Assistant Division Commander BGen. Cesar M. Idio AFP, 801st
Brigade commander Col. Perfecto M. Rimando, Samar Governor
Sharee Ann Tan and PNP participants during the launching of the
"Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Illigal na
Droga" (MASA MASID) at Lucas Wharf, Catbalogan City on October
8ID joins the
launching of anti-illegal drugs in Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
October 15, 216
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan,
Samar – The 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division joined in the
launching of Antil-Illegal Drugs Campaign for a Drug-Free Samar
Province in connection with the nationwide campaign entitled
“Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga” (MASA
MASID) on October 13, 2016 held at Catbalogan City together with the
Samar Provincial Government, Samar-PNP and non-government
organizations which aims to encourage communities to take a proactive
stance in the government’s fight against corruption, illegal drugs,
The whole day activity was
highlighted by a kick-off parade, thanksgiving mass, and a short
program initiated by the PNP-Samar Province at Samar Provincial
Covered Court followed by the formal launching of the “MASA MASID”.
The said launch emphasizes the spirit of volunteerism and teamwork of
different multi-sectoral organizations to be primary watchers of any
lawless activities in their barangays and help create safer and
drug-free communities in the country.
Present during the activity
were: Brigadier General Cesar M Idio AFP, Assistant Division
Commander, 8ID; Hon. Sharee Ann Tan-Delos Santos, Governor, Samar;
PCSupt Elmer Cruz Beltejar, PRO8; SSupt Elmer Pelobello, Provincial
Director, SPPO and Mr. Judy L Batulan, Provincial Director, DILG-Samar.
“With the assumption of
President Rodrigo R. Duterte, it has been in our mandate to support
law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal drugs and
anti-terrorism. In view of this mandate, the Division has revised and
updated its campaign plan. Our key task in the anti-drug campaign of
the national government has been incorporated in this new plan, “Brig
Gen Idio emphasized.
“The DILG, PNP, PDEA, and
LGUs, particularly the Provincial Government of Samar, can expect our
full support to this noble endeavor. Within the desired time frame, we
aim to significantly contribute to this campaign in the fields of
intelligence gathering, illegal drug interdiction and
arrest/neutralization of drug personalities along with our
counterparts, so as to help create an environment conducive for
sustainable development and a just and lasting peace,” Idio added.
signs letter of intent to acquire up to 12 Bombardier Q400 aircraft
- Airline becomes launch
customer of extra-capacity, two-class Q400 aircraft
- The 86-seat aircraft will feature 10 premium service seats
October 14, 2016
TORONTO, Ontario –
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that Philippine
Airlines, Inc., flag carrier of the Philippines, has signed a Letter
of Intent (LOI) to acquire up to 12 Q400 aircraft.
"For close to a decade, the
Bombardier Q Series family of aircraft has been instrumental in
evolving our domestic network operations," said Jaime J Bautista,
President and Chief Operating Officer, Philippine Airlines. "We are
proud that our continued fleet growth now makes us the first airline
to launch service with the two-class, 86-seat Q400 aircraft. As we
strive to become a 5-star-rated airline, the Q400 aircraft, featuring
a modern and innovative configuration, will be instrumental in
providing our travellers with a world-class, in-flight passenger
extra-capacity, two-class Q400 aircraft into its operations is the
ideal solution for Philippine Airlines as it reshapes its domestic air
travel strategy," said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial
Aircraft. "With its perfect balance of passenger amenities and
operational flexibility, the 86-seat Q400 aircraft will offer
Philippine Airlines significant opportunities to differentiate itself
in the region's fiercely competitive environment.
"We look forward to working
with Philippine Airlines to reach a firm purchase agreement for Q400
aircraft," added Mr. Cromer.
"As Philippine Airlines
looks to develop its domestic operations from secondary hubs and
increase intra-island connectivity, the 86-seat Q400 aircraft – the
largest two-class turboprop aircraft available on the market -- will
increase the carrier's competitiveness by offering the lowest
seat-mile and operating costs in the regional aircraft market," said
François Cognard, Vice President, Sales, South-East Asia and
Australasia. "Our continued collaboration will undoubtedly set the
stage for another decade of profitable and efficient operations for
Bombardier's Dash 8/Q Series
turboprops and CRJ Series regional jets have made significant advances
in the Asia-Pacific region where approximately 190 aircraft -
including more than 165 Dash8/Q Series turboprops -- are in service
with, or ordered by, over 25 customers and operators.
support network for commercial aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region
includes Regional Support Offices in Narita (Tokyo), Sydney, Beijing,
Shanghai and Mumbai, as well as Parts Depots in Sydney, Beijing and
Singapore. Operating from the company's regional office located in
Singapore, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft's sales and marketing team
is well positioned to provide industry-leading solutions to its
current and prospective customers.
National Blood Donors Month
By LEVIRESA GETIGAN-BARNIZO
October 13, 2016
BRGY. SAN POLICARPO,
Calbayog City – In celebration of the National Blood Donors Month
bannered “Blood connects us all. Share LIFE give BLOOD”, the
Department of Public Works and Highways - Samar First District
Engineering Office (SFDEO) jointly facilitated a Grand Bloodletting
activity at SFDEO Conference Room, October 12, 2016.
Out of 46 SFDEO employees
who are enlisted for blood donation, only 12 employees passed the
initial screening. 36 employees failed from the series of tests due to
high/low blood pressure, low hemoglobin and “not prominent”. Tests are
conducted to ensure that donors are safe to donate their bloods.
The activity is a joint
effort of the Rotary Club of Calbayog, LGU Calbayog represented by its
medical team from the City Health Office, Philippine Institute of
Civil Engineers (PICE) Calbayog Chapter, and DPWH-SFDEO.
Engr. Raquel Y. Sumayo,
Chief, Quality Assurance Section, SFDEO, and President of Rotary
Calbayog, agreed to the proposal that this activity be conducted
assumes as new 8ID Commander
By DPAO, 8ID PA
October 13, 2016
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Brig Gen Raul M Farnacio AFP has formally assumed his post
as Commander of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine
Army in a simple Change of Command Ceremony held at its Headquarters
in Brgy Maulong, Catbalogan City last Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 10
o'clock in the morning.
Brig. Gen. Farnacio replaced
Maj. Gen. Jet B Velarmino who officially retired from the military
service after serving in the AFP for more than 38 years.
The Change of Command
Ceremony was presided by Lt Gen Eduardo M Año, the Commanding General
of the Philippine Army and was witnessed by Gen Ricardo R Visaya AFP,
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of The Philippines; Maj Gen Raul L Del
Rosario AFP, Commander, Central Command; PCSupt. Elmer Cruz Beltejar,
RD, PRO8; Bishop Isabelo C Abarquez, Diocese of Calbayog; members of
8ID Multi Sectoral Advisory Board; 8ID Press Corps; Local Chief
Executives; Stakeholders and other guests from the private and public
"We must see our vision for
lasting peace and progress in the region as a response, as well as our
vision to the call for change by our administration. We need to align
our objectives with the higher headquarters, we need to align our
effort to Army Transformation Roadmap which we expect to succeed our
mission for peace and progress and we should fit ourselves as worthy
implementers of these goals," Brig Gen Farnacio emphasized.
"We must also align our
efforts in support to the ongoing peace talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF, as
well as the government's drive against criminality and illegal drugs,"
Lt Gen Eduardo M Año AFP,
Commanding General of the Philippine Army commended and congratulated
MajGen. Velarmino for the successful accomplishments of this Command.
Likewise, he challenged BrigGen. Farnacio to equal if not surpass, the
commendable accomplishments of his predecessor in winning the peace in
Brig Gen Raul M Farnacio AFP
previously served as the Battalion Commander of the 20th Infantry (We
Lead) Battalion in 2005 and 43rd (We Search) Battalion in 2006. At
present, Brig Gen Farnacio is the 20th Commander of 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers)
Electronics top PH
exports; East Asia market expands
October 13, 2016
MAKATI CITY –
Electronic products remained to be the country’s top exports as the
sector grew by 11.6% from US$2.359 billion in 2015 to US$ 2.633
billion this year accounting for 53.7% of the total export revenues in
August 2016, according to the recent report issued by the Philippine
Statistics Authority (PSA).
Among the electronic
products, semiconductors continued to have the biggest share with
total of 39% that posted an increase of 11.2% from US$1.719 billion in
August 2015 to US$1.912 billion in August 2016.
Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) noted that electronic products are one of the
identified key exports of the Philippines under the Philippine Export
Development Plan (PEDP) 2015-2017 along with processed food and
beverage, coconut oil, motor vehicle parts and computer and
information services such as the information technology and business
process management (IT-BPM).
“As part of our strategy in
the PEDP, we will continue to provide comprehensive support services
to our key and emerging exports sectors while we continue to
strengthen our market presence and seek new trading partners,” said
DTI Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen M. Perlada.
Exports of other mineral
products also grew with total sales of US$120.16 million.
Meanwhile, exports to East
Asia such as Hong Kong, China and Taiwan grew by 22.4%, 2.2%, and
19.72%, respectively. According to PSA, a large portion of the
country’s merchandise went to countries in East Asia, accounting for
52.2% share of the total exports valued at US$2.560 billion which
reflected a 2.5% increase from US$2.497 billion of August 2015.
Exports to some parts of
Europe also grew such as France and Switzerland which reflected
double-digit growth rates, 78.08% and 68.55%, respectively.
“Our traditional markets are
there such as Japan and USA as our top export destination. But we are
urging and encouraging exporters to maximize our FTAs (free trade
agreements) with other countries,” added Perlada.
DTI noted that at present,
Philippines, as part of the Association of South East Asian Nation
(ASEAN) has existing FTAs with other Asian countries such as Japan,
China, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and India, that
entrepreneurs, especially exporters, can maximize. Support services
and assistance are all available with the Department’s Export
Marketing Bureau office (DTI-EMB).
DTI also plans to increase
its presence abroad by opening up new trade posts in strategic cities.
Recently, it opened its first Philippine Trade and Investment Center
in South America, in the city of Mexico and expecting to open another
center in Toronto, Canada before the end of 2016. Plans of expanding
and hiring of more trade representatives abroad are also at hand in
order to seek new markets, strengthen the country’s economic presence
abroad, and further assist Philippine micro, small, and medium
PSA reported that for August
2016, total Philippine exports sales amounted to US$4.904 billion from
US$ 5.128 billion in the same period last year. The overall decline
was brought by seven major commodities out of the top ten export
commodities for the month which include machinery and transport
equipment (-52.5%); metal components (-25.9%); chemicals (-16.2%);
articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-11.3%); other
manufactures (-9.3%); woodcrafts and furniture (-8.8%); and coconut
Second round ends
with some progress but uncertainties remain
By NDFP Media Office
October 12, 2016
– The second round of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations ended with some
progress but uncertainties remain that serve to dampen the initial
optimism on the part of the NDFP negotiators and consultants. There is
now growing uneasiness and impatience among the NDFP delegation over
the snail's pace in the steps being taken to effect the release of the
remaining political prisoners despite repeated promises and assurances
coming from the GRP panel.
There are more than 400 political prisoners still languishing in
various jails nationwide. The issue of their continued detention came
up early in the talks as the new NDFP Panel Chairperson Fidel Agcaoili
cited the pledge made by President Rodrigo Duterte himself last May to
issue an amnesty proclamation to speed up their release. So far, the
GRP has released only 22 political prisoners, most of them NDFP
consultants. There have been no other releases since August.
In response to the appeal from GRP Panel Chairperson Silvestre Bello
for patience, Agcaoili said that if the GRP could effect the speedy
release of the 22 JASIG-protected NDFP consultants why the seemingly
excruciating difficulty in releasing the rest of the political
Under pressure from the
consistent pressing of the NDFP on this issue, the GRP Panel once
again promised "to do their best". But cynicism is now growing among
some of the NDFP negotiators and consultants as well as among the
remaining political prisoners on account of so many unfulfilled
Aside from the issue of
political prisoners, reports have been coming in from the field about
continuous military operations by AFP forces in NPA territory.
According to NPA commands from various regions, the reason why there
has been no firefights so far is mainly because NPA forces have been
maneuvering to avoid armed encounters. But tensions are rising because
the AFP military operations appear more and more to be taking the form
of base-denial operations targeting the mass base of the NPA.
According to NPA national
spokesperson Jorge Madlos, “All NPA units have strictly abided by its
own unilateral ceasefire declaration. Aside from maintaining defensive
posture, NPA units are conducting counter-maneuvers to avoid armed
skirmishes with the AFP.” But not a few NPA units are having
difficulty holding back amid threats from the AFP in its
counter-insurgency intelligence operations, Madlos said.
From Northern Luzon to
Southern Mindanao, Madlos claimed, there were reports of AFP units
telling civilians that the ceasefire is no longer in effect to justify
their operations and presence in their communities. The NPA’s Agustin
Begnalen Command based in Abra said the Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion
have been telling civilians in Sallapadan town that the ceasefire has
Madlos said the AFP has yet
to observe the advice of President Duterte to be friendly to the NPA
adding that the AFP continues to conduct hostile operations against
the NPA, “even using the drug campaign as pretext to conduct anti-NPA
In one instance, when
confronted by peasants on why the soldiers were continuing with
military operations despite the GRP ceasefire, the AFP officer leading
the operation reportedly answered that they would then have nothing
else to do adding that the NPA would not attack them anyway because
the NPA has declared its own ceasefire. To have a stable ceasefire AFP
forces must "return to barracks" at the level of the battalion
In addition, reports have
come in regarding political assassinations and attempted
assassinations of leaders of people's organizations such as the case
of the secretary general of the Compostela Valley Farmers Association
(CFA), Jimmy Saipan, who was killed in cold blood by two motorcycle
riding gunmen yesterday, October 10. Saipan was a Lumad anti-mining
activist opposing the exploration by the Agusan Petroleum Mineral
Corp. in 12,000 hectares of Lumad lands. The CFA has also been
conducting dialogue with the 66th IB for the latter to stop occupying
their community. The AFP has falsely accused the CFA as a communist
Showing some impatience, the
NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison and the NDFP Panel
Chair Fidel Agcaoili have served notice to the other side that
continued non-compliance on the issue of the remaining political
prisoners can have serious consequences in the continuation of the
current ceasefire and forward movement in the peace negotiations as a
whole. On the other hand, compliance will boost the prospects for
forging a bilateral ceasefire agreement and acceleration of the peace
There has been some progress
in the work of the RWCs-SER, RWGs-PCR and RWGs-EHDF with agreements
reached on their respective common framework and outline for the
tentative draft agreements that are to be fleshed out in later rounds.
The Reciprocal Working
Committee on Social and Economic Reforms RWC-SER took the longest to
come up with a common framework and outline. NDFP negotiators sensed
an apparent attempt on the side of the GRP to confine the discussion
to existing programs of government agencies as the "solutions" without
first arriving at a well thought-out understanding of the problems.
This prompted NDFP RWC-SER head Juliet de Lima to remark that this was
"putting the cart before the horse."
A great chasm between the
two sides exists in the appreciation of what the NDFP considers the
age-old problems of rural landlessness and poverty due to the
persistence of feudalism, and the absence of real industrialization
that has failed to create jobs resulting in massive unemployment which
forces 2,000 Filipino workers to go abroad every day to seek for work.
Previous government programs have consistently failed to address the
problems of rural poverty and urban mass unemployment precisely
because these have been based on a superficial and faulty analysis of
the deeply-seated problems.
The panels agreed to meet
again in the third week of January 2017 in a foreign neutral venue
with many uncertainties remaining to haunt the peace process.
Balaram Menon, President & Managing Director of the World Trade
Centre (Left), welcomes Mr. Michael Alfred V. Ignacio (right)
before the start of the Business Round Table: Introduction on
Strategic Trade and Investment Opportunities with the
PH holds trade and
investment roadshow in India
October 12, 2016
MAKATI CITY – The
Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade and
Investment Center New Delhi (PTIC - New Delhi) recently held trade and
investment roadshows dubbed as "Business Round Table: Strategic Trade
and Investment Opportunities with the Philippines" in two of India’s
top business cities, Mumbai and Bangalore.
“India can look to the
Philippines as a secondary location to access the ASEAN Economic
Community, and other important regional markets. In addition, the
Philippines is the only ASEAN country with EU GSP+ privileges and GSP
privileges in the USA,” emphasized Philippine Commercial Counsellor
Michael Alfred V. Ignacio in New Delhi.
The events, hosted by the
World Trade Centers located in the said cities, are primarily aimed to
establish stronger business ties with India. At present, India is
considered as one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.
PTIC - New Delhi noted that the event provided a platform for the
Philippines to position itself as an attractive investment hub and as
a strategic gateway to the six hundred twenty-two (622) million market
of the ASEAN Economic Community, one of the fastest growing regions in
“Besides English as the main language of business of both countries,
India and the Philippines are also among the world’s fastest growing
economies and are major players in the global IT-BPM Value Chain. Tier
II IT and BPM companies from India can follow the example of 14 of
India’s top companies who are already located in the Philippines to
strengthen their foothold in the global services markets,” added
The Philippine economy grew by 7% in the 2nd quarter of 2016, while
India with a population of 1.2 billion, is expected to post above 7%
GDP growth for the same period.
According to DTI PTIC - New Delhi, Philippines looks forward to tap
the unexplored high potential for trade and investment partnership
with India. With 345 economic zones, the Philippines is seen as an
ideal hub in establishing India’s commercial presence and reach out to
high potential markets in the Asia Pacific rim.
DTI PTIC - New Delhi presented excellent opportunities in priority
sectors such as IT Enabled Services (ITES), automotive components,
public-private partnerships (PPP) and infrastructure development. It
also identified potentials of Philippine products such as high
innovation and design-driven products for niche markets, electronics
and semi-conductors. Philippines also positions itself as an
alternative education destination for Indian students.
Noting the substantial contributions of the Philippine electronics and
semiconductors industry in the Philippine economy, M N Vidyashankar,
President of the India Electronics and Semiconductors Association and
former Principal Secretary in the State of Karnataka mentioned, “We
can definitely work together to help the two countries enhance
business relationships in the electronics system design and
manufacturing space. As the Philippines is a very strong player in
this regard and we would like to take advantage in terms of
joint-ventures, collaborations and partnerships for companies from the
The Indian electronics and hardware industry is expected to perform
well above 10% growth levels and reach $112-130 billion by 2018,
according to an ASSOCHAM- Ernst and Young study released in April
At present, India’s electronics and seminconductors current size is at
$75 billion which makes it an attractive market for the said industry.
Some of the said drivers of growth for the said industry include
increasing consumer demand and disposable incomes, and the declining
prices of electronics.
India is currently the 20th trading partner of the Philippines.