abandoned by comrades, dies in Samar clash
Battalion, 8ID PA
March 8, 2021
MATUGUINAO, Samar –
A member of the terrorist New People’s Army succumbed to death after
an encounter with the operating troops of 19th Infantry Battalion
(19IB) a few kilometers away from Barangay San Roque, Matuguinao,
Samar on March 6, 2021.
The troops clashed against
ten (10) NPA terrorists in the afternoon of the said date leading to
a 30-minute firefight that resulted to the capture of a wounded NPA
who was abandoned by his fleeing comrades.
Determined to keep the
wounded NPA alive, the troops immediately provided immediate medical
care and evacuated the casualty to the barangay proper for further
The wounded NPA identified
himself as Oti Ogacho, 23yo, and a resident of Brgy. Mahanud of the
same Municipality. He was presented to the barangay officials and
residents of Brgy San Roque, Matuguinao, who confirmed his identity
and recognized him as a known NPA member operating in the area.
The wife of Oti Ogacho
also arrived at the Barangay hall to accompany her husband.
Residents further revealed that the wife is also an NPA member who
went on lie-low in order to deliver her second child two (2) weeks
However, while waiting for
assistance to evacuate Oti to the nearest hospital for further
medical attention, he passed away due to the effects of the gunshot
wounds he incurred during the encounter.
“It is so sad that another
life is gone, wasted, because of the CPP-NPA’s deception. Our
soldiers were determined to keep the wounded NPA alive because we
know his family needs him, especially his newborn child. It is also
a norm for us soldiers to treat the wounded even if he is an enemy.
‘Sir buligi ak, Karuyag ko pa mabuhi mayda ako duha na anak ngan
bag-o la nanag anak tan asawa’ - those are the words Oti uttered to
the troops before taking his final breath,” Lieutenant Colonel
Fernando C Engcot, Battalion Commander of 19IB, said.
production in Eastern Visayas drops by 13.7% in the fourth quarter
March 4, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY – The
total volume of fisheries production in Eastern Visayas was
estimated at 30,145 Metric Tons (MT) during the fourth quarter of
2020. It is 13.7 percent lower compare with the 34,936 MT production
in the same quarter in 2019.
Eastern Visayas accounted
for 2.5 percent of the country’s total fishery production during the
4th quarter of 2020. It ranked seventh among the regions with low
fishery production in the country (Table 1).
Across provinces, Northern
Samar produced the highest volume of fisheries at 6,849 MT,
comprising 22.7 percent of the total fishery production in the
region. Samar ranked second at 6,777 MT, accounting for 22.5 percent
of the region’s total fishery production. Biliran, meanwhile
registered 1,750 MT, the lowest volume of production which shared
only 5.8 percent.
Among the subsectors,
municipal fishing contributed the highest production with 22,639 MT
or 75.1percent share to the total fishery production in the 4th
quarter of 2020. Aquaculture shared 4,596 MT or 15.2 percent, while
commercial fishing contributed 2,910 MT or 9.7 percent (Table 2).
production inched up by 3.7 percent from the 21,834 MT in the fourth
quarter of 2019 to 22,639 MT in the same quarter of 2020. Of this
figure, 99.6 percent came from unloading in marine landing centers
while the rest were caught from inland bodies of water. Among
provinces, the increase in municipal fisheries production was noted
in Southern Leyte which almost tripled from 1,340 MT in the 4th
quarter of 2019 to 3,764 MT in the same quarter in 2020. While
Northern Samar and Eastern Samar registered increases by 29.9
percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. A drastic drop was noted in
Leyte by 65.1 percent. Minimal decreases were recorded in Biliran
(7.6%) and Samar (0.5%).
production on the other hand decreased by 14.3 percent, from 3,397
MT in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 2,910 MT in the same quarter of
2020. The subsector comprised 9.7 percent of the total fisheries
production. Samar, Southern Leyte and Leyte, recorded a significant
decline of 44.6 percent, 33.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
Biliran recorded the highest increase of 19.6 percent, from 432 MT
in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 517 MT during this period in 2020
Meanwhile, volume of
harvest from aquaculture went down by 52.6 percent. Its 9,705 MT
production in the fourth quarter of 2019 dropped to 4,596 MT in the
same quarter of 2020. The share of aquaculture subsector to the
total fisheries was 15.2 percent. Only Eastern Samar recorded
increase in production estimated at 177 MT at 56.6 percent. On the
other hand, the decrease in the volume of harvest in aquaculture was
contributed by the decreases in the provinces of Northern Samar
(71.5%), Leyte (53.7%), Samar (53.6%), Biliran (42.4%) and Southern
DPWH turns over
new school building to Tomaligues Integrated School
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
March 4, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways recently turned-over the new
two-storey, four-classroom school building in Tomaligues Integrated
School (TIS) with a revised contract amount of P11.5 million.
Following the minimum
performance standards and specifications (MPSS) prescribed by the
Department of Education, DPWH equipped the school building with a
fire alarm system, fire extinguisher, automatic water sprinklers,
fire escape, PWD ramp access, and sanitary restrooms. A roof-mount
twin water storage tank was also installed.
The Marcos-type building
was replaced by this new school building that will be occupied by
Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2 and 3 with a total of 95 pupils and four
teachers. For over 15 years, said Ma. Richel Caber, Property
Custodian of Tomaligues Integrated School, Tinambacan District, this
building has been reported for condemnation and removal because it
is risky for students and teachers alike which is not fit to be used
as educational classroom.
School Head Nova Gaspan
stated that they really lack school buildings due to the number of
students enrolled in TIS but now that this building is ready to be
used, there will be enough classrooms for enrollees. She further
said that, “this will be in preparation to our application for
Senior High School, as it is our target for the next year or school
year that we will be having our Senior High School because we
already have three vacant classrooms”.
2018 and OTOP Ambassador Catriona Gray’s visit creates huge impact
March 4, 2021
MAKATI CITY – The
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray visited the province of Laguna to
showcase some of its local products and businesses in her role as an
ambassador of the Department of Trade and Industry’s One Town, One
Product (OTOP) project on August 27 to 30, 2020. Gray was also
recognized as “Adopted Illustrious Daughter of Laguna” by the
As the face of OTOP
Philippines, Gray highlighted small local businesses in various
regions, with Laguna as her first stop. “I am lending my platform to
our [Filipino] small businesses, MSMEs (micro, small and
medium-sized enterprises) and entrepreneurs,” the beauty queen said
via Instagram last August 29.
Some of Laguna MSMEs who
showcased their local products and businesses during the visit were
Ai-She Footwear (Liliw, Laguna), Junk Not Handicraft (Biñan City,
Laguna), and Rolyo Likha At Iba Pa Handicraft (Pila, Laguna).
Started with an investment
of P50,000.00 in 2006, Corazon Coligado, owner of Ai-She Footwear,
grabbed an opportunity and started her footwear business with two
male footwear makers aside from her designer friend. Crafting the
business with continuous learning, Coligado engaged herself with
different programs and services of the Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI). To name one, she was endorsed to the Department’s
partner agency CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization) which
honed her business plan and focused on the main plans to transfer to
a bigger production area in order to hire more workers and increase
production as well as to improve raw materials and inventory
Ai-She Footwear was
overwhelmed with the fast development in their business and fortune
and has become a regular exhibitor on every trade fair at the
national and international fairs organized by DTI. Ai-She Footwear
focused on producing many kinds of artisan shoes, in a variety of
aesthetics – including crocheted and patchwork – in colors mirroring
the town’s vibrant culture.
With the recent
involvement to OTOP Philippines Ambassador Gray’s visit, Ai-She
Footwear generated estimated sales of P300,000.00 from September to
December 2020. Ai-She designed a Catriona abaca mule made from
locally sourced materials, all handcrafted by sapateros in Liliw,
with an embroidered three stars and a sun emblem as a finishing
touch. “Kinikilig ako kasi Filipino brand Ai-She Footwear created
shoes in my honor,” Gray says. “I was even able to experience
putting together my own pair of the ‘Catriona shoe!’,” she added.
With the aim to turn trash
into art, Wilhelmina “Willie” Garcia, owner of Junk Not Handicraft,
is passionate about interior design and the environment. They always
had a way to recycle plastic wastes and transform them into artful,
premium-priced furniture and even bags and fashion accessories. Junk
Not Handicraft has long been involved in a lot of journeys in
partnership with DTI including participation to trade fairs and
exhibits sponsored by the Department.
Junk Not Handicraft was
featured and won many local and international awards. Known for
being a social entrepreneur and with continuing international trend
of environmentalism, Willie has received numerous inquiries from all
over the Philippines and abroad on the possibility of replicating
her business model. With the recent involvement to OTOP Philippines
Ambassador Gray’s visit, Junk Not Handicraft generated estimated
sales of P1,830,000.00 from September to December 2020.
From his interest and
hobby of paper rolling, Renel Batralo identified a business
opportunity to create various art and crafts from fashion
accessories to home furnishing to containers to mats to baskets.
This has led to the growth of Rolyo Likha At Iba Pa Handicraft – now
one of the best artists in this field not only in Laguna but also in
Despite the challenges and
negative criticisms encountered in 2008, Batralo never gave up and
held his determination and explored all other possibilities to
further improve his work. He was enrolled in DTI’s Kapatid Mentor ME
Program wherein he attended and participated in various DTI seminar
workshops and trainings on entrepreneurship. Soon after, he became a
mentor himself as well and started providing livelihood trainings to
potential and existing MSMEs. Batralo maximized the use of local
resources and turned these into art and crafts. With the recent
involvement to OTOP Philippines Ambassador Gray’s visit, Rolyo Likha
At Iba Pa Handicraft generated estimated sales of P707,000.00 from
September to December 2020.
The Raise Your Flag Laguna
initiative as part of the visit of OTOP Philippines Ambassador Gray
was able to become a venue to see the importance of learning and
advocating our local products, our weaving communities, and our
call for PDL’s right to health: ‘Immunize them with free, safe,
March 4, 2021
QUEZON CITY – Human
rights group Karapatan on Thursday, March 4, supported the call of
families and friends of political prisoners for inclusion of
thousands of prisoners, especially the elderly and sick, and
pregnant women among them, in the Philippines for free, safe, and
effective vaccination against COVID-19, as they contend with the
country’s overcrowded detention facilities and poor health and
nutrition situations in jails.
“The people’s right to
health, including the right to free, safe and effective vaccines,
should be upheld, at this time of a pandemic that has contributed to
increased vulnerabilities of populations, including those in packed
and poorly equipped prisons,” said Karapatan Secretary General
Karapatan said that there
are at least 680 political prisoners, 95 of them have various
illnesses including life-threatening ones while 58 are elderly, out
of the more than 200,000 prisoners in the country. The Bureau of
Jail Management and Penology said in December 2020 that there have
been 1,987 cases of COVID-19 among persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
“The cases of deaths and
infections among prisoners clearly shows that they are part of those
most at-risk from contracting the highly contagious and deadly
disease that hit the country. These belie declarations of government
officials a year ago when harped on the ‘safer’ conditions in jail
despite irrefutable data on the susceptibility and vulnerabilities
of those in prison to the virus,” she said.
Karapatan said that the
prison population in the Philippines continues to be overwhelmed
because of the dire lack of access to justice of the majority of
poor prisoners and deeply-rooted defects of the justice system,
including the criminalization of the exercise of political dissent
or political beliefs in the country. It cited the “callous actions
on the plea of elderly and sick political prisoners for humanitarian
release during the pandemic.”
“Instead of being released
on humanitarian and just grounds especially amid the pandemic, they
experience multiple layers of injustice including being charged with
and detained on trumped up criminal offenses,” she stated.
“Thus, it is the
government’s responsibility and obligation to ensure the provision
of timely, relevant and comprehensive health services for PDLs,
including their access to free, safe, and effective vaccines,” ended
A Top Tourist Attraction in Fun and Entertainment
It has 81 provinces split
into 17 different regions and comprises over 7,000 islands. The
Philippines has each bit of its archipelagic country shouting
attraction, fun, entertainment, and paradise.
It was in 2019 that
tourism and travel managed to
contribute 12.7% towards the Philippines ' Gross Domestic Product.
With the country being one filled with many tourist attractions, the
country has experienced a steady increase in its interests over the
This article will be
fun and entertainment pointers that
keep tourists engaged in a whole holiday experience when visiting
attraction points wouldn't be complete without bringing up the
country's signature fiesta time. These festivals occur throughout
the year. Visitors are guaranteed an entire Filipino experience that
bursts with colors. There's dancing, costumes, masks, and outfits.
Major attractions throughout the years have included the Ati-Atihan
Festival, Bacolod's MassKara Festival, and the Marinduque's Moriones
Top Filipino online casino
sites draws thousands of Filipino residents and visitors looking to
have a good time online. However, those who enjoy the reality of a
good time have fun, land-based spots to visit while visiting as
tourists. Top land-based casinos include the Okada Manila Casino,
and the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila. Tourists can enjoy themselves
in top hang-out spots in Quezon City and Cubao X. The country hosts
entertaining bars and nightclubs. This is fantastic for night-riders
to explore a more intimate and social side to the trip. It's also
excellent for the tourists who enjoy living on the wild side.
Landscapes and Wilderness
Those who enjoy the
beautiful and majestic sight of nature have had their hearts won.
It's the Ifugao Rice Terraces that allow tourists to experience a
raw and untamed experience of the country. Tourists get to ride
along and share breathtaking moments. They can do this while viewing
the Philippines' mountainous landscapes at Sagada. During these
trips, tourists have the chance to explore nature at its fullest and
spend time in the midst of mother nature.
Beaches and Islands
Experience glazed views of
blue waters touching on the Philippines' pearl white sand. Here,
tourists can take boat trips and have a complete beauty experience
of beaches, lagoons, palm trees, rocky islets, and reefs. Visitors
get to enjoy a sense of luxury and visit private islands such as the
Calamian Islands. There's the El Nido dive spot for people to make a
splash in and have a personal encounter with the world underwater.
For beach lovers, there's also Cebu which is the paradise of beach
Dishes served in the
Philippines have also added to the holiday experience. Those who
have the honor of a complete dining experience. Enjoy the likes of
the mighty adobo, the kare-kare stew, and the famous Lechon. Try the
classic Sinigang, crispy pata, meaty sisig, hot bulalo, and the
popular Pinoy pork barbecue.
Tourist attractions in the
Philippines host many activities that cater to all personalities.
Whether it be day or night, fun and entertainment lie in all fields
of this majestic country.
Engineer Ferdinand A. Briones (front right) together
with Assistant District Engineer Alfredo L. Bollido
(front left) conduct staff meeting with the Planning and
Design Section headed by Engr. Rosario B. Rosete on
February 04, 2021 at DPWH Biliran DEO Conference Hall.
aims P100M project limit for high impact projects
March 3, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) -Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) aims to implement high impact
infrastructure projects costing up to P100M.
DEO is only authorize to approve and implement infrastructure
projects with a P50M project cost. Above the said amount will
already be supervised and implemented by DPWH Regional Office VIII.
Ferdinand A. Briones challenges district’s Planning and Design
Engineers headed by Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, Chief of Planning and
Design Section to upgrade the district’s status.
“Malaki ang impact para sa
atin kung maa-upgrade tayo sa P100M (project limit),” said Briones.
According to Briones, once
the office will be upgraded, programming, designing, bidding and
implementation of infrastructure projects will already be undertaken
by the district office which will increase the office’s Engineering
Administrative Overhead (EAO) appropriation.
“Yang’ EAO na yan’ na
addition, pwede tayo mag-acquire ng additional job orders, dadami
ang personnel natin at marami ang mabibigayan ng trabaho dahil may
sapat tayong pangsweldo,” said Briones.
Briones also added that
the upgrade will also increase the Planning and Design Section’s
Preliminary and Detailed Engineering (PDE) fund that could be used
to buy the latest softwares for use in planning and designing.
of projects will be regularly monitored by the district office.
“Yun ang mission natin
ngayong taon na ito, alam kong kaya niyo yan kasi wala namang
babaguhin, dadagdagan lang,” said Briones.
The District Engineer
instructed Planning and Design Engineers to review the checklist and
prepare documents, plans and variations for the upcoming Design
Audit which will be the basis in the district’s upgrade.
Briones emphasized that
the participation and cooperation of the Planning and Design Section
is very important in achieving this goal.
Stop deadly purge
of civilians in Cordillera, Philippines -ICHRP
March 2, 2021
Mass execution policy ‘Oplan Tokhang’ to be used
vs. media, critics, human rights defenders
MANILA – “The
February 24, 2021, resolution by 47 senior police and government
officials in the Cordillera Region calling for the notorious ‘Oplan
Tokhang’ to be deployed against ‘known left-leaning personalities in
the government, media, and other entities’ demonstrates that the
Duterte government is brazenly defiant of its human rights
obligations”, said Mr. Peter Murphy of the International Coalition
for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP).
This Resolution was made
at the same time that Justice Secretary Guevarra was telling the
United Nations Human Rights Council that “the PH strongly emphasizes
its legal and judicial system, its domestic accountability
mechanisms are functioning as they should.”
community must know that ‘Oplan Tokhang’ is the method used by
police to kill tens of thousands of civilians in the mis-named ‘war
on drugs’ over the last five years,” said Mr Murphy. “This
Resolution demonstrates that the Philippine state is planning to
systematically kill its civilian critics. It is not ‘knock (on the
door) and plead’, but kick in the door and shoot.
Last December, the
International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor said
there is a “reasonable basis” to believe that crimes against
humanity were committed in the Duterte administration’s drug war
The ICC identified ‘Oplan
Tokhang’ as a way for authorities to kill civilians through a drug
watch list wherein “some of those targeted also included persons who
had previously ‘surrendered’ to the police.
In the ‘war on drugs’,
local government officials are required to provide lists of
residents allegedly using or dealing drugs, or just ‘troublemakers’.
These lists are provided to the police, who then eliminate the
targets without any regard to due process. Local government
officials switch off CCTV on the nights of these police raids. In
the one case where two police were prosecuted for murder – that of
17 year-old Kian De Los Santos – in August 2017, the Barangay
Captain had failed to switch off the CCTV.
The Cordillera officials
decided that “this resolution be elevated to the Regional Peace and
Order Council for their concurrence and adoption and convince local
government units (LGUs) to support this and be brought to the
attention of all governors and Mayors in the Cordillera Region”.
“While the bureaucratic
machine tries to bring together all the elements for this program of
civilian repression, there is time for the international community
to say no, and they can say it now at the 46th Session of the UN
Human Rights Council,” said Mr Murphy.
When the media revealed
this resolution last week, the Cordillera Regional Director of the
Commission on Human Rights, Atty Romel Daguimol, withdrew his
signature, declaring that the resolution was in conflict with CHR
policy. “We continue to stand that activism is not a crime. People
should be free to express legitimate dissent and grievances for the
government to act on.”
“The other 46 police and
other government officials must likewise withdraw their signatures,”
said Mr Murphy.
“ICHRP strongly supports
the many statements coming from media organisations, the National
Union of Journalists, the Karapatan alliance for Peoples Rights, and
members of Philippine Congress who condemned the resolution, and who
uphold the basic democratic and human rights of the people despite
the massive threats they have to endure under the Duterte
government”, Mr Murphy concluded.
CARD MBA receives
Golden Arrow Award for Good Corporate Governance
March 2, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY –
The CARD Mutual Benefit Association (CARD MBA), the microinsurance
arm of CARD MRI, was awarded a Two Golden Arrow Award during the
virtual ceremony of the ASEAN Corporate Governance Score (ACGS) on
February 19, 2021.
The Golden Arrow Awards
recognizes publicly listed companies (PLCs) and insurance companies
from participating ASEAN countries that has scored at least 80
points in the 2019 ACGS Assessment. ACGS is an initiative introduced
by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the ASEAN Capital Markets
Forum in 2011 to serve as a point of reference to understand the
corporate governance standard that a company has. CARD MBA was given
a score of 91.8 by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), a
non-profit organization that sets standards for corporate governance
and the domestic ranking body for the Philippines.
“We are ecstatic that we
continue to improve each year. From One Arrow in 2018, we have now
stepped up and received Two Arrows. This inspired us to ensure that
the culture of corporate governance in our institution continues so
that we can provide the best service to our stakeholders,” CARD MBA
CEO Ms. May Dawat said. She mentioned that together with other
institutions of CARD MRI, improving the quality of service and
relationship to the Filipino people is a step towards a better
quality of life.
CARD Mutual Benefit
Association (CARD MBA) is an institution under CARD MRI that offers
microinsurance services and covers unforeseen accidents and death.
Currently, CARD MBA has more than 21 million insured individuals and
more than 6 million active members.
Profit with Peanuts: Success story of Tinnie’s Food Products
DTI-Regional Operations Group
March 1, 2021
MAKATI CITY –
Peanut Butter with none of the guilt? Tinnie’s Food Products made it
Food Products is a manufacturer of food spreads and other food
products, and is well known for its creamy and crunchy peanut
butter. Moreover, they are the premier peanut butter manufacturer in
the town of Odiongan, Romblon, since 1996.
For peanut butter lovers
with a healthy appetite, Tinnie’s peanut butter is one of the best
options to satisfy sweet cravings with no regrets. Tinnie’s peanut
butter products are made from 100% pure peanuts, with no added sugar
and extender. Today, with the abundant supply of peanuts in the
province, Tinnie’s also sell sugar coated and fried peanuts
alongside its pickled papaya and guava jelly spread.
The enterprise is not new
to accomplishments, as Tinnie’s carries a couple of accolades under
its belt from national and regional trade exhibitions and fairs. In
the last run of the MIMAROPA Naturally Agri-Trade and Tourism Fair
in 2019, Tinnie’s Food Products was awarded the Most Improved
Enterprise, and notably, the participant with the highest acquired
sales during the fair. St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Multi-Purpose
Cooperative in Romblon has also awarded Tinnie's as their Top
As peanut butter is
considered a pantry essential in a Filipino family’s morning and
merienda routine, Tinnie’s aims to bring a healthier version of the
spread to as many homes as possible. They do this by attending
various seminars on food safety and management, and business
development, such as SSOP and cGMP, Customized Workshop on Basic GMP
and HACCP Principle, Kapatid Mentor Me Negosyo Seminar, Strategic
Entrepreneurship, Empowering the MSME’s through Basic Education,
Philippine Export Competitiveness Program, and FDA Academy, among
others. Ms.Mary Jane Manalo, owner of Tinnie’s Food Products, was
also part of the Kapatid Mentor ME Program in 2017 and the SGS
Negosyo Kaagapay. Complementing these assistances, the products
likewise underwent the Regional Integrated Product Development
Assistance (RIPDA) under the One Town, One Product (OTOP) Program of
Significantly, they were
able to construct a small building for their production area and
purchase additional machineries and lot for future business
expansion. With the help of DTI, the enterprise was able to acquire
three full-time employees, and one part-time employee to help in
their growing production. Their monthly gross sales also tripled
After two years of
development and promotion, Tinnie’s Peanut Butter became one of the
best-selling peanut butters in the province. It finally found a
niche not only in Romblon but also to other places such as Mindoro,
Metro Manila, and Bohol.
Just as any other
business, Tinnie’s felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on
operations and demand in the market. Despite this, the enterprise
sees this as an opportunity to innovate and expand their product
lines to support the business and their workers.
Tinnie's Food Products are
available online, via Facebook, Shopee, and other digital platforms.
For more information, visit their social media pages, or send an
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
handlers / operators and fisherfolks participate in the
Basic Safety Training for MHOF conducted by NMP in
cooperation with PCG, MARINA and the LGU of Daram, Samar.
NMP partners with
LGU Daram for FREE Training on Basic Safety
February 26, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), as part of its poverty-free
zone program thrust, conducted for FREE, the Basic Safety Training
for Motorboat Handlers/ Operators and Fishermen with Typhoon
Preparedness (BSTMHOF) to twenty (20) motorboat handlers / operators
/ fisherfolk’s participants of Daram, Samar on 23-24 February 2021
through blended learning.
The training was conducted taking cognizant of the fact that Daram
being one the island municipalities in the Province of Samar is
vulnerable to typhoons and other extreme weather disturbances.
Likewise, being an island, the main source of income of its people
is through fishing while the mode of transportation is by boat.
Consequently, Provincial Mayor of Daram, Hon. Mayor Philip Martin L.
Astorga, requested from NMP through a letter dated 25 January 2021
to conduct the said training to equip his residents with additional
knowledge and confidence on survival skills and how to respond
properly in the event of emergencies.
“Alam po namin na magagaling na kayo sa inyong larangan pero
kailangan nating ilagay sa tamang perspektibo yung ating mga
natutunan. Ang layunin ng training na ito ay madagdagan ng tulong at
kaalaman ang inyong mga kakayahan na pang habang-buhay ninyong
maisasama at kailanman ay hindi maaaring manakaw mula sa inyo” said
NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod in his Welcome Message.
The Basic Safety Training for MHOF is aimed at improving the basic
safety skills of local motorboat operators and fisherfolks and
expose them to new techniques in Personal Survival, Fire Prevention
and Firefighting, Elementary First Aid and Personal Safety and
Social Responsibility. Other salient topics are Rules of the Road,
Typhoon Awareness and Marine Safety Requirements.
Moreover, in order to promote gender equality and address the gender
issues present in the field of the marginalized industry, the Gender
Sensitivity Training (GST) Course was also incorporated in the
The first day of the training was conducted through online using
zoom videoconferencing platform. On 24 February 2021, NMP Team
headed by Deputy Executive Director III, Ms. Mayla N. Macadawan
proceeded to Daram, Samar for the conduct of practical exercises and
This was the first batch of graduates produced by NMP on BSTMHOF
this year. Coordination with other LGUs in Region 8 is currently
being made for possible collaboration, thereby expanding the reach
of beneficiaries for this program.
Likewise, NMP is in consultation with the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) Central Office for the possible grant of motorized
bancas to various fisherfolks association in the region through the
DOLE’s livelihood assistance. Said bancas can also be used during
rescue operations in times of disasters and calamities.
Meanwhile, NMP continues to conduct face-to-face trainings
exclusively to the seafarer-trainees residing within Region VIII,
imposing 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: https://nmp.gov.ph/online-course-offerings/.
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 the OWWA.
Trainers conducting practical assessment on BSTMHOF at Kandiwata,
Global ad market
is set to hit $769.9 billion by 2024
Via OMNES Media
February 26, 2021
This is the right time for media vendors to grab
their share as the race between companies to increase their ad
expenses intensifies, says Chief Executive Officer of Advert on
DUBAI – Amid an
intensifying race between companies to increase their advertising
expenditure to boost profitability prospects, the global advertising
market is set to reach $769.9 billion by 2024, an industry expert
has pointed out.
plays a vital role in communicating the value proposition of an
organisation’s offering and influencing the buying behaviour of
consumers. This is the reason why most companies around the world
focus more on advertisements of their products and services,” said
Fahed Aldeeb, Chief Executive Officer of Advert on Click (advertonclick.com).
portal Advert on Click is a one-of-its-kind digital platforms that
connects all stakeholders of the media industry from across the
“As much as digital media
has grown, it is working with traditional media to continue the 360
degree media mix that marketers strive for. So, digital media has
not replaced traditional media, but adds to it to complete the
circle,” added the CEO of Advert on Click, which offers a new-age
platform to showcase and promote advertising spaces and solutions of
broadcast, print, online and OOH (out-of-home) players from all
around the globe.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has
accelerated clients’ digital transformation journey. Bearing this in
mind, Offline media such as TV, Radio and OOH also benefitted in
some markets due to lockdowns. This is the right time to board the
bandwagon and stay ahead of your competitors. By registering at
Advert on Click, you can have the whole marketplace at your
fingertips through outreach and unique services that help you get
accurate information, display, transparent comparisons, media plan
preparation and media booking ability,” he said.
More than 950 vendors have
already registered with Advert on Click, the platform is poised to
launch to advertisers in the coming weeks. The platform boasts, ad
space from all types of media vendors, be it digital, print,
broadcast or OOH.
“Advert on Click allows
listing or booking of media space with just a few clicks. Our unique
algorithms connect the right media buyer with the media seller for
optimal results in advertising,” said Aldeeb.
The information offered by
Advert on Click – an integrated knowledge base that empowers direct
advertisers and media buying agencies – includes space availability,
technical specifications, information about the media outlets as
well as their rate cards.
Municipal Agrarian Reform Office in Merida, Leyte, under
Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Amita Barte,
successfully linked the Mat-e Agrarian Reform
Beneficiaries Association (MARBA) to the Bureau of Jail
Management and Penology (BJMP) in Isabel, Leyte as
institutional buyer for the farmer’s harvests.
(Photo by MARO Amita Barte)
marketing agreement with Merida farmers
February 26, 2021
MERIDA, Leyte –
Another agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organization (ARBO) from the
western part of the province of Leyte recently entered into a
marketing agreement with an institutional buyer for their harvests.
Ismael P. Aya-ay disclosed that the Mat-e Agrarian Reform
Beneficiaries Association (MARBA), based in this fifth-class
municipality, became the 15th ARBO in Eastern Visayas to be linked
successfully to an institutional buyer by the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and
Poverty (EPAHP) program.
Municipal Agrarian Reform
Program Officer (MARPO) Amita Barte reported that the signing of the
marketing agreement took place on February 3 at her office and in
front of MARBA president, Carllito Dela Cruz and Bureau of Jail
Management and Penology (BJMP) District Jail Warden, SJO4 Basilio
Also present in the event
were MARPO staff Mateo Maratas and BJMP Jail Officer 2 Allan Perez.
Barte explained that in their agreement, the BJMP of Isabel town
will purchase food supplies from the DAR-assisted farmer
organization, such as vegetables and poultry products, to be used in
feeding persons deprived of liberty (PDL). BJMP will buy MARBA’s
products based on the prevailing market price, and will pick them up
in a designated area, she added.
Under the EPAHP, according
to Aya-ay, instead of buying food supplies elsewhere, the
city/district/municipality jails as well as the Department of
Health’s-retained hospitals are encouraged to procure food supplies
for the feeding of PDLs and in-patients, respectively, from the
ARBOs, which is allowed by the Government Procurement Policy Board
thru Resolution No. 17-2016. He also emphasized that under the
program, farmers are guaranteed a ready market for their products
while hospitals and jails are assured of freshly harvested fruits
EV welcomes 2021
with 2.2% inflation rate
February 24, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY –
Eastern Visayas welcomed January 2021 with a 2.2 percent Inflation
Rate (IR). This IR is 0.2 percentage point lower compared with the
2.4 percent IR in December 2020. This figure, however, is 0.2
percentage point higher than the recorded 2.0 percent IR in the same
period last year.
The regional IR is 2.0
percentage points lower than the 4.2 percent national average
inflation rate in January 2021.
Among the provinces, only
Samar registered an increase in IR of 0.3 percentage point. It rose
to 5.8 percent in January 2021 from 5.5 percent in December 2020.
This is the highest IR among the provinces during the reference
month. Leyte, meanwhile, retained its previous month’s IR at 1.9
Biliran registered the
highest decrease of 0.8 percentage point, pushing its IR to zero in
January 2021. Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, and Eastern Samar’s
IRs registered decreases ranging from 0.1 percentage point to 0.7
percentage point, settling at 3.3 percent, 3.0 percent, and 1.4
percent, respectively, during the month in review.
Five (5) of the 11
commodity groups in the region exhibited lower IRs in January 2021
compared with their rates in December 2020. Alcoholic beverages and
tobacco commodity group registered the biggest decrease of 1.9
percentage points, from 9.3 percent in December 2020 to 7.4 percent
in January 2021. This decrease may be traced to slower IR in the
index for tobacco, from double digit 12.4 percent in December 2020
to 9.1 percent in January 2021.
Prices for housing, water,
electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group further deflated to
1.4 percent in January 2021 from 0.6 percent in December 2020, a
continued drop by 0.8 percentage point. This can be attributed to
the index for electricity, gas and other fuels which posted
deflation of 4.9 percent in January 2021 from 2.8 percent deflation
in December 2020.
Compared with their
December 2020 levels, the IRs for clothing and footwear commodity
group (2.5%) and health commodity group (1.1%) were lower by 0.2
percentage point and 0.1 percentage point, respectively, in January
The IR for food and
non-alcoholic beverages commodity group eased by 0.1 percentage
point, from 3.1 percent in December 2020 to 3.0 percent in January
2021. Double digit IRs were noted in vegetables and fruits indices
at 15.9 percent and 12.0 percent, respectively. Prices of meat
picked up by 3.1 percent in January 2021 from 1.4 percent in
December 2020. Increased IRs were also registered in the indices for
food products not elsewhere classified (6.9 percent); sugar, jam,
honey, chocolate, and confectionary products (1.9 percent); and rice
(0.6 percent). However, the 2.9 percent deflation in corn index, and
the drop in the IR for fish index to 0.3 percent in January 2021
from 2.9 percent in December 2020, eased the impact of those
increases to the overall IR of the commodity group.
On the other hand, IR for
transport commodity group increased by 0.6 percentage point. The 5.0
percent IR in December 2020 rose to 5.6 percent in January 2021. The
3.0 percent deflation registered in the index for operation of
personal transport equipment was offset by the higher IR (9.6%)
posted in the index for transport services.
miscellaneous goods and services commodity group recorded 0.4
percentage points increase in its IR, from 3.8 percent in December
2020 to 4.2 percent in January 2021. This can be traced to higher
IRs in the indices for catering services (6.3%) and personal care
group and recreation and culture commodity group continued to post
deflations but at a slower rate, settling at 1.5 percent and 1.3
percent during the month in review.
Meanwhile, the commodity
groups of furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance
of the house and education retained their previous month’s IRs at
2.4 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region weakened to P0.77 in January 2021. This PPP
implies that the goods and services worth P77.00 in 2012 is worth
P100.00 in January 2021.
Compared to their levels
in December 2020, PPP in Biliran, Leyte and Samar weakened by P0.01
in January 2021. The rest of the provinces retained their previous
month’s PPP. Biliran recorded the strongest PPP among provinces in
January 2021 at P0.81. Leyte and Southern Leyte ranked second both
at P0.79, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.75 and Northern Samar at
P0.72. Samar posted the weakest PPP during the reference month at
requires product certification for plywood
DTI-CPG-Bureau of Philippine Standards
February 18, 2021
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards
(DTI-BPS) has recently included plywood under the list of products
required to undergo its Product Certification Schemes through the
issuance of DTI Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 20-06,
series of 2020 on 15 October 2020.
With the issuance of DAO
No. 20-06, the new technical regulation concerning the mandatory
product certification of locally manufactured or imported plywood,
manufacturers of plywood are now required to secure the Philippine
Standard (PS) Quality Certification Mark License before they can
sell or distribute their products to the market. Importers, on the
other hand, are now required to acquire their products from foreign
manufacturers holding valid PS Licenses only. This technical
regulation aims to strictly ensure compliance to specified quality
requirements for plywood being sold in the Philippine market.
Plywood is one of the most
commonly used construction materials in the country. Many Filipino
homes have facades, exterior and interior walls made with plywood.
Equipment in construction and/or manufacturing industries also
utilize plywood as a means to support loads or products. Moreover,
marine ports, docks, vessels, and boats use plywood for sturdier
built since shipments of high masses are often transported through
sea freights for lower cost. Plywood has become the go-to component
in every construction activity due to their usage versatility,
durability, and lower cost. Their ready availability in the market
makes them essential to every Filipino household.
Pursuant also to DAO No.
20-06, s. 2020, imported or locally manufactured plywood products
shall now have the minimum required markings as follows:
• Correct and registered
trade name or brand name;
• Duly registered
• Duly registered Business
Name and address of importer and manufacturer (if imported) or duly
registered Business Name and address of manufacturer (if locally
• Country of Origin;
• Type of plywood
(Softwood or Hardwood);
• Bonding Class (1, 2 or
• Thickness, mm;
• Formaldehyde Emission
"FE" and the star rating (In reference to PNS 2103:2017,
Formaldehyde Emissions - Specifications or its future amendments);
• Lot/Batch Number or
• PS Mark with License
These markings are not
only for traceability and verification purposes but will also serve
as guide for consumers in ensuring that the plywood products they
purchase comply with the quality and safety requirements of the
“Through this technical
regulation, the DTI-BPS aims to promote safer working and living
environment for everyone”, underscores DTI-BPS Director, Neil P.
Catajay. “Knowing that we all have the same vision, we are confident
that the wood and construction industry will cooperate with the
implementation of this technical regulation to combat the
proliferation of substandard plywood in the Philippine Market.”
Director Catajay states.
DAO No. 20-06, series of
2020, and other issuances may be downloaded from the BPS Standards
and Conformance Portal, www.bps.dti.gov.ph (direct link:
For more updates and
information on standards, technical regulations, and conformity
assessment procedures (STRACAP), please visit the DTI-BPS portal:
www.bps.dti.gov.ph. Emails and messages may also be sent to our
official Facebook page “DTI Bureau of Philippine Standards” or
Upset Hindus seek
apology from Rihanna for donning Lord Ganesha pendant in topless
February 17, 2021
Upset Hindus are seeking
apology from singer-actress-businesswoman Rihanna for wearing Lord
Ganesha pendant (on a long necklace) covering her belly-button and
posted on her official Twitter handle on February 15, calling it
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed,
in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Lord Ganesha was
highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples
or home shrines and not to be used as a fashion statement to push a
sexy lingerie line or become a tool for sexy fashion. Inappropriate
usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for
commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of
Universal Society of Hinduism, emphasized that celebrities and
companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation,
sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply
trivializing of immensely venerated Lord Ganesha to be displayed in
such a manner for mercantile greed.
Besides apologizing to the
worldwide Hindu community, Rajan Zed also urged Rihanna to
immediately remove the objectionable picture from her Twitter
Hinduism was the oldest
and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion
adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be
taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should
not be mishandled; Zed noted.
Many devotees did wear a
Lord Ganesha pendant on short necklace on a regular basis to express
their reverence/devotion in Lord Ganesha; but wearing it as a
fashion accessory in a one-time photo-shoot in this disrespectful
manner for commercial agenda was quite out of line; Rajan Zed
Zed suggested Rihanna to
undergo training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that she
had a better understanding of the feelings of communities and
Rajan Zed further said
that such trivialization of Hindu deities was disturbing to the
Hindus world over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and
speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something
sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha
is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is
invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are
about three million Hindus in USA. February 15 happened to be
Ganesha Jayanti (Ganesha’s birthday).
decries relentless attacks against Bakwit Schools
February 16, 2021
MANILA – The
National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) condemns the
violent intrusion of the elements of the PNP Regional Office in Cebu
into the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus where the Lumad
Bakwit School is taking refuge. On February 15, 2021, the PNP barged
into the campus in an alleged “rescue operation” for minors
allegedly kidnapped by progressive groups.
“This intrusion of the PNP
is clear manifestation of this government’s disregard to the rights
and lives of our indigenous peoples, especially the Lumad children
who are already under constant and intense distress since they have
been uprooted from their ancestral lands on several occasions.” said
Bishop Reuel Marigza, the General Secretary of the NCCP.
“This is not the first.
They did the same to the Lumads who have sought a safe place in the
United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran Center in
Davao. In their quest for a more peaceful place, away from their
military-occupied ancestral lands, the Lumads have no choice but to
flee and go to places where they feel that they are safe. It is just
abhorrent and unacceptable for us churches to see the government’s
relentless attacks to their lives and communities,” Bishop Marigza
The setting up of Lumad
Bakwit Schools has been a collective response of the indigenous
peoples on the intensifying militarization and land grabbing of
Lumad communities in Mindanao. The Bakwit schools have been set up
by the elders of the communities, NGOs and churches to assert their
children’s right to education.
“NCCP firmly believes in
the inherent worth and dignity of children. They are God’s gift and
are valuable members of the human family. Thus, the NCCP upholds its
commitment to protect and defend children's rights,” Bishop Marigza
“The violent raid in Cebu
showed us how the Government can conveniently assault our national
minorities even under the care of sanctuaries and havens in the
guise of ‘rescue operations’”, Bishop Marigza said. “This pseudo
‘rescue operations’ is clearly a violation of the rights of our
Lumad children and their teachers and to the whole Lumad communities
who have suffered decades-long struggles in defense of their
ancestral land, life and their education,” Bishop Marigza averred.
The NCCP is in solidarity
with the Lumad children in their struggle for their land and their
rights to education. “We join the call to end militarization in
Mindanao and to save Lumad schools. We likewise call for the safe
and immediate release of the 25 students including their elders and
their teachers who were illegally detained from this violent police
raid”, the Bishop concluded.
The NCCP is the largest
aggrupation of mainline Protestant and non-Roman Catholic churches
in the Philippines.
opened another route for farmers in Sta. Margarita, Samar
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
February 15, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – In
convergence with the Department of Agriculture, Samar First District
Engineering Office completed a farm-to-market road from Barangays
Mabuhay to Hindang through Salvacion.
The FMR built has a
contract amount of more than P28.2 million that will help a lot of
farmers residing in the barangays mentioned and surrounding areas
that will benefit the new route. This opened road will eventually
connect Barangay Hindang to other nearby barangays that will allow
them exit to the main highway either through Barangay Cagsumje or
Barangay Lambao via Barangay Mabuhay in the event that future
developmental projects will be implemented in said barangays.
The scope of work covers a
road opening with Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) which
spans 960 meters while the remaining road opening with gravel has a
length of 1,210 meters. All of which has a width of 5.3 meters. A
riprap is also built intermittently on some areas to avoid erosion
or collapse of structure that spans a total of 238 linear meters.
Before, the path that they
trek on resembles a marshland, very muddy especially when it rains,
said Marvin Gatoc, a farmer from Barangay Mabuhay. Now, it is easier
for them to carry their products like copra and other root crops
that they grew to the nearby market because their barangay is
already accessible by motor vehicles.
Farmers can now transport
greater amount of their goods anytime because its already accessible
to vehicles. Gone are the days that they have to walk for hours and
would have to start walking early in the morning to reach the
marketplace on time. With this, farmers were able to plant more
crops other than copra to increase their income. More business
opportunities also come with the new road.
Travel time was also
reduced from two to three hours to thirty minutes since motor
vehicles can now access these remote barangays.
wants 20 MW CENECO tender stopped in favor of better terms for
February 15, 2021
MANILA – The Negros
chapter of nationwide consumers' movement Konsyumer on Monday called
on to the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) and relevant
energy agencies to put a stop to an ongoing tender of the electric
cooperative (EC), citing the use of Terms of Reference (TOR)
unfavorable to consumers and lack of transparency in the bidding
process as in need of proper amendments before bids should be
allowed to push through.
The biggest EC of Negros
Occidental is holding a competitive selection process (CSP) for a
power requirement of 20 MW, assumed to be in time for the expiration
of its 64 MW Power Supply Agreement (PSA) with a coal power plant in
Naga, Cebu, owned by KEPCO-SPC.
“We are finally getting
off, though only partially, paying for costly and dirty electricity
from coal. But before we can even celebrate this, we are concerned
that CENECO is already preparing to expose us once more to
electricity that is not least-cost, and we are not even given the
chance to properly be informed on and participate in the process,"
said Griderick Alila, Coordinator of Konsyumer Negros.
Earlier this month,
Konsyumer Negros formally filed a letter addressed to CENECO
protesting the conduct of the tender and calling for its suspension.
The group noted that the TOR and documents guiding the selection
process have not even been posted publicly as mandated by DOE even
as the target electricity delivery date of February 26 looms close.
“Consumers have the right
to know and should have a say on what kind of electricity we are
paying for. This is especially true in this time of crisis when
costs of basic needs continue to rise while means of living for many
are still down. So far, however, our concerns have only been met by
silence," he said.
The group’s call was
supported by the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED),
a Quezon City based think-tank that has been working together with
Konsyumer and a broad alliance of Negrosanons under the banner of
the REpower Negros Movement in advocating for the island's power
sector transformation. CEED in December released a policy brief
examining faults and lessons from the power procurement processes of
Metro Manila distribution utility MERALCO, which are now also
observed in the CENECO tender.
“The 20 MW tender fails to
set in place straight energy pricing, guaranteed supply availability
requirement, and better force majeure provisions, including dispute
settlement mechanism – all of which will benefit its consumers.
These could protect them from additional costs in unpredictable
times like the pandemic. The tender also creates unnecessary
barriers for renewable energy firms that could provide cheaper
electricity with little cost to the environment, many of whom can be
found locally and are in fact struggling with oversupply, since the
current inter-island grid set-up is incapable of absorbing all
electricity they produce," said Avril De Torres, Research, Policy,
and Law Program Head of CEED.
Konsyumer filed another
set of letters today to follow-up on the call for a suspension of
the tender, addressed to CENECO and offices of the Department of
Energy (DOE), National Electrification Administration (NEA), the
Third Party Bids and Awards Committee (TPBAC), and the Negros
Electric Cooperatives Association (NECA).
“Our home island abounds
in clean and affordable renewable energy sources, which we hope
CENECO and all other electric cooperatives would tap before looking
elsewhere and forcing consumers to pay for dirty, overpriced
electricity. Konsyumer Negros will not back down until this and our
many other concerns on the tender are addressed. CENECO and our
energy regulators may expect to continue hearing from us," said
CARD MRI Hijos
Tours launches first Virtual Food Tour
February 11, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY –
While tourism remains to be one of the industries most affected by
the COVID-19 pandemic, a glimmer of hope can be seen as the
Department of Tourism (DOT) continues to support Laguna’s tourism
sector, promoting it as a “fun, safe, and sustainable tourist
destination.” CARD MRI Hijos Tours, for example, gets the nod of DOT
as the San Pablo-based tour company in Laguna continually creates
fun virtual tour programs that let the adventurous explore the
country without travelling.
One of its programs allows
food vloggers, culinary students, and food lovers to enjoy “a real
time fun experience” in the comforts of their home, through CARD MRI
Hijos Tours’ Virtual Food Tour.
The first Virtual Food
Tour will jumpstart on February 27, 2021 which will include
discussions on the history of San Pablo City’s traditional dishes
and delicacies like fern salad (ensaladang pako) and grilled
tilapia, and Pancit Kalabuko or noodles made out of mushroom with
squash (kalabasa) and coconut (buko).
The Virtual Food Tour will
also include a pre-recorded food demo of suman, a Filipino rice
cake, that will allow subscribers to cook and prepare these
traditional specialties alongside members of CARD.
Food enthusiasts may
subscribe to the Virtual Food Tour by purchasing a Food Box (P1,999)
that includes some of the key ingredients in making these
traditional specialties like the malagkit or glutinous rice for
suman and the mushroom noodles for the Pancit Kalabuko. The Food Box
also contains products that can be best paired with these special
Filipino food like Coco Sugar, Coco Jam, and Kapeng Barako to
complement the suman delicacy.
Stories of Heritage and Hope
“The Virtual Food Tour is
a way for us to learn more about history, stories of the past,” said
CARD MRI Hijos Tours President Marilyn M. Manila. According to
Manila, one of the goals of the Virtual Food Tour is to share
heritage stories of both food and families – how they passed down
recipes through generations and how important it is to be stewards
of one’s resources.
The Virtual Food Tour also
aims to help communities recover from the effects of the pandemic as
Hijos Tours sources the contents of the Food Box from their
suppliers who are CARD clients. “With every bite of these delicious
delicacies, we support the livelihood of our clients,” Manila added.
Subscribers of the Virtual
Food Tour will not only learn about the culture, history, and
tradition of San Pablo City, Laguna but will also be able to support
communities through its activities and help food become “the new
the history and culture San Pablo City's delicacies and
specialties through Hijos de Siete Lagos Food Box.
de Siete Lagos Food Box contains ingredients used for
virtual cooking demo as well as other local products from
Publishing House launches Online Radio
February 9, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY – CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), a
social development organization that is in the business of poverty
eradication, continues its journey to digital transformation by
introducing its online radio on January 29, 2021.
Through CARD MRI Publishing House Inc., CARD MRI launched a podcast
channel named CARD MRI Online Radio on Spotify with its first
program offering, “Pulong: Ang Kwento ni Inay.” This tells stories
of women, usually microentrepreneurs and their experiences with CARD
The said program is set to
produce 12 episodes a year, with each episode featuring a unique
story about women overcoming poverty through entrepreneurship. Every
episode will also feature CARD Leaders as storytellers including
CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip
and CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza L. Sarmiento.
“We are delighted to share
the stories of our clients through new innovative approaches.
Because times have changed, we learned that we have to adapt and
take advantage of digital platforms to continue sharing stories of
hope,” said CARD Publishing President Marilyn M. Manila, who was
also the first storyteller of the first program.
Her episode featured
Marisssa Federizo, a supplier of Mga Likha ni Inay’s Palengke on
Wheels (PoW). Through PoW, Marissa’s business thrived as she
continuously sold her products to households during the pandemic.
Now, with the assistance of POW, Marissa has expanded her frozen
The CARD MRI Online Radio
also plans to introduce new programs throughout the year. “We will
also be launching talk shows with microfinance-practitioners and
experts that listeners will not only enjoy, but also learn from. We
are excited to bring you more inspiring stories through our podcast
channel,” she concluded.
for hard work: Success story of Brilliant Juice
DTI-Regional Operations Group-MIMAROPA
February 8, 2021
MAKATI CITY – The
journey to the Brilliant Juice’s success didn’t happen overnight.
Mr. Rustico Melendez, OFW turned full-time entrepreneur and owner of
Brilliant Juice Manufacturer, had to swim against the waves to get
where he is today.
“Whatever comes in your
way while growing the business, you need to maintain your mindset to
focus on your vision. Never give up, continue striving until you
reach your dream.”
This is Mr. Rustico
Melendez’s aphorism in his journey towards making Brillo Juice, the
flagship product of Brilliant Juice, the healthy drink of choice.
Brilliant Juice manufactures natural drinks made with tea, tropical
fruits such as oranges and mangoes infused with cucumber.
“Brillo” is the shortened
term for Brilliant which Mr. Melendez got from the cruise ship,
Brilliant of the Seas, where he worked as a wine steward for 25
The beginning of Brillo is
an arduous journey as Mr. Melendez faced criticism and rejection
from store owners to display and sell his products because of lack
of trust on its quality. Despite such, he fueled this energy to
become a full-time entrepreneur and put his savings in investing
equipment and machineries to make his manufacturing semi-automated.
Being enrolled in the One
Town One Product (OTOP) Next Gen Program of the Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI) was of great help to Mr. Melendez. He was able to
acquire barcode, trademark, laboratory analysis, new packaging,
compliant labels, among others. He was then able to comply with the
requirements to secure a License To Operate (LTO) from the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), thus Brillo Juice was certified and the
license was given.
Moreover, his learnings
from attending various trainings helped him to effectively manage
his business. He was able to widen his connections through regional
trade fairs and gain friends who contributed to his business
success. The success also translated in their sales, having a yearly
significant increase in total gross sales.
Mr. Melendez is the
epitome of perseverance as he poured his dedication and trust in
making his business successful. “I am committed to the quality of my
products and I always ask for the guidance of the Lord for its
success,” he firmly believes. Now, the owner gives back by hiring 12
full-time employees from around his community, because he believes
they too, deserve the opportunity to improve their lives.
From 8 hours of processing
350 bottles of Brillio, working time was reduced to 3 hours with
DTI’s assistance for machinery upgrade. “Brillo Juice” became a hit
not only to the taste buds of children, but to adults as well.
Before, Brilliant Juice Manufacturer produces 1,500 bottles of
Brillio Juice, but today, they distribute around an average of 6,000
bottles a month.
Notably, Brillio Juice was
awarded the MIMAROPA Naturally Agri-Trade and Tourism Fair’s Most
Innovative Product in 2014. Until today, Mr. Melendez continues to
find ways to quench the thirst of the public for innovative ways in
serving healthy juices.
Brilliant Juice’s products
are currently distributed to direct consumers, schools, catering
services, hotels and groceries within Marinduque and outside the
province as well.
inspects major projects in Biliran
February 5, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran – Newly
designated District Engineer Ferdinand A. Briones of the Department
of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) -Biliran District Engineering
Office (DEO) inspects major projects in Biliran on February 03,
Together with Section
Chiefs and some technical personnel of Biliran DEO, DE Briones
inspects projects along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road (NCCCR)
starting with the on-going construction of Palanay Gymnasium in
Caibiran town. This project is implemented in Phase 1 (Structural
building) and Phase 2 (Roofing) under contract with BNL Construction
amounting to P4.8M and P2.9M, respectively.
During the inspection,
Briones talks with the contractors’ representative regarding some
corrections that needs to be done in the said project. According to
Briones, this slight correction is important to make the roof strong
to withstand the strongest typhoon. He instructed the contractor’s
representative to review the plans and specifications and to closely
coordinate with the project engineer for action. The completion of
the project will provide a place for residents to hold different
activities without being exposed to harsh weather conditions. This
will also serve as an evacuation center for residents during
The second project
inspected is the newly completed Cabibihan Bridge in Caibiran town
funded by the Office of the President (OP) thru the Office of the
Civil Defense (OCD) amounting to P15M. DE Briones suggested to Engr.
Rosario B. Rosete, Chief of Planning and Design Section to request
funds for the concrete paving of the bridge’s approaches and to
construct flood mitigation structures along the river to protect the
bridge against flooding.
The District Engineer also
inspected two on-going projects – Emergency Repair of Damaged
National Road with Slips, Slope Collapse and Landslide at Sitio
Macalpi, Brgy. Cabibihan in the town of Caibiran amounting to P44.8M
and P35M, respectively. These projects are essential for residents
in the town of Caibiran and to its neighboring towns for a faster
access to the only Provincial Hospital and other basic essential
services like banks and other financial institutions in the capital
town of Naval.
Meanwhile, one road slope
protection along Biliran Circumferential Road is also inspected
funded under FY 2018 fund. The completed project provides safety to
the travelling public.
DE Briones said that he
will be regularly conducting project inspections to ensure that
projects are in accordance with the approved plans and
specifications and in order to familiarize himself with the
different road sections in the Province. This is the first time that
the new district engineer conducts project inspection since his
assignment in this district office.
Engineer Ferdinand A. Briones received on Monday,
February 01, 2021 the flag of the DPWH -Biliran District
Engineering Office from outgoing District Engineer David
P. Adongay Jr. (middle) in a symbolic turn-over
ceremony. The ceremony was held at DPWH-BDEO, Brgy.
Calumpang, Naval, Biliran and was witnessed by Governor
Rogelio J. Espina (2nd from left), Chief of the
Construction Division, Engr. Sandy T. Pua (1st from
right), and Mr. Ritchie Garcia, (1st from left),
District Head Officer at House of Representative on
behalf of Congressman Gerardo J. Espina Jr.
has new district engineer
February 4, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways -Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) welcomes new District Engineer
Ferdinand A. Briones in a turn-over ceremony on Monday, February 01,
DE Briones will assume the
stewardship of Biliran DEO vacated by outgoing District Engineer
David P. Adongay Jr. who in return will also assume the leadership
of Northern Samar 2nd District Engineering Office in lieu of DE
“As a public servant and a
good follower, if I may add, I would like to assure everyone that I
come here to accomplish a mission mandated to me by our department,”
Briones said that with the
much-needed support and cooperation from Biliran DEO employees, he
may able to deliver his priorities as he begins his stint in the
According to Briones,
aside from his priority to continue the programs and projects
initiated by DE Adongay, he will also see to it that the proposed
programs and projects of the district office for CY 2022 will be
He also emphasized that he
will enhance linkages with the agency’s stakeholders especially the
Local Government Units (LGUs) through close coordination with the
different local officials in order to support, prioritize and
provide infrastructure development programs in the province.
The new district engineer
also said that it is his priority to maximize manpower development
both technical and non-technical to raise the bar of competence in
program implementations and to practice the core values of the
department which are Public Service, Integrity, Professionalism,
Excellence and Teamwork.
District Engineer Adongay has been awarded by Biliran DEO employees
the plaque of appreciation in recognition, grateful acknowledgement
and sincere appreciation for his eight years of dedicated services
rendered to the agency as District Engineer.
The said ceremony was
witnessed by Governor Rogelio J. Espina, Engr. Sandy T. Pua - Chief
of Construction Division, Regional Office VIII, and Mr. Ritchie
Garcia - District Head Officer at House of Representative on behalf
of Congressman Gerardo J. Espina Jr.
initiates CARD e-Pharmacist to clients
February 3, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY – To
continuously deliver essential services to clients, BotiCARD, a
pharmaceutical company under CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions
(CARD MRI) in collaboration with Microfinance and Health Protection
(MaHP) Program Unit launched its CARD e-Pharmacist.
Said BotiCARD President
Rosenda Aquino, RPh, “In this time of pandemic, one major priority
and concerns of our clients is their health. Following the success
of CARD e-Doctor, we, at BotiCARD, initiated CARD e-Pharmacist to
make sure that our clients have easy access to seek advice about
their health problems and discuss possible treatment that could cure
Through CARD e-Pharmacist,
CARD clients and the general public can have immediate access for
medical advice and information from health practitioners by using
the online platform. “Since the use of digital platform continues to
grow, this is an effective and convenient way to help and reach our
clients nationwide. CARD e-Pharmacist offers medical advice,
diagnose them following a series of questions, and help the clients
with the right prescriptions at the comfort of their home,” she
To shift online is one way
to limit face-to-face contact. She explained that with the use of
Facebook, clients can directly message BotiCARD official Facebook
page to consult and address their medical concerns. “We make sure
that with this initiative, clients can benefit a quick access and
free patient counseling to pharmacist and widen the reach of
communities and clients that we serve.”
Aquino concluded that with
this initiative clients with medical problems that is lack of health
care will surely benefit the program. “With this, it will lessen the
cost of going to clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. In this trying
time, clients should avoid themselves in exposing outside and debts
due to health expenses.”
DAR to make
Tacloban producer of vegetables
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
January 30, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY –
Despite having been categorized as highly urbanized, this city is
still capable of producing tons of your favorite vegetables.
This is what the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) would like to prove as it plans
to turn an awarded lot under the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP) into a vegetable garden.
In partnership with the
Department of Agriculture and the City Agriculture Office, DAR
initiated two weeks ago, the plan to make portion of the 23-hectare
lot in Barangay New Kawayan, which is covered by a collective
Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), into a vegetable garden
where the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are guaranteed of
This project according to
DAR Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay is dubbed as “Buhay sa Gulay”,
which Agrarian Reform Secretary, Brother John Castriciones, would
like to be replicated in urban areas nationwide after the successful
initial implementation in Tondo, Manila.
This project is expected
to contribute to the sufficient supply of food in the city and
neighboring towns, aside from providing livelihood to the farmers.
Here, though the project
will initially utilize a one-hectare lot planted to fast-yielding
crops such as kangkong, pechay, lettuce, okra and pepino, DA’s Romeo
Delmo suggested, during last week’s planning session, that they will
conduct simultaneously Farmer Field School to the 20 members of the
New Kawayan-Cabalawan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers’
Association to sustain the project and by-and-by spreading it until
the entire 23 hectares are utilized.
Sonny Colete, 46, an
agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) of lot-9, which was chosen to be
the demo farm, shared that he agreed to make his area as the demo
farm “because it is an opportunity for us to be assisted in
developing our lots”.
According to him, prior to
this project, only a portion of his area was planted with cassava.
The rest was idle.
In this project, DAR will
provide the farmers with garden tools and other farming materials,
while DA and the City Agriculture Office will provide the seeds and
The project commenced last
week with the preparation of the land, layouting, plot making and
plant sowing. Planting of seedlings into their assigned plots is
scheduled on February 4.
On the last week of
February, it is expected that the farmers could already start
At the moment, making of
60 plots measuring one-by-20 meters continues.
advocates unite against NPA
DPAO, 8ID PA
January 29, 2021
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – Some 350 residents of Matuguinao, Samar joined a
walk for peace and rejected the presence of the Communist Party of
the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF)
in their municipality, in a Peace Assembly on Friday, January 29, 2020.
Led by Mayor Aran Boller
and Vice-Mayor Cleofe Belonio, the participants, who included
barangay officials, law enforcers, employees of various government
agencies, and former rebels, denounce the communist terrorists'
deceptive recruitment scheme of the youth and the atrocities
committed against government security forces and Matuguinaonons.
“It’s about time to end
the chaos and the damage brought by the communist terrorist group. I
encourage every Matuguinaonon to help the government by stopping
providing sanctuary, financial, material, or any kind of support to
the NPA terrorists,” Mayor Boller said.
During the program,
hundreds of residents from the 20 barangays of Matuguinao were
joined by municipal and barangay leaders, Philippine Army personnel,
employees of various government agencies, and former rebels in the
ceremonial signing of a peace covenant and resolution declaring the
CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata in their town. They also burned
flags of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“I appeal to all members
of the CPP-NPA-NDF to stop destroying the future of our youth by
becoming victims of your deceptive recruitment. I also encourage
them to lay down their arms and go back to the folds of the law and
be productive citizens,” Mayor Boller added.
The former rebels who
joined the peace assembly narrated their experiences while inside
the organization and witnessed the inhumane acts of the NPA. They
said they are thankful for the government's help to their families
after they have decided to surrender. They were not only given a
chance to live peacefully with their families but were also given
Like the LGU, they are
also appealing to their former comrades to return to the folds of
the law as the government is ready to help them so they can have
peaceful and normal lives as productive citizens of the society.
road widening at Biliran- Naval Road Section (K1016+027
- K1018 + 140), Brgy. Bato, Biliran, Biliran under FY
2020-2021 Multi-year Contracting Authority (MYCA).
gets P1.9B infra budget for 2021
January 29, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran – A
total of 124 infrastructure projects with a budget amounting to
P1.9B is to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH) -Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) this
District Engineer David P.
Adongay Jr. said that of the 124 projects, 90 are funded for
“Comprehensive Release” (FCR) with a budget allocation of P1.37M
while 18 are “For Later Release” (FLR) under FY 2021 amounting to
P401,287.00. Meanwhile, 16 projects are funded under FY 2020-2021
Multi-Year Contract Authorization (MYCA) amounting to P181,539.00.
According to Adongay, P32M
is allocated for preventive maintenance (asphalt overlay), P11M for
rehabilitation/ reconstruction of damaged paved road (Tertiary
Road), P350.8M for rehabilitation/ reconstruction of roads with
slips, P177.6M for road widening, P65M for by-pass and diversion
roads, P5M for rehabilitation/ major repair of permanent bridges,
P53.2M for widening of permanent bridges and P185M for flood
Under Convergence and
Special Support Program, Biliran DEO will implement a total of P156M
- P45M for the construction of roads leveraging linkages for
industry and trade, and P111M for installation of water supply
Biliran DEO will also
implement a total of P665M under Local Infrastructure Program which
consists of multipurpose buildings/ facilities, drainage/ protection
works, flood control structures/ facilities, local roads, and local
“The district office has
advertised all 124 projects and bid out a total of 118 projects with
an accomplishment of 38.82% as of January 22, 2021,” said Adongay.
Adongay revealed that a
total of P747M which includes two asphalt overlays amounting to
P108.1M, two tourism roads (P136.7M), two roads leveraging linkages
for industry and trade (P157M), one construction of new Provincial
Hospital (P150M) and two rehabilitation of roads with slips, slope
collapse and landslide amounting to P195.5M will be implemented in
this Province under DPWH Regional Office VIII.
received 162 projects for 2021
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
January 28, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways -Samar First District
Engineering Office received 162 projects to be implemented by the
district amounting to more than P2.95 billion for 2021.
There will be 36 projects
that are under the Multi-Year Contracting Authority (MYCA) while one
project is included in the FY 2020 For Later Release (FLR) that is
subject for withdrawal. Another 125 of which are part of the new
projects. These will comprise the General Appropriations Act for CY
2021. Samar is continuously creating opportunities within its sphere
of jurisdiction and infrastructure project under the Build, Build,
To preserve the
infrastructure investment made along national road, the project
identified focus more on rehabilitation/construction/widening on
both national and secondary roads amounting to P1,457,587,000.00
while an allocation of P343,417,000.00 was granted to projects that
will prevent flooding in low-lying areas.
Local Program also
received P1,012,746,000.00 whereas, convergence and special support
program received P136,599,000.00 to build roads leading to tourism
destinations and infrastructure/s in support of national security
which is beneficial to the people of the 1st District of Samar.
The world needs to act now on Duterte gov’t’s rights abuses
Global independent probe
on rights abuses in the Philippines launched, announced 3 reports
for submission to UN human rights body
January 28, 2021
MANILA – The
Independent International Commission of Investigation into human
rights violations in the Philippines or Investigate PH was launched
this Thursday, January 28. The commission expressed urgency for
accountability of perpetrators and justice for victims and their
More than 200 participants
from lawyers organisations, civil society and churches all over the
world came together to manifest their support for the global
“Investigate PH is a
critical space of solidarity and accompaniment of the people of the
Philippines as it investigates the blatant violation and violence
related to the basic human rights of people,” says one of the
commissioners, Rev. Michael Blair, current General Secretary of the
United Church of Canada’s General Council.
The creation of
Investigate PH was prompted by the resolution of the 45th UN Human
Rights Council session on the Philippine rights situation, also
known as Resolution 45/L.38, last October 2020 that fell short of
victims and the international community’s demand for an independent
probe on the country.
“The gravity of the
violations underlines why the world needs to know about these human
rights abuses and to act to stop the crimes. I put it to everyone at
this event that if we were Filipinos, we would surely have suffered
under the Duterte government. The evidence is overwhelming. The
testimonies [are] tragic,” Investigate PH Commissioner Lee Rhiannon
and former Senator of Australia said, pertaining to her solidarity
visit in the Philippines last 2019.
In the global launch,
commissioners of Investigate PH call on the international community
to act now on the human rights abuses perpetrated by the government
of President Rodrigo Duterte. Currently, the Commission is composed
of 10 eminent personalities namely:
Lee Rhiannon, Former
Senator of Australia
Atty. Jeanne Mirer,
President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Atty. Jan De Lien of the
Justis Lawyers Group of Belgium
Atty. Suzanne Adely,
President of the National Lawyers Guild
Senator Janet Rice,
Australian Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs
Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson,
General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches
Rev. Michael Blair,
General Secretary of United Church of Canada
Rev. Dr. Susan
Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church &
Society, the United Methodist Church
Archbishop Joris Vercammen
of the Old Catholic Church of Netherlands, and Central Committee
member, World Council of Churches
Dr. David Edwards, General
Secretary of the Education International
Leaders of international
lawyers’ groups, political leaders and global church groups have
formed the Investigate PH to gather evidence on crimes against
humanity in relation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war
on drugs” and the persecution of human rights defenders and civil
New York-based human
rights lawyer Jeanne Mirer vowed that Investigate PH will “bring
these violations to light” internationally.
Three reports to the UNHRC,
It was announced in the
global launch that the international probe will submit their
findings by way of oral interventions and submissions at Enhanced
Interactive Dialogues and General Debates in the upcoming UNHRC
Two preliminary reports
will be released in time for the 46th and 47th UNHRC sessions in
March and July 2021 respectively, and one final report in time for
the 48th UNHRC session in September when the High Commissioner will
deliver an update on the implementation of Resolution 45/L.38.
“We are preparing a
submission on these crimes to go to the UN Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights,” says Rhiannon and added that “what
is happening in the Philippines amounts to crimes against humanity.
These crimes must end.”
Investigate PH will also
submit their findings to the International Criminal Court. They aim
to update the Bachelet report and help facilitate international
mechanisms for redress and accountability such as in relevant UN
bodies and the ICC.
A project brief on
Investigate PH is attached to this email. You may also access it
countdown marker to NMP's 43rd anniversary unveiled
January 26, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), established in the year 1978 by
Presidential Decree No. 1369, sets its pace through the unveiling of
the 100-Days countdown marker last 22 January 2021 in celebration of
NMP's 43 years in public service providing competitive and quality
trainings & researches to the Filipino seafarers.
With this year's
anniversary theme: "Enhancing the Filipino Seafarers' Capabilities
through NMP Trainings In Meeting Global Competitiveness Towards
Adopting The New Normal", a challenge and reflection was injected by
NMP's Deputy Executive Director, Mayla N. Macadawan in her opening
remarks, "This is not the occasion we imagined it to be. It's not
going to be a normal celebration but nevertheless, with our
initiative and resilience we always find ways to give meaningful
occasions. The wisdom of putting NMP in Tacloban City is we are at
the heart of the country making us accessible to both the two major
islands of the country. Therefore, let's look back to 43 years as a
premier & the only maritime training & research center with the need
to evolve and continuously meet the demand of the advancing maritime
The event was concluded
with the words of encouragement from the Executive Director of NMP,
Joel B. Maglunsod mirroring on the importance of unity as a great
factor in achieving success and the persistent attainment of the
NMP's vision and mission.
"This occasion must be
marked by the dedication and commitment of all NMP employees who
have been serving the Filipino people in general, and the Filipino
seafarers in particular, for the past 43 years" said Executive
NMP, an attached agency of
the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), was established as
the government's response to the immediate and dire need of updating
and upgrading the capability and qualifications of maritime licensed
officers and other marine graduates for their increased
acceptability for employment in international and domestic fleets.
Also, the agency has a satellite office located at Makati City but
soon to transfer to a more reachable location at the DOLE Office in
Apart from its training
operations, NMP also conducts industry researches towards improving
the Philippine maritime workforce with its findings adopted as
inputs in the formulation of maritime education and labor and
P. Adongay Jr. inspects on-going construction of the
Emergency Repair of Damaged National Roads with Slips,
Slope Collapse and Landslide along Naval Caibiran Cross
Country Road, (K1041+500-K1041+590), So. Macalpe, Naval,
Emergency repair of damaged road with slope collapse in Biliran
January 26, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran –
Two on-going projects: emergency repair of damaged national road
with slope collapse along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road (NCCCR)
are more than halfway complete.
David P. Adongay Jr.,
District Engineer said that these projects are being fast-tracked
under contract with Chu Construction to accommodate huge numbers of
traffic along NCCCR.
Both projects are located
at Sitio Macalpe, Brgy. Cabibihan, Naval Biliran with road sections:
K1041+500-K1041+590 amounting to P35M and K1041+266-K1041+382
amounting to P44.8M. As of January 25, 2021, they have an
accomplishment of 83.52% and 60%, respectively. Currently, these
road sections are passable only to light vehicles for safety
“The immediate completion
of these projects is important to prevent any road accident
especially that these road sections are prone to slips, slope
collapse and landslides,” said Adongay.
According to Adongay,
major scope of work for this project involves the concreting of a
four-lane road and the installation of gabions, the first of its
kind here in the Province.
Gabion is a wire cage or
box filled with materials such as stone, concrete, sand, or soil. It
is a partially flexible block construction used for slope stability
and erosion protection in construction.
“The asset preservation
project is designed to prevent further road slips along NCCCR and
prevent road closures in this area”, said Adongay.
The road at NCCCR is
essential for residents in the town of Caibiran and to its
neighboring towns for a faster access to the only Provincial
Hospital and other basic essential services like banks and other
financial institutions in the capital town of Naval.
When completed, this
project will provide a wider and safer road for the increasing
volume of traffic along NCCCR.
From its start dates on
June 10, 2020, these projects are targeted to be completed on
February 19, 2021 and March 05, 2021.
Global probe on
PH rights violations to include case of harassed indigenous peoples
activist Windel Bolinget politically persecuted, submitted himself
to authorities for custodial protection on fabricated charges
January 26, 2021
Investigate PH, an independent international investigation on the
human rights abuses in the Philippines announced Wednesday that it
will include the case of Cordillera indigenous leader Windel
Bolinget. Last week, Bolinget submitted himself to the authorities
for protection as he faces the trumped-up murder case that was filed
by a police against him. Prior to this, a shoot to kill order and
bounty of US $2,100 was issued by the police directly threatening
“We are determined to
pursue the case of indigenous peoples activist Windel Bolinget in
this ongoing independent investigation. The absurd cases filed
against him causing fear for his life and the safety of his family
are testaments to the terror human rights defenders face in the
Philippines,” says International Coalition for Human Rights in the
Philippine (ICHRP) Chairperson Peter Murphy who is also part of the
global probe Investigate PH.
Bolinget’s case which
involves harassment, red-tagging and the now trumped up charges has
been shortlisted by Investigate PH in its investigation. The
independent international probe will submit a report to the upcoming
Regular Sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Mr Bolinget is the
Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and national convenor
of KATRIBU national alliance of indigenous peoples. He is also a
member of the global steering committee of Land is Life, a global
network of indigenous peoples’ organizations and advocates. “Windel
Bolinget has long been known globally as an indigenous activist
strongly committed to his work, and for many years has suffered
red-tagging and death threats,” says Murphy.
On 6 August 2020, a
criminal case was filed at Davao del Norte, Southern Philippines,
against eleven individuals including Mr Bolinget, for their alleged
involvement in the murder of Garito Malibato on 21 March 2018.
Bolinget belongs to the Kankanaey and Bontok indigenous peoples in
the Cordillera Region, Northern Philippines. The distance between
the Cordillera and Davao del Norte is more than 1700 kilometres and
is two major islands away.
“The murder charge appears
to be absurd and out of this world. The Cordillera is in the north
of the Philippines, while Davao del Norte is very far to the south,”
The Police circulated
online and in public places the Wanted Poster announcing a reward of
P100,000 (2,080 USD) for any information that could lead to his
arrest. On January 19, 2021, Police Provincial Regional Office
Cordillera Chief R’win Pagkalinawan released a ‘shoot to kill’ order
for Mr Bolinget, qualifying it only with ‘if nanlaban’ (if he
retaliated). ‘Nanlaban’ is the routine excuse for police shooting of
alleged drug suspects and indicates that the target person
According to ICHRP, this
bounty only encourages vigilantes and more violence, which further
puts in danger the life of Bolinget. It also denied due process to
the falsely accused Mr Bolinget.
The ICHRP Chairperson
reminded Chief Pagkalinawan that his statement “is a pretext for the
speedy extra-judicial killing of Mr Bolinget before evidence
presented in a legal process could prove that the murder charge is
International Commission of Investigation into Human Rights
Violations in the Philippines or Investigate PH seek to look into
cases of killings of those allegedly involved in drug trade/use and
the persecution of human rights defenders and civil society
organizations like that of Bolinget.
Investigate PH will be
holding a global launch this week to introduce its commissioners who
are leaders of government parliaments, international legal
organisations and churches.
Lastly, the global rights
group ICHRP stressed that Bolinget’s case is just one of many cases
that demonstrate that the Philippine government claims to the
international community that its domestic processes upholding human
rights are blatantly fraudulent.
circumferential road in Barangay Basud, Calbayog City
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
January 25, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – The
circumferential road built in Barangay Basud, Calbayog City is now
completely passable to motorists and residents of the barangay, said
DPWH-Samar First District Engineering Office. The projects have a
total revised contract amount of more than P57 million drawn from
the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019.
The road before is
somewhat dangerous because it was narrow and some parts are not yet
cemented while other parts can be reached through a footpath. This
area is hazardous and accident prone for passing motorists and
residents as stated by Barangay Captain Bliselda Ortiz.
With this condition, a
length of 520 meters was rehabilitated that includes a riprap of 430
meters. Another part includes a concreted road opening of 290 meters
and a gravel road of 30 meters with a riprap of 340 meters along
Salagan Creek. Cross drainages were also built to allow free flow of
water since the area is a rice field and near a body of water.
Furthermore, another part
of the road was rehabilitated which spans 923 meters and a riprap
was also built with a length of 42.5 meters. This project also
includes a drainage canal for both lanes that spans 236.8 meters and
another two cross drainages to avoid water flooding on the main
Both road works have a
width of six (6) meters and includes installation of solar lights.
Now that the roads are
widened and solar lights are installed, the security of the
residents and passing motorists are ensured. By strengthening
connectivity, the circumferential road will allow for the smooth
flow of motorists going to and from the city proper and facilitate
socioeconomic progress among the community.
soldiers jointly finish livelihood training in Leyte
DPAO, 8ID PA
January 22, 2021
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Fifteen former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Samar
and Leyte are now job-ready as they completed a 27-day skills
training conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development
The livelihood training
the former rebels have completed is the Landscape Installation and
Maintenance (Softscape) NC II.
Ten soldiers of the 8th
Infantry Division also attended the same training as former rebels
training partners to show unity and peaceful endeavor.
The graduation was held at
the Villaconzoilo Farm School, Barangay Villaconzoilo, Jaro, Leyte
on January 20, 2021.
TESDA Regional Director
Gamaliel Vicente Jr. congratulated the graduates and hoped that more
rebels would enroll for them to gain skills and later have jobs,
which are beneficial for their families.
“TESDA is in full support
to former rebels in providing livelihood training opportunities in
pursuit of peace,” Dir. Vicente said.
Leyte Governor Leopoldo
Dominico Petilla said the local government units are offering
livelihood training to bring the government closer to the people and
encourage rebels that some programs and services await them if only
they return to the folds of the law. He added that skills training
is a venue for more rebels to address poverty in their families and
communities which is one of the socio-economic issues being used by
the NPA to lure and recruit individuals in the region.
A former rebel, who
introduced himself as Jade said that he is thankful for the
government's intervention. He was not only given the chance to live
peacefully with her family but was also given livelihood.
dahil nabigyan ako ng scholarship sa TESDA sa pamamagitan po ng Task
Force - ELCAC. Di ko pa po naranasang grumaduate dahil hanggang
grade 1 lang po ako ngunit ngayon ay naka-graduate na at ganap nang
landscaper," Jade said.
Among the graduates, Jade
was ranked as top 3 and received awards as best in indoor gardening
and best in dish gardening.
The 802nd Infantry Brigade
Commander, Brigadier General Zosimo A. Oliveros who facilitated the
surrender of some former rebels pledged to work and encourage more
NPA surrenderers to sustain the gains of peace and development in
Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement celebrates the entry into force
of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
January 22, 2021
GENEVA – The
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement welcomes the entry
into force today of the first instrument of international
humanitarian law to include provisions to help address the
catastrophic humanitarian consequences of using and testing nuclear
The Treaty on the
Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) explicitly and unequivocally
prohibits the use, threat of use, development, production, testing
and stockpiling of nuclear weapons, and it obliges all States
Parties to not assist, encourage or induce anyone in any way to
engage in any activity prohibited by the Treaty.
“Today is a victory for
humanity. This Treaty – the result of more than 75 years of work –
sends a clear signal that nuclear weapons are unacceptable from a
moral, humanitarian, and now a legal point of view. It sets in
motion even higher legal barriers and an even greater stigmatization
of nuclear warheads than already exists. It allows us to imagine a
world free from these inhumane weapons as an achievable goal,” said
Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red
Red Cross and Red Crescent
leaders celebrate the entry into force of the TPNW and salute all 51
states whose backing of the Treaty makes clear their refusal to
accept nuclear weapons as an inevitable part of the international
security architecture. They invite other world leaders, including
those of nuclear-armed states, to follow suit and join the path
toward a world free of nuclear weapons, in line with long-standing
international obligations, notably those under the Nuclear
The Philippines has yet to
become party to the treaty, although President Rodrigo Duterte,
during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in
September 2020, said he has asked the Philippine Senate to ratify
the TPNW, adding that “we were among those to sign it first.” The
Philippines was among the 122 States that adopted the treaty in July
2017 and was one of the 50 States that signed the treaty when it
opened on 20 September 2017.
In August 2020, on the
75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the ICRC
and the Philippine Red Cross issued a joint statement calling on the
Philippines to join other States in ratifying the treaty and in
protecting all humanity.
The TPNW is now before the
Philippine Senate for discussion, following endorsement by its
Committee on Foreign Relations last week.
Francesco Rocca, President
of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC), said: “The entry into force of this instrument of
international humanitarian law comes as a welcome and powerful
reminder that despite current global tensions, we can overcome even
our biggest and most entrenched challenges, in the true spirit of
multilateralism. This capacity to effectively unite and coordinate
our action should be called upon as we grapple with other global,
The Treaty obliges states
to provide assistance, including medical care, rehabilitation and
psychological support, to victims under their jurisdiction without
discrimination, and ensure their socio-economic inclusion. It also
requires states to clear areas contaminated by nuclear use or
“The Treaty is a
ground-breaking step to address the legacy of destruction caused by
these weapons. The compelling evidence of the suffering and
devastation caused by nuclear weapons, and the threat their use may
pose to humanity’s survival, makes attempts to justify their use or
mere existence increasingly indefensible. It is extremely doubtful
that these weapons could ever be used in line with international
humanitarian law,” Mr. Maurer said.
The Treaty enters into
force as the world witnesses what happens when a public health
system is overwhelmed by patients. The needs created by a nuclear
detonation would render any meaningful health response impossible.
No health system, no government, and no aid organization is capable
of adequately responding to the health and other assistance needs
that a nuclear blast would bring.
The adoption by
nuclear-armed states of more aggressive nuclear weapons policies and
the continued modernization of nuclear weapons all worryingly point
towards an increasing risk of use of nuclear weapons. That’s why it
is imperative that we act now to prevent a nuclear detonation from
happening in the first place, by removing any use and testing of
nuclear weapons from the realm of possibility.
States Parties, which will
have their first meeting in the course of 2021, must now ensure that
the Treaty's provisions are faithfully implemented and promote its
“The Treaty presents each
of us with a really simple question: Do we want nuclear weapons to
be banned or not? We are ready, together with our Red Cross Red
Crescent National Societies, to intensify our efforts to achieve the
broadest possible adherence to the Treaty and insist on its vision
of collective security. The entry into force of the Nuclear Ban
Treaty is the beginning, not the end, of our efforts,” Francesco
CARD Bank opens
branch in Tabaco City
January 21, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY – In
its bid to promote financial inclusion, CARD Bank, a
microfinance-oriented rural bank, opened its 98th branch in Tabaco
City, Albay on January 18, 2021.
The branch will cater to
29,626 microfinance clients who were originally part of Legazpi
Branch. Having this new branch will bring bank services closer to
clients of nine branch-lite units in the municipalities of Tabaco,
Tiwi, Bacacay, Malilipot and Malinao. As well, these two branches
will have better opportunities to expand.
This will fully reach more
unbanked and underbanked families in the province. According to CARD
Bank Regional Director Wilma Laurio, the branch is expected to
deliver financial banking products and services to 31,000 clients by
the end of the first quarter.
“These clients, who mostly
came from the socioeconomically challenged families, will have equal
opportunities to access affordable and useful financial products and
services,” said CARD Bank President and CEO Marivic Austria. She
added that financial inclusion is one of the solutions to break the
endless cycle of poverty.
Aside from offering
microfinance, SME and other loan products, CARD Bank also promotes a
better saving habit for every client it serves. For as low as P100,
its clients can now open their savings account. This will encourage
them more to become conscious about saving for their future.
CARD Bank also has a
remittance service called CARD Sulit Padala. Together with CARD,
Inc., CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank, clients who need
remittance services can send or transfer money in more than 900
branches nationwide. For as low as P1, senders can transfer money to
their loved ones to meet their financial needs.
The new branch will also
be part of CARD Bank’s digitization journey which is even more
intensified because of the pandemic. “During the pandemic, the
digital services of the bank showed a crucial role to constantly
provide its services even with the presence of physical barriers.
These digital efforts brought convenience and safety to our
clients,” said Austria.
The branch is located at
Purok 1, Brgy. Pawa, Tabaco City, Albay. The opening was graced by
CARD Bank President Marivic Austria, CARD Bank Executive Vice
President Lourdes Dijan, CARD Bank Vice President for Operations
Glenda Magpantay, and CARD Bank Assistant Vice President Raquel
Zaragoza. It was also attended by CARD Bank Chairman Dr. Jaime
Aristotle B. Alip, CARD Bank Senior Advisers Dr. Dolores Torres and
Lorenza Bañez, and CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento
via online conference.
To date, CARD Bank has
more than 3.4 million clients served all over the country.