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PIA bags first ever best NSM agency in EV

NMP women employees learn self-defense

Road works to Leyte agri areas underway

Barangay officials should look at entrepreneurship with developmental mindset

DPWH-Biliran DEO strengthens information dissemination campaign

New DAR office soon to rise after lot donation

Rights victims file raps vs. Duterte at international tribunal

Pepsi Philippines and PDRF turnover first 20,000-liter water tank in Marawi City





Inflation rate in Eastern Visayas drops to 5.2% in November 2018

By PSA-8
December 7, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – The Inflation Rate (IR) of Eastern Visayas decreased to 5.2 percent in November 2018. This IR is 1.7 percentage points lower compared with the record high 6.9% IR a month ago, but 1.3 percentage points higher than the recorded 3.9% IR in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate was 0.8 percentage point lower than the 6.0% national average in November 2018.

November 2018 Eastern Visayas inflation rateAll provinces registered lower inflation rates in November 2018 compared with their figures in the previous month, except Eastern Samar, which recorded a 0.1 percentage point increase in November 2018 (8.9%) from 8.8% in October 2018. It also posted the highest IR among the provinces. Biliran, meanwhile, registered the lowest IR at 2.6% during the reference month from 5.4% in October 2018, recording the largest decrease of 2.8 percentage points. The rest of the provinces registered decreases ranging from 0.6 to 2.3 percentage points.

Among the commodity groups, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels registered the highest decrease of 4.4 percentage points. It was posted at 3.9% in November 2018 from 8.3% in October 2018. This can be attributed to the huge decrease in the index of electricity, gas and other fuels.

The transport index also registered a decrease of 1.9 percentage points in November 2018 (6.7%), from 8.6% in October 2018. Contributing to the decline was the slower annual gains seen in the index of operation of personal transport equipment.

The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages eased down to 7.4% in November 2018 from its previous month’s rate of 8.9%, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points. This can be traced to slower price increases of all food items, except for oils and fats and fruits, which registered faster IRs, and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate, and confectionery products; and food products not elsewhere classified, which retained their IRs at 6.7% and 5.4%, respectively.

Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house increased to 3.6% during the reference month, 1.1 percentage points higher compared with the 2.5% IR in October 2018, due to the increase in the index for goods and services for routine household maintenance.

The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in November 2018. This PPP implies that goods and services worth P100 in November 2018 only costs P80 in 2012.

All provinces sustained their PPP from last month, except Leyte and Southern Leyte, which registered a 0.01 centavo increase each in PPP compared with their figures in October 2018. Leyte recorded the strongest PPP at P0.83. Biliran ranked second at P0.82, followed by Southern Leyte at P0.81 and Eastern Samar at P0.78. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.75.

November 2018 Eastern Visayas inflation rate





3Q fishery production in Eastern Visayas drops by 11.9%

By PSA-8
December 7, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – Fishery production in Eastern Visayas dropped by 11.9%, from 35,029 metric tons (MT) in the third quarter of 2017 to 30,865MT in the third quarter of 2018.

All provinces registered decreases in fishery production, except Biliran, the only province that recorded a slight increase of 1.8% from its level of production in the same quarter in 2018. Eastern Samar recorded the highest decrease of 25.7%, from 7,128MT in the third quarter of 2017 to 5,294 MT during the quarter in review.

Among provinces, Leyte produced the highest volume of fisheries at 9,291 MT, comprising 30.1% of the total fishery production in the region. Samar ranked second at 8,447 MT, accounting for 27.4% of the region’s total fishery production. Southern Leyte, meanwhile registered 1,222 MT, the lowest volume of production which shared 4.0% only.

By subsector, volume of production in commercial fishing went down by 19.5%, from 3,755 MT in the third quarter of 2017 to 3,024 MT in the same period in 2018. All provinces registered decreases, except Leyte and Biliran, which recorded increases of 6.6% and 4.8%, respectively. Southern Leyte recorded the highest decrease of 66.8%, from 264 MT in the third quarter of 2017 to 88 MT during the quarter in review.

Similarly, volume of production in municipal fishing (marine and inland) registered a decrease of 12.0%, from 20,351 MT in the third quarter of 2017 to 17,919 MT in the same quarter in 2018. Among provinces, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Biliran registered growths in production of 5.1%, 4.6%, and 1.2%, respectively. However, the increases were negated by the decreases recorded by Eastern Samar (24.9%), Samar (13.4%), and Northern Samar (5.0%).

Volume of production in aquaculture also declined by 9.1%, from 10,922 MT in the third quarter of 2017 to 9,923 MT in the same period in 2018. All provinces registered decreases, except for Southern Leyte, which recorded an increase of 194.7%, and Eastern Samar, which had retained its volume of production at 6.3 MT.

More than half or 58.1% (17,919 MT) of the total fishery production in the region were from municipal fishing. Aquaculture contributed 32.1% (9,923MT), while Commercial Fishing accounted for 9.8% (3,024 MT)

3Q 2018 Eastern Visayas fishery production





3Q chicken production in Eastern Visayas grows by 18.1%

By PSA-8
December 7, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – The chicken industry in Eastern Visayas posted 18.1% increase in production during the third quarter of 2018. Based on the preliminary data, the total chicken production in the region went up to 14,280 metric tons (MT) in the third quarter of 2018 from 12,092 MT in the same quarter last year.

Region VIII accounted for 3.3 percent of the country’s total chicken production during the third quarter of 2018. It ranked seventh among the regions with low chicken production in the country.

Meanwhile, as of 1 October 2018, the total chicken population in Eastern Visayas stood at 3,268,844 birds. This registered a decrease of 2.9% from its 3,365,703 inventory as of 1 October 2017.

Among provinces, Leyte recorded the highest number of chicken at 1,695,155 birds, which comprised more than half or 51.8% of the total chicken population in the region. Samar ranked second with 555,440 birds, which accounted for 17.0% of the region’s total chicken inventory. Eastern Samar, meanwhile, registered the lowest inventory of chicken with 3.9% share or 128,157birds.

By type, layer chickens stood at 464,849 birds as of 1 October 2018. This posted a significant growth of 24.0% from the 374,853 inventory as of 1 October 2017. All provinces registered increases except for Leyte, which recorded a decrease of 5.1%, and Eastern Samar, which had the same inventory of 5,000 birds from 1 October 2017. Southern Leyte posted the highest increase at 77.4%, from 55,013 birds as of 1 October 2017to 97,586 birds as of 1 October 2018.

On the other hand, broiler chickens decreased by 11.0%, from 1,201,372 birds as of 1 October 2017 to 1,068,950 birds as of 1 October 2018. All provinces registered decreases except for Biliran, which recorded an increase of 208.0%, and Eastern Samar, which had the same inventory of 1,000 birds in 1 October 2017. Southern Leyte posted the highest decrease at 81.4%, from 73,962 birds as of 1 October 2017 to 13,780 birds as of 1 October 2018.

Similarly, the number of native/improved chicken went down by 3.0% with a total inventory of 1,735,045 birds as of 1 October 2018 from 1,789,478 birds as of 1 October 2017. All provinces registered decreases except for Eastern Samar, which recorded an increase of 1.2%. Southern Leyte registered the highest decrease at 5.7%, from 325,804 birds as of 1 October 2017 to 307,234 birds as of 1 October 2018.

More than half or 53.1% of the total chicken population in the region were native/improved chickens. Broiler chickens accounted for 32.7%, while the remaining 14.2% were layer chickens.

3Q 2018 Eastern Visayas chicken production





3Q palay production in Eastern Visayas decreases by 7.2%

By PSA-8
December 7, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – Palay production in Eastern Visayas decreased by 7.2%, from 126,930 metric tons (MT) in the third quarter of 2017 to 117,792 MT in the third quarter of 2018.

Eastern Visayas palay productionDecreases were observed among all provinces, except in Biliran and Eastern Samar, which posted an increase of 4.6% and 4.4%, respectively. Samar recorded the highest decrease in production by 28.8%, from 33,477 MT in the third quarter of 2017 to 23,837 MT in the third quarter of 2018.

Among the provinces, Leyte produced the highest volume of palay at 40,721 MT, which comprised more than one third (34.6%) of the total palay production in the region. Southern Leyte, meanwhile, had the lowest volume of production (7,702 MT) accounting for only 6.5 percent.

The total harvest area for palay in the region went down by 4.9%, from 35,348 hectares in the third quarter of 2017 to 33,615 hectares in the third quarter of 2018. Increases recorded in Biliran (6.4%), Eastern Samar (3.6%) and Southern Leyte (1.8%) were offset by the decreases registered in Samar (19.4%), Northern Samar (0.3%) and Leyte (0.2%).

Leyte recorded less than a third or 30.8% (10,354 hectares) of the total palay area harvested during the quarter in review, while Southern Leyte contributed the least (1,646 hectares) accounting for only 4.9%.

Yield per hectare for palay in the region eased down by 2.8%, from 3.6 MT per hectare in the third quarter of 2017 to 3.5 MT per hectare in the same quarter of 2018.

Among the provinces, Southern Leyte posted the highest yield per hectare during the quarter in review at 4.7 MT per hectare while Samar registered the lowest at 2.9 MT per hectare.

Eastern Visayas palay production





3Q corn production in Eastern Visayas increases by 6.4%

By PSA-8
December 7, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – Corn production in Eastern Visayas increased by 6.4% from 18,671 metric tons (MT) in the third quarter of 2017 to 19,866 MT in the same quarter of 2018. All provinces registered increases, except Southern Leyte, which recorded a decrease of 1.3%. Samar recorded the highest increase of 82.1%, from 1,343 MT in the third quarter of 2017 to 2,446 MT in the third quarter of 2018.

3Q corn production in Eastern VisayasAmong the provinces, Leyte produced the highest volume of corn at 12,459 MT, comprising more than three-fifth (62.7%) of the total corn production in the region. Biliran, meanwhile, had the lowest volume of production (143 MT) accounting for only 0.7 percent.

The total harvest area for corn in the region inched up slightly by 0.7%, from 13,791 hectares in the third quarter of 2017 to 13,894 hectares in the third quarter of 2018. All provinces registered increases, except for Leyte, which recorded a slight decrease of 0.2 percent, and Southern Leyte, which had retained area harvested at 254 hectares.

Leyte shared 67.5% (9,385 hectares) of the total corn area harvested during the quarter in review, while Eastern Samar contributed the least (61 hectares) accounting for only 0.4 percent.

Yield per hectare for corn in the region was sustained at 1.4 MT per hectare. Among the provinces, Eastern Samar posted the highest yield per hectare during the quarter in review at 2.7 MT per hectare, while Leyte registered the lowest at 1.3 MT per hectare.

3Q corn production in Eastern Visayas





DPWH opens road in Jaro leading to Villaconzoilo and Silawa Falls

Road to Silawa Falls

December 7, 2018

CARIGARA, Leyte – The Department of Public Works and Highways Leyte Second District Engineering Office poured out a total of P85 million for the construction of concrete road leading to Villaconzoilo Agri and Eco Tourism Farm and Silawa Falls.

The project involves 3.5 kilometers Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) with the width of 6.1 meters and thickness of .028 meters, including culverts, excavation and embankment.

District Engineer Carlos Veloso said that the project will provide convenient access for visitors who want to experience the natural forest atmosphere and the relaxing effect of the cool and clean waterfalls.

He added that this development will also open new opportunities to the whole community through the new income generating programs that will contribute to the growth of the economy.

To date, the road to Villaconzoilo Agri and Eco-Tourism Farm is now accessible, however, the road leading to Silawa Falls is still underway.

Meanwhile, the Payapa at Masaganang Pamana (PAMANA) has allocated also P9.85 million in addition to the road concreting works at Villaconzoilo leading to Silawa Falls.

The Villaconzoilo Agri and Eco-Tourism Farm is about 7 kilometers from the town proper while Silawa Falls is located at the upper stream at 5 about kilometers away.





Access road connecting Villa Caneja-Sitio Kahukaw in support of food and resource-based processing underway

Villa Caneja-Sitio Kahukaw road

Press Release
December 7, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) nearly completes the construction of P32.2M access road leading to trades and industries in support of the food and resource-based processing in Sitio Kahukaw.

In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Biliran DEO is currently implementing the concreting of 3.6-kilometer existing earth road with slope protection structure that will connect Barangay Villa Canejato Sitio Kahukaw in the same barangay in the town of Naval.

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that the project was prioritized in order to bring their processed ginger powder, abaca helm, coconut-based products, and atchara to the market center in the progressive town of Naval and to the nearby urban areas.

From a hilly and bumpy road, residents in Sitio Kahukaw will directly benefit the project giving them a safe travel and fast transport of their local products.

Adongay said that thru better roads leading to trades and industries, more locals will be encouraged to do business that will create an additional livelihood and an additional income.

Under the Special Convergence Program of the DPWH and DTI, five project are implemented for the construction/ improvement of access roads leading to trades, industries and economic zones with a total cost of P133.972M. Out of the five projects, two are already completed, while 3 are on-going.

As of November 30, 2018, the construction of access road connecting Villa Caneja to Sitio Kahukaw has an accomplishment of 95%. This project is eyed for completion on December, 2018.

Also up for completion are the construction of P25M access road, Villa Caneja- Anislagan Road connecting to Anislagan Ceramics Producers Association (ACPA) and the P25M National Road Junction (NRJ) Agpangi connecting to Sitio Pongon all in Naval.

Meanwhile, the P30M construction of access road, (NRJ) Villa Consuelo connecting to Libtong Road and P18.9M access road, Caraycara -Cabungaan-Libtong Road are already completed.





NMP earthquake and tsunami drill
NMP trainees and employees participate in the Earthquake and Tsunami Drill conducted on 05 November 2018.

NMP holds earthquake and tsunami drill

By National Maritime Polytechnic
December 6, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – In a bid to elevate public awareness on how to respond in the wake of any emergency situations caused by natural calamities, such as earthquake and tsunami, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) in partnership with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) of Tacloban City conducted an earthquake and tsunami drill participated by NMP trainees and employees on 05 November 2018 at the NMP Complex, Tacloban City.

The activity was held pursuant to the directive from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) relative to the conduct of CY 2018 4th Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) and Observance of World Tsunami Awareness Day on 05 November 2018.

The drill started at around 10:00 AM with a one-minute siren which was meant to inform everyone inside the NMP premises that an earthquake has just occurred. All NMP trainees, employees, and guests do the “Duck, Cover and Hold On”.

In an interval of ten seconds, another one-minute siren was heard, a signal for everyone within the vicinity to evacuate the building and proceed to the designated mustering stations wherein a marshall will do the head count. One “scenario casualty” was reported needing immediate medical attention. Using the NMP emergency vehicle, the search and rescue team was dispatched and was able to bring the casualty to a safe area where a cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was executed by the assigned First Aide, an NMP trainee.

After the casualty was revived, the third siren was alarmed for one minute in anticipation for an aftershock, Tsunami. Everyone was advised to proceed to the second floor of the NMP Administration Building having a higher elevation compared to other buildings in the area.

The exercise was terminated after the communication was established to the different responders identified by the team.

"This will help us prepare ourselves when a tsunami or an earthquake hits Tacloban City," Mr. Eduardo V. Polo, Training Officer of Tacloban City CDRMMO said.

"It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone are aware and knowledgeable of the things that should be done in cases of emergencies," he added.

NMP earthquake and tsunami drill






36th Conference of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organizations (AFEO)
Alfredo L. Bollido (in white barong), Assistant District Engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Biliran District Engineering Office receives the ASEAN ENGINEER certification and medal on November 13, 2018 during the 36th Conference of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organizations (AFEO) on November 12-14, 2018 held at the Resort World Convention Center, Sentosa, Singapore.

ADE Bollido of DPWH-Biliran, the first in the province to be accredited with an ASEAN engineer status

Press Release
December 6, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – Alfredo L. Bollido, Assistant District Engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) is the first in the district office and the first in the Province of Biliran to be an accredited member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Engineers.

The accreditation was conferred to Bollido on November 13, 2018 during the 36th Conference of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organizations (AFEO) from November 12-14, 2018 held at the Resort World Convention Center, Sentosa, Singapore. The theme holds: “Engineering Rail Connectivity” and “Excellence in Engineering Education”.

According to Bollido, there were a total of 150 Filipino engineers from different professional engineering organizations who were recognized as ASEAN Engineers in the recently held conference with the majority from the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE).

Other professional engineering organizations are from Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines (GEP), Society of Aerospace Engineers of the Philippines (SAEP), Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers (PSAE), Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PIChE), Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers (IIEE), Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP), Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers of the Philippines (PSME), Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SONAME), Philippine Society of Mining Engineers (PSEM), Society of Metallurgical Engineers of the Society of Sanitary Engineers (PSSE), and Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers (PIIE).

In the latest batch of conferment, Bollido added that he is the only one from Region VIII who received the ASEAN Engineer Award and become part of the AFEO.

According to Bollido, the prestigious organization requires high set of standards and guidelines for the applicants.

Bollido shared that it took him three years of waiting before his application was approved during the AFEO Mid-Term Meeting held in Jakarta, Indonesia last August 5-7, 2018.

“You really have to show your competence, focus on quality and excellence on your accomplishments,” Bollido said.

To become part of AER, one must have a degree recognised by the Home Institution, must be full time member of the engineering or technological association and licensed to practice in the home country and must have a minimal of 7 years post-graduate working experience in an engineering environment.

“Becoming a member of the ASEAN engineer means that you are not just an ordinary engineer, but an internationally competitive engineer,” said Bollido.

Opportunities of becoming an AER includes bigger market for expertise, better employment prospects, and wider networking and strategic alliances among others.

AER members shall also be entitled to the exclusive use of the title ASEAN Engineer (ASEAN Eng.) after their names.

The ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations (AFEO) is a non-governmental body. Its members are the engineering institutions and organisations of ASEAN countries with the following main objectives: To promote goodwill and mutual understanding and to establish and develop an ASEAN baseline standard for the engineering profession with the objective of facilitating the mobility of the engineers within the ASEAN countries.





DOLE-8 releases 450K livelihood grants to Tacloban City

DOLE-8  livelihood grants to LGU Tacloban

Press Release
December 6, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office VIII has released a total of P450,000.00 livelihood assistance to the local government unit of Tacloban which benefited thirty (30) small-time entrepreneurs and pedicab drivers coming from different barangays of the city.

The P450K grants was the sum of the two approved livelihood projects funded under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) namely “Small-Scale Resilient Informal Entrepreneurs” and “Resilient Pedicab Drivers of Tacloban City”.

Thirteen (13) drivers received their own pedicabs last October 20, 2018 personally awarded by no less than DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and DOLE-8 Director Yahya A. Centi during the Inauguration of the newly-renovated DOLE building.

Secretary Bello recognized the efforts of DOLE RO8 as well as its partner, the LGU Tacloban City thru its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) for being facilitative and active in providing livelihood to the deserving beneficiaries.

Mr. Danilo Pido, one of the recipients of pedicab units, was very happy to finally have his own pedicab as his primary source of income.

pedicab driver Danilo Pido“This pedicab will be very helpful not just to me but for my family. I am thankful to DOLE and LGU-Tacloban for giving me this blessing. Rest assured that I will take care of this pedicab.” Pido said (in Waray-waray dialect).

Meanwhile, the nego-cart units were awarded to some seventeen (17) food vendors last November 29, 2018 during a simple turnover ceremony held at Tacloban City Hall Lobby graced by DOLE-8 Assistant Regional Director Atty. Cecilio I. Baleña and Tacloban City PESO Manager, Ms. Emilia Cruz.

Atty. Baleña congratulated all the deserving beneficiaries for their new nego-carts and advised them to give due care to the units.

“DOLE is here to help you have better lives through our livelihood program. Our request is for you to give due care to the nego-cart so that it will really serve its purpose which is to help you earn your own income”, said Atty. Baleña during the turnover ceremony.

DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program is DOLE’s contribution to the government’s agenda of inclusive growth through massive job generation and substantial poverty reduction. The program seeks to reduce the vulnerability to risks of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers by providing them access to a grant assistance for capacity-building on livelihood ventures either for individual or group undertakings.





Karapatan hits AFP Chief Galvez’s appointment as presidential adviser on peace process

December 6, 2018

QUEZON CITY – “Duterte is nailing the door to peace shut with appointing retiring AFP Chief Carlito Galvez Jr. as the next Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. What will a high-ranking military officer contribute to the advancement of the peace process when the same institution has been largely behind the derailment and collapse of the negotiations? Clearly, Galvez will turn OPAPP into the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Preventing Peace. War is business, and the military is adept at profiting from violating people’s rights,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay on Malacanang’s announcement of the appointment of AFP Chief Galvez as OPAPP head.

Yesterday, December 5, 2018, Malacanang announced that Duterte was considering to name retiring AFP Chief Carlito Galvez Jr. as OPAPP Secretary, following Jesus Dureza’s resignation. Dureza’s resignation came after allegations of corruption surfaced, involving the Payapa sa Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program of the OPAPP. AFP’s Galvez is set to retire this December.

Palabay recalled that former and incumbent military officials in the government, including AFP Chief Galvez, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, were among those who strongly opposed, and actively blocked, the substantial progress borne out of the peace talks. “The mercenary character of the military prevents them from understanding that peace is not merely the laying down of arms, but a condition that necessitates social justice. Peace is not “silence” as in the muting of dissent and resistance, but the achievement of societal change that lends itself to the achievement of human dignity for all. Peace, therefore, must be based on justice. The military, however, does not think like this,” she stated.

The Karapatan official also slammed the corruption in OPAPP’s PAMANA programs, claiming that these have been milking cows for the military and other agencies involved in the said project. “The PAMANA budget has been largely used for corruption, recently used to fund the parade of fake surrenderees. Not only is the money funneled to the pockets of officials after community members have been falsely paraded and listed as surrenderees in official papers, the military even has the gall to use this charade to claim that their counterinsurgency program is working. The OPAPP has been instrumental not only in furthering corruption, but also in enabling security forces to commit more violations in communities. With Galvez as new head of this office, we can expect more of the same arrangement,” Palabay added.

Galvez’ appointment will make him the seventh former AFP Chief appointed to key civilian positions in Duterte’s government. Among other former AFP Chiefs-of-Staff appointed by Duterte are National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, DSWD head Roy Cimatu and DILG head Eduardo Año.

“Duterte may think he is keeping the military in line by doling out key civilian positions to military men, but he is further endangering the Filipino people. The control of the military over communities will heighten, insidiously using civilian agencies as arsenal against Filipinos themselves. Duterte’s militarization of the bureaucracy undermines civilian supremacy. This is how the Duterte regime intends to stay in power amid widespread protest and resistance – fear and repression to be manned by a set of military men kept loyal through the awarding of political favors at our expense,” Palabay concluded.





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

PBSP Olango Challenge Scholars

December 5, 2018

CEBU CITY – As the youngest of seven children, 18-year-old April Mae Siton wanted to finish her senior high school (SHS) education without relying too much on her aging parents.

For years, her father, a fisherman, and her mother who works as a shell accessories worker, have been trying to make ends meet so her siblings can finish their studies and have a better life. To help lessen the cost of her studies, she took up a Senior High School (SHS) strand that had the least expenses, Food and Beverage Services (FBS). She also worked part-time jobs to be able to help her parents pay for school expenses.

“My original dream was to become a police officer or a seaman. But I no longer wanted to burden to my parents and siblings for my expenses even if they wanted to support me. My parents are already old and my older siblings have their own families already so I do not want to depend too much on them, especially with my plan to pursue college. FBS was the most ideal choice,” Siton added.

Luckily, Siton’s plans were answered when she was selected as one of the scholars of a one-year scholarship assistance from PBSP and corporate sponsors through the Olango Challenge, an open-water swimming event held every May that raises funds for education programs on Olango island.

PBSP, Olango Challenge corporate donors, and DepEd officially launched a one-year educational assistance project that will support 100 junior and senior high school scholars of Sta. Rosa National High School. The event also witnessed the ceremonial turnover of laboratory equipment for the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) course in the school.

“This is a dream come true for me to become a scholar because I really tried my best to be chosen. Now, I can fulfill my future dreams because of this financial assistance without burdening my parents,” Siton added.

Aid for a Hundred Students

Sta. Rosa NHS is one of the three senior high schools located within the island. Most of its students face financial difficulties that prevent them from continuing their SHS education, especially that Technical-Vocational Livelihood track (TVL) mostly requires students to purchase materials for their school projects. The school’s effective implementation of its TVL curriculum is also hampered by the shortage of facilities and equipment.

“We chose to continue our assistance to Sta. Rosa NHS because it focuses on providing Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL). If we want our students to gain holistic understanding and appreciation in their chosen strands, its shortages need to be addressed. We also want the students to learn skills that match most of the industry requirements in Mactan and the rest of Cebu,” PBSP trustee and Visayas Executive Committee Chairman Jose Antonio Aboitiz said.

The scholarship assistance includes the monthly transportation and project allowances, registration fees for National Certification assessments, and employment assistance for students wanting to find jobs after graduation. The provision of tools and equipment for the SMAW laboratory, on the other hand, aims to contribute to the improved curriculum delivery of the school and strengthen the students’ competencies. Tools and equipment include coveralls and uniforms, leather gloves, respiratory masks, welding rods and shields, work suits and gloves, angle grinders, and cutting and grinding disks.

“Some of you will choose to work immediately after you graduate. Some of you will go on to further studies. We hope that the assistance that we provide you helps to lighten your load and lets you concentrate on the skills that you are learning and the education that you are getting from the school,” Aboitiz added.

Present during the program launch were Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tomas Riveral, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) Junior Manager for Corporate Communications and CSR Avigael Maningo, and Aboitiz who distributed certificates and allowance vouchers to the scholars.

Building Schools through the Olango Challenge

This is the 11th year that PBSP has continuously poured in support for Olango island schools through the Olango Challenge. Since the event’s launch in 2008, it has built nine classrooms for Olango’s elementary schools and provided educational assistance to 190 SHS students.

This is the second year that PBSP provided educational assistance to the SHS students through the Olango Challenge proceeds. Major sponsors for this year’s Olango Challenge include the Aboitiz & Company, Dow Chemicals Philippines, Inc., GMCAC, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., and OPASCOR.

“We hope that by providing them with these interventions, the students will successfully pass their subjects, perform well, and access better job opportunities after graduating from senior high school,” Aboitiz added.





ACT to Duterte: Equal benefits for all, stop playing favorites!

Press Release
December 4, 2018

QUEZON CITY – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) called on President Duterte "to put into consideration the whole government bureaucracy, not to play favorites in giving out benefits and bonuses” after news of P50K Christmas bonus for staff of the Office of the President (OP). The President’s decision was reportedly inspired by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s granting of P50K bonus to city hall employees in Davao City.

“It seems Duterte often forgets that he’s no longer merely a Mayor anymore, but the President of the Philippines. He cannot continue practicing 'patronage politics' while the rest of the country hardly make ends meet, with our belts incessantly tightening as the holiday season fast approaches,” says Joselyn Martinez, ACT National Chairperson.

Martinez also cited the doubling of the salaries of the military and police as another instance where Pres. Duterte has practiced partiality in favor of those ‘whose loyalty he needs.’

“His still-heavy reliance on patronage politics exposes his weakness as a leader,” continued Martinez.

She reminded that the money being used ‘in his bid to win over loyalty and allegiances within the bureaucracy’ is the people’s money and not his own.

“The President must responsibly and justly utilize the people’s money by providing substantial economic relief and by delivering free and quality social services to the people. All of us hardworking employees deserve a decent and dignified life,” demanded Martinez.

The group is calling for a minimum wage of P16,000, P30,000 salary for Teacher I, and P31,000 for Instructor I. Additionally, ACT urges the Duterte administration to immediately effect an upgrade from P2,000 to P5,000 on the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA).

“We challenge him to uphold the principle of equal pay for equal work. Especially that the government's current salary scheme is already distorted in favor of uniformed personnel and high officials, the least he can do is to provide equal benefits and bonuses for all to enable the low-salaried government workers to cope with the crisis,” pressed Martinez.





DPWH Biliran Internal Quality Audit
Auditors from Internal Audit Service, DPWH Central Office conducts an entrance meeting with DPWH- Biliran District Engineering Office prior to their management audit.

DPWH-Biliran DEO undergone regular and Internal Quality Audit (IQA)

Press Release
December 3, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The Internal Audit Service of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Central Office conducts a management audit at Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) in conformance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015.

In 2017, DPWH-Biliran DEO has been certified with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 under David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer (DE).

The main objective of the audit system is to ensure continuous improvement of the district office in terms of quality management system (QMS) according to ISO 9001international standard.

The audit was conducted on November 12-21, 2018 with the auditors from Internal Audit Service, DPWH Central Office led by Ms. Remedios R. Arellano with team members, Engr. Marina A. Leoparte and Ms. Cristina S. Perlas.

Biliran DEO has been scrutinized according to the availability of information in the different areas of processes including the district’s management process, infrastructure development process from planning and design, construction, maintenance, and support processes to financial management, physical resources management, human resources management, information management, and procurement management.

According to DE Adongay, through assessment has led to clearer understanding of what is needed to achieve development goal and has eliminated the “hit and miss” approach often present in government development goal setting,” said DE Adongay.

“These best assessment performance practices when benchmarked properly can yield excellent result which is a less waste in human resources and funding. This has some implications to infrastructure/ service delivery – resources are often wasted in the improper delivery of services to the people.” DE Adongay added.

During the exit meeting, DE Adongay stressed that Management Audit is one of the current practices in assessing performance of the office.

“Through proper performance practices, we are able to pinpoint the best delivery services by the government and reduce or eliminate wastage often found in the delivery of services where no assessment has been undertaken,” DE Adongay said.

ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System (QMS) Certification demonstrates the Department’s continued dedication to delivering on its commitment to quality and excellence in public service.





PH team to G-STAR South Korea
TWO PHILIPPINE ENTRIES WIN AT 2018 G-STAR. The “Brawl Quest” developed by ThinkBit Solutions, led by director Lord Christian Gosingtian (front row, second from left), wins first prize under the mobile game category, while the “Bayani Game” of Ranida Games, headed by Walter Manalo (front row, fourth from left), gets the second prize in the PC game category.

PH game dev’t industry shows competitive edge at G-STAR South Korea

December 3, 2018

MAKATI CITY – Filipino independent game developers have once again showcased the industry’s competitive advantage on a global platform through their participation in the ASEAN Services Exhibition: Global Game Exhibition G-Star 2018 held from November 13-18, 2018 in Busan, South Korea.

Two entries from the Philippine delegation won at the Big Indie Awards competition, which was held on November 17, 2018. The mobile game “Brawl Quest” by ThinkBit and the PC game “Bayani” of Ranida Games won first and second prizes, respectively. Brawl Quest takes inspiration from old arcade “beat ‘em ups” such as the “Double Dragon,” “Streets of Rage,” and “Golden Axe.” Its setting and characters are heavily inspired by the modern Philippines pop-culture. On the other hand, Bayani Fighting Game is an indie fighting game drawn from the Philippines’ rich and colorful history and culture. Its characters are based on real Philippine heroes, landmarks, and events.

Recognized globally for their work in game development segments, Filipino developers presented homegrown mobile and PC games at this year’s G-Star. They were assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Korea, Game Development Association of the Philippines, and ASEAN-Korea Center, which provided their inland transfers, accommodation, and booth at the event’s ASEAN pavilion.

G-Star 2018 included activities like the ASEAN-Korea cooperation workshop for game development services in Seoul, Korea, as well as exhibitions, business matching activities and meetings, and market sensing of companies in Busan at BEXCO. Ten Philippine companies including the Audacity Studio, Indigo Entertainment, Synergy 88, Gumi Games, Komikasi, Monstronauts, Ranida Games, Redbana, Red Trident, and ThinkBit also participated in the event.

During the mission, the EMB facilitated 175 business matching meetings for the Philippines and its foreign counterparts. The bureau sought to further establish partnerships between Philippine companies and other game developers from South Korea. The mission started with a courtesy call to Consul General Christian De Jesus of the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, Korea and a meeting with Commercial Counsellor Jose Ma. Dinsay of PTIC-Seoul.

The Philippine delegation also participated in the “ASEAN-Korea Business Seminar on Game Industry” at Ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan, in Seoul, South Korea, where they presented their company expertise and unique selling proposition.





Another mass surrender of CNTs and supporters in Eastern Samar

Mass surrender of CNTs in Eastern Samar

By 14th Infantry Battalion
December 2, 2018

BRGY DAO, Oras – Two regular members of Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs), 18 Milisyang Bayan (MB) of Underground Mass Organization of Brgy. Pandol, Can-avid, Eastern Samar surrendered to the 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion, Philippine Army last December 02, 2018.

Honorable Gil Norman P Germino, Municipal Mayor, Can-avid, Eastern Samar together with Florita B Macoro, MLGOO, Mrs Verina P Amoyo, MSWDO and Brgy Officials of Brgy Pandol were present to witness the mass surrender.

Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy V. Jimenez INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer, 14th Infantry Battalion, said that the surrender is a result of the unit’s effective Community Support Program (CSP) operation, aggressive civil military operations and intelligence operations coupled with other Lines of Operations and Efforts to further pressure the CNTs and their supporters in Eastern Samar. This development will surely destroy if not, cut-off the support system of the CNTs and their mass base in the far-flung and isolated villages of the province.

Mayor Germino stated, “For the past years, the CNTs frequently roam around the barangays of Pandol, Boco and Balagon conducting organizing and extortion activities as reported by the barangay officials. The surrender will further improve the peace and order situation in the municipality of Can-avid”.

“Barangay Pandol form part of the Guerilla Base of Front 3, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC), “ARCTIC”, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) unit of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) operating in the area of Can-avid and its nearby municipalities in Eastern Samar. The barangay is categorized as influenced and a stronghold of the NPAs since early 90’s. The clearing of the influenced barangays in our area of operation has been the priority of the 14IB in its operational campaign to degrade and further defeat our confronted threat,” Lt. Col. Jimenez added.

After a series of negotiation and dialogue conducted by CSP elements of Bravo Company of 14IB led by 1Lt Dennis S. Carig (INF) PA immersed in the said barangay to educate and deepen the awareness of the community, the CNTs and its organization within the barangay were convinced to end their support to the armed struggle and surrender.

Rogelio O. Cebrero, aka “Pater”, Chairman of the Underground Mass Organization of Brgy Pandol, said, “We were hopeless and frustrated over unfulfilled promises of the CNTs that organized us. Now, we understand how the CNTs deceived and exploited our community. Our resources and even food for our family were handed to them as support to the armed struggle but we gain nothing. We also take this opportunity to clear our names and join the folds of law to live a normal and productive life with our love ones”.

The community in Brgy Pandol conducted peace rally to expressed their stand against the CNTs, condemned the abuses and deceitful activity of the CNTs and call-out to stop using their Barangay as lair of insurgents as they pursue just and lasting peace for the future of their children.

Lastly, Lt. Col Jimenez added, “What we collectively achieved today is only the beginning, the 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion will be needing the support of the people as we continue to perform our mission to end insurgency in the province of Eastern Samar. Rest assured that the Battalion will be unyielding and even more motivated to serve the people to ensure peace and development in our area of operation”.

Mass surrender of NPAs in Eastern Samar





Philippine groups concerned over 'lagging' RE policy amid climate talks

ASEAN nations underperforming in clean energy shift

By Center for Energy, Ecology and Development
December 2, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Civil society organizations show concern over the underperforming status of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations in keeping up with the global shift to renewable energy.

With the opening of Conference of Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Katowice, the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) expressed disappointment over the lack of significant policy support from the part of the government to do its fair share in shifting from carbon-intensive coal energy to more renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

"While there has been a global shift towards renewables this year, the Philippines and other ASEAN countries do not seem to be onboard, considering their energy policies and projections," said Gerry Arances, CEED Executive Director. "If we are to abide by the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, global emissions must reach their highest peak in 2020, but the recent UN Environment report indicates that this may not be possible by 2030," he noted.

Arances cited the International Energy Agency (IEA) report that in 2017, 70% of global energy demand was met by oil and gas which corresponds to the 1.2% increase in emissions in the same year. "It is alarming that two years after the Paris Accord is when we reached a record high in global emissions. This means that developing countries like the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia can no longer use development to opt out of doing their fair share in cutting emissions," he emphasized.

"With 53% of its energy needs sourced from coal, it is unfortunate that the Philippines – the third most vulnerable country when it comes to climate disasters – is not doing enough to cut carbon emissions," Arances continued. "This is ten years after we passed the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which aimed to increase the share of renewables in our country and decrease our dependence on imported coal," he added. "An evidence of this lagging commitment is the implementing rules of the Renewable Portfolio Standards which have only been released this year: a decade after we enacted the RE Law," Arances noted.

Meanwhile, the Mindanao Working Group for Clean, Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE), raised concerns over the pending power supply agreements (PSAs) between distribution utilities and generation companies which lock in the power grids in the Philippines to relying on coal for at least two decades more.

"Not only will this go against the drive to increase renewable energy in our power mix, it will also ensure that we keep paying to operate coal-fired power plants way after they have become cheaper than renewable energy sources," said Mr. Clint Pacana, co-convenor for the Mindanao Working Group. "Such agreements only to serve to secure the return of investments for coal companies, at the expense of fair competition among market players and consumers," Pacana added.

Pacana cited the experience of Mindanao, where "prices shot up after an influx of coal projects." "Under the guise of responding to growing power demand, several coal projects were constructed without proper planning and consideration, which resulted in a number of these projects to become stranded," he added. "From 2014 to 2016 alone, stranded costs were conservatively equivalent to P3 billion (US$60 million), all to be shouldered by Mindanao consumers," concluded Pacana.

This was echoed by the consumer group Kampanya para sa Malinis at Murang Kuryente (KMMK), which expressed concern over Meralco and seven generation companies which would "tie the Philippines to 3.5 GW of dirty, costly energy for at least twenty years. "Significant changes must be introduced to the energy sector if we are to keep our energy policies consistent with our climate commitments and the people's energy needs," stressed Atty. Anton Paredes of KMMK. "As evidenced by other countries who have shifted to more renewables, falling prices alone cannot displace coal. Support policies and the will to implement them figure in abandoning dirty and costly energy," he concluded.





Labor leader slams ‘shameless admission of congressional pork’ by Deputy Speaker

By Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
November 30, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Veteran labor leader Ka Leody De Guzman of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) in a statement condemned what he called a “shameless admission of congressional pork” by Deputy Speaker Rolando Andaya, who disclosed that each member of the House of Representatives and Senate received budgetary allocations of P80 million and P200 million respectively.

The representative from the first district of Camarines Sur however denied that the said funds could be deemed as “pork barrel”.

Ka Leody asserted that the legislators were skirting from the unanimous 2013 Supreme Court ruling, which declared the unconstitutionality of congressional pork at the height of controversies involving Janet Lim-Napoles.

In his defense, Rep. Andaya claims to the allotments were in line with line item budgeting of the Budget department and was authorized by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“These legislators are making a fool out of the tax-burdened public. We know all too well that legislators intervene in the budgetary processes to finance their pet projects, which allegedly caters to the needs of their constituents but also, as is obvious, to consolidate their control over political power via patronage politics. They help each other out in maintaining their anomalous habit like an inner circle of crazed drug addicts,” said de Guzman, also a senatorial aspirant under Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM).

“The sight of lawmakers brazenly defying a lawful order by the Supreme Court and openly defending their illegal acts is sickening, if not troubling. By remaining in power through the trickle down of pork to their constituents, they are not doing their job as legislators that enact laws for the welfare of the people,” the labor leader added.

Ka Leody emphasized that the “deafening silence” of the 292-member Lower House on the issue of congressional pork, especially the Minority bloc points to a “besmirched institution that is teeming with defects”. He noted that only Sen. Ping Lacson spoke publicly against the discretionary funds of the members of the Senate.

“The silence is deafening. Nary a peep was heard from the Minority. Everybody are in cahoots as congressmen and senators are all perpetrators and accomplices to perpetuating the outlawed pork barrel system,” he adds.

De Guzman pointed out that the High Court, in its landmark decision, broadly defined as illegal, “...congressional insertions which confer or conferred personal, lump sum allocations to legislators from which they are able to fund specific projects which they themselves determined”. Among those deemed prohibited under the ruling are “all informal practices of similar import and effect...”

He explains that the budgetary insertions made by the legislative branch, and shameless and shamefully defended by Rep. Andaya would fall under the definition of ‘pork barrel’ by the high court.

“This callous disregard to the SC decision bolsters the public perception that Batasan is a house of representa-thieves. They do not care if the taxpayers are seething in anger against the pork barrel. All they care about is how to advance their interests, even if they have to bend and break the spirit and the letters of the law. For this, they may already be liable of grave abuse of discretion,” de Guzman estimated.

Meanwhile, Benjo Basas, first nominee of Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) partylist and a public school teacher stressed that the budget should have no room for discretionary funds by lawmakers and must be aligned with the needs and priorities of departments and agencies, particularly those that badly requires modernization and salary upgrading.

The BMP and PLM vowed that it would campaign against candidates who are involved or are in favor of congressional pork in next year’s midterm elections. “Lintik lang ang walang ganti,” De Guzman concluded.





Mindanao: Regaining dignity and livelihood lost in conflict

ICRC cash grants for Mindanao

November 29, 2018

MANILA – Over 12,000 people in Central Mindanao and Lanao del Sur have been deprived of stable income due to continued displacement caused by protracted armed conflict. These affected families received cash grants from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with support of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in order to regain their livelihood and become less dependent on aid.

In Shariff Saydona Mustapha and Datu Saudi Ampatuan municipalities, Maguindanao Province, 959 families (4,795 people) received P10,000 each (around 200 US dollars), likewise 1,453 families (7,265 people) from Marawi who fled to eight neighboring municipalities in Lanao del Sur.

These families will be able to purchase tools or equipment, start small businesses, and meet their other basic needs, during displacement or when they return home.

Since 2015, thousands of families in Maguindanao Province have been recurrently displaced by the fighting between the government forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Following the end of the Marawi crisis in October 2017, clashes intensified between the AFP and BIFF and other non-state armed groups, causing repeated displacement and damage to livelihoods and property.

“Our beneficiaries told us they had fled their homes more than seven times between March and November 2018 due to the fighting,” explains Kaisa Kruuse, head of the ICRC office in Cotabato City. She continued, “This constant movement disrupts their access to basic necessities such as food and water, livelihood and even education. The displaced people wish to restore stability and dignity, but at the moment many still depend on humanitarian assistance.”

At the same time in Lanao del Sur, over 65,000 former residents of the Marawi’s most affected area still reside with relatives or in evacuation centers, over a year since the conflict ended between the government forces and IS-Ranao (Maute Group) and Abu Sayyaf. The ICRC and PRC regularly monitor the situation and respond with most appropriate interventions. In 2018, the ICRC cash grants reached about 2,000 families (8,000 people) displaced to six municipalities in Lanao del Sur. The total cash grants have now reached 39 million pesos (around 745,000 US dollars). The aim is to help the most vulnerable, including displaced people, those with low income, those with multiple dependents especially children, pregnant women, the elderly and the sick.

"This support means a lot for evacuees like us from the main affected area in Marawi. We don't know when we will be able to return home, but nevertheless, life has to move on here in our current place of living, especially for my small children,” said one beneficiary in Bacolod Kalawi, sharing her business idea, ”I will use this grant to put up a 'piso net' (small internet shop) and I’m hoping to change my situation for the better.”

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization working to prevent and alleviate suffering during armed conflict and other situations of violence. It also visits people detained in relation to the conflict to monitor their treatment and living conditions, and facilitates visits from their families.





220 pupils in the outskirts of Calbayog receive early Christmas gifts

People’s Outreach Program

November 29, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – People’s Outreach Program (POP) and Northern Samar Masonic Lodge 211, both people’s organizations, conducted an early Christmas Gift Giving - distribution of school bags and supplies to 255 pupils of Tanval Cluster (Canjumadac, Tanval and Gelino Elementary Schools), all located in the outskirt villages of Calbayog City, Samar, today, November 29, 2018, with program partners, St. Mary Maternity Clinic and 63rd Infantry Innovator Battalion. The said program partners/volunteers also initiated feeding activity to the same recipient learners and an orientation pertaining Maternal and Child Care to the pregnant women of Brgy. Canjumadac.

On November 24, 2018, Saturday, POP and Masons successfully concluded a bloodletting activity at St. Mary Maternity Clinic, Brgy. San Joaquin, Tinambacan District, Calbayog City, Samar. The undertaking was participated by the personnel of Samar First Mobile Force Company-Palanas Cara, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) - San Joaquin, 63rd Infantry Innovator Battalion, Philippine Army, members of Northern Samar Masonic Lodge 211, and some residents of Brgy. Peña and Brgy. San Joaquin, Calbayog City, Samar. A blood bank team from the Samar Provincial Hospital, Catbalogan City assisted the bloodletting activity.

It can be recalled that few months ago, POP and other program partners also conducted civic projects and brought services to more or less one thousand residents of the aforementioned villages including the locals of San Jose, Langoyon, Villahermosa, Sinantan, Himalandrog, and other neighboring barangays, all located in the far flung barangays in Calbayog.

These activities urge indulgence and engagement to other organizations and government agencies to replicate said community projects and services in reaching out people most especially the underprivileged residents in the locality.

Northern Samar Masonic Lodge 211





CNTs attack soldiers on community immersion in Las Navas, N. Samar

November 28, 2018

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Two members of the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of 20IB stationed at Brgy. San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar were shot by assailants believed to be members of a Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) yesterday, November 27, 2018 at 5:10 P.M.

Both soldiers were tasked to buy foodstuff in the market of Brgy. San Miguel and while on their way back, they were treacherously shot several times by the assailants that resulted in the wounding of two soldiers identified as Cpl Jaype V. Malbas and PFC Rommel C. Debuton, the latter of whom expired from his gunshot wounds upon arrival at the nearest hospital.

Pursuit operations are being conducted by our forces to apprehend these terrorists. Likewise, immediate and appropriate actions have been extended to the survivors of PFC Debuton including giving of due assistance and benefits.

The Community Support Program or CSP is being undertaken by the Philippine Army to transform conflict-affected areas into progressive and sustainable communities through collective and collaborative efforts with local government units and line agencies.

This is the latest attack of the CNTs in our area, who have been conducting terrorist actions in other parts of the country as well. It can be recalled that the President declared a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in the Provinces of Samar, Negros Provinces, and Bicol Region based on the Memorandum Order Number 32 dated November 22, 2018.

In his statement, Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, AFP Commander, 8ID said, “I would like to convey my condolences to the bereaved family, friends, and loved ones of PFC Debuton who offered the supreme sacrifice while performing his duty.”

“Your Army will be more steadfast in its campaign, now, that we are under a state of national emergency, in suppressing lawless elements from sowing fear in the hearts and minds of vulnerable communities located in remote areas. These terrorists are depriving the people to act, think, and live normally,” Farnacio added.





Construction of P25,373.00 2-storey 4-classroom at Naval National High School
On-going construction of P25,373.00 2-storey 4-classroom at Naval National High School, Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval, Biliran.

DPWH-Biliran DEO to implement P84M new school buildings under DepEd 2018 fund release

Press Release
November 27, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) will be implementing new batches of school buildings under the 2018 Department of Education (DepEd)- Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF).

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that Biliran DEO has been allotted a total of P84M for the construction of new school building projects that will benefit 15 schools in Biliran Province.

According to Adongay, these projects is subject for bidding on December 12, 2018.

‘”Once these projects will be bid-out, implementation will be speed up for completion in order to benefit the students and teachers of the schools without compromising the quality of the projects,” said Adongay.

School buildings to be implemented are the construction of P18.2M 2-storey, 8-classroom at Lucsoon National High School and P5.4M 1-storey, 4-classroom at Sabang Elementary School both in Naval town, P2.8M 1-storey, 2-classroom at Iyosan Elmentary School in Almeria town, P2.8M 1-storey, 2-classroom at Bilwang Elementary School and P4M 1-storey, 3-classroom at Villa Cornejo Elementary School both in Kawayan town, P12.3M 2-storey, 6-classroom at Culaba National Vocational School, P3.9M 1-storey, 3-classroom at Culaba Central School, and P2.9M 1-storey, 2-classroom at Calipayan Elementary School in Culaba town.

DPWH-Biliran DEO will also implement the construction of P15M 3-storey, 6-clasroom school building at Cabucgayan National High School and construction of P2.8M 1-storey, 2-classroom school building at Langgao Elementary School both in the town of Cabucgayan.

In Caibiran town, school buildings to rise are the P2.8M 1-storey, 2-classroom at Cabibihan Elementary School, P2.8M 1-storey, 2-classroom at Caibiran Central School and P2.8M 1-storey, 2-classroom at Caibiran Sped Center while in Biliran town, a P2.8M 1-storey, 2-classroom will rise at Burabod Elementary School and a P2.8M 1-storey, 2-classroom at Filemon Nierras Memorial Elementary School.

Meanwhile, the district office is now on-going on the construction of P51.6M 2-storey 8-classroom at Manlabang National High School and the construction of P25.3M construction of 2-storey 4-classroom at Naval National High School under Batch 1 of the 2018 DepEd Fund Release.





Leyte II starts bid for 2019 infra projects

November 27, 2018

CARIGARA, Leyte – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second District Engineering Office starts bid for the infrastructure projects for 2019.

An amount of P1.463 billion has been allocated for a total of 54 projects that will be funded under the General Appropriations Acts (GAA) of 2019.

District Engineer Carlos Veloso said that with the implementation of the new cash-based budgeting system next year, the district must prepare projects ahead of time to hasten implementation.

Veloso added that as of November this year, an amount of P246.8 million for a total of 17 projects was already bid out.

Among the projects bid out are the construction of multi-purpose buildings in Brgy. Kalinawan, Jaro, Leyte, Brgy. Yapad, Pastrana, Leyte and Brgy. Mabini, Mayorga, Leyte; construction of flood mitigation and drainage system along Balud Seawall in Capoocan, Leyte, Poblacion Zone 2 Seawall in Capoocan, Leyte and Daguitan-Marabong River in Brgy. Batug, Dulag, Leyte; construction of concrete road in Brgy. San Vicente, Tunga, Leyte and widening Primary Roads Daang Maharlika.

Also bid out are the rehabilitation of damaged paved road along Palo-Carigara-Ormoc Road, tertiary roads along Jaro-Dagami-Burauen-La Paz Road, Sta. Fe-Pastrana-Dagami Road, Dulag-Julita-Burauen Road, Tanauan-Dagami Road and Jaro-Dagami-Burauen-La Paz Road; and strengthening of Barugohay Bridge along Palo-Carigara-Ormoc Road and Hibuga Bridge along Mayorga-La Paz Road.

A cash-based budgeting system limits contractual obligations and disbursing payments to goods delivered and services rendered within the fiscal year.

With this, implementing agencies need to complete their contracts by the end of 2019, regardless of possible delays. Projects that are "not implementation-ready" will be removed from the proposed budget.





Palace declares State of National Emergency in Bicol Region, Negros and Samar provinces

November 24, 2018

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The president declares state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in the Provinces of Samar, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental and Bicol Region based on the Memorandum Order Number 32 dated 22 November 2018. This is due to the random occurrence of violence in the mentioned provinces and region perpetrated by lawless elements.

To suppress lawless violence and acts of terror and prevent such violence from spreading and escalating in the Samar Provinces and other part of Region VIII, the 8th Infantry Division in close coordination with the PNP and other law enforcement agencies is strengthening its intelligence capabilities against individuals or groups suspected of, or responsible for, committing or conspiring to commit acts of lawless violence within our area of operations.

Major General Raul M. Farnacio, Commander of the 8th Infantry Division, reminded the troops to always religiously adhere to the principles of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and the Rule of Law.

“To the general public, rest assured that your Army will strictly adhere to the rules and procedures set forth by higher headquarters in the conduct of internal security operations in Eastern Visayas. I urged the communities to be extra vigilant in reporting to the proper authorities the presence of suspected armed groups or individuals that will sow terror in their respective communities,” Farnacio added.





Rainwater collection system at JD Garcia Elementary School
Installation of rainwater collection system at JD Garcia Elementary School in Cabucgayan town amounting to P208,660.00. The project is under contract with M.B. Ang Construction & Supply with 95% accomplishment as of October 31, 2018.

DPWH-Biliran DEO installs rainwater collection system to benefit 12 schools in Biliran province

Press Release
November 23, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) almost completes the installation of rainwater collection system amounting to P3.366M that will benefit 12 schools in the Province of Biliran.

According to David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer, the district office completes 95% overall accomplishment for the installation of rainwater collection in some schools in the town of Naval, Kawayan, Maripipi, Culaba, Caibiran, and Biliranas of October 31, 2018.

Recipient schools are the Caraycaray Elementary School in Naval town, Tucdao National High School and Tucdao Elementary School, both in Kawayan town, Culaba National High School in Culaba town, JD Garcia Elementary School, Salawad Elementary School and Cabucgayan National High School of Arts and Trade in Cabucgayan town, Biliran National high School in Biliran town and Casibang Elementary School, Binalayan Central School, Maripipi National Vocational School, and Maripipi Central School in Maripipi town.

The completion of the project will provide an independent water supply to the recipient schools where water is scarce.

These rainwater collector system were installed to accumulate rainwater from the roof of school buildings and is used to flush on toilets and in watering plants, rather than let it to run off to nowhere.





4 farmer organizations in EV see increased income

November 23, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – Four agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) in Leyte and Samar are expected to have increased revenues after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued license to operate to four processed food products they manufacture.

Photo taken during the actual processing of the pancit canton noodles by the San Roque Farmers Association in Daram, Samar.

Early this year, the FDA issued license to operate for the marketing of “banana chips” by Omaganhan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative based in Tabango, Leyte; “imbotido” by the LIBERCON Multi-Purpose Cooperative based in Hilongos, Leyte; pancit canton noodles produced by the San Roque Farmers Association in Daram, Samar; and “cassava chips” manufactured by ESEP ARC Cooperative based in Salcedo, Eastern Samar.

For the pancit canton noodles, buyers can choose between squash and malunggay flavors, while for the cassava chips, the manufacturer offers sweet blend and garlic flavors at very affordable prices.

With the issuance of the license to operate by the FDA, Assistant Regional Director for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program (ARBDSP) Ismael Aya-ay said that these products could now be sold in a larger scale, thereby giving the ARBOs the opportunity to expand their market and earn more.

Meanwhile, Daram Vice-Mayor Lucia Astorga disclosed that they had already introduced the pancit canton noodles to various restaurant owners in Samar and even in Tacloban City.

Aya-ay explained that ARBOs are exposed to various livelihood trainings for additional source of income.

canton noodles banana chips






Caraycaray flood control
Completed Caraycaray Flood Control (Phase 3) in Naval, Biliran with a contract amount of P19M.

DPWH-Biliran DEO completes Caraycaray flood control (Phase 3)

Press Release
November 23, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The newly completed construction/ extension of flood control structure (Phase 3) along Caraycaray River is designed to protect the existing Caraycaray Bridge, the bridge detour and the National Road nearby subjected to heavy floods during rainy days.

Caraycaray Bridge is an essential bridge because it is the only shorter access in going to Mainland Leyte and in going to the only Provincial Hospital from the eastern part of the island.

Under 2018 implementation, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) completes Phase 3I of the flood control structure along Caraycaray River which involves the construction of 240-meter revetment structure with reinforced concrete facing and a reinforced concrete foundation amounting to P19M.

This project was prioritized to continue the construction of flood control structure along Caraycaray River which was completed in 2016 (Phase 1) and 2017 (Phase 2).

Meanwhile, the district office is also prioritizing the reconstruction of the washed out flood control structure along Caraycaray River caused by Tropical Storm (TS) Urduja on December 15-16, 2017.

The project involves the construction of 266 meter revetment structure with an amount of P30M to be implemented in 2019. Preliminary and Detailed Engineering Activity for this project is still on-going.

David P. Adongay Jr. said that district’s new design of flood control projects have withstand against major flooding during TS Urduja.

“We have already an additional reinforcing bars on the face of the revetment designed to withstand the impact heavy current of flood water,” Adongay said.

He added that the previous design of flood control is no longer the same as the design of the district office at present, hence assures quality implementation for flood control projects in Biliran.





Access road to Ulan-ulan Falls
On-going construction/ improvement of access road to Ulan-ulan Falls in Brgy. Sampao, Almeria, Biliran. The project is on-going with 67% accomplishment as of October 31, 2018 under contracts with R.T. Morabe Construction / CEC Construction Corporation (JV). Contractor requested for contract time extension due to unworkable ground cause by intermittent weather condition.

Access road leading to Ulan-ulan Falls in Almeria town on-going

Press Release
November 22. 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – Soon, no more long hiking for tourists who wish to visit the beautiful Ulan-ulan waterfalls in Brgy. Sampao of Almeria town.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) is currently implementing the P43.163M construction/ improvement of access road project under the Special Convergence Support Program of DPWH and the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The project involves the concreting of 1.484 km. existing gravel road and rehabilitation of existing concrete pavement in accordance with the latest design standards with complete roadside features and road safety, according to District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr.

Ulan-ulan Falls is one of the most visited waterfalls in the Province of Biliran. “Ulan" is the Filipino term for rain and it suits as a name for this falls.

Hiking needed to reach to the said waterfalls takes 30-40 minutes hike from the barangay road. The completion of this project will encourage more local and foreign tourists to visit the said tourist spot.

“From 30-40 minutes hike, tourists will be able to reach the said waterfalls in just 10-15 minutes by means of vehicle ride”, Adongay said.

The said project is a joint contract with R.T. Morabe Construction / CEC Construction Corporation (JV).

Biliran DEO sets to complete the project before the year ends, however due to unworkable ground cause by irregular weather condition, contractor requested for a contract time extension. As of October 31, 2018, the project is on-going with 67%.





Dawlah Islamiyah member killed in Ormoc

By 802nd Infantry Brigade, 8ID PA
November 22, 2018

ORMOC CITY – Joint intelligence operations conducted by 802nd Brigade,8ID,PA, MIG24, MIG8 and CIDG, Region 8 on November 22, 2018 resulted to the death of Joseph Anulga Jr. alias Dawud, a Dawlah Islamiyah (DI) affiliated Terrorist Cell in Ormoc City at Sitio Lawis, Bgy Airport.

Anulga resisted arrest during the buy bust operation conducted by CIDG in connection with his gun running activities. Anulga is an Islamic Convert and already pledged allegiance to DAESH and its recognized caliph, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. He is set to go on "HIJRAH", join the Local Terrorist Groups at any camp in Mindanao and intends to die as a martyr of Islam.

He was reported by residents of Ormoc City for recruiting locals to convert to Islam. Anulga is a direct associate of the late Yusuf Macuto. Macuto was involved in a foiled plot to bomb the US Embassy last November 2016 and the main suspect in the Hilongos bombing last December 2016, and was killed during the Marawi siege.

Brigadier General Lope C Dagoy, the Brigade Commander of 802nd Brigade stated that “Anulga’s death shows the government’s conviction in protecting the people from these lawless elements. This is a clear message that your AFP and PNP will not allow neither tolerate terror groups in our midst.” SOCO and Ormoc City Police are currently conducting scene of the crime operation and processing.





PBSP Safe Motherhood Caravans
This year, around 200 women attended the Safe Motherhood Caravan in Barangay Dulao, Bago City organized by PBSP with Intellicare and the Bago City Government.

Teen moms learn life-saving skills through PBSP’s Safe Motherhood Caravans

November 21, 2018

CEBU CITY – Rietchelyn Jalea was 18 years old when she had her first child. She was a former restaurant employee in Siquijor when she met her partner, who decided that they leave for his hometown in Bago City, Negros Occidental and build a home there instead.

Soon after, she got pregnant and since she was too young to handle the rigors of motherhood, she had a difficult time balancing her roles as mother and wife. Their elopement also made her family unprepared for sudden expenses needed for a new family.

“The worst experience was when my baby got sick. It made me realize how hard it is to take care of a child. I didn’t know what to do because I am a young mother and no one is there to guide me,” she said.

Jalea is one of the 13,000 women in the country who received life-saving maternal and child care information services through PBSP’s Safe Motherhood Caravans (SMC). PBSP has been organizing annual caravans since 2013, where women attend sessions on pre-natal and post-natal care, responsible parenthood, self-care and nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding, and child care.

“I am really thankful that I was able to attend the Safe Motherhood Caravan because I learned a lot about family planning. After the activity, I decided to get an implant so that I wouldn’t get pregnant yet. I still want to take better care of my child,” Jalea said.

Valuable Information for Young Mothers

In the Visayas, a total of 10 caravans were held this year in the cities of Cebu, Bacolod, Bago, Himamaylan, and Kabankalan, which reportedly have the most number of teenage pregnancies.

PBSP has organized SMCs in these areas since 2014 with help from its corporate donors and local government health partners.

With the help of the annual caravans, the contraceptive prevalence rates in Himamaylan and Bago cities have collectively increased from 44.86% in 2014 to 47.41% in 2016. Infant deaths have likewise dropped from 14 in 2014 to 2 in 2016.

Contraceptive prevalence is the percentage of women who are currently using, or whose sexual partner is currently using, at least one method of contraception.

“The good thing about the Safe Motherhood Caravan is that it really teaches women and mothers how to properly plan for a family and provide easy access to services after every session. And results show: in Barangay Dulao, for example, they used to have the most number of teenage pregnancies within Bago City. But with the Safe Motherhood Caravan, they are now ranked eighth this year,” Bago City Health Office Nurse Angie Licañel said.

In collaboration with the local health units, participants also receive free prenatal consultations, application of implants, vitamins for their children, HIV testing, and other medical services.

“My son is now a year old and my husband and I plan to finish building our own home first before having another child. I also do not want to experience again the difficulties in my previous pregnancy and child-rearing. I am truly thankful for the SMC for teaching us how to be a better mother,” Jalea added.

Business in Health

PBSP’s flagship program on health focuses on maternal and child health, which is anchored on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

The Philippines failed to reach the Millennium Development Goal of reducing its maternal mortality rate from 209 to 52.2 per 100,000 live births. The Department of Health has identified at least three contributing factors to the non-achievement: the delay in reaching appropriate centers, delay in providing health, and delay in seeking medical help.

The annual sessions aim to reduce maternal and infant mortality in the country by educating women about safe motherhood practices; promoting the utilization of life-saving maternal, newborn, and child health services; and learn various strategies on responsible parenthood.

This year, the PBSP’s SMC is being held in partnership with Intellicare and Republic Cement Philippines.





Phil. Army hits NPA in Samar anew

November 21, 2018

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Troops of Charlie Company, 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion, Philippine Army encountered more or less 10 CPP-NPA-Terrorists (CNTs) in the area of Brgy Concepcion, Paranas, Samar on November 20, 2018 at 7:50 p.m.

While the troops are conducting combat operations in the area to confirm presence of armed men in the said barangay, they were fired-upon by armed CNTs that prompted the firefight that lasted for 10 minutes that forced the CNTs to scamper to different directions.

During clearing operations in the area, soldiers recovered from the encounter site two improvised explosive device, one rifle grenade, empty magazines and empty shells of AK46, M16 and M14.

"Our troops are still in the area conducting pursuit operation while we continue to validate and confirm information regarding the casualties of the fleeing CNTs, on the other hand, our engaged troops are safe with no casualty", said Lt. Col. Jimmy V. Jimenez, Commanding Officer, 14IB, 8ID, PA.

Lt. Col. Jimenez further explains that the Stormtroopers through the Avenger Battalion will continue to intensify offensive against the CNTs in the area of Samar "to degrade their armed components to further eradicate the CNTs by 2019 in our Area of Operations". "Rest assured that our Battalion will remain to be vigilant in performing our mandated task to serve the Waraynons and in Securing the Island of Samar", Lt. Col. Jimenez added.





DPWH to rise P372 M worth of school buildings in Leyte

Barugo NHS school building

November 21, 2018

CARIGARA, Leyte – In support to the education program of the government, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second District Engineering Office will implement a total of P372 million worth of 29 units of school buildings or 159 classrooms under the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF).

Out of 29 school buildings, 25 units are already on-going while 4 units are processing its contract documents.

There are four (4) units each in the municipalities of Carigara and Jaro, three (3) units each in Burauen and Capoocan, two (2) units each in Barugo, Dagami, Dulag, Julita, Mac Arthur and Pastrana, and one (1) unit each in La Paz, Mayorga and Tabontabon.

District Engineer Carlos Veloso said that these classrooms will be in multi-storey structures that will utilize and provide conducive learning environment for the increasing number of students under the K-12 program.

Veloso expressed the willingness of the department to aid the DepEd in its continuous aspiration to educate and guide these young men and women in the country.

The BEFF is an annual budget of the Department for its School Building Program, which covers the improvement and maintenance of school facilities.





‘Pork barrel politics’ very much alive in Congress - BMP

Press Release
November 21, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Militant labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) assailed members of the House of Representatives claiming that “pork barrel politics is still alive and kicking”. This, after Senator Ping Lacson disclosed at a press briefing Monday that insertions by congressmen have stalled the budget hearings.

The group further disclosed that the practice of pork allocations is more prevalent this year because of next year’s midterm elections.

The Supreme Court in 2013 ruled that pork barrel is unconstitutional after allegations that Janet Lim-Napoles and several legislators siphoned public funds to bogus and ghost non government organizations.

In a statement, Leody de Guzman, chairperson of the group and senatorial aspirant said, “We are certain that these congressmen are aware of the 2013 SC ruling and yet they have continued the anomalous practice of allocating funds and projects to perpetuate their dynastic rule over their respective districts”.

“Their mandate is to legislate laws, oversight and deliberation. Budget insertions by congressmen for their pet projects has the same effect on the entire fiscal process as with the previous practice of direct and blatant congressional pork barrel. Both practices strengthens political patronage, where grave abuse of discretion most likely leads to graft and corruption,” he adds.

BMP says it is not surprising that the public perceives Congress as a corrupt institution, filled with traditional politicians who earn their living through kickbacks, horse trading, and authoring laws for corporate interests.

"Obviously, our legislators are severely detached from the people that they rely more on sharing their loot of the national coffers to their constituents. It is a share in the public pie that only increases if they enjoy the good graces of the Executive branch,” De Guzman opined.

The concrete needs of the people, the labor leader asserted “towards wholistic and genuine national development should be the primary basis in the allocation of government funds, not the selfish motives of politicians who label completed projects as part of their achievements. Credit should be accorded to where it is due, to no other than the taxpaying public who do not owe anything, not even “utang na loob” to these unscrupulous trapos”.

“Labor reminds our legislators that the ink on the five-year old Supreme Court ruling has not dried. The people’s righteous anger against the pork barrel is still alive and fresh on our collective memory. If they fail to exercise prudence, this indignation by the voting population will be reflected in next year’s elections.

De Guzman, meanwhile, emphasized that the congressional craving for budget allocation to their districts is goaded by the austerity measures of the budget department to the much needed social services, which is essential to providing decent lives to the workers and the poor.

It has been reported that the several departments will suffer from severe budget cuts. The DepEd’s proposed Basic Education Facilities Fund for 2019 will lose P69.4 billion compared to 2018, while DOH’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) fund was clipped of P30.3 billion under its cash based budgeting system.

“It is utterly disgraceful that we have congressmen who fight tooth and nail for every penny of budget allocation to advance their selfish political motives, while the public suffers from runaway inflation caused by anti-poor tax reform packages,” he lashed out.

The BMP says the taxpaying public have been hit by a triple whammy. “First, the poor are overtaxed with VAT and excise taxes on petroleum. Second, the budget cuts to national government agencies providing social services to the people has led to a shift in fund allocation towards the discretion of self-serving government officials. Lastly, these politicians will profess to being pro-poor as they use public funds to woo the voters into reelecting them into office”.





Soldiers who were wounded-in-action receive assistance from DOLE

November 20, 2018

CATBALOGAN CITY – Three soldiers from Eastern Visayas who were wounded-in-action during the Marawi siege receive livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 8 on November 15, 2018 at the 8ID Stormtroopers Clubhouse, Camp General Vicente Lukban, this city.

In a simple turnover ceremony, Jessa Jean Noguit, Norma Nablo and Gemma Aban, wives of PFC Jerson C. Noguit, CPL Maximo Nablo, Jr. and CPL Edgie Aban personally received the agri-business projects amounting to more or less twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) each with big smiles on their faces.

“I am so thankful that we are given this kind of aid by the government. This will be a big help to our family and we will do our best to make this business grow,” Mrs. Noguit said.

Said livelihood assistance was a joint effort of DOLE and 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. DOLE RO8 Director Yahya A. Centi, Assistant Division Commander, BGen. Eliezer L. Losanes and DOLE Samar Field Office Head, Mr. Edgar B. Tabuyan graced the activity and personally awarded the livelihood grants.

Director Centi expressed his heartfelt thanks to the Philippine Army for being an active partner of DOLE in advocating its programs and services to the public particularly in the grassroots level.

“I’d like to recognize the efforts of our friends in the PA for being so enthusiastic in helping us bring our programs especially the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) closer to our clients. Serving the public becomes lighter when you know you have strong linkage with other government agencies”, said Centi.

The awarding ceremony was followed by an orientation seminar conducted by DOLE to capacitate the different operating units of 8ID implementing Community Support Program (CSP).





Teachers submit Salary Increase petition to Senate as 2019 budget is deliberated

By Alliance of Concerned Teachers
November 19, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Teachers from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) headed to the Philippine Senate today to submit their petition for salary increase, which garnered around 25,000 signatures.

“The clamor for a substantial pay hike remains to be loud and strong, as evidenced by the thousands of education workers as well as parents and other supporters from 17 regions who signed the petition. The strongest justification of its urgency is the still-at-peak Philippine inflation,” declared Joselyn Martinez, ACT National Chairperson.

The upper house is currently deliberating the 2019 National Expenditure Program and ACT is pushing for legislators to take into account the demands of teachers and education workers for immediate economic relief and better standard of living.

“The government claims to prioritize social services but the budget proposal released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) tells a different story,” lamented Martinez. She added that the shift from obligation-based to cash-based resulted in a 6.4% decrease in the actual amount of the budget allocation for the education sector, which is in contrary to DBM’s claim that it increased by 12%.

“We urge the Senators not only to heed our demands but to do what is constitutionally mandated of them,” Martinez pressed, citing Section 5 Article 5 of the 1987 Constitution which states that:

The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment.

“We are exhausting all possible means to advance our calls, which is why teachers will also go on a Sit-Down Strike on November 29 to show the government that we are united and resolute in our demand for decent salaries,” declared Martinez. The group first made the announcement in a forum last week.

“The protests, which could take on various forms, will continue as long as education workers suffer and the education system crumbles. We will carry on the fight,” concluded Martinez.

ACT is calling for a P30,000 salary for Teacher I, P31,000 for Instructor I, and a P16,000 minimum pay for all government workers. They are also demanding for a P3,000 increase in the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) in light of the erosion of the values of salaries due to the TRAIN-induced inflation.





PH exporters visit Alibaba campus
From left: Steven Zheng of Alibaba.com; Ray Alimurung, CEO of Lazada Philippines; Undersecretary Nora Terrado; Farhad Sami, Senior Director for International Policy and Public Affairs of Alibaba Global Business Group; Gladys Chun, General Counsel and Head of Government Affairs at Lazada Group; Tony Yin, Global Business Development Manager at Alibaba.com.

PH exporters visit Alibaba campus in China

November 19, 2018

MAKATI CITY – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotions Group (TIPG) Nora Terrado headed the recently concluded 60-man Philippine delegation in their technical visit to the headquarters of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in Hangzhou, China on November 4, 2018.

The visit was conducted on the sidelines of the first China International Import Expo, where the Philippines participated. Known as the “Alibaba Campus,” the headquarters accommodates around 9,000 employees.

Led by Farhad Sami, Senior Director for International Policy and Public Affairs of the company, Alibaba representatives toured the Philippine delegates to the 150,000-sqm open office space that has a campus-style layout.

As the world’s leading e-commerce platform, Alibaba shared with Filipinos its best practices on providing fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach that help small and medium businesses grow.

For many, the rise of Alibaba and its recent influence on the global market have ushered a new retail era and changed the consumer behavior of mobile-connected individuals worldwide.

During the visit, Lazada Philippines CEO Ray Alimurung presented how Filipino entrepreneurs could benefit from doing business in the digital economy.

“The Southeast Asian e-commerce market is ready and it’s growing fast,” he said. “Now is the time [for Filipino business owners] to research, test, and learn the e-commerce market,” he added.

Meanwhile, Terrado hoped that the visit to the Alibaba Campus had been insightful for the Filipino exporters. She also encouraged Filipinos to continue to use online platforms such as Alibaba in order to enter the Chinese market – especially now that China’s demand for Philippine agriculture products like fresh fruits is growing rapidly.

“For years, Alibaba has shown how internet can provide small companies with infrastructure and marketing reach, which help merchants and brands grow and compete more effectively in the global market,” she said. “Through this tour, we seek to learn and adapt the company’s ways of doing business within e-commerce and cross-border transactions.”





Inflation rate in Eastern Visayas climbs to 6.9% in October 2018

By PSA-8
November 16, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – The Inflation Rate (IR) of Eastern Visayas continued to increase at 6.9% in October 2018. This IR is 0.4 percentage point higher compared with the 6.5% IR a month ago, and 3.6 percentage points higher than the recorded 3.3% IR in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate was 0.2 percentage point higher than the 6.7% national average in October 2018.

October 2018 inflation rate in Eastern VisayasLeyte and Southern Leyte posted the highest increase of 0.8 percentage point each. Leyte registered 7.1% IR in October from 6.3% in September, while Southern Leyte recorded 4.0% IR in October from 3.2% in September. Biliran recorded a 0.3 percentage point increase from 5.1% in September to 5.4% during the reference month.

On the other hand, 0.2 percentage point decrease in IR were noted in Northern Samar and Samar settling at 6.3% and 8.1%, respectively. Eastern Samar registered a 0.1 percentage point decrease, from 8.9% in September to 8.8% in October. It is still, however, the highest IR among the provinces during the reference period. Southern Leyte, meanwhile, posted the lowest at 4.0%.

Among the commodity groups, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels registered the highest increase of 2.2 percentage points. It was posted at 8.3% in October 2018 from 6.1% in September 2018. This can be attributed to the huge increase in the index of electricity, gas and other fuels.

The transport index also registered an increase of 1.4 percentage points in October 2018 (8.6%), from 7.2% in September 2018. Contributing to the uptrend were the gains seen in the index of operation of personal transport equipment and transport services.

The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages eased to 8.9% in October 2018 from its previous month’s rate of 9.2%, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point. This can be traced to slower price increases of fruits, fish, oils and fats, and vegetables.

Education further deflated to 16.4% in October 2018, recording a 0.2 percentage point decrease from the -16.2% a month ago, attributed to the decrease in the index for tertiary education.

The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in October 2018. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in October 2018 only costs 80 pesos in 2012.

All provinces sustained their PPP from last month, except Leyte and Southern Leyte, which registered a 0.01 centavo decrease each in PPP compared with their figures in September 2018. Leyte and Biliran recorded the strongest PPP at P0.82. Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.80, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.78. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.75.

October 2018 Price index Eastern Visayas






Calbayog asphalt overlay
Preventive maintenance of road asphalt overlay along Daang Maharlika (SM) (Sn Isidro - Sn Juanico Br.) - K0719 + 219 - K0720 + 964; K0720 + 990 - K0721 + 000, Samar.

DPWH completes P27-M asphalt overlay in Calbayog

November 16, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) completes the preventive maintenance on a major road section along Daang Maharlika.

The project covers 3.542 kilometers of asphalt overlay starting from Brgy. Malopalo to Brgy. Tinambacan in Calbayog City. It has an allocation of P27 million sourced out from the 2018 Regular Infrastructure Fund and is under contract with B. Vicencio Construction.

SFDEO’s maintenance personnel installed thermoplastic pavement markings along the newly-preserved road to provide accurate road markings that will reduce vehicular accidents.

This particular road section connects Manguino-o Port to the city proper and experiences a high volume of traffic. Most of the vehicles plying along the highway are trailers and trucks carrying cargo from Cebu.

Both public and private vehicles also use this road to transport people from north to south of the country.

With the completion of this project, the aforementioned road users are provided with a faster, safer and more convenient travel experience that will contribute to the continued economic boom of the city.





DPWH-Biliran DEO completes access road connecting Brgy. Villa Consuelo and Brgy. Libtong, Naval, Biliran

Biliran access road

Press Release
November 16, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office completes first phase of the construction/ improvement of access road from National Road Junction (NRJ) of Villa Consuelo connecting Brgy. Libtong Road in Naval, Biliran.

The project involves the construction of two lanes road with a length of 1.20-kilometer and a width of 6.70-meter with construction of drainage costing P30M.

Brgy. Villa Consuelo and Brgy. Libtong is known for its coco sugar products and potential for ginger powder processing, turmeric, banana chips, cacao and coffee among others, hence prioritized under the 2018 implementation.

According to District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr., the said project involves reconstruction of 7.0-kilometer road and 30-linear meter bridge to be implemented on a multi-year basis up to year 2020.

The completion of the project will provide a better and faster transport of the agribusiness: food and resource-based processing in Brgy. Villa Consuelo and Brgy. Libtong Naval, Biliran. This will benefit more or less 1,000 road users.

Through better road linking trades and industries, more locals will be encouraged to do business that will eventually help improve the economic situation in the province.





Duterte appointees, associates also running in party-list race

November 12, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Kontra Daya observed that there are party-list groups whose nominees are recent incumbent government officials, including some who are still believed to be supportive of the President despite their controversial removal from public office.

The first nominee of Pambansang Nagkakaisa sa Paggawa at Agrikultura is Socrates Piñol, provincial board member of North Cotabato and brother of Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

The first and third nominees of Gawing Una Tagumpay ng Ordinaryong Mamamayan are worth noting, as the first nominee, Rex Anthony Villegas, is a former board member of Nayong Filipino who was fired due to a complaint by another board member who happens to be a niece of President Duterte. The third nominee, Maria Katrina Nicole Contacto, is a legal counsel of Duterte in the latter's disqualification case in the 2016 elections. She is also chair of the Youth Affairs Committee of PDP-Laban.

The Hugpong Federal Movement of the Philippines has as first nominee Peter Laviña, former administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) who resigned amid corruption allegations, according to news reports.

Similarly, ABAKADA Party-list’s first nominee is Jonathan Dela Cruz, former board member of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) who was fired due to alleged contract anomalies.

The first nominee of Bahay para sa Pamilyang Pilipino, Inc., Naella Rose Bainto-Aguinaldo, was appointed member of the Career Executive Service Board by Duterte in 2017. She also happens to be the wife of Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo.

For the Global Workers and Family Federation, the first nominee is Ermie Lagman Garon, a commissioner of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) representing the business and industry sector and is a member of the People’s National Movement for Federalism.

The first nominee of Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa, Inc. (RAM) is Aloysia Tiongson Lim, wife of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Danilo Lim.

Based on its public pronouncements, the Duterte Youth Party-list is apparently supportive of the President and runs on a platform of countering another youth party-list group that is known to be critical of the administration. It is the only party-list group that has used “Duterte” in its name. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) must examine if such group is legitimately seeking to represent the youth or is merely using the name of the President for political gain. The group is also associated with Duterte appointee Ronald Cardema of the National Youth Commission which raises questions on the role of the government agency in the affairs of the party-list group.

Calls to COMELEC

COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a media interview that the poll body scrapped the review of party-list groups due to the ruling of the Supreme Court in 2013 – i.e., that nominees do not have to be part of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors they claim to represent.

However, Kontra Daya asserts that COMELEC can still look into several issues related to the party-list groups. For example, the poll body can conduct a public hearing on party-list groups and the track records of their nominees in order to clarify their decision to run in the 2019 elections.

Some nominees appear to have become overnight members and nominees of their party-list groups, particularly during the period of the filing of candidacies, thus raising questions regarding their track record and advocacy. This may be the case for party-list groups whose nominees only recently resigned from government just in time for the filing of their certificates of nomination and acceptance.


Last updated: 01/19/2019