survey team of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
Samar Provincial Office conducts subdivision survey on
an 8.4-hectare landholding covered by a collective
Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) in Motiong,
Samar. (Photo by Reynaldo Labine)
lot in Samar town despite rise of COVID-19 cases
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
November 13, 2020
MOTIONG, Samar –
Despite the continuous rise of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
cases in the province of Samar, the survey teams of the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR) remain unstoppable in performing their
Last week, Engr. Enan Chua
and Ferwell Aquino of the DAR Samar Provincial Office survey team
proceeded to this town to subdivide an 8.4-hectare landholding
covered by a collective Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA)
for the eventual issuance of individual titles.
According to OIC-Municipal
Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Constancio Mabag, the said
collective CLOA was issued in 1996 to four agrarian reform
beneficiaries (ARBs) under the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP).
Mabag disclosed that the
area is situated in the upland barangay of Candumacol, some nine
kilometers away from the town proper.
Meanwhile, the province of
Samar, as of press time, posts the highest number of coronavirus
disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Eastern Visayas with 2,383.
However, based on the
Department of Health (DOH) data, 2,240 of them have already
recovered, leaving a total of 143 active cases and 21 deaths.
(with reports from Reynaldo Labine)
inflation rate declines to 1.8% in September
November 6, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas declined to 1.8 percent in
September 2020. This figure is 0.5 percentage point lower than the
2.3 percent IR recorded in August 2020. The September 2020 IR of the
region, however, is higher by 1.9 percentage points compared with
the 0.1 percent deflation in the same period last year.
The regional IR is 0.5
percentage point lower than the 2.3 percent national average in
Among provinces, Samar
posted the highest IR in September 2020 at 5.3 percent. This figure
is 1.0 percentage point higher compared with its 4.3 percent IR in
August 2020. Southern Leyte and Eastern Samar also recorded
increases by 0.1 percentage point, resulting to an IR of 3.1 percent
and 1.6 percent, respectively.
Leyte retained its
previous month’s IR of 1.3 percent.
Alcoholic beverages and
tobacco commodity group continued to post the highest IR at 7.6
percent in September 2020, followed by restaurant, miscellaneous
goods and services at 4.7 percent.
Of the 11 commodity groups
in the region, four (4) commodity groups exhibited lower IRs in
September 2020 compared with their figures in 2020. The commodity
group for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels declined
by 2.2 percentage points from 1.5 percent IR in August 2020 to 0.7
percent deflation in September 2020. This can be traced to the
continued decline in the index for electricity, gas and other fuels
from 0.7 deflation in August 2020 to 6.8 percent deflation in
The IR for furnishing,
household equipment and routine maintenance declined by 0.5
percentage point from 3.2 percent in August 2020 to 2.7 percent in
Compared with their
figures in August 2020, the IRs for both clothing and footwear
commodity group and health commodity group decreased by 0.2
percentage point settling down to 3.1 percent and 1.0 percent,
respectively, in September 2020.
On the other hand, four
(4) other commodity groups exhibited higher IRs in September 2020
compared with their rates in August 2020. Transport commodity group
posted the highest increase of 2.2. percentage points, from 0.5
percent in August 2020 to 2.7 percent in September 2020. This can be
attributed to the 4.7 percentage points increase in the index for
transport services, from 1.4 percent in August 2020 to 6.1 percent
in September 2020.
The IR for education
commodity group went up to 0.4 percent in September 2020 from zero
IR in the previous month. This increase is due to the 1.4 percent
increase in the index for pre-primary and primary education.
The IR for restaurant and
miscellaneous goods and services commodity group rose to 4.7 percent
in September 2020, higher by 0.3 percentage point compared with the
4.4 percent IR a month ago. This can be attributed to the 0.3
percentage point increase for both indices of catering services and
The index for recreation
and culture commodity group inched up by 0.1 percentage point, from
2.0 percent deflation in August 2020 to 1.9 percent deflation in
Alcoholic beverages and
tobacco, and food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity groups
retained their previous month’s IRs at 7.6 percent and 2.2 percent
respectively. Meanwhile, communication commodity group retained its
previous month’s deflation at 1.7 percent.
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.79 in September 2020. This
PPP implies that the goods and services worth P79.00 in 2012 is
worth P100.00 in September 2020.
PPP in Northern Samar
strengthened by P0.01 compared with its figure in August 2020.
Biliran weakened by P0.01, while the rest of the provinces retained
their previous month’s PPP.
Biliran recorded the
strongest PPP at P0.82. Leyte ranked second at P0.81, followed by
Southern Leyte at P0.80, Eastern Samar at P0.77 and Northern Samar
at P0.74. Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.73.
“Tish Tash” all set for worldwide distribution
November 3, 2020
MAKATI CITY –
Animated pre-school show “Tish Tash” will soon be enjoyed by kids
around the world after leading kids entertainment specialist CAKE
has inked a distribution deal with its producers – Korea’s Studio
Gale, Singapore’s August Media Holdings, U.K.’s Karrot
Entertainment, and Philippines’ Synergy Entertainment Media.
“Tish Tash has huge potential – a fresh take on what it’s like to
have an imaginary friend, something most children have experienced
and can relate to,” said CAKE CCO & Managing Director Ed Galton.
“We are very excited to be working with strong partners from around
the world, whose collaboration has resulted in a truly global
approach,” he added.
Synergy88 COO and Managing Director Jackeline Chua also expressed
her excitement over this landmark deal.
“We’re excited to see another show come to life and now distributed
globally. It was a great collaboration with Studio Gale and August
Media. Tish Tash is just one of the many shows that Synergy88 has
co-produced with the best global entertainment companies,” she said.
Chua also recounted how Synergy88’s participation in the government
sponsored outbound business missions in Cannes from 2016-2018 had
opened opportunities for global partnerships.
“The company’s portfolio of properties now spans across television,
mobile and web platforms targeting pre-school kids all the way to
millennials. We’re truly glad that DTI-Export Marketing Bureau &
FTSC (DTI Foreign Trade Service Corps) have been very active and
supportive in promoting PH’s global presence in the creative
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez welcomed this development, saying, "We
have been pushing for the promotion of the economic potential of our
creative industries globally and we are happy to see developments
like this. The creative industry is a high value-adding sector, and
the country has a natural competitive edge in this area, considering
its rich pool of talents."
DT-FTSC Executive Director Anthony Rivera also added, "We will
continue to collaborate with the creative industry stakeholders and
government partners to help promote and develop opportunities in the
creative sector such as in advertising, animation, film, game
development and design among others. We hope to feature more of our
creative capabilities and gain more access in international markets
for Philippine made content."
Aside from “Tish Tash,” Synergy88 also paved the way for the
country’s first Filipino animated series “Barangay 143,” which aired
on free-to-air television channel GMA 7 in 2018. It made headlines
once again last Oct 1 as it premiered on streaming giant Netflix and
made it to the top ten most watched titles for the week.
aerial view of the on-going construction of access road
leading to Talustusan Falls in Naval, Biliran. The
project involves the concreting of existing gravel road
and a rehabilitation of existing damaged paved road with
a length of 1.215-kilometer two lane road.
leading to Talustusan falls in Biliran now halfway complete
October 29, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways- Biliran District
Engineering Office’s (DPWH-BDEO’s) access road project leading to
Talustusan Falls in Naval town is now halfway complete.
David P. Adongay Jr.,
District Engineer said that the project is being fast-tracked for
completion on January 03, 2021, the revised expiry date.
“Not only the tourists
will benefit from this project but also the farmers along this road
project will enjoy a wider, safer, and convenient transport of
agricultural products to market centers,” said Adongay.
The improvement of access
road leading to Talustusan Falls involves the road opening and
concreting and rehabilitation of existing damaged paved road at
Sitio Magtaran-an, Brgy. Talustusan with a length of 1.215-kilometer
two lane road.
This project is
implemented under fiscal year 2020 with a contract amount of P31.3M.
DPWH in convergence with
the Department of Tourism (DOT) has allotted P105M under multi-year
funding to enhance the hidden waterfalls in the province.
The fund will be
implemented by phases from year 2020-2022 with a total length of
4.715-Kilometer two-lane road with a width of 6.10-meter and a
thickness of 0.23-meter.
The completion of this
project by phases will help boost tourism in the province. Walking
time will also be reduced from 30-40 minutes to just 3-5 minutes to
reach the waterfalls.
6:00 AM October 27, Caraycaray Bridge Detour along
Biliran-Naval Section is open to all types of vehicles.
DPWH-Biliran DEO in coordination with LM Baltonado
construction complete the restoration works of the
scoured approaches (Caraycaray Side) after being damaged
by continuous heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm “Quinta”.
damaged by TS Quinta in Biliran completes restoration
October 28, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)- Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) has completed the restoration works of the
scoured approaches of the Caraycaray and Catmon Bridge detours.
David P. Adongay Jr.,
District Engineer informed that effective 6:00 AM on October 27,
2020 the Caraycaray and Catmon Bridge detours along Biliran-Naval
section are now open to all types of vehicles (lightweight, four (4)
wheels and heavy equipment).
Restoration works which
involve backfilling were done in coordination with DPWH-BDEO and LM
According to Adongay,
DPWH-Biliran DEO is exerting their efforts and closely monitoring
and coordinating with the contractor under contract with DPWH
Regional Office VIII to restore the said detours for the safe
passage of the motorists and the travelling public.
“These detours are deemed
important as the construction of both Caraycaray and Catmon Bridges
are on-going at present,” said Adongay.
especially heavy equipment operators will no longer need to take a
longer route to travel to the capital town of Naval and to its
neighboring municipalities,” the District Engineer added.
The District Engineer also
acknowledges the help extended by Businessman Mr. Robert Juve Yao
Ang to fast-track the repair of the detours.
The Caraycaray and Catmon
detours were damaged due to continuous heavy rains brought by
Tropical Storm “Quinta” on October 25, 2020.
China asked to
listen to the people to make BRI “people-centered”
October 28, 2020
MANILA – Eight
national and Asian regional organizations based in the Philippines,
Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka on Wednesday asked
China to listen to the voices of the people in communities most
directly affected by Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects.
In a virtual press
conference, leaders of the organizations said appropriate
consultations with the local communities transformed by the BRI
projects would maximize social benefits, minimize investment risks,
and make the BRI truly “people-centered.”
A new book chronicling the
effects of the BRI projects in the Philippines, Indonesia,
Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka turns the spotlight on the views
of people affected by the BRI projects. The book was launched during
the virtual press conference.
“Numerous books, studies,
and research papers have been produced by governments, companies,
economists, and investors about the BRI. The voices from the most
important community, however, have not been heard,” Lidy Nacpil,
coordinator of the Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD),
said during the launch of “Belt and Road through My Village.”
The “Belt and Road through
My Village,” co-produced by eight non-governmental organizations, is
a collection of interviews with over 100 villagers who live on sites
where BRI projects are being undertaken.
China’s total investments
in countries where BRI projects are ongoing reached USD 117.31
billion, according to the 2019 China Outbound Direct Investment
Statistical Report released recently by China’s Ministry of
Commerce, the National Statistics Bureau, and the State
Administration of Foreign Exchange.
As of end-2019, over
27,500 Chinese investors have established 44,000 direct investment
enterprises in 188 countries and regions where BRI projects are
“The lives of billions of
people in these 188 countries are being affected directly and
indirectly, positively and negatively, and their lives are changed
forever,” Nacpil said.
The book project was led
by the People of Asia for Climate Solutions (PACS) and APMDD, and
supported by Asia Comms Lab, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
(PMCJ), Indonesia’s Koalisi Rakyat untuk Hak Atas Air (KruHA:
People's Coalition for the Right to Water), Coastal Livelihood and
Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) in Bangladesh, the Pakistan
Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC), and the Centre for Environmental
Justice (CEJ) in Sri Lanka.
The book covered seven
major BRI projects. They are the Kaliwa Dam in the Philippines, the
Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail in Indonesia, the Barisal 350 MW
Coal Power Plant in Bangladesh, the Bahawalpur Solar Power Park and
Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant in Pakistan, the Colombo Port City
and the Colombo Highways in Sri Lanka. The total population being
affected by these seven projects alone stands at more than 15
Based on the interviews,
renewable energy and road construction are among the most welcomed
projects, while lack of communication and transparency, especially
with communities on the sites of the projects, unfair employment
practices, and social and environmental impacts are among the most
frequently raised complaints.
The following are
snapshots of the stories and quotes in the book:
Philippines: the Kaliwa Dam Project
Water crisis is a serious
challenge for the growing population in Metro Manila.
Mike Santos, a barangay
official from Barangka Drive, Mandaluyong City, said they had to
mobilize fire trucks to distribute water to residents. Santos said
even with the emergency water distribution, “residents were easily
angered despite our efforts because they were getting impatient over
The Kaliwa Dam is part of
the New Centennial Water Source projects to provide new water
sources for Metro Manila and other nearby provinces. The project
involves the construction of a 600 million liter-per-day (mld)
capacity dam (73m high) and a conveyance tunnel that has a capacity
of 2,400 mld (27.70km long, 4m diameter, around 200m deep).
Around 300 indigenous
people will be displaced from their ancestral lands when the
construction begins. Once completed, the project will inundate a
large part of Barangay Daraitan in Rizal and several areas,
including Barangay Pagsangahan and Barangay Magsaysay in Quezon
Province. Residents of indigenous communities living along the
Kaliwa River said they were not fully informed nor consulted about
the project. “We remain clueless about the proposed dam,” Maria
Clara Dullas, 39, a resident of Daraitan, in Rizal province near
Metro Manila, said. “The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage
Systems has not reached out to residents of Daraitan to explain its
possible impacts on the community,” she said.
Indonesia: the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail
Talking about the Jakarta-Bandung
High-Speed Railway, 23-year-old student Nissa Nurmauluddiana said:
"I think this is positive because there will be many transportation
options to Jakarta, especially now, Bandung people who work in
Jakarta or Jakarta people who are on business to Bandung always run
out of train tickets.”
The project was envisioned
to be completed in 2019, but was delayed due to problems related to
land acquisition and compensation to villagers and local workers.
The total investment is estimated to be USD $5.5 billion. About
124,000 villagers have been affected by the construction of the
According to KRuHA, which
works closely with the local communities, some people protesting the
land acquisition have been beaten and arrested. They are gravely
concerned about reports of incidents of human rights abuses.
Silvi Febrianti, a college
student from Gempolsari village in Bandung said: “until now, I have
not heard any news from the government about our land compensation
money. It’s not clear enough when we will get it, and how much we
will receive. I want to move as soon as possible.”
Bangladesh: the Barisal 350 MW Coal Power Plant
Maliha Hossain, 38, a
business woman, talked about the importance of electricity to her
online business and to Dhaka. “In Dhaka city, there is an unlimited
number of food courts and recreational activities, if electricity
stops working, everything stops. This is a matter of great
satisfaction. But for the last three years or more, we have been
getting an uninterrupted electricity supply.”
However, she also voiced
her worries about possible air pollution from the coal-fired power
The Barisal coal-fired
power plant project is expected to begin operations in 2022. The
entire project will require 300 acres of land and the government is
expected to buy power from this plant for a period of 25 years,
according to the agreement. The project site is surrounded by land
reserved for wildlife and fish sanctuaries. Villagers said they were
forced to evacuate the land to give way for the project.
Abdul Malek Mosulli, 96,
from Taltoli, is one of the hundreds of villagers who lost his
house. “Local villagers protested, but police brought charges
against innocent young men,” he said.
Now the village is visibly
divided into two parts: the high land acquired for the power plant
and low land where the villagers relocated. With the recent floods,
the relocation site has been underwater for months. There is no
drinking water and no fish to catch. The residents are jobless. A
number of people have become laborers at the plant site.
Pakistan: Bahawalpur Solar Power Park and Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power
“Our lands have gone from
zero to hero since the Quad-i-Azam Solar Power Park project was
initiated in the area,” Muhammad Iqbal, 62, a counselor in Chak
6-BC, one of the villages close to the solar power park in
The Quaid-i-Azam Solar is
a 100 MW solar plant spanning 200 hectares of desert land, and
Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant, encompassing 690 hectares of fertile
land, has an installed capacity of 1320 megawatts.
In a different village,
Noman Bhatti, 40, was not happy with the Sahiwal Coal-fired Power
Plant. “I’m still at a loss to understand why the most fertile land
in the Punjab province has been selected to commission such an
anti-agriculture project,” Bhatti said. “We, the affected community,
had approached the court of law to resist installation of the plant
here. Some officials managed to blackmail most of the plaintiffs in
the name of National Interest.”
Sri Lanka: The Colombo Port City and Colombo Highways
In 2019, China and Sri
Lanka signed an agreement to further fund and build the Central
Expressway Project (CEP).
25, talked about how she had changed her mind about highways near
her house after experiencing the new conveniences: “I would like to
see more highways coming up in the country and want the Chinese to
help the Sri Lankan government to build more expressways.”
The Colombo Port City was
proposed in early 2012 by the China Harbour Engineering Corporation
as the site for constructing the Colombo International Financial
City. The project is expected to be completed by 2041 and will be on
a 99-year lease.
Aruna Roshantha Fernando,
a 49-year old fisherman, raised questions about it: “I don’t think
Sri Lanka needs such a big city port in Colombo. Only the rich
people will benefit from this project. What happens to poor people
like us who earn a living by the resources of the sea?”
connectivity is supposed to be the ultimate vision for BRI,
alongside policy connectivity, infrastructure connectivity, trade
connectivity, and financial connectivity,” Xiaojun Wang, executive
director of PACS, said.
All the testimonials are
presented in the book in the native languages of the villagers, and
have been translated into English and Chinese for international and
At the 75th Session of the
United Nations General Assembly in September 2020, President Xi
Jinping called on all major countries to act with leadership. “They
should provide more global public goods, take up their due
responsibilities and live up to people's expectations.” This was a
continuation of his call for China and host countries “to act on the
principles of high standard, people-centered and sustainable
development” at the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April
“In order to achieve true
‘people-centered’ vision for the BRI, China must work with host
country governments and be more proactive in reaching out to the
communities to be affected,” Wang concluded. “Only when these voices
are heard, will social, environmental, political and financial risks
be minimized, and will real benefits and welfare improvements be
shared by all involved.”
Filipino startup wins
in global pitch competition
October 27, 2020
MAKATI CITY –
Filipino startup Edukasyon.ph emerged as the overall winner in the
Wildfire Pitch Competition, held during the Ignite 2020 Cyber
Conference on 13-15 and 20-22 October 2020.
equity-free cash, Edukasyon.ph is an education technology platform
that connects students to education opportunities. The startup was
among the five startup finalists – four of which were founded in the
The six-day conference was
organized by Brainsparks, Dentsu, and TechShake and was supported by
the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB).
“DTI-EMB, as IGNITE’s
partner since their first conference in 2017, has always been a
supporter of IGNITE’s vision of bridging the gap between startups
and corporates or non-tech industries, and at the same time
promoting the PH startup ecosystem to the rest of the world,” said
DTI-EMB Director Senen Perlada, during his opening remarks on 22
“This year’s edition of
IGNITE is a perfect example of how technology and innovation can
address the needs of today and the post-pandemic world,” he
The conference featured
several international speakers and a pitch competition for startups
in the education tech, health tech, fintech, e-commerce, and
workplace tech sectors. Winners for each sector delivered their
three-minute pitches on the final day to determine the overall
The other finalists were:
• MyGolana, a health tech
startup providing affordable and accessible counseling solutions
• Nextpay, a fintech
startup providing an easy solution for small businesses to manage
and track their finances.
• 1Export, an e-commerce
startup that is a one-stop, end-to-end platform helping small
businesses in the Philippines export, by addressing concerns in
terms of compliance and market access.
• PEAK, a Thai workplace
tech startup that offers online accounting software that allows
businesses to track business information instantly.
“Out of the five
finalists, four of them are Philippine startups. It shows that the
Philippines is not lacking in talent and potential as a startup
ecosystem. The challenge now is creating an environment that will
not only help startups survive but also thrive and take advantage of
the new opportunities brought about by the pandemic,” said Perlada.
Rafaelita Aldaba said during her opening remarks on 13 October that
"as the virus is contained and as [physical support] bolster the
economy, along with global recovery we will be able to take
advantage of emerging opportunities and challenges from shifting
trade and investment preferences and changing forms of international
productions in the wake of Covid-19 by fast tracking innovation and
adapting new technologies with greater focus on more resilient,
inclusive, and sustainable industrial recovery toward the post
Since 2017, Ignite
Philippines has gathered the stakeholders from the startup ecosystem
under one roof. The online event was attended by more than 1,200
participants from 25 countries.
maltreatment of Nasino and child violated int’l standards on
Manhandling of Baby River
funeral further exposes tyranny of Duterte gov’t says global rights
October 23, 2020
QUEZON CITY – The
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
and its chapters condemned the Philippine government’s inhumane
treatment of Filipina political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino following
the death of her three-month-old Baby River. Statements from the
global coalition reminded the Duterte’s government that the acts of
cruelty against Nasino and her child are violations of international
rules on women prisoners.
“The treatment of Reina
Mae Nasino and her Baby River from the State has violated
international standards of treatment of prisoners and children,”
says ICHRP’s chapter in British Columbia, Canada.
Human rights advocates
from all over the world send their deepest sympathy to Reina Mae
Nasino who not only has been cruelly deprived of her right to care
and comfort her child, but also has been deprived of her right to
cradle and see her baby at the funeral one last time.
The United Nations Rules
for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for
Women state that women prisoners should be allowed to breastfeed
their children. Expert medical research studies have evidenced that
breastfeeding provides protection for infants against infections,
including acute and prolonged diarrhea, and long-lasting active
Article 3 of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Philippines is a
State Party, declares that “The baby’s best interest shall be the
primary consideration in all actions concerning children, whether
undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions,
administrative authorities, legislative bodies, or courts of law.”
After immense public
pressure, Philippine court was prompted to grant a furlough to Reina
Mae Nasino to visit her baby’s wake but with heavy security and in
“A legal right intended
for prisoners but the Duterte government deemed it as privilege only
to be given to its allies and powerful elite,” says Asia Pacific
Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines spokesperson Sister
Since their separation,
Baby River had fallen ill several times and on October 9th, Baby
River died from acute respiratory disease at the intensive care unit
of the Philippine General Hospital. According to ICHRP chapter in
the United States, the Philippine government’s handling of Baby
River and Reina Nasino’s case amounts to no less than torture.
“We are enraged and hold
the Philippine government responsible for River’s passing.
Ultimately Duterte himself is responsible given his backtracking on
promises to release political prisoners and Anti-Terror Law which
demonizes, imprisons and kills activists,” ICHRP-US spokesperson
During the first three
hours of “furlough” in which Nasino attended River’s wake, state
forces surrounded Reina and did not remove her handcuffs except so
she could briefly wipe tears from her eyes. Obstructing free speech,
the jail personnel further tried to prevent Nasino from speaking
with the media. During the Baby River’s burial, there were 43
heavily armed state authorities deployed and hijacked the burial
procession from the family. Nasino was still unhandcuffed.
“We note the politics of
selective accommodation and the blatant disregard for the principle
of justice. Individuals and groups who committed crimes against the
people are exempted from prosecution and accountability while the
poor and those working on social justice issues are arrested and
kept in jail on trumped-up charges,” says ICHRP- British Columbia.
pharmacy in Oroquieta City
October 23, 2020
SAN PABLO CITY –
BotiCARD opens its 12th branch in Oroquieta City in Misamis
Occidental to provide its healthcare products and services to the
local community on October 19, 2020.
To comply to minimum
health protocols, CARD MRI executive committee members and senior
advisers attended the branch opening via online conference. Said
BotiCARD President Rosenda P. Aquino, “The pandemic will not be a
hindrance in achieving our goal. At a time like this, we know that
we are needed the most by our clients and the general public.”
Reinforcing CARD MRI’s mission
The Oroquieta Branch is
the third branch of BotiCARD in Mindanao which is strategically
located beside the CARD MRI Rizal Bank-Oroquieta Branch. Aside from
the banking institution, CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO) and CARD
MBA are also present in the City. “With the additional force of the
pharmacy of CARD MRI, empowering communities is already on the
horizon. We are intensifying our approach to fight the different
facets of poverty,” said Aquino.
Aquino also added that,
“BotiCARD is not an ordinary pharmacy. Aside from providing quality
generic medicines, we also provide primary healthcare services to
CARD clients and staff and the communities to ensure their
Meanwhile, CARD RBI
President and CEO Elma B. Valenzuela shares her commitment in
helping the institution meets its mandate of providing health care
products and services to the community. With thousands of clients of
the microfinance-oriented rural bank in the area, its staff are in
full support by introducing the additional service of CARD MRI to
its clients in Oroquieta. “As we are one with the overarching goal
of CARD MRI in eradicating poverty, we will empower one another to
also empower the local communities,” said Valenzuela.
The direction towards a healthy community
The pharmacy advocates the
use of generic medicines as it is more affordable and as effective
as branded medicines. In partnership with the Microfinance and
Health Protection (MaHP) Program of CARD MRI, it also provides free
medical services through clinics located in various communities.
The institution is guided
in achieving its mission by providing genuine service to its clients
and the communities. “We will not wait for our clients to come, but
we will bring our services closer to the communities to provide them
equal and inclusive opportunities for all.”
Armeda Villasin, one of
the clients of CARD RBI in Oroquieta, shares that she is very much
grateful for CARD MRI. “CARD is a good institution because it
provides numerous benefits to its members to ensure that every
family is secured.”
BotiCARD also eyes to
develop loanable medicine and wellness products to be offered to
CARD clients to encourage them to prioritize their health.
BotiCARD was an idea
conceived from CARD MRI’s partnership with Freedom from Hunger in
2011. Fighting poverty means not only providing access to financial
products and services but addressing its different aspects. With
poor health and inaccessible healthcare services, the poor will
suffer even more. Boosting people’s health and providing quality
medicines and healthcare services are ways to break the vicious
circle of poverty. This is BotiCARD’s support to CARD MRI’s mission
in ending poverty in the country.
Linking art and
biz through string art
October 22, 2020
DAVAO CITY – In an
artist’s perspective, selling or marketing one’s artworks could be
as tedious as conceptualizing an output from scratch. But despite
that, Sandie L. Padilla took the challenge by heart.
Padilla is among the fifth
batch graduates of the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program, an
initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and
Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) aiming to guide and
mentor entrepreneurs according to their needs, with the help of
experts in different fields. This batch graduated last July 18,
Padilla, who owns and
manages Sandie String Art Design, was hesitant about starting his
business when he came back to the Philippines after working in
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for 6 years. However, with his love for the
arts and his determination to have a sustainable livelihood, he
finally decided to open this venture.
Padilla, who used to work
as a coffee shop barista while still abroad, is armed with the kind
of creativity and commitment to come up with something that is
unique and eye-catching. The idea of having a business related to
using strings to create portraits came into mind while he was busy
making remarkable pieces through wire sculptures and coffee bean art
during his work breaks. Innovativeness is innate in him, and this
became his ticket to discovering his talent in crafting artworks
through strings. Who could have thought that the long strips of
thread can be used to produce portraits?
It was a eureka moment for
him when he started doing string art, he said that he remembered
doing it when he was still in elementary. When asked about his
motivation to pursue this, he shared that it is the uniqueness and
craftsmanship of string art.
When Padilla came back to
Davao City, he did not pursue his passion for string art right away.
He tried working as a promo-merchandiser in a shopping mall at
first, however, he felt that something was telling him to pursue art
instead of getting an eight-hour job.
While navigating on
Facebook and checking on anything that got his attention, he came
across the official page of Negosyo Center Davao City. Through it,
he found out about the different programs and services that the
Negosyo Center provides. That was when he realized that it would be
great to begin working on his own business.
“I immediately thought of
turning my passion in string art into a business opportunity,” he
narrated. From then on, he started attending various training
activities, including those on how to run a business, and an
orientation on how to avail a micro loan. With his unending interest
in business, he enrolled in the KMME program, which provided his
foundation as an entrepreneur through different sessions tackling
the 10 modules.
Following his KMME
graduation, the Sandie String Art Design started reaping the fruits
of his labor, especially that Padilla participated in trade fairs,
such as the Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) and the renowned Manila FAME.
This move made him earn between P15,000 and P77,000.
Despite the struggles he
encountered as an entrepreneur, especially with being a newbie and
the uniqueness of his concept, Padilla never lost the spark to go
on. He is thankful to DTI, too, for walking with him in this
The pandemic, which has
affected business operations, did not stop him as well to continue
with what he has started. Innovative as he is, Padilla maximized the
social media and other means to widen his network, to sustain the
expansion of his market. His untiring efforts resulted in new
designs and the establishment of a bigger production area in his
He encouraged other
artists to consider getting into business through the craft they
love. For him, it is likewise a way to give back to the community
where they operate.
”Ang kita sa abroad kay
makita raman sad nimo diri sa Pilipinas basta og maningkamot ra man
gyud diay ka (We can still earn here in the Philippines the amount
we receive while working abroad if we continue to work hard),” he
It is Padilla’s dream to
help the persons with disability and women in several communities in
the future. He said he will establish his own gallery or workshop
for him to teach them about string art, and earn from it.
For those interested to
buy Padilla’s artworks, he can be contacted at 09665384644 or in his
Facebook page, Sandie String Art Design.
CARD, Inc. adapts
to the new normal with CARD Sulit Padala and konek2CARD
October 21, 2020
SAN PABLO CITY – As
part of its mission to provide accessible services to its clients
amid the COVID-19 health crisis, CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), a
member of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), opens
more CARD Sulit Padala outlets in Visayas and Mindanao.
CARD Sulit Padala is now
available in 116 CARD, Inc. unit offices nationwide. Through this
domestic remittance service, clients can now pay for their loans and
receive remittances not only from CARD, Inc. outlets but also from
other financial institutions under CARD MRI namely CARD Bank, CARD
SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank which also have more than 300
CARD Sulit Padala is also
known for its "piso" or one-peso charge for first time money senders
and its minimum rates for those sending remittances anywhere in the
CARD, Inc. Executive
Director Jocelyn Dequito highlighted the importance of CARD Sulit
Padala as the country transitions to a New Normal. “As we adapt to a
better normal, we want to continuously give our clients the easiest
and convenient remittance services where they can experience a
hassle-free sending and receiving of money anywhere in the
Philippines,” Dequito said.
Dequito also mentioned
that their clients can now pay their loans through konek2CARD agents
in their barangays. This is another way for the institution to bring
an easier way of paying their loan dues wherein clients do not need
to travel to CARD offices. “CARD is exerting more effort to adapt to
the new normal and bring safer transactions to our clients. This
initiative will surely help our clients especially this time when
many of us are still carefully complying to health and safety
protocols,” said Dequito.
She also explained that
expanding CARD’s payment channels is beneficial to its million
clients in the Philippines. "We encourage our clients to opt for our
alternative ways to lessen physical contact and immobilize the
spread of the virus and ensure their safety."
Army foils NPA’s
plan to disrupt gov’t livelihood opportunities in Can-avid, E. Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
October 20, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The government troops repelled Communist NPA
Terrorists (CNTs) who were planning to disrupt the implementation of
government’s livelihood trainings in two remote villages of
Can-avid, Eastern Samar in a gunfight about 10A.M., October 20, 2020
in Barangay Salvacion, Can-avid, Eastern Samar.
According to Lieutenant
Colonel Joven D Bugarin, Commanding Officer of 52nd Infantry
Battalion, soldiers were sent in order to conduct security
operations for the upcoming Agrikultura at Kabuhayan tungo sa
Kaunlaran at Kapayapaan (AKKAP) Project launching on Thursday,
October 22, 2020 in barangays of Boco and Balagon of Can-avid.
However, during the
conduct of security operations the troops clashed with more or less
25 CNTs in Barangay Salvacion, Can-avid, Eastern Samar who scampered
to different directions after the 15-minute firefight.
Three soldiers were
wounded while an undetermined casualty was reported on the CNT’s
“Traces of bloodstains in
the area they abandoned suggest that many in the NPA were wounded,”
said LtCol. Bugarin.
Utilizing K9 teams,
recovered were two anti-personnel mines (APM), blasting caps, and
electrical wires that will be used by the NPA to sow terror.
To recall, on December 13,
2019, three innocent civilians were killed while 14 were wounded
including two minors and an infant caused by NPA's roadside bombing
in Barangay Libuton, Borongan City, Eastern Samar. While on April
2019, a nine-year-old boy died in another NPA bombing in Barangay
San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar. And recently, four civilians
including two teachers were also wounded in an ambush in Barangay
Tagbayaon, Jiabong, Samar.
“This only shows how cruel
and heartless the NPA’s are. They ignore the safety of the civilians
and put their lives at risk for their own gain,” LtCol. Bugarin
The livelihood training
under AKKAP is part of the Provincial Task Force to End Local
Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) program in order to address the
insurgency problem in the remote Barangays in the town of Can-avid.
At the same time, offer livelihood opportunities to the residents
who have been suffering from poverty.
The Commander of 801st
Infantry Brigade, Brigadier General Camilo Z Ligayo said the
collaboration among the military, Local Government Units and
different Government agencies were already in place but the CNTs
hinder the implementation of the government programs and projects.
“Ang mga teroristang NPA
ay salot at perwisyo. Sinasabotahe at pinipigilan nila ang pagpasok
ng mga pangunahing serbisyo ng pamahalaan sa mga Geographically
Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAs). Pinagkakait ng mga NPA na
makaranas ng pag-unlad ang mga kababayan natin sa mga pinakaliblib
na mga kumunidad. Mga Teroristang NPA ang tunay na pagpapahirap at
nagpapanatiling mahirap dito sa buong Samar,” BGen. Ligayo said.
Unrest in pineapple and
urged to stop unlawful layoffs at Dole Philippines, pineapple
workers calls for reinstatement
Associated Labor Unions
October 16, 2020
QUEZON CITY – Hundreds of unlawfully
laid off pineapple and banana workers are calling for their
reinstatement and thousands more are appealing to Japanese top
executives to stop the illegal retrenchments of Dole Philippines
Inc. employees in Polomolok, South Cotabato.
The Dole Philippines was
acquired by Japanese firm Itochu Corporation from Dole Food Inc. in
The plant-level unrest was
started by an on the spot termination on September 15 of 478 regular
employees without just and authorized cause and amid the continuing
hiring of more contractual workers from manpower cooperatives.
This ruthless retrenchment
by Dole in a monocrop economy such as in Polomolok is both untimely
and unconscionable. Management fully knows that there are no new
jobs waiting for retrenched workers once they are terminated. The
upstream and downstream economies of towns and cities built around
plantation operations are very vulnerable to corporate attempts to
bring down wages and to artificially bring down labor rights.
The effect of pandemic is
negligible and cannot be used by Dole Philippines Inc. to justify
the lay-offs given the resilience of its strong export markets. It
has deep corporate pockets and the current troubles attributable to
the pandemic are a mere blip. The termination is doubly painful to
severed workers to lose their livelihood as the country's economy
sink deeper into recession caused by the pandemic lockdowns.
In seeking redress, sacked
employees sought the help of the labor federation Associated Labor
Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) and asked
it to represent them in the government mediation and conciliation
mechanism in the hope that they be reinstated back to work, said
Sofriano Mataro, ALU Regional Vice President for Southern Mindanao
employees fear they might suffer the fate of retrenched co-employees
have asked the help of the labor federation to convey their appeal
to Itochu Corporation top executives to stop any further unlawful
lay off of regular workers in Polomolok.
Workers strongly believes
the Dole Philippines middle executives are disempowering the right
of more than 6,000 regular employees to organize a union and
collectively bargain for better wages and benefits by the end of the
year and undermine the legal procedure by replacing them with
non-regular contractual workers without the knowledge and the
consent of the top management.
management continues to replace regular workers it has retrenched
and will be retrenching with contractuals, clearly establishing that
they are just bidding down wages, eroding constitutionally protected
workers rights, and maximizing profits in service of corporate
greed. Targetting 32 core union leaders for retrenchment reveals
that they are really engaged in union-busting.
"The relative Dole
Philippines' labor-management shared industrial peace was broken by
these unlawful termination and disrespect to the workers right to
legally organize a union and negotiate for better wages and
benefits. While employees still have hope with top management
officials, we urge the Dole top executives to respond and intervene
by ordering a stop to the unlawful termination, reinstate illegally
laid off employees and ensure the workers' right to form a union and
collectively bargain before the situation become worse, " Mataro
Dole Philippines profited
immensely from our workers here. It is also time for them to
restrain greed in the name of plain decency, he added.
With almost 20,000
plantation and cannery workers during peak operations, Dole
Philippines Inc. is the biggest producer and marketer of renowned
pineapple and banana fresh fruits, juices and by-products to the U.S,
Middle East, Japan, China, Korea, Australia and New Zealand through
its 16,000 hectares of pineapple and banana plantations and
canneries located in South Cotabato.
It is a giant
multinational which is not losing money since the agricultural
export market remains vibrant. Over the last 15 years Dole
Philippines' corporate earnings have been highly profitable, in no
short measure, due to the labor productivity of its workers.
Rommel C. Lesigues facilitating the conduct of Oily
Water Separator course through blended learning.
October 13, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – In
support to the government policies and priorities as articulated in
the We Recover as One Report under the banner program “enabling a
digital government and economy” toward mitigating the impact of
COVID-19 pandemic and transitioning to a “new and better normal”,
the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) through its Curriculum
Development Section (CDS), conducted a pilot class on Oily Water
Separator (OWS) Course on 10 October 2020 (Saturday) adopting
blended learning as teaching methodology.
The alarming effects of
the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically changed the existing
education and training landscape to technology-based learning to
minimize face-to-face contact and control the spread of the virus.
The NMP’s OWS Course in blended learning conforms with the
reprioritization of government programs on adult learning in
protecting the marine environment and in improving its accessibility
to Filipino seafarers.
The pilot class was
conducted to determine areas for improvement / refinement prior to
its offering to ensure that loopholes, deficiencies, misalignments
are identified and corrected. It was facilitated by Engr. Rommel C.
Lesigues and attended by twelve (12) NMP trainees who during the
said day, were billeted at the NMP dormitories.
The theoretical aspect of
the course was delivered though an online or e-learning platform
using Google Classroom and Google Meet applications and the
practicum exercise and assessment were conducted through the
traditional face-to-face method.
OWS is an advocacy program
of NMP, developed with the aim of providing seafarers with a deeper
understanding of Resolution MEPC.107(49) “Revised Guidelines and
Specifications for Pollution Prevention Equipment for Machinery
Space Bilges of Ships” to increase the effectiveness of shipboard
oily waste management.
The offering of OWS will
ensure compliance to paragraph1.1.5 of the said resolution, viz,
Ship staff training should include familiarization in the operation
and maintenance of the equipment and heighten seafarers’ awareness
in the effects of ships’ daily operations to the environment and
contribute for the attainment of the International Maritime
Organization’s (IMO) overarching objective to achieve safe, secure,
and efficient shipping on cleaner oceans.
Moreover, another pilot
class is scheduled to be undertaken come 17 October 2020 (Saturday)
for the offering of the Updating Basic Training (BTU).
Also, the online
Consolidated MARPOL 73/78 course and the blended Training Course for
Instructors (IMO Model Course 6.09) and Assessment, Examination and
Certification of Seafarers (IMO Model Course 3.12) are in the
pipeline for their immediate offering.
Further, the development
of the Vessel Crane Operator Course and the Freefall Enclosed
Lifeboat Course in blended learning are for completion within the
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).
Likewise, seafarers who
are interested to avail of the NMP’s FREE online classes on SHAPIMS,
PADAMS, and GSTS may register through this link:
Stakeholders who wish to
validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP
issued certificates may visit www.verify.nmp.gov.ph. Also, 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
RTF-8 ELCAC vows
stronger coordination to attain peace by 2022
October 12, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC)
on Friday, October 9, 2020 in a hybrid physical and virtual meeting
presided by Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, the Cabinet Officer for
Regional Development and Security (CORDS) resolved to heighten
This was in view of the
Regional Peace and Development Roadmap to attain a just and lasting
peace by the year 2022. It was learned that the budget for the
target barangays in 2020 was diverted to address the COVID-19
pandemic, but that the priority projects have been included in the
proposed 2021 ELCAC budget.
CORDS Del Rosario informed
that the National Task Force has been lobbying for the approval of
the 2021 ELCAC funds which is being opposed by the Makabayan Bloc.
The ELCAC funds is intended for PPAs of the barangays, and will not
be released to the national agencies.
Eastern Samar Governor Ben
Evardone shared that the Governors’ League has passed a resolution
to adopt the ELCAC Budget and has forwarded the same to the Senate
and House of Representative copy furnished Makabayan Bloc.
Meanwhile the DILG and the
Office of Civil Defense presented the accomplishments of the
Regional Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (RIATF-EID) as
well as the Regional Task Force on COVID-19 (RTF-COVID 19) to
provide the context to the peace challenges posed by the pandemic.
Meanwhile Leyte Governor
Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla, chair of the Regional Development
Council, said that poverty is the greatest recruiter of insurgency.
He stressed that the road to peace must always pass through economic
development. To this, Governor Evardone who chairs the EV Regional
Peace and Order Council, said that his province has formed an
Anti-Poverty Team to focus its efforts in implementing projects
intended to address insurgency.
CORD8 Del Rosario praised
RTF8 ELCAC for its accomplishments. He said that the targets remain
the same that’s why the Task Force needs to implement its catch up
plan. Various organizations should be invited so that there will be
coordination and optimization of the resources. Meanwhile National
Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon commended RTF8 for being the
first region to deploy the RCSP teams, which has resulted to several
cleared barangays for 2020.
Meanwhile the Task Force
passed a resolution endorsing the inclusion of the 93 barangays
cleared in 2020 for possible funding in the 2021 budget Samar 2nd
District Cong. Sharee Ann T Tan will be the “spokesperson or voice
of Region 8” in Congress for the approval of funds. She requested
from the NSC that she be given a copy of documents as proof to the
approval of ELCAC funds. NSC will coordinate with Cong. Tan on this
Under this proposal each
target barangay will be given P20M. The menu of PPAs are the
• Farm to Market Roads (FMR)
for P12M each (DA & DPWH)
• Schools for P3M each
• Waterworks and
irrigation projects worth P2M each (DILG)
• Health stations at P1.5M
worth each (DOH)
• Reforestation/ National
Greening Project worth P1.5M each (DENR)
• A total of P1.86B for 93
barangays is being eyed for allocation to Region 8.
Gov. Petilla for his part
expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Senator
Bong Go for approving the Kaulisihan funds in Baybay City, Inopan
and Hilongos, all in the Province of Leyte. The approval of P640M
worth of FMR projects was already endorsed by RDC8 for approval in
the 2021 budget. DILG together with the NEDA Regional Office serve
as the secretariat to the RTF8 ELCAC.
P400-K livelihood for Biliran fisherfolks
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
October 9, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Some twenty (20) fishermen from different municipalities of Biliran
will be the beneficiaries of the livelihood funds turned-over by the
Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office VIII to the
Provincial Government of Biliran on 08 October 2020.
Engr. Emmanuel Y. dela
Cruz, Supervising Labor and Employment Officer and OIC-Chief of the
DOLE-Biliran Field Office, successfully released to Ms. Gretchen
Stephanie Espina, Executive Assistant of Governor Rogelio J. Espina
the livelihood check amounting to P400,000.00 will be utilized for
the procurement of wooden fishing boats with motor engine.
Ms. Gretchen Espina
expressed her heartfelt gratitude to DOLE in behalf of Gov. Espina
for the assistance received. She said that the support will be very
helpful to the beneficiaries whose income rely solely on fishing.
“Big thanks to DOLE for
granting our request for our fisherfolks here in the province.
Thanks also to our active DOLE field officers for helping us
facilitate the project. This will really bring joy and hope to our
beneficiaries especially this time of COVID-19 pandemic”, said Ms.
Engr. De la Cruz in
response expressed commitment for continued delivery of labor and
employment programs and services in the province. He likewise
highlighted that DOLE will always and in all ways work for the
provision of opportunities and hope to the Filipino workforce.
“Like what we always say
to our program partners, DOLE will never cease delivering the needed
services particularly in the field of labor and employment. We are
all facing this pandemic with a strong commitment to bring
opportunities closer to our workers and we are thankful as well to
the help of the Province of Biliran”, said Engr. De la Cruz.
The said grant was charged
against the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) funds of the
for PHIL ID starts October 12 in Leyte
October 9, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
pre-registration for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys)
in selected 32 provinces in the country will start on 12 October
2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic by the Philippine Statistics
Authority (PSA). In Eastern Visayas, Leyte is included in the 32
priority provinces with 30 cities/municipalities involved for 2020
There are identified
household heads of 313,147 from low-income households in Leyte
provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Additional of 313,147 adult members from the same households will
also be interviewed during the pre-registration. A total of 626,294
individuals including household heads of low income are targeted to
be pre-registered in Leyte before end of the year.
The first step in the
registration process is pre-registration that involves going from
house-to-house of pre-identified household heads to get their
demographic information and to schedule a date for them to visit the
registration center. The demographic information that will be
gathered by PSA interviewers using tablet includes full name, sex,
date of birth, place of birth, address whether Filipino or resident
alien, marital status, mobile number and email address.
Meanwhile, the second step
in the registration process is the biometric capturing of the
pre-registered individuals in the registration center, which will
start on 25 November 2020.
PSA takes the lead in the
conduct of the PhilSys registration, with the assistance and support
of various government agencies and all local government units (LGUs).
President Rodrigo Roa
Duterte signed the Philippine Identification System Act or Republic
Act No. 11055 into law on 6 August 2018, which establishes a single
national identification system.
The PSA Regional
Statistical Services Office VIII (PSA RSSO 8) humbly requests the
public for their full support and cooperation to the PhilSys
registration. The office assures the public that personnel who will
be conducting the interviews are healthy and will observe the
Department of Health (DOH) and Local Government Units (LGUs)
protocols against COVID-19, such as wearing of face mask and face
shield, physical distancing, proper hygiene and sanitation, and
wearing of PSA ID.
PSA reassures the public
that all information furnished by the registrants will be held
strictly confidential and shall not be used as evidence in court for
purposes of taxation, regulation or investigation as provided for in
Republic Act No. 10625 or the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013.
Further, PSA strictly complies with legal safeguards provided for by
Republic Act No. 11073 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
Leyte OIC Prov'l. Director Araceli Larraga and staff,
DTI Regional Coordinator for PPG Suzette Pablo, the
93IB, representative from LGU San Isidro, and former
rebels who were provided with livelihood kits from DTI.
Former rebels in
Leyte receives livelihood kits from DTI
October 9, 2020
MAKATI CITY – In
2019, more than 200 rebels surrendered in San Isidro, Leyte and were
commended by President Duterte for cooperating with the government
in ending local communist armed conflict through E.O. 70.
Through this whole of
nation approach, the Department of Trade and Industry Region plays
part in providing livelihood opportunities for these former rebels (FRs).
DTI provides entrepreneurial training through the Negosyo Serbisyo
sa Barangay and livelihood start up kits under the Pangkabuhayan sa
Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) Program.
A total of forty five (45)
FRs from the municipalities of San Isidro, Calubian and Tabango
Leyte received Livelihood Kit (Sari-sari Store). This is the first
batch of the 262 rebels that will be given livelihood starter kits
by DTI Leyte.
The activity was grace by
DTI Leyte OIC Provincial Director Araceli D. Larraga, Hon. Remedio
B. Veloso, mayor of San Isidro, Leyte and the 93 Infantry Battalion.
Health Day: New Red Cross survey shows COVID-19 affecting mental
health of one in two people
October 8, 2020
GENEVA – Half of
all respondents (51 percent) in a seven-country survey said that the
COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected their mental health, an
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey found.
In a new report – “The
greatest need was to be listened to: The importance of mental health
and psychosocial support during COVID-19,” – the International Red
Cross and Red Crescent Movement demonstrates how the pandemic is
adding an extraordinary level of stress and suffering on communities
around the world. The outbreak is worsening existing mental health
conditions, triggering new ones, and making access to mental health
services even more scarce. It calls for urgent and increased funding
for mental health and psychosocial support within humanitarian
“The COVID-19 health
crisis has exacerbated the psychological distress of millions of
people already living through conflicts and disasters. Lockdown
restrictions, a loss of social interaction, and economic pressures
are all impacting people’s mental health and access to care,” said
Robert Mardini, the ICRC’s director-general. “Mental health is just
as important as physical health, especially in crisis situations,
when mental health needs are especially critical.”
The report also highlights
the urgent mental health needs of those who have been on the
frontline of the pandemic, from medical staff, to volunteers,
community workers, social workers, dead body collectors, community
leaders and many others. Nearly three in four respondents to the
ICRC survey – 73 percent – said that frontline health workers and
first responders have more need for mental health support than the
average person. They are often directly exposed to COVID-19, work
long hours, and are invariably subject to stressful events and
stigma when supporting disaster-affected communities. They need
access to support and care to ensure they can continue to care
appropriately for others.
“Mental health programmes
are some of the least expensive interventions in humanitarian
response, but they have a lifesaving and priceless impact on the
lives of people who need them” said Jagan Chapagain, Secretary
General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies (IFRC). “Now more than ever we must invest in
mental health and psychosocial support for everyone – communities
and carers alike – to help people cope, rebuild their lives and
thrive through this crisis.”
recommendations for states, policy makers, mental health and
psychosocial support advocates and practitioners include:
-Ensuring early and
sustained access to mental health and psychosocial support services
for people affected by the pandemic;
-Integrating mental health
and psychosocial support in all responses addressing the needs
arising because of the pandemic;
of the mental health and well-being of staff and volunteers
responding to the humanitarian needs in the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is creating an
historic opportunity to turn commitments into action. Failure to do
so will prolong the crisis – in economic, social, and health terms,”
said Mr. Mardini.
MHPSS Covid19 Report
Samar 1 completes
phase 2 of Barangays Macatingog-Dawo FMR
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
October 8, 2020
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office completed Phase II of the
Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) in Barangay Macatingog to Barangay Dawo.
The concrete road built at
Barangay Macatingog spans 440 linear meters and a width of five (5)
meters. The project continues at a junction in Barangay Dawo wherein
another 170 linear meters of another concrete road was made with a
This road will connect
Barangay Macatingog to the rest of the Barangays that will allow
them passage to Pilar Road and to the main highway going to the
local markets. This connectivity of roads allows farmers and
residents to travel faster thus, decreasing the income losses and
safely transport their goods or produce to the markets.
This convergence project
with the Department of Agriculture (DA) is allotted with more than
P9.9 million. A continuous partnership with DA and DPWH will allow
our farmers access to the local markets in a timely manner and
increase agricultural productivity.
DPWH-Leyte 2nd DEO
DPWH 2nd LED
October 8, 2020
CARIGARA, Leyte –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second
District Engineering Office is now headed by Engr. Leo Edward L.
Oppura in lieu of Engr. Gerald A. Pacanan, now assigned as Assistant
Regional Director of DPWH-Regional Office V.
Oppura started his career
in DPWH-Leyte 4th DEO as laborer. In 1997 he moved to Leyte 3rd DEO,
Villaba, Leyte where he got his permanent position as Engineer II.
He then was promoted as OIC-Assistant District Engineer in December
Later in January 10, 2019,
Oppura was appointed as the OIC-District Engineer of Capiz 1st DEO,
Regional Office VI.
With his utmost dedication
and hard work towards his job, he is now assigned to maneuver the
Leyte 2nd DEO in Carigara, Leyte by virtue of Special Order no.65
series of 2020 dated September 7, 2020 signed by Secretary Mark A.
“I am grateful to work
with you and I ask for your full-support, trust and dedication so
that we will have a harmonious goal in achieving our targets,” said
He assumed office on
September 28 after completing the 14-day quarantine health protocol
set by the Department of Health due to covid-19 pandemic.
Robin, Jr. will be his OIC-Assistant District Engineer.
registers 8.1% unemployment rate in July 2020
October 6, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
unemployment rate in Eastern Visayas declined to 8.1 percent in July
2020 from a record-high of 14.3 percent in April 2020 but 3.9
percentage points higher compared with the 4.2 percent in July 2019.
Eastern Visayas ranked 9th among 17 regions in the country (Table 1)
with low employment rate. Unemployment rate is the proportion of
unemployed persons to total labor force. Unemployed persons are
persons in the labor force who are reported as without work; and
currently available for work; and seeking work or not seeking work.
Out of the estimated 3.1
million population 15 years old and over in July 2020, about 1.9
million were economically active or in the labor force. This number
translates to a Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of 60.9
percent. This figure is 1.1 percentage point lower compared with the
62.0 percent LFPR in the same period a year ago. Among the regions,
Eastern Visayas registered the seventh lowest LFPR.
Meanwhile, about 1.7
million persons in the labor force were employed. This translates to
an employment rate of 91.9 percent or 3.9 percentage points lower
than the 95.8 percent employment rate recorded in 2019 but 6.2
percentage points higher than the 85.7% in April 2020. Employment
rate is the proportion of employed persons to total labor force.
Among the employed persons
in July 2020, 0.8 percent worked for more than 48 hours per week due
to ECQ/Lockdown/COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, 13.4 percent of the
employed persons worked less than 40 hours per week, for the same
The underemployed persons
or those employed persons who express the desire to have additional
hours of work in their present job or to have additional job, or to
have a new job with longer working hours was estimated at 360
thousand. This is equal to an underemployment rate of 21.2 percent,
slightly lower than the 21.5 percent recorded a year ago. The region
had the seventh highest underemployment rate in the country.
road opening and concreting of access road leading to
Germohenes Falls in Pinangomhan Village in Biliran.
P92M access road
leading to Germohenes falls in Biliran completed
October 6, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
The road opening and concreting of access road leading to Germohenes
Falls in Pinangomhan Village in Biliran town is now completed,
District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr., reported.
The Germohenes falls is
one of the undeveloped tourist destinations in the province because
of inaccessibility to the site. Estimated walking time to reach the
said waterfalls takes about 4-5 hours.
According to Adongay, the
P92M project covers a total length of 2.90 kilometer road opening
and concreting including the construction of 100-meter length
spillway and a rehabilitation of 60-meter existing local road that
was washed out by tropical storm Urduja in 2017.
The completed road project
leading to Germohenes Falls will encourage more local and foreign
tourists to visit the place. From 4-5 hours of hike, travel time
will be reduced to just 5-10 minutes of vehicle ride and another 30
minutes of walk to reach the said waterfalls.
“This project also
provides a safe and faster transport of farm products to the market
centers such as coconut, rice, and corn and a convenient travel for
the residents and farmers in going to Naval, the capital town and to
other neighboring municipalities,” Adongay said.
Seeding Kits released to pandemic-affected micro-entrepreneurs in
DTI-Regional Operations Group
October 2, 2020
MAKATI CITY –
Several micro entrepreneurs were affected by this pandemic; this
includes small sari-sari store owners, small-time pastry shops, and
In mitigating the effects
of this economic crisis, the Department of Trade and Industry pushed
for a Livelihood Seeding Program-Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay (LSP-NSB)
and Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (PPG) Program. Through
this, DTI provides training and business restarter/recovery kits to
existing qualified micro entrepreneurs affected by disasters,
unfortunate events and those located in less developed areas.
“Ang Negosyo Centers ay
nag-conduct ng NSB-LSP at PPG sa mga bara-barangay para mahanap ang
mga nangangailangan ng livelihood package kits para tulungan
makatayo muli through provision ng mga gamit,” said DTI Biliran OIC
Provincial Director Jorge Modesto.
On September 25, 2020, DTI
Biliran Provincial Office started the distribution of recovery kits
to 40 beneficiaries in the municipality of Naval and 20 in the
municipality of Biliran. These kits were in the form of sari-sari
store packages, pastries and native delicacies cooking implements
and fish vending materials.
These programs were
supported by the Local Provincial and District Government of Biliran
and the respective LGUs of Naval and Biliran.
During the event,
Congressman Espina sent his warm support to the MSMEs in Biliran
through a video message, “This special program entitled Livelihood
Seeding-Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay and Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon
at Ginhawa is an epitome of relief and proof that Biliranons are
never left behind and will never be. To all qualified 525
beneficiaries in the Province of Biliran, congratulations po!”
DTI Biliran is now on its
last leg of distribution in Maripipi, Biliran with a total of 525
“Sa pamaraan na ito na
bigay ng gobyerno, malaking tulong sa amin kasi sa aming mga
pamilyang mahihirap, makakaahon kami ng konti sa araw-araw na
pangangailangan,” said Maria Cañete, PPG beneficiary in the
Municipality of Naval.
Bagong Pag-asa beneficiaries receive livelihood grants from DOLE-RO8
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
October 2, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Some thirty-three (33) locally stranded individuals and
beneficiaries of the Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program receive
livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment
Regional Office VIII during the virtual awarding held on 29
Each beneficiary received
eight (8) sacks of rice and one (1) unit of weighing scale for their
rice vending business amounting to P19,900.00. The total amount of
livelihood assistance released by DOLE-RO8 amounted to P656,700.00.
The turnover ceremony was
graced by no less than Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go,
DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, DOLE-Undersecretary Benjo
Santos M. Benavidez, Director Myles Rivera representing Director
Eduardo D. del Rosario of the Department of Human Settlement and
Urban Development and Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla.
Also in attendance were
the Senior Officials of DOLE-RO8 led by Director Yahya A. Centi and
Assistant Regional Director Amable Ildefonso C. Roa.
Director Centi informed
that the awarding of assistance to 33 beneficiaries of North Leyte
will only be the first and will be followed by another livelihood
release for the LSIs who went home to Western part of Leyte.
Senator Bong Go in his
speech underscored the intention of the BPBP program which is to
provide hope and relief to LSIs struggling in Manila and other urban
areas during this pandemic.
“By bringing them back to
their respective hometowns, the program intends to give hope to our
beneficiaries. This can only be successfully done with the
coordination of our different agencies and the local government
units,” said Senator Go.
Meanwhile, Secretary Bello
expressed his gratitude to Governor Petilla for opening the doors of
Leyte for the LSIs to be home and reunited with their families. He
likewise assured the beneficiaries that the labor department is
doing its best to help the affected workers of the region.
“To our beneficiaries who
will be receiving the assistance, continue to have the faith and
courage. Even in this time of great uncertainties, please know that
your labor department is doing its best to bring opportunities that
will provide you hope of a better tomorrow”, said Sec. Bello.
The good secretary also
recognized the efforts of the men and women of DOLE-RO8 for their
untiring efforts in providing assistance to the people of Eastern
“Congratulations and thank
you Director Centi, and to the men and women of DOLE Region 8, for
your zeal and commitment in serving the people of Eastern Visayas.
Continue to work with heads held high, burning with passion for true
public service”, Sec, Bello ended.
Edwin A. Balogbog, one of
the beneficiaries from Barugo, Leyte expressed his heartfelt
gratitude for the assistance received.
“I am really thankful for
being one of the beneficiaries of the Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa
because I was able to go home safely to my family. Thank you also
DOLE for the livelihood assistance we received, thank you so much”,
said Mr. Balogbog.
The beneficiaries who were
part of the first batch of LSIs who went home to Leyte are from the
following municipalities: Alang-alang, Babatngon, Palo, Tanauan,
Tolosa, Barugo, Burauen, Capoocan, Dulag, Mayorga, Tunga, Julita,
Dagami and Jaro.
Samar cops nab 5
wanted persons and 2 other offenders in a 7-day police operations
September 30, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Samar Police Provincial Office (SPPO) under the
leadership of PCol Glenn Oliver Comision Cinco, Officer In-Charge,
arrested 1 Most Wanted Person listed as Rank Nr. 3 of Municipal
Level and 4 other wanted persons; and 2 illegal fishers during a
7-day province-wide police operations from September 21-28, 2020.
Personnel of Catbalogan
City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Edwin F Barbosa,
Chief of Police, nabbed 2 other wanted persons for violations of
Sec. 22 (a) of R.A. 8282 (SSS Law) and R.A.9262 (Anti-Violence
Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004), respectively.
Personnel of Basey
Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Michael N
Oraller, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 1 other wanted person for
violation of P.D. 1602 (Illegal Gambling Law), who was then released
after posting corresponding bail.
Personnel of Daram
Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Zaldy A
Cagampang, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 2 fishermen for violation of
Sec. 64 (Use of Active Gear) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 19
series of 2017, who were then released after paying the
Personnel of Gandara
Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Joselito T
Tabada, Acting Chief of Police, nabbed 1 MWP listed as Rank No. 3 of
Municipal Level for the crime of Murder.
Personnel of San Jorge
Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Michael Ray G
Cañete, Acting Chief of Police, nabbed 1 other wanted person for the
crime of Frustrated Homicide.
Through the intensified
campaign of anti-criminality and illegalities under the helm of the
present administration, PD CINCO firmly supports these advocacies
and further encourages everyone to strengthen and reinforce the
existing laws and policies to prevent and control crimes and
maintain peace and order in the Province of Samar.
“Optimism is the faith
that leads to achievement. I am very optimistic that we will
continue to achieve our goals as we continue to perform our duties
as snappy police officers and law enforcers,” PD Cinco stated.
Press Conference hosted by the PIA RO VIII on 18 September
NMP answers the
call for a sustainable maritime future
National Maritime Polytechnic
September 29, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) joins in celebration of the 2020
World Maritime Week themed as “Sustainable Shipping For A
Sustainable Planet” and the 2020 National Maritime Week with the
theme “Working Together as One for Sustainable Maritime
As a kick-off activity for
a week-long celebration, NMP collaborated with the Philippine
Information Agency (PIA) RO 8 to drumbeat the Agency’s programs and
projects in relation to the Maritime Week Celebration to be featured
in the online press conference dubbed as “PANININDUGAN: A Virtual
Kapihan” hosted by PIA last 18 September 2020.
“NMP, as the sole
government maritime training and research center of the country
consequently plays a crucial role in the enhancement of skills and
competencies of Filipino seafarers as articulated in our mission.
Being the government’s maritime training arm, NMP should therefore
be able to lead in the country’s efforts of grooming the Filipino
seafarers to become the choice seafarers in the highly competitive
arena of seafarers in the whole world.”, NMP Executive Director Joel
B. Maglunsod said in his message during the forum.
agencies particularly the members of the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE)-Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) also shared
their activities and projects during the virtual Kapihan
particularly those concerning the Filipino seafarers. Also present
were various media personnel and PIA managers from different areas
of the region.
Accordingly, during the
3-day Maritime Industry Symposium on 23-25 September 2020
spearheaded by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), NMP was
invited as one of the Reactors during the 2nd day wherein NMP
highlighted its mandate on the provision of maritime training
towards transitioning to the “new normal” specifically making NMP
training programs accessible to seafarers even during the health
ED Jomag announced NMP’s
innovations that aside from the implementation of NMP’s Post-ECQ
Operational Plan that limits the number of trainees accommodated,
the online courses on Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the
Maritime Sector (PADAMS) and STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention in the Maritime
Sector (SHAPIMS) were launched last August 2020 while the Gender
Sensitivity Training for Seafarers (GSTS) online course will follow
which aims to improve the accessibility of the training to
client-seafarers including those on-board ships and at the same time
promote Gender and Development advocacy on fairness and equity in
the workplace among male and female seafarers.
The online Consolidated
MARPOL 73/78 course and the blended Training Course for Instructors
(IMO Model Course 6.09) and Assessment, Examination and
Certification of Seafarers (IMO Model Course 3.12) are in the
pipeline for their immediate offering. Also, the development of the
Vessel Crane Operator Course and the Freefall Enclosed Lifeboat
Course in blended learning are for completion within the year.
Further, the review of two
(2) non-mandatory courses titled Oily Water Separator and Updating
Basic Training are ongoing for conversion to blended learning.
Relatively, the “Train Now
Pay Later” Program was conceptualized to allow qualified cadets and
graduates to undergo the required trainings subject to repayment
after the first year of shipboard employment. This program will
address the dilemma of many seafarers including the graduates from
the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy who are unable to attend the
required training courses due to the high cost of trainings and
The implementation of the
NMP-OWWA Seafarers’ Upgrading Program and Skills for Employment
Scholarship Program have likewise assisted the seafarers in availing
of financial assistance to cover the costs of training fees.
These innovations are
geared towards providing our seafarers with the necessary
competencies for their enhanced employability that are aligned to
the priorities in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and
in transitioning to a “new and better normal”.
“The NMP remains open for
collaborative undertakings that give priority to our seafarers and
maritime-allied professionals such that we altogether empower them
with the technical competence as they face the challenges in these
trying times.”, ED Jomag stated in the Closing Program of the
Maritime Week Celebration on 25 September 2020 hosted by the MARINA
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).
denounces killing of former rebel by NPA in Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
September 29, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan,
Samar – Major General Pio Q. Dinoso, III, the 8th Infantry
Division Commander, denounced the NPA for killing one of their
former comrades who returned to the folds of law.
He said that the
government forces will do everything in order to give justice to
former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel who was mercilessly killed by
“We will make the
Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) and their supporters accountable for
the actions of their members who deprived their former NPA members
to live peacefully with their loved ones,” said Major General Diñoso.
He also calling on the
Commission on Human Rights and self-declared human rights advocates
like Karapatan Eastern Visayas chapter to condemn and take action
for the lives of the victims who were mercilessly murdered.
This year about 5 former
rebels were abducted and murdered while many civilians were victims
of their enormity.
The condemnation came
after a former rebel who surrendered to the government was brutally
killed by Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Barangay Nagpapacao,
Matuguinao, Samar, morning of September 28.
The victim was identified
as Carlos B Diaz, 50 years old, who was shot several times on his
head and different parts of his body by 8 CNTs while he was working
at his farm in Barangay Nagpapacao, Matuguinao, Samar around 7:30
The Commanding Officer of
19th Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Jasper Justito M Pecson
said that Diaz has been living peacefully with his family as a
farmer after he surrendered last August 2018 when he was attacked.
“The New People’s Army is
doing atrocities in order to instill fear among their former members
and supporters and even kill people in the communities who
contradict their propaganda,” Pecson said.
“Terrorist groups like the
CNTs usually take advantage of the youth and locals who are living
in isolated and depressed areas are highly vulnerable to false
ideologies. But as the victims realize that they are just being used
for the benefit of the communist organization, these rebel members
and supporters can no longer get out of the group. Instead of
allowing their comrades to enjoy peace and new life with their
families, the Communist-NPA torture and brutally murder them,
leaving them with no choice but to stay in the terrorist
organization,” Pecson added.
union, rights advocates laud new bill seeking end to PH military aid
Human rights situation
created by Duterte is what’s “wild”
September 25, 2020
The Communications Workers
of America (CWA), The Malaya Movement, the International Coalition
for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and Kabataan Alliance
held a Zoom press conference about the recent introduction of the
Philippine Human Rights Act (H.R. 8313), led by Rep. Susan Wild
(D-PA) and co-sponsored by 19 other representatives in response to
the increasingly dangerous actions of the Duterte regime to punish
and execute trade unionists and activists.
Philippine Human Rights Act earned the irk of Presidential
spokesperson Harry Roque describing the bill filed by Pennsylvania
Representative Wild as a “very wild suggestion.”
In an online post, The
Malaya Movement was quick to tell Roque that it is the human rights
situation in the country that is “wild.” The reply was superimposed
in a dictionary definition of “wilder” and “wildest” with the words
“unstrained by reason or prudence” encircled. In bold letters, the
group said “PH Gov’t says PHRA is a “wild suggestion” but what is
wild is the human rights situation they created. Time to pass the #PassThePHRA!”
“While Duterte has
recently made comments to the United Nations calling for objectivity
and non-interference on human rights issues in the Philippines, what
is objectively clear to the world is the Duterte regime is
tyrannical and laden with abuse and atrocities,” said ICHRP
Secretary General, Rev. Michael Yoshii. “We must withdraw U.S.
military support from this growing dictatorship.”
“Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal
regime is using the pretext of a so-called “Anti-Terrorism Law” to
ramp up efforts targeting labor organizers, workers, and political
opponents,” said Rep. Susan Wild on the House floor today. “This law
allows suspects to be detained by the police or military without
charges for as long as 24 days and placed under surveillance for up
to 90 days. Let us make clear that the United States will not
participate in the repression. Let us stand with the people of the
“We cannot stand idly by
while Duterte kills labor activists one by one,” said CWA’s Senior
Director for Government Affairs and Policy Shane Larson. “We must
condemn it, and do every single thing within our power to stop it.
And that starts with mobilizing to enact legislation like the
Philippine Human Rights Act. CWA is committed to battling against
the sorts of egregious labor and human rights abuses that are the
reality facing the Filipino people under the Duterte regime and we
are proud to be in this fight with all of you.”
“This bill is the result
of years of organizing by the Filipino-American community, as well
as our allies, who refuse to be complicit in the oppression of the
Filipino people,” explained Nicanora Montenegro from the Malaya
Movement. “Activists and organizers have worked hard to gain the
support of our legislators, even as the Duterte government attacks
us for speaking the truth. And we will continue to organize until we
stop this tyranny and achieve genuine democracy for our people,”
say enough is enough,” declared Mikaela Tajo, a leader with George
Washington University’s Philippine Cultural Society, which is a
member of Kabataan Alliance. “We demand more from our country, both
of our countries. Lives are at stake with this bill, and we cannot
sit idly waiting for others to take action. And now we’re
challenging you to do the same.”
Address human rights
violations or else
Earlier this year,
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Act –
a law that ICHRP has called the “last piece of the puzzle” in his
government’s martial law agenda. The law is clearly aimed at
expanding the government’s ability to target political opponents and
activists. It allows suspects to be detained by the police or
military without charges for as long as 24 days and placed under
surveillance for up to 90 days.
The Philippine Human
Rights Act blocks U.S. funds for police or military assistance to
the Philippines, including equipment and training, until such time
as human rights conditions are met. Specifically, the Philippines
must meet the following conditions to lift restrictions set by the
1. Investigating and
prosecuting members of the military and police forces who are
credibly found to have violated human rights;
2. Withdrawing the
military from domestic policy;
protections of the rights of trade unionists, journalists, human
right defenders, indigenous persons, small-farmers, LGBTI activists,
and critics of the government;
4. Taking steps to
guarantee a judicial system that is capable of investigating,
prosecuting, and bringing to justice members of the police and
military who have committed human rights abuses; and
5. Fully complying with
any and all audits or investigations regarding the improper use of
supporting the bill include: the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Teamsters, American
Federation of Teachers, Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the
Philippines, United Church of Christ - Global Ministries, United
Methodist Church - General Board of Church & Society, Migrante USA,
Gabriela USA, Anakbayan USA, Bayan-USA, Franciscan Network on
Migration, Pax Christi New Jersey, Kabataan Alliance, and National
Alliance for Filipino Concerns.
Download PHRA bill copy
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Visayas now also
adopts virtual problem solving session under the new normal.
blended modality on problem solving session
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
September 25, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas proved that
modern technology can be of great help indeed at these times, when
mass gathering is strictly prohibited as the whole world experiences
pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
DAR officials, both from
the central, regional and provincial offices, realized this after
several issues delaying the implementation of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) were immediately addressed in the
recently conducted integrated and blended learning session cum
problem-solving with officials from the Registry of Deeds (ROD),
Land Bank of the Philippines-Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC) and
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
DAR OIC-Regional Director
Ismael Aya-ay said that though most of the participants were joining
the session remotely, it proved to be a fruitful one, for many of
the issues were resolved with the intervention of Undersecretary for
Field Operations Office, David Erro; Assistant Secretary Jim Coleto;
Director of the Bureau of Land Tenure Improvement, Joey Sumatra; and
Director of Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance, Marjorie Ayson.
Foreign-Assisted and Special Project Office Bernie Cruz also joined
the online session and provided inputs related to Support for
Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project.
Aya-ay applauded when the chairman of the Project Management
Executive Committee at the Land Registration Authority (LRA) Central
Office, as relayed by ROD Regional Director Atty. Emeterio Villanoza,
committed to work out the immediate release of the 39 RP titles
covering 354.4 hectares pending in their office.
Once released, generation
of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) in the names of the
qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will follow.
Meanwhile, DAR Central
Office officials promised to do the follow-up for the activities at
the central office level with the different concerned line agencies.
On the other hand,
Assistant Secretary Coleto gave closure to the question that was
confronting the LBP-AOC on whether a landholding issued with “Notice
of Coverage” (NOC) prior to June 30, 2014 could still be covered
under the Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) scheme even if the offer was
done after the said date.
According to Coleto,
Section 30 of the Republic Act No. 9700 stated that as long as an
NOC was issued before June 30, 2014, the coverage may proceed.
“Though the VOS was accepted on a later date, the process is still
considered valid and it may still proceed following the said
provision,” he added.
This particular issue
involves about 325 hectares and is now considered settled. “Under
VOS, landowners shall be paid the corresponding five percent cash
incentive in accordance to the law,” Coleto stressed.
DAR Eastern Visayas
regularly holds a quarterly problem solving session with line
agencies to thresh out issues that hinder the smooth implementation
of CARP in the region.
“If this pandemic will
continue to threaten everyone, this office will adapt to the new
normal so we could deliver our targets,” said Aya-ay.
Furthermore, Chief of the
Land Tenure Service Division, Francisco Diloy, disclosed that DAR
Eastern Visayas has already accomplished 577 hectares or 27 percent
of its 2,151-hectare target in Land Acquisition and Distribution for
Leyte’s League of
Municipal Mayors commends DOLE-RO8
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
September 22, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Recognizing the important role of the local chief executives in the
successful implementation of the department’s programs and services,
the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office No. 8
conducted a Virtual Collaborative Meeting with the Municipal Mayors’
League of the Leyte on 18 September 2020.
The said collaborative
activity was attended by around forty (40) participants composed of
Municipal Mayors, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Managers,
DOLE-RO8 Senior Officials and employees.
Mr. Norman L. Uyvico, OIC-Chief
of DOLE-North Leyte Field Office delivered the opening message and
highlighted that DOLE’s work in delivering the different programs
and services to the public especially this time of pandemic will
never be complete without the active support of the local leaders.
Director Yahya A. Centi, in his message, underscored the purpose of
the collaboration with the league of mayors in Leyte, just like what
was done by DOLE-RO8 previously with other provinces and districts.
“It is through this
initiative that we as a government agency will be able to apprise
local chief executives of the various programs geared towards
helping our economy especially those greatly affected by the ongoing
global health crisis. This will now serve as our avenue for an
effective exchange of information which is indeed crucial in
decision-making”, said Director Centi.
Hon. Frances Ann B.
Petilla, Mayor of LGU-Palo and President of the League of Municipal
Mayors of the Philippines-Leyte Chapter, reciprocated the
appreciation and recognition expressed by the DOLE-RO8. She
commended the agency for all its accomplishments and committed to be
more supportive in the delivery of DOLE programs and services.
“I’d like to thank and
commend our labor department here in Region 8 under the steady
leadership of Director Centi for always ensuring that our workers
receive the necessary assistance. It is just suitable to say that we
also as leaders in the local level need the help of NGAs like you in
order to respond to our respective constituents. We need each other
to make things work for the good of our people. And so I’m giving
our 100% commitment for the furtherance of DOLE’s programs here in
Leyte,” Hon. Petilla said.
Also during the meeting,
Director Centi sought the help of the good president of the league
to facilitate the liquidations of the livelihood grants released to
the different municipalities for DOLE-RO8 to be able to provide more
assistance to other workers in need.
One of the participants of
the meeting, Mayor Ofelia Alcantara of LGU-Tolosa shared how DOLE
through RD Centi’s initiative was able to help her when she was a
newly-installed mayor of the municipality. She said that in
replicating the collaboration with other NGAs, she was able to bring
the needed services of the people of Tolosa.
The virtual forum ended
with a closing remarks from DOLE-RO8 Assistant Regional Director
Amable Ildefonso C. Roa who likened the important linkage of DOLE
and LGUs to that of a blossoming relationship. He also emphasized
that DOLE will never get tired of doing its job, that is serving the
Filipino workers in the best way possible.
“We will always be
thankful for the opportunity to serve our workers here in the region
for that is what we are here for as public servants”, said ARD Roa.
complete Almeria bypass road by fourth quarter of 2020
September 22, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
Works are now on-going for the construction of Almeria Bypass Road
project in Biliran which is set to be completed this year by the
Department of Public Works and Highways- Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO).
David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that the project is now
in full swing and being fast-track for completion by 4th quarter of
the year, 2020.
“Expect a wider and safer road and bridge when travelling in Almeria
town as soon as this project will be completed,” said Adongay.
The project starts from Sitio Daro traversing rice fields all the
way to upper Look in Almeria town. It is implemented in two phases
with a total length of 1.262 km. 4-lane roadway and a 20.0 ln.m
Bridge (4 lanes) amounting to P95.8M.
First phase of the project amounting to P83.1M includes road
opening, slope protection, bridge construction and a road concreting
of a 0.879-kilometer four lane road while phase two of the project
includes a 0.383 kilometer four-lane road concreting.
According to Adongay, the project was prioritized in lieu of the
road widening project on the main highway of Almeria where numerous
residents will be affected.
“As per inspection, bridge construction is already completed while
road concreting is continuously done to meet the target date of
completion,” said Adongay.
leaders denounce rights violations in the Philippines, echo the call
to “Stop the Killings”
September 19, 2020
QUEZON CITY – "It
is in the time of crisis that we come together as a people of God
and stand in solidarity with one other. The call to end human rights
violations is an act of allegiance and faithfulness to God and a
call to say no to systemic injustice," said Rev. Dr. Collin Cowan,
General Secretary of the Church World Mission in the International
Ecumenical Convocation on the Defense of Human Rights in the
Philippines on September 17.
World church leaders in
the Convocation denounced the worsening rights situation in the
Philippines and raised alarm on the violations experienced by rights
defenders and organizations. “In the context of COVID-19 pandemic,
human rights have been greatly exacerbated and worsened, in which
context civil society space has even more drastically reduced,” said
Peter Prove, Director of the World Council of Churches (WCC)
Commission for International Affairs.
The WCC is one of the
partner organizations of the National Council of Churches in the
Philippines (NCCP) that are closely monitoring the Philippines at
the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and has been advocating in
behalf of the rights defenders here in the Philippines to the UN
Special Mechanisms for many years. As part of its ongoing
commitment, it continues to push and advocate for the members of the
45th UNHRC to vote for an independent and impartial investigation on
the killings and Human Rights Violations under President Duterte as
reflected on the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights last June.
Derek Duncan, co-chair of
the Asia Pacific Forum said that “US churches, in particular, are
painfully aware of the troubled colonial history between the US and
Philippines, which contributes to our nation’s complicity in today’s
human rights abuses by both government and industrial-commercial
structures in the Philippines”. However, he emphasized that their
continued advocacy with the US government remains of critical
importance and their current advocacy “focuses on introduction of a
robust Philippine Human Rights Act, an instrument which would
‘suspend United States security assistance to the Philippines until
such time as human rights violations by Philippine security forces
cease and the responsible state forces are held accountable’.”
The World Student
Christian Federation (WSCF) also expressed concern “over the rights
violations of human rights defenders, particularly the red-tagging
of NCCP and the Student Christian Movement in the Philippines. The
government’s militarist policies have been an excuse to persecute,
to kill and to shrink the space for civil society,” remarked Marcelo
Leites, Regional Representative of WSCF-Latin America and the
Christian Conference of
Asia General Secretary Dr. Mathews George Chunakara also condemned
the “[Philippine] government’s act to stifle the voices and
conscience of the people” and called to repeal the Anti-Terrorism
Act of 2020. “The subversion of democratic rights during the martial
law is back to be seen. There are many indications that the current
President is going to the same direction as Marcos during the
martial law era.”
Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson,
General Secretary of World Communion of Reformed Churches, responded
“If we were to keep silent, even the stones will cry out. We pledge
to mobilize our own people, raise the issue to the international
forums, bring together our families to advocate and work and be part
of the global struggle against authoritarianism.”
These were in response to
the testimonies from church workers and human rights advocates who
have been red-tagged, vilified, harassed, and charged with
trumped-up cases. Among those who gave their testimonies were Sr.
Ellen Belardo from the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, United
Church of Christ in the Philippines, Bishop Hamuel Tequis, Rev.
Marco Sulayao of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Jane Molina
Lee, widow of a drug war victim, and Clarizza Singson of
Karapatan-Negros. Cristina Palabay of Karapatan gave the Philippine
Human Rights situationer and Atty. Ephraim Cortez of the National
Union of Peoples’ Lawyers discussed the Anti-Terrorism Act and its
impacts on the work of churches and humanitarian organizations.
Filipino church leader,
Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, General Secretary of the National
Council of Churches in the Philippines, called on the international
community for a continuous accompaniment and greater solidarity with
the Philippines. “With you by our side in solidarity, accompanying
us in our quest for justice, we may be afflicted and persecuted,
vilified and harassed, charged falsely or imprisoned under made-up
charges, yet we are not forsaken.”
Before him, The Most Rev.
Gerardo Alminaza, Bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos, gave one of
the welcome remarks, said that the cries for justice and solidarity
ring out and reverberate through the villages in the island of
Negros which “shake the Church and quicken the hearts of her
people”. Ms. Ma. Cathrine Kay Almario, NCCP Vice Chairperson for the
Youth also welcomed the participants who stated that the current
administration must be held accountable for its crime against
The Convocation ended with
the launch of a unity statement read by Rosmalia Barus, the Vice
Moderator of the United Evangelical Mission, The Most Rev. Rex RB.
Reyes, Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Philippines,
Episcopal Church of the Philippines, and WCC Central Committee
member, with Ms. Patricia Mari Mungcal of the NCCP. The said
statement carries the message that the international ecumenical
community will bear witness and keep watch with regards to the human
rights situation in the Philippines. The statement also supports the
recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, including recommendations from at least 24 UN human rights
experts for the UN Human Rights Council to “establish an
on-the-ground independent, impartial investigation into human rights
violations in the Philippines”. The signature campaign, initially
signed by 20 international church institutions, will continue until
September 24 while the 45th UNHRC Regular Session in Geneva is still