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DPWH-Biliran DEO holds mid-year contractors’ meeting

High-powered firearm seized in Gandara, Samar clash

Eastern Visayas’ economy expands by 6.8% in 2022

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




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Newly-inaugurated road project to boost peace and development in Northern Samar

PBBM inaugurates Samar Pacific Coastal Road project

July 15, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – The 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division, Philippine Army took part on the inauguration of Samar Pacific Coastal Road (SPCR) in Barangay Simora, Palapag Northern Samar last July 14, 2023.

The SPCR project encompasses an 11.607-kilometer road with three component bridges from Simora Junction in the Municipality of Laoang to Barangay Mabaras in the Municipality of Palapag.

This project is vital in the establishment of the Samar Island Circumferential Road that links the disadvantaged and vulnerable areas in Samar Island. Likewise, it is expected to boost economic development especially that the communities will now have an easy access of their Agricultural products to the market. It will also hasten the delivery of Government services in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) which will negate the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) propaganda of lack of government services in the remote areas.

Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander of 8ID, thanked the government's continued support in putting initiatives in places that are considered critical and vulnerable, which will be of help in defeating the remaining Communist NPA Terrorist (CNTs) in Northern Samar.

“We believe that infrastructure development is key to ending the insurgency. The Samar Pacific Coastal Road project will benefit the communities by offering a much safer and easy access to transportation and the delivery of the much needed Government services,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo expressed.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Ligayo also took part in the inauguration of SPCR with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the honorary guest in Palapag, Northern Samar.

In his message, President Marcos stated that the infrastructure development project is expected to spur economic growth and contribute to the improvement in the region’s peace and order.

“Because it is not only Samar that will be helped. When the economic activity in Samar is increased, then of course, the peace and order situation should improve. And then of course, the government, the local governments will have more options, will have more ability to take on their initiatives and this will help the entire region,” President Marcos stressed.

After attending the said inauguration, President Marcos visited the 803rd Infantry Brigade in Catarman, Northern Samar to show his support and boost the morale of the soldiers for their accomplishments and initiatives that helped address the insurgency problem and bring socio-economic development in Northern Samar.

Samar Pacific Coastal Road project





Commander 8ID welcomes VP Duterte; visits newly graduate youths in Allen N. Samar

VP Sara Duterte visit to Allen, Northern Samar

July 14, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – The Vice President of the Philippines and the Secretary of Education, Sara Duterte served as the guest of honor and speaker of Allen National High School in a commencement exercises for K to 12 graduates at Allen, Northern Samar on July 14, 2023.

The Commander of 8th Infantry "Stormtroopers" Division, Major General Camilo Z Ligayo formally welcomed VP Duterte, accompanied by Brigadier General Efren Morados, Commander of 803rd Brigade; Lieutenant Colonel Nasser Arojo, Commanding Officer of 43rd Infantry Battalion; Ms. Evelyn Fetalvero, the Regional Director of Department of Education Regional Office 8 and the faculty and staff of Allen National High School.

In her statement, VP Duterte commended the graduates of Class 2023 for the successful culmination of their academic endeavors and encouraged them to remain committed in promoting strong sense of nationalism and be part of a productive and responsible citizenry that will help chart the path of the nation’s growth.

"This milestones attests to the hard work and perseverance you have exemplified as you embark on another journey leading you to the realization of your aspirations of a better life and a better future. May the knowledge and skills you have gained serve as your springboard for greater success and inspire you to become catalysts of transformative social growth within your respective communities." VP Duterte emphasized.

Meanwhile, 8ID Commander Major General Ligayo also congratulated the graduates and lauded their efforts in achieving another life’s milestone.

He is also hopeful that the new graduates will also take part and became an active partner of the government in nation-building and achieving social development.

“To the graduates, your role is very important especially in nation-building and social development. Naniniwala ako na ang mga kabataan ay kakaiba mag-isip, innovative at aktibo. Kaya hinihikayat ko kayo na maging katuwang ng pamahalaan, gamitin ninyo ang inyong kaalaman at talento upang sama-sama nating makamit ang tahimik at maunlad na pamayanan,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo expressed.





Lawyer from Samar is new IBP President

Press Release
July 5, 2023

PASIG CITY – The new national President of the country’s only compulsory organization of lawyers was inducted last Tuesday by the Supreme Court En Banc.

Antonio C. PidoAtty. Antonio C. Pido of Samar succeeds Burt Estrada whose term of office as President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ended last June 30.

Pido is a former President of IBP Samar Chapter and Governor for Eastern Visayas region. He also served as Executive Vice President under Estrada.

Pido is part of the University of the Philippines College of Law class of 1982 where he was a member of the Order of the Purple Feather honor society.

In his inaugural speech Tuesday evening, Pido said that the IBP must speak on the “legal issues affecting our nation and our communities.”

Among the legal issues Pido cited is the obligation of government to uphold human rights. He also referred to the simmering tension in the West Philippine Sea.

“We have legal issues on our territorial seas which have been adversely affecting subsistence fishermen against foreign intrusion. This is guaranteed to be protected under Section 7, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution… the IBP has a public responsibility to do its share in making people aware of what the law on the matter is – all geared towards upholding the rule of law in the Philippines,” Pido said.

“The IBP shall not shy away from speaking with one voice on these legal issues,” he added.

Also inducted were Allan Panolong as Executive Vice President and Governor for Western Mindanao, Minerva Taguinod as Governor for Northern Luzon, Kriden Balgomera as Governor for Greater Manila, Annalyn Sherry Hibo-Gamboa as Governor for Bicolandia, Pitero Reig as Governor for Southern Luzon, Cres Tan as Governor for Western Visayas, Marlo Destura as Governor for Eastern Visayas, and PN Trinidad as Governor for Eastern Mindanao.





207K ARBs in EV to benefit as PBBM signs New Agrarian Emancipation law

July 4, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) have reason to rejoice as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is expected to sign into law the New Agrarian Emancipation Bill on Friday, July 7 this year.

Liberato NuevaUnder the said bill, unpaid amortizations, including interests and surcharges amounting to P57.56 billion incurred by 610,054 beneficiaries of land transfer programs under the Presidential Decree No. 27, Republic Act No 6657, as amended, and Republic Act No. 9700, shall be condoned and written off by the government, once signed into law, relieving the ARBs from the burden of payment.

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Visayas Regional Director, Robert Anthony Yu, disclosed that in Eastern Visayas, about 207,000 ARBs will be benefitted by this bill.

In San Jorge, Samar, Liberato Nueva, 66, a recipient of a two-hectare farmlot awarded to him under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), could not hide the happiness he feels when informed about the scheduled signing of the said bill.

“Salamat kay waray na ako paghuhunahuna-on nga babaydan kun pananglitan madayon an pagpirma han aton presidente.” (Thank you because I will have no debt to think about anymore if ever the signing by the president will push through.), said Nueva.

Nueva, a widower, was among the 40 ARBs who recently received their electronic-Certificates of Land Ownership Award (e-CLOAs) generated under DAR’s Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project.





PhilSys step 2 registration hits 90% completion in Eastern Visayas

By PSA-8
June 26, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine Statistics Authority - Regional Statistical Services Office VIII (PSA RSSO 8) proudly announces that the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Step 2 registration process in the region of Eastern Visayas has achieved an impressive milestone, with a completion rate of 90.59% as of 16 June 2023.

PhilSys Step 2 Registration includes the verification of an applicant’s demographic details and capturing of biometric information such as fingerprints, iris scan, and the front-facing photograph to be used in the ID. Since its launch in 2021, PhilSys has been steadily progressing despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. The following table shows the status of Step 2 Registration in all six (6) provinces:

Eastern Visayas PhilSys step 2 registration

This significant accomplishment highlights the dedication and cooperation of the people of Eastern Visayas, as well as the collaborative efforts of PSA field personnel, government agencies and stakeholders involved. The success in Eastern Visayas paves the way for the nationwide implementation of PhilSys, reinforcing the commitment of the PSA in providing an inclusive identification system for all Filipinos.





40 Samar farmers receive e-titles generated under SPLIT

40 Samar farmers receive e-titles
Forty agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from San Jorge, Samar received their individual Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) generated under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

June 25, 2023

SAN JORGE, Samar – Forty agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from this town now savor the feeling of a landowner after they received their respective individual land titles from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last month.

Armando Fabillar, 53, one of the recipients of the electronically generated Certificates of Land Ownership Award (e-CLOAs), shared “We are grateful to our president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and to the DAR for making our dreams to own a land come true.”

Fabillar, a father of two children and a recipient of a 2.5-hectare lot, was among those awarded with a collective CLOA in 1992.

To strengthen property rights of the ARBs to the lands they are tilling, DAR subdivides the lands covered by collective CLOAs and issues individual land titles under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project.

On May 11 this year, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Alfonso Catorce led the distribution of 40 e-titles generated under the SPLIT at this town’s municipal covered court.

During the said occasion, Catorce urged the ARBs not to sell their awarded lots acquired under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

To be able to avail of the various assistance extended to ARBs, PARPO I Segundino Pagliawan advised them to join agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) in their area.

Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Ricardo Flor shared that the 40 e-CLOAs cover an aggregate area of 70.5 hectares situated in six barangays – Lapaz, Rosalim, Sinibaran, Sapinit, Bulao, and Mabuhay.

Earlier, the president ordered agrarian reform secretary, Conrado Estrella III, to fast track the distribution of individual titles to the ARBs under the World Bank-funded SPLIT project.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Jay Bisnar, who graced the said affair, expressed gratitude to the DAR for the various assistance it has been providing to the farmers, not just in San Jorge but throughout the province.

Catorce stressed that land distribution is DAR’s contribution to the End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), a whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace in the country.





DTI-BIR joint ops yield shop closure, seizure of non-compliant vape products in Manila

DTI-BIR joint ops against non-compliant vape products
Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) Director Atty. Fhillip D. Sawali, and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Assistant Commissioner Atty. Jethro M. Sabariaga inspecting vape products in Manila on 19 June 2023.Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) Director Atty. Fhillip D. Sawali, and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Assistant Commissioner Atty. Jethro M. Sabariaga inspecting vape products in Manila on 19 June 2023.

By DTI-Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau
June 23, 2023

MAKATI CITY – The joint forces of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) resulted in the closure of two (2) vape stores and confiscation of 989 units of non-compliant vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products worth P344,520.00 during the focused enforcement operation in Manila City, on 19 June 2023.

DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, together with the DTI-FTEB Director, Atty. Fhillip D. Sawali, led the inspection of vape products sold or offered for sale by 14 vape stores, while BIR Assistant Commissioner Atty. Jethro M. Sabariaga led the BIR registration inspection.

Recognizing that business registration requirements and tax obligations are part of the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) No. 11900, also known as the “Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act", the BIR has been very active in conducting inspection and pursuit against illegal sellers and traders of vape products.

Out of the 14 monitored vape stores, seven (7) non-conforming shops were issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) by the DTI-FTEB enforcement teams, requiring each to submit a written explanation within 48 hours from receipt thereof.

The common violations of vape retail establishments consist of: failure to post the minimum age requirement, lack of point-of-sale signage, and sale of vapor products that are appealing to minors, such as those with fruit, candy, and dessert flavors; and packaging that features cartoon characters.

Moreover, two (2) of the monitored non-compliant vape stores were found selling and promoting vape products within 100 meters from a playground, or entertainment facility frequented by minors. Consequently, the vape stores immediately stopped their operations at the order of the mall administrator.

USec. Atty. Castelo emphasized that the Department will maintain its heightened enforcement operations against violators of R.A. No. 11900 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

“The Department has done its part to guide business establishments and enrich their understanding of R.A. No. 11900 and its IRR. The violations that we observe today are a blatant disregard of the said reminders and advisories, particularly the law. With this, the Department will continue to conduct intensified enforcement operations to ensure appropriate actions are being taken against violators,” said USec. Atty. Castelo.

USec. Atty. Castelo added that apart from physical stores, the Department is also active in monitoring the compliance of e-commerce platforms.

With the DTI as the lead agency responsible for regulating the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, use and communication of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products, USec. Atty. Castelo expressed gratitude to BIR for supporting the campaign against violators of R.A. No. 11900.

“In support of the DTI’s campaign against sellers of vape products that do not comply with the requirements of the law, the BIR issued the Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 14-2022, which set the tax guidelines for the subject vape products in accordance with R.A. No. 11900,” BIR Assistant Commissioner Atty. Jethro M. Sabariaga underscored.

He also highlighted that, like physical stores, RR No. 14-2022 also mandates online vape sellers to comply with the BIR and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) registration requirements to avoid penalties.

Accordingly, DTI-FTEB Director Atty. Sawali expressed that with the full support of other government agencies, the DTI enforcement team will keep up its momentum in enforcing R.A. No. 11900 and its IRR to protect minors from having access to vape products.

As of 15 June 2023, the enforcement teams have monitored and visited 621 physical vape stores. While 249 firms were found to be compliant during the physical validation, 229 firms were issued with Show Cause Orders (SCO) and Notices of Violation (NOV), mandating non-compliant firms to submit a written explanation within 48 hours from their receipt of SCOs and NOVs. The rest of the monitored stores were either closed or no longer selling vape products. In sum, the enforcement operations resulted in the seizure of 1,503 units of vape products worth P4,555,353.00.

Alongside the DTI- FTEB's enforcement operations in physical stores, its Online Monitoring Unit (OMU) has also intensified its monitoring initiatives, resulting in 31,570 monitored online vape stores. Of these, only 219 online stores were compliant, while 31,351 were non-compliant. Of the non-compliant online stores, only 1,525 have valid addresses and have been subjected to validation and physical inspection. During the said physical validation cum inspection, 46 NOVs were issued, while the rest were either closed or cannot be located.

Recognizing the challenge of regulating the selling of vape products by online merchants, twenty-six (26) SCOs were issued to different online platforms notifying them of online merchants selling or offering for sale vape products that do not conform with RA 11900 and its IRR. They were given 48 hours from receipt thereof to submit a written explanation.

The OMU monitors seven (7) major online platforms and 14 company websites daily.

Through the combined efforts of the on-the-ground and online enforcement teams, there are already 82 formal charges filed against violators of R.A. No. 11900 and its IRR. A case has also been filed against one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the country.

R.A. No. 11900 vests the regulatory jurisdiction over vapes and other novel tobacco products in the DTI while providing complementary roles to other government agencies, particularly the Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education (DepEd), and Local Government Units (LGUs).

Further, the DTI also engages in a nationwide campaign against uncertified items in the market, including the enforcement of DTI technical regulations mandating compliance with Philippine Standard Certification Mark Schemes, particularly Department Administrative Order No. 02, Series of 2007.

To protect consumers or potential buyers of electrical and electronic products; mechanical or building and construction materials; and chemical and other consumer products and systems, DTI–Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS) covers products and systems through implementing Mandatory Product Certification Schemes: the Philippine Standard (PS) Quality and/or Safety Certification Mark Licensing Scheme and the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) Certification Scheme.

The DTI urges consumers to report violators of retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell uncertified items, through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or





DAR opens Agraryo Trade Fair

dar 8 trade fair 2023

June 23, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas formally opened on Wednesday a mini-trade fair at the DAR Regional Office compound located in Sto Nińo Extension in this city.

Dubbed as Agraryo Trade Fair, DAR Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu shared that this is among the activities lined-up in relation to the agency’s commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

According to him, the success of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) is highlighted in this activity by showcasing their products, ranging from crops to handicrafts and processed foods.

Present also during the opening of the Agraryo Trade Fair was Pedro Bimbo Tan from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), who represented Regional Executive Director Celerina Bato.

DTI had been DAR’s partner for many years now in helping ARBs and ARBOs establish livelihood, both food and non-food products, utilizing local raw materials.

Tan read the message of Bato which disclosed that there are 20 ARBOs now in the region who have License-to-Operate (LTO) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); seven ARBOs with Certificate of Product Registration; and one Halal product.

Meanwhile, Melecia Ong, chief of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), further disclosed that of the 199 active ARBOs throughout the region, 62 participated in this year’s Agraryo Trade Fair.

The said trade fair will run from June 21 to 27, except on Saturday and Sunday.

Agraryo Trade Fair





Arms cache with high-powered firearms and anti-personnel mines discovered in Eastern Samar

52IB arms discovery

June 21, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – The troops of 52nd Infantry Battalion discovered an arms cache consisting of four high-powered firearms and four International Humanitarian Law (IHL)-banned Anti-Personnel Mines (APMs) at the hinterlands of Brgy. Agsaman, Jipapad, Eastern Samar on June 18, 2023.

Following the revelation of the 25-year-old alias Artem, Political Instructor of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) Platoon of Front Committee 3, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) Arctic, Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee who recently surrendered, the troops of 52IB conducted an operation which resulted to the discovery of an arms cache consisting of two AK47 rifles, one M14 rifle, one Shotgun, four IHL-banned APMs, two magazines of AK47 and M14, 140 rounds ammunitions of AK47, and 75 cartridges of 7.62mm ball for M14.

The series of local peace engagements by the different government agencies and the continuing delivery of basic services and socio-economic development in the community prompted alias Artem to abandon the armed struggle and return to the folds of the law.

The Commander of 8th Infantry Division, Major General Camilo Z Ligayo commends the decision of alias Artem to surrender and cooperate with the government.

“We welcome the surrender of alias Artem, and we are hoping that the other members of NPA will also do the same. It is not too late to surrender, return to the folds of the law and make use of the different government assistances as you start your life anew,” Maj.Gen. Ligayo said.

Alias Artem will receive various Government financial assistances under the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) and Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), and will undergo livelihood trainings that will help him as he reintegrate back to the community.



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