units in EV reaches 975,625
June 6, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY –
Results of the 2015 Census of Population (POPCEN) showed that
Eastern Visayas had a total occupied housing units of 975,625 as of
August 1, 2015. This is an increase of 13.6% or 116,910 housing
units over the 858,715 occupied housing units recorded during the
2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH). This figure resulted to
a ratio of 101 households for every 100 occupied housing units or 5
persons per occupied housing unit.
Leyte (excluding Tacloban
City) recorded the highest number of occupied housing units among
the provinces with 402,126 housing units or 41.2% of the total
housing units in the region. Samar ranked second with 162,886
occupied housing units, followed by Northern Samar with 124,909,
Eastern Samar with 105,653 and Southern Leyte with 92,405. Biliran
recorded the least number of occupied housing units posted at 38,105
Tacloban City, the lone
Highly Urbanized City (HUC) in the region, recorded a total of
49,541 occupied housing units.
Single-type house was the
most common type of building/house in Eastern Visayas. Ninety-four
percent of the total occupied housing unit in Eastern Visayas
reported this type of building/house. About 4.1% were duplex while
1.7% were multi-unit residential.
Majority or 77.2% of the
occupied housing units in the region had roofs made of galvanized
iron/aluminum. Meanwhile, about three in ten (30.7%) of the occupied
housing units in the region in 2015 had outer walls made of
Of the total 985,418
households in 2015, almost half (46.6%) owned or amortized the house
and lots that they occupied in 2015. A little over one-third (38.2%)
of the households occupied houses which they owned but not the lots,
they were rent-free with consent of the owner; 6.5% owned the houses
but rented the lots that they occupied; 4.8% lived in rent-free
house and lots with consent of the owner; 2.3% lived in rented house
and lot; 1.5% lived in own house and rent-free lot without consent
of the owner; and 0.2% lived in rent-free house and lot without
consent of the owner.
Majority or 83.9% of the
985,418 households in the region used electricity for lighting.
Households that used kerosene for lighting accounted for 13.0. Solar
lamps were used by about 1.6 percent of the households.
Of the total 985,418
households in 2015, 31.5% used shared faucet community water system
as main source of drinking water. The second highest reported source
of drinking water was own use faucet community water system which
accounted for 18.2% of the total households. The rest of the
households used the following sources: shared tubed/piped deep well
(16.2%); bottled water (13.5%); dug well (5.7%); protected spring
(5.0%); own use tubed/piped deep well (3.0%); tubed/piped shallow
well (2.7%); peddler (2.0%); unprotected spring (1.4%); lake, river,
rain (0.8%); and others (0.1%).
One-third or 33.1% of the
households used shared faucet community water system as main source
of water for cooking. The second highest reported source of water
for cooking was own use faucet community water system which
accounted for a quarter or 25.4% of the total households. The rest
of the households used the following sources: shared tubed/piped
deep well (17.9%); dug well (7.2%); own use tubed/piped deep well
(4.5%); protected spring (4.4%); tubed/piped shallow well (3.2%);
unprotected spring (1.3%); peddler (1.1%); bottled water (0.9%); and
lake, river, rain (0.9%).
NEDA statement as insult and out of touch
NEDA’s P127 a day food budget
standard for Filipino family is an insult to workers; ALU-TUCP wants
Edillon to retract statement and apologize
June 6, 2018
QUEZON CITY – For setting the living standard of Filipino family to
the lowest level, labor group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union
Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) is demanding that the
government’s National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) retracts
its statement and apologize in public for making out of touch
Speaking before reporters Tuesday, NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie
Edillon said the living standard for a Filipino family of five is
only P10,000 a month. Out of which only P3,834 are needed food or
P127 a day alone.
“We condemn this argument as inaccurate and a grave mistake. This is
an affront to millions of poor Filipinos. We demand that the NEDA
retract this out of touch statement and we are demanding that
Undersecretary Edillon to apologize in public for insulting all of
us with such a very low government standard of living and for taking
the dignity of poor Filipino family to the lowest level,” said Alan
Tanjusay, spokesperson of ALU-TUCP.
The P127 a day for food expenses for a family of five is very low
government standard, Tanjusay said adding: “This amount does not
reflect the reality of majority of Filipinos who are poor. Why don’t
the NEDA officials including Ms. Edillon try to live with P127 a
day, tingnan natin kung mabubuhay sila with this amount.”
Tanjusay said government should set the standard at a modest and
acceptable level after reflecting the realities on the ground.
“Government officials particularly the NEDA should immersed
themselves in communities before they announce standards and
policies. They should be immersed in public wet markets. They should
often visit the talipapas and sari-sari stores not just depend on
table studies if they want to know the real living conditions being
experienced by Filipino families,” Tanjusay said.
The living standard for a Filipino family of five should be P1,200 a
day and P400-P600 a day of the amount should go to food expenses
of the certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs)
distributed in Catarman, Northern Samar recently pose during
photo opportunity with DAR Undersecretary for Field
Operations Office Karlo Bello and DAR-8 Regional Director
Samar farmers receive CLOAs from DAR
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
June 4, 2018
Samar – Two hundred twenty-six landless famers from three
Northern Samar towns turned landowners as they received certificates
of landownership award (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) on May 24.
DAR Undersecretary for
Field Operations Office Karlo Bello handed the 226 individual CLOAs
to the same number of farmer beneficiaries at the University of
Eastern Philippines (UEP) gymnatorium.
The CLOAs covered an
aggregate area of more than 435 hectares of both private and
government-owned lands situated in the towns of Catarman, Bobon and
Lope de Vega.
Bello in his message
disclosed that he issued a memorandum directing DAR field offices to
review its scope and look for more private and government owned
lands that could still be covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program’s (CARP’s) land distribution component per
instruction from the president.
According to Bello,
President Duterte is looking into the possibility of extending this
program of the government so that more landless farmers could still
benefit from it.
Director Atty. Sheila Enciso reminded the CLOA recipients of their
obligation to pay the real property tax for they are the landowners
now, and to pay the amortization for the beneficiaries of
Further, she encouraged
the beneficiaries to join agrarian reform beneficiary organization (ARBO)
in their area to be able to avail of the various support services
extended under CARP.
Likewise, Governor Jose
Ong, who graced the occasion, assured the agrarian reform
beneficiaries (ARBs) of the support from the provincial government
for it has also programs for the farmers, he stressed.
Due to excitement, couple
Joel and Enelita Miano who are both CLOA recipients from Bobon were
already at the venue as early as 10 o’clock in the morning though
the distribution rite was to start at one o’clock in the afternoon,
while Estela Bedeo, 79, thanked DAR for she was able to receive a
title to the land she had been tilling for years. According to her,
she was happy that they were deprived from paying the processing of
the title, but stressed that she will pay the amortization and the
real property tax.
Dolores Dato, of the Legal
Division, explained to the ARBs their rights and obligations as well
as prohibited acts emphasizing not to sell their awarded lands
within 10 years.
In closing the program,
DAR provincial chief Nida Abelido left a strong and clear message to
the ARBs. She said “wag ninyo ibebenta ang lupa dahil ang pera
pagdating ng panahon medaling maubos. Ngunit ang lupa ay
magpapasalin-salin sa ating mga apo at anak na magbibigay ng pera.
Bungkalin ninyo ang lupa. Pagyamanin ninyo para madami kayong ani na
kikita at gaganda ang buhay.”
BIR return P20B pesos tax refund it owed to workers to mitigate
June 4, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The
Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP)
is demanding that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and
Department of Finance (DOF) return in cash an estimated P20 billion,
including interest, that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
unlawfully collected from millions of minimum-waged workers for
seven months back in 2008.
The ALU-TUCP said there is
an urgent need to return the workers their money to tide their
families in the face of spiraling inflation.
In its 56-page January 24,
2017 ruling, the Supreme Court nullified two provisions of BIR
Revenue Regulation 10-2008 that disqualify Minimum Waged Earners (MWEs)
from tax exemptions on their wage, bonus, and other compensation
benefits such overtime pay, hazard pay, holiday pay, and night shift
differential pay including fringe benefits in excess of P30,000.
The Trade Union Congress
of the Philippines (TUCP) filed a challenge before the Supreme Court
questioning the BIR regulation and asked for its nullification.
The Supreme Court ruled in
favor of the TUCP saying that the minimum wage earners (MWEs) should
not be taxed because they are exempted from income tax by Republic
Act 9502 – the law giving exemption to minimum waged workers from
monthly salary tax deduction.
R.A 9502 became effective
June 17, 2008. However, the BIR issued Revenue Regulation 10-2008
and have collected income tax from workers for 7 months before the
agency suspended their collection.
Effectively, the BIR
continued to collect taxes on the wage, bonuses and other benefits
from millions of MWEs from June to December 2008 despite of
effectivity of a law exempting minimum-waged workers from such taxes
starting July 6, 2008.
“Minimum wage earners need
these additional cash money which they rightfully own in order to
cope with the current incredible rising prices of commodities and
surging costs of utilities and services. It’s workers’ blood money.
We urge the BIR and DOF to return the money including the legal
interests now. Until now, the BIR and DOF have not complied with the
high court order for them to make a cash refund,” said ALU national
president Michael Mendoza.
The ALU-TUCP calls for a
cash refund including the annual legal interest the money earned
from 2008 to 2017 which ALU-TUCP estimates at P20 billion covering
the 10-year period.
“We cannot understand why
the BIR and the DOF is quick to squeeze money from the workers but
it takes forever for them to return what they illegally collected.
Mahiya naman kayo! Those are workers’ blood money. Pinaghirapan yan
ng mga manggagawa, ibalik na ninyo! said Alan Tanjusay, ALU
teachers, advocates bring together issues, gear up for June 19
National Education Summit
June 1, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
Students, teachers, and education advocates gathered and held a
press conference to discuss the persistent issues and problems in
the country’s education system.
“Despite the passage of
Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary
Education Act, the fundamental problems in the country’s system
remain. Thus, the fight for free, accessible, and quality education
continues,” said Rise for Education National Convenor Mark Vincent
Rise for Education is a
nationwide and multi-sectoral alliance of different student councils
and publications from high schools and universities, youth
organizations, members of the academe, parents, out-of-school youth,
and citizens from all walks of life calling for quality education
that is free and accessible to all.
Free education now
“Free education means not
a single peso should be collected from students. A ‘no collection
policy’ must be in place. However, obtaining funds from students in
support of campus press and representation through their
duly-elected councils, must continue,” said Kabataan Party-list
Deputy Secretary-General Angelica Reyes.
“Free education should
also be implemented without delays and preconditions. Budgetary
support for the immediate roll out of 'free education, no
collection' in all public tertiary education institutions should be
given without delay. In addition, the Return Service System,
embedded in Republic Act 10931’s implementing rules and regulations
(IRR) as an additional requirement for free education, must be
scrapped, as it undermines the right to education. Instead of
‘forced labor’ disguised as civic obligation, public tertiary
schools should democratically create a blueprint to urge and empower
students to serve the people and nation,” said Reyes.
Tuition and other school
“Another round of tuition
and other school fees hikes is looming. This year, we are expecting
that around 400 schools shall have tuition hikes at a rate of 6-10
percent. It is as if this has been the way of private schools in
welcoming the youth back to school,” said National Union of Students
of the Philippines (NUSP) Deputy Secretary-General Kenji Muramatsu.
According to the Union,
adding to the burden to the tuition and other schools fees (TOSF)
increase is the increase in prices due to the implementation of the
Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
“The TOSF hike is as
alarming as how prices went up after the TRAIN Law has been
implemented. From their tuition and other school fees, to their
necessities in school such as school supplies, books, and food, the
added cost of their education makes the burden even heavier. It is
indeed a double-whammy towards the students and their parents,”
The student union also
lambasted the current administration’s “apparent bias” towards
private higher education institutions (HEIs). “CHED and Duterte fail
miserably in protecting the rights of students to education. They
are even the ones who push students to study in private HEIs, while
they allow the non-stop increase in TOSF for the profits of
capitalist-educators,” Muramatsu ended.
Stop K-12 program
“The K-12 program is the
worst neoliberal attack on Philippine education. Since its pilot
implementation in year 2015, it has failed in its promise of
employability and higher quality of education for the youth. The
added two (2) years in basic education guarantee the
capitalist-educators more profit from private high schools, and
worsen the already substandard school facilities and equipment in
public high schools. K-12 legitimizes contractualization among
teachers and at the same time creates more mechanisms to breed
students into labor exports or additions to the pool of cheap and
docile laborers,” said League of Filipino Students (LFS) National
Spokesperson Kara Lenina Taggaoa.
“As this year marks the
first batch of the K-12 graduates, there is no bright future that
awaits them. Statistics from Philippine Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (PCCI) and Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) have
declared that K-12 has failed to train competent employees who are
worthy of being hired in companies,” ended Taggaoa.
Wage hike and rewarding
benefits for teachers
“To uphold the public
character of all government-funded tertiary education institutions,
a substantial increase in state subsidy must be allotted to support
capital improvement, and faculty development necessary to expand
operations, and cater more students. Campus facilities and services
must be adequate for quality and effective learning and teaching
experience,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines
Chairperson Benjamin Valbuena.
personnel and workers, who have long suffered from low wages,
contractualization and high prices of goods, should be given just,
decent, and rewarding salaries and benefits,” said Valbuena.
Uphold democratic rights
“Student councils, campus
press, faculty union, and campus sectoral organizations serve a
significant role in the pursuit of free education and the
advancement of rights and welfare of the Filipino people. Their
autonomy must be upheld and they must be free from any form of
control and intervention so they can independently pursue principled
positions, collaborative programs, and fruitful alliance work,” said
College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) National President
Jose Mari Callueng.
indigenous peoples’ schools should be stopped and their right to
education, ancestral domain, and self-determination should be
upheld,” said PASAKA-SMR Chairperson Kerlan Fanagel.
Rise for education
“It is high time for the
government to backpedal on these policies that have kept millions of
Filipinos out of school, and fulfill its constitutional obligation
to ensure that quality education is accessible at all levels,” said
“On June 19, education
advocates – students, parents, teachers, administrators,
personalities, and public officials – will gather at the Rise for
Education National Summit in UP Diliman to discuss the updates and
prospects of our education campaign and to forge our plan of
actions,” said Lim.
“Together, we continue the
struggle for an education that fosters patriotism and nationalism,
and equips the students with the knowledge and skills needed to
dedicatedly pursue a truly independent and prosperous Philippines,”
Independent Certification Ltd President Elsa Purificacion
and Senior Auditor Jaime Ignacio (2nd and 3rd from left,
respectively) hand over the giant ISO 9001:2015 certificate
to DAR-8 Regional Director and ISO Champion Atty. Sheila
Enciso (3rd from right) while Lead External Auditor Norlito
Suelo (extreme left) and DAR Assistant Regional Directors
Ma. Fe Malinao and Ismael Aya-ay (2nd from left and extreme
left, respectively) look on.
history with ISO 9001:2015 certification
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
May 31, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – The
regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in
Eastern Visayas makes history as the first DAR Regional Office in
the country conferred with the internationally recognized quality
management certification based on ISO 9001:2015 standard.
On Monday, May 21,
Guardian Independent Certification Ltd President Elsa Purificacion
together with Senior Auditor Jaime Ignacio and Lead External Auditor
Norlito Suelo handed the giant certificate to DAR-8 Regional
Director and ISO champion Atty. Sheila Enciso.
The certificate states
that this office “has been audited and found to conform to ISO
9001:2015 for the provision of government services (primarily for
the agrarian reform beneficiaries and agricultural land owners),
undertaking Land Tenure Services, Technical Advisory and Support
Services, Agrarian Legal Services and Support to Operations,
including technical assistance, administrative supervision and
monitoring to DAR Provincial and Municipal Offices in accordance
with the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as amended by
R.A 9700 to all stakeholder of DAR Regional Office-8”.
According to Suelo, “this
office never cease to amaze me every time I visit here”.
He shared that the first
time he came here was two years ago, when DAR Central Office
conducted the benchmarking and gap analysis, and every time he
comes, he sees improvements.
In response, Enciso said
the journey will not stop with the certification, what we have all
to undertake with this quality management system documentation is
our commitment to “never ending” continual improvement, specifically
service excellence that will reap client satisfaction, while at the
same time adhering to statutory and regulatory standards.
More than the certificate
and recognition that we have received, what is more fulfilling was
the change that had happened and has been implemented in our office,
Aware of future
surveillance audits, Enciso confidently declared “we can tackle them
all because the principle of standard has already been implemented
in our hearts and mind and is embraced by everyone”.
To all DAR Regional
Office-8 employees, she urged them not to consider this recognition
as the end of what they had been working, but “as a beginning of a
more meaningful and promising endeavor for the good and benefit of
Meanwhile, DAR Central
Office’s Agrarian Reform Capacity Development Service Director
Susana Serrano disclosed that DAR Regional Office-8 becomes the
first DAR regional office to get quality management system
certification. The pressure is within you, she added, as you will
set the trend for other regional offices who want to be ISO
Suelo further shared that
this standard started in 1987 in response to global demand for
quality products and services. While in the Philippines, he added
that then President Gloria Arroyo issued Executive Order 605
directing all government agencies under the executive branch to
adopt an ISO 9001 quality management system as part of the
implementation of government-wide quality management program in
order to promote and enhance public sector performance.
also calls for national minimum wage increase
May 30, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The
national center of government employees COURAGE today bewailed the
present economic plight of government employees and called for a
national minimum wage increase of P16,000/month from the current
P10,510/month being received by an employee with salary grade 1.
Earlier, labor groups in
the private sector called for a wage increase citing the
inflationary impact of the tax reform law. Based from the Philippine
Statistics Authority (PSA) announcement last May 4, 2018, prices of
basic goods and services rose to a 5 year high of 4.5% this April
higher than the January 2018 figures when the tax reform law was
passed and higher than the government’s inflation target range for
2018 of 2-4%.
“While we completely
support the demand of private sector workers for a national minimum
wage hike, we also call on government to give attention to the
worsening economic condition of its workers especially lower ranked
civilian employees at the local level,” Mr. Ferdinand Gaite COURAGE
Gaite cited that the
lowest ranked government worker receives lower income of P477.20/day
as compared to a minimum wage private sector worker in the National
Capital Region who receives an income of P475 - P512 /day.
“The situation of local
government workers is even worse. An SG1 employee of the local
government of Cuenca, Batangas (4th class municipality), for
example, receives 358.29/day as compared to a private sector minimum
wage earner who receives P317 - 400/day as set by the regional wage
board of Calabarzon,” Mr. Gaite added.
This, he said, is among
the many reasons COURAGE is calling for the implementation of a
national minimum wage of P16,000/month for government workers to
give justice to lower ranked and local government workers instead of
the salary standardization law which shall implement its last
tranche of increase next year.
“The recent snide remark
of NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia in a press interview that only
organized labor groups will benefit from a national minimum wage
increase is uncalled for and only reflects his callousness to the
plight of all workers including government workers in his office for
whom the progressive realization of the constitutional right to a
living wage is his duty to work on,” Mr. Gaite concluded.
Trade Training Center: the Philippines’ global MSME academy
May 29, 2018
MAKATI CITY – The
Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) takes a leap as it embraces
its new role as the Philippines’ Global MSME Academy, by virtue of a
Department Order (DO) issued and signed by Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez on April 18, 2018.
The order designates PTTC
as a Center dedicated to the administration, development and conduct
of trade-related training and management of facilities to support
the requirements of globalizing industries and services most
especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Bureaus
and offices within the DTI and all its attached agencies are
enjoined to integrate their MSME-related training programs and
projects with PTTC.
Fully dedicated to this
commitment, PTTC created Strategic Business Units (SBUs) and
customized its programs on three major industries – processed food,
services, and consumer goods, and categorized by MSME levels -
foundation, intermediate and advanced courses. From the foundation
courses on business management, finance and marketing, and
production management, each SBU has a focused training pathway with
specialized course modules to address expansion in the domestic
market and lead MSMEs to gain access to market compliance and
PTTC also aligns its
Entrepreneurship training programs for the youth, women and Overseas
Filipino Workers (OFWs) in tandem with other institutions providing
capacity-building programs for these focused sectors.
“MSMEs need to be inspired
then nurtured to cope with the ever-changing environment, where
survival somehow depends on knowledge, skills and attitude.
Partnerships and collaboration with international content providers
as well as homegrown experts shall be maximized to enable PTTC to
address a wider range of training needs of MSMEs,” said PTTC
Executive Director Nestor P. Palabyab.
Local partners include The
Philippine MICE Academy, The Philippine Center on Entrepreneurship
Go Negosyo, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation Inc.,
World Trade Center, and Center for Future Leadership while
International partner institutions are Taipei Economic and Cultural
Office (TECO), International Trade Center (ITC) Geneva, Switzerland,
Association of Overseas Technical Scholarship (Japan), Leipzig
University, Germany’s Hinrich Foundation, and British Council of the
Apart from these
partnerships, PTTC also collaborates with e-learning institutions
such as the ITC-SME Trade Academy, ASEAN SME Academy, and World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Academy for online
training courses in finance, human resource, marketing, trade and
logistics, management, operations and technology.
New training programs,
including regional programs, are also offered by the Center such as
the recently launched Food Connect Program, designed to create an
alternative environment for experiential learning for food
manufacturers. Activities include:
a. Food Talks or briefings
on International Labeling Requirements of Major Importing Countries
such as USA, China, Japan and UAE;
b. Mentoring and
consultative sessions by key industry practitioners providing
practical, innovative tips on processes that can be adopted by MSMEs
in food safety, shelf life, food processing technology and
innovation, basic labeling requirements, process and product
c. Awareness on the
regulatory compliance of Food and Drugs Administration -License to
Operate/Certificate of Product Registration (FDA-LTO/CPR), HALAL,
and International Food Standards.
Likewise, undergoing major
improvements are the Center’s training facilities. The Food Connect
Hub is available for activities related to the Food Connect Program,
with working spaces available for small group gathering, networking
and negotiations. Food Lab, is dedicated for food testing such as
Water and pH Content and
Metal Detector, intended for initial assessment of food properties
for third party laboratory testing; and finally, the DigiFab
Training Facility for product packaging prototyping, and the
Creative Hub which gathers the young creative entrepreneurs to hone
their skills and talents.
As the trade training arm
of DTI, mandated under the Administrative Code of 1987 and Executive
Order No. 133, Series of 1987, PTTC’s mission is to provide
stakeholders with high quality and relevant training programs at par
with the best in the world, that transform Philippine MSMEs into
global business entrepreneurs.