of the Philippines promotes establishment of Peace Corners in
May 4, 2022
MANILA – On April
25, 2022, the National Library of the Philippines (NLP), through the
Public Libraries Division, held its comprehensive free blended
training entitled “Significant Role of Libraries in the
Establishment of Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions” at the NLP
Auditorium. With the theme “Aklatan Pangkapayapaan", it was held in
partnership with the Philippine branch of Heavenly Culture, World
Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace
organization associated with the UN ECOSOC and the UN DGC.
The training was attended
by over 500 participants onsite and online, including private and
public library staff, school librarians, educators, and peace
advocates. The training provided learning opportunities about
institutionalizing peace in the Philippines and the importance of
establishing peace corners in the libraries nationwide.
Commissioner Dr. Ronald L.
Adamat of CHED said, “Our libraries shall give prominent places
those books and publications about peace where readers could easily
access and get their hands. By doing this, our libraries can be of
big help to the work of promoting peace to the reading public.”
Regarding the role of
libraries in line with the UN SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong
Institutions, Justice Raoul Victorino said, “In Ukraine, the
libraries continue to remain open despite the continuing Russian
invasion. Ukraine’s libraries are offering bomb shelters and classes
are resumed inside the libraries. These heroic stories continue to
prove that libraries are our best home for the future.”
Mr. Cissette B. Ricardo of
Parañaque City Public Library, talked about “Library and Peace”
where he shared his experience of having a partnership with HWPL.
The first peace corner was established in Paranaque City Public
Library and its inauguration was held on February 15, 2019. He said
that through the peace corner, the students coming in and out were
able to learn and appreciate peace initiatives. He also encouraged
all libraries to sign a partnership with HWPL to receive
peace-related materials and also put up a peace corner to spread
awareness, especially among the students and learners.
Mr. John Rommel Garces,
Chief Branch Manager of HWPL Philippines, highlighted the importance
of establishing a peace corner in the library, as well as HWPL’s
peace achievements in the Philippines.
HWPL Philippines aims to
establish more peace corners in public and private libraries as well
as school libraries all throughout the country to make relevant
peace-related materials more accessible to the public especially to
the youth and students. After the event, 40 peace corners are
expected to be established.
survivors, activists pay tribute to human rights champion Marie
May 4, 2022
QUEZON CITY – In a
gathering at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani compound in Quezon City,
martial law survivors, activists and friends of human rights
champion Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson emeritus of Karapatan,
paid tribute to her courageous and indefatigable work for the cause
of people’s rights, justice, and national democracy. On April 24,
2022, Hilao-Enriquez, a stalwart in the anti-Marcos dictatorship
struggle and a leading human rights activist, died in the US.
“Today, we extol Marie’s
life and legacy of service to the Filipino people at the Bantayog ng
mga Bayani, before the names of the many martyrs and heroes of
martial law – many of them Marie had known, worked and were friends
and colleagues with. She now belongs to the nation’s pantheon of
heroes who have dedicated their lives against the Marcos
dictatorship and to the greater cause of social justice and
democracy,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
Andrea, Marie’s daughter,
in a video message thanking those who delivered and sent messages,
stated: “Kaya naman po, para sa amin, ang pinaka-akmang
pagpaparangal kay Mama, at sa libu-libong biktima ng martial law ay
ang pagpapatuloy ng kanilang adhikain. Nananawagan po kami sa lahat
na bumoto nang tama at mariing ireject ang mga Marcos at kanilang
mga kampon sa eleksyon na ito at sa mga susunod pang panahon. Never
again to the Marcoses, never again to martial law!”
Karapatan’s founding secretary general and eventually became its
chairperson. She worked with several martial law survivors and human
rights advocates in the pursuing the landmark class action suit
against the estate of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and in
the campaign for justice and indemnification of victims of human
rights violations under martial law. Her sister, Liliosa, was the
first documented victim of extrajudicial killing of an activist
under detention after Marcos’ martial law was imposed. Marie and
several members of her family were detained and tortured as well.
In Karapatan, Marie led
campaigns against the extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced
disappearance and other gross human rights violations against
activists and civilians, particularly during the administrations of
former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Rodrigo Duterte.
In a written tribute read
during the gathering, former UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston
said: “Before I visited the Philippines as United Nations Special
Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions in February 2007, I was
warned that she was a trouble-maker and that I should not trust any
information that she provided to me... I soon came to the conclusion
that Marie was the ‘real deal.’ She didn’t make empty or careless
allegations. Instead, she provided detailed, carefully put together,
dossiers on each of the cases of the alleged killings that she
presented to me... She stood out as an outstanding example of
someone who dedicated her life to human rights. She was indeed a
trouble-maker, but in the best sense and in the highest of causes.
She loved her people and her country in the best possible way and I
mourn her passing.”
Marie’s colleagues in
Karapatan led by its chairperson Tita Lubi and friends during
martial law, including those while in detention, rights advocates
including Mrs. Edita Burgos, Atty. Edre Olalia, former Secretary
Judy Taguiwalo and Bonifacio Ilagan, and several human rights and
people’s organizations also spoke in the said program.
“Marie dedicated her life
in advancing and defending people’s rights – and in the face of a
massive human rights crisis in the Philippines as well as the threat
of a Marcos restoration and Duterte extension, we turn towards
Marie’s life and legacy as a courageous human rights defender as our
guiding light in the continuing struggle against tyranny and
fascism. As we approach the upcoming elections, we call on all
freedom-loving Filipinos to honor Marie and the many other heroes
and martyrs of martial law by fighting for our hard-won rights and
freedoms. We are all called to firmly reject the Marcoses and
Dutertes in the elections and beyond, and, like Marie, we are
compelled to relentlessly pursue justice and to hold them
accountable for their crimes against the Filipino people,” Palabay
hospital at New Bilibid Prison for continued provision of health
care to 28,000 detainees
Head of Delegation Boris Michel (fifth from right) and Assistant
Secretary Gabriel Chaclag (fifth from left) during the ribbon
cutting ceremony at the hospital’s inauguration. Joining them
are other ICRC and BuCor officials.
May 2, 2022
MANILA – To ensure
the continued provision of basic health-care services for 28,000
detainees in Muntinlupa City’s New Bilibid Prison (NBP), a 150-bed
temporary hospital was inaugurated today by officials of the Bureau
of Corrections (BuCor) and the International Committee of the Red
The 4,000 sq m temporary
facility, which was designed and built by the BuCor and the ICRC,
has an emergency room, pharmacy, intensive care unit, dental clinic
and psychiatric ward. Staffed by 147 workers, it can provide minor
surgical services to patients. It also supports the newly built
tuberculosis (TB) laboratory inside NBP by serving as an isolation
and treatment facility for patients who have tested positive for TB.
Some of the medical equipment inside the hospital have been donated
by the ICRC.
“We remain committed to
support the BuCor to guarantee the detainees’ right to adequate
health care. The temporary hospital will help improve the quality of
medical care for detainees and provide a good working environment
for NBP’s health workers,” says Boris Michel, head of the ICRC’s
delegation in the Philippines.
With the temporary
hospital, detainees will no longer have to be transported to medical
facilities outside NBP unless they have major health problems. They
will have access to its services while the BuCor builds NBP’s
500-bed permanent hospital.
The temporary hospital
will also serve as a referral facility for the infirmaries in the
minimum and medium security compounds. Prior to its construction,
detainees were treated inside medical tents.
The ICRC’s support for
detainee health care in NBP began in June 2013 with technical
assistance through monitoring, supervising and evaluating the
implementation of the national TB programme.
According to BuCor, the
NBP has a congestion rate of 348 per cent, making its detainees
susceptible to communicable diseases such as COVID-19 and TB.
“We commend the ICRC team
in the country for its very professional and collaborative approach
in the performance of its mission as an impartial, neutral and
independent humanitarian organization. Maraming salamat at mabuhay
po kayo sa ICRC!” says Assistant Secretary Gabriel P. Chaclag,
BuCor’s Deputy Director General for Administration.
The ICRC has been
supporting the NBP in its COVID-19 response through the provision of
equipment and technical support since the start of the pandemic. It
has also been assisting the NBP in the vaccination of detainees
The ICRC is a strong
advocate of the e-dalaw programme and announced today that it would
donate equipment that would help NBP detainees keep in touch with
their loved ones through voice and video calls.
Since 2007, the ICRC has
been working closely with the Philippine authorities to help ease
the consequences of extreme overcrowding in jails, focusing
particularly on health issues such as TB treatment, and improving
living conditions of persons deprived of liberty (PDL).
DTI Chief: US IT
firm eyeing high-value BPO presence in PH
May 2, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC –
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez met
with Mphasis Corporations’ CEO Nitin Rakesh and Industry Solutions
Group SVP & Global Head Indranil Roy on 22 April 2022 to discuss the
company’s plans to have its first business process outsourcing (BPO)
presence in the Philippines.
The US information
technology (IT) company expressed interest in the Philippines as a
major investment location for their high-value services with an
initial headcount of 1,500 - 2,000 IT-Call Center Jobs.
“Our country is increasing
its capacity to become a global player in IT-enabled services
through the provision of analytical and AI skills development,
competitive enabling environment, and cost efficiencies. This,
thereby, ensures that investors can profitably serve international
and fast-growing regional markets,” Sec. Lopez said.
Meanwhile, Mphasis’ Mr.
Roy disclosed that a number of their clients, which are major
American banks and insurance companies, have advised them to look
into the Philippines for their BPM operations highlighting their
preference for the Filipino brand of service and skill sets.
As Mphasis prides itself
as being known in the industry as a client-centric organization,
they are bent to accommodate clients’ wishes such as setting-up
operations in the Philippines. The company provides IT services to
banking and finance, healthcare, telecommunication, logistics and
other high-tech industries. They employ around 40,000 employees
across the globe such as IT-BPO facilities in India, Mexico, Taiwan,
Costa Rica, Germany, and UK. Mphasis is a subsidiary of the New York
-based financial giant Blackstone Group.
Secretary Lopez also noted
that despite the challenges, the IT-Business Process Management (BPM)
sector did not lay off workers during the pandemic. He mentioned how
resources would not be a problem as the country has a workforce of
49 million, generates 800,000 graduates annually, with 30% coming
from the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Joining them in the
discussion, Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head and
Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo mentioned that BOI has an MOU with
the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and can also link Mphasis
with various education institutions for curriculum customization and
talent development. He added that another resource that they can tap
into is the returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have an
advantage in terms of experience with their new knowledge and skills
acquired from their respective countries. Lastly, USec Rodolfo
expounded on the advantages of the Corporate Recovery and Tax
Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.
The Philippine Information
Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry has
contributed a total of USD26.7 billion and USD23.8 billion in
service exports in 2020. The Philippines gained 13% of the global
market share and is serving North America, APAC, and EU Markets. The
industry has contributed 1.3 million direct jobs and 4.5 million
jobs with more than 700 BPO companies in the country. The startup
ecosystem in the country also has a strong potential to flourish
with around 500 start-ups businesses.
“Our continued efforts to
upskill our workforce and liberalize our industries through major
economic reforms under President Duterte’s guidance and leadership,
partnered with our strong economic fundamentals, have proven our
capability to position the Philippines as an ideal investment hub in
Southeast Asia. We look forward to how the next generation of
leaders can further build on these successes,” Sec. Lopez said.
agrarian beneficiaries sign marketing agreement
Hilaba Farmers Association based in Marabut, Samar and the
Tacloban City Jail Male Dorm sign a marketing agreement under
the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR’s) Enhanced Partnership
Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program.
(Jose Alsmith L.
April 30, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – A
farmer organization based in Marabut, Samar thanked the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for introducing them to institutional
buyers as steady markets for their products.
Chairman of the Hilaba Farmers Association (HFA), was so happy to
tie-up with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP),
specifically the Tacloban City Jail Male Dorm, as a sure market for
their fresh eggs.
Earlier this month,
Maligmat and Jail Chief Inspector Bernardino Edgar Camus signed a
marketing agreement where HFA will be the jail’s supplier of fresh
eggs for the consumption of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
The signing was held at
the Tacloban City Jail Male Dorm. It was witnessed by Melecia Ong,
Chief of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development
Sustainability Program (ARBDSP) Division of the DAR Regional office
8 and SJO3 Ferdinand Ordovez, Chief Operations Officer of the
Tacloban City Jail Male Dorm.
Maligmat and Camus agreed
that HFA will deliver no less than 24 trays of fresh eggs every
month to the said facility and will be paid based on the prevailing
Camus commented, “We hope
this will continue so we can help the farmers, while for the Bureau,
we can buy cheaper and nutritious food for our PDLs.”
The tie-up was facilitated
by Salfie Macalde and James Albia of DAR Samar Provincial Office
under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP)
HFA is one of the agrarian
reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) being assisted by DAR.
According to Maligmat,
“Aside from fresh eggs, our organization has sufficient supply of
other farm commodities, the most popular of which is lettuce.”
Evangelista-Escudero shows love and support for women in livelihood
training in Muntinlupa
April 29, 2022
SORSOGON CITY –
Global brand ambassador and social media celebrity Heart
Evangelista-Escudero has visited the Muntinlupa Training and
Resource Center for Women (MTRCW) to find ways on how to support the
community as part of her women empowerment advocacy.
During her visit on
Wednesday, the actress and fashion icon learned about the process of
making local products that included bottled bangus, gourmet tuyo and
tinapa as well as peanut butter.
The 37-year-old GMA Kapuso
star, wife of Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero who is seeking a
return to the Senate, also took time to interact with some 160 women
who are undergoing various livelihood trainings to augment the
income of their families.
In her brief remarks, Mrs.
Escudero urged the ladies to get into small business after finishing
their training, which is being provided for free by the city
government through the Gender and Development (GAD) Office and the
Muntinlupa City Technical Institute (MCTI).
“I am here to just show my
support sa lahat ng ginagawang mga programa para sa women
empowerment and of course, I am here for the women that have gone
very difficult times of their life. Sana makatulong sa inyong
makapagnegosyo ang natutunan ninyo dito,” Evangelista-Escudero said.
“We, as women, are here to
give love, to take care of people and so as we get together, let us
empower each other, support each other. Suportahan din po natin ang
mga programa na ibinibigay ng city para mas maging maayos ang ating
mga buhay at mabigyan natin ng pansin ang mga capacities natin to
create wonderful things and create an impact,” she added.
The GAD office said in a
Facebook post that the actress visited the livelihood training
center to help the women promote their products.
“Ang layunin ng kanyang
pagbisita ay upang tulungan tayo na maipakilala ang mga produktong
gawa ng Muntinlupeño sa iba't ibang lugar sa ating bansa,” it said.
GAD Chair Trina Biazon
thanked the actress for visiting the center and lauded her for using
her celebrity status to advocate women empowerment and champion
“We are very thankful that
Heart accepted our invitation to visit and get to know the women
here at the center. Her presence was a big morale booster for all of
us,” she said.
“Mula sa Muntinlupa Gender
and Development Office & MCTI Tesda, Maraming Salamat, Ms. Heart
Evangelista-Escudero for visiting the Muntinlupa Training and
Resource Center for Women,” she added.
DENR, LBP, ROD
renew support for DAR
from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),
Land Bank of the Philippines-Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC),
and Registry of Deeds (ROD) sign Pledge of Support for the
attainment of the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR’s) 2022
April 28, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY –
Regional Director Atty. Robert Anthony Yu thanked the officials from
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Land
Bank of the Philippines-Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC) and the
Registry of Deeds (ROD) after they expressed renewal of support to
DAR’s attainment of its targets in Eastern Visayas this year.
The three government
offices play vital roles in DAR’s accomplishment of targets in the
Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) component of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Engr. Ramon Unay, Head of
DENR’s Surveys and Mapping Division, together with Manager Fiel
Pedrosa of the LBP-AOC, and all the Registrars of the different RODs
in Eastern Visayas expressed their continued support to the smooth
and speedy implementation of CARP in the region during the
Synchronized Planning and Problem-Solving Session organized by DAR.
All the officials from the
said line agencies signed the Pledge of Support for DAR Eastern
Visayas following targets for 2022: Land Survey, 796.0513 hectares;
Land Valuation, 117 landholdings covering 867.8535 hectares; and
Registration of Emancipation Patents and/or Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (EP/CLOA), 1,526.9917 hectares.
Atty. Yu clarified that
these are just under DAR’s regular targets. There is another set of
targets under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual
Title (SPLIT), a special project of the agency which seeks to
parcelize collective CLOAs previously distributed by the DAR into
The line agencies and the
DAR had lengthy discussions and exchanged views regarding their
problems, issues and concerns arising from the implementation of
CARP, even resolving problems on land valuation and registration of
more than 29 hectares of landholdings.
With the full support of
the three line agencies, Atty. Yu anticipates a 100 percent
accomplishment for Eastern Visayas by the end of the year.
reoffers PDC trainings
April 27, 2022
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the only government-owned and
operated maritime training and research institution in the country,
has reoffered the Professional Development Courses (PDC) in its main
office at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City, commencing with IMO Model
Course 6.09 or the Training Course for Instructors and Assessors.
This training is the first PDC training offered this year here in
Tacloban which will run from 25 April-4 May 2022, with a total of 12
The IMO MC 6.09 is a
10-day course for seafarers/non-seafarers who intends to acquire the
necessary knowledge and proficiency to teach in the maritime
education in accordance to the International Convention on Standards
of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW),
1978, as amended.
During the opening program
conducted to formally start the said training, Executive Director
Joel B. Maglunsod emphasized in his message the importance of the
course in enhancing the skills of trainers, as a vital factor in the
effective delivery of trainings, thus producing competent Filipino
seafarers. He also stressed the many challenges the institution
faced just to sustain its operations especially the conduct of
trainings amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the disease
outbreak, NMP’s training courses were halted along with the
offerings of the PDC courses both its main office in Tacloban and in
NMP Manila. With the approved post ECQ Protocols of the Maritime
Industry Authority (MARINA) NMP was able to revive back its
trainings. However, in accordance with the protocols imposed by the
Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging
Infectious Diseases and the Local Government Units, class intakes
were reduced to 50% and accommodated clients only from within Region
VIII. This affected the operation of the PDC’s since most takers of
the said course are from outside the region. Hence, PDC courses were
conducted offsite and in NMP Manila office only.
The PDC is one of flagship
trainings of the agency and NMP is also the pioneering institution
to offer IMO Model courses. It was developed to provide the maritime
industry a pool of competent trainers equipped with appropriate
approach and discipline in the delivery of training courses, which,
in effect will enhance the skills and capabilities of the Filipino
constructed for passing motorists
ROMELLA LALAINE A. GUARDE
April 22, 2022
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office constructed a bridge
situated in Brgy. Sigo, Calbayog City. The said project has a
revised contract amount of P11,146,107.58 million under the “Tulay
ng Pangulo Para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo (TPKP)”.
The Sigo Bridge has a
total length of 28.80 meters and a width of 10 meters. It is a
double-laned bridge and a small riprap was likewise constructed on
the side of the bridge where part of the soil foundation is
susceptible to erosion.
Initially, a box culvert
was built for easy flow of huge amounts of water, and at the same
time, it was used as a passage for vehicles. However, due to
continuous scouring from flowing of water, it has caused damage to
the structure which prompted the DPWH-Samar I to build a bridge
A bridge is usually
constructed over a physical obstacle such as a body of water to
provide crossing over that obstacle. As a system for transportation,
a bridge is built to be strong enough to safely support its own
weight as well as the weight of both public and private vehicles
DTI works on
ENDEC, B&V to build RE-enabled hyperscale data centers in PH
International Trade Relations
April 20, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC –
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez pursued
investors that will build hyperscale data centers, with the
corresponding renewable energy generation projects that should
provide for their power requirements. This was discussed mainly
during a meeting with executives from ENDECGROUP Inc. and Black and
Veatch (B&V) on 18 April 2022.
The trade chief cited the
Duterte administration’s major economic reforms and investment
promotion activities on high-tech-oriented projects. “Among our
priority sectors include those that promote Regional Equity, Digital
Infrastructure and Skills Development, and Climate Adaptation, which
can potentially be categorized under Tier III of the Strategic
Investment Priority Plan (SIPP).
Building more data centers
supports our strategy to build the country’s digital infrastructure
needed for the hyperscalers in this age of growing e-commerce and
internet and social media use,” Secretary Lopez said.
“The setting-up of
renewable energy projects would also benefit from the recent policy
move to allow greater foreign equity participation in renewable
energy projects. DTI-BOI team has also been pushing for more green
metals processing activities or the further processing of nickel,
copper and cobalt as new efficient minerals for batteries and
battery energy storage for clean energy systems,” the Trade
The National Economic and
Development Authority (NEDA) has also been pursuing digital
transformation as a means to sustain the recovery and enhance the
resiliency of the country in 2022 and into the next administration.
During the same meeting, NEDA Undersecretary Rose Edillon
highlighted digital transformation as one of the priorities of the
Task Group on Recovery and one of the focuses of the updated
Philippine Development Plan (PDP).
During the meeting, the
trade chief likewise mentioned the Philippine Skills Framework (PSF)
initiative, which will ensure capacity building and availability of
skills in digital technology, and the Center for AI Research, which
will encourage more innovation in these new industries.
“These, we see, will
further grow the Philippine economy by nurturing higher-value
economic activities, bringing in more investments, jobs, and income
– which would further fuel consumption spending, as well as attract
more investments and expansion activities,” Secretary Lopez added.
For his part, B&V
Executive Director Mr. Martin Travers took note of the Philippine
policies on electric vehicles (EVs), renewable energy, and data
centers which align with the priorities and strategic direction of
the US firm. B&V is among the top 10 employee-owned companies in the
US, with experience in deploying a network of EV charging stations.
It is also among the top data center developers in the world and a
leader in climate-friendly data centers.
Chairman and CEO Mr. Bill Johnson highlighted the country’s
strategic location in the Asia Pacific region, existing
infrastructure in telecommunications and submarine cables, strong
business process outsourcing (BPO) hub, and ability to develop
renewable energy to power data infrastructure as some of the reasons
for considering the Philippines as an ideal location for their
“With the sound economic
policies and reforms already set in place, we are confident and
optimistic that the next leaders in government will be able to build
upon the successes and continue the gains of the Duterte
administration,” Secretary Lopez said.
Last 4 April, ENDEC
together with its US partner, Diode Ventures LCC, met with Board of
Investments (BOI) Managing Head and Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo
to discuss further its serious and substantial business plans in the
Philippines. In the same meeting, ENDEC CEO Mr. William Johnson
recognized BOI’s efficiency in assisting the group in moving forward
with their business plans in the Philippines.
DTI, ENDEC, and B&V are
committed to working together in accelerating this project.