groundbreaking of Sorsogon’s first cancer treatment center
Office of Governor Francis G. Escudero
March 11, 2022
SORSOGON CITY –
Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero led the groundbreaking of the province’s
first cancer treatment center, as part of his personal commitment to
provide better and quality medical and health services to
Sorsoganons when he became governor three years ago.
The P49.5-million Sorsogon
Cancer Treatment Center is the second cancer facility in the entire
Bicol region to provide medical care and treatment for patients of
cancer, the fourth leading cause of death in the Philippines in 2021
and the second in 2020, according to the Philippine Statistics
“Ang cancer center na ito
na pinapangarap ko sa ating lalawigan noon ay maisasakatuparan na
rin sa ating pagtutulung-tulungan. When I ran for governor, giving
the Sorsoganons world class health facilities and services was on
top of my mind,” Escudero, who is seeking a fresh six-year term in
the Senate, said during the groundbreaking recently.
“Kaya naman ating
pinagsikapan na makamit ang lahat ng ito, lalo na ang mga ISO
(International Standardization for Organization) certification sa
ating siyam na mga public hospitals at pati na ang buong lalawigan,”
the veteran lawmaker added.
Escudero, who is in the
remaining three months of his three-year gubernatorial term, said
that once the center is completed, the people of Sorsogon will no
longer have to travel to the nearby cancer center in Naga City or to
Manila for radiation and other cancer-related treatments.
“For the longest time, our
patients needing radiation treatments will have to be referred to
other provinces or in Manila. With this center, our patients will
not have to leave the province just to avail the said services,” he
The treatment center is
also envisioned to service cancer patients from nearby provinces
such as Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate and Albay.
Escudero thanked his team
at the provincial government, officials and employees of the
Provincial Health Office (PHO) and Sorsogon Provincial Hospital,
where the cancer center will be constructed, for their commitment
and dedication in giving the people the best health services, even
at the risk of their own lives at this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
In his message, Dr. Renato
Bolo, the province’s acting health officer, expressed his gratitude
to Escudero for implementing many pioneering health-related projects
in the province in less than three years.
“Katulad po ninyo, ang
cancer center dito sa probinsya ay isang pangarap sa akin at sa mga
bumubuo ng PHO. We are thankful that through your leadership, this
will soon become a reality,” Bolo remarked.
Meanwhile, Dr. Roberto
Chacon, supervising chief of hospitals in the province and Medicare,
said in an interview that the Sorsogon Cancer Treatment Center will
serve as the referral/apex hospital of the nine government hospitals
in the province. Phase 1 of the cancer center will provide radiation
services and outpatient clinics, while Phase 2 will offer
“Ang cancer center ay
mayroong Linear accelerator, Brachytherapy at CT scan. Ang Linear
Accelerator nito ay ang pinakabagong modelo na unang ilalabas sa
buong Pilipinas. Taglay nito ang bagong features na mas
makakapagbigay ng iba’t ibang radiation treatment at features na
angkop para mas ‘user friendly’ at accessible sa espesiyalista ang
paggamit ng makina kahit nasa ibang lugar siya (remote access),”
“Ang brachytherapy naman
ay radiation treatment na kadalasan na ginagamit para sa mga
gynecologic cancers o cancer sa mga kababaihan. Ang CT scan ang
siyang gagamitin para sa preparasyon at planning bago gawin ang
radiation sa pasyente. Ang equipment at operations nito ay
manggagaling sa pribadong outsourced provider or proponent,” he
Chacon also said the P49.5
million budget, which will be used for the construction of the
building alone, was funded by the Department of Health’s Health
Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP). Completion of the
construction and full operation of phase one is targeted in June
According to the Global
Cancer Observatory, there were 153,751 new cancer cases in the
Philippines in 2020, with 86,484 or 56% occurring among women.
Cancer of the breast, lung, colon, liver, prostate, cervix uteri,
thyroid, rectum, leukemia and ovary were identified as the most
common types of cancer among Filipinos.
The DOH, citing 2018
global data, said more than 140,000 new cancer cases and 80,000
cancer deaths are expected annually, which translates to at least
219 Filipinos dying from cancer every day. Of the projected new
cases, at least 4,000 will be among children.
Funds for MSMEs
loans during the pandemic fully utilized as of end 2021
Small Business Corporation
March 10, 2022
MAKATI CITY – Funds
downloaded by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the
Small Business Corporation (SBCorp) for lending to multi-sectoral
micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) adversely affected by
the COVID-19 pandemic have been fully utilized as of the end of
2021, according to the Small Business Corporation (SBCORP), an
attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
SBCorp President and CEO
Luna Cacanando explained, “Of the PHP 7.93 billion loan funds
granted by the Bayanihan 2 Act to SBCorp for MSMEs, PHP 4 billion
was set aside for travel and tourism related loans, and the rest or
P3.93 billion were used for lending to multi-sectoral MSMEs or
businesses in trading, manufacturing, services, agriculture and
As of February 28, SBCorp
has approved a total of P5.9 billion to these multi-sectoral MSMEs,
far exceeding the P3.93 billion in funds provided for types of
enterprises, or by 150%. The SBCorp President added that the extra
funding was internally sourced from SBCorp funds just to be able to
continue the momentum of lending during the pandemic.
She stressed, “In fact,
SBCorp has lent more to these MSMEs than what was provided for by
the Bayanihan 2 Act and downloaded by DBM.”
The Bayanihan 2 Act
instructed a capital infusion to the SBCorp of P10 billion as the
government’s response to the need for financing assistance to MSMEs
affected by the series of protracted lockdowns and Enhanced
Community Quarantine (ECQ) since March 2020.
However, only P8.08
billion was released by the DBM to SBCorp which was downloaded in
November 2020, out of which P7.93 billion were loan funds, the rest
earmarked for mobilization and operating expenses.
The loan program for
tourism enterprises or the CARES for TRAVEL is administered by the
SB Corp in partnership with the Department of Tourism.
The excess funds were
sourced by the SBCorp from the annual funds provided by Congress for
the P3 Program, a micro-financing program intended by the government
to replace usurious money lending. Also, with the concurrence of the
DOT, a portion of the funds for the tourism sector was temporarily
used for lending to multi-sectoral MSMEs, as the uptake of loans for
tourism was very slow.
Pres. Cacanando added,
“The travel and tourism sector has lagged behind the multi-sectoral
MSMEs in availing of loan assistance from the government due to the
effects of the prolonged lockdown in the tourism sector. The uptake
of loans from tourism establishments has been very slow due to the
series of lockdowns and the general uncertainty that had governed
the sector the past two years.”
As of February 28, 2022,
only P278 million worth of loans to the tourism sector have been
approved by SBCorp, although as much as P524 million are now in the
pipeline for processing.
She added, “We expect an
increase in loan applications from the Travel and Tourism sector as
the country removed last March 1 the restrictions in most inter
zonal domestic travel and the quarantine requirements for vaccinated
international travellers. Also, the scope of the CARES for TRAVEL
Program has been expanded to include non-DOT accredited tourism
enterprises such as tourism support services and facilities. Lastly,
the destruction brought about by Typhoon Odette in major tourism
areas in the country has increased the demand for CARES for Tourism
and Travel loans.”
encouraged with results of Rice Revolution 21 pilot project
DTI-Foreign Trade Service Corps
March 10, 2022
MAKATI CITY – Moved by the
tragic ordeal of Typhoon Yolanda victims, Kiyosada Egawa came to the
Philippines with a vision to provide innovative food products that
can sustain calamity-stricken Filipinos marooned in islands that
were left without access to food, power, or water.
He set up BiotechJP in
2015 and turned to his patented Plant Origin Lactobacilli (POLAB)
technology to produce ready-to-eat rice products which now hold the
record of having the longest shelf life in the market. He also
developed low protein high-fiber rice products for kidney and
diabetic patients who need to satisfy their calorific requirements
while continuing to lead normal lives.
From victims of natural
disasters to patients suffering from chronic kidney disease, Mr.
Egawa recently added marginalized agricultural producers to the
growing roster of beneficiaries of BiotechJP’s innovations. In 2018,
the company started a project called Rice Revolution 21, envisioned
to transfer Japanese rice technology to the Philippines across the
entire rice value chain, starting with cultivation, collection,
drying, milling, processing, and retail. It aimed to enhance the
capacity of the Philippines to trade processed and well-milled rice
across the globe as well as increase the incomes of Philippine
farmers, millers, and production operators.
In 2021, agriculture
accounted for around 10% of the nation’s GDP. Unfortunately, the
sector has not grown as fast as it should because of the country’s
vulnerability to natural disasters as well as remaining challenges
related to infrastructure and productivity.
The Philippines’ farming
sector is characterized by large industrial farms co-existing with
smallholders or family farms. Compared to industrial farms,
smallholders are disadvantaged due to their relative lack of access
to a supporting ecosystem, technology, and agronomic expertise.
BiotechJP believes that Rice Revolution 21 can offer solutions to
BiotechJP signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tarlac Governor Susan Yap for
a Rice Revolution pilot project last July 22. Under the MOU, the
Provincial Government of Tarlac agreed to identify and provide a
list of qualified rice farmers as well as available farmland while
BiotechJP committed to providing Japanese seedlings, rice farming
technology, and machinery to local farmers.
To set the trial run in
motion, BiotechJP partnered with a rice farming cooperative in
Gerona, Tarlac in November 2021. The pilot involved the planting of
Japanese rice seedlings in a one-hectare farm. The company imported
Koshi Hikari, sworn by many as the best rice variety in Japan, from
the Echigo plains of Niigata, widely known as the rice capital of
Japan, and engaged a Japanese agricultural expert in the person of
Mr. Juntaro Nakajima to train farmers in smart farming methods.
By Japanese standards, a
two thousand (2000) square meter of land can harvest around 400 kg
rice paddy. While the company initially estimated a harvest of below
200 kg rice paddy, the company reported over 260 kg harvest of a
rice paddy at the beginning of March 2022. This encouraged BiotechJP
to move into the next phase of introducing POLAB for soil and rice
Egawa said, “The
better-than-expected results will help us transfer Japanese rice
flour technology to the Philippines. I pray that Rice Revolution
will help Filipino farmers attain the same socioeconomic standing as
their Japanese counterparts. I hope to see the model expanding
across the country and farmers gaining greater economic leverage. We
can move more quickly to producing yogurt, rice enhancer, low
protein, and gluten free bread in the Philippines.”
Representative Dita Angara-Mathay of the Philippine Trade and
Investment Center in Tokyo (PTIC-Tokyo), who facilitated the entry
of the Niigata-based SME to the Philippines more than 5 years ago
added, “The entry of more Japanese SMEs into the Philippines
redounds to strategic benefits for the Philippines. As Japanese SMEs
expand beyond their borders to take advantage of regional free trade
mechanisms and seize market demand opportunities from growing
populations, we stand to benefit from the transfer of technology,
influx of experts, and supply chain enhancements Japanese SMEs will
carry along with them in their movement to our market. As in the
case of BiotechJP, DTI commits to helping Japanese SME investors
navigate their way through the administrative intricacies and
operational challenges of setting up first-time bases abroad.”
canonization a gift to Philippine Carmel
March 10, 2022
QUEZON CITY – The
Order of Carmelites Philippine Province of Blessed Titus Brandsma
rejoices with all members of the Carmelite family and with all the
faithful around the world at the much anticipated canonization of
its titular on May 15, 2022, St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
One of 10 candidates for
sainthood who will be canonized by Pope Francis on this date, Titus
Brandsma was a Dutch Carmelite priest, educator and journalist who
was executed at the Dachau concentration camp on July 26, 1942, for
his staunch refusal to publish Nazi propaganda in Catholic
newspapers. Because his heroic campaign to educate the public and
resist misinformation cost him his life, Brandsma is often referred
to as a “Defender of Truth” and a “Martyr of Press Freedom.”
“The canonization of Titus
Brandsma is truly a milestone and an inspiration, not only for the
Church but particularly for Filipino Carmelites,” says Rev. Fr. Rico
P. Ponce, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Philippine Province.
“Having our Province named
after this modern-day martyr and mystic is made more meaningful by
our own present struggles against the venom of deceit, lies, fake
news, historical revisionism and all other forms of disinformation.
We are currently embroiled in a battle against the vicious enemies
of truth, as well as those who try to manipulate the use of media
and communication technology for their own selfish ends,” he points
“It is a great consolation
for us to have someone from a not-so-distant generation praying and
interceding for us in our current struggles, and who knows how it is
to be persecuted for defending his beliefs in the light of his
“We have much to learn –
and to imitate – from Titus Brandsma, who defended Truth and Press
Freedom until his dying breath.”
Fr. Ponce adds that for
many years, Philippine Carmel has been working to honor the memory
of its holy patron through various initiatives, such as the Titus
Brandsma Media Center which extends learning resources for media
education and pastoral care for media professionals; the Titus
Brandsma Media Awards, which honors outstanding media practitioners
whose work reflect the values of truth, freedom, and genuine service
to the poor and marginalized; as well as the Filipino Carmelites’
active involvement in various initiatives and movements for Justice,
Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC).
Local activities to
celebrate Titus Brandsma’s canonization will be announced soon.
roads along Brgy. Balugo serves motorists
ROMELLA LALAINE A. GUARDE
March 7, 2022
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office has intermittently
rehabilitated a road along Balugo, Tarangnan, Samar; additionally, a
slope protection structure has been constructed.
Said road rehabilitation
and slope protection construction is funded under the General
Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2021 with a total revised contract
amount of P48.9 million.
An area of 11,175.45
square meters was rehabilitated on a certain section of the road
along Balugo, Tarangnan, Samar.
Moreover, part of its
scope of work is the construction of a slope protection structure
with a total length of 220 linear meters because certain sections
along the said road needs immediate slope mitigation, it being the
most critical section. Due to the uneven terrain of said sections,
two portions of the said slope protection structure have varying
dimensions: one having a length of 82.1 linear meters and a height
of 24.1 meters and the other, a length of 137.9 linear meters and a
height of 12.4 meters.
With the completion of
said project, DPWH-Samar I aims to ensure a safe and reliable
roadway for both public and private vehicles, as well as the
residents in the community through the improvement of road sections
that are in immediate need of rehabilitation. Additionally, slope
protection structure will increase slope stability, and in return,
prevent rock collapse which would further cause damage on the
existing pavement and other road component.
Bulusan eco-tourism center, recreational facilities
March 7, 2022
SORSOGON CITY –
Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero led the reopening and inauguration of
the Bulusan Eco-tourism Center and Facilities in the Bulusan Volcano
Natural Park after two years of massive rehabilitation, to welcome
more local and foreign visitors with the easing of travel
restrictions around the country due to decreasing COVID-19 cases.
“Ginawa nating world class
ang mga facililities dito sa park upang mas marami pang turista ang
pumunta sa muling pagbubukas ng ating lalawigan dahil sa paghupa na
ng mga kaso ng COVID sa Pilipinas. Pinaganda pa natin ang lugar na
ito at hindi lamang ang lalawigan ng Sorsogon ang makikinabang,
kundi partikular ang bayan ng Bulusan,” Escudero said at the
reopening rites on Saturday.
The natural park is also
home to the Bulusan Eco-Adventours, which was launched coinciding
with the blessing and inauguration of the tourism center. It also
hosts new amenities like the al fresco coffee shop and restaurant, a
massage spa and souvenir shop.
such as eco-tour, trekking, kayaking, stand up paddling, boating and
fishing are now also open to visitors.
Other attractions in
Bulusan Volcano National Park, a protected area, are up for
restoration and improvement, Escudero announced, including the 18th
century bell tower of St. James The Great Church which will be done
in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the
Aside from the physical
improvement of tourism sites, Escudero said there is a need to
immortalize the beautiful stories and history behind the landmarks
and destinations in Sorsogon for better appreciation of the
Sorsoganons and visitors.
“Ang turismo ay hindi
lamang tungkol sa magagandang tanawin at mga lugar. Bahagi ng
turismo ang kasaysayan at pinanggalingan ng lugar na sana sa
sinumang bibisita rito ay malaman at makita niya ang mga karasanan
at kwento ng mga pangyayari katulad dito sa Bulusan,” Escudero
He commended the
Provincial Tourism Office (PTO), the Bulusan local government unit
and government agencies involved in the beautification of the
Bulusan park, which was carried out at the height of the COVID-19
pandemic in 2020.
The Department of Public
Works and Highways–Region V has also undertaken the construction of
the arrival and departure shed, a ramp, food bar and upper view deck
at a cost of P30 million.
Sorsogon PTO chief Bobby
Gigantone said the town of Bulusan hopes to attract even a fraction
of the pre-pandemic tourist arrivals as the country transitions to
the new normal phase. In 2019, Bulusan received 141,000 visitors,
“After two years of being
shut down and undergoing massive rehabilitation, this ecological
escapade is ready to say hello to tourists again. We are hopeful na
ang mga turista ay unti-unting makabalik sa Bulusan at sa aming
lalawigan,” he said.
“Thank you to Governor
Escudero and Bulusan Mayor Mike Guysayko for their commitment and
for supporting our tourism campaign. In time, makakabangon na rin
ang turismo sa Sorsogon,” Gigantone added.
CARD Sulit Padala
waves goodbye to long queues with remit to deposit for CARD clients
CARD Sulit Padala outlets nationwide, CARD clients can now
conveniently and affordably send money straight to their loved
ones’ CARD savings account anywhere in the Philippines.
LYNFA A. TAN
March 2, 2022
SAN PABLO CITY –
CARD MRI clients can now say “bye” to long queues and “hello” to
more convenient transactions with CARD Sulit Padala’s new remit to
Through CARD Sulit Padala,
clients of CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, CARD SME
Bank, and CARD MRI RIZAL BANK can now send money straight to their
loved ones’ CARD savings account in any CARD Sulit Padala outlets
CARD MRI Managing Director
Aristeo A. Dequito is optimistic that the new service of CARD Sulit
Padala will help CARD MRI clients to have easier and faster banking
transactions. “With this goal in mind, we are ever-ready and
equipped to improve the alternative delivery channels of CARD MRI,
including CARD Sulit Padala, to give our clients more options to
send money to their families.”
Dequito also mentioned
that with the additional outlets of CARD Sulit Padala, clients can
now easily access CARD MRI’s financial services, in line with its
financial inclusion initiatives and its mission of poverty
CARD Sulit Padala,
formerly known as CARD Bilis Padala, is a local money remittance
service, operating since 2006. It finally gained recognition as CARD
Sulit Padala in 2012, and has since upgraded to serve clients more
efficiently in 2017. Aside from express lanes for CARD Sulit Padala
customers, it is also known for its “Piso sa unang padala” promo
that charges as low as PhP 1.00 for its customer’s first
transaction, amounting to PhP 20,000 and below. Affordable charges
also apply in succeeding transactions with CARD Sulit Padala.
CARD clients can also pay
their loans through CARD Sulit Padala, which gives its clients more
options on where to pay their amortization dues. Moreover, CARD
Sulit Padala also welcomes non-clients of CARD to send and receive
money through the remittance provider as well.
To send money through CARD
Sulit Padala, visit any CARD, Inc. unit offices or CARD Bank, CARD
SME Bank, and CARD MRI RIZAL BANK branches and branch-lite units.
Head to the remittance outlet and fill out the remittance slip.
Indicate the date, sender, beneficiary, and contact information,
sign the remittance slip, and present it to the remittance personnel
together with one valid government issued ID or CARD client ID.
To receive money, fill out
the remittance slip with the correct Reference Code from the sender.
Present one valid ID, and you are good to go. Whether a customer is
a CARD client or not, there is no need to wait in line as CARD MRI
gives priority to customers of CARD Sulit Padala.
With CARD Sulit Padala’s
1,449 outlets as of January 31, 2022, customers can now send and
receive money from their loved ones with ease. To know more about
CARD Sulit Padala and their affordable remittance fees, visit their
official Facebook page, @CARDSulitPadalaOfficial
welcomes 2022 with 5.2% inflation rate
February 28, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY –
Eastern Visayas welcomed 2022 with 5.2 percent Inflation Rate (IR)
in January. This IR is 1.0 percentage point higher compared with the
4.2 percent IR in December 2021. This January 2022 IR nearly doubled
the recorded 2.9 percent IR in January 2021.
In comparison with the
national average IR, the regional IR is higher by 2.2 percentage
points than the 3.0 percent national IR in January 2022.
Among the provinces, Leyte
posted the highest IR at 6.2 percent in January 2022. Southern
Leyte’s IR came next at 5.7 percent, then Eastern Samar at 5.2
percent. The lowest IR was noted in Samar at 4.1 percent. All
provinces exhibited higher IRs in January 2022 compared with their
figures in December 2021. Southern Leyte’s IR more than doubled,
from 2.8 percent in December 2021 to 5.7 percent in January 2022.
This is the biggest increase in IR among the provinces in the region
at 2.9 percentage points. The IR in Biliran posted at 4.6 percent in
January 2022 is 2.0 percentage points higher than its 2.6 percent IR
in December 2021.
Leyte and Northern Samar
both recorded 1.2 percentage points increase, pushing their January
2022 IRs to 6.2 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. IR in Eastern
Samar picked up by 0.5 percentage point, registering 5.2 percent IR
in January 2022. Samar’s IR inched up by 0.1 percentage point in
January 2022, settling at 4.1 percent. Meanwhile, IR for Tacloban
City, the lone Highly Uranized City (HUC) in the region, was
recorded at 4.4 percent in January 2022, 0.8 percentage point higher
than its 3.6 percent IR in December 2021.
In January 2022, only the
commodity groups of food and non-alcoholic beverages, transport; and
housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels registered IRs
higher than their previous month’s levels by 2.3 percentage points,
0.2 percentage point, and 0.2 percentage point, respectively. All
other commodity groups have either lower or retained their December
The financial services
commodity group maintained its December 2021 IR at 47.0 percent,
registering the highest IR among commodity groups in January 2022.
This was followed by transport commodity group (7.4%); food and
non-alcoholic beverages commodity group (7.2%); and housing, water,
electricity, gas, and other fuels commodity groups (5.7%). All the
other commodity groups have IRs lower than the IR for all items
recorded at 5.2 percent.
The heavily weighted food
and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group registered the biggest
increase in IR with 2.3 percentage points, from 4.9 percent in
December 2021 to 7.2 percent in January 2022. Higher IRs were noted
in majority of the items under this commodity group. Fish and other
seafood index registered the highest increase of 4.7 percentage
points, posting an IR of 14.9 percent in January 2022 from 10.2
percent in December 2021. Meat and other parts of slaughtered land
animals index likewise posted higher double-digit IR in January 2022
at 17.3 percent from 12.7 percent in December 2021. Prices of corn
picked up by 0.6 percent in January 2022 after registering 4.0
percent deflation in December 2021.
The indices of vegetables,
tubers, cooking bananas and pulses (4.1%); non-alcoholic beverages
(0.5%); and flour, bread and other bakery products, pasta products,
and other cereals (0.5%) likewise registered annual price hikes
during the month in review after registering deflations in December
2021. The rest of the items under this commodity group recorded
increases in IRs ranging from 0.2 percent to 0.7 percent. Meanwhile,
IR for fruits and nuts index fell to 8.6 percent in January 2022
from its double-digit IR of 10.4 percent a month ago. Sugar,
confectionery, and desserts index retained its previous month’s IR
at 1.1 percent.
The IRs for transport
commodity group and housing, water, electricity, gas, and other
fuels commodity group both inched up by 0.2 percentage point
registering 7.4 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively, in January
On the other hand, IRs for
the commodity groups of clothing and footwear; information and
communication; and furnishings, household equipment, and routine
maintenance of the house managed to shed off 0.2 percentage point
from their IRs in December 2021, settling at 1.2 percent, 0.6
percent, and 0.4 percent, respectively, during the month in review.
The IRs for restaurants
and accommodation services commodity group (1.0%); personal care and
miscellaneous goods and services commodity group (0.5%); and
recreation, sport, and culture commodity group (0.5%) all eased by
0.1 percentage point in January 2022.
Meanwhile, the commodity
groups of financial services; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; and
health retained their previous month’s IRs at 47.0 percent, 2.5
percent, and 0.9 percent, respectively. Education services
registered zero IR during the month in review.
The Purchasing Power of
Peso (PPP) of the region weakened to P0.89 in January 2022 from
P0.91 in December 2021. This PPP implies that the goods and services
worth P89.00 in 2018 is now worth P100.00 in January 2022.
Compared with their levels
in December 2021, PPP in Biliran and Southern Leyte both weakened by
P0.03. PPP in Eastern Samar and Samar reduced by P0.02, while PPP in
Leyte and Northern Samar diminished by P0.01. Southern Leyte
recorded the strongest PPP at P0.91, while Samar posted the weakest
PPP during the reference month at P0.87.
The PPP in Tacloban City
was pegged at 0.89 in January 2022. This figure is P0.02 lower
compared with its P0.91 PPP in December 2021.
Note: The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has rebased
the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all income households to base
year 2018, from base year 2012. The methodology of rebasing the CPI
to base year 2018 was approved by PSA Board Resolution No. 15,
Series of 2021. Starting January 2022 (reference month), PSA will
release the 2018-based CPI series for the region, provinces, and
Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs).
secures 100% road maintenance rating for three consecutive years
ROMELLA LALAINE A.
February 23, 2022
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office through its Maintenance
Section obtained a 100% rating on the CY 2021 Road Maintenance
Performance Assessment pursuant to the Interim Guidelines of
Department Order 41, series of 2016.
DPWH-Samar I has been
consistently achieving a 100% rating on road maintenance and bridges
for three (3) consecutive years now. In accordance with D.O. No. 41,
series of 2016, otherwise known as, the “Amended Policy Guidelines
on the Maintenance of National Roads and Bridges,” the cumulative
rating for the road maintenance performance assessment is based on
the inspection and validation made for both 1st semester and 2nd
semester rating periods.
The Regional Office and
the Bureau of Maintenance commends DPWH-Samar I for its continuous
effort in providing the traveling public with safe and
well-maintained roads and bridges. Hence, DPWH-Samar I is highly
motivated in maintaining said performance for the years to come.
Additionally, the district
is inspired to continue striving hard to sustain its good
performance in keeping with the commitments and target in the
Philippine Governance System (PGS) Enterprise Scorecard.
konek2CARD hits 2
million-user milestone in Q1
February 23, 2022
SAN PABLO CITY –
With its continuous campaign to financially include more communities
in the Philippines, konek2CARD has finally reached two million
registered users on February 12, 2022 with 2,002,482 registrations
konek2CARD is a mobile
banking application used by clients of CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank,
CARD MRI RIZAL BANK, and now, CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO) to
make their financial transactions accessible in the comforts of
their home. Through konek2CARD, clients can now easily check their
balance, pay their bills and loan dues, purchase e-load, and
transfer funds with just a few taps on their phones. Agent-assisted
cash-in and cash-out services are also made possible through
konek2CARD agents strategically placed in barangays.
Looking back, the mobile
banking application has first seen an increase in user registration
after its “Saya ng Buhay, Level App” campaign in April 2021, which
ramped up the registrations to 808,378 in May 2021. Two months after
the campaign, konek2CARD finally reached its one million milestone
on June 28, 2021 with 1,000,828 registrations, which was recognized
by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno in a
Ms. Cynthia B. Baldeo,
President/CEO of CARD SME Bank who spearheaded the konek2CARD
expansion together with CARD microfinance institutions' (MFIs)
champions, accomplished the milestone of reaching two million
“Once again, we are
reaping the fruits of our digital initiatives, and this cannot be
possible without the help of our institutional partners, konek2CARD
champions, Account Officers (AO), and even our konek2CARD agents on
the ground,” Baldeo said.
emphasized the role of Account Officers and konek2CARD agents, who
continuously promote the benefits of konek2CARD to clients. “The
success of konek2CARD can be attributed to the hard work and
perseverance of our economic frontliners. With the new normal, they
have served as vanguards to our konek2CARD initiatives. As our
Account Officers visit their centers day by day and as our
konek2CARD agents collect their fellow center members’ weekly dues,
our Account Officers and agents include the importance of the mobile
banking application in their agenda, now that our operations are a
mix of high tech and high touch,” Baldeo added.
A Sign of Success
Consequently, CARD MRI
Managing Director Aristeo A. Dequito also recognized the efforts of
over 17,000 on-boarded konek2CARD agents as of February 2022. “With
the help of our konek2CARD agents, who work closely with our MFIs
and who have taken on a huge and important role in their community,
we are even more hopeful that our goal of bringing our financial
services closer to our clients in all corners of the Philippines is
within reach,” Dequito expressed.
Further, Dequito added,
“There is no question that our clients are composed mostly of nanays
or mothers who desire better lives for their families. Some of them
are not digital savvy or inclined to modern technology, but again,
our hearts are warmed to see our elders try and our younger
generation try with them. It is this family spirit that we see that
makes our konek2CARD experience more purposeful and our journey to
overcoming the pandemic more possible.”
“Growth can be a sign of
success, yes, but it is always the collaborative effort between CARD
MRI and our clients that sustains us to make our mission of poverty
eradication possible,” CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr.
Jaime Aristotle B. Alip said. “As we pull the ropes together to
surpass the poverty line, we are positive that we will reach even
more milestones together,” Dr. Alip concluded.
The two million milestone
has motivated CARD MRI to continue its mission of serving
communities with its digital financial services. It hopes to achieve
the 3.5 million-user mark by June 2022.
To know more about
konek2CARD, visit their official Facebook page, @konek2CARDOfficial
or their new YouTube account, konek2CARD Official.