Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer-II of Samar
Leovigildo Monge (5th from L) turns over the symbolic key of
responsibility to his successor Enrique Granados III (5th from
R) in a ceremony witnessed by DAR Regional Director Sheila
Enciso (4th from R), Assistant Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay
(3rd from L), and all the DAR officials of said province.
DAR installs new
By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
May 26, 2017
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Eastern Samar Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer-II (PARPO-II)
Enrique Granados III now heads the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
provincial office in Samar after he was installed on Monday by
Regional Director Sheila Enciso.
Granados replaced Leovigildo
Monge, by virtue of Special Order No. 250, series of 2017 issued by
Secretary Rafael Mariano early this month, as the latter will retire
from government service on his 65th birthday on May 28.
In his acceptance message,
Granados said that his new assignment is a challenge to him on how to
maintain the impressive performance of Samar under PARPO Monge. DAR-Samar
in 2015 was recognized among top performers.
According to Land Tenure
Improvement Division Chief Celsa Mabutin, though they expect a
different management style, they need the expertise of PARPO Granados
in the documentation of distributed but not yet documented (DNYD)
Granados, 60, joined DAR in
1983 as Senior Land Acquisition and Allocation Officer. He became
Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) in 1988 before becoming chief
of the Beneficiaries Development Coordinating Division (BDCD) and the
Operations Division on separate occasions.
In 2003, he was designated
PARPO-II for Northern Samar. He also became the DAR provincial chief
in Leyte prior to his assignment in Eastern Samar where he served for
Meanwhile, on May 12 before
reporting to his new assignment, Granados turned over his
responsibilities in Eastern Samar to PARPO-I Gilberto Apilado who was
designated PARPO-II for the said province under the same special
Apilado, 55, joined DAR in
1990 as Agricultural Engineer II. He was promoted to Chief Agrarian
Reform Program Officer (CARPO) for BDCD and was later on designated as
Further, Chief of the
Program Beneficiaries Development Division Teresita Caballa-Alde, 60,
will take the place of Apilado as PARPO-I.
For a smooth transition,
Enciso urged all employees of both provinces to extend to the incoming
officials the same support they had given to Monge and Granados during
ICRC steps up
response to needs linked to fighting in Marawi City
May 26, 207
MANILA – Thousands of
people continue to flee the fighting in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur
province, southern Philippines, seeking safety in neighboring areas
such as Iligan City. Many families are staying with relatives, while
others went to evacuation centers or sought shelters in schools.
“This morning, our team has
finally entered Marawi City and delivered 1,000 water jugs to the
displaced families at the provincial capitol, and transported at least
300 residents from Marawi to the evacuation center in Saguiaran. We
were able to access Marawi as we are in touch with various
stakeholders,” said Pascal Porchet, Head of Delegation of the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Philippines.
“The situation is very
fluid. Residents are moving in and out of Marawi, and we are seriously
concerned about those who are trapped or have chosen to stay in the
city, who are in need of food and water. This is currently a challenge
for our teams on the ground as they assess the situation in order to
have a clear picture of the number of displaced people and their
needs,” he added.
In Iligan, the ICRC has
prepositioned medical supplies to reinforce the capacity of rural
health units in addressing the basic health needs of displaced people.
They include basic medicines, antibiotics, dressing materials; as well
as injectable medication and intravenous fluids that can support
30,000 people in three months. One of these kits will be delivered to
the RHU in Saguiaran this afternoon.
Medical items to treat
wounded people have also been dispatched, for hospitals that may need
replenishment. In addition, food, essential household items and
hygiene kits will be dispatched to Iligan from the ICRC warehouse in
Davao this afternoon for prepositioning.
The ICRC also provided
first-aid bags and dressing kits to support the Philippine Red Cross (PRC)
chapters in Marawi and Iligan cities. It has also provided resources
for the mobilization of PRC’s volunteer force in case a greater
response is needed. The PRC and the ICRC will coordinate the response
according to the needs. The PRC is ICRC’s primary partner in the
With the ongoing hostilities
in Marawi City, and with some residents remaining there, Porchet urged
those involved in the fighting to take the necessary precautions to
spare civilians and their property.
law (IHL) remains applicable in this situation, even after the
declaration of martial law in Mindanao. As such, it must be respected
at all times and by all the parties. People who may be arrested must
be treated humanely and the ICRC will continue to monitor their
conditions and treatment,” he said.
IHL limits the means and
methods of warfare and protects people who do not take part in the
fighting (i.e civilians, medics, aid workers) and those who can no
longer fight (i.e. wounded, sick, captured or detained fighters).
These limits are particularly meaningful in populated areas where the
risk of harm to civilians and civilian objects, including essential
The ICRC is a neutral,
impartial and independent humanitarian organization that protects and
assists victims of armed conflict. It has an international mandate to
promote knowledge for and respect of IHL.
construction of Turn-out (Loading and Unloading Bays) along Biliran Circumferential Road, Kawayan, Biliran with a
construction budget of P2.550M. The completed project will
provide a safe area to load and unload passengers, goods,
agricultural and aquatic products for ready transport to market
Updates on Biliran
DEO’s 2017 infrastructure projects
May 23, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – The
Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering
Office (DPWH-BDEO) is now in full swing in the implementation of its
FY 2017 Infrastructure Projects. Contractors mostly started at their
own risks to attain the target schedule and to avail of the good
As of April 30, 2017, the
District has an overall actual accomplishment of 8.02% with a positive
slippage of 2.45%.
The District has been
allotted P940.730M under FY 2017 DPWH Infrastructure Program with a
total final listing of 57 projects based on the General Appropriation
Act (GAA). Out of 57 projects, 31 projects are on-going, 25 are Not
Yet Started (NYS) and one (1) project is completed.
The completed project is the
Construction of Turn-out (Loading and Unloading Bays) along Biliran
Circumferential Road, Kawayan, Biliran with a construction budget of
The project was prioritized
because of its immediate need on the location. The section is located
along a National Road at Poblacion of Kawayan, where public utility
vehicles mostly stops, to load and unload passengers, goods,
agricultural and aquatic products from and to market centers. The
completed project will provide a safe area to load and unload
passengers, goods, agricultural and aquatic products for ready
transport to market centers. This project will benefit more or less
3,500 passengers mostly from the northern part of the Island and from
the capital town (Naval) of Biliran Province.
Some Major Infrastructure
projects of 2017 have also started and is up for completion in the
month of May, 2017. These projects are the Off-Carriageway Improvement
along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road, Repair of Busali Bridge,
Biliran, Biliran and Repair of Mapula Bridge, Caibiran Biliran with an
accomplishment of 90% as of April 31, 2017.
As of this writing, the
district had already bid-out 52 projects while five projects are
scheduled to be bid out on a later date.
R: Engr. Alfredo L. Bollido, OIC-Assistant District Engineer and
Mr. Bern L. Calomadre, Chief of Administrative Section bestow
the Certificate of Recognition to Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, PIO-Designate
together with PIO-Alternates, Engr. Frechbee L. Sabile, Ms.
Chelsea C. Quijano, and Engr. Gene F. Delfin on April 3, 2017 at
the DPWH-Biliran Open ground after the flag raising ceremony.
awarded 2nd place in communication development program for 2016
May 21, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – The
Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering
Office (DPWH-BDEO) has been awarded as 2nd place for the successful
implementation of the Communication Development Program of the
Department for the year 2016.
The award thru a Certificate
of Recognition was received by Engr. David P. Adongay Jr., District
Engineer of Biliran DEO on March 28, 2017 at DPWH Multipurpose
Building, Region 8, Palo, Leyte during the Regional Monthly
Coordination Meeting and was presented to District Public Information
Officer (PIO-Designate) Engr. Rosario B. Rosete together with her PIO-Alternates
Engr. Gene F. Delfin, Engr. Frechbee L. Sabile, and Ms. Chelsea C.
Quijano on April 3, 2017 after the flag raising ceremony.
The certificate of
recognition was bestowed in appreciation for the contribution and
commitment in the successful implementation of the Development
Communication Program of the Department thru information dissemination
about its projects and accomplishment in advocating its various
programs in helping the department adapt to the demands of the
environment such as IT, Social Media, Swift Resolution of RFAS/
165-02/ Customer Feedback Complains /8888 etc. and in implementing the
social marketing programs of the Department in order to strengthen its
relationship with external stakeholders in year 2016, thus, the
Rosete expressed her
gratitude to all who contributed for the Communication Development
Reports especially from the different sections in the office, to her
PIO-Alternates and to District Engineer Adongay, Jr. for actively
supporting the Communication Development Program of the District.
In 2014 and 2015, DPWH-BDEO
was also awarded as 2nd place in the most number of Communication
Development Reports submitted.
The awards were given to the
top 5 performers in the DPWH Eastern Visayas Region having Samar 1st
District Engineering Office as 1st place, followed by Biliran District
Engineering Office, Southern Leyte Engineering District Office and
Northern Samar 2nd District Engineering Office for the 2nd, 3rd and
4th place respectively and Leyte 4th District Engineering Office and
Leyte 5th Engineering District both for the 5th place out of the 13
District Engineering Offices in Region VIII.
David P. Adongay Jr., (wearing hat) District Engineer of Biliran
District Engineering Office (BDEO) visits on-going Replacement
of Banlas Bridge (B00061BR) along Maripipi Circumferential Road
on April 28, 2017. The said project is implemented by Biliran
DEO under 2016 General Appropriations Act (GAA) with an
accomplishment of 80% as of April 30, 2017. Upon Adongay’s
inspection, the project is on-going with installation of forms
and scaffolding for girder and slab of the bridge.
DE Adongay inspects
infrastructure projects at Maripipi Island
May 21, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – Engr.
David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer of the Department of Public
Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO)
takes time to conduct a round-up inspection of Biliran DEO
Infrastructure Projects at Maripipi Island, Naval, Biliran on April
The Municipality of Maripipi
is separated by a narrow channel from the island of Biliran and can be
reached by a small boat for about 1.5 hours of travel from Naval, the
capital town of Biliran province. It is an island-municipality with a
coastal circumference of twenty-four kilometers.
The first project inspected
by Engr. Adongay, Jr. is the Rehabilitation/ Reconstruction of
Maripipi Circumferential Road. This project is under the
implementation of Regional Office 8 with the amount of P135M funded
under 2016 General Appropriation Act (GAA). As of April, 2017, it has
an accomplishment of 21.08%. The project was started late due to late
completion of Preliminary & Detailed Engineering activities. The
completed project will provide a standard concrete paved road for the
safe and faster transport of goods and services to the capital
barangay of the municipality.
Another project inspected by
Adongay, Jr. is the on-going Replacement of Banlas Bridge (B00061BR)
along Maripipi Circumferential Road. This is a 2016-Carry-over project
of Biliran DEO costing 8.7M. Upon Adongay’s inspection, the project is
on-going with installation of forms and scaffolding for girder and
slab of the bridge with an accomplishment of 80% as of April 30, 2017.
Adongay, Jr. said that this project is target to be completed on or
before July, 2017. The completed Bridge will provide a standard Bridge
(with two lanes) in replacement of the old one which is sub-standard
(with one lane only) thereby providing safe passage to the traveling
Adongay, Jr. also inspected
the just started construction of 2-storey, 8-classroom School Building
at Maripipi National Vocational School, Maripipi, Biliran under
General Appropriation Act (GAA) of 2016, Batch 13. The project is
on-going with the installation of forms and scaffolding for the 1st
floor of the building with an accomplishment of 10%. This project has
a contract cost of P11.875M under contract with BNL Construction. It
is scheduled to be completed on September 23, 2017. Completion of the
project will provide additional classrooms for the school hence
offering a place conducive to learning for the students. The
additional classrooms will accommodate more or less 320 students.
exhibitors lead int’l food firms at IFEX Philippines
May 20, 2017
PASAY CITY –
Twenty-four Korean companies showcased their leading food and products
at IFEX, making it the top foreign exhibitor country at the three-day
international food trade fair which started on Friday, May 19, and
runs until Sunday, May 21.
This year’s Korean
delegation had 23 returning companies and 1 new entrant, presenting
their native as well as innovative food and beverages.
Among the group are the top
two Korean leading firms in food distribution, manufacturing and
service: the CJ Group, a conglomerate that holds both CJ Freshway and
CJ Cheiljedang; and the Daesang Corporation, which have combined
annual revenue of around $19.8 billion dollars.
“Here in the Philippines, we
are looking to create more opportunities for trade and improve our
relations with the local companies. We are aware that Filipinos are
particularly fond of our product and we are also interested in the
tropical products here, especially seafood,” said Shen Shin, Executive
Vice President of CJ Freshway.
Targeting the Philippines
and Asia’s trade buyers, Korean exports included the iconic seaweed
snacks, kimchi, and health beverages. Other products were Gam Moon
Yeoun’s soybean paste, Brandacumen’s korean red ginseng, banana milk
from Yonsei University Dairy, and Applease Korea Brewery’s Apisode, an
apple carbonated hard cider made of fermented Korean apple. There were
natural and organic products such as 3B Netrorks’ Smart Bar, made from
blueberry, almond, peanut, oat, green tea, and brocolli; and Natural
Dream Co.‘s Preto Acai powder, and green tea spreads that seemed to be
targeting the younger and trendy market.
Agricultural products from
Gyeongbuk Corporation were Apple, Pears, Persimmon, and fruit juices
and aloe vera drink from Tulip International.
Food industry experts from
ASEAN-KOREA CENTRE Trade Facilitation Workshops in the Philippines
also held seminars on Purchasing Trends and Import Procedures of
Seafood products, by Mr. YOON Jae-sik; Seafood Merchandiser at CJ
Freshway; and Sourcing Trends and Import Procedures of agricultural
products by Mr. SONG In-su; Assistant Manager at DAESANG; and
Packaging Trend of Food Products and strategy for global market
access, by Mr. LEE Young-hwan; Specialist of Strategic Purchasing Team
(Packaging team), CJ Cheiljedang.
A total of 85 foreign
exhibitors are participating this year, with Korea leading the pack,
followed by China with 19 exhibitors, and Taiwan with 11, based on the
12 year-old boy
apprehended while carrying illegal ammunitions
By DPAO, 8ID PA
May 17, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – On May 13, 2017 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the troops
of 803rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade while conducting security
patrol in Brgy De Tubang, Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar apprehended a
12-year old boy carrying a half sack of rice that concealed 20 rounds
of 5.56 mm ammunitions, three (3) cartridge 7.62 mm, linked for M60
machinegun and two (2) cartridge 5.56 mm linked for K3 machine gun.
After some interview, the
child was immediately turned-over to Provincial Social Welfare
Development for proper custody and brought to Catarman Provincial
Hospital to check his health condition.
This kind of incident is a
clear manifestation that the NPA terrorist group violated the
International Humanitarian Law stating that children ages 18 below are
prohibited to participate in any hostilities and carrying supplies
that could merely put their lives into danger.
Thus, Maj Gen Farnacio said,
“Let us give our children the chance to grow up while peacefully
learning from their youthful experiences and contributing in their own
unique ways. NPA should stop recruiting and using minors for their
illegal activities”, Farnacio added.
again, 1 soldier killed
By DPAO, 8ID PA
May 17, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 43rd Infantry (We Search) Battalion again clashed with
more or less 20 NPA rebels at Barangay Mahayag, Matuguinao, Samar on
May 16, 2017 at 9:45 in the morning that resulted to the death of
Corporal Renjie P Ada (Inf) PA while undetermined casualty on the
enemy’s side. The 15-minute firefight occurred during the combat
operation going to the location of the armed group which is according
to the concerned villager, asking for assorted foodstuffs and
medicines in their area.
A pursuit operation is being
conducted to track down and apprehend the rebels. Army units in nearby
areas were ordered to conduct checkpoints along possible entries/exits
of withdrawals of the enemy and to verify possible accommodation of
wounded enemy in nearby hospitals.
Your Army is sincere in its
offer of peace. We will ensure the personal safety of those who will
choose to lay down their arms and peacefully return to their families.
Lay down your arms and return to the comfort of your families and
friends. Live peacefully and take care of your children as they grow
and become productive members of the community.
Massive military operations
will be relentless against these lawless elements as long as peace and
development in Eastern Visayas region is at stake.
PH exports up by
18.34% in Q1
May 12, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Philippine exports for the first quarter of 2017 grew by 18.34% after
it reflected double-digit growth for March 2017 with 21% total
increase amounting to $5.58 billion compared to $4.61 billion recorded
value in the same period in 2016, Department of Trade and Industry
In the recent report of the
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the increase for March 2017
exports data, an almost double of the 11% year-on-year growth figure
posted in February this year, further lifted the cumulative value of
merchandise exports covering the period January-March 2017.
“Increase for March 2017
exports marked the fourth consecutive positive growth in the value of
Philippine merchandise exports since December 2016,” explained DTI
Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada.
For March 2017, electronics
remained to be the country’s top export with total receipts of $2.80
billion, accounting for 50.2% of the total exports revenue in March
2017. It increased by 19.0% from $2.36 billion registered in March
On the other hand, exports
of manufactured goods were valued at $4.69 billion, accounting for
84.1% share of the total export receipts in March 2017, went up by
16.5% from $4.03 billion recorded in the same month last year.
United States (including
Alaska and Hawaii), with export receipts valued at $809.93 million,
topped other countries as the Philippine top export market for March
2017. It is followed by Hong Kong with revenue amounting to $798.25
million, and Japan as third market with $762.43 million export sales.
By economic bloc, East Asia
registered to be the top destination of Philippine goods with 46.4%
share to total exports, followed by European Union with 16.2% share to
total merchandise exports. ASEAN ranked third with 14.9% share in
overall Philippine exported goods.
Against other trade-oriented
economies, the Philippines landed at third place among the top export
performers for March 2017, a major leap after landing 9th place for
February 2017. Malaysia topped the list with 24.1% export growth
followed by Indonesia with 24% for March 2017.
PH outward shipments for Q1
Covering the first quarter
of the year, exports of Philippine electronic products increased
significantly by 15.27% while non-electronic goods also posted
+21.48%. Positive performance of the five out of nine subsectors of
the electronics industry drive growth which contributed 96.65% share
in the cumulative total value of the industry. Semiconductors, which
grew +16.3% in the first quarter of 2017, remained to be country’s top
Increase for non-electronic
goods was driven by the triple-digit growths in Forest Products
(+168.1%) and Coconut Products (+133.1%). The rest of the contributing
commodities exhibited double-digit increases ranging from 18.7% to
89.4% except for Basketwork (+8.1%) and Travel Goods and Handbags
Top markets for Q1
Except for Japan, cumulative
value of export shipments to top market destinations of the country
posted substantive growths in the first quarter of 2017. Combined
markets of China and Hong Kong with a share of 23.6% which also grew
by 35.94% topped the list of exports destinations. Second to the list
with total 15.49% share was USA which rose by 13.66%; followed by
Japan with 15.34% total share of exports which declined by 17.41%.
In terms of year-to-date
export growth, shipments to the Netherlands, which has 4.12% share in
total exports, reflected the highest growth with 55.98%.
Army clashes NPAs,
1 soldier and 1 NPA killed
By DPAO, 8ID PA
May 11, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – A tip from a concerned citizen on the presence of armed
group in a community triggered the troops of 43rd Infantry (We Search)
Battalion to immediately respond on May 10, 2017 at 10 o’ clock in the
evening that led to a 10-minute fire fight between the military troops
and communist terrorists in the boundaries of Barangay Camayaan,
Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar and Barangay San Roque, Matuguinao,
This resulted to the death
of Pfc Jaime C Mabini Jr (Inf) PA while undergoing medical treatment
at a nearby hospital and the recovery of one (1) body count from the
As of this time, nearby
military units and CAA Detachments were alerted to conduct checkpoints
along possible entries/exits of withdrawals of the enemy.
Further, the 8ID calls for
the active participation of the community in immediately informing
nearby military units on the presence of this terrorist group in their
We are grateful to serve and
protect our beloved people of Eastern Visayas until our last breath,
committed to achieve the long lasting peace in the region. Despite of
our losses, the 8ID assures that as long as the presence of the armed
group still persists in the far flung barangays conducting mass
recruitment, collecting revolutionary taxes and instilling
psychological fear in the hearts and mind of the populace, we will
continuously conduct massive combat operation.
to change mandatory retirement age for uniformed personnel
By Office of Senator Alan
Peter S. Cayetano
May 11, 2017
PASAY CITY – Senator
Alan Peter Cayetano is proposing to adjust the compulsory retirement
age for the country's uniformed men and women from fifty-six (56) to
sixty (60) years old.
Cayetano recently filed a
measure seeking to adjust the compulsory retirement age for officers
and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), members
of the Philippine National Police (PNP), uniformed officers and
non-officers of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and members/officers
of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Bureau of Jail
Management and Penology (BJMP).
“We need more competent and
dedicated uniformed personnel to assist our government pursue its
programs to ensure peaceful, orderly, and safe communities," Cayetano
said as he filed Senate Bill No. 1436 last May 4.
Cayetano pointed out that
the tasks performed by the personnel of the PNP, BJMP, the Philippine
Coast Guard, and the BFP require long years of training and
He said he is confident that
at age 56, these personnel can still fulfill the physical, mental, and
psychological demands and rigors of their position.
Under existing laws,
civilian government employees are compulsorily retired at the age of
sixty-five (65), while the retirement age for uniformed personnel is
pegged at fifty-six (56).
personnel who have accumulated thirty years of satisfactory service or
who have reached the age of 56 are compulsorily retired.
indispensable role as protectors of the State and its citizens, the
government has heavily invested in the training and development of the
officers and members of these agencies," the senator stressed.
“We need to maximize their
years of experience and wealth of knowledge, harness their leadership
skills and professional competence until the age of 60,” he added.
Cayetano hopes that
extending the years of service would also increase the number of
qualified personnel in these respective offices.
He noted that the long-term
goal is to keep hardworking and dedicated uniformed personnel longer
in service and to remove corrupt officials and scalawags who are
destroying the image of the institutions that they serve.
"The senior officials are in
the best position to help our administration to lead the reforms in
their respective agencies,“ Cayetano noted.
“Additional years in service
would also allow these officers to have more opportunities for career
advancement,” he added.
Army encounters NPAs
anew, recovers 2 high powered rifles
By DPAO, 8ID PA
May 10, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City
– On May 10, 2017 at around 6:40 in the morning, a fire fight ensued
between the scout platoon of 78th Infantry (Warrior) Battalion and the NPA terrorist group at Barangay San Antonio, Hilongos, Leyte for about
30 minutes. Concerned villagers tipped the military troops on the
presence of the NPA group at their barangay while asking for
revolutionary extortion among the villagers.
As a result, the military troops have recovered two (2) AK-47 rifles;
six (6) magazines; 158 live ammunitions; 2 bandoleers; assorted food
stuffs and medicines; and subversive documents. No casualty was
reported on the government side while undetermined on the enemy side.
Brig Gen Mendoza, Commander of 802nd Infantry Brigade has already
coordinated with Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) to conduct
checkpoints along possible entries/exits of withdrawals of the enemy
and to verify possible accommodation of wounded enemy in nearby
The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division assures the people of
Eastern Visayas that the NPA terrorist group will not succeed on
disturbing the peace and order in the region. Thus, the continued
support of the public is greatly appreciated by the Command as a
paradigm of a good rapport between the military and the civilian
populace as partners for peace and development in the region.
Cuy to LCEs: Ensure
functionality of local peace and order, anti-illegal drugs committees
May 10, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Cognizant of the key role of local government units (LGUs) in
promoting peace and order in localities, Interior and Local Government
Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy said local chief executives (LCEs)
should ensure that all local peace and order councils and committees
are proactive and fully functional in each level of local government.
In a directive, Cuy said
that LCEs must create Local and Barangay Peace and Order Councils (LPOCs
and BPOCs) and Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (ADAC) in the provincial,
city/municipal and barangay levels as well as MASA MASID (Mamamayang
Ayaw sa Anomaliya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga) teams and
ensure that these are functioning and performing their roles and
responsibilities as stated in all relative issuances.
“Everyone must pitch in
their share to eradicate illegal drugs and to attain lasting peace in
the country,” he said.
According the Cuy, the
creation of such local committees are provided for in several
issuances such as Section 116 of the Local Government Code, Executive
Order No. 366, Section 51 of Republic Act 9165 and other DILG
"The compliance of LCEs in
safeguarding that these issuances are carried out is very crucial as
it assures that efforts for peace and order, and illegal drugs are
cascaded down to the barangays," Cuy said.
Cuy said that LCEs should
also make sure that the said committees will formulate their
respective Peace and Order Plans (POPs) and Anti-Drug Action Plans (ADACs),
and allocate substantial amount to support their operations.
"Non-compliance, of course,
merits proper sanctions to ensure that all parties are aware of their
role in the campaign for peace and order, and illegal drugs," he said.
Sanctions for non-compliance
is suspension/withdrawal of the deputation of the National Police
Commission upon consultation with the provincial governor and
congressman concerned, pursuant to RA 8551; non-approval of the
request of the LGUs for additional confidential funds granted by SILG;
and sanctions provided by the existing laws relative to the
non-performance and non-compliance of an LGU, including the officials
of the barangay, in addition to the administrative case that may be
DILG Regional and Field
offices shall collate monitoring reports of LPOCs, BPOCs and BADACs
following the schedule of regional reporting.
In the same directive, Cuy
reminded LCEs of the deadlines of required reports. POCs
accomplishment report must be submitted not later than July 15 and
January 15 of the ensuing year for 1st and 2nd semester, while POCs
secretariat accomplishment report and Peace and Order report, must be
submitted not later than April 15, July 15, October 15, and January 15
of the ensuing year for the 1st-4th quarter respectively.
On the other hand, the
monitoring report for BADAC, allocation of substantial portion in the
Barangay Budget and formulation of Barangay Anti-Drug Plan of Action
must be submitted on or before February 15 every year.
PH to draft
Philippine Human Rights Plan for next 5 years
By Office of Senator Alan
Peter S. Cayetano
May 10, 2017
PASAY CITY – A
Philippine Human Rights Action Plan under the Duterte administration
for the next five years is already being prepared.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano
reported this in his opening statement during the 3rd cycle of the
Universal Periodic Review last May 8.
In line with the
administration's commitment to uphold the rule of law and protect the
human right of all Filipinos, Cayetano said the government is in the
process of drafting a five-year human rights plan that will adopt “a
culture-sensitive perspective, gender-sensitive paradigm, and human
rights-based approach in public service.”
The plan seeks to mainstream
the government's human rights agenda in its development initiatives to
protect all, especially the most vulnerable sectors, including but not
limited to, the indigenous people, children, women, migrant workers,
the elderly, domestic workers, persons with disabilities, farmers,
laborers, and members of the LGBT community.
It should be recalled that
the Human Rights Plan of the past administration was crafted in 2012.
Cayetano cited the
President's statement during his first State of the Nation Address in
July 2016: “There can never be real, tangible and felt development
without making our people feel secure.”
The senator also highlighted
the Duterte administration's effort to augment the budget of the
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) from P439 million to P724 million.
This year’s budget of CHR is the highest since 2005.
“The provision of additional
resources for CHR, the President’s most outspoken critic, shows that
this administration supports human rights programs and initiatives,"
stressed that the issuance of an Executive Order institutionalizing
the Freedom of Information in the executive branch as well as the
installation of a direct complaint hotline - 8888 - to the Office of
the President are clear proofs that President Rodrigo Duterte is for
accountability in government.
He also noted the
government’s efforts in encouraging private sector participation in
ensuring a more effective and sustainable rehabilitation and
reintegration program for self-confessed drug users and pushers who
“The Philippine Government
under President Duterte is committed to real change, to peace and
development and to addressing the problems of poverty and inequality…
We are committed to Change. We are committed to the rule of Law. We
are committed to upholding human rights,” Cayetano concluded.
Philippine UPR Watch delegation in front of the United Nations
Building in Geneva call for a stop to extra-judicial killings in
the Philippines in time for the third cycle of the United
Nations Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the
Philippines scheduled for May 8 in Geneva, Switzerland.
members support call to stop killings in PH
May 8, 2017
BRUSSELS, Belgium –
The Philippine UPR Watch delegation met with members of the European
Parliament (MEPs) in an effort to share the human rights situation of
the Philippines and enjoin their support for the Filipino people’s
aspirations for just and lasting peace.
Francesco Giorji, attending
on behalf of Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chairperson of the European
Parliament Subcommitee for Human Rights, assured the UPR Watch
delegation of their support for the group’s calls for a stop to all
Extra-Judicial Killings in the country. He also warmly welcomed
ongoing efforts to push for the continuation of the Peace Talks
between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). Giorji was
accompanied by other members of the Sub-committee secretariat in
separate meetings that were held at the MEPs’ offices.
MEP Estefan Eck of Germany
said that he will definitely relay the UPR Watch’s message to his
colleagues at the Delegation for the Relations with the Lands of
South-East Asia and the Union of Southeast Asian states (ASEAN). Eck
is an independent and is from the Confederal Group of the United
European Left - Nordic Green Left.
Marie Christine Vergiat from
France expressed her complete agreement that genuine peace in the
country cannot be achieved unless the roots of the armed conflict in
the Philippines are resolved. While acknowledging the high degree of
difficulty of being a human rights defender in the Philippines, she
wished everyone a productive session in Geneva and thanked the
delegation for sharing their views with the European Parliament.
Vergiat is a member of the EU Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice
and Home Affairs.
The Philippine UPR Watch
delegation is in Europe for the Third Cycle of the UN Universal
Periodic Review (UN UPR) of Human Rights in the Philippines to be held
May 8 in Geneva where Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is expected to
deliver the Philippine government’s report on the implementation of
recommendations made during the previous UPR in 2012. The 3rd Cycle of
the UPR of the Philippines will cover the last three years of the
Benigno Simeon Aquino III presidency up to the first months of current
Nardy Sabino, General
Secretary of the Promotion of Church People’s Response opened the
delegation’s presentation. “The election of President Rodrigo Duterte
was brought about by the Filipino people’s frustration over the
failure of past administrations to deliver on their campaign promises…
They thus, overwhelmingly placed their votes behind the candidate who
not only promised to end corruption, poverty and criminality, but
behind someone who is largely projected and believed to have led the
“cleanest and safest” city in the country”, he added.
However, Sabino continued,
“extrajudicial killings (EJKs) attributed to President Duterte’s War
on Drugs have reached alarming proportions only after a few months
since his term started in June 2016.”
“EJKs and various other
human rights violations (HRVs) mostly directed against peasant farmers
and indigenous people under the watch of former Presidents Benigno
Simeon Aquino III and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have continued under
President Duterte,” said UPR Watch delegation member Johanna de la
Cruz of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).
“Perpetrators of these HRVs, even from the time of the dictator
Ferdinand Marcos, are not made accountable for the violations they
commit thus emboldening to continue to repress the fundamental rights
of the people”, she added.
The UPR Watch likewise
shared with the MEPs the Executive Summary of their report including
the recommendations they earlier submitted to the United Nations Human
Rights Council (UNHRC) and its member countries through their
embassies in the Philippines and Permanent Missions in the UN in
In conclusion, UPR Watch
delegation member Dr. Angie Gonzales, Coordinator of the International
Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), shared the
successes of the latest round of peace negotiations between the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in advancing the people’s
agenda for genuine development. She further pointed out that the Peace
talks hope to address the roots of the armed conflict in the country
as they are now discussing much needed socio-economic reforms.
PH does not
tolerate "police impunity", Cayetano asserts
By Office of Senator Alan
Peter S. Cayetano
May 8, 2017
PASAY CITY – Senator
Alan Peter Cayetano, during a gathering of the Filipino community in
Geneva Switzerland, asserted that under Philippine regulations, there
is no police impunity.
“Anyone killed by the police
is investigated. Although the police operations were presumed
legitimate, the presumption is not conclusive,” Cayetano said before
hundreds of Filipinos from Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Germany,
France, Belgium, UK, Italy, and Canada.
“If evidence shows that
there is (EJK) extrajudicial killing, kakasuhan po ang mga alagad ng
batas,” he added.
In a short message addressed
to attendees in the forum organized by Overseas Filipino Workers in
Switzerland, Cayetano cited that in the past, drug lords, the corrupt,
and criminals were acting with impunity.
“They’re not afraid of the
law. The police were afraid of catching them. Dahil sila pa ang
makakasuhan. The fiscals were afraid of powerful organizations,”
The Philippine National
Police-Internal Affairs Services (PNP-IAS) is mandated to conduct motu
proprio investigations during incidents a) where a police personnel
discharges a firearm; b) where death, serious physical injury or any
violation of human rights occurred in the conduct of police
operations; c) where evidence was compromised, tampered with
obliterated or lost while in the custody of police personnel; d) where
a suspect in the custody of the police was seriously injured ; and e)
where the established rules of engagement have been violated.
To prevent police impunity,
the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) and the Philippine National
Police have existing policies and guidelines to discipline their
personnel and officials. The NAPOLCOM issued MC No. 2016-002 dated 7
March 2016 revising the uniform rules of procedures before the
administrative disciplinary authorities and the PNP Internal Affairs
Cayetano, together with
Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, is in Geneva to lead the
Philippine delegation attending the Universal Periodic Review on May
The team is expected to
present the human rights-based development programs of the Philippines
and the measures adopted to fulfill its obligations to the eight (8)
International treaties ratified in the past years.
The delegation includes
representatives from the Presidential Human Rights Committee, Deputy
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Health (DOH),
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of
Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA),
the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD), the National Economic Development Authority (PDEA),
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the National Commission
on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
Hindus urge UNESCO
to deny Japan’s Okinoshima Island heritage status unless women allowed
May 8, 2017
Hindus are urging the UNESCO
World Heritage Committee, whose 41st session is meeting in Krakow
(Poland) on July 2-12, not to endorse Okinoshima Island of Japan for
the World Heritage Site status, unless women are also permitted on
“Okinoshima Island and
Related Sites in Munakata Region”, where the women are not allowed to
set foot and which is on the Tentative List under Japan in the UNESCO
World Heritage Convention since 2009, would reportedly be on the
agenda of this Committee session for nomination to World Heritage
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed,
in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Committee Chairperson
Jacek Purchla (Poland); Rapporteur Muhammad Juma (Tanzania);
Vice-Chairpersons Angola, Kuwait, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea;
and the rest 14 States Parties to either not include Okinoshima Island
on the agenda or to reject it during the meeting; unless Japan ensured
that women would be permitted in the same status as men on this
Zed, who is President of
Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that women deserved equal rights
and opportunities and this gender discrimination at the Island needed
to end right now as it was highly inappropriate and out-of-line.
Moreover; the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where
“Gender Equality” is one of the two “Global Priorities”, should not be
in business of rewarding the monuments/sites which refused to treat
women with equality and respect they deserved; Rajan Zed noted.
UNESCO, which “considers
gender equality as a fundamental human right, a building block for
social justice and an economic necessity”, should be embarrassed of
its actions of placing this Island even on its Tentative List of
heritage sites. It seemed that UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova
and Executive Board Chairperson Michael Worbs needed to re-read and
re-grasp the priorities and goals of the organization, Zed indicated.
Rajan Zed, quoting
scriptures, explained that ancient Manusmriti said: “Where women are
revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will
yield any fruit.”
Men and women were equal in
the eyes of God; Zed said, and urged His Holiness Pope Francis and
other world religious leaders to strongly speak on this gender
equality issue. How could the “men-only” island be on the UNESCO World
Heritage List? Zed wondered.
The Committee has the final
say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List. The
21 States Parties of the current World Heritage Committee are: Angola,
Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica,
Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal,
Republic of Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet
A description of Okinoshima
Island on UNESCO website includes: “where from the fourth to the tenth
centuries national religious rituals were conducted to supplicate the
gods” and “where gods descended to live in this world”. A “Nomination
Dossier” was prepared by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs for this
site in January 2016.
Watch holds human rights exhibit in Geneva
May 6, 2017
GENEVA – World Church
leader calls for minute of silence for human rights victims in
“Sisters and brothers from
the Philippines, we are following your work and we are supporting you
in raising one voice for justice. Therefore, one voice for peace.”
This was the gist of a
statement made by the World Council of Churches General Secretary Rev.
Dr. Olav Fykes Tveit in his opening remarks during the formal opening
of the photo exhibit sponsored by the UPR Watch Philippines on May 5,
2017 at the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Center in
Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Tveit called for one minute of silence to
remember the numerous victims of extrajudicial killings and political
prisoners still languishing in various detention centers in the
“We stand for those who
oppressed. We search for the truth. We let the truth speak to us and
we share it to the world,” Tveit said, referring to victims of
extra-judicial killings and political prisoners still languishing in
different Philippine jails.
WCC is the broadest and
among the most inclusive international ecumenical organization which
counts among its members 345 protestant churches, institutions and
church fellowship with an ECOSOC status with the United Nations.
The photo exhibit organized
by the Philippine UPR Watch is part of a series of events organized by
the Philippine UPR Watch in time for the 3rd Cycle of the Universal
Periodic Review of the Philippines. The exhibit showcases various
photographs by top Filipino photojournalists that graphically depicts
cases of human rights violations under both the present and past
administrations. It focused on the brutality of the anti-drug campaign
being waged by the Duterte Government. The exhibit also portrays the
plight of political prisoners and other forms of human rights
violations perpetrated against the indigenous peoples and national
“It is of utmost concern for
us that despite the UPR, human rights violations still occur in the
Philippines, and is in fact worsening. What is even worst is the fact
that both the Aquino and the Duterte Administrations are dismissive of
the accusations that human rights violations were, and are being
committed under their watch,” said Atty. Ephraim B. Cortez, secretary
general, National Union of Peoples Lawyers Secretary General who gave
an overview on the objectives of the photo exhibit.
Sharon Cabusao Silva of
Gabriela, a political prisoner under the Aquino government and
spokesperson for the Free our Sisters, Free Ourselves campaign gave an
account on the plight of women political prisoners currently
languishing in different jails in the Philippines. “They are accused
of trumped-up charges and are being tried even as there is no evidence
linking them to the crime.” Cabusao-Silva cited the case of Miradel
Torres who was falsely accused of murder. “In a hearing, PAO Chief
Persida Acosta, who defends Torres in the case, was able to make the
sole prosecution witness admit that his entire testimony was based
merely on a military intelligence report listing the names of all
activists in the area where the supposed ambush of military men by the
New People’s Army took place. Torres was four months pregnant at that
time, and had taken time off from her organizing work for GABRIELA
Southern Luzon when the supposed ambush took place.” Inspite of this,
Cabusao-Silva said, “Miradel’s trial continues and she has now been
incarcerated for almost four years while her two young sons grow up in
Secretary of Health and NNC Executive Director Maria-Bernardita
Flores (left) presented to Health Secretary Paulyn Rosell-Ubial
the PPAN 2017-2022 Executive Summary during its launching on May
2, 2017 in Iloilo City.
PPAN launched to
curb malnutrition in next 6 years
May 5, 2017
TAGUIG CITY – All is
set for the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022
in addressing malnutrition in the country for the next six years as it
was officially launched on 2 May 2017 in Iloilo City. Health Secretary
Paulyn Ubial led the national launch together with other members of
the Governing Board of the National Nutrition Council.
Anchored on the Philippine
Development Plan, the PPAN is the country’s contribution to the
attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United
Nations, particularly SDG 2 which is to end hunger, achieve food
security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Moreover, PPAN 2017-2022 also aims to support the World Health
Assembly Global Target to improve maternal, infant and young child
nutrition by 2025.
The new PPAN is a
results-based plan designed to achieve significant reductions in
different forms of malnutrition such as wasting, stunting,
micronutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity in the
Philippines. It was constructed based on a landscape situational
analysis of nutrition in the Philippines which shows that the
prevalence of malnutrition in various forms remain high.
Based on the National
Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research
Institute (FNRI) in 2015, 33.4% or 3.8 million children are stunted
while 7.1% or 807,057 are wasted. It also showed that overnutrition
manifesting as overweight and obesity are emerging health concerns
among children and a major problems among adults with 18 million
Filipinos who are overweight and obese.
which adversely affects a child’s survival also remains a public
health concern. Among pregnant women, 24.8% are nutritionally at risk
with iodine deficiency disorder affecting brain development of unborn
and very young children. The cost of malnutrition greatly affects the
country’s economy with a total loss of P328 Billion in 2013 due to
impacts of child stunting on education and productivity.
As key to achieving
improvement in nutritional outcomes, PPAN’S strategic thrusts are the
First 1,000 Days of life, complementation of nutrition-specific and
nutrition-sensitive programs, intensified mobilization of local
government units and reaching Geographically Isolated and
Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) and communities of indigenous peoples.
The new PPAN features 8
nutrition-specific programs devised to address the immediate causes of
malnutrition such as inadequate food and nutrient intake, poor
caregiving and parenting practices, and the burden of infectious
diseases. This will be complemented by nutrition-sensitive programs
which are already existing developmental programs that can be tweaked
to produce nutritional outcomes. These programs will be enabled by
intensive mobilization of LGUs which will involve capacity-building
and mentoring on nutrition program management.
The PPAN 2017-2022 was
approved by the NNC Governing Board during its 1st meeting on 21
PH startup to
revolutionize postal system
May 4, 2017
MAKATI – The
Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade and Investment
Center (PTIC) in Singapore is working closely with four Filipinos from
Cebu who are presently based in Singapore, to officially introduce
Geopik, an app that will revolutionize the postal system in the
Filipinos Francisco Liwa,
Ivan Lacuesta, Rodessa Padrigano and John Ryan Loyloy utilize the
digital address system using geohashing and geolocation technologies
similar to that used by apps such as Waze or Google Maps.
Geopik converts long
addresses or the absence of house numbers which is common in the
Philippines, into more exact, customizable and easy-to-remember single
codes. The app reduces the hassle brought by additional information to
the actual address such as “house with blue gate, in front of a mango
tree” by simply converting addresses to simple digital codes.
Seeing the inefficiency in
the Philippines’ postal coding, the PH startup Geopik set out to offer
a solution to e-commerce, logistics, and other location-dependent
“It’s such a unique
experience to help build something and be part of its growth from the
very beginning. This is our way of taking charge of our future and
making an impact back home in the process,” said GeoPik co-founder
Aligned with the Philippine
government’s thrust to develop an innovative entrepreneurial culture,
DTI supports startups and helps strengthen the innovation ecosystem in
the country through various initiatives such engaging startup
In 2016, DTI launched the
QBO Innovation Hub situated at the DTI International Building, Makati
City. It is the first public-private innovation hub in the Philippines
that aims to provide support services to startup and innovation
entrepreneurs. The DTI partners with incubator and accelerator
Ideaspace Foundation, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST),
and JP Morgan.
In Singapore, parallel
initiatives are being done by the PTIC led by Commercial Counsellor
Glenn Peñaranda, who engages with the Filipino community by speaking
at investment seminars and online channels on entrepreneurship with
the goal of providing more job opportunities for Filipinos.
“Startups play a pivotal
role in driving innovation and economic growth hence we are happy to
help GeoPik reach out to decision-makers and to potential users. We
also look forward to work with more Filipino startups here in
Singapore and the region and help them scale up,” said Commercial
of the MAALSADA FISCO (second from L) pose with (from L) Eulalio
Lagapa Jr., LBP-Lending Center Head; Maria Ugay, LBP Account
Officer; Roberto Cajipe, Development Facilitator; and Lilibeth
Imperial, DAR-Leyte APCP Coordinator, after having been
commended for their outstanding performance as program conduit
under the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP).
DAR, LBP commend 7
Leyte farmers organizations
By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
May 3, 2017
TACLOBAN CITY – Seven
agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) in Leyte province
were recently commended by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and
the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for their outstanding
performance as program conduits.
LBP-Lending Center Account
Officer Maria Ugay disclosed that the seven ARBOs who availed of loans
under the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) for their members
in 2016 were able to settle their respective accounts before the due
dates despite the member-farmer’s encountering losses in last year’s
Recognized during the recent
quarterly assessment and consultation were the Pastrana ARC Farmers
Organization (Pastrana, Leyte); MAALSADA FISCO (Alangalang, Leyte);
BAKDAW FISCO (Tabontabon, Leyte); Merida Agricultural Diversified
Services Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Merida, Leyte); Liberty Farmers
Savings and Credit Cooperative (Palompon, Leyte); Himamara Agrarian
Farmers Association (Mahaplag, Leyte) and the Tugas Farmers Agrarian
Reform Association (Bato, Leyte).
According to Zosimo
Estabillo, chairman of the Pastrana ARC Farmers Organization, they
used the association’s fund first in paying their obligation to the
bank as they collect additional 4.5 percent from members who availed
of the said loan.
Provincial Agrarian Reform
Program Officer-1 Paulina Canales explained that the quarterly
assessment and consultation is a venue for the ARBOs to air their
problems encountered especially on reasons why the member creditor
couldn’t pay his or her obligation.
During this occasion,
Canales added, a representative from the LBP-Lending Center offers
solutions to the affected ARBOs to avoid being penalized.
Likewise, a representative
from the Philippine Crop Insurance Company (PCIC) is invited to
explain to the ARBOs how the farmers could avail of crop insurance to
protect them from severe losses in times of calamities or pest
Further, Meneleo Medino,
PCIC representative, encouraged the farmers to apply for crop
insurance for only P50 a year.
Common problem encountered
by the farmers during the last cropping season was the intense dry
spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon.
Meanwhile, Eulalio Lagapa
Jr., LBP-Lending Center Head, encouraged the ARBOs to maintain a good
standing so they could qualify for the said bank’s regular credit
programs when APCP ends.
DAR Regional Director Sheila
Enciso stressed that APCP is one of the agency’s support programs in
partnership with LBP and the Department of Agriculture extended to
ARBOs by offering agricultural production loans at 7.5 percent
interest rate per annum.
Estabillo described the
interest rate as much lower compared to that of traders who offer
credit assistance to farmers at the start of the cropping season.
In 2016, Ugay said, LBP
released P26.57 million to 35 ARBOs in Leyte and Biliran provinces
serving as conduits to 1,233 members who applied for APCP loan.
IRC, PBSP turn over
potable water systems to Iloilo farmers
April 28, 2017
CEBU CITY – For the
250 farmer-households from Iloilo, the search for safe drinking water
With support from global
donor International Rescue Committee (IRC)and Philippine Business for
Social Progress (PBSP), two level 2 potable water systems were
installed in Barangay Cano-an of Estancia and Barangay Cabagohan of
The potable water system
project aims to support the province of Iloilo in addressing water
security issues in its poor communities, which further worsened when
Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the province last November 2013.
Both potable water systems
feature improved source tanks, chlorinators, transmission,
distribution and service pipes, and tap stands that allow households
easy access to water.
Aside from these potable
water systems, the project also installed chlorinators in three
barangay water systems in Simsiman and Guiso located in Calinog,
Iloilo and Agusipan in Badiangan, Iloilo. The chlorinators benefited
240 households, who now have direct access to safe drinking water.
Addressing the national
demand for water is one of PBSP’s flagship initiatives. In 2015, its
business leaders with the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) formed the Water Alliance to help find solutions
to the water security crises. The alliance focuses on rehabilitating
critical watersheds, adopting measures to lower water footprint and
treating wastewater at industry levels, and building the capacities of
water service providers.
Envisioned to become the
platform for companies to discuss issues on water security and access,
the Water Alliance already has 46 members from the business sector and
other stakeholders. To date, the Water Alliance has provided rural
water system projects as well as provided volunteer experts to help
assess and design water community systems for waterless areas. It has
also pooled the support from other companies to help manage and
conserve critical watersheds through upland and mangrove
Loreto M. Cedro (R) symbolically turns over files of the
Assistant District Engineer’s Office to the newly installed OIC
Assistant District Engineer Denis Cagomoc.
2 SFDEO key
officials assume higher positions
By MARIAH KIM L. OITE
April 28, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY – Under
and by the virtue of Special Orders No. 53 and 54 series of 2017
released on April 4, 2017, Samar First District Engineering Office’s
two key officials are elevated into higher positions.
Former Chief of Planning and
Design Section, Engr. Denis C. Cagomoc is designated as
Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Assistant District Engineer of
the same office which is vacated by Engr. Loreto M. Cedro.
Meanwhile, Engr. Cedrois
designated as Officer-in-Charge-Chief, Planning and Design Division of
DPWH Regional Office No. VIII, Palo, Leyte.
Spearheaded by District
Engineer Alvin A. Ignacio together with the Section Chiefs of Samar I,
the turn-over ceremony cum send-off party to the key officials is made
just recently at Samar I Covered Court.
Former ADE Cedro heartily
thanks District Engineer Alvin A. Ignacio for supporting him and his
endeavors during his stay in the office while the new ADE vowed to
continue what the former has started for the best interest of the
Both are directed to perform
the duties and assume the responsibilities appurtenant to the above
mentioned positions pursuant to the provisions of Section 6 and 37 of
Executive Order No. 124.
NPA responds to
Gen. Farnacio’s claim: It’s not us but the AFP that private armies in
Samar are close to
By Efren Martires Command,
April 24, 2017
SAMAR – The Efren
Martires Command of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today
told Maj. Gen. Raul Farnacio, chief of the 8th Infantry Division of
the Philippine Army, not to pass the buck to the NPA over the abject
failure or in fact the reluctance of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines to stamp out private armies in Samar province.
“Private armies have nothing
in common with the NPA but a lot with the AFP – some hired goons are
even CAFGU paramilitaries,” said the NPA’s regional command. “For
example, in Matuguinao there is a group of CAFGU elements under the
43rd IB who are also hired goons of politicians and who have already
killed at least ten peasants without having been brought to account
yet. We can identify two of these CAFGU elements as Jovic “Laloy”
Oblado, the ringleader and henchman of Mayor Antonieto Cabueños of
Gandara, and Jonas Boller, who is suspected of killing peasant
activist Rex Arandia last September 2016.”
The EMC also dismissed Gen.
Farnacio’s claim the NPA is in the pockets of corrupt politicians just
like the private armies as a far-fetched fabrication. “Gen. Farnacio
should know the NPA has publicly announced it has been ordered by the
people’s court to arrest the two most bloodthirsty politicians in
Samar province, Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino and San Jorge Mayor
Meanwhile, up in Northern
Samar, the NPA has also publicly declared it is ready to carry out any
decision of the people’s court against the two most corrupt and
anti-people politicians, Congressman Raul Daza as well as former
Congressman Emil Ong, who leads the ruling dynasty in the province.”
On the other hand, said the
NPA regional command, the AFP has been not only failed to crush the
private armies despite much posturing, but has lately been criticized
for causing mass evacuations of peasants in Calbiga. “The
much-ballyhooed AFP crackdown on private armies has proven inutile in
the face of their continuing killings even of women and children,
particularly in Calbayog and San Jorge. Private armies cannot be
dismantled without their warlords first being brought to justice. If
that is impossible, it is evident the AFP is likewise defending the
local tyrants who are often big landlords and warlords, and who thus
remain untouchable despite their hideous crimes. These local tyrants
often collaborate with the 8th ID in using paramilitaries, supporting
NPA surrender campaigns, harassing the people against supporting the
NPA, and committing criminal activities such as spreading illegal
“Moreover, the 8th ID under
Gen. Farnacio has been receiving flak over the mass evacuation of more
than 500 families in Calbiga, Samar in protest over militarization.
The AFP once again shows itself as no different in committing human
rights violations against the people.
“The AFP and private armies
are thus opposite sides of the same coin coin as defenders of the
reactionary ruling system. They are the reason for the rise and
prestige of the NPA as the genuine army of the people against the
armed minions of the state. As far as the NPA is concerned, doing away
with private armies is part of the revolutionary struggle, because
justice is essential for lasting peace.”
MWEs real income fell to
P250 - P361 versus P393 needed by family to survive in 1 day
30 million ‘Endo’ workers
fall deeper into poverty in January 2017
April 22, 2017
QUEZON CITY – Despite
the country’s consistent high economic growth, thirty million
short-term contractual, minimum-waged earners remained a working poor
as the value of purchasing power of their daily wage remained below
the standard poverty threshold level, the country’s biggest labor
group labor group the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of
the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said yesterday.
However, these minimum-waged
earners who helped built the country’s high economic wealth are living
way below standard poverty line. Their chances to get out of poverty
by way of job regularization and security of tenure on employment is
forever shut by the recent issuance of Department Order 174.
Rather than prohibiting
contractualization, DO 174 of the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) ‘legalize’ and perpetuate contractualization. Aside from having
no security of tenure because their work for less than 6 months,
contractual workers are forever tied to minimum wage.
The National Economic
Development Authority (NEDA) set the Poverty Threshold Level or the
standard amount needed by a family of five for them to survive in a
month in the year 2015 is P9,064 or P393 a day.
In a monitoring made by the
ALU-TUCP on the behavior of workers’ purchasing power vis-a-vis cost
of living, the real value of Endo workers’ nominal P491 daily minimum
wage in Metro Manila fell to P361.30 in January 2017 which is
equivalent to P8,671.20 a month, according to data from the country’s
wage board the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).
The average real wage amount
in regions outside National Capital Region, on one hand, is P250 a day
or equivalent to P6,000 per month.
Thus, the buying powers of
minimum wages P361 in Metro Manila and P250 in regions outside NCR are
inadequate compared with the P393 amount needed by a family to survive
in a day.
It means, minimum-waged
workers needs least P32 more and P143 more on top of their daily pay
for workers within and outside Metro Manila respectively to stay
within the threshold and considered not poor.
“There has been no inclusive
growth for MWEs because the buying power of minimum wage is going
downward amid rising prices of basic necessities and cost of services.
Because they have no savings and inadequate government support
programs, minimum waged workers are so vulnerable that if they get
sick, if they get late or absent from their work, or any small price
hike shocks, they fall deeper and deeper into poverty,” said ALU-TUCP
spokesman Alan Tanjusay.
The Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) estimated there are 7 out of 10 of the 43 million
workers are employed as contractuals working in less than six-month
short-term employment receiving mandated minimum wage.
Tanjusay said the ALU-TUCP
offer various pragmatic measures towards helping workers cope with
growing inflation. He said government should ban contractualization,
provide a minimal cash amount by way of monthly subsidy while
reinforcing government’s enforcement of compliance to labor and price
Employers, on the other
hand, could help their employees cope with poverty by voluntarily
providing across-the-board wage increase and implement in-house
programs providing their employees with cash and non-cash benefits,
Government define poverty
threshold as the minimum income required to meet food and non-food
needs of a family of five including clothing, housing, transportation,
health and educational expenses.
encounters NPAs, recovers 3 high powered firearms
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 21, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – A tip-off from a concerned citizen on the presence
of an armed group at Sitio Ogbok, Barangay Villa Aurora, Basey, Samar
on April 18, 2017 prompted the troops from 87th Infantry (Hinirang)
Battalion to conduct a reconnaissance patrol to confirm the validity
of the information on the alleged NPA safe house. As the troops
cautiously approach the alleged safe house, they were fired upon by
the communist terrorists. Government troops retaliated in defense
which the communist terrorists scampered in different directions.
This campaign resulted to
the recovery of two (2) 5.56mm M16A1 Rifles with SN 033681 and
9021623; one (1) magazine assembly (30 rounds) steel; one (1) magazine
assembly (30 rounds) plastic; one (1) magazine assembly (20 rounds)
steel and 48 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition.
Meanwhile, in the early
morning of April 19, 2017, troops from 87th IB while conducting a
reconnaissance patrol within their area of operation encountered
undetermined number of communist terrorists at the vicinity of
Barangay Borong, Calbiga, Samar. This resulted also to the recovery of
one (1) M16A1 Rifle. No casualty reported on the government side while
undetermined on the enemy as evidenced by the bloodstains seen on
their route of withdrawal.
Your Army in Eastern Visayas
Region will ensure that the armed group, with whom the government is
talking peace with, will be unable to use force or threaten to use
force as leverage in the negotiating table. 8ID stands ready to
respond and address any such attempt by armed threat groups.
along Naval-Caibiran Cross-Country Road is on-going on the
embankment activities and installation of scaffoldings of
drainage with an accomplishment of 7% as of March 31, 2017. The
projects were prioritized because of its potential for
development with the vision to accommodate huge number of road
users. The completion of this project will increase the capacity
of the existing roads and improves the safety aspect of said
sections. This road also leads to the only Provincial Hospital
and Port of the Province.
starts construction of CY 2017 regular infra projects
By NEO JAY CAGABHION
April 19, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – The
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) has already started its CY 2017 Regular
Infrastructure project implementation. With over P940M projects to
complete this year, this district office is up for the challenge.
As of March 2017, 12
projects out of 52 projects below P50M are already on its full swing.
Among these projects are repair of six (6) bridges and extension of
two (2) flood control structures.
DPWH-Biliran DEO have also
started project implementation on Turn-out (loading and unloading
bays) in Kawayan,Biliran and Widening of Naval to Caibiran Cross
Country Road specifically within the limits of Capiñahan, Naval,
Biliran and the Municipality of Kawayan.
The usual flooding that
occurs along Sanggalang Highway will no longer be a problem since the
project on rehabilitating the road and reconstructing a larger
reinforced box culvert has already commenced. Soon this problem will
just be a thing of the past.
These projects are just the
start and 19 more projects are expected to start on April this year.
Soon, DPWH-Biliran DEO will be able to begin full implementation on
the remaining projects and take up the challenge of completing these
infrastructures before this year ends.
DPWH PIOs conducts
1st quarter meeting/workshop
By FRECHBEE L. SABILE
April 19, 2017
BILIRAN – Public
Information Officers (PIO) of the Department of Public Works and
Highways of Region VIII held their first quarterly PIO Conference/
Workshop on March 29, 2017 at Summer’s Garden, Catbalogan City.
Biliran District Engineering
Office were represented by Engr. Gene F. Delfin, Engineer II (PIO
Alternate) and Engr. Frechbee L. Sabile, Engineer I.
The workshop focuses on the
topics “Journalism and Workshop on Layouting using Indesign and
Publisher Applications with resource speaker, Mr. Bryan Azura,
newswriter of Sinirangan News Plus.
Discussed during the
workshop was about the Microsoft Publisher 2010, its parts, the do’s
and don’ts to make a good newsletter that can provide information of
interest to the readers, and how to layout a newsletter using it.
Comparison between Indesign
and Publisher Application were also discussed by the resource speaker
to know if which one is more advance and easier to use in layouting a
After the discussion, the
participants from the different districts present their previous
newsletters for the critiquing.
It was found out that most
of the participants needs to change their way of lay-outing the
pictures in their newsletters to remain the quality of the photos.
Participants were also advised not to insert the captions inside the
photos so that the readers will not be distracted.
According to Azura, every
space in the paper is equivalent to money, thus they need to maximize
their writings in the page. However, Azura complemented the
participants for their organized thoughts in newswriting giving the
readers an informative news.
After the workshop, Ms.
Antonieta R. Lim, Regional PIO II gave updates on the new DPWH
memorandum and the plans for the next quarterly workshop/ meeting.
The one day conference was
hosted by Eastern Samar District Engineering Office and Samar 2nd
District Engineering Office.
P3 guidelines set;
DTI to introduce national conduits
April 18, 2017
MAKATI CITY – As funds for
the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) expected to be released
anytime soon, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its
micro-financing arm Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) have ironed
out the guidelines of its implementation that will help micro
entrepreneurs throughout the country.
Being the administration’s
program to provide an affordable micro-financing for the country’s
micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the P3 funding program
provides micro enterprises an alternative source of financing that is
easy to access and made available at a reasonable cost.
"We’re very much excited
because this is our vision in the agency – to help underprivileged by
giving better chances to elevate from poverty. Through this
micro-financing program, those from the bottom of the pyramid will get
to climb the ladder by expanding their businesses,” DTI Regional
Operations Group (DTI-ROG) Supervising Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez is
set to introduce the national conduits and local Micro-financing
Institutions (MFIs) for the P3 program.
The Pondo sa Pagbabago at
Pag-asenso (P3) is a P1 billion financing program intended to give
MSMEs better access to finance and to reduce their cost of borrowing.
The fund will also give priority to the country’s 30 poorest
Following President Rodrigo
Duterte’s directive to replace the “5-6” money lending system, the P3
is also seen to help stabilize supply and cost of commodities in
public markets, encourage small entrepreneurs to grow their
businesses, and offer employment and generate income for Filipinos.
The P1 billion fund of the
P3 program from the Office of the President will be coursed through
the SB Corp., which will accredit partner institutions such as
non-bank MFIs, cooperatives and associations to serve as conduit for
the P3 funds. With borrowers identified through these, collection of
repayments will be efficient.
“We’re very grateful that
this Program has become a reality. MSMEs now have an option to avail
of cheaper funds to expand their business,” Maglaya explained.
The P3 Program was launched
in Tacloban in Leyte on January 25, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on
January 27, and Alabel, Sarangani last January 30.
The primary beneficiaries of
the P3 Program are microenterprises and entrepreneurs that do not have
easy access to credit. These include market vendors, agri-businessmen
and members of cooperatives, and industry associations.
P3 will also make it easy
for borrowers since it will only require minimal documentation
requirement; easy to access with only one (1) day processing of
application; low cost interest at 2.5% per month; and easy payment
with collection on a weekly or daily basis, as necessary.
Loan amounts to
end-borrowers will range between P5,000 and P100,000, with no
PH exports continue
to grow, up by 11% in Feb 2017
April 18, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Philippine exports posted an increase of 11% with total sales of
$4.782 billion for the month of February 2017, marking its third month
of positive growth according to a report released by the Philippine
Statistics Authority (PSA).
For February 2017, eight out
of ten top major Philippine exported goods rose with electronic
products comprising 51.6% of the total exports revenue amounting to
$2.470 billion compared to $2.131 billion registered in the same
period last year. Other products that increased include cathodes and
sections of cathodes, of refined copper (946.9%); other mineral
products (107.5%); coconut oil (66.5%); electronic equipment and parts
(64.9%); metal components (29.4%); other manufactures (20.1%);
electronic products (15.9%); and chemicals (9.6%).
United States (US) topped
other Philippine export destinations for the said month, accounting
for 15.6% to total exports with receipts valued at $745.22 million. It
is followed by Japan with 15.25% share with revenues amounting to
The increase in February
2017 exports lifted the cumulative value of merchandise exports by
17.36% for the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period in
2016, based on preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics
Continued export growth can
be attributed to the significant increase of Philippine electronic
products by 13.24% in the first two months of 2017. This stemmed from
the positive performance of the six out of nine subsectors of the
industry which contributed 96.74% share in the cumulative total value
of the industry.
Department of Trade and
Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) noted that the increasing
efforts of the Philippines in strengthening ties with its ASEAN
neighbors including China is expected to sustain the growth of the
sector in the coming months.
“Enhancing trade promotion
efforts to huge consumer markets is seen as a viable strategy in
sustaining the performance of Philippine exports in the coming
months,” said DTI-EMB Director Senen M. Perlada.
As the Philippines serves
host for this year’s ASEAN Summit, the country is pushing for the
conclusion of the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP) negotiations. RCEP is the free trade agreement
being advocated by the ASEAN 10-member states with its six (6)
dialogue partners including China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New
Zealand, and India.
"RCEP is the chance to
balance the country’s trade deficit, especially with China,"
trade-oriented economies in Asia, the Philippines placed 9th in terms
of exports growth, a decline after it placed third last month. Vietnam
topped the list for February 2017 with 29.6% recorded exports growth,
a significant increase after dropping to among the worst performers
for January 2017.
“We see a trend of recovery
among economies in the first two months of 2017. For us in the
Philippines, the numbers are healthy. While we ranked 9th for this
month, on a year-to-date (YTD) analysis among selected trade-oriented
economies, we placed third in terms of export growth. This is a signal
of a robust export sector,” explained Perlada.
NPA threats led to
massive evacuation in Calbiga
By DPAO, 8ID PA
April 11, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – About 549 household from the barangays of Cambagtic, Bulao,
San Mauricio, Guimbanga, Minata, Sinalangtan, Caamlungan, Binangaran,
Daligan and Buluan all of Calbiga, Samar fled their respective
communities to seek shelter to the town gymnasium from April 4-7,
One of the Barangay Chairmen
from upper barangay claimed that residents were forced to evacuate on
the grounds of threat from communist terrorists that they will conduct
an attack against the 87th IB troops at the said area and they were
ordered purportedly by the New People's Army to troop down to avoid
being caught in a possible crossfire with government troops. The
passing of the villagers of Canbagtic to other barangays spread like
wildfire of the above mentioned rumors which the residents panicked
and also evacuated, triggering a mass exodus to the town gymnasium.
Combined efforts of 87th IB,
Municipal Police Station (MPS), Municipal Social Welfare and
Development (MSWD) and Local Government Unit (LGU) reached at a
dialogue with the evacuees to solve the current situation represented
by their respective Barangay Chairmen, agreed to convince the
residents to return to their community.
Local DSWD distributed
relief goods to the evacuees and the LGU of Calbiga provided trucks
for transportation back to their respective barangays. Most of the
evacuees returned to their communities but some refused and opted to
stay at the covered court as of press time.
Your Army in Eastern Visayas
is deploying community peace and developments teams which are
encouraging community based initiatives defined by the local
communities, with local government units coordinating efforts against
insurgency, geared towards presenting long-term solutions while at the
same time addressing the immediate needs of the local community.
A month before the UN
review on PH rights compliance:
cases of political killings under Duterte to UN
April 11, 2017
QUEZON CITY – In a
letter of allegation submitted to the United Nations Special
Rapporteur on Extrajudicial/Summary or Arbitrary Executions Ms. Agnes
Callamard yesterday, April 10, 2017, Karapatan submitted documentation
on forty-seven (47) victims of extrajudicial killings in the
Philippines under the Duterte administration, in line with the
continuing counter-insurgency program of the government.
The said cases were
submitted a month before May 8, 2017, the 3rd cycle of the Universal
Periodic Review on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council, a
process whereby the human rights record of a country will be examined
by other State. The period under review covers the last four years of
the Aquino administration and the first months of the Duterte
government. Karapatan also submitted similar complaints during the
Arroyo and Aquino administrations.
“The victims of killings are
peasants, indigenous peoples and workers; many faced harassment and
villification by the military because of their advocacy and actions to
defend people’s rights and are thus considered as human rights
defenders,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, in her
letter to Callamard. Karapatan urged Callamard to consider,
investigate, make recommendations and take any appropriate actions on
“Despite the 2008 report to
the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Philippines by your
predecessor, Prof. Philip Alston, strong recommendations on
extrajudicial killings perpetrated as part of counter-insurgency
programs, was unheeded both by the Arroyo and Aquino governments.
Throughout both administrations, political killings of peasants,
indigenous peoples, Moro, workers, women and youth continued and
intensified. Under Arroyo, Karapatan documented at least 1,206
individual victims of extrajudicial killing. Under Aquino, there were
334 victims of extrajudicial killing,” Palabay explained.
Karapatan said that “under
Duterte, from July 2016 to March 31, 2017, a total of 47 cases of
political killings have been documented by Karapatan.”
“These killings are all in
the context of the counter-insurgency programs implemented from one
regime to another that supposedly seek to end the armed rebellion of
revolutionary movements in the Philippines. From Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay
Laya, Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan and to the current Oplan Kapayapaan of
Duterte, these counter-insurgency programs have victimized thousands
of Filipinos, including struggling communities, tagged as “enemies of
the State,” she further stated.
Karapatan expressed hope
“that Callamard’s findings about the gravity of political killings in
the Philippines will convince the Duterte government to completely
junk counterinsurgency programs of which EJKs are a major aspect, to
issue strong warnings to and prosecute EJK perpetrators, and continue
to pursue his efforts at attaining just and lasting peace with the
NDFP and the Moro liberation movements.”
Palabay said they are
working with Rise Up, a campaign network of faith-based institutions
and people’s organizations, in preparing similar complaints that will
be filed at the UN on cases of extrajudicial killings in line with the
Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
Karapatan is also in the
process of preparing documentation on other cases of human rights
violations such as illegal arrest and detention of civilians and
activists, forcible evacuation and bombing of communities, which will
be forwarded to relevant mandate holders. The organization also
co-convenes the Philippine UPR Watch, a network of faith-based and
human rights organizations that engages in the UPR process which will
send a delegation of human rights defenders to the UPR this May.
Car Awards Group,
Inc. (CAGI) kick starts a packed 2017 season
April 6, 2017
MANILA – To start the
ball rolling for the new 2017 season, the Car Awards Group, Inc. (CAGI)
held their momentous launch events at the Manila International Auto
Show (MIAS) at the World Trade Center in Pasay City last March 31,
With the continuous vision
of keeping the Filipino consumer informed of the best cars for sale in
the market, CAGI not only kick started the rigorous search for the
best vehicles contending in the Car of the Year Philippines (COTY-P)
and Truck of the Year Philippines (TOTY-P) awards, but also opened the
doors to the world of two-wheelers with the inauguration of the
Motorcycle of the Year Philippines (MOTY-P).
“By welcoming new blood into
our fold, the organization is expanding its reach, and tapping into
the expertise of the motorcycle media to adapt our successful model,”
said CAGI president Ronald de los Reyes during a speech.
"We believe that it's about
time that we also give due recognition to our fellow two-wheeled
contemporaries on the road," he added.
Special guests representing
various sectors of government graced the launching ceremonies, such as
Department of Tourism assistant secretary Inaki Jose and Department of
Public Works and Highways undersecretary Atty. Karen Jimeno.
"The state of our country's
infrastructure affects our car preferences,” Jimeno mentioned in her
speech as she related the event to current local issues.
Since 2004, CAGI prides
itself of holding annual test fests, where all vehicle entries go
through a strict process of classification and sorting, before they
are subjected to qualitative (consumer) and quantitative (performance)
testing. Qualitative testing uses predetermined consumer metrics like
the ride, fit, and feel, while quantitative testing uses GPS-based
hardware to measure handling, braking and acceleration. Each year,
winners for each category are announced, and from that winning pool
emerges the year’s COTY-P, TOTY-P and this time, the MOTY-P.
“We expect more than a 100
motor vehicles consisting of cars, pickups and motorcycles to be
tested this season,” de los Reyes shared.
Aside from the official
launch in MIAS, the usual Test Fest in September and October; and the
awards night in November, this year’s season will include various
dealer talks in April and May, test demonstrations in June and July,
and the television special in December – thus further adding more
excitement to the jam-packed season.
For the third straight year,
www.Carmudi.com.ph presents this endeavor while internationally
respected auditing firm KPMG is once again on-board as partner. The
latter will be in-charge of all the data handling during the testing
process, which consists of data gathering, tabulation, and up to the
final audit and release of the official results.
Car Awards Group, Inc. is
comprised of members from the following media entities: Business
Mirror, Cebu Daily News, Daily Tribune, Malaya Business Insight,
Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, The
Manila Times, Bulgar, Abante Tonite, Mindanao Daily News, AQ Magazine,
Autocar.Ph, C! Magazine, Motorcycle Magazine, Power Wheels Magazine,
Top Gear Philippines, 2nerMagazine.com, Carmudi Magazine, Iginition.ph,
Interaksyon.com, Kotse.com, ManilaSpeak.com, MotionCars.com, Ride and
Drive Phils., Speed by MP Turbo, SprocketPh.com, TessDrive.com,
TimeAttackManila.com, Yugatech.com, DZMM, Inside Motoring on DZRJ 810
AM, Mellow 94.7, Motoring sa DZME, The Motoring Page on Mellow 94.7
FM, ABS-CBN, Auto Review, Spotlight TV.
bureaucratic red tape on SRP setting
April 6, 2017
MAKATI CITY –
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez recently
(April 5) convened the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) to
closely evaluate the price and supply situation of basic necessities
and prime commodities during the first quarter of this year.
During the meeting, DTI
discussed its stand to deregulate the setting of Suggested Retail
Prices (SRP) on certain commodities to reduce bureaucratic red tape in
the system, while it continues to closely monitor the movement of
prices of products and ensure fair trade in the market.
DTI clarified that there
will still be SRPs on manufactured products but it can be set by the
companies themselves for guidance of the supermarkets and consumers.
These SRPs will still be closely monitored by DTI.
“We can let the companies
set the SRPs because products with competitive market players and
several brands, both locally produced and imported, have their
‘self-correcting mechanism’ on their prices,” said Sec. Lopez.
“In fact, prices of brands
and commodities that do not pass the approval system of DTI before
remained stable and some are even declining because of competition” he
Sec. Lopez believes that
liberalizing price setting would help spur competition among
industries and would further improve their product quality.
“DTI would prioritize the
protection of the consumers by ensuring that industries have a
competitive business environment that allows entry of brands and
players in the market and give the consumers the widest range of
choice,” the trade chief said.
“We will continue to closely
monitor the prices of basic goods, and will have the oversight
function to enforce regulation of irregular price increases,” added
Sec. Lopez, ensuring commitment to consumer protection.
The NPCC will work with DTI
on analyzing the industry structure and streamlining the process of
price regulation to create a more efficient and effective system for
both manufacturers and consumers. DTI would also be working with the
Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to continuously review the
industries' structure, and the play of competitive forces, that will
ensure optimum competition and best options for quality
products/services and affordable price points for consumers.
Samar I proposes
P302.932 million tourism projects
By LEVIRESA GETIGAN-BARNIZO
April 5, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Samar First District
Engineering Office (SFDEO) proposes a total amount of P302,932,000.000
for four (4) tourism projects under its jurisdiction for the year 2018
under the DPWH-DOT Convergence program.
A project cost amounting to
P200 Million is proposed for the Improvement/Construction of 5.660
kilometers Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) with 6.1 meters
width and 230 mm. thickness of Sto. Niño Circumferential Road, Sto.
Some P30 Million is proposed
for the concreting of 900.0 linear meters PCCP with 3.0 meters half
lane width and 230 mm thickness, Access Road from Brgy. Rizal II
leading to Mapaso Hotspring, Oquendo District, Calbayog City, Samar.
Meanwhile, some P50 Million, is proposed for the concreting of 1450.0
linear meters PCCP with 3.0 meters half lane width and 230 mm
thickness of the Access Road from Brgy. Lungsob leading to Guinogoan
Cave, Calbayog City, Samar.
The proposed project cost
for the concreting of 1000 linear meters road with 6.00 meters width
and 230 mm thickness is P22.932 million of the Access Road from Brgy.
Caglanipao Sur leading to Busay Falls, Brgy. Caglanipao, Tinambacan
District, Calbayog City, Samar.
SFDEO submitted the
pertinent documents for the possible approval of the proposed projects
by the Department of Tourism. Approval of the said proposed projects
signifies increase of domestic and foreign tourists visiting the said
tourist attractions in Calbayog and the booming of economic activities
of the locals in the concerned villages.
DILG turns over
transport terminal to Hinundayan
By DIANNE O. DUARTE
April 4, 2017
Leyte – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
turned over on March 29, 2017 the completed P3M-worth Transport
Terminal to the Municipal Government of Hinundayan.
The Turn-Over Ceremony was
kicked off with a blessing officiated by Rev. Fr. Ricarte Olayvar,
followed by the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Gracing the event was the
DILG RO 8’s PDMU Head, Engr. Ofelia M. Pido, along with DILG Southern
Leyte OIC-Provincial Director, Jesus P. Naquila, and Cluster Head,
Geraldine C. Maquelabit.
Funded thru DILG’s Bottom
Up-Budgeting (BUB) Program, the multi-million-peso project was also
made possible thru the commendable efforts of MLGOO Edgar S. Bayano
and under the dynamic leadership of Mayor Alfredo M. Lagumbay and Vice
Mayor Elisa C. Cadingan. In his speech, PD Jesus P. Naquila,
encouraged the CSOs to continue their active participation in the
monitoring of all government projects, not just the DILG’s. Meanwhile,
Engr. Pido expressed her great joy as well as her high hopes for the
completed project to spur more economic activities in Hinundayan.
Mayor Lagumbay upon
receiving the symbolic key expressed his deepest gratitude to all who
became instrumental to the completion of the project, and with great
sense of pride asserted that the completed project is a standing proof
that Hinundayan always puts to good works anything they’re given with,
and given the necessary assistance, “Hinundayan can!”
In attendance also were the
local functionaries of LGU Hinundayan as well as the active Civil
BIR owes each 600K
workers P9,000 blood money in 2008 SC tax refund case
April 2, 2017
QUEZON CITY – The
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) owes each 600,000 minimum-waged
workers nationwide with an estimated P9,000 “blood money” from the tax
they collected for six months in 2008 amid a law exempting the workers
from withholding tax, labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union
Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said yesterday.
In its decision released on
February this year, the Supreme Court said minimum wage earners (MWEs)
should not taxed because they are exempted from doing so by Republic
Act 9502 – the law giving exemption to minimum waged workers from
monthly salary tax deductions.
The law became effective
June 17, 2008. However, the BIR issued Revenue Regulation 10-2008 and
only exempted MWEs six months later. The TUCP filed a contesting
petition at the SC nullifying the regulation as contrary to the law.
It is estimated the BIR
collected an average P792 a month for six months from each MWEs at
that time but the BIR should also be charged with 12% legal interest
fees for nine years, said Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson of ALU-TUCP.
“This is a subtle form of
injustice done by BIR for minimum-waged workers who depended on their
daily pay to make both ends meet. The amount of money the BIR
collected is blood money that could have been spent to buy food, pay
for tuition fees and purchase medicines,” Tanjusay said.
He said the ALU-TUCP is
urging the SC to hasten the specific implementing rules and
regulations that lay the mechanism for the actual refund.
“We suggest the cash refund
should be coursed through the employers if the employers are still
existing. If the company has shut down, we suggest the refund should
be disbursed through BIR regional offices,” Tanjusay said.
Refund by means of tax
credit is more problematic because most of minimum-waged earners at
that may have become unemployed or remained at the same minimum waged
level and so they are still tax-exempt, Tanjusay added.
of the 84 agrarian reform beneficiaries pose, after their
ceremonial installation to their awarded lot under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, with officials from the
Department of Agrarian Reform, Registry of Deeds and local
government unit together with representatives from the RIGHTS
Network and CARITAS. (Jose Alsmith L. Soria)
DAR installs 84
By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
March 31, 2017
SAN MIGUEL, Leyte –
After over 20 years of waiting the 84 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs)
here were finally installed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
to their awarded lots within the Leyte Sab-a Basin Development
In 1991, DAR handed a
collective certificate of landownership award (CLOA) numbered OC-4,
covering Lot 1578 in Barangay Capilihan to the beneficiaries under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) but failed to install
them due to harassment by other farmers in the area.
Leyte Provincial Agrarian
Reform Program Officer Renato Badilla who issued the writ of
installation disclosed during the ceremonial installation that the
area measures 207 hectares.
In September last year, DAR
conducted the subdivision survey and revalidation of ARBs to check if
those mentioned in the CLOA are still around.
Remegia Labaclado, one of
the ARBs installed, wished in her message that the individual CLOAs be
released to them soon. She also said that they will immediately till
the land and make it productive after having been deprived for two
Meanwhile, Regional Director
Sheila Enciso directed DAR’s Program Beneficiaries Development
Division to discuss with the ARBs appropriate projects that would help
increase the farmer’s production and income and submit immediately the
project proposals to the central office for funding.
Meanwhile, Badilla likewise
acknowledged the partnership that has been established between DAR and
the Rights, the non-government organization assisting these farmers,
which resulted to their installation.
NPA attacks CAFGU
detachment, wounding 4 civilians
By DPAO, 8ID PA
March 31, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – On March 30, 2017, a day after the 48th NPA Founding
Anniversary, a series of attacks was perpetrated by communist
terrorists in different military detachments as part of their
offensive operation against government forces. Among these is the NPA
attack on the Geparayan CAA Detachment located at Brgy. Geparayan,
Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar.
More or less 150 NPAs
attacked the detachment which is surrounded by the community of the
Brgy. Geparayan which resulted to the casualty of four civilians,
namely, Genalyn C. Tulin, 31 y/o; Jocelyn Tulin, 12 y/o; Danica Tulin,
10 y/o and Ruby Jane Tulin, 2 y/o, burning of the detachment, and the
loss of one (1) M60; one (1) R4A3; four (4) carbine rifles; five (5)
garand rifles and one (1) Harris handheld radio.
The atrocity proved once
again that the NPA is no longer concern for the well-being of
civilians who are considered non-combatants and a clear manifestation
that the communist terrorists do not abide to the Human Rights,
International Humanitarian Law and Rule of Law.
To achieve lasting peace and
development, your Army in Eastern Visayas is calling the stakeholders
and the general public to support the government forces in fighting
these communist terrorists. Everyone is highly encouraged to report to
any nearest military units any NPA sightings in their area.
Despite this unfortunate
incident, rest assured that the 8ID will continuously conduct massive
combat operation to deter the evil plans of the NPA and other lawless
elements against our peace-loving people in Eastern Visayas.
'Killing us softly'
says POWER of ERC's decision to allow PSALM to continue collecting
P53.8B in stranded contract costs from consumers
March 30, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Consumer group People Opposed to unWarranted Electricity Rates (POWER)
today slammed the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for allowing the
Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) to
continue charging electricity consumers with a 19 centavo/kWh
universal charge to pay for its stranded contract costs.
In an order dated March 6
but released only on March 27, the ERC indefinitely extended PSALM's
P0.1938/kWh universal charge originally allowed from April 2013 to
February 2017. The charge was supposed to cover PSALM's stranded
contract costs of P53.851 billion incurred from 2007-2010. But the ERC
said PSALM was only able to collect P48 billion by February 2017, thus
it should be allowed to charge consumers P5.5 billion more in the
"The amount might seem
small, but they have been charging this to millions of consumers for
the last four years, translating to billions already. With ERC's
action, consumers will most likely be paying even more for the next
nine years. They're killing us softly," said POWER Convenor and former
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño.
PSALM's stranded costs are
due to the onerous "take or pay" provisions in NAPOCOR's contracts
with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) which allowed IPPs to charge
NAPOCOR even for unused power. It is similar to the much-hated "power
purchase adjustment (PPA)" that was abolished under the Arroyo
administration. Most of the contracts were signed during the Ramos
administration but was continued by succeeding governments, resulting
in huge stranded contract costs.
Due to strong opposition to
the passing on of such costs to consumers, it was only in 2013 that
PSALM was able to get ERC approval. But said charge was supposed to
have ended last February.
By extending the 19-centavo
universal charge, POWER says the ERC is setting a bad precedent for
PSALM to charge additional stranded contract costs covering the years
after 2010, including stranded debts estimated at P245 billion. At
present, PSALM has pending applications in the ERC to pass on P35
billion in stranded debts and P70.12 billion in stranded contract
costs to electricity consumers. This will be reflected in monthly
power bills for the next nine years, at least.
“Electricity consumers are
being made to suffer the consequences of NAPOCOR and PSALM's bad
decisions. The original debt to be passed on to consumers was only
P255 billion in 2001 as mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform
Act (EPIRA). This was supposed to be covered by the sale of NAPOCOR's
assets. But the reverse happened and PSALM was left with an even
bigger debt plus stranded contract costs. Why should our people suffer
for PSALM's incompetence? This is unjust and cruel, considering we
already have the highest power rates in Asia!" said Casiño.
Last January, Energy
Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced that the Malampaya Fund would be used
instead to cover PSALM's stranded debts and stranded contract costs so
as not to burden consumers. "So why is the ERC now allowing PSALM to
continue charging consumers for something that the government already
said it would shoulder?" asked Casiño.
Casiño called on Congress to
investigate ERC's actions and said POWER was studying options to file
with ERC or the Courts to put a stop to PSALM's charging of its
stranded debts and costs to consumers.
paralegals in the decongestion effort
March 30, 2017
MANILA – The Bureau
of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), with the support of the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), launched an
electronic learning platform as part of its jail decongestion
The Electronic Paralegal
Learning Module (EPLM) is an interactive offline learning platform
containing basic legal modules and resources. It aims to support jail
paralegals’ continuing education and give them an electronic resource
center for timely interventions to detainees. The EPLM is distributed
in USB sticks that users can easily plug and play on their computers
even without internet connection.
The EPLM will benefit more
than 400 BJMP paralegal officers nationwide. This will help them
monitor the cases of detainees undergoing trial, and coordinate with
criminal justice stakeholders such as public attorneys, law
enforcement, court staff and judges, among others.
“We developed this learning
platform based on the challenges faced by our paralegals, which
include lack of training and varying availability of resource
materials in jails. By ensuring that our paralegals have all the
necessary tools and resources, we will be able to capacitate them so
they can help us process the inmates’ cases and decongest our jails,”
said Jail Director Serafin Barretto Jr., BJMP chief.
The learning platform
ensures paralegals in all BJMP jails access to topics such as criminal
procedure, modes of early release, time allowances, alternative
dispute resolution, rights of the accused, international standards,
and negotiation with justice stakeholders.
In addition, the EPLM
provides paralegals access to national laws, BJMP manuals, paralegal
manuals and examples of written interventions that would help them
facilitate timely and meaningful assistance to detainees.
The EPLM was pilot tested in
15 BJMP jails in Regions 3 and 4-A, involving 22 paralegals. It will
be available in all BJMP jails nationwide in April 2017.
The ICRC, a neutral,
impartial and independent humanitarian organization, has been visiting
places of detention in the Philippines after World War II. It supports
the BJMP in its efforts to improve the conditions of detention and the
treatment of detainees.
For the past 10 years, the
ICRC has been assisting the BJMP in projects aimed at providing relief
to the endemic national jail congestion rate averaging at 555% as of
February 2017. Jail paralegals are essential to the BJMP’s initiatives
to ease the congestion of jails in the country.