in Eastern Visayas declines by 1.0% in 2017
March 26, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY –
Palay production in Eastern Visayas declined by 1.0 percent from
954,844 metric tons (MT) in 2016 to 945,565 MT in 2017.
Among the provinces, Leyte
produced the highest volume of palay at 481,487 MT which comprised a
little more than half (50.9%) of the total palay production in the
region. Eastern Samar, meanwhile, had the lowest volume of
production (59,754 MT) accounting for only 6.3%.
The total harvest area for
palay in the region, on the other hand, inched up by 1.8%, from
268,110 hectares in 2016 to 272,889 hectares in 2017. Increases in
palay area harvested were observed among all provinces, except for
Biliran and Southern Leyte which exhibited decreases of 2.6% and
Leyte recorded more than
two-fifths or 43.4% (481,487 hectares) of the total palay area
harvested in 2017, while Biliran contributed the least (14,383
hectares) accounting for only 5.3%.
Yield for palay in the
region went down by 2.7%, from 3.6 MT per hectare in 2016 to 3.5 MT
per hectare in 2017.
Among the provinces,
Biliran posted the highest yield per hectare at 4.5 MT per hectare
in 2017. Eastern Samar registered the lowest yield per hectare at
2.6 MT per hectare.
NPA terrorists in Eastern Samar, recovers 1 rifle
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 26, 2018
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – A five minute firefight ensued between a squad from 14th
Infantry (Avenger) Battalion and a group of about five members of
the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Sitio Parik, Barangay Cansangaya,
Can-avid, Eastern Samar on March 24, 2018 at 11:05 o’ clock in the
Said troops acted from
information coming from concerned residents on the presence of an
armed group conducting extortion activities in the said community.
Troops immediately conducted a combat operation that resulted to the
recovery of one M1A1 Garand rifle with serial number 2065519 and one
bandolier with four clip of magazine with ammo. No reported casualty
was reported on both sides.
The 49th Anniversary of
the New People’s Army falls within the holy week period, it is
presumed that there is a possibility that they will take violent
actions and terroristic acts by launching atrocities against AFP/PNP
personnel, camps and detachments in Eastern Visayas.
Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio
AFP, Commander, 8ID said, “The Army will remain steadfast in its
campaign in protecting the populace from CNTs and other threat
groups criminal activities, and secure churches/cathedrals, places
of religious worship, resorts, economic centers, seat of government
instrumentalities, and other vital installations to ensure the
peaceful observance of the Lenten Season, in collaboration with the
PNP through the Joint Peace Security and Coordinating Center (JPSCC).”
fight against TB in prisons
March 25, 2018
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health concern in the
Philippines, which remains among the most affected countries in the
world. The country’s overcrowded places of detention are
particularly exposed to the disease. However, in New Bilibid Prison
(NBP) in Muntinlupa City, some significant gains have been made in
the fight to eliminate TB among inmates.
In collaboration with the
Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) launched a pilot project at NBP in 2013 aimed at
improving TB control strategies.
Through the project, more
than 50,000 detainees were screened for TB. Around 2,800 of them
with active TB, including 219 detainees with drug-resistant TB, were
identified and enrolled for the treatment. Over 1,700 patients were
cured, and the TB mortality rate dropped from 157 deaths to 112 per
100,000 people. The prison achieved the national and World Health
Organization’s target of 90 percent success rate in treatment of
drug-susceptible TB cases.
On 20 March 2018, this
pilot project, which is also intended to serve as a model for other
detention facilities to enhance their TB program implementation, was
officially handed over to BuCor for continuance. Speaking on behalf
of the TB Treatment Unit, Dr. Maria Cecilia Villanueva was confident
about the way forward: “I know that our TB team will continue to do
“There are areas that
require strong focus, such as screening upon entry in the Reception
and Diagnostic Center, as it would allow us to efficiently diagnose
inmates and give them the treatment they need at the earliest
possible time. We now have the equipment and skills to do that,”
Owing to this
collaboration, the NBP TB staff work in a renovated and functional
treatment unit. It contains fully equipped offices, clinic,
pharmacy, TB laboratory, and a 200-bed-capacity isolation dormitory
with patients’ access to open air and gardening.
On the occasion of World
TB Day on 24 March, the ICRC affirms its commitment to continue its
mobilization efforts to ensure access to quality TB care in
“We believe that
collaboration among the authorities and external partners is the
best way forward in order for the Philippines to be TB-free by
2035,” said Dr. Kester Maniaul, TB in detention program manager of
“TB in detention
facilities is a serious public health issue. The gains we see now
may not be substantial to eliminate TB among inmates sooner unless
overcrowding, which contributes to the rapid spread of this
preventable disease, and issues such as the overall lack of human
resources in jails and prisons are addressed,” Maniaul added.
The ICRC is a neutral,
impartial, and independent humanitarian organization whose exclusive
humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims
of armed conflict and other situations of violence, and to provide
them with assistance.
In the Philippines,
looking after the rights of people detained in relation to armed
conflicts in the past three decades, the ICRC has been visiting
detention facilities across the country to monitor the conditions
and treatment of detainees. And whenever necessary, it also supports
the authorities in their efforts to address the causes of jail
overcrowding and carries out projects to improve inmates’ living
conditions and their access to health care, water, and sanitation.
Edwin Marino C. Ongchuan during the Ceremonial Entrustment
of Firearms to the Philippine Army Candidate Soldier Course
Class 511-2017 at the 8ID Grandstand, Camp Lukban,
Catbalogan City on March 24, 2018.
enlisted privates strengthens army in Eastern Visayas
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 25, 2018
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The Philippine Army Candidate Soldier Course Class
511-2017 was formally closed on March 24, 2018 at 10 o’clock in the
morning at the 8ID Grandstand, Camp Lukban, Brgy. Maulong,
Catbalogan City, Samar.
The closing ceremony was
graced by Hon. Edwin Marino C. Ongchuan, Representative, 2nd
Congressional District of Northern Samar as the Guest of Honor and
Speaker who further led the ceremonial entrustment of firearms,
distribution of certificates and individual achievements. The
entrustment of firearms to the 235 newly enlisted privates
symbolizes their responsibilities and commitment to the people and
Hon. Ongchuan emphasized
during his inspirational message their duty as public servants of
the country. “As new soldiers, you should always remember the law
for the benefit of the country. You have undergone rigid training,
and some bad make did not survive, but you are in today feeling
victorious because after all the hardship you gained confidence. So
my dear graduates, let us be full upright in performing our duties
with dignity and honor, let us avoid getting involved in any
wrongdoing that will tarnish you being a soldier and servant of the
Republic of the Philippines,” Hon. Ongchuan said.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Raul
M. Farnacio AFP, Commander, 8ID reminded the new soldiers of 8ID the
value of sacrifice. “Natutunan niyo noong kayo ay nag-aaply at
nagsasanay pa lamang na sakripisyo ang kailangan para maging sundalo.
Sakripisyo na mawalay sa inyong pamilya para sa mas maginhawang
kinabukasan. At sa mga susunod na araw bilang mga bagong sundalo ng
Republika ng Pilipinas, mas mararamdaman niyo na para magtagal at
magtagumpay sa propesyon na ito ay kailangan pa ng mas malalim na
sakripisyo. Ito ang sakripisyo para sa ating bayan,” he said.
The youngest members of
the Stormtroopers Division will join the fight against insurgency,
illegal drugs, private armed group, and terrorism.
Visayas registers 96.3% employment rate in January 2018
March 23, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY –
Employment rate in Eastern Visayas in January 2018 was estimated at
96.3%, ranking fifth among the regions with high employment rate in
the country. This figure is higher than the 93.6% ER recorded in
January 2017. Employment rate is the proportion of employed persons
to total labor force.
Out of the estimated 3.1
million population 15 years old and over in January 2018, about 1.9
million were economically active or in the labor force. This number
translates to a Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of 61.6%. This
figure is 5.4 percentage points higher compared with the 56.2% LFPR
in the same period a year ago. Among the regions, Eastern Visayas
registered the fifth lowest LFPR.
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 361
thousand. This is equal to an underemployment rate of 19.4%, lower
than the 23.2% recorded in the same period last year. The region had
the ninth highest underemployment rate in the country.
Meanwhile, about 71
thousand persons in the labor force were unemployed. This translates
to an unemployment rate of 3.7%, lower than the 6.4 percent rate
recorded in January 2017. 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 January
Secretary Mark A. Villlar graced the occasion as the keynote
speaker during women’s celebration in behalf of his mother
Senator Cynthia A. Villar on Wednesday, March 14 held at the
Activity Center, Capitol Grounds, Calumpang, Naval, Biliran.
of Biliran DEO participate 23rd provincial women’s congress
March 21, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
Women employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
Biliran District Engineering Office participated the 23rd Provincial
Women’s Congress on Wednesday, March 14 held at the Activity Center,
Capitol Grounds, Calumpang, Naval, Biliran.
There were an estimated
3,000 women-participants coming from the 132 barangays, 49 sitios,
and 186 chapters of Women for Rural Development – Katipunan ng
Liping Pilipino (WORD-KALIPI) province-wide, Provincial Council for
Women's Welfare, Incorporated (PCWWI) officials and members, women
legislators and other women sectors in the province who joined the
The event started with a
holy mass followed with a parade going to the provincial capitol
grounds for the opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Trade
Fair and the opening program.
One of the highlights of
the celebration was the plenary session/ discussions on interesting
topics to provide participants with knowledge on promoting gender
equality and empowerment.
There were also slogan
writing contest, dance contest and skills training simultaneous with
the plenary sessions: skirting, stage decoration, marcotting and
grafting, make-over and vermin composting.
Other activities during
the celebration includes the trade fair which showcased the
livelihood projects of women.
DPWH Secretary Mark A.
Villlar graced the occasion as the keynote speaker during women’s
celebration in behalf of his mother Senator Cynthia A. Villar.
Senator Villar is known
for providing livelihood programs to the people. Biliran Province is
one of the beneficiaries of her legislation under Republic Act No.
10861 otherwise known as An act for the establishment for provincial
fisheries and aquatic resources training, development, and product
On his speech, the DPWH
Secretary highlighted the strong support of her mother to the group
of women. He also vowed to continue supporting the Biliran women’s
organization especially when it comes to infrastructures and
The National Women’s
Celebration every March is part of the worldwide observance of the
International Women’s Day pursuant to R.A. 6469 series of 1996.
This year’s celebration is
in adherence with the theme “We Make Change Work for Women which
shall be used from 2017- 2022.
UPVTC wins over
SPSPS, completes set of quarter finalists in the Intercollegiate
MA. FABIANA B. GARCIA
and MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
March 21, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – The
University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC)
triumphed over St. Paul’s School of Professional Studies (SPSPS) in
the 2nd match of the Preliminary Rounds of the 2018 Intercollegiate
Federalism Debate (Tacloban City/Leyte leg) hosted by the Department
of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) at the 2nd floor,
Student Center, Leyte Normal University on March 21, 2018.
Leonardo Dimatangal of
UPVTC also stood out among other debaters by bagging both the Best
Debater and Best Speaker medals.
The teams argued on the
following proposition, “Resolve that the country shall adopt a
unicameral legislature in a federal system of government”, with
SPSPS taking the affirmative stand and UPVTC tasked with the
The UPVTC team was
composed of Brandon Ian Dela Cruz, Leonardo Dimatangal, Jeffrae
Isaac Albert Damayo, and Gio Martin Ocfemia, with Prof. Dakila Yee
as the coach; while the SPSPS team was composed of Jejomar Bru,
Glydel Jain A. Tacad, Joshua V. Baldo, and Gil Kristopher C. Rosillo,
mentored by Atty. Jose Aguinalde.
Prof. Arvin de Veyra
moderated the debate, which aired live over DYVL AksyonRadyo
Tacloban and on the DILG Region 8 Facebook page. The panel of judges
were from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines - Leyte Chapter,
Atty. Karah Jane A. Tamboong, Atty. Vincent Q. Piga, and Atty. Romeo
UPVTC will be joining the
quarterfinals with the rest of the winning colleges all over the
The quarterfinal rounds of
the debate are scheduled on April 2 for the match between Leyte
Normal University (LNU) and Maasin City College (MCC); April 4 for
Visayas State University (VSU) vs. Naval State University (NSU);
April 11 for the match between University of Eastern Philippines (UEP)
and Eastern Samar State University (ESSU); and April 16 for the
debate between UPVTC and Samar College. The semi-finals and grand
finals are to be scheduled within the same month.
The 2018 Intercollegiate
Federalism Debate is one of DILG Region 8’s responses to the
President’s directive for the department to lead the information
campaign on Federalism. Recognizing that the youth predominantly
compose the voting population, DILG-8 decided to gear many IEC
activities towards this age group. A debate on the merits and
details of Federalism hopes to bring about improved awareness,
knowledge, discussion, and appreciation of Federalism and other
forms of government, and at the same time promote a culture of
discussion on Federalism and relevant issues among various
of DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar with Biliran Island.com
during his visit on March 14 to Biliran Province. The DPWH
Secretary attended the 23rd Biliran Women’s Congress
Celebration as a keynote speaker in behalf of his mother,
Senator Cynthia A. Villar. He also conducted an on-site
inspection of CarayCaray Bridge with Engr. Edgar B. Tabacon,
Regional Director, Engr. David P. Adongay Jr. and Engr.
Alfredo L. Bollido, Assistant District Engineer of Biliran
District Engineering Office.
to construct detour across Caraycaray river for heavy vehicles
March 21, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) will construct a detour across the
This will reduce the
travel time of heavy vehicles from two and a half hour travel
(90Kms) to 30 minutes (19kms) from Biliranto Naval, the capital
DPWH Secretary Mark A.
Villar said that the DPWH will prioritized the funding for the said
detour to solve the problem of using the long route.
Villar was at Biliran on
Wednesday, March 14 as the keynote speaker in behalf of his mother,
Senator Cynthia A. Villar during the 23rd Biliran Women’s Congress
His visit was also an
opportunity for him to conduct an on-site inspection of CarayCaray
Bridge which was damaged by Tropical Storm Urduja last December 15,
According to Villar, there
is really a need to speed-up the construction of the new bridge to
lower the cost of goods in the Province of Biliran.
Since after typhoon Urduja,
trucks, panels and other heavy vehicles were advised to take the
alternate long route Naval-Almeria-Kawayan-Culaba-Caibiran-Cabucgayan
road and vice versa, thus leads price hikes of other goods in the
Engr. David P. Adongay
Jr., District Engineer of Biliran DEO also said that the completion
of detour will also help contractors to fast-track their project
implementation because contractors will no longer have an excuse for
the delay of their projects.
The construction of detour
across CarayCaray River has a length of 45m. with pavement width of
6.10m and a thickness of 0.28m with a budget amount of P4.760M. It
is already under Preliminary and Detailed (PDE) activities.
Energy Research Institution:
companies pushing high-cost, dirty electricity this summer
March 21, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
According to energy research institution Center for Energy, Ecology,
and Development (CEED), higher consumer demand for power during the
summer is now being utilized by Meralco and its affiliate coal
generation companies to push for the approval of their power supply
agreements sourced from coal (coal PSAs). Just three months ago, the
Ombudsman ordered the suspension of four Energy Regulatory
Commission (ERC) Commissioners over the anomalous coal PSAs.
CEED Executive Director
Gerry Arances called out energy giants Meralco and Redondo Peninsula
for bemoaning the delay in the approval of their coal PSAs but
overlooking the interests of consumers, who opposed the said
“Meralco and its affiliate
coal companies have pushed for the approval and operation of their
coal-fired power plants under the guise of protecting consumers from
power outages,” Arances noted.
“However, these coal PSAs
are being contested by the consumers themselves, with the support of
environment and grassroot organizations, for spelling out higher
electricity prices and a dirtier environment for the next twenty
years,” said Arances.
CEED Legal and Policy
Officer Atty. Avril De Torres also lamented the Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals against the
Ombudsman’s suspension order, in order to prevent public service
“Public service disruption
should not be used as a justification to stay the Ombudsman’s
suspension order and to approve the anomalous coal PSAs. Our
remedies should be to immediately appoint acting commissioners, and
to prioritize the approval of cleaner and cheaper energy. This is
how we ensure that we are promoting public service and consumer
interest over the interests of coal companies,” said De Torres.
According to Arances, coal
spells out higher electricity prices since coal is already more
expensive than wind and solar energy. Under the seven coal PSAs, the
average rate of coal electricity is PHP 3.65/kWh, meanwhile wind and
solar are at a lower rate of P3.50/kWh and P2.99/kWh, respectively.
Arances stated that what
is also usually left out in Meralco and other coal giants’ pressure
for more coal is the global transition away from coal, which puts
facilities like coal-fired power plants at risk of becoming stranded
He cited a study conducted
by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)
and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) which
showed that ‘stranded coal assets’ are a growing material risk that
is inevitable in the Philippines.
Arances said that
according to the IEEFA and ICSC study, trends in the coal-fired
electricity generation sector, such as the over-build of coal-fired
power plants, ‘may leave ratepayers at risk of having to pay
“If Meralco and its coal
affiliates have their way in the approval and operation of their
coal plants, Philippine electricity consumers are to be locked into
not only twenty more years of dirty and steadily increasing
electricity prices, but also into paying for stranded asset costs of
these obsolete coal plants,” Arances claimed.
“Necessarily, this will
also prevent consumers from accessing cleaner and cheaper
electricity from sources like renewable energy,” he concluded.