Inflation rate in
Eastern Visayas rebounds by 0.6% in November 2019
December 23, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY –
Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas rebounded by 0.6 percent in
November 2019 from 0.7 percent deflation in October 2019. This
figure is 1.3 percentage points higher compared with the 0.7 percent
deflation a month ago but 4.6 percentage points lower compared with
the 5.2 percent IR recorded in the same period last year.
The regional IR is 0.7
percentage point lower than the 1.3 percent national average
inflation rate in November 2019.
Leyte, Eastern Samar, and
Northern Samar posted inflations in November 2019. Leyte and
Northern Samar rebounded to 1.8 percent and 0.2 percent from 0.2
percent and 1.4 percent deflations in October 2019, respectively.
Eastern Samar, meanwhile, decreased slightly to 0.6 percent in
November 2019 from 0.7 percent in October 2019. On the other hand,
Biliran, Southern Leyte and Samar posted deflations during the month
in review. Biliran’s deflation further declined to 1.5 percent from
1.4 percent in October 2019. Southern Leyte and Samar exhibited
slower deflations at 1.4 percent and 0.2 percent from 2.6 percent
and 1.1 percent deflations in October 2019, respectively. Biliran
posted the lowest with 1.5 percent deflation. Leyte, meanwhile,
recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 1.8 percent.
Majority of the commodity
groups in the region exhibited increases in IR in November 2019
compared with their rates in October 2019. Alcoholic beverages and
tobacco commodity group registered the biggest increase of 2.4
percentage points, from 4.7 percent in October 2019 to 7.1 percent
in November 2019. This can be attributed to the price increases in
both the indices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
electricity, gas and other fuels picked up by 2.1 percentage points,
from 2.9 percent deflation in October 2019 to 0.8 percent deflation
in November 2019.
The heavily weighted food
and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group further registered 1.0
percent deflation during the reference month from 2.6 percent
deflation in October 2019, an increase of 1.6 percentage points.
Higher IRs were noted in majority of the food items, with fish index
registering the highest increase of 4.6 percentage points pushing
its IR to 4.4 percent in November 2019 from 0.2 percent deflation a
month ago. Rice and bread and cereals indices continued to register
deflations but at slower rate of 8.3 percent and 6.3 percent,
Transport commodity group
increased by 1.0 percent during the reference month after
registering zero inflation rate a month ago. This can be attributed
to the index for operation of personal transport equipment which
rebounded to 0.2 percent in November 2019 from a deflation of 4.3
percent a month ago.
The commodity groups of
restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, and clothing and
footwear exhibited higher inflation rates during the reference month
at 4.9 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, health
and recreation and culture commodity group eased down by 0.4
percentage point, posting IRs at 2.9 percent and 1.4 percent,
respectively, during the month in review.
IR for furnishings,
household equipment and routine maintenance of the house commodity
group exhibited a 0.2 percentage point decrease recording IR of 6.3
percent during the reference month.
Meanwhile, education and
communication commodity groups retained their previous month’s
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in November 2019. This
PPP implies that P100.00 in 2012 (base year) is worth P80.00 only in
The PPP of Eastern Samar,
Northern Samar and Samar weakened by P0.01 compared with its figure
in October 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
P0.77. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.75.
received a citation on Citizen’s Feedback Management
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
December 22, 2019
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar 1st attended the DPWH Information Officers (PIOs)
Communication and Advocacy Planning Workshop on December 13, 2019 at
the Central Office, Port Area, Manila.
Information Officers (RPIO) and District Public Information Officers
from Regions 6, 7 and 9 were scheduled to attend on the said date.
The workshop touched on the PIO Reportorial Requirements, Social
Media Practices and Social Media Image Template among others.
Mr. Andro Gonzales,
Community Affairs Officer IV of the Stakeholders Relations Service
talked about the salient points on Ease of Doing Business otherwise
known as Republic Act 11032 which supports and promotes transparency
in the transactions of the government with the public.
He also discussed the
Freedom Of Information (FOI) which gives every person the right to
obtain information, documents or data from government bodies without
having to give reasons except for Information covered by Executive
Privilege, National Security, Defense or International Relations,
Law Enforcement & Protection of Public & Personal Safety,
Confidential Information for the Protection of Privacy of Persons,
Confidential Information by reason of Official capacity, Prejudicial
Premature Disclosure, Records of proceedings, Confidential
information under banking and finance laws and other exceptions
under laws, jurisprudence, and IRR.
He further added that even
requests for CCTV footage cannot be released without the consent of
all who were caught on CCTV camera unless it was ordered by the
court. Minutes of meetings can also be given if and only if all who
are in attendance have given their consent.
Ms. Mildred Villar also
discussed the Citizen’s Feedback Management Center (CFMC) which
talks about the Customer Feedback Form and the status report for
2019 of the Citizen’s Feedback Management Center.
The workshop concluded
with the awarding of certificates wherein almost all were awarded to
Region VIII such as, media coordination report award, most number of
monthly news clippings, excellence award on Citizens Feedback
Management as well as excellence award to District Offices in
resolving all Feedback for 2019. Samar First was also given a
citation award on Citizen’s Feedback Management.
DTI, CARD renew
P3 partnership with additional P100M for MSME microfinancing
December 21, 2019
MAKATI – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) renewed its partnership with
the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Inc., an
NGO that provides microfinancing loans.
Through a Memorandum of
Understanding signed last 16 December, CARD committed an additional
P100 million of its funds for Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3)
program. This brings CARD's total revolving fund for the P3 program
since the partnership began in 2017 to P300 million pesos, which it
will lend out to other beneficiaries to widen the reach of the P3
program to more micro borrowers.
P3 is DTI's program that
provides low-interest, no collateral loans for existing micro,
small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The program, managed by Small
Business Corporation (SB Corp), is a response to President Rodrigo
Duterte's directive to combat 5-6 loans. Through P3, entrepreneurs
can borrow amounts from P5,000 to P200,000 from CARD and other
accredited credit delivery partners.
Trade Secretary Ramon
Lopez said that DTI benefits from the partnership since CARD
supplements the P3.5 billion P3 allocation from the government with
their own funds. CARD is also one of the biggest microfinance
institutions in the Philippines, with 7 million borrowers
Founder and Chairman
Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip reported that CARD disbursed P600
million in P3 loans to around 56,000 borrowers since 2017. He also
said that CARD targets to increase its P3 allocation to P100 million
every year to reach 100,000 entrepreneurs.
Signing the agreement are
(from L to R:) SB Corp President Luna Cacanando, DTI Undersecretary
Blesila Lantayona, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, CARD Founder Dr. Jaime
Aristotle Alip, CARD Inc President Flordeliza Sarmiento and
Executive Director Jocelyn Dequito.
Waiters, cooks & dishwashers up in arms over repeal of service charge fee
December 21, 2019
QUEZON CITY –
Workers group Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the
Philippines (ALU-TUCP) score a recent move of some business owners
to repeal the collection of the service charge fee being enjoyed by
all contractual and rank-and-file employees in restaurant, hotel and
other service-oriented enterprises.
The management move came
after the law on service charge fee collection was amended by
Republic Act 11360 otherwise known as An Act Providing That Services
Charges Collected by Hotels, Restaurants, and Other Similar
Establishments Be Distributed in Full to All Covered Employees. The
law was enacted by President Rodrigo Duterte last month.
Before the amendment, 85%
of the service charge collected by establishments would be
distributed to employees while the 15% are collected for management
discretion for losses and breakages.
Reduction of benefits
“The repeal of some
restaurants, hotels and service-oriented business enterprises of the
service charge benefit is not in the intention of the revised
service charge law. The revised Service Charge Law of 2019 which was
approved by President Duterte last month turns over 100% of the
service fees to all rank-and-file employees does not mandate or
obligates employers and business-owners to discourage them from
adopting the scheme or to rescind the practice altogether. This is
not the intention of the law. Rather, the intention of the law is to
improve the quality of service of businesses by incentivizing and
empowering the best efforts of the employees and improve the
workplace working conditions,” said ALU-TUCP National Executive Vice
President Gerard Seno.
Negatively impacted by the
move are service industry workers including waiters, cooks,
dishwashers, bartenders, customer assistants in restaurants. Other
service industry workers affected are those working in gasoline
stations, hotels, rest and recreation, and tourism.
DOLE must cure & correct
The group said the
management move clearly breaches the country’s numerous judicial
jurisprudence on principles of non-diminution of benefits of workers
particularly the non-wage benefits already been enjoyed by the
“In behalf of the working
people and before the reduction escalate industry-wide, we therefore
call on the DOLE to make the corrective measure and make immediate
steps to cure this diminution of benefit among rank and file
employees. We urge the DOLE to issue a supplementary corrective
administrative order which cures this reduction of benefit and
encourages business owners to retain and adopt the scheme that both
improves the brand of service of the business and compensate the
service the employees has rendered,” Seno said.
ALU-TUCP spokesperson and
advocacy officer Alan Tanjusay said some of these employees have
approached them in person and through social media seeking
assistance are furious over the development.
“The management's repeal
of collection of the service charge fee will create tension in the
workplace and hurt the relationship between employees and their
bosses. It will certainly cause demoralization among the working
force and impact on employee's productivity which will surely yield
poor employees' output and adversely affects the unique quality
brand of service that customers look for in the establishments.
Thus, the repeal of collection of service charge fees constitute a
diminution of benefit,” Tanjusay said.
Service charge augment
According to the group,
the service charge fee substantially helps take home pay of
service-oriented industry workers.
“Since the country’s
standard minimum wage rate is small and inadequate, management,
business-owners must understand that lowly-paid waiters, cooks,
dishwashers, order-takers and customer assistants and all other
service industry workers look forward to the service charge
collection because it substantially augment their take home pay. If
this is remove, workers are in low morale,” Tanjusay said.
Ampatuan massacre masterminds a long-deserved win for families of
victims – Karapatan
December 19, 2019
QUEZON CITY – Human
rights group Karapatan welcomed on Thursday, December 19, the
conviction of 28 suspects, including Datu Andal Jr. and Zaldy
Ampatuan, in the infamous Ampatuan massacre that brutally claimed
the lives of 58 individuals, including 32 journalists who were
supposed to cover the filing of the certificate of candidacy of then
gubernatorial bet Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu.
“We welcome the court’s
decision to convict Datu Andal "Unsay" Ampatuan Jr. and Zaldy
Ampatuan, who masterminded the heinous massacre on November 23,
2009. This is a long-deserved win for the families of victims of the
Ampatuan massacre, who waited a decade for such a decision. We
attribute this victory to the tireless pursuit of justice led by the
families of the victims, as well as journalists in the country. This
is just the tip of the iceberg as the accounts point out to the
culpability of other actors, who should likewise be held accountable
for this heinous crime,” Karapatan secretary-general Cristina
Palabay also assailed the
acquittal of accused policemen: "It should be repeatedly registered
that the Ampatuan massacre is a State-perpetrated atrocity that
revealed the deep and extensive connection between State forces and
the local elite. The role and culpability of State actors must never
Moreover, according to
her, this decision is not only a slap on the part of the Ampatuans,
but also on their close ally, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
who was known for leading a regime plagued with human rights
violations and impunity. Her government was infamous for committing
human rights violations against journalists, dissenters, and social
“We view the decision as
headway, but we maintain that justice delayed is justice denied.
With the fact that one of the accused Ampatuan was acquitted, some
of the accused were out on bail and other legal remedies were
accorded to the Ampatuans because of their friendship with powerful
people, this decade-long trial is already a form of injustice for
the families of the victims. Likewise, the fact that Gloria Arroyo
basks in impunity and enjoys protection under the Duterte government
is yet another indication that while there is triumph, it is
incomplete," she said.
Palabay lauded the
families of victims, journalists, human rights advocates, and
individuals from civil society organizations who remained unswerving
in the pursuit of justice for all the victims killed in the
massacre, amid the relentless attacks and harassment perpetrated by
the Ampatuans and their allies in the government.
“This only proves that
years of hounding and demanding for justice pays off. As long as
there is relentless efforts from families to exact justice and
accountability, the fight will continue. Our justice system would
have put this case in limbo if it were not for the resounding calls
of families and journalists to remind the nation of this brutal
crime. Many of our legal processes are subverted by murderers and
plunderers to allow them freedom or simply wait for their crimes to
be forgotten, but this case reminds us that impunity is not
forever," she added.
The Karapatan official
also urged the public to be “keen and vigilant” as Ampatuan’s
staunch ally, Macapagal-Arroyo, is back in power, citing the Duterte
regime’s efforts in rehabilitating human rights violators and
criminals “who were once thrown in the garbage bin of history.” She
added that “with Macapagal-Arroyo being part of Duterte’s immediate
circle, along with other officials who share the same contempt for
human rights, we are called on to remain vigilant.”
Palabay noted that “the
friendship of Duterte and Arroyo can result in the eventual pardon
of the Ampatuans, despite a court conviction,” citing the regime’s
abetting of top criminals and plunderers, including the Marcoses who
are now absolved from graft cases involving billions of ill-gotten
“While welcoming the
court’s decision, we enjoin the public to remain vigilant in calling
for the disbandment of private armies of warlords and politicians,
as well as of paramilitary groups used by those in power to
instigate state terror. More than ever, we need to be conscious of
the worsening turn of the country's political climate, which is a
fertile ground for criminals like the Ampatuans to plot their escape
from accountability. Our conscience moves us to continue the fight
for justice for all other victims of human rights violations,”
Secretary Ramon Lopez delivering his speech at the site of
the PH pavilion.
DTI chief leads
international launch of PH Pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020
December 13, 2019
DUBAI – Trade
Secretary Ramon Lopez led the international launch of the Philippine
pavilion last 12 December for the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai. Located
at the Expo’s Sustainability District, the Philippine pavilion is a
1,300 square-meter structure housed in a 3,160 square-meter lot. It
will be the biggest ever in the history of the country’s
participation in World Expos and the first time the Philippines is
building from the ground up.
"We take pride in bringing
the reality the vision of our beloved President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai, now being referred to as the
World’s Greatest Show of our time," said Sec. Lopez.
Sec. Lopez shared that
Expo 2020 Dubai is a timely platform to enhance Philippine presence
in the global marketplace and promote commercial and public interest
in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asian Region.
“With the theme,
Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the Expo 2020 Dubai offers an
environment for creativity, exploration, and global cooperation,
which will contribute to our goal of vigorously advancing science,
technology, and innovation as a strategy for long term growth,
consistent with the Philippine Development Plan of 2017-2022,” said
He also sees the Expo as a
way to cement the Philippines’ reputation as a progressive nation
rich in natural resources and skilled manpower; a beautiful country
of panoramic destinations and proud heritage and culture spanning
4,000 years; and a nation of creative, compassionate, and caring
people deeply connected in communities worldwide.
The Philippine pavilion is
themed “Bangkota,” the ancient Filipino word for coral reef, the
world’s biggest organism made up of smaller organisms and which is
symbolical of the Filipinos. There are over 12 million overseas
Filipinos in the world and around 700,000 of them are in the United
“With over 190 countries
participating and the biggest presence of OFWs in UAE and the Middle
East region, it is therefore a very wise decision for the President
Rodrigo Duterte to have the Philippines participate in Dubai Expo
2020, and bring pride and inspiration to all the Filipinos in the
region, and even worldwide,” said Sec. Lopez.
The World Expo is a
six-month expo held once every five years, where different countries
showcase the best of what they have to offer. The Expo 2020 Dubai
will run from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.
The Philippines is not a
regular participant of the World Expo, but it has been present in 12
World Expos since 1962. Its last participation was in the 2010 World
Expo in Shanghai China, a specialized Expo in South Korea.
L-R: Archt. Budji Layug, Archt. Royal Pineda, Alternate
Commissioner General and DTI Asec. Rosvi Gaetos, PH
Ambassador to UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana, DTI Secretary and
Commissioner General Ramon Lopez, Expo Bureau Executive
Director Najeeb Al Ali, Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes,
Marian Pastor-Roces, DOST Asec Leah Buendia, DOLE Director
Child actress Xia
Vigor is Save the Children Philippines’ first Child Ambassador
December 12, 2019
MANILA – Save the
Children Philippines welcomes child actress Xia Vigor as the First
Child Ambassador who will help in promoting children’s rights to
grow up healthy, educated, and protected from all harm.
Xia, 10, who stars in the
upcoming movie “Miracle in Cell no.7,” an entry in the Metro Manila
Film Festival (MMFF), said she is determined to bring positive
change for every child. She also aims to inspire children,
especially in marginalized situations to never give up their dreams.
As her first activity, Xia
led a feeding program for children in a community in Navotas City.
Save the Children Philippines implements Project NURTURE (Nutrition
among Urban Poor Through Unified Response) to reduce the number of
deaths of children under 5 years old in identified areas in Navotas
City by implementing a nutrition-specific intervention focusing on
the first 1,000 days of life.
“Whenever I meet other
children, I always tell them to work hard to attain their dreams. I
hope I can help them make those dreams become a reality with my new
role as a Save the Children Child Ambassador,” said Xia Vigor during
her visit to Save the Children Philippines office in Quezon City.
Xia learned the importance
of sharing her blessings at age 6 when she started joining her
mother in outreach activities in the Mindoro provinces to distribute
slippers and school supplies to children of Mangyan families.
She was moved to see young
children go to school barefoot and without school supplies. Xia has
also been active in campaigning for environmental protection and has
joined tree planting and coastal clean-up activities.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief
Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines said Xia fits the
role of Child Ambassador because she is very smart, articulate, and
has the empathy to children living in deprived situations.
“Children around the world
are speaking of their rights, and Save the Children supports the
realization of their right to be listened to, by providing a
platform so they can speak up on matters that affect them,” said
Xia will take important
roles in the launch of key global moments of Save the Children and
help amplify the call for respect and fulfillment of children’s
rights and for the end to all forms of violence against children in
the home, school and community settings.
She will also be active in
fundraising activities during humanitarian response to help Save the
Children bring life-saving emergency kits to children and their
families affected by natural calamities, disasters, armed conflict
and other emergencies.
Xia is an environmental
advocate who has participated in tree planting activities. She once
aspired to become a weightlifter and set up her own beauty salon.
The child actress now sets
her eyes on becoming an advocate for children’s rights.
complete 5-day enhancement training
DPAO, 8ID PA
December 12, 2019
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan,
Samar – A total of 287 Army Reservists coming from the different
Community Defense Centers (CDCs) in the region successfully
completed on their respective training courses facilitated by 8th
Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army through the
Office of the Chief of Staff for Education and Training, G8 held at
8ID Covered Court on December 10, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
This is in line with
Republic Act 7077 Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Reservist
Act of 1991 otherwise known as An Act Providing for the
Organization, Administration, Training, Maintenance and Utilization
of the Citizen Armed Force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
and for Other Purposes.
Reservists are organized,
trained, developed and maintained to ensure their readiness anytime
to augment the regular force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
not only in times of conflict but also during emergencies arising
from calamities, disasters and threats to peace and order including
the need to provide humanitarian assistance in relief and rescue
Courses undertaken are the
following: First Responders’ Training - 36 reservists from 806th (Biliran)
Community Defense Center based in Naval, Biliran; Signal Company
Organization Training - 56 reservists from 804th (Tacloban City)
Community Defense Center based at Kuta Kankabato, San Jose, Tacloban
City; Marksmanship Training - 135 reservists from 802nd (Eastern
Samar) Community Defense Center based in Borongan, Eastern Samar and
Reservist Civil-Military Operations (CMO) Training - 60 reservists
from six (6) different CDCs in Eastern Visayas.
“As force multipliers of
the Regular Force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, our
reservists are also our reliable partners in civil-military
operations and other undertakings that contributes to nation
building,” explained by Col. Ferdinand S. Razalan, the Assistant
Division Commander for Reservist and Retiree Affairs (ADCRRA) of 8th
Infantry Division as the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the joint