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24 Korean exhibitors lead int’l food firms at IFEX Philippines

PH does not tolerate "police impunity", Cayetano asserts

NPA responds to Gen. Farnacio’s claim

Car Awards Group, Inc. (CAGI) kick starts a packed 2017 season

Civil society urges Duterte to walk the talk in signing Paris Agreement

P19.4M worth of school buildings turned-over to Caibiran, Biliran

14IB with 1368th Dental Company joins ESSU for Dental Mission in Maydolong

Army troops scores against NPA rebels in Northern Samar







Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) to go nationwide

May 31, 2017

MAKATI CITY – Micro entrepreneurs around the country will now have access to cheap and easy credit as the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) will now be made available nationwide on May 31, 2017.

DTI Undersecretary for Regional Operations Zenaida Maglaya said the administration’s brainchild of micro-finance facility encourages micro entrepreneurs to borrow money from P3 that will help them finance their businesses.

“P3 is intended to help the underprivileged Filipino entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses. With this program, they can access cheap and easy credit without any hassle. After filling out a half-page application and presenting necessary documents, the money can be released within the day,” Maglaya explained.

With sufficient funds to provide to borrowers, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its micro-financing arm Small Business Corporation (SB Corp) will lead the implementation that will assist micro entrepreneurs financially and enable them to grow their businesses.

Being the administration’s program to provide an affordable micro-financing for the country’s micro entrepreneurs, the P3 funding program provides micro enterprises an alternative source of financing that is easy to access and made available at a cheapest cost.

“After we’ve launched the P3 in Tacloban, Occidental Mindoro, and Sarangani in January 2017, P3 is now going nationwide. We hope this will encourage micro entrepreneurs to patronize the government’s program so we can eliminate loan sharks,” Maglaya said.

National conduits and local Micro-financing Institutions (MFIs) have already been accredited by the SB Corp to assist in distributing the funds to micro entrepreneurs. The national level conduits are Radiowealth Finance Company (RFC), Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. (TSKI), and Mindanao Alliance of Self-Help Societies – Southern Philippines Educational Cooperative Center (MASS-SPECC).

Meanwhile, 18 local (MFIs) are accredited in Luzon, 6 in Visayas and 3 in Mindanao. A total of P104.9 million have been released to P3 conduits as of today (May 31, 2017).

The Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) is a P1 billion financing program intended to give MSMEs better access to finance, and to reduce their cost of borrowing. The fund will also give priority to the country’s 30 poorest provinces.

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to replace the “5-6” money lending system, the P3 is also seen to help stabilize supply and cost of commodities in public markets, encourage small entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, eliminate loan sharks, and offer employment and generate income for Filipinos.

The P1 billion fund of the P3 program from the Office of the President will be coursed through the SB Corp. with accredited partner institutions such as non-bank MFIs, cooperatives, and associations to serve as conduit for the P3 funds. With borrowers identified through these, collection of repayments will be efficient.

The P3 Program was launched in Tacloban in Leyte on January 25, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on January 27, and Alabel, Sarangani last January 30. A total of P7.7 million have been released to individual borrowers in these pilot areas: P3.5 million in Mindoro, P2.2million in Sarangani, and P1.8 million in Leyte.

The primary beneficiaries of the P3 Program are micro-enterprises and entrepreneurs that do not have easy access to credit. These include market vendors, agri-businessmen and members of cooperatives, and industry associations.

P3 will also make it easy for borrowers since it will only require minimal documentation requirement; easy to access with only one (1) day processing of application; low cost interest at 2.5% per month; and easy payment with collection on a weekly or daily basis, as necessary.

Loan amounts to end-borrowers range between P5,000 and P100,000, with no collateral requirement.





Army troops clashed again with the NPAs in Matuguinao, Samar

May 26, 2017

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Another clash between the troops of 43rd Infantry (We Search) Battalion and the NPA terrorists took place today at 8:30 a.m. at Barangay Mahayag, Matuguinao, Samar.

Upon receiving a warning coming from a concerned villager on the presence of the armed group conducting illegal activities in the community, troops immediately responded and encountered more or less 60 rebels.

During the heat of the firefight, the 3rd Field Artillery Battalion launched rounds of artillery fire support to the engaging troops to pin down the striking enemies.

Initial result of the encounter disclosed that there was no casualty on the government side while undetermined on the enemy side.

During the tension, the military troops ensured the safety of the community and were advised not to go home until the clash is over.

Maj Gen Raul M Farnacio said that the 8th Infantry Division will pursue its combat operation to hunt these terrorists who are continuing illegal activities that disturb the well-being of our people. In planning and conducting operations, the Army puts the people’s welfare and well-being above all other consideration.





Rule of law, human rights must prevail – Cuy

Press Release
May 26, 2017

QUEZON CITY – With the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Catalino S. Cuy today enjoined DILG offices and attached agencies to observe the rule of law and ensure the observance of human rights in the southern region.

In a directive, Cuy said that Martial Law does not suspend the operation of the Philippine Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies even if the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus has already been suspended over the entire Mindanao region.

“As part of the observance of the rule of law and recognition of the supremacy of civilian authority even in areas covered by the proclamation or suspension of the writ, all DILG officials and employees, including those from the attached agencies, should refrain from doing acts obstructive of our regular deliverables to the public unless prevented or restrained by the duly constituted authorities,” he said.

Cuy issued the directive to DILG regional directors, provincial and city directors, the Philippine National Police, other attached agencies and bureaus, field officers and others concerns as guidance on the Presidential Proclamation of Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.

In the said directive, he pointed out that any arrest, search and seizure done in areas where the proclamation was made or Martial Law is effective should comply with existing laws, rules and regulations notably the Constitution and the Revised Rules of Court.

He also said that the suspension of the privilege of the writ applies only to a person judicially charged for rebellion or invasion and such person must be charged within three days, outside of that, habeas corpus must persist. The proclamation of Martial Law also does not affect the right to bail.

“Everyone is enjoined to adhere and support the purpose and reasons for the proclamation of Martial Law and suspension of the privilege of the writ in Mindanao, bearing into consideration that this was done to restore and maintain peace and order in the areas covered,” he said.

According to Cuy, the proclamation of Martial Law and suspension of the privilege of the writ, as interim measures, are also subject to review and possible revocation by the Congress, review and nullification of the Supreme Court, and a time limit of 60 days.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte placed the Mindanao region under Martial Law pursuant to Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution following the violent attacks in Marawi City.






DAR Samar turn-over
Outgoing Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer-II of Samar Leovigildo Monge (5th from L) turns over the symbolic key of responsibility to his successor Enrique Granados III (5th from R) in a ceremony witnessed by DAR Regional Director Sheila Enciso (4th from R), Assistant Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay (3rd from L), and all the DAR officials of said province.

DAR installs new provincial heads

May 26, 2017

CATBALOGAN, Samar – Eastern Samar Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer-II (PARPO-II) Enrique Granados III now heads the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) provincial office in Samar after he was installed on Monday by Regional Director Sheila Enciso.

Granados replaced Leovigildo Monge, by virtue of Special Order No. 250, series of 2017 issued by Secretary Rafael Mariano early this month, as the latter will retire from government service on his 65th birthday on May 28.

In his acceptance message, Granados said that his new assignment is a challenge to him on how to maintain the impressive performance of Samar under PARPO Monge. DAR-Samar in 2015 was recognized among top performers.

According to Land Tenure Improvement Division Chief Celsa Mabutin, though they expect a different management style, they need the expertise of PARPO Granados in the documentation of distributed but not yet documented (DNYD) lands.

Granados, 60, joined DAR in 1983 as Senior Land Acquisition and Allocation Officer. He became Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) in 1988 before becoming chief of the Beneficiaries Development Coordinating Division (BDCD) and the Operations Division on separate occasions.

In 2003, he was designated PARPO-II for Northern Samar. He also became the DAR provincial chief in Leyte prior to his assignment in Eastern Samar where he served for eight years.

Meanwhile, on May 12 before reporting to his new assignment, Granados turned over his responsibilities in Eastern Samar to PARPO-I Gilberto Apilado who was designated PARPO-II for the said province under the same special order.

Apilado, 55, joined DAR in 1990 as Agricultural Engineer II. He was promoted to Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer (CARPO) for BDCD and was later on designated as PARPO-I.

Further, Chief of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division Teresita Caballa-Alde, 60, will take the place of Apilado as PARPO-I.

For a smooth transition, Enciso urged all employees of both provinces to extend to the incoming officials the same support they had given to Monge and Granados during their time.





ICRC steps up response to needs linked to fighting in Marawi City

May 26, 207

MANILA – Thousands of people continue to flee the fighting in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province, southern Philippines, seeking safety in neighboring areas such as Iligan City. Many families are staying with relatives, while others went to evacuation centers or sought shelters in schools.

“This morning, our team has finally entered Marawi City and delivered 1,000 water jugs to the displaced families at the provincial capitol, and transported at least 300 residents from Marawi to the evacuation center in Saguiaran. We were able to access Marawi as we are in touch with various stakeholders,” said Pascal Porchet, Head of Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Philippines.

“The situation is very fluid. Residents are moving in and out of Marawi, and we are seriously concerned about those who are trapped or have chosen to stay in the city, who are in need of food and water. This is currently a challenge for our teams on the ground as they assess the situation in order to have a clear picture of the number of displaced people and their needs,” he added.

In Iligan, the ICRC has prepositioned medical supplies to reinforce the capacity of rural health units in addressing the basic health needs of displaced people. They include basic medicines, antibiotics, dressing materials; as well as injectable medication and intravenous fluids that can support 30,000 people in three months. One of these kits will be delivered to the RHU in Saguiaran this afternoon.

Medical items to treat wounded people have also been dispatched, for hospitals that may need replenishment. In addition, food, essential household items and hygiene kits will be dispatched to Iligan from the ICRC warehouse in Davao this afternoon for prepositioning.

The ICRC also provided first-aid bags and dressing kits to support the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chapters in Marawi and Iligan cities. It has also provided resources for the mobilization of PRC’s volunteer force in case a greater response is needed. The PRC and the ICRC will coordinate the response according to the needs. The PRC is ICRC’s primary partner in the country.

With the ongoing hostilities in Marawi City, and with some residents remaining there, Porchet urged those involved in the fighting to take the necessary precautions to spare civilians and their property.

“International humanitarian law (IHL) remains applicable in this situation, even after the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. As such, it must be respected at all times and by all the parties. People who may be arrested must be treated humanely and the ICRC will continue to monitor their conditions and treatment,” he said.

IHL limits the means and methods of warfare and protects people who do not take part in the fighting (i.e civilians, medics, aid workers) and those who can no longer fight (i.e. wounded, sick, captured or detained fighters). These limits are particularly meaningful in populated areas where the risk of harm to civilians and civilian objects, including essential infrastructure, increases.

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization that protects and assists victims of armed conflict. It has an international mandate to promote knowledge for and respect of IHL.






Loading and Unloading Bays
Completed construction of Turn-out (Loading and Unloading Bays) along Biliran Circumferential Road, Kawayan, Biliran with a construction budget of P2.550M. The completed project will provide a safe area to load and unload passengers, goods, agricultural and aquatic products for ready transport to market centers.

Updates on Biliran DEO’s 2017 infrastructure projects

Press Release
May 23, 2017

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) is now in full swing in the implementation of its FY 2017 Infrastructure Projects. Contractors mostly started at their own risks to attain the target schedule and to avail of the good weather condition.

As of April 30, 2017, the District has an overall actual accomplishment of 8.02% with a positive slippage of 2.45%.

The District has been allotted P940.730M under FY 2017 DPWH Infrastructure Program with a total final listing of 57 projects based on the General Appropriation Act (GAA). Out of 57 projects, 31 projects are on-going, 25 are Not Yet Started (NYS) and one (1) project is completed.

The completed project is the Construction of Turn-out (Loading and Unloading Bays) along Biliran Circumferential Road, Kawayan, Biliran with a construction budget of P2.550M.

The project was prioritized because of its immediate need on the location. The section is located along a National Road at Poblacion of Kawayan, where public utility vehicles mostly stops, to load and unload passengers, goods, agricultural and aquatic products from and to market centers. The completed project will provide a safe area to load and unload passengers, goods, agricultural and aquatic products for ready transport to market centers. This project will benefit more or less 3,500 passengers mostly from the northern part of the Island and from the capital town (Naval) of Biliran Province.

Some Major Infrastructure projects of 2017 have also started and is up for completion in the month of May, 2017. These projects are the Off-Carriageway Improvement along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road, Repair of Busali Bridge, Biliran, Biliran and Repair of Mapula Bridge, Caibiran Biliran with an accomplishment of 90% as of April 31, 2017.

As of this writing, the district had already bid-out 52 projects while five projects are scheduled to be bid out on a later date.






DPWH-Biliran DEO communication development program award
From R: Engr. Alfredo L. Bollido, OIC-Assistant District Engineer and Mr. Bern L. Calomadre, Chief of Administrative Section bestow the Certificate of Recognition to Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, PIO-Designate together with PIO-Alternates, Engr. Frechbee L. Sabile, Ms. Chelsea C. Quijano, and Engr. Gene F. Delfin on April 3, 2017 at the DPWH-Biliran Open ground after the flag raising ceremony.

DPWH-Biliran DEO awarded 2nd place in communication development program for 2016

Press Release
May 21, 2017

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) has been awarded as 2nd place for the successful implementation of the Communication Development Program of the Department for the year 2016.

The award thru a Certificate of Recognition was received by Engr. David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer of Biliran DEO on March 28, 2017 at DPWH Multipurpose Building, Region 8, Palo, Leyte during the Regional Monthly Coordination Meeting and was presented to District Public Information Officer (PIO-Designate) Engr. Rosario B. Rosete together with her PIO-Alternates Engr. Gene F. Delfin, Engr. Frechbee L. Sabile, and Ms. Chelsea C. Quijano on April 3, 2017 after the flag raising ceremony.

The certificate of recognition was bestowed in appreciation for the contribution and commitment in the successful implementation of the Development Communication Program of the Department thru information dissemination about its projects and accomplishment in advocating its various programs in helping the department adapt to the demands of the environment such as IT, Social Media, Swift Resolution of RFAS/ 165-02/ Customer Feedback Complains /8888 etc. and in implementing the social marketing programs of the Department in order to strengthen its relationship with external stakeholders in year 2016, thus, the citation reads.

Rosete expressed her gratitude to all who contributed for the Communication Development Reports especially from the different sections in the office, to her PIO-Alternates and to District Engineer Adongay, Jr. for actively supporting the Communication Development Program of the District.

In 2014 and 2015, DPWH-BDEO was also awarded as 2nd place in the most number of Communication Development Reports submitted.

The awards were given to the top 5 performers in the DPWH Eastern Visayas Region having Samar 1st District Engineering Office as 1st place, followed by Biliran District Engineering Office, Southern Leyte Engineering District Office and Northern Samar 2nd District Engineering Office for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place respectively and Leyte 4th District Engineering Office and Leyte 5th Engineering District both for the 5th place out of the 13 District Engineering Offices in Region VIII.






Engr. David P. Adongay Jr.
Engr. David P. Adongay Jr., (wearing hat) District Engineer of Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) visits on-going Replacement of Banlas Bridge (B00061BR) along Maripipi Circumferential Road on April 28, 2017. The said project is implemented by Biliran DEO under 2016 General Appropriations Act (GAA) with an accomplishment of 80% as of April 30, 2017. Upon Adongay’s inspection, the project is on-going with installation of forms and scaffolding for girder and slab of the bridge.

DE Adongay inspects infrastructure projects at Maripipi Island

Press Release
May 21, 2017

NAVAL, Biliran – Engr. David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) takes time to conduct a round-up inspection of Biliran DEO Infrastructure Projects at Maripipi Island, Naval, Biliran on April 28, 2017.

The Municipality of Maripipi is separated by a narrow channel from the island of Biliran and can be reached by a small boat for about 1.5 hours of travel from Naval, the capital town of Biliran province. It is an island-municipality with a coastal circumference of twenty-four kilometers.

The first project inspected by Engr. Adongay, Jr. is the Rehabilitation/ Reconstruction of Maripipi Circumferential Road. This project is under the implementation of Regional Office 8 with the amount of P135M funded under 2016 General Appropriation Act (GAA). As of April, 2017, it has an accomplishment of 21.08%. The project was started late due to late completion of Preliminary & Detailed Engineering activities. The completed project will provide a standard concrete paved road for the safe and faster transport of goods and services to the capital barangay of the municipality.

Another project inspected by Adongay, Jr. is the on-going Replacement of Banlas Bridge (B00061BR) along Maripipi Circumferential Road. This is a 2016-Carry-over project of Biliran DEO costing 8.7M. Upon Adongay’s inspection, the project is on-going with installation of forms and scaffolding for girder and slab of the bridge with an accomplishment of 80% as of April 30, 2017. Adongay, Jr. said that this project is target to be completed on or before July, 2017. The completed Bridge will provide a standard Bridge (with two lanes) in replacement of the old one which is sub-standard (with one lane only) thereby providing safe passage to the traveling public.

Adongay, Jr. also inspected the just started construction of 2-storey, 8-classroom School Building at Maripipi National Vocational School, Maripipi, Biliran under General Appropriation Act (GAA) of 2016, Batch 13. The project is on-going with the installation of forms and scaffolding for the 1st floor of the building with an accomplishment of 10%. This project has a contract cost of P11.875M under contract with BNL Construction. It is scheduled to be completed on September 23, 2017. Completion of the project will provide additional classrooms for the school hence offering a place conducive to learning for the students. The additional classrooms will accommodate more or less 320 students.



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