25 ex-NPA rebels
to undergo TESDA community based skills training
Battalion, 8ID PA
July 19, 2018
ARAKAN, Cotabato –
A total of 25 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who surrendered
to the 19th Infantry Battalion will undergo skills training with the
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Lt.
Angelique Taban, Civil Military Operations Officer of 19th IB said
Thursday, July 19.
Lt. Taban added that TESDA
Cotabato Provincial Office, Institute for Motorbikes and Auto
Mechanics Incorporated (IMAMI) and Alpha Company of 19th IB headed
by Lt. Prolen Bonacua will facilitate the carpentry skills training.
The beneficiaries will also receive starter tool kits and daily
allowance for duration of one month.
“This community based
skills training provided by TESDA is just part of the Enhanced
Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) benefits package
which can be availed by NPA rebels who return to the folds of law”,
Lt. Taban said.
The E-CLIP is a government
program which seeks to contribute toward achieving the goal of
permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state
armed groups. It aims to facilitate the mainstreaming of former New
People’s Army (NPA) rebels and Militia ng Bayan (MB) as productive
Among the beneficiaries
was Alias Janjan who said he was happy to enroll and undergo the
said training while waiting for his financial and livelihood
assistance. He was one of the former NPA rebels who surrendered with
firearms to 19th IB last April.
Another beneficiary, Alias
Jimboy, was also grateful that the skills training was community
based and conveniently arranged for the former rebels, especially
that most of them are farm workers at the same time.
TESDA Specialist Randy
Sionosa said the agency is mandated to implement programs that will
enhance the skills of Filipino workers. He also explained to the
participants the overview as well as other benefits of the skills
training during the opening program which was held at held at
Barangay Manobo, Magpet, Cotabato on July 18.
Meanwhile, Outcome Manager
Guianodin Abdilah of DILG Cotabato Provincial Office lauded the
effort of TESDA, 19th IB as well as the local officials for
supporting the implementation of E-CLIP.
For his part, Lt. Col.
Ehrlich Noel Paraso, Acting Commanding Officer of 19th IB was
optimistic that with this recent development, more NPA rebels will
be enticed to surrender and return to mainstream society.
“This concerted effort by
the line agencies proves the government’s sincerity in the
implementation of the E-CLIP. It also belies the allegations of the
Communist New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist groups and left-leaning
organizations who accused the said program as a mere propaganda”,
Lt. Col. Paraso said.
Moreover, Lt. Col. Paraso
is calling for the rebels who are still out there in the mountains
to surrender for them to avail of the program of the government. He
is reiterating his plea for the rebels not to follow what their
leaders say but rather think about their families and their future.
On the other hand, Lt.
Col. Paraso expressed his gratitude to the local officials of Magpet,
Cotabato for extending assistance in the said endeavor.
workers decry starvation wages
July 19, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
Government employees under the COURAGE government employees center
reiterated their situation that their take-home pay is not even
enough to take them home.
This, according to
Ferdinand Gaite, COURAGE National President, was already the
situation prior to the implementation of the Tax Reform for
Acceleration for Inclusion. Now the burden is greater due to the
drastic inflation of 5.2% reflected in the increase in oil products,
rice, utilities, other basic commodities and school expenses after
classes have again started. What the tax reform has done was to
accelerate the reduction of our salaries and our inclusion in the
roster of the impoverished, Gaite added.
The current minimum wage
in the public sector is currently pegged at P10,510 monthly under
Executive Order 201 or the Salary Standardization Law 4. However,
salaries of employees in local government employees are even lower.
According to the SSL, a 6th class municipality shall receive only
65% of the salaries compared to that of national government agencies
therefore their minimum wage is lower at P6,831. Said amounts are a
far cry from the monthly living wage of more than P33,000, according
to Ibon Research.
Erwin Lanuza, National
President of League of Local Government Units Employees (LEAGUE)
criticized this exploitative and discriminatory policy against LGU
employees. There are about 830,000 employees in the 1,715 LGUs and a
significant figure of government employees can be found in 1st to
6th class municipalities whose salaries are lower at a range of
criticized the Duterte administration for its one-sided priority
saying that the government can double the salaries of police and
soldiers but does not consider increasing salaries of civilian
employees a priority. They demanded for a national minimum wage
regardless whether they are in LGUs, NGAs, GOCCs and others and the
amount should be at least P16,000 a month to cope with inflation.
DPWH to implement
P39.4M PAMANA road projects in Leyte’s second district
DPWH 2nd LED
July 19, 2018
CARIGARA, Leyte –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second
District Engineering Office will implement a total amount of P39.4
million road rehabilitation projects funded under Payapa at
Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program.
According to District
Engineer Carlos G. Veloso, PAMANA program was implemented by the
government to reduce vulnerabilities, improve governance, and
empower fragile communities. “This involves socio-economic
interventions to isolated and conflict-affected areas not only to
foster sustainable development but also to avoid recurrence of
sources of conflict” added Veloso.
Among the three PAMANA
projects, two were already bided-out, the rehabilitation of Brgy.
Lanawan Farm to Market (FMR), in Mac Arthur, Leyte in the amount of
P19.7 million. Barangay Lanawan, MacArthur, Leyte, is an upland
community of the Municipality of MacArthur with 67 households and
the main crops produce are corn, coconut and root crops (cassava,
gabi, camote) and banana.
Residents of the barangay
who are mostly farmers, grouped their selves into an organization,
the association had already bought two hectares of land and
developed it into an organic farm supplying high value vegetables in
Tacloban City. An organic piggery of seventy five (75) heads, a corn
mill and a farm to market road was accessed by the association. The
rehabilitation of the FMR will greatly help the farmers bringing
their farm produce to the main city.
Another bided-out project
is the rehabilitation of Patag FMR, Burauen, Leyte with an
allocation of P9.85 million.
While the P9.85 million
rehabilitation of Conzoilo FMR in Jaro, Leyte is awaiting for
modification. Villa Conzoilo, an upland village 7 kilometers from
the poblacion of Jaro, is a budding farm-tourism destination in
Leyte that has attracted both foreign and local visitors since it
opened in May last year. Villa Conzoilo, the farthest village of
Jaro at the foot of Mount Amandaweng, was once a hotbed of
insurgency like all its neighboring communities. The association of
farmers, transformed the once a center of war zone of rebellion into
thriving gardens planted with high-value crops.
PAMANA programs envision
to improve governance through partnerships with national and local
institutions, building capacities or governance, and enhancement of
transparency and accountability mechanisms. It also into reducing
poverty and vulnerability in conflict-affected areas through
sustainable rural development, community infrastructure and focused
delivery of social services, as well as empowering communities and
strengthen their capacity to address issues of conflict and peace
through activities that promote social cohesion.
inflation rate hits record high in June at 6.3 percent
July 18, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – The
annual Inflation Rate (IR) of Eastern Visayas rose to a record high
of 6.3% in June, posting the highest since January 2018. This IR was
0.5 percentage point higher compared with the 5.8% IR a month ago,
and 3.0 percentage points higher than the recorded 3.3% IR in the
same period last year. The regional inflation rate was 1.1
percentage points higher than the 5.2% national average in June.
All provinces in the
region registered higher inflation rates in June compared with their
figures in the previous month, except for Biliran, the only province
that has registered a decrease of 1.1 percentage points, from 6.0%
in May to 4.9% in June. Northern Samar posted the highest increase
of 2.3 percentage points, from 5.5% in May to 7.8% in June. The rest
of the provinces recorded increases ranging from 0.2 percentage
point to 0.9 percentage point. Northern Samar had the highest IR at
7.8%, while Southern Leyte posted the lowest at 1.4 percent (Table
By major commodity groups,
Transport recorded the highest increase of a hefty 6.0 percentage
points, from 2.0% in May to 8.0% in June. Food and Non-Alcoholic
Beverages followed at 0.6 percentage point.
Annual price changes in
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco decreased by 2.1 percentage points,
but still recorded a double digit inflation rate of 22.0%, the
highest among all commodities. Clothing and Footwear and Housing,
Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels likewise shed off by 0.4
percentage point and 0.2 percentage point, settling at 0.9% and
zero inflation rate during the month in review, while Recreation and
Culture, Education, and Restaurants and Miscellaneous Goods and
Services retained their previous month’s rates of 0.9%, 3.5%, and
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P 0.81 in June 2018. This PPP
implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in June 2018 only
costs 81 pesos in 2012.
Eastern Samar, Northern
Samar and Southern Leyte registered a 0.01 centavo decrease in the
PPP compared with their figures in May. Whereas, Biliran recorded a
0.01 centavo increase in PPP, while the rest of the provinces had
sustained their PPP from last month. Leyte recorded the strongest
PPP at P0.84. Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.83, followed by
Biliran at P0.82 and Eastern Samar at P0.79. Northern Samar and
Samar, meanwhile, posted the weakest PPP at P0.76 (Table 1).
records $58.9M trade deficit in April 2018
July 18, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – The
region reflected a deficit in the total balance of trade in goods (BoT-G)
amounting to $58.9 million in April 2018. This is 40.8% lower
compared with the $99.4 million deficit recorded in the same period
a year ago.
The region’s total trade
in goods in April 2018 amounted to $81.7 million, significantly
lower by 68.5% over the value of $259.6 million registered in the
same month last year. Total exports amounted to $11.4 million, which
was 85.7% lower compared with the $80.1 million in April 2017. Total
value of imports, meanwhile, was recorded at $70.3 million, 60.8%
lower compared with the $179.5 imports posted in the same period
The region’s total volume
of exports in April 2018 was posted at 74.7 million kilograms. The
commodity group of Animal or Vegetable Fats and Oils and their
Cleavage Products; Prepared Edible Fats; Animal or Vegetable Waxes
was the major export during the month with total revenue of $5.9
million, accounting for more than half or 51.3% of the region’s
total exports revenue in April 2018.
United States of America
was the top export market destination with recorded total exports
revenue of $5.9 million or 51.3 percent of the region’s total
Meanwhile, the region’s
total imports amounted to $70.3 million in April 2018 with total
gross weight of 98.5 million kilograms. Ores, Slag and Ash commodity
group was the major import during the month with total revenue of
$62.5 million accounting for 88.9% of the region’s total imports in
The top import supplier of
the region was Peru, which recorded a total imports bill of $31.1
million or more than two-fifths (44.2%) of the region’s total
Enrico Cobacha, Head of Procurement and Engr. Raquel Sumayo,
Chief of the Quality Assurance Section are doing hands-on
exercises using the DoTS application.
DoTS: Fast tracks
project completion and transactions
MAE ANGELICA R. COMOTA
July 17, 2018
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways – Samar First District
Engineering Office (SFDEO) participated in the Training on Document
Tracking System (DoTS) for Civil Works from July 9 to 11 at the DPWH
Multi-purpose Hall in Baras, Palo, Leyte.
DoTS is an electronic
routing slip that was developed to monitor the status of documents
in the Department. It tracks down movement of documents, identifies
slow-moving areas, and pinpoints those responsible for the delay in
the procurement and billing processes.
Documents covered by the
DoTS includes but is not limited to plans, program of works,
contracts, change orders, time extensions, RROW payments, and first
or final payments.
Key personnel from the
different sections and units of SFDEO attended the 3-day training.
Throughout the entire training period, participants familiarized
themselves with the different functions of the application,
identified the different types of documents covered by DoTS,
generated reports, transmitted documents from one office to another,
and performed tasks provided in the DoTS-related department orders.
The purpose of this
training is to streamline the Department’s business processes by
resolving problems such as delays in work completion and bottlenecks
in the work flow. Through continuous development of the DoTS, SFDEO
can fast track project completion and be more transparent in its
operations and transactions.
DTI gives 500
livelihood starter kits to Marawi IDPs
July 17, 2018
MARAWI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) awarded 500 livelihood
starter kit certificates to Internally Displaced People (IDPs)
during the Marawi Entrepreneurs’ Forum and Job Fair last July 16.
The event, held at the Mindanao State University main campus in
Marawi, is the first big forum and job fair in the city since the
Marawi siege. Earlier programs in Marawi were on P3 micro lending
and livelihood distribution, while big fora were done before in
“President Rodrigo Roa
Duterte wants to ensure that government support continues and DTI
must help revive businesses and livelihood in Marawi City. We will
not stop until this city restores its vibrant trade and Industry,”
said Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, head of the Task Force Bangon
Marawi Sub-Committee on Business and Livelihood.
The starter kits are worth
P15,000 and can be customized to the business of their choice.
Earlier this year, DTI previously awarded 756 certificates for
sewing, carinderia, sari-sari store, carpentry, electrician, Maranao
delicacies, street food starter kits, Kia bongo delivery trucks, and
mobile rice mills.
The new batch of starter
kits will now include tricycles and pedicabs to answer the need for
transportation in the area.
“Maranaos are naturally
inclined to be entrepreneurs,” said Mindanao State University
President Dr. Habib Macaayong as he expressed their readiness to
start new businesses.
The Department of Budget
and Management (DBM) recently approved the budget for the starter
kits and DTI will now proceed with their procurement.
Aside from DTI awarding
starter kits, the event featured a forum on financing by the Small
Business Corporation, Asa Philippines, and Al-Amanah Islamic Bank.
Partner organizations DSWD,
USAID, Philippine Disaster Relief Foundation, Coke and TESDA also
shared their livelihood programs.
For job-seekers, the
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also offered a job fair
during the second half of the program.
P100M access road project leading to tourist destination starts
July 17, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
P100M project of road opening and concreting of access road going to
Germohenes Waterfalls in Biliran, Biliran has started construction.
Department of Public Works
and Highways (DPWH) - Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO)
implemented the project under its 2018 Local Infrastructure Program
(LIP) with a total length of 2.9-kilometers.
According to David P.
Adongay Jr., District Engineer the project covers the construction
of 100- meter length spillway and a rehabilitation of 60-meter
existing local road that was washed out by tropical storm Urduja
late last year.
From its construction date
on June 3, 2018, the project has accomplished 3% as of June 30,
2018. Road excavation works is on-going on the said project. It is
under contract with Samarinan Construction and Development Corp. and
EZ Jones Construction Inc., a joint venture firm.
Adongay said that the
completion of the project will reduce the walking time from 4-5
hours to just 30 minutes to reach the beautiful Germohenes
Biliran is known as an
island of waterfalls with more than 30 waterfalls in its mountainous
The road opening and
concreting of access road project going to Germohenes Waterfalls
will add another tourist destination in the Province of Biliran that
will encourage more local and foreign tourists to visit the place.
The project is proposed to be completed in January 28, 2019.
reported that under its 2018 project implementation, Biliran DEO has
completed nine projects with 38 on-going and 13 Not-Yet-Started (NYS)
projects with an overall accomplishment of 29.49% as of June 30,
2018. Biliran DEO has a total projects of 60 with a budget amount of
P1.6B under the General Appropriation Act (GAA) of year 2018.
Prevailing standard daily
wage P327 vs. P1,200 decent living
falls deeper versus inflation
July 14, 2018
QUEZON CITY - Labor
group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the
Philippines (ALU-TUCP) is urging President Rodrigo Duterte to raise
the wages of minimum waged workers and provide safety nets for their
families as increases in the prices of commodities and rising cost
of services further erodes the purchasing power of their daily
minimum wage across 17 regions nationwide.
In a validation made by the ALU-TUCP on the monitoring of the Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the National Wages and Productivity
Commission (NWPC) on the impact of prices of goods and cost of
services to the current different wage rates in seventeen regions
nationwide reveals the downward pattern of the standard daily
The total average daily nominal minimum wage of workers in private
non-agricultural sector in all 17 regions on October 2017 is P327 a
day. However, the purchasing power of daily average pay P327 fell to
P212.45 – an erosion of P114.55.
Six months later on April 2017, the total average nominal wage for
the workers in the same sector in all regions was raised to P330.47
a day. However, the purchasing power of the daily average pay
P330.47 sank to P208.38 – an erosion of P122.09 despite of the
increase in wage rate.
Moreover, according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
announced on April 2018 that the amount needed by a family of five
to live decent life is P42,000 a month or P1,400 a day.
“The current wage rates obviously continue to be inadequate of a
living wage. Due to supervening conditions, President Duterte must
take jurisdiction over the wage boards and, as the chief executive,
determine and adjust the wage rates. At the same time, the
government must help in improving the salary of workers by giving
social safety net program,” said ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
“By virtue of extraordinary of the rise of inflation, Mr. Duterte
must make decisions to help lift the lives of workers from poverty.
We see no other hope. There is no other choice but for the President
to take jurisdiction over the matter,” Tanjusay said.
The biggest and the fastest erosion of the purchasing power of daily
minimum wage occurred in Metro Manila comprising 17 cities and
municipalities. In October 2017, the buying power of P512 daily
minimum wage is P362.89. Six months later, the purchasing power of
P512 to buy goods and pay for services is only P352.13 – an erosion
of P10.76 over the period of six months.
In region 7 Eastern Visayas [sic] on October last year, the nominal
daily minimum wage is P366 for workers working in non-agricultural
sector. However, the purchasing power of P366 to buy goods and pay
for services is P237.97 a day. Six months later on April 2018, the
purchasing power of P366 is plummeted to P231.06 a day.
In region 11 Davao region on October last year, the nominal daily
minimum wage for the set of workers in P340. However, its buying
power is only P211.31 a day. Six months later on April 2018, the
purchasing power of P340 sank to P207.44 a day.
These daily nominal and equivalent daily purchasing power of minimum
wage are way too small in comparison with the standard cost of
living amount of P42,000 a month or P1,400 a day needed by a family
of five announced by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
on April 2018.