85 HOTS in Labor
Day Job fair in Eastern Visayas
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
May 6, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – A
total of 85 jobseekers were hired-on-the spot (HOTS) out of the
1,081 applicants who registered in the Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan (TNK)
Job and Business Fairs conducted in Tacloban and Ormoc on May 1,
Among the HOTS jobs were
accounting staff, production crew, nurse, information technologist,
cashier, HR staff, supervisor, management trainee, sales associate,
utility worker and data encoder.
This year’s labor day
celebration, with the theme, “Matatag na Manggagawa, Matatag na
Bansa”, offered more than 3,000 local and overseas jobs from over 80
employers for the hopeful jobseekers of Eastern Visayas.
A simple yet meaningful
program was held in Robinsons North Tacloban prior the most awaited
job fair to commemorate the special day for the working class. It
was graced with the presence of representatives from the labor and
management representatives in the persons of Atty. Miguel T. Tezon
and Mr. Eugene A. Tan, respectively.
Atty. Tezon, in his
message, underscored tripartism as a key so that no sector will be
left behind. “Wala dapat pro-work or pro-management, that’s why we
have tripartite council so that lahat maisama at walang maiwan”, he
Mr. Tan, President of the
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Tacloban-Leyte Chapter,
thanked the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for
spearheading the conduct of face-to-face job fair.
“We recognize DOLE for
this face-to-face TNK Job Fair program. After the long period of
anxiety due to the pandemic, we badly need this kind of intervention
to help our economy bounce back to recovery”, Mr. Tan said.
Director Henry John S. Jalbuena acknowledged all the government
agencies and partner employers for their usual support. He likewise
urged all jobseekers to be more patient and strategic in their
journey towards employment.
“Maximize this job fair to
your advantage and apply in as many employers as your qualifications
merit. Like what the famous line says, the more entries you have,
the more chances of winning”, said Jalbuena.
Also in attendance during
the program was DTI Regional Director Celerina T. Bato, who as well
delivered a message being DOLE’s partner in the conduct of TNK.
The DOLE-8 likewise
awarded the program the regional winners of the 2022 Search for Best
DOLE-Assisted Livelihood Projects for individual and group
categories. Winners for individual category were Videography Project
of Mr. Roy C. Valera from Balangkayan, Eastern Samar and Burger
Vending Business of Mr. Jiwarren Lantape from Maasin City. The Egg
Production of Lanawan Farmer’s Association (LAFA) in MacArthur,
Leyte and Community Store of Cervantes Integrated Organic Farmers
Association (CIOFA) from Catarman, Northern Samar dominated the
with the TNK job fair was the livelihood exhibit wherein different
locally-produced items such as assorted native delicacies and woven
banig were made available for the public.
agencies such as SSS, Pag-ibig, PSA, DFA and Philhealth were also
present during the celebration to offer frontline programs and
services for the benefit and convenience of the jobseekers.
Some 146 jobseekers were
tagged as Near Hires during the recently concluded job fairs and
will undergo further interviews or examinations, depending on the
hiring company’s requirement.
Also present during the
celebration were DOLE-8 OIC-Assistant Regional Director Atty.
Cecilio I. Baleña, Police Colonel Edwin Portillo, National Maritime
Polytechnic Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod and other members
of the DOLE-Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC).
college students in private schools to get subsidy
May 6, 2022
SORSOGON CITY –
Senatorial aspirant and Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero is urging
college students to avail of the tertiary education subsidy (TES)
which gives around P60,000 tuition subsidy and allowances to those
enrolled in private colleges and universities.
He said this provision in
Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary
Education Act has not been well promoted and therefore not accessed
by its intended beneficiaries.
“Merong probisyon ang
batas na yan na TES – Tertiary Education Subsidy – ibig sabihin
hindi lang limitado sa nag-aaral sa state universities and colleges
ang libre. Kung nag-aaral ka sa isang private university, pwede kang
mag-apply para sa TES Scholarship kung saan nagbibigay sila ng
P60,000 pang-tuition fee mo plus allowances pa,” said Escudero, a
staunch supporter of free education when he was a senator.
He said this was in
recognition of the fact that not all courses are available in state
universities and colleges (SUCs) and that not all municipalities
have SUCs so some students are compelled to study in private
schools, despite the heavy financial burden.
“Gusto namin ipakita at
patunayan na hindi lang pang-mayaman ang mga private universities
and colleges. Dapat may oportunidad din ang bawat Pilipino kahit
hindi ipinanganak na mayaman na makapag-aral sa mga unibersidad na
yan,” said Escudero.
He said students should
first make sure that their schools are accredited by the Commission
on Higher Education (CHED) so they can apply with the CHED for the
subsidy and allowance under the TES. He pointed out that the TES
does not have a grade requirement.
“Hindi namin inilagay iyon
basta pumapasa ka. Huwag ka namang bumagsak. Hindi kinakailangan
maging honor, ang importante pumasa at makapagtapos sa kolehiyo,” he
In 2019, only 33% of
Filipinos, or 3 out of 10 were enrolled in higher education
institutions, much lower than Thailand’s 43% and Malaysia’s 44%,
according to CHED. In 2010, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
found that only 36.3% of Filipinos 17 to 24 years old had
post-secondary and college education.
Escudero, former chair of
the Senate Committee on Education, said the TES was meant to support
college students, whether in public or private schools.
“Titingnan ng CHED ‘yung
kalagayan economically ng pamilya niyo para malaman kung magkano,
sakto ba ang ibibigay na tulong para makapag-aral at makapagtapos ka
sa ano mang kursong pinili mo sa isang pribadong eskwelahan,”
of the Philippines promotes establishment of Peace Corners in
May 4, 2022
MANILA – On April
25, 2022, the National Library of the Philippines (NLP), through the
Public Libraries Division, held its comprehensive free blended
training entitled “Significant Role of Libraries in the
Establishment of Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions” at the NLP
Auditorium. With the theme “Aklatan Pangkapayapaan", it was held in
partnership with the Philippine branch of Heavenly Culture, World
Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace
organization associated with the UN ECOSOC and the UN DGC.
The training was attended
by over 500 participants onsite and online, including private and
public library staff, school librarians, educators, and peace
advocates. The training provided learning opportunities about
institutionalizing peace in the Philippines and the importance of
establishing peace corners in the libraries nationwide.
Commissioner Dr. Ronald L.
Adamat of CHED said, “Our libraries shall give prominent places
those books and publications about peace where readers could easily
access and get their hands. By doing this, our libraries can be of
big help to the work of promoting peace to the reading public.”
Regarding the role of
libraries in line with the UN SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong
Institutions, Justice Raoul Victorino said, “In Ukraine, the
libraries continue to remain open despite the continuing Russian
invasion. Ukraine’s libraries are offering bomb shelters and classes
are resumed inside the libraries. These heroic stories continue to
prove that libraries are our best home for the future.”
Mr. Cissette B. Ricardo of
Parañaque City Public Library, talked about “Library and Peace”
where he shared his experience of having a partnership with HWPL.
The first peace corner was established in Paranaque City Public
Library and its inauguration was held on February 15, 2019. He said
that through the peace corner, the students coming in and out were
able to learn and appreciate peace initiatives. He also encouraged
all libraries to sign a partnership with HWPL to receive
peace-related materials and also put up a peace corner to spread
awareness, especially among the students and learners.
Mr. John Rommel Garces,
Chief Branch Manager of HWPL Philippines, highlighted the importance
of establishing a peace corner in the library, as well as HWPL’s
peace achievements in the Philippines.
HWPL Philippines aims to
establish more peace corners in public and private libraries as well
as school libraries all throughout the country to make relevant
peace-related materials more accessible to the public especially to
the youth and students. After the event, 40 peace corners are
expected to be established.
survivors, activists pay tribute to human rights champion Marie
May 4, 2022
QUEZON CITY – In a
gathering at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani compound in Quezon City,
martial law survivors, activists and friends of human rights
champion Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson emeritus of Karapatan,
paid tribute to her courageous and indefatigable work for the cause
of people’s rights, justice, and national democracy. On April 24,
2022, Hilao-Enriquez, a stalwart in the anti-Marcos dictatorship
struggle and a leading human rights activist, died in the US.
“Today, we extol Marie’s
life and legacy of service to the Filipino people at the Bantayog ng
mga Bayani, before the names of the many martyrs and heroes of
martial law – many of them Marie had known, worked and were friends
and colleagues with. She now belongs to the nation’s pantheon of
heroes who have dedicated their lives against the Marcos
dictatorship and to the greater cause of social justice and
democracy,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
Andrea, Marie’s daughter,
in a video message thanking those who delivered and sent messages,
stated: “Kaya naman po, para sa amin, ang pinaka-akmang
pagpaparangal kay Mama, at sa libu-libong biktima ng martial law ay
ang pagpapatuloy ng kanilang adhikain. Nananawagan po kami sa lahat
na bumoto nang tama at mariing ireject ang mga Marcos at kanilang
mga kampon sa eleksyon na ito at sa mga susunod pang panahon. Never
again to the Marcoses, never again to martial law!”
Karapatan’s founding secretary general and eventually became its
chairperson. She worked with several martial law survivors and human
rights advocates in the pursuing the landmark class action suit
against the estate of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and in
the campaign for justice and indemnification of victims of human
rights violations under martial law. Her sister, Liliosa, was the
first documented victim of extrajudicial killing of an activist
under detention after Marcos’ martial law was imposed. Marie and
several members of her family were detained and tortured as well.
In Karapatan, Marie led
campaigns against the extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced
disappearance and other gross human rights violations against
activists and civilians, particularly during the administrations of
former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Rodrigo Duterte.
In a written tribute read
during the gathering, former UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston
said: “Before I visited the Philippines as United Nations Special
Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions in February 2007, I was
warned that she was a trouble-maker and that I should not trust any
information that she provided to me... I soon came to the conclusion
that Marie was the ‘real deal.’ She didn’t make empty or careless
allegations. Instead, she provided detailed, carefully put together,
dossiers on each of the cases of the alleged killings that she
presented to me... She stood out as an outstanding example of
someone who dedicated her life to human rights. She was indeed a
trouble-maker, but in the best sense and in the highest of causes.
She loved her people and her country in the best possible way and I
mourn her passing.”
Marie’s colleagues in
Karapatan led by its chairperson Tita Lubi and friends during
martial law, including those while in detention, rights advocates
including Mrs. Edita Burgos, Atty. Edre Olalia, former Secretary
Judy Taguiwalo and Bonifacio Ilagan, and several human rights and
people’s organizations also spoke in the said program.
“Marie dedicated her life
in advancing and defending people’s rights – and in the face of a
massive human rights crisis in the Philippines as well as the threat
of a Marcos restoration and Duterte extension, we turn towards
Marie’s life and legacy as a courageous human rights defender as our
guiding light in the continuing struggle against tyranny and
fascism. As we approach the upcoming elections, we call on all
freedom-loving Filipinos to honor Marie and the many other heroes
and martyrs of martial law by fighting for our hard-won rights and
freedoms. We are all called to firmly reject the Marcoses and
Dutertes in the elections and beyond, and, like Marie, we are
compelled to relentlessly pursue justice and to hold them
accountable for their crimes against the Filipino people,” Palabay
hospital at New Bilibid Prison for continued provision of health
care to 28,000 detainees
Head of Delegation Boris Michel (fifth from right) and Assistant
Secretary Gabriel Chaclag (fifth from left) during the ribbon
cutting ceremony at the hospital’s inauguration. Joining them
are other ICRC and BuCor officials.
May 2, 2022
MANILA – To ensure
the continued provision of basic health-care services for 28,000
detainees in Muntinlupa City’s New Bilibid Prison (NBP), a 150-bed
temporary hospital was inaugurated today by officials of the Bureau
of Corrections (BuCor) and the International Committee of the Red
The 4,000 sq m temporary
facility, which was designed and built by the BuCor and the ICRC,
has an emergency room, pharmacy, intensive care unit, dental clinic
and psychiatric ward. Staffed by 147 workers, it can provide minor
surgical services to patients. It also supports the newly built
tuberculosis (TB) laboratory inside NBP by serving as an isolation
and treatment facility for patients who have tested positive for TB.
Some of the medical equipment inside the hospital have been donated
by the ICRC.
“We remain committed to
support the BuCor to guarantee the detainees’ right to adequate
health care. The temporary hospital will help improve the quality of
medical care for detainees and provide a good working environment
for NBP’s health workers,” says Boris Michel, head of the ICRC’s
delegation in the Philippines.
With the temporary
hospital, detainees will no longer have to be transported to medical
facilities outside NBP unless they have major health problems. They
will have access to its services while the BuCor builds NBP’s
500-bed permanent hospital.
The temporary hospital
will also serve as a referral facility for the infirmaries in the
minimum and medium security compounds. Prior to its construction,
detainees were treated inside medical tents.
The ICRC’s support for
detainee health care in NBP began in June 2013 with technical
assistance through monitoring, supervising and evaluating the
implementation of the national TB programme.
According to BuCor, the
NBP has a congestion rate of 348 per cent, making its detainees
susceptible to communicable diseases such as COVID-19 and TB.
“We commend the ICRC team
in the country for its very professional and collaborative approach
in the performance of its mission as an impartial, neutral and
independent humanitarian organization. Maraming salamat at mabuhay
po kayo sa ICRC!” says Assistant Secretary Gabriel P. Chaclag,
BuCor’s Deputy Director General for Administration.
The ICRC has been
supporting the NBP in its COVID-19 response through the provision of
equipment and technical support since the start of the pandemic. It
has also been assisting the NBP in the vaccination of detainees
The ICRC is a strong
advocate of the e-dalaw programme and announced today that it would
donate equipment that would help NBP detainees keep in touch with
their loved ones through voice and video calls.
Since 2007, the ICRC has
been working closely with the Philippine authorities to help ease
the consequences of extreme overcrowding in jails, focusing
particularly on health issues such as TB treatment, and improving
living conditions of persons deprived of liberty (PDL).
DTI Chief: US IT
firm eyeing high-value BPO presence in PH
May 2, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC –
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez met
with Mphasis Corporations’ CEO Nitin Rakesh and Industry Solutions
Group SVP & Global Head Indranil Roy on 22 April 2022 to discuss the
company’s plans to have its first business process outsourcing (BPO)
presence in the Philippines.
The US information
technology (IT) company expressed interest in the Philippines as a
major investment location for their high-value services with an
initial headcount of 1,500 - 2,000 IT-Call Center Jobs.
“Our country is increasing
its capacity to become a global player in IT-enabled services
through the provision of analytical and AI skills development,
competitive enabling environment, and cost efficiencies. This,
thereby, ensures that investors can profitably serve international
and fast-growing regional markets,” Sec. Lopez said.
Meanwhile, Mphasis’ Mr.
Roy disclosed that a number of their clients, which are major
American banks and insurance companies, have advised them to look
into the Philippines for their BPM operations highlighting their
preference for the Filipino brand of service and skill sets.
As Mphasis prides itself
as being known in the industry as a client-centric organization,
they are bent to accommodate clients’ wishes such as setting-up
operations in the Philippines. The company provides IT services to
banking and finance, healthcare, telecommunication, logistics and
other high-tech industries. They employ around 40,000 employees
across the globe such as IT-BPO facilities in India, Mexico, Taiwan,
Costa Rica, Germany, and UK. Mphasis is a subsidiary of the New York
-based financial giant Blackstone Group.
Secretary Lopez also noted
that despite the challenges, the IT-Business Process Management (BPM)
sector did not lay off workers during the pandemic. He mentioned how
resources would not be a problem as the country has a workforce of
49 million, generates 800,000 graduates annually, with 30% coming
from the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Joining them in the
discussion, Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head and
Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo mentioned that BOI has an MOU with
the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and can also link Mphasis
with various education institutions for curriculum customization and
talent development. He added that another resource that they can tap
into is the returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have an
advantage in terms of experience with their new knowledge and skills
acquired from their respective countries. Lastly, USec Rodolfo
expounded on the advantages of the Corporate Recovery and Tax
Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.
The Philippine Information
Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry has
contributed a total of USD26.7 billion and USD23.8 billion in
service exports in 2020. The Philippines gained 13% of the global
market share and is serving North America, APAC, and EU Markets. The
industry has contributed 1.3 million direct jobs and 4.5 million
jobs with more than 700 BPO companies in the country. The startup
ecosystem in the country also has a strong potential to flourish
with around 500 start-ups businesses.
“Our continued efforts to
upskill our workforce and liberalize our industries through major
economic reforms under President Duterte’s guidance and leadership,
partnered with our strong economic fundamentals, have proven our
capability to position the Philippines as an ideal investment hub in
Southeast Asia. We look forward to how the next generation of
leaders can further build on these successes,” Sec. Lopez said.
agrarian beneficiaries sign marketing agreement
Hilaba Farmers Association based in Marabut, Samar and the
Tacloban City Jail Male Dorm sign a marketing agreement under
the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR’s) Enhanced Partnership
Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program.
(Jose Alsmith L.
April 30, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – A
farmer organization based in Marabut, Samar thanked the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for introducing them to institutional
buyers as steady markets for their products.
Chairman of the Hilaba Farmers Association (HFA), was so happy to
tie-up with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP),
specifically the Tacloban City Jail Male Dorm, as a sure market for
their fresh eggs.
Earlier this month,
Maligmat and Jail Chief Inspector Bernardino Edgar Camus signed a
marketing agreement where HFA will be the jail’s supplier of fresh
eggs for the consumption of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
The signing was held at
the Tacloban City Jail Male Dorm. It was witnessed by Melecia Ong,
Chief of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development
Sustainability Program (ARBDSP) Division of the DAR Regional office
8 and SJO3 Ferdinand Ordovez, Chief Operations Officer of the
Tacloban City Jail Male Dorm.
Maligmat and Camus agreed
that HFA will deliver no less than 24 trays of fresh eggs every
month to the said facility and will be paid based on the prevailing
Camus commented, “We hope
this will continue so we can help the farmers, while for the Bureau,
we can buy cheaper and nutritious food for our PDLs.”
The tie-up was facilitated
by Salfie Macalde and James Albia of DAR Samar Provincial Office
under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP)
HFA is one of the agrarian
reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) being assisted by DAR.
According to Maligmat,
“Aside from fresh eggs, our organization has sufficient supply of
other farm commodities, the most popular of which is lettuce.”
Evangelista-Escudero shows love and support for women in livelihood
training in Muntinlupa
April 29, 2022
SORSOGON CITY –
Global brand ambassador and social media celebrity Heart
Evangelista-Escudero has visited the Muntinlupa Training and
Resource Center for Women (MTRCW) to find ways on how to support the
community as part of her women empowerment advocacy.
During her visit on
Wednesday, the actress and fashion icon learned about the process of
making local products that included bottled bangus, gourmet tuyo and
tinapa as well as peanut butter.
The 37-year-old GMA Kapuso
star, wife of Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero who is seeking a
return to the Senate, also took time to interact with some 160 women
who are undergoing various livelihood trainings to augment the
income of their families.
In her brief remarks, Mrs.
Escudero urged the ladies to get into small business after finishing
their training, which is being provided for free by the city
government through the Gender and Development (GAD) Office and the
Muntinlupa City Technical Institute (MCTI).
“I am here to just show my
support sa lahat ng ginagawang mga programa para sa women
empowerment and of course, I am here for the women that have gone
very difficult times of their life. Sana makatulong sa inyong
makapagnegosyo ang natutunan ninyo dito,” Evangelista-Escudero said.
“We, as women, are here to
give love, to take care of people and so as we get together, let us
empower each other, support each other. Suportahan din po natin ang
mga programa na ibinibigay ng city para mas maging maayos ang ating
mga buhay at mabigyan natin ng pansin ang mga capacities natin to
create wonderful things and create an impact,” she added.
The GAD office said in a
Facebook post that the actress visited the livelihood training
center to help the women promote their products.
“Ang layunin ng kanyang
pagbisita ay upang tulungan tayo na maipakilala ang mga produktong
gawa ng Muntinlupeño sa iba't ibang lugar sa ating bansa,” it said.
GAD Chair Trina Biazon
thanked the actress for visiting the center and lauded her for using
her celebrity status to advocate women empowerment and champion
“We are very thankful that
Heart accepted our invitation to visit and get to know the women
here at the center. Her presence was a big morale booster for all of
us,” she said.
“Mula sa Muntinlupa Gender
and Development Office & MCTI Tesda, Maraming Salamat, Ms. Heart
Evangelista-Escudero for visiting the Muntinlupa Training and
Resource Center for Women,” she added.
DENR, LBP, ROD
renew support for DAR
from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),
Land Bank of the Philippines-Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC),
and Registry of Deeds (ROD) sign Pledge of Support for the
attainment of the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR’s) 2022
April 28, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY –
Regional Director Atty. Robert Anthony Yu thanked the officials from
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Land
Bank of the Philippines-Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC) and the
Registry of Deeds (ROD) after they expressed renewal of support to
DAR’s attainment of its targets in Eastern Visayas this year.
The three government
offices play vital roles in DAR’s accomplishment of targets in the
Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) component of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Engr. Ramon Unay, Head of
DENR’s Surveys and Mapping Division, together with Manager Fiel
Pedrosa of the LBP-AOC, and all the Registrars of the different RODs
in Eastern Visayas expressed their continued support to the smooth
and speedy implementation of CARP in the region during the
Synchronized Planning and Problem-Solving Session organized by DAR.
All the officials from the
said line agencies signed the Pledge of Support for DAR Eastern
Visayas following targets for 2022: Land Survey, 796.0513 hectares;
Land Valuation, 117 landholdings covering 867.8535 hectares; and
Registration of Emancipation Patents and/or Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (EP/CLOA), 1,526.9917 hectares.
Atty. Yu clarified that
these are just under DAR’s regular targets. There is another set of
targets under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual
Title (SPLIT), a special project of the agency which seeks to
parcelize collective CLOAs previously distributed by the DAR into
The line agencies and the
DAR had lengthy discussions and exchanged views regarding their
problems, issues and concerns arising from the implementation of
CARP, even resolving problems on land valuation and registration of
more than 29 hectares of landholdings.
With the full support of
the three line agencies, Atty. Yu anticipates a 100 percent
accomplishment for Eastern Visayas by the end of the year.
reoffers PDC trainings
April 27, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the only government-owned and
operated maritime training and research institution in the country,
has reoffered the Professional Development Courses (PDC) in its main
office at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City, commencing with IMO Model
Course 6.09 or the Training Course for Instructors and Assessors.
This training is the first PDC training offered this year here in
Tacloban which will run from 25 April-4 May 2022, with a total of 12
The IMO MC 6.09 is a
10-day course for seafarers/non-seafarers who intends to acquire the
necessary knowledge and proficiency to teach in the maritime
education in accordance to the International Convention on Standards
of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW),
1978, as amended.
During the opening program
conducted to formally start the said training, Executive Director
Joel B. Maglunsod emphasized in his message the importance of the
course in enhancing the skills of trainers, as a vital factor in the
effective delivery of trainings, thus producing competent Filipino
seafarers. He also stressed the many challenges the institution
faced just to sustain its operations especially the conduct of
trainings amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the disease
outbreak, NMP’s training courses were halted along with the
offerings of the PDC courses both its main office in Tacloban and in
NMP Manila. With the approved post ECQ Protocols of the Maritime
Industry Authority (MARINA) NMP was able to revive back its
trainings. However, in accordance with the protocols imposed by the
Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging
Infectious Diseases and the Local Government Units, class intakes
were reduced to 50% and accommodated clients only from within Region
VIII. This affected the operation of the PDC’s since most takers of
the said course are from outside the region. Hence, PDC courses were
conducted offsite and in NMP Manila office only.
The PDC is one of flagship
trainings of the agency and NMP is also the pioneering institution
to offer IMO Model courses. It was developed to provide the maritime
industry a pool of competent trainers equipped with appropriate
approach and discipline in the delivery of training courses, which,
in effect will enhance the skills and capabilities of the Filipino
constructed for passing motorists
ROMELLA LALAINE A. GUARDE
April 22, 2022
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office constructed a bridge
situated in Brgy. Sigo, Calbayog City. The said project has a
revised contract amount of P11,146,107.58 million under the “Tulay
ng Pangulo Para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo (TPKP)”.
The Sigo Bridge has a
total length of 28.80 meters and a width of 10 meters. It is a
double-laned bridge and a small riprap was likewise constructed on
the side of the bridge where part of the soil foundation is
susceptible to erosion.
Initially, a box culvert
was built for easy flow of huge amounts of water, and at the same
time, it was used as a passage for vehicles. However, due to
continuous scouring from flowing of water, it has caused damage to
the structure which prompted the DPWH-Samar I to build a bridge
A bridge is usually
constructed over a physical obstacle such as a body of water to
provide crossing over that obstacle. As a system for transportation,
a bridge is built to be strong enough to safely support its own
weight as well as the weight of both public and private vehicles
DTI works on
ENDEC, B&V to build RE-enabled hyperscale data centers in PH
International Trade Relations
April 20, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC –
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez pursued
investors that will build hyperscale data centers, with the
corresponding renewable energy generation projects that should
provide for their power requirements. This was discussed mainly
during a meeting with executives from ENDECGROUP Inc. and Black and
Veatch (B&V) on 18 April 2022.
The trade chief cited the
Duterte administration’s major economic reforms and investment
promotion activities on high-tech-oriented projects. “Among our
priority sectors include those that promote Regional Equity, Digital
Infrastructure and Skills Development, and Climate Adaptation, which
can potentially be categorized under Tier III of the Strategic
Investment Priority Plan (SIPP).
Building more data centers
supports our strategy to build the country’s digital infrastructure
needed for the hyperscalers in this age of growing e-commerce and
internet and social media use,” Secretary Lopez said.
“The setting-up of
renewable energy projects would also benefit from the recent policy
move to allow greater foreign equity participation in renewable
energy projects. DTI-BOI team has also been pushing for more green
metals processing activities or the further processing of nickel,
copper and cobalt as new efficient minerals for batteries and
battery energy storage for clean energy systems,” the Trade
The National Economic and
Development Authority (NEDA) has also been pursuing digital
transformation as a means to sustain the recovery and enhance the
resiliency of the country in 2022 and into the next administration.
During the same meeting, NEDA Undersecretary Rose Edillon
highlighted digital transformation as one of the priorities of the
Task Group on Recovery and one of the focuses of the updated
Philippine Development Plan (PDP).
During the meeting, the
trade chief likewise mentioned the Philippine Skills Framework (PSF)
initiative, which will ensure capacity building and availability of
skills in digital technology, and the Center for AI Research, which
will encourage more innovation in these new industries.
“These, we see, will
further grow the Philippine economy by nurturing higher-value
economic activities, bringing in more investments, jobs, and income
– which would further fuel consumption spending, as well as attract
more investments and expansion activities,” Secretary Lopez added.
For his part, B&V
Executive Director Mr. Martin Travers took note of the Philippine
policies on electric vehicles (EVs), renewable energy, and data
centers which align with the priorities and strategic direction of
the US firm. B&V is among the top 10 employee-owned companies in the
US, with experience in deploying a network of EV charging stations.
It is also among the top data center developers in the world and a
leader in climate-friendly data centers.
Chairman and CEO Mr. Bill Johnson highlighted the country’s
strategic location in the Asia Pacific region, existing
infrastructure in telecommunications and submarine cables, strong
business process outsourcing (BPO) hub, and ability to develop
renewable energy to power data infrastructure as some of the reasons
for considering the Philippines as an ideal location for their
“With the sound economic
policies and reforms already set in place, we are confident and
optimistic that the next leaders in government will be able to build
upon the successes and continue the gains of the Duterte
administration,” Secretary Lopez said.
Last 4 April, ENDEC
together with its US partner, Diode Ventures LCC, met with Board of
Investments (BOI) Managing Head and Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo
to discuss further its serious and substantial business plans in the
Philippines. In the same meeting, ENDEC CEO Mr. William Johnson
recognized BOI’s efficiency in assisting the group in moving forward
with their business plans in the Philippines.
DTI, ENDEC, and B&V are
committed to working together in accelerating this project.
NMP’s JICA funded
projects undergoes ex-post evaluation
evaluation of various JICA-donated Projects in NMP conducted on
18 April 2022.
April 19, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a recipient of the “Programme
for Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda” of the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA), underwent an Ex-post
evaluation on 18 April 2022.
The following equipment
procured and completed in 2016 under the Project “Rehabilitation of
Equipment for National Maritime Polytechnic, namely: fast rescue
boat with davit, totally enclosed lifeboat with davit, engine
simulator by full mission, the GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and
Safety System) Simulator related device, and various safety
equipment were evaluated through on-site inspection by Ms. Jocel
Nuique, Local Consultant, Evaluation Team of JICA’s Evaluation
As part of the evaluation
activity, NMP alumni were interviewed to assess the impact of the
trainings they had in NMP which particularly utilized JICA-donated
projects. OIC Fidel Lito Caparro and Capt. Gil Tenefrancia, who were
interviewed via Zoom, and OIC Nader Lumangco, who responded through
a survey questionnaire, provided their feedbacks that the trainings
in NMP were up-to-date and very useful in their actual field of
work, emphasizing that the facilities and equipment used, especially
during Simulation, were updated and are similar to the actual
facilities used on-board.
Prior to the on-site
visit, concerned NMP personnel led by Deputy Executive Director
Mayla N. Macadawan, had a kick-off meeting on 13 April 2022 with Ms.
Kieko Asato, appointed External Evaluator, as well as with the local
consultant of JICA, to discuss the preparations and clarify matters
relevant to the ex-post evaluation.
The ex-post evaluation is
implemented on all JICA projects, usually three to four years after
the project completion, to assess whether the projects were carried
out appropriately to realize development outcomes and review its
impact, as well as the current state of operation and maintenance of
the completed projects. The data and information gathered from the
evaluation will be used for further improvement of projects, and
ensure accountability and transparency.
The “Program for
Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda” of the JICA
intends to help in the recovery of public services and strengthen
support facilities by constructing various infrastructures &
facilities and procuring various equipment particularly for the
social and economic sector, which contributes to the restoration and
economic revitalization of areas devastated by the Super Typhoon
Meanwhile, NMP continues
to pursue its mandate of providing quality service through upgrading
and specialized training programs (conducted online, face-to-face
and blended) to maritime and allied personnel, and its pool of
competent instructors, with advanced and upgraded training
facilities and equipment.
87.6% of surveyed
NCR teachers say school internet not strong enough to host their
April 18, 2022
QUEZON CITY – In a
survey conducted by the ACT NCR Union, 8,106 of the 9,254
teacher-respondents from the region answered no when asked if their
school internet can service all teachers who will be conducting
simultaneous online classes now that DepEd mandated a 100% workforce
reporting on-site. This was the top issue raised by survey
participants, followed by health risks in light of the still
on-going pandemic, then by transportation concerns.
ACT NCR Union leaders went
to the DepEd-NCR office today to demand a dialogue regarding these
issues and to register their call for the suspension of the
implementation of DepEd memorandum 29, s. 2022, which effected the
mandatory physical reporting of all teachers in areas under Alert
“It’s no secret that our
public schools are in dire conditions, especially after being on
lockdown for more than two years. Many of our schools don’t even
have enough supply of clean running water, sapat na internet pa kaya
para sa, halimbawa, 100 plus na guro kada eskwelahan? Some of our
teachers reported to have had to resort to asynchronous digital
classes instead of holding online synchronous classes in order to
consume lower internet bandwidths, which was all their school
internet can handle.
In other cases, teachers
have LGU-provided data allocations which they can use to hold online
classes; however, they reported of having ‘dead spots’ within the
school premises, forcing multiple teachers who – all simultaneously
holding their own classes – to share small areas with enough cell
reception. This is what we mean when we say that the blanket DepEd
memo will have counterproductive impacts on the already challenging
education delivery amid the pandemic,” lamented ACT NCR Union
President Vladimer Quetua.
Today is the first day of
implementation of DM 29, s.2022 in most schools in the National
Capital Region. Last week, the group publicly called for the
suspension of the order and instead pushed for a flexible and
needs-based and -responsive working arrangements for public school
teachers. It argued that the nature of teachers’ work vastly differs
from that of other government employees – with the former’s being
closely tied to the presence of students in schools, which is
currently still at a minimum due to the slow expansion of limited
face-to-face classes. ACT also argued that schools are not ready to
host teachers employing distance learning modalities, nor are
schools equipped with sufficient health measures to protect
employees from the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 31.6% of those
surveyed said that the school will not provide hygiene kits to
teachers, while 36.7% are unsure if the school has any plan to do
“Forcing a blanket policy
among teachers – and without any prior consultation – unnecessarily
puts teachers in more challenging conditions, without any guarantee
of support from DepEd, and while further impeding education
delivery. The last two years have forced us to adapt to the
pandemic: we have procured internet connections at home, we have
setup a system for handling multiple learning modalities for our
students, only for it to be completely disregarded and disrupted by
this new order that was implemented without enough thought and
preparation. DepEd officials are terribly blind to our conditions
and deaf to our justified calls,” Quetua criticized.
ACT NCR Union reiterates
its call on the agency to suspend the memorandum’s implementation
and discuss with its employees’ duly recognized representatives a
working arrangement that is ‘more responsive’ to the needs of
education and ‘less onerous’ to public school teachers. ACT is the
sole and exclusive negotiating agent for public school teachers in
“Even prior to this memo,
teachers have been coming to school regularly to print, retrieve,
and distribute moduels, to prepare their schools for its eventual
re-opening, to attend meetings, among others. Teachers have been
showing up to respond to the actual needs of education in the midst
of the pandemic, despite little to no support from DepEd and the
Duterte admin. We have gone above and beyond to ensure learning
continuity amid the health and socio-economic crises, often
shouldering the massive burden of the state’s duty to the youth.
It’s high time that DepEd officials listen to our demands,”
3 roads declared
as national roads under Samar I
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
April 18, 2022
CALBAYOG CITY –
Three (3) roads under the jurisdiction of Samar I has been converted
to national roads this year through Memorandum Order No. 42 pursuant
to the provision of Executive Order No. 124.
Calbayog City Coastal
Road, Rueda Extension Road and Capoocan-Dagum Diversion Road are now
considered as national roads that can expect more funds for its
maintenance. These roads are still on its ongoing construction
through a Multi-Year Contractual Authorities (MYCA) funding.
The coastal road will
offer an alternate route since it is situated alongside the main
road in the city proper while Rueda Extension is another way to veer
away from the city traffic and will exit to the Calbayog Diversion
road in Barangay Rizal. On the other hand, Capoocan-Dagum will help
the building traffic jam that starts in Barangay Matobato as an
alternative way for those going in and out of the city proper.
These roads will offer
better economic opportunities in Calbayog City once completed. The
City proper is still experiencing heavy traffic bottleneck despite
the existence of Calbayog Diversion road as one of its alternate
main road for heavy vehicles, buses and other motorists coming from
Luzon going to the Southern part of the country or vice versa.
year-on-year total trade drops by -22.25% in December 2021
April 7, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY –
Total trade of goods in Eastern Visayas plunged by -22.25 percent,
from the USD 173.05 million total trade of goods reported in
December 2020. It went down to USD 134.55 million in December 2021.
The decline was attributed to the -26.31 percent drop in exports to
USD 110.90 million in December 2021 from USD 150.51 million in
Meanwhile, the total value
of imports went up by 4.90 percent to USD 23.65 million in December
2021 from USD 22.55 million in December 2020.
The region’s Balance of
Trade in Goods (BoT-G) registered a -31.81 percent decline at USD
87.25 million in December 2021, from the USD 127.96 million in
The total volume of the
region’s exports in December 2021 was 73.33 million kilograms. By
commodity group, the top export was copper and articles thereof with
USD 90.24 million receipts comprising 81.37 percent of the total
exports in the region during the month. Exports to People’s Republic
of China worth USD 40.12 million was the major country of
destination of the region’s export commodities, representing 36.18
percent of the total exports value in December 2021.
The total volume of the
region’s imports in December 2021 was 48.03 million kilograms.
Imported goods were mostly the commodity group of mineral fuels,
mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous
substances; mineral waxes. This was worth USD 16.46 million or 69.61
percent of the total value of imports during the month. Thailand
topped the country of origin of imported goods contributing USD 6.94
million or 29.34 percent to the import value of the region in
strengthen collab in pursuit of peace and security in EV
DPAO, 8ID PA
April 7, 2021
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The AFP’s Joint Task Force (JTF) Storm and the
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) strengthened their collaboration in
pursuit of peace and security in the region.
JTF-Storm Commander, Major
General Edgardo De Leon, personally visited Coast Guard Commodore
Marco Antonio P Gines at their district office at Ormoc City, Leyte
on Tuesday. Among the topics discussed were the inclusion of PCG to
the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSCC) to enhance
coordination and interoperability among law enforcement agencies
such as the Philippine National Police (PNP), the PCG, and the AFP.
Joint trainings will be conducted to enhance the capabilities of
MGen. De Leon emphasized
the important role of PCG in maritime law enforcement (MARLEN) in
the region specifically in the registration and monitoring of
watercraft to prevent and deter crimes.
“We may recall that
recently, members of the NPA terrorists belonging to Guerilla Front
Damol surrendered and then turned-in unregistered motorized banca
which they used as their primary mode of transporting war materials
in the coastal towns of the province,” De Leon said.
Meanwhile, CG Commodore
Gines commits that his unit will actively participate in the
programs and projects of the Region 8 Task Force in Ending Local
Communist Armed Conflict (RTF8-ELCAC) without directly getting
involve in armed conflict. This could be through the conduct of
Serbisyo Caravan, particularly the registration and marking of
watercrafts for free.
“The PCG of Eastern
Visayas will continue to perform our mandate on Maritime Law
Enforcement (MARLEN) programs such as the free registration of
motorized bancas and the conduct of information and education
campaign to increase awareness on maritime environmental protection
and enforcement,” Gines added.
The PCG is a one of the
active member agencies in Peace, Law Enforcement, and Development
Support (PLEDS) Cluster of the RTF8-ELCAC in the campaign to end
insurgency in Eastern Visayas.
DTI clamps down
almost P6M worth of uncertified products
April 6, 2022
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB)
clamped down P5,895,664.30 worth of uncertified products in the
National Capital Region (NCR) and Visayas Region from March 1 to
March 30, 2022.
According to the report, a
total of 37,870 pieces of uncertified products were confiscated by
the DTI-FTEB after conducting its periodic series of random
spot-checking activities in 324 local establishments; 175 of which
received a Notice of Violation (NOV) for selling consumer products
without the quality mark and required markings and labels to attest
that the products passed the DTI-Bureau of Philippine Standards
(DTI-BPS) product mandatory certification process and is declared
safe for use by end consumers.
Included in the seized
consumer goods were chemical products, electrical and electronic
products, mechanical products, building and construction materials,
and other consumer products that are included in the scope of the
mandatory product certification scheme of the DTI-BPS.
Products covered by the
said mandatory product certification schemes are required to bear
the Product Safety (PS) certification mark/logo or the Import
Commodity Clearance (ICC) sticker, in accordance with the Department
Administrative Order 2:2007 and the Implementing Rules and
Regulations of Republic Act 4109, otherwise known as the Product
Standards Law. The PS marks/logo and ICC sticker serve as consumers’
assurance that the products they buy in the market are conforming to
the relevant Philippine National Standards (PNS), which means it’s
safe for use and will deliver the performance as indicated by its
Failure to comply with the
government-mandated markings shall force the DTI to make necessary
legal action against the retailers that received NOVs. As such,
administration fines and sanctions will be imposed on erring
establishments after due process.
“No matter how big or
small the number is, as long as there are still uncertified products
being sold in the market, our monitoring and enforcement team will
always be on-the-run in curbing the proliferation of uncertified
goods nationwide,” said DTI Consumer Protection Group (CPG)
Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo.
“DTI-FTEB is not only
visible in the NCR but we make it a point to also expand our
visibility in the regions especially those areas who were hardly hit
by Typhoon Odette which happened last year,” DTI-CPG Assistant
Secretary Ronnel O. Abrenica underscored.
Further, the DTI
encourages and reminds the consuming public to only purchase
certified goods with the required and legitimate markings to ensure
product quality and safety.
Know the list of products
that are covered by the mandatory product certification scheme by
visiting www.bps.dti.gov.ph. To report firms that sell critical
consumer products in the market, call 1-DTI (1-384) or drop an email
Magnitsky-style sanctions stings Malacañang
April 2, 2022
MANILA – "The
global civil society coalition ICHRP launched its ‘Dirty Dozen’
campaign for targeted sanctions against top Philippine government
officials on March 29, 2022, and within two days Malacañang Palace
has responded with its characteristic allergic reaction to any
international criticism,” said ICHRP Chairperson Peter Murphy in
spokesperson Martin Andanar was right to say we are ‘naming and
shaming’ but he has no excuse to claim he is ‘baffled’ or that we
are ‘misusing’ the available Magnitsky laws,” said Mr. Murphy.
“Our ‘Dirty Dozen’
campaign would never have been necessary if there was any credible
judicial action on perpetrators of human rights violations in the
Philippines,” said Mr. Murphy, “and sadly the Palace claim that
these massive violations have never been brought to their attention
is just another case of brazen rejection of responsibility for their
Investigate PH’s three
Reports in 2021 covered more than 50 emblematic cases of human
rights violations that occurred largely in 2020 and 2021;
...violations of civil and political rights and IHL (International
Humanitarian Law) carried out by the Duterte administration since
2016; and violations of economic, social, cultural and other
collective rights. The Reports draw on the testimonies of survivors
and witnesses, relatives of victims, human rights advocates with
direct knowledge of state violence, and expert witnesses or resource
persons working with peasants, trade unions, women, churches,
community organizing, economics, political advocacy and peace
In June 2020, United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Michelle Bachelet
“Persistent impunity for
human rights violations is stark and the practical obstacles to
accessing justice within the country are almost insurmountable.
Human rights advocacy is routinely equated with insurgency and the
focus diverted to discrediting the messengers rather than examining
the substance of the message...
“Given the widespread and
systematic nature of the alleged killings, and the failure of
domestic mechanisms to ensure accountability thus far, there have
been strong calls for an international accountability mechanism. In
June 2019, a group of 11 Special Procedures mandate-holders called
on the Human Rights Council to establish an independent
investigation. ... The High Commissioner again emphasizes the need
for independent, impartial and effective investigations into the
killings and stands ready to assist credible efforts towards
accountability at the national and international level.”
ICHRP points to the
decision of the International Criminal Court in September 2021 to
investigate Philippine government officials for the crime against
humanity of murder. “This demonstrates that nothing has improved,
despite the claims of the Acting Presidential Spokesperson,” said
“Our ‘Dirty Dozen’
campaign will mobilize civil society to work with the parliaments
and congresses of the USA, Canada, the European Union, UK, Japan and
Australia to take action on these grave human rights violations, in
parallel with the ICC.”
AFP Chief lauds
AFP-PNP troops in Region 8 for successful internal security
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 31, 2022
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief, General
Andres C Centino, on Tuesday commended the operating troops of the
8th Infantry Division (8ID) and policemen of Police Regional Office
8 for successful operations that led to the neutralization of a
Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT).
Alias Prix, notorious
leader of NPA propaganda platoon in Northern Samar who was
responsible for the series of attacks to the Army’s Community
Support Program Teams immersed in barangays of Northern Samar was
killed during the encounter with the operating troops of the 20th
Infantry Battalion last March 25, 2022. According to locals, the NPA
propaganda group is known for its notorious extortion activities
among the residents and small business owners. Three M16 assault
rifles loaded with magazines and ammunitions were also captured.
General Centino personally
congratulated and awarded the Gold Cross Medal to First Lieutenant
Adonis Adan Collado, Sergeant Vincent Bulan, Corporal Edwin De Leon,
Corporal Ernesto Nunez Jr., Private First Class Bert Bay-an, Private
First Class Loige Nocido, Private First Class Jaymark Buctot,
Private First Class Ber Flores and Private Nikko Pesidas for their
indispensable service rendered during the conduct of the Development
Support and Security Operations.
According to Centino, the
8ID troops have constantly been performing well in addressing
insurgency in the region. Aside from the combat operations, AFP
Chief Centino lauded the success of the localized peace engagements
through the Samar Peace Panel which facilitated the surrender of
nine NPA members who turned-in 30 high-powered firearms, ammunition,
medical supplies, and materials used in making anti-personnel mines.
These are clear indications that the Whole-of-Nation program of the
NTF-ELCAC is the ultimate solution to attain lasting peace and
"May paraan pala para
pababain sila (NPA) nang walang buhay ang masasakripisyo and this is
through localized peace talks. We will continue immersion at the
grassroots to determine their problems and issues so that the
government can assess and provide proper intervention", General
Lopez: PH as
first country in SEA for Elon Musk's SpaceX
L to R: DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, DFNN Executive Chairman Ramon
Garcia Jr., SpaceX Senior Manager for Government Affairs Rebecca
Hunter, and SpaceX Market Access Director Ryan Goodnight.
March 31, 2022
MAKATI CITY – Trade
Secretary Ramon Lopez committed assistance to the planned
establishment of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) in
the country, which will provide internet services in the Philippines
using its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network constellation
called Starlink. The constellation consists of over 1,600 satellites
in mid-2021, and will eventually comprise of thousands more of
mass-produced small satellites in LEO, which communicate with
designated ground transceivers.
According to the trade
chief, the launch of SpaceX/Starlink in the country will enable a
much faster broadband speed, better connectivity, more capacity for
telecommunications services and more affordable rates for consumers.
Lopez said “Their system will augment as well as complement existing
broadband capacities. This will further capacitate micro, small, and
medium enterprises (MSMEs), facilitate online learning, e-commerce
Preparations are underway
for their registration, as discussed in the recent meeting among
Secretary Lopez, SpaceX senior executives Rebecca Hunter and Ryan
Goodnight, NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios and DFNN
Executive Chairman Ramon Garcia Jr.'s. SpaceX is bullish on the
growing consumer base and much-improved investment climate in the
country with the current major economic reforms. They noted that the
signing of the amended Public Service Act (PSA), which allows up to
100% foreign ownership of public services in the country, was a
critical factor in the company’s decision to invest, as all its
technologies are proprietary.
In a US Investment Mission
in November 2021, the Department of Trade and Industry-Board of
Investments (DTI-BOI) and SpaceX intently discussed the project’s
entry timeline and the PRRD Administration’s priority legislative
reforms. This was followed by a series of online meetings with the
company, immediately after the Senate ratification in December last
year, an update session in February 2022, and another in early March
to discuss further its business plans in the Philippines in line
with the amendment to the PSA. At present, their application is
being processed and the locations of their gateways are being
SpaceX is a relatively
young but fast-growing technology and aerospace company owned by the
highly celebrated entrepreneur Elon Musk. The company is currently
establishing a local Filipino entity that will be their wholly-owned
subsidiary and is targeting to deploy three gateways in the first
phase of their launch. The Philippines is set to be the first in
Southeast Asia to avail of such technology that will bring
high-speed satellite broadband connectivity to customers,
particularly to areas where connectivity has been difficult or
women through Elementary First Aid training
employee-participants of Elementary First Aid Training on 25
March 2022 with DED Mayla N. Macadawan (front row 3rd from
National Maritime Polytechnic
March 30, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – In
line with the nationwide observance of the National Women’s Month
Celebration (NWMC) anchored on the 6-year theme “We make change work
for women” and highlighting this year’s sub-theme, “Agenda ng
Kababaihan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran,” the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP)
conducted a Basic Training on Elementary First Aid (EFA) at the NMP
Training Building on 25 March 2022.
This training is part of
the “Serbisyo para kay Juana” advocacy of the agency to help empower
women by equipping them with knowledge on basic survival skills.
Fully aware of the significant contributions of women in nation
building, it is equally important that women should likewise be
active beneficiaries of the trainings and capacity development.
Hence, the training on First Aid, which is considered a life-saving
skill, was conducted to help effectuate this cause.
The training, participated
by 15 women employees of NMP, composed of regular and Job Order
Workers, covered basic emergency principles of first aid, and the
appropriate first aid response applicable on each emergency
situation. It was facilitated by Ms. Ms. Michelle G. Lutrania, a
registered nurse and a Training Specialist I of NMP.
The participants were also
asked to do a return demonstration through a practical exercise on
the proper Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Artificial
Resuscitation (AR), right after the lecture.
NMP’s Deputy Executive
Director Mayla N. Macadawan, emphasized to the participants during
her opening message, the importance of knowing basic survival skills
that every person should learn. She also added that the NWMC is not
only a celebration but also a call to action, recognize gender
equality and highlight the role of every Juana in all aspects of the
In addition to this, NMP
identified employees and staff likewise participated in a virtual
forum entitled “Forum on Women and men in Eastern Visayas cum
Appreciation course on Gender Analysis” sponsored by the Philippine
Statistics Authority (PSA), conducted on the same day.
distributes livelihood kits to small stores affected by ‘Odette’ in
a separate turn-over ceremony, Provincial Director Arnold
Faelnar leads the distribution of livelihood starter kits to 75
MSMEs in Siargao towns Dapa and General Luna.
DTI-Regional Operations Group
March 29, 2022
MAKATI CITY –
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga, through its
provincial office in Surigao del Norte, distributed livelihood kits
on 23 March to eligible micro-entrepreneurs (MEs) affected by Super
Typhoon Odette in Siargao Islands.
Odette made landfall in
the province, particularly Siargao Island on December 16 that
displaced around 48,204 families or 157,052 individuals. This
affected not only the tourism industry of the island, but also the
agriculture and fishery sectors.
In response, DTI through
the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) turned over
livelihood kits to a total of 113 MEs in the municipalities of San
Isidro, Del Carmen, Sta. Monica, San Benito, Pilar, and Burgos at
Surigao State College of Technology (SCCT) - Del Carmen Campus.
These MEs were comprised
of 84 sari-sari stores, four water refilling businesses, three dry
goods stores, five printing services, three agrivet supply stores,
six carenderias, three native delicacies shops, two fish trading,
one internet café, one school supply store, and one poultry farm.
Simultaneously, kits were
distributed to 75 MEs in the Municipality of Dapa and General Luna
headed by Provincial Director Arnold Faelnar.
“It is our hope that this
will support the recovery and continuity of the affected people and
businesses in the island,” said Regional Director Gay Tidalgo who
personally led the distribution.
Tidalgo added that after
Odette hit Siargao Islands in December last year, the regional
office has immediately begun the profiling of affected MEs.
“We have started giving
cash cards to affected small businesses before 2021 ended and we are
happy that through this small assistance from the Department, we are
able to contribute to the recovery of the islands,” Tidalgo said.
Tidalgo added that the
distribution is set to assist the MEs in the island that incurred
damages amounting to P1 billion in the agriculture and fishery
sectors, and P20.2 million in tourism facilities because of Odette.
“Dako kog pasalamat kaayo
sa gihatag karun sa DTI nga 32 sacks nga semento para sa among
hollow blocks business. Dako na kaayo ni nga tabang para maka
hinay-hinay tag bangon sa atung negosyo” (I am very grateful for the
32 sacks of cement given by DTI for our hollow blocks business. This
is already a great help for us to slowly recover), said Ivan Bret
Esparago, a recipient from Dapa.
1st Samar PMFC
bags Silver Eagle award
March 29, 2022
PALANAS CARA, Calbayog
City – A Silver Eagle Award was conferred to First Samar
Provincial Mobile Force Company by Police Brigadier General Bernard
M Banac, Regional Director, Police Regional Office 8, on March 25,
2022 at Matapat Hall, Police Regional Office 8, Camp Kangleon, Palo,
The award was in
recognition of 1st SPMFC’s outstanding performance in the effective
implementation of the PNP P.A.T.R.O.L Plan 2030 during the
Proficiency Stage Evaluation in January 18, 2022 at same venue.
The award was received by
Police Lieutenant Colonel (PLtCol) Eleazar R Barber Jr., 1st SPMFC
Force Commander, with Ms. Leviresa Getigan, member of the unit’s
PLtCol Barber lauded his men for the displayed commitment, unity and
teamwork that yielded to the said award.
He also encouraged his men
to continue striving for the best not only for the unit but also for
the whole PNP organization.
"Receiving this award
represents the unity and teamwork of all the personnel of this unit
and with the indispensable contribution of the advisory group in
achieving this exceptional feat," PLtCol Barber added.
"We will continue to
exercise the tradition of excellence especially that we are now
pointing towards the Institutionalization Phase," Barber concluded.
Should you have any
queries, please feel free to contact us through Hotline 09564460025,
Facebook Account - FirstSamar Pmfc, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
welcomes back travelers for first in-person tour in 2022
the help of the Forest Wood Garden owner Mr. Joel Frago, making
pansit kalabuko became more convenient and memorable for Nanay
Maximina Aima and Nanay Marissa, both CARD MRI clients.
LYNFA A. TAN
March 29, 2022
SAN PABLO CITY –
Despite the many challenges that the tourism industry faced during
the COVID-19 pandemic, many tourism-related enterprises are getting
back on its feet beginning March of 2022. As Alert Levels have gone
down, local travel requirements also eased. The Department of
Tourism (DOT) became more optimistic about this progress because
this will bring back opportunities for tourism and will gradually
help the industry to recover.
CARD MRI Hijos Tours, a
tour operator based in San Pablo City, Laguna, and a member of CARD
Mutually Reinforcing Institutions, is one of the many tourism
companies welcoming back travelers to its in-person tours in
response to the simultaneous lowering of alert levels in our
On March 19, 2022, Hijos
Tours catered to a group of travelers during their very first
in-person Cocina de San Pablenos Tour for the year. This tour
program is a combination of their heritage tour dubbed as Hijos de
Siete Lagos and a culinary tour highlighting the unique dishes in
San Pablo City, Laguna.
The tour started with a
suman demo that emphasizes the importance of recreating an old
handed-down recipe. The travelers also visited Sampaloc Lake where
the pre-Hispanic way of life of the San Pableños was explored. They
also stopped by the St. Paul the First Hermit Cathedral, a city
landmark in San Pablo. Churches are often linked to community
celebrations like fiestas, communions, and weddings.
After that, they visited
the Forest Wood Garden, where they enjoyed some of the restaurant’s
signature dishes such as the Pancit Kalabuko, a stirred fried noodle
that only used organic vegetables and the Plantsado lamang lupa, a
root crop dessert relative to cassava with its special way of
“One of the things I will
never forget is making Pansit Kalabuko, where it not only taught me
how to do it, but it even entices me to appreciate what nature has
to offer us, just like growing organic vegetables. Not only is it
nutritious, but it also helps our ecosystem,” shared Maxima Aima
Veridiano, one of the tour participants.
in the new normal
For other interested
travelers, Cocina De San Pablenos is available in three packages.
First is the Salig Tour, a half-day tour that can be availed for
only P2,949 per pax minimum of five. This guided tour package
includes a private van transfer and travel insurance. During the
Salig Tour, travelers will experience the cultural and culinary
heritage of San Pablo, Laguna. A cooking demo of a San Pableña suman
will be one of their fun activities. In addition, travelers will
also explore Sampaloc Lake then a quick visit to San Pablo
Cathedral. Their lunch will be at Pandin Lake, which is the most
exciting part since travelers will cook their own food by catching
and grilling tilapia from the lake and prepare their own ensaladang
pako (fern salad). Salig is a Cebuano word that means trust.
Meanwhile, the second tour
package is named after another Cebuano word, “Padayon,” which means
to move forward and never give up. This package is a half-day tour,
which can be availed at P2,999 per pax for a minimum of five
travelers. This tour also includes a tour guide, private van
transfer, and travel insurance. The Padayon Tour will also have a
San Pableña suman cooking demo and a heritage tour to Sampaloc Lake
and San Pablo Cathedral. The thrilling part of the Padayon Tour is
the farm tour and lunch at the Forest Wood Garden. The travelers of
this tour package will cook few signature dishes of Forest Wood
Garden such as Pancit Kalabuko and Plantsadong Lamang Lupa where
they pick needed ingredients of the dishes right inside the farm.
Last is the Paglaum Tour,
a full day tour which can be availed at P4,499 per pax minimum of
five people. The tour is a combination of the full experience of
both Salig and Padayon Tours. Paglaum is a Cebuano word that stands
Although Hijos Tours is
now accepting in-person tours, they will still accommodate virtual
tours for travelers who still want to experience Food tours and
Pilgrimage tours that feature various churches in Laguna at the
comfort of their homes.
Hijos Tours President and
Chairperson Ms. Marilyn M. Manila is optimistic for the good outcome
of this new era of tourism, “At Hijos Tours, we are hoping that
through our tour programs, we will be able to help our community and
the tourism industry to recover from the effects of pandemic. Local
communities and their stories are always at the heart of what we
do.” She concluded that Hijos Tours’ will soon accept travelers who
are interested in their customizable heritage tours in Samar-Leyte,
Baguio City, Iloilo City, Davao City, and Legazpi City.
What’s in it for
Leyte? Stakeholders question second SMC LNG plant in Visayas
March 25, 2022
QUEZON CITY –
Church, fisherfolk, and other concerned groups ask for clarity from
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) if its proposed liquefied natural gas
(LNG) plant will truly be beneficial to locals, amid concerns on
implications to largely agricultural and highly climate-vulnerable
Leyte and surrounding provinces, and with how little information and
education efforts have so far been on issues relevant to the
Questions were raised as
SMC subsidiary Prestige Power Resources Inc. (PPRI) held a public
scoping for the 600 MW project Friday in Brgy. Tugas in Tabango –
the second SMC is holding in Visayas in less than two weeks, with
Negros Occidental locals also airing worries on the San Carlos LNG
project at its own public scoping last week.
“Last January, the
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines released a new
Pastoral Statement on Ecology calling for unity and action amid a
climate emergency and planetary crisis. Leyte knows firsthand how
dire the climate situation is, with the devastation many calamites
bring us every year. Humans have played a big role in the
degradation of our Common Home – particularly because of the kind of
energy we use. We hope to understand why we are looking to have an
LNG power plant enter Leyte, knowing that in doing so, we are
contributing to a crisis that our people already suffer harshly,”
said Naval Bishop Rex Ramirez, whose diocese oversees the church in
In 2013, Leyte and
surrounding provinces were hit hard by Typhoon Yolanda, known as one
of the deadliest climate disasters in the world in recent history.
“We do not want another
Yolanda. It was a wake up call that the climate crisis is real, and
that it is in the best interest communities hard-hit by the typhoon
for industries that make the climate situation worse end as soon as
possible. This fossil fuel project will not even benefit Leyte
directly with the power it will produce, why must they welcome it
with open arms?" said Fara Diva Gamalo of Freedom from Debt
Coalition - Tacloban and Oriang Tacloban.
The power plant intends to
contribute power to the Visayan grid once operational. Meanwhile,
key stakeholders also testified to not having been involved in any
information and education campaign (IEC) by PPRI-SMC., a requirement
for power projects to comprehensively conduct prior to the public
"Nalaman ko lang na may
ganitong proyekto isang araw bago ang public scoping. Balewala ba sa
PPRI-SMC kung may mga tanong o hinaing ang mga taga-Tabango? Sana
hindi. Marami dito sa amin ang umaasa sa kalikasan para sa pang-araw
araw na kabuhayan. Kung makakaapekto sa kanila itong planta ng LNG,
dapat maging malinaw 'yon," said Tabango Holy Child Parish Priest
Fr. Edgar Dolina.
Clean energy advocates
have been raising alarm on the steep rise of new fossil gas and LNG
projects planned in Visayas and the rest of the country, as their
construction and operation will harm not only host communities, but
also climate and energy security and affordability ambitions.
“We wonder if the reason
why fossil gas project proponents exert seemingly insufficient IEC
efforts is because they are worried stakeholders will come to
understand how undesirable it is to have an LNG plant in their
shores, or to be forced to pay for the expensive electricity it will
produce once it is feeding power into the grid. Local government
leaders in Leyte and Visayas would be better off choosing not to
entertain new LNG proposals, turning their attention instead to
making clean, affordable energy and green jobs from renewables
available to their constituents,” said Avril De Torres, Deputy
Executive Director of energy think-tank Center for Energy, Ecology,
and Development (CEED).
DTI helps revive
livelihood of typhoon-affected micro entreps in Southern Leyte
DTI-Regional Operations Group
March 25, 2022
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) initially distributed the
first batch of livelihood kits to 412 micro entrepreneurs affected
by Typhoon Odette through DTI’s Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at
Ginhawa (PPG) in Southern Leyte.
Over 2000 micro
entrepreneurs were identified by the DTI to be granted with
livelihood starter kits in the province. This was the result of the
survey conducted last December 2021 to assess the calamity-affected
micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the area.
PPG program intends to
support communities, especially micro enterprises, to resume their
business after devastating incidents and other calamities, including
health disasters such as pandemics and armed conflicts. The
livelihood kits may be in a form of sari-sari store package, cooking
implements for food vending, and barbershop equipment. It is
designed according to the needs of the micro entrepreneurs.
According to the Trade
Secretary Ramon Lopez, the program was designed to help revive the
livelihood of micro entrepreneurs affected by unfortunate incidents
and turn them to become successful business people one day.
“Pangarap po ng DTI sa
inyo na ang inyong kabuhayan ay maging malaking negosyo, mula micro,
small, medium hanggang maging large,” said Secretary Lopez.
Further, the trade chief
shared the various programs that DTI offers to help develop these
micro entrepreneurs. He stressed out the importance of livelihood
trainings as well as the loan assistance DTI’s financing arm Small
Business Corporation extends to MSMEs.
distribution activity benefited all 16 municipalities of Southern
Leyte spearheaded by Secretary Lopez together with DTI Regional
Operations Group (ROG) Assistant Secretaries Asteria Caberte,
Dominic Tolentino, and DTI-8 Regional Director Celerina Bato.
LYNFA A. TAN
March 23, 2022
SAN PABLO CITY –
According to a nationwide survey conducted by the Movement for Safe,
Equitable, Quality, and Relevant Education (SeQuRe) in March 2021,
53% of Filipino students were not confident if they can be up to par
with the requirements in online learning.
The number says three
things: distance learning is a struggle for most students in the
Philippines. Lack of internet facilities, gadgets, and even access
to finances are some of the things that hinder students from
experiencing quality education at the comforts of their homes.
Second, distance learning
is not for all. The reality is, as much as mothers want to help
their children, the times have changed. Lessons have evolved and
mothers are left behind by technology.
Lastly, distance learning
distances children from school libraries where credible resources
are available making them vulnerable to possible wrong information
and “fake news” in doing research in the wide world of internet and
While CARD Mutually
Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) addresses the first and second
points by continuously providing access to cellphone loans and
giving online training to mothers and students, CARD-MRI Development
Institute, Inc. (CMDI) also does its part in providing access to
learning resources by unlocking its first e-Library on February 22,
2022, to cater to its students during the new normal.
or “e-Library” is the first online library of CARD MRI that provides
access to relevant reading materials anytime and anywhere using
electronic devices and the internet. Catering exclusively to
enrolled students of CMDI and its faculty members, the e-Library
contains books that are particular to research, thesis, and other
academic requirements of both students and staff.
CMDI Senior Executive Vice
President Dr. Edzel A. Ramos shared the importance of this digital
initiative and its potential to help the students ease the birth
pains of distance learning. “By maximizing the use of digital
resources, we do our part in freeing our students from the worries
associated with the pandemic and letting them achieve their goals
and dreams for the future. In line with our mission of eradicating
poverty, we give access to quality and affordable education through
our senior high school, baccalaureate, and TESDA Programs. Aside
from these, we provide free online training and other
capacity-building programs to our students as well as to clients of
CARD MRI,” Dr. Ramos said.
The Modern Library
CMDI Head Librarian Mila
M. Ramos also emphasized the significance of the “modern” library
during its launching. “While traditional libraries are indeed
helpful, we still encounter some challenges with them. Aside from
the pandemic that restricts our students from visiting the library,
books are also limited. Students cannot borrow the same book at the
same time. There are also times that, even if they have a chance to
take the book and read it at home, they still need to return the
book at a specific time. However, with the e-library, students will
no longer have to wait for a book to be available or read it in a
rush. It can be accessed anywhere as long as the students have
devices connected to the internet. Multiple access is also
Since its inception in
2005, CMDI has served as the training ground for CARD MRI staff and
clients alike. The learning institute aims to equip future leaders
of the society to create change in their community by empowering
socially-and-economically-challenged families through education, in
line with CARD MRI’s mission of poverty eradication.
in Tacloban find new hope for livelihood
DTI-Regional Operations Group
March 23, 2022
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) brought silver lining to
local folks as the agency successfully turned over equipment under
the Shared Service Facility (SSF) program providing livelihood
support to displaced carpenters, welders, painters, and other
skilled workers in the northern barangays of Tacloban City, March
These construction workers
once lived in the city proper near the Cancabato Bay who were
relocated by the local government to northern barangays after their
homes had been devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.
Lack of livelihood is the
top challenge faced by these men who had been displaced from their
place of work. Some of them are fishermen who, by their current
situation, are far off the shore and were forced to shift to the
construction industry for employment and income.
The local government of
Tacloban saw this opportunity to capacitate these men thru TESDA
trainings and provision of equipment via DTI’s SSF program. This
will help them become productive members of the society.
“Ang role namin ay
magbigay ng equipment at magpalakas sa ating mga kababayan. Maaari
rin po kayong matulungan ng DTI through our livelihood programs para
magkaroon ng tuluy-tuloy na kabuhayan,” said Trade Secretary Ramon
SSF is one of DTI’s
programs to address bottlenecks in the value chain of priority
industries and enhance productivity of micro, small, and medium
enterprises (MSMEs) by providing technical support and processing or
manufacturing equipment in a shared system.
The initiative complements
the priority program of the LGU to provide livelihoods in the
relocated communities of Tacloban. These areas came from hardly-hit
barangays of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and were displaced from their
place of livelihood. The project is expected to gen erate jobs and
income for the skilled workers in the relocated sites.
The project amounts to
P928,400 for the tools and equipment used for basic construction.
The potential beneficiaries are skilled graduates of TESDA NC II and
accredited schools for welding, carpentry, and painters.
Secretary Lopez graced the
said launching together with DTI Regional Operations Group (ROG)
Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, Assistant Secretaries Asteria
Caberte, Demphna Du-Naga, and Dominic Tolentino, and Regional
Director Celerina Bato.
DTI encourages the
promotion of MSMEs to a higher level where they could tap a better
production facility for wider market share and be integrated with
the global supply chain.
spearheads distribution of livelihood kits in Bohol
March 22, 2022
BOHOL – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its provincial
office in Bohol turned over 430 livelihood kits to the beneficiaries
of the Livelihood Seeding Program-Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB)
and the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) on 21 March
2022. The beneficiaries were micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)
from the municipalities of Loay, Sevilla, Loboc, Talibon, Bien Unido,
In his message, Secretary
Lopez expressed high hopes for the beneficiaries of the Livelihood
Seeding Program, "Ang pangarap po namin para sa inyo ay maging
masagana ang inyong mga kabuhayan at inyong mga negosyo. At itong
maliit na puhunan ay para lamang matulungan makabangon ang ating mga
kababayan na nasalanta ng bagyong Odette. Ito rin po sana ang susi
sa kanila-kanilang tagumpay”. Lopez credited President Duterte and
Senator Bong Go for facilitating the provision of additional funding
to DTI’s budget to assist those displaced by calamities.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap
and Mayors from the six municipalities of Bohol delivered their
messages of support for the program. Also present during the
turnover were DTI Regional Operations Group Assistant Secretaries
Asteria Caberte and Dominic Tolentino Jr., DTI-VI Regional Director
Maria Elena Arbon, Assistant Regional Director Hope Megar, and the
Provincial Directors of DTI Region 7.
This set of beneficiaries
is part of over 3,230 recipients of livelihood assistance for the 48
municipalities of Bohol which the DTI initially targets to
distribute this year.
The LSP-NSB and LSP-PPG
were conducted in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs)
of the said municipalities and the beneficiaries were profiled by
DTI Negosyo Center Business Counsellors prior to the distribution of
the livelihood assistance.
Further, these are
programs being implemented by DTI to widen the reach of business
development assistance by bringing government services closer to the
local people through partnerships between relevant local government
units and DTI Regional Offices. The LSP-NSB focuses in areas
affected by fire incidents and other calamities such as typhoons and
health disasters like outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics such as
COVID-19. This livelihood entrepreneurship program aims to provide
support to priority sectors and individuals through the provision of
training and livelihood starter kits.
22 years of devotion in providing quality education and services to
VICTOR ANGELO U. ARANZA
March 22, 2022
SAN PABLO CITY –
Two years defying the pandemic, CARD-MRI Development Institute Inc.
(CMDI) continues to “turn challenges into opportunities” as it
celebrates its 22nd anniversary on February 14, 2022.
Broadcasted via Zoom and
Facebook Live, the learning institute’s anniversary celebration
began with a Thanksgiving Mass, followed by a series of online
activities that commemorated the opportunities, innovation, and
achievements born from adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his welcome remarks,
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr.
Edzel A. Ramos welcomed the attendees with a Valentine’s
Day-inspired message. “Today, we are commemorating two of the most
anticipated events this February. It is indeed a great day to
celebrate not only Hearts’ Day but also CMDI’s very own 22nd
founding anniversary. Looking back, this was also the day when CARD
MRI first provided shares of stocks to its clients, proving that
CARD MRI’s heart belongs to our clients and their family. Through
CMDI, we express this love with our efforts to provide education as
part of our mission to eradicate poverty,” Dr. Ramos said.
CMDI also looked back on
the reason for its establishment, including its dedication towards
poverty eradication through effective and purposive education,
despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seeing how CMDI turned the
pandemic into an opportunity, CMDI President Flordeliza L. Sarmiento
reminded everyone of the reason why CMDI is still standing today.
“Even COVID is not enough to stop CMDI from doing what it desires,
and that is to improve our services and to continue our programs for
our clients and their family.”
The celebration continued
with the presentation of CMDI’s digital learning progress and
testimonials from its students, teachers, and staff. Clients who
attended CMDI’s training also shared how the learning institute’s
programs have helped them and their business in the middle of the
John Ivan Bajo from Grade
12 - Vietnam expressed how CMDI’s digital learning has benefited him
as a senior high school student. “Digital learning is an excellent
response to the changing times as it helped me be flexible in my
studies, studying on my own time.”
When it comes to the
digital transformation of CMDI, Senior High School Teacher Laila
Dioso shared some of CMDI’s initiatives to help its teachers adapt
to digital learning together with their students. “CMDI molded
teachers to be teachable and equipped with technological advancement
through webinars and hands-on training to cope with the challenges
Commitment to Devotion
Immersed in the spirit of
love and devotion, CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime
Aristotle B. Alip shared his favorite parable from the Bible to
express the sharp difference between devotion and commitment of all
staff in the pursuit of nation-building.
“Commitment is a pledge,
and therefore, is binding one’s self to a commitment to a word.
Commitment is a promise which is often made to be broken. On the
other hand, devotion means to give one’s time to a specific cause,
selflessly. It is given out of love. Commitment is ‘talk the talk,’
while devotion is ‘walk the talk.’ With devotion, we do things with
purpose, out of love. The devotion that emanates from our CMDI
staff, most especially during the pandemic, is an act of love, a
gift of love from CARD MRI to our clients. This is how we surpass
every challenge, and this is how we will go forward at CMDI,” Dr.
Alip said as he recognized those who have shown devotion in serving
the CARD community.
Following Dr. Alip's
inspirational message, the students’ Capstone Projects were also
exhibited in the broadcast. Made by the graduating students from the
Information and Communications Technology Department, the Capstone
Projects are digital systems aimed to help the school and CARD MRI’s
clients in the future.
about the students’ works and the clients’ stories were also
featured. Among these were thesis compilations, scholar stories, and
a recipe book that show the students’ progress in their digital
learning journey. “Katuparan ng mga pangarap” is a compilation of
client stories and their success with the help of CMDI.
Dedication to Service
With devotion as its
guiding force in helping communities, CMDI also recognized the
dedication, impact, and outstanding contributions of Senior
Management Adviser Dr. Dolores M. Torres as the outgoing Dean of the
Department of Business and Management through an audio-visual
presentation by CMDI Vice President for Academic Affairs Glenda M.
Lagarile. Dr. Torres was appointed as the Senior Dean of CMDI while
Dr. Ramos will assume the deanship of the department.
Continuing the parade of
innovations, the students of the CMDI Business Society also
presented their Love Month Online Bazaar with the theme “Innovative
and Resilient StudEntrepreneurs in COVID Times.” These are online
food shops where interested customers can message their respective
Facebook pages for their orders.
Finally, CARD MRI Managing
Director Aristeo A. Dequito congratulated the CMDI family, including
its teachers as well as the students and their parents who have all
worked together to withstand the pandemic and to continue learning
“It has been two years
since the onset of the pandemic. Despite this, CMDI remained
steadfast in helping its students, CARD MRI clients, and staff. This
is the fruit of what Dr. Alip described as devotion. With this, we
will continue standing our ground until we have turned every
challenge into opportunities for growth and success in our mission
to fight poverty,” Dequito concluded.
Since its inception in
2000, CMDI has served as the training ground for CARD MRI staff and
clients alike. The learning institute aims to equip future leaders
of the society to create change in their community by empowering
socially-and-economically-challenged families through
capacity-building programs and quality education, in line with CARD
MRI’s mission of poverty eradication.
Rodrigo Duterte handed certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs)
to representatives of the 772 agrarian reform beneficiaries on
March 17, 2022 at the new Leyte Provincial Capitol. (Jose Alsmith L. Soria)
March 22, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY –
Employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) shout “Mission
accomplished!” after President Rodrigo Duterte finally handed the
Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) for the former rebels
on Thursday in support of the National Task Force to End Local
Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
DAR Eastern Visayas
Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu disclosed that 446 individual
CLOA covering 89 hectares of land in Sitio Limite, Barangay Daja
Daku in San Isidro, Leyte, were handed by the Chief Executive to the
446 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) during the inauguration of
the new Leyte Provincial Capitol in Palo town.
Two hundred fifty-eight of
the 446 ARBs are former rebels, while 188 are actual farmers, Dir.
Agrarian Reform Secretary
Bernie Cruz, who assisted the President in the distribution of the
land titles, lauded the DAR-Leyte employees for a job well done.
Sec. Cruz dropped by the
DAR Leyte Provincial Office the day before the distribution, to
check on the titles.
The President on January
23, 2020, during his visit to the remote San Isidro town to turnover
various government assistance to former rebels, ordered former DAR
Secretary, John Castriciones, to provide the former rebels farmlands
to till under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) where
they can start a livelihood.
One year and eight months
after, a collective CLOA covering 91.6 hectares was generated and
registered at the Registry of Deeds (ROD). Thereafter on March 19,
2022 the collective CLOA was parcelized into individual CLOAs, which
were then distributed by the President on March 17, 2022.
During the same occasion,
326 more CLOAs with a combined area of 487.7 hectares were
distributed by the President to the representatives of ARBs from
other Leyte towns as well as from the provinces of Northern Samar,
Western Samar and Southern Leyte.
NPA high ranking
official says he does not regret his decision to surrender
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 21, 2022
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – A newly surrendered high-ranking official of the
Guerilla Front Damol and 7 other high ranking CPP-NPA-Terrorists (CNTs)
attended the Local Peace Engagement Panel and Peacebuilder Group
dialogue at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial
office in Catbalogan City on Monday, March 21, 2022.
The said dialogue is an
assessment of the situation and concerns of the newly surrendered
CNTs and discussion on the assistances that the different government
agencies can offer and provide.
Alyas Dori, the
Organization Department Secretary of the Guerilla Front Damol which
operates in the areas of Pinabacdao and Villareal, expressed that
they can now prove that the government’s help is real. He is hopeful
that it can alleviate their way of living.
“We do not regret our
decision to surrender to the government, rather we are happy. First,
we no longer have to hide and we will no longer hesitate to help
other people. And, I can now be with my family whom I never been
with for 15 years,” Dori said.
Dori has expressed his
gratitude for all the government’s efforts especially in helping
them and calls out his former rebels to surrender as well.
“To my brothers and
sisters in arms who are still in the organization (Communist
Terrorist Groups), just cooperate and stop running so that we can
take care and help your family. I can assure that I can help them.
We do not want to die in the armed struggle because of wrong
ideology, instead, be back to the folds of the law for us to have
peace and make Samar prosper,” Dori added.
The dialogue was attended
by the different government agencies like the Philippine Information
Agency, the Philippine Army, Department of Interior and Local
Government, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office Samar,
Office of the Provincial Agriculture, Technical Education and Skills
Development Authority, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace,
Reconciliation and Unity, Department of Trade and Industry,
Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine National Police
who will be providing different assistances to the former rebels.
Members of LPE
panel of Samar discuss assistance to new NPA surrenderers in EV
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 21, 2022
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The Local Peace Engagement Panel of Samar with the
801st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army have discussed assistances
to newly surrendered high-ranking CPP-NPA-Terrorists (CNTs) who have
been organized into a Peacebuilder Group in a dialogue held at
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Catbalogan on Monday, March
In the said dialogue, the
different government agencies assessed the situation, concerns and
needs of at least 8 rebels who surrendered in February and this
Colonel Lenart R. Lelina,
the Commander of 801st Brigade said that this is just the start of
the talks that include the identification of livelihood programs and
other government assistances that will significantly benefit the
“In the military, we can
only provide security for you but here are the other government
agencies who can provide different assistances that you need,” Col.
The LPE panel of Samar is
hopeful that the localized talks will lead to the dismantling of the
Guerilla Front Damol that operates in areas in Pinabacdao and
Ms. Alma Austero, the head
of the LPE panel said that she believes that the former rebels still
have a lot to offer and help in the fight against insurgency.
Among the 8 CNTs who
surrendered, some were holding a higher post in the Communist
Terrorist Group – 2 are top leaders in the Guerilla Front Damol, 1
Political Guide, others are in-charge in the logistics, and other
significant positions in the organization.
Colonel Juanito Parazo Jr., Philippine Army, the Commander of 46th
Infantry Battalion said that the surrender of these rebels is a
great loss to the NPA.
“It is a great decrease in
the capacity and capability of the CPP-NPA here in the Samar
province,” Col. Parazo said.
Also discussed in the
dialogue were the financial assistances that the government offers
to the surrenderers. Ms. Austero of the Provincial Social Welfare
and Development Office Samar said that the Local Social Integration
Program or LSIP provides transitional assistance of P25,000, another
P50,000 for livelihood assistance, and for those who will surrender
with firearms will receive P25,000 for each firearm, and P10,000 for
each NPA member that a facilitator can persuade to surrender.
On the other hand, the
Department of Interior and Local Government said that the E-CLIP
provides P15,000 for immediate financial assistance and P50,000 for
livelihood assistance, plus firearm remuneration that's double the
With all these assistances
the government is hopeful that the remaining CNTs will soon lay down
their arms, abandon their armed struggle and be back to the folds of
TUCP files P430
wage hike for workers in Region 7; cites price hikes, malnutrition,
March 21, 2022
CEBU CITY – The
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today files a
petition before the Regional Wages and Productivity Board VII (RTWPB-VII)
for a P430 increase in the daily minimum wages in the Region.
TUCP stated in its
petition that minimum wage earners and their families in Cebu, Bohol,
Siquijor and other underlying islands are barely surviving with
their meager income. The labor group said that since 2018, the
prices of basic goods and services have gone up substantially which
eroded the purchasing power of the current minimum daily wage of
P404.00. This year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projected that
inflation will hit at 5.1% with the continuing increases in the
price of oil triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and
ensuing economic and digital war.
“With the current high
prices of food and other essential items, the measly income of
workers can only accord them and their families with nutritionally
deficient survival meals. We are deeply concerned that with the
looming price hikes in the basic commodities, including electricity
and transport fares, our workers and their families could really go
hungry this time and that is unacceptable to us. We are filing our
wage petition today to help our workers and their families in Cebu
and in the entire of region VII to at least survive,” said TUCP
President Raymond Democrito Mendoza said.
TUCP said that an P18
increase in the daily minimum wage which the RTWPB-VII granted in
January 2020 has long been dissipated by the high cost of basic
goods and services, even before it could be felt by minimum wage
“Today, we are waging war
against malnutrition and imminent hunger of our workers and their
families in Central Visayas. We are fighting for a minimum wage that
at least will save them from starvation. We are not even asking for
wage adjustment that will also cover the increasing costs of
non-food items which are also necessary to the daily lives of our
workers and their families,” said Mendoza.
“With the current minimum
wage in Region VII, a measly P15.00 per meal can be allocated per
member of the family which is P41.17 lower compared to
P61.17/meal/person estimated by the Ateneo Policy Center using the
Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of
Science and Technology (DOST) Pinggang Pinoy model, and the March
2019 PSA Media Service Market Price of Selected Commodities. What
kind of food can be bought by P15.00? Do our workers deserve just to
eat nutritionally deficient foods while they continue breaking their
backs to sustain and expand the economy?” asked Mendoza.
During the recent meeting
of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, Mendoza who is the
Vice Chairperson of the committee, pushed for the RTWPBs to act
immediately on the wage petitions filed before them within 30 days.
The TUCP also wrote President Duterte to direct the RTWPBs to
swiftly deliberate on the same petitions.
“This is a race against
time for the survival of millions of workers and their families who
fell through the cracks. There dire conditions should be improved
without delay by approving our desired minimum wage increase,” said
“Let me also be clear on
our fight for decent wages. Wage hike was needed long before the
Ukraine-Russia war and the skyrocketing oil prices that followed.
The possible oil price rollback this coming week, although we would
certainly welcome it, does not mean rolling back our wage petitions.
Our minimum wage earners and their families have already fallen
below the poverty level even before the ongoing conflict and its
aftermath. The fact that our minimum wage earners have become the
newly poor is a blatant injustice that must be seriously and
urgently addressed by the government,” Mendoza said.
TUCP said that Region VII
enjoyed an average GRDP growth rate of 9.35% for the period 2016 -
2019 before hitting -8.3% in 2020. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew
by an average of 5.6% in 2021. Central Visayas has been the
consistent fourth biggest contributor to the GDP, averaging 6.44%
for the period 2016-2020.
“Workers continued to give
and sacrifice even with their declining health and strength due to
poor nutrition for the sake of regional and national economic
development. And what do they get? Malnutrition, hunger, and
poverty,” said Mendoza.
The labor center said that
the present monthly take home pay of P9,663.94, is far below the
P16,295.00/month poverty threshold for a family of five in Central
“What kind of life do our
workers and their families have? Our workers and their families
deserve to live, and to live with dignity. They need the wage
adjustments now or they will continue to live in destitution. As a
civilized society, we cannot and should not perpetuate the miserable
conditions of our workers and their families,” Mendoza finally
threefold increase on retail value of confiscated products
March 15, 2022
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB)
reported a threefold increase on retail value of confiscated
products in the National Capital Region (NCR) from January 1 to
February 28, 2022.
A total of 7,551 pieces of
uncertified products, with a retail value of P1,401,189.05, were
cracked down by the DTI-FTEB through random inspection activities
for the first two (2) months of the year. This resulted in a
whopping 304% increase on the seized products’ retail value compared
to the same period last year wherein a total of 846 pieces of
uncertified products, with a retail value of P346,704.00, were
seized by the team.
Out of the 181 inspected
establishments in NCR this year, 100 of which were issued Notices of
Violation (NOVs) for selling products without the required
Philippine Standard (PS) mark and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC)
sticker certified and mandated by the DTI-Bureau of Philippine
Standards (DTI-BPS). Among the seized products are low carbon steel
wires, sanitary wares, television sets, cement, extension cords,
electric blender, brake fluid, circuit breakers, helmets, plugs,
socket outlets, uPVC pipes, rerolled steel bars, and other consumer
products that requires to undergo mandatory certification.
Pursuant to Department
Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2:2007 and the Implementing Rules and
Regulations of Republic Act 4109 otherwise known as The Product
Standards Law, products covered by the BPS mandatory product
certification schemes, whether locally manufactured or imported, are
required to bear the Philippine Standard (PS) mark or Import
Commodity Clearance (ICC) sticker prior to market distribution.
“The PS marks and ICC
stickers are the guide and assurance of our consumers that the
products they purchase are safe and conforming to the relevant
Philippine National Standards (PNS) mandated by the law,”
DTI-Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B.
Secretary and DTI-FTEB Concurrent Director Ronnel O. Abrenica noted
that the positive performance of his Bureau is a result of
recalibration of resources with the newly formed DTI-FTEB strike
teams and redirection of focus on conducting intensified technical
regulations enforcement and seizing operations on a regular basis.
“We kicked off the year
strong and we will sustain this synergy to foster a heightened
consumer protection in the country,” DTI-CPG Assistant Secretary and
DTI-FTEB Concurrent Director Abrenica added.
To check the list of
products that should bear the PS mark and ICC sticker, visit
www.bps.dti.gov.ph. Consumers are encouraged to report
establishments selling critical products in the market by calling
1-DTI (1-384) or by sending a consumer complaint to email@example.com.
NMP kicks off
National Women’s Month Celebration
NMP Key Officials pose with their Agenda ng Kababaihan
placard to show their support to women as the NWMC 2022
National Maritime Polytechnic
March 15, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic, a strong advocate of Gender and
Development (GAD), opens the National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC)
during the flag raising ceremony held on 8 March 2022 in time for
the observance of the International Women’s Day.
NMP highlights anew
women’s empowerment and honors the unequivocal contributions of
women to societal development, with a set of activities lined up for
the month of March focusing on the sub-theme: Agenda ng Kababaihan,
Tungo sa Kaunlaran, capping up the six-year recurring theme “We make
change work for women.” This theme celebrates the dynamic Filipino
women, perceptive of their choices, making their voices heard and
trailblazers of change.
As part of this month-long
observance, NMP put up the NWMC display center featuring Filipino
women in “Today’s Herstory” and “Juana Says.” The activities will
also include the Emergency First Aid (EFA) lecture for NMP female
employees, women representatives from Barangay Cabalawan (where this
office is located) and from the Sailor’s Association. The “Serbisyo
para kay Juana” program of NMP, offering free training and dormitory
fee for female trainees for this month, is likewise reinstituted.
Also part of the activities is the distribution of
Information/Education/ Communication (IEC) materials and collaterals
to be uploaded on the agency’s FB page and official website.
In support to the
Philippine Commission on Women’s (PCW’s) campaign to signify support
on gender equality and women's empowerment, the employees, guest
trainers and trainees were encouraged to participate the Purple
Tuesdays or the wearing of any purple every Tuesday of March, and
use the hashtag “PurpleTuesdays, #PurpleYourIcon in their social
“As women, what we can do
is limitless, we just have to activate it. We have the power to
convert pain into passion to be a successful member of the
community.” Deputy Executive Director Mayla N. Macadawan said during
the opening program. She also enthused women to speak up and let
their voices be heard, and that, regardless of status, women’s role
in complementing with men cannot be belittled. Women should continue
to explore and unlock their abilities, as these open opportunities
to be better.
DTI Bagsakan and
Bahandi jointly celebrate Women’s Month in Region 8
Domestic Trade Promotion
March 15, 2022
MAKATI CITY – After
the success of the recent Bagsakan: Panubli-on in Western Visayas,
the DTI Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP) is expanding its
reach to more provinces through a collaboration with the DTI Region
8 in the upcoming Bagsakan in Eastern Visayas to be held on March 17
to 20, 2022 at Robinsons Place Tacloban.
Billed as the Bagsakan
Bahandi: Women’s Trade Fair in Eastern Visayas, the four-day selling
and order-taking activity is aligned with the celebration of the
National Women’s Month with the theme “Kababaihan Tungo sa Kaunlaran.”
This special Bagsakan initiative will proudly showcase the wide
variety of products manufactured by 65 women-led Micro, Small, and
Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) from Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte,
Northern Samar, and Samar.
Capturing the true essence
of “Bahandi,” a Cebuano word for wealth or treasures, the Bagsakan
will highlight the diverse selections of food products and non-food
items that represent the rich heritage and traditions unique in each
Eastern Visayas province. Among these cultural treasures are the
authentic Eastern Visayas delicacies such as chocolate moron, suman
latik, sasema, and binangol which will be available for sale to
shoppers and institutional buyers. Various handicrafts, souvenirs,
handwoven products, homestyle items and decors, fashion accessories
as well as health and wellness products will also be in stock for
retail selling and bulk orders during the event.
A special feature of the
event is the exhibit of prototypes of newly-developed products and
packaging innovations under the One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) Next
Gen, DTI Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), and the Rural
Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth
(RAPID) Growth Programs.
In launching the event,
DTI Regional Operations Group (ROG) Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona
will lead the Opening Ceremony with DTI ROG Assistant Secretary
Demphna Du-Naga, DTI-Region 8 Regional Director Celerina Bato, BDTP
Director Marievic Bonoan, DTI Provincial Officers and
representatives from the DTI BDTP. Consumers and institutional
buyers who will not be able to attend the physical show can still
participate online. A live broadcast of the activities and a video
tour of the event and products will be streamed via the BDTP
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DTI.BDTP. The DTI has also
prepared a digital product catalog with full contact information of
participating MSMEs. Download the official event catalog in this
The Bagsakan Special
Project started out as a crisis response to the pandemic to help
farmers, fruit growers MSMEs and social coops sustain their
livelihood during the pandemic. This innovation contributed to the
“Bayanihan We Heal As One Act” by ensuring the availability of food
products while helping MSMEs sell their goods, thus supporting the
economy amid the COVID-19 crisis. Since 2020, the project has
generated P44.28 Million for 359 farmers and fruit growers
associations, MSMEs and social coops from several regions.
To get updates on upcoming
Bagsakan events, national fairs and programs for MSMEs, join the
DTI-BDTP Community on Viber and follow us on Facebook and Instagram
(DTI.BDTP), Twitter (DTI_BDTP), and Tiktok (DTI.BDTP).
Sec. Bello awards
over P12-M livelihood, emergency employment assistance in Ormoc City
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
March 14, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY –
More than 2,000 workers from Ormoc City benefitted from the
P12,144,250 worth of DOLE livelihood and emergency employment
assistance awarded last February 19, 2022 at the Ormoc Superdome.
Secretary Silvestre H.
Bello III graced the activity and personally led the awarding of
livelihood funds amounting to P3,000,000 for the motorized banca and
fishing gear projects of 100 beneficiaries. A livelihood check
amounting P2,880,000 was likewise awarded for the Negokart Projects
of some 96 beneficiaries.
The labor chief likewise
took part in the payout of TUPAD wages of 1,849 workers amounting to
P6,009,250.00. Each worker received P3,250 for the ten-day work
Meanwhile, some 34
overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and OFW-dependents also received
livelihood grants with a total amount of P255,000 under OWWA’s
programs namely, Tulong Puso, Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay and
Educational Livelihood Assistance Program.
Torres-Gomez and Mayor Richard I. Gomez thanked Secretary Bello and
the entire DOLE team composed of Undersecretary Renato L. Ebarle,
Usec. Benjosantos M. Benavidez, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac,
DOLE-NCR Director Sarah Buena S. Mirasol and DOLE-BWSC Director Ma.
Karina P. Trayvilla.
Sec. Bello in his message
expressed untiring support and commitment to extend assistance as
needed by the workers not just in Ormoc but the whole of Region 8.
“I assure you that the
DOLE programs will continue to help our needy workers, tuloy-tuloy
lang po ang ating serbisyong TUPAD”, said Sec. Bello.
Also present during the
activity were Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena, DOLE-West
Leyte Field Office Head Mr. Edgar Tabuyan and DOLE-Technical Support
Services Division Head Mr. Norman L. Uyvico.
12th anniversary with innovations to fight poverty
March 14, 2022
SAN PABLO CITY –
“We won’t stop forging onward alongside the fast-paced,
fast-changing developments in the world of IT to equip CARD MRI in
serving the Filipino poor.” These are the words of CARD MRI
Information Technology (CMIT) President Edgar V. Cauyan, as the
whole CARD MRI community celebrated CMIT’s 12th anniversary on March
To commemorate its
historical founding, Cauyan recollected how the institution started
and how CMIT is straining forward to lead CARD MRI’s digital
“The need for CARD Bank to
computerize in 1999 was the starting point of the operations of CMIT.
I can recall how it was back then, and every time I think about it,
the memories make me smile. Because it was the first time CARD MRI
had an IT department, everything that has to do with new technology,
from printers to air conditioning, is taken care of by its IT
department. These were the initial operations of CARD’s IT
department. Today is different as it became a separate entity in
2010 to advance the technology of the CARD MRI group,” Cauyan
Cauyan is talking about
the digitalization of CARD MRI in the 21st century, not only to
expedite the transactions of CARD MRI clients but also to achieve
digital financial inclusion in the country.
CMIT continues to support
CARD MRI’s microfinance institutions (MFIs), including CARD, Inc. (A
Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI RIZAL
BANK, to assist its account officers (AO) and to improve their
service delivery to clients.
From the manual
application of loans using pen and paper, AOs are now equipped with
the loan origination system (LOS). Through the LOS, AOs only need to
conduct an interview with clients and input their data on the system
installed in their tablets. Once done, the loan application will be
sent automatically to the unit manager for approval. Once approved,
the loaned amount will be sent to the applying client’s savings
Having the same concept as
LOS, the mobile onboarding digitally records those who want to be
clients of CARD for faster and simpler registration.
According to Cauyan,
besides these new systems that aim to support both CARD MRI staff
and clients in their transactions, CMIT is also hands-on in the
continuous upkeep and monitoring of its konek2CARD mobile banking
application for CARD MRI clients.
“konek2CARD is perhaps our
proudest contribution to CARD MRI, and we are thankful to FDS ASYA
PHILIPPINES (FDSAP) for working with us hand-in-hand to make this
possible. We are also forever grateful to the CARD MRI community,
most especially our MFIs and our clients, for making this possible
and for absorbing this into their lives,” Cauyan shared as he
expressed his gratitude for the clients’ positive response towards
the mobile banking application despite the difficulties they faced
in implementing konek2CARD in 2016.
reached 2 million registered users in February 2022, a milestone for
the CARD community that can be attributed to how the clients
recognize the application as a necessity in their lives.
It can be recalled that
konek2CARD saw an increase in user registration in 2021 after the
“Saya ng Buhay, Level App” campaign that emphasized konek2CARD’s
role in the lives of CARD clients, especially during the COVID-19
konek2CARD users can skip
taking transportation, going to the bank, and waiting in line with
the mobile banking application’s features that allow clients to do
their banking transactions in the comforts of their home. These
features allow them to access their savings, to pay their loan
amortization and bills, to purchase e-load, and to check their
balance and other transactions without going to the bank and putting
themselves at risk of contracting the virus.
CARD clients can also be
assisted by authorized konek2CARD agents in their neighborhood for
their banking transactions and easy access to their savings through
cash-in and cash-out.
Cauyan also breached the
subject of remittances as CARD MRI also steps up other alternative
delivery channels to bring better services to its clients.
“We are also supporting
and empowering more Filipinos, not just our clients, with CARD Sulit
Padala. Through this local remittance provider, located in our
branches and branch-lite units, you can send and receive money from
your loved ones anywhere in the Philippines. It’s the best
alternative for people who are looking for nearby remittance outlets
in their neighborhood,” Cauyan explained.
Now, CMIT led the
conversion of 52 unit offices of CARD, Inc. from the local system to
the Core Microfinance System which aims to provide real-time
transactions and reports, automatic calculations, and paperless
transactions, among others.
Together with FDSAP, CMIT
also monitors the migration of 20 remaining CARD Bank branches from
the local system to the centralized Core Banking System which
enables the clients of CARD’s MFIs to make their banking
transactions at any of CARD’s branches.
Since 2010, CMIT has been
developing the technical designs and systems required in the
day-to-day activities of CARD MRI. The IT company is at the
forefront of CARD MRI’s digital transformation in the hopes of
eradicating poverty through its technology-driven initiatives.