received 162 projects for 2021
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
January 28, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways -Samar First District
Engineering Office received 162 projects to be implemented by the
district amounting to more than P2.95 billion for 2021.
There will be 36 projects
that are under the Multi-Year Contracting Authority (MYCA) while one
project is included in the FY 2020 For Later Release (FLR) that is
subject for withdrawal. Another 125 of which are part of the new
projects. These will comprise the General Appropriations Act for CY
2021. Samar is continuously creating opportunities within its sphere
of jurisdiction and infrastructure project under the Build, Build,
To preserve the
infrastructure investment made along national road, the project
identified focus more on rehabilitation/construction/widening on
both national and secondary roads amounting to P1,457,587,000.00
while an allocation of P343,417,000.00 was granted to projects that
will prevent flooding in low-lying areas.
Local Program also
received P1,012,746,000.00 whereas, convergence and special support
program received P136,599,000.00 to build roads leading to tourism
destinations and infrastructure/s in support of national security
which is beneficial to the people of the 1st District of Samar.
The world needs to act now on Duterte gov’t’s rights abuses
Global independent probe
on rights abuses in the Philippines launched, announced 3 reports
for submission to UN human rights body
January 28, 2021
MANILA – The
Independent International Commission of Investigation into human
rights violations in the Philippines or Investigate PH was launched
this Thursday, January 28. The commission expressed urgency for
accountability of perpetrators and justice for victims and their
More than 200 participants
from lawyers organisations, civil society and churches all over the
world came together to manifest their support for the global
“Investigate PH is a
critical space of solidarity and accompaniment of the people of the
Philippines as it investigates the blatant violation and violence
related to the basic human rights of people,” says one of the
commissioners, Rev. Michael Blair, current General Secretary of the
United Church of Canada’s General Council.
The creation of
Investigate PH was prompted by the resolution of the 45th UN Human
Rights Council session on the Philippine rights situation, also
known as Resolution 45/L.38, last October 2020 that fell short of
victims and the international community’s demand for an independent
probe on the country.
“The gravity of the
violations underlines why the world needs to know about these human
rights abuses and to act to stop the crimes. I put it to everyone at
this event that if we were Filipinos, we would surely have suffered
under the Duterte government. The evidence is overwhelming. The
testimonies [are] tragic,” Investigate PH Commissioner Lee Rhiannon
and former Senator of Australia said, pertaining to her solidarity
visit in the Philippines last 2019.
In the global launch,
commissioners of Investigate PH call on the international community
to act now on the human rights abuses perpetrated by the government
of President Rodrigo Duterte. Currently, the Commission is composed
of 10 eminent personalities namely:
Lee Rhiannon, Former
Senator of Australia
Atty. Jeanne Mirer,
President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Atty. Jan De Lien of the
Justis Lawyers Group of Belgium
Atty. Suzanne Adely,
President of the National Lawyers Guild
Senator Janet Rice,
Australian Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs
Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson,
General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches
Rev. Michael Blair,
General Secretary of United Church of Canada
Rev. Dr. Susan
Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church &
Society, the United Methodist Church
Archbishop Joris Vercammen
of the Old Catholic Church of Netherlands, and Central Committee
member, World Council of Churches
Dr. David Edwards, General
Secretary of the Education International
Leaders of international
lawyers’ groups, political leaders and global church groups have
formed the Investigate PH to gather evidence on crimes against
humanity in relation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war
on drugs” and the persecution of human rights defenders and civil
New York-based human
rights lawyer Jeanne Mirer vowed that Investigate PH will “bring
these violations to light” internationally.
Three reports to the UNHRC,
It was announced in the
global launch that the international probe will submit their
findings by way of oral interventions and submissions at Enhanced
Interactive Dialogues and General Debates in the upcoming UNHRC
Two preliminary reports
will be released in time for the 46th and 47th UNHRC sessions in
March and July 2021 respectively, and one final report in time for
the 48th UNHRC session in September when the High Commissioner will
deliver an update on the implementation of Resolution 45/L.38.
“We are preparing a
submission on these crimes to go to the UN Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights,” says Rhiannon and added that “what
is happening in the Philippines amounts to crimes against humanity.
These crimes must end.”
Investigate PH will also
submit their findings to the International Criminal Court. They aim
to update the Bachelet report and help facilitate international
mechanisms for redress and accountability such as in relevant UN
bodies and the ICC.
A project brief on
Investigate PH is attached to this email. You may also access it
countdown marker to NMP's 43rd anniversary unveiled
January 26, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), established in the year 1978 by
Presidential Decree No. 1369, sets its pace through the unveiling of
the 100-Days countdown marker last 22 January 2021 in celebration of
NMP's 43 years in public service providing competitive and quality
trainings & researches to the Filipino seafarers.
With this year's
anniversary theme: "Enhancing the Filipino Seafarers' Capabilities
through NMP Trainings In Meeting Global Competitiveness Towards
Adopting The New Normal", a challenge and reflection was injected by
NMP's Deputy Executive Director, Mayla N. Macadawan in her opening
remarks, "This is not the occasion we imagined it to be. It's not
going to be a normal celebration but nevertheless, with our
initiative and resilience we always find ways to give meaningful
occasions. The wisdom of putting NMP in Tacloban City is we are at
the heart of the country making us accessible to both the two major
islands of the country. Therefore, let's look back to 43 years as a
premier & the only maritime training & research center with the need
to evolve and continuously meet the demand of the advancing maritime
The event was concluded
with the words of encouragement from the Executive Director of NMP,
Joel B. Maglunsod mirroring on the importance of unity as a great
factor in achieving success and the persistent attainment of the
NMP's vision and mission.
"This occasion must be
marked by the dedication and commitment of all NMP employees who
have been serving the Filipino people in general, and the Filipino
seafarers in particular, for the past 43 years" said Executive
NMP, an attached agency of
the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), was established as
the government's response to the immediate and dire need of updating
and upgrading the capability and qualifications of maritime licensed
officers and other marine graduates for their increased
acceptability for employment in international and domestic fleets.
Also, the agency has a satellite office located at Makati City but
soon to transfer to a more reachable location at the DOLE Office in
Apart from its training
operations, NMP also conducts industry researches towards improving
the Philippine maritime workforce with its findings adopted as
inputs in the formulation of maritime education and labor and
P. Adongay Jr. inspects on-going construction of the
Emergency Repair of Damaged National Roads with Slips,
Slope Collapse and Landslide along Naval Caibiran Cross
Country Road, (K1041+500-K1041+590), So. Macalpe, Naval,
Emergency repair of damaged road with slope collapse in Biliran
January 26, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran –
Two on-going projects: emergency repair of damaged national road
with slope collapse along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road (NCCCR)
are more than halfway complete.
David P. Adongay Jr.,
District Engineer said that these projects are being fast-tracked
under contract with Chu Construction to accommodate huge numbers of
traffic along NCCCR.
Both projects are located
at Sitio Macalpe, Brgy. Cabibihan, Naval Biliran with road sections:
K1041+500-K1041+590 amounting to P35M and K1041+266-K1041+382
amounting to P44.8M. As of January 25, 2021, they have an
accomplishment of 83.52% and 60%, respectively. Currently, these
road sections are passable only to light vehicles for safety
“The immediate completion
of these projects is important to prevent any road accident
especially that these road sections are prone to slips, slope
collapse and landslides,” said Adongay.
According to Adongay,
major scope of work for this project involves the concreting of a
four-lane road and the installation of gabions, the first of its
kind here in the Province.
Gabion is a wire cage or
box filled with materials such as stone, concrete, sand, or soil. It
is a partially flexible block construction used for slope stability
and erosion protection in construction.
“The asset preservation
project is designed to prevent further road slips along NCCCR and
prevent road closures in this area”, said Adongay.
The road at NCCCR is
essential for residents in the town of Caibiran and to its
neighboring towns for a faster access to the only Provincial
Hospital and other basic essential services like banks and other
financial institutions in the capital town of Naval.
When completed, this
project will provide a wider and safer road for the increasing
volume of traffic along NCCCR.
From its start dates on
June 10, 2020, these projects are targeted to be completed on
February 19, 2021 and March 05, 2021.
Global probe on
PH rights violations to include case of harassed indigenous peoples
activist Windel Bolinget politically persecuted, submitted himself
to authorities for custodial protection on fabricated charges
January 26, 2021
Investigate PH, an independent international investigation on the
human rights abuses in the Philippines announced Wednesday that it
will include the case of Cordillera indigenous leader Windel
Bolinget. Last week, Bolinget submitted himself to the authorities
for protection as he faces the trumped-up murder case that was filed
by a police against him. Prior to this, a shoot to kill order and
bounty of US $2,100 was issued by the police directly threatening
“We are determined to
pursue the case of indigenous peoples activist Windel Bolinget in
this ongoing independent investigation. The absurd cases filed
against him causing fear for his life and the safety of his family
are testaments to the terror human rights defenders face in the
Philippines,” says International Coalition for Human Rights in the
Philippine (ICHRP) Chairperson Peter Murphy who is also part of the
global probe Investigate PH.
Bolinget’s case which
involves harassment, red-tagging and the now trumped up charges has
been shortlisted by Investigate PH in its investigation. The
independent international probe will submit a report to the upcoming
Regular Sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Mr Bolinget is the
Chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and national convenor
of KATRIBU national alliance of indigenous peoples. He is also a
member of the global steering committee of Land is Life, a global
network of indigenous peoples’ organizations and advocates. “Windel
Bolinget has long been known globally as an indigenous activist
strongly committed to his work, and for many years has suffered
red-tagging and death threats,” says Murphy.
On 6 August 2020, a
criminal case was filed at Davao del Norte, Southern Philippines,
against eleven individuals including Mr Bolinget, for their alleged
involvement in the murder of Garito Malibato on 21 March 2018.
Bolinget belongs to the Kankanaey and Bontok indigenous peoples in
the Cordillera Region, Northern Philippines. The distance between
the Cordillera and Davao del Norte is more than 1700 kilometres and
is two major islands away.
“The murder charge appears
to be absurd and out of this world. The Cordillera is in the north
of the Philippines, while Davao del Norte is very far to the south,”
The Police circulated
online and in public places the Wanted Poster announcing a reward of
P100,000 (2,080 USD) for any information that could lead to his
arrest. On January 19, 2021, Police Provincial Regional Office
Cordillera Chief R’win Pagkalinawan released a ‘shoot to kill’ order
for Mr Bolinget, qualifying it only with ‘if nanlaban’ (if he
retaliated). ‘Nanlaban’ is the routine excuse for police shooting of
alleged drug suspects and indicates that the target person
According to ICHRP, this
bounty only encourages vigilantes and more violence, which further
puts in danger the life of Bolinget. It also denied due process to
the falsely accused Mr Bolinget.
The ICHRP Chairperson
reminded Chief Pagkalinawan that his statement “is a pretext for the
speedy extra-judicial killing of Mr Bolinget before evidence
presented in a legal process could prove that the murder charge is
International Commission of Investigation into Human Rights
Violations in the Philippines or Investigate PH seek to look into
cases of killings of those allegedly involved in drug trade/use and
the persecution of human rights defenders and civil society
organizations like that of Bolinget.
Investigate PH will be
holding a global launch this week to introduce its commissioners who
are leaders of government parliaments, international legal
organisations and churches.
Lastly, the global rights
group ICHRP stressed that Bolinget’s case is just one of many cases
that demonstrate that the Philippine government claims to the
international community that its domestic processes upholding human
rights are blatantly fraudulent.
circumferential road in Barangay Basud, Calbayog City
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
January 25, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – The
circumferential road built in Barangay Basud, Calbayog City is now
completely passable to motorists and residents of the barangay, said
DPWH-Samar First District Engineering Office. The projects have a
total revised contract amount of more than P57 million drawn from
the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2019.
The road before is
somewhat dangerous because it was narrow and some parts are not yet
cemented while other parts can be reached through a footpath. This
area is hazardous and accident prone for passing motorists and
residents as stated by Barangay Captain Bliselda Ortiz.
With this condition, a
length of 520 meters was rehabilitated that includes a riprap of 430
meters. Another part includes a concreted road opening of 290 meters
and a gravel road of 30 meters with a riprap of 340 meters along
Salagan Creek. Cross drainages were also built to allow free flow of
water since the area is a rice field and near a body of water.
Furthermore, another part
of the road was rehabilitated which spans 923 meters and a riprap
was also built with a length of 42.5 meters. This project also
includes a drainage canal for both lanes that spans 236.8 meters and
another two cross drainages to avoid water flooding on the main
Both road works have a
width of six (6) meters and includes installation of solar lights.
Now that the roads are
widened and solar lights are installed, the security of the
residents and passing motorists are ensured. By strengthening
connectivity, the circumferential road will allow for the smooth
flow of motorists going to and from the city proper and facilitate
socioeconomic progress among the community.
soldiers jointly finish livelihood training in Leyte
DPAO, 8ID PA
January 22, 2021
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Fifteen former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Samar
and Leyte are now job-ready as they completed a 27-day skills
training conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development
The livelihood training
the former rebels have completed is the Landscape Installation and
Maintenance (Softscape) NC II.
Ten soldiers of the 8th
Infantry Division also attended the same training as former rebels
training partners to show unity and peaceful endeavor.
The graduation was held at
the Villaconzoilo Farm School, Barangay Villaconzoilo, Jaro, Leyte
on January 20, 2021.
TESDA Regional Director
Gamaliel Vicente Jr. congratulated the graduates and hoped that more
rebels would enroll for them to gain skills and later have jobs,
which are beneficial for their families.
“TESDA is in full support
to former rebels in providing livelihood training opportunities in
pursuit of peace,” Dir. Vicente said.
Leyte Governor Leopoldo
Dominico Petilla said the local government units are offering
livelihood training to bring the government closer to the people and
encourage rebels that some programs and services await them if only
they return to the folds of the law. He added that skills training
is a venue for more rebels to address poverty in their families and
communities which is one of the socio-economic issues being used by
the NPA to lure and recruit individuals in the region.
A former rebel, who
introduced himself as Jade said that he is thankful for the
government's intervention. He was not only given the chance to live
peacefully with her family but was also given livelihood.
dahil nabigyan ako ng scholarship sa TESDA sa pamamagitan po ng Task
Force - ELCAC. Di ko pa po naranasang grumaduate dahil hanggang
grade 1 lang po ako ngunit ngayon ay naka-graduate na at ganap nang
landscaper," Jade said.
Among the graduates, Jade
was ranked as top 3 and received awards as best in indoor gardening
and best in dish gardening.
The 802nd Infantry Brigade
Commander, Brigadier General Zosimo A. Oliveros who facilitated the
surrender of some former rebels pledged to work and encourage more
NPA surrenderers to sustain the gains of peace and development in
Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement celebrates the entry into force
of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
January 22, 2021
GENEVA – The
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement welcomes the entry
into force today of the first instrument of international
humanitarian law to include provisions to help address the
catastrophic humanitarian consequences of using and testing nuclear
The Treaty on the
Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) explicitly and unequivocally
prohibits the use, threat of use, development, production, testing
and stockpiling of nuclear weapons, and it obliges all States
Parties to not assist, encourage or induce anyone in any way to
engage in any activity prohibited by the Treaty.
“Today is a victory for
humanity. This Treaty – the result of more than 75 years of work –
sends a clear signal that nuclear weapons are unacceptable from a
moral, humanitarian, and now a legal point of view. It sets in
motion even higher legal barriers and an even greater stigmatization
of nuclear warheads than already exists. It allows us to imagine a
world free from these inhumane weapons as an achievable goal,” said
Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red
Red Cross and Red Crescent
leaders celebrate the entry into force of the TPNW and salute all 51
states whose backing of the Treaty makes clear their refusal to
accept nuclear weapons as an inevitable part of the international
security architecture. They invite other world leaders, including
those of nuclear-armed states, to follow suit and join the path
toward a world free of nuclear weapons, in line with long-standing
international obligations, notably those under the Nuclear
The Philippines has yet to
become party to the treaty, although President Rodrigo Duterte,
during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in
September 2020, said he has asked the Philippine Senate to ratify
the TPNW, adding that “we were among those to sign it first.” The
Philippines was among the 122 States that adopted the treaty in July
2017 and was one of the 50 States that signed the treaty when it
opened on 20 September 2017.
In August 2020, on the
75th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the ICRC
and the Philippine Red Cross issued a joint statement calling on the
Philippines to join other States in ratifying the treaty and in
protecting all humanity.
The TPNW is now before the
Philippine Senate for discussion, following endorsement by its
Committee on Foreign Relations last week.
Francesco Rocca, President
of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC), said: “The entry into force of this instrument of
international humanitarian law comes as a welcome and powerful
reminder that despite current global tensions, we can overcome even
our biggest and most entrenched challenges, in the true spirit of
multilateralism. This capacity to effectively unite and coordinate
our action should be called upon as we grapple with other global,
The Treaty obliges states
to provide assistance, including medical care, rehabilitation and
psychological support, to victims under their jurisdiction without
discrimination, and ensure their socio-economic inclusion. It also
requires states to clear areas contaminated by nuclear use or
“The Treaty is a
ground-breaking step to address the legacy of destruction caused by
these weapons. The compelling evidence of the suffering and
devastation caused by nuclear weapons, and the threat their use may
pose to humanity’s survival, makes attempts to justify their use or
mere existence increasingly indefensible. It is extremely doubtful
that these weapons could ever be used in line with international
humanitarian law,” Mr. Maurer said.
The Treaty enters into
force as the world witnesses what happens when a public health
system is overwhelmed by patients. The needs created by a nuclear
detonation would render any meaningful health response impossible.
No health system, no government, and no aid organization is capable
of adequately responding to the health and other assistance needs
that a nuclear blast would bring.
The adoption by
nuclear-armed states of more aggressive nuclear weapons policies and
the continued modernization of nuclear weapons all worryingly point
towards an increasing risk of use of nuclear weapons. That’s why it
is imperative that we act now to prevent a nuclear detonation from
happening in the first place, by removing any use and testing of
nuclear weapons from the realm of possibility.
States Parties, which will
have their first meeting in the course of 2021, must now ensure that
the Treaty's provisions are faithfully implemented and promote its
“The Treaty presents each
of us with a really simple question: Do we want nuclear weapons to
be banned or not? We are ready, together with our Red Cross Red
Crescent National Societies, to intensify our efforts to achieve the
broadest possible adherence to the Treaty and insist on its vision
of collective security. The entry into force of the Nuclear Ban
Treaty is the beginning, not the end, of our efforts,” Francesco
CARD Bank opens
branch in Tabaco City
January 21, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY – In
its bid to promote financial inclusion, CARD Bank, a
microfinance-oriented rural bank, opened its 98th branch in Tabaco
City, Albay on January 18, 2021.
The branch will cater to
29,626 microfinance clients who were originally part of Legazpi
Branch. Having this new branch will bring bank services closer to
clients of nine branch-lite units in the municipalities of Tabaco,
Tiwi, Bacacay, Malilipot and Malinao. As well, these two branches
will have better opportunities to expand.
This will fully reach more
unbanked and underbanked families in the province. According to CARD
Bank Regional Director Wilma Laurio, the branch is expected to
deliver financial banking products and services to 31,000 clients by
the end of the first quarter.
“These clients, who mostly
came from the socioeconomically challenged families, will have equal
opportunities to access affordable and useful financial products and
services,” said CARD Bank President and CEO Marivic Austria. She
added that financial inclusion is one of the solutions to break the
endless cycle of poverty.
Aside from offering
microfinance, SME and other loan products, CARD Bank also promotes a
better saving habit for every client it serves. For as low as P100,
its clients can now open their savings account. This will encourage
them more to become conscious about saving for their future.
CARD Bank also has a
remittance service called CARD Sulit Padala. Together with CARD,
Inc., CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank, clients who need
remittance services can send or transfer money in more than 900
branches nationwide. For as low as P1, senders can transfer money to
their loved ones to meet their financial needs.
The new branch will also
be part of CARD Bank’s digitization journey which is even more
intensified because of the pandemic. “During the pandemic, the
digital services of the bank showed a crucial role to constantly
provide its services even with the presence of physical barriers.
These digital efforts brought convenience and safety to our
clients,” said Austria.
The branch is located at
Purok 1, Brgy. Pawa, Tabaco City, Albay. The opening was graced by
CARD Bank President Marivic Austria, CARD Bank Executive Vice
President Lourdes Dijan, CARD Bank Vice President for Operations
Glenda Magpantay, and CARD Bank Assistant Vice President Raquel
Zaragoza. It was also attended by CARD Bank Chairman Dr. Jaime
Aristotle B. Alip, CARD Bank Senior Advisers Dr. Dolores Torres and
Lorenza Bañez, and CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza Sarmiento
via online conference.
To date, CARD Bank has
more than 3.4 million clients served all over the country.