abandoned by comrades, dies in Samar clash
Battalion, 8ID PA
March 8, 2021
MATUGUINAO, Samar –
A member of the terrorist New People’s Army succumbed to death after
an encounter with the operating troops of 19th Infantry Battalion
(19IB) a few kilometers away from Barangay San Roque, Matuguinao,
Samar on March 6, 2021.
The troops clashed against
ten (10) NPA terrorists in the afternoon of the said date leading to
a 30-minute firefight that resulted to the capture of a wounded NPA
who was abandoned by his fleeing comrades.
Determined to keep the
wounded NPA alive, the troops immediately provided immediate medical
care and evacuated the casualty to the barangay proper for further
The wounded NPA identified
himself as Oti Ogacho, 23yo, and a resident of Brgy. Mahanud of the
same Municipality. He was presented to the barangay officials and
residents of Brgy San Roque, Matuguinao, who confirmed his identity
and recognized him as a known NPA member operating in the area.
The wife of Oti Ogacho
also arrived at the Barangay hall to accompany her husband.
Residents further revealed that the wife is also an NPA member who
went on lie-low in order to deliver her second child two (2) weeks
However, while waiting for
assistance to evacuate Oti to the nearest hospital for further
medical attention, he passed away due to the effects of the gunshot
wounds he incurred during the encounter.
“It is so sad that another
life is gone, wasted, because of the CPP-NPA’s deception. Our
soldiers were determined to keep the wounded NPA alive because we
know his family needs him, especially his newborn child. It is also
a norm for us soldiers to treat the wounded even if he is an enemy.
‘Sir buligi ak, Karuyag ko pa mabuhi mayda ako duha na anak ngan
bag-o la nanag anak tan asawa’ - those are the words Oti uttered to
the troops before taking his final breath,” Lieutenant Colonel
Fernando C Engcot, Battalion Commander of 19IB, said.
production in Eastern Visayas drops by 13.7% in the fourth quarter
March 4, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY – The
total volume of fisheries production in Eastern Visayas was
estimated at 30,145 Metric Tons (MT) during the fourth quarter of
2020. It is 13.7 percent lower compare with the 34,936 MT production
in the same quarter in 2019.
Eastern Visayas accounted
for 2.5 percent of the country’s total fishery production during the
4th quarter of 2020. It ranked seventh among the regions with low
fishery production in the country (Table 1).
Across provinces, Northern
Samar produced the highest volume of fisheries at 6,849 MT,
comprising 22.7 percent of the total fishery production in the
region. Samar ranked second at 6,777 MT, accounting for 22.5 percent
of the region’s total fishery production. Biliran, meanwhile
registered 1,750 MT, the lowest volume of production which shared
only 5.8 percent.
Among the subsectors,
municipal fishing contributed the highest production with 22,639 MT
or 75.1percent share to the total fishery production in the 4th
quarter of 2020. Aquaculture shared 4,596 MT or 15.2 percent, while
commercial fishing contributed 2,910 MT or 9.7 percent (Table 2).
production inched up by 3.7 percent from the 21,834 MT in the fourth
quarter of 2019 to 22,639 MT in the same quarter of 2020. Of this
figure, 99.6 percent came from unloading in marine landing centers
while the rest were caught from inland bodies of water. Among
provinces, the increase in municipal fisheries production was noted
in Southern Leyte which almost tripled from 1,340 MT in the 4th
quarter of 2019 to 3,764 MT in the same quarter in 2020. While
Northern Samar and Eastern Samar registered increases by 29.9
percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. A drastic drop was noted in
Leyte by 65.1 percent. Minimal decreases were recorded in Biliran
(7.6%) and Samar (0.5%).
production on the other hand decreased by 14.3 percent, from 3,397
MT in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 2,910 MT in the same quarter of
2020. The subsector comprised 9.7 percent of the total fisheries
production. Samar, Southern Leyte and Leyte, recorded a significant
decline of 44.6 percent, 33.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
Biliran recorded the highest increase of 19.6 percent, from 432 MT
in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 517 MT during this period in 2020
Meanwhile, volume of
harvest from aquaculture went down by 52.6 percent. Its 9,705 MT
production in the fourth quarter of 2019 dropped to 4,596 MT in the
same quarter of 2020. The share of aquaculture subsector to the
total fisheries was 15.2 percent. Only Eastern Samar recorded
increase in production estimated at 177 MT at 56.6 percent. On the
other hand, the decrease in the volume of harvest in aquaculture was
contributed by the decreases in the provinces of Northern Samar
(71.5%), Leyte (53.7%), Samar (53.6%), Biliran (42.4%) and Southern
DPWH turns over
new school building to Tomaligues Integrated School
GISSELLE G. PARUNGAO
March 4, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways recently turned-over the new
two-storey, four-classroom school building in Tomaligues Integrated
School (TIS) with a revised contract amount of P11.5 million.
Following the minimum
performance standards and specifications (MPSS) prescribed by the
Department of Education, DPWH equipped the school building with a
fire alarm system, fire extinguisher, automatic water sprinklers,
fire escape, PWD ramp access, and sanitary restrooms. A roof-mount
twin water storage tank was also installed.
The Marcos-type building
was replaced by this new school building that will be occupied by
Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2 and 3 with a total of 95 pupils and four
teachers. For over 15 years, said Ma. Richel Caber, Property
Custodian of Tomaligues Integrated School, Tinambacan District, this
building has been reported for condemnation and removal because it
is risky for students and teachers alike which is not fit to be used
as educational classroom.
School Head Nova Gaspan
stated that they really lack school buildings due to the number of
students enrolled in TIS but now that this building is ready to be
used, there will be enough classrooms for enrollees. She further
said that, “this will be in preparation to our application for
Senior High School, as it is our target for the next year or school
year that we will be having our Senior High School because we
already have three vacant classrooms”.
2018 and OTOP Ambassador Catriona Gray’s visit creates huge impact
March 4, 2021
MAKATI CITY – The
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray visited the province of Laguna to
showcase some of its local products and businesses in her role as an
ambassador of the Department of Trade and Industry’s One Town, One
Product (OTOP) project on August 27 to 30, 2020. Gray was also
recognized as “Adopted Illustrious Daughter of Laguna” by the
As the face of OTOP
Philippines, Gray highlighted small local businesses in various
regions, with Laguna as her first stop. “I am lending my platform to
our [Filipino] small businesses, MSMEs (micro, small and
medium-sized enterprises) and entrepreneurs,” the beauty queen said
via Instagram last August 29.
Some of Laguna MSMEs who
showcased their local products and businesses during the visit were
Ai-She Footwear (Liliw, Laguna), Junk Not Handicraft (Biñan City,
Laguna), and Rolyo Likha At Iba Pa Handicraft (Pila, Laguna).
Started with an investment
of P50,000.00 in 2006, Corazon Coligado, owner of Ai-She Footwear,
grabbed an opportunity and started her footwear business with two
male footwear makers aside from her designer friend. Crafting the
business with continuous learning, Coligado engaged herself with
different programs and services of the Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI). To name one, she was endorsed to the Department’s
partner agency CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization) which
honed her business plan and focused on the main plans to transfer to
a bigger production area in order to hire more workers and increase
production as well as to improve raw materials and inventory
Ai-She Footwear was
overwhelmed with the fast development in their business and fortune
and has become a regular exhibitor on every trade fair at the
national and international fairs organized by DTI. Ai-She Footwear
focused on producing many kinds of artisan shoes, in a variety of
aesthetics – including crocheted and patchwork – in colors mirroring
the town’s vibrant culture.
With the recent
involvement to OTOP Philippines Ambassador Gray’s visit, Ai-She
Footwear generated estimated sales of P300,000.00 from September to
December 2020. Ai-She designed a Catriona abaca mule made from
locally sourced materials, all handcrafted by sapateros in Liliw,
with an embroidered three stars and a sun emblem as a finishing
touch. “Kinikilig ako kasi Filipino brand Ai-She Footwear created
shoes in my honor,” Gray says. “I was even able to experience
putting together my own pair of the ‘Catriona shoe!’,” she added.
With the aim to turn trash
into art, Wilhelmina “Willie” Garcia, owner of Junk Not Handicraft,
is passionate about interior design and the environment. They always
had a way to recycle plastic wastes and transform them into artful,
premium-priced furniture and even bags and fashion accessories. Junk
Not Handicraft has long been involved in a lot of journeys in
partnership with DTI including participation to trade fairs and
exhibits sponsored by the Department.
Junk Not Handicraft was
featured and won many local and international awards. Known for
being a social entrepreneur and with continuing international trend
of environmentalism, Willie has received numerous inquiries from all
over the Philippines and abroad on the possibility of replicating
her business model. With the recent involvement to OTOP Philippines
Ambassador Gray’s visit, Junk Not Handicraft generated estimated
sales of P1,830,000.00 from September to December 2020.
From his interest and
hobby of paper rolling, Renel Batralo identified a business
opportunity to create various art and crafts from fashion
accessories to home furnishing to containers to mats to baskets.
This has led to the growth of Rolyo Likha At Iba Pa Handicraft – now
one of the best artists in this field not only in Laguna but also in
Despite the challenges and
negative criticisms encountered in 2008, Batralo never gave up and
held his determination and explored all other possibilities to
further improve his work. He was enrolled in DTI’s Kapatid Mentor ME
Program wherein he attended and participated in various DTI seminar
workshops and trainings on entrepreneurship. Soon after, he became a
mentor himself as well and started providing livelihood trainings to
potential and existing MSMEs. Batralo maximized the use of local
resources and turned these into art and crafts. With the recent
involvement to OTOP Philippines Ambassador Gray’s visit, Rolyo Likha
At Iba Pa Handicraft generated estimated sales of P707,000.00 from
September to December 2020.
The Raise Your Flag Laguna
initiative as part of the visit of OTOP Philippines Ambassador Gray
was able to become a venue to see the importance of learning and
advocating our local products, our weaving communities, and our
call for PDL’s right to health: ‘Immunize them with free, safe,
March 4, 2021
QUEZON CITY – Human
rights group Karapatan on Thursday, March 4, supported the call of
families and friends of political prisoners for inclusion of
thousands of prisoners, especially the elderly and sick, and
pregnant women among them, in the Philippines for free, safe, and
effective vaccination against COVID-19, as they contend with the
country’s overcrowded detention facilities and poor health and
nutrition situations in jails.
“The people’s right to
health, including the right to free, safe and effective vaccines,
should be upheld, at this time of a pandemic that has contributed to
increased vulnerabilities of populations, including those in packed
and poorly equipped prisons,” said Karapatan Secretary General
Karapatan said that there
are at least 680 political prisoners, 95 of them have various
illnesses including life-threatening ones while 58 are elderly, out
of the more than 200,000 prisoners in the country. The Bureau of
Jail Management and Penology said in December 2020 that there have
been 1,987 cases of COVID-19 among persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
“The cases of deaths and
infections among prisoners clearly shows that they are part of those
most at-risk from contracting the highly contagious and deadly
disease that hit the country. These belie declarations of government
officials a year ago when harped on the ‘safer’ conditions in jail
despite irrefutable data on the susceptibility and vulnerabilities
of those in prison to the virus,” she said.
Karapatan said that the
prison population in the Philippines continues to be overwhelmed
because of the dire lack of access to justice of the majority of
poor prisoners and deeply-rooted defects of the justice system,
including the criminalization of the exercise of political dissent
or political beliefs in the country. It cited the “callous actions
on the plea of elderly and sick political prisoners for humanitarian
release during the pandemic.”
“Instead of being released
on humanitarian and just grounds especially amid the pandemic, they
experience multiple layers of injustice including being charged with
and detained on trumped up criminal offenses,” she stated.
“Thus, it is the
government’s responsibility and obligation to ensure the provision
of timely, relevant and comprehensive health services for PDLs,
including their access to free, safe, and effective vaccines,” ended
A Top Tourist Attraction in Fun and Entertainment
It has 81 provinces split
into 17 different regions and comprises over 7,000 islands. The
Philippines has each bit of its archipelagic country shouting
attraction, fun, entertainment, and paradise.
It was in 2019 that
tourism and travel managed to
contribute 12.7% towards the Philippines ' Gross Domestic Product.
With the country being one filled with many tourist attractions, the
country has experienced a steady increase in its interests over the
This article will be
fun and entertainment pointers that
keep tourists engaged in a whole holiday experience when visiting
attraction points wouldn't be complete without bringing up the
country's signature fiesta time. These festivals occur throughout
the year. Visitors are guaranteed an entire Filipino experience that
bursts with colors. There's dancing, costumes, masks, and outfits.
Major attractions throughout the years have included the Ati-Atihan
Festival, Bacolod's MassKara Festival, and the Marinduque's Moriones
Top Filipino online casino
sites draws thousands of Filipino residents and visitors looking to
have a good time online. However, those who enjoy the reality of a
good time have fun, land-based spots to visit while visiting as
tourists. Top land-based casinos include the Okada Manila Casino,
and the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila. Tourists can enjoy themselves
in top hang-out spots in Quezon City and Cubao X. The country hosts
entertaining bars and nightclubs. This is fantastic for night-riders
to explore a more intimate and social side to the trip. It's also
excellent for the tourists who enjoy living on the wild side.
Landscapes and Wilderness
Those who enjoy the
beautiful and majestic sight of nature have had their hearts won.
It's the Ifugao Rice Terraces that allow tourists to experience a
raw and untamed experience of the country. Tourists get to ride
along and share breathtaking moments. They can do this while viewing
the Philippines' mountainous landscapes at Sagada. During these
trips, tourists have the chance to explore nature at its fullest and
spend time in the midst of mother nature.
Beaches and Islands
Experience glazed views of
blue waters touching on the Philippines' pearl white sand. Here,
tourists can take boat trips and have a complete beauty experience
of beaches, lagoons, palm trees, rocky islets, and reefs. Visitors
get to enjoy a sense of luxury and visit private islands such as the
Calamian Islands. There's the El Nido dive spot for people to make a
splash in and have a personal encounter with the world underwater.
For beach lovers, there's also Cebu which is the paradise of beach
Dishes served in the
Philippines have also added to the holiday experience. Those who
have the honor of a complete dining experience. Enjoy the likes of
the mighty adobo, the kare-kare stew, and the famous Lechon. Try the
classic Sinigang, crispy pata, meaty sisig, hot bulalo, and the
popular Pinoy pork barbecue.
Tourist attractions in the
Philippines host many activities that cater to all personalities.
Whether it be day or night, fun and entertainment lie in all fields
of this majestic country.
Engineer Ferdinand A. Briones (front right) together
with Assistant District Engineer Alfredo L. Bollido
(front left) conduct staff meeting with the Planning and
Design Section headed by Engr. Rosario B. Rosete on
February 04, 2021 at DPWH Biliran DEO Conference Hall.
aims P100M project limit for high impact projects
March 3, 2021
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) -Biliran District
Engineering Office (DEO) aims to implement high impact
infrastructure projects costing up to P100M.
DEO is only authorize to approve and implement infrastructure
projects with a P50M project cost. Above the said amount will
already be supervised and implemented by DPWH Regional Office VIII.
Ferdinand A. Briones challenges district’s Planning and Design
Engineers headed by Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, Chief of Planning and
Design Section to upgrade the district’s status.
“Malaki ang impact para sa
atin kung maa-upgrade tayo sa P100M (project limit),” said Briones.
According to Briones, once
the office will be upgraded, programming, designing, bidding and
implementation of infrastructure projects will already be undertaken
by the district office which will increase the office’s Engineering
Administrative Overhead (EAO) appropriation.
“Yang’ EAO na yan’ na
addition, pwede tayo mag-acquire ng additional job orders, dadami
ang personnel natin at marami ang mabibigayan ng trabaho dahil may
sapat tayong pangsweldo,” said Briones.
Briones also added that
the upgrade will also increase the Planning and Design Section’s
Preliminary and Detailed Engineering (PDE) fund that could be used
to buy the latest softwares for use in planning and designing.
of projects will be regularly monitored by the district office.
“Yun ang mission natin
ngayong taon na ito, alam kong kaya niyo yan kasi wala namang
babaguhin, dadagdagan lang,” said Briones.
The District Engineer
instructed Planning and Design Engineers to review the checklist and
prepare documents, plans and variations for the upcoming Design
Audit which will be the basis in the district’s upgrade.
Briones emphasized that
the participation and cooperation of the Planning and Design Section
is very important in achieving this goal.
Stop deadly purge
of civilians in Cordillera, Philippines -ICHRP
March 2, 2021
Mass execution policy ‘Oplan Tokhang’ to be used
vs. media, critics, human rights defenders
MANILA – “The
February 24, 2021, resolution by 47 senior police and government
officials in the Cordillera Region calling for the notorious ‘Oplan
Tokhang’ to be deployed against ‘known left-leaning personalities in
the government, media, and other entities’ demonstrates that the
Duterte government is brazenly defiant of its human rights
obligations”, said Mr. Peter Murphy of the International Coalition
for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP).
This Resolution was made
at the same time that Justice Secretary Guevarra was telling the
United Nations Human Rights Council that “the PH strongly emphasizes
its legal and judicial system, its domestic accountability
mechanisms are functioning as they should.”
community must know that ‘Oplan Tokhang’ is the method used by
police to kill tens of thousands of civilians in the mis-named ‘war
on drugs’ over the last five years,” said Mr Murphy. “This
Resolution demonstrates that the Philippine state is planning to
systematically kill its civilian critics. It is not ‘knock (on the
door) and plead’, but kick in the door and shoot.
Last December, the
International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor said
there is a “reasonable basis” to believe that crimes against
humanity were committed in the Duterte administration’s drug war
The ICC identified ‘Oplan
Tokhang’ as a way for authorities to kill civilians through a drug
watch list wherein “some of those targeted also included persons who
had previously ‘surrendered’ to the police.
In the ‘war on drugs’,
local government officials are required to provide lists of
residents allegedly using or dealing drugs, or just ‘troublemakers’.
These lists are provided to the police, who then eliminate the
targets without any regard to due process. Local government
officials switch off CCTV on the nights of these police raids. In
the one case where two police were prosecuted for murder – that of
17 year-old Kian De Los Santos – in August 2017, the Barangay
Captain had failed to switch off the CCTV.
The Cordillera officials
decided that “this resolution be elevated to the Regional Peace and
Order Council for their concurrence and adoption and convince local
government units (LGUs) to support this and be brought to the
attention of all governors and Mayors in the Cordillera Region”.
“While the bureaucratic
machine tries to bring together all the elements for this program of
civilian repression, there is time for the international community
to say no, and they can say it now at the 46th Session of the UN
Human Rights Council,” said Mr Murphy.
When the media revealed
this resolution last week, the Cordillera Regional Director of the
Commission on Human Rights, Atty Romel Daguimol, withdrew his
signature, declaring that the resolution was in conflict with CHR
policy. “We continue to stand that activism is not a crime. People
should be free to express legitimate dissent and grievances for the
government to act on.”
“The other 46 police and
other government officials must likewise withdraw their signatures,”
said Mr Murphy.
“ICHRP strongly supports
the many statements coming from media organisations, the National
Union of Journalists, the Karapatan alliance for Peoples Rights, and
members of Philippine Congress who condemned the resolution, and who
uphold the basic democratic and human rights of the people despite
the massive threats they have to endure under the Duterte
government”, Mr Murphy concluded.
CARD MBA receives
Golden Arrow Award for Good Corporate Governance
March 2, 2021
SAN PABLO CITY –
The CARD Mutual Benefit Association (CARD MBA), the microinsurance
arm of CARD MRI, was awarded a Two Golden Arrow Award during the
virtual ceremony of the ASEAN Corporate Governance Score (ACGS) on
February 19, 2021.
The Golden Arrow Awards
recognizes publicly listed companies (PLCs) and insurance companies
from participating ASEAN countries that has scored at least 80
points in the 2019 ACGS Assessment. ACGS is an initiative introduced
by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the ASEAN Capital Markets
Forum in 2011 to serve as a point of reference to understand the
corporate governance standard that a company has. CARD MBA was given
a score of 91.8 by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), a
non-profit organization that sets standards for corporate governance
and the domestic ranking body for the Philippines.
“We are ecstatic that we
continue to improve each year. From One Arrow in 2018, we have now
stepped up and received Two Arrows. This inspired us to ensure that
the culture of corporate governance in our institution continues so
that we can provide the best service to our stakeholders,” CARD MBA
CEO Ms. May Dawat said. She mentioned that together with other
institutions of CARD MRI, improving the quality of service and
relationship to the Filipino people is a step towards a better
quality of life.
CARD Mutual Benefit
Association (CARD MBA) is an institution under CARD MRI that offers
microinsurance services and covers unforeseen accidents and death.
Currently, CARD MBA has more than 21 million insured individuals and
more than 6 million active members.