Press Conference hosted by the PIA RO VIII on 18 September
NMP answers the
call for a sustainable maritime future
National Maritime Polytechnic
September 29, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) joins in celebration of the 2020
World Maritime Week themed as “Sustainable Shipping For A
Sustainable Planet” and the 2020 National Maritime Week with the
theme “Working Together as One for Sustainable Maritime
As a kick-off activity for
a week-long celebration, NMP collaborated with the Philippine
Information Agency (PIA) RO 8 to drumbeat the Agency’s programs and
projects in relation to the Maritime Week Celebration to be featured
in the online press conference dubbed as “PANININDUGAN: A Virtual
Kapihan” hosted by PIA last 18 September 2020.
“NMP, as the sole
government maritime training and research center of the country
consequently plays a crucial role in the enhancement of skills and
competencies of Filipino seafarers as articulated in our mission.
Being the government’s maritime training arm, NMP should therefore
be able to lead in the country’s efforts of grooming the Filipino
seafarers to become the choice seafarers in the highly competitive
arena of seafarers in the whole world.”, NMP Executive Director Joel
B. Maglunsod said in his message during the forum.
agencies particularly the members of the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE)-Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) also shared
their activities and projects during the virtual Kapihan
particularly those concerning the Filipino seafarers. Also present
were various media personnel and PIA managers from different areas
of the region.
Accordingly, during the
3-day Maritime Industry Symposium on 23-25 September 2020
spearheaded by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), NMP was
invited as one of the Reactors during the 2nd day wherein NMP
highlighted its mandate on the provision of maritime training
towards transitioning to the “new normal” specifically making NMP
training programs accessible to seafarers even during the health
ED Jomag announced NMP’s
innovations that aside from the implementation of NMP’s Post-ECQ
Operational Plan that limits the number of trainees accommodated,
the online courses on Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the
Maritime Sector (PADAMS) and STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention in the Maritime
Sector (SHAPIMS) were launched last August 2020 while the Gender
Sensitivity Training for Seafarers (GSTS) online course will follow
which aims to improve the accessibility of the training to
client-seafarers including those on-board ships and at the same time
promote Gender and Development advocacy on fairness and equity in
the workplace among male and female seafarers.
The online Consolidated
MARPOL 73/78 course and the blended Training Course for Instructors
(IMO Model Course 6.09) and Assessment, Examination and
Certification of Seafarers (IMO Model Course 3.12) are in the
pipeline for their immediate offering. Also, the development of the
Vessel Crane Operator Course and the Freefall Enclosed Lifeboat
Course in blended learning are for completion within the year.
Further, the review of two
(2) non-mandatory courses titled Oily Water Separator and Updating
Basic Training are ongoing for conversion to blended learning.
Relatively, the “Train Now
Pay Later” Program was conceptualized to allow qualified cadets and
graduates to undergo the required trainings subject to repayment
after the first year of shipboard employment. This program will
address the dilemma of many seafarers including the graduates from
the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy who are unable to attend the
required training courses due to the high cost of trainings and
The implementation of the
NMP-OWWA Seafarers’ Upgrading Program and Skills for Employment
Scholarship Program have likewise assisted the seafarers in availing
of financial assistance to cover the costs of training fees.
These innovations are
geared towards providing our seafarers with the necessary
competencies for their enhanced employability that are aligned to
the priorities in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and
in transitioning to a “new and better normal”.
“The NMP remains open for
collaborative undertakings that give priority to our seafarers and
maritime-allied professionals such that we altogether empower them
with the technical competence as they face the challenges in these
trying times.”, ED Jomag stated in the Closing Program of the
Maritime Week Celebration on 25 September 2020 hosted by the MARINA
Meanwhile, NMP continues
to conduct face-to-face trainings with strict implementation of the
Maritime Industry Authority’s (MARINA) approved Post-Enhanced
Community Quarantine Operational Plan and other health and safety
protocols as required by the Department of Health (DOH), Department
of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and local government unit (LGU).
denounces killing of former rebel by NPA in Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
September 29, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan,
Samar – Major General Pio Q. Dinoso, III, the 8th Infantry
Division Commander, denounced the NPA for killing one of their
former comrades who returned to the folds of law.
He said that the
government forces will do everything in order to give justice to
former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel who was mercilessly killed by
“We will make the
Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) and their supporters accountable for
the actions of their members who deprived their former NPA members
to live peacefully with their loved ones,” said Major General Diñoso.
He also calling on the
Commission on Human Rights and self-declared human rights advocates
like Karapatan Eastern Visayas chapter to condemn and take action
for the lives of the victims who were mercilessly murdered.
This year about 5 former
rebels were abducted and murdered while many civilians were victims
of their enormity.
The condemnation came
after a former rebel who surrendered to the government was brutally
killed by Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Barangay Nagpapacao,
Matuguinao, Samar, morning of September 28.
The victim was identified
as Carlos B Diaz, 50 years old, who was shot several times on his
head and different parts of his body by 8 CNTs while he was working
at his farm in Barangay Nagpapacao, Matuguinao, Samar around 7:30
The Commanding Officer of
19th Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Jasper Justito M Pecson
said that Diaz has been living peacefully with his family as a
farmer after he surrendered last August 2018 when he was attacked.
“The New People’s Army is
doing atrocities in order to instill fear among their former members
and supporters and even kill people in the communities who
contradict their propaganda,” Pecson said.
“Terrorist groups like the
CNTs usually take advantage of the youth and locals who are living
in isolated and depressed areas are highly vulnerable to false
ideologies. But as the victims realize that they are just being used
for the benefit of the communist organization, these rebel members
and supporters can no longer get out of the group. Instead of
allowing their comrades to enjoy peace and new life with their
families, the Communist-NPA torture and brutally murder them,
leaving them with no choice but to stay in the terrorist
organization,” Pecson added.
union, rights advocates laud new bill seeking end to PH military aid
Human rights situation
created by Duterte is what’s “wild”
September 25, 2020
The Communications Workers
of America (CWA), The Malaya Movement, the International Coalition
for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and Kabataan Alliance
held a Zoom press conference about the recent introduction of the
Philippine Human Rights Act (H.R. 8313), led by Rep. Susan Wild
(D-PA) and co-sponsored by 19 other representatives in response to
the increasingly dangerous actions of the Duterte regime to punish
and execute trade unionists and activists.
Philippine Human Rights Act earned the irk of Presidential
spokesperson Harry Roque describing the bill filed by Pennsylvania
Representative Wild as a “very wild suggestion.”
In an online post, The
Malaya Movement was quick to tell Roque that it is the human rights
situation in the country that is “wild.” The reply was superimposed
in a dictionary definition of “wilder” and “wildest” with the words
“unstrained by reason or prudence” encircled. In bold letters, the
group said “PH Gov’t says PHRA is a “wild suggestion” but what is
wild is the human rights situation they created. Time to pass the #PassThePHRA!”
“While Duterte has
recently made comments to the United Nations calling for objectivity
and non-interference on human rights issues in the Philippines, what
is objectively clear to the world is the Duterte regime is
tyrannical and laden with abuse and atrocities,” said ICHRP
Secretary General, Rev. Michael Yoshii. “We must withdraw U.S.
military support from this growing dictatorship.”
“Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal
regime is using the pretext of a so-called “Anti-Terrorism Law” to
ramp up efforts targeting labor organizers, workers, and political
opponents,” said Rep. Susan Wild on the House floor today. “This law
allows suspects to be detained by the police or military without
charges for as long as 24 days and placed under surveillance for up
to 90 days. Let us make clear that the United States will not
participate in the repression. Let us stand with the people of the
“We cannot stand idly by
while Duterte kills labor activists one by one,” said CWA’s Senior
Director for Government Affairs and Policy Shane Larson. “We must
condemn it, and do every single thing within our power to stop it.
And that starts with mobilizing to enact legislation like the
Philippine Human Rights Act. CWA is committed to battling against
the sorts of egregious labor and human rights abuses that are the
reality facing the Filipino people under the Duterte regime and we
are proud to be in this fight with all of you.”
“This bill is the result
of years of organizing by the Filipino-American community, as well
as our allies, who refuse to be complicit in the oppression of the
Filipino people,” explained Nicanora Montenegro from the Malaya
Movement. “Activists and organizers have worked hard to gain the
support of our legislators, even as the Duterte government attacks
us for speaking the truth. And we will continue to organize until we
stop this tyranny and achieve genuine democracy for our people,”
say enough is enough,” declared Mikaela Tajo, a leader with George
Washington University’s Philippine Cultural Society, which is a
member of Kabataan Alliance. “We demand more from our country, both
of our countries. Lives are at stake with this bill, and we cannot
sit idly waiting for others to take action. And now we’re
challenging you to do the same.”
Address human rights
violations or else
Earlier this year,
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Act –
a law that ICHRP has called the “last piece of the puzzle” in his
government’s martial law agenda. The law is clearly aimed at
expanding the government’s ability to target political opponents and
activists. It allows suspects to be detained by the police or
military without charges for as long as 24 days and placed under
surveillance for up to 90 days.
The Philippine Human
Rights Act blocks U.S. funds for police or military assistance to
the Philippines, including equipment and training, until such time
as human rights conditions are met. Specifically, the Philippines
must meet the following conditions to lift restrictions set by the
1. Investigating and
prosecuting members of the military and police forces who are
credibly found to have violated human rights;
2. Withdrawing the
military from domestic policy;
protections of the rights of trade unionists, journalists, human
right defenders, indigenous persons, small-farmers, LGBTI activists,
and critics of the government;
4. Taking steps to
guarantee a judicial system that is capable of investigating,
prosecuting, and bringing to justice members of the police and
military who have committed human rights abuses; and
5. Fully complying with
any and all audits or investigations regarding the improper use of
supporting the bill include: the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Teamsters, American
Federation of Teachers, Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the
Philippines, United Church of Christ - Global Ministries, United
Methodist Church - General Board of Church & Society, Migrante USA,
Gabriela USA, Anakbayan USA, Bayan-USA, Franciscan Network on
Migration, Pax Christi New Jersey, Kabataan Alliance, and National
Alliance for Filipino Concerns.
Download PHRA bill copy
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Visayas now also
adopts virtual problem solving session under the new normal.
blended modality on problem solving session
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
September 25, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas proved that
modern technology can be of great help indeed at these times, when
mass gathering is strictly prohibited as the whole world experiences
pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
DAR officials, both from
the central, regional and provincial offices, realized this after
several issues delaying the implementation of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) were immediately addressed in the
recently conducted integrated and blended learning session cum
problem-solving with officials from the Registry of Deeds (ROD),
Land Bank of the Philippines-Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC) and
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
DAR OIC-Regional Director
Ismael Aya-ay said that though most of the participants were joining
the session remotely, it proved to be a fruitful one, for many of
the issues were resolved with the intervention of Undersecretary for
Field Operations Office, David Erro; Assistant Secretary Jim Coleto;
Director of the Bureau of Land Tenure Improvement, Joey Sumatra; and
Director of Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance, Marjorie Ayson.
Foreign-Assisted and Special Project Office Bernie Cruz also joined
the online session and provided inputs related to Support for
Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project.
Aya-ay applauded when the chairman of the Project Management
Executive Committee at the Land Registration Authority (LRA) Central
Office, as relayed by ROD Regional Director Atty. Emeterio Villanoza,
committed to work out the immediate release of the 39 RP titles
covering 354.4 hectares pending in their office.
Once released, generation
of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) in the names of the
qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will follow.
Meanwhile, DAR Central
Office officials promised to do the follow-up for the activities at
the central office level with the different concerned line agencies.
On the other hand,
Assistant Secretary Coleto gave closure to the question that was
confronting the LBP-AOC on whether a landholding issued with “Notice
of Coverage” (NOC) prior to June 30, 2014 could still be covered
under the Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) scheme even if the offer was
done after the said date.
According to Coleto,
Section 30 of the Republic Act No. 9700 stated that as long as an
NOC was issued before June 30, 2014, the coverage may proceed.
“Though the VOS was accepted on a later date, the process is still
considered valid and it may still proceed following the said
provision,” he added.
This particular issue
involves about 325 hectares and is now considered settled. “Under
VOS, landowners shall be paid the corresponding five percent cash
incentive in accordance to the law,” Coleto stressed.
DAR Eastern Visayas
regularly holds a quarterly problem solving session with line
agencies to thresh out issues that hinder the smooth implementation
of CARP in the region.
“If this pandemic will
continue to threaten everyone, this office will adapt to the new
normal so we could deliver our targets,” said Aya-ay.
Furthermore, Chief of the
Land Tenure Service Division, Francisco Diloy, disclosed that DAR
Eastern Visayas has already accomplished 577 hectares or 27 percent
of its 2,151-hectare target in Land Acquisition and Distribution for
Leyte’s League of
Municipal Mayors commends DOLE-RO8
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
September 22, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY –
Recognizing the important role of the local chief executives in the
successful implementation of the department’s programs and services,
the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office No. 8
conducted a Virtual Collaborative Meeting with the Municipal Mayors’
League of the Leyte on 18 September 2020.
The said collaborative
activity was attended by around forty (40) participants composed of
Municipal Mayors, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Managers,
DOLE-RO8 Senior Officials and employees.
Mr. Norman L. Uyvico, OIC-Chief
of DOLE-North Leyte Field Office delivered the opening message and
highlighted that DOLE’s work in delivering the different programs
and services to the public especially this time of pandemic will
never be complete without the active support of the local leaders.
Director Yahya A. Centi, in his message, underscored the purpose of
the collaboration with the league of mayors in Leyte, just like what
was done by DOLE-RO8 previously with other provinces and districts.
“It is through this
initiative that we as a government agency will be able to apprise
local chief executives of the various programs geared towards
helping our economy especially those greatly affected by the ongoing
global health crisis. This will now serve as our avenue for an
effective exchange of information which is indeed crucial in
decision-making”, said Director Centi.
Hon. Frances Ann B.
Petilla, Mayor of LGU-Palo and President of the League of Municipal
Mayors of the Philippines-Leyte Chapter, reciprocated the
appreciation and recognition expressed by the DOLE-RO8. She
commended the agency for all its accomplishments and committed to be
more supportive in the delivery of DOLE programs and services.
“I’d like to thank and
commend our labor department here in Region 8 under the steady
leadership of Director Centi for always ensuring that our workers
receive the necessary assistance. It is just suitable to say that we
also as leaders in the local level need the help of NGAs like you in
order to respond to our respective constituents. We need each other
to make things work for the good of our people. And so I’m giving
our 100% commitment for the furtherance of DOLE’s programs here in
Leyte,” Hon. Petilla said.
Also during the meeting,
Director Centi sought the help of the good president of the league
to facilitate the liquidations of the livelihood grants released to
the different municipalities for DOLE-RO8 to be able to provide more
assistance to other workers in need.
One of the participants of
the meeting, Mayor Ofelia Alcantara of LGU-Tolosa shared how DOLE
through RD Centi’s initiative was able to help her when she was a
newly-installed mayor of the municipality. She said that in
replicating the collaboration with other NGAs, she was able to bring
the needed services of the people of Tolosa.
The virtual forum ended
with a closing remarks from DOLE-RO8 Assistant Regional Director
Amable Ildefonso C. Roa who likened the important linkage of DOLE
and LGUs to that of a blossoming relationship. He also emphasized
that DOLE will never get tired of doing its job, that is serving the
Filipino workers in the best way possible.
“We will always be
thankful for the opportunity to serve our workers here in the region
for that is what we are here for as public servants”, said ARD Roa.
complete Almeria bypass road by fourth quarter of 2020
September 22, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
Works are now on-going for the construction of Almeria Bypass Road
project in Biliran which is set to be completed this year by the
Department of Public Works and Highways- Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO).
David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer said that the project is now
in full swing and being fast-track for completion by 4th quarter of
the year, 2020.
“Expect a wider and safer road and bridge when travelling in Almeria
town as soon as this project will be completed,” said Adongay.
The project starts from Sitio Daro traversing rice fields all the
way to upper Look in Almeria town. It is implemented in two phases
with a total length of 1.262 km. 4-lane roadway and a 20.0 ln.m
Bridge (4 lanes) amounting to P95.8M.
First phase of the project amounting to P83.1M includes road
opening, slope protection, bridge construction and a road concreting
of a 0.879-kilometer four lane road while phase two of the project
includes a 0.383 kilometer four-lane road concreting.
According to Adongay, the project was prioritized in lieu of the
road widening project on the main highway of Almeria where numerous
residents will be affected.
“As per inspection, bridge construction is already completed while
road concreting is continuously done to meet the target date of
completion,” said Adongay.
leaders denounce rights violations in the Philippines, echo the call
to “Stop the Killings”
September 19, 2020
QUEZON CITY – "It
is in the time of crisis that we come together as a people of God
and stand in solidarity with one other. The call to end human rights
violations is an act of allegiance and faithfulness to God and a
call to say no to systemic injustice," said Rev. Dr. Collin Cowan,
General Secretary of the Church World Mission in the International
Ecumenical Convocation on the Defense of Human Rights in the
Philippines on September 17.
World church leaders in
the Convocation denounced the worsening rights situation in the
Philippines and raised alarm on the violations experienced by rights
defenders and organizations. “In the context of COVID-19 pandemic,
human rights have been greatly exacerbated and worsened, in which
context civil society space has even more drastically reduced,” said
Peter Prove, Director of the World Council of Churches (WCC)
Commission for International Affairs.
The WCC is one of the
partner organizations of the National Council of Churches in the
Philippines (NCCP) that are closely monitoring the Philippines at
the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and has been advocating in
behalf of the rights defenders here in the Philippines to the UN
Special Mechanisms for many years. As part of its ongoing
commitment, it continues to push and advocate for the members of the
45th UNHRC to vote for an independent and impartial investigation on
the killings and Human Rights Violations under President Duterte as
reflected on the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights last June.
Derek Duncan, co-chair of
the Asia Pacific Forum said that “US churches, in particular, are
painfully aware of the troubled colonial history between the US and
Philippines, which contributes to our nation’s complicity in today’s
human rights abuses by both government and industrial-commercial
structures in the Philippines”. However, he emphasized that their
continued advocacy with the US government remains of critical
importance and their current advocacy “focuses on introduction of a
robust Philippine Human Rights Act, an instrument which would
‘suspend United States security assistance to the Philippines until
such time as human rights violations by Philippine security forces
cease and the responsible state forces are held accountable’.”
The World Student
Christian Federation (WSCF) also expressed concern “over the rights
violations of human rights defenders, particularly the red-tagging
of NCCP and the Student Christian Movement in the Philippines. The
government’s militarist policies have been an excuse to persecute,
to kill and to shrink the space for civil society,” remarked Marcelo
Leites, Regional Representative of WSCF-Latin America and the
Christian Conference of
Asia General Secretary Dr. Mathews George Chunakara also condemned
the “[Philippine] government’s act to stifle the voices and
conscience of the people” and called to repeal the Anti-Terrorism
Act of 2020. “The subversion of democratic rights during the martial
law is back to be seen. There are many indications that the current
President is going to the same direction as Marcos during the
martial law era.”
Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson,
General Secretary of World Communion of Reformed Churches, responded
“If we were to keep silent, even the stones will cry out. We pledge
to mobilize our own people, raise the issue to the international
forums, bring together our families to advocate and work and be part
of the global struggle against authoritarianism.”
These were in response to
the testimonies from church workers and human rights advocates who
have been red-tagged, vilified, harassed, and charged with
trumped-up cases. Among those who gave their testimonies were Sr.
Ellen Belardo from the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, United
Church of Christ in the Philippines, Bishop Hamuel Tequis, Rev.
Marco Sulayao of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Jane Molina
Lee, widow of a drug war victim, and Clarizza Singson of
Karapatan-Negros. Cristina Palabay of Karapatan gave the Philippine
Human Rights situationer and Atty. Ephraim Cortez of the National
Union of Peoples’ Lawyers discussed the Anti-Terrorism Act and its
impacts on the work of churches and humanitarian organizations.
Filipino church leader,
Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, General Secretary of the National
Council of Churches in the Philippines, called on the international
community for a continuous accompaniment and greater solidarity with
the Philippines. “With you by our side in solidarity, accompanying
us in our quest for justice, we may be afflicted and persecuted,
vilified and harassed, charged falsely or imprisoned under made-up
charges, yet we are not forsaken.”
Before him, The Most Rev.
Gerardo Alminaza, Bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos, gave one of
the welcome remarks, said that the cries for justice and solidarity
ring out and reverberate through the villages in the island of
Negros which “shake the Church and quicken the hearts of her
people”. Ms. Ma. Cathrine Kay Almario, NCCP Vice Chairperson for the
Youth also welcomed the participants who stated that the current
administration must be held accountable for its crime against
The Convocation ended with
the launch of a unity statement read by Rosmalia Barus, the Vice
Moderator of the United Evangelical Mission, The Most Rev. Rex RB.
Reyes, Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Philippines,
Episcopal Church of the Philippines, and WCC Central Committee
member, with Ms. Patricia Mari Mungcal of the NCCP. The said
statement carries the message that the international ecumenical
community will bear witness and keep watch with regards to the human
rights situation in the Philippines. The statement also supports the
recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, including recommendations from at least 24 UN human rights
experts for the UN Human Rights Council to “establish an
on-the-ground independent, impartial investigation into human rights
violations in the Philippines”. The signature campaign, initially
signed by 20 international church institutions, will continue until
September 24 while the 45th UNHRC Regular Session in Geneva is still