Your latest news happening from here at home and abroad
news 647


more news...

Palay production in Eastern Visayas declines by 1.0% in 2017

Construction of new Caraycaray bridge to start this year

Duterte’s TRAIN devalues daily pay & pushes workers into deeper poverty

DILG supports move requiring Barangay, SK candidates to submit resumé

Samar I receives P5.4 billion allocations for 2018

The road to Salvacion and Langit

Leyte Wrestling Team hauls 13 gold, looks forward to Palaro

128 newly enlisted privates take their oath to serve Eastern Visayas







Fishery production in Eastern Visayas declines by 2.9% in 2017

By PSA-8
March 28, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – Fishery production in Eastern Visayas decreased by 2.9% from 140,275 metric tons (MT) in 2016 to 136,141 MT in 2017.

All provinces registered decreases in fishery production, except Leyte, the only province that recorded a significant increase of 24.8%, from 37,163 MT in 2016 to 46,361 MT in 2017. Southern Leyte recorded the highest decrease by 20.0%, from 7,006 MT in 2016 to 5,605 MT in 2017.

Among provinces, Leyte produced the highest volume of fisheries at 46,361 MT which comprised 34.1% of the total fishery production in the region. Samar ranked second with 35,809 MT which accounted for 26.3% of the region’s total fishery production. Southern Leyte, meanwhile registered the lowest volume of production with 4.1% share or 5,605 MT.

By subsector, volume of production in Commercial Fishing went down by 43.1%, from 24,613 MT in 2016 to 13,995 MT in 2017. All provinces registered decreases with Leyte recording the largest drop in volume of production at 69.3%.

Volume of production in Municipal Fishing (marine and inland) also registered a decrease of 5.2%, from 83,443 MT in 2016 to 79,107 MT in 2017. All provinces registered decreases except for Biliran and Leyte which posted an increase of 10.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Samar registered the highest decrease in volume of production at 8.8%.

On the other hand, volume of production in Aquaculture went up by 33.6%, from 32,219 MT in 2016 to 43,039 in 2017. Increases registered in Southern Leyte (68.8%), Leyte (58.1%), and Eastern Samar (31.7%) offset the decreases recorded in Biliran (97.2%), Samar (14.0%), and Northern Samar (10.8%).

Almost three-fifths or 58.1% (79,107 MT) of the total fishery production in the region were from Municipal Fishing. Aquaculture contributed 31.6% (43,039 MT), while Commercial Fishing accounted for 10.3% (13,995 MT).

Volume of Fishery Production by sub-sector and province, Region VIII: 2016-2017
Eastern Visayas Fishery production






DPWH-8 PIOs media workshop
DPWH Public Information Officers are all smiles at the end of the workshop posing with the resource speaker Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano (wearing white polo shirt).

DPWH-8 PIOs hold workshop on press release that lands a media coverage

Press Release
March 28, 2018

NAVAL, Biliran – Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region VIII continuously exert efforts to enhance their news writing skills.

Recently, DPWH PIOs held their first Quarterly Meeting Cum Workshop at Leyte 1st District Engineering Office (DEO) Maintenance Sub Office, Brgy. Sto. Niño, Tanauan Leyte on March 22-23 with the topic ‘’Press Release (PR) That Lands a Media Coverage’’.

With different career background among DPWH PIOs, Ms. Antonieta R. Lim, DPWH Regional PIO said that conducting workshops under the department’s Communication Development Program will improve the capacity of the designated district PIOs on their duties and responsibilities to inform the public of its programs, policies and projects.

There were at least 30 PIOs from 13 district engineering offices attended the said workshop with Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano as the resource speaker.

Meniano is currently the editor of Philippine News Agency in Eastern Visayas Region.

One of the highlights of his discussion is sharing the most common mistakes in PR writing. According to him, there is only 2.6 seconds to win over a visitor. Having a wrong headline is a total waste while good headlines makes a difference.

The best clock worthy headlines according to him is dealing with statistics. From the planning stage, design, construction and maintenance of national infrastructures, DPWH deals with statistics every day. He gave advice to focus more on the project updates, number of kilometres, number of beneficiaries and the like.

Aside from writing a good headline, Meniano also encouraged the participants to use active voice in their news writing instead of the passive voice because it is shorter and more direct.

He also shared the most common mistakes in DPWH press releases. Among of these are having the very long start, too many names in news lead, too many technical terms, overuse of unfamiliar acronyms, less attention to the substance, no direct quotations and more.

“PRs that doesn’t require much correction from the editor have a bigger chance on landing a media coverage since it would not cost much time for the editor to edit,” said Meniano.

To test the learnings of the participants, they were tasked to re-write and identify mistakes from the sample news release given by the resource speaker. The activity gave the participants a better understanding on writing a good PR.

The workshop ended with an open forum from the participants followed by the 1st quarterly meeting of PIOs.

DPWH PIOs will continue to conduct trainings and seminars under the Communication Development Program to acquire and develop their communication skills.






NMP stakeholders’ forum
Left picture: Usec. Jacinto V. Paras delivering his Keynote Speech. Right picture: NMP Key officials answering the questions posed by the media.

NMP conducts stakeholders’ forum and media forum

Press Release
March 28, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – As part of the Agency’s commitment to improve the maritime industry, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) thru its Maritime Research and Development Division (MRDD) conducted a Stakeholders’ Forum and Media Forum on 22 March 2018 at The Bayleaf Intramuros, Manila.

The Stakeholders’ Forum served as a venue for NMP to present the three (3) completed researches in CY 2017, namely: Skills Gaps Analysis of Maritime Faculty in Philippine Maritime Higher Education Institutions (MHEIs); Gender Sensitivity Training for Seafarers (GSTS) Course: A Program Evaluation; and Responding to the Filipino Seafarers’ Training Requirements in the STCW 2010 Manila Amendments: Challenges and Opportunities.

Usec. Jacinto V. Paras quoted during his keynote speech an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go with others.” He said that “Going far simply can’t be done without people to support you.” He emphasized the need to sustain cooperation and collaboration between and among maritime stakeholdersto be able to respond to the ever growing needs of the Filipino seafarers.

Findings of the researches were disseminated to the industry stakeholders from the government, maritime education and training (MET) institutions, maritime associations, seafarers’ organizations, shipping companies and manning agencies. Recommendations from the researches may serve as valuable inputs to policy making and program development that impact on the Filipino seafarers as a special workforce of the country.

The forum also served as a platform for NMP to launch its e-Research Information System which was developed to communicate to the public its conducted researches, engage interested stakeholders to collaborate in ongoing research undertakings, solicit researchable areas, enjoin the MET practitioners to contribute papers and articles for the Philippine Journal on Maritime Education and Training (PJMET) and facilitate linkages between and among stakeholders and concerned maritime agencies both for the private and the government entity.

Along with the Philippine Development Plan of the Duterte Administration, the NMP crafted its Strategic Plan 2018-2020 within its mandate and towards its vision as “The Philippines’ leader in maritime training, including e-learning and research”. The said plan was also presented during the forum for further inputs from the stakeholders as a way of validating its responsiveness to the industry that the NMP serves as well as to introduce possible areas of collaboration in the implementation of the plan.

The conduct of research is one of the mandates of NMP, in which research output are utilized to formulate policies and regulations for the improvement of the maritime manpower sector of the industry. NMP is also mandated to conduct researches on the latest maritime technology.

In the afternoon of the said day, a Media Forum was organized by NMP to communicate to the national media the highlights of accomplishments of the Agency, strategic directions and major programs, projects and activities towards its vision and mission.

There were forty-nine (49) participants to the stakeholders’ forum while the media forum was attended by twenty (20) media outlets mostly members of Maritime Journalists Association of the Philippines (MJAP), Inc., headed by Ms. Carmela I. Huelar, its President.

Aside from its research function, 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.

Those interested to take NMP training programs may visit the NMP website and its Facebook page ( where all related information on NMP trainings are available.





Highlights of Eastern Visayas’ construction statistics: 4th quarter 2017

By PSA-8
March 28, 2018

TACLOBAN CITY – The region’s total number of constructions in the fourth quarter of 2017 reached 669. This reflected a decrease of 56.5% from the 1,539 constructions recorded during the same quarter in 2016.

Data were based on the preliminary results of construction statistics from approved building permits.

By type of construction, Residential Building constructions declined by 72.8%, from 1,248 constructions in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 339 constructions in the fourth quarter of 2017.

On the other hand, Non-Residential Building constructions increased by 12.2%, from 181 constructions in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 203 constructions in the same period of the 2017.

Similarly, combined number for Additions/Alterations and Repairs of existing structures went up by 15.5%, from 110 constructions in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 127 constructions during the quarter in review.

A little more than half (50.7%) of the constructions were Residential Buildings. Non-Residential Buildings comprised 30.3%, while Additions/Alterations and Repairs accounted for 19.0% of the region’s total constructions.

The total value of constructions in the region during the fourth quarter of 2017 was estimated at P1.9 billion. This figure is 36.1% lower compared with the P3.0 billion total value of constructions during the same quarter in 2016.

Total value of Residential Building constructions significantly dropped by 76.6%, from P1.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P4.4 million in the same period in 2017.

Similarly, aggregate value of Additions/Alterations and Repairs declined by 34.5%, from P87.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P57.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

On the other hand, total value of Non-Residential Buildings increased by 34.9%, from P1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P1.4 billion during the quarter in review.

Total value of Non-Residential Building in the region comprised the largest share in terms of value at 74.4%. Value of constructions of Residential Building contributed almost a quarter (22.7%), while Additions/Alterations and Repairs accounted for 3.0% of the region’s total value of construction.

Average cost per square meter of residential buildings

Average cost per square meter of Residential Buildings in the region for the fourth quarter of 2017 was estimated at P8,811, higher by 3.1% compared with the P8,544 average cost in the same period last year.

Among the different types of residential buildings, Single type reported higher average cost per square meter at P8,639 during the reference period from P7,740 per square meter in the same period in 2016.

Similarly, average cost per square meter for Apartment/Accessoria/Others increased by 12.6%, from P8,761 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P9,868 in the same quarter in 2017. It reported the highest average cost per square meter among residential buildings.

On the other hand, average cost of Duplex/Quadruplex decreased by 19.1%, from P10,089 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P8,167 during the quarter in review.

Average cost per square meter of non-residential buildings

Average cost per square meter of Non-Residential Buildings in the region for the fourth quarter of 2017 was estimated at P7,237, lower by 18.7% compared with the P8,903 average cost in the same period last year.

Among the different types of non-residential buildings, Commercial Buildings reported lower average cost per square meter at P6,867 during the reference period from P8,681 per square meter in the same period in 2016.

Similarly, average cost per square meter for Institutional Buildings decreased by 31.0%, from P10,556 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P7,286 in the same quarter in 2017.

On the other hand, average cost of Agricultural and Other Non-Residential Buildings more than doubled, posting an increase of 114.0%, from P4,155 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to P8,891 in the fourth quarter of 2017. It reported the highest average cost per square meter among non-residential buildings.

Industrial Buildings likewise recorded higher average cost per square meter at P7,018 during the quarter in review from P4,992 per square meter in the same period in 2016.







DPWH PIO training
Glenn Lagman (in blue shirt and khaki shorts) of Samar First District Engineering Office gets a first-hand experience in handling drone operation.

DPWH: Public Information Officers take training to new heights

March 27, 2018

CALBAYOG CITY – Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region VIII upgrade their skills during the first quarterly meeting on March 22-23, 2018 in Tanauan, Leyte. Hosted by the joint efforts of Leyte I, II, III District Engineering Offices and Tacloban City District Engineering Office, the meeting cum workshop tackles drone operation among many others.

The technical name of drones is “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (UAVs). They are trending aerial vehicles which come in wide varieties of sizes and shapes and functions, which are controlled either by remote or control systems from the ground. The PIOs take advantage of such device to further up their game in the field of documentation as well as make use of it in audio-visual presentations. In the workshop, PIOs get to have basic knowledge of the tool and equal opportunities in actual flying it to film and capture pictures in high altitude.

Information accumulated though will be wasted if not properly disseminated by appropriate means. This is where improving media relations come into play which is the topic of the resource speaker, Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano, an editor in the Philippines News Agency. He provided pointers in making press releases that will land media coverage as well as steadily trekking the tricky and fragile relationships with the media. Ms. Antonieta R. Lim, Regional Public Assistance and Information Officer, and her staff added some updates with the Communication Development Program in line with the continuing capability-building effort for PIO designates and it’s alternate.

The training culminates with Mr. Sarwell Q. Meniano leaving a reminder, “Never assume that others know what you know. Submitting a story online means you are reaching to a global audience who are not familiar with local and technical terms. Think global in this digital age.”





Army clashes anew in Eastern Samar, 1 CPP-NPA terrorist killed, 2 high powered firearms recovered

March 27, 2018

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – A platoon from 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion under Lt. Col. Manuel Leo Q. Gador while responding to information from the populace on the presence of an armed group in Barangay San Roque, Maslog, Eastern, Samar was fired upon by more or less 12 CPP-NPA Terrrorists (CNTs) today, March 27, 2018 at 6:00 o’ clock in the morning.

The 30-minute firefight resulted to the recovery of one M16A1 rifle; one AK-47 rifle; one hand grenade; two landmines; 11 jungle hammock backpacks; 12 poncho tent; one cellular phone; and subversive documents with high intelligence value. No reported casualty on the government side while one dead body of the enemy was recovered at the encounter site.

This unrelenting campaign of the Army in the region will deter the criminal activities of the CNTs to conduct possible attack/atrocities on far-flung communities during the observance of the Lenten Season.

In his message, Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio AFP, Commander, 8ID said, “These CPP-NPA Terrorists are taking advantage from the shadow of fear and weakness of the community of their threat, we will not put our hands down in securing the safety and protection of community.”





Renewable energy advocates, citizen’s groups decry Congress’s recommendation for Meralco’s ‘dirty, costly’ contracts

Press Release
March 27, 2018

QUEZON CITY – Civil society organizations slammed the recent recommendation issued by the House of Representatives Committees on Energy and Good Governance and Public Accountability supporting the approval of Meralco’s controversial deals with its affiliate generation companies.

“After almost a year of investigating the irregularities surrounding Meralco’s seven Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) with its sister generation corporations, the House of Representatives Committee on Energy ended up recommending the approval of the questionable contracts,” said Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) Executive Director Gerry Arances. “This goes against the facts and evidence presented by civil society, affirmed by the Ombudsman’s finding of possible collusion between Meralco and the ERC,” he continued.

Quezon Representative Cong. Danilo Suarez filed the motion to recommend the contracts for approval after Bayan Representative Cong. Zarate moved to investigate the anomalous deals entered into by Meralco without the required competitive selection process (CSP), suspiciously waived by the ERC for the distribution utility.

“CEED has twice presented in the hearings conducted by the Committees on Good Governance and Energy the effect of approving these contracts on the environment, the electricity bills of consumers, and the country’s commitment to abandon coal and increase the share of Renewable Energy,” said CEED Legal Officer Atty. Avril De Torres. “While the decision to approve these contracts lie solely on the ERC, the recommendation of the House of Representatives may overshadow the various irregularities surrounding the deals, and their negative implications on the consumers,” she continued.

De Torres reiterated how these PSAs accounting for 3,551 MW of power will “lock in millions of Filipinos to relying on costly and dirty energy from coal for at least twenty years” once approved.

“The opportunity cost of losing the interest of coal investors is not enough to subject the end-users to such an unfair deal,” De Torres responded to Rep. Suarez’s comments. “The resolution disregards the willingness of clean energy companies to fill in the energy needs of the consumers while respecting the governing rules ensuring that consumers will be provided the cleanest, most competitive energy option,” De Torres continued.

Atty. Aaron Pedrosa of the multisectoral coalition Sanlakas, among the oppositors in the applications filed by Meralco and its affiliate coal companies, denounced how Meralco has successfully mobilized support from almost all branches of the government, even with its “blatant disregard for good governance and the rights of the consumers.”

“From the TRO by the Court of Appeals lifting the suspension of the seven ERC commissioners suspected of colluding with Meralco, to the Lower House’s recommendation of Meralco’s power deals, the country’s largest power company has successfully maneuvered to getting its way at the expense of Filipino citizens,” said Pedrosa. “On top of that, it is using fear tactics to scare consumers into thinking that the rejection of their contracts will lead to massive brownouts, which the House of Representatives reflected in their resolution,” he said.

“The recommendation issued by the Lower House is also a slap in the face of those who will be affected by and are actively resisting the construction and operation of coal fired power plants, most notably those in Atimonan, Quezon, the very constituents of the recommendation’s mastermind, Rep. Danilo Suarez,” Pedrosa noted.



◄◄home I next►►