support to Samar’s agri development programs
Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III met Samar Governor Sharee
Ann Tan and all the provincial board members and mayors in
Marabut town where he pledged to support the province’s
agricultural development programs.
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
February 17, 2023
MARABUT, Samar –
Not only projects from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) did
Secretary Conrado Estrella III commit to Samar governor Sharee Ann
Tan during the former’s recent visit to Eastern Visayas, but
promised to link them as well to other government agencies, and even
to the president in support to the province’s agricultural
The two government
officials had a short meeting at the Layao Beach Resort in this
municipality after Estrella distributed Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (CLOAs) and turned over a “Tulay ng Pangulo” project
and several farm equipment and machineries in nearby Balangiga town
in the province of Eastern Samar.
Prior to Estrella’s
arrival to Region-8, Tan arranged an audience with him to discuss
her administration’s plan to develop the coconut and cacao
industries in the province.
In his meeting with Tan,
which was also attended by the provincial board members and all the
city and town mayors of Western Samar, Estrella said that DAR could
establish processing centers in agrarian reform communities (ARCs)
where there are huge number of agrarian reform beneficiaries who
would be benefited by these projects.
Aside from various support
services that could be extended by DAR, Estrella expressed that he
will invite Bernie Cruz, former DAR Secretary, now the Administrator
of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), who is expected to
provide better assistance to their coconut-related endeavors, in
their future meetings.
Based on the data gathered
from the Samar web site, coconut is the main commercial crop in the
province, which are mostly concentrated in coastal areas.
Estrella also assured the
local government officials that he will mention their plan in
developing the agriculture sector during cabinet meetings to solicit
assistance from other government agencies.
President Ferdinand Marcos
Jr. wants to bring the government closer to the people, Estrella
In her facebook post, Tan
shared, “Thank You, Secretary Estrella, for sharing your time and
thoughts with us. We look forward to a steady partnership with you
and DAR as we continue our efforts to better serve the people of
Plans of the Samar
provincial government in developing the Peace and Prosperity Village
within the Calbiga-Pinabacdao Settlement Project, where DAR donated
a three-hectare lot as the agency’s contribution to the End Local
Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), was likewise discussed in this
stresses the importance of RCEP and stronger PH-EU trade relations
February 17, 2023
MAKATI CITY –
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual
boasted about the Philippine government’s ongoing efforts to create
an enabling environment where businesses can thrive during the
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) Luncheon
Meeting held on 16 February 2023 at the Dusit Thani Manila.
During his keynote speech,
Secretary Pascual unveiled the priorities of the DTI to facilitate
increased trade and investment and to improve global
competitiveness, “The goal is to grow our economy and develop
globally competitive and innovative industries that support
inclusive growth and quality of life for all Filipinos”, he said.
The Trade Chief also took
the opportunity to advocate the ratification of RCEP stating that,
"The drive for immediate ratification of the Regional Comprehensive
Economic Partnership Agreement and other trade agreements is
considered vital to expand the country’s market reach and foster
globally competitive economic industries. The possible influx of
investments that these agreements would bring will also create
employment opportunities for Filipinos." Likewise, President
Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier emphasized that RCEP would greatly
complement the country's game-changing economic reforms.
Apart from RCEP, Secretary
Pascual urged European businesses to support the Philippines'
re-application for the upcoming renewal of the European Union
Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+). This was also
supported by Assistant Secretary Allan B. Gepty, who was also
present at the Luncheon Meeting and underscored the significant role
of the EU-GSP+ during the open forum, “That is why EU-GSP+ is very
important because it caters to the demands, the needs of our local
stakeholders, and even investors who are exporting to the EU
market”, he said.
Secretary Pascual further
reiterated that “the Philippines counts on European businesses’
continued support for our re-application in the upcoming renewal of
the EU-GSP+ scheme and our advocacy to resume the PH-EU FTA
negotiations. Your business presence here proves that the
Philippines stands on sound economic and social reforms.”
The European Chamber of
Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is a bilateral foreign chamber
that promotes European interests in the Philippines and vice versa.
ECCP also organizes business meetings; seminars with resource
speakers from the Philippines, Asia, and Europe, which coordinate
the position of the business sector; as well as dialogues with the
Philippine government officials on important economic issues
affecting the Philippine-European business relations.
No to RCEP! No to
sellout of PH economy! – GABRIELA
February 17, 2023
QUEZON CITY – The
national alliance of Filipino women GABRIELA denounced Marcos Jr.’s
push for Congress to immediately ratify the Regional Comprehensive
Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, citing that the move will have ‘dire
consequences’ to food security and to the agriculture industry in
the Philippines. The women’s group called on legislators to exercise
its autonomy as an independent branch of the government and ‘refuse
to be complicit in further jeopardizing farmers’ livelihoods and in
the sellout of our patrimony.”
“Words obviously mean
nothing to pathological liars like the Marcoses. From supposedly
having ‘reservations’ about the RCEP, Marcos Jr. has since
completely backpedaled by leading the push for its ratification – to
the detriment of the already suffering agricultural sector.
Naturingang DA Secretary pero puro peste sa magsasaka ang dala ni
Marcos, mula sa Rice Liberalization Law, importasyon ng mga
produktong pang-agrikultura, at ngayon ito namang RCEP,” hit
GABRIELA Secretary General Clarice Palce.
GABRIELA cited how farmers
– millions of whom are women – are struggling to compete with
imported products due to government’s neglect of agriculture. Many
are drowning in debt because of sky-high production costs and
depressed farmgate prices. Agri groups have been calling for subsidy
and aid, as well as for an end to Marcos Jr.’s import-driven
response to soaring prices of farm products.
“Departamento ng Angkat
ang pinatatakbo ni Pangulong Marcos. Kung dati’y nagkakanda-kuba
lang ang magsasaka habang nananatiling hikahos, ngayon
nagsisimatayan na ang marami sa amin. Nito lamang Enero, limang
magsasaka ang nagpakamatay sa Bayambang, Pangasinan. Ayon mismo sa
misis ng isa sa kanila, pagkabaon sa utang ang nagtulak sa asawa
niyang gawin ito dahil hindi umano nito mabawi ang milyong utang
para sa produksyon dahil sa importasyon. Nasaan ang kalinga ng
gobyerno sa nagpapakain sa taumbayan?” raised Amihan National
Chairperson Zen Soriano.
With women’s month just
around the corner, women agricultural workers are among the sectors
that GABRIELA aims to highlight on March 8, the International
Working Women’s Day, as they are among the most underpaid and
undervalued workers In the Philippines and across the globe.
GABRIELA and Amihan both
urged the government to prioritize the interests of Filipino farmers
and the country. The groups emphasized that Congress must oppose
RCEP and instead pass measures to strengthen the agricultural sector
of the country, which in recent years had historically the lowest
share in GDP despite the Philippines being an agricultural country.
GABRIELA urged, “give Filipino farmers a fighting chance.”
“Malaking pagtatraydor sa
bansa ang pagsasaalang-alang sa sektor ng agrikultura, laluna habang
kumakaharap ng malalang kagutuman ang mamamayan. Kaya hinahamon
namin ang mga mambababatas na wag magsilbing ‘rubberstamp’ lang ni
Marcos Jr., at sa halip ay tindigan ang mamamayang nagluklok sa
kanila sa puwesto. Pilipinas naman,” Palce called.
teams from conflict-affected areas in Samar compete in the
prestigious Thirsty Cup
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 15, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The Stormkickers and Palapag Football Club competed in
the recently concluded 17th Thirsty Cup on February 12, 2023, held
at Abellana Sports Complex, Cebu City.
The Thirsty Cup is a 3-day
football competition where more than 200 teams from all over the
Philippines competed to clench for the championship and be
Major General Camilo Z.
Ligayo, Commander of 8th Infantry Division organized the team with
the Palapag Football Club which was composed of kids from remote
barangays or barangays then influenced by NPAs in Northern Samar
when he was still the Commander of 801st Infantry Brigade.
The Stormkickers is
composed of 10 females and 15 male players that participated in the
Ladies Open and Under 19 (U19) Boys Categories, respectively. On the
other hand, the Palapag FC has 10 players that participated in the
Under 13 (U13) Boys Category.
Under the Ladies Open, the
team garnered three wins and made it up to the Quarter Finals, and
in the U13 category, the Palapag FC recorded two wins.
Even though the team
didn’t advance to the championship finals, Private Rueben Ranille,
one of the Stormkickers and Palapag FC coaches, was appreciative of
the chance given to these eager football neophytes.
Private Ranille has also
expressed his gratitude to 8ID Commander, Maj. Gen. Ligayo, for the
new milestone achieved by the team.
“Iyon ‘yong pinaka-first
time nilang maglaro at nakakaproud kasi ang mga bata na kasali sa
Palapag FC ito ang mga bata na tinuruan ko noong nasa Community
Support Program pa ako. Nagpapasalamat kami sa ating 8ID Commander,
Maj. Gen. Ligayo, kasi sinusuportahan niya ang mga programa na pang
sports. Syempre malaki rin ang aming pasasalamat sa oportunidad na
ito kasi alam namin na magbubukas pa ito ng iba pang oportunidad
para sa mga kabataan nating football players,” Private Ranille said.
Both teams were coached by
two soldiers of 8ID, Philippine Army, Private Rueben Ranille and
Corporal Edelyn Panaguiton, and another soldier who also played
during the said competition under the Women’s Category, Private
Meanwhile, 8th Infantry
Division Commander, Major General Camilo Ligayo, congratulated the
team for their hard work and for making it to the said competition.
“I assure you my full
support to sports, especially these football teams. I believe that
they will achieve more in the future; we just need to support, help
and train them.”
“It is better to immerse
our children or youths in sports to give them opportunities which
are way better than engaging in activities organized by left-leaning
groups,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo concluded.
DTI chief graced
the launching of OTOP Hub in Bacoor, Cavite
Congressman Bryan Revilla, Congresswoman Lani Mercado-Revilla,
Vice Mayor Rowena Mendiola, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, DTI-CALABARZON
OIC Regional Director Marissa Argente, DTI-Cavite Provincial
Director Revelyn A. Cortez.
DTI-OSEC-Public Relations Unit
February 14, 2023
BACOOR CITY, Cavite
– On 14 February 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Secretary Fred Pascual graced the launching of the One Town, One
Product (OTOP) Hub in Bacoor City, Cavite. The OTOP Hub in Bacoor is
the second one established in the Province of Cavite, this is in
partnership with the Office of Congresswoman Lani Mercado-Revilla,
Mayor Strike Revilla, the City Livelihood Office, and the Local
Government Unit (LGU) of Bacoor.
OTOP Philippines is a
priority program of the government to assist micro, small, and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) in reaching wider markets. The Hub in
Bacoor will serve as a venue for OTOPreneurs to strengthen linkages,
negotiate potential partnerships and collaborations with other MSMEs
and institutional buyers, and showcase various products developed
under the OTOP Next Generation Product Development Project.
The launching was also
attended by Congresswoman Lani Mercado-Revilla, Congressman Bryan
Revilla, DTI Undersecretary Blesila A. Lantayona, Assistant
Secretary Dominic Tolentino, DTI-CALABARZON OIC Regional Director
Marissa Argente, DTI-Cavite Provincial Director Revelyn A. Cortez,
Mayor Strike Revilla, Negosyo Center Manager Ms. Carmelita Gawaran,
and Councilor Reynaldo Fabian.
NMP sets course
for 2023; Aligns commitments with DMW
February 14, 2023
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), the only maritime training and
research center in the country, has aligned its course for 2023 with
the programs and organizational outcome of the Department of Migrant
Workers (DMW) during its recently concluded Hybrid Agency Planning
Exercise on 07 February 2023.
As NMP embarks on a new
chapter, as it fully transitions to the DMW, its sectoral and
organizational outcomes for FY 2023 are set to change in line with
the shift in its client focus. Its Sectoral Outcome, as drawn from
the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 will focus on the
Improvement of Quality of Life of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
and their Families. By closely aligning its goals with DMW, NMP will
be strategically positioned to make a significant impact in the
achievement of the department's Organizational Outcome, that is:
Empowerment and Protection of Overseas Filipino Workers Ensured.
As a subsumed agency of
the DMW, NMP is specifically responsible for the implementation and
successful realization of the Maritime Research and Skills
Competency Program, one (1) of the four (4) programs of the
Under the said program,
NMP has three (3) Outcome Indicators that need to be attained this
year: (1) 82% employment for seafarer-trainees a year after
completion of their training; (2) 100% of seafarer-trainees having
jobs related to the skills they acquired through training at NMP;
and (3) 100% of research papers used as input for policy formulation
and program development.
Additionally, NMP also has
three (3) key Output Indicators as stated in the 2023 General
Appropriations Act: (1) 10,000 trainees/participants who
successfully completed the course; (2) 100% trainees issued with
certification within 72 hours of successful completion of all course
requirements; and (3) 2 completed research projects.
2023 is indeed a
challenging year for NMP. While some targets represent a significant
increase compared to the previous years, others bring NMP back to
its pre-pandemic commitments. The achievement of these targets will
undoubtedly require dedicated efforts, innovative approaches, and a
steadfast commitment to excellence from all NMP personnel.
Accordingly, NMP’s four
(4) organizational units have outlined specific action plans and
strategies that are aligned with the overall commitments of the
Agency. The four (4) units will be working closely together and with
stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of these plans
and the achievement of the desired outcomes. Regular monitoring and
evaluation of their performance will also be conducted to ensure
that the Agency stays on track and remains accountable to its
As NMP sets its sights on
its targets for the year, NMP OIC Executive Director, Mayla N.
Macadawan emphasized the importance of keeping in mind that the
Agency is currently in a period of transition.
“DMW is still in the
process of becoming fully operational and this may pose challenges
in meeting our targets for the year. To overcome these potential
hurdles, it is vital to have a clear and defined roadmap. To guide
our efforts and ensure success, we should align our plans with the
comprehensive Strategic Plan 2023-2028, which outlines a six-year
strategy for the NMP,” she disclosed. “While we receive instructions
to continue as usual, it is uncertain what directives will be given
from higher authorities in the future. There may be instructions
that may not be aligned with our current commitments, however, they
may have recognized the need to address them,” she added.
She also encouraged all
employees to adopt a positive mindset and embrace the changes that
come with the transition, by doing so, NMP ensures to continuously
provide quality services to its clients.
Further, she emphasized
the crucial importance of each employee's contribution in realizing
NMP's mandates and objectives. She noted that each individual's
performance has a far-reaching impact on the success of the
organization and stressed the need for a collaborative effort
towards reaching common goals, so as to take NMP to even greater
“Let us all work together
to rekindle the excitement and passion that brought us to government
service. Let us rediscover the joy of serving and find fulfillment
in our work. By doing so, we can not only achieve greater
productivity as government servants, but also find satisfaction and
meaning in our careers,” she mentioned.
its Defense Press Corps, cites media role in information
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 14, 2023
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander of the
Philippine Army's 8th Infantry Division (8ID) recognized the
contribution of the media practitioners in Eastern Visayas during
the reorganization of 8ID press corps on Sunday, February 12, 2023.
In his speech, Maj. Gen.
Ligayo cited the journalists’ hard work as partners in disseminating
accurate and timely information.
“I would like to thank the
8ID press corps for being a reliable partner in our fight of telling
the truth to the people of Eastern Visayas. If we work together, we
can continue to make difference and indeed we can accomplish our
common goal, to serve the people," Maj. Gen. Ligayo said.
The new 8ID press corps
officers took their oath of office before Maj. Gen. Ligayo.
Elected as the new
President is Miriam T. Desacada of Philippine Star, Vice-President
Gina Dean of Kauswagan Radio, Secretary Elmer Recuerdo of Daily
Tribune, Treasurer Josie Serseña of Eastern Visayas Mail, Auditor
Imelda Baronda of Agence France Press, Sgt at Arms Dan Kerk Riqiez
of FMR Tacloban, Leyte Representative Jasmin Bonifacio of Rappler,
Southern Leyte Representative Jade Nombrado, Samar Representative
Rene Castino of DYMS Catbalogan, Eastern Samar Representative
Luisidro Moscosa of GMA 7 Stringer, and Northern Samar
Representative Danny Balading.
In her statement, Desacada
urged fellow media practitioners to unite and set aside differences.
“We are journalists! And
inside the Press Corps, we must have unity, which means we must work
together for the common good. There is no other way to merit us to
be called journalism professionals, except to show to the 8th ID and
the public that we are men and women of integrity and credibility in
the profession”, said Desacada.
Before the election, the
journalists from different media outlets in Eastern Visayas gathered
for a two-day activity for team building to strengthen the corps'
unity and camaraderie. The reorganization of the press corps aims to
facilitate the dissemination of the programs and projects of the 8ID
in Region 8.
Among the activities
conducted were marksmanship, command briefing, and team building.
group appeal to PBBM: Take full control of Malampaya
February 13, 2023
MANILA – Former DOE
Undersecretary Eduardo Mañalac and the National Movement for the
West Philippine Sea (NYMWPS) on Monday, February 13, appealed to
President Bongbong Marcos to terminate the Service Contract 38 or
the Malampaya project when it expires in 2024.
The Malampaya project is
currently operated by Prime Infrastructure Capital owned by Enrique
Razon Jr. and Udenna, owned by Dennis Uy.
Mañalac and NYMWPS
instead, asked Marcos Jr. to order the Philippine National Oil
Company (PNOC) to operate the Deepwater Gas-to-Power Project.
The PNOC was created in
1973 by Former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. for the purpose of
taking over operations after the contract ends.
In a news release by
NYMWPS following an online conference last February 9, Mañalac said
this process will deliberately place direct control of Malampaya
operations in the hands of the government.
He added that this will
also serve to maximize earnings for the Filipino people, who are at
this point, losing billions of pesos to what they believe as
unqualified private companies.
Udenna and Prime Infra
currently earn P50M each, or a combined P100M daily from Malampaya
gas, the same amount the Philippines government may earn if it takes
full control of the operations. Presidential Decree No. 87 or the
Oil Exploration Act of 1972 mandates that said activities should
ensure maximum benefits to the people.
PD 87 also requires that
only companies that possess technical expertise and financial
capability shall be granted service contracts. Mañalac and the
NYMWPS had earlier questioned the processes by which Prime Infra and
Udenna acquired the Malampaya interests from Shell and Chevron
because the two service contractors allegedly do not have the
required technical capability to operate the gas field.
Prime Infra and Udenna
each controls 45% stake or a total of 90% of the shares in the gas
field. PNOC holds the remaining 10%. Malampaya supplies 20% of the
power requirements of Luzon, the biggest of three major islands in
arrival honor to the Area Police Commander of Visayas
DPAO, 8ID PA
February 11, 2023
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division,
Philippine Army, rendered an arrival honor to Police Lieutenant
General Patrick T. Villacorte, the new Commander, Area Police
Command (APC), Visayas at the 8ID Grandstand on February 10, 2023.
PLt.Gen. Villacorte is a
former Director of the Philippine National Police Special Action
Force (SAF) and the Commander of APC-Eastern Mindanao. He is a
member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Sambisig" Class of
During the visit,
discussion included among others is the interoperability operations
between the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police in
Eastern Visayas Region to stop the communist terrorists in their
atrocities that affect the socio-economic development in the region.
“We look forward to
upcoming collaborative efforts among security forces for us to be
effective in our efforts to attain peace, stability, and security in
the region,” in a statement made by Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo,
PLt. Gen. Villacorte
expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome rendered to him
during his arrival at the home of the Stormtroopers.
Karapatan scores bill on special privileges for ex-presidents
February 10, 2023
QUEZON CITY – Human
rights alliance Karapatan scored a bill filed in the Senate that
seeks to provide official government roles as well as special
privileges to former presidents at the public’s expense.
“Senate Bill No. 1784 will
benefit three living ex-presidents, all of whom earned infamy for
massive corruption, among other scornful acts,” said Karapatan
secretary general Cristina Palabay.
“Ex-Pres. Joseph Estrada
was forced out of office for the jueteng payola scandal,” said
Palabay. “Ex-Pres. Gloria Arroyo’s nine-year rule was marked with
several impeachment attempts due to the ‘Hello, Garci’ electoral
fraud scandal, the multi-million peso fertilizer and pesticide scam
and the numerous extrajudicial killings and involuntary
disappearances of activists, to name a few,” she added. “And
ex-President Rodrigo Duterte is, of course, infamous for the
thousands of summary executions of suspected drug personalities and
activists, among others.”
“Why should we pay for the
political resurrection of ex-presidents whose reputations stink to
high heaven and who have already been roundly repudiated by the
people?” asked Palabay. “Do the authors of this bill want to make
political resurrections fashionable because the current president
himself is from a family that the Filipino people have relegated to
the trash bins of history?”
“Senate Bill No. 1784 and
its counterpart bill in the House of Representatives should be
rejected the same way its intended beneficiaries have already been
junked by the people,” concluded Palabay.