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DAR gives P1.5M for the establishment of greenhouse in Palo

DAR-Palo greenhouse project MOA
Assistant Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Eastern Visayas, representing Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu, and Mayor Remedios Petilla sign a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of DAR’s Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) program in the municipality of Palo.

January 23, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) downloaded P1.5-Million to the local government unit (LGU) of Palo in the province of Leyte for the establishment of a greenhouse that will be managed by an agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO).

DAR Eastern Visayas chief of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), Melecia Ong, disclosed that the said amount is taken from the Agrarian Reform Fund (ARF) for the implementation of the Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) program.

She further disclosed that the SANAG (San Agustin) Rice Farmers and Livelihood Association, a DAR-assisted farmer organization within the Palo Agrarian Reform Community (ARC), was pre-selected to be the recipient of the greenhouse to help them expand their livelihood activities and generate more income by undertaking the enterprise-based crop nursery project, which is in line with the food security program of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the nine primary goals of Agrarian Reform Secretary Connrado Estrella III, particularly in the provision of modern farm equipment to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Ong added that the strong support of Mayor Remedios Petilla made this municipality qualify for the said project.

The collaboration between DAR and the Palo LGU was sealed towards the end of December last year when DAR Eastern Visayas Assistant Regional Director for Administration and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Sustainability Program, Ismael Aya-ay, representing Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu, and Petilla signed the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the said project.

The LGU will take the lead in the implementation of this project including the engagement and procurement of goods and items.

Petilla, expressed her appreciation and thanks to DAR for choosing her municipality as the recipient of the said project.

According to her, DAR is very receptive. She assured DAR officials and other national agencies of the LGU’s support to any agricultural projects.

“We hope we can put our hearts and minds together to really come up with good agricultural production areas in the province of Leyte, especially in the first district,” Petilla added.

Aside from the benefits the recipient ARBO will get, this project will provide the farmers in the locality access to quality seeds and seedlings and ensure the production of improved crop varieties and better quality of plant materials.

Aya-ay and Petilla likewise talked of intensifying production of herbs and flowers which are also in demand in the markets.





Victims of NPA exploitation in EV withdraw support from CPP, swear oath of allegiance to the government

Victims of NPA exploitation in Alang-alang, Leyte

January 19, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Ninety-three individuals from four mass organizations under the Alang-alang Seksyon Komite (ASK), Regional White Area Committee (RWAC), Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) withdraw their support to the communist terrorist group and take their oath of allegiance to the government in the Municipality of Alang-alang, Leyte last January 19, 2023.

The exploited individuals bonded together to form the Alang-alang Integrated Peace and Development Workers Association and abandoned their former CTG-led organization.

Alang-alang Small Farmers Association (ASFA), Salvacion Coconut Farmers Association (SALCOFA), Alyansa han Gugti na Asosasyon han Parag uma han Tabanguhay (AGAPITA), and Bigaa Samahan han Gugti nga Parag uma han Asosasyon ngan Katirig-uban ha Alang-alang (BISAKA) have been organized to aid the resource generation of the CTGs to sustain their atrocities in Eastern Visayas.

Maj. Gen. Camilo Z. Ligayo Commander of 8th Infantry Division together with Brig. Gen. Noel A. Vestuir, Commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, and the local government units of Alang-alang, Leyte, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Regional Office 8, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and other government agencies attended the indignation rally wherein the victims condemned the exploitations and deceptions of the CTG-led the group.

Likewise, Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla of Leyte led the local government officials and Alang-alang Municipal Mayor Lovell Ann M. Yu in receiving the returning former CTG mass members and supporters.

Other national government agencies also including the DILG, DOLE, DENR, DSWD, OCD, TESDA, DA, DTI, CDA, DAR and PSA graced the occasion to manifest their support and willingness to help improve the lives of the former CTG supporters.

The Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF8-ELCAC) is hands-on in leading the pursuit of the whole-of-government approach and whole-of-nation participation anchored in good governance in ending local communist armed conflict.

Brig. Gen. Noel A. Vestuir, 802nd Brigade Commander, said that the success in compelling the members of the CTG-affiliated Mass Organizations (CAMOs) was achieved through the concerted efforts of the Leyte Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PFT ELCAC), Alangalang Municipal TF ELCAC, member agencies of the 12 clusters and the members of Integrated Peace and Development Workers Association (IPDWA).

Maj. Gen. Camilo Z Ligayo said "They are about to collapse; it is just a matter of time. Their leaders have been captured, most of them surrendered, and others have lie-low, the Chairman of the CPP-NPA, Jose Maria Sison, is already dead. And of course, with the implementation of EO70 or the whole-of-nation approach we are able to deliver the basic services from the government.”





IBP supports former DICT exec

Press Release
January 18, 2023

PASIG CITY – The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) recently lauded the performance and accomplishments of former Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar in public service, saying he lived up to the ideals of the organization in his various stints.

In a resolution, the IBP cited Salazar’s commitment to the organization’s “pursuit of the highest ideals of integrity and excellence in the service of the Nation”. “He (Salazar) likewise espoused these ideals as he took on several major appointive positions in government,” the IBP said.

The IBP issued the resolution following Salazar’s irrevocable resignation from his post as DITC Secretary in December last year to attend to urgent family concerns. Salazar served as National President of the IBP for the Term 2005-2007.

In the resolution, the IBP also noted Salazar’s achievement at the helm of the organization.

“In the performance of these and other roles in the IBP, Atty. Salazar has contributed significantly to the advancement of the goals and ideals of the IBP, particularly in promoting unity and camaraderie within its ranks; in advancing professionalism and professional development among the legal practitioners of the country; and in expanding the IBP’s presence and role in the affairs of the government and society,” the IBP said.

Salazar was key in the formation of LENTE, a multi-sector movement spearheaded by the IBP for the education of voters and for the conduct of clean and honest elections.

“In the several decades of his commitment to and involvement with the IBP, both at the national and regional levels, Atty. Salazar has shown and proven that transparency and integrity are the key hallmarks of his person and character for which reason many members have looked up to him as a role model,” the IBP added.

Meanwhile, lawyer and constitutional law professor John Molo also cited Salazar’s achievements and crusade for reforms. Molo, who is the current Chair of the editorial board of the IBP Law Journal, said Salazar is “warm, amiable and keenly aware of the plight of others”.

In a statement published in the social media page of the Philippine Bar Association, Molo said Salazar “does what he can to fix systemic defects”.

“This is, to some, a failing for one who is in public service,” Molo explained, adding that “I am yet to encounter someone who has personally dealt with him call him a bad man”.

Salazar also spearheaded the country’s fight against modern-day slavery as he served as head of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and Justice Undersecretary from 2007 to 2015.





NPA leaders and members surrenders, 13 high powered firearms seize in EV

13 NPA surrenderees

January 17, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Thirteen New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered along with their issued firearms to the 801st Infantry “Bantay at Gabay” Brigade (801st IBde) of the 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division (8ID), Philippine Army at Barangay Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar last January 12, 2023.

The surrenderers were members of Bugsok Platoon, Sub Regional Committee (SRC) Sesame, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) under the leadership of Martin Colima alias Antos operating in the tri-boundaries of Pinabacdao, Calbiga, and Basey all of Samar.

Their surrender was made possible through the intervention of the Local Peace Engagement (LPE) Cluster of the Provincial Task Force End Local Communist and Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) of Samar. The continued talks with their families and relatives prompted them to return to the folds of the law. According to the surrenderers, the hardships, longingness for their families, and lack of support for the exploited masses are some of the primary reasons that prompted them to leave the armed struggle.

Together with his group, Dino Bachicha alias Linoy the former NPA Terrorist Leader of the Sentro De Grabidad, Bugsok Platoon, SRC Sesame, EVRPC handed over ten M16 rifles, two Cal. 45 and one Glock 17 pistol as a symbol of goodwill and willingness to be integrated back to the society. They also revealed the locations of prohibited anti-personnel mines, medical paraphernalia, and numerous ammunitions.

Meanwhile, Colonel Lenart Lelina, Brigade Commander of the Army's 801st Bde said, “The disintegration of the leaders and members of the EVRPC is a manifestation that our efforts together with our stakeholders and peacebuilders have made them realize that we are sincere to help them.”

“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the members of the PTF-ELCAC for the unending help and effort in quest of attaining lasting peace in Samar.” Col Lelina added.

Likewise, Major General Camilo Z Ligayo the Commander of the 8ID said “The communist terrorist groups are dwindling in numbers and are under pressure with the loss of their forces and mass bases which urged them to surrender to the government authority. Their surrender only proves that they are fed up with the wrong ideologies of the NPA. Also, this indicates that their trust and support are now shifted from the CTG to the government. With this, rest assured that the Army will assist them to avail the benefits under Enhanced Comprehensive and Local Integration Program (ECLIP).”

“I hope that the continued commitment of the Army and different stakeholders in implementing the ECLIP will motivate the remaining members of the NPA to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law,” Maj Gen Ligayo added.

Said surrenderees will process their ECLIP benefits and privileges after their Medical and Physical examination at Camp Lukban Station Hospital.

surrendered firearms from NPA





Soldier sacrifices life during rescue ops in Northern Samar

January 12, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry "Stormtroopers" Division is saddened to report the death of a soldier during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations at Vicinity KM 6, Barangay Happy Valley, San Isidro, Northern Samar last January 11, 2023.

Corporal Jerry Palacio of the 43rd Infantry Battalion (43IB) assigned at Happy Valley Patrol Base situated in Sitio KM7, Brgy. Happy Valley, San Isidro, Northern Samar was on his way to Barangay Poblacion but was swept away by overflowing water current while crossing the concrete bridge in Sitio KM6. Corporal Palacio was dragged downstream and went missing since January 09, 2023.

A joint search, rescue, and retrieval operation were immediately conducted together with 43IB, Philippine National Police, and Philippine Coast Guard.

On January 11, 2023, at 8:30 in the morning the Search Rescue and Retrieval (SRR) operations team together with civilian volunteers located the cadaver of Corporal Palacio at Mauo River, Sitio Marasbaras, Happy Valley, San Isidro, Northern Samar, 3-kilometers away from the incident area.

He was en route to the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in San Isidro to coordinate with the other agencies for the conduct of HADR and to monitor the effects of the continuous rainfall when the unfortunate incident happened.

In his statement, Major General Camilo Z Ligayo, Commander, 8ID said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Corporal Palacio’s family and loved ones during this difficult time, he died trying to save the people of Northern Samar. The Philippine Army will provide appropriate support and assistance to the bereaved family.”

"Despite the unfortunate incident, the Army will continue to deliver its mandate of performing HADR operations in affected areas to save lives", Maj Gen Ligayo added.

The cadaver was brought to the Municipal Health Office of San Isidro, Northern Samar for postmortem examination prior to its transport and turnover to his family in Brgy Chitongco, Mondragon, Northern Samar.





Former NPA Mass Supporters reveals arms cache in Leyte; high powered firearms seized

January 5, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The troops from 14th Infantry Battalion (14IB) of 8th Infantry Division discover and seized an arms cache of four high-powered firearms at the hinterlands of Barangay Maligaya, Mahaplag, Leyte, January 05, 2023.

seized high powered firearmsThis is after the revelation of former supporters of the Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) in the said area.

The said arms cache consists of one AK47 assault rifle, an M16 rifle, an M1 Garand rifle, a 40mm M79 Grenade Launcher, and assorted magazines that belongs to Platoon 1 of Sub-Regional Command-LEVOX, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (P1, SRC-LEVOX, EVRPC).

It was learned that the firearms were buried by the group due to their inability to recruit and recover former mass bases to fill in their ranks.

The series of engagements with the populace and the continued delivery of basic services and socio-economic development in the area have enlightened the populace of the deceptive scheme of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs).

The 14IB has immersed its Community Support Program team in Barangay Maligaya of Mahaplag Leyte and intensified government service through the implementation of the Retooled Community Support Program. And this became an avenue for the barangay to be a recipient of the Support to Barangay Development Project last 2022.

The Commanding Officer of the 14th Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Dela Rosa expressed that indeed the propaganda of the terrorists on convincing the local populace to support them is now futile because of the efforts of the government.

“This achievement displays the support of the civilian populace to the Philippine Army as they no longer want the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) to regain their influence and control in the communities, much more of stockpiling food supplies and armaments,” Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa said that the information and security awareness conducted among the civilians have been one of the great tools to combat the terrorist’s propaganda.

“Our Operation Plan “PAHIBALO”, an information and security awareness program, equipped the civilians with the right information to make them strong enough to stand against the CTG exploitations and deceptions,” Dela Rosa added.

Meanwhile, the Commander of 802nd Infantry Brigade Colonel Noel Vestuir renewed his call on the remaining NPA to surrender.

“I reiterate my call to the remaining NPAs who are still hiding in the mountains in our area of responsibility to surface and join their families in the mainstream of our society. You are no longer welcomed by the people in the communities since they are already with us in our efforts to end this 54 years of local communist armed conflict. They are now giving us the information on your whereabouts, the locations of your pre-positioned foods in the area, and even your arms caches,” Vestuir said.

The Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division Major General Camilo Ligayo lauded the members of the Retooled Community Support Program of the Municipality of Mahaplag for the effective implementation of Whole-of-the-Nation Approach.

"The institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach is an effective tool to eradicate the issues that the CTGs used to deceive our fellow countrymen. With the convergence of Local Government units, national agencies, and government forces, the services and programs for the people are continuously being delivered and this addresses the issues being exploited by the CTGs that pollute the minds of our countrymen," Ligayo said.

Ligayo also assures that the 8ID will support the effort and ensure the implementation of the Barangay Development Projects towards peace and development.





Utility workers take centerstage during DAR Christmas celebration

DAR Christmas celebration

December 30, 2022

TACLOBAN CITY – As the whole world celebrates the holiday season in so many ways, the regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas paid tribute to the ordinary workers during their Christmas festivity which centered on the theme “Pagpupugay sa karaniwang manggagawa.”

During the celebration last week, the 14 utility workers, seven males and seven females, took the centerstage in their shining, shimmering, splendid gowns and suits as they vied for the male and female “Faces of the Night.”

Wearing a black evening gown, Emilyn Fernando’s answer to the question, “Bilang isa sa mga utility worker papano mo maibabahagi ang iyong kakayahan sa DAR,” got the judges nod and emerged the female “Face of the Night.”

According to her, “Kahit walang nakatingin, magtratrabaho ako at saka kahit lumampas po ang oras ko sa trabaho, magtratrabaho din po ako. Bibigyan ko rin po ng respeto lahat.”

For the male category, the judges unanimously chose Menard Sabalza with his answer, “Kun ano talaga an akon trabaho, amo an akon tratrabahu-on. Ngan kun ano an akon mabubuhat ngan mabubulig, amo akon bubuhaton ngan ibubulig ko ha iyo nga tanan.”

Meanwhile, everyone was touched when Julie Ann Sanchez said “maraming-maraming salamat po sa gabing ito. Kahit papano nakaranas kami ng magandang damit, magmake-up, at hindi tagakuskus ng CR, taga-mop at tagalinis ng table.”

The different divisions provided their needs making their total transformation a night to remember. An experience they will forever cherish.





NMP reaches 179% accomplishment in seafarers trained

NMP seafarers training

By National Maritime Polytechnic
December 29, 2022

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the only government maritime training and research center of the country achieved its annual target in training seven thousand (7,000) trainees as stated under its commitment on the Office Performance Commitment Review (OPCR) as part of the agency’s major deliverables for the calendar year 2022.

As of 15 December 2022, the total number of trainees trained is 12,501 composed of trainees aspiring and active seafarers, maritime instructors and assessors and/ or other allied personnel in the maritime industry. This means an accomplishment of 179 % of the 7,000 target trainees to be trained for the year.

This is a notable performance considering the pandemic-related restrictions implemented by NMP wherein its class intake was reduced to 50%-70% from the previous maximum capacity until July 2022 to effectively observe physical distancing. Likewise, NMP started accepting enrollees from other regions only in May 2022.

As part of the NMP’s commitment to prompt service, 100% of trainees received their certificates within seventy-two (72) hours from the successful completion of all course’s requirements. Likewise, the Agency achieved an average satisfaction rating of 94.66% on 8 service quality dimensions as of November 2022. These figures reflect the NMP’s untiring endeavors to ensure the delivery of quality services to its clients.

Moreover, two (2) additional Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) courses, namely: Safety Training for Personnel Providing Direct Services to Passengers in Passenger Spaces and Passenger Ship Crisis Management and Human Behavior Training were accredited by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and will soon be offered in 2023. This would mean additional enrollees to be trained and certificated by end of next year.

Meanwhile, NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide maritime trainings required pursuant to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention as amended in 2010 including value-adding courses towards improving the qualifications of Filipino seafarers for their employment acceptability and enhanced competitiveness. It also regularly conducts maritime studies to come up with policies for the improvement of the manpower sector of the industry.

Those interested to take NMP training programs may visit the Online Registration System via or the agency’s Facebook page ( where all updates and relevant information on NMP programs are available. Likewise, for information on NMP research undertakings please visit the NMP website and access the e-Research Information System Portal ( which is designed to disseminate NMP completed researches, present the Research Agenda, and engage the industry stakeholders to collaborate in the research activities.





IBP congratulates J. Eduardo Malaya on his election as president of the Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration for 2023-2024

Press Release
December 29, 2022

PASIG CITY – The Integrated Bar of the Philippines congratulates the Philippine Ambassador to The Netherlands, J. Eduardo Malaya, on his election as president of the Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) for 2023-2024.

His appointment is a recognition of his exemplary record in diplomacy and government service, having served as undersecretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) from 2019 to 2022 and twice served as Assistant Secretary (Director-General) for Treaties and Legal Affairs from 2007 to 2011 and from 2017 to 2019. He was also the Philippine ambassador to Malaysia from 2011 to 2017 and the DFA spokesman from 2009 to 2011. Furthermore, he has led the Philippine accession in 2010 to the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, which paved the way for the country’s membership in the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

As the first Filipino national to serve at the helm of the Administrative Council of the PCA, the IBP and the Philippine legal community expresses their pride and happiness in Ambassador Malaya’s election. The IBP considers this as an opportunity to uphold its commitment to advance all interests in the preservation of the rule of law. In this regard, the IBP strives to safeguard the ideals of achieving justice and peace through law.

Once again, the IBP congratulates Philippine Ambassador to The Netherlands, J. Eduardo Malaya as he embarks on this endeavor and we look forward to supporting and celebrating his achievements in his new role as president of the Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) for 2023-2024.





2nd tranche wage increase in Region 8 to take effect on January 2, 2023

Press Release
December 28, 2022

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 8 through the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) reminds private employers in Eastern Visayas of the effectivity of the second tranche wage increase under Wage Order No. RBVIII-22.

Starting January 2, 2023, workers in the non-agriculture sector and retail/service establishments employing 11 workers and above will be receiving a daily minimum wage of P375.00.

Meanwhile, employers in the cottage and handicraft industry, agriculture sector and retail/service establishments employing 10 workers and below must pay their workers not lower than P345.00 per day.

DOLE-8 Regional Director and Chairman of the RTWPB VIII, Henry John S. Jalbuena, calls on all employers in the region to adhere to the wage order.

“We at DOLE will be doing our part in ensuring that our workers are receiving what's due them”, said Jalbuena.

It can be recalled that Wage Order No. RBVIII-22 took effect last June 27, 2022, providing for a P50.00 increase to be implemented in two tranches.





Eastern Visayas Youth condemns another year of CPP thru Peace Concert

8ID Peace Concert

December 27, 2022

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City - The 8th Infantry "Stormtroopers" Division, Philippine Army supports the first-ever music festival for peace at Peoples Center, Tacloban City last December 26, 2022.

The said activity is in line with the strong condemnation of the youth for another year of deceptive recruitment done by the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The Music Festival aims to showcase the talents of various youth organizations all over the Region that are dedicated to all youth and members of Peoples Organization who have been victims of the CPP- NPA-NDF recruitment.

The activity also aims to capacitate the youth to be active partners in pursuit of genuine and lasting peace.

The participating performers included are TacMusico, Hands Off Our Children Movement Eastern Visayas Chapter, Istilo Poetry, KBOX, in active participation of Tacloban City Police Office, Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management Cluster, Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

"We support different sectors for a collaborative effort in nation-building particularly to the youth to harness their potential as catalysts for Peace, Growth, and agents of development," said by MGen Camilo Ligayo the Commanding General of the 8th Infantry Division.



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