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NMP supports maritime modernization in Eastern Visayas

Church worker tells UN about continuing rights violations in the PH

DENR, LBP, ROD renew support for CARP implementation in E. Visayas

8ID installs new Battalion Commander of 19IB

Estrella pledges support to Samar’s agri development programs

Rural development seen as DAR turns over 2 bridges in So. Leyte and E. Samar

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

Calbayog City Coastal Road: An update



Tipid Apparel - Affordable Quality Apparels




Eastern Visayas’ economy expands by 6.8% in 2022

2022 Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of Eastern Visayas

By PSA-8
April 27, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas’ economy expanded by 6.8 percent in 2022, from a 6.0 percent growth in 2021. The economic growth was driven by the positive performance of the Industry and Services sectors. The main contributors to the 2022 economic growth were Construction, Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, and Financial and insurance activities.

The total value of goods and services in the region as measured by the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) increased to P492.3 billion in 2022 from P461.1 billion in 2021. The regional economy gained P31.2 billion during the reference period, surpassing the P469.3 billion 2019 pre-pandemic level (see photo above).

Services grew by 10.4 percent in 2022 from 6.3 percent in 2021. All its sub-industries posted growths in 2022. The top industries with the highest growths were tourism-related industries, such as Accommodation and food service activities (46.3%), Transportation and storage (25.0%), and Other services (16.3%).

Industry grew by 7.2 percent in 2022, albeit slower than the 8.0 percent growth in 2021. Among its sub-industries, Mining and quarrying grew fastest at 14.5 percent. Construction followed at 12.7 percent. Electricity, Steam, Water and Waste Management (ESWW), and Manufacturing likewise grew by 7.0 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

growth rates by industry

On the other hand, Agriculture, forestry and fishing (AFF) declined by -6.2 percent in 2022 from 0.1 percent growth in 2021 (see growth rates by industry).

For 2022, Services (47.2%) and Industry (40.6%) shared the bulk of the region’s economy. AFF shared the remaining 12.2 percent (see percent share by industry).

Among the three (3) major industries, Services and Industry contributed 4.8 percentage points and 2.9 percentage points, respectively, to the region’s 6.8 percent growth in 2022. Meanwhile, AFF pulled down the growth by -0.9 percentage point.

The report can be accessed at PSA ( and PSA Regional Statistical Services Office VIII ( official websites.

percent share by industry

See also: EV GRDP 2022  EV GRDE 2022





DAR downloads P100M for 7 road projects in E. Samar town

DAR eastern samar road project
House Minority Leader and 4Ps Party-List Representative Marcelino Libanan, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu, and Oras, Eastern Samar Mayor Roy Ador lead the groundbreaking ceremonies for the ₱100-million worth road concreting projects in eight Oras villages funded under the Agrarian Reform Fund.

April 25, 2023

ORAS, Eastern Samar – More than 10 thousand residents from eight farming villages in this third-class municipality are now looking forward to the realization of their longtime dream, a concrete road that would ease their burden in the conveyance not only of goods, but patients as well.

On April 11 this year, House Minority Leader and 4Ps Party-List Representative, Marcelino Libanan, together with Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu, and Mayor Roy Ador, led the groundbreaking ceremonies in Barangay Saurong for the seven road concreting projects traversing Barangays Iwayan, Minap-os, Nadacpan, Saurong, Agsam, San Eduardo, Alang-alang and Cadi-an.

Yu disclosed that these road concreting projects have a total budget of P100-million taken from the Agrarian Reform Fund (ARF), which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. restored last year.

Libanan, who hails from this town, facilitated the release of the said fund. In his message, he thanked Agrarian Reform Secretary, Conrado Estrella III, for giving priority to this town.

Yu explained that the role of the DAR does not end in providing lands to landless farmers alone, but will continue to work for the provision of necessary support projects, such as farm-to-market roads, to achieve the vision of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) which is an improved quality of life for the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Intervention for farm-to-market roads is among the nine primary goals of Estrella for the next six years, Yu added.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Danilo Lozada said, the seven farm-to-market road projects with a combined length of 6.8 kilometers are from Barangay Iwayan to Barangay Minap-os, from Barangyay Nadacpan to Barangay Saurong, from Barangay Saurong to Barangay Agsam, from Barangay Agsam to Barangay Iwayan, from Barangay San Eduardo to Barangay Nadacpan, from Barangay Alang-alang to Barangay Cadian, and from Barangay Alang-alang to Barangay Minap-os.

Lozada added, all these are to be implemented under DAR’s Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) project.

More than 10 thousand residents in these remote villages will be directly benefited, wherein 3,616 of them are agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Barangay Agsam chairperson, Gloria Lomuntad, said “We are happy that our dream will soon be realized. We, the residents of Barangay Agsam, are happy because transporting our products will become easy.

Meanwhile, local media personality, Daisy Belizar, who grew up in Barangay Cadi-an, the farthest among the eight villages, shared that Barangays Agsam, Iwayan, Minap-os, Alang-alang and Cadi-an are upstream villages situated along the Oras River.

According to her, they use “sampan” (a motorized boat with no outrigger) in going to the town proper. It is dangerous for the residents to travel when the water level rises, especially during bad weather, due to the strong current, she stressed.

Belizar reminisced that travel time in the 70s and 80s takes more than four hours to reach the center of the town. Even with the evolution of engines which reduced the travel time now by two hours, the concrete road, once completed, would be the best alternative, she said.

Further, Belizar shared, it would be easy and safe for students to report to school; patients can immediately be brought to health facilities; while relief assistance can be delivered to these areas even if the water in the river is high, once these road projects are realized.





DTI chief joins groundbreaking of Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) Project

Pulilan 4PH housing project groundbreaking

By DTI-OSEC-Public Relations Unit
April 21, 2023

PULILAN, Bulacan – On 19 April 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., alongside Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jerry Acuzar, Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando, and Pulilan Mayor Maria Rosario Ochoa-Monetejo led the groundbreaking ceremony of the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) Project, a flagship housing program of the Marcos Administration, which aims to provide Filipino people with decent and affordable housing, and further narrow the housing gap in the country.

The project in Pulilan aims to build thirteen (13) low-rise buildings, each with three (3) floors. This is also expected to have at least 1,044 housing units. The project revenue value is estimated at P678,600,000, with each unit amounting to P650,000.

Secretary Pascual shared that “This housing project is a realization of the President's efforts to secure more investments as this forms part of the investment leads secured from the President's recent trip to Indonesia. We are now reaping the benefits of our several months of hard work, especially for us in DTI and our Foreign Trade Service Corps. Through this project, we can help ensure affordable and decent housing for all Filipinos."

"Like what President Marcos has conveyed, we have observed that there is a strong market demand for housing projects because in the coming years, more and more Filipinos will look into investing their hard-earned money in real estates, Secretary Pascual added.

The 4PH Pulilan project is a partnership between iWire Technologies, a company that provides products and solutions to power the massive revolution of Internet of Things (IoT) and Emerald Consulting & Realty Corporation (ECRC) Philippines, as well as other local contractors and the Pulilan Local Government Unit (LGU).

Secretary Pascual also said that “The 4PH project is part of the Administration’s priority to Build Better and More infrastructure. The DTI will remain steadfast in supporting the Philippine government not only in enabling a healthy business environment for foreign businesses like iWire but also in providing and meeting the needs of every Filipino."





Biliran ARBO gets support from Naval LGU

Biliran ARBO

April 20, 2023

NAVAL, Biliran – An Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization (ARBO) based in this town thanked the local government unit (LGU) for assuring them the support they will need as they undergo Farm Business School (FBS) under the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program (ARBDSP) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Municipal administrator, lawyer Mario Lydinno Opeña, who was authorized by Mayor Gretchen Stephanie Espina to represent her during the buy-in session held on Monday afternoon at the conference room of the office of the mayor, promised the officers of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association of Lucso-on (ARBALuc) of the LGU’s support.

During the buy-in session, Agrarian Reform Program Officer I (ARPO I) and FBS coordinator for this province, Christian Villacrusis, presented the concept of FBS to the LGU to solicit the support of the latter to augment the limited resources that will be provided by the DAR and for the ARBALuc to sustain the gains of the Program.

In the conduct of the FBS, according to Juanita Romano, FBS regional coordinator, the participating ARBO members will undergo 25 sessions wherein they will be taught on how to be a successful farmer-entrepreneur; how to conduct market survey and assess current farm situation; how to make farm production and marketing plans as well as financial plan; group marketing and buying; benchmarking; value addition; farm profitability, among others.

There will be a combination of classroom instruction and actual application, which will require the farmers to use farm machineries in developing their 1,000 square-meters demo farm, Romano stressed.

Opeña committed the use of the LGU-owned tractor free of charge when ARBALuc president, Eddie Elarde, mentioned the said farm machinery as among the support assistances they want to request from the LGU.

Aside from the free use of LGU-owned farm machineries, Opeña added that the LGU can also provide seeds, farm inputs, such as tools, and can help in the marketing of ARBALuc’s products.

To formalize the agreements reached in this session, DAR, LGU-Naval and ARBALuc will enter a memorandum of agreement to be scheduled before the FBS would take off in May this year.





Ilijan Elementary School gets new classrooms

Ilijan Elementary School new classrooms

April 17, 2023

CALBAYOG CITY – A one-storey two-classroom school building was recently built in Ilijan Elementary School, Sto. Niño, Samar with a total contract amount of P5.64 million in convergence with the Department of Education.

Where a make-shift building made of light materials that was once used as the SBM (School Based Management) Hub and library, is now a new structure which has a PWD ramp with guard rails, hand washing area, comfort rooms enclosed in each classroom together with the prescribed paint which will be enjoyed by seven teachers and 144 pupils of the school.

One of the classrooms will be used as the faculty room that can serve as a venue for meetings, conferences and a place where visitors can be accommodated. The other room will be used for two purposes, a library and a computer room. The school has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the DepEd Computerization Program (DCP) thus, this room will be very useful in terms of doing research and computer classes, said Marianito Jackson, School Principal.

This additional classrooms give more space for school-related activities and plays a vital role in building a learning and positive environment.





Supreme Court’s ruling on rape: a ruling for rapists, not victims – Gabriela

Press Release
April 4, 2023

QUEZON CITY – National women’s alliance GABRIELA slammed the Supreme Court’s recently uploaded ruling “fine-tuning” the criminal act of rape. In the SC decision, an anatomical threshold where the perpetrator’s penis “penetrates the cleft of the labia minora” must be proven beyond reasonable doubt in order for an act to be considered rape.

“The dignity of a woman does not rest on a vagina. By creating ‘gradations’ between ‘rape’ and ‘attempted rape’ on account of anatomical thresholds, the Supreme Court is effectively reducing the dignity of women to our body parts. It forgets that whether a woman is forced into acts of vaginal penetration, oral sex, or penetration through foreign objects, the point is that such acts constitute grave violation of the woman’s dignity. Rape is rape. Rape is indignity. No matter the nature or specifics, rape is a violation of a person’s humanity,” blasted Clarice Palce, GABRIELA’s Secretary-General.

“We also urge the Supreme Court to remember that this ruling is set against the backdrop of a country where rape victims struggle as it is to find the courage to speak up and seek justice. With this ruling, women would now have the added burden of very specifically demonstrating beyond reasonable doubt that her rapist penetrated ‘into her labia minora’ for the court to consider it to be rape. We have no doubts that there would be even more rape victims forced into silence following this decision. Simply and frankly worded, this is a ruling that favors only perpetrators, not rape victims,” raised Palce.

According to GABRIELA, the Supreme Court’s ruling, which bases its arguments purely on anatomy, poses a danger for rape victims on technical grounds: “There are plenty of women who either do not possess vaginas as in the case of transgender women, women with undeveloped genitals, intersex women, and many more who may face the realities of sexual violence but who clearly would not even be considered rape victims under this ruling,” Palce lamented.

“The Supreme Court’s decision reeks of the complete inability to grasp what makes rape a heinous crime – something that no amount of overdetailing on the nature of the act based on body parts and crass anatomy will ever capture,” concluded Palce.





18 Filipino food exporters bag over $50M export deals in Gulfood 2023

Philippine booth at the Gulfood 2023

Press Release
April 3, 2023

PASAY CITY – CITEM successfully showcased PH's top healthy and halal-certified products in one of the world's biggest food fair.

The Philippines generated $50.65 million export sales, surpassing its target by over 300 percent, in the world’s largest annual food and beverage expo, Gulfood 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Under the FOODPhilippines' banner, 18 food exporters showcased premium halal-certified, high-value and innovative food products, namely fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, processed marine products, ethnic and gourmet products, non-alcoholic beverages, confectionery, biscuits, and pastries, and other food and beverage categories.

They generated 400 trade buyer inquiries in this year’s expo, maintaining strong relations with regular buyers while also establishing leads with new prospects.

The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions’ (CITEM) Executive Director, Dr. Edward L. Fereira, Ph. D. expressed his delight over the outcome. “We’re extremely proud that our homegrown manufacturers and exporters exceeded our target generated sales and trade buyers. With the help of our Filipino exhibitors, the Philippine participation in Gulfood 2023 has been successful. We will continue to strengthen the Philippines’ presence in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by promoting Philippine food products and ingredients, especially halal food products, and supporting Filipino exhibitors in international trade shows.”

Gulfood is the largest annual food and beverage sourcing event in the world, with 48 percent of exhibitors using Gulfood as an entry point into the market. According to the Business Research Company, the global halal food market value increased to $1.5 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to $2.5 billion in 2027.

The Philippine pavilion showcased fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, processed marine products, ethnic and gourmet products, non-alcoholic beverages, confectionery, biscuits, and pastries, and other food and beverage categories.

“The Philippines’ participation in Gulfood is critical to increasing our share of the halal food market. As we continuously tap the large population of Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates, we take advantage of the Filipino consumers' behavior and influence in our bid to bring Filipino food to the mainstream market,” said Fereira.

The Philippine participation in Gulfood is part of the country’s efforts to boost its food exports and help local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) expand their global market. The country’s participation in Gulfood organized by CITEM, in partnership with PTIC-Dubai, is part of the Department of Trade and Industry-Trade Promotions Group’s (DTI-TPG) concierge of services and promotional efforts in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.





Farmer group’s dream turns into reality, thanks PBBM, DAR

hauling trucks turn-over
Two hauling trucks were turned over to the Canmarating, Odiongan, Pagsang-an, Sulpa Irrigators Association (COPS-IA) in Abuyog, Leyte and the Barangay Agutayan Farmers Association (BAFA) in Hilongos, Leyte under the Department of Agrarian Reform’s Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) project.

April 1, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – In his inaugural message on June 30 last year, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. repeatedly said “Pangarap nyo ay pangarap ko!” as he stressed what every Filipino should expect in the next six years under his administration.

On Monday, Rodrigo Alumbro, president of the Canmarating, Odiongan, Pagsang-an, Sulpa Irrigators Association (COPS-IA), said “Pangarap lang po namin (ito), ngunit ngayon nagkatotoo na,” as he expressed their organization’s gratitude to the President and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for the latest assistance extended to them, a six-wheeler hauling truck.

On March 27 this year at the DAR Regional Office in this city, Director Ronald Gareza of the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development (BARBD) at DAR Central Office, represented agrarian reform secretary, Conrado Estrella III, in turning over two 15-feet dropside six-wheeler hauling trucks to two agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) in Leyte.

Both vehicles have a combined amount of P3.998 million taken from the agrarian reform fund (ARF).

Gareza disclosed that the present administration restored back the ARF to finance assistance projects for the ARBs.

For this year, Gareza further disclosed, P7.5 billion had been earmarked under ARF to implement the Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) project.

COPS-IA and the Barangay Agutayan Farmers Association (BAFA) based in the towns of Abuyog and Hilongos, respectively, are the initial recipients of the SuRe ARCs project in Eastern Visays.

Gareza explained to the recipients that the SuRe ARCs project is being implemented purposely to finance projects for rice, corn and coconut areas.

According to him, “In SuRe ARCs, we are contemplating na magkaroon ng magandang negosyo ang ating mga ARBO na binigyan nito.”

“You will be operating as a competent organization that can handle at least 50 hectares plantation in order for you to go into successful business,” Gareza told the recipient ARBOs.

COPS-IA covers 181 hectares of rice fields, but only 130 hectares can be reached by the irrigation system, said Alumbro, while BAFA president, Vicenta Jaray disclosed that their organization covers more than 60 hectares of coconut lands.

Aside from the hauling truck, Gareza, assisted by DAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu, also turned over four units of deshelling machines with a total worth of P600 thousand to BAFA for their copra business.

Jaray said as she thanked DAR officials, “Masayang-masaya kami dahil nakakatulong kami sa mga farmers namin lalo ngayon na ang labor ay mahal.”

“Yung truck naman, malaking tulong ito sa amin dahil hindi nakakapasok yung malaking truck sa niyugan,” she added.

Meanwhile, COPS-IA was advised to convert into a cooperative to be able to engage in rice trading business.





64 So. Leyte agrarian beneficiaries benefit P3.6M credit assistance

Southern Leyte agrarian beneficiaries
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) reports 64 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Southern Leyte were able to avail of the credit assistance program it offers thru the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP). Releases now reached P3.6 million.

March 29, 2023

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte – About 64 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from this province were able to avail of the credit assistance program offered by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) thru the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) since 2021.

This was disclosed by Mark Obregon, DAR Southern Leyte Provincial Office’s monitoring and evaluation (M & E) coordinator, during the Local Project Management Committee (LPMC) meeting held in this city last week.

Based on the report from LBP, more than P3.6 million had already been released by the bank to the said ARBs under DAR’s Accessible Fund for Delivery to ARBs (AFFORD-ARBs) credit assistance program.

Obregon added that the borrowers used the amount as capital for their abaca and cacao productions.

On the same occasion, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Roderick Rances encouraged the ARBs who were invited to the said meeting to avail of the different credit assistance programs offered by DAR which has minimal interest rates.

Rances said, this is an opportunity for the ARBs who have not recovered yet from the devastation of Typhoon Odette which hit this province in December 2021.

Agri-Credit and Microfinance (ACMF) coordinator, Victoria Ligtas, presented to the ARBs, who are looking for fund sources to finance their farm operations or livelihood activities, the three available agri-credit assistance programs of DAR; the AFFORD-ARBs, the Expanded Assistance to Restore and Install Sustainable Enterprise (E-ARISE), and the Accessible Loans for Empowered, Resilient and Transform - Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ALERT-ARBOs).

Ligtas stressed that AFFORD-ARBs and E-ARISE can be availed individually, while ALERT-ARBOs can be availed thru the ARBO they are affiliated with.

LBP’s account officer, Noreen Joy Golong, also stressed during the meeting that the bank no longer ask for collateral in availing the AFFORD-ARBs loan. However, the borrower must not have any other insurance application with the Philippine Crop Insurance Company (PCIC), because the proceeds they will get from PCIC will serve as their collateral.

Meanwhile, PCIC insurance underwriter, Donnie Saavedra, shared that they conduct actual inspection to determine if the applicant deserves appropriate indemnification.

Further, DAR Regional Office ACMF coordinator, Rosemarie Arreglo, praised the ARB-borrowers of this province for their good standing as no one is reported to be delinquent.

On the other hand, lawyer Melani Brilata still cautioned the would-be borrowers to be responsible in their obligations to the bank because it will affect other borrowers as well.



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