posts $211.36 million trade surplus in January 2019
April 17, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – The
region posted a $211.36 million surplus in the total Balance of
Trade in Goods (BoT-G) in January 2019, in contrast to the $41.77
million deficit in the same period in 2018.
The region’s total trade
in goods in January 2019 increased to $227.93 million from $203.72
million in the same period in 2018, an increase of 11.88 percent.
Total value of exports
amounted to $219.65 million, almost three times (171.25 percent)
higher compared with the $80.98 million in January 2018. Total value
of imports, meanwhile, was recorded at $8.29 million, significantly
lower by 93.25 percent compared with the $122.75 million imports
posted in the same period in 2018.
The region’s total volume
of exports in January 2019 posted at 131.86 million kilograms was
valued at $219.65 million. The commodity group of copper and
articles thereof was the major export during the month in review
with total revenue of $137.41 million. This accounted for 62.56
percent of the region’s total export revenue in January 2019. Hong
Kong was the top export market destination with $73.90 million total
export revenue, which shared 33.64 percent of the region’s total
The region’s total imports
of $8.29 million in January 2019recorded a total gross weight of
58.50 million kilograms. Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and
mechanical appliances; parts thereof commodity group was the major
import during the month with total revenue of $1.47 million, this
comprised 17.76 percent of the region’s total imports in January
2019.The top import supplier of the region was Vietnam with total
import bill of $2.35 million, which comprised 28.31 percent of the
region’s total imports.
Terrorist sets off IED that killed one 9-year old boy in Northern,
Samar during the Holy Wednesday
DPAO, 8ID PA
April 17, 2019
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – One 9-year old boy was killed when Communist NPA
Terrorist (CNTs) lobbed an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Brgy
San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern, Samar on April 17, 2019 Holy
Wednesday at 9:40 o’clock in the morning.
The incident transpired
when the troops of 20th Infantry Battalion were conducting security
patrol in the said barangay to check on the reported CNTs conducting
extortion, were harassed by undetermined number of suspected
Communists NPA Terrorist (CNTs) by throwing Improvised Explosive
Device (IED) that resulted to the killing of Armando Remolde, 9
years old and a resident of said barangay.
The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers)
Division, strongly condemn the terroristic act perpetrated by the
Communist NPA Terrorist belong to Eastern Visayas Party Committee (EVRPC).
The use of IEDs has long been outlawed by the Comprehensive
Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian
Maj Gen Raul M Farnacio
AFP, 8ID Commander in his message said, “This barbaric act of CNTs
is a blatant display of total disregard of the lives of the
Samareños. They are really Godless because they conducted
terroristic act during the time when the people are having their
reunions with family members from other provinces or abroad who are
spending their vacations here to pray together and observe the Holy
Week,” Maj Gen Farnacio said.
“The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers)
Division extends deepest condolences to the bereaved family. 8ID
will not falter and will stand firm in its resolve to bring justice
for Armando and pursue all efforts towards lasting peace and
development in Eastern Visayas.” Maj. Gen. Farnacio added.
Inflation rate in
Eastern Visayas drops continuously to 2.1% in March 2019
April 17, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas continued to drop to 2.1
percent in March 2019. This IR is 1.0 percentage point lower
compared with the 3.1 percent IR a month ago, and 3.6 percentage
points lower compared with the 5.7 percent IR recorded in the same
period last year. The regional inflation rate is 1.2 percentage
points lower than the 3.3 percent national average in March 2019.
The provinces of Samar,
Biliran, Eastern Samar and Leyte registered lower inflation rates in
March 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Samar
recorded the highest decrease of 1.5 percentage points, from 3.4
percent in February 2019 to 1.9 percent in March 2019. Meanwhile,
increased IRs were noted in Southern Leyte and Northern Samar,
settling at 2.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively in March 2019.
Biliran posted the lowest with negative IR at 0.7 percent, while
Eastern Samar recorded the highest IR during the month in review at
3.7 percent (Table 1).
Among the commodity
groups, alcoholic beverages and tobacco registered the highest
decrease of 5.8 percentage points, from 9.2 percent in February 2019
to 3.4 percent during the month in review.
electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group also went down by
1.8 percentage points, from 3.6 percent in February 2019 to 1.8
percent in March 2019. This can be traced to the deflation seen in
the index for water supply and miscellaneous services relating to
the dwelling, and slower IR in the index for electricity, gas and
The heavily weighted food
and non-alcoholic beverages declined to 3.0 percent in March 2019
from its previous month’s rate of 4.0 percent, a decrease of 1.0
percentage point. This can be attributed to the slower price
increases of majority of the food items. Fish registered the highest
decrease of 1.7 percentage points, from 5.7 percent in February 2019
to 4.0 percent in March 2019. Fruits index continued to register a
negative inflation rate at 4.7 percent. Non-alcoholic beverages,
meanwhile, recorded a 2.7 percentage points decrease from its double
digit IR last month, settling at 7.4 percent in March 2019.
increased to 2.0 percent during the reference month, 1.6 percentage
points higher compared with the 0.4 percent IR in February 2019.
This can be traced to higher IR in the index for operation of
personal transport equipment.
IR for restaurant and
miscellaneous goods and services commodity group inched up by0.1
percentage point settling at 2.0 percent during the month in review.
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in March2019. This PPP
implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in March 2019 only
cost 80 pesos in 2012.
Biliran registered a 0.01
centavo increase in PPP compared with its figure in February 2019.
The rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Biliran
recorded the strongest PPP at P0.83. Leyte and Southern Leyte ranked
second at P0.82, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.78. Northern Samar
and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.
online services for product certification, ICC sticker verification
April 15, 2019
MAKATI CITY – To
facilitate ease of doing business through streamlining and
automation of frontline service transactions, the Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI) has started to process product
certifications under the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS)
through an online portal. The Product Certification Information
Management System (PCIMS) features an end-to-end online and
paperless processing of Import Commodity Clearance (ICC), Philippine
Standard (PS) Safety and Quality Certification Mark License. It also
provides an inventory management for Security Papers and ICC
“DTI has made it easy for
entrepreneurs and the business community to process certifications
and avail of frontline services in the comforts of your home or
anywhere. No need to be present at any DTI office,” said DTI
Secretary Ramon Lopez.
“However, we want to
assure you that this does not end here. This will be a continuing
process of reform and automation. We will continue to review and
streamline processes in BPS as well as in other bureaus. The
ultimate ease of doing business is enabling people to do things and
all transactions online,” he added.
BPS started implementing
the use of PCIMS in its ICC processing in October 2018 parallel to
the manual processing of ICC applications. By January 2019, PCIMS
was fully implemented and BPS ceased its manual applications for ICC
The PCIMS has the
following features: 1) online and paperless filing of applications;
2) certification fees can be paid at any DTI office; 3) first-in,
first-out processing; 4) real-time tracking of application status;
4) auto email of Statement of Account, Notice of Non-conformance,
Show Cause Orders; 5) Certificates may be claimed at any DTI Office;
and 6) auto reminder of surveillance schedules and PS license
To access the PCIMS, a
registration form may be requested through email at email@example.com.
Application of product certification may be accessed through
definitely benefit with this shift to online transactions. Apart
from the convenience and less time spent on application, it is also
cost efficient. We’ve estimated about P3,600 in savings per
application, from P4,170 spent per application down to P557. That’s
big savings for businesses,” shared Sec. Lopez.
Likewise, DTI is shifting
its ICC sticker verification through a mobile application to assist
DTI market enforcers and monitors during market enforcement
activities, as well as consumers in verifying a certified product.
This digital method using
any smartphone will detect the fake ones from the real ICC and PS
The mobile application
will be able to confirm legitimate ICC stickers in products sold in
the market through the QR code accompanying each sticker. BPS
started issuing ICC stickers with QR codes in July 2018.
Currently, the ICC
Verification System is on its pilot testing and can be fully used by
24 April 2019. It will be available for download at Google Play
Store on the same date.
Lawyers push back
AFP red-tagging filed before the Supreme Court
Public Interest Law
April 15, 2019
QUEZON CITY – A
group of human rights lawyers tagged by the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) as a communist front filed today a petition before
the Supreme Court seeking its protection from attacks and threats to
life, liberty, and security. Petitioner the National Union of
People’s Lawyers (NUPL), through and with its national executive
board, asked the Court to order the military to desist from
threatening NUPL members and to disclose and destroy whatever
information the military has illegally obtained against them.
The Public Interest Law
Center (PILC), counsel for the petitioners, explained that the
Petition for Issuance of the Writ of Amparo and Habeas Data, was
sought by NUPL because of the continuing and escalating threats and
harassment its members have experienced in relation to their duties
as legal counsels in various cases they are handling.
According to Atty. Rachel
Pastores, PILC managing counsel, “The right to counsel is one of the
pillars of our justice system. And it is clear that this concept is
totally lost on the military. By wrongly and maliciously branding
the lawyers of activists, human rights violations victims who have
spoken up against military and police abuses, and other critics of
the Duterte administration as communist fronts, terrorist
protectors, and even as NPA combatants, the military institution is
showing its contempt not just for the legal profession but against
the very foundation of our judicial system which is crucial in a
supposedly democratic society.”
Atty. Pastores further
explained that “very few lawyers have taken up the cause of the
marginalized and underprivileged. And those who have chosen to do so
have become targets themselves. NUPL members have been harassed,
intimidated, vilified and subjected to surveillance operations. We
are now asking the Supreme Court to put a stop to all these.”
Named respondents in the
suit are President Duterte, National Security Adviser Hermogenes
Esperon, Jr., National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Chief of
Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Brig. Gen. Fernando Trinidad, Maj.
Gen. Erwin Bernard Neri, Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto and Maj. Gen.
Antonio Parlade, Jr.
“This petition is just a
small step towards making the military and this administration
accountable for its actions. This is only the first of many legal
actions that we have planned. We will not stand idly and cower in
fear. We will continue with our duty as people’s lawyers”, added
A new milestone
in Philippine Halal Industry
April 11, 2019
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Industry Trade Promotions brought the Philippine Halal
Industry in the map of the US$ 3.2 trillion world halal market.
Speaking before the just concluded World Halal Conference (April
3-4, 2019) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman told the
conference that the Philippines is embarking on a massive policy
revitalization to boost the Philippine Halal Industry in order to
become a big player in the halal market in the areas of halal food,
pharmaceuticals, tourism, and Islamic Finance.
Rather than falling behind
in the Fourth Industrial Revolution where human capacity is greatly
enhanced, he said that the global halal industry should initiate an
economic revolution to maximize its benefits for the improvement of
the standard of living of mankind. He further said that halal market
is not only for the estimated 2 billion Muslims, some one-fourth of
world population, but for every person who desires healthy food and
ethical standards in food consumption and business relationships.
The DTI Trade Promotions
and Special Concerns Group, headed by USec. Macatoman, seeks strong
policy direction for international recognition of halal food
products from the Philippines by seeking wider international
recognition of Philippine halal certification with certifying bodies
in other Muslim countries. At the moment, of the nine certifying
bodies recognized by the Philippine Halal Board, only three are
recognized in Malaysia. The Gulf countries are still selectively
accepting halal foods, condiments, and pharmaceuticals made in the
In this connection, USec.
Macatoman obtained commitment from the Ministry of International
Trade and Industry of Malaysia (MITI) to intensify halal trade
between the Philippines and Malaysia. At the same time, he
separately convinced the Halal Development Council of Malaysia to
support efforts in improving acceptability of halal foods from the
Philippines by improving local certification efforts in the country.
Together with MITI, they will convince JAKIM, the central
certification body of Malaysia, to recognize more certifying bodies
from the Philippines. This entails providing training in
certification and auditing procedures to prospective certifying
bodies in the Philippines under the Philippine Halal Board to
enhance unification of our halal certification standards with that
A major implication of
international recognition of halal certification from Philippine
certifiers impinges not only on halal food trade but also in
tourism. In order to tap Muslim tourists arriving in Malaysia to
include the Philippines among their destinations, Philippine
restaurants, hotels and other tourism facilities in the country
should be convinced to obtain halal certification. Because of this,
the DTI Second National Halal Industry Conference will be held in
Clark this May 2-3 in order to heighten awareness to halal
certification of food and tourism facilities to ensure more Muslim
tourist arrivals in the forthcoming Asian Games in December of this
April 10, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY –
Considering that a healthy workforce is among the primary concern of
the government, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) thru its
Sports Committee officially opened the NMP SportsFest 2019 on 05
April 2019, part of its slate of activities for the NMP’s 41st
The sportsfest was aimed
to foster friendships and teamwork among NMP personnel which will
ultimately translate into greater enthusiasm, efficiency and
productivity in the discharge of their respective duties and
responsibilities in the Agency.
Divided in four (4) teams,
NMP employees and Job Order Workers (JOWs) spent the whole afternoon
competing in a fun and joyful atmosphere. The different teams
(Yellow Tigers, Red Warriors, Green Wave, and Blue Hounds) together
with their gorgeous muses paraded in NMP grounds.
During its formal opening
at the NMP Gymnasium, NMP Executive Director, Joel B. Maglunsod
thanked the committee who organized the said activity.
“Bago natin simulan ang
paligsahang ito, gusto ko munang pasalamatan ang mga tao o committee
na nag organisa sa kasayahan na ito. Pinahahalagahan namin ang lahat
ng iyong mga pagsisikap at bilang kapalit, ipinapangako namin na
magkaroon ng kasiya-siya at friendly na kumpetisyon hangga't maaari!”,
said ED Maglunsod.
On a personal note, he
also shared what he loves about events such as the SporstFest.
pinakagugustohan sa mga kaganapang tulad nito ay kapag umapak tayo
sa larangan ng atletiko, lahat tayo ay nagiging pantay-pantay.
Pinapasok natin ang isang larangan na kung saan ang opisyal na rango
at ang estraktura ng organisasyon ay hindi kinakailangan, tayo ay
nagiging pantay pantay na indibidwal na nagpapakitang gilas upang
magbigay aliw at maaliw at higit sa lahat, upang subukin ang ating
kakayahan sa pakikipagtagisan sa bawat isa.
The much awaited lighting
of torch came next, symbolizing peace, unity, and friendship
participated in by the heads of the four (4) organizational units of
NMP, namely: Maritime Training ad Assessment Division (MTAD),
Maritime Research and Development Division (MRDD), Administrative,
Financial and Management Division (AFMD), and Office of the
Executive Director (OED). It was followed by the participants’ oath
of sportsmanship led by Mr. Andrew D. Soledad, Chairperson of the
NMP Sports Committee.
Under the sports program,
all teams will engage in a friendly basketball men and volleyball
mixed competition to be held at the NMP Gymnasium every Tuesday and
Thursday from 3pm-5pm. The awarding of winners will be conducted
during the 41stAnniversary Celebration of NMP tentatively slated on
03 May 2019.
Meanwhile, NMP continues
to upgrade its facilities and provide maritime trainings required
pursuant to the STCW Convention as amended in 2010 including
value-adding courses towards improving the qualifications of
Filipino seafarers for their employment acceptability and enhanced
competitiveness. It also regularly conducts maritime studies to come
up with policies for the improvement of the manpower sector of the
completes access road project in Brgy. Agpangi connecting Sitio
Pongon in Naval town
April 10, 2019
NAVAL, Biliran –
The construction of a two-lane access road project connecting the
National Road Junction (NRJ) of Brgy. Agpangi to Sitio Pongon in
Naval town is now completed.
The project is under the
convergence program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-
Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) and the Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI) in support of the agribusiness in the
Province of Biliran.
District Engineer David P.
Adongay Jr. said that the place has potential for coconut-based and
cassava-based processing thus prioritized for implementation. This
project includes the construction of 1-kilometer two lane road with
slope protection and road opening.
According to Adongay, the
construction and opening of roads is a necessity.
“One of the significance
of the opening of the access road leading to industrialized zones is
to ensure that the road facilities will aid the growth of trades and
industries in the province where it has potentials for manufacturing
in areas outside the urban center,” said Adongay.
The completed P22.9M
access road project under 2018 funding will provide a wider, safer
and faster transport of the agricultural products.
Meanwhile, Engr. Rosario
B. Rosete, Chief of the Planning and Design Section revealed that
the office is conducting preliminary and detailed engineering
activities for a road stretched in Sitio Pongon for possible funding
under FY 2019 GAA.
implements a total of five projects leading to trades, industries
and economic zones under 2018 funding. Four of these, were completed
in 2018. These are the P17.2M access road
Caraycaray-Cabungaan-Libtong, P23M access road Villa
Caneja-Anislagan Ceramics Producers Association (ACPA), P27.8 NJR
Villa Consuelo connecting to Libtong Road and P32.2M Villa Caneja
connecting to Kahukaw, all in Naval town.
“With good roads already
in placed leading to these trade centers plus good supply of waters,
no doubt Biliran Province will become one of the industrialized
province in Region VIII,” Adongay said.
covered drainage canal with slope protection structure at
Brgy. Talahid Section. This project is under 2018 funding
with a contract cost of P74.5M implemented at Brgy. Atipolo,
Naval, Biliran and at Brgy. Talahid to Brgy. Matanggo,
Almeria, Biliran. The project has an accomplishment of 90%
as of March 31, 2019.
posts 90.36% accomplishment of 2018 infra projects
April 10, 2019
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District
Engineering office now posts 90.36% accomplishment of its 2018
carry-over projects as of March 31, 2019.
District Engineer David P.
Adongay Jr. orders contractors to fast-track all these projects for
completion on or before June, 2019 as his commitment to Regional
Director (RD) Nerie D. Bueno during RD’s visit to the Province on
March 20, 2019.
Adongay always reminds
project engineer to closely monitor their project so as to ensure
that quality will not be compromised despite the haste in the
“Hindi ibig sabihin na
pinabibilisan yung implementation ay mako-compromise na yung quality
ng projects, dapat nandoon pa rin yung quality’’ said Adongay.
With almost three months
left to finish all its 2018 projects, Adongay reports 46 projects
completed and 14 on-going out of its 60 projects.
Meanwhile, Adongay said
that projects for 2019 implementation are all bid out and just
awaiting for the approval of the FY 2019 General Appropriation Bill
(GAB). DPWH-Biliran DEO allocates P1.2B fund for 2019 project
implementation including region-wide projects based on National
Expenditure Program (NEP).