opened another route for farmers in Sta. Margarita, Samar
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
February 15, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – In
convergence with the Department of Agriculture, Samar First District
Engineering Office completed a farm-to-market road from Barangays
Mabuhay to Hindang through Salvacion.
The FMR built has a
contract amount of more than P28.2 million that will help a lot of
farmers residing in the barangays mentioned and surrounding areas
that will benefit the new route. This opened road will eventually
connect Barangay Hindang to other nearby barangays that will allow
them exit to the main highway either through Barangay Cagsumje or
Barangay Lambao via Barangay Mabuhay in the event that future
developmental projects will be implemented in said barangays.
The scope of work covers a
road opening with Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) which
spans 960 meters while the remaining road opening with gravel has a
length of 1,210 meters. All of which has a width of 5.3 meters. A
riprap is also built intermittently on some areas to avoid erosion
or collapse of structure that spans a total of 238 linear meters.
Before, the path that they
trek on resembles a marshland, very muddy especially when it rains,
said Marvin Gatoc, a farmer from Barangay Mabuhay. Now, it is easier
for them to carry their products like copra and other root crops
that they grew to the nearby market because their barangay is
already accessible by motor vehicles.
Farmers can now transport
greater amount of their goods anytime because its already accessible
to vehicles. Gone are the days that they have to walk for hours and
would have to start walking early in the morning to reach the
marketplace on time. With this, farmers were able to plant more
crops other than copra to increase their income. More business
opportunities also come with the new road.
Travel time was also
reduced from two to three hours to thirty minutes since motor
vehicles can now access these remote barangays.
wants 20 MW CENECO tender stopped in favor of better terms for
February 15, 2021
MANILA – The Negros
chapter of nationwide consumers' movement Konsyumer on Monday called
on to the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) and relevant
energy agencies to put a stop to an ongoing tender of the electric
cooperative (EC), citing the use of Terms of Reference (TOR)
unfavorable to consumers and lack of transparency in the bidding
process as in need of proper amendments before bids should be
allowed to push through.
The biggest EC of Negros
Occidental is holding a competitive selection process (CSP) for a
power requirement of 20 MW, assumed to be in time for the expiration
of its 64 MW Power Supply Agreement (PSA) with a coal power plant in
Naga, Cebu, owned by KEPCO-SPC.
“We are finally getting
off, though only partially, paying for costly and dirty electricity
from coal. But before we can even celebrate this, we are concerned
that CENECO is already preparing to expose us once more to
electricity that is not least-cost, and we are not even given the
chance to properly be informed on and participate in the process,"
said Griderick Alila, Coordinator of Konsyumer Negros.
Earlier this month,
Konsyumer Negros formally filed a letter addressed to CENECO
protesting the conduct of the tender and calling for its suspension.
The group noted that the TOR and documents guiding the selection
process have not even been posted publicly as mandated by DOE even
as the target electricity delivery date of February 26 looms close.
“Consumers have the right
to know and should have a say on what kind of electricity we are
paying for. This is especially true in this time of crisis when
costs of basic needs continue to rise while means of living for many
are still down. So far, however, our concerns have only been met by
silence," he said.
The group’s call was
supported by the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED),
a Quezon City based think-tank that has been working together with
Konsyumer and a broad alliance of Negrosanons under the banner of
the REpower Negros Movement in advocating for the island's power
sector transformation. CEED in December released a policy brief
examining faults and lessons from the power procurement processes of
Metro Manila distribution utility MERALCO, which are now also
observed in the CENECO tender.
“The 20 MW tender fails to
set in place straight energy pricing, guaranteed supply availability
requirement, and better force majeure provisions, including dispute
settlement mechanism – all of which will benefit its consumers.
These could protect them from additional costs in unpredictable
times like the pandemic. The tender also creates unnecessary
barriers for renewable energy firms that could provide cheaper
electricity with little cost to the environment, many of whom can be
found locally and are in fact struggling with oversupply, since the
current inter-island grid set-up is incapable of absorbing all
electricity they produce," said Avril De Torres, Research, Policy,
and Law Program Head of CEED.
Konsyumer filed another
set of letters today to follow-up on the call for a suspension of
the tender, addressed to CENECO and offices of the Department of
Energy (DOE), National Electrification Administration (NEA), the
Third Party Bids and Awards Committee (TPBAC), and the Negros
Electric Cooperatives Association (NECA).
“Our home island abounds
in clean and affordable renewable energy sources, which we hope
CENECO and all other electric cooperatives would tap before looking
elsewhere and forcing consumers to pay for dirty, overpriced
electricity. Konsyumer Negros will not back down until this and our
many other concerns on the tender are addressed. CENECO and our
energy regulators may expect to continue hearing from us," said
CARD MRI Hijos
Tours launches first Virtual Food Tour
February 11, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY –
While tourism remains to be one of the industries most affected by
the COVID-19 pandemic, a glimmer of hope can be seen as the
Department of Tourism (DOT) continues to support Laguna’s tourism
sector, promoting it as a “fun, safe, and sustainable tourist
destination.” CARD MRI Hijos Tours, for example, gets the nod of DOT
as the San Pablo-based tour company in Laguna continually creates
fun virtual tour programs that let the adventurous explore the
country without travelling.
One of its programs allows
food vloggers, culinary students, and food lovers to enjoy “a real
time fun experience” in the comforts of their home, through CARD MRI
Hijos Tours’ Virtual Food Tour.
The first Virtual Food
Tour will jumpstart on February 27, 2021 which will include
discussions on the history of San Pablo City’s traditional dishes
and delicacies like fern salad (ensaladang pako) and grilled
tilapia, and Pancit Kalabuko or noodles made out of mushroom with
squash (kalabasa) and coconut (buko).
The Virtual Food Tour will
also include a pre-recorded food demo of suman, a Filipino rice
cake, that will allow subscribers to cook and prepare these
traditional specialties alongside members of CARD.
Food enthusiasts may
subscribe to the Virtual Food Tour by purchasing a Food Box (P1,999)
that includes some of the key ingredients in making these
traditional specialties like the malagkit or glutinous rice for
suman and the mushroom noodles for the Pancit Kalabuko. The Food Box
also contains products that can be best paired with these special
Filipino food like Coco Sugar, Coco Jam, and Kapeng Barako to
complement the suman delicacy.
Stories of Heritage and Hope
“The Virtual Food Tour is
a way for us to learn more about history, stories of the past,” said
CARD MRI Hijos Tours President Marilyn M. Manila. According to
Manila, one of the goals of the Virtual Food Tour is to share
heritage stories of both food and families – how they passed down
recipes through generations and how important it is to be stewards
of one’s resources.
The Virtual Food Tour also
aims to help communities recover from the effects of the pandemic as
Hijos Tours sources the contents of the Food Box from their
suppliers who are CARD clients. “With every bite of these delicious
delicacies, we support the livelihood of our clients,” Manila added.
Subscribers of the Virtual
Food Tour will not only learn about the culture, history, and
tradition of San Pablo City, Laguna but will also be able to support
communities through its activities and help food become “the new
the history and culture San Pablo City's delicacies and
specialties through Hijos de Siete Lagos Food Box.
de Siete Lagos Food Box contains ingredients used for
virtual cooking demo as well as other local products from
Publishing House launches Online Radio
February 9, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY – CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), a
social development organization that is in the business of poverty
eradication, continues its journey to digital transformation by
introducing its online radio on January 29, 2021.
Through CARD MRI Publishing House Inc., CARD MRI launched a podcast
channel named CARD MRI Online Radio on Spotify with its first
program offering, “Pulong: Ang Kwento ni Inay.” This tells stories
of women, usually microentrepreneurs and their experiences with CARD
The said program is set to
produce 12 episodes a year, with each episode featuring a unique
story about women overcoming poverty through entrepreneurship. Every
episode will also feature CARD Leaders as storytellers including
CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip
and CARD MRI Managing Director Flordeliza L. Sarmiento.
“We are delighted to share
the stories of our clients through new innovative approaches.
Because times have changed, we learned that we have to adapt and
take advantage of digital platforms to continue sharing stories of
hope,” said CARD Publishing President Marilyn M. Manila, who was
also the first storyteller of the first program.
Her episode featured
Marisssa Federizo, a supplier of Mga Likha ni Inay’s Palengke on
Wheels (PoW). Through PoW, Marissa’s business thrived as she
continuously sold her products to households during the pandemic.
Now, with the assistance of POW, Marissa has expanded her frozen
The CARD MRI Online Radio
also plans to introduce new programs throughout the year. “We will
also be launching talk shows with microfinance-practitioners and
experts that listeners will not only enjoy, but also learn from. We
are excited to bring you more inspiring stories through our podcast
channel,” she concluded.
for hard work: Success story of Brilliant Juice
DTI-Regional Operations Group-MIMAROPA
February 8, 2021
MAKATI CITY – The
journey to the Brilliant Juice’s success didn’t happen overnight.
Mr. Rustico Melendez, OFW turned full-time entrepreneur and owner of
Brilliant Juice Manufacturer, had to swim against the waves to get
where he is today.
“Whatever comes in your
way while growing the business, you need to maintain your mindset to
focus on your vision. Never give up, continue striving until you
reach your dream.”
This is Mr. Rustico
Melendez’s aphorism in his journey towards making Brillo Juice, the
flagship product of Brilliant Juice, the healthy drink of choice.
Brilliant Juice manufactures natural drinks made with tea, tropical
fruits such as oranges and mangoes infused with cucumber.
“Brillo” is the shortened
term for Brilliant which Mr. Melendez got from the cruise ship,
Brilliant of the Seas, where he worked as a wine steward for 25
The beginning of Brillo is
an arduous journey as Mr. Melendez faced criticism and rejection
from store owners to display and sell his products because of lack
of trust on its quality. Despite such, he fueled this energy to
become a full-time entrepreneur and put his savings in investing
equipment and machineries to make his manufacturing semi-automated.
Being enrolled in the One
Town One Product (OTOP) Next Gen Program of the Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI) was of great help to Mr. Melendez. He was able to
acquire barcode, trademark, laboratory analysis, new packaging,
compliant labels, among others. He was then able to comply with the
requirements to secure a License To Operate (LTO) from the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), thus Brillo Juice was certified and the
license was given.
Moreover, his learnings
from attending various trainings helped him to effectively manage
his business. He was able to widen his connections through regional
trade fairs and gain friends who contributed to his business
success. The success also translated in their sales, having a yearly
significant increase in total gross sales.
Mr. Melendez is the
epitome of perseverance as he poured his dedication and trust in
making his business successful. “I am committed to the quality of my
products and I always ask for the guidance of the Lord for its
success,” he firmly believes. Now, the owner gives back by hiring 12
full-time employees from around his community, because he believes
they too, deserve the opportunity to improve their lives.
From 8 hours of processing
350 bottles of Brillio, working time was reduced to 3 hours with
DTI’s assistance for machinery upgrade. “Brillo Juice” became a hit
not only to the taste buds of children, but to adults as well.
Before, Brilliant Juice Manufacturer produces 1,500 bottles of
Brillio Juice, but today, they distribute around an average of 6,000
bottles a month.
Notably, Brillio Juice was
awarded the MIMAROPA Naturally Agri-Trade and Tourism Fair’s Most
Innovative Product in 2014. Until today, Mr. Melendez continues to
find ways to quench the thirst of the public for innovative ways in
serving healthy juices.
Brilliant Juice’s products
are currently distributed to direct consumers, schools, catering
services, hotels and groceries within Marinduque and outside the
province as well.
inspects major projects in Biliran
February 5, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran – Newly
designated District Engineer Ferdinand A. Briones of the Department
of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) -Biliran District Engineering
Office (DEO) inspects major projects in Biliran on February 03,
Together with Section
Chiefs and some technical personnel of Biliran DEO, DE Briones
inspects projects along Naval-Caibiran Cross Country Road (NCCCR)
starting with the on-going construction of Palanay Gymnasium in
Caibiran town. This project is implemented in Phase 1 (Structural
building) and Phase 2 (Roofing) under contract with BNL Construction
amounting to P4.8M and P2.9M, respectively.
During the inspection,
Briones talks with the contractors’ representative regarding some
corrections that needs to be done in the said project. According to
Briones, this slight correction is important to make the roof strong
to withstand the strongest typhoon. He instructed the contractor’s
representative to review the plans and specifications and to closely
coordinate with the project engineer for action. The completion of
the project will provide a place for residents to hold different
activities without being exposed to harsh weather conditions. This
will also serve as an evacuation center for residents during
The second project
inspected is the newly completed Cabibihan Bridge in Caibiran town
funded by the Office of the President (OP) thru the Office of the
Civil Defense (OCD) amounting to P15M. DE Briones suggested to Engr.
Rosario B. Rosete, Chief of Planning and Design Section to request
funds for the concrete paving of the bridge’s approaches and to
construct flood mitigation structures along the river to protect the
bridge against flooding.
The District Engineer also
inspected two on-going projects – Emergency Repair of Damaged
National Road with Slips, Slope Collapse and Landslide at Sitio
Macalpi, Brgy. Cabibihan in the town of Caibiran amounting to P44.8M
and P35M, respectively. These projects are 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.
Meanwhile, one road slope
protection along Biliran Circumferential Road is also inspected
funded under FY 2018 fund. The completed project provides safety to
the travelling public.
DE Briones said that he
will be regularly conducting project inspections to ensure that
projects are in accordance with the approved plans and
specifications and in order to familiarize himself with the
different road sections in the Province. This is the first time that
the new district engineer conducts project inspection since his
assignment in this district office.
Engineer Ferdinand A. Briones received on Monday,
February 01, 2021 the flag of the DPWH -Biliran District
Engineering Office from outgoing District Engineer David
P. Adongay Jr. (middle) in a symbolic turn-over
ceremony. The ceremony was held at DPWH-BDEO, Brgy.
Calumpang, Naval, Biliran and was witnessed by Governor
Rogelio J. Espina (2nd from left), Chief of the
Construction Division, Engr. Sandy T. Pua (1st from
right), and Mr. Ritchie Garcia, (1st from left),
District Head Officer at House of Representative on
behalf of Congressman Gerardo J. Espina Jr.
has new district engineer
February 4, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways -Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) welcomes new District Engineer
Ferdinand A. Briones in a turn-over ceremony on Monday, February 01,
DE Briones will assume the
stewardship of Biliran DEO vacated by outgoing District Engineer
David P. Adongay Jr. who in return will also assume the leadership
of Northern Samar 2nd District Engineering Office in lieu of DE
“As a public servant and a
good follower, if I may add, I would like to assure everyone that I
come here to accomplish a mission mandated to me by our department,”
Briones said that with the
much-needed support and cooperation from Biliran DEO employees, he
may able to deliver his priorities as he begins his stint in the
According to Briones,
aside from his priority to continue the programs and projects
initiated by DE Adongay, he will also see to it that the proposed
programs and projects of the district office for CY 2022 will be
He also emphasized that he
will enhance linkages with the agency’s stakeholders especially the
Local Government Units (LGUs) through close coordination with the
different local officials in order to support, prioritize and
provide infrastructure development programs in the province.
The new district engineer
also said that it is his priority to maximize manpower development
both technical and non-technical to raise the bar of competence in
program implementations and to practice the core values of the
department which are Public Service, Integrity, Professionalism,
Excellence and Teamwork.
District Engineer Adongay has been awarded by Biliran DEO employees
the plaque of appreciation in recognition, grateful acknowledgement
and sincere appreciation for his eight years of dedicated services
rendered to the agency as District Engineer.
The said ceremony was
witnessed by Governor Rogelio J. Espina, Engr. Sandy T. Pua - Chief
of Construction Division, Regional Office VIII, and Mr. Ritchie
Garcia - District Head Officer at House of Representative on behalf
of Congressman Gerardo J. Espina Jr.
initiates CARD e-Pharmacist to clients
February 3, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY – To
continuously deliver essential services to clients, BotiCARD, a
pharmaceutical company under CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions
(CARD MRI) in collaboration with Microfinance and Health Protection
(MaHP) Program Unit launched its CARD e-Pharmacist.
Said BotiCARD President
Rosenda Aquino, RPh, “In this time of pandemic, one major priority
and concerns of our clients is their health. Following the success
of CARD e-Doctor, we, at BotiCARD, initiated CARD e-Pharmacist to
make sure that our clients have easy access to seek advice about
their health problems and discuss possible treatment that could cure
Through CARD e-Pharmacist,
CARD clients and the general public can have immediate access for
medical advice and information from health practitioners by using
the online platform. “Since the use of digital platform continues to
grow, this is an effective and convenient way to help and reach our
clients nationwide. CARD e-Pharmacist offers medical advice,
diagnose them following a series of questions, and help the clients
with the right prescriptions at the comfort of their home,” she
To shift online is one way
to limit face-to-face contact. She explained that with the use of
Facebook, clients can directly message BotiCARD official Facebook
page to consult and address their medical concerns. “We make sure
that with this initiative, clients can benefit a quick access and
free patient counseling to pharmacist and widen the reach of
communities and clients that we serve.”
Aquino concluded that with
this initiative clients with medical problems that is lack of health
care will surely benefit the program. “With this, it will lessen the
cost of going to clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. In this trying
time, clients should avoid themselves in exposing outside and debts
due to health expenses.”
DAR to make
Tacloban producer of vegetables
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
January 30, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY –
Despite having been categorized as highly urbanized, this city is
still capable of producing tons of your favorite vegetables.
This is what the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) would like to prove as it plans
to turn an awarded lot under the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP) into a vegetable garden.
In partnership with the
Department of Agriculture and the City Agriculture Office, DAR
initiated two weeks ago, the plan to make portion of the 23-hectare
lot in Barangay New Kawayan, which is covered by a collective
Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), into a vegetable garden
where the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are guaranteed of
This project according to
DAR Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay is dubbed as “Buhay sa Gulay”,
which Agrarian Reform Secretary, Brother John Castriciones, would
like to be replicated in urban areas nationwide after the successful
initial implementation in Tondo, Manila.
This project is expected
to contribute to the sufficient supply of food in the city and
neighboring towns, aside from providing livelihood to the farmers.
Here, though the project
will initially utilize a one-hectare lot planted to fast-yielding
crops such as kangkong, pechay, lettuce, okra and pepino, DA’s Romeo
Delmo suggested, during last week’s planning session, that they will
conduct simultaneously Farmer Field School to the 20 members of the
New Kawayan-Cabalawan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers’
Association to sustain the project and by-and-by spreading it until
the entire 23 hectares are utilized.
Sonny Colete, 46, an
agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) of lot-9, which was chosen to be
the demo farm, shared that he agreed to make his area as the demo
farm “because it is an opportunity for us to be assisted in
developing our lots”.
According to him, prior to
this project, only a portion of his area was planted with cassava.
The rest was idle.
In this project, DAR will
provide the farmers with garden tools and other farming materials,
while DA and the City Agriculture Office will provide the seeds and
The project commenced last
week with the preparation of the land, layouting, plot making and
plant sowing. Planting of seedlings into their assigned plots is
scheduled on February 4.
On the last week of
February, it is expected that the farmers could already start
At the moment, making of
60 plots measuring one-by-20 meters continues.
advocates unite against NPA
DPAO, 8ID PA
January 29, 2021
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – Some 350 residents of Matuguinao, Samar joined a
walk for peace and rejected the presence of the Communist Party of
the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF)
in their municipality, in a Peace Assembly on Friday, January 29, 2020.
Led by Mayor Aran Boller
and Vice-Mayor Cleofe Belonio, the participants, who included
barangay officials, law enforcers, employees of various government
agencies, and former rebels, denounce the communist terrorists'
deceptive recruitment scheme of the youth and the atrocities
committed against government security forces and Matuguinaonons.
“It’s about time to end
the chaos and the damage brought by the communist terrorist group. I
encourage every Matuguinaonon to help the government by stopping
providing sanctuary, financial, material, or any kind of support to
the NPA terrorists,” Mayor Boller said.
During the program,
hundreds of residents from the 20 barangays of Matuguinao were
joined by municipal and barangay leaders, Philippine Army personnel,
employees of various government agencies, and former rebels in the
ceremonial signing of a peace covenant and resolution declaring the
CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata in their town. They also burned
flags of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“I appeal to all members
of the CPP-NPA-NDF to stop destroying the future of our youth by
becoming victims of your deceptive recruitment. I also encourage
them to lay down their arms and go back to the folds of the law and
be productive citizens,” Mayor Boller added.
The former rebels who
joined the peace assembly narrated their experiences while inside
the organization and witnessed the inhumane acts of the NPA. They
said they are thankful for the government's help to their families
after they have decided to surrender. They were not only given a
chance to live peacefully with their families but were also given
Like the LGU, they are
also appealing to their former comrades to return to the folds of
the law as the government is ready to help them so they can have
peaceful and normal lives as productive citizens of the society.
road widening at Biliran- Naval Road Section (K1016+027
- K1018 + 140), Brgy. Bato, Biliran, Biliran under FY
2020-2021 Multi-year Contracting Authority (MYCA).
gets P1.9B infra budget for 2021
January 29, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran – A
total of 124 infrastructure projects with a budget amounting to
P1.9B is to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH) -Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) this
District Engineer David P.
Adongay Jr. said that of the 124 projects, 90 are funded for
“Comprehensive Release” (FCR) with a budget allocation of P1.37M
while 18 are “For Later Release” (FLR) under FY 2021 amounting to
P401,287.00. Meanwhile, 16 projects are funded under FY 2020-2021
Multi-Year Contract Authorization (MYCA) amounting to P181,539.00.
According to Adongay, P32M
is allocated for preventive maintenance (asphalt overlay), P11M for
rehabilitation/ reconstruction of damaged paved road (Tertiary
Road), P350.8M for rehabilitation/ reconstruction of roads with
slips, P177.6M for road widening, P65M for by-pass and diversion
roads, P5M for rehabilitation/ major repair of permanent bridges,
P53.2M for widening of permanent bridges and P185M for flood
Under Convergence and
Special Support Program, Biliran DEO will implement a total of P156M
- P45M for the construction of roads leveraging linkages for
industry and trade, and P111M for installation of water supply
Biliran DEO will also
implement a total of P665M under Local Infrastructure Program which
consists of multipurpose buildings/ facilities, drainage/ protection
works, flood control structures/ facilities, local roads, and local
“The district office has
advertised all 124 projects and bid out a total of 118 projects with
an accomplishment of 38.82% as of January 22, 2021,” said Adongay.
Adongay revealed that a
total of P747M which includes two asphalt overlays amounting to
P108.1M, two tourism roads (P136.7M), two roads leveraging linkages
for industry and trade (P157M), one construction of new Provincial
Hospital (P150M) and two rehabilitation of roads with slips, slope
collapse and landslide amounting to P195.5M will be implemented in
this Province under DPWH Regional Office VIII.