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DAR links 14 farmer organizations in EV to institutional buyers

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DTI trains Surigao Norte IPs in handicraft making

DOLE-RO8 congratulates EDC for historic virtual CBA signing


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DTI’s OTOP Ambassador Catriona Gray raises the flag, flaunting the PH weaving crafts

DTI Raise Your Flag with Catriona Gray

By DTI-Regional Operations Group
September 3, 2020

MAKATI CITY – Following the conferment of 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray as the One Town One Product Philippines (OTOP) Ambassador, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) began preparations for a new video series entitled Raise Your Flag.

The video series stars Catriona Gray as she promotes the local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the local weaving communities they support. The goals of this initiative are to spread awareness of the beauty of Filipino culture, to promote OTOPreneurs and their products, and to further the advocacy to support and purchase local and quality goods.

Last August 26 to 29, DTI-OTOP began the production shoot in their first location, Laguna. The first session was taken at the Provincial Capitol where they met with Governor Ramil Hernandez and Vice Governor Karen Agapay. Present there also were DTI-CALABRZON Regional Director Malou Toledo and other provincial board members and heads of municipalities.

The team visited several weaving communities such as Lumban Embroidery where the OTOP Ambassador experienced the traditional sewing working with three generations of ‘magbuburda’ through OTOPreneur Benson Del Valle. Here, she also met MODA (Modernong Obra, Disenyong Atin) designer Jessycris Baduel.

To further promote the OTOP stores and initiatives that DTI has been establishing, the team visited Pagsanjan. Present at the courtesy call were Mayor Peter Cassius Trinidad and the Negosyo Center Business Counsellor Adrimar Aquino. They also had another Conferment following this in San Pablo City where Mayor Amben Amante adopted the beauty queen as an illustrious daughter of San Pablo City.

The Raise Your Flag Laguna goals to visit, promote, and appreciate Filipino culture and resident MSMEs was further pursued as OTOP Ambassador Ms. Catriona Gray visited Ai-She Footwear, the shoemaker famous for creating the original Catriona shoes. At the store, Catriona undertook the process of creating her very own shoes through the guidance of OTOPreneur Ms. Corazon Coligado. At the Escaba Food Products location, she was given a fiesta reception with the Association of Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP) highlighting 10 of the heritage and innovative products of the province.

Our OTOP Ambassador experienced the meaningful life of the local weaving communities and learned more skills such as cotton twinning at Nooks International. Aside from this, she worked through the intricate and eco-friendly process; Upcycled Plastic Weaving, innovated by our local OTOPreneur at Junk Not Handicraft. Here, Catriona met another MODA designer Loj Toñacao and learned more from the local entrepreneurs in terms of providing livelihood to the community as well as creating a path towards sustainability.

Laguna de Bay, where there is an abundance of Water Hyacinths that turned into a resource for the local MSMEs in Laguna, was an additional stop for the team. DTI’s OTOP Ambassador again experienced firsthand how the crafts are being created using the water based plant at Rolyolikha and Sarilikha through OTOPreneur Renel Baltrato.

To end the successful run of the first leg of Raise Your Flag series, they visited the Taytay Falls of Majayjay and had dinner at Infusion Cafe and Deli in Los Baños.

The Raise Your Flag Laguna initiative was truly able to reach the goals of seeing the importance of learning and advocating our local products, our weaving communities and our Filipino culture. Adding to the experience, and the gratitude felt, she was honored by DTI CALABARZON with OTOP products from Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal & Quezon. The team also expressed thanks to Regional Operations Group Assistant Secretary Demphna Du Naga, and Laguna Provincial Director Susan Palo, for the successful project.

“As the OTOP Philippines Ambassador, I am lending my platform to our Filipino small businesses, MSMEs, to give them a hand up and to showcase their talent, creativity and ingenuity along with their stores, in hope that we can overcome the challenges together,” Gray expressed her gratitude to all the local entrepreneurs and weavers on her instagram with over 10 million followers.

Throughout the duration of the production, the whole team observed strict health protocols as enforced by the government. The company involved underwent swab testing beforehand, and implemented social distancing.

Regional Operations Group Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga vows her full commitment to continuously uphold the Philippine weaving industry and to flaunt our local crafts made by our Pinoy MSMEs.

Galing ng Pilipino, Tatak OTOP, Atin to! Let us Rise up and Raise our Flag!





NMP poster-making contest
Entries to the Poster Making Contest displayed at the Trainees Waiting Area.

NMP holds poster-making contest as tribute to Filipino seafafers

By National Maritime Polytechnic
August 28, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippines, as the no. 1 provider of seafarers to the global labor market is seriously bearing the distressing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the maritime industry. It can be noted that while the world is grappling to manage the health crisis of the corona virus, seafarers continue to play an indispensable role in the emergency response, by maintaining the flow of vital commodities and products.

Amidst the peril of the present pandemic, shipping remains as the backbone of international trade which was made possible through a lot of sacrifices by the seafarers who have been stuck at sea providing service to the world beyond their contract period and within a highly challenging situation.

To give due recognition to the vital role of all frontliners and in particular, the Filipino seafarers who are now recognized as “essential workers” in this time of pandemic, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) along with the celebration of the Buwan ng Wika, conducted a poster-making contest with the theme, “Likhang Pagpupugay sa mga Marinong Filipino at mga Frontliners sa Panahon ng Pandemya”. Said contest was open to all NMP trainees and personnel including their immediate family members.

Fifty percent (50%) of the total score will come from a selected panel of judges who will use the following criteria: Originality-40%, Creativity-40%, and Relevance to the theme-20%. Half of the score will come from the total online public votes /reactions of the published entry on the NMP official facebook page. Online voting commenced on 21 August 2020 and was officially closed on 27 August 2020 at exactly 7:00 P.M.

Final results will be announced on 01 September 2020 during the NMP flag raising ceremony at the NMP Administration Building Lobby, Tacloban City.

Meanwhile, in its effort to sustain its mandate in providing quality service through upgrading and specialized training programs, NMP continues to maintain and upgrade its facilities and its pool of competent instructors.

Interested stakeholders who wish to validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP issued certificates may visit Likewise, 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.

Further, NMP encourages OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.





Biliran covid-19 isolation facilities
Alfredo L. Bollido, (wearing white hard hat) Assistant District Engineer spearheaded the inspection of the newly completed isolation facilities at Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval, Biliran in behalf of District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr. together with the Department of Health (DOH) headed by Dr. Fernando B. Montejo, (wearing white blue polo shirt), Municipal Health Officer on August 13, 2020.

DPWH-Biliran Deo completes covid-19 isolation facilities

By DPWH Biliran
August 28, 2020

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) recently completes two COVID-19 Isolation Facilities for infected health care professionals in this Province.

David P. Adongay Jr. said that these facilities were completed on August 10, 2020 and are now being used and occupied by COVID-19 positive patients to control the spread of the infectious disease.

According to Adongay, the said facilities amounting to P7.388M are located at Sitio Dapdap, Brgy. Agpangi and in Brgy. Larrazabal, both in Naval town.

“These facilities can accommodate 60-68 patients,” Adongay said.

Adongay revealed that the existing evacuation center at Sitio Dapdap, Brgy. Agpangi was converted into an isolation facility for COVID-19 infected. Each division has one bed, one side table, one chair, one cabinet and individual stand fan.

Outside of this quarantine facility building, a separate room for decontamination, donning, doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and triage are constructed for medical care professionals. Two rooms are also reserved for health care professionals as sleeping quarters, one for male and one for female equipped with two beds, one side table each and individual stand fan.

At Brgy. Larrazabal, 15 isolation tents were installed. Each tent can accommodate four patients and will be provided with four beds, four chairs, four side tables, four cabinets and individual stand fan.

Adongay said that there will also be a decontamination tent, a disinfecting area tent, a donning/ doffing tent, a triage tent, a kitchen/food storage/pantry tent, camp management area tent, and two sleeping quarters tent for male and female medical care professionals. Two concrete CRs are also constructed for male and female.

“As COVID-19 cases is now in our province due to local transmission, these facilities will help mitigate the spread of the disease,” Adongay said.





NMP STCW courses
NMP facilities are ready for the offering of the RFPEW, BT and RBT.

3 NMP STCW courses gain MARINA approval

By National Maritime Polytechnic
August 27, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – The accreditation of three (3) additional training courses of the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the only government-owned maritime training and research institution with principal address located at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City, was recently renewed by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

As per formal letter received from MARINA on 10 August 2020, full course approval was granted to NMP’s three (3) Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) courses, namely: Ratings Forming Part of a watch in a Manned Engine-room or Designated to Perform Duties in a Periodically Unmanned Engine-room (RFPEW), Basic Training (BT), and Refresher Course on Basic Training (RBT), valid for three (3) years along with the accreditation of instructors, assessors and supervisors who will be handling the said courses, effective upon payment of course approval fees.

The said approval was a result of NMP’s submission of course packages of said courses to the MARINA Central Office on 21 February 2020, aligned with MARINA STCW Advisory No. 2019-05 re: Clarifications and Supplemental Guidelines on the Implementation of STCW Circular No. 2018-02 entitled “Standards for Mandatory Training Courses Under the STCW Convention, 1978, as Amended” and the re-inspection conducted by MARINA last 24-28 February 2020.

During the 3-year period, announced and unannounced visits will be made by MARINA STCW Office or its duly authorized representatives to ascertain NMP’s compliance with the MARINA’s rules and regulations.

Moreover, the records of implementation of corrective actions for audit results both internal and external, records of review and validation of the courses including the assessment and statistical record of trainees enrolled / certificated must be made available during the conduct of monitoring.

Finalization of the schedules for the conduct of the said courses is underway, which will be published in the NMP website @ and Facebook page ( where all updates and relevant information on NMP programs are also available.

“Despite this unprecedented emergency brought by COVID-19, NMP will strive to continue the conduct of its training operations and provide services to the Filipino seafarers who are globally recognized as essential workers. We are targeting that these courses be offered on the 1st week of September 2020”, Executive Director Joel B. Maglunsod disclosed during the NMP flag raising ceremony held on 24 August 2020.

Meanwhile, in its effort to sustain its mandate in providing quality service through upgrading and specialized training programs, NMP continues to maintain and upgrade its facilities and its pool of competent instructors.

Interested stakeholders who wish to validate the authenticity of their seafarers-employed with NMP issued certificates may visit Likewise, 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.

Further, NMP encourages OWWA registered seafarers to avail of the NMP-OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP) and Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) which entitles the beneficiary to receive financial assistance for training costs from the OWWA.





Security guards lauds modernization of private security industry

August 26, 2020

QUEZON CITY – An umbrella of security agencies lauded the measure at Congress calling for the modernization of private security agency industry in the country.

Private Security Industry Personnel Employees and Guards Credit Cooperative (PSIPAGCC) chairman Neil Estrella supports the introduction of the Private Security bill now being tackled at the House of Representatives.

Estrella, along with other officers and members of PSIPAGCC, welcomes the timely push for the bill.
A substitute bill, composed of HB 7037, 518, 2325, 3547, 3669, was approved in principle by a sub-committee of House Committee on Public Order and Safety.

The substitute bill aims to strengthen, modernize, and professionalize the private security industry.

“The number of security guards currently employed is equivalent to almost double of the combined number of police and military personnel deployed today, said Estrella”. It is, therefore, important that we improve not only the conditions of their employment, but also standardize their training to professionalize the industry,“ he added.

The bill proposes innovations on career opportunities and working conditions of private security personnel, including ladderized training and education with subsidy and a “study now, pay later” program.

It also imposes penalties for acts in violation of the Revised Penal Code.

Neil Estrella said "we in PSIPAGCC, and on behalf of the private security personnel we represent, thank the efforts of Hose Majority Floor Leader Rep. Martin Romualdez, Rep. Yedda Romualdez and Rep. Raymond C. Mendoza for their authorship and sponsorship of the bill, HB 7037. Likewise to Rep Frederick Siao, Rep. Bravo, Rep. Escudero and Rep Robes, for the consolidated bill.”

The bill also mandates the PNP Chief, in crafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the proposed bill, is required to consult cooperatives and Philippine Association of Detective & Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO).

“As the State encourages the development of cooperatives, we also welcome the move to include private security cooperatives as stakeholders for the crafting of the IRR,” said Estrella. “I am elated that our work in uplifting the lives of our members are recognized,” he added.





DILG assures troops: Nation working as one for peace

Press Release
August 26, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – On a hot morning in a hillside camp in Barangay Uguis, Mahaplag, Leyte about three kilometres from the town center, soldiers of the famed 14th “Avenger” Battalion, veterans of battles with the communist New People’s Army, smartly stood at attention to receive a visitor who brought them glad tidings on the quest for peace.

Dir. Karl Caesar R RimandoTheir guest on August 24, 2020 was Regional Director Karl Caesar R. Rimando of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the agency tasked as secretariat of the Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

For years, soldiers had worked in far-flung barangays, in the process discovering issues that continued to mire residents in poverty. However the soldiers often lacked the logistics to adequately respond to these issues. This was because they lacked the institutional support coming from other national agencies to address the concerns brought up in their community immersion program.

On this day, the assembled soldiers listened as Director Rimando explained how Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in December 2018, brings the whole government and other sectors together to find solutions to festering issues through a Whole of Nation Approach.

“EO 70 does away with the old concept of viewing the insurgency as primarily a military problem, but rather offers a comprehensive solution. If in the past you lacked support to address the issues you discovered in immersion activities in communist-affected barangays, the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) now provides the needed mechanism to make government, and the community at large, responsive to problems that fuel the communist insurgency. With the full commitment of all government entities and the support of various sectors, mas nararamdaman na ng mga tao na ang gobyerno ay kanilang kakampi,” he said.

Director Rimando updated the infantry on the efforts of various clusters in implementing EO 70, from the Send-Off Ceremonies, peace initiatives, Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), and the activities of the various phases of RCSP. He informed the troops that while the army and police have been working front and center to promote peace and law enforcement, the other clusters have likewise been working to accomplish their respective mandates.

Help from national agencies and commitment by the LGUs to provide resources needed to address the identified issues cannot come sooner to AFP personnel in Leyte and nearby Samar. Although the island of Leyte has been declared largely insurgency-free as late, soldiers last year were able to overrun an NPA camp and engaged in firefights with communist rebels in remote mountain barangays of Mahaplag, which borders Sogod town in Southern Leyte.

With closer coordination among all branches of government, law enforcers have been able to throttle the NPAs to minimal activities such as extortion and harassment, further alienating the public against the communist-terrorists.

This area bordering Leyte and Southern Leyte was likewise the site of a major convergence activity last year in nearby Baybay City. The AFP together with LGUs and national agencies held a service delivery event to mark the discovery of NPA mass burial grounds in Inopacan, Leyte who were killed in the 1980s by their own comrades in purges of suspected government spies.

After his keynote speech, Director Rimando and Lieutenant Colonel Roberto B. Obaob, 14th IB commanding officer, conferred awards on deserving personnel, toured the camp, planted a tree in the DILG RD’s honor and signed the Memorandum of Agreement on the institutionalization of the Community Development and Resiliency Initiative (CDRI) of the 14th Infantry Battalion.

According to the 14th IB, the CDRI “serves as a development arm of the RCSP to facilitate the delivery of basic services, livelihood programs, skills trainings, food production and resiliency programs in order to transform vulnerable communities into self-sufficient and resilient communities”.

Director Rimando believes that despite the challenge posed by COVID-19 which temporarily diverted government activities, the RTF-70 is on track towards achieving the goal of a just and lasting peace in Eastern Visayas in 2022.





Samar cops nab 6 wanted persons and 12 other offenders

Samar Police Provincial Office

By Samar PPO
August 26, 2020

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Samar Police Provincial Office (SPPO) under the leadership of PCol Andre Perez Dizon, Provincial Director, arrested 3 Most Wanted Persons listed as Rank Nr. 1 of Municipal Level, Rank Nr. 10 of Provincial Level, Rank Nr. 15 of City Level and 3 other wanted persons; 1 illegal drug personality; 8 illegal fishers; and 3 illegal gamblers during a 7-day continuous and province-wide police operations from August 17-24, 2020.

Personnel of Calbayog City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Neil B Montaño, Officer In-Charge nabbed 1 other wanted person for the crime of Robbery with Homicide; while 1 illegal drug personality was also nabbed during buy bust operation wherein confiscated from the suspect were 3 pieces heat-sealed plastic sachets of shabu weighing 5.6790 grams and Php 500.00 used as marked money and a case for violation of Sec. 5, 11 & 12 of Article II of R.A. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) was filed before the City Prosecutors Office, Calbayog City thru Inquest Proceeding docketed under NPS Nr. VIII-10-INQ-20H-00154.

Personnel of Catbalogan City Police Station under the leadership of PLtCol Edwin F Barbosa, Chief of Police, nabbed 1 MWP listed as Rank No. 15 of City Level for violation of Sec. 10 (a) of R.A. 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act).

Personnel of Basey Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Michael N Oraller, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 2 other wanted persons for violation of P.D. 1602 (Illegal Gambling).

Personnel of Daram Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Zaldy A Cagampang, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 2 fishermen for violation of Sec. 64 (Use of Active Gear) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 19 series of 2017, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

Personnel of San Jorge Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PCpt Michael Ray G Cañete, Acting Chief of Police, nabbed 2 MWPs listed as Rank Nr. 1 of Municipal Level for the crimes of Murder and Intentional Abortion and Rank Nr. 10 of Provincial Level for the crime of Robbery with Homicide.

Personnel of Sta. Rita Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PMaj Dexter L Astacaan, Chief of Police, nabbed 3 illegal gamblers engaging in Tupada and a case for violation of PD 449 (Cockfighting Law) was filed against the suspects thru direct filing at Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC), Sta. Rita – Talalora with Criminal Case No. 08-2020-1101.

Personnel of Zumarraga Municipal Police Station under the leadership of PLt Renato P Gerona, Officer In-Charge, nabbed 6 fishermen for violation of Sec. 29 (Unauthorized Fishing) of Municipal Fishery Ordinance No. 2013-02, who were then released after paying the corresponding penalty.

“Nowadays, especially that COVID19 pandemic continues to spread, law offenders take this opportunity to commit more crimes. Let us show to the people that Samar Police will not hesitate to apprehend these violators and that peace and order can still be attained despite the crisis we are facing,” PCol Dizon stated.





First OTOP Hub in Region 8 sheds light to MSMEs disrupted by the pandemic

OTOP Hub in Region 8

By DTI-Regional Operations Group
August 25, 2020

MAKATI CITY – Eastern Visayas’ first One Town One Product (OTOP) Hub has opened at the midst of the pandemic bringing light to local producers of the region as their products will be marketed through the hub. The launching was held last August 19, 2020 and was attended by officials from DTI Region 8, DTI Leyte, CAAP and the BAHANDI Producers Assoc. Eastern Visayas Cooperative.

Located at the DZR Airport, the OTOP Hub provides the physical and online channels and market access platform where OTOP products – especially those which have been assisted via product development – are showcased on a day-to-day basis.

The establishment of the said hub is the demand part of the One Town One Product Next Generation Program (OTOP Next Gen) where quality local products are available for institutional buyers and consuming public.

Though the tourism industry is experiencing a fallback with all others, economists and industry players are expectant that there is a boom for tourism after this crisis thus positioning the local producers under the tourism support sector is right in time.

According to DTI 8 Regional Director Celerina Bato, the demand for local products of Eastern Visayas in other parts of the country such as Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces have increased despite the pandemic.

The Bahandi Producers’ Eastern Visayas Cooperative is taking charge of managing the hub with its President Carlo Romano who is working to showcase more products across the region.





DTI grants more negosyo kits to MSMEs affected by calamities in Cebu

DTI-Cebu PBG Program

By DTI-Regional Operations Group
August 25, 2020

MAKATI CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)- Cebu Provincial Office turned over Negosyo Kits worth P10,000.00 each to seventy-nine (79) qualified microentrepreneurs in Mambaling and Buhisan, Cebu last August 20.

Through the DTI’s Pangkabuhayan sa pagBangon at Ginhawa (PBG) Program, 78 micro-entrepreneurs from Barangay Mambaling who were victims of fire incidents that destroyed their livelihood and 1 micro-entrepreneur from Barangay Buhisan whose business was affected by COVID19 pandemic received the Negosyo Kits in coupon form, which enabled them to choose/avail of various merchandise items to restore or improve their business.

The Pangkabuhayan sa pagBangon at Ginhawa is a livelihood seeding and entrepreneurship development program which aims to assist individuals and families affected by calamities, including health disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who will avail of the Balik-Probinsya Program to recover and/or restart their business.

Beneficiary Clariza Ayuda from Brgy. Buhisan narrated how her "kakanin" business was severely affected by quarantine restrictions, limited mobility and low foot traffic. She expressed her gratitude for the assistance and said that the Negsyo Kits given by DTI is a big help to small entrepreneurs like her to continue with their livelihood.

This P10,000 coupon for the PBG Negosyo Kit may be redeemed for groceries, kitchenware, clothing and textile items in Gaisano Mall in Mambaling which the beneficiaries will then use in their enterprise.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who pushed for the provision of such Livelihood Assistance package for victims of calamities, delivered a message of solidarity and hope through a video call to the beneficiaries. Apart from the DTI-PBG Negosyo Kits, all 79 beneficiaries received food packs and facemasks from the office of Senator Go.

Cooperators of this activity are the Office of Senator Christopher "Bong" Go-Cebu, officials of the Local Government Unit of Cebu City and the affected Barangays, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Region 7, and Gaisano Mall Mambaling.



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