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Eastern Visayas records 0.1% deflation in September 2019

Six-classroom building turned over to San Policarpo National High School

Second quarter fishery production in Eastern Visayas up by 12.1%

Eastern Visayas nutrition situation reported

DPWH-Biliran DEO to restore cut off Caraycaray detour immediately

P92-M revetment protects coastal community in San Joaquin, Calbayog City

Inflation rate in Eastern Visayas remains at 1.5% in July 2019

Palay production in Eastern Visayas increases by 5.2% during the first quarter of 2019





NMP maritime research personnel
NMP maritime research personnel conducting data gathering activities.

NMP addresses industry needs through relevant researches

By National Maritime Polytechnic
October 29, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – Pursuing its second mandate as a research institution of the government on maritime matters, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) undertakes researches and studies that generate data and information integral in a dynamic maritime industry.

With its radar focused on maritime manpower development consistent with the workforce framework of its mother agency, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the NMP embarks on research initiatives and advocacy that relate to the Philippines as the world’s largest provider of competent seafarers.

This year, NMP is undertaking four (4) researches as provided under the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and targeted to be completed by 31 December 2019, to wit:

Effects of Autonomous Shipping in the Philippine Maritime Industry

The study aims to identify and discuss how manning and shipping companies respond to this new development in shipping, the autonomous ship technology, and what interventions they will take to address the challenge to produce qualified seafarers for vessels of the future.

More specifically, the study aims to: (a) determine the possible effects of autonomous ship technology to the Philippines as a major crew provider to oceangoing vessels; (b) identify career options or alternative profession where displaced seafarers could possibly apply when full autonomous shipping is implemented; (c) document required competencies and skills and the interventions or measures being done by manning and shipping companies, as employer of the seafarers, in the light of the impending full implementation of autonomous ship technology; and (d) recommend strategies and approaches to address identified skills gaps / training needs in response to the full implementation of autonomous ship.

The Capacity of the Philippine Maritime Industry to Produce Officers-In-Charge (OIC) per Requirements of the 1978 STCW as Amended: Focus on cadet Onboard Training

The research undertaking aims to determine the capacity of the Philippine maritime industry to produce Officers-In-Charge in accordance with the requirements of the 1978 STCW, as amended, with focus on the Onboard Training Program as a mandatory requirement to obtain a degree in Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE) and a Certificate of Competency (COC) for officers.

The specific objectives of the study are: (a) to determine the outputs of individual Maritime Higher Education Institutions (MHEIs) in terms of graduates versus enrollees in BSMT and BSMarE, including the deployment rate of cadets under the Onboard Training Program; (b) determine the number of Philippine domestic ships, Philippine-flagged ships engaged in international voyage available for training berths and Philippine manning agencies that accommodate cadets on behalf of their international shipowners, as well as their policies on accommodating cadets; (c) identify issues and concerns in the implementation of the Onboard Training Program from the viewpoints of the stakeholders; and (d) recommend a plan of action to identified issues and concerns.

Employment Acceptability of Women in Philippine Domestic Shipping

The study intends to identify and analyze the gaps in the recruitment and selection process of domestic shipping companies when it comes to female seafarer employment. Primarily, the study aims to: (a) determine the level of domestic shipping companies in employing women; (b) gather information on the current policies and practices in the recruitment and selection process of domestic shipping companies with regards to the employment of seafarers; (c) identify the challenges faced by women when applying for shipboard employment in domestic vessels; and (d) recommend a plan of action for the improvement of female recruitment into domestic shipboard jobs.

Profile of Philippine Maritime Employment Laws

The study is designed to provide the Filipino seafarers with a supplemental tool in the understanding of the employment laws, related cases or jurisprudence, and the arbitration process related to their employment.

The research is grounded on the following objectives: (a) identify the Philippine employment laws and decided cases in relation to the employment of Filipino seafarers; (b) present the arbitration process in the Philippines regarding seafarers’ labor cases; (c) identify the cases lodged in the Philippine arbitration routes; and (d) provide guidelines on actions to be taken by seafarers confronted with issues related to seafaring.

NMP, being the only government maritime research center in the country, responds to dynamic characteristics of the maritime industry and the consequent demand for timely, accurate, and relevant data as basis for program and policy development.

Findings of these researches will be disseminated next year to the industry stakeholders from the government, maritime education and training (MET) institutions, maritime associations, seafarers’ organizations, shipping companies and manning agencies. Recommendations from the researches may serve as valuable inputs to policy making and program development that impact on the Filipino seafarers as a special workforce of the country.

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.

Aside from its research function, the NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide maritime trainings required pursuant to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention as amended in 2010 including value-adding courses towards improving the qualifications of Filipino seafarers for their employment acceptability and enhanced competitiveness.





DOLE holds groundbreaking ceremony for future North Leyte Field Office

DOLE-8 groundbreaking ceremony

October 28, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – A groundbreaking ceremony was held by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office VIII for its future North Leyte Field Office last October 22, 2019 at Government Center, Candahug, Palo, Leyte.

The simple ceremony was witnessed by the different partners and stakeholders of DOLE RO VIII with Executive Director Noel C. Binag of Occupational Safety and Health Center as the keynote speaker.

Regional Director Yahya A. Centi in his opening remarks grabbed the opportunity to extend his heartfelt gratitude to the Province of Leyte headed by Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla and committed as well to continue providing labor and employment services as needed by the constituents of the province.

“My sincerest gratitude to our good governor Petilla for being so generous to the department. Let it be known today that we are inspired all the more to continue delivering public service in the field of labor and employment. This will forever be etched in the history of DOLE RO VIII”, said Director Centi.

Meanwhile, Executive Director Binag congratulated DOLE RO VIII and hoped for a continued strategic partnership with its stakeholders for the benefit of the constituents.

“Let this ground-breaking ceremony spark a more harmonious partnership of DOLE and the province in the future. I know a lot is still to be done for the realization of the future DOLE-NLFO building, but we are now about to do the first step. As the quote says, A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step,” said ED Binag.

In response, Atty. Edgardo Cordeño, Provincial Administrator, representing the good governor, assured that the provincial government of Leyte will remain as a supportive partner of DOLE in its pursuit to fulfill its mandate and eventually serve the people of Leyte effectively.

“As your fellow servants in the government, we have shared responsibility to help our people in need. We are one with you in remaining steadfast to the mission of uplifting the lives of the Leyteños”, Atty. Cordeño said.

Other stakeholders who gave their messages during the turnover were Mr. Jaime Go representing Congressman Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of 1st District of Leyte and Mayor Michael Dragon Javier representing Congresswoman Lolita Karen Javier of 2nd District of Leyte.

Also present to witness the ceremony were heads of the DOLE-Regional Coordinating Council.

Last August 17, 2019, the signing of the contract of usufruct was conducted which entitled the DOLE RO VIII to a 1,000 square meter lot. Said lot is intended for DOLE-North Leyte Field Office catering to the clients of first and second districts of Leyte.





JTF Storm obliterates NPA’s Northern Samar lair with surgical airstrikes

October 27, 2019

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Joint Task Force STORM under the Central Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines destroyed a confirmed New People’s Army (NPA) encampment in the hinterland of Barangay Caputoan, Las Navas, Northern Samar in the early morning of October 26, 2019.

Utilizing the Philippine Air Force (PAF) supersonic FA-50 jets to conduct surgical airstrikes to deliver 500-pound bombs, the JTF surprised the group of more or less 50 NPA terrorists operating in Northern Samar led by Ceriaco Jerusalem aka CADO.

JTF Storm and 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army Commander, Major General Pio Q. Diñoso III orchestrated the joint operations to locate and annihilate the said NPA group which had been monitored doing extortion from the communities in the province. Thus, the AFP’s modernization efforts had been put to effective use and will continue to be employed in the neutralization of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in Eastern Visayas in adherence with Executive Order 70, otherwise known as Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach in attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace, Creating a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).”, said Diñoso.

Upon the conduct of bomb damage assessment in the impact area by ground troops yesterday, the surgical airstrike resulted to the obliteration of makeshift huts in the rebel camp and initial recovery of evidences of NPA activities and presence to include: 11 civilian backpacks, 3 military-type backpacks, 7 hammocks, 2 sacks of rice, assorted food supplies, 1 box of dried fish, 2 sacks of land mine, 3 cellphones with chargers, 1 ICOM radio, 1 laptop, 1 landline tester, 11 flash drives, 4 SIM cards, 2 external drives, assorted blasting caps, 1 roll of detonating wire, 4 live ammo for shotgun, 13 live ammo for M16, 1 empty magazine for carbine, 2 improvised grenades, 2 anti-tank land mines, assorted medical supplies, and subversive documents.

Ongoing search and pursuit operations by troops under the 803rd Infantry Brigade are being sustained to ensure that the CTGs are caught. Bloodstains along the path of the fleeing rebels indicate the heavy casualties inflicted on the communist terrorists.

JTF Storm conveys its gratitude to the relentless support of the civilians who fearlessly report the intimidation and extortion activities conducted by the CTG. “The communist rebels, however, are urged to voluntarily surrender by laying down their arms for them to enjoy the quality of life they deserve to live with their loved ones.”, Dinoso added.





NMP and IMMAJ-PJMCC ink deal on IMO MC 6.10

NMP and IMMAJ-PJMCC ink deal

By National Maritime Polytechnic
October 25, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – Recognizing the importance of advancing the instructional skills of maritime faculty in upgrading the qualifications of Filipino seafarers, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) and the International Mariners Management Association of Japan - Philippine-Japan Manning Consultative Council, Inc. (IMMAJ-PJMCC) inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the conduct of IMO Model Course 6.10 (Training Course for Simulator Instructors and Assessors) last 08 October 2019 at the 10th Floor, Ocean Breeze Building, Coral Way Drive, Pasay City.

The agreement involves the NMP’s opening of additional batches of IMO MC 6.10 to accommodate IMMAJ-PJMCC scholars coming from their member-shipping / manning companies and faculty members of member-institutions of the Philippine Association of Maritime Institutions (PAMI). It is expected that the participants will be able to develop instructor traits through adoption of effective maritime simulator-based instructions in accordance with international standards.

“The IMMAJ-PJMCC recognizes our capability of providing a world class quality training and this partnership affirms the multiplier effect the training of instructors has on the overall skills education and training endeavor in the maritime industry”, NMP Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod said.

The signing was led by NMP Executive Director Maglunsod and IMMAJ-PJMCC Vice President, Capt. Teodoro B. Quijano.

It was witnessed by Engr. Ponciano V. Trinidad, Atty. Ruben Y. Maceda, Ms. Grace Marie T. Ayaso, Ms. Evelyn T. Futol and Ms. Geraldine S. Paduano-Fabila of NMP and Mr. Wenifredo G. Sola and Capt. Gerry T. Chan of IMMAJ-PJMCC.

The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to ensure the constant availability of competent Filipino seafarers in the world shipping market.

In CY 2018, NMP was able to train twenty-five (25) scholars endorsed by the IMMAJ-PJMCC.

Meanwhile, NMP continues to offer other Professional Development Courses, namely, Training Course for Instructors (IMO Model Course 6.09) and Training Course on the Assessment, Examination and Certification of Seafarers (IMO Model Course 3.12). Other offerings include Deck Courses, Engine Courses, Specialized Courses and Basic Courses.

Likewise in its sound efforts to fulfill and realize its mandate, NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide maritime trainings required pursuant to the STCW Convention 1978 as amended 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 industry.





DPWH Leyte 2nd DEO reports 71.36% completion of 2019 projects

DPWH Leyte 2019 projects

October 25, 2019

CARIGARA, Leyte – Infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) -Leyte Second District Engineering Office under the “Build, Build, Build” has reached 71.36% completion as of October 21, 2019.

District Engineer Gerald Pacanan said that out of the 88 projects under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019, 47 are already completed, 38 are ongoing while three have not yet started.

“We are now ahead on our physical targets in preparation for the forthcoming FY 2020 Cash-Based Budgeting System,” he added.

On top of regular projects, Leyte 2nd DEO also implements three school building worth P10.8 million under the Department of Education Basic Education Facilities Fund, and a total of nine projects amounting to P50 million worth of farm-to-market road under the Department of Agriculture fund.





DOLE RO-8 collaborates with Biliran, 1.6M livelihood aid awarded

DOLE RO-8 livelihood aid to Biliran

October 23, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – To bring the programs and services of the Department of Labor and Employment closer to its clients and stakeholders, a collaborative meeting, this time with the congressional district of Biliran, was conducted by DOLE Regional Office VIII last September 30, 2019 at A.R. Hotel in Naval, Biliran.

Regional Director Yahya A. Centi, whom the idea of the strategic meeting came from, was very determined to have the local chief executives and stakeholders of the lone district of Biliran as strong partners in the implementation of DOLE programs and services.

In his message, Director Centi highlighted the purpose of the activity and thanked Governor Rogelio J. Espina the officials for their positive response.

“This activity is aimed at establishing and maintaining a strong and reliable partnership with our LCEs, all for the welfare of our dear constituents here in Biliran. That’s why I am overwhelmed with the response from Governor Espina and the different municipal mayors”, said Director Centi.

The meeting was attended by twenty two (22) officials from the Province of Biliran and seventeen (17) from the DOLE’s side including the head of the different member agencies of the DOLE-Regional Coordinating Council.

One of the highlights of the one-day meeting was the release of two (2) livelihood checks amounting to P1,675,000 for the two livelihood projects of LGU-Kawayan namely: (1) Provision of Motorboat Engines in support to Fishermen’s livelihood, and (2) Provision of Sewing Machines in support to Women and Senior Citizens' livelihood.

Governor Rogelio J. Espina, M.D., was pleasantly surprised with the provision of livelihood assistance and expressed his gratitude to DOLE.

“Let me express my profound thanks to DOLE for being steady in helping our constituents. This is the kind of partnership we want here in the province of Biliran, one with solid evidence of words transformed into actions”, said the good governor.

Presentation of the different programs and services of the DOLE-RCC agencies followed which was capped with an open forum.





Long overdue K-12 review must evaluate its attainment of education objectives

By ACT Philippines
October 23, 2019

QUEZON CITY – The Congress and the Department of Education’s (DepEd) recent push to review the K to 12 program is five years late. The education agency is directed by the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 to conduct a mandatory evaluation review of the program by the end of school year 2014-2015. The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee, on the other hand, is mandated to oversee, monitor, and evaluate the implementation of the K-12 program.

While long overdue, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines expects that the DepEd and Congress will conduct an honest-to-goodness review that would expose the failures of the program in improving the access to and the quality of basic education in the country. Teachers, parents, and students suffer everyday the catastrophic experiment that is the K to 12 program as it has only managed to worsen the crises in the Philippine educational system.

The addition of two years in basic education has only resulted to worse shortages in the educational system given the government’s consistent tack to scrimp on the education budget. Deficiency in classrooms now number to more than 100,000, which is the main culprit to ballooning class size and the adoption of class shifts in schools with big enrollments. DepEd’s request for 40,000 new teaching items for 2020 reflects the grave shortage in the number of teachers. Worse is the inadequacy in the number of education support personnel in schools that force teachers to take on non-teaching duties.

Six years after, K-12 textbooks for a number of subjects and grade levels remain absent. Farther from reach is DepEd’s illusion of attaining 21st century education through the extensive utilization of technology in pedagogy and learning. These glaring shortages, coupled with DepEd’s pressure on teachers to deliver on the demands of the K-12 program have rendered the underpaid mentors more cash-strapped and overworked.

Privatization of basic education worsened as the government depended primarily on private schools to provide senior high school education. Instead of investing on the construction of public senior high schools, the government has expended heavily on the E-GASTPE program to send senior high school students to private schools under vouchers. As vouchers do not cover the whole cost of private school education, more and more seek to transfer to the limited number of SHS, while others are forced to become highschool dropouts.

The bid to produce ‘holistically developed Filipino learners with 21st century skills’ and ‘employment-ready high school graduates’ have caused the heavy experimentation of the curriculum. The purported ‘integrated, spiral, and outcomes-based’ design of the curriculum have actually resulted in a basic education curriculum that is rather muddled and fragmented. Teachers can attest to the growing number of non-readers among learners who are promoted to highschool. The results of the National Achievement Test or NAT can speak as well on the declining quality of education. Teachers are always blamed for this problem when it only reflects what and how the education agency has made them teach.

Misgivings on the effectiveness of K-12 program center on its failure to produce ‘employment-ready’ graduates. While the program obviously fell short of this avowed objective, it would be more meaningful to assess the program vis-a-vis the attainment of education objectives as set by the Constitution. The 1987 Philippine Constitution sets the ultimate objectives of education as “fostering nationalism and patriotism, accelerating social progress, and promoting total human liberation.” K-12 program’s push to produce an army of employable cheap and skilled labor that satisfies the demand of the global market sidelines the important role of education in nation-building and national development.

The study of Philippine History and social science was the first casualty in the K-12 curriculum restructuring. Study hours for Araling Panlipunan were shorter than those of other major subjects wile Philippine History was stricken off the junior high school curriculum and was downgraded to elementary level, split between Grades 5 and 6. The study of Mathematics and Natural Science, which is crucial in the development of analytical, scientific, and critical thinking, was rearranged in a manner that has fragmented the study of knowledge development. Outcomes-based approach translated to output-centric student evaluation that rely-heavily on submitted works, as how laborers are pressed to produce commodities.

Changes in the basic education curriculum equally hit tertiary education. Filipino language and Philippine Literature subjects were removed from the list of required subjects in tertiary education. Study of humanities and social sciences in college general education was weakened as the drive towards specialization and development of technical skills intensifies.

To be truly meaningful for the Filipino people and our aspiration for national development, the K to 12 review must question the program to its core. Has it served to foster nationalism and patriotism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation?





DPWH builds classrooms for elementary schools in Leyte

construction of one-unit one-storey two-classroom school building

By DPWH-Biliran
October 22, 2019

CAPOOCAN, Leyte – Three elementary schools will benefit school building projects in Leyte towns, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Leyte Second District Engineering Office reported.

District Engineer Gerald Pacanan said that the Department of Education (DepEd) -Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF) has alloted P10.8 million for the construction of one-unit one-storey two-classroom school building project each in Gen. Luna Elementary School in Mac Arthur, Leyte; Calutan Elementary School in Dagami, Leyte and Manloy Elementary School in Capoocan, Leyte.

Pacanan added that the office is fast tracking the implementation of these projects to accommodate the increasing number of pupils by school opening of 2020.

The engineering office guarantees that contractors will adhere to the standard design of the department for the safety of the pupils and teachers.

The school building projects are funded under the Department of Education (DepEd) -Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF), an annual budget for the school building program that covers the construction, site inspection, and the improvement and maintenance of school facilities.





DAR-DENR agreement
Regional Director Stephen Leonidas (seated, 2nd from left) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and Regional Executive Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo (seated, 2nd from right) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) formally sign the agreement that would hasten approval of survey returns to fast track processing of land valuation by the Land Bank of the Philippines of lands covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

DAR enters agreement with DENR

October 21, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY – Barely a month in office, Regional Director Stephen Leonidas of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) entered another agreement, this time with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the smooth approval by the latter of survey returns to fast track processing of land valuation by the Land Bank of the Philippines -Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC) of lands covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

DAR Regional Director Stephen Leonidas and DENR Regional Executive Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo formally signed the agreement recently at Hotel Costa Brava, in support to the agreement DAR previously entered with LBP-AOC.

Barcelo, during the said occasion, expressed his office’s full support to the agreement between DAR and LBP-AOC specifically in the issuance of the needed survey returns.

Leonidas, on the other hand, thanked Barcelo and the entire DENR workforce for the cooperation and support of the said agency, which according to him is for the benefit of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.

In the agreement between the DAR and the LBP-AOC, the latter will accept only approved survey plan in requests for the conduct of joint field inspection leading to the issuance of Memorandum of Valuation (MOV) and/or Certificate of Deposit (COD).

To comply this requirement, DAR and DENR discussed on September 20 how to hasten the approval of survey returns, and on the 30th of the same month, the agreement was formally sealed by affixing the signatures of the heads of the two offices as well as witnesses which include Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officers (PARPOs) Gilberto Apilado of Eastern Samar, Renato Badilla of Leyte, Nida Abelido of Northern Samar, Elisea Orapa of Southern Leyte, DENR’s Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Dr. Eugenia Bautista; Chief of the Surveys and Mapping Division, Engr. Ramon Unay; Head of the Survey Verification Unit, Engr. Allan Vicentillo; Chief of the Original and Other Survey Section, Engr. Evelyn Amago; and Chief of the Land Records Section, Engr. Nila Castañares.

Among the agreements in the said document states that requests for approval of survey returns with complete attached documents should be acted upon by the verifier within a period of 15 days from receipt and immediately be submitted to the office of the Chief of Surveys and Mapping Division for recommendation, and subsequently to the Office of the Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services for the approval.

For those with pending patent application, DAR should secure first withdrawal of the said application at the Community and Natural Resources Office (CENRO).

Meanwhile, to ensure correct classification of lands during the preliminary projection of landholdings, DAR shall apply the Geo Referencing approach using the digital copy of land classification map provided by DENR.

In case of discrepancies of areas reflected in the land titles and the approved survey plans, DAR shall secure first imprimatur from the Register of Deeds (ROD) annotating the correct area based on record stipulated in RP (Republic of the Philippines) titles.

Further, for survey returns with “double survey”, DAR shall file first request for cancellation of the approved survey plan before submitting the new survey returns.

Furthermore, ROD certification stating that no title has been issued yet, is no longer mandatory for those with “double survey”. Instead, a certified copy of the latest title and CENRO certification as to the status of the landholding subject of second survey will be required.

It was also agreed that CENRO certification shall be released within a period of 15 calendar days from the receipt of the request.

Considering these agreements DAR entered recently with the two line agencies, Leonidas is anticipating CARP’s land acquisition and distribution activities in Eastern Visayas will accelerate and eventually meet the 2022 deadline set by the President, when the latter’s term of office ends.



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