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Eastern Visayas posts $211.36 million trade surplus in January 2019

Pre-construction conferences to heighten awareness on DPWH projects

ACT denounces terrorist-tagging of people’s orgs to EU, calls for international solidarity

Tanauan High School, LNU top DILG poster tilt on World Water Day

New bridge to boost economy in Barugo, Leyte

8ID participates in the largest Pacific Mission for 2019

HIMSoG-8 to boost NNC-8 social media page

Palm Grass releases Paglangyaw, a Cebuano song for those who left (migrants)





Army troops encounter CPP-NPA terrorists in Northern Samar

NPA casualty

May 7, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – A CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) was killed during an encounter between the troops of 803rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade and the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in the evening of May 6, 2019 at Brgy. Tagan-ayan, Las Navas, Northern Samar.

The Army troops received reports about the presence of the CNTs in the said barangay as a show of force to their illegal imposition of Permit-to-Campaign (PTC) and Permit-to-Win (PTW) fees to local politicians. The government troops responded and that resulted to an armed encounter with the terrorists.

The firefight lasted for about ten (10) minutes that resulted in one (1) enemy killed (body count) and the recovery of one (1) Ingram M10A1 with nine (9) rounds of ammunition and one homemade shotgun. There was no reported casualty on the government side.

Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, Commander, 8th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force STORM commended the troops for their steadfast action and likewise acknowledge the assistance of the residents for reporting the presence of the armed CNTs.

In his statement, Maj. Gen. Farnacio said that “Nakakalungkot isipin na isang kababayan natin ang namatay dahil sa pagsama sa teroristang CPP-NPA. Sana sumuko na lahat ang mga NPA para makakuha ng mga benepisyo galing sa Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program o ECLIP at magbagong buhay na.”

“Nakikiusap tayo sa ating mga kababayan na ipagbigay-alam agad sa pinakamalapit na himpilan ng kasundaluhan o kapulisan ang presensiya ng mga armadong grupo na nanamantala at nagpapagamit sa mga pulitiko para manlamang at manalo sa halalan.”

“Magtulungan at magkaisa tayo upang maidaos natin ang halalan na ligtas at payapa,” Farnacio added.





DE Adongay on planning and management on DPWH infrastructure projects

David P. Adongay Jr. of Biliran District Engineering Office

By DPWH Biliran
May 6, 2019

NAVAL, Biliran – District Engineer (DE) David P. Adongay Jr. of Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) delivers a significant input on the topic: Project Planning and Administrative Management during a seminar-workshop at the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) - Graduate School, Northern Samar at the UEP Plenary Hall on April 27, 2019.

DE Adongay, who earned a degree in Master of Arts in Public Administration and a Doctor in Public Administration on the said school was invited as one of the resource speakers to impart his knowledge on the said topic.

The seminar-workshop was participated by graduate students from classes of the Master in Public Administration and Master in Management Major in Public Management, in partnership with the Local Governance, Training and Research Institute, and in collaboration with the Public Administration Society and Community Development Society of the College of Arts and Communication and the College of Engineering.

With the theme: Trends and Updates in Project Planning and Management, Adongay highlighted his talk on the planning and administrative management on DPWH infrastructure projects.

In his presentation as a resource speaker, Adongay delved on four main characteristics of a project which is the objective, time duration, budget and resources. He also explained the 4Ms of a construction resources which is money, manpower, materials and machine.

During his discussion, Adongay emphasized the importance of the stakeholders especially the end users or the beneficiaries during the conceptual design and initiation of the project.

“By participation, they develop a sense of ownership that they are part of the project, if they are part of the project, they don’t want that the project will fail,” said Adongay. With this, the DE is encouraging its stakeholders to participate during the project’s conceptual design and initiation stage.

Adongay also added that the department has created an Infrastructure Monitoring Advisory Group (IMAG), a committee composed of several discipline.

“These people can help us in monitoring and resolving issues that affects the implementation of the projects particularly on RROW and other issues concerning project implementation,” said Adongay.

Aside from the IMAG, Adongay informed that all projects implemented by the department is reported through Project Contract and Management Application (PCMA), this was delved by the DE during his discussion on the topic to the participants.

“With PCMA, you cannot report on-going or completed projects unless the information or data together with the geo-tagged pictures are present,” he said.

“As ISO 9001:2015 Certified, all processes in the office are under Quality Management System,” he added.

On receiving complaint, the DE emphasized that the office adopts a client-focused center service culture in dealing with its clients.

According to Adongay, every time the office receives a communication complaint, it must be answered or acted upon immediately.

During the open forum, there were questions raised regarding the implementation of the projects particularly on the quality, the budget, and the time duration.

Adongay explained that on the part of the DPWH-Biliran DEO, the office is very much concern on the quality of infrastructure projects as well as the completion of the projects on time and in accordance with the budget allocated for the particular project.

The speech that DE Adongay delivered incorporates the years of his education in the field of engineering and public administration. In return, the participants are very much grateful to be imparted with such experience that will fuel their motivation to improve and succeed in their respective courses.





DPWH conducts walk-the-line inspection along major roads in Leyte 2

DPWH walk-the-line inspection

April 29, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – In anticipation to the upcoming regular field inspection of the Bureau of Maintenance (BOM), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte second district engineering district initiated a walk-the-line inspection along the national roads.

According to Gerald Pacanan, DPWH Leyte 2 district head, it is important to conduct this type of inspection to make sure that the maintenance works of the district are in strict compliance to the standards and requirements of the department.

During inspection, the office has noted several road sections particularly in Dagami town area affected by the excavation works and pavement breakings of a water utility company.

Immediately, the district has sent a notification to the utility provider for the restoration of the said road portions as it may cause accidents and inconvenience to the motorists.

“As the government’s top agency in the maintenance of the national roads and bridges the safety of the travelling public is our utmost concern. Likewise, if these defects are not properly restored, it could affect the overall performance rating of the district,” Pacanan said.

Upon his assignment as the new district engineer of Leyte 2, he initiated a dialogue with the maintenance point persons and field workers, seeking their full cooperation and commitment to improve the district’s performance.

“I have seen a much-improved maintenance force in this district and I hope this would reflect in our standing with the inspection of BOM,” said Pacanan.

BOM is primarily tasked with the maintenance of the nation's public works and highways facilities. Relative to this, it is engaged in the continuous conduct of field inspections to effectively monitor maintenance activities of the district engineering offices.

Leyte second district engineering office is tasked to maintain 206 kilometers of national road and 55 bridges.





DENR 8 and 8ID renewed commitments on Environmental Protection and Livelihood Enhancement

DENR 8 and 8ID Environmental Protection and Livelihood Enhancement

April 27, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The officers of 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army led by its Commander, Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio had a dialogue with the officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 8 led by Atty. Crizaldy M. Barcelo, CESO III, Regional Executive Director on April 25, 2019 at Headquarters, 8ID and renewed commitments on mutual support towards Environmental Protection and Livelihood Enhancement of the communities in the region.

During the discussion, joint endeavors have been agreed upon, involving the local communities in the National Greening Program and in the protection and preservation of the environment to sustain ecological balance and biodiversity. These could be conducted through the Community-Based Forest Management scheme involving the residents of the mountainous areas in the protection and preservation of natural parks, reforestation of denuded areas and promotion of eco-tourism.

It can be recalled that during the 30th Founding Anniversary of the Stormtroopers Division, Secretary Roy A. Cimatu of DENR recognized the contribution of 8ID in the Environmental Protection of the region being one of the deputized agencies of the government.

Atty. Barcelo expressed his gratitude to 8ID for hosting the dialogue as a manifestation good working relationship between said government agencies as a showcase whole of the government approach in the pursuit of peace and development.

In his response, Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, who is also the Commander of Joint Task Force “STORM” said that “gusto lang naming tumulong na maipaabot ang kaukulang mga programa at mga proyekto ng gobyerno sa mga malalayong barangays na nangangailangan para ma-empower ang mga opisyales at residente doon.”





Eastern Visayas’ economy expands by 5.9% in 2018

Eastern Visayas 2018 GRDP

By PSA-8
April 25, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – The economy of Eastern Visayas expanded by 5.9 percent in 2018 as compared with the 1.8 percent growth in 2017. Top three (3) industries that contributed to the growth were Construction, by 1.8 percentage points; Other Services, by 1.4 percentage points; and Transportation, Storage and Communication by 1.0 percentage point.

Services accelerated to 10.5 percent in 2018 from 6.2 percent in 2017. All the sub-industries grew faster: Transportation, Storage and Communication grew by 9.6 percent from 2.3 percent; Trade and Repair of Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles, Personal and Household Goods grew by 7.4 percent from 4.8 percent; Financial Intermediation went up by 10.8 percent from 10.3 percent, and Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities grew by 6.3 percent from 6.2 percent. Public Administration and Defense; Compulsory Social Security expanded by 14.2 percent from 7.7 percent and Other Services accelerated to 13.0 percent from 8.4 percent.

Industry rebounded from 1.8 percent contraction in 2017 to 3.5 percent growth in 2018. Industries that recovered from contractions were: Mining and Quarrying, which grew by 84.7 percent; Construction, 17.4 percent; and Electricity, Gas and Water Supply, 6.3 percent. Meanwhile, Manufacturing declined by 5.7 percent from the 13.3 percent growth in 2017.

Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) declined by 0.5 percent in 2018 from the 0.1 percent growth in 2017. Agriculture and Forestry slowed down to 1.1 percent from the 2.8 percent growth in 2017. Meanwhile, Fishing continued to decline by 7.4 percent, although at a slower rate than the 10.1 percent contraction in 2017.

Services and Industry shared the bulk of the region’s economy at 44.4 percent and 41.6 percent, respectively. AHFF had a share of 14.0 percent.

Among the three (3) major industries, Services contributed most to the region’s overall growth rate at 4.5 percentage points, followed by Industry at 1.5 percentage points. AHFF pulled down the region’s growth by 0.1 percentage point.

Download 2018 EV GRDP here





DTI spurs countryside growth with Negosyo Centers

April 24, 2019

MAKATI CITY – The Negosyo Center Program continues to serve as the gateway to ease of doing business and countryside development, as it conveys its services to more local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its over a thousand Centers in the country.

For the first quarter of 2019, 1,068 Negosyo Centers have already been established nationwide, supplemented by the 16 Centers established in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) since 2017. These Centers are situated in locations convenient for MSMEs and other clients, in which, 964 of these Centers are located at local government units (LGUs), 81 are situated in Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Offices, 12 in the academe, 7 in malls, and 4 at non-government organizations (NGOs). 821 or around 77% of the Centers were established under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s term. This supports the mandate of the President to sustain and develop the MSME sector.

For the year 2019 onward, the Department aims to focus more on the enhancement of services provided by the Negosyo Centers. This shift in focus is to complement the continuous establishment of more Centers in the country and the increasing number of clients being served.

Services offered by the Negosyo Centers

The prime directive of the Negosyo Centers is to provide and facilitate access to various business development services for the MSMEs. Branched into three core components, the services being offered by Negosyo Centers entail Business Advisory, Business Registration Assistance, and Business Information and Advocacy.

Negosyo Centers provide potential and existing MSMEs with business advisory services that will cater their different needs through one on one consultation, focus group discussion and coaching and mentoring. Through the Business Registration Assistance, the Business Counsellors facilitate processing and documentation of necessary paper requirements such as the Business Name Registration. Complementing these, the Centers conduct trainings, seminars and dialogues to increase the MSMEs productivity and efficiency.

Negosyo Centers Business Counsellors, also serve as catalyst to other MSME-serving programs of the Department such as the Kapatid Mentor ME Program or KMME, Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), Shared Services Facilities (SSF), and OTOP Next Gen Project, among others.

MSMEs assisted

Since the implementation of the program in 2014, with five pioneering Centers in the country, the number of MSMEs assisted ballooned over the years. In 2013, 70,647 MSME clients were assisted by the different existing programs of DTI. Fast forward to 2018, and since the program started in 2014, the figures multiplied several times, reaching a 1,141% percentage increase in MSMEs assisted. Based on the accumulated data from the Performance Governance System (PGS) and the Negosyo Center Monitoring System (NCMS), MSMEs assisted from 2013 to 2018 grew to 1,694,875 or a 2,299% increase.

Impact of Negosyo Centers

Undersecretary for Regional Operations Group Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya reiterated the importance of Negosyo Centers in the development of the MSME sector in the Philippines, saying that in the past, DTI has only reached 81 provinces, but the over a thousand Negosyo Centers to date, made it possible to reach more people.

The establishment of more Negosyo Centers serves as a way of empowering MSMEs, generating more jobs and livelihood opportunities for every Filipino, which is vital in the Administration’s fight against poverty. DTI moreover, has a holistic list of programs aimed to assist the needs of the MSMEs, in terms of marketing, product development, finance, etc. These programs continuously sustain the development of the MSME sector and to connect them to ASEAN countries and the world.





Sugar supply and prices not covered by DTI

April 24, 2019

MAKATI CITY – Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez clarifies that, “Much as we would want to manage the supply and regulate the price of sugar to ensure its availability and affordability to consumers, the law does not authorize DTI to perform such function. Sugar is a basic commodity under the responsibility and jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

sugarUnder the Price Act (Republic Act No. 7581), sugar is a basic good under the jurisdiction of the DA. Monitoring and ensuring the affordability of sugar, and issuance of warnings thereof, all fall within the jurisdiction of said department.

Nevertheless, considering a whole-of-government approach, DTI has made arrangement to help the DA in the monitoring of the retail markets and refer to DA violations and adverse findings.

This pronouncement comes after a statement made by some Board Members of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to the media that the DTI is not doing its job in monitoring sugar and ensuring that its price is not manipulated by retailers and wholesalers.

“We would like to clear once and for all that the DTI can regulate the retail price of sugar in the market only if we are given authority to do so by the DA or the SRA. Without this authority, DTI can only monitor its supply and availability. The SRA, as an agency directly supervised by the agriculture department, should know this very well. We thus strongly advise them to take caution in making pronouncements and ensure its accuracy. We assure the consumers that our agency remains faithful to our true mandate. We have success in managing prices for manufactured products that are in the list of basic necessities and prime commodities, even during the inflationary months last year, because these are under the mandate of DTI,” says Secretary Lopez.

Nevertheless, the DTI has been assisting the DA in its price monitoring activities for sugar and other basic agricultural products following the directive of President Duterte in August of last year. As a matter of fact, DTI had already made a recommendation to the DA and the SRA as early as July 2018 to impose a suggested retail price on refined sugar at P50/kilo.

Meanwhile, the DTI initiated the Presyong Risonable Program (PRD) in August last year, enabling retailers to directly import sugar and sell these to consumers at prices not higher than P45.00 and P50.00 per kilo for brown and white sugar, respectively.

Currently, these reasonably-priced sugar variants are sold at Robinson’s Supermarket and SM Supermarket branches nationwide. Puregold, meanwhile, is in the process of sourcing sugar for its house brand that will be made available to consumers at P50/kilo very soon.

To date, the SRA has not yet issued a suggested retail price on sugar but despite this, DTI continues to monitor this product and issues Letters of Inquiry to retailers found to be selling sugar at an enormous price higher than P50.00 to find out the trading layers and hope to minimize them.

“With offices and monitors stationed in all regions and provinces of the country, the DTI is highly capable and equipped in the area of price monitoring. Due to the volatility of prices of agricultural goods, it is necessary for the government to do a close watch on this. The DTI is most willing to complement DA´s manpower to include monitoring of sugar among the products under our mandate, as we have already included chicken and other agricultural products, all for the protection of our consumers,” says DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo.





6 soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice for peace in Samar

April 23, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The Community Support Program (CSP) team from 46th Infantry (Peacemaker) Battalion, 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army encountered CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) at Brgy. Beri, Calbiga, Samar on April 23, 2019 at 2:45 a.m.

Based on the initial report from Lt. Col. Noel A. Cagasan, Commanding Officer of 46IB, his troops were conducting security patrol at the said vicinity to check the presence of CNTs conducting extortion at the adjacent barangay when they encountered undetermined numbers of CNTs.

Six government soldiers showed heroism by paying ultimate sacrifice by offering their lives in the name of service and welfare of the Samareños. Six (6) soldiers are also wounded. There were undetermined number of wounded on the enemy side as indicated by blood stains along the way of their escape.

Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, Commander, Joint Task Force “STORM” directed a pursuit operation against the fleeing CNTs and acknowledge the civilians for providing the information on the presence and activities of the CNTs.

In his statement, Maj. Gen. Farnacio said that “I convey my deepest condolences to the families, relatives, friends, and loved ones to our unsung heroes who paid the ultimate supreme sacrifice for peace and development in Eastern Visayas.” The command ensures that the necessary assistance and benefits will be given to them.

“Itong pangyayaring ito ay hindi makakahadlang at hindi magiging rason para ihinto ng inyong kasundaluhan bagkus lalo pa nating paiigtingin at pag-iigihan ang pagseserbisyo sa ating mga mahal na kababayang Samareño.”

“Hindi natin sila tatantanan, hindi natin hahayaan na mabalewala ang mga sugat at mga buhay na nasakripisyo ng ating mga magigiting na sundalo. Para sa bayan at sa ating mga kababayan,” Farnacio added.





Cebu Pacific flight attendants’ union pushes for agreement with management

April 20, 2019

QUEZON CITY – Millennial Cebu Pacific airline cabin crew and flight attendants are now preparing for the terms and conditions that they are going to negotiate with the management following a landslide ‘yes to union’ ballot turnout Tuesday, April 16th.

Promising Cebu Pacific Air Inc. cabin crews and flight attendants union the Juan Wing Regular Cabin Crews of the Philippines voted for the Associated Labor Unions (ALU), the country’s biggest labor federation, as their sole and exclusive bargaining agent at the turnout of ballot count Tuesday, April 16, upon supervision by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Final tally showed that out of the 1,135 crews and attendants who cast their votes, 1,124 employees voted ‘yes to union’, 3 voted ‘no’ while 8 ballots were declared by DOLE as spoiled. Overseen by DOLE regional officers, the elections among the employees were held on April 1 to 5 at Manila, Cebu, Clark and Iloilo airport terminals.

“With this certification, the next procedure is for members of the union to discuss among themselves what are the terms agreements of security of tenure, wages and benefits etc. that they intend to offer and negotiate with Cebu Pacific Air Inc. Management,” said Raymond Mendoza, President of the country’s biggest workers’ group the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

“The union will negotiate for better wages and benefits, better working conditions, and better terms under the existing labor policies and regulations to improve co-employees synergy and improve working climate that would benefit the interest of both the union members and the management,” Mendoza said.

Aside from this, other possible areas for negotiation between union and management are the responsibilities of the parties, hours of work, leave benefits, health and dental benefits, incentives, and other forms of benefits such professional development benefits, and promotion of industrial harmony.

Mendoza said the aspiration of the cabin crews and flight attendants to form a union went through the legal step by step process mandated by the Labor Code and other labor regulations.

"The TUCP family of labor federations congratulates all members of the Juan Wing for sustaining their united struggle to form a union and for recognizing the TUCP's biggest affiliate ALU as their sole and exclusive bargaining agent. These Juan Wing members possessed a unique brand of principled young unionism and are professional, intelligent and diligent workers eager to make a difference in their career and for the company – a clear asset to the management of Cebu Pacific Air Inc. and a very welcome addition to the labor movement," said Mendoza.

For his part, ALU National executive Vice President Gerard Seno said they were overwhelmed by the strong determination of the young workers to form a union in this day and age when unionism is a hard sell.

“Congratulations to all Juan Wing Regular Cabin Crews of the Philippines-ALU! With the overwhelming 'yes to union' turnout today, each one of you have just demonstrated to the world – with boldness – how determined all of you to come together in achieving and creating genuine power for Juan Wing,” Seno said.

“This unique brand of unity that young workers from Juan Wing expressed together is a timely infusion of a much needed young unionists to the larger struggle of the Philippine labor movement to be relevant amid globalization and the rampant incidence of modern-day abuse and slavery among Filipino workers,” Seno said.

Meanwhile, ALU National President Michael Mendoza said: “this resplendent 'yes to union' victory that happened is also one of the beautiful gifts to happen to Juan Wing mother labor federation, the country's biggest labor unions the ALU as it renews its vows in being the forefront in promoting and advancing the workers’ rights and welfare in celebrating its 65 years founding anniversary on April 17th.”

Mendoza also said the ALU hopes that the unionization of Cebu Pacific cabin crews and flight attendants would embolden other young working people to organize and protect themselves in the face of additional and emerging forms of challenges in the world of work such as artificial intelligence, work from home and telecommuting scheme and freelancing.

“This rare display of young generation power coming together to create bigger power must be sustained and nurtured by Juan Wing as they strive on to the various challenges of achieving its full realization as a union. We will do our part for Juan Wing to grow and impact other young workers to organize as a union,” Mendoza said.

With the affiliation of Juan Wing union into its fold, the ALU bolstered its position as the biggest labor federation in the country by managing a diverse range of local unions and collective bargaining agreements in air, land and sea transport sector, banking, mining, garment, electronics, hotel and restaurant, construction, media, logistics, food and condiments, tobacco, banana, and pineapple.



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