received 162 projects for 2021
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
January 28, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways -Samar First District
Engineering Office received 162 projects to be implemented by the
district amounting to more than P2.95 billion for 2021.
There will be 36 projects
that are under the Multi-Year Contracting Authority (MYCA) while one
project is included in the FY 2020 For Later Release (FLR) that is
subject for withdrawal. Another 125 of which are part of the new
projects. These will comprise the General Appropriations Act for CY
2021. Samar is continuously creating opportunities within its sphere
of jurisdiction and infrastructure project under the Build, Build,
To preserve the
infrastructure investment made along national road, the project
identified focus more on rehabilitation/construction/widening on
both national and secondary roads amounting to P1,457,587,000.00
while an allocation of P343,417,000.00 was granted to projects that
will prevent flooding in low-lying areas.
Local Program also
received P1,012,746,000.00 whereas, convergence and special support
program received P136,599,000.00 to build roads leading to tourism
destinations and infrastructure/s in support of national security
which is beneficial to the people of the 1st District of Samar.
The world needs to act now on Duterte gov’t’s rights abuses
Global independent probe
on rights abuses in the Philippines launched, announced 3 reports
for submission to UN human rights body
January 28, 2021
MANILA – The
Independent International Commission of Investigation into human
rights violations in the Philippines or Investigate PH was launched
this Thursday, January 28. The commission expressed urgency for
accountability of perpetrators and justice for victims and their
More than 200 participants
from lawyers organisations, civil society and churches all over the
world came together to manifest their support for the global
“Investigate PH is a
critical space of solidarity and accompaniment of the people of the
Philippines as it investigates the blatant violation and violence
related to the basic human rights of people,” says one of the
commissioners, Rev. Michael Blair, current General Secretary of the
United Church of Canada’s General Council.
The creation of
Investigate PH was prompted by the resolution of the 45th UN Human
Rights Council session on the Philippine rights situation, also
known as Resolution 45/L.38, last October 2020 that fell short of
victims and the international community’s demand for an independent
probe on the country.
“The gravity of the
violations underlines why the world needs to know about these human
rights abuses and to act to stop the crimes. I put it to everyone at
this event that if we were Filipinos, we would surely have suffered
under the Duterte government. The evidence is overwhelming. The
testimonies [are] tragic,” Investigate PH Commissioner Lee Rhiannon
and former Senator of Australia said, pertaining to her solidarity
visit in the Philippines last 2019.
In the global launch,
commissioners of Investigate PH call on the international community
to act now on the human rights abuses perpetrated by the government
of President Rodrigo Duterte. Currently, the Commission is composed
of 10 eminent personalities namely:
Lee Rhiannon, Former
Senator of Australia
Atty. Jeanne Mirer,
President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Atty. Jan De Lien of the
Justis Lawyers Group of Belgium
Atty. Suzanne Adely,
President of the National Lawyers Guild
Senator Janet Rice,
Australian Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs
Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson,
General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches
Rev. Michael Blair,
General Secretary of United Church of Canada
Rev. Dr. Susan
Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church &
Society, the United Methodist Church
Archbishop Joris Vercammen
of the Old Catholic Church of Netherlands, and Central Committee
member, World Council of Churches
Dr. David Edwards, General
Secretary of the Education International
Leaders of international
lawyers’ groups, political leaders and global church groups have
formed the Investigate PH to gather evidence on crimes against
humanity in relation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war
on drugs” and the persecution of human rights defenders and civil
New York-based human
rights lawyer Jeanne Mirer vowed that Investigate PH will “bring
these violations to light” internationally.
Three reports to the UNHRC,
It was announced in the
global launch that the international probe will submit their
findings by way of oral interventions and submissions at Enhanced
Interactive Dialogues and General Debates in the upcoming UNHRC
Two preliminary reports
will be released in time for the 46th and 47th UNHRC sessions in
March and July 2021 respectively, and one final report in time for
the 48th UNHRC session in September when the High Commissioner will
deliver an update on the implementation of Resolution 45/L.38.
“We are preparing a
submission on these crimes to go to the UN Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights,” says Rhiannon and added that “what
is happening in the Philippines amounts to crimes against humanity.
These crimes must end.”
Investigate PH will also
submit their findings to the International Criminal Court. They aim
to update the Bachelet report and help facilitate international
mechanisms for redress and accountability such as in relevant UN
bodies and the ICC.
A project brief on
Investigate PH is attached to this email. You may also access it
countdown marker to NMP's 43rd anniversary unveiled
January 26, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), established in the year 1978 by
Presidential Decree No. 1369, sets its pace through the unveiling of
the 100-Days countdown marker last 22 January 2021 in celebration of
NMP's 43 years in public service providing competitive and quality
trainings & researches to the Filipino seafarers.
With this year's
anniversary theme: "Enhancing the Filipino Seafarers' Capabilities
through NMP Trainings In Meeting Global Competitiveness Towards
Adopting The New Normal", a challenge and reflection was injected by
NMP's Deputy Executive Director, Mayla N. Macadawan in her opening
remarks, "This is not the occasion we imagined it to be. It's not
going to be a normal celebration but nevertheless, with our
initiative and resilience we always find ways to give meaningful
occasions. The wisdom of putting NMP in Tacloban City is we are at
the heart of the country making us accessible to both the two major
islands of the country. Therefore, let's look back to 43 years as a
premier & the only maritime training & research center with the need
to evolve and continuously meet the demand of the advancing maritime
The event was concluded
with the words of encouragement from the Executive Director of NMP,
Joel B. Maglunsod mirroring on the importance of unity as a great
factor in achieving success and the persistent attainment of the
NMP's vision and mission.
"This occasion must be
marked by the dedication and commitment of all NMP employees who
have been serving the Filipino people in general, and the Filipino
seafarers in particular, for the past 43 years" said Executive
NMP, an attached agency of
the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), was established as
the government's response to the immediate and dire need of updating
and upgrading the capability and qualifications of maritime licensed
officers and other marine graduates for their increased
acceptability for employment in international and domestic fleets.
Also, the agency has a satellite office located at Makati City but
soon to transfer to a more reachable location at the DOLE Office in
Apart from its training
operations, NMP also conducts industry researches towards improving
the Philippine maritime workforce with its findings adopted as
inputs in the formulation of maritime education and labor and
P. Adongay Jr. inspects on-going construction of the
Emergency Repair of Damaged National Roads with Slips,
Slope Collapse and Landslide along Naval Caibiran Cross
Country Road, (K1041+500-K1041+590), So. Macalpe, Naval,
Emergency repair of damaged road with slope collapse in Biliran
January 26, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran –
Two on-going projects: emergency repair of damaged national road
with slope collapse along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road (NCCCR)
are more than halfway complete.
David P. Adongay Jr.,
District Engineer said that these projects are being fast-tracked
under contract with Chu Construction to accommodate huge numbers of
traffic along NCCCR.
Both projects are located
at Sitio Macalpe, Brgy. Cabibihan, Naval Biliran with road sections:
K1041+500-K1041+590 amounting to P35M and K1041+266-K1041+382
amounting to P44.8M. As of January 25, 2021, they have an
accomplishment of 83.52% and 60%, respectively. Currently, these
road sections are passable only to light vehicles for safety
“The immediate completion
of these projects is important to prevent any road accident
especially that these road sections are prone to slips, slope
collapse and landslides,” said Adongay.
According to Adongay,
major scope of work for this project involves the concreting of a
four-lane road and the installation of gabions, the first of its
kind here in the Province.
Gabion is a wire cage or
box filled with materials such as stone, concrete, sand, or soil. It
is a partially flexible block construction used for slope stability
and erosion protection in construction.
“The asset preservation
project is designed to prevent further road slips along NCCCR and
prevent road closures in this area”, said Adongay.
The road at NCCCR is
essential for residents in the town of Caibiran and to its
neighboring towns for a faster access to the only Provincial
Hospital and other basic essential services like banks and other
financial institutions in the capital town of Naval.
When completed, this
project will provide a wider and safer road for the increasing
volume of traffic along NCCCR.
From its start dates on
June 10, 2020, these projects are targeted to be completed on
February 19, 2021 and March 05, 2021.
Global probe on
PH rights violations to include case of harassed indigenous peoples
activist Windel Bolinget politically persecuted, submitted himself
to authorities for custodial protection on fabricated charges
January 26, 2021
Investigate PH, an independent international investigation on the
human rights abuses in the Philippines announced Wednesday that it
will include the case of Cordillera indigenous leader Windel
Bolinget. Last week, Bolinget submitted himself to the authorities
for protection as he faces the trumped-up murder case that was filed
by a police against him. Prior to this, a shoot to kill order and
bounty of US $2,100 was issued by the police directly threatening
“We are determined to
pursue the case of indigenous peoples activist Windel Bolinget in
this ongoing independent investigation. The absurd cases filed
against him causing fear for his life and the safety of his family
are testaments to the terror human rights defenders face in the
Philippines,” says International Coalition for Human Rights in the
Philippine (ICHRP) Chairperson Peter Murphy who is also part of the
global probe Investigate PH.
Bolinget’s case which
involves harassment, red-tagging and the now trumped up charges has
been shortlisted by Investigate PH in its investigation. The
independent international probe will submit a report to the upcoming
Regular Sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Mr Bolinget is the
Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and national convenor
of KATRIBU national alliance of indigenous peoples. He is also a
member of the global steering committee of Land is Life, a global
network of indigenous peoples’ organizations and advocates. “Windel
Bolinget has long been known globally as an indigenous activist
strongly committed to his work, and for many years has suffered
red-tagging and death threats,” says Murphy.
On 6 August 2020, a
criminal case was filed at Davao del Norte, Southern Philippines,
against eleven individuals including Mr Bolinget, for their alleged
involvement in the murder of Garito Malibato on 21 March 2018.
Bolinget belongs to the Kankanaey and Bontok indigenous peoples in
the Cordillera Region, Northern Philippines. The distance between
the Cordillera and Davao del Norte is more than 1700 kilometres and
is two major islands away.
“The murder charge appears
to be absurd and out of this world. The Cordillera is in the north
of the Philippines, while Davao del Norte is very far to the south,”
The Police circulated
online and in public places the Wanted Poster announcing a reward of
P100,000 (2,080 USD) for any information that could lead to his
arrest. On January 19, 2021, Police Provincial Regional Office
Cordillera Chief R’win Pagkalinawan released a ‘shoot to kill’ order
for Mr Bolinget, qualifying it only with ‘if nanlaban’ (if he
retaliated). ‘Nanlaban’ is the routine excuse for police shooting of
alleged drug suspects and indicates that the target person
According to ICHRP, this
bounty only encourages vigilantes and more violence, which further
puts in danger the life of Bolinget. It also denied due process to
the falsely accused Mr Bolinget.
The ICHRP Chairperson
reminded Chief Pagkalinawan that his statement “is a pretext for the
speedy extra-judicial killing of Mr Bolinget before evidence
presented in a legal process could prove that the murder charge is
International Commission of Investigation into Human Rights
Violations in the Philippines or Investigate PH seek to look into
cases of killings of those allegedly involved in drug trade/use and
the persecution of human rights defenders and civil society
organizations like that of Bolinget.
Investigate PH will be
holding a global launch this week to introduce its commissioners who
are leaders of government parliaments, international legal
organisations and churches.
Lastly, the global rights
group ICHRP stressed that Bolinget’s case is just one of many cases
that demonstrate that the Philippine government claims to the
international community that its domestic processes upholding human
rights are blatantly fraudulent.
circumferential road in Barangay Basud, Calbayog City
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
January 25, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – The
circumferential road built in Barangay Basud, Calbayog City is now
completely passable to motorists and residents of the barangay, said
DPWH-Samar First District Engineering Office. The projects have a
total revised contract amount of more than P57 million drawn from
the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019.
The road before is
somewhat dangerous because it was narrow and some parts are not yet
cemented while other parts can be reached through a footpath. This
area is hazardous and accident prone for passing motorists and
residents as stated by Barangay Captain Bliselda Ortiz.
With this condition, a
length of 520 meters was rehabilitated that includes a riprap of 430
meters. Another part includes a concreted road opening of 290 meters
and a gravel road of 30 meters with a riprap of 340 meters along
Salagan Creek. Cross drainages were also built to allow free flow of
water since the area is a rice field and near a body of water.
Furthermore, another part
of the road was rehabilitated which spans 923 meters and a riprap
was also built with a length of 42.5 meters. This project also
includes a drainage canal for both lanes that spans 236.8 meters and
another two cross drainages to avoid water flooding on the main
Both road works have a
width of six (6) meters and includes installation of solar lights.
Now that the roads are
widened and solar lights are installed, the security of the
residents and passing motorists are ensured. By strengthening
connectivity, the circumferential road will allow for the smooth
flow of motorists going to and from the city proper and facilitate
socioeconomic progress among the community.
soldiers jointly finish livelihood training in Leyte
DPAO, 8ID PA
January 22, 2021
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Fifteen former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Samar
and Leyte are now job-ready as they completed a 27-day skills
training conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development
The livelihood training
the former rebels have completed is the Landscape Installation and
Maintenance (Softscape) NC II.
Ten soldiers of the 8th
Infantry Division also attended the same training as former rebels
training partners to show unity and peaceful endeavor.
The graduation was held at
the Villaconzoilo Farm School, Barangay Villaconzoilo, Jaro, Leyte
on January 20, 2021.
TESDA Regional Director
Gamaliel Vicente Jr. congratulated the graduates and hoped that more
rebels would enroll for them to gain skills and later have jobs,
which are beneficial for their families.
“TESDA is in full support
to former rebels in providing livelihood training opportunities in
pursuit of peace,” Dir. Vicente said.
Leyte Governor Leopoldo
Dominico Petilla said the local government units are offering
livelihood training to bring the government closer to the people and
encourage rebels that some programs and services await them if only
they return to the folds of the law. He added that skills training
is a venue for more rebels to address poverty in their families and
communities which is one of the socio-economic issues being used by
the NPA to lure and recruit individuals in the region.
A former rebel, who
introduced himself as Jade said that he is thankful for the
government's intervention. He was not only given the chance to live
peacefully with her family but was also given livelihood.
dahil nabigyan ako ng scholarship sa TESDA sa pamamagitan po ng Task
Force - ELCAC. Di ko pa po naranasang grumaduate dahil hanggang
grade 1 lang po ako ngunit ngayon ay naka-graduate na at ganap nang
landscaper," Jade said.
Among the graduates, Jade
was ranked as top 3 and received awards as best in indoor gardening
and best in dish gardening.
The 802nd Infantry Brigade
Commander, Brigadier General Zosimo A. Oliveros who facilitated the
surrender of some former rebels pledged to work and encourage more
NPA surrenderers to sustain the gains of peace and development in
Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement celebrates the entry into force
of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
January 22, 2021
GENEVA – The
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement welcomes the entry
into force today of the first instrument of international
humanitarian law to include provisions to help address the
catastrophic humanitarian consequences of using and testing nuclear
The Treaty on the
Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) explicitly and unequivocally
prohibits the use, threat of use, development, production, testing
and stockpiling of nuclear weapons, and it obliges all States
Parties to not assist, encourage or induce anyone in any way to
engage in any activity prohibited by the Treaty.
“Today is a victory for
humanity. This Treaty – the result of more than 75 years of work –
sends a clear signal that nuclear weapons are unacceptable from a
moral, humanitarian, and now a legal point of view. It sets in
motion even higher legal barriers and an even greater stigmatization
of nuclear warheads than already exists. It allows us to imagine a
world free from these inhumane weapons as an achievable goal,” said
Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red
Red Cross and Red Crescent
leaders celebrate the entry into force of the TPNW and salute all 51
states whose backing of the Treaty makes clear their refusal to
accept nuclear weapons as an inevitable part of the international
security architecture. They invite other world leaders, including
those of nuclear-armed states, to follow suit and join the path
toward a world free of nuclear weapons, in line with long-standing
international obligations, notably those under the Nuclear
The Philippines has yet to
become party to the treaty, although President Rodrigo Duterte,
during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in
September 2020, said he has asked the Philippine Senate to ratify
the TPNW, adding that “we were among those to sign it first.” The
Philippines was among the 122 States that adopted the treaty in July
2017 and was one of the 50 States that signed the treaty when it
opened on 20 September 2017.
In August 2020, on the
75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the ICRC
and the Philippine Red Cross issued a joint statement calling on the
Philippines to join other States in ratifying the treaty and in
protecting all humanity.
The TPNW is now before the
Philippine Senate for discussion, following endorsement by its
Committee on Foreign Relations last week.
Francesco Rocca, President
of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC), said: “The entry into force of this instrument of
international humanitarian law comes as a welcome and powerful
reminder that despite current global tensions, we can overcome even
our biggest and most entrenched challenges, in the true spirit of
multilateralism. This capacity to effectively unite and coordinate
our action should be called upon as we grapple with other global,
The Treaty obliges states
to provide assistance, including medical care, rehabilitation and
psychological support, to victims under their jurisdiction without
discrimination, and ensure their socio-economic inclusion. It also
requires states to clear areas contaminated by nuclear use or
“The Treaty is a
ground-breaking step to address the legacy of destruction caused by
these weapons. The compelling evidence of the suffering and
devastation caused by nuclear weapons, and the threat their use may
pose to humanity’s survival, makes attempts to justify their use or
mere existence increasingly indefensible. It is extremely doubtful
that these weapons could ever be used in line with international
humanitarian law,” Mr. Maurer said.
The Treaty enters into
force as the world witnesses what happens when a public health
system is overwhelmed by patients. The needs created by a nuclear
detonation would render any meaningful health response impossible.
No health system, no government, and no aid organization is capable
of adequately responding to the health and other assistance needs
that a nuclear blast would bring.
The adoption by
nuclear-armed states of more aggressive nuclear weapons policies and
the continued modernization of nuclear weapons all worryingly point
towards an increasing risk of use of nuclear weapons. That’s why it
is imperative that we act now to prevent a nuclear detonation from
happening in the first place, by removing any use and testing of
nuclear weapons from the realm of possibility.
States Parties, which will
have their first meeting in the course of 2021, must now ensure that
the Treaty's provisions are faithfully implemented and promote its
“The Treaty presents each
of us with a really simple question: Do we want nuclear weapons to
be banned or not? We are ready, together with our Red Cross Red
Crescent National Societies, to intensify our efforts to achieve the
broadest possible adherence to the Treaty and insist on its vision
of collective security. The entry into force of the Nuclear Ban
Treaty is the beginning, not the end, of our efforts,” Francesco
CARD Bank opens
branch in Tabaco City
January 21, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY – In
its bid to promote financial inclusion, CARD Bank, a
microfinance-oriented rural bank, opened its 98th branch in Tabaco
City, Albay on January 18, 2021.
The branch will cater to
29,626 microfinance clients who were originally part of Legazpi
Branch. Having this new branch will bring bank services closer to
clients of nine branch-lite units in the municipalities of Tabaco,
Tiwi, Bacacay, Malilipot and Malinao. As well, these two branches
will have better opportunities to expand.
This will fully reach more
unbanked and underbanked families in the province. According to CARD
Bank Regional Director Wilma Laurio, the branch is expected to
deliver financial banking products and services to 31,000 clients by
the end of the first quarter.
“These clients, who mostly
came from the socioeconomically challenged families, will have equal
opportunities to access affordable and useful financial products and
services,” said CARD Bank President and CEO Marivic Austria. She
added that financial inclusion is one of the solutions to break the
endless cycle of poverty.
Aside from offering
microfinance, SME and other loan products, CARD Bank also promotes a
better saving habit for every client it serves. For as low as P100,
its clients can now open their savings account. This will encourage
them more to become conscious about saving for their future.
CARD Bank also has a
remittance service called CARD Sulit Padala. Together with CARD,
Inc., CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank, clients who need
remittance services can send or transfer money in more than 900
branches nationwide. For as low as P1, senders can transfer money to
their loved ones to meet their financial needs.
The new branch will also
be part of CARD Bank’s digitization journey which is even more
intensified because of the pandemic. “During the pandemic, the
digital services of the bank showed a crucial role to constantly
provide its services even with the presence of physical barriers.
These digital efforts brought convenience and safety to our
clients,” said Austria.
The branch is located at
Purok 1, Brgy. Pawa, Tabaco City, Albay. The opening was graced by
CARD Bank President Marivic Austria, CARD Bank Executive Vice
President Lourdes Dijan, CARD Bank Vice President for Operations
Glenda Magpantay, and CARD Bank Assistant Vice President Raquel
Zaragoza. It was also attended by CARD Bank Chairman Dr. Jaime
Aristotle B. Alip, CARD Bank Senior Advisers Dr. Dolores Torres and
Lorenza Bañez, and CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento
via online conference.
To date, CARD Bank has
more than 3.4 million clients served all over the country.
EV closes 2020
with 2.4% inflation rate
January 20, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY –
Eastern Visayas closed 2020 with a 2.4 percent Inflation Rate (IR).
This IR is 0.6 percentage point higher compared with the 1.8 percent
IR a month ago. This is also 0.9 percentage point higher than the
recorded 1.5 percent IR in the same period last year.
The regional IR is 1.1
percentage points lower than the 3.5 percent national average
inflation rate in December 2020.
Samar, Northern Samar,
Southern Leyte, and Leyte registered higher IRs in December 2020
compared with their figures in November 2020. Samar and Northern
Samar recorded the increase in their IRs at 1.9 percentage points,
pushing their IRs in December 2020 to 5.5 percent and 4.0 percent,
respectively. Southern Leyte and Leyte’s IRs, meanwhile, rose to 3.2
percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. Both provinces recorded 0.6
percentage point increase from their figures in November 2020.
On the other hand, Biliran
registered a 1.0 percentage point decrease in IR. It declined to 0.8
percent in December 2020 from 1.8 percent in November 2020. This is
the lowest IR among the provinces during the month in review.
Eastern Samar, meanwhile, eased down to 1.5 percent in December 2020
from 1.7 percent in November 2020.
Of the 11 commodity groups
in the region, five (5) exhibited higher IRs in December 2020
compared with their rates in November 2020. Alcoholic beverages and
tobacco commodity group registered the biggest increase of 2.9
percentage points, from 6.4 percent in November 2020 to 9.3 percent
in December 2020. This acceleration may be traced to the
double-digit IR (12.4%) registered in the index for tobacco.
The IR for food and
non-alcoholic beverages commodity group increased by 1.4 percentage
points, from 1.7 percent in November 2020 to 3.1 percent in December
2020. Higher IRs were noted in all items under this commodity group.
Vegetables index registered the highest increase of 4.7 percentage
points, posting a double-digit IR of 13.0 percent in December 2020
from 8.3 percent in November 2020.
Fish index recorded 2.9
percent IR in December 2020 from 0.6 percent deflation in November
2020. Corn index continued to register deflation but at slower rate
of 0.4 percent during the reference month from 0.5 percent deflation
in November 2020. The rest of the items under this commodity group
recorded increases in IRs ranging from 0.1 percent to 2.2 percent.
Transport commodity group
recorded 1.1 percentage points increase in its IR, from 3.9 percent
in November 2020 to 5.0 percent in December 2020. The 3.1 percent
deflation registered in the index for operation of personal
transport equipment was offset by the higher IR (8.9%) posted in the
index for transport services.
Compared with their
November 2020 levels, the IRs for clothing and footwear commodity
group (2.7%) and health commodity group (1.2%) were higher by 0.2
percentage point and 0.1 percentage point, respectively, in December
On the other hand, annual
price change for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels
commodity group declined by 1.1 percentage points. The 0.5 percent
IR in November 2020 dropped to 0.6 percent deflation in December
2020. This can be attributed to the significant decrease in the
index for electricity, gas and other fuels to 2.8 percent deflation
in December 2020, from 0.1 percent deflation in November 2020.
The deflation for
communication commodity group eased down by 0.1 percentage point,
settling at 1.6 percent during the month in review.
The commodity groups of
restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services; furnishings,
household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; and
education retained their previous month’s IRs at 3.8 percent, 2.4
percent, and 0.4 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, recreation and
culture commodity group retained its previous month’s deflation at
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.78 in December 2020. This
PPP implies that the goods and services worth P78.00 in 2012 is
worth P100.00 in December 2020.
Compared to their levels
in November 2020, PPP in Samar (P0.71) weakened by P0.02 in December
2020. This is the lowest PPP among the provinces during the month in
review. PPP in Leyte (P0.80), Southern Leyte (P0.79), Eastern Samar
(P0.75), and Northern Samar (P0.72) weakened by P0.01 in December
2020. Biliran, meanwhile, retained its previous month’s PPP at P0.82
registering the strongest PPP among the provinces during the
Alias Apple, Secretary of FC 2, SRC Emporium, EVRPC.
repel CTG’s intents to sow havoc during Christmas time in Northern
December 25, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
CIty – In a series of encounters this week, the government
troops repelled Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) who were planning to
sow chaos during the Christmas celebration in Northern Samar.
A high-ranking New
People's Army (NPA) terrorist leader was killed while another
wounded NPA was arrested during the five successive encounters.
Several high and low-powered firearms, ammunition, improvised
explosive devices (IEDs), claymore mine, and grenades were also
The first encounter
between the troops of the 43rd Infantry Battalion and a group of
CNTs occurred in Barangay Happy Valley, San Isidro, in the morning
of December 21, 2020.
The 30-minute gunfight
resulted in the death of a certain Jerry Lutao, alias 'Apple',
Secretary of Front Committee 2, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC)
Emporium, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) whose
body was left behind by the retreating comrades.
The troops also overran
the CNT’s lair and successfully seized one M16, M4, M4KG, .38
revolver, magazines, two rifle grenades, a hand grenade, four IEDs,
claymore mine, bomb triggering devices, backpacks, cellphones,
generator sets, medical supplies, NPA flag, and subversive
In the morning of December
22, 2020, while on pursuit operation, the troops of the 43rd IB
encountered six CNTs at the vicinity of Barangay Happy Valley, San
No casualty on the
government side while an undetermined casualty on the enemy's side
was reported during the 10-minute firefight.
Five hours after the
morning encounter, troops of 43rd IB clashed with the same group of
CNTs at the vicinity of Sitio Agsam, Barangay Happy Valley, San
Isidro. Seized during the encounter were two shotguns, one caliber
.38 revolver with ammunition, one magazine of .45 pistol loaded with
7 rounds of ammunition, cellphones, and backpacks.
The fourth encounter
transpired at dawn of December 23, 2020, at the vicinity of Km 14,
Barangay Happy Valley of the same town. One Communist NPA Terrorist
(CNT) was wounded and troops immediately gave him first aid. He was
identified as Jonas Dela Torre alias Jonel, 36, years old, Team
Leader of Squad Uno, Front Committee 2. Troops were able to recover
Dela Torres's AK47 rifle.
The last encounter
happened hours before Christmas Eve when troops from 43rd IB engaged
in a 15-minute gunfight with three CNTs still at Barangay Happy
Valley, San Isidro, Northern Samar.
There were no reported
casualties on the government side while there are heavy casualties
on CNT’s side as indicated by bloodstains at enemy’s route of
Recovered at the encounter
site were two M16 rifles, magazines, ammunition, and one improvised
hand grenade. Troops are still on pursuit operation.
According to 43rdIB
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Raymundo C Picut Jr, all
their military intelligence are closely monitoring the activities of
the Communist Party of the Philippines New People's Army (CPP-NPA)
this holiday season as it planned to really conduct atrocities in
"Maliban sa panggugulo
ngayong kapaskuhan sa mga remote at vulnerable areas ay magsasagawa
rin sila ng mga tactical offensives sa mga military detachments at
police stations lalo na ngayong nalalapit na rin ang ika-52
anibersaryo ng CPP-NPA,” Picut said.
Because of the dwindling
ranks of the NPA, 8th Infantry Division Commander Major General Pio
Q Diñoso III said, it is unlikely for the Communist Terrorists to
hold a large meeting during CPP's founding anniversary on December
He assured the people of
Eastern Visayas that troops will be guarding communities to ensure a
meaningful and peaceful Christmas celebration.
"Bilib at hanga ako sa
lakas at determinasyon ng ating mga tropa. Gamit ang ating
makabagong technology, military assets kasama ang ating K9 team at
mga pursigidong sundalo at sa tulong ng mga residente, hindi natin
titigilan ang pagtugis sa mga teroristang NPA hanggang sa magapi
natin sila. Maliban na lamang kung mapag-pasyahan na nilang sumuko
para maibalik natin sila ng buhay sa kanilang mga pamilya." Major
General Diñoso added.
2-Day Year-End Performance Assessment (YEPA) held last
December 7 & 9, 2020 at NMP Training Complex, Cabalawan,
NMP bares 2020
accomplishments during YEPA
December 23, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the sole government maritime
training and research center in the country conducted its 2020
Year-End Performance Assessment (YEPA) and 2021 Corporate Planning
Exercise on 07 & 9 December 2020 at the NMP Complex, Tacloban City.
The Agency’s accomplishments as of 30 November 2020 were presented
and assessed vis-à-vis its Thrusts and Priorities as well as
performance commitments as contained in the 2020 Office Performance
Commitment Review (OPCR), Annual Action Plan, and NMP Strategic
As to the conduct of maritime trainings, NMP was able to train a
total of 5,405 seafarer- trainees as of 30 November 2020
representing an accomplishment of 113.55% from its reformulated
annual target of 4,500. The trainees certificated comprised of
aspiring and active seafarers, maritime instructors, assessors and
supervisors and other allied personnel in the maritime industry.
All (100%) of the trainees were issued with certificate within
seventy-two (72) hours from successful completion of all course
requirements. Further, 100% (2,242 out of 2,242) of
trainees-assessed who requested for Training Completion and Record
Assessment (TCROA) were issued with TCROA after completion of the
This is a notable accomplishment considering that the Agency only
resumed its conduct of training operations in July 2020 after its
suspension on 16 March 2020 in line with the declaration of state of
public health emergency in the Philippines due to the outbreak of
Contributing significantly to the output performance were the
conduct of Professional Development Courses (PDC) in NMP Manila with
256 certificates issued and the accreditation of ten (10) STCW
courses, namely: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (RFPNW);
Medical First Aid (MEFA); Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than
Fast Rescue Boats (SCRB); Refresher Course on Survival Craft and
Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats (RSCRB); Global Maritime
Distress and Safety System Radio Operators (GMDSS RO); Ratings
Forming Part of a Watch in a Manned Engine-room/designated to
perform duties in a Periodically Unmanned Engine Room (RFPEW); Basic
Training (BT); Refresher Course on Basic Training (RBT); Advanced
Fire Fighting (AFF); and Refresher Course on Advanced Fire Fighting
Ingrained to serve despite of the health crisis, NMP also
transitioned to "new and better normal" by offering in August 2020,
FREE online courses on: STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention in the Maritime
Sector (SHAPIMS); Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the
Maritime Sector (PADAMS); and Gender Sensitivity Training for
Seafarers (GSTS). A pilot-class on Oily Water Separator (OWS) Course
and Updating Training on Basic Safety (BTU) using blended learning
were also held last 10 & 17 October 2020, respectively.
Likewise, as part of the Agency’s thrust in keeping its training
services abreast and receptive to the varying demands of the
maritime industry, one (1) maritime training course was developed
and approved by the NMP Board of Trustees last 25 November 2020,
namely: Vessel Crane Operator Course.
The imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the
different parts of the country affected the Agency’s major
activities including those under its Maritime Research Program. The
dissemination of the CY 2019 completed researches through the
conduct of Stakeholders’ Fora in Manila and Davao in April 2020 and
the data gathering activities in March and April 2020 for the four
(4) researches targeted for completion within the year were
With NMP’s request for the reformulation of its targets having been
granted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), its target
for the conduct of researches was reduced from four (4) to two (2)
researches completed and two (2) research proposals developed. As of
November 2020, three (3) researches are on near completion stages,
the research entitled “An Examination of the Online Learning
Readiness of Filipino Seafarers” is 80% accomplished, the study on
“Managing the Threats of a Pandemic: Response of the Philippine
Maritime Industry to COVID-19” is 72% accomplished while the
research titled “An Assessment on the NMP's Capability to Conduct
Online Training” is 75% accomplished.
On research proposals developed, the proposal on “Managing the
Threats of a Pandemic: Response of the Philippine Maritime Industry
to COVID-19” was completed while the proposal on “Issues and
Concerns on the Philippines’ Non-Ratification of STCW-F” is 80%
Meanwhile, the cancellation of the Research Fora in April 2020 has
led to the enhancement of the NMP e-Research Portal to facilitate
the research dissemination and validation processes. The portal may
also serve as a discussion forum for the development of the NMP
Three-year Research Agenda (CY 2021-2023) where the involvement of
the stakeholders is the foremost priority.
Also, complementing the efforts of providing quality maritime
training and the conduct of relevant researches were the
implementation of administrative and support programs that
significantly contributed to the NMP’s sustained productivity.
On two (2) Information Systems (IS) targeted to be developed by
year-end, the Document Tracking System was completed in June 2020
while the Work Queue Information System has a 95% cumulative
In terms of infrastructure projects, Repainting of Maritime Training
Building (Phase 2) was completed in July 2020 and Repair of Staff
House No. 4 and Renovation/Improvement of Learning Resource Center (LRC)
were accomplished in August 2020.
Similarly, repair / improvement of NMP buildings, structures and
facilities damaged by Typhoon Ursula on 24 December 2019 were also
undertaken and 100% accomplished, namely: Repair/ replacement of
Damaged Existing Perimeter Fence; Fabrication/ Installation of
Double Wall Folding wood Partition @ Maritime Training Annex
Building and Provision of Rain Water Catcher; Repair/ Replacement of
Glass Partition at Registrar’s Office Waiting Area; Repair/
Improvement of Existing Concrete Seawall and Repair/ Replacement of
Existing Damaged Roofing @ DED Staff House, School Buildings,
Officer’s and Rating’s Dormitory. Said projects were funded from the
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) insurance proceeds
received after the destruction brought by the Super Typhoon Yolanda
Moreover, the Agency has successfully passed the surveillance audit
of NMP Quality Management System (QMS) conducted by the SOCOTEC
Certification Philippines Inc. on 05 March 2020 and was recommended
for continued certification under ISO 9001:2015 Standard.
On top of these accomplishments, however, NMP Executive Director
Joel B. Maglunsod still pushed for the completion of other
deliverables that have yet to be completed for 2020.
Further, NMP continues to conduct face-to-face trainings to those
residents of Region VIII with strict implementation of the Maritime
Industry Authority’s (MARINA) approved Post-Enhanced Community
Quarantine Operational Plan and other health and safety protocols as
required by the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE), and local government unit (LGU) of Tacloban.
Filipino seafarers who are interested to avail of the NMP’s FREE
online classes on SHAPIMS, PADAMS, and GSTS may register through
this link: https://nmp.gov.ph/online-course-offerings/.
Interested stakeholders who wish to validate the authenticity of
their seafarers-employed with NMP issued certificates may visit
www.verify.nmp.gov.ph. Likewise, those interested in NMP research
undertakings may visit the NMP website and access the e-Research
Information System Portal which is designed to disseminate NMP
completed researches, present the Research Agenda, and engage the
industry stakeholders to collaborate in the research activities.
Further, NMP encourages OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the
NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’
Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship
Program (SESP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial
assistance for training costs from the OWWA.
than 60 children in Barangay Banawang, Tunga, Leyte
receive toys and goodies from employees of Department of
Agrarian Reform Regional Office 8 on December 16, 2020.
DAR continues its
tradition of sharing this holiday season
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
December 22, 2020
TUNGA, Leyte – Some
40 households in a remote village in this town will somehow
celebrate with joy on Christmas eve as they received a bag of
“pang-noche buena” items from the Department of Agrarian Reform
With the help of barangay
officials and teachers in the area, personnel of the Support to
Operations Division of the DAR Regional Office-8, headed by Regional
Chief Admin Officer, Ma. Fe Castro, distributed on Wednesday,
December 16, bags of “pang-noche buena” items in Barangay Banawang,
a village six kilometers away from the national highway, which
crosses a river and a mountain.
Aside from the excited
housewives who received the said items, some 60 children in the area
also received goodies and toys for them to feel the spirit of
But before distributing
the Christmas presents, the DAR employees instill to the residents
in the area, both adults and children, the importance of social
distancing and wearing of face masks to contain the spread of the
dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), thus facemasks were
likewise provided to those who were not wearing it.
A day before, the Legal
Division of the same office, headed by Legal Chief, Atty.
Christopher Ryan Rosal, opted to distribute food packs to 40
children living at the Tacloban City by-pass road.
Yesterday, the Agrarian
Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program (ARBDSP)
Division, headed by ARBDSP chief, Melecia Ong, chose the 39 persons
deprived of liberty (PDL) at the Tacloban City Jail’s Women’s Dorm
as beneficiaries of hygiene kits.
Meanwhile, the Land Tenure
Service (LTS) Division, headed by LTS Chief, Francis Diloy,
distributed food packs and goodies today to children living in
Barangay 74 also in Tacloban City.
Regional Director Ismael
Aya-ay said, DAR-8 will continue its tradition of sharing something
out of personal generosity especially to the less fortunate this
season of giving with or without pandemic.
IFC and CARD MRI
partner to help Filipina entrepreneurs weather COVID-19
December 22, 2020
MANILA – Women
entrepreneurs in the Philippines stand to benefit from new loans
issued to two of the country's largest microfinance institutions,
which will help keep businesses afloat and save jobs as the
Philippines grapples with the economic impacts of the COVID-19
The International Finance
Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, plans to issue
up to 750 million Philippine pesos ($15 million) in debt financing
to CARD Bank Inc. and CARD SME Bank Inc. which are part of the
Center for Agriculture and Rural Development – Mutually Reinforcing
Institutions Group (CARD MRI).
The investment aims to
benefit over 60,000 companies, 44,000 of which are micro, small and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) owned or led by women. The banks have
more than 120 branches and serve four million customers. Support
from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) in the form
of performance-based incentives will help the banks reach
pre-defined targets for lending to women-owned/led small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
entrepreneurs are fighting to recover from the grave effects of the
pandemic, and we are right behind them every step of the way" said
Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of CARD
MRI. "We believe that a poverty-free Philippines can be achieved by
empowering these women to reach their full potential. Through this
partnership with IFC, we can reach more women-owned and led MSMEs
and help them continue their journey towards a better future."
The funding will provide
critical working capital to MSMEs, which have been especially
disadvantaged by the pandemic due to the lack of funding buffers and
capacity to restart operations during strict quarantine periods.
MSMEs account for 99.5 percent of businesses in the Philippines.
More than half of those businesses are led by women, and the largest
share of companies operate in wholesale and retail, which have been
particularly impacted by COVID-19.
The financing package is
part of IFC's $8 billion global COVID-19 fast-track financing
facility, aimed at helping businesses stay afloat during the ongoing
public health crisis. The loans are being provided through IFC's
Working Capital Solutions Program, a $2 billion facility that
provides funding to emerging-market banks to extend credit to help
businesses shore up their working capital.
"We are delighted to
continue our long-standing relationship with Dr. Alip and the CARD
MRI Group," said Rosy Khanna, Regional Industry Director for
Financial Institutions Asia Pacific at IFC. "The success of
women-owned businesses in the Philippines is critical to the success
of the overall economy. Our investment will help provide much-needed
working capital at a crucial time for micro, small and medium sized
businesses, helping them to sustain operations and save jobs so they
are on a better footing for a successful post-crisis recovery."
The transaction is IFC's
first investment in the Philippines as part of its Banking on Women
business, which provides financing and expertise to financial
institutions to help them profitably finance women-owned businesses.
Women customers present a substantial growth opportunity for
financial institutions and financial-technology companies, known as
fintechs. Women own and lead roughly 9.7 million formal SMEs and
63.8 million micro-businesses in emerging markets, with a total
estimated unmet credit demand of $1.5 trillion.
The transaction builds on
a relationship between IFC and CARD MRI that began in 2007, when IFC
helped CARD MRI develop an SME lending platform. Since then, the two
institutions have worked together on a series of initiatives,
including agrifinance, digital risk management and the Binhi Crop
Insurance Program, which protects farmers from the adverse effects
of natural disasters.
CARD MRI aims to empower
socially and economically challenged women and families by providing
access to financial, educational, social and health services. The
group has 6.9 million clients and insures over 25 million people in
Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) is a collaborative
partnership among the 14 governments that have made financial
contributions, six multilateral development banks that serve as
implementing partners, and other public and private stakeholders.
We-Fi was formally established in October 2017 as a Financial
Intermediary Fund hosted by the World Bank. We-Fi invests in
programs and projects that help unlock billions of dollars in
financing to address the full range of barriers facing women
entrepreneurs—increasing access to finance, markets, technology, and
mentoring, while strengthening policy, legal and regulatory
frameworks. As one of the We-Fi Implementing Partners, IFC supports
private sector clients with investment and advisory services to
expand financial services and market access for women-owned/led
firms, as well as increasing the capacity of women entrepreneurs to
run high-growth businesses. For more information, visit www.we-fi.org.
IFC – a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global
development institution focused on the private sector in emerging
markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital,
expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in
developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion
in private companies and financial institutions in developing
countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme
poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About CARD MRI
CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) is a group of
institutions with a holistic approach to development. Established in
1986, CARD MRI has continuously provided socio-economically
challenged families with access to financial, microinsurance,
education, livelihood, health and other capacity-building services.
CARD Bank and CARD SME Bank are both member-institutions of CARD MRI
with clients served of 3.3M and 1M individuals, respectively.
Violence Against Women
call for the protection of those vulnerable to violence
Associated Labor Unions
December 20, 2020
QUEZON CITY – The
Associated Labor Unions (ALU) and global unions Building and Wood
Workers International (BWI), and IndustriALL, are calling for the
protection of workers and other persons in situations of
vulnerability from gender-based violence perpetuated or condoned by
individuals, institutions and the State, especially in the midst of
pandemic Christmas season.
ALU National Executive
Vice President Gerard Seno urged the government, employers, and
communities to tighten their measures to address violence and
harassment against frontliners, jobseekers and applicants, those in
contractual arrangement, probationary period, night work, domestic
work, women with disabilities, and in poverty.
On December 20, on the
occasion of the anniversary of the 1993 adoption of the United
Nations’ Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women,
ALU National Vice President and Women’s Committee Chair Eva Arcos
continued to value its pioneering explicitness from which
governments are obligated to act and from which many national and
international instruments and programs addressing gender-based
violence were built.
Arcos, however said that,
27 years and ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment (2019)
after, the Philippines has gotten worse in terms of bridging the gap
between law and practice, and in delivering justice to victims who
died or survived from gender-based violence, and in protecting
witnesses, whistleblowers and defenders.
Arcos reminds full
compliance to existing women-specific laws and international
instruments which the Philippines signed or ratified. Swift actions
are needed for victims of gender-based violence to include right to
remove themselves from an unsafe work situation, protection from
retaliation, 10-day paid leave, employment facilitation, access to
financial assistance or low-interest credit facility, equal access
to justice mechanism, free legal assistance, establishment of more
shelters in the country, and counseling services.
Seno pressed for the
necessity of having gender-sensitive public officials and officers
of the law, of enforcing penalties, and complying with the mandatory
psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment for offenders.
Health and safety risk,
flexible work arrangements, joblessness, reduced income, work from
home, home-schooling, childcare, difficulties in reporting and
limited access to essential services are aggravating circumstances
to cases of violence and harassment that jeopardize not only women’s
health and safety, but also their capability to access, remain, and
advance in the labor market.
The labor unions pointed
out that aside from the need to update and publicly circulate
database on gender-based violence and harassment, the government, in
consultations with stakeholders, should conduct regular research on
the effectiveness of measures being undertaken to prevent and
redress violence against women.
The labor unions have been
campaigning for the Philippine government’s ratification of
UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women was
adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. It covers
physical, sexual and psychological violence as well as violence both
at home and elsewhere in society.
*Convention 190 – Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No.190)
recognizes the right of everyone to a world of work free from
violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and
harassment and acknowledges that violence and harassment also
affects the quality of public and private services, and may prevent
persons, particularly women, from accessing, and remaining and
advancing in the labor market.
right, DPWH-Biliran District Engineering Office
represented by Chief of Administrative Section Mr. Bern
L. Calomadre and Assistant District Engineer Alfredo L.
Bollido on behalf of District Engineer David P. Adongay
Jr. turn-over donated tablet, bond papers and printers
with ink to Naval National High School (NNHS)
represented by Ms. Rachelle C. Dado, Principal I, Ms.
Elaine Joy Mejia, Head Teacher I, and Mr. Patricio P.
Laurito Jr., Head Teacher III on December 16, 2020 at
NNHS, Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval, Biliran.
turns-over donated printers, tablets and other supplies
December 18, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)- Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) turns-over printers, tablets and other
supplies donated by the Road Engineering Association of the
Philippines (REAP) Inc. thru “Lingap ng REAP” project to selected
schools and deserving students in the Municipality of Naval on
December 16, 2020 at Naval National High School, Brgy. Larrazabal,
Engineer (ADE) Alfredo L. Bollido together with Mr. Bern L.
Calomadre, Chief of Administrative Section led the turn-over on
behalf of District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr.
According to ADE Bollido,
DPWH in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd)
identified six schools and 10 deserving students to be the recipient
of the tablets, printers with ink and reams of bond papers for use
in the new normal set-up of learning under the threat of COVID-19
Recipient schools are
Naval National High School with two units of printers having plenty
of enrollees and one unit each for Naval Central School SPED Center,
Lucsoon National High School, Larrazabal Elementary School, Cornelio
P. Limpiado Elementary School and Fidel M. Limpiado National High
School, Higatangan Island, all in the town of Naval.
Meanwhile, 10 poor but
deserving students of Naval National High School (NNHS) received one
tablet each that they can use for the blended learning.
Ms. Rachelle C. Dado,
Principal I of NNHS expressed her gratitude in behalf of the school
to the DPWH and REAP for donating the said equipment and supplies.
“This is really helpful
for the learners in researching topics in their Learning Activity
Sheets (LAS) especially that we are in this pandemic and of course a
great help for the teachers for printing the LAS and other reports,”
said Ms. Dado.
The “Lingap ng REAP”
project – Sharing tablets for on-line learning in coordination with
the Department of Education aims to help the students in adapting to
the new blended educational system under COVID-19 and live to reap
their efforts to success beyond the pandemic.
REAP Inc. 2019-2021 REAP
National Director is headed by President and DPWH Undersecretary
Maria Catalina E. Cabral with REAP Region VIII Chapter President,
OIC-ARD Gerald A. Pacanan, now assigned in DPWH Region V.
assembled to investigate Duterte’s crimes against humanity
All eyes on the
Philippines now as independent global probe happens
December 17, 2020
MANILA – After the
recent pronouncement of the International Criminal Court (ICC),
prominent members of the international community declared on
Thursday that there is an independent investigation ongoing in the
Philippines called Investigate PH.
The ICC Prosecutor Fatou
Bensouda said last Tuesday that there is "reasonable basis" to
believe that crimes against humanity were committed by President
Rodrigo Duterte, specifically the thousands killed in his war on
In a virtual press
conference, the Independent International Commission of
Investigation into Human Rights Violations in the Philippines or
INVESTIGATE PH was publicly announced.
“We are here to announce
that an independent people-led probe is happening in the
Philippines. This is most definitely a global issue. The world
community has a responsibility to speak up and seek the truth” says
Former Australian Senator Lee Rhiannon also a member of the
INVESTIGATE PH High Level Commission.
The former Australian
senator further emphasized that: “We must not allow the call for
human rights be hijacked. Accountability must be a part of the
justice and democratic system.”
Also speaking live in the
media event were its leading High Level Commissioners namely: Rev.
Michael Blair, General Secretary of the United Church of Canada;
Atty. Jeanne Mirer, President of the International Association of
Democratic Lawyers; Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe - General Secretary,
General Board of Church & Society, the United Methodist Church; and
Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson, General Secretary of the World Communion of
According to INVESTIGATE
PH, this global endeavor is an independent international
investigation of the human rights situation in the Philippines. It
is an initiative of global organisations, religious, legal, trade
union and political leaders, and civil society.
“We will submit the final
report of the findings to the International Criminal Court and other
relevant UN bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council, UN Security
Council, the UN General Assembly Special Session,” says Atty. Jeanne
Mirer, Investigate Ph High Level Commissioner.
investigations are scheduled to happen through a hybrid of virtual
and physical fact findings. This aims to further substantiate the
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights June 2020 report.
A final report of the
findings will be submitted to the Enhanced Interactive Dialogues and
General Debates of the UN Human Rights Council 48th Session in
September 2021, when the High Commissioner will update on the
implementation of the Human Rights Council Resolution 45/L.38 that
shall provide technical assistance and capacity-building to the
Government of the Philippines for the promotion and protection of
human rights in the country.
INVESTIGATE PH also
intends to join in preceding UNHRC sessions, including the 46th
Session in February to March 2021 and the 47th Session in June-July
2021 to share about the on-going investigation and the preliminary
“That is what brings us
together today. What is happening in the Philippines amounts to
crimes against humanity. These crimes must be investigated. The
human rights cases must be investigated and the perpetrators be made
accountable,” Former Senator Lee Rhiannon ends.
CARD SME Bank
inaugurates 36th branch in General Santos City
December 17, 2020
SAN PABLO CITY –
CARD SME Bank opens its 36th branch on December 7, 2020, to cater to
the financial needs of more MSMEs in Brgy. Lagao, General Santos
City. The Lagao Branch, located at Sestina Building, Lucio Velayo
Sr. Road, Brgy. Lagao, General Santos City, is officially the 6th
CARD SME Bank branch in Mindanao and one of the two (2) branches in
CARD SME Bank President
and CEO Aristeo A. Dequito is positive that the products and
services of the bank will ignite hope despite the challenges of
2020. “We want to end 2020 reaching more entrepreneurs and helping
them recover from the adverse impact of the pandemic,” says Dequito.
While the first branch in
General Santos City already caters to more than 25,000 clients,
Lagao Branch “will be the home of thousands of MSMEs in the area,”
says Dequito. He continues, “We assure that this expansion will
provide easier transactions for our clients with us.”
As the quarantine
protocols ease, Dequito also shares how the bank braves the pandemic
to constantly provide financial access to the unbanked and
“The branch strictly
follows the safety guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety of
our clients and staff,” he adds. Like all its branches nationwide,
CARD SME Bank Lagao Branch is equipped with plexiglass dividers and
hand sanitizer dispensers, while strictly following government
mandated health protocols like social distancing and wearing of face
Dequito also shares how
the pandemic led the institution to accelerate its digitalization to
advance its banking system. “Throughout the decade, we have been
investing in our digital transformation, but with the current
situation, our banking technological solutions need more urgency to
provide our clients the safety and convenience they need amid the
With digital banking,
clients can now experience hassle-free banking transactions anytime
and anywhere using their mobile phones through konek2CARD, a mobile
banking application, offered free to all account holders of CARD SME
Bank. “With our continuous journey to digital transformation, we
will advance more of its capabilities.”
Dequito continues, “We at
CARD SME Bank, together with the other institutions under CARD MRI,
are in full swing to continue our mission in improving the lives of
the socioeconomically challenged families in the country.”
CARD SME Bank is expecting
to initially serve more than 7,000 clients from five (5) branch lite
The grand opening of CARD
SME Bank Lagao branch was personally attended by several CARD MRI
clients and staff, representatives from local government units, and
other members of the community. Virtually present via Zoom
conference were CARD MRI Executive Committee Members, including CARD
MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip and
Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento.
As of October 2020, CARD
SME Bank has already served more than 1 million clients, has
disbursed more than P7 billion loans, and has a total asset of P8
P1.9M footbridge project in Caibiran town
December 16, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
Accessing basic essential services is now easier for the residents
in Sitio Guindulangan, Victory village in Caibiran town with the
completion of the P1.9M footbridge project from the Department of
Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Biliran District Engineering Office
District Engineer David P.
Adongay Jr., said that the footbridge project links Sitio
Guindulangan to Sitio Katipunan, Victory village to the town proper
of Caibiran and to other neighboring villages.
The said project covers
the construction of a 14-meter length footbridge with a height of
4-meter from the river bed and a concreting of an 8-meter footbridge
approaches on both sides.
Prior to the
implementation of the project, residents of Sitio Guindulangan are
crossing the river through a log bridge from an unused electrical
post supported only by bamboo poles for its foundation.
Adongay revealed that the
situation of the old bridge limits the residents’ capacity to access
the very basic services they need especially during high tide.
“Because of the poor
condition of the old bridge, crossing the bridge also poses danger
to the passers especially to the children, pregnant women and senior
citizens,” Adongay said.
“With the completion of
the footbridge project, residents of Sitio Guindulangan can now
enjoy a safer and faster access to the basic essential
establishments of the town such as schools, health facilities, and
other government and non-government services,” Adongay said.
Moreover, transport of
goods and farm products will now be much easier since the footbridge
is now accessible by motorcycles.
From its start date on
October 15, 2020, the said project was completed on November 25,
2020, ahead of its target completion date which is on January 02,
National Trade Fair Digital Mall
Domestic Trade Promotion
December 15, 2020
MAKATI CITY – In
lieu of the usual National Trade Fair (NTF) organized annually, the
Department of Trade and Industry - Bureau of Domestic Trade
Promotion (DTI-BDTP) is launching the NTF Digital Mall. This is in
response to the unprecedented challenges faced by micro, small, and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has
adversely impacted their operations.
To help MSMEs future-proof
their businesses as they pivot to online selling, the NTF Digital
Mall is a platform that offers continuous promotion of the food and
non-food products from the different regions, amid the physical
restrictions of the pandemic. A project of the DTI-BDTP in
collaboration with the DTI-Regional and Provincial Offices, the NTF
Digital Mall is an e-commerce platform inside the UB GlobalLinker
Formally opened on
December 15, the NTF Digital Mall, like all national trade fairs,
showcases the best products of 223 MSMEs from all parts of the
country. Featured products include processed food and beverages,
gifts and souvenirs, houseware and decor, fashion accessories,
wearables, as well as health and fitness products.
For a more convenient
online shopping experience, the NTF Digital Mall features a product
catalog with a facility to search for a specific product or product
category. For easier transactions, buyers can connect with the MSMEs
via the Viber app for secure instant messaging. Visitors will also
have access to DTI webinars, and can read about the participating
exhibitors' inspirational success stories.
Digital Mall Features for MSMEs
The NTF Digital Mall is
hosted on UnionBank GlobalLinker, a free and innovative platform
that helps MSMEs grow online with tools for efficient business
management and network expansion. It is distinct from other
e-commerce platforms as it is an all-in-one accessible platform that
enables MSMEs to connect to both local and global B2B and B2C
partners, suppliers, and customers. It has networking capabilities
to help MSMEs grow and manage their business. It offers immediate
access to financial service providers, point of sale, accounting,
inventory, human resources, tax and payroll services, supply chain
management, and B2B and B2C marketplaces.
Some of the business
features offered on the NTF Digital Mall that MSMEs can readily use
• Linker.Store - Connect
the MSME’s business to the world by launching their do-it-yourself
E-commerce store for free with its inventory management and data
• Network – Search for and
manage a global network of potential suppliers, partners, and
customers, not just in the Philippines, but also in other parts of
• Biz offers - Have access
to business tools that will help MSMEs manage their business, share
files, and track important events more efficiently.
• Secure multi-device
access via desktop, mobile or tablet.
• Apply online for business
loans, deposit products, and credit cards without the hassle.
• Biz Forum - Get tips and
inspiration from successful entrepreneurs. A place for discussing
new business ideas, topics and useful articles within a vibrant
To visit the site, simply
log in to https://ntfdigimall.linker.store/
For more information about
the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion, please follow their
social media accounts @BDTP on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You
may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DELIVER-e will be
“game-changing” for farmers and consumers - DTI chief
December 13, 2020
MANILA – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – together with the
Department of Agriculture (DA), private sector partners, farmer
cooperatives, and the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) – is officially launching DELIVER-e on December
14, 2020 alongside a multi-stakeholder commitment pledge signing to
upscale agriculture value chain and improve overall food security in
the country even beyond the COVID-19 crisis.
“This initiative is all
about bringing farm produce closer to consumers and cutting layers
of traders. Through technology and innovation, it will be
game-changing not only for our farmers but also for our consumers,”
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
He added: “This is part of
our strong partnership with Agriculture Secretary William Dar as we
jointly work on solutions to increasing farmers’ income, providing
better supply chain in agriculture and its link to industry
processors or direct to marketplace, and delivering fresher products
DELIVER-e is a digital
platform that connects farmers to buyers through an efficient and
transparent end-to-end market-based system. It operates through a
sophisticated blockchain technology developed by a Filipino tech
startup, Insight Supply Chain Solutions (InsightSCS), that
integrates related e-commerce and logistics application services
from consolidation point to central warehousing facility, and then
to last-mile delivery services to reach end-clients.
As the lead agency for the
Inter-agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID)
sub-taskforce on food value chain and logistics, DTI brought
together public and private partners, as well as development
partners like the USAID, to design and implement strategies
addressing the looming threat on food security and widened gap in
agriculture value chain.
“Our main goal is to
increase production and ensure supply stability for basic
necessities and prime commodities through new business models,” Sec.
collaborative planning, consultation, and benchmarking activities of
the DTI, DA, private sector partner Supply Chain Management
Association of the Philippines (SCMAP), logistics technology
experts, farmer groups, and the USAID DELIVER-Project paved the way
for the development and initial launch of DELIVER-e in early April
Since April, this
innovative platform has mobilized over 260 tons of fresh fruits and
vegetables and recorded more than P7.15 million worth of
transactions. Additionally, it has helped around 600 farmers in
Luzon and some provinces in Mindanao by doubling their income from
their harvests and reducing wastage from 50 percent down to only 5
Even beyond the pandemic
situation, DELIVER-e’s technology is deemed as one of the key
sustainable solutions to improve the Philippines’ agriculture value
chain, making the country more food-secure while improving the lives
of every Filipino farmer.
With the intent of further
developing DELIVER-e and its database modules, DTI – together with
its collaborators from the National Government, private sector,
farmer groups, and the USAID – will undertake a ceremonial
commitment pledge signing during the “DELIVER-e Goes Live” official
launch event on 14 December 2020 to solidify greater collaboration
and cooperation efforts.
As the platform onboards
more players in the agriculture value chain, DELIVER-e will soon be
able to build an elaborate supply-and-demand dashboard system that
will be useful in providing insightful data for the Philippine
Government’s evidence-based decision-making process in relevant
sectors and issues as the country moves towards building back
“Instead of adjusting to
the New Normal, let us try to create a Better Normal where all
Filipinos can enjoy the fruits of our country’s inclusive growth and
shared prosperity for all,” DTI Sec. Lopez underscored.
In October 2019, DTI and
DA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) reinforcing
strong collaboration and implementation of the Agribusiness Support
for Promotion and Investment in Regional Expositions (ASPIRE)
between the government and the private sector.
Through DELIVER-e, the
public and private sectors will be able to realize ASPIRE’s ultimate
vision of creating businesses and jobs to the rural community by
linking farmers directly to the market.
sweet success story of a mother turned entrepreneur from Occidental
DTI-Regional Operations Group
December 11, 2020
MAKATI CITY – While
motherhood and running a business might be a ‘tight-rope walk’,
Jerlie Daseco, owner of Triple P Food Products from the Municipality
of Paluan in Occidental Mindoro, embraces both her vital roles.
Triple P Food Products’
flagship product is pastillas. A sweet milk-based confection made
with carabao’s milk, pastillas is a popular pasalubong in the
municipality of Paluan, as it is in any part of the country. The
enterprise offers a variety of pastillas flavors, from purple yam (ube),
jackfruit (langka), cheese, pandan, coconut, and chili, showing the
diverse taste palette of Filipinos.
Occidental Mindoro is also
home to cashew, expanding her product line to roasted and fried
cashew nuts. More of Triple P’s products include, sampaloc candies,
papaya relish (atsara), and honey.
With an initial capital of
P1,500.00 just enough to produce and sell pastillas in their small
community, backed by the owner’s passion to help her family, and the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) MIMAROPA’s support, the
enterprise grew remarkably. From a monthly gross sale of P12,000.00,
Triple P Food Products hit P200,000.00 to P300,000.00 gross sale per
month. Furthermore, the enterprise was able to employ two full-time
employees and 6 part-time employees.
Since DTI MIMAROPA’s
interventions, Triple P Food Products has attended several free
business development trainings and seminars, product packaging and
label designs assistance through the Regional Integrated Product
Development Assistance Project (RIPDA) under the One Town One
Product (OTOP) Program, laboratory analysis support, and
participation to numerous municipal, regional, and national trade
fairs. Ms. Daseco is also a member of the Paluan Food Processors
Association (PAFPA), cooperator of Milk Processing Shared Service
Facility, and a beneficiary of the Livelihood Seeding Program –
Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB), among others.
Triple P Food Products
takes pride in helping their community, especially the indigenous
peoples (IPs) and farmers, by buying their produce at fair prices.
DTI’s interventions helped
Jerlie Daseco to reach out to more aspiring and existing Mompreneurs,
having hired as one of the trainers of the Department on pastillas
and cashew nut processing in the province. This stay-at-home mom
turned entrepreneur is a perfect example of how one can ripple
change to the community through entrepreneurship.
Triple P Food Products has
also tapped the online market, enrolling their products to several
digital platforms, as assisted by DTI. They supply their products to
different stores in Occidental Mindoro and nearby provinces in the
region. Likewise, their product distribution has extended to Manila,
Batangas, and Tarlac, through retailers and distributors.
Interested buyers and
distributors may reach them via their official Facebook page: Triple
P Food Products -Apong. For more information on local products and
produce proudly made from MIMAROPA, visit the nearest DTI Provincial
Office or Negosyo Center.
signs AO giving land to agriculture graduates
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
December 10, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Agriculture graduates can now avail of farmland under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) where they can apply
their knowledge on farming as Agrarian Reform Secretary Brother John
Castriciones signed Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
Administrative Order No. 03, series of 2020.
During the Radyo Agraryo
program aired on Monday (December 7) over Radyo Veritas,
Castriciones announced that he had already signed the said law that
would allow agriculture graduates to become agrarian reform
beneficiaries (ARBs) of CARP’s Land Transfer Program.
The new law will take
effect 10 days after it has been published in the newspaper of
To qualify, DAR
Undersecretary for Legal Affairs, Luis Meinrado Pañgulayan,
explained that aside from being a graduate of a four-year
agriculture-related course, the applicant must be landless; living
within the municipality where the land to be awarded is situated;
has the aptitude to make the land productive; and not an applicant
of any other DAR’s land transfer programs.
He emphasized that an
applicant need not be a fresh graduate.
Once this new law takes
effect, Pañgulayan said, interested applicants can file letter of
intent at the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) in their area,
and fill out the forms that will be provided to them.
A certification from the
school registrar, where they completed their studies, attesting that
the applicant is truly a graduate of an agriculture-related course
must also be submitted, Pañgulayan added.
Two weeks ago,
Castriciones shared when he distributed Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (CLOAs) in Alangalang, Leyte, that his agency is
preparing an administrative order that would grant graduates of
agriculture-related courses a maximum of three-hectare farm lot
under CARP for their laboratory.
With the signing of the
new administrative order, Castriciones calls on parents to encourage
their children to take agriculture-related courses to boost the
country’s agriculture sector.
He reported that per
inventory, there are approximately 230,000 hectares of
government-owned lands (GOL) that may be involved all over the
NCCP on Human
Rights Day: Stand for Justice, Stand for Human Rights
December 10, 2020
QUEZON CITY – On
the occasion of International Human Rights Day, the National Council
of Churches in the Philippines joined the multisectoral actions
commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. “This year’s commemoration of International Human
Rights Day is a reminder that as Christians we must actively take
part in defending human dignity especially at a time when wanton
disregard for human rights and the rule of law seems to be a state
policy,” said Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, the General Secretary
of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).
“To remain silent runs
counter to what our faith and conscience demand – to do justice, to
love kindness and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)” Bishop
The NCCP has always been
vocal in its defense of human rights especially in the midst of the
pandemic where spiraling deeper crises plague the country, and have
pushed many of the vulnerable sectors to the fringes of society as
toxic lockdowns were implemented. NCCP avers that the government’s
militaristic response to the pandemic only brought devastating
effects to the lives of the Filipino people.
The Council and its member
churches also experienced intensifying vilification and red-tagging.
Aside from NCCP, repeatedly mentioned in the recent presentations
made by NTF-ELCAC Executive Director Allen Apuyan were Iglesia
Filipina Independiente, United Church of Christ in the Philippines,
United Methodist Church and Convention of Philippine Baptist
Churches. Last December 8, the image of IFI Obispo Maximo Rhee
Timbang was also included in malicious flyers distributed around
Cagayan De Oro tagging him as a “communist terrorist”.
“Red tagging is real, but
despite these attacks, we will continue to defend human rights.
Denouncing evils in our society and proclaiming and asserting Jesus’
promise of abundant life for all remains to be our fundamental
task.” Bishop Marigza averred.
“The defense of human
rights is at the very core of our faith because of our belief in the
sanctity of life and the need to protect human dignity that God
bestowed on each of us. Just as Jesus triumphed over death in order
to proclaim God’s love, the churches will surely win against the
attempts to malign our ministry and prophetic stance. We will
continue to stand for human rights!” Bishop Marigza concluded.
to Door. Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary
Brother John Castriciones delivers Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (CLOAs) to agrarian reform
beneficiaries’ (ARBs’) homes in Barangays Lourdes and
Bobonon in Alangalang, Leyte.
delivers CLOAs in remote Leyte villages despite heavy rains
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
December 5, 2020
ALANGALANG, Leyte –
Despite the sudden heavy downpour, Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) Secretary Brother John Castriciones did not back out from his
original plan of delivering the Certificates of Land Ownership Award
(CLOAs) to six agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in a remote
village here under the “DAR to Door” program.
Upon his arrival on
Wednesday (November 25) in Tacloban City, Castriciones went directly
to this town, which is some 30 kilometers away.
Accompanied by his
deputies, Undersecretary David Erro of the Field Operations Office
and Undersecretary Carim Panumpang of the Special Concerns Office,
Castriciones proceeded to Barangay Lourdes, which is still about
five kilometers away from the town proper.
While in the middle of his
talk with ARB Francisco Catindoy in the land the latter is tilling,
heavy rain suddenly poured. But Castriciones patiently waited in a
nearby house of Bernardo Lagaday, another ARB, for the rain to
subside to continue with his purpose of delivering the CLOAs to the
homes of the four other recipient farmers in the area.
From Barangay Lourdes,
Castriciones went also to Barangay Bobonon to deliver the CLOA of
Alicia Tabernero, who became emotional when she received the land
Tabernero, as she thanked
Secretary Castriciones, shared that she had been wishing for a long
time that the land she was tilling would be hers someday, and that
her wish is now being realized. She added that she valued much that
land especially the time that she was sending her children to
On the following day,
Castriciones went back to this town and distributed in a formal rite
at the municipal covered court 1,280 more CLOAs covering an
aggregate area of over a thousand hectares to 1,042 ARBs from other
farming villages in this municipality as well as from the towns of
Barugo, Burauen, Capoocan, Carigara, Dagami, Jaro, Kananga, and
According to Castriciones,
“kaya ako ay lumilibot sa buong Pilipinas upang palakasin ang
pag-asa ng ating mga magsasaka sapagkat alam ko na sa panahong ito
ay dapat silang bigyan ng pag-asa, bigyan sila ng motibasyon para
magpatuloy sa paghahanapbuhay bilang mga magsasaka.
Castriciones described the
farmers as true heroes of our nation.
He emphasized “malaki po
ang utang na loob ng ating bansa sa ating mga magsasaka lalo na
ngayong may pandemya. Dahil sa kanila may pagkain ang ating mga
Irrigators Service Cooperative (FISCO) was honored on the same
occasion as outstanding agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO)
in the region for garnering the highest product sales encompassing
both the traditional and institutional markets, at P13.3-million
from March to October this year.
However, Reynaldo Peja,
chairman of the MAALSADA-FISCO, begged to increase the buying price
of rice. At present, a kilo of rice is sold at P12 only.
complaint against gov’t officials engaged in red-tagging
December 4, 2020
QUEZOZN CITY – On
December 4, 2020, days after the last Senate committee hearing on
red-tagging, Karapatan filed criminal and administrative charges
against the ranking officials of the National Task Force to End
Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and former PCOO
Undersecretary Mocha Uson. The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
serves as Karapatan’s counsel in this case.
During the filing of
charges before the Office of the Ombudsman, Karapatan Secretary
General Cristina Palabay said Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Antonio
Parlade Jr., Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, and Esther Margaux “Mocha”
Uson should be held criminally and administratively liable for the
acts that malign, vilify and baselessly red-tag her along with
Karapatan’s officers and members.
Palabay said red-tagging
of activists and progressive groups has led to the killings of human
rights defenders, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and
detention, torture, criminalization of their jobs and advocacies,
and other defilements of their civil and political rights.
Parlade was earlier quoted
in an article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) entitled “Denounce
Reds over brutal slay of CAFGU member, Karapatan told”, written by
Priam Nepomuceno and published on June 2, 2019, alleging that
Karapatan has a connection with the New People’s Army.
“On March 7, 2019,
Respondent Parlade, in a poster shared from the account of the Civil
Relations Service AFP, referred to KARAPATAN as a terrorist front
organization, told the European Union (EU) and the United Nations
(UN) falsehoods with regards to the human rights situation in the
country, and sought material support from EU member states on the
basis of these false claims,” the 40-page complaint said.
“Thereafter, on April 9,
2019, Respondent Parlade utilized the social media as his platform
to spread lies against me and my organization KARAPATAN. In a story
published by Kalinaw News in its website, Respondent Parlade was
The complaint also cited
that Parlade continued red-tagging KARAPATAN, “that even our support
for the calls for press freedom insofar as the franchise renewal
issue of ABS-CBN is concerned was smeared with malicious and
baseless accusations against us.”
The complaint said the
respondents’ red-tagging of Palabay, KARAPATAN and its members and
officers violates the principle of distinction under international
and domestic humanitarian law.
The Philippine government
is a party to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human
Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). One of the
hallmark principles of International Humanitarian Law is the
principle of distinction, which restricts targets of attacks to
military objectives only to protect civilian persons and objects.
“Both parties affirmed the
applicability of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and its 1977 Additional
Protocols, which are main IHL treaties. The Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court has parallel provisions and principles
on this,” the complaint said.
Under the complaint,
Palabay and Karapatan said red-tagging constitutes the Crime against
Humanity of Persecution.
Republic Act No. 9851 (RA
9851) or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International
Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity
penalizes the crime against humanity of persecution.
Republic Act No. 9851 (RA
9851) or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International
Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity
penalizes the crime against humanity of persecution.
Under Section 3(p) of RA
9851, persecution refers to “the intentional and severe deprivation
of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of
identity of the group or collectivity.”
“This crime against
humanity is committed when there is persecution “against any
identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national,
ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation, or other
grounds, committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack
directed against any civilian population,” the complaint said.
Under the complaint,
Karapatan and Palabay said the government officials also violated
the Anti- Graft and Corrupt Practices Act by doing acts that “are
contrary to law or regulation; are unreasonable, unfair, oppressive
or discriminatory; and are inconsistent with the general course of
an agency's functions, though in accordance with law proceed from a
mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts; are in the
exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose; or are
otherwise irregular, immoral or devoid of justification.”
“Respondents acted with
manifest partiality and evident bad faith when they recklessly
engaged in red-tagging me and KARAPATAN publicly, absent any
competent, admissible, much less credible evidence to prove their
claims,” the complainants said.
“Lastly, the red-tagging
and vilification against us have indubitably already caused us undue
injury not only by threatening our lives, liberty, security but also
discrediting our work and advocacy and besmirching our reputations.”
Copy of the complaint
LSP-NSB & PPG beneficiaries received livelihood packages
from DTI Asec. Niño Contreras with DTI R8 RD Celerina
Bato, DTI Leyte OIC-PD Araceli Larraga and other
DTI Leyte grants
livelihood kits to 99 former rebels, MEs in Calubian, Leyte
DTI-OSEC-Office of the
Assistant Secretary for PPG
December 4, 2020
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Leyte Provincial Office
grants livelihood kits to 82 former rebels (FRs) and 17 COVID-19
affected micro entrepreneurs of Calubian, Leyte during the
Livelihood Seeding Program (LSP) - Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (NSB)
and Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) Program Distribution
of Livelihood Kits last November 19, 2020 at Brgy. Jubay, Calubian,
DTI Assistant Secretary
Niño Contreras, PPG Head for Visayas and Mindanao Region led the
distribution of P5,000.00 worth of sari-sari store and food
processing livelihood packages to these FRs together with Leyte
Vice-Governor Carlo P. Loreto representing Governor Dominic L.
Petilla, Representative Vicente Veloso of the 3rd District of Leyte,
Brigadier General Zosimo A. Olivares, Brigade Commander of 802
Brigade of the Philippine Army, DTI Region 8 Regional Director
Celerina T. Bato, Calubian Mayor Marciano A. Batiancela, Jr., DTI
Leyte OIC-Provincial Director Araceli D. Larraga and Capt. Roberto
Q. Beatisula, Jr., Battalion Commander of 93rd Infantry Battalion,
8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army.
“We are bringing the
services of the national government through DTI and other government
agencies to the remote barangays and conflict affected areas of the
country”, says Asec. Contreras.
He also emphasized that
“President Duterte is there to help the people affected by
calamities including those former rebels who are now in one with the
The sari-sari store
package is composed of: 72 pieces of instant noodles assorted
flavor, 240 single packs of 3-in-1 coffee, 50 pcs. canned sardines,
45 corned beef and 144 sachets of detergent powder. On the other
hand, the food processing package comprised of one (1) unit
two-burner gas stove, a frying pan and an 11 kg. filled liquefied
petroleum gas tank (LPG) with accessories. In addition to the
livelihood kits, the beneficiaries also received grocery items
courtesy of Senator Bong Go who co-funded the PPG program.
Mr. Rotchel Itol, a former
rebel expressed his deep gratitude to DTI and the national
government for the assistance received:
“Thank you very much to
DTI and to our government for this PPG livelihood grant. This is a
big help us (former rebels) as we start a new life”, he said. He
encouraged all other beneficiaries to properly manage the
pangkabuhayan kit they received. “Let us nurture the livelihood
packages given by the government so this will grow and help us
improve our lives”, Itol added.
The Pangkabuhayan sa
Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) Program is one of the initiatives of the
government and the Department of Trade and Industry that aims to
help micro entrepreneurs and individuals who were affected by
natural and man-made calamities such as typhoons, earthquakes,
volcanic eruptions, flash floods, fires, health emergencies or
pandemics and local armed conflicts. The said program gives a fast
and easy source of initial capital in the form of livelihood kits
such as the sari-sari store and food processing package to help
micro entrepreneurs recover from the effects of a calamity and for
identified individuals like former rebels start a new business
Virtual Trade Fair earns more than P8M
December 2, 2020
MAKATI CITY – Moved
by the determination of our assisted micro entrepreneurs and the
readily available opportunity for a wider market reach through
technology, the Department of Trade and Industry Region 8 launched
its first BAHANDI Eastern Visayas Virtual Trade Fair.
The Trade Fair ran from
November 16-20, 2020 which was participated by 104 micro
entrepreneurs across the region. These entrepreneurs showcased their
products remotely using online platforms such as Zoom and Facebook.
The products were also posted online as DTI sees it as one of the
best marketing strategies in this season.
The micro small and
entrepreneurs generated a total sale of P8,087,302 including cash
and booked orders. Food products in the region remain best sellers
with 81% chunk from the total sales generated.
Top sellers were Alboco
Food Industry with P2.775 M sales for peanut butter and Delza’s
Native Products with P450,230.00.
The products are still
posted at the BAHANDI Eastern Visayas FB Page and the PLDT Kaasenso
Virtual Trade Expo Platform.
Director Ismael Aya-ay (2nd from right) of the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas
turns over the P201,000.00 cash to DAR Secretary Brother
John Castriciones (extreme right) as financial
assistance for colleagues in Regions II and V who were
severely affected by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.
Assistant Secretary David Erro (left) and Assistant
Regional Director Ma. Fe Malinao (2nd from left) witness
(Jose Alsmith L. Soria)
extend financial assistance to victims of Typhoons Rolly, Ulysses
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
December 1, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – OIC-Regional
Director Ismael Ay-ay of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in
Eastern Visayas turned over on Friday P201,000.00 to Agrarian Reform
Secretary, Brother John Castriciones as financial assistance for
colleagues in Regions II and V who were severely affected by
Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.
Aya-ay disclosed that the
said amount was a combined contribution of all employees throughout
Even the contractual and
job-order employees did not hesitate to voluntarily share any amount
they could afford. No matter how small an amount is, but when
summed-up, we were able to raise more than P200,000.00, Aya-ay
According to Girlie Costa,
a job-order employee assigned at the Land Tenure Service Division,
“we can feel how they feel now because we’ve been through the same
situation when Typhoon Yolanda struck our region in 2013, and they
were there to help us recover from devastation.”
“Now, it’s our time to
help them. It’s time that we show them our love even in a small
way,” said Costa.
Earlier, DAR Southern
Leyte Provincial Office send more than P10,000.00 to the DAR
Employees Association in Central Office for the same purpose.
was in the Region 8 last week to distribute Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (CLOAs).
Young female NPA
fighter killed in a clash in Kananga, Leyte
802nd Infantry Brigade,
November 28, 2020
CAMP DOWNES, Ormoc City
– A young female NPA fighter died in a 15- minute clash between the
operating troops of the 93rd Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry
Division, Philippine Army and the Communist Party of the
Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) at Sitio Mat-i, Barangay
Mahawan, Kananga, Leyte about 3:35pm today.
The Kananga Municipal
Police Station identified the fatality as a certain Rochelle Mae
Bacalso alias Ruth/Justine, about 21 years old, said to be a
newly-recruited member of the remnants of Sub-Regional Committee
Levox, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee, CPP-NPA-NDF.
The attending physician
declared her dead when brought to the Kananga Municipal Hospital,
where the troops rushed her in an attempt to save her life. She
sustained gunshot wounds in the body that caused her death.
Bacalso was among the
undetermined number of CPP-NPA terrorists who attempted to ambush a
team of soldiers patrolling in the area. The soldiers were deployed
to check reports from local residents on the presence of armed
persons who were suspected to be communist terrorists.
Captured from the
encounter site were one Austrian-made Glock pistol, one bandoleer
for M16 magazines, one magazine for M16 rifle with 29 pieces of
caliber 5.56 ammunition, one backpack with personal belongings, one
cellular phone, four hammocks, four poncho tents, and documents with
high intelligence value.
It can be recalled that in
the aftermath of the first armed encounter between 93IB troops and
the same marauding CPP-NPA band led by a certain Juanito Selleza
alias Tibor, the 802nd Infantry (Peerless) Brigade, 8ID, PA posted
in its Facebook Page photos of a certain Ruth alias Justine who was
identified as a member of the engaged communist terrorist group.
The 802Bde appealed to the
public then for help in locating her family in Samar Island or
elsewhere in Eastern Visayas in a bid to rescue her from the CTG
that deceived her into joining the armed struggle.
Facial photos taken from
the remains of the female NPA casualty whom the police identified as
Rochelle Mae Bacalso matched with the photos of Ruth alias Justine,
which were downloaded from her Facebook account bearing the pseudo
name of “Kenlyn Mark.” Three unmistakable moles under her lower lip
confirmed her identity.
Brig. Gen. Zosimo A.
Oliveros PA, commander of the 802Bde, reiterates his previous call
for “the local CTG members to abandon the armed struggle and return
to the mainstream of the society and become productive citizens.”
seized high-powered firearm, explosives in Northern Samar clash
803rd Infantry Brigade,
November 28, 2020
Samar – The troops of the 43rd Infantry Battalion engaged in an
encounter with more or less 25 Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) after
a concerned citizen reported the presence of an armed group in the
vicinity of Barangay Mabini, Catarman, Northern Samar on November
Gunfight lasted for about
15 minutes. No casualty on the operating troops while an
undetermined number of wounded NPA terrorists were reported based on
the bloodstains found in the encounter site.
Seized during the clash
were one M16 rifle, one shotgun, a hand grenade, detonator with
detonator cord, six M16-magazines, 91 rounds of ammunition,
bandolier, laptop, cellphones, 22 backpacks with personal
belongings, five CNT flags, medical supplies and subversive
The Commander of the 803rd
Infantry Brigade, Colonel Lowell R Tan, lauded the troops of 43IB
for their efforts in protecting the community of Barangay Mabini. He
also thanked the residents who gave the information.
“Let us continue engaging
the community from the Barangay down to Sitios, to build a strong
rapport with the communities and help them cooperate with the
government and the armed forces. The government troops are also
willing to extend our hand for the wounded members of the NPA,” Tan
NMP BOT approves
offering of Vessel Crane Operator Course
National Maritime Polytechnic
November 28, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Driven to address the current training needs of domestic and
ocean-going seafarers and maritime allied personnel, the National
Maritime Polytechnic developed new training course, namely: Vessel
Crane Operator Course which aimed to provide adequate training and
familiarization on the usage and operation of a vessel crane
equipment to ensure the safety of the crew, dockworkers and cargoes.
Reports revealed that
majority of crane accidents are caused by human error, resulting to
safety risk, and controllable lost time to the whole operation and
even death, however, these accidents may be minimized, controlled,
or prevented if the person assigned to operate has the proper
training, thus, equipped with the needed knowledge, understanding
and skills on the principles and safe practices relative to the its
It can be recalled that
last 19 July 2019, on the occasion of the Maritime Industry
Tripartite Council Dialogue held in Cebu City, NMP Head of the
Curriculum Development Section, Capt. Chito A. Go had an initial
discussion with a representative from the Gothong Southern Shipping
Lines, Inc. (GSSLI) on the possible development of a company
specific course for vessel crane operator to address the latter’s
need to increase awareness and to keep its crew and personnel
abreast of the safe and effective operation of the equipment.
Relative to said cause, a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was forged by both parties on 18
September 2019 in Cebu City. The course development was completed in
the 3rd quarter of CY 2020 and pilot-class was eventually conducted
on 24 October 2020 with twelve (12) participants. It was also
attended in by six (6) validators, three (3) from NMP and three (3)
After the successful
conduct of the pilot-class, the course package was presented to the
NMP Polytechnic Council on 06 November 2020 where it was thoroughly
deliberated and agreed to have it endorsed to the NMP Board of
Trustees and seek their approval.
The NMP Board of Trustees
(BOT) during its Third (3rd) Regular Meeting (virtual) on 25
November 2020 approved the Agency’s proposal to offer the said
course with a training fee of Two Hundred Eighty-One Pesos (P
Schedules for the conduct
of the training will be finalized and posted at the NMP website:
www.nmp.gov.ph or in the Agency’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/
nmptrainingcenter) where all updates and relevant information on NMP
programs are also available.
Meanwhile, NMP continues
to conduct face-to-face trainings with strict implementation of the
Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) approved Post-Enhanced
Community Quarantine Operational Plan and other health and safety
protocols as required by the Department of Health (DOH), Department
of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and local government unit (LGU).
seafarers who are interested to avail of the NMP’s FREE online
classes on SHAPIMS, PADAMS, and GSTS may register through this link:
who wish to validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed
with NMP issued certificates may visit www.verify.nmp.gov.ph.
Likewise, those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit
the NMP website and access the e-Research Information System Portal
which is designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present
the Research Agenda, and engage the industry stakeholders to
collaborate in the research activities.
Further, NMP encourages
OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers
Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and
Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the
beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from
1st NSPMFC, POP
celebrate National Children’s Month with 200 schoolers and non-schoolers
LEVIRESA ATIS GETIGAN
November 28, 2020
CAMP CARLOS DELGADO,
Catarman, Northern Samar – The First Northern Samar Provincial
Mobile Force Company (1st NSPMFC), Philippine National Police (PNP),
in a joint activity with the People’s Outreach Program (POP),
celebrated the 28th National Children’s Month with 200 school and
non-schoolers in Barangay Mirador, Mondragon of same province, on
November 25, 2020.
November marks the
National Children’s Month as declared by the Council of Welfare for
Children (CWC). The month-long event aims to promote awareness on
the children’s rights and protection.
COVID-19 has disrupted the
activities in an environment where children thrive that basically
affect their rights to enjoy and develop themselves; thus, the
The distress suffered by
the families, coupled with restricted movement, aggravated the risks
of children to certain abuses like neglect, exploitative labor,
social exclusion, physical, sexual and psychological, which existed
long before the spread of the dreaded corona virus.
With the theme:
“Sama-samang Itaguyod ang Karapatan ng Bawat Bata sa Panahon ng
Pandemya”, 1st NSPMFC, collaborated with POP and local officials of
said barangay including feeding and distribution of slippers,
facemask and school supplies.
Relatively, each child
received copy of 1st NSPMFC’s Comic Books as additional reading
materials which promote the PNP’s campaign against terrorism. Parlor
games concluded a fun-filled and enjoyable Children’s Month
Meanwhile, an orientation
was simultaneously conducted to the parents and guardians to take
care of their children by upholding their rights especially during
this global crisis.
The significance of
responsible parenting plays a primordial role in influencing the
developmental competence and life course trajectories of the
“Our children must be
treated with utmost protection. Being powerless, they become
vulnerable to exploitation, violence and certain abuses. As
protector of innocents and weak, we assure to stand for their
security and protection and exemplify ourselves as role model to
guide them along their journey,” said Police Major Edwin Oloan Jr,
1st NSPMFC Commander.
Upset Hindus urge
ex-beautyqueen Imelda apologize & replace album cover mimicking
November 26, 2020
Upset Hindus are urging
Filipino-German musician and former beauty queen Imelda Bautista
Schweighart to apologize and replace cover of her album “Fuccboi”
emulating Hindu goddess Kali, calling it highly inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed,
in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that goddess Kali was
highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples
or home shrines and not to be used for selling albums with vulgar
names. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols
or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the
Celebrities should not be
in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and
ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply disrespectful and
trivializing of divine Hindu deities to be ill-used in scenarios
like this; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism,
Hinduism was the oldest
and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion
adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be
taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should
not be mishandled; Rajan Zed noted.
Zed further said that such
trivialization of Hindu deities was disturbing to the Hindus world
over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as
anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and
attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed added.
Goddess Kali, who
personifies Sakti or divine energy, is widely worshipped in
Hinduism. She is considered the goddess of time and change. Some
Bengali poets described her as supreme deity.
construction/improvement of access roads leading to
trades, industries and economic zones -
Caraycaray-Cabungaan-Libtong road in support of the
agribusiness: food and resource-based processing in Brgy.
Libtong, Naval, Biliran.
improves road in support of agribusiness in Libtong, Naval
November 26, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
The on-going construction/ improvement of access road in Libtong,
Naval town in support of the agribusiness: food and resource-based
processing is now more than halfway complete.
The project which starts
from Brgy. Caraycaray-Cabungaan-Libtong is now on its third phase of
implementation, according to David P. Adongay Jr., District
According to Adongay, this
is a multi-year funded project from FY 2018-2022 under the
Convergence program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). This project
covers a total length of 5.8-kilometer two-lane road concreting with
road slope protection, masonry barriers, drainage structures and
rehabilitation of damaged pavement with an allocation amount of
To date, DPWH Biliran
District Engineering Office (DEO) has completed a total length of
1.6-kilometer two lane road under 2018 and 2019 implementation.
Currently, DPWH Biliran
DEO is implementing the 1.86-kilometer two-lane road concreting with
drainage & slope protection in Brgy. Libtong under 2020
implementation. This project has a contract amount of P46.7M and is
now 71.64% complete as of October 31, 2020.
The completion of the
project by phases will provide a safer and faster transport of
farmers’ agricultural products for food and resource-based
processing such as palay, abaca, copra, cassava, camote, curioso and
ginger in Brgy. Libtong to the market center in the progressive town
of Naval and to the nearby urban areas.
firearm, explosives seized in Paranas, Samar clash
801st Infantry Brigade,
November 26, 2020
Samar – Operating troops of the 87th Infantry Battalion engaged
in an encounter with Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) following a tip
from a resident of the presence of terrorists in Barangay Sto. Niño,
Paranas, Samar, 9:40 a.m. on November 25, 2020.
During the conduct of
focus military operations, the army troopers clashed against five
CNTs in a 10-minute firefight.
No casualty on the
government side while an undetermined casualty was reported on the
terrorist side following the bloodstains found in the area and route
Seized during the
operation were one AK47, bandoleer, three long magazines, 27
ammunition, two improvised grenades, cellphones, and subversive
“The army will continue
its offensive against the NPA. We will assure the people of Samar
that the Army will continue relentlessly and will use all its
resources against the threat group. The government troops will not
stop until we see an end to the local communist armed conflict”,
said Brigadier General Camilo Z Ligayo, Commander of 801st Brigade.
Ligayo also encouraged the
people to work closely with the authorities by reporting any
information regarding the NPA movements and activities in their