphasizes the futility of Executive Order 51, which was signed by Duterte last Labor Day”.






Biliran DEO delayed projects
Alfredo L. Bollido (center), Assistant District Engineer of Biliran District Engineering Office holds a meeting for contractors together with Section Chiefs and Technical personnel on July 4, 2018 at Biliran District Engineering office to address delayed projects of the district.

Biliran DEO orders contractors to fast track delayed projects

Press Release
August 1, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – “Fastracking our projects doesn’t mean that we need to sacrifice the quality of our work, even if we are ordered to accelerate our accomplishment,” Alfredo L. Bollido, Assistant District Engineer reiterated to contractors.

Bollido holds a contractor’s meeting on July 4, 2018 at Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) to address problem on delayed projects of the district office.

The meeting was called as directed by District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr. who was attending a very important meeting at the DPWH Central Office at that time.

From the month of May to June, 2018, Bollido emphasized that the overall accomplishment of the district just increased to only 3% a month when it should supposed to accomplish at least 15% each month.

Bollido said that the District Engineer wants the contractors to accelerate their work in order to meet the 15% monthly target accomplishment of the district.

“Allotment of the budget is based on the performance of the district. If we continue to have low accomplishment, this will affect our budget allotment for next year,” Bollido added.

Starting 2019, the department will be implementing the cash-based policy which means that contractors have only one year validity period to finish the implementation of projects.

With this, Bollido orders contractors to rush the implementation of projects funded from current General Appropriations Act (GAA) as well as those funded from previous years’ GAA i.e. 2016 and 2017 in order to smoothen the 2019 project implementation.

According to Bollido, BDEO would identify those contractors who have low accomplishments.

“Those contractors who have already 50%-100% negative slippage will be recommended for contract termination and will be automatically blacklisted to participate in any future biddings in Biliran DEO,” Bollido said.

“We need your cooperation because we are not only be the one that will be affected, but also you (contractors)”, he added.

BDEO has been allotted P1.6B for 2018 with a total of 60 projects funded under the General Appropriation Act (GAA). Out of the 60 projects, 24 are already completed, 28 are on-going and 8 are Not-Yet-Started (NYS) as of July 31, 2018 with an overall accomplishment of 42.60%.

Under 2017 project implementation, out of the 57 projects, BDEO has completed 52 with still five projects on-going which are being rushed for completion.





TUCP calls for purging of PNP from hoodlums in uniform

By Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
July 31, 2018

QUEZON CITY – The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) is calling for an in-depth cleansing of the entire Philippine National Police (PNP) organization from hoodlums in uniform that could have infiltrated the organization as evidenced by police involvement in assassinations, killings, kidnapping-for-ransom of civilians and violent breakup of workers’ lawful picket across the country.

TUCP President Raymond Mendoza expressed grave concern over the failed police assassination Monday morning on labor leader and TUCP Vice President and barangay councilor Jessielou Cadungog Monday morning in Tejero, Cebu City.

The gunman who was killed in trying to assassinate Cadungog was identified as PO2 Eugene Alcain Calumba. The accomplice who was taken in custody was PO2 Michael Banua.

Mendoza also condemned the police brutally in breaking up workers of NurtiAsia who were holding a lawful picket outside the factory in Meycauayan, Bulacan Monday for illegal contractualization, substandard payment of wages, non-payment of mandatory social protection insurance committed by the management.

“Who will protect us now against lawlessness and breakdown of the rule of law now that the police themselves who are supposed to protect the people are the ones who are killing and hurting us? Who will protect us now that the police themselves are kidnapping us? Where do the weak and powerless go and seek for protection? Mendoza said.

“The recent spate of police involvement in criminal activities directed at civilians and ordinary citizens merits an honest-to-goodness cleansing of the police ranks nationwide to separate the bad ones from the good ones so that the people’s trust in our PNP is restored,” Mendoza said.

Cadungog is a long-time labor leader in Cebu who helped organized the port workers union against the abusive labor slavery and played a key role in port workers establishment of the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR), a company providing arrastre and stevedoring services in the Cebu International Port.

The workers’ enterprise is owned by workers affiliated with the TUCP’s Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).

Rather than initiating an investigation into the incident, Mendoza lamented by saying the said police assassin’s ranking superiors are passing it off outright as a legitimate police operation and are covering up the incident by turning the tables against Cadungog by claiming it was the victims who were trying to kill the motorcycle-riding police assassins.

According to Mendoza, the policemen’s botched attempt on Cadungog sent a chilling effect on the labor movement with the PNP acting as the judge, the jury and the executioner.

The incident will now surely hamper trade unions’ efforts to organize workers for better wages and benefits, good working conditions and affect labor groups’ efforts to safeguard workers from abusive employers and business owners, Mendoza said. TUCP called for an independent investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the failed Cadungog ambush.

Mendoza also cited the case of previous police assault on union leader Patricio Tago Jr, 33 years old and vice president of De Luxe Bags Philippines Inc. Employees Union while organizing workers in Tarlac City.

On September 25, 2016, Tarlac City policemen also abducted Tago at gunpoint and imprisoned him on trumped up illegal drug charges to dissuade 3,000 other co-workers to vote against forming a union.





Rotary Club of Calbayog facilitates bloodletting activity

Rotary Club of Calbayog bloodletting activity

July 30, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – “To err is human but to save life is heroic.” The Rotary Club of Calbayog delivers one heroic deed to the community by implementing its Health Service Program in a bloodletting activity held Saturday, July 28, at the Calbayog City Police Station, Brgy. Aguit-itan, this City.

The activity is in line with the One Rotary, One District Grand Bloodletting bannered, “Be there for someone else. Give Blood. Share Life.”, by the Rotary International District 3860. This initiative promotes community empowerment by educating the participants the benefits of blood donation as it reduces cancer risk, boosts the production of red blood cells, beneficial for the human heart, lowers cholesterol level, replenishes blood, aids in fighting hemochromatosis, facilitates production of red blood cells, makes the donor psychologically rejuvenated, and donors are automatically warned of serious illnesses urging them to seek for medical help or assistance.

Different government agencies and civic organizations joined the said activity yielding 37 blood bags out of 60 would-be donors after undergoing medical screening. The vast support of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headed by Provincial Director Nicolas Torre III resulted to the participation of police officers from different police stations in Samar including San Jose, Happy Valley, Tarangnan, Palanas Cara, Sta. Margarita, San Joaquin, and Calbayog City. Some donors came from the Department of Education, Bureau of Fire Protection, and three Lady Rotarians of RC Calbayog.

“I earnestly request all Calbayognons to support the advocacy of RC Calbayog because of the scarcity of blood in the locality”, said Mr. Aris P. Dacaynos, team leader, Blood Bank, Provincial Government of Samar. “Calbayog City alone consumes about 100 blood bags every month. That’s why we encourage more blood donors that will save more lives especially the less privileged.” Dacaynos added.

RC Calbayog plans to conduct the bloodletting activity on a semi-annual basis enjoining the participation of the 157 barangays of Calbayog City through its barangay officials to encourage more blood donors and to make the blood available to the hospitals in the city for emergency use of the less fortunate patients.

Rotary Club of Calbayog bloodletting







PESO Managers Meeting
Mr. Andrew D. Soledad, NMP Head of the Information and Marketing Section answers questions from PESO Manager of NWSSU regarding NMP’s programs and services.

NMP attends 2nd and 3rd Quarter PESO Managers Meeting

By National Maritime Polytechnic
July 30, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – As part of the Agency’s information and dissemination drive, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a premier government-owned maritime training and research institution attended the 2nd and 3rd Quarter Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Managers Conference last 26 July 2018 at the Northwest Samar State University (NWSSU), Calbayog City, Samar Province.

The event was organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Samar Field Office in order to discuss issues and concerns in the implementation of PESO programs for the previous quarter and to have strategic planning for the current and future implementations.

In line with the Agency’s effort of strengthening its visibility especially within the region, NMP took the opportunity in marketing its training courses and services during the said activity. Agency fact sheets and prints of Annual Master Training Schedule (AMTS) were distributed to the PESO Managers.

Also highlighted during the NMP’s presentation was the offering of Basic Training for Motorboat Handlers /Fisherman Operators (MBHOF) under its modified safety courses, which form part of the Agency’s corporate social responsibility. MBHOF is being conducted by NMP for FREE in partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Regional Office VIII.

PESO is a non-fee charging multi-employment service facility or entity established or accredited pursuant to Republic Act No. 8759 otherwise known as PESO Act of 1999 aimed to carry out full employment and equality of employment opportunities to all to strengthen and expand the existing employment facilitation service machinery of the government particularly at the local levels.

Meanwhile, NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide maritime trainings required pursuant to the STCW Convention as amended in 2010 including value-adding courses towards improving the qualifications of Filipino seafarers for their employment acceptability and enhanced competitiveness. It also regularly conducts maritime studies to come up with policies for the improvement of the manpower sector of the industry.

Those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website (www.nm.gov.ph) and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is designed for gathering inputs for NMP’s research, dissemination of NMP completed researches and other articles pertaining to maritime research.





ALU-TUCP: DOLE's more than 300,000 regularized workers in the SONA report is grossly exaggerated

July 28, 2018

QUEZON CITY – The country's biggest labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) revealed that the "more than 300,000 regularized endo workers" by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as its accomplishment since 2016 is grossly exaggerated.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello and Bureau of Labor Relations Director Benjo Benavidez made it appear to President Duterte for his State of the Nation Address Monday that the DOLE have regularized 321,000 Endo and contractualized workers over the period of two years as achievement in compliance to Duterte efforts to stem the prevalent, short-term and temporary contractualization work practice.

However, upon verification of the records of DOLE Thursday, ALU-TUCP Spokesperson Alan Tanjusay learned that only 202,000 contractualized workers have been absorbed voluntarily by different establishments nationwide as regular workers and about 119,000 other Endo workers have yet to be regularized because the principal employers are contesting the regularization order of DOLE regional offices.

Even the 202,000 alleged regularized Endo workers are still questionable because it has to be verified if they were regular to the middlemen manpower agencies or to the principal employer and principal business owner that utilize their service.

We urge the DOLE to rectify the matter and make the necessary, accurate and honest clarification to the people, Tanjusay said.

It can be recalled that Bello vehemently denied ALU-TUCP allegations they misinformed the President with the data and dared Tanjusay to himself check his data with the DOLE office.

But Bello surprised with Tanjusay showing up his office the whole day Wednesday.

Instead of facing Tanjusay, Bello rather asked Benavidez and Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod to talk to the ALU-TUCP spokesperson.





On K to 12

Review the program, not just the curriculum – ACT

Press Release
July 27, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Teachers group Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines called on the Department of Education and the Congress to do ‘an honest evaluation of the whole K-12 program and see that it is better abandoned altogether than be maintained or reformed.’ ACT issued the statement after DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones announced that the K to 12 curriculum will undergo review to ‘keep up with the changing times’ last July 26.

“K to 12 has worsened the problems of our education system in all aspects. Its impetuous implementation has aggravated the shortages in facilities, personnel and materials. It intensified the privatization in the basic education through the voucher system. It reinforced the colonial and market-oriented curriculum of the basic and tertiary education. We can see no reason why it should still be continued,” said Raymond Basilio, Secretary General of ACT Philippines.

Republic Act 10533 which was passed in 2013 made mandatory the one year in kindergarten and two years in senior highschool purportedly to address the poor quality of basic education and high unemployment rate.

Five years after the law was enacted, Basilio said that the program has become a burden to teachers, students and parents and is plagued with a lot of problems, citing that “textbooks for elementary and junior highschool are not yet completed, instructional materials for senior highschool teachers are not yet available, public senior highschools are very scant, billions of pesos are paid by the government to private schools, and the drop-out rate is alarming.”

“And for what?” asked Basilio, noting there is no remarkable improvements in the achievement test results of K to 12 students nor in the country’s unemployment rate. He cited that the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said in a statement early this year that the 1st batch of K to 12 graduates were not ready for skilled jobs and are therefore not employable.

Basilio agreed that the current K to 12 curriculum is problematic.

“Not only does it serve capitalist interest, it also promotes an even more colonial education. For one, Philippine History is no longer taught in highschool. It also effected the reduction of required Filipino and social science subjects in the tertiary level,” he noted.

He, however, criticized Briones’ K to 12 curriculum review direction of ‘teaching how to make robots’ and ‘teaching life skills,’ saying that it does not get out of the colonial framework of producing cheap labor to meet global market demands and reinforces individualistic desire for wealth and success.

“Education must be geared towards national development. Its duty is to optimize the potentials of our youth and instill among them a deep desire to serve the country. They should be equipped with critical thinking, necessary skills and sense of nationalism to enable them to analyze and help solve the underdevelopment of our country.

“It is not enough that they are taught how to ‘adapt to the fast changing world.’ They should be made to realize that they can be catalysts of change and that they must use their skills and talents in effecting the kind of change that the Filipino people aspire – to be freed from poverty, underdevelopment, corruption in government and dependence to foreign powers,” Basilio concluded.


Last updated: 09/22/2018