Inflation rate in
Eastern Visayas escalates to 3.1% in May 2021
June 19, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY –
Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas escalated to 3.1 percent in
May 2021. This IR is 0.3 percentage point higher compared with the
2.8 percent IR in April 2021. This May IR of the region is also 1.3
percentage points higher than the recorded 1.8 percent IR in the
same period last year.
In comparison with the
national average IR, the regional IR is 1.4 percentage points lower
than the 4.5 percent national IR in May 2021.
Among the provinces, only
Southern Leyte and Leyte registered decreases in IRs. Southern
Leyte’s IR declined to 3.3 percent in May 2021 from 4.1 percent in
April 2021, a reduction by 0.8 percentage point. Leyte’s IR,
meanwhile, decreased to 0.9 percent in May 2021 from 1.4 percent in
April 2021. It was the lowest IR among the provinces during the
month in review. Samar registered the highest increase in IR by 1.6
percentage points. Its IR rose to 8.3 percent in May 2021 from 6.7
percent in April 2021. It recorded the highest IR among provinces
during the reference month.
Northern Samar grew by 0.9
percentage point, registering 1.6 percent IR in May 2021. Biliran’s
0.6 percentage point increase in IR brought its level to 5.5
percent. While Eastern Samar’s IR settled at 5.4 percent, prompted
by the 0.5 percentage point increase during the month in review.
Majority of the 11
commodity groups in the region exhibited higher IRs in May 2021
compared with their rates in April 2021. Transport commodity group
registered the biggest increase in IR by 0.8 percentage point. Its
double-digit IR of 12.9 percent in April 2021 grew to 13.7 percent
in May 2021. This can be traced to higher double-digit IRs for both
operation of personal transport equipment (28.9%) and transport
electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group recorded 3.1
percent IR in May 2021, higher by 0.7 percentage point from the 2.4
percent IR in April 2021. This growth can be attributed to the
higher IRs in the indices for electricity, gas, and other fuels
(8.7%), maintenance and repair of the dwelling (2.1%), and water
supply and miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling (0.9%).
The IR for food and
non-alcoholic beverages commodity group increased to 2.2 percent in
May 2021 from 2.0 percent in April 2021. Lower IRs were noted in
majority of the items under this commodity group. However, these
were offset by faster IRs noted in other food indices resulting to
0.2 percentage point increase in IR for food and non-alcoholic
beverages commodity group.
Fruits index registered
the highest decrease of 5.3 percentage points, from 2.9 percent IR
in April 2021 to 2.4 percent deflation in May 2021. The IR for
vegetables index managed to shed off by 2.9 percentage points from
its 3.2 percent IR in April 2021, posting 0.3 percent IR in May
The IR for sugar, jam,
honey, chocolate, and confectionery index also declined by 0.2
percentage point, settling at 1.4 percent during the month in
review. Corn index further deflated to 4.1 percent. Decreased IRs
were also registered in the indices for meat (8.9%) and
non-alcoholic beverages (0.4%).
Meanwhile, prices of fish
picked up at a faster rate of 6.4 percent in May 2021 from 5.3
percent in April 2021. Faster price increases were also noted in
indices for food products not elsewhere classified (3.7%); milk,
cheese, and eggs (2.2%); and oils and fats (1.6%). Rice and bread
and cereals continued to register deflations in May 202 but at a
slower rate of 1.0 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
The IR for clothing and
footwear commodity group increased by 0.2 percentage point, pushing
its IR to 2.0 percent in May 2021.
Compared with its April
2021 levels, IR for communication commodity group inched up by 0.1
percentage point, registering to 0.7 percent IR in May 2021.
Recreation and culture
commodity group continued to record deflation but at a slower rate
of 1.4 percent in May 2021 from 1.5 percent in April 2021.
Only the commodity group
of restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services registered a
decrease in IR. Its IR declined to 2.8 percent in May 2021 from 3.6
percent in April 2021.
beverages and tobacco; furnishings, household equipment, and routine
maintenance of the house; health; and education commodity groups
retained their previous month’s IRs at 6.9 percent, 3.2 percent, 1.6
percent, and 0.5 percent, respectively.
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region weakened to P0.76 in May 2021. This PPP
implies that the goods and services worth P76.00 in 2012 is now
worth P100.00 in May 2021.
Compared with their levels
in April 2021, PPP in Biliran strengthened by P0.01, while PPP in
Northern Samar and Samar weakened by P0.01. The rest of the
provinces retained their previous month’s PPP. Leyte recorded the
strongest PPP among provinces in May 2021 at P0.80. Biliran ranked
second at P0.79, followed by Southern Leyte at P0.78, Eastern Samar
at P0.73, and Northern Samar at P0.71. Samar posted the weakest PPP
during the reference month at P0.69.
DEO completed P9.55M road improvement project leading to Mahagnao
By DPWH 2nd LED
June 19, 2021
BURAUEN, Leyte –
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) -Leyte Second
District Engineering Office (L2DEO) recently completed the
P9.55-million off-carriageway road improvement leading to Mahagnao
Natural Park in Burauen, Leyte.
The project involves an
additional 1.5-meter of road pavement on both side of the existing
road in Brgy. San Esteban along Burauen-Mahagnao road section
covering a total length of 519 meters which was completed last May
According to OIC-District
Engineer Leo Edward Oppura, this project will enhance the road
conditions and traffic flow in the area especially that this road
section is leading to a tourist destination.
DE Oppura is optimistic
that this project will ease the burden of the local residents in
transporting their farm product to the public market likewise travel
time and expenses will be reduced.
improvement projects aims to make better access of road that will
help enhance the local economy, decrease the volume of traffic and
accidents and convenience in travelling.
Aside from this project,
the district office is set to implement P550-million slope
protection project considering that some portions along
Burauen-Mahagnao road section are prone to mudflows and landslides.
Respect: Equality before the law
IBP Public Information
June 17, 2021
PASIG CITY – The
Integrated Bar of the Philippines under Atty. Doming Egon Q.
Cayosa’s leadership has established a campaign to do MORE, BETTER,
and FASTER through partnerships with other organizations. In
pursuing its advocacy to strengthen its commitment on Gender and
Development, it will enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with
Rainbow SOGIE Rights Philippines, Inc. (R-Rights).
R-Rights, led by Atty.
Jazz Tamayo, is a legal organization composed of persons of diverse
SOGIESC and gender activists which aim to contribute to the
promotion and visibility of the human rights in the Philippines,
specifically on SOGIE advocacy. It also helps engender a broader
institutional and societal understanding of the need for proper
legal protections and has already established initiatives focusing
on their rights, welfare, and needs.
During the partnership
proposal meeting, Atty. Cayosa noted that under his watch, “IBP has
been bolder in getting into other areas where it used to shy away.”
He also noted that IBP should pursue matters of public interest
affecting the justice sector where “IBP should be heard and be
A Historic milestone for
Atty. Regal Oliva, the
past President of Cebu City Chapter and Director for Gender and
Development says that she was “happy that this development has taken
place, especially in the IBP.” She describes it as a “first time and
a historic day as IBP has tackled something that is very sensitive,
and we have also tackled an elephant in the room which is the people
who belong to the LGBTQI community.”
As a member of the LGBTQI
community, Atty. Oliva thanked Atty. Cayosa “for being true to his
words to protect not only the IBP, but also the [LGBTQI] community.”
Atty. Oliva also urged the Executive Vice President, Atty. Burt M.
Estrada, to continue this partnership with R-Rights.
Atty. Estrada, who will
assume the Presidency beginning July 1, 2021, assured that he
commits “to find a way to fix a budget for Gender and Development
activities similar to other institutions like LGUs.” This he said,
in order “to have even more activities.” He also assured the
continued support under his administration.
Atty. Eric Alajar, the
National Director for Legal Aid expects for the IBP that it may
“realize and implement the envisioned collaborative approach in
promoting our common advocacy on gender sensitivity.” Also, he hopes
that the incoming administration, it will carry out its mandate
under the proposed MOA.
As noted by Atty, Cayosa
in “We will never be ready until we work on it. IBP should move, to
put itself behind this advocacy to help.” For his message to the
members of the legal profession, “We welcome and respect them.”
The MOA covers support for
policy reforms and initiatives, case referral system, as well as
training and programs:
Free legal aid referral
Under the MOA, to pursue
developmental legal aid but “subject to the means and merit test,
the IBP and its Chapters shall extend free legal aid services to
persons of diverse SOGIESC referred by R-RIGHTS. R-RIGHTS shall
provide free training and materials to the IBP, its Chapters, and
the designated legal practitioners so that the legal service/s may
be effectively and efficiently rendered.”
through Local Government Units
Further, the MOA provides
for the “IBP and its Chapters shall assist in the conduct of Pride
Month Events of amenable Local Government Units through the League
of Cities and League of Provinces. R-RIGHTS shall provide support
through programs and materials related to Gender and Development,
subject to availability of resources.”
In relation to the absence
of an anti-discrimination law, IBP and R-Rights will work together
to pursue “Round Table discussions with amenable Local Government
Units through the League of Cities and League of Provinces, on
provisions and passage of an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance.”
R-RIGHTS are willing to provide their resources such as sample
Ordinance and IRR provisions, talking points, and counterarguments.
Use of pseudonym in the
In relation to HIV law and
the Safe Spaces Act, IBP agreed to protect the LGBTIQ+ community “to
a draft of a policy or rules to protect the confidentiality of
complainants for an option of use of a pseudonym in the proceedings
to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. The IBP shall endorse the
policy to the appropriate institutions such as the Supreme Court of
the Philippines through a letter of support.”
Dress codes and grooming
To promote diversity and
inclusion in public offices, courts and tribunals, IBP agreed “to
craft and pursue policies and rules on dress codes and grooming
policies to be promulgated by the institutions duly authorized such
as the Civil Service Commission. R-RIGHTS shall provide domestic and
international research and resources to the IBP regarding this
initiative, and the IBP shall endorse such policies or rules to the
appropriate institutions or offices through a letter of support.”
Further, the MOA provides
for IBP and R-Rights “to submit aligned position papers supportive
of gender-progressive pieces of legislation in Congress when needed.
R-RIGHTS can undertake to facilitate the inclusion of the IBP in
To ensure the
implementation of this MOA, IBP and R-Rights will designate their
respective focal persons and for monitoring progress on the ground.
On the part of the IBP,
the MOA is expected to be approved by the 24th Board of Governors
during its last meeting this coming June 19, 2021.
Independence Day with persons deprived of liberty
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Samar Provincial
Office provided fruits and vegetables for the preparation of the
meal for the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) confined at the
Borongan City Jail, Guiuan and Balangiga District Jails on
Independence Day. (DAR Eastern Samar)
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
June 17, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY – As
the nation commemorated this year the 123rd Independence Day on June
12, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) opted to celebrate the
occasion with persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the different
jail facilities throughout the country.
In Eastern Visays, some 40
PDLs at the Female Dorm of the Tacloban City Jail were surprised
with food packs from the DAR Regional Office-8 which they shared
with jail personnel.
According to DAR’s Program
Beneficiaries Development Division Chief, Melecia Ong, “This is
DAR’s way of expressing our gratitude to the Bureau of Jail
Management and Penology (BJMP) for supporting the agrarian reform
beneficiaries by purchasing their products under the Enhanced
Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP).”
Ong disclosed that BJMP is
among the institutional buyers of ARB products, which they use in
feeding the PDLs.
Meanwhile, JINSP Fe
Reynalda Chan of the Tacloban City Jail Female Dorm said,
“Continuous coordination and linkages to other government and
non-government organizations in the community is highly recommended
to augment the needs of the PDLs while temporarily confined at this
Further, in Eastern Samar,
the DAR Provincial Office likewise provided the Borongan City Jail,
as well as the Guiuan and Balangiga District Jails with “free”
fruits and vegetables, which the said jail facilities could use in
the preparation of the meal for the 115 PDLs in the province on that
Samar First built
SUZETTE G. PRETENCIO
June 17, 2021
CALBAYOG CITY – As
the population increases, the need to have a facility that can cater
to different events and purposes is beneficial to every community of
the city. Four (4) multi-purpose buildings are erected in Brgy.
Rawis and Saljag, Calbayog City; Brgy. Blanca Aurora, San Jorge; and
Brgy. Lunang I, Almagro, Samar.
These projects have a
total contract amount of P8.45 million under the General
Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2021.
buildings in Barangays Rawis and Saljag are covered courts that can
be the central venue for different sports, entertainment, and
recreational activities of both barangays.
The multi-purpose building
in Lunang I, Almagro, Samar completed its second phase of the
project. It completed the construction of the covered court with
comfort room which is good when conducting different events in the
multi-purpose building in Blanca Aurora Elementary School, Brgy.
Blanca Aurora, San Jorge, Samar will benefit hundreds of elementary
school students and youths as the school can utilize the covered
court as venue for recreation and learning. As the schools prepare
for the face to face learning, this additional facility within the
school will help them manage their activities. Also, this can be
used as an evacuation center in times of typhoon or any bad weather
that might threaten the lives and properties of the residents in the
buildings are the right fit in the stated barangays as it can create
a sense of solidarity as they all gather to enjoy different
activities held in these facilities.
grows by 6.7% in the first quarter of 2021
June 16, 2021
TACLOBAN CITY –
Palay production in Eastern Visayas increased by 6.7 percent, from
252,869 metric tons (MT) in the 1st quarter of 2020 to 269,853 MT in
the same quarter of 2021. This is attributed to a notable 10.5
percent expansion in the total area harvested for palay from 75,600
hectares (Ha) in the 1st quarter of 2020 to 83,522 Ha in the same
quarter of 2021. Likewise, the hefty increase in production was due
to the increase in the production in Northern Samar by 73.5 percent
during the reference period.
The Province of Leyte
contributed the biggest share in palay production in Eastern Visayas
at 139,207 MT during the 1st quarter of 2021 (Table 1). It comprised
more than half or 51.6 percent of the total palay production in the
region. Samar came next with 52,865 MT production, accounting for
19.6 percent of the region’s total palay production.
Northern Samar followed
with 40,228 MT production contributing 14.9 percent share to the
total production. Eastern Samar and Southern Leyte shared 7.2
percent (19,377 MT) and 4.7 percent (12,600 MT), respectively.
Biliran had the least contribution at 2.1 percent (5,576 MT) of the
total palay production in the region.
All provinces except
Biliran and Leyte registered increases in area harvested for palay.
Northern Samar posted the biggest increment at 76.7 percent from
8,575 Ha in the 1st quarter of 2020 to 15,155 Ha in the same quarter
in 2021. Likewise, area harvested for palay in Eastern Samar, Samar
and Southern Leyte increased by 17.8 percent, 2.0 percent, and 0.5
Among the provinces,
Southern Leyte recorded the highest yield per hectare at 4.36 MT/Ha
during the 1st quarter of 2021. This figure was 1.9 percent lower
compared with the 4.45 MT/Ha recorded in the same quarter of 2020.
Biliran followed at 4.32
MT/Ha, 0.7 percent lower than its 4.35 MT/Ha recorded in the 1st
quarter of 2020. Leyte ranked third with 4.21 MT/Ha, also a 0.7
percent lower compared with its figure in the same quarter of 2020.
Northern Samar ranked fourth with 2.65 MT/Ha, a decrease of 1.8
percent from 2.70 MT/Ha recorded in the same quarter of 2020. Samar
registered a 2.33 MT/Ha in the 1st quarter of 2021, a decrease of
2.1 percent from 2.38 MT/Ha in the same quarter in 2020.
landmark ICC investigation into Duterte’s “war on drugs”
June 15, 2021
MANILA – “The
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
praises today’s announcement by the International Criminal Court (ICC)
that it will formally seek an investigation into the Philippine
government’s deadly ‘war on drugs’”, said ICHRP spokesperson Mr.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
announced that she has concluded her preliminary examination of the
Philippines and is seeking authorisation from the Court’s judges for
a full investigation into the crime against humanity of murder
committed in connection with the country’s ‘war on drugs’ between 1
July 2016 and 16 March 2019, and torture and other inhumane acts,
and related events as early as 1 November 2011.
“ICHRP sees this
announcement as a positive step that may help bring some measure of
justice to the thousands victimized and terrorized by the Duterte
Regime’s so-called ‘war on drugs’. Justice may also come to those
who are victimized by Duterte government’s war on Islamic
communities and war on dissent,” said Mr Murphy.
“The United Nations Human
Rights Council must now initiate a long overdue independent
investigation into the Philippines to examine crimes under
international law and other serious violations of human rights
committed over the full duration of the Duterte administration,
including its so-called war on drugs. The perpetrators and
architects of these crimes must be held to account,” said Mr Murphy.
The ICC announcement
follows the recently launched independent civil society commission
of investigation (Investigate PH), which has been examining the
deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines including
and beyond the so-called war on drugs. The first report of
Investigate PH was delivered to the UNHRC by ICHRP in March 2021,
which highlighted many of the issues that will be tackled by the
International Criminal Court.
state-orchestrated killings amount to crimes against humanity
The case against the
Duterte government is already well documented, including by Amnesty
International, Human Rights Watch and Investigate PH. Reports have
been published on major investigations detailing ongoing
extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations by the
police and their superiors. Despite the continued broad exposure of
the human rights situation by domestic and international human
rights organizations, however, the killings continue unabated.
Since the beginning of the
Duterte administration in July 2016, thousands of people mostly from
poor and marginalized communities have been killed – either by the
police or by armed individuals suspected to have links to the
police. These killings have been conducted by state institutions
with impunity, and there is a clear lack or absence of effective
domestic remedies to stop the killings.
Evidence emerging from
Investigate PH’s second round of hearings in May 2021 supports the
charge that institutions of the state are being used as instruments
of terror to organize and execute extra judicial killings.
“Further action from the
international community is urgently needed,” said Mr Murphy.
Instead of taking positive
action when informed of these systemic and widespread human rights
violations, and recognizing the complicity of the Philippine
Government, the UN Human Rights Council voted to provide technical
cooperation and capacity-building to the same government that has
publicly endorsed the policy of killings, avoided independent
investigations, and continued its crack down on civil society.
“ICHRP calls on the UN
Human Rights Council to act now, and to send a strong message that
it too will no longer allow the Philippine government to continue
its campaign of human rights violations with impunity,” concluded
DPWH is set to
construct a 2-storey rural healthcare facility in La Paz town
DPWH 2nd LED
June 15, 2021
LA PAZ, Leyte – To
have an adequate access to rural healthcare services, residents of
La Paz in Leyte will have a 2-storey healthcare facility. The
infrastructure project has 25-percent of reported work
accomplishment currently working on its concrete columns, beams,
walls and floors slabs.
The project amounting to
P14.8-million is being undertaken by the Department of Public Works
and Highways (DPWH) -Leyte Second District Engineering Office
According to OIC-District
Engineer Leo Edward Oppura, the 2-storey building will have
249.6-sq.m. floor area and equipped with nurse stations, receiving
areas, ward rooms, utility rooms, health worker quarters, toilets
and parking spaces.
Once completed, rural
residents can obtain primary access, necessary and appropriate
healthcare services available in a timely manner.
Patients seeking medical
attentions will have a better healthcare resources and systems which
often they encounter limited access to healthcare especially during
this time of coronavirus pandemic.
Funded under DPWH-General
Appropriation Act FY-2021, the project is seen to be fully completed
on or before November 09, 2021.
road concreting project in interior barangay
DPWH 2nd LED
June 14, 2021
JULITA, Leyte – To
give a better access road to local residents, the Department of
Public Works and Highways (DPWH) -Leyte Second District Engineering
Office completed the road concreting project in Barangay San Andres
in Julita, Leyte.
The P17.64-million project
has a total length of 2.394-lane kilometer of concrete road which
aims to provide safe travels and faster delivery of agricultural
goods to the town proper.
“Motorists can now utilize
the newly constructed road, transportation costs and travel time
will be reduced. Adjacent barangays will also benefit from this
project,” according to OIC-District Engineer Leo Edward Oppura.
The project was completed
last June 01, 2021 under DPWH General Appropriation Act 2021 Local
accelerate in April, up by 72%
DTI-TPG-Export Marketing Bureau
June 9, 2021
MANILA – Allowing
100% operating capacity even during the Enhanced Community
Quarantine (ECQ), coupled by the gradual economic recovery of its
major trading partners from the COVID-19 pandemic, Philippine
exports in April 2021 were up again, this time by a hefty 72.1%, to
USD5.71B from USD3.32B in the same month last year, preliminary data
from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed. The country’s
growth rate was the highest among select Asian economies surpassing
even that of Japan’s 38.0% and China's 32.3% growth rates.
Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez noted that this was the second
consecutive month of positive year-on-year (YOY) growth, following
the 33.3% revised growth rate in March. Cumulative export earnings
from January to April 2021 amounted to USD23.37B, up by 19% from the
USD19.63B in the same period in 2020.
“Our latest export growth
rate shows that we are steadily recovering from the negative impact
of the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be considered a solid growth
considering that the performance was even stronger than the
pre-pandemic levels in 2019, and not just due to the low base in
2020. The recorded amount of USD5.71B for April 2021 was higher than
the recorded amount of USD5.65B in 2019."
year-to-date (YTD) exports, or from January to April, 2021 figures
still showed improvement, posing USD 23.37B. This is a huge increase
compared to the 2020 YTD of USD19.63B and also a growth from the
pre-pandemic YTD exports of USD22.23B.
Semiconductors are still
the top export product, comprising 42.2% of all exports. Exports of
the said product grew by 40.4% YOY.
Out of all the export
products, ignition wiring sets for vehicles, aircraft, and ships had
the highest growth at 1,237.6%. This was followed by metal
components at 345.2%.
Sec. Lopez shared that
looking at the total trade data, the YOY doubling in imports of
manufacturing inputs such as raw materials and intermediate goods
(118.6%) and capital goods (104.8%) also signals that local
manufacturing is ramping up.
China was the country’s
top export market in the review period, receiving 16.7% of all
exports, followed by the US at 15%. Both markets are experiencing
brisk economic recoveries, which bodes well for the Philippines.
In April, China’s imports
growth reached a decade high of 43.1%, the highest since 2011. In
the US, there were 742,000 new jobs in the private sector, with the
leisure and hospitality sector opening up and hiring 237,000 workers
in the said month.
Other top markets were
Japan (14.3%), Hong Kong (12.9%), and Singapore (5.5%). By region,
the Philippines exported half of its goods to East Asia.
To maximize the gains from
the revival of the global economy, Sec. Lopez mentioned DTI is
working to increase market access. He also stated that DTI is
pushing for the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP) this year, to open more market opportunities and
further boost exports for the country.
"As we gradually and
safely reopen our economies both locally and abroad, we are
confident that we will see a sustained improvement in our export
growth rate this year,” said the trade chief.
According to the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the positive
outlook for 2021 remains largely dependent on subsiding pandemic
restrictions. Nevertheless, the fiscal stimulus packages,
particularly in developed countries, are expected to strongly
support the global trade recovery throughout 2021.