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Minimum wage in EV ‘may’ increase, consultations ongoing

Inflation rate in Eastern Visayas declines to 1.6% in May 2019

Karapatan lauds passing of Human Rights Defenders Bill on third and final reading

DPWH-Biliran DEO gets P1.276B based on approved 2019 budget

Inflation rate in Eastern Visayas eases to 2.0% in April 2019

Army troops encounter CPP-NPA terrorists in Northern Samar

Eastern Visayas posts $211.36 million trade surplus in January 2019

Pre-construction conferences to heighten awareness on DPWH projects





Inflation rate in Eastern Visayas eases to a record low in June at 1.5%

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By PSA-8
July 12, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas continued to decline to 1.5 percent in June 2019, the lowest since June 2018. This figure is 0.1 percentage point lower compared with the 1.6 percent IR a month ago, and 4.8 percentage points lower compared with the 6.3 percent IR recorded in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate is 1.2 percentage points lower than the 2.7 percent national average in June 2019.

Eastern Visayas June 2019 Inflation rateThe provinces of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar and Southern Leyte registered lower IRs in June 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Northern Samar recorded the biggest drop of 1.3 percentage points, from 1.2 percent in May 2019 to -0.1 percent in June 2019. On the other hand, Biliran registered a 3.1 percentage points increase in IR, from -2.9 percent in May 2019 to 0.2 percent during the reference month. Samar also inched up to -0.1 percent in June 2019 from its -0.2 percent IR a month ago. Among the provinces, Northern Samar and Samar posted the lowest with negative IR at 0.1 percent, while Leyte recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 3.2 percent (Table 1).

Majority of the commodity groups in the region exhibited faster IR in June 2019 compared with their rates in May 2019. These were however offset by the decreases recorded in transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and health commodity groups.

Transport commodity group registered the biggest drop of 2.2 percentage points, from 5.9 percent in May 2019 to 3.7 percent during the month in review.

The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.8 percentage point to 1.5 percent in June 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 2.3 percent. Lower IRs were noted in majority of the items. Fish registered the highest decrease of 2.9 percentage points, from 5.6 percent in May 2019 to 2.7 percent in June 2019. Fruits and rice indices continued to register negative IRs at 6.5 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Health commodity group eased down slightly to 3.5 percent during the reference from 3.6 percent in May 2019.

Meanwhile, the commodity group of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels increased to 1.1 percent during the month in review, 2.2 percentage points higher compared with the -1.1 percent IR in May 2019. This can be traced to higher IRs in the indices for actual rentals for housing; maintenance and repair of the dwelling; and electricity, gas and other fuels.

IR for restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services commodity group went up to 3.2 percent in June 2019 from 2.3 percent in May 2019. Similarly, IR for clothing and footwear commodity group and communication commodity group increased by 0.6 percentage point each, pushing their IRs to 3.2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, during the month in review.

Increased IRs were also noted in the commodity groups for furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; and recreation and culture recording IRs of 6.1 percent, 4.1 percent, and 4.0 percent, respectively.

The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in June 2019. This PPP implies that P100.00 in 2012 (base year) is worth P80.00 only in June 2019.

Biliran posted a P0.03 decrease in PPP compared with its figure in May 2019, while Samar’s PPP weakened by P0.01. The rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Southern Leyte recorded the strongest PPP at P0.82. Biliran and Leyte ranked second at P0.81, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.79. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.





DPWH-Biliran DEO completes renovation of Naval municipal building

Naval municipal building

Press Release
July 12, 2019

NAVAL, Biliran – The Naval Municipal Building has been improved by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) to provide employees a better working environment and a place conducive for client transaction.

This improved building facility can now accommodate sufficient number of people for various business and service transactions.

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that the renovation was done from the inside of the building including its outer appearance.

P19.1M has been spent to renovate the old municipal building funded through the DPWH 2018 Local Infrastructure Program.

Adongay revealed that the building is designed with a modern scheme with new lighting fixtures.

“The project involves the renovation of the whole municipal building of Naval from the ceiling to the landscaping of its front lawn,” said Adongay.

Adongay added that there was also an extension at the front and back portion of the existing municipal building to provide additional offices.

“It is also equipped with a new plumbing system,” he revealed.

From its start date on September 06, 2018, the project was completed on May 2, 2019 under contract with M.B. Ang Construction & Supply.

Employees of the Naval Municipal Office can now transfer to this newly renovated building anytime soon. Presently, municipal employees are doing their work and transactions at the Naval Gymnasium.

With the renovation done to the Naval Municipal Building, not only the building will be improved but also its services for the people of Naval.





Cebu MITC invites NMP to its dialogue

NMP at Cebu MITC

By National Maritime Polytechnic
July 12, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – In order to address safety problems at sea, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office No. VII in coordination with the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC) invited the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) to present its programs and services during its General Membership Meeting held at the 2GO Building, Pier 4, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City last 09 July 2019.

Quoting from the opening remarks of the DOLE RO No. VII Regional Director, Salome O. Siaton, “The meeting intends to add knowledge on preventive safety measures at sea, making sure that the health and safety of the employees in the maritime sector be of great importance.”

Director Siaton likewise mentioned that to avoid similar incident which happened recently wherein a cargo ship named M/V Eva Mary Grace capsized while docked at the Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC) Port in San Fernando, Cebu City, NMP was invited to present its programs and services designed to equip and upgrade the skills and competence of seafarer-employees in various manning and shipping agencies when it comes to safety practices.

Also present during the event was DOLE Undersecretary Renato L. Ebarle who stressed his support for the activity. He also emphasized the importance of complying with the salient features of the new Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law going hand in hand with the training offerings of the NMP.

“The National Maritime Polytechnic is the only government owned maritime training and research institution and what will be presented later on will be beneficial not only for the NMP but also for the stakeholders because the NMP can upgrade your training skills with less enrollment fee for the seafarers in the international and domestic shipping,” USec. Ebarle said.

Underscoring the role of the NMP to the maritime labor workforce and the community as a whole, NMP Executive Director, Joel B. Maglunsod stated that the NMP offers what is most beneficial to our Filipino seafarers. As part of the advocacy on poverty-zone free program thrust of the agency, motorboat handlers are also being trained by NMP to improve their basic safety skills.

“In coordination with Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) there will be a group from the NMP who will proceed to Mindoro next week as requested by the DOLE Regional Office No. IV-B thru its OIC-Regional Director Joel M. Gonzales, to provide training to our fisherfolks whose vessel was hit by the Chinese fishing boat. NMP will expose them to new techniques in personal survival, personal safety and social responsibility, typhoon awareness, and marine safety requirements”, Executive Director Maglunsod pronounced.

During the said activity, NMP programs and services were presented by the Head of NMP’s Curriculum Development Section (CDS), Capt. Chito A. Go.

The event concluded with the detailed discussion of the Republic Act No. 11058 or the OSH Law, an act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof and the Expanded Maternity Leave provisions for Private Sectors, introduced by the DOLE Bureau of Working Conditions Director IV, Ma. Teresita S. Cucueco.

The activity was participated in by manning and shipping companies in Cebu City namely, Lite Shipping, Trans-Asia, Gothong Southern, 2GO Group Inc., Oceanjet, Avega Bros. Integrated Shipping Inc., and Key West Shipping.

Meanwhile, NMP also regularly conducts maritime studies to come up with researches that would serve as a basis for policy formulation and program development for the improvement of the labor work force in the maritime industry.

Those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website (www.nmp.gov.ph) and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present the Research Agenda and engage the industry stakeholders to collaborate in the research activities.

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

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





DPWH rehabilitated roads along Pilar Road

Pilar Road

July 12, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – The roads from barangays Oquendo to Bayo which is also known as the Pilar Road are rehabilitated and improved by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

These ten (10) projects under the Local Infrastructure Program is appropriated with a total of P200 million. The road covered by the projects has a total net length of 18.351 lane kilometres.

The existing road is already damaged and uneven which is unsafe for the motorists and vehicles going to and from Calbayog City via that road. This is beneficial to the farmers living in that area since the roads are now even and widened from 4 meters to 6 meters. They can now transport their produce without the hustle of a rough road which creates danger to someone’s safety.

DPWH is not only creating roads but also maintaining their statuesque form as well as keeping up with the changes around it like widening of roads (primary and secondary).





Eastern Visayas registers 95.9% employment rate in April 2019

By PSA-8
July 12, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – Employment rate (ER) in Eastern Visayas in April 2019 was estimated at 95.9 percent, ranking fifth among the regions with high employment rate in the country (Table 1). This figure is higher than the 95.4 percent ER recorded in April 2018. Employment rate is the proportion of employed persons to total labor force.

Out of the estimated 3.2 million population 15 years old and over in April 2019, about 1.9 million were economically active or in the labor force. This number translates to a Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of 61.0 percent. This figure is 2.2 percentage points lower compared with the 63.2 percent LFPR in the same period a year ago. Eastern Visayas registered the eighth lowest LFPR among regions.

The underemployed persons or those employed persons who express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to have a new job with longer working hours was estimated at 575 thousand in April 2019. This is equal to an underemployment rate of 18.6 percent, lower than the 23.8 percent recorded in the same period last year. The region had the sixth highest underemployment rate in the country.

Meanwhile, about 81 thousand persons in the labor force were unemployed in April 2019. This translates to an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, lower than the 4.6 percent rate recorded in April 2018. Eastern Visayas ranked fifth among the regions with low employment rate.

Data were based on the preliminary estimates released by the Philippine Statistics Authority from the Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted in April 2019.

April 2019 Eastern Visayas employment rate





DPWH gears for more efficient service with Javier

Lolita Karen Javier

July 11, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – To mark the beginning of partnership with the new administration in the second district of Leyte, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) welcomed the newly-elected congresswoman Lolita Karen Javier on Monday, July 8.

“This visit is a very momentous day for us because the support of the administration will be our inspiration to work better for the progress of the second district under the new leadership of congresswoman Javier,” said District Engineer Gerald Pacanan.

Javier expressed her gladness to have met a new family in the DPWH to work hand in hand for the district.

“You and I share the same vision of improving the 14 towns within our jurisdiction. I will surely work with you and I will try my best to give you the help that you need,” said Javier.

The congresswoman also announced the plan to provide a bigger office and service shuttle to give more comfort to the DPWH employees.

“I believe that through a more comfortable office, work of the employees would be more efficient as you would be inspired to deliver what is best for the people,” she added.

The visit of the congresswoman focused on getting to know the projects of the office for the development of the second district of Leyte.





MGen. Diñoso assumes as 21st 8ID Commander
Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto, Commanding General Philippine Army hands over the Command Flag to the incoming commander of 8ID, Maj. Gen. Pio Q. Diñoso AFP during the Turnover of Command Ceremony on July 5, 2019 at 8ID Grandstand.

MGen. Diñoso assumes as 21st 8ID Commander

July 11, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar – Maj. Gen. Pio Q. Diñoso III AFP has formally assumed his post as Commander of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army during the Change of Command Ceremony held at the unit’s Headquarters in Brgy. Maulong, Catbalogan City on July 5, 2019, over a month ahead of the compulsory retirement of his predecessor.

Maj. Gen. Diñoso takes the helm of 8ID from the outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio who will be retiring on August 9, 2019 from the military service after serving in the Armed Forces of the Philippines for more than 38 years.

The Change of Command Ceremony was presided by Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army (CGPA) and was witnessed by Lt. Gen. Noel S. Clement, Commander, Central Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines; Lt. Gen. Gerald Galileo R. Kintanar Jr, former Commanding General of Philippine Air Force; Maj. Gen. Dinoh A. Dolina AFP, Commander, 3ID; Maj. Gen. Byron H. Calimag AFP, Commander, Army Support Command; Brig. Gen. Alberto S. Desoyo, Commander, 301st Infantry Brigade; Brig. Gen. Ignacio B. Madriaga AFP, Commander, 302nd Infantry Brigade; Commodore Dorvin Jose L. Legaspi AFP, Commander, Naval Forces Central; Brig. Gen. Simeon Z. Felix, Jr, AFP, Wing Commander, Tactical Operations Wing Central; Police Maj. Gen. Rolando Felix, Director, Director for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) - Visayas; Police Brig. Gen. Dionardo B. Carlos, Eastern Visayas Police Director; Police Col. Dante P. Novicio, Acting Provincial Director, Samar Police Provincial Office; and the members of the Presiding General Officer’s Party – Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos AFP, and Brig. Gen Alfredo A. Soriano AFP; and some members of PMA’s “Sandiwa” (1985) and ”Maringal” (1988) Classes (both active and retired) and their ladies where Major General Farnacio and Major General Diñoso belongs respectively.

Also in attendance were Hon. Michael T. Tan, Vice Governor, Province of Samar; Dir. Yahyah Centi, Regional Director DOLE RO8; Ms Rebeca Baluguis, OIC, TESDA RO8; Hon. Don L. Abalon, Municipal Mayor of San Roque, NSamar; Rod Lawrence Suan, Former Mayor of Alllen, NSamar; members of 8ID Press Corps; other Local Chief Executives; Stakeholders; and other guests from the private and public sectors.

“Leading 8ID in Eastern Visayas is a great challenge, but you will not carry the burden alone because you have men and women who are professional and capable to join you in this journey. Congratulations Maj. Gen. Diñoso on your latest designation and I wish you the best of luck,” Maj. Gen. Fanacio’s message before relinquishing his post to Maj. Gen. Diñoso. Maj. Gen. Farnacio volunteered to vacate his post to allow a new leadership to take root until his formal Testimonial Retirement Ceremony at Headquarters Philippine Army on the 9th of August 2019.

“If this is really a hardship assignment, then I came to the right place…The insurgency situation here in Region 8 or elsewhere where there are many NPA rebels, is just an indicator of how we, in government, deliver public service. On the NPA rebels, I see them not as enemies but as victims, victims whom we have to rescue. We have to get them out of the predicament they are entrapped in,” Maj. Gen. Diñoso emphasized.

Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto AFP, Commanding General of the Philippine Army commended and congratulated Maj. Gen. Farnacio for the successful accomplishments of 8ID under his leadership. Likewise, he challenged Maj. Gen. Diñoso to prevail upon and continue the pursuit for lasting peace and development in Eastern Visayas.

Maj. Gen. Pio Q. Diñoso AFP previously served as the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, J4 prior to his designation as the 21st Commander of 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division.





SFDEO paves new Roxas-Imelda road in Sta. Margarita

Roxas-Imelda road, Sta. Margarita, Samar

July 11, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – A 6.1-meter-wide concrete road now runs between Barangay Roxas and Barangay Imelda in Sta. Margarita, Samar. This new road extends from the existing pavement in the neighboring barangay of Mabuhay, which connects to Daang Maharlika national highway.

Residents in said barangays used to travel on foot to reach the nearest road in Barangay Mabuhay, where they could hire a habal-habal to get to the main road.

This new accomplishment by DPWH Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) literally paves a better way for communities in the interior barangays of Sta. Margarita to access public goods and services in the municipal center as well as to bring their agricultural products to local markets. Copra, abaca and root crops are the primary products in the said barangays.

The 1.8-kilometer-long mountain road is reinforced by slope protection structures totalling 246.2 linear meters. The P50-million project is part of the district’s Local Infrastructure Program that aims to enhance road connectivity in Samar I.





Eastern Visayas posts $161.4 million trade surplus in April 2019

By PSA-8
July 10, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The region posted a $161.4 million surplus in the total Balance of Trade in Goods (BoT-G) in April 2019, in contrast to the $58.9 million trade deficit in the same period in 2018.

April 2019 Eastern Visayas trade surplusThe region’s total trade in goods in April 2019 surged to $199.0 million from $81.7 million in the same period in 2018, an increase of 143.5 percent.

Total value of exports amounted to $180.2 million, more than 15 times (1,475.3 percent) higher compared with the $11.4 million in April 2018. Total value of imports, meanwhile, was recorded at $18.8 million, lower by 73.2 percent compared with the $70.3 million imports posted in the same period in 2018 (Table 1).

The region’s total volume of exports in April 2019 was posted at 116.5 million kilograms valued at $180.2 million. The commodity group of copper and articles thereof was the major export during the month in review with total revenue of $75.1 million. This accounted for 41.7 percent of the region’s total export revenue in April 2019 (Table 2). Hong Kong was the top export market destination with $72.0 million total export revenue, which shared 40.0 percent of the region’s total exports (Table 3).

The region’s total imports amounted to $18.8 million in April 2019 with total gross weight of 54.7 million kilograms. Inorganic chemicals; organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals, of rare-earth, of radio-active elements or of isotopes commodity group was the major import during the month with total revenue of $6.0 million, comprising 31.8 percent of the region’s total imports in April 2019 (Table 4).

The top import supplier of the region in April 2019 was Vietnam with total import bill of $4.2 million, comprising 22.0 percent of the region’s total imports (Table 5).

April 2019 Eastern Visayas trade statistics





DPWH constructed a government center in Calbayog

Calbayog government center

July 5, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways constructed a Government Center at Calbayog City. The three-storey building has a revised contract amount of P28.7 million. It has a total area of 488.78 square meters.

This new building will house government offices such as the National Bureau of Investigation while others are still under negotiations such as PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG. This is part of the city’s goal to put government offices in one place for the convenience of the transacting public.

The building is situated at Barangay Bagacay where other offices are already in existence (BIR, PNP and the Procurement Office). This idea of bringing together government offices in one place will bring efficiency and faster transaction to better serve the public.

The project is a product of a collaboration between the Local Government Office giving the Department of Public Works and Highways the right to build such a structure that is beneficial to the people of Calbayog City.





W Express
W Express Chairman and President Dawn J. Feliciano and ECPay Chairman Jude Aguilar seal their new partnership with a handshake. Also present at the signing of the contract are W Express Executive Vice President Emily L. Alcid and ECPay Director Ting Estrella.

W Express makes paying easier with ECPay

Press Release
July 5, 2019

QUEZON CITY – W Express, one of the country’s pioneering logistics companies, has launched ECPay, a new service designed to make payments hassle-free for its customers.

ECPay allows W Express to accept and process payments for Home Credit, Cashalo, Dragon Loans, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Sky Cable, Cignal TV, BPI Banko, Security Bank Mastercard, Coins.ph, PLDT, Globe, SSS, BIR, NBI, local electric cooperatives and water districts, insurances, and loans, among others. It will also allow customers to top up their prepaid phone credits and their Autosweep or Easytrip RFIDs.

The ECPay service is now available in 82 Metro Manila and Luzon W Express branches. The company aims to offer ECPay in Visayas and Mindanao in June.

“Providing our customers a one-stop shop for bills payments, alongside our courier delivery services, is just one of our efforts in keeping with our philosophy of delivering with care and confidence, and our slogan ‘cargo mo, kargo ko!’” W Express Chairman and President Dawn J. Feliciano said.

In April, W Express announced its major expansion in 2019, starting with the opening of the first two of 19 new branches in growth areas around the country.





Save the Children Philippines calls on mothers to breastfeed newborns as national nutrition survey reveals rising cases of malnutrition among babies and pre-schoolers

newborn breastfeeding

Press Release
July 5, 2019

MAKATI CITY – Save the Children Philippines urged mothers to exclusively breastfeed their newborns as malnutrition remains on steady rise among babies and pre-schoolers in the country.

Lawyer Albert Muyot, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Save the Children Philippines said community health and nutrition workers should intensify campaigns on breastfeeding, complementary feeding and proper nutrition particularly among children of deprived families and marginalized communities.

He raised concern over the results of the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) presented last June 24 which showed increasing prevalence of malnutrition and anemia among babies and toddlers.

Atty. Muyot said the nutrition survey serves as “a wake-up call” in time for Nutrition Month being observed every July.

Anemia cases among babies six to 11 months increased to 48.2% in 2018 from 40.5% in 2013, while anemia among toddlers aged one to two years old have increased to 35.4% last year from 24.7% in 2013.

Stunting, a life threatening condition due to chronic undernutrition remains high at 36.6% for children two years old in 2018, from 36.2% in 2013.

Malnutrition among pre-schoolers is also high particularly among three years old at 33.8% in 2018 from 38.6 in 2013; and four years old at 30.2% last year from 36.8 in 2013.

“Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months and continued breastfeeding up to two years old will provide critical nutrients and protection to infants against life threatening diseases and improve their immune system,” said Muyot.

Globally, exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months prevents deaths of 1.3 million children below five years old every year.

Save the Children Philippines had been campaigning to eradicate malnutrition among children through maternal and child health and nutrition programs for children and pregnant and lactating mothers in deprived areas in the cities of Malabon, Navotas and Caloocan of Metro Manila as well as conflict affected areas of Mindanao.

Muyot urged local leaders to implement Republic Act 11148 or the First 1,000 Days Law that ensures optimum health and nutrition for children from conception up to two years old.

He said the first 1,000 days of a child’s life is considered a “critical window of opportunity” when physical growth and brain development are very crucial, and damage could be permanent or irreversible.

“We call on local government leaders to invest in safe motherhood and children’s health and well-being by providing more funds for maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition programs,” said Mr. Muyot.

He lauded the cities of Malabon, Navotas and Caloocan that have adopted the First 1,000 Days law into local city ordinances and allocated funds to improve the health and nutrition status of pregnant and lactating mothers and children below two years old.

Dr. Amado Parawan, Health and Nutrition Advisor of Save the Children Philippines said government programs on maternal and child health and nutrition should focus on priority areas with high malnutrition rates, mostly in conflict affected areas in Mindanao.

“We need to focus our nutrition programs in priority areas with high malnutrition rates to achieve the targets in the 2017-2022 Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition,” said Dr. Parawan who serves as private sector representative to the National Nutrition Council Governing Board.

Save the Children Philippines advocated for the passage of Republic Act 11148, known as Kalusugan ng Mag-Nanay Act to implement maternal and child health and nutrition in the first 1,000 days of the child’s life using the Nurturing Care Framework developed by the World Health Organization, World Bank and UNICEF.

“Malnutrition is a very complex problem with long-term effects physically, mentally and socially. With the passage of RA 11148, now is the perfect time to mobilize collaborative actions from all sectors. We should always remember that takes a village to raise and nurture a child,” said Dr. Parawan.

Download: Republic Act 11148 (First 1000 Days Law)





New road leading to Calbayog diversion road completed

Calbayog diversion road

July 4, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – DPWH Samar First District Engineering Office has completed the construction of a new road leading to the Calbayog diversion road. The road connects Narcisa Hills Subdivision to barangay Rizal I and taps into the diversion road.

The said road is appropriated P50 million under the district’s Local Infrastructure Program. It is a 1.36-kilometer-long concrete pavement with drainage structure totalling 2,487.4 linear meters. The road width varies from 4.5 meters to 6.1 meters, with some road sections having shoulder lanes.

Prior to the implementation of this road construction project, motorists and commuters coming from barangay Rizal I used a narrower, dilapidated road at Pido St. Extension which connects to the city proper via Magsaysay Boulevard.

This new development creates another access point to and from the city proper, allowing greater mobility for the travelling public. It also provides residents of barangay Rizal I with a new and better means of transport, particularly its local farmers. The barangay is home to at least 715 people (2015 Census).





ACT to PNP: Stop normalizing highly irregular acts against teachers

Press Release
July 3, 2019

QUEZON CITY – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines fired back at PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde for ‘deodorizing the vicious operations’ the police is carrying out against the organization ‘to make the public accept that snooping and harassment is a regular police job.’ Albayalde called ACT’s allegations filed through a supplemental petition to the Court of Appeals as ‘fabricated’, saying that PNP operations on the organization are but part of the regular ‘government profiling.’

“Since PNP launched snooping and harassment operations against ACT, Mr. Albayalde has not provided any concrete basis for their acts and arrogantly dismissed every valid and well-documented case we have bared. He has been defending their abusive operations by carrying a paranoid concept of protecting national security – one that suspects every critical citizen of being enemy of the state and therefore should be subjected to state surveillance, to the detriment of our people and our rights,” hit ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.

Basilio said that the confirmation of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the incidences he cited in the petition contradicts Albayalde’s accusation that ACT’s claims are fabricated. The investigation unit said it was a response to complaints received by the Office of the President regarding threats against Basilio’s life. The agency, however, denied that Basilio was harassed by their operatives.

“For the record, the CIDG operatives refused to sufficiently explain the motives of their investigation, even refusing to give me a look at the copies of the supposed orders which they say they are taking action on. Depriving me of my right to know the bases of their investigation render their actions dubious, especially that they came from the same institution whose flunked intelligence operations spurred the series of threats, harassments, and intimidation that I and other leaders suffered,” argued Basilio.

Basilio furthered that the incidence prompted them to file a supplemental petition ‘to protect ourselves from known rights violators like the police and the military.”

‘DepEd and CHEd need to explain themselves’

ACT called on the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to clarify Albayalde’s implication of the two education agencies regarding a request to do a background check on ACT members.

“This is a targeted intelligence operation, and if DepEd and CHEd have a hand in this, then they are liable to carrying out political persecution against teachers and professors. It breaches our freedom from discrimination based on political beliefs, right to free expression, freedom of association and right to self-organization,” said Basilio.

ACT urged the two education agencies to urgently issue a statement of clarification on the matter. The group further insisted that both DepEd and CHEd as their employer and as state institutions have a duty to uphold and respect human and labor rights.

“Have our education agencies willingly slid into the fold of Duterte’s violent and repressive ‘whole of nation approach’ of weaponizing the civilian bureaucracy in its rabid pursuit to suppress all forms of dissent? If yes, what a shame for institutions supposedly inculcating the principles of human rights, peace and democracy to allow itself to be used for fascistic ends,” stressed Basilio.

Basilio challenged DepEd and CHEd to ‘hold their ground and desist from being instruments to the Duterte regime’s repressive and tyrannical measures.’





DPWH DevCom Program
District Engineer Alvin Ignacio receives the Certificate of Recognition from Regional Director Nerie Bueno.

SFDEO tops 2018 ComDev rankings in Region 8

July 1, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) has once again bagged the first place in the overall ranking of DEOs in Region 8 for the year 2018, under the Communications Development Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Every month, DEOs are given star ratings based on the quantity, content and timeliness of public information materials they submit to the Regional Office as well as items published in various media. Monthly ComDev ratings are then tallied to produce the final rankings for the year.

Samar 1st District Engineer Alvin Ignacio officially received the certificate of recognition, which was presented by DPWH-RO8 Director Nerie Bueno during the Regional Monthly Coordination meeting held last June 18, 2019 at the Club House, Pawing, Palo, Leyte.

The recognition is a reflection of the tireless efforts of the SFDEO Public Information Office under the leadership of Administrative Chief and then PIO-Designate Ma. Nenita Gomez.

“We were blessed to have had talented personnel under our wings, whose skills we could employ to their utmost potential. Of course, we also had full support from the management, so we had all the equipment and resources we needed,” the chief says.

Through the DevCom Program, the department awards DEOs that work diligently towards keeping the public informed and maintaining transparency for all projects they undertake. This is the sixth consecutive year that Samar I ranked #1 among all thirteen (13) DEOs in the region.





Coal as ‘temporary solution’ not possible, groups say

Anti-coal groups respond to former Rep. Albee Benitez’s defense of coal

By Power for People Coalition
July 1, 2019

QUEZON CITY – Anti-coal Negrosanons criticized former Third District congressman Alfredo “Albee” Benitez’s defense of coal as a ‘temporary solution’ to energy needs in his first week as Trade and Investments Promotion consultant of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

“The recent statements of the former Representative casts a shadow of doubt upon the assurance of Gov. Lacson that discussions on coal will be put on hold,” said Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos. “We hope that the Governor will honor his word and instead put his cabinet and the rest of the provincial government to responding to our energy needs apart beyond coal.”

The Bishop pointed out that plans to pass a Renewable Energy ordinance to further strengthen the development of renewable energy programs for the province was proposed as early as the RE Summit in 2017. “The concerns of the former Representative can be addressed if a policy outlining how our energy needs can be sustained by clean energy is passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan,” the Bishop stated.

The Bishop then urged the Governor to convene Provincial Renewable Energy Council as prescribed by the Executive Order 19-08, which Lacson upheld. “We hope to invite all stakeholders to make a paradigm shift from the outmoded baseload model of energy to a model that employs renewable energy sources and digital technology,” he continued.

“Coal-based energy, by its very nature, cannot be a ‘temporary’ solution,” said think tank Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) Executive Director Gerry Arances. “The amount of capital needed to construct and operate a coal-fired power plant, and the amount of time needed before investors could enjoy a return of investment is among the reasons why coal contracts often span two or more decades,” said Arances.

“Energy investments on storage facilities and updating the island’s grid system, if managed and guided properly by public policy, could appease former Rep. Benitez’s concerns about renewable energy,” said Arances. “As Rep. Benitez has mentioned, many countries have already begun shifting from coal to renewable energy. The reality which must be faced is that this entails retiring and repurposing old coal-fired power plants, not constructing more of them.”

Anti-coal stalwart Dr. Romana delos Reyes of the Coal-free Negros Network stressed that there is no room for new coal projects in an ongoing ecological crisis faced and to be faced by the youth of today, their children and their grandchildren. “Coal plants are the monsters that have caused the sea level rise being experienced in various parts of the world. The ongoing melting of the Himalayan glaciers and Greenland sea ice will likely engulf large areas of lands in the entire world,” said Dr. Reyes, citing studies by international climate scientists.

“Our legacy cannot be one that does not care about the Philippine coastal communities where millions of Filipinos live,” Dr. delos Reyes continued. “We need to consider and prioritize the future of the youth over business. This entails resisting the lure of material progress to the detriment of lives, livelihood and a livable future for all Negrosanon youth,” she concluded.

"We are surprised that such a statement would come so close after the successful youth-led action last Saturday, which prompted a commitment from Gov. Lacson to put on hold talks on coal," said Coleen Awit of Youth for Climate Hope. "I hope that former Rep. Benitez could instead help bring in investments for clean energy infrastructure instead of re-introducing coal into the discussion."





142 indigent patients from far-flung areas in Samar Island benefitted surgical outreach program of 8ID and partners

Samar Island Surgical Outreach Program

July 1, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar – A total of 142 indigent patients benefited during the two-day Samar Island Surgical Outreach Program at Camp Lukban Station Hospital on June 27-28, 2019.

The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army led by its Commander, Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio in collaboration with DU30 Cabinet Spouses Association, Inc. led by its President, Atty. Betty Medialdia, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, GMA Kapuso Foundation and Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center with the support of Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Interior and Local Government, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Presidential Management Staff, Samar Provincial Hospital, Local Government Units in the Region 8, Naval Task Group 2 and other stakeholders conducted the Surgical Outreach Program to extend health services specially surgical treatment to the indigent patients from the conflict affected areas in Samar Island.

This 2-day activity was able to treat 38 major cases, 80 minor cases, 13 consultations and referred 11 cases to Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC).

Two weeks prior to this activity, patients of different surgical cases underwent series of pre-screening process to qualify them for the said surgical outreach program or be referred to other hospitals for treatment. Furthermore, bloodletting activity was also conducted at Camp Lukban wherein soldiers voluntarily donated a total of 84,150 cc of different types of blood for the patients.

Most of the patients were taken from the far-flung barangays by the Community Support Program (CSP) teams of 8ID in collaboration with the barangay officials, barangay health workers and social workers. They have undergone the Pre-Screening on Sites at the respective Rural Health Services with the assistance of the Municipal Health Officers. The patients were provided with transportation assistance by the Infantry Battalions and MLGUs. In some areas, our CSP teams took 1-2 days of trekking to bring the patients to the nearest road-net before availing transportation assistance.

Medical experts from EVRMC and World Surgical Foundation (WSF) Philippines headed by Dr. Lester Suntay shared their expertise by conducting surgical operations to the patients with the assistance of Lt. Colonel Dionido Napalang, Commanding Officer of Camp Lukban Station Hospital.

“Lahat na makakaya namin ay gagawin namin para makatulong sa ating mga kababayan sa Samar Island gaya ng ginawa namin sa Marawi,” Dr. Suntay stated.

On the other hand, Atty. Betty Medialdia, President, DU30 Cabinet Spouses Association, Inc. is appreciative of the warm reception accorded to them and their partners by 8ID and the beneficiaries.

In her statement during the opening ceremony, Atty. Medialdia said that “We have faith that our mission will be successful at makaka-uwi po sila (patients) ng maayos.”

Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, Commander, 8ID was glad and grateful to the services or support extended by the different partners and stakeholders who worked hand-in-hand for the success of the Samar Island Surgical Outreach Program.

“Sa loob ng dalawang araw, muli na naman nating naipakita at napatunayan na ang pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa tungo iisang layunin ay madaling mapagtatagumpayan kung sama-sama nating haharapin at bibigyan ng pansin.” Farnacio said.





SFDEO tops 2018 ComDev rankings in Region 8
District Engineer Alvin Ignacio receives the Certificate of Recognition from Regional Director Nerie Bueno.

SFDEO tops 2018 ComDev rankings in Region 8

July 1, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO) has once again bagged the first place in the overall ranking of DEOs in Region 8 for the year 2018, under the Communications Development Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Every month, DEOs are given star ratings based on the quantity, content and timeliness of public information materials they submit to the Regional Office as well as items published in various media. Monthly ComDev ratings are then tallied to produce the final rankings for the year.

Samar 1st District Engineer Alvin Ignacio officially received the certificate of recognition, which was presented by DPWH-RO8 Director Nerie Bueno during the Regional Monthly Coordination meeting held last June 18, 2019 at the Club House, Pawing, Palo, Leyte.

The recognition is a reflection of the tireless efforts of the SFDEO Public Information Office under the leadership of Administrative Chief and then PIO-Designate Ma. Nenita Gomez.

“We were blessed to have had talented personnel under our wings, whose skills we could employ to their utmost potential. Of course, we also had full support from the management, so we had all the equipment and resources we needed,” the chief says.

Through the DevCom Program, the department awards DEOs that work diligently towards keeping the public informed and maintaining transparency for all projects they undertake. This is the sixth consecutive year that Samar I ranked #1 among all thirteen (13) DEOs in the region.





New Negros Occidental Governor puts SMC coal plant on hold

Bishop, groups urge SMC to REthink energy plan for island, country

By Power for People Coalition
June 29, 2019

QUEZON CITY – After incoming Governor Bong Lacson put discussions on hold for the proposed coal-fired power plant in San Carlos, Negros Occidental in a statement yesterday, leaders of the anti-coal movement urged San Miguel Corporation (SMC) to rethink its energy strategy in the province and in the country.

“We are glad that the Governor is putting talks of coal on hold and is prioritizing the maximization of renewable energy in our beloved province,” said Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos. “We hope that this is a first step for him towards acknowledging that there is no room for coal in San Carlos and no room for it in Negros.”

The anti-coal groups in the province carried on with their planned gathering in the inauguration of Gov. Lacson to reiterate their calls to reject coal, uphold the coal-free Executive Order, and pass the proposed Renewable Energy Ordinance from the last administration.

Bishop Alminaza urged SMC to back down on its proposed project and instead invest in projects that would unite and not divide the people of the province. “We share the passion of all Negrosanons for growth and prosperity in our province, but we will not cease in viewing the continued use of dirty energy as an issue of morals and justice,” he said.

The Bishop reiterated that a country among the most threatened in the world by the climate crisis should not itself contribute to the problem. “It is the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor that we refrain from so-called development projects that will not only harm our health and environment, but further decrease the capacity of the impoverished to survive and thrive in this worsening climate.”

“The costs and risks attached to existing coal projects of SMC in other parts of the country is among the many reasons why there is a growing and overwhelming opposition to the projects they are proposing,” said Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) Executive Director Gerry Arances. “In the past two years, the company has suffered a bad reputation in the handling of its coal assets.”

Arances recounted how last 2017, health and environmental problems were seen in the waste disposal system of its coal plant in Limay, Bataan. “And just this year, the underperformance and emergency maintenance shutdowns of its coal plants in Calaca, Batangas and Masinloc, Zambales caused electricity hikes which consumers had to pay for.”

Arances encouraged the company to double down and scale up its plan to set up 1,200 MW of renewable energy in five years. “Not only will SMC get the chance to reinvent itself as a leader in clean energy, it will also send good signals to consumers and communities who have long suffered from their dirty and costly investments,” he concluded.

Anti-coal groups to press on to stop SMC plant

Youth and other sectoral groups gathered in the Capitol Lagoon as the inauguration was happening to remind the incoming leaders of their responsibility to the environment and the people.

“While Negros Occidental is already known across the country as its Renewable Energy Capital, we know that we still have much more to do if we seek to harness and maximize all the renewable energy sources that we have in the province,” said Coleen Awit of the Youth for Climate Hope. “Categorically abandoning coal shall also make Negros Occidental a model province not just in its pursuit of renewable energy, but also in its initiatives for climate action and justice.”

Students and religious groups, as well as local contingents of national organizations Bukluran ng Manggagwang Pilipino, Sanlakas, Murang Kuryente, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice also mobilized during the gathering.





Cagnipa Bridge widened by DPWH

Cagnipa Bridge widening

June 28, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – From a two-lane Cagnipa Bridge, it was widened to a four-lane bridge by the Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office with an appropriation of P50 million.

The bridge was widened to a total width of 7.32 meters carriageway (left and right) and 2.22 meters sidewalk. Now, it spans to 14.64 meters total width of carriageway and a total length of 51 meters.

This will provide safe and convenient travel going through this major thoroughfare and faster delivery of goods to and from the city proper.

The widening of bridges complements the road widening projects being done within the district.





NMP DotS freedom wall
ED Maglunsod with DED Macadawan writing on the freedom wall for the DotS celebration.

NMP salutes the Filipino seafarers

By National Maritime Polytechnic
June 28, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – Aiming to promote and highlight the timeless efforts and sacrifices of the seafarers globally, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) joins the world in celebrating and honoring the noble men and women at sea during the International Day of the Seafarer on June 25, 2019.

The NMP being a premier and sole government maritime institution equally pays high respect to its seafarer-trainees, seafarer instructors and to the seafarer family members of employees.

The celebration kicked-off with the Mariners’ Feud held at the NMP Training Building Annex. It showcased the wit and enthusiasm of the seafarer-trainees and seafarer instructors as they competed for the Mariners’ Feud championship.

The contestants were Capt. Jose Bolito, Mr. Darryl S. Daiz, Mr. Donald B. Dollete, and Mr. Ronald O. Dellones (Team Bravo), Mr. Abraham Pingol, Ms. Clee-ann Marie Montehermoso, Mr. Darwin Taboada, and Mr. Owen Jay Vasquez (Team GOC Big Brothers), Capt. Jonifer Nuevas, Mr. Richard Mandreza, Mr. Julius Cabrera, and Mr. Alfonso Garces (Team Boga-Boga), and Engr. Primitivo Capacio, Mr. Henry A. Licardo, Mr. Veniez Llamas, and Mr. Jungie, Alas (Team Mandaragat). The players gone through hard levels but Team Boga-Boga emerged as the Mariners’ Feud Champion.

A Tribute for the Seafarers program followed as Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod gave his welcome address. Subsequently an intermission number from Ms. Reynisa Christine Ellarina, a seafarer’s daughter added color to the program.

In a response speech, a Refresher Training for Basic Safety (BTR) trainee, Officer-In-Charge on a Navigational Watch (OIC NW) Pinky P. Ygoña said, “Over the course of my career as the only woman onboard general cargo vessels, I have come across a lot of situations which made me feel inferior. It is a fact that the maritime industry is a men-dominated profession. It is not alien to stereotyping but we should focus on the skills of a person. It doesn’t matter what his or her gender orientation may be. We should be honing their skills and abilities to be better in what they do and create an environment of respect. Work would be easier because there is already respect. When there is respect there will be greater teamwork which will lead to improved productivity.”

The program concluded with the distribution simple tokens and the floral offering rites which paid homage to the departed seafarers held at the NMP’s Boat Davit Area.

The DotS was first celebrated in 2011, following its establishment by a resolution adopted by the Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978 in Manila, Philippines, in June 2010. It adopted major revisions to the STCW Convention and Code. Likewise, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) considers the challenges and hardships the seafarers battles everyday worthy of double honor. It is then that the IMO designated June 25 as the International Day of the Seafarer with this year’s theme “I am on board with gender equality”.

As a response to the call for Gender Equality, the NMP continues to offer the Gender Sensitivity Training for Seafarers (GSTS) course aimed at increasing the trainees’ level of awareness and appreciation on Gender And Development (GAD) concepts and addressing current gender issues in the maritime sector concerning the Filipino seafarers. The course is provided to trainees free of charge.

Throughout the week from June 24 to 28, 2019, a Photo/Freedom Wall at the Administration Building lobby was made available where everyone was encouraged to write what they would do if they were able to make just one change to achieve gender equality in seafaring. Likewise, selfies or photographs using cards bearing the #IAmOnBoard, the Social Development Goal (SDG) 5 icon, the DotS logo, and the #MakeOneChange, as a show of solidarity for gender equality in seafaring was also promoted.

Remarkably, the NMP also participated in the various activities organized by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) relative to the DotS celebration at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) office. A mass was celebrated followed by the floral offerings for the departed seafarers that were participated by various agencies in the Region VIII.

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

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





DPWH constructed 2 new school buildings in Calbayog City

June 28, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – New school buildings at Pilar National Agricultural High School (PNAHS) and Calbayog East Central School (CECS) are completed through the Department of Public Works and Highways under the 2018 Basic Education Facilities Fund (Batch 1).

The two-storey, six-classroom school building at PNAHS will be taken up by grades 9 and 11 wherein two classrooms will be appropriated as computer and science laboratory. The new building will house 330 to 360 students. The institute only offers agricultural strand to senior high school students thus the name of the school.

On the other hand, the spacious three-storey, six-classroom building at CECS will accommodate 210 students from grades 3 to 4.

Constructing more school buildings will mean answering the cry for better amenities that will help in creating a good ambiance in the school area thus, making learning easier and more convenient. This will also lessen the over population of students in a classroom.

The Department of Education is always on the look-out on how to improve the educational facilities of every schools and the Department of Public Works and Highways is willing to work with the department in meeting that goal.





NMP joins Kalayaan Jobs and Business Fair

Kalayaan Jobs and Business Fair

By National Maritime Polytechnic
June 28, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) memorializes the 121st Philippine Independence in Eastern Visayas by joining the Kalayaan Job and Business Fair of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) last June 18, 2019 at the Provincial Covered Court of Catbalogan City.

The Jobs Fair with the theme “Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan” started with a short program followed by the awarding of the livelihood grants.

Job vacancies were posted by sixteen (16) local and three (3) overseas employers including NMP’s vacant positions.

A Trade Fair in view of the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) undertaking was participated by seventeen (17) exhibitors from the Samar Province.

In attendance to support the annual celebration were Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod of National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), Regional Director Gemma R. Poloyapoy of National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) OIC-Regional Director Mary Catherine O. Pastor of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Board Secretary Reynaldo Soliveres of Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), Ms. Catherine D. Dasigan of National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), Engr. Maria Elena L. Diez of Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) and Ms. Michelle C. Basal of Employees Compensation Commission (ECC), DOLE-Samar Field Office Officer-in-Charge, Engr. Aleksei Ceasar D. Abellar, Samar Province Police Colonel Dante Novicio, Brigadier General Alex D. Luna of the 801st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army, Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Celerina T. Bato, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Manager of Catbalogan City, Mr. Albert Hilary L. Ramos and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Samar Coordinator, and Ms. Golda Meir T. Tabao.

The said Jobs Fair brought the jobs closer to the jobseekers particularly those from the Samar island. NMP records show from 1983-2018, five-hundred forty (540) trainees from Catbalogan, Samar availed the NMP training programs with two thousand seven hundred sixty-two (2,762) certificates issued.

In the same way, the NMP also marked the commemoration of the Philippine Independence Day through a Flag Raising Ceremony last May 28, 2019 held in front of the NMP Admin. Building.

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

Those interested to take NMP training programs may visit the NMP website www.nmp.gov.ph and its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter) where all related information on NMP trainings are available.





Nalihugan-Rawis Road in Gandara, Samar now open to motorists

Nalihugan-Rawis Road

June 28, 2019

CALBAYOG CITY – With the completion of phase-2 construction of a 6.10-meter-wide concrete pavement, motorists can now conveniently pass through the Nalihugan-Rawis road in Gandara, Samar.

Beforehand, there was only a narrow and bumpy trail between the neighboring barangays. The residents of Barangay Rawis and the succeeding barangays had to take a boat trip along Gandara River to reach the Gandara Poblacion.

The works included concreting of a total length of 723 meters.

This project is part of the local infrastructure program of DPWH Samar First District Engineering Office (SFDEO), which aims to increase access and connectivity in the district.

The DEO has also recently completed the construction of a road linking barangays Sto. Niño, Sidmon and Macugo, which is directly connected to the Gandara-Matuguinao Road. Another road construction project linking barangays Rawis and Burabod in the same municipality is already nearing its completion.





DPWH completes eight classrooms in Carigara, Leyte

Jugaban National High School

June 28, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) field office here has recently completed the construction of two-unit 2-storey four-classrooms at Jugaban National High School in this town funded under the 2018 Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF).

BEFF is an annual budget for the school building program of the Department of Education and the DPWH. The fund also covers site inspection, the improvement and maintenance of existing school facilities, the acquisition of school supplies among others.

Gerald Pacanan, DPWH Leyte 2 district engineer said that each unit of this new school building has four classrooms complete with toilets and other facilities.

“We always make sure that each building follows the proper standards and programs set by the department. We conduct several inspections during and after construction to check if there are issues or problems even in the smallest details,” said Pacanan.

With a total allocation of P19.3 million, Pacanan added that this is part of the government’s efforts to improve the quality of education in the country by providing more conducive learning environment for students.

According to Anecita Empino, school head of Jugaban National high school, they have a total of 1,954 students from grade 7 to grade 12.

She added that these new school buildings will be used by grade 10 students. Overall, the district is tasked to implement a total of 25 school building projects amounting to P368 million funded under the DepEd Basic Educational Facilities Fund for 2018.





P289M mitigation structures to ease flood problems in Leyte

Leyte flood mitigation structure projects

June 28, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – To strengthen infrastructure for flood risk mitigation, the Department of Public Works and Highways Leyte Second District Engineering Office has commenced the construction of P289.74 million flood mitigation structure projects.

District Engineer Gerald Pacanan said that there are already 4 ongoing projects which include construction Can-isak Riverbank in the town of Barugo worth P15 million, construction of flood control structure along Manloy River in Carigara worth P20 million, and construction of Luan Seawall in Dulag, Leyte worth P17 million and construction of Daguitan-Marabong River flood control in Brgy. Batug, Dulag, Leyte worth P42.47 million.

“This is a priority project of the government as it aims to provide solution to the frequent flooding and protect the residents and properties in these low-lying areas of the district,” added Pacanan.

On top of these projects, the office will also undertake eight construction/ rehabilitation of flood mitigation structures and drainage systems within the district.

Among these projects are the P84 million in Binahaan river K001+540 - K002+255 and K002+255 - K002+880 in Pastrana, Leyte; P30 million Carigara River in Sitio Bariis of East Visoria to Brgy. Canal and P20 million in East Visoria all in Carigara, Leyte; P7.5 million Poblacion Zone 2 seawall, P10 million Balud seawall, and P10 million Domiri river in Brgy. Culasian all in Capoocan, Leyte, and the P30 million Himanglos river in Brgy. Santarin to Brgy. Hilaba in Barugo, Leyte.

The district engineering office targets to start construction of all flood mitigation projects before the rainy season and complete them within its calendar days.





DPWH widens six bridges in Leyte

Carigara bridge

June 28, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – Multi-million bridge widening projects will be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways to expand significant road networks in the second district of Leyte.

District Engineer Gerald Pacanan said that a total amount of P188.487 million has been allocated for these projects funded under the General Appropriations Act of 2019.

Out of six projects, four bridges are underway namely the P31.721 million Carigara bridge and P4.701 million Barugohay bridge both in Carigara town along Palo-Carigara-Ormoc road, Hibuga bridge along Mayorga-La Paz road worth P13.665 million and Ibawon bridge amounted to P92.80 million in MacArthur.

“To complement the widened national roads and accommodate voluminous number of motorists, these two-lane bridges will be expanded to four lanes,” Pacanan added.

Widening projects will also be done in Tunga bridge in Tunga, Leyte funded at P30.02 million and Atipolo Daco bridge Capoocan worth P15.58 million both along Palo-Carigara-Ormoc road.

The engineering office is mandated to maintain 55 bridges with a total length of 2.266 kilometers in the second district of Leyte.





DAR mini-trade fair
DAR-8 Regional Director Sheila Enciso (2nd from left) cuts the ribbon signifying the opening of the mini-trade fair at the DAR Regional Office compound on Wednesday. Assisting her are (from left) Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program Ismael Aya-ay, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Paulina Canales of Leyte, ARD for Administration Ma. Fe Malinao, PARPO I Teresita Alde of Eastern Samar, PARPO I Danilo Lozada of Southern Leyte, PARPO I Alma Peñero of Leyte, and PARPO II Gilbert Apilado of Eastern Samar. (Jose Alsmith L. Soria)

DAR opens mini-trade fair

June 27, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – A mini-trade fair featuring farmers’ products was opened yesterday morning at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Regional Office compound in this city.

Products ranging from agricultural to processed foods and handicrafts were produced by the different agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) throughout Eastern Visayas.

The said trade fair which is among the activities lined up in relation to the 31st anniversary celebration of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) will run until June 28.

At the Leyte booth, various types of rice (red, black, white, glutinous rice, etc.), organic eggs, fruits and vegetables including vermicasts are available.

At the Eastern Samar booth, several processed foods such as cassava chips, banana chips, noodles with seaweed, brewed coffee, tablea, coco vinegar, salabat, and calamansi concentrate are available. Handicrafts and vermicasts are also sold here.

At the Northern Samar booth, products available are piñato, tablea, pili products, coco sugar, vinegar, and tuna in oil. They also have vermicasts and handicrafts.

Meanwhile unique products at the Samar booth, are canton noodles with squash which has already been issued with license to operate (LTO) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and white cheese; while unique products at the Southern Leyte booth are guyabano tea and orchid pots.

According to Assistant Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay, this trade fair is a venue to showcase the products of the ARBs. He added, that this is an evidence that the ARBs are gaining grounds in their respective levels.

Aya-ay likewise disclosed that these products will be showcased too during the Agrilink/ Foodlink/ Aqualink 2019, a national agribusiness exhibition organized by the Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development, Incorporated (FRLDI), to be held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on October 3-5, 2019.

He further disclosed that the theme for that said event will be “Climate Resilient Agriculture: A must for Region 8”.

Related to this, Regional Director Sheila Enciso instructed the DAR Provincial Offices to assist the ARBOs in coming up with the best products for that national event. This is an opportunity for them to attract institutional buyers, she added.





DPWH kicks off construction of 2019 infra projects in Leyte 2

2019 infra projects in Leyte

June 27, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte second district engineering district has already started construction of the various infrastructure projects under the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

According to Gerald Pacanan, DPWH Leyte II District Engineer, implementation of the 2019 projects was delayed due to late approval of the annual budget.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the national budget on April 15 with some vetoed items including the P75 billion insertions applied by congressmen covering public works projects.

For this fiscal year, Leyte 2 is tasked to implement 87 projects worth P1.57 billion covering road and bridge improvement projects and construction of other government facilities. Of which 21 of these projects are already ongoing which include 2 major road rehabilitation, 4 bridge widening, and 15 barangay road projects.

“We strictly require contractors to immediately start the project upon receiving the notice to proceed. This is because we want to avoid further delays and for them also to finish the project within its time duration,” Pacanan said.

Meanwhile, among the high impact projects that the department will implement are the P50 million, P73.5M, and P89.8M road rehabilitation projects along Jaro-Dagami-Burauen-La paz road, P92.8M Ibawon bridge in La Paz town, P100M road pavement project along Burauen-Mahagnao road, P93.9M road improvement works along Palo-Carigara-Ormoc road and also along this road network is the implementation P179M road widening projects.





P2.9M livelihood grants for farmers, PWDs in MacArthur, Leyte

June 27, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – A total of P2,962,250.00 livelihood funds were released by the Department of Labor and Employment to the local government unit of MacArthur, Leyte during the 2nd Quarter North Leyte PESO Managers Meeting last June 20, 2019 at the ABC Hall, LGU Compound, MacArthur, Leyte.

Present during the simple turnover of livelihood checks are Ms. Bernardita Navarra, DOLE North Leyte Field Office Head, Hon. Rene Leria, Mayor of LGU MacArthur, and Ms. Fedelina Pica, PESO Manager of MacArhur, Leyte. Representatives of recipient associations were likewise present to witness the awarding of checks.

The said amount will be benefiting forty-three (43) persons with disabilities (PWDs) and one hundred forty-one (141) farmers from MacArthur, Leyte.

Mayor Leria was delighted during the turnover and expressed his sincerest thanks to DOLE. He said, “In behalf of LGU-MacArthur, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to DOLE for these funds. I am sure these funds will go a long way for our deserving beneficiaries”.

Ms. Navarra on the other hand said that DOLE will always be ready to extend assistance because it is one of the reasons why it exists. She likewise reminded the beneficiaries to be good stewards of their livelihood projects.

“We are doing the best we can so we’ll be able to be of service to you because that is why we are here as a government agency. I just want to urge our beneficiaries to really be united in handling your livelihood projects for your own benefit too”, said Ms. Navarra.

Breakdown of approved projects are as follows: Photocopying Center Project of the MacArthur Persons with Disability Association amounting to P463,200.00; Poultry Farming and Chicken Egg Production of the Lanawan Farmers Association amounting to P499,050.00; and Provision of 4-wheel Drive Tractors of General Luna Integrated Farmers Association and LIDAROIMMA Irrigators Association amounting to P2,000,000.00.





DTI mandates translations for English, Filipino, or both for business and marketing materials

June 27, 2019

MAKATI CITY – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez signed last 21 June 2019, Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 19-09, Series of 2019, which mandates the translation of signages, billboards, advertisements, brochures, flyers, notices, advisories, labels, price tags/lists, menus, receipts, and other business marketing materials to English and/or Filipino.

The policy move was prompted by the surprise inspection conducted by the DTI in a Chinese food park located in Las Piñas City last 10 May 2019.

During the said inspection, all 33 food stalls were found to be using signages, price lists, and receipts in the Chinese language only. According to the DTI, this is a form of deceptive, unfair, or unconscionable sales act since non-Chinese speaking consumers are not provided with easily understandable information pertaining to the products and services that they need.

“With this new DAO, we are enhancing the protection of consumers on their right to accessible information that can help them in making wise purchase decisions. Presenting information on products and services in foreign languages other than those officially recognized and used by the consumers are deemed unfair and discriminatory, thus, inimical to their interest,” said Sec. Lopez.

In the DAO, the translation into English or Filipino of the marketing paraphernalia of a business must be visible, and printed and/or written legibly. The use of Filipino language in this case is not limited to Tagalog but also includes regional and provincial dialects.

To ensure its accurate translation, business establishments are now required to secure a certification from the Embassy of the country whose language is sought to be translated to, or from its accredited translator or interpreter, or any competent individual or institution duly recognized by the DTI.

Business establishments and entities found to be violating any of the provisions of the DAO shall be imposed with penalties ranging from P1,000.00 up to P300,000.00 depending on the capitalization and frequency of offense.

Erring businesses shall likewise face the cancellation of their business name certificate that was issued by the DTI, and revocation of business registration, permit, license, and any other regulatory clearances upon the recommendation of the Department to appropriate government agencies or units.

All business establishments and entities are given one month following the effectivity of the DAO to comply with the provisions of the Order, which will take effect 15 days after its publication in two newspapers of general circulation.


Last updated: 10/12/2019