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Palm Grass releases Paglangyaw, a Cebuano song for those who left (migrants)

DPWH-Biliran DEO strictly impose 15-ton weight limit for vehicles passing Biliran bridge

DPWH completes P40-M barangay road projects

Karapatan human rights worker abducted in Mindanao

Waray novelist facilitates first Southeast Asian creative writing workshop in the UK

Samar-Leyte media group attend CARD MRI study tour

3Q fishery production in Eastern Visayas drops by 11.9%

PBSP, DepEd launch Year 2 of educational assistance to Olango SHS scholars





Almeria Bypass Road
On-going construction of Almeria Bypass Road. The network development project is designed to provide a wider and safer roads for the increasing vehicular users along Biliran Circumferential Road.

DPWH-Biliran DEO accomplished 88.38% of its 2018 project implementation

By DPWH Biliran
March 19, 2019

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office posts 88.33% accomplishment of its 2018 infrastructure projects as of February 28, 2019.

Out of the district’s 60 projects, 46 were already completed while 14 are on-going.

The district office is presently implementing 12 projects under the regular infrastructure program including four projects under the convergence program of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that Biliran DEO is fast-tracking the completion of the on-going projects until June, 2019.

Projects to be completed are the P139.566M road widening at Biliran - Naval road section along Biliran Circumferential Road (BCR), P83.142M construction of bypass road at Poblacion Almeria, Biliran and P74.581M construction of drainage canal at Brgy. Talahid to Brgy. Matanggo section in Almeria, Biliran and at Brgy. Atipolo section in Naval, Bilran.

One reconstruction of damaged paved national road at Maripipi, Biliran along Maripipi Circumferential Road is also up for completion amounting to P13M.

The construction of slope protection structures along BCR are also being rushed for completion. These are located at Brgy. Bulalacao section, Kawayan, Biliran worth P45.845M, Brgy. Bato section, Biliran, Biliran worth P45.595 and at Brgy. Pinamihagan and Brgy. Looc section at Culaba, Bilran worth P46.264M.

Moreover, the only one bridge widening project implemented by the district office at Looc Bridge amounting to P21.898M is also being fast-tracked for completion to serve the increasing vehicular users along BCR.

Under the DOT convergence program, the on-going projects are the construction of P44M access road leading to Bagongbong falls at Brgy Caucab and P43M access road leading to Ulan-ulan falls in Brgy. Sampao both in Almeria town and P13M access road leading to Mainit Hot Spring at Brgy. Villa Vicenta in Caibiran town and P92.9M road opening and concreting of access road leading to Germohenes waterfalls in Biliran town.

Meanwhile, two projects under the local infrastructure program are also on-going. These are the P24M construction of multi-purpose building (2-storey, Wet and Dry Market Building) at Smo. Rosario, Naval, Biliran and P19M renovation of the Municipal Building at P.I. Garcia, Naval, Biliran.





Hands off human rights defenders!

ICHRP-US expresses solidarity with Karapatan, Ibon and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, amidst attacks

Press Release
March 19, 2019

QUEZON CITY – The United States Chapter of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP-US) denounces the vilification of human rights organizations and human rights defenders in the Philippines.

In the last week alone, in addition to the constant vitriol against progressive groups and partylists in public spaces, there was a press conference by the Philippine Government, as well as statement being circulated amongst media groups by a US-trained General, Antonio Parlade, naming organizations and specific people in their tirades against the mass movement in the Philippines.

The red-tagging of human rights organization, Karapatan; research institution, the Ibon Foundation; and church organization, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) is further proof of the desperation of a fascist regime. Organizations and advocates who fight on the behalf of the oppressed masses should not be subjected to red-tagging simply for doing what the government fails to do.

The Duterte administration is afraid of the power and legitimacy of these organizations which garner world-wide support for their work to expose and address state-sponsored human rights violations. This comes at the same time as the Philippines officially withdrew from the International Criminal Court - the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal.

On the heels of the arrest of Time’s Person of the Year, Rappler CEO and journalist, Maria Ressa, it is becoming increasingly clear that unarmed dissent, a constitutionally afforded right, is being silenced. After more than 29,000 poor people have been killed in Duterte’s Drug War and hundreds of activists have been extra-judicially killed since the beginning of Duterte’s regime, we cannot take lightly when the Philippine government attempts to discredit organizations like Ibon and Karapatan.

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights, is a progressive alliance of individuals and organizations fighting for civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Filipino people. Karapatan is no stranger to attacks. Since Duterte’s inauguration in 2016, Karapatan staff across the country, have been harassed, intimidated, and 5 have already been killed. As Cristina Palabay, the Secretary-General of Karapatan, continues her speaking tour in the United States, sponsored by Amnesty International and ICHR-US, she responded to the attacks:

“We would even have chuckled at [these] antics if not for [their] not-so-veiled threat on either having me killed or arrested on made-up charges, which familiarly resonates like all the threats that our human rights workers have received before they were killed, disappeared or arrested. This issue isn’t even about Karapatan; it is about the fundamental right of peoples to defend their rights in the context of a tyrannical government that disregards these rights. We exist, because people like Mr. Parlade and the systems [he] preserves exist. And we will continue to do what we do, despite and inspite of [these people], because we know that we are on side of truth and justice.”

The Ibon Foundation conducts research on the most urgent social, economic and political issues confronting the Filipino people as well as the conditions, globally. While the state is busy on a campaign to malign pro-people organizations, Ibon continues to raise awareness on the rice crisis, the manufactured water crisis, and other societal ills that have been brought on by the government’s ineptitude and anti-people policies.

Rural Missionaries of the Philippines - RMP is a national organization of women and men religious, priests and lay who dedicate their lives to educating and working with the rural poor farmers and agricultural workers for genuine agrarian reform, the fisherfolk for genuine aquatic reform, and the indigenous peoples for land and self-determination, towards attainment of the fullness of life, justice, freedom and integrity of creation. In the midst of Martial Law and militarization of Lumad communities in Mindanao, RMP teachers and volunteers continue to provide education to Lumad students in far flung communities where the government fails to provide education and basic social services or access to healthcare.

Following the killings of three Catholic Priests in the past two years, attempted killings of church leaders and pastors who are serving poor and rural communities, rising attacks on church leaders including red-tagging of UCCP and IFI Bishops and ongoing surveillance of church leaders, we cannot be quiet. The attempts to discredit the church leaders and organizations providing the social services and other needs that the government continues to fail to provide.

It is the duty of ICHRP-US and the people of the United States to oppose the continued slaughter of the Filipino people by its government, funded by our tax dollars. Pam Tau-Lee, the Chairperson of ICHRP-US, says, “It is unconscionable that, while people in the U.S. are hungry, homeless, lack adequate healthcare and access to education, we are funding bloodthirsty regimes that attack the poor, the indigenous, women and children, and their advocates. It is absolutely urgent that we denounce this vilification campaign, and defend those who defend human rights!”





NMP delivers paper during the 2019 MET Conference hosted by MARINA

By National Maritime Polytechnic
March 18, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) attends the 2019 Maritime Education and Training (MET) Conference conducted in Manila last February 21-22, 2019 with the theme “Seafarers of the Future: Trends in Maritime Education and Training”.

The activity was hosted by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in partnership with the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), aimed to encourage an interactive discussion among stakeholders that will result to conclusions and preferable actions gearing towards further improvement of the Philippine MET System.

NMP Deputy Executive Director Mayla N. MacadawanDuring the conference, NMP Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Mayla N. Macadawan presented and discussed the topic “Innovating MET: Responding to Societal Change”.

The NMP paper highlighted the current and emerging trends in shipping involving global connectivity, rapid technological advancements, autonomous shipping and digitalization. These advancements will eventually result to: (a) Need for seafarers who are capable to effectively perform present and future roles, with new sets of skills for hybrid, upskilled responsibilities; (b) Decision-making in some elements of the voyage to shift from on board to onshore with the advent of autonomous shipping; and (c) Dramatic change in the roles and functions of the seafarers in the future, may require a new training regime.

Moreover, aforementioned developments will correspondingly require new skills requirements for seafarers and will also demand innovating MET, which may include:

• Use of simulators in high intensity training and assessment, with a syllabus that builds situational awareness by exposing students and trainees to repeated critical situations onboard (e.g. crisis-response scenarios) of progressively increasing levels of risk and complexity. Within a period of time individuals will attain satisfactory level of competence thru this high intensity training and assessment. The use of simulators, which are designed to replicate actual equipment onboard, thru the high intensity training concept may even be considered as effective replacement to reduce sea service.

• Integration of knowledge, skills and understanding (KSU) of automation in basic maritime education and development of short training course for existing seafarers.

• Significant training in information technology (IT), with emphasis on cyber technology.

• Use of e-learning and e-assessment platforms

• Development, production and dissemination of Open Educational Resources (OER) for maritime instructors and assessors

• Synergy among local and international stakeholders

• Research-based development of MET programs

• Evaluation and verification of MET programs by stakeholders and certifying bodies; and

• Harmonization & standardization of MET programs

Further, MARINA STCWO DED Atty. Joy Vera Ban-eg presented the developments since the last MET Conference held in 2018 that included NMP’s role as Center for Faculty Development as reflected in the Manifesto of Commitment signed by the stakeholder participants.

These circumstances signal employment opportunities to Filipino seafarers and at the same time pose challenge in sustaining the development of globally competitive seafarers. This brings the attention of all maritime institutions, such as NMP, on their readiness of addressing the significant new training requirements of the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments and the development of value-added programs to respond to the demand trends.

NMP, as a maritime training and research agency, remains on guard for new developments in MET as these are crucial considerations in the accreditation, validation and improvement processes of its training programs. It continuously endeavors to precipitate and capitalize in program offerings and ensures that measures are undertaken to keep abreast with evolving standards and other industry requirements.

On the pipeline and in line with the NMP’s vision of being the Philippines’ leader in maritime training, including e-learning and research, NMP is embarking on the conversion of its Gender Sensitivity Training for Seafarers (GSTS) to an e-Learning Platform/Format and is scheduled to be completed in the first semester of CY 2019.

The conference was attended by more than 200 representatives from IAMU member institutions in the Asia Pacific Region, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), maritime higher education institutions (MHEIs), maritime training centers (MTCs), seafarer associations, research groups and course developers, maritime instructors, as well as manning agencies.

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 to gather inputs for NMP’s research, dissemination of NMP completed researches and other articles pertaining to maritime research.

For more information about NMP trainings viewers may visit the agency’s facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter) where all related information on NMP trainings are available.

Further, NMP encourages seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.

2019 Maritime Education and Training Conference
NMP Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Mayla N. Macadawan (1st row - 3rd from the right) during the 2019 MET Con on 21-22 February 2019.





Pacific Partnership Mission 2019 caters to northern barangays of Tacloban City

Pacific Partnership Mission 2019

March 15, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army in collaboration with the Pacific Partnership contingents, Local Government Units (LGUs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) provided medical, dental, pedia, veterinary services to the people of the barangays of Palanog, Bagacay, Tigbao-Diit all of Tacloban City at Tigbao-Diit Elementary School on March 15, 2019.

Residents of the said barangays were thankful to the free services provided to them by this Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19). Likewise, the US Navy’s stage band performed much to the delight of the beneficiaries from the three barangays of Tacloban City.

Capt. Randy Van Rossum, Mission Commander, Pacific Partnership 2019 mentioned that, “this collaborative commitment in working together gives reason to value teamwork which provides equal opportunities to contribute or share and communicate their ideas to everyone involved in these activities.”

Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, Commander, Joint Task Force “STORM” said that “this year’s mission will surely strengthen the partnership of allied countries, LGUs, NGOs and different volunteer organizations in their various capacities to serve the Filipinos.”

“As the Philippines is one of the host nations for PP19, I am glad that these civic-action activities will send a rippling message to the communities that helping one another is the key to a greater humanity,” Farnacio added.





New bridge to boost economy in Barugo, Leyte

construction of Minuhang bridge

March 15, 2019

BARUGO, Leyte – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second district engineering office has allocated a total of P150 million for the construction of Minuhang bridge in Barugo, Leyte.

This project of DPWH supporting Barugo Economic Zone program is seen to improve trade, investment, employment, education and overall progress in this town.

According to Gerald Pacanan, DPWH Leyte 2 district engineer, residents of Minuhang, Balud, and Duka use the existing footbridge in transporting their agricultural and marine products through motorcycle or locally known as “habal-habal.”

“Once completed, this road network would provide access to all kinds of vehicles, thus, transportation of commodities will be easier and cheaper. Moreover, students will no longer skip classes when high tide occurs, which overflows to the shoreline up to the trail,” he added.

Located along Carigara-Barugo-Sta. Cruz-Babatngon-Bagahupi national highway, this road network can also serve as an alternate route in the event that Palo-Carigara-Ormoc road is not passable.

The 154.8 meters bridge with a width of 9.1 meters started its construction last June 2018 and is targeted to be completed within the first semester of the year.

In addition, travel time from Carigara to Babatngon will be shorter once project is fully completed. For 2019, the district is tasks to implement a total of P1.5 billion projects.





Inflation rate in Eastern Visayas decreases further to 3.1% in February 2019

By PSA-8
March 14, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas decreased further to 3.1 percent in February 2019. This IR is 0.9 percentage point lower compared with the 4.0 percent IR a month ago, and 1.2 percentage points lower compared with the 4.3 percent IR recorded in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate is 0.7 percentage point lower than the 3.8 percent national average in February 2019.

Eastern Visayas inflation rateAll provinces in the region registered lower inflation rates in February 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Samar registered the highest decrease of 2.9 percentage points, from 6.3 percent in January 2019 to 3.4 percent in February 2019. The rest of the provinces registered decreases ranging from 0.5 percentage point to 0.7 percentage point. Among the provinces, Eastern Samar recorded the highest IR at 4.8 percent, while Biliran posted the lowest at 0.7 percent (Table 1).

Among the commodity groups, alcoholic beverages and tobacco recorded the highest decrease of 8.2 percentage points, from a double digit 17.4 percent in January 2019 to 9.2 percent during the month in review. It is still, however, the highest IR among all items.

Inflation rate for transport also went down by 2.1 percentage points, from 2.5 percent in January 2019 to 0.4 percent in February 2019. This can be traced to the deflation seen in the index for transport services, and slower IR in the index for operation of personal transport equipment.

The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages declined to 4.0 percent in February 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 5.3 percent, a decrease of 1.3 percentage points. This can be attributed to the slower price increases of majority of the food items. Fruits index continued to register a negative inflation rate at 5.4 percent, lower than the 1.3 percent in January 2019.Non-alcoholic beverages, meanwhile, recorded a 0.1 percentage point uptick, posting a double digit IR of 10.0 percent during the reference month.

Meanwhile, furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house commodity group increased to 5.3 percent during the reference month, 0.8 percentage point higher compared with the 4.5 percent IR in January 2019. Increases were observed in all indices, except for the household textiles index.

Clothing and footwear also recorded an increase at 2.8 percent in February 2019 from 2.2 percent a month ago.IR for restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services commodity group inched up by 0.3 percentage point settling at 1.9 percent during the month in review.

The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in February 2019. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in February 2019 costs 80 pesos only in 2012.

Eastern Samar registered a 0.01 centavo increase in PPP compared with their figures in January 2019, while Leyte recorded a 0.01 centavo decrease from its PPP a month ago. The rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Biliran, Leyte and Southern Leyte recorded the strongest PPP at P0.82. Eastern Samar followed at P0.78, while Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.

Eastern Visayas inflation rate





Eastern Visayas posts $52.12 million trade deficit in December 2018

By PSA-8
March 14, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The region posted a $52.12 million deficit in the total Balance of Trade in Goods (BoT-G) in December 2018 from $106.61 million in December 2017, which implies an improvement of 51.11 percent.

Eastern Visayas trade deficitThe region’s total trade in goods in December 2018 significantly dropped to $85.06 million from $276.76 million in the same period in 2017, a decline of 69.27 percent. Total value of exports amounted to $16.47 million, which was 80.65 percent lower compared with the $85.08 million in December 2017. Total value of imports, meanwhile, was recorded at $68.59 million, 64.22 percent lower compared with the $191.69 million imports posted in the same period last year.

The region’s total volume of exports in December 2018 was posted at 61.45 million kilograms. The commodity group of animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes was the major export during the month in review with total revenue of $11.18 million. This accounted for 67.92 percent of the region’s total export revenue in December 2018. United States of America (USA) was the top export market destination with $7.18 million total export revenue, which shared 43.64 percent of the region’s total exports.

The region’s total imports in December 2018 recorded a total gross weight of 114.40 million kilograms. Ores, slag and ash commodity group was the major import during the month with total revenue of $58.37 million, this comprised the bulk or 85.10 percent of the region’s total imports in December 2018. The top import supplier of the region was Australia with total import bill of $58.20 million, which shared 84.84 percent of the region’s total imports.

Eastern Visayas trade deficit






Macalpe bridge construction
The site for the construction of new permanent bridge at Sitio Macalpe, Brgy. Cabibihan, Biliran, Biliran.

New bridge to be constructed at Macalpe, Caibiran, Biliran

Press Release
March 14, 2019

NAVAL, Biliran – A new permanent bridge will be constructed at Sitio Macalpe, Brgy. Cabibihan in Caibiran town to replace the cut-off road washed out during the onslaught of Tropical Storm (TS) Urduja in December, 2017.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office is prioritizing the implementation of this project under FY 2019 DPWH Infrastructure Program with an appropriation amount of P50M.

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that there is a need to construct a new permanent bridge on the said section because a large volume of water crosses the roadway especially during rainy season.

“Rehabilitating the existing road and reinstallation of pipe culverts cannot serve the purpose of allowing the passage of large volume of water and is no longer a cost-effective and efficient course of action,” said Adongay.

Adongay added that the realization of this project will earn the government savings in the rehabilitation of additional damaged pavement in the future.

The construction of the new bridge involves the construction of a 4-lane bridge with a width of 13.4 meters and with a total length of 20.0 meters or a total area of 291.43 square meters.

Presently, DPWH-Biliran DEO maintains a total of 35 national bridges within its jurisdiction with a total length of 1,250-linear meter of both asphalt and concrete surface. The completion of the new Macalpe Bridge would be an addition to this total length of bridges.

When completed, this project will provide a structure that can accommodate big volume of rainwater, minimize vehicular accident as well as provide convenience in transporting agricultural and aquatic products to market centers. This bridge is essential in going to the only Provincial Hospital and Port of the Province and some tourist sites within the island. It will serve more or less 3,000 travellers along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road (NCCR).





DPWH-Biliran DEO to implement P50M road reconstruction project in Maripipi town

Maripipi Circumferential Road

Press Release
March 14, 2019

NAVAL, Biliran – The existing one lane concrete road at Brgy. Viga - Brgy. Agutay section in Maripipi town will undergo road rehabilitation/ reconstruction to provide a safe riding surface to more or less 3,000 travellers along Maripipi Circumferential Road.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office has included the prioritization of this project under FY 2019 Regular Infrastructure Program with an appropriation amount of P50M.

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that the project was prioritized because of the dilapidated state of the existing concrete pavement.

“Aside from its bad condition, the pavement is sub-standard in width and in thickness, thus recommended for rehabilitation,” said Adongay.

The project involves the removal of damaged substandard concrete pavement to be replaced by a two lane concrete pavement of 6.10 meters width, 0.28 m. thickness with a total length of 1.5-kilometer.

According to Adongay, the realization of the project will provide the residents of the place a wider and safer concrete paved road as well as provide convenience in transporting their agricultural and aquatic products to market centers. This road also leads to some tourist sites within the town of Maripipi, the only island municipality in the province.





“Buwis niyo, Bayad niyo!”

ERC caves after protest against electric cooperatives' petition to pass on real property tax

Press Release
March 14, 2019

QUEZON CITY – Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) suspended the jurisdictional hearing of the petition submitted by Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (Philreca) which seeks to pass on Real Property Tax (RPT) charges to consumers. This is after opposition from consumer and advocacy groups was expressed inside and outside the ERC office.

Organizations behind the Malinis at Murang Kuryente (MMK) Campaign rallied in front of the ERC, to urge the Commission to reject proposal of Philreca to add the tax on real property to the monthly bill of consumers nationwide. The petition follows the Supreme Court ruling that transformers, electric posts, transmission lines, insulators and electric meters are not exempted from RPT under the local government units (LGUs).

“In previous years, consumers have always been one with ECs to be recognized as tax-exempt just like any other cooperative, since they are supposed to be people's enterprises owned by the consumers they serve,” said Dr. Clint Pacana, Convenor of the Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers (MCPC), President of the Institute for Power Sector Economics.

Pacana explained that Philreca, in filing the petition, abandoned consumer groups who are calling for the exemption of cooperatives from paying for real property tax. “While the consumers fight it out for their tax exemption, ECs want the easy way of passing on the burden to their supposed owners – the unfortunate consumers. We hope there is no collusion among local officials, ECs, and other distribution utilities (DUs) for this,” Dr. Pacana continued.

"All property owners pay amilyar (real property taxes) on what they own. Why do we also have to pay for what the coops own?”, Murang Kuryente Partylist Nominee and MMK Convenor Gerry Arances. Murang Kuryente Partylist filed a motion on behalf of its members and consumers nationwide for the ERC to dismiss the petition.

“Already, electric consumers are bearing the brunt of many ECs’ violation of system loss caps, mismanagement of financial liabilities, and the costly Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) with dirty energy generation companies. Meanwhile, many ECs are guilty of long and frequent interruptions in their respective franchises and failure to electrify areas within them,” he continued.





DPWH completes major tourism road in Jaro, Leyte

Jaro tourism road

March 13, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – A major access road leading to Villaconzoilo Agri and Eco Tourism Farm in Jaro, Leyte is now serving tourists and motorists, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second district engineering office reported.

The department poured out a total of P85 million for the concreting of the 3.5-km long and 6.1-meter wide road including its drainage system.

According to Gerald A. Pacanan, DPWH Leyte II district engineer, the completion of this project will surely boost tourism in the area and provide more opportunities to the community.

“Through better road connectivity, we are promoting inclusive growth and poverty reduction, especially in rural areas,” he added.

Villaconzoilo is an upland village seven kilometers away from the town proper of Jaro and lies 600 meters above sea level, known for its cool and natural atmosphere.

It is the first farm tourism in Leyte accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT), offering various high-value products including strawberries, grapes, watermelons, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, cauliflowers, rambutan, radish, and asparagus.

The farm is not just known as rich agricultural plantation, but also as a learning site on practical agriculture accredited by the Agricultural Training Institute.

Meanwhile, as part of the government’s effort to extend development programs in hard to reach communities, the district is currently implementing a P9.85 million road concreting project leading to Silawan Falls in this village under Payapa at Masaganang Pamayan (PAMANA) fund.

Gearing towards the Golden Age of Infrastructure, the DPWH-DOT partnership will continue, implementing projects boosting tourism and overall economic progress in the country.





18 new classrooms in Jaro, Leyte school nears completion

18 new classrooms in Jaro, Leyte

March 13, 2019

JARO, Leyte – A total of 18 classrooms worth P34.4 million will open soon in Granja-Kalinawan National High School, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second district engineering office reported.

According to Gerald Pacanan, DPWH Leyte 2 district engineer, the office target to complete these buildings before the new school year starts in June 2019.

“This is part of the government’s efforts to provide a conducive learning environment for students, as each year, enrollees continue to rise with the implementation of K-12 program,” he said.

On March 7, the district conducted an ocular inspection on the site to ensure that the program of works, plans and specifications are strictly followed by contractors.

These classrooms are divided into three two-storey units each with six classrooms, all according to the standard design of DPWH and the Department of Education (DepEd).

As of January 2019, GKNHS has a total of 128 teaching and non-teaching staff and accommodates 3,271 students from grade 7 to 12.

Nicerato Gonzaga Jr., the school principal said that with the construction of these school buildings, students and teachers will have a better interaction during classes.

“I am grateful that we are one of the recipients of the school building projects and for the fast implementation of DPWH,” he added.

For 2018, the district is tasked to implement a total of 25 units of school buildings, equivalent to 137 classrooms worth P368 million funded under the DepEd Basic Educational Facilities Fund.





CARD MRI holds forum on rice tariffication; vows to launch related module for its 6.2M clients


rice tariffication forum

By CARD MRI Publishing House Inc.
March 13, 2019

SAN PABLO CITY – Implications of the financial reforms of the government were critically addressed by the Department of Finance (DOF) through Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua during the forum on financial reform agenda of President Duterte for poverty eradication organized by CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) on February 28, 2019 in San Pablo City.

According to CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza L. Sarmiento, the forum aims to foster better understanding on the financial reform agenda of the government. “This forum is also our way of supporting the efforts of the government and the Department of Finance, which also reinforces our goal of poverty eradication,” added Sarmiento.

At the forum, Usec. Chua discussed in details and highlighted the impacts of the recently signed law, the Rice Tariffication. The said law, according to Usec. Chua, will lift the quota restrictions on rice import that would result in an increase of supply.

“With this tariffication, we expect that the price of rice would decrease by P2 to P7,” said Usec. Chua, adding the government is just making sure that the food staple is available, accessible, and affordable at all times.

Usec. Chua also emphasized that the law favors local farmers. “Aid will be given to our farmers through the Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to help our farmers modernize and advance the quality of their rice,” he added.

Aside from the financial and technology support, the law will also provide literacy program and capacity building to farmers to ensure that the farmers are capable of coping with the competition.

Vouch of support

One of the crucial undertakings the DOF is working for the laws they are promoting is on the information dissemination. “My role is to make sure that the laws we are implementing reaches to the general public and be understood by everyone,” said Usec. Chua, thanking CARD MRI for hosting the forum.

CARD MRI Founder and Chair Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip assured Usec. Chua that CARD MRI will support DOF in promoting and underscoring the impact of every financial reform the department is reinforcing. “We will be launching a module on Rice Tariffication Law through our learning sessions with our more than 6.2 million clients nationwide to support the efforts of the government and the Department of Finance in disseminating this important agenda,” said Dr. Alip.

The module will be integrated during the weekly center meeting of CARD MRI’s microfinance clients nationwide. The center meeting is a weekly gathering of CARD clients in specific community where discussions of various development-oriented agenda take place.

It is also during this time where when Account Officers (AO) of CARD conduct Credit with Education (CwE), a program designed to educate and inform the clients about topics related to CARD MRI’s products and services, health, livelihood, credit discipline, and disaster preparedness, among others.

According to Dr. Alip, the goals of the law are similar to what CARD MRI is reinforcing that is to provide access to various kind of support and opportunities for Filipinos. “Since the law is aligned with our mission of poverty eradication, it is only rightful that CARD MRI gives its utmost support to the program,” added Alip.

For this topic, CARD MRI will allot one moth for the discussion of the law. “By April this year we hope to roll out the module in collaboration with the DOF to be able to craft a more simplified and comprehensive module.”

“We at CARD MRI will continue to become the government’s arm and support system in promoting financial inclusion in the country and we hope that the Duterte administration will continue to pass laws that will reinforce the economic status of the underprivileged families in the country,” Alip concluded.





Murang Kuryente Partylist to electric coops: "We pay taxes, why can’t you?"

Press Release
March 12, 2019

QUEZON CITY – Murang Kuryente Partylist (MKP) on Tuesday filed a Motion to Dismiss and a Petition for Intervention against the recent petition of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA) to pass on real property tax (RPT) to the monthly bill of consumers nationwide.

In a petition filed on October 21, 2018, PHILRECA asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to formulate rules on how to pass on real property taxes to their consumers.

"All property owners pay amilyar (real property taxes) on what they own. Why do we also have to pay for what the coops own?”, asked Gerry Arances, a nominee of the Murang Kuryente Partylist.

Joining the partylist in its action are the groups Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) and Sanlakas.

Murang Kuryente filed the Motion to Dismiss on the basis that the petition of the electric coop group is speculative, as there is no proof presented that the coops are being assessed real property taxes, or that they do not have enough funds to pay for these taxes.

Arances said, “If only these coops are as quick in providing cheap and reliable supplies of electricity as they are in inventing ridiculous charges for their customers, our country would have the most advanced electrical system in the world.”

Petitions for Intervention, if granted, allows a party with direct and substantial interest the opportunity to be heard during the hearing.

Murang Kuryente, CEED, and Sanlakas are filing the Petition to Intervene on behalf of the millions of consumers to be affected by the coops’ petition, to ensure that consumers’ interests are heard despite the short notice given to them concerning the request.

Let me remind these cooperatives that they should work for the benefit of their member-consumers. There is no sense in raking in profits for the cooperative if it means unduly burdening their members," Arances further said.





DPWH tackles right of way issues with utility providers

DPWH right of way issues forum

March 11, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – Representatives from various utility providers, Local Government Units (LGUs), and contractors attended the coordination meeting initiated by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte 2 district engineering office to tackle issues and concerns on Road Right of Way (RROW).

PLDT Co., Leyte Electric Cooperative III (Leyeco III), Don Orestes Romualdez Electric Cooperative (DORELCO), Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD), Metro Carigara Water District (MCWD) and Jaro Water District were among the utility companies present during the dialogue on March 6, 2019.

Encroachment of water pipelines, electric posts and communication lines was the major concern brought up by the district.

In his opening message, assistant district engineer Daniel Estigoy said that the meeting is meant to establish unified actions on RROW by merging ideas from the department and stakeholders, as this has been a continuous problem that hampers project implementation.

DPWH Regional Legal Officer, Neil N. Reoma and key officials of the district explained the department order (DO) 73 series of 2014 or the “Prohibited Uses Within the Right-of-Way of National Roads” and DO 26 of 2011 or the “Policy on Diggings/Excavations by Public or Private Utilities on National Roads.”

The district also reminded them that the total 20-meter right-of-way or 10 meters from the centerline of the carriageway is government owned, therefore, immediate removal of all obstructions and strict prohibition of constructing structures such us electric and communication lines and others provided in DO 73.

However, district engineer Gerald Pacanan, suggested to install their transmission and distribution lines, if possible, outside the 15-meter from the centerline in projection to the plan of the government to add more lanes on both sides.

“It is also costly on your part to remove and reinstall your lines in case of road developments and rehabilitations, so in anticipation, why not follow this scheme,” Pacanan said.

More, Pacanan emphasized that this meeting is essential in formulating potential undertakings to expedite ongoing and future projects of the government under the Build Build Build program as it gears towards the Golden Age of infrastructure.

As agreed, the district will set-up a committee who will closely coordinate with the utility service companies and provide necessary documents to fast track processes concerning RROW.

Meanwhile, Pacanan appealed to the LGUs to help the district on concerns regarding obstructions of residential and commercial structures.





8ID participates in the largest Pacific Mission for 2019

Pacific Partnership 2019

March 11, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army is participating in a humanitarian and civic assistance (HCA) mission in selected communities in Tacloban City from March 10 to 24, 2019. The opening ceremony of the Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19) was held today at Patio Victoria, Brgy. San Jose, Tacloban City at 9:00 A.M.

The Pacific Partnership is an annual deployment of forces from the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy (USN), in cooperation with the government and military forces of the host nation, along with the beneficiary Local Government Unit (LGU), and non-government organizations.

This is the 8th Pacific Partnership mission to visit the Philippines and 2nd to be held in Tacloban City since 2014.

Humanitarian and Civil Affairs/HCA activities such as medical and dental mission; and engineer construction projects will focus mainly on disaster preparedness/response and rehabilitation which will be done during the two-week duration of the mission.

Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, Commander, Joint Task Force “STORM” said that “the 8ID will work hand in hand with the US Armed Forces and the Local Government Units (LGUs) to deliver much needed services in selected communities.”

“This undertaking with our foreign counterpart will strengthen relationships among our militaries and civilian leaders, enhance readiness in responding to crisis, and exchange knowledge, and skills that will improve the life of our people,” Farnacio added.





Nutrition evaluators training on MELLPI Pro
SIMULATION. Members of “Team C” conduct nutrition evaluation using MELLPI Pro at Bry. 37-A Palanog, Tacloban City during a practicum on the roll-out training on transition from MELLPI to MELLPI Pro on March 7, 2019.

Nutrition evaluators training on MELLPI Pro conducted in Region 8

March 11, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – Thirty-six Nutrition Stakeholders from Eastern Visayas region actively involved in the yearly conduct of Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Level Plan Implementation (MELLPI) on nutrition programs and services gathered for a two-day roll-out training on the updated monitoring and evaluation protocol on nutrition dubbed “MELLPI Pro” on Mach 6-7, 2019 at the Commission on Audit (COA) Training Center, Palo, Leyte.

Attendees to the training were representatives from government agencies who are members of the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET), Provincial Nutrition Action Officers (PNAO), District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators (D/CNPC), City and Municipal Nutrition Action Officers (C/MNAO), and some members of National Nutrition Council Region VIII (NNC-8) media-group partner Harmonized Initiatives of Media for the Spread of Good Nutrition in Region 8 (HIMSoG-8).

MELLPI Pro replaces the traditional MELLPI, the nutrition programs implementation assessment tool for localities adopted in the 80s. The said upgraded system emphasis: a) assessment of LGUs’ progress toward compliance to quality standards, b) evidence-based validation, and c) mentoring through joint discussion for learning and action discussion with LGU or nutrition worker assessed. A new feature (of MELLPI Pro) is the Performance Assessment of Nutrition Workers namely: Nutrition Action Officers, District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators and Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs).

This new protocol connoting professional, progressive, promotional, process, and profitable is for full implementation by 2020 – with this year (2019) as the transition period. By then under MELLPI Pro all local government units (LGUs) and their corresponding nutrition workers nationwide shall undergo assessment and evaluation:

At the regional level, the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Team (RNET) shall visit all provinces and highly-urbanized and independent cities; at the provincial level, the Provincial Evaluation Team (PET) shall visit all municipalities and component cities; at the city and municipal level, the City/Municipal Evaluation Teams (C/MET) shall visit all barangays. Meanwhile the National Nutrition Evaluation Team (NNET) shall evaluate the National Honor Award (NHA), and the 1st and 2nd Year CROWN Maintenance Contenders.

It was gathered that for Local Nutrition Workers, MELLPI Pro will be launched this year but will be used in 2020, however, the BNS Performance Evaluation will start this transition year (2019).

Niño Archie S. Labordo, NNC-8 officer-in-charge, who headed the panel of trainers for the nutrition evaluators Transition to MELLPI Pro, disclosed that MELLPI Pro roll-out trainings for the provinces in Region 8 will be conducted this month, March 2019.





CNTs ambushed PNP personnel in Motiong, Samar

March 11, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – An ambush perpetrated by undetermined number of CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) against two personnel of Motiong Municipal Police Station (MPS) transpired at Maharlika Highway, Sitio Malatugawe, Brgy. Poblacion 1, Motiong, Samar while on board Mahindra patrol car on March 11, 2019 at 7:20 A.M.

The PNP personnel were returning to their station after fetching water at Paranas MPS when they were ambushed to include the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by the CNTs that resulted to one PNP personnel killed and one wounded. Further, a civilian onboard a motorcycle was also wounded during the said incident.

The 8ID condemns this treacherous act which only shows that the CNTs is not a pro-people organization, but a mere terrorist group which has no agenda aside from sowing fear to the populace.

Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, Commander, Joint Task Force “STORM” assures the general public that the Army will continue its mandated duty to protect the people of Eastern Visayas and deploy troops to augment the Philippine National Police to conduct hot pursuit operations in the area.

“The 8ID, together with the Police Regional Office 8 will relentlessly pursue these terrorists and assist the PNP in filing appropriate criminal cases, and ensure that the perpetrators will face the full arm of the law,” Farnacio added.





NMP surveillance audit
NMP Executive Director, Division Heads/Section/Unit Heads during the AJA Audit.

NMP passes ISO 9001:2015 surveillance audit

Press Release
March 10, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic Quality Management System (NMP QMS) maintains its ISO 9001:2015 Certification after passing the Surveillance Audit conducted by the Anglo Japanese American (AJA) Registrar Limited, simultaneously at its main office in Tacloban City and liaison office in Makati City on 06 March 2019.

Mr. Eugene Herradura and Capt. Nicanor Altares, AJA auditors, reviewed NMP’s quality procedures, quality manuals, and other systems documentation as against the standards. The areas that were examined include registration and certification procedures; course delivery; assessment / examination; documentation, conduct of maritime researches; performance monitoring and assessment; provision of resources; and other administrative support services during the audit.

During the exit meeting, Mr. Herradura, audit team leader, expressed his appreciation for the NMP’s established QMS, proper documentation as well as the support and commitment of the top management for the continual improvement of its QMS. But somehow the audit report raised some observations and a minor non-conformity.

Thirty (30) calendar days is given to NMP to submit the plan of action together with the objective evidence in addressing the non-conformance.

Nonetheless, the NMP QMS was recommended for continued certification.

NMP Executive Director also acknowledged the contributions of all NMP employees for the continual improvement of the Agency’s QMS.

“Thank you for all that you do, this was made possible through the concerted efforts of everyone”, said ED Maglunsod.

As a maritime training center providing quality delivery of services to Filipino seafarers, NMP aggressively pursued for the establishment of its QMS in compliance with the requirements of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention (STCW) 1978. Its first ISO Registration Certificate was obtained in April 2000. Since then, the NMP QMS has undergone continuous certification and surveillance audits, passed and was eventually re-certified over the years under ISO 9001: 1994, ISO 9001: 2000, ISO 9001: 2008, and the latest in 2018 under ISO 9001:2015.

The implementation of the NMP QMS is also in adherence to Executive Order (EO) No. 161 dated 05 October 2006 as amended by EO No. 605 dated 23 February 2007, which directs the institutionalization of quality management system in the government.

It can be recalled that in 2009, NMP received a special recognition from the Office of the President for being one of the forty (40) government offices across the country to be ISO-certified. Also in 2015, the Agency earned a commendation from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for continuously improving the efficiency and effectiveness of its quality system.

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.





8ID spearheads Philippine Army Anniversary Fun Run in Eastern Visayas

8ID Fun Run

March 9, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – In connection with the upcoming 122nd Philippine Army Founding Anniversary on March 22, 2019, the Stormtroopers replicated the Philippine Army Anniversary Run yesterday, March 8, 2019 at 5:30AM with a run from 8ID Headquarters to Catbalogan City proper and vice-versa with a five kilometer distance.

The activity was conducted nationwide including the different parts of Eastern Visayas through our line units to show support in the anniversary celebration of the Philippine Army with this year’s theme: 122 Years of Heroism: “Serving the people, Securing the land”.

Colonel Perfecto P Peñaredondo (MNSA) PA, Chief of Staff of the 8th Infantry Division in his message said that, “with this Fun Run, we hope that the people of Region 8 will witness the strength of the Philippine Army and its soldiers, that their Army has endured for the past 122 years because of men and women whoever so many generations, have shown dedication to serve our country selflessly.”

He also stressed the importance of physical exercise while being part of the noble profession of arms. “This activity is also a reminder that serving in the Philippine Army requires us to be on top of our physical and mental health”, Peñaredondo added.





4th quarter chicken production in Eastern Visayas surges by 20.0%

By PSA-8
March 7, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The chicken industry in Eastern Visayas posted 20.0% increase in production during the fourth quarter of 2018. Based on the preliminary data, the total chicken production in the region went up to 15,602 metric tons (MT) in the 4th quarter of 2018 from 13,006 MT in the same quarter of 2017.

Eastern Visayas accounted for 3.1% of the country’s total chicken production during the 4th quarter of 2018. It ranked eighth among the regions with low chicken production in the country.

Meanwhile, chicken inventory showed that chicken population in Eastern Visayas as of 1 January 2019 stood at 2,524,559 birds. This registered an increase of 2.5 percent from its 2,463,777 inventory on 1 January 2018.

Among provinces, Leyte recorded the highest chicken population at 894,477 birds which comprised more than one third or 35.4% of the total chicken population in the region. Samar ranked second with 693,208 birds accounting for 27.5% of the region’s total chicken inventory. Eastern Samar, meanwhile, registered the lowest inventory of chicken with 4.7% share or 117,668 birds.

For chicken population by type, layer chickens stood at 452,613 birds as of 1 January 2019. This posted the highest growth of 21.0% from the 373,914 inventory on 1 January 2018. All provinces registered increases in layer population, except Eastern Samar, which had the same inventory with that of 1 January 2018. Southern Leyte posted the highest increase at 62.0%, followed by Samar at 51.4%. The provinces of Biliran, Northern Samar and Leyte registered slower increases at 4.8%, 4.3% and 1.5%, respectively.

Broiler chickens increased by 2.4%, from 461,755 birds on 1 January 2018 to 472,666 birds as of 1 January 2019. Almost all provinces showed increases, except for Southern Leyte and Northern Samar, which recorded a decrease of 36.8% and 35.5%, respectively. Biliran posted the highest increase at 67.1%, from 1,795 birds on January 2018 to 3,000 birds as of 1 January 2019.

On the contrary, the number of native/improved chickens went down by 1.8% with a total inventory of 1,599,280 birds as of 1 January 2019 from 1,628,108 birds on 1 January 2018. All provinces contributed to the decline, except for Eastern Samar, which had a double digit increase of 14.7% in inventory.

More than half or 63.3% of the total chicken population in the region were native/improved chickens. Broiler chickens accounted for 18.7%, while the remaining 17.9% were layer chickens.

Eastern Visayas 4th quarter chicken production





4th quarter palay production in Eastern Visayas declines by 0.9%

By PSA-8
March 7, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – Palay production in Eastern Visayas slightly decreased to 290,871 metric tons (MT) in the 4th quarter of 2018 from 293,419 MT in the 4th quarter of 2017, a decline by 0.9%. Decreases were observed among all provinces, except in Samar and Leyte, which posted increases at 17.0% and 2.6%, respectively. Northern Samar recorded the highest decrease in production by 35.8%, from 31,141 MT in the 4th quarter of 2017 to 20,000 MT in the 4th quarter of 2018.

Eastern Visayas palay productionAmong the provinces, Leyte produced the highest volume of palay at 151,805 MT, which comprised more than half (52.2%) of the total palay production in the region. Eastern Samar, meanwhile, had the lowest volume of production (17,946 MT) accounting for only 6.2%.

The total area harvested for palay in the region went down by 1.2%, from 78,949 hectares in the 4th quarter of 2017 to 78,017 hectares in the 4th quarter of 2018. Northern Samar contributed largely to this decrease posting a drop of 36.7%.

Leyte recorded almost half or 47.8% (37,298 hectares) of the total area harvested for palay during the quarter in review, while Eastern Samar contributed the least (4,931hectares) accounting for only 6.3%.

Yield per hectare for palay in the region slightly increased by 0.3%, from 3.72 MT per hectare in the 4th quarter of 2017 to 3.73 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 4.44 MT per hectare, while Samar registered the lowest at 2.79 MT per hectare.

Eastern Visayas palay production





4th quarter fishery production in Eastern Visayas grows by 3.9%

By PSA-8
March 7, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The fishing industry in Eastern Visayas posted a 3.9% increase in production during the 4th quarter of 2018. The total fish production in the region went up to 30,461 metric tons (MT) during the 4th quarter of 2018 from 29,306MT in the same quarter of 2017.

Eastern Visayas accounted for 2.5% of the country’s total fishery production during the 4th quarter of 2018. It ranked sixth among the regions with low fishery production in the country.

Among provinces, Leyte produced the highest volume of fisheries at 9,585 MT, comprising 31.5% of the total fishery production in the region. Samar ranked second at 7,650 MT, accounting for 25.1% of the region’s total fishery production. Biliran, meanwhile registered 1,227 MT, the lowest volume of production which shared 4.0% only.

Volume of production in commercial fishing went up by 6.4%, from 2,672 MT in the 4th quarter of 2017 to 2,844 MT in the same quarter of 2018. All provinces registered increases in commercial fishing, except Southern Leyte, which recorded a decline of 51.6%. Leyte recorded the highest increase of 74.7%, from 106 MT in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 186 MT in the same quarter of 2018.

Similarly, volume of production in municipal fishing (marine and inland) registered an increase of 5.8%, from 18,135 MT in the 4th quarter of 2017 to 19,179 MT in the same of 2018. Among provinces Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte registered growths in production of 42.1%, 18.8%, and 6.8%, respectively. Decreases, meanwhile, were observed in Leyte (23.7%), Eastern Samar (19.5%), and Biliran (3.5%).

On the other hand, volume of production in aquaculture showed a slight decline of 0.7%, from 8,499 MT in the 4th quarter of 2017 to 8,437 MT in the same quarter of 2018. Among provinces Samar, Northern Samar, and Southern Leyte recorded increases in production at 96.6%, 23.1%, and 16.7%, respectively. Eastern Samar recorded the largest decrease in production of 31.2%, from 198 MT in the 4th quarter of 2017 to 136 MT in the 4th quarter of 2018.

Leyte produced the highest volume of aquaculture at 7,294 MT accounting for 86.5% of the region’s total aquaculture production.

More than half or 63.0% (19,179 MT) of the total fishery production in the region were from municipal fishing. Aquaculture contributed 27.7% (8,437MT), while Commercial Fishing accounted for 9.3% (2,844 MT)

Eastern Visayas fishery production

Eastern Visayas fishery production





CARD MBA among fastest-growing mutual insurers globally

Press Release
March 7, 2019

SAN PABLO CITY – The Philippines-based CARD Mutual Benefit Association (CARD MBA) ranked six in the fastest-growing mutual insurers in terms of life premium category among the global network of cooperative and mutual insurers and associates as revealed by the 2018 rankings of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF).

The report includes the analysis of ICMIF’s 197 member organizations based on their location, legal structure, product lines, and affinity group from 66 countries in all six regions of the world. At least 40% of the member organizations are located in Europe, 21% from Latin America and the Caribbean, 18% from Asia, and the rest are located in the remaining regions of North America, Africa, and Oceania.

CARD MBA also ranked 17 as largest ICMIF member in terms of emerging markets with P2.98 billion (USD59,564,000) total premiums.

“This ranking tells us that insurance in general is now seen by Filipinos as an important safety net and not just an optional cost,” said May S. Dawat, chief executive officer of CARD MBA.

Since CARD MBA was formalized in 1999, its membership has grown exponentially. To date, CARD MBA remains to be largely a women-led organization composed of 5.2 million policyholders covering more than 18.58 million Filipinos nationwide, which is at least 18% of the total population of the Philippines.

These policyholders of CARD MBA are the microfinance clients of the four major institutions of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) namely CARD, Inc., CARD Bank, CARD MRI Rizal Bank, and CARD SME Bank. CARD MRI is a group of 21 social development-oriented institutions including CARD MBA that aims to eradicate poverty by providing microfinance, microinsurance, and community development programs.

“Our greatest appreciation goes to the operations staff of CARD MRI major institutions for their undying support in making sure that every community CARD MRI serves will fully understand microinsurance and its impact to every household,” said Dawat.

Dawat further emphasized that the key to CARD MBA’s success is by listening to its clients. “We are always conscious of our members’ welfare that is why the communication line is always open. We think about what they need and we ensure that we can develop innovative and tailored-fit programs accordingly,” added Dawat.

CARD MBA will also continue to innovate by taking advantage of emerging technologies. “We are now pilot testing online claims notification so our claims payment would be faster and efficient,” said Dawat.

With technology, according to Dawat, CARD MBA is hopeful to reach and insure more Filipinos in the coming years.

ICMIF is the only global representative body of the cooperative and mutual insurance sector that provides services and activities on market information, networking opportunities and leadership development, and global advocacy.





New bridge to connect villages in Carigara


March 7, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – A new concrete bridge traversing Uyawan River will soon rise in Uyawan village Carigara, Leyte, Department of Public Works and Highways Leyte II district engineer Gerald Pacanan said.

This bridge has a length of 81.6 meters with a width of 9.44 meters and will stand at 13.306 meters designed based on the maximum flooding level in the area.

During the pre-construction activity held in the said village last February 28, 2019, residents were given the overview of the project, and an open-forum proceeded afterwards.

Project Engineer Libertad Morot discussed the overall structural components of the bridge and the future undertakings of the agency along the process.

“This would serve great benefit, accommodating seven barangays passing through the stream,” she added.

Among these villages are Uyawan, Libo, Lower Hiraan, Barayong, Upper Hiraan, Canlampay, and Caghalo.

The bridge construction has a duration of 412 calendar days, however, the district urges the contractor to complete project earlier than the timeline.

According to Evelyn Reyes, Carigara municipal engineer, the structure is a dream project that will give convenience to motorist and allow them to cross the stream even during heavy downpour.

Meanwhile, Prima Azores, Uyawan barangay captain expressed her utmost gratitude and support to this project. She pointed out that excessive flooding expose danger and inconvenience to residents nearby and upper barangays.





DPWH completes 8 multi-purpose buildings in Samar 1st District

multi-purpose buildings in Samar

March 3, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed the construction of eight (8) multi-purpose buildings in different barangays and municipalities in the first district of Samar, amounting to a total of 22 million pesos.

The newly constructed buildings are located in barangays Binaliw, Manguino-o, Capoocan (Phase I), Carmen (Phase I), Payahan in Calbayog City, Libucan Daku in Tarangnan island, San Agustin in Gandara, and Calbayog City National High School High School in Brgy. Hamorawon (Phase I).

DPWH is doing its part in developing the community by providing MPBs to these barangays that can now serve as venues for livelihood seminars, medical and dental missions, feeding programs, recreational events, sports competitions, and other activities.

The buildings are also designed to provide temporary shelter for local residents in the event of flooding during typhoons and other calamities.





The Rising Popularity of Online Translation Services

With the internet technology becoming more and more advanced these days, many industries and businesses are also affected. A few years ago, buying online was still unknown. But today, online shopping became a worldwide phenomenon. The money earned online on an annual basis just gets bigger by the day. The market of online translation services is also not an exception.

Hiring online translation services is popular among clients because these are faster, cheaper, and more convenient. Thanks to the internet, clients can now choose from more options to help them find the right translation service that suits their needs.

To get a better understanding of how online translation services helps you cut down the delivery time and lower translation costs, there are several points you have to know.

For starters, a provider of online translation services has lower costs and overheads to cover. Thanks to their automated translation systems and online translation portals, they have the ability to reduce their service and manpower costs. They can then pass down these significant savings to their clients for them to enjoy more affordably pricings.

With the automated portals and systems, online translators also manage to get rid of most of the agents and tasks that are part of the process. This allows them to perform a more efficient job and come up with finished tasks that are of higher quality.

It is also faster for clients to receive quotes using these online translation services. They let clients upload their files with the use of the portal to have their orders placed in real time. It cuts down on the delivery and response time that will ultimately benefit the client. After the orders have been placed, the translation provider will receive notification right away so they can begin the work with no time wasted.

There are now hundreds of online translation providers out there today. However, the online translation service via Protranslate.net is known as the best that you can find right now.





NNC-8 social media page
NNC-8 Nutrition Officer III Niño Archie S. Labordo briefs HIMSoG-8 members how they can help boost the nutrition office’s webpage during the group’s 1st quarter meeting on February 22, 2019 at NNC-8 region office.

HIMSoG-8 to boost NNC-8 social media page

February 28, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – Help the National Nutrition Council Region 8 (NNC-8) boost its webpage by contributing more nutrition-related articles, feature stories and pictures, net-engaging, liking, sharing and tagging, and inviting researchers to hunt nutrition information on the webpage.

This was the consensus of the Harmonized Initiatives of Media for the Spread of Good Nutrition in Region 8 (HIMSoG-8), a NNC-8 media-group partner, after a brief Social Media Enhancement Workshop conducted during its 1st quarter meeting held at NNC-8 office on February 22, 2019.

Instead of launching its own social-media engagement on “Winning the 2019 Election in Nutrition through SocMed” as previously planned, workshop resource speaker and HIMSoG-8 member Sarwell Meniano suggested to strengthen in its place the already existing NNC-8 webpage.

Niño Archie S. Labordo, NNC-8 Nutrition Officer III, said while in the past years the NNC-8 webpage was fifth from the bottom – as compared to similar webpages of nutrition offices of other regions, last year (2018) Eastern Visayas was already in the middle of the hierarchy based on internet analytics, with Region 7 (Cebu) and Regions 1 and 2 on the lead.

“There is a big change to catch up with them, to date if there is a most improved webpage it is NNC Region 8,” Labordo said, as he invited everybody to actively contribute accurate and relevant articles.

In this connection the nutrition regional office here provided the HIMSoG-8 membership with the latest Operation Timbang Plus 2018 results of 0-59 and 0-71 month old children per municipality, city, and province in Eastern Visayas categorized weight for age, height for age, weight for length/height and summary, and probable topics/subjects to write which are national-focus of the month, for example for March – Rabies Awareness Month, International Women’s Month, International Women’s Day, and World TB Day that could be given slant related with nutrition.





DOLE West Leyte Field Office groundbreaking
ED Maglunsod, DOLE Officials and Mayor Carmen L. Cari of Baybay during the groundbreaking Ceremony.

ED Maglunsod graces the groundbreaking ceremony of the future DOLE West Leyte Field Office

By National Maritime Polytechnic
February 28, 2019

BAYBAY CITY – A groundbreaking ceremony for the future office of the Department of Labor and Employment in the Western part of Leyte was held last 22 February 2019 at the New Government Center, this city.

The ceremony was graced by NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod, DOLE Region VIII Director Yahya A. Centi and Baybay City Mayor, Honorable Carmen L. Cari.

The 500 square meter lot was donated by the LGU Baybay through the efforts of the good city mayor and with the active support of Congressman Jose Carlos L. Cari of the 5th District of Leyte.

Mayor Cari, in her welcome remarks, said that they really intend to donate parcels of lot to government agencies not just for the good of the recipient agency but ultimately for the benefit of the constituents of the Western Leyte especially Baybay.

“I am very glad that sooner or later, DOLE will be with us here in Baybay City. This lot donation will be for the welfare not just of the people of Baybay but for all the people of West Leyte. I know that DOLE will make good use of this lot for all the people we serve that is why there were no hesitations on our part at the onset,” said Mayor Cari.

NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod, representing DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, read the message of SecLab.

On a personal note, ED Maglunsod also congratulated DOLE Region VIII for having been awarded a lot where the future building of DOLE will rise.

“Let me congratulate DOLE Region VIII under the leadership of Director Centi for this milestone. As part of the DOLE Family, I am more than happy to be witness to this significant activity for DOLE and LGU-Baybay.

He likewise expressed his gratitude to LGU Baybay thru Mayor Cari for the act of generosity. He said, “Of course let me also express my sincere appreciation to the local government unit of Baybay headed by Mayor Cari for this act of generosity. This lot is a symbol of the undying support and commitment of Baybay to DOLE’s programs and services in pursuit of realizing its mandate.”

Nothing but good words and appreciation were uttered by Director Centi during his acceptance message.

“I am overwhelmed with happiness today because another milestone event is about to happen. Last year in October, no less than DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III inaugurated the newly-renovated DOLE building in Tacloban City. And today, just a little later, we will be having the groundbreaking of our future West Leyte Field Office,” said Director Centi.

The DOLE chief in Eastern Visayas also grabbed the chance of expressing his sincerest thanks to the good mayor of the city for the lot donation.

“Of course, this will not be possible if not for the kindness of the ever active and supportive mother of this beautiful city, Mayor Cari. Madame, thank you for this great blessing for our organization. It is indeed good to know that government institutions and LGUs can together achieve success through great partnership,” Director Centi added.

Records reveal that as of 28 February 2019, NMP was able to train nine hundred ninety-four (994) trainees coming from Baybay City.

In line with the NMP’s effort of expanding the reach of its communication activities and to strengthen its visibility within the region, the Agency will be tapping DOLE West Leyte Field Office as delivery agent for its information materials.

Meanwhile, NMP encourages seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitle the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.





P100M road traversing 4 barangays completed

P100M barangay road

February 28, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – Department of Public Works and Highways completed the construction of road projects all in barangays Amampacang, Dinagan, Mabini and Catabunan, Calbayog City, Samar amounting to P100M under the local infra-program of the district. This road stretches 8.796 kilometers with drainage structure of 1,415 linear meters.

This P100 million project by DPWH Samar First District Engineering Office to construct the roads traversing four barangays opened up a lot of opportunities for about 4,520 farmers, businessmen, motorists and residents of not only the said barangays but other areas near them for either trading or bartering of crops. They can now transport their crops, copra and other products to the marketplace much faster and easier because travel time becomes shorter and the road is now better.

This project is essential because transportation is a challenge to farmers and residents of the barangays since the roads then are not yet developed and not concrete. Farmers and residents trying to deliver their products to the city have to go through the rivers using boats as their means of transportation to get it in the city’s marketplace.

This is a conscious effort of DPWH Samar First District Engineering Office to provide ways on how to make life easier as well as to connect every area in the city to ensure that basic services and necessities can be accessed by people situated in far-flung areas. Interconnectivity is vital in a nation’s development.





Improvement of Migara Road and Maybog Road underway

Maybog Road

February 26, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – Department of Public Works and Highways has started the implementation of Improvement of Migara Road and Maybog Road at Brgy. Guin-on, wherein the road going to Brgy. Maybog is already finished and is now working on finishing the Migara road.

The roads of both Migara and Maybog are now all concrete and widened to 3 meters per lane whereas before, the roads are damaged and intermittently concreted with narrower width of 2 meters per lane.

The project is funded under the Support for Infrastructure Projects and Social programs with a total allocation of P38 million. This project is the improvement of Maybog road which covers 1,068 meters going to Brgy. Maybog and 540 meters of Migara road going to Brgy. Migara.

This project is of considerable importance because the road will now be wider and concrete which makes the residents, bypassers and motorist’s travel easier and convenient. With the considerable number of motorists passing and growth in population on both barangays, it is about time that roads will be improved.

Road network is vital in an area’s development by providing access to employment, education and in fighting against poverty. Once this project is finished, about 1,750 inhabitants of both barangays and residents in nearby areas will benefit the said roads.





DPWH builds seawall project in Leyte town

Dulag seawall project

February 26, 2019

DULAG, Leyte – A total of P48.5 million has been poured out by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second District Engineering Office for the construction of seawall along coastal villages in Dulag, Leyte.

The project will protect and reduce coastal hazards to the residents of Brgy. San Jose and Brgy. San Rafael critical to storm surge.

District Engineer Gerald Pacanan said that the embankment project involves stone masonry with a total length of 482.5 meters and height of 2.5 meters.

The seawall will serve as protection from storm surge during occurrence of typhoon and alleviate the problems of erosion along these coastlines.

For 2018, the district has carried out a total of eight flood mitigation projects amounting to P271.68 million, of which four are completed and the rest are still ongoing.





TUCP: Chinese are allowed but keep jobs for Filipinos

Press Release
February 25, 2019

QUEZON CITY – Chinese workers are welcome in the Philippines. However, the country’s biggest workers group the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) maintained that the jobs must be kept to Filipinos.

“Our laws and regulations policies are clear: all jobs including skills and professions must be given to Filipino workers and professionals. However, if there are specialization and skills unavailable in the labor market, these should be given to foreign workers who must apply for Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and work permits from the Bureau of Immigration (BI). We clearly reiterate that TUCP is not against the entry of foreign workers in the country, but of the adverse impact on our very own workers who are being deprived of potential employment and livelihood opportunities,” said TUCP President Raymond Mendoza.

Nonetheless, the TUCP said the AEP and work permit issued by DOLE and BI must be enforced with routine coordination, monitoring and implemented free from corruption.

“There is no coordination between the DOLE and BI. And this is where the problem thrives. Each agency issues permits allowing foreigners to stay and work here using different criteria,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said the labor market test method that the DOLE uses before it issues work permit is also flawed.

Upon submission of required documents, the DOLE publishes the names, type of jobs that foreign workers are seeking in newspapers. If no one files a protest or complaint about the application for a few days, the applicant is deemed accepted to work for a certain period.

“Nobody is contesting the labor market test because nobody is aware that there is such a publication. No one is filing a complaint against the applicant because no one is even aware of such notice,” Mendoza said adding: “there has to be an immediate serious reforms and improved implementation of work permit policy applied to foreigners.”

On one hand, the TUCP meanwhile welcomes all foreigners, even Chinese nationals for that matter, to come and work in the country as long as they apply for work permits.

“We urge foreign workers including Chinese nationals to legalize their stay, abide with our laws and regulations and respect our culture and traditions. They should legalize their stay so that they will be protected by our laws from abusive and exploitative working conditions,” Mendoza said.

Foreign nationals must go through the due process legally mandated by the laws. Under the Department Order No. 12 (Series of 2001) known as the Omnibus Guidelines for the Issuance of Employment Permits of the Department of Labor and Employment, all foreign nationals seeking employment in the Philippines are mandated to apply for an Alien Employment Permit (AEP). DOLE Order No. 12 states that “an AEP shall be issued based on the following: (i) Compliance by the applicant employer of the foreign national with the substantive and documentary requirements; (ii) Determination of the DOLE Secretary that there is no Filipino national who is competent, able and willing to do the job for which the services of the applicant is desired; and (iii) Assessment of the DOLE Secretary that the employment of the foreign national will redound to national benefit.”

It is also worth-noting that going through the legal process will also benefit migrant workers in terms of labor standards and working conditions. Illegal migrant workers are vulnerable to violation and exploitation of their basic rights as workers as they cannot be provided protection by our laws. They are susceptible to being abused for reasons such as their lack of capacity to speak and understand the Filipino language and other exploitative working conditions such as unjust compensation given to them. They should enjoy the freedom from this worst form of modern-day slavery.

“We even encourage them to allow TUCP to help and organize them into workers union or associations while they work here,” Mendoza said.

The TUCP maintained that the "Build, Build, Build", should foremost generate jobs for Filipinos first.

"In the Philippines, 'ang tunay na problema ay kahirapan (the true enemy is poverty).' What is the point of a building boom if it means that it will be foreign workers who will be employed and other countries will benefit?" Mendoza.

TUCP, therefore, supports a two-pronged strategy to generate decent, sustainable jobs for all Filipinos. First, increase budgetary allocations to Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and target accelerated support to the regional TESDA centers where most of the "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure is scheduled to be built. Such support should be targeted to be appropriate for the construction projects intended in each region.

Second, the Energy Regulatory Commission must bring down our power. Our electricity rates are now the highest in Asia and hamper our economic competitiveness. By bringing down power rates, investors would have the incentive to now enter and put up factories with decent employment even without the need to wait first the next 4 years for the "Build, Build, Build" projects to be constructed.

"TUCP believes that the Government should increase the budgetary allocation for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and DOLE to ensure that the training and re-skilling of Filipino workers can be fast-tracked. We recommend that priority be given to areas and regions where the Administration construction projects are being put up to cut down on time-and-motion manpower-lack problems and fast track towards project completion," explained Mendoza.

"The problem of power rates can be addressed even without obligating the Malampaya Funds to answer for the stranded costs of the privatized National Power Corporation. The ERC can move away from the 'sky-is-the-limit' Performance-Based Rate-making tariff system that has made our power rates unaffordable. The ERC can instead use the 12% Return-on-Rate Base (RORB) tariff under the 1936 Public Service Law. Further, we can push the ERC to insist that all of the Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) of the Distribution utilities – including that of MERALCO – be subjected to international public bidding. Lets put an end to 'sweetheart contracts' between power generators and distribution utilities. These players have price-gouged our poor consumers and suffering industries for the past 16 years. It is not the cost of labor which has made our economy uncompetitive. For Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs), electricity costs constitute 60% of their operational costs," added Mendoza.





CADSEV new school building site
On this site will rise a 3-storey, 6-classroom school building for Calbayog Arts and Design School of Eastern Visayas (CADSEV).

DPWH to start construction of P18-M school building in CADSEV

February 24, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office will soon construct a three (3) storey, six (6) classroom school building for Calbayog Arts and Design School of Eastern Visayas (CADSEV) located at Brgy. Gadgaran, Calbayog City.

The project, amounting to P18 million, is funded under the 2018 Basic Educational Facilities Fund – Batch 3 for the construction of classrooms under the DepEd Calbayog City Division.

CADSEV is the only Regional Senior High School in the entire Eastern Visayas offering arts and design track. The students come from all over the Samar and Leyte, even from the capital city of Manila.

The school currently has an existing 2-storey, 8-clasroom building holding about 100 students. The current school population and the expected influx of enrollees in the incoming school year cannot be accommodated due to the limited capacity of the existing classrooms.

With this new addition, CADSEV will be able to take on more artistically-inclined students who want to be exposed to various forms of arts such as visual arts, media arts, performing arts and literary arts, to improve their knowledge, innate skills in arts and design.





DPWH to build 13 school buildings in Calbayog

February 24, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Education is in continued pursuit of making better and comfortable facilities to cater to the school children within the jurisdiction of the district.

Under the CY 2018 Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF) for the construction of classrooms batch 3, schools under the Calbayog City Division are recipients of the two-storey buildings for the betterment of the students and their education.

The Secondary and Elementary schools will have 2-storey 4-classroom school buildings and 2-storey 6-classroom school buildings with a total allocation of P191M.

Calbayog East Central Elementary School, Limarayon Elementary School, Panlayahan ES, Sinidman Occidental ES, Tarabucan Central Elementary School, Danao I ES, Bugtong ES, San Joaquin Central Elementary School, Malaga National High School, R. Lentejas Mem. School of Fisheries, San Policarpo National High School, Calbayog City NHS and Malaga NHS - Peña I Annex School are Calbayog City Division’s schools that will benefit the said fund.

These are DepEd managed, partially urban public elementary and secondary schools located in Calbayog City.

There is a profound impact in having decent instructional spaces in both facilitators and students in the sense that there is high retention of teachers and student learning if there is good classroom size and space.





P139.566M road widening project at Biliran town underway

Biliran road widening project

Press Release
February 22, 2019

NAVAL, Biliran – The road widening project along Biliran-Naval Section within Biliran Circumferential Road is on-going.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) - Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) reports 72.83% accomplishment of the project as of January 31,2019.

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that the project involves the construction of additional lanes on both sides of the existing paved road with a width of 3.35-meter, a thickness of 0.28-meter and a length of 4.05-kilometer.

“It includes the construction of drainage and installation of road safety features such as road signages and reflectorized thermoplastic pavement markings,” said Adongay.

Adongay added that the road widening project amounting to P139.566M will be completed on June 27, 2019 under contract with BC Cuerpo Construction Corporation.

Meanwhile, Adongay said that the district office will implement another road widening project this 2019 amounting to P80M.

“This project will be implemented as a continuation of the 2018 widening project along Biliran-Naval Section,” said Adongay.

Major scope of work includes the construction and concreting of additional lanes from 2 lanes to four lanes with a length of 2.4-kilometer with a width of 3.35 meters, a thickness of 0.28 m. It also includes the construction of drainage and road safety features.

The road widening projects were prioritized because of its potential for development with the vision to accommodate huge number of road users. The said network development project is designed to provide a wider and safer roads for the increasing vehicular users.

By early part of 2019, DPWH-Biliran DEO has already widened a total of 12.973 kilometers of existing road. It is the vision of the district to widen the entire existing concrete roads within the Road Network of Biliran Province in accordance with the DPWH National Standards by phases.





DPWH joins first Nationwide Earthquake Drill for 2019

DPWH Nationwide Earthquake Drill

February 22, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – Over 180 employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second district engineering office participated during the 1st Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) for 2019 held on February 21 at around 2 pm.

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) of Carigara, Leyte led the simultaneous drill, demonstrating evacuation procedures and emergency protocols. Afterwards, a one-minute alarm signaled the actual earthquake evacuation drill.

According to Gerald A. Pacanan, DPWH Leyte 2 district engineer, this activity will boost the awareness and preparedness of employees during disaster especially that the province is at risk to earthquakes because of the Central Leyte Fault line.

He also expressed his support on this campaign by forming a permanent medical, evacuation, and inspection response team and committing to equip the district with the necessary tools and facilities to safeguard the lives of the employees.

“This is a serious matter, so we must have the proper knowledge on dealing with situations like this and set up a system for immediate response within our premise,” he added.

As per order from DE Pacanan, the district will tap the MDRRMC of Carigara for first-aid and emergency response training as soon as possible to intensify the disaster preparedness of the district.

“This would be beneficial not only to us, but also to our friends and immediate relatives who we can share our learnings to from this training. Afterall, DPWH is also a key player and an immediate responder during earthquakes and other natural calamities.” he ended.

As the infrastructure agency of the country, the highways department is also committed in building safe and disaster-resilient public facilities.

The NSED is a quarterly activity spearheaded by the NDRRMC and its local counterparts that aims to strengthen timely and appropriate responses during earthquakes and other similar events.





Cabibihan Elementary School, Caibiran, Biliran
Congressman Rogelio J. Espina (in blue with white polo), together with Assistant District Engineer Alfredo L. Bollido (in white longsleeve) Hon. Nelson Corpin (in gray polo shirt) and Principal Bella Salentes (in pink ¾ sleeve) lead the Ribbon Cutting for the newly completed 1-storey 2-classroom School Building in Cabibihan Elementary School.

Additional classrooms for Cabibihan Elementary School in Caibiran, Biliran turned-over

Press Release
February 21, 2019

NAVAL, Biliran – A newly completed 1-storey 2-classroom in Brgy. Cabibihan has been turned-over to the teachers and administration of Cabibihan Elementary School by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) on February 11, 2019.

Present during the turn-over ceremony was Congressman Rogelio J. Espina, Assistant District Engineer Alfredo L. Bollido, Caibiran Mayor Eulalio Maderazo, the contractor of MKB Builders, School Principal Bella Salentes, teachers and parents of the pupils.

Ms. Marilyn Gervacio, Public Schools District Supervisor (PSDS) who also graced the event gave words of challenge for the school building users.

“I am posing a challenge to the teachers and parents to maintain the usefulness of this building for a number of years so that it can still be used by our children in the coming years”.

Meanwhile, Ms. Salentes expressed gratitude to Congressman Espina and to the DPWH for the school building project and hopes for more school buildings to rise in the school.

“We are hoping for more buildings to come because it is projected that more school children will flock to our school after today, next years and the years to come because of the rapid population growth of Brgy. Cabibihan”.

Children of the recipients of the on-going housing projects of the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Brgy. Cabibihan is anticipated to flock because of the geographical location of the school.

The new school building with two classrooms and adjoining toilets are to be occupied by Kindergarten and Grade 3 pupils. This building is designed to provide the pupils a well ventilated, reliable and disaster resilient school buildings.





Catchwalls erected in Caglanipao, Cagmanipis


February 20, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) has completed the construction of concrete catchwalls along national road of Barangay Cagmanipis and Barangay Caglanipao Sur in Tinambacan District.

The P100-M project was initiated in June 1, 2018, spanning a net length of 463.7 meters.

Project Engineer Alfredo C. Monsanto, Jr. explained that these areas are prone to landslide due to their unstable mountainous profile. “There is always a possibility for rockfalls and landslides to occur when there is a weather disturbance,” he said.

In fact, in July 2017, the Calbayog-Allen road lanes traversing Caglanipao were closed due to landslide caused by incessant rains from Tropical Depression Gorio. The event resulted in P10-M damages and major inconvenience to hundreds of commuters. Approximately 138-meters of road area was covered with 15,000 cubic meters of soil and debris. Yet another landslide occurred in the area when tropical storm Salome hit Samar in November 2017.

A rockslide in Cagmanipis Sur was also recorded during the tropical storm Urduja in December 2017.

These national roads carry heavy traffic on a daily basis, so slope protection is a must for ensuring the safety of the travelling public.

Catchwalls are designed to arrest errant boulders that have broken off from the rock outcrop as well as prevent loose soil from spilling over onto the roads. These structures are essential to successfully building a safe and all-weather road not just for the travellers but for the local community as well.


Last updated: 05/17/2019