Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) commissioned the Design
Den to train members of agrarian reform beneficiary
organizations (ARBOs) to enhance the designs of their
handicrafts and be at par with other products in the market.
higher sales on handicrafts in 2020
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
January 17, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – As
the new year comes in, four agrarian reform beneficiary
organizations (ARBOs) from different remote villages in Eastern
Visayas are looking forward to an improved sales and higher revenues
for their handicrafts in 2020.
This came out after
members of the said ARBOs underwent skills training towards the end
of 2019 on how to enhance the quality and designs of their products.
The Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) Central Office commissioned last year the Design Den to
conduct the training nationwide to boost the marketability of the
handicrafts manufactured by farmers utilizing available raw
materials in their area.
In Region-8, Regional
Director Stephen Leonidas disclosed that the ARBOs chosen to undergo
the said training were the Macalpi Community Multi-Purpose
Cooperative (MCMPC) in Carigara, Leyte; the Hantag Farmers
Multi-Purpose Cooperative (HFMPC) in Maasin City, Southern Leyte;
the Villahermosa Oriental Farmers and Fisherfolks Association (VOFFA)
in Pagsanghan, Samar; and the Cabacungan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CMPC)
in Allen, Northern Samar.
MCMPC is into plant-holder
making using coco coir as raw material; HFMPC is into sinamay-weaving
using abaca; VOFFA is into bag and hat making using buri; while CMPC
is also into bag and hat making but using romblon as its raw
Marlene Ajihari of the
CMPC was happy of the outcome of the two-day training. According to
her, before, their designs were simple and limited, and the size of
their bag was fixed.
During the training, they
learned more designs and the use of other raw materials available in
their area such as shells, as they are living along the shoreline,
She emphasized that they
also learned to be flexible and not to limit the sizes of bags.
With her excitement,
Marlene showed their outputs to a retired teacher in the
neighborhood and instantly got orders worth P450.
another member of the CMPC and at 75 years old, said she learned a
lot from the training though she had been a weaver since 14 years
For the VOFFA members,
according to them, they used to produce bags only as container for
crabs that are being sold in their town. Each bag was sold at P40
But now, Rosalinda Cubay
added, they are inspired to produce fashionable bags and other
accessories and sell them at a higher price.
In Carigara, Cynthia Bodo
thanked DAR for exposing them to different trainings to help them
Aside from plant-holders,
they got ideas from the training to produce also other items, such
as lamp shades, using coco coir, Bodo excitingly shared their
of access road leading to Bagongbong Falls at Brgy. Caucab,
Almeria, Biliran is on-going with 70% accomplishment as of
December 31, 2019. The completion of the project (2018-2020)
will provide a better road for local and foreign tourist and
more or less 2000 residents in Brgy. Caucab in the town of
Almeria. From a bumpy and narrow existing concrete road,
road users will enjoy a wider and safer travel.
ends 2019 with 79.05% project accomplishment
January 15, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) has accomplished 79.05% accomplishment of
its 2019 Infrastructure Projects as the year ends.
As of December 31, 2019,
the district office completes 66 projects with remaining 23 projects
on-going and three Not-Yet-Started (NYS) projects incurring negative
According to David P.
Adongay Jr., District Engineer, the district office is still
on-going in the implementation of road widening project, bridge
construction, construction of bypass road and other big-ticket
projects, hence the low accomplishment of the district office.
To address the said delay,
contractors sustaining negative slippages of their projects were
obliged to provide a notarized letter of their commitment to
complete the projects within its extended duration. This has been
tackled during the district’s coordination meeting with the
contractors on January 14, 2020.
contractors to exert effort to fast-track its remaining 2019
projects so that they can fully focus in the implementation of their
“This must be given
importance for us to have a smooth and successful implementation of
our projects, improve our performance and achieve the goal and
objectives of this department,” emphasized Adongay.
Under the 2019
implementation, DPWH-Biliran DEO is tasked to implement a total of
92 projects with a total allocation amount of P1.28B.
yields over P13M monetary benefits in 2019
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
January 14, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – A
total of P13,093,034.71 monetary claims was successfully facilitated
by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office VIII in CY
2019 through its Single Entry Approach (SEnA) Program.
Per regional consolidated
report submitted to the National Conciliation Mediation Board (NCMB),
said monetary benefits were claimed by 1,179 workers coming from
different parts of Eastern Visayas with complaints mostly on wages,
13th month pay, overtime pay, holiday pay and separation pay.
Just like in the previous
year, the West Leyte Field Office facilitated the highest monetary
claims of P5,233,839 benefiting 422 workers followed by the North
Leyte Field Office with P4,112,014.11 claimed by 446 workers.
The Southern Leyte Field
Office ranked third this year, yielding a total of P1,175,271.71
benefited by 125 workers followed closely by the Samar Field Office
which was able to facilitate P1,038,684.68 claims for 54 workers.
Meanwhile, the Biliran
Field Office, Eastern Samar Field Office and the Northern Samar
Field Office had facilitated a combined monetary benefits of
P1,533,224.37 for the benefit of 132 workers.
All 957 Requests for
Assistance (RFAs) received by DOLE RO VIII for the entire 2019 were
In terms of settlement of
RFAs, the regional office likewise successfully exceeded the target
of at least 77%. Over-all, DOLE RO VIII garnered a settlement rate
of 88%, with the Southern Leyte Field Office contributing the
highest settlement rate at 98.57%.
Director Yahya A. Centi
thanked and lauded the hardwork of all Single Entry Approach Desk
Officers (SEADOs) in assisting workers in the settlement of their
claims and in helping the regional office attain its targets. He
encouraged them to be more inspired in what they do for the good of
those who need the assistance of the office through SENA program.
“I commend all our staff
especially the SEADOs for doing a great job in 2019. I hope this
will inspire you all the more to do better this 2020 and surpass the
best you delivered in 2019”, said Director Centi during the Year-End
Performance Assessment held last December 18, 2019.
In the recent Employees
Excellence Awards Night conducted by DOLE RO VIII last December 19
at C Pavilion, San Jose, Tacloban City, Mr. Alejo Labrador Jr. of
the North Leyte Field Office was awarded as Best SEADO, handling the
most number of SENA RFAs in 2019 and for facilitating more than P1.8
million monetary claims of 149 workers.
SENA is an administrative
approach to provide a speedy, impartial, inexpensive and accessible
settlement procedure for all issues/complaints arising from
employer-employee relations to prevent them from ripening into full
Wage increase for
kasambahays in EV takes effect on New Year’s Day
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
January 14, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
DOLE RO VIII Regional Director Yahya A. Centi announced during the
First Flag-Raising Ceremony and Monday program on January 6, 2020
that a new wage order for kasambahays in Eastern Visayas takes
effect on January 1, 2020.
Wage Order No.
RBVIII-DW-02 prescribes an increase of P2000 in the monthly wage
rates of kasambahay workers in Region VIII. For chartered cities and
first class municipalities, the new minimum wage shall now be P4,500
while kasambahays in other municipalities will be having a minimum
wage of P4,000.
Director Centi, who also
chairs the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)
VIII, was happy to inform of the said development. He said that the
amount of increase was a result of the consultation cum public
hearing conducted on November 25, 2019, as well as the current
socio-economic indicators, needs of the domestic workers and their
families and the employer’s capacity to pay.
Director Centi likewise
added that the kasambahay workers deserve the said increase
considering that the previous domestic wage order has not been
reviewed and revisited since its issuance in 2016.
“We are more than happy
that we are able to perform our duty for the good of our kasambahay
workers here in the region. They truly deserve the increase
considering that no adjustment has been made to their wages in the
last three years and yet prices of goods have been increasing”, said
The new wage order shall
apply to the following domestic workers in the region whether on a
live-in or live-out arrangements: general househelp, yaya, cook,
gardener, laundry person or any person who regularly performs
domestic work in one household on an occupational basis.
providers, family drivers, children under foster family arrangements
and any other person who performs work occasionally or sporadically
are not covered under the said wage order.
The new domestic wage
order was approved by the RTWPB VIII last November 25, 2019 and was
published in Leyte Samar Daily Express last December 17, 2019.
closes 2019 with 1.5% inflation rate
January 14, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Eastern Visayas closed 2019 with a 1.5 percent Inflation Rate (IR).
This IR is 0.9 percentage point higher compared with the 0.6 percent
IR a month ago, but 2.9 percentage points lower than the recorded
4.4 percent IR in the same period last year.
The regional IR is 1.0
percentage point lower than the 2.5 percent national average
inflation rate in December 2019.
All provinces in the
region registered higher inflation rates in December 2019 compared
with their figures in the previous month. Biliran recorded the
highest increase of 2.2 percentage points, from 1.5 percent
deflation in November 2019 to 0.7 percent IR in December 2019. The
rest of the provinces registered increases ranging from 0.2
percentage point to 1.8 percentage points. Southern Leyte posted the
lowest IR with 1.2 percent deflation. Leyte, meanwhile, recorded the
highest IR during the month in review at 2.1 percent.
Four commodity groups in
the region exhibited higher IRs in December 2019 compared with their
rates in November 2019. Transport commodity group registered the
biggest increase of 3.1 percentage points, from 1.0 percent in
November 2019 to 4.1 percent in December 2019. This can be
attributed to the significant increase in the index for operation of
personal transport equipment to a double-digit inflation rate of
10.5 percent in December 2019 from 0.2 percent in November 2019.
The heavily weighted food
and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group rebounded to 0.2 percent
in December 2019 from 1.0 percent deflation in November 2019. Lower
IRs noted in fruits; oils and fats; non-alcoholic beverages; meat;
and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery were offset by
the higher annual price increases in vegetables; fish; food products
not elsewhere classified; and milk, cheese and eggs. Vegetables
index registered the highest increase of 2.8 percentage points, from
3.1 percent in November 2019 to 5.9 percent in December 2019. Rice
and bread and cereals indices continued to register deflations but
at slower rate of 6.2 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.
electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group rebounded by 0.2
percent in December 2019 from its 0.8 percent deflation in November
Alcoholic beverages and
tobacco commodity group inched up by 0.1 percentage points pushing
its inflation rate to 7.2 percent during the month in review.
On the other hand,
inflation rate for health commodity group decreased by 1.3
percentage points, from 2.9 percent in November 2019 to 1.6 percent
in December 2019. This can be attributed to the lower inflation rate
on hospital services, from 3.5 percent in November 2019 to 0.6
percent in December 2019.
IRs for the commodity
groups of furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance
of the house, and clothing and footwear also exhibited decreases
during the reference month at 5.7 percent and 3.1 percent,
recreation and culture; education; and restaurant and miscellaneous
goods and services commodity groups retained their previous month’s
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in December 2019. This
PPP implies that goods and services worth P80.00 in 2012 is already
worth P100.00 in December 2019.
Southern Leyte posted a
P0.01 increase in PPP compared with its figure in November 2019,
while Biliran and Eastern Samar’s PPP weakened by P0.01. The rest of
the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Southern Leyte
recorded the strongest PPP at P0.83. Biliran and Leyte ranked second
at P0.82, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.76. Northern Samar and
Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.75.
officer gets recognition for exemplary performance
DPAO, 8ID PA
January 13, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan,
Samar – An Army Reserve Officer from the 8th Regional Community
Defense Group, Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) Camp Downes, Ormoc
City was given recognition by the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers)
Division, Philippine Army during the Flag Raising ceremony at the
Openiano Field this morning, January 13, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.
1Lt. Pedro R. Abong, Jr.
(Res.) was recognized for his outstanding accomplishment and
proficiency during the conduct of Pistol and Rifle Marksmanship
Training at 8ID Firing Range from December 5-6, 2019.
Among the 135 reservist
shooters, 1Lt. Abong garnered a perfect score of 100 points and was
adjudged a “top gun” by the training directorate.
Brig. Gen. Ramil M. Bitong
AFP, Assistant Division Commander personally awarded the Certificate
of Recognition to 1Lt. Abong. He was assisted by Col. Ferdinand S.
Razalan, Assistant Division Commander for Reservist and Retiree
1Lt. Abong was grateful
and proud for the recognition bestowed to him by the Command.
“It is just fitting to
acknowledge the accomplishments made by our men from reserve force.
As volunteers without compensation, they continue to carry on the
dynamic and full interchange of support between the military and
civilians. They continue to be our reliable partners in support
operations as to nation-building, humanitarian assistance and
disaster response,” in a statement made by Brig. Gen. Bitong.
NMP launches new
National Maritime Polytechnic
January 7, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
With the advent of modern technology, the National Maritime
Polytechnic (NMP) has rolled out a new mobile app entitled NMP App
which aimed to aid its stakeholders in verifying the authenticity of
NMP issued certificates.
Its dashboard displays the
options to verify the authenticity of a certificate by using the
Name and Birth Date of the trainee, Certificate Number and other
The app also features a
side function which allows trainees to verify if they are already
enrolled in their preferred schedule for Professional Development
Courses (PDC), namely: Training Course for Instructors (IMO Model
Course 6.09), Assessment, Examination and Certification of Seafarers
(IMO Model Course 3.12), and Training Course for Simulator
Instructors (IMO Model Course 6.10).
“The app is very useful,
good, and convenient to all trainees of NMP”, said Mr. Donald A.
Cosep when asked for his feedback during the mobile app launching on
13 December 2019 at the NMP Training Building.
The mobile app is a free
service for NMP stakeholders with Android devices and gadgets. It is
available for download in Google Play Store.
Any misuse or manipulation
of the personal data provided in the search result will be subjected
to Republic Act 10173 otherwise known as the “Data Privacy Act (DPA)
of 2012”, its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), and other
relevant policies, including issuances of the National Privacy
It is the policy of NMP to
respect and uphold the data privacy rights and to ensure that all
data collected from its trainees and other third party individuals
are processed pursuant to the general principles of transparency,
legitimate purpose, and proportionality as stated in the DPA.
The NMP app will be
updated should there a need to include other features.
completed flood control structure in Capacuhan, Calbayog
CHENZI MAY D. UY
January 7, 2020
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District
Engineering Office has completed second-phase construction of a
flood control structure along Jibatang River in Barangay Capacuhan,
Calbayog City, Samar.
The project covers the
construction of a 240-meter concrete structure with slope protection
consisting of hand-laid riprap and steel sheet piles. The structure
was built on the riverbank along the Calbayog-Catarman Road, where
it will serve as protection against flooding and soil erosion.
The P35-million project in
Capacuhan was accomplished on October 28, ahead of its target
completion date of November 8, 2019.
The importance of flood
control projects is highlighted particularly around this time of the
year, when stronger and more frequent typhoons enter the country. It
can be recalled that, last December 2018, typhoon Usman flooded and
ravaged the homes and properties of people residing near the rivers.
Hence, DPWH is fast-tracking flood management projects to improve
the disaster resiliency and safety of villages near river streams.
of the Wharf Extension for the Free-Fall Lifeboat. From L-R:
Deputy Executive Director Ponciano Ligutom, Fr. Bert David
Carillo, DOLE USec. Renato Ebarle, Executive Director Joel
Maglunsod, and Contractor.
DOLE USec. Ebarle
inaugurates NMP’s wharf extension
January 7, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Renato L.
Ebarle representing DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III led the
inauguration of the National Maritime Polytechnic’s (NMP’s) Wharf
Extension for the Free-Fall Enclosed Lifeboat held on 16 December
2019 at the NMP’s Boat Davit Area.
The said construction was
conceptualized in view of the donated Free-Fall Enclosed Lifeboat by
the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seaman’s Union of the
Philippines (AMOSUP), one of the members of the NMP Board of
With the approval of the
NMP BOT during its 1st Regular Meeting held last January 18, 2018,
the proposal to utilize the insurance proceeds from the Government
Service Insurance System (GSIS) relative to the destruction brought
by the Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 for the Wharf Extension for the
Free-Fall Enclosed Lifeboat project, was made possible.
The construction started
on November 16, 2018 amounting to P26,276,022.17.
Present during the
ceremony were DOLE USec. Ebarle, NMP Executive Director Joel
Maglunsod, NMP Deputy Executive Director Ponciano Ligutom, Fr. Bert
David Carillo, contractor of the Wharf Extension, and NMP employees.
addition to the NMP’s existing training facilities would
significantly improve the conduct of quality maritime training
services and would enable NMP to offer the Proficiency in Free-Fall
Lifeboat Course which is targeted to be developed by NMP’s
Curriculum Development Section (CDS) this end of June 2020.
Meanwhile, NMP also
regularly conducts maritime studies to come up with policies for the
improvement of the manpower sector of the industry. Those interested
in NMP research undertakings may visit the NMP website (www.nmp.gov.ph)
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.
drops by 11.0% in the third quarter of 2019
January 7, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Palay production in Eastern Visayas dropped by 11.0 percent, from
117,792 metric tons (MT) in the 3rd Quarter of 2018 to 104,851 MT in
The province of Leyte
contributed the biggest share in palay production in Eastern Visayas
at 35,292 MT during the 3rd quarter of 2019 (Table 1). It comprised
one third or 33.7 percent of the total palay production in the
region. Northern Samar ranked second with 24,540 MT, accounting for
23.4 percent of the region’s total palay production.
Similarly, the total area
harvested for palay decreased to 29,696 hectares (Ha) in the 3rd
quarter of 2019 from 33,615 Ha recorded in the same quarter of
previous year, a decline by 11.7 percent.
All provinces posted
decreases in area harvested for palay. Eastern Samar registered the
biggest drop by 43.6 percent during the 3rd quarter of 2019. Leyte,
Southern Leyte, Biliran and Northern Samar, posted decreases at 18.5
percent, 14.3 percent, 7.0 percent, and 2.3 percent, respectively.
Samar recorded the lowest decrease in area harvested for palay by
On the other hand, yield
for palay in the region slightly increased by 0.8 percent, from 3.50
metric ton per hectare (MT/Ha) in the 3rd Quarter of 2018 to 3.53
MT/Ha in the same quarter of 2019 (Table 1).
Among provinces, Southern
Leyte recorded the highest yield per hectare at 4.52 MT/Ha during
the 3rd quarter of 2019. This figure was lower by 3.5 percent
compared with the 4.68 MT/Ha recorded in the same quarter of 2018.
Garlic in cow
feed keeps gases down on the farm
January 2, 2020
KUALA LUMPUR –
Thomas Hafner, of Mootral, believes that his garlic supplement could
cut methane emissions from cows by 38 per cent.
The cows on Joe Towers’s
dairy farm have been burping a lot less since he began adding a
little garlic to their feed.
They seem to like the
flavour but he is not doing it to keep them happy. His 400 cows have
taken part in the largest trial of adding a natural supplement to
cattle diet to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas they belch.
Scientists found the mix
of garlic and citrus extract reduced methane emissions by up to 38
per cent. The effect was produced by adding only about 15g of the
supplement to the cows’ daily feed.
Mr Towers hopes the
results, published in a study involving the dairy research and
innovation centre at Scotland’s Rural College, will help consumers
to feel less guilty about eating meat and dairy products. About 15
per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock and a third
of that is from methane, which traps 25 times more heat than carbon
dioxide but remains in the atmosphere for a shorter period. Most of
the methane produced by cattle comes from their burps.
The trial also found that
milk yield rose by up to 8 per cent. The cows were also less
stressed because the garlic appeared to deter the flies that bother
The supplement, which is
blended in Abertillery in Monmouthshire by the Swiss company Mootral,
had no effect on the milk’s taste or smell. Several methane-reducing
supplements have been tested on cattle, with the University of
California showing that seaweed could reduce methane by 60 per cent.
Garlic is cheaper and more readily available.
Mootral’s supplement costs
about £50 per cow per year, which could be recouped through higher
yields. It also claims the supplement reduces udder infections,
saving on antibiotics.
However, Mootral concedes
that farmers may need an extra incentive to buy the supplement and
has developed a system of “cow credits” under which the benefit of
the methane reduction could be sold to those seeking to offset their
For Mr Towers, one of the
greatest benefits is improving the image of dairy farming, which he
says has been tarnished by unfair attacks by environmentalists who
ignore the nutritional benefits of milk. “This is a good opportunity
to show the dairy industry does care about the environment,” he