Rodrigo Duterte handed certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs)
to representatives of the 772 agrarian reform beneficiaries on
March 17, 2022 at the new Leyte Provincial Capitol. (Jose Alsmith L. Soria)
March 22, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY –
Employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) shout “Mission
accomplished!” after President Rodrigo Duterte finally handed the
Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) for the former rebels
on Thursday in support of the National Task Force to End Local
Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
DAR Eastern Visayas
Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu disclosed that 446 individual
CLOA covering 89 hectares of land in Sitio Limite, Barangay Daja
Daku in San Isidro, Leyte, were handed by the Chief Executive to the
446 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) during the inauguration of
the new Leyte Provincial Capitol in Palo town.
Two hundred fifty-eight of
the 446 ARBs are former rebels, while 188 are actual farmers, Dir.
Agrarian Reform Secretary
Bernie Cruz, who assisted the President in the distribution of the
land titles, lauded the DAR-Leyte employees for a job well done.
Sec. Cruz dropped by the
DAR Leyte Provincial Office the day before the distribution, to
check on the titles.
The President on January
23, 2020, during his visit to the remote San Isidro town to turnover
various government assistance to former rebels, ordered former DAR
Secretary, John Castriciones, to provide the former rebels farmlands
to till under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) where
they can start a livelihood.
One year and eight months
after, a collective CLOA covering 91.6 hectares was generated and
registered at the Registry of Deeds (ROD). Thereafter on March 19,
2022 the collective CLOA was parcelized into individual CLOAs, which
were then distributed by the President on March 17, 2022.
During the same occasion,
326 more CLOAs with a combined area of 487.7 hectares were
distributed by the President to the representatives of ARBs from
other Leyte towns as well as from the provinces of Northern Samar,
Western Samar and Southern Leyte.
NPA high ranking
official says he does not regret his decision to surrender
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 21, 2022
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – A newly surrendered high-ranking official of the
Guerilla Front Damol and 7 other high ranking CPP-NPA-Terrorists (CNTs)
attended the Local Peace Engagement Panel and Peacebuilder Group
dialogue at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial
office in Catbalogan City on Monday, March 21, 2022.
The said dialogue is an
assessment of the situation and concerns of the newly surrendered
CNTs and discussion on the assistances that the different government
agencies can offer and provide.
Alyas Dori, the
Organization Department Secretary of the Guerilla Front Damol which
operates in the areas of Pinabacdao and Villareal, expressed that
they can now prove that the government’s help is real. He is hopeful
that it can alleviate their way of living.
“We do not regret our
decision to surrender to the government, rather we are happy. First,
we no longer have to hide and we will no longer hesitate to help
other people. And, I can now be with my family whom I never been
with for 15 years,” Dori said.
Dori has expressed his
gratitude for all the government’s efforts especially in helping
them and calls out his former rebels to surrender as well.
“To my brothers and
sisters in arms who are still in the organization (Communist
Terrorist Groups), just cooperate and stop running so that we can
take care and help your family. I can assure that I can help them.
We do not want to die in the armed struggle because of wrong
ideology, instead, be back to the folds of the law for us to have
peace and make Samar prosper,” Dori added.
The dialogue was attended
by the different government agencies like the Philippine Information
Agency, the Philippine Army, Department of Interior and Local
Government, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office Samar,
Office of the Provincial Agriculture, Technical Education and Skills
Development Authority, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace,
Reconciliation and Unity, Department of Trade and Industry,
Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine National Police
who will be providing different assistances to the former rebels.
Members of LPE
panel of Samar discuss assistance to new NPA surrenderers in EV
DPAO, 8ID PA
March 21, 2022
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The Local Peace Engagement Panel of Samar with the
801st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army have discussed assistances
to newly surrendered high-ranking CPP-NPA-Terrorists (CNTs) who have
been organized into a Peacebuilder Group in a dialogue held at
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Catbalogan on Monday, March
In the said dialogue, the
different government agencies assessed the situation, concerns and
needs of at least 8 rebels who surrendered in February and this
Colonel Lenart R. Lelina,
the Commander of 801st Brigade said that this is just the start of
the talks that include the identification of livelihood programs and
other government assistances that will significantly benefit the
“In the military, we can
only provide security for you but here are the other government
agencies who can provide different assistances that you need,” Col.
The LPE panel of Samar is
hopeful that the localized talks will lead to the dismantling of the
Guerilla Front Damol that operates in areas in Pinabacdao and
Ms. Alma Austero, the head
of the LPE panel said that she believes that the former rebels still
have a lot to offer and help in the fight against insurgency.
Among the 8 CNTs who
surrendered, some were holding a higher post in the Communist
Terrorist Group – 2 are top leaders in the Guerilla Front Damol, 1
Political Guide, others are in-charge in the logistics, and other
significant positions in the organization.
Colonel Juanito Parazo Jr., Philippine Army, the Commander of 46th
Infantry Battalion said that the surrender of these rebels is a
great loss to the NPA.
“It is a great decrease in
the capacity and capability of the CPP-NPA here in the Samar
province,” Col. Parazo said.
Also discussed in the
dialogue were the financial assistances that the government offers
to the surrenderers. Ms. Austero of the Provincial Social Welfare
and Development Office Samar said that the Local Social Integration
Program or LSIP provides transitional assistance of P25,000, another
P50,000 for livelihood assistance, and for those who will surrender
with firearms will receive P25,000 for each firearm, and P10,000 for
each NPA member that a facilitator can persuade to surrender.
On the other hand, the
Department of Interior and Local Government said that the E-CLIP
provides P15,000 for immediate financial assistance and P50,000 for
livelihood assistance, plus firearm remuneration that's double the
With all these assistances
the government is hopeful that the remaining CNTs will soon lay down
their arms, abandon their armed struggle and be back to the folds of
TUCP files P430
wage hike for workers in Region 7; cites price hikes, malnutrition,
March 21, 2022
CEBU CITY – The
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today files a
petition before the Regional Wages and Productivity Board VII (RTWPB-VII)
for a P430 increase in the daily minimum wages in the Region.
TUCP stated in its
petition that minimum wage earners and their families in Cebu, Bohol,
Siquijor and other underlying islands are barely surviving with
their meager income. The labor group said that since 2018, the
prices of basic goods and services have gone up substantially which
eroded the purchasing power of the current minimum daily wage of
P404.00. This year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projected that
inflation will hit at 5.1% with the continuing increases in the
price of oil triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and
ensuing economic and digital war.
“With the current high
prices of food and other essential items, the measly income of
workers can only accord them and their families with nutritionally
deficient survival meals. We are deeply concerned that with the
looming price hikes in the basic commodities, including electricity
and transport fares, our workers and their families could really go
hungry this time and that is unacceptable to us. We are filing our
wage petition today to help our workers and their families in Cebu
and in the entire of region VII to at least survive,” said TUCP
President Raymond Democrito Mendoza said.
TUCP said that an P18
increase in the daily minimum wage which the RTWPB-VII granted in
January 2020 has long been dissipated by the high cost of basic
goods and services, even before it could be felt by minimum wage
“Today, we are waging war
against malnutrition and imminent hunger of our workers and their
families in Central Visayas. We are fighting for a minimum wage that
at least will save them from starvation. We are not even asking for
wage adjustment that will also cover the increasing costs of
non-food items which are also necessary to the daily lives of our
workers and their families,” said Mendoza.
“With the current minimum
wage in Region VII, a measly P15.00 per meal can be allocated per
member of the family which is P41.17 lower compared to
P61.17/meal/person estimated by the Ateneo Policy Center using the
Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of
Science and Technology (DOST) Pinggang Pinoy model, and the March
2019 PSA Media Service Market Price of Selected Commodities. What
kind of food can be bought by P15.00? Do our workers deserve just to
eat nutritionally deficient foods while they continue breaking their
backs to sustain and expand the economy?” asked Mendoza.
During the recent meeting
of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, Mendoza who is the
Vice Chairperson of the committee, pushed for the RTWPBs to act
immediately on the wage petitions filed before them within 30 days.
The TUCP also wrote President Duterte to direct the RTWPBs to
swiftly deliberate on the same petitions.
“This is a race against
time for the survival of millions of workers and their families who
fell through the cracks. There dire conditions should be improved
without delay by approving our desired minimum wage increase,” said
“Let me also be clear on
our fight for decent wages. Wage hike was needed long before the
Ukraine-Russia war and the skyrocketing oil prices that followed.
The possible oil price rollback this coming week, although we would
certainly welcome it, does not mean rolling back our wage petitions.
Our minimum wage earners and their families have already fallen
below the poverty level even before the ongoing conflict and its
aftermath. The fact that our minimum wage earners have become the
newly poor is a blatant injustice that must be seriously and
urgently addressed by the government,” Mendoza said.
TUCP said that Region VII
enjoyed an average GRDP growth rate of 9.35% for the period 2016 -
2019 before hitting -8.3% in 2020. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew
by an average of 5.6% in 2021. Central Visayas has been the
consistent fourth biggest contributor to the GDP, averaging 6.44%
for the period 2016-2020.
“Workers continued to give
and sacrifice even with their declining health and strength due to
poor nutrition for the sake of regional and national economic
development. And what do they get? Malnutrition, hunger, and
poverty,” said Mendoza.
The labor center said that
the present monthly take home pay of P9,663.94, is far below the
P16,295.00/month poverty threshold for a family of five in Central
“What kind of life do our
workers and their families have? Our workers and their families
deserve to live, and to live with dignity. They need the wage
adjustments now or they will continue to live in destitution. As a
civilized society, we cannot and should not perpetuate the miserable
conditions of our workers and their families,” Mendoza finally
threefold increase on retail value of confiscated products
March 15, 2022
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB)
reported a threefold increase on retail value of confiscated
products in the National Capital Region (NCR) from January 1 to
February 28, 2022.
A total of 7,551 pieces of
uncertified products, with a retail value of P1,401,189.05, were
cracked down by the DTI-FTEB through random inspection activities
for the first two (2) months of the year. This resulted in a
whopping 304% increase on the seized products’ retail value compared
to the same period last year wherein a total of 846 pieces of
uncertified products, with a retail value of P346,704.00, were
seized by the team.
Out of the 181 inspected
establishments in NCR this year, 100 of which were issued Notices of
Violation (NOVs) for selling products without the required
Philippine Standard (PS) mark and Import Commodity Clearance (ICC)
sticker certified and mandated by the DTI-Bureau of Philippine
Standards (DTI-BPS). Among the seized products are low carbon steel
wires, sanitary wares, television sets, cement, extension cords,
electric blender, brake fluid, circuit breakers, helmets, plugs,
socket outlets, uPVC pipes, rerolled steel bars, and other consumer
products that requires to undergo mandatory certification.
Pursuant to Department
Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2:2007 and the Implementing Rules and
Regulations of Republic Act 4109 otherwise known as The Product
Standards Law, products covered by the BPS mandatory product
certification schemes, whether locally manufactured or imported, are
required to bear the Philippine Standard (PS) mark or Import
Commodity Clearance (ICC) sticker prior to market distribution.
“The PS marks and ICC
stickers are the guide and assurance of our consumers that the
products they purchase are safe and conforming to the relevant
Philippine National Standards (PNS) mandated by the law,”
DTI-Consumer Protection Group (DTI-CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B.
Secretary and DTI-FTEB Concurrent Director Ronnel O. Abrenica noted
that the positive performance of his Bureau is a result of
recalibration of resources with the newly formed DTI-FTEB strike
teams and redirection of focus on conducting intensified technical
regulations enforcement and seizing operations on a regular basis.
“We kicked off the year
strong and we will sustain this synergy to foster a heightened
consumer protection in the country,” DTI-CPG Assistant Secretary and
DTI-FTEB Concurrent Director Abrenica added.
To check the list of
products that should bear the PS mark and ICC sticker, visit
www.bps.dti.gov.ph. Consumers are encouraged to report
establishments selling critical products in the market by calling
1-DTI (1-384) or by sending a consumer complaint to email@example.com.
NMP kicks off
National Women’s Month Celebration
NMP Key Officials pose with their Agenda ng Kababaihan
placard to show their support to women as the NWMC 2022
National Maritime Polytechnic
March 15, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic, a strong advocate of Gender and
Development (GAD), opens the National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC)
during the flag raising ceremony held on 8 March 2022 in time for
the observance of the International Women’s Day.
NMP highlights anew
women’s empowerment and honors the unequivocal contributions of
women to societal development, with a set of activities lined up for
the month of March focusing on the sub-theme: Agenda ng Kababaihan,
Tungo sa Kaunlaran, capping up the six-year recurring theme “We make
change work for women.” This theme celebrates the dynamic Filipino
women, perceptive of their choices, making their voices heard and
trailblazers of change.
As part of this month-long
observance, NMP put up the NWMC display center featuring Filipino
women in “Today’s Herstory” and “Juana Says.” The activities will
also include the Emergency First Aid (EFA) lecture for NMP female
employees, women representatives from Barangay Cabalawan (where this
office is located) and from the Sailor’s Association. The “Serbisyo
para kay Juana” program of NMP, offering free training and dormitory
fee for female trainees for this month, is likewise reinstituted.
Also part of the activities is the distribution of
Information/Education/ Communication (IEC) materials and collaterals
to be uploaded on the agency’s FB page and official website.
In support to the
Philippine Commission on Women’s (PCW’s) campaign to signify support
on gender equality and women's empowerment, the employees, guest
trainers and trainees were encouraged to participate the Purple
Tuesdays or the wearing of any purple every Tuesday of March, and
use the hashtag “PurpleTuesdays, #PurpleYourIcon in their social
“As women, what we can do
is limitless, we just have to activate it. We have the power to
convert pain into passion to be a successful member of the
community.” Deputy Executive Director Mayla N. Macadawan said during
the opening program. She also enthused women to speak up and let
their voices be heard, and that, regardless of status, women’s role
in complementing with men cannot be belittled. Women should continue
to explore and unlock their abilities, as these open opportunities
to be better.
DTI Bagsakan and
Bahandi jointly celebrate Women’s Month in Region 8
Domestic Trade Promotion
March 15, 2022
MAKATI CITY – After
the success of the recent Bagsakan: Panubli-on in Western Visayas,
the DTI Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP) is expanding its
reach to more provinces through a collaboration with the DTI Region
8 in the upcoming Bagsakan in Eastern Visayas to be held on March 17
to 20, 2022 at Robinsons Place Tacloban.
Billed as the Bagsakan
Bahandi: Women’s Trade Fair in Eastern Visayas, the four-day selling
and order-taking activity is aligned with the celebration of the
National Women’s Month with the theme “Kababaihan Tungo sa Kaunlaran.”
This special Bagsakan initiative will proudly showcase the wide
variety of products manufactured by 65 women-led Micro, Small, and
Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) from Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte,
Northern Samar, and Samar.
Capturing the true essence
of “Bahandi,” a Cebuano word for wealth or treasures, the Bagsakan
will highlight the diverse selections of food products and non-food
items that represent the rich heritage and traditions unique in each
Eastern Visayas province. Among these cultural treasures are the
authentic Eastern Visayas delicacies such as chocolate moron, suman
latik, sasema, and binangol which will be available for sale to
shoppers and institutional buyers. Various handicrafts, souvenirs,
handwoven products, homestyle items and decors, fashion accessories
as well as health and wellness products will also be in stock for
retail selling and bulk orders during the event.
A special feature of the
event is the exhibit of prototypes of newly-developed products and
packaging innovations under the One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) Next
Gen, DTI Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), and the Rural
Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth
(RAPID) Growth Programs.
In launching the event,
DTI Regional Operations Group (ROG) Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona
will lead the Opening Ceremony with DTI ROG Assistant Secretary
Demphna Du-Naga, DTI-Region 8 Regional Director Celerina Bato, BDTP
Director Marievic Bonoan, DTI Provincial Officers and
representatives from the DTI BDTP. Consumers and institutional
buyers who will not be able to attend the physical show can still
participate online. A live broadcast of the activities and a video
tour of the event and products will be streamed via the BDTP
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DTI.BDTP. The DTI has also
prepared a digital product catalog with full contact information of
participating MSMEs. Download the official event catalog in this
The Bagsakan Special
Project started out as a crisis response to the pandemic to help
farmers, fruit growers MSMEs and social coops sustain their
livelihood during the pandemic. This innovation contributed to the
“Bayanihan We Heal As One Act” by ensuring the availability of food
products while helping MSMEs sell their goods, thus supporting the
economy amid the COVID-19 crisis. Since 2020, the project has
generated P44.28 Million for 359 farmers and fruit growers
associations, MSMEs and social coops from several regions.
To get updates on upcoming
Bagsakan events, national fairs and programs for MSMEs, join the
DTI-BDTP Community on Viber and follow us on Facebook and Instagram
(DTI.BDTP), Twitter (DTI_BDTP), and Tiktok (DTI.BDTP).
Sec. Bello awards
over P12-M livelihood, emergency employment assistance in Ormoc City
NORMA RAE S. COSTIMIANO
March 14, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY –
More than 2,000 workers from Ormoc City benefitted from the
P12,144,250 worth of DOLE livelihood and emergency employment
assistance awarded last February 19, 2022 at the Ormoc Superdome.
Secretary Silvestre H.
Bello III graced the activity and personally led the awarding of
livelihood funds amounting to P3,000,000 for the motorized banca and
fishing gear projects of 100 beneficiaries. A livelihood check
amounting P2,880,000 was likewise awarded for the Negokart Projects
of some 96 beneficiaries.
The labor chief likewise
took part in the payout of TUPAD wages of 1,849 workers amounting to
P6,009,250.00. Each worker received P3,250 for the ten-day work
Meanwhile, some 34
overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and OFW-dependents also received
livelihood grants with a total amount of P255,000 under OWWA’s
programs namely, Tulong Puso, Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay and
Educational Livelihood Assistance Program.
Torres-Gomez and Mayor Richard I. Gomez thanked Secretary Bello and
the entire DOLE team composed of Undersecretary Renato L. Ebarle,
Usec. Benjosantos M. Benavidez, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac,
DOLE-NCR Director Sarah Buena S. Mirasol and DOLE-BWSC Director Ma.
Karina P. Trayvilla.
Sec. Bello in his message
expressed untiring support and commitment to extend assistance as
needed by the workers not just in Ormoc but the whole of Region 8.
“I assure you that the
DOLE programs will continue to help our needy workers, tuloy-tuloy
lang po ang ating serbisyong TUPAD”, said Sec. Bello.
Also present during the
activity were Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena, DOLE-West
Leyte Field Office Head Mr. Edgar Tabuyan and DOLE-Technical Support
Services Division Head Mr. Norman L. Uyvico.
12th anniversary with innovations to fight poverty
March 14, 2022
SAN PABLO CITY –
“We won’t stop forging onward alongside the fast-paced,
fast-changing developments in the world of IT to equip CARD MRI in
serving the Filipino poor.” These are the words of CARD MRI
Information Technology (CMIT) President Edgar V. Cauyan, as the
whole CARD MRI community celebrated CMIT’s 12th anniversary on March
To commemorate its
historical founding, Cauyan recollected how the institution started
and how CMIT is straining forward to lead CARD MRI’s digital
“The need for CARD Bank to
computerize in 1999 was the starting point of the operations of CMIT.
I can recall how it was back then, and every time I think about it,
the memories make me smile. Because it was the first time CARD MRI
had an IT department, everything that has to do with new technology,
from printers to air conditioning, is taken care of by its IT
department. These were the initial operations of CARD’s IT
department. Today is different as it became a separate entity in
2010 to advance the technology of the CARD MRI group,” Cauyan
Cauyan is talking about
the digitalization of CARD MRI in the 21st century, not only to
expedite the transactions of CARD MRI clients but also to achieve
digital financial inclusion in the country.
CMIT continues to support
CARD MRI’s microfinance institutions (MFIs), including CARD, Inc. (A
Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI RIZAL
BANK, to assist its account officers (AO) and to improve their
service delivery to clients.
From the manual
application of loans using pen and paper, AOs are now equipped with
the loan origination system (LOS). Through the LOS, AOs only need to
conduct an interview with clients and input their data on the system
installed in their tablets. Once done, the loan application will be
sent automatically to the unit manager for approval. Once approved,
the loaned amount will be sent to the applying client’s savings
Having the same concept as
LOS, the mobile onboarding digitally records those who want to be
clients of CARD for faster and simpler registration.
According to Cauyan,
besides these new systems that aim to support both CARD MRI staff
and clients in their transactions, CMIT is also hands-on in the
continuous upkeep and monitoring of its konek2CARD mobile banking
application for CARD MRI clients.
“konek2CARD is perhaps our
proudest contribution to CARD MRI, and we are thankful to FDS ASYA
PHILIPPINES (FDSAP) for working with us hand-in-hand to make this
possible. We are also forever grateful to the CARD MRI community,
most especially our MFIs and our clients, for making this possible
and for absorbing this into their lives,” Cauyan shared as he
expressed his gratitude for the clients’ positive response towards
the mobile banking application despite the difficulties they faced
in implementing konek2CARD in 2016.
reached 2 million registered users in February 2022, a milestone for
the CARD community that can be attributed to how the clients
recognize the application as a necessity in their lives.
It can be recalled that
konek2CARD saw an increase in user registration in 2021 after the
“Saya ng Buhay, Level App” campaign that emphasized konek2CARD’s
role in the lives of CARD clients, especially during the COVID-19
konek2CARD users can skip
taking transportation, going to the bank, and waiting in line with
the mobile banking application’s features that allow clients to do
their banking transactions in the comforts of their home. These
features allow them to access their savings, to pay their loan
amortization and bills, to purchase e-load, and to check their
balance and other transactions without going to the bank and putting
themselves at risk of contracting the virus.
CARD clients can also be
assisted by authorized konek2CARD agents in their neighborhood for
their banking transactions and easy access to their savings through
cash-in and cash-out.
Cauyan also breached the
subject of remittances as CARD MRI also steps up other alternative
delivery channels to bring better services to its clients.
“We are also supporting
and empowering more Filipinos, not just our clients, with CARD Sulit
Padala. Through this local remittance provider, located in our
branches and branch-lite units, you can send and receive money from
your loved ones anywhere in the Philippines. It’s the best
alternative for people who are looking for nearby remittance outlets
in their neighborhood,” Cauyan explained.
Now, CMIT led the
conversion of 52 unit offices of CARD, Inc. from the local system to
the Core Microfinance System which aims to provide real-time
transactions and reports, automatic calculations, and paperless
transactions, among others.
Together with FDSAP, CMIT
also monitors the migration of 20 remaining CARD Bank branches from
the local system to the centralized Core Banking System which
enables the clients of CARD’s MFIs to make their banking
transactions at any of CARD’s branches.
Since 2010, CMIT has been
developing the technical designs and systems required in the
day-to-day activities of CARD MRI. The IT company is at the
forefront of CARD MRI’s digital transformation in the hopes of
eradicating poverty through its technology-driven initiatives.