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DAR-Samar rolls out distribution of agri-production inputs

DOLE RO-8 conducts payout to TUPAD #BKBK beneficiaries in Samar

Women, rights NGOs welcome Bachelet’s report on the Philippines

DTI trains Surigao Norte IPs in handicraft making

DOLE-RO8 congratulates EDC for historic virtual CBA signing

‘Diskwento’ Caravan continues roll out in Eastern Visayas

Inflation rate in EV increases to 2.5% in April 2020

Survey reveals 94% of private school teachers, staff receive no government aid

 

 

 

 

Biliran covid-19 isolation facilities
Alfredo L. Bollido, (wearing white hard hat) Assistant District Engineer spearheaded the inspection of the newly completed isolation facilities at Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval, Biliran in behalf of District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr. together with the Department of Health (DOH) headed by Dr. Fernando B. Montejo, (wearing white blue polo shirt), Municipal Health Officer on August 13, 2020.

DPWH-Biliran Deo completes covid-19 isolation facilities

By DPWH Biliran
August 28, 2020

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) recently completes two COVID-19 Isolation Facilities for infected health care professionals in this Province.

David P. Adongay Jr. said that these facilities were completed on August 10, 2020 and are now being used and occupied by COVID-19 positive patients to control the spread of the infectious disease.

According to Adongay, the said facilities amounting to P7.388M are located at Sitio Dapdap, Brgy. Agpangi and in Brgy. Larrazabal, both in Naval town.

“These facilities can accommodate 60-68 patients,” Adongay said.

Adongay revealed that the existing evacuation center at Sitio Dapdap, Brgy. Agpangi was converted into an isolation facility for COVID-19 infected. Each division has one bed, one side table, one chair, one cabinet and individual stand fan.

Outside of this quarantine facility building, a separate room for decontamination, donning, doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and triage are constructed for medical care professionals. Two rooms are also reserved for health care professionals as sleeping quarters, one for male and one for female equipped with two beds, one side table each and individual stand fan.

At Brgy. Larrazabal, 15 isolation tents were installed. Each tent can accommodate four patients and will be provided with four beds, four chairs, four side tables, four cabinets and individual stand fan.

Adongay said that there will also be a decontamination tent, a disinfecting area tent, a donning/ doffing tent, a triage tent, a kitchen/food storage/pantry tent, camp management area tent, and two sleeping quarters tent for male and female medical care professionals. Two concrete CRs are also constructed for male and female.

“As COVID-19 cases is now in our province due to local transmission, these facilities will help mitigate the spread of the disease,” Adongay said.

 

 

 

 

NMP STCW courses
NMP facilities are ready for the offering of the RFPEW, BT and RBT.

3 NMP STCW courses gain MARINA approval

By National Maritime Polytechnic
August 27, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – The accreditation of three (3) additional training courses of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the only government-owned maritime training and research institution with principal address located at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City, was recently renewed by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

As per formal letter received from MARINA on 10 August 2020, full course approval was granted to NMP’s three (3) Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) courses, namely: Ratings Forming Part of a watch in a Manned Engine-room or Designated to Perform Duties in a Periodically Unmanned Engine-room (RFPEW), Basic Training (BT), and Refresher Course on Basic Training (RBT), valid for three (3) years along with the accreditation of instructors, assessors and supervisors who will be handling the said courses, effective upon payment of course approval fees.

The said approval was a result of NMP’s submission of course packages of said courses to the MARINA Central Office on 21 February 2020, aligned with MARINA STCW Advisory No. 2019-05 re: Clarifications and Supplemental Guidelines on the Implementation of STCW Circular No. 2018-02 entitled “Standards for Mandatory Training Courses Under the STCW Convention, 1978, as Amended” and the re-inspection conducted by MARINA last 24-28 February 2020.

During the 3-year period, announced and unannounced visits will be made by MARINA STCW Office or its duly authorized representatives to ascertain NMP’s compliance with the MARINA’s rules and regulations.

Moreover, the records of implementation of corrective actions for audit results both internal and external, records of review and validation of the courses including the assessment and statistical record of trainees enrolled / certificated must be made available during the conduct of monitoring.

Finalization of the schedules for the conduct of the said courses is underway, which will be published in the NMP website @ www.nmp.gov.ph and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter) where all updates and relevant information on NMP programs are also available.

“Despite this unprecedented emergency brought by COVID-19, NMP will strive to continue the conduct of its training operations and provide services to the Filipino seafarers who are globally recognized as essential workers. We are targeting that these courses be offered on the 1st week of September 2020”, Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod disclosed during the NMP flag raising ceremony held on 24 August 2020.

Meanwhile, in its effort to sustain its mandate in providing quality service through upgrading and specialized training programs, NMP continues to maintain and upgrade its facilities and its pool of competent instructors.

Interested stakeholders who wish to validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP issued certificates may visit www.verify.nmp.gov.ph. Likewise, those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present the Research Agenda, and engage the industry stakeholders to collaborate in the research activities.

Further, NMP encourages OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.

 

 

 

 

Security guards lauds modernization of private security industry

By ALU-TUCP
August 26, 2020

QUEZON CITY – An umbrella of security agencies lauded the measure at Congress calling for the modernization of private security agency industry in the country.

Private Security Industry Personnel Employees and Guards Credit Cooperative (PSIPAGCC) chairman Neil Estrella supports the introduction of the Private Security bill now being tackled at the House of Representatives.

Estrella, along with other officers and members of PSIPAGCC, welcomes the timely push for the bill.
A substitute bill, composed of HB 7037, 518, 2325, 3547, 3669, was approved in principle by a sub-committee of House Committee on Public Order and Safety.

The substitute bill aims to strengthen, modernize, and professionalize the private security industry.

“The number of security guards currently employed is equivalent to almost double of the combined number of police and military personnel deployed today, said Estrella”. It is, therefore, important that we improve not only the conditions of their employment, but also standardize their training to professionalize the industry,“ he added.

The bill proposes innovations on career opportunities and working conditions of private security personnel, including ladderized training and education with subsidy and a “study now, pay later” program.

It also imposes penalties for acts in violation of the Revised Penal Code.

Neil Estrella said "we in PSIPAGCC, and on behalf of the private security personnel we represent, thank the efforts of Hose Majority Floor Leader Rep. Martin Romualdez, Rep. Yedda Romualdez and Rep. Raymond C. Mendoza for their authorship and sponsorship of the bill, HB 7037. Likewise to Rep Frederick Siao, Rep. Bravo, Rep. Escudero and Rep Robes, for the consolidated bill.”

The bill also mandates the PNP Chief, in crafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the proposed bill, is required to consult cooperatives and Philippine Association of Detective & Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO).

“As the State encourages the development of cooperatives, we also welcome the move to include private security cooperatives as stakeholders for the crafting of the IRR,” said Estrella. “I am elated that our work in uplifting the lives of our members are recognized,” he added.

 

 

 

 

DILG assures troops: Nation working as one for peace

Press Release
August 26, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – On a hot morning in a hillside camp in Barangay Uguis, Mahaplag, Leyte about three kilometres from the town center, soldiers of the famed 14th “Avenger” Battalion, veterans of battles with the communist New People’s Army, smartly stood at attention to receive a visitor who brought them glad tidings on the quest for peace.

Dir. Karl Caesar R RimandoTheir guest on August 24, 2020 was Regional Director Karl Caesar R. Rimando of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the agency tasked as secretariat of the Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

For years, soldiers had worked in far-flung barangays, in the process discovering issues that continued to mire residents in poverty. However the soldiers often lacked the logistics to adequately respond to these issues. This was because they lacked the institutional support coming from other national agencies to address the concerns brought up in their community immersion program.

On this day, the assembled soldiers listened as Director Rimando explained how Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in December 2018, brings the whole government and other sectors together to find solutions to festering issues through a Whole of Nation Approach.

“EO 70 does away with the old concept of viewing the insurgency as primarily a military problem, but rather offers a comprehensive solution. If in the past you lacked support to address the issues you discovered in immersion activities in communist-affected barangays, the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) now provides the needed mechanism to make government, and the community at large, responsive to problems that fuel the communist insurgency. With the full commitment of all government entities and the support of various sectors, mas nararamdaman na ng mga tao na ang gobyerno ay kanilang kakampi,” he said.

Director Rimando updated the infantry on the efforts of various clusters in implementing EO 70, from the Send-Off Ceremonies, peace initiatives, Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), and the activities of the various phases of RCSP. He informed the troops that while the army and police have been working front and center to promote peace and law enforcement, the other clusters have likewise been working to accomplish their respective mandates.

Help from national agencies and commitment by the LGUs to provide resources needed to address the identified issues cannot come sooner to AFP personnel in Leyte and nearby Samar. Although the island of Leyte has been declared largely insurgency-free as late, soldiers last year were able to overrun an NPA camp and engaged in firefights with communist rebels in remote mountain barangays of Mahaplag, which borders Sogod town in Southern Leyte.

With closer coordination among all branches of government, law enforcers have been able to throttle the NPAs to minimal activities such as extortion and harassment, further alienating the public against the communist-terrorists.

This area bordering Leyte and Southern Leyte was likewise the site of a major convergence activity last year in nearby Baybay City. The AFP together with LGUs and national agencies held a service delivery event to mark the discovery of NPA mass burial grounds in Inopacan, Leyte who were killed in the 1980s by their own comrades in purges of suspected government spies.

After his keynote speech, Director Rimando and Lieutenant Colonel Roberto B. Obaob, 14th IB commanding officer, conferred awards on deserving personnel, toured the camp, planted a tree in the DILG RD’s honor and signed the Memorandum of Agreement on the institutionalization of the Community Development and Resiliency Initiative (CDRI) of the 14th Infantry Battalion.

According to the 14th IB, the CDRI “serves as a development arm of the RCSP to facilitate the delivery of basic services, livelihood programs, skills trainings, food production and resiliency programs in order to transform vulnerable communities into self-sufficient and resilient communities”.

Director Rimando believes that despite the challenge posed by COVID-19 which temporarily diverted government activities, the RTF-70 is on track towards achieving the goal of a just and lasting peace in Eastern Visayas in 2022.

 

 

 

 

Samar cops nab 6 wanted persons and 12 other offenders

Samar Police Provincial Office

By Samar PPO
August 26, 2020

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Samar Police Provincial Office (SPPO) under the leadership of PCol Andre Perez Dizon, Provincial Director, arrested 3 Most Wanted Persons listed as Rank Nr. 1 of Municipal Level, Rank Nr. 10 of Provincial Level, Rank Nr. 15 of City Level and 3 other wanted persons; 1 illegal drug personality; 8 illegal fishers; and 3 illegal gamblers during a 7-day continuous and province-wide police operations from August 17-24, 2020.

Personnel of Calbayog City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Neil B Montaño, Officer In-Charge nabbed 1 other wanted person for the crime of Robbery with Homicide; while 1 illegal drug personality was also nabbed during buy bust operation wherein confiscated from the suspect were 3 pieces heat-sealed plastic sachets of shabu weighing 5.6790 grams and Php 500.00 used as marked money and a case for violation of Sec. 5, 11 & 12 of Article II of R.A. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) was filed before the City Prosecutors Office, Calbayog City thru Inquest Proceeding docketed under NPS Nr. VIII-10-INQ-20H-00154.

Personnel of Catbalogan City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Edwin F Barbosa, Chief of Police, nabbed 1 MWP listed as Rank No. 15 of City Level for violation of Sec. 10 (a) of R.A. 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act).

Personnel of Basey Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Michael N Oraller, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 2 other wanted persons for violation of P.D. 1602 (Illegal Gambling).

Personnel of Daram Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Zaldy A Cagampang, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 2 fishermen for violation of Sec. 64 (Use of Active Gear) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 19 series of 2017, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

Personnel of San Jorge Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Michael Ray G Cañete, Acting Chief of Police, nabbed 2 MWPs listed as Rank Nr. 1 of Municipal Level for the crimes of Murder and Intentional Abortion and Rank Nr. 10 of Provincial Level for the crime of Robbery with Homicide.

Personnel of Sta. Rita Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Dexter L Astacaan, Chief of Police, nabbed 3 illegal gamblers engaging in Tupada and a case for violation of PD 449 (Cockfighting Law) was filed against the suspects thru direct filing at Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC), Sta. Rita – Talalora with Criminal Case No. 08-2020-1101.

Personnel of Zumarraga Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Renato P Gerona, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 6 fishermen for violation of Sec. 29 (Unauthorized Fishing) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 2013-02, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

“Nowadays, especially that COVID19 pandemic continues to spread, law offenders take this opportunity to commit more crimes. Let us show to the people that Samar Police will not hesitate to apprehend these violators and that peace and order can still be attained despite the crisis we are facing,” PCol Dizon stated.

 

 

 

 

First OTOP Hub in Region 8 sheds light to MSMEs disrupted by the pandemic

OTOP Hub in Region 8

By DTI-Regional Operations Group
August 25, 2020

MAKATI CITY – Eastern Visayas’ first One Town One Product (OTOP) Hub has opened at the midst of the pandemic bringing light to local producers of the region as their products will be marketed through the hub. The launching was held last August 19, 2020 and was attended by officials from DTI Region 8, DTI Leyte, CAAP and the BAHANDI Producers Assoc. Eastern Visayas Cooperative.

Located at the DZR Airport, the OTOP Hub provides the physical and online channels and market access platform where OTOP products – especially those which have been assisted via product development – are showcased on a day-to-day basis.

The establishment of the said hub is the demand part of the One Town One Product Next Generation Program (OTOP Next Gen) where quality local products are available for institutional buyers and consuming public.

Though the tourism industry is experiencing a fallback with all others, economists and industry players are expectant that there is a boom for tourism after this crisis thus positioning the local producers under the tourism support sector is right in time.

According to DTI 8 Regional Director Celerina Bato, the demand for local products of Eastern Visayas in other parts of the country such as Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces have increased despite the pandemic.

The Bahandi Producers’ Eastern Visayas Cooperative is taking charge of managing the hub with its President Carlo Romano who is working to showcase more products across the region.

 

 

 

 

DTI grants more negosyo kits to MSMEs affected by calamities in Cebu

DTI-Cebu PBG Program

By DTI-Regional Operations Group
August 25, 2020

MAKATI CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)- Cebu Provincial Office turned over Negosyo Kits worth P10,000.00 each to seventy-nine (79) qualified microentrepreneurs in Mambaling and Buhisan, Cebu last August 20.

Through the DTI’s Pangkabuhayan sa pagBangon at Ginhawa (PBG) Program, 78 micro-entrepreneurs from Barangay Mambaling who were victims of fire incidents that destroyed their livelihood and 1 micro-entrepreneur from Barangay Buhisan whose business was affected by COVID19 pandemic received the Negosyo Kits in coupon form, which enabled them to choose/avail of various merchandise items to restore or improve their business.

The Pangkabuhayan sa pagBangon at Ginhawa is a livelihood seeding and entrepreneurship development program which aims to assist individuals and families affected by calamities, including health disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who will avail of the Balik-Probinsya Program to recover and/or restart their business.

Beneficiary Clariza Ayuda from Brgy. Buhisan narrated how her "kakanin" business was severely affected by quarantine restrictions, limited mobility and low foot traffic. She expressed her gratitude for the assistance and said that the Negsyo Kits given by DTI is a big help to small entrepreneurs like her to continue with their livelihood.

This P10,000 coupon for the PBG Negosyo Kit may be redeemed for groceries, kitchenware, clothing and textile items in Gaisano Mall in Mambaling which the beneficiaries will then use in their enterprise.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who pushed for the provision of such Livelihood Assistance package for victims of calamities, delivered a message of solidarity and hope through a video call to the beneficiaries. Apart from the DTI-PBG Negosyo Kits, all 79 beneficiaries received food packs and facemasks from the office of Senator Go.

Cooperators of this activity are the Office of Senator Christopher "Bong" Go-Cebu, officials of the Local Government Unit of Cebu City and the affected Barangays, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Region 7, and Gaisano Mall Mambaling.

 

 

 

 

DAR-8 EPAHP
Government agencies regional heads (from left) Ismael Aya-ay (Department of Agrarian Reform), Angel Enriquez (Department of Agriculture), Marie Angela Gopalan (Department of Social Welfare and Development), Karl Caesar Rimando (Department of Interior and Local Government), and Dr. Fidelita Dico (representing Dr. Minerva Molon of the Department of Health) sign memorandum of understanding (MOU) in support of the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) implementation in Eastern Visayas.

DAR links 14 farmer organizations in EV to institutional buyers

By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
August 21, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – The Chairman of MAALSADA- Farmer Irrigators Service Cooperative (FISCO), Reynaldo Peja, thank the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for linking their organization, as food supplier, to the biggest government hospital in the region.

According to Peja, because of the marketing contract facilitated by DAR, MAALSADA-FISCO, based in Alangalang town, will now be supplying 150 cavans of milled rice every month and 150 kilos of assorted vegetables daily to Eastern Visayas Medical Center (EVRMC), located in this city, which the latter will use to feed their in-patients.

Aside from EVRMC, Peja added, MAALSADA-FISCO will also be supplying milled rice and vegetables to Schistosomiasis Research Hospital in Palo, and the Department of Health-Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DOH-RTC) in Dulag.

Another agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO) in the province of Leyte, the Paglaum Farmers Association (PFA), based in this city, benefited also from a marketing contract facilitated by DAR under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program of the government.

PFA was linked to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), wherein the former will supply vegetables, livestock, and poultry products to both the male and female dormitories of the Tacloban City Jail which will be used to feed persons deprived of liberty (PDL).

MAALSADA-FISCO and PFA were just two of the 14 ARBOs from different parts of Eastern Visayas who formally sealed marketing contracts simultaneously with 16 institutional buyers thru a virtual ceremony on Wednesday last week.

Aside from the signing of marketing contracts, regional heads of DAR and the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Health (DOH), and the Interior and Local Government (DILG), as well as the BJMP also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the same occasion to support and extend the necessary assistance in the marketing of farmers’ products in the region under the EPAHP.

This is the biggest MOU (and marketing contract) signing so far considering the number of partners who joined in today’s undertaking, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, who joined similar activity conducted earlier in Regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, IX, XI, CARAGA, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Nograles, chairperson of Task Force on Zero Hunger on EPAHP, delivered his keynote address via zoom and told the participating ARBOs, “Sa EPAHP wala na kayong middleman. Diretso na kayo sa gobyerno. Ang gobyerno na ang kliyente niyo. Lahat ng kita niyo ay sa inyo mapupunta dahil wala ng middleman na dadaanan. Siguradong tataas na ang inyong kita.”

Meanwhile, Agrarian Secretary John Castriciones commented on the huge number of participants, “In unity there is strength, and this is the reason why this program that we have, which is based on a wholly government approach, is very ideal and, therefore we should do our best in order to re-enhance this program.”

“If we are able to provide good nutrition to our people, chances are, it will boost their immunity. The more it will boost their immunity, it will shield them against COVID-19, and therefore it will be a less burden to our hospitals,” he added.

Under EPAHP, instead of buying food supplies elsewhere, the DOH-retained hospitals and the city/district/municipal jails are encouraged to procure food supplies for the feeding of in-patients and persons deprived of liberty, respectively, from the ARBOs, which is allowed by the Government Procurement Policy Board thru Resolution No. 17-2016.

DAR OIC-Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay disclosed that the other ARBOs in the region that were linked to institutional buyers include the Almeria Seafarers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Almeria, Biliran which will be supplying vegetables to the Naval District Jail.

In Southern Leyte, the Carnaga Multi-Purpose Cooperative (St. Bernard, Southern Leyte) will supply vegetables to the San Juan District Jail; the Magapso Irrigators Association (Sogod, Southern Leyte), the Association of Farmers and Advocates of Organic Farming (Bontoc, Southern Leyte), and the Buenapama Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Bontoc, Southern Leyte) will pool their harvested vegetables to meet the demands of the Sogod District Jail; while the Hantag Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Maasin City) will supply vegetables to the BJMP in Maasin.

In Eastern Samar, the San Gabriel Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (Borongan City) and the Camagting Agricultural Association (Balangiga, Eastern Samar) will supply vegetables to the Borongan District Jail and Balangiga District Jail, respectively; while the FEA-Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Salcedo, Eastern Samar) will supply vegetables, poultry products and pork to the Guiuan District Jail.

In Northern Samar, the Allen Organic Vegetable Raisers (Allen, Northern Samar) and the Balat-Balud Farmers Association (Bobon, Northern Samar) will supply milled rice and vegetables to the Catarman District Jail and the DSWD Provincial Office, respectively.

In Western Samar, the Hilaba Farmers Association (Marabut, Samar) will supply vegetables to the Catbalogan District Jail as well as to the Basey Municipal Jail.

From the institutional buyers, Dr. Portia Gravoso-Aliposa, Chief of the DOH-TRC, shared that this partnership program is a big advantage to them for they are assured of the freshness of the products coming directly from the farmers, while Tacloban City Jail Female Dorm Warden, J/INSP Fe Reynalda Chan said, with the ARBO now supplying them farm products, marketing will no longer be a burden to them and that they will be serving nutritious food to PDLs.

 

 

 

 

Bukidnon farmers receive DTI livelihood kits

Bukidnon farmers

By DTI-Regional Operations Group
August 19, 2020

MAKATI CITY – Twenty more farmers in Bukidnon received livelihood kits as second batch of beneficiaries of the Pangkabuhayan sa pagBangon at Ginhawa (PBG) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Each farmer received knapsack sprayer after attending an entrepreneurial mind-setting seminar conducted by Negosyo Center in Sitio Kibulag, Barangay Lantud in Talakag. The knapsack sprayer is identified as an immediate need since farming is the main source of livelihood for the residents of the remote village. The lack of fertilizer is the main issue of the farmers, limiting their farming activity and leading the farmers to rent knapsack sprayers from their neighbors for P100 per day.

But now with their own knapsack sprayers and additional knowledge on entrepreneurship through the seminar provided, the farmer-beneficiaries will be able to increase the production of their fresh agri-products to be sold in neighboring barangays including in Talakag Public Market.

Mike Dimdim Datu Pinto, one of the farmer-beneficiaries, expressed his gratitude for having been provided with the livelihood kit. “Nagpapasalamat ako sa DTI nga naghatag og knapsack sprayer nga magamit sa akong pag-uma (I am thankful to DTI for giving the knapsack sprayer that I can use in farming),” Pinto said.

The first batch of livelihood kits was distributed to the farmers during the official launching of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) project in Bukidnon on June 30, 2020. PRLEC is one of the clusters formed through Executive Order 70 that aims to develop sustainable communities through harmonized and culturally responsive government development programs.

 

 

 

 

Samar cops nab 4 wanted persons and 12 other offenders in a 7-day police operations

By Samar PPO
August 18, 2020

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – 4 other wanted persons; 4 illegal drugs personalities; and 8 illegal fishers were nabbed by Samar Police Provincial Office in a 7-day simultaneous police operations from August 10-17, 2020, under the leadership of PCol Andre Perez Dizon, Provincial Director.

Personnel of Calbayog City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Sam S Andarino, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 1 other wanted person for violation of Sec. 77 of P.D. 705 (Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines).

Personnel of Catbalogan City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Edwin F Barbosa, Chief of Police, conducted 2 buy-bust operations wherein one operation yielded the arrest of 1 illegal drugs personality and confiscated from him were 6 pieces heat-sealed plastic sachets of marijuana weighing 4.36 grams while a case for violation of Sec. 5 and Sec. 11 of Article II of R.A. 9165 “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act” was filed at Catbalogan City Prosecutor’s Office thru Inquest Proceeding docketed under NPS Nr. VIII-08-INQ-20H-00095 and NPS Nr. VIII-08-INQ-20H-00096.

Meanwhile, another operation resulted to the arrest of 2 illegal drugs personalities wherein confiscated from the suspects were 2 pieces heat-sealed plastic sachets of shabu weighing 0.42 grams and a case for violation of Sec. 5, 11 and 26 of Article II of R.A. 9165 “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act” was filed at Catbalogan City Prosecutor’s Office thru Inquest Proceeding docketed under NPS Nr. VIII-08-INQ-20H-00101, NPS Nr. VIII-08-INQ-20H 00102 and NPS Nr. VIII-08-INQ-20H-00103.

Personnel of Daram Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Zaldy A Cagampang, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 1 other wanted person for violation of Sec. 90 of R.A. 8550; while 2 fishermen were also nabbed for violation of Sec. 64 (Use of Active Gear) of Municipal Ordinance No. 19 series of 2017, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

Personnel of Jiabong Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Roy O Agbon, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 1 other wanted person for the crime of Theft; while 5 fishermen were also nabbed for violation of Sec. 74 (Use of Air Compressor) and Sec. 78 (Unauthorized Fishing) of Municipal Ordinance No. 48, series of 2019.

Personnel of San Jorge Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Michael Ray G Cañete, Acting Chief of Police, nabbed 1 other wanted person for violation of Sec. 5 of R.A. 9262; while 1 illegal drug personality was also nabbed during buy-bust operation wherein confiscated from the suspect were 8 pieces of heat-sealed plastic sachets of shabu weighing 0.17 grams and a case for violation of Sec. 5 and Sec. 11 of Article II of R.A. 9165 “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act” was filed thru Inquest Proceeding before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, Calbayog Sub-Office, Calbayog City, Samar docketed under NPS Nr. VIII-09d-INQ-20H-00163 and NPS Nr. VIII-09d-INQ-20H-00164.

Personnel of Talalora Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Lorenzo Louie T Cardoza, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 1 fisherman for violation of Sec. 20 (Use of Active Gear) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 1-2019-58 series of 2019, who was then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

With these accomplishments, Samar Police Provincial Office under the lead of its Provincial Director PCol Andre P Dizon lauds and appreciates the dedication of his personnel in doing its utmost part of safeguarding the welfare of the public through intensified campaign against criminalities and illegalities within the AOR.

PCol Dizon emphasized, “Let us all be vigilant and proactive at all times so that peace and order will continuously be attained in the community and that all criminal and law offenders will be dealt with accordingly, and with the help of the people from the community in giving vital information in solving crimes and arresting wanted persons.”

 

 

 

 

Inflation rate in EV increases to 1.7% in July 2020

By PSA-8
August 18, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas increased to 1.7 percent in July 2020. This IR is 0.6 percentage point higher compared with the 1.1 percent IR in June 2020. This is also 0.2 percentage point higher than the recorded 1.5 percent IR in the same period last year.

Eastern Visayas Inflation rate July 2020The regional IR is 1.0 percentage point higher than the 2.7 percent national average inflation rate in July 2020.

All provinces registered higher inflation rates in July 2020 compared with their figures in June 2020, except for Eastern Samar, which recorded a 0.2 percentage point decrease from its inflation rate a month ago. Its IR eased down to 0.9 percent in July 2020 from 1.1 percent in June 2020.

Meanwhile, Biliran recorded the highest growth of 2.3 percentage points to 0.8 percent IR recorded in July 2020 from 1.5 percent deflation in June 2020. The rest of the provinces registered increases ranging from 0.1 percentage point to 0.8 percentage point. Northern Samar posted the highest IR at 4.9 percent. Leyte, meanwhile, recorded the lowest IR during the month in review at 0.7 percent.

Majority of the 11 commodity groups in the region exhibited lower IRs in July 2020 compared with their rates in June 2020. However, these were offset by the higher IRs recorded in three (3) other commodity groups, which resulted to 0.6 percentage point increase in the overall IR of the region in July 2020.

Education commodity group registered the biggest decline of 2.0 percentage points to zero inflation rate in July 2020 from 2.0 percent IR in June 2020.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco commodity group declined by 1.0 percentage point to 7.7 percent in July 2020 from 8.7 percent in June 2020. This can be attributed to the 2.1 percentage points and 0.3 percentage point decreases in the indices for alcoholic beverages (3.0 percent) and tobacco (10.6 percent), respectively.

The commodity group of restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services went down by 0.5 percentage point, from 4.2 percent IR in June 2020 to 3.7 percent IR in July 2020. This can be traced to the 1.5 percentage points and 0.4 percentage point decreases in the indices for catering services (5.9 percent) and personal effects not elsewhere classified (1.1 percent), respectively.

Communications commodity group eased down by 0.4 percentage point to 1.7 percent deflation in July 2020 from 1.3 percent deflation in June 2020.

Compared with the June 2020 level, the IRs for the commodity groups of recreation and culture (1.1 percent); furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (2.5 percent); and health (0.7 percent) were lower by0.3 percentage point, 0.2 percentage point and 0.1 percentage point, respectively.

On the other hand, transport commodity group registered the biggest increase of 2.5 percentage points to 1.0 percent deflation in July 2020 from 3.5 percent deflation in June 2020. This was brought about by the lower deflations recorded in both operation of personal transport equipment (3.0 percent) and transport services (1.0 percent) indices in July 2020.

The IR of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group rose to 1.0 percent in July 2020, higher by 2.1 percentage points compared with its 1.1 percent deflation a month ago.

The IR of the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group inched up slightly by 0.3 percentage point to 1.8 percent in July 2020 from 1.5 percent IR in June 2020. Higher IRs were noted in majority of the items under this commodity group. Vegetables index registered the highest increase of 1.8 percentage points, posting 6.4 percent IR in July 2020 from 4.6 percent IR in June 2020. Rice and bread and cereals indices continued to register deflations but at slower rates of 2.6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. Double digit IR was still noted in fruits index during the month in review but at a lower rate of 14.8 percent. Meat index, meanwhile, registered 0.2 percent deflation in July 2020 from 1.1 percent IR in June 2020.

IR for clothing and footwear commodity group retained its previous month’s IR at 3.0 percent.

The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.79 in July 2020. This PPP implies that the goods and services worth P79.00 in 2012 is worth P100.00 in July 2020.

Samar’s PPP weakened by P0.01 while the rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Biliran recorded the strongest PPP at P0.83. Leyte ranked second at P0.81, followed by Southern Leyte at P0.80, Eastern Samar at P0.78 and Samar at P0.74. Northern Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.73.

 

 

 

 

Army neutralizes NPA member, 2 soldiers wounded in Eastern Samar

By DPAO, 8ID PA
August 18, 2020

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan Samar – A member of the New People's Army (NPA) was killed when government troops encountered a group of Communist NPA Terrorists (CNT) in Brgy. Aroganga, Dolores, Eastern Samar at about 1:30 AM Sunday, August 16, 2020.

The troops of the 78th Infantry Battalion, acting on information from concerned residents, conducted security patrol, which resulted to a five-minute firefight against about 20 CNTs, who were planting an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) when the military forces arrived.

This resulted to the death of one Dino Dabila, 25 years old and a resident of Brgy Cagtabon, Dolores, Eastern Samar. His body was recovered at the encounter site by joint police and army troops assisted by barangay officials. Two soldiers were wounded in the said incident.

Government troops recovered an IED at the encounter site, while a hand grenade was recovered from the body of Dabila.

Brig. Gen. Camilo Ligayo, 8O1st Infantry Brigade Commander said, "The death of another Filipino is a waste of life. We condemn the NPA for luring people into their fake revolution and planting bombs that indiscriminately kill or injure even civilians."

"We express our sadness and sympathize with the family of Dino Dabila. We hold the NPA accountable for the death of another fellow Filipino,” BGen Ligayo added. “We fully commit to continue to serve our people and protect our communities from the terroristic plans of CNTs,” the general said.

Lt. Col. Oliver Alvior, Battalion Commander of the 78th Infantry Battalion said, "We are grateful and we salute the concerned individuals who were brave enough to inform our troops about the planting of IED by the NPA terrorists.”

A local resident who refused to be identified for fear of reprisal from the NPA said in vernacular, "The planting of IED by the NPA is dangerous and they (NPA) must stop it because there had been many incidents here wherein innocent civilians were killed just like what happened in Borongan."

It may be recalled that a policeman and an elderly woman were killed, while three minors, including an infant, were injured by a roadside bomb planted by NPA terrorists in Borongan City, Eastern Samar last December 13, 2019.

Several IEDs planted by the NPA targeting frontliners during the COVID-19 crisis were also recovered by government troops in Samar Island.

Numerous soldiers, policemen and civilians who were either killed or wounded due to IEDs exploded by NPA terrorists were recorded in the past years.

 

 

 

 

Resource Center on Peace and Resilience opens in Eastern Visayas

Press Release
August 14, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Region 8 opened its Local Governance Regional Resource Center (LGRRC) on August 12, 2020 with a special highlight on Peace and Resilience and related issues.

Regional Director Karl Caesar R. Rimando acknowledged the contributions of the different field offices and regional office divisions in populating the resource center. He added that with the establishment of the DILG LGRRC located at the Peace and Resilience Center inside the DILG Regional Office compound, students and other researchers can get data on resiliency and related concerns, as well as on peace and development studies. He vowed to make the LGRRC visible and fully functional so that it will be useful for everyone. He ended by exhorting greater cooperation, stressing his mantra, “Together, Everyone Achieves More”.

DILG Undersecretary Marivel C. Sacendoncillo, the guest speaker and a former Regional Director of DILG 8, said she probably was the happiest person in the gathering. She traced back to 2005 when the Local Government Academy of which she was then Executive Director, conceptualized on how to expand the reach of the LGA through LGUs.

She said LGRRC is an attempt to harmonize what the agency does, and to galvanize the Department as a catalyst for LGUs. The LGRRC which began as a small idea is now sprouting all over the country. She challenged DILG Region 8 to cultivate the knowledge management center with a special focus on peace and resilience as a platform. This is due to the region’s being vulnerable to both natural hazards and a communist insurgency. She said Samar is still experiencing many incidents that make peace and order a major challenge. On the other hand COVID is another major disaster that presents everybody a great test.

“Due to this unique situation, DILG 8 has a great opportunity to make the center thrive and serve the entire country. I envision the center to serve not just the Philippines but even other ASEAN countries as they face the same challenges, but do not have a knowledge center dedicated to these topics. Region 8 can set the example for other regions. Congratulations to RD Rimando for initiating this!” she said.

Further acknowledging that knowledge management is basically communicating ideas, she thanked allies like PIA Regional Director Erlinda Olivia Tiu, who was a special guest. She proposed to further strengthen the agency’s Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Council (MSAC), as the task of capacity development and Knowledge Management cannot be done by DILG solely.

After the inauguration, Usec. Sacendoncillo, RD Rimando, PIA RD Tiu and DILG8 ARD Atty. Darwin Bibar led the inspection of the showcase booths of knowledge products which were contributed by DILG provincial offices and the two key cities in the region.

The booth of Northern Samar entitled, “An Balangay Pakadto sa Kamurayaw ngan Kauswagan” (Balangay Towards Peace and Development) features the initiatives of the Provincial Development Council and the Provincial Peace and Order Council, in addition to its popular tourist attractions. The exhibit presents the Joint PDC and PPOC resolution condemning the CPP-NPA-NDF as Persona Non Grata, as well as the various lines of efforts and champions in the implementation of Executive Order 70. These included pictorial reports on the implementation of Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP), Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA), and Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP). Also featured were the activities of the “Darangpan” or Home for Social Integration, as well as that of the Nagkaisang Nortehanon Agricultural Corporation.

On the other hand Eastern Samar highlighted its booth on “Bakdaw Sinirangan” (Rise Up, East). It showcased the socio-demographic profile, criminality situation, status of implementation of the LTIA and ECLIP, ELCAC Task Force resolutions, petitions in support of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (RA 11479), the declaration of the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata, and pictorial reports of PPOC meetings and the ADAC Performance Award received by Mayor Amado Candido of the municipality of Hernani.

The province of Samar featured “Pagka-Sinabtanay ngan Pagbinurubilgay, Pitad Ngadto hin Ungod nga Kamurayaw” or Unity and Cooperation: Steps Toward True Peace”, which included knowledge products of the 12 RTF-ELCAC clusters as well as delicacies of the province and native woven products known as “Lara”.

Tacloban City meanwhile termed its booth as “Mabaskog ngan Maanyag nga Tacloban” (Resilient and Vibrant Tacloban) citing its ability to bounce back despite its vulnerabilities, such as after Supertyphoon Yolanda/Haiyan in 2013, the booming of jobs, reengineering of projects for climate change. Its pictorials featured the Basic Emergency Response Trainings in 2020, Evacuation Drills, Trainings on First Aid, Listong Pamayanan, as well as its key landmarks. The booth likewise featured Publications about Yolanda/Haiyan in 2013 as well as the Institutionalization of Guides to Action Against COVID-19, and COVID hotlines in Tacloban.

Southern Leyte’s booth was entitled, “Inaampingan Kina-iyahan, Lig-ong Katawhan”, translated as ”Conservation and protection of the environment breeds community resilience”. The booth showcases the province’s resilience against natural disasters such as the landslide in Barangay Guinsaugon, St. Bernard town on February 17, 2006 which buried an entire village and caused the transfer of the community of surviving inhabitants, as well as its efforts to protect against climate change, environmental neglect, extinction of wildlife other natural calamities, and against COVID-19. The province likewise highlighted the native handicrafts, trinkets made of shell, sand, nito, coconut shells from Maasin City and eco-friendly but stylish “bayong” or bags made of buli, nito and uway from the municipality of St. Bernard.

Biliran underscored the theme “Convergence for Resiliency” to effectively manage scarce resource for the island province which receives Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) much smaller than others. It featured initiatives on resilience and collaboration by LGU. The provincial government highlighted its distribution of fresh fruits and live or dressed chicken to front-liners to help local farmers and livestock owners. The island town of Maripipi featured the “pintakasi” by residents of Barangays Danao and Agutay to temporarily repair the road washed out by Typhoon Ursula in 2019. On the other hand the municipality of Almeria featured the continued blood-letting campaign in the time of COVID, while the capital town of Naval underscored the 24/7 efforts of the Naval Rescue Unit which is often tapped to respond to emergencies in other LGUs owing to its state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained staff. The towns of Biliran, Cabucgayan and Kawayan emphasized the actions of their MDRRMCs to prepare and respond to natural calamities. The town of Culaba tapped schools to develop the potential for community resilience through the School-based DRRM Olympics, while the town of Caibiran featured a story of how the LGU assisted a mother who had given birth on the way to the RHU at the height of Typhoon Ursula in 2019.

The province of Leyte on the other hand featured pictorials on the Recovery Assistance on Yolanda, COVID Response, publications on resilience after Yolanda, as well as livelihood and community resilience programs that helped produce native products such as abaca and delicacies. The province likewise highlighted its comprehensive program against COVID 19 which included preparatory meetings, conduct of Rapid Diagnostic Testing, Disinfection, Consultation and Medication, Training and Monitoring and strict Management of Isolation facilities.

The independent component city of Ormoc meanwhile featured its multi-pronged approach for resilience. It invested in Infra Development to spur future growth by partnering with NGOs to build disaster-resilient infrastructure and urban design. The city has been recognized with the Concrete Ideas Award and the Top Model Cities in the Philippine Award. It is the first city in the country to complete the city-wide development of Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights by upgrading 1,641 street lights to energy-efficient light bulbs. It has likewise strengthened its DRR capabilities, focused on forging partnerships and embracing e-governance. Initiatives highlighted included the JICA Flood Mitigation Project, Bayanihan donation drive against COVID, Safe Ormoc Web application against COVID-19, In-House ICT equipment, My Ormoc City application, conduct of Online Virtual Psychosocial support, Online BPLS payments and the use of Geographic Information System for DRR as early as 1999.

At the end of the activity, Usec. Sacendoncillo and RD Rimando led the presentation of plaques of appreciation to the field offices for their display of resourcefulness and creativity. Aside from the six provincial directors and their respective cluster heads, as well as the city director of Tacloban and CLGOO of Ormoc, also present were the division chiefs, assistant chiefs and key unit heads of the DILG-8 Regional Office.

The DILG field offices showed different initiatives to promote peace and resilience, which is hoped to inspire other LGUs in similar circumstances to do likewise. The LGRRC is the DILG’s facility to improve the performance of LGUs through knowledge management, convergence and collaboration.

 

 

 

 

Korea Invention Promotion Association
Mr Klark Son of the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) and Mr Youngtae Kim of Kumoh National University during their interview with the pre-selected MSMEs from MIMAROPA for the 2021 IP Sharing Project.

DTI MIMAROPA-assisted farmers receive grant from international IP organization

By DTI-Regional Operations Group
August 14, 2020

MAKATI CITY – Uraro Farmers of Gasan from Marinduque has been selected as one of the three beneficiaries of the 2021 IP Sharing Project fund assistance granted by the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA), besting other proposals from 12 other countries.

The Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) is a global IP public institution that promotes creativity and enhances the value of invention. The IP Sharing Project aims to solve everyday problems using patent information with the appropriate technology. With Korea's experience and know-how in utilizing IP to boost economic growth, KIPA hopes to help developing countries with their IP capabilities.

In 2017, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – MIMAROPA submitted 5 proposals to the 2021 IP Sharing Project of the KIPA, for possible funding. The project received 49 proposals from 12 countries, wherein three of the 5 submitted proposals of DTI MIMAROPA qualified during the pre-selection process. Besides Uraro Farmers of Gasan of Marinduque (Uraro Cookies), the other two pre-selected MSMEs were the Matulatula Agrarian Reform Community Cooperative of Oriental Mindoro (Calamansi Concentrate), and Pakyas Association of Rural Improvement Club of Oriental Mindoro (Calamansi Concentrate).

Last February 12-14, Mr. Clark Son of KIPA and Mr. Youngtae Kim of Kumoh National University were accompanied by DTI MIMAROPA to visit and conduct feasibility study on the 3 qualified MSMEs. During the visit, the MSMEs shared information about their company, operations, and products offered, as well as problems they encounter in production. KIPA, on the other hand, further discussed ways on how to fill gaps in production, through the provision of adequate and efficient machineries. After the interview, they have also scouted capable local manufacturers and fabricators in the area for the proposed provision of machines.

After three months of thorough validation and evaluation, only three proposals from three different countries, including the Uraro Farmers of Gasan, were selected by KIPA for the funding assistance. The machines are expected to arrive in 2021.

 

 

 

 

Samar cops nab 12 wanted persons and 38 other offenders

By Samar PPO
August 12, 2020

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Samar Police Provincial Office (SPPO) under the leadership of PCol Andre Perez Dizon, Provincial Director, arrested 5 Most Wanted Persons listed as Rank Nr. 1 of City Level, Rank Nrs. 3, 4 and 8 of Municipal Level, Rank No. 8 of Provincial Level and 7 other wanted persons; 1 illegal drug personality; 27 illegal fishers; 9 illegal gamblers; and 1 illegal logger during a 7-day continuous and province-wide police operations from August 3-10, 2020.

Samar wanted personsPersonnel of Calbayog City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Sam S Andarino, Officer In-Charge nabbed 1 MWP listed as Rank No. 1 of City Level for the crime of Rape; 1 illegal drug personality was also nabbed during buy bust operation wherein confiscated from the suspect were 7 pieces heat-sealed plastic sachets of shabu weighing 0.3892 grams and Php 500.00 used as marked money and a case for violation of Sec. 5 and Sec. 11 of Article II of R.A. 9165 “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act” was filed before the City Prosecutors Office, Calbayog City under Assistant City Prosecutor Ferdinand S. Arpon thru Inquest Proceeding docketed under NPS Nr. VIII-10-INQ-20H-00143; while 6 illegal fishers were likewise nabbed for violation of Sec. 41 (Use of Active Gear) of City Ordinance No. 2003-16-030, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

Personnel of Catbalogan City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Edwin F Barbosa, Chief of Police, nabbed 2 other wanted persons for the crime of Theft.

Personnel of Basey Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Michael N Oraller, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 2 other wanted persons for violation of P.D. 1602 (Illegal Gambling) while 9 illegal gamblers were also nabbed engaging in Tupada and a case of PD 1602 also known as Illegal Gambling (Cockfighting) was filed against the suspects at Municipal Trial Court, Basey, Samar with Criminal Case No. 08-2020-10113 thru direct filing before Hon. Nonieto A Delantar, MTC Judge.

Personnel of Calbiga Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Bobby B Montaño, Officer-In-Charge, nabbed 1 MWP listed as Rank No. 4 of Municipal Level for the crime of Murder; 1 illegal logger was also nabbed and a case of P.D. 705 (Forestry Reform Code Of The Philippines) was filed at the Office of Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, Calbiga, Samar, thru direct filing docketed under NPS No. VIII-09a-INV-20H-00014; while 1 illegal fisher was likewise nabbed for violation of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 4, Article 3, Sec. 30, 31, & 32 series of 2015.

Personnel of Daram Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Zaldy A Cagampang, Officer-In-Charge, nabbed 1 other wanted person for 2 cases for violation of P.D. 1602 while 2 illegal fishers were nabbed for violation of Sec. 64 (Use of Active Gear) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 19 series of 2017, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

Personnel of Gandara Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Joselito T Tabada, Acting Chief of Police, nabbed 1 MWP listed as Rank No. 8 of Provincial Level for the crimes of 2 Murder and 1 Homicide.

Personnel of Jiabong Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Roy O Agbon, Officer-In-Charge, nabbed 5 illegal fishers for violation of Sec. 39 (Unauthorized Fishing), Sec. 44 (Use of Fine Mesh Ne), Sec. 45 (Use of Active Gear) & Sec. 55 (Unlicensed Fisherfolks) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 48, series of 2019, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

Personnel of Matuguinao Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Joan G Brozas, Acting Chief of Police, nabbed 1 MWP listed as Rank No. 8 of Municipal Level for violation of Sec. 28 par (a) in relation to par (e) sub par (1) of R.A. 10591 and 2 cases of Frustrated Murder.

Personnel of Pinabacdao Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Jay F Ilagan, Officer-In-Charge, nabbed 9 illegal fishers for violation of Sec. 29 (Unauthorized Fishing) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 01, series of 2007, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

Personnel of San Jorge Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Michael Ray G Cañete, Acting Chief of Police, nabbed 1 other wanted person for the crime of Homicide.

Personnel of San Sebastian Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Aldrin C Lugnasin, Officer-In-Charge, nabbed 1 illegal fisher wherein a case for Violation of Sec. 95 (Use of Active Gear) of R.A. 8550 (The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998) was filed against the suspect thru Inquest Proceedings at Office of the Provincial Prosecutor Bulwagan ng Katarungan.

Personnel of Talalora Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Lorenzo Louie T Cardoza, Officer-In-Charge, nabbed 2 illegal fishers for violation of Sec. 20 (Use of Active Gear) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 1-2019-58 series of 2019, who was then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

Personnel of Tarangnan Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Constantino C Jabonete Jr, Chief of Police, nabbed 1 other wanted person for the crime of Rape in relation to R.A. 7610.

Personnel of Zumarraga Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Renato P Gerona, Officer-In-Charge, nabbed 1 MWP listed as Rank No. 8 of Municipal Level for the crime of Attempted Murder.

“Samar Police Provincial Office will continue to intensify our campaign against all forms of illegal activities and criminalities and no pandemic can ever hinder us from performing our sworn duties,” PCol Dizon emphasized.

 

 

 

 

Congress withdraws Bill converting NMP into PMMA Visayas Extension Campus

National Maritime Polytechnic registration system

By National Maritime Polytechnic
August 12, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – Cagayan de Oro Representative, Atty. Rufus B. Rodriguez withdrew his authored House Bill No. 6367, an Act Converting the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) in Tacloban City into the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) Visayas Extension Campus during the eighteenth meeting of the Committee on Higher and Technical Education (CHTE) on 07 August 2020, 1:30 pm via Zoom.

It can be recalled that NMP has time and again been plagued with propositions to be merged with or to be under other departments and offices outside of its mother agency, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

With the aim of making quality maritime education free and accessible to people with less opportunity, Rep. Rodriguez introduced House Bill No. 6367, transforming NMP into PMMA’s Visayas Extension Campus knowing that the latter offers free tuition and other school fees as per Republic Act No. 10931 otherwise known as the Universal Access to Quality tertiary Education Act.

NMP clearly pointed out on its position paper that converting NMP into another maritime education will not solve the dearth of qualified merchant marine officers, especially management level officers (both deck and engine) and shifting its core service from offering of upgrading training and specialization courses to offering the basic education requirement to becoming a seafarer, Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE). It will leave solely to the private sector the provision of training interventions which will prove unfavorable to the interests of the seafarers in particular and the maritime industry in general. NMP, therefore, is a stabilizer in the maritime training sector.

Moreover, the training simulators and other equipment procured by NMP and some others that were donated to NMP to support the training activities will no longer serve its purpose and can be considered as an investment going to waste. Collaborative and partnership initiatives by both the government and private sectors is now a must to maximize the resources of both institutions to ensure that the Philippines is not only the major provider of seafarers, but a seafarer workforce who are the “choice seafarers” and are globally-competent and qualified. Thus, human capital development cannot be solely the responsibility of the private sector, even if such is regulated by the government.

“We have no objection to the vision of Congress of expanding PMMA to the Visayas and Mindanao. However, we would like to reinforce our stand that NMP as a learning institution that provides world-class education and training to Filipinos, which purpose is aligned with the mandate of DOLE to promote gainful opportunities and develop human resources, consistent with its mandate as stipulated in Presidential Decree No. 1369”, said NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod during the CHTE online meeting.

ED Maglunsod also added, “NMP is also planning to establish a satellite office in Cebu and Mindanao to provide an alternative maritime training center that provides accessible, affordable yet quality maritime trainings.”

“After they have given the position paper, I see the light that the PMMA should not anymore convert NMP to be part of them. I see their vision of being able to also open other satellite schools that they will manage. So I am now withdrawing practically my bill because in due deference and in respect to NMP who has given their position paper objecting to my bill. So, I therefore reiterate my motion to table this, meaning that it will not be discussed anymore, it’s a dead bill”, Rep. Rodriguez disclosed.

Based on the above premises, NMP strongly maintain its stance that it should remain as a maritime training institution under DOLE by virtue of Executive Order No. 126 (“Reorganizing the Ministry of Labor and Employment and for Other Purposes) promulgated on 30 January 1987, for policy and program coordination and administrative supervision as an attached agency. It shall continue to pursue its mandate under PD 1369 and continue to be a strategic partner of the maritime administration in the pursuit of maritime training, assessment and research.

Meanwhile, in its effort to sustain its mandate in providing quality service through upgrading and specialized training programs, NMP continues to maintain and upgrade its facilities and its pool of competent instructors. Those Interested to take the training courses may visit the NMP website @ www.nmp.gov.ph or visit the agency’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ nmptrainingcenter) where all updates and relevant information on NMP programs are available.

Interested stakeholders who wish to validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP issued certificates may visit www.verify.nmp.gov.ph. Likewise, those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present the Research Agenda, and engage the industry stakeholders to collaborate in the research activities.

Further, NMP encourages OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.

 

 

 

 

Global rights group condemns state murder of Filipino peace consultant

Assassination of land reform activist Randall Echanis designed to destroy peace dialogue

Press Release
August 11, 2020

MANILA – The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines protests in the very strongest terms the murder of Mr Randall Echanis, 71, in the country’s capital region last Monday. In a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, ICHRP reports the crime of state terrorism in the killing of veteran activist and peace consultant Echanis.

At about 1:20am Manila time, August 10, 2020, five men were seen leaving the rented home of Mr Randall Echanis, in Novaliches, Quezon City, Philippines. Inside the bodies of Mr Echanis and an unnamed neighbour were found, with stab and gunshot wounds. Mr Echanis was at home receiving medical attention.

“This murder is almost certainly a calibrated operation of the Duterte counter-insurgency program, Oplan Kapanatagan. It is designed to destroy any dialogue that may resolve the five-decade long armed conflict in the Philippines, and instead pursue all out political violence against civilians,” says ICHRP Chairperson Mr Peter Murphy in a letter to the UN High Commissioner.

Mr Echanis was a Peace Consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, a member of the 2016-17 Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms in the formal peace talks sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Government. He advocated for the mass of poor peasant farmers, for he was the Deputy Secretary-General of the Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP) and Chairperson of the Anakpawis Party-List, a political party for peasants, fisherfolk and workers.

On the same day, Ms Erlinda Echanis, wife of the slain peace consultant, reported that police officers forcibly took the body of her husband which is now being guarded by state authorities. “I have positively identified his lifeless body which bore torture marks, multiple stab and gunshot wounds,” says Ms Echanis.

ICHRP urged the UN High Commissioner’s office and the United Nations Security Council to lead international condemnation of the murder of Mr Echanis, and to urge the Philippines government to bring the perpetrators to justice. In the same letter, it also appeals to the government to abandon its war on all political opposition, and instead to release all political prisoners and resume the stalled peace talks.

“We call on all member states of the UN Human Rights Council to be seized of the seriousness of the human rights situation in the Philippines and to adopt all the recommendations in your June 30 report on the human rights situation in the Philippines,” says ICHRP.

Lastly, Mr Murphy addresses the international community, calling on it “to unequivocally condemn the state killing of Mr Echanis.”

 

 

 

 

DAR aid to farmers
Some 44 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from 11 farming villages in Jiabong, Samar received garden tools, fertilizers and vegetable seeds from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the second component of its ARBold Move project as the nation experiences health crisis.

Unassisted farmer happy to receive aid from DAR

By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
August 10, 2020

JIABONG, Samar – After failing to receive assistance distributed by other organizations in their barangay, Rosalina Gabahin was happy to know she was among the 44 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from 11 farming villages in this town who were included in the list of recipients of farm production inputs given away by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

“Nagpapasalamat gud kami nga nahi-api kami hini nga bulig han DAR, kay didto han pinanhatag ha iskwelahan, waray man kami mahi-api.” (“We are very thankful that we were included by the DAR in their distribution of assistance, because we were not included in the distribution that was held in the school.”)

Gabahin, 45 years old and a mother of four, rushed out of their house when she learned of the arrival of DAR personnel in Barangay Macabetas.

Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Thelma Alfaro, assisted by Naome Rojas, Janeth Lapara, Kim Dasig and Nikko Banjo Llano, went from one barangay to another on Wednesday and Thursday last week to distribute farm tools, fertilizers and seeds under the farm production assistance component of the ARBold Move project, which is DAR’s immediate response to Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Each ARB-recipient received a shovel, a hoe, 10 kilos of complete fertilizer, 10 kilos of vermicast, urea, organic pesticide and two varieties of vegetable seeds.

Alfaro explained to the recipients that DAR is giving these items to help them generate additional income by planting vegetables during this time of crisis caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Thus, she encouraged them to plant the seeds to earn more. According to her, not all were given the same opportunity.

Meanwhile, Dasig taught the recipients how to apply the organic pesticide for best results.

For Yolanda Lagbo, 55, a widow, and also from Barangay Macabetas, the said assistance would certainly help her earn additional income, especially that she is now a single parent with four children to support.

In Barangay Parina, Clemente Gallegar, 66, shared how greatly they were affected during the lockdown. He reminisced that they could not sell their copra. Now, price of copra is very low, he added.

Moreover, the three recipients in Barangay Hinaga, an upland village about 17 kilometers away from the town proper, were surprised to receive the said assistance. Monico Villar, 79, said they have no idea about this distribution, while Tirso Cabanjen, 49, thanked DAR for the seeds. According to him, these would be additional source of food for his family.

 

 

 

 

New flood control structure built along Gandara River

Gandara River flood control

By CHENZI MAY D. UY
August 9, 2020

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office has completed the construction of a flood control structure along Gandara River in barangay Tambongan, Gandara, Samar.

Said structure covers a 284-meter-long section of the river and stands at a height of 2.7 meters. The project is part of the regular infrastructure program of SFDEO under General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019 with a P52.35 million contract.

Gandara River is one of two major river systems in the 1st District of Samar. While it is a source of livelihood and water for nearby villages, it is also usually the source of flooding. Hence, SFDEO is undertaking more flood control projects along said river under its GAA 2020 infrastructure program.

 

 

 

 

CARD MRI Rizal Bank
Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip, CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus, welcomes the clients during the opening of CARD RBI Siniloan Branch on July 27, 2020.

CARD RBI opens its first branch under the new normal

By JEFFREY C. TANDINGAN
August 7, 2020

SAN PABLO CITY – As we fight the COVID-19 pandemic, easy access to financial services is one of the most needed assistance of the people. To bring its banking products and services closer, CARD MRI Rizal Bank (CARD RBI) opened its 32nd branch in Siniloan, Laguna on July 27, 2020.

“We are already present in various municipalities with our BLUs branch-lite units. Even during community quarantine, our bank branches continue to operate to serve our clients, even though, our BLUs were not allowed to operate,” said CARD RBI President and CEO Elma B. Valenzuela.

Valenzuela also shared that the situation has limited the access of the people to banking services. “As part of our thrust and despite the crisis, we will continue to expand our bank branches and provide the public with services in response to their banking needs.”

The new branch is also in line with the bank’s direction in promoting financial inclusion in the country. The Siniloan Branch has an initial 17,626 clients from its Sta. Cruz branch.

To reach more communities, the bank also implements digital innovations as it recently launched its konek2CARD mobile banking app. “Despite the physical barriers, we constantly create ways to better serve our clients. Aside from the financial services, we will continually provide community-based development programs to respond to the various needs of our clients,” underscored Valenzuela.

“Before 2020 ends, CARD RBI will be opening four more branches and 18 additional BLUs in the country, to provide access to better financial services to the community,” said Valenzuela.

The Bank

CARD RBI, a member institution of CARD MRI, caters to various financial needs of its clients as it offers a wide range of banking products and services. To ensure that all socioeconomically challenged families in the country have access to affordable and quality financial service, it offers micro and SME loans, savings accounts, and remittance services.

The branch is located in Gualberto Building, L. de Leon St., Barangay Wawa, Siniloan, Laguna.

The opening was attended by CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Artistotle B. Alip, CARD RBI’s Senior Vice President for Operation Juliana B. de Leon, and CARD RBI clients and staff.

Since its establishment in 1996, CARD RBI has grown significantly with P5.1 billion assets and 493,757 clients nationwide.

 

 

 

 

DPWH rehabs 1.26-kilometer section of Calbayog-Migara Road

Calbayog-Migara Road

By CHENZI MAY D. UY
August 6, 2020

CALBAYOG CITY – Rehabilitation of 1,260 linear meters of concrete road with six meters width in Barangay Tabawan is now finished, says the Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District Engineering Office.

Also included in the works are the rehabilitation and improvement of the drainage and slope protection structures.

The project is allocated with P30 million based on General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019, as part of the SFDEO’s program to upgrade the road infrastructure of Samar 1st District.

 

 

 

 

Coping with Covid through microinsurance

By Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MiMAP)
August 5, 2020

SAN PABLO CITY – Since March 2020 when the Philippines was placed on lockdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, food-based microentrepreneurs have been hard at work as frontliners, without much fanfare or support, to provide Filipino communities with access to food and other essential household supplies.

Celia was one of these microentrepreneurs who woke up at dawn, opened her store daily to be of service to her community in Caloocan. But while the sales for her business increased, she was also weakened by the long hours of work and constant interaction with buyers.

She got sick back in May from COVID-like symptoms and died at 55 years of age. Celia, a member of a Microinsurance Mutual Benefit Association (Mi-MBA), had microinsurance. When informed of her passing, the Mi-MBA staff promptly processed her insurance claim. Despite operational challenges during the lockdown, the Mi-MBA was able to settle Celia’s family’s claim within a week.

Celia’s case is one of 428 other COVID-related deaths among members and beneficiaries that was promptly settled from 16 March - 15 July 2020 by Mi-MBAs connected with the Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines Inc. (MiMAP). These claims under MiMAP account for 2% of the total 20,540 microinsurance claims involving P462.81 million that Mi-MBAs settled and paid for within the 4-month lockdown period.

Microinsurance claims

Microinsurance Just Around the Corner

MiMAP, also known as RIMANSI, is composed of 18 Mi-MBAs and institutional partners spread all over the country. This network is united by a shared vision to bring microinsurance access and benefits to 48 million poor and low-income Filipinos by 2024. MiMAP has a collective outreach of 7 million individual members majority of whom are microentrepreneurs, small farmers and fishermen. As microinsurance coverage is likewise extended to members’ families, insurance coverage is given to nearly 25 million Filipinos. MiMAP Mi-MBA members account for a substantial 62% share in the country’s total microinsurance coverage of 40 million individuals in 2019.

The Mi-MBAs provide basic life microinsurance plans and a range of optional life plans that include coverage for health and retirement. For example, one Mi-MBA extends a microinsurance coverage of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000) for basic life insurance for only Sixty Pesos (P60) a month. More than having access to an affordable and good set of risk-protection products, the MBA is structured to be owned and governed by its members drawing on the power of mutual care and support.

During the first month of the lockdown, Mi-MBAs extended the grace period of 45 days to add 30 more days on premium collections while managing to sustain the processing and settlement of microinsurance claims. This move has helped ease the financial burden of members and their families.

MiMAP has successfully lobbied with the Insurance Commission (IC) for MBA operations to be categorized as a frontline essential health service. This has paved the way for mobilization of staff to validate claims and to arrange for money transfer of approved claims. To further support members, MiMAP has also filed a proposal to allow Mi-MBAs to draw on the accumulated refundable equity value of members for premium payment when the prescribed grace period expires. If this proposal gets the nod of IC, members will be given more time to generate income and save up for the next premium payment.

Microinsurance at your Fingertips

With a growing membership base, Mi-MBAs have turned to technology to increase efficiency. This enabled Mi-MBAs to settle claims and release the insurance benefits within a day. The submission of claim documents has been made easy through electronic copies shared via email or other mobile phone applications such as FB messenger. MBA staff resorted to teaching members or their beneficiaries on use of phone camera or relevant software applications to ensure the timely submission of documents. A strong culture of mutual support keeps Mi-MBA staff flexible and committed to deliver responsible and efficient services.

Amidst the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic to the operations of the Mi-MBAs, Citi Foundation continues to support the growth of the microinsurance industry through a grant partnership with MiMAP (RIMANSI). The program aims to build capacities of Mi-MBAs by developing innovative mobile technology solutions and a member-education strategy that will help them adapt with the new normal conditions. Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world.

In 2019, MiMAP Mi-MBAs mobilized a total of P4.81 billion in contributions and premiums, paid P1.43 billion in claims benefits, and reserved P956.10 million in refundable equity value to members. Also positioned as a regional microinsurance resource center through RIMANSI, MiMAP has provided technical support to promote, build and strengthen microinsurance in Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia and Vietnam involving eight (8) microfinance institution partners. These efforts have helped establish the Philippines the reputation of being the microinsurance capital of the world.

 

 

 

 

Karapatan hits regulation of social media under terror law, continuing online attacks vs. public and rights defenders

By KARAPATAN
August 4, 2020

QUEZON CITY – Instead of using the draconian Anti-Terrorism Act to “regulate” social media, human rights watchdog Karapatan strongly retorted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should “instead regulate and police the social media platforms of their own ranks and other law enforcement agencies, which have been known for spreading malicious lies and violent, terroristic threats against the public without letup and with rampant impunity.”

“The government, its military and police do not have any moral authority to ‘regulate’ the use of social media under the guise of counterterrorism when they have repeatedly weaponized social media to proliferate blatant and dangerous fabrications against activists and critics through red-tagging, or when local officials post violent ‘shoot-to-kill’ threats against the public – violent threats hewn directly from the president’s own violent and terroristic threats,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

Yesterday, August 3, new AFP Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay said that they would “capitalize” on the new law and that it should have “specific provisions… pertaining to the use of social media” in its implementing rules and regulations to supposedly combat terrorist activities on social media.

Palabay averred that “if the military really wants to ‘regulate’ social media use against terrorism, they should start by sanctioning their own men who, through their own social media accounts, have publicly and rabidly accused journalists of being linked to ‘terrorists’ for reporting on human rights groups and civil society organizations, or the accounts of police stations inciting violence against activists through red-tagging, or the ‘shoot-to-kill’ threats posted on the social media accounts of officials like Quezon City Task Force Disiplina’s Rannie Ludovica.”

Ludovica, who heads the task force, publicly posted on his Facebook account that those who would violate the quarantine measures in Quezon City are now “shoot-to-kill,” following the imposition of the two-week “modified enhanced community quarantine” in Metro Manila. Ludovica and members of the Quezon City task force had previously drawn flak for mauling fish vendor Michael Rubuia, for allegedly failing to wear a face mask in public.

The Karapatan official asserted that any proposal to “regulate” the use of social media under the Anti-Terrorism Act “is very much tantamount to Marcosian censorship, which is already sending a chilling effect to the public given the track record of the military and police in tagging government critics as ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorists sympathizers,’ while officials like Ludovica who actually publish terroristic threats on their social media accounts can get away unpunished or unsanctioned – if not for the loud outcry and condemnation of the public.”

“This fascist regime is desperately seeking all means to silence dissent while coddling officials who incite State violence and terrorism against critics, activists, and the larger public. We assert that the government’s terror law is unconstitutional, it cannot be used to regulate any exercise of our rights – and we will continue to fight back against any and all efforts to stifle and muffle the people’s resistance to this regime’s terrorist and tyrannical rule,” she ended.

 

 

 

 

151 new ‘Matikas’ privates reinforce E. Visayas

Candidate Soldier Course ‘Matikas’ Class 633-2020

By DPAO, 8ID PA
August 4, 2020

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army produced another 151 new soldiers during the closing ceremony of Candidate Soldier Course ‘Matikas’ Class 633-2020 at the 8ID Grandstand on August 4, 2020.

The ceremony was graced by Lord Byron P. Torrecacion, Regional Director, Office of the Civil Defense, Regional Office VIII, as the Guest of Honor and Speaker who also led the ceremonial entrustment of firearms together with senior military officers and partner stakeholders.

Out of the 190 original strength of the class, only 151 successfully hurdled the six months rigorous training.

Graduating from the course is not a piece of cake as new soldiers were properly nurtured with the basic skills and knowledge of soldiery in order to develop their character worthy to become members of the Armed Forces.

Among them, 102 were from Samar, 37 from Leyte, six from Mindanao, two from Luzon, two from Cebu, one from Iloilo, and one from Negros Occidental. Sixty of them were college graduates, 40 were college undergraduates and 51 were high school graduates with skills training from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The newly enlisted privates will provide a much-needed boost in the fight against the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Eastern Visayas who have been disturbing the peace and development of the region.

Director Torrecacion said that the hardships experienced by the soldiers while training have molded them to become responsible and professional soldiers of the people.

“You are now Stormtroopers, as such more people will look to you for strength, support, and solution to their problems. And those behind you are the ones who cannot defend themselves. They are your families, they are the weak and the oppressed. They are your neighbors and your friends, they are the Filipino people.”

Major General Pio Q. Diñoso III PA, Commander, 8ID, extended his profound congratulations to the proud parents who have given their all-out support and entrusted their sons to 8ID.

“Sa mga magulang, kapamilya at mga kaibigan na nanunuod ngayon sa kani-kaniyang bahay, hindi niyo man masasaksihan ng personal ang ating mga bagong sundalo, sinisigurado ko sa inyo na ang inyong anak o kapatid ay isa nang malakas, matikas at magiting na lalaki na may direksyon sa buhay. Maraming salamat at ipinagkatiwala ninyo sila sa amin at nawa’y patuloy ninyo silang gabayan at suportahan dito sa pinili nilang propesyon at makapagsilbi sa bayan. Kayo mismo bilang kanilang kapamilya ang katuwang namin sa pagsusulong ng mga programa ng Hukbong Katihan para sa pagkamit ng ating minimithing kapayapaan tungo sa matiwasay at maunlad na komunidad.”

He also stressed to the new soldiers that their enlistment in the AFP is now the beginning of their true service to the government.

“Remember to always strive to become stronger, smarter and better Stormtroopers. Mabuhay ang Candidate Soldier Course ‘Matikas’ Class 633-2020! Mabuhay ang Team 8ID! Mabuhay tayong lahat!”

 

 

 

 

DPWH opens circumferential road in Sto. Niño, Samar

Sto. Niño circumferential road

By CHENZI MAY D. UY
August 1, 2020

CALBAYOG CITY – An important road segment of the circumferential road in Sto. Niño, Samar was recently opened, enhancing the transport and logistics infrastructure in the island municipality.

The existing island road is limited to the town proper, so the goal of the project is to open up a new road that will connect other barangays around the island, thereby creating a circumferential road.

Said road project starts at Cabunga-an and ends at Mactang, cutting through eight other barangays, namely: Calong, Salvasion, Ilijan, Mag-abo, San Vicente, Baras, Langoyon, and Mahudag.

With a revised contract amount of P95,746,406, included in the scope of work is a road opening of 6.8 kilometers long with an additional one (1) kilometer PCCP, riprap, pipe culverts, and box culverts across a creek. The road has a width of 8 meters.

By strengthening connectivity within the island municipality, the circumferential road will allow for the smooth flow of trade and facilitate socioeconomic progress among the community.

 

 

 

 

Imelda road concreting project in Biliran
P29M road concreting project at P.S. Eamiguel - Imelda road in support of food and resource-based processing in Naval town completed.

P29M Imelda road concreting project in Biliran completed

By DPWH-Biliran
July 30, 2020

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)- Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) recently completes the P29M road concreting project in Naval town in support of food and resource-based processing.

The completed project located in Imelda village in Naval town is seen to ease the burden of farmers in transporting their goods and agricultural products to the market centers.

Found along this newly constructed road are several agricultural crops such as coconuts, corns, rice grains, cassavas and bananas.

According to David P. Adongay Jr., before the realization of this project, the said site can only be accessed by foot and products are transported through carabao, even motorcycles can hardly pass.

“Due to absence of road, supply of farm products to market centers are limited which in return less opportunity for the farmers to earn more,” said Adongay.

Constructed with a two lane road with a total length of 1.170-kilometer, Adongay said that the completed road concreting project will provide a wider, safer and fast mobility of the farmers’ harvest, thereby increasing their production and income.

Adongay also revealed that the said project leads to an undeveloped waterfall in Imelda village called Matin-aw Falls. From the old route taking almost an hour, travelling time is reduced to only 10-20 minutes walking time.

DPWH-Biliran DEO continues to implement high impact priority projects under the Duterte Administration with the goal to make roads passable, bridges long lasting, and shorter travel time.

 

 

 

 

NMP calls to strengthen resiliency and synergy within the maritime industry

NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod

By National Maritime Polytechnic
July 30, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the only government-owned maritime training and research center of the country took part on the online launching of the TUV Rheinland Philippines and Certif-ID International’s initiative: ‘Next Step Seafarers: Skills Development To Employment’ during the celebration of the “World Youth Skills Day” on 15 July 2020. The strategic partnership was aimed at supporting the Filipino seafarers impacted by COVID-19 in returning to their workforce as quickly as possible.

NMP was among the government agencies who supported the said undertaking together with other world leading organizations including, TSM Group, German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI), Nordic Chamber Philippines, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), PTC Holdings, Skill Bean, and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod was invited to share through a recorded video message, some essential guidance and practical steps to help the maritime industry manage the impact of COVID-19. NMP’s inputs focused on sustaining capability development for the maritime industry’s human capital as a major thrust in enhancing sustainability and resilience of the maritime transport during and post-COVID.

In his message, ED Maglunsod shared that, the Philippines, as a major provider of seafarers to the global maritime labor market is seriously bearing the devastating impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the maritime industry thus the need to strain forward and take stock of possible situations in the maritime industry in the near future, so that it can brace itself and adequately prepare for the call of the times while during and after the COVID pandemic.

He also emphasized that amidst the difficulties, the maritime industry continues to play an essential role in the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, by facilitating transport of vital commodities and product which was made possible with a lot of sacrifices by the seafarers who have been stuck at sea providing service to the world beyond their contract period and within a highly challenging situation.

It was also stressed the need to consider the impact of the pandemic to the global economy and the maritime industry, highlighting the fact that saving the world’s seafarers redound to saving the supply system that they support, and to enhance resiliency of the maritime transport will require sustaining the capability development of the human capital in the maritime industry.

ED Maglunsod also highlighted that the closure of all educational and training institutions due to the COVID situation has accelerated the adoption of online learning by all, including countries that have lagged in embracing digital evolution. Online delivery provides a safer alternative and a cost-effective solution to ensure that seafarers are able to renew mandatory training certificates during these extraordinary times and maintain proof of competence.

With online learning, convenient learning conditions can be provided to meet the needs of the crew wherever they are. The problem on the shortage of qualified maritime instructors to teach students and trainees in the traditional face-to-face setting is mitigated; education and training institutions can tap senior marine officers from anywhere to be part of the pool of its teaching staff without need for them to be physically present in the training institution. The cost savings for employers and seafarers are important in these challenging times. Obvious savings come from reduced travel costs for seafarers and maritime instructors and the administration cost of educational institutions in maintaining buildings and training spaces.

Moreover, the way forward to further strengthen resiliency of the maritime industry is for nations to work in collaboration and in synergy with each other. The capability building of seafarers within a region through a highly interconnected distance learning platform among countries or member economies in order to reach seafarers across the region will have milestone impact in ensuring adequate supply of competent and competitive seafarers. In addition, the establishment of a distance learning platform to be utilized both onshore and onboard among member economies will enhance resilience of the maritime industry in the area on human capital development for unexpected external situations in the future, similar to the COVID pandemic.

Further, he disclosed that in response to these challenges, NMP will start to offer this quarter online learning for the ‘value-adding’ courses and at the same time ram up the development of purely online and blended learning platforms for the mandatory training courses. Meanwhile, Post-Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) protocols have been put in place for the public, our clients - the seafarers, ensuring their safety and of everyone while availing of face-to-face training for our existing training courses for officers and ratings in both deck and engine departments.

NMP continuously assures that its training courses are implemented in accordance with national and international standards on maritime education and training. Its training services are designed and implemented addressing the current and emergent needs of critical groups such as the management level officers, trainers and assessors, offshore and maritime-allied personnel and employer-required skills on top of the regular training programs.

Likewise, the Agency is exigently strengthening strategic alliances with partner agencies and institutions, both government and private as well as local and international, taking advantage of opportunities of the new developments in its external environment for the generation of resources and technical operation as well as improved visibility of NMP in the industry.

Meanwhile, in its effort to sustain its mandate in providing quality service through upgrading and specialized training programs, NMP continues to maintain and upgrade its facilities and its pool of competent instructors. Those Interested to take the training courses may visit the NMP website @ www.nmp.gov.ph or visit the agency’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ nmptrainingcenter) where all updates and relevant information on NMP programs are available.

Interested stakeholders who wish to validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP issued certificates may visit www.verify.nmp.gov.ph. Likewise, those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present the Research Agenda, and engage the industry stakeholders to collaborate in the research activities.

Further, NMP encourages OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.

 

 

 

 

CARD SME Bank Batangas
In the picture are (L-R) Rev. Mar Andreen Castillo, CARD SME Bank client Lilia Barcelon, CARD SME Bank President Aristeo A. Dequito, CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza L. Sarmiento, CARD SME Bank Executive Vice President and COO Cynthia B. Baldeo, and CARD SME Bank client Priscila Arzobal during the opening of the 35th branch in Nasugbu, Batangas.

CARD SME Bank opens new branch in Batangas; geared up for the new normal

By CARD MRI
July 30, 2020

SAN PABLO CITY – As we start to embrace the new normal brought by COVID-19 crisis, CARD SME Bank, a thrift bank and a member institution of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), opened its 35th branch in Nasugbu, Batangas on July 27, 2020, and is now ready to serve its clients adapting to the new normal.

This is part of the expansion plans of the bank in promoting financial inclusivity for all. Said CARD SME Bank President Aristeo B. Dequito, “CARD SME Bank is now celebrating its 9th year of providing financial services to the communities. We started from small offices in 2011 but we remain steadfast in our mission in reaching more MSMEs and cater to their growing financial needs in CALABARZON region.”

He also added that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, CARD SME Bank sees it not as a barrier in providing financial services. “There might be some changes in our plans because of the swelling number of cases of COVID-19 in our country, but our goal remains, to reach and help more communities by providing them access to financial products and services and better banking experience. We are here to build better post-pandemic banking services to our clients.”

“Our investment in advance technologies has coped with the latest trends in banking. Our journey to digital innovations has led to more convenient banking experience to our clients. As we continue our transformation to digitization, our clients will soon experience hassle-free banking transactions anytime and anywhere using their mobile phones through the konek2CARD mobile banking app,” he added.

The branch is strategically located at J.P Laurel St., Barangay 11, Nasugbu, Batangas, and expecting to serve more than 15,000 clients from eight branch-lite-units.

Present during the opening was CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento, CARD SME Bank Executive Vice President and COO Cynthia Baldeo, and CARD MRI clients and staff.

The thrift bank

CARD SME Bank is one of the banking institutions of CARD MRI that caters to the needs of thousands of MSMEs in the country.

The bank primarily offers various business loan products tailored-fitted to the needs of MSMEs such as flexible loan payment terms and options, and affordable interest rates. It also offers deposit accounts such as savings account for microentrepreneurs and kiddie savings for children, ATM, checking, time deposit, consumer loans such as car and housing loan, and domestic remittance service.

As of June 2020, CARD SME Bank already served 987,686 clients nationwide with 35 bank branches and 328 offices and a total asset of P7.7 billion.

 

 

 

 

DPWH completes flood control structure along Cagnipa River

Cagnipa River flood control structure

By CHENZI MAY UY
July 30, 2020

CALBAYOG CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways has completed another flood control structure along Cagnipa River in Brgy. Cagnipa, this city. It covers a 45-meter section of the river bank near the coast.

The flood mitigation structure primarily serves to protect the lives and properties located in the immediate vicinity of the river. Secondarily, it prevents erosion of the river bank that may undermine the structural integrity of the adjacent Cagnipa Bridge. Said bridge is part of the national road (Daang Maharlika) network.

The project was allocated P6.1 million from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2019.

 

 

 

 

NMP training operations
NMP Registration and Certification Unit (left) and Cash Unit (right) providing frontline services.

NMP resumes training operations

By National Maritime Polytechnic
July 30, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – Following the approval of its Post-Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) Training Operations Protocol by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and productive coordination with the respective Local Government Units (LGU), the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a government-owned maritime training and research institution, resumes its training operations on 20 July 2020 both at its main office at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City and liaison office with address at 2nd Floor ECC Building, 355 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue Makati City.

It can be recalled that NMP suspended the conduct of its trainings on 16 March 2020 in line with the declaration of state of public health emergency in the Philippines due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and in compliance to MARINA Advisory No. 2020-16 suspending the conduct of all maritime training courses as well as theoretical and practical assessments in Luzon and other areas affected by the community quarantine.

Since the outbreak, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), has been taking precautionary measures to safeguard the safety and health of the public and personnel. Health precautionary measures/protocols were established. Clients were subjected to temperature scanning and footbath before entry. NMP personnel were provided with medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPEs) such as facemask (surgical, N95), face shield, and hazmat.

To aid in any tracking, all clients were obliged to accomplish the NMP Health Monitoring Form indicating the following basic information: name, contact numbers, address, person to notify in case of emergency, and travel history within the last six (6) months. They were also required to present a valid certification issued by their respective City/Municipal/ Rural Health Office stating that they have completed quarantine or are COVID-free.

Also, to prevent, contain, and mitigate the possible transmission of virus, cleaning and disinfection supplies/equipment (disinfectant alcohol, chlorine, hand soap and sprayers) were procured and hand washing facilities were established. Sanitizers and signages promoting proper hand washing, cough etiquette, and proper social / physical distancing were put up in conspicuous and strategic places.

NMP Maritime Training Express Registration System Kiosks (MTERS) were also installed to process enrollment of walk-in trainees and to minimize face to face transaction.

Moreover, isolation rooms were identified for trainees who will become unwell or have developed COVID-19 symptoms, and NMP Sick Bay was equipped with appropriate medical supplies and manned by an Emergency response personnel who is always on duty while training is on-going.

In terms of classroom arrangements, class intake was reduced to 12 trainees per course or 50% of the previous maximum capacity, to effectively observe 1-meter apart guidelines of World Health Organization (WHO) and health and safety briefing is conducted before the start of training / assessment.

Anticipating these possibilities, NMP conducted repair, improvement, and expansion of its classrooms. Divisions / partitions were also installed to accommodate larger number of trainees.

All these initiatives were done during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period where NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod directly supervised.

It can be noted that with the suspension of NMP’s training operations on 16 March 2020, several on-going trainings were halted, and onward schedules were suspended. Upon its resumption on 20 July 2020, enrollment of those affected enrollees was given priority.

After months of lockdown, NMP regained momentum on its first week (20-25 July 2020) with a total of one hundred forty-seven (147) certificates issued, this, despite of NMP’s restrictions on the acceptance of enrollees, only those coming from Region 8 were allowed enrollment.

In the interim, with the aim of providing a safer alternative and cost-effective solution to ensure that Filipino seafarers can renew mandatory certificates and maintain their competence during these extraordinary times, NMP is conducting an on-going review of its existing training courses to identify those that can be transformed into purely online and blended learning.

In preparation for the online learning, NMP took a proactive stance in carrying out personnel interventions to its trainers by providing workshop on the familiarization on the use of Google Classroom and Google Meet applications. Online registration is also underway to answer the need for the contactless payment and registration being recommended by the MARINA.

Meanwhile, NMP’s Training Schedule for July to December was released last 17 July 2020. The complete schedule can be downloaded at the NMP website www.nmp.gov.ph and facebook page (www.facebook.com/nmptrainingcenter) where the training requirements and other related information are available.

Interested stakeholders who wish to validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP issued certificates may visit www.verify.nmp.gov.ph. Likewise, those interested in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website and access the e-Research Information System Portal which is designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present the Research Agenda, and engage the industry stakeholders to collaborate in the research activities.

Further, NMP encourages OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.

 

 

 

 

Gov't troops seize NPA lair in Samar

By DPAO, 8ID PA
July 30, 2020

BRGY. FATIMA, Hinabangan, Samar – A Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) lair was seized by soldiers in a four-hour long intermittent firefight in Sitio Salvacion, Brgy San Nicolas, San Jose de Buan in Samar province 1:30PM Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

Operating troops engaged about 50 NPA terrorists who put up stiff resistance before withdrawing away. Troops discovered the lair after several residents complained about the presence of armed NPA terrorists who are extorting money and foodstuff as part of their Rebolusyonaryong Buwis sa Kaaway na Uri (RBKU).

The NPA terrorist lair can accommodate 50 to 100 individuals based on the structures found composed of 34 huts and a kitchen that can be used for huge food preparations.

Soldiers recovered five M-16 assault rifles, hundreds of assorted ammunition, a generator set, electronic gadgets, food, medicines, medical paraphernalia and subversive documents.

No soldier was wounded in the skirmish but authorities believe the NPA terrorists could have suffered numerous wounded.

Residents who refused to be identified said they can no longer bear the abuses of the NPA. "We do not have enough to eat ourselves and yet they extort RBKU from us,” one resident said in the vernacular. People lament that RBKU is the extortion scheme of the CNT against their enemies yet they impose that against the masses.

The series of surrenders and successful encounters in San Jose de Buan is believed to be the result of the support of the local chief executive who few weeks ago admitted his participation in supporting the CPP-NPA-NDF as part of political survival.

Mayor Joaquin Elizalde, Municipal Mayor of San Jose de Buan, withdrew his support from the CPP-NPA-NDF a few weeks ago and publicly encouraged NPA members to surrender and embrace peace. Several NPA fighters and Militia ng Bayan members heed the call and several armed skirmishes ensued since the public declaration of the mayor.

Brigadier General Camilo Ligayo, the 801st Brigade Commander said, "While the NPA continue to harrass and abuse people, our soldiers will be more active in serving the masses. We thank the people and local officials of San Jose De Buan for renewing their support to our legitimate government and denying sanctuary to the NPA.”

Lieutenant Colonel Reynaldo B Balido Jr., the Battalion Commander of 87th Infantry Battalion encouraged NPA members who might be wounded to surrender so as to be treated appropriately. "The wounded must be treated. We call on the leadership of the NPA to let the wounded be treated adequately. Their lives is more important at this time than their passe ideology. There are many cases that their wounded end up dead and they just burry them in shallow graves or worse, they just leave them behind,” Lt. Col. Balido said.

In a similar encounter few days ago in Borongan, Eastern Samar, troops of 78th Infantry Battalion engaged NPA terrorists in a firefight after residents tipped them off on the presence of armed men extorting from households.

Few months ago in April and May during the height of community quarantine in Samar Island, series of incidents were recorded involving NPA terrorists extorting money and foodstuff from the people and some resulted to armed skirmishes after residents informed soldiers.

 

 

 

 

Construction of Biliran provincial police office building
Aerial view of the on-going construction of Biliran Provincial Police Office Building at Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval, Biliran. The project is under contract with W.B. Alagao Construction with a contract amount of P24.15M.

New Biliran provincial police office building underway

By DPWH-Biliran
July 29, 2020

NAVAL, Biliran – A safe and community-friendly new Provincial Police Office (PPO) building and facility will soon rise at Larrazabal village in Naval town.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)- Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) is now in the mid part of the construction of the PPO building that will house police men and women in order for them to have a spacious and comfortable workplace.

David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer revealed that the contractor is catching up with the slight delay of their project implementation due to circumstances caused by Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Contractor had already resumed its work construction and now fast-tracking this project to meet their target date of completion on November 06, 2020,” Adongay reported.

The construction of the new three-storey building costing P24.15M has a total floor area of 720 sq.m.

Police Colonel (PCOL) Julius M. Coyme, Provincial Director, Biliran PPO already said during the groundbreaking ceremony of this building on February 18, 2020 that the construction of a new building was proposed because the assessment conducted of the existing/old PPO building revealed that the building is unstable for occupancy after the earthquake on April 23, 2018.

DE Adongay informs that the construction of the new Biliran PPO is like an upgraded version of a standard police office building.

“Aside from its Physically Challenged Person-friendly facility, this building is designed to be earthquake resilient,” said Adongay.

As of July 28, 2020, the project posts an accomplishment of 37.67%. This project is in convergence with DPWH and the Philippine National Police (PNP) implemented under FY 2020 Regular Infrastructure Program.

 

Last updated: 11/27/2020

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