Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano turns over the symbolic key for
the Balaquid post-harvest facilities to Balaquid Agrarian Reform
Cooperative Iladia Calabia as Cabucgayan Mayor Edwin Masbang
witnesses the event.
Sec. Mariano turns
over P7M PHF in Biliran
By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
November 10, 2016
CABUCGAYAN, Biliran –
Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano turned over here on Saturday
P7.1-million worth of post-harvest facilities (PHF) to the Balaquid
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative.
But Mariano in his message
insinuated that the PHF, which was implemented under the Department of
Agrarian Reform’s (DAR’s) third phase of the Agrarian Reform
Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP-III), was not enough yet.
Though the project consists
of a 105-square meter warehouse, a 49-square meter office and a
492-square meter solar dryer, Mariano believed that the cooperative
also needs a mechanical dryer to be able to continue their operations
even on rainy days.
He also agreed with Biliran
Representative Rogelio Espina, who was also present during the said
occasion, that the cooperative likewise needs a multi-pass rice mill
so the latter could go full blast in their rice trading operations.
instructed his undersecretary for Foreign Assisted and Special
Projects Sylvia Mallari, who was with him, to think ways how the
Department could provide these to the farmers. According to him, the
country could be rice sufficient if we will help the farmers.
In acceptance, Iladia
Calabia, chairperson of the said cooperative thanked DAR and said
“malaking tulong ang proyekto na ito sa amin na pag-iimbakan at
pagbibilaran ng palay dahil karamihan sa mga magsasaka dito ay rice
farmers” (this project is of big help to us in storing and drying rice
because most of the farmers here are rice farmers).
Further, Calabia took the
opportunity to request from Mariano and Espina to provide them also a
delivery truck so they could save on rentals in the hauling of rice
aside from the mechanical dryer and rice mill that had been mentioned
earlier by the secretary and the congressman.
Meanwhile, Mayor Edwin
Masbang disclosed that in 2017 his administration will provide rice
subsidy to municipal employees and promised to tap this cooperative as
Provincial Agrarian Reform
Program Officer Renato Badilla explained that the project was funded
by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the local
He added that this agrarian
reform community (ARC) is a recipient of various rural development
projects, which include an irrigation project that could supply water
to 60 hectares of rice fields, a 1.7 kilometers farm-to-market road
and a potable water system installed in 208 households.
Members of the said
cooperative were also trained on the Department of Agriculture’s
“Palay Check” which increased rice yield in this area, Badilla further
Three years after Yolanda:
First batch of
DILG’s post-Yolanda rehab 99.66% complete
November 8, 2016
QUEZON CITY – As the
whole nation looks back at the lessons from super typhoon Yolanda
(international name Haiyan) that wreaked havoc on the Philippines in
2013, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
reported that the first batch of post rehabilitation efforts under the
Recovery Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) program is already 99.66%
The RAY Project provides
support and assistance to local government units (LGUs) most affected
by super typhoon Yolanda. These LGUs are in the provinces of Palawan,
Masbate, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu,
Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, and Samar.
DILG Secretary Ismael D.
Sueno said that the first batch of projects include the repair and
rehabilitation of 308 provincial/city/municipal halls, public markets
and civic centers, mostly in Eastern Visayas, which incurred the worst
damage from the super typhoon. Of these, 305 have been completed and
the remaining three are on-going implementation.
He explained that the road
to recovery has not been easy but Yolanda’s lessons are deeply etched
in the hearts and minds of Filipinos.
“Three years after Yolanda,
we have become more vigilant, more responsible, and more resilient as
a people and as a nation,” Sec. Sueno said.
RAY Batch 2: 81.50% complete
For the second batch of RAY
projects, the DILG Secretary reported that it is now at 81.50%
weighted overall status. That is 2,448 of the 3,591 projects have been
completed. There are 754 on-going projects, 294 projects on
procurement stage, 43 projects with approved preliminary documents,
and 12 projects under preparation of initial documents.
RAY Batch 2 focuses on the
rehabilitation of totally and partially-damaged barangay facilities
such as barangay halls, barangay day care centers, barangay civic
centers, and the seven additional municipal facilities which were not
funded under the first batch.
RAY Batch 3: 27.98% complete
For the third and latest
batch of RAY projects, Sec. Sueno added that it is now at 27.98%
weighted overall status. Six out of 615 projects have been completed,
47 are on-going project implementation, 38 on procurement stage, 406
with approved initial documents, and 118 on preparation of preliminary
RAY Batch 3 covers the
rehabilitation and reconstruction of water supply systems, drainage
systems, transport terminals, and halls of justice in Yolanda-hit
provinces, as well as municipal and barangay facilities which were not
funded under the first and second batches.
RAY Program in Eastern
Regional Director Marivel C.
Sacendoncillo said DILG downloaded /released to LGUs in Eastern
Visayas P2.53 Billion for Recovery Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) for
2,248 subprojects, resulting in the completion of:
- 1,189 repairs of municipal
halls, public markets, civic centers, barangay halls and day care
- Still ongoing are 1,059
projects to rehabilitate and reconstruct these public facilities and
spill-over projects for barangay and municipal facilities, including
transport terminals, justice halls and water supply systems.
- For the first batch of RAY
projects released in April 2014, of 144 subprojects worth 938.47
million pesos, 142 have been completed and only 2 are ongoing.
- For the 2nd Batch (Barangay
projects) released in 2015 with 1,613 subprojects worth 995.06 million
pesos, 1,041 or 65.1% have been completed. These are due to be
completed by end of 2016.
- The 3rd Batch of RAY
projects (spill-over projects for both municipalities and barangays
not included in previous batches) with 491 subprojects worth 592.64
million pesos released this 2016 are due for completion in 2017.
Lessons from Yolanda
While Sec. Sueno is happy to
report the DILG’s accomplishment on post-Yolanda rehabilitation
efforts, he is also saddened to note that there are still Yolanda
survivors who never got to move on mainly because of the seemingly
poor response of those involved in the past rehabilitation efforts.
Despite the glaring
disparity, many of those who lived to tell about their ordeal are
thankful and are more appreciative of life and the assistance from the
national government and various national and international offices who
have extended their help to the Yolanda survivors.
The DILG Secretary said “On
the third year, we hope that our local government units and other
frontline agencies will take Yolanda’s lessons to heart to ensure that
zero casualty scenarios will not remain a vision but a reality.”
In the same way, citizens
should play a more active role in disaster preparedness by taking
action and becoming more “listo”(alert).
“Let us imbibe the culture
of preparedness and make it a way of life so that we can continue our
journey to becoming a nation of where every citizen leads a safe,
happy and comfortable life,” Sec. Sueno said.
Yolanda, categorized as a
level 5 super typhoon with 315 km/h wind speed, was one of the most
violent and devastating typhoons in the history of the Philippines.
to deliver promise; sheds P655M funds for post-Yolanda Projects in
November 7, 2016
MAKATI CITY – Three
years after the typhoon Yolanda, the Department of Trade and
Industry-Regional Operations Group (DTI-ROG) continuously delivers its
promise of uplifting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in
Yolanda affected areas by engaging a total of 43,573 beneficiaries
with a total amount of PHP 655,524,638 in assistance.
Based on the summary of
accomplishments provided by DTI Region 8, a total of 26,208 MSME
beneficiaries came from Leyte followed by Eastern Samar with 8,325
beneficiaries, Samar with 4,239, Biliran with 3,790, followed by
Tacloban and Southern Leyte with 556 and 455 beneficiaries,
Among the programs
implemented by the DTI-ROG to MSMEs include marketing and technology
assistance, SME Roving Academy, Livelihood Seeding Program, financing
facilitation through the Small Business Corporation, Diskwento
Caravans and financial access.
Several beneficiaries of the
DTI-ROG initiated post-Yolanda projects are engaged in retailing,
wholesaling, food processing, transport and trucking, handicraft and
furniture making, among others.
“Our assistance to MSMEs
specifically in the Yolanda-affected areas is a proof of our
unwavering commitment in providing service to the Filipino people,”
DTI Undersecretary for ROG Zenaida Maglaya said. She added that the
continuity of these projects was also made possible through the
concerted efforts of DTI Region 8 Office and the DTI-ROG Head Office.
Choie Cabrera, an office
employee, started his slippers business in 2003 with one (1) set of
sewing machine. After four (4) years of making slippers, he ventured
into the t-shirt business some of which includes customized t-shirts
and uniforms. A few months before Typhoon Yolanda struck, he was able
to register his business with DTI.
Five months after the tragic
event brought about by Yolanda, Mr. Cabrera restarted his business in
April 2014 but has encountered numerous challenges such as electricity
problems, damaged production area, insufficient capital,
unavailability of sewing machines among others.
Through the help of DTI
Leyte, Mr. Cabrera was one of the loan borrowers of Small Business
Corporation (SB Corp.) with a total approved loan amount of P2
million, which was released in tranches from August to September 2014.
Through the loan, he was able to reconstruct his own production area
and bought 14 sets of different sewing machines. As of today, Mr.
Cabrera earns a monthly net income of P50,000 and he is planning to
expand his business specifically in downtown Tacloban.
Another beneficiary helped
by DTI through its Livelihood Seeding Program in partnership with the
Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) is Igmidio Lagunzad, a
dress shop operator. After Yolanda, Mang Igme attended the DTI SMERA
Training on Entrepreneurship and Stress Debriefing (Component 1) and
he received from PDRF one unit Sewing Machine (Component 2). He was
also included in the DTI-OXFAM Partnership where he received cash to
buy his required supplies.
In commemoration of the
typhoon Yolanda tragedy, DTI-ROG continues to help MSMEs through
different programs and projects geared towards inclusive growth in the
business sector following the mandate of the Duterte Administration
and DTI’s Secretary Ramon Lopez of Trabaho at Negosyo.
slammed for irresponsible and limiting remarks
By Samahan ng Progresibong
November 7, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Youth
group Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) rebuked Commission on
Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan for statements
the group called as “irresponsible and limiting the aspirations of the
youth”. The group likewise criticized her mode of endorsing vocational
SPARK, an advocate of free
and accessible education for all, expressed disbelief over the way the
chief urged college aspirants to settle and enlist in Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) vocational
courses instead of pursuing a college degree.
Speaking at the Education
Summit 2016 conducted last November 3-4, Licuanan observed that
notwithstanding the full implementation of K to 12 program, it still
remains a priority to Filipino families to send their children to
Licuanan consistent with her
statement in August last year that every student should not opt to
attend college, she upheld: “We find at CHED that more people want the
diploma from college, when maybe it is better for them to go to TESDA
to take vocational courses. We are trying to change that mindset.”
However, SPARK sees this as
a limiting factor imposed by the state. “Albeit the huge disparity in
material well-being, we ought to have equal rights to receive free and
quality education. But Licuanan instead of buttressing this, is
fundamentally proclaiming that tertiary education is not for everyone,
as if she is the ultimate authority in determining who’s fit to
receive a diploma or not,” said Clarissa Villegas of SPARK.
She added that, “It is one
thing to laud TESDA’s programs side by side with the so-called reforms
in the educational sector but it is alarming for a state official to
deliberately endorse for certain individuals the substitution of
college diplomas with vocational courses.”
With the K to 12 program,
Director Guiling Mamondiong of TESDA is also expecting a boost in the
country’s employment, primarily through the
technical-vocational-livelihood track being offered. In his talk
“TESDA Susi sa Kinabukasan”, Mamondiong asserts: “We are closely
coordinating with the industry to address mismatch. Meaning, if we
have to produce skilled workers, it is because the industry needs it.”
Villegas emphasized that if
there’s one thing that makes us paradoxically globally-competitive, it
is the pool of billions of uneducated workforce. According to her,
“skilled but illiterate and discounted workers will only propel the
youth towards a vulnerable platform of exploitation and misery in this
period of global economic integration”.
“You can only master a trade
so much, but as long as you depend on an employer who consistently
retrenches you, in materiality there is no upward mobility. Here,
Licuanan’s twisted logic restricts the very purpose of education –
vocational or professional, solely for employment gains. TESDA courses
might provide short-run employment now, but in the long run you cannot
surmount so much of the structural limitations present in our society.
You cannot beat chronic poverty with a TESDA certificate. Why make us
settle for less? We’re not levelling any playing field by treating
vocational education and tertiary education as equals.” Villegas said.
SPARK accused Licuanan of
shifting the focus away from her failure to provide accessible and
quality education despite sitting at the CHED’s top post for more than
six years already.
“She might as well resign
from her post if she prefers the youth to remain uneducated and docile
slaves of oligarchs instead of critical and productive members of
society,” Villegas concluded.
CARP, calls for genuine agrarian reform
November 5, 2016
TACLOBAN CITY –
Farmers all over Region 8 led by SAGUPA, a region-wide peasant
organization held talks with the new DAR secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng”
Mariano to present their grievances over the slow and faulty
implementation of CARP.
Nestor Lebico, Secretary
General of SAGUPA-SB revealed that CARP and its extension CARPER
proved to be pro-landlord and anti-peasant. He said that the loopholes
within the program caters to the landlords and its system of
amortization is a burden to the farmers, in fact the sluggish and
defective implementation in Region 8 is a testament to its futility.
He cited four cases in Leyte to be presented in the dialogue: the slow
execution of the case in Palo, the snaillike pace of CLOA distribution
in Hacienda MAIC in San Isidro, land conversion by Cali Realty Co. in
Tacloban City, and Ching Veloso’s land grabbing cases in Alang-alang,
San Miguel and Tacloban City.
Lebico disclosed that most
of these land reform cases are decades old where farmers have been
tilling the land as early as 1960s. In some of the usual cases
surrounding CARP, a land covered by CARP was exempted by virtue of
land conversion, as is the case in Suhi, Tacloban City.
The Department of Agrarian
Reform in Region 8 claims to have distributed 430,115 hectares to
193,032 beneficiaries or is equivalent to 86.96 percent of their total
target. In this region, the majority of the Agrarian Reform
Beneficiaries came from Leyte.
“DAR’s report on the
implementation of CARP is dubious as these figures are often bloated
by different kinds of bogus land distribution. It may include lands
with registered certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) but not
yet turned over to tenants who haven’t paid their amortization in
full. Double counting also happens wherein the ‘mother’ or collective
CLOAs and the ‘individual’ CLOAs are both counted. The most
infuriating cases are when CLOA holders are still not occupying the
land because of landlord resistance”, Lebico exclaimed.
Lebico pointed out that the
pro-landlord and anti-peasant nature of CARP will never solve the
landlessness of peasants in the Philippines as these landlords will
only find loopholes and technicalities to exempt them from CARP. A
genuine agrarian reform could only be the answer to this problem the
peasants endure since GARB has wider coverage and offers the land
freely to the farmers involved. It doesn’t grant exemptions nor does
it allow the land to be converted. Also, support will be given to the
Lebico challenged the new
Duterte administration to implement genuine agrarian reform that would
truly address landlessness amongst farmers. “I have high hopes with
the new Duterte administration especially after appointing a
pro-farmer DAR secretary, Rafael Mariano. A genuine agrarian reform
that would replace the faulty CARP could be a step in securing land
for the landless farmers”, Lebico reiterated.
16 more Ormoc
agrarian beneficiaries celebrate first harvest
By JOSE LASMITH L. SORIA
November 4, 2016
ORMOC CITY – They
roasted the biggest pig and offered a thanksgiving mass as 16 more
agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) here celebrated their first
harvest in 16 years.
Arnulfo Perez, a member of the Valencia Agrarian Small Farmers
Association (VASFA), was overjoyed with the turn of events when they
started harvesting rice last month, more than three months after their
installation. Perez, 61, said he could now help send their
grandchildren to school which he was not able to do to his children.
According to him, his earnings will surely increase now that the land
awarded to them under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
on May 25, 2000 is already in their possession.
years they were deprived entry into the 19 hectares Gerardo Tan
property in Barangay Valencia by the previous owner. There were
several attempts by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to install
them but all failed to avoid bloodshed in the area.
On June 21 this year, with
the combined efforts of DAR, KAISAHAN, a non-government organization
assisting VASFA, the Philippine National Police and Commission on
Human Rights successfully installed the 16 ARBs into their awarded
Perez, a recipient of 1.5
hectares, shared how they survived their daily subsistence during the
16 years that they were deprived entry into their awarded lots.
According to him, they were lucky if they get hired as farmworkers on
a daily basis earning P200 a day.
During the ARB’s celebration
of their first harvest, Leyte Provincial Agrarian Reform Program
Officer (PARPO) Renato Badilla surprised the former with a hand
tractor. The farm implement completed the farmers’ happiness, as
according to VASFA President Gerry Sabal, they really need it in their
4 Provinces, 1 City
and 7 towns in EV bag DILG’s Seal of Good Local Governance
November 3, 2016
TACLOBAN CITY – 12
local government units in Eastern Visayas proved that they belonged to
a select group of LGUs nationwide that passed the highly coveted “Seal
of Good Local Governance” of the Department of the Interior and Local
The 12 which include the
provinces of Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte and Samar; for Cities,
Calbayog City; the municipalities of General MacArthur and Salcedo in
Eastern Samar; Barugo, Javier, Tabango and Tolosa in Leyte; and St.
Bernard in Southern Leyte, received their awards from no less than
DILG Secretary Ismail “Mike” Sueno and Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny”
Angara during the culmination program of the 25th Anniversary of the
Local Government Code at the Sofitel Hotel, Pasay City on October 27,
According to DILG-8 Regional
Director Marivel C. Sacendoncillo, these LGUs passed several levels of
validation up to the national levels, the three core SGLG criteria of
financial administration, disaster preparedness and social protection,
and any one of the essential criteria – business-friendliness and
competitiveness, peace and order, and environmental management.
Of the SGLG awardees in the
region, two – Biliran Province and Barugo, Leyte are repeat winners,
having earned the SGLG award the year before.
During the awarding
ceremony, DILG Secretary Sueno urged the 318 local government units (LGUs)
which were conferred with the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) and
the Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentive Award (LTIA) to ‘look forward to new
challenges under federalism.”
“Let us continue this
journey of good local governance, of decentralization and local
autonomy and look forward to new challenges under a federal system of
government,” said Sueno.
Among those given
recognition was the LTIA National awardee for 4th-6th class
municipalities, Brgy. Hingatungan in Silago, Southern Leyte, which
received a project worth P300,000 to be used for further development
of their barangay conflict mediation system.
Of the 306 SGLG awardees, 43
are provinces, 51 are cities and 212 are municipalities. The SGLG
awardees will receive an incentive fund called Performance Challenge
Fund, and will be able to access other DILG projects. For the complete
list of SGLG awardees, please visit www.dilg.gov.ph (Reports and
The Local Government Code is
a landmark piece of legislation that has revolutionized local
governance as it devolved powers and authority from the national to
the local governments.