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

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




Tipid Apparel - Affordable Quality Apparels




Farmer group in remote Samar town gets nearly half a million assistance from DAR

Calanyugan Farmers Association (CFA)
The Calanyugan Farmers Association (CFA) in Pagasanghan, Samar receives from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) ₱465 thousand worth of farm equipment, farm inputs, piglets and feeds for their livelihood activities.

August 17, 2023

PAGSANGHAN, Samar – Some P465 thousand worth of assistance were formally turned over on Monday, August 7 this year by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Samar Provincial Office to an Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization (ARBO) in this town.

Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD) chief, Thelma Alfaro, led in the turnover of common service facilities (CSFs), farm inputs, piglets and feeds to the Calanyugan Farmers Association (CFA).

Alfaro disclosed that the assistance provided to CFA included six piglets, starter feeds, pellet feeds, vitamins, dewormer, cylindric automatic pig feeder, seeds, vermicast, seedling tray, pruning shears, watering can, rake, shovel, wheel barrow, farming boots, net mesh, white drum, water pump, suction hose for water pump, discharge hose for water pump, nylon twine, tire wire, knapsack sprayer, and grass cutter for the ARBO’s livelihood activities.

She further disclosed that the above-mentioned CSFs, farm inputs, piglets and feeds were funded under the Sustainable Livelihood Support to Disaster Affected Areas Project of the Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS) Program.

In response, CFA Chairman Felipe Magbutay expressed gratitude, in behalf of the association, to DAR Officials for the assistance extended to them.

According to him, these will bring a positive impact to their organization.

Meanwhile, Alfaro stressed to the members of the CFA that Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Alfonso Catorce and Magbutay will sign a trust agreement stipulating both parties’ responsibilities.

In the said document, according to Alfaro, the association is warned that if the farm machineries and equipment are not utilized and maintained in good condition within the next six months, DAR will pull them out and transfer to another ARBO.

But, if the farm machineries and equipment are used and well maintained, DAR will execute a Deed of Donation to CFA, Alfaro added.

On the same occasion, Alfaro, accompanied by Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Julian Panoy, Development Facilitator (DF) Virgil Geradila and CRFPS point person Irene Lazarra conducted an ocular inspection to the CFA’s communal vegetable garden and piggery.





No, forcing women into mandatory ROTC is not gender equality: GABRIELA to senator Bato dela Rosa

Press Release
August 14, 2023

QUEZON CITY – “Forcing young women to undergo mandatory ROTC is NOT gender equality. It just means we are now throwing both halves of the population into militarist, macho, and misogynistic education under ROTC”. This was the resounding statement today of Joms Salvador, the Vice-Chairperson of GABRIELA.

The woman leader’s message was issued as a response to Senator Bato dela Rosa, who defended the widely challenged mandatory ROTC bill in the Senate hearing, stating: “Sila (kababaihan) ang nagsisigaw ng gender equality…Gender inequality ‘yan kung ayaw nilang sumabay!” (They, the women, are the ones shouting for gender equality…that’s gender inequality if they don’t want to participate!)

“The case studies surrounding mandatory ROTC and its disproportionately harmful effects against female students is well-documented. We have seen plenty of cases of ROTC-facilitated intimidation, sexual harassment, rape, hazing, and many other forms of gendered violence against women and LGBTIQ students in the program. In what world is institutionalizing a program with such a horrific track record considered gender equality?” questioned Salvador.

“Instead of teaching women to accept abuse and obey without question – precisely what ROTC instills – let us teach our young girls the value of critical thinking, of speaking out in the face of exploitation. Let us teach women patriotism, not through blind submission to authority, but through conscious action rooted in political education and understanding of Philippine history and society. Instead of mandatory militarism through ROTC, it would be far more productive to address the gaps in the Philippine education system by strengthening learning on gender inclusivity, critical thinking, human rights, history, and sovereignty,” concluded Salvador.





Over 1M Filipino women workers unemployed – gov’t survey reveals

August 11, 2023

QUEZON CITY – Women’s alliance GABRIELA raised the alarm on the increasing unemployment rate in the country, especially among women workers.

The latest labor force survey revealed that the rate of unemployment among female workers was up to 4.9% in June 2023, from 4.7% in May 2023. This is even higher than the over-all unemployment rate in the country, which also rose from 4.3% to 4.5% during the same period. The rate of underemployment likewise rose among women workers from 9.4% to 10.1% in June 2023.

“Pinasisinungalingan ng papalaking bilang ng kababaihang manggagawang walang trabaho ang ibinabanderang ‘economic recovery’ ni Marcos Jr. Nasaan ang pagbangon kung dumarami ang lalong nalulubog sa kahirapan nang dahil sa kawalan ng disenteng trabaho?” questioned Rose Bihag, Deputy Secretary General of GABRIELA.

The group furthered that the government continues to fall short of its duty to generate enough decent jobs for Filipino workers. In fact, the same survey showed that one in every five new members of the labor force is unemployed.

“Paano lilikha ng disente at regular na trabaho ang gobyerno kung wala itong sariling industriya? Lahat iniaasa natin sa mga dayuhan at pribadong kumpanya, na walang ibang interes kundi magpalaki ng kita. Kapalit nito ay ang pagpapanatili ng gobyerno sa mababang pasahod sa manggagawa, pagpapahintulot sa kontraktuwal na paggawa, at pagkakait ng kalayaang mag-unyon,” Bihag criticized.

As an immediate measure to address the grim state of Filipino workers and the grave economic crisis, GABRIELA called on Congress to ensure significant funding for substantial financial aid and social services. Congress is set to deliberate the proposed national budget for 2024 of the Marcos admin in the coming weeks.

“Nananawagan ang kababaihan at mamamayan sa ating mga mamababatas: Sa halip na ilaan sa mga kapritso ng rehimeng Marcos-Duterte ang pondo ng bayan, dalhin na lamang ito sa serbisyo, ayuda, at iba pang programang tutugon sa kahirapang kinakaharap ng milyon-milyong Pilipino. Bilang ginawaran ng ‘power of the purse,’ mandato ng Kongresong tiyaking mapupunta ang yaman ng bansa sa kapakinabangan ng mamamayang lumikha nito—at hindi sa bulsa ng iilan lamang,” argued Bihag.

GABRIELA estimates that the P1.41 billion travel fund requested by Marcos Jr., combined with the total confidential and intelligence funds amounting to P9.2 billion, can provide P10,000 each in financial assistance to 1.61 million Filipinos – roughly the same number of women workers who were unemployed as of last June. More should be re-aligned to address the needs of the rest of Filipino workers who are unable to make ends meet due to the jobs crisis and their severely low pay.

In addition, the women’s group also urged lawmakers to urgently pass measures that will raise minimum wages to livable levels. Among those filed are: House Bill 7568 that is aiming for a P750 across-the-board wage hike that will bring wages closer to the estimated family living wage of over P1,150 per day; House Bill 4898 that calls for a standardized national minimum wage of at P750; and several bills in the lower House and in Senate providing for around P150 in wage relief, in light of the loss in the real value of wages due to inflation.





IP groups commemorate Int’l Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples amidst continuous attacks

International Day of the World's Indigenous People (IDWIP)

Press Release
August 9, 2023

QUEZON CITY – As we mark the International Day of the World's Indigenous People (IDWIP), KATRIBU Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, SANDUGO - Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination, and BAI Indigenous Women’s Network stand resolute in the face of unrelenting challenges caused by continuous human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples and communities in the Philippines. While we honor rich heritage, diverse culture, and the worldwide contributions of the indigenous communities in the Philippines, it is also imperative that we acknowledge our triumph amidst relentless assaults by the state on our rights, lands, and lives.

IP groups and advocates commemorated IDWIP this year by holding a protest and solidarity event at Camp Aguinaldo to call an end to the attacks against indigenous communities. As IDWIP serves as a reminder of our collective strength and our commitment to safeguarding our ancestral domains, it also casts a spotlight on the injustices that continue to plague Indigenous Peoples. The protest was a way of celebrating the Indigenous Peoples while also raising the calls towards those at the Camp, the military. Various individuals and organizations gathered in front of the military camp to raise their banners and placards that call for the halting of bombings and militarization in indigenous communities.

The protest also featured representatives from different regional organizations that advocate for IP rights, and highlighted the recent attacks from their own communities. Our ancestral lands are under constant threat from extractive industries and development aggression brought by big foreign companies that are hand-in-hand with our own national government. These encroachments are also often coupled with militarization, which cause many to be forcibly displaced from their own land, the very land that the Indigenous Peoples continue to protect. In the worst cases, many Indigenous Peoples lose their lives in the process of defending their lands and rights, as seen in the recent human rights violations in the Philippines. The multiple bombings on our communities have caused many to fear not only for their lives, but also for the loss of their homes and livelihoods. Indigenous leaders are being red-tagged, terrorist-tagged, arrested, and killed for their unwavering determination to achieve genuine autonomy for their communities.

As part of the IDWIP celebrations, KATRIBU, SANDUGO, and BAI participated in the 2023 Tulaog festival, a gathering for the Dumagat-Remontado as a way to introduce and celebrate their sacred lands. The activity has strengthened the solidarity between Dumagat groups, especially in their struggle against the Kaliwa-Kanan-Laiban Dams. Families, national minority leaders, and rights advocates also visited Dumagat political prisoners Rocky Torres and Abelardo Avellaneda, as well as other political prisoners. Their visits in Camp Bagong Diwa and Camp Karingal was to uplift the spirits and to celebrate the IDWIP with those detained.

Our organizations also congratulate the 11 Aeta women who will be receiving their certificates and diplomas for passing the Alternative Learning System (ALS) from the Aeta Learning Center. Their graduation is a great inspiration for all, and it also serves as a reminder of our ongoing calls to make basic social services accessible for the communities as well as to put an end to attacks that cause displacement.

The IDWIP 2023 commemoration will extend until the evening of August 9 at the Fil Garcia Tower where a solidarity event will take place. The solidarity event will feature community cooking of indigenous cuisine led by Chef Lao Castillo as well as a discussion on the IP situation in the Philippines.

The commemoration of IDWIP is a continuous call for unity among all indigenous communities, advocates, and allies. We urge the government to recognize our inherent rights to self-determination, as well to hold and be held accountable for the multitude of violations against all indigenous people and communities in the Philippines. As we celebrate IDWIP, we must remember that the day is not only a testament to our heritage but also a rallying cry for justice and equality.





Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas drops to 2.4 percent in July 2023

By PSA-8
August 8, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas slowed down further to 2.4 percent in July 2023 from 3.3 percent in June 2023. This is the eight consecutive month of deceleration in the regional IR and the lowest since December 2020 (Table 2). The regional IR was lower than the 4.7 percent national IR in July 2023. The region’s average IR from January to July 2023 stood at 4.8 percent. In July 2022, the regional IR at 7.5 percent was higher than the rate during the reference period (Table 1).

Eastern Visyas Inflation Rate

Among the 13 commodity groups, the sustained downtrend of the regional IR during the month was mainly brought about by the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages, which recorded a lower IR of 5.0 percent in July 2023 from 6.0 percent in June 2023. Also contributing to the downward trend of the regional IR is the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group, which registered a deflation of -1.4 percent in July 2023 from 1.0 percent IR in June 2023. The third main source of deceleration was restaurant and accommodation services with IR recorded at 3.7 percent in July 2023 from 4.3 percent in June 2023.

Eastern Visyas Inflation Rate by year

In addition, lower IRs compared with their previous month’s IRs were noted in the following commodity groups:

a. Clothing and footwear, 1.4 percent from 1.7 percent;

b. Personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services, 3.9 percent from 4.1 percent;

c. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 8.4 percent from 8.6 percent; and

d. Information and communication, 0.7 percent from 0.8 percent.

On the other hand, IR for health increased to 2.9 percent in July 2023, from 2.6 percent in June 2023. Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance also exhibited faster IR at 4.7 percent during the month from 4.5 percent in June 2023. The IR for recreation, sport and culture inched up to 1.9 percent during the month in review, from 1.8 percent in June 2023. Transport continued to register deflation but at slower rate of -6.1 percent from -6.4 percent in June 2023.

The rest of the commodity groups either retained their previous month’s IRs or had zero percent growths.

The IR for food index continued to decrease for the fourth consecutive month at 5.1 percent in July 2023. In the previous month, IR for food was recorded at 6.0 percent, while it was 8.5 percent in July 2022.

The decreased IR for food index was primarily influenced by the annual price decrease in meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals at -4.0 percent in July 2023, from -1.4 percent in June 2023. This was followed by slower IR recorded in fruits and nuts at 5.2 percent in July 2023, from 8.5 percent in June 2023. Flour, bread and other bakery products, pasta products, and other cereals also contributed to the downtrend of the IR for food with IR at 10.5 percent in July 2023, from 12.0 percent in the previous month.

Lower IRs were also noted in the following food groups during the month in review:

a. Sugar, confectionery and desserts, 25.2 percent from 30.0 percent;

b. Milk, other dairy products and eggs, 9.0 percent from 10.2 percent;

c. Ready-made food and other food products not elsewhere classified (n.e.c.), 6.7 percent from 7.2 percent;

d. Oils and fats, 7.4 percent from 8.3 percent; and

e. Corn, 2.9 percent from 3.6 percent.

On the other hand, vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses registered higher IR at 9.0 percent in July 2023, from 8.4 percent in June 2023. Higher IR was also noted in fish and other seafood at 7.5 percent from 7.3 percent. Meanwhile, rice retained its previous month’s IR at 3.4 percent.

Inflation Rate by Region

Inflation Rate by Region

All regions registered lower IRs in July 2023, except for NCR, which retained its previous month’s IR at 5.6 percent. Among the regions, Eastern Visayas’ IR at 2.4 percent ranked the lowest during the month in review. On the other hand, Western Visayas registered the highest IR at 5.8 percent, followed by MIMAROPA and NCR at 5.7 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively (Table 3).

Inflation Rate by Province

Relative to their IRs in June 2023, all provinces recorded lower IRs in July 2023, except for Samar, which posted a higher IR during the reference month. Among the provinces, Eastern Samar posted the highest IR at 5.5 percent in July 2023. Samar’s IR ranked second at 3.9 percent, followed by Leyte at 2.0 percent; Northern Samar at 1.7 percent; and Southern Leyte at 1.2 percent. The lowest IR was noted in Biliran at 1.1 percent (Table 4).

Meanwhile, IR for Tacloban City, the lone Highly Urbanized City (HUC) in the region, decelerated further to 1.1 percent in July 2023, from its 1.5 percent IR last month (Table 4).

Inflation Rate by Province





PSA turns over 2022 CBMS data to the municipality of Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte

2022 CBMS data of Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte

By PSA-8
August 7, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine Statistics Authority Regional Statistical Services Office VIII (RSSO 08) and its Provincial Statistical Office (PSO) Southern Leyte, turned over today the 2022 Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) results to the Local Government of the Municipality of Padre Burgos.

The Data Turnover Ceremony (DTC) marks a significant milestone for the Municipality of Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte. In his recorded message, USEC Dennis Claire S. Mapa, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, thanked the LGU for its full support in the CBMS implementation. He also emphasized the relevance of the CBMS results in their programs particularly those that were geared toward alleviating the poverty situation of its populace.

PSA RSSO 8 Regional Director Wilma A. Perante cited in her Opening Message that it is the first DTC among the different LGUs in the region which implemented 2022 CBMS. The ceremony was also graced by DILG and DICT representatives, Jose Reynaldo Abad and Alejandro Lompot, respectively, who both expressed their appreciation for the success of CBMS implementation in Padre Burgos. Chief Statistical Specialist (CSS) Mae R. Almonte of PSA RSSO 8 presented the 2022 CBMS results for the municipality of Padre Burgos.

Engr. Emmanuel E. Gulay, Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator of Padre Burgos, discussed the relevance of CBMS in ensuring effective and efficient programs. This will strengthen policy and decision-making in their municipality. He pointed out that municipal plans can only be realistic if CBMS data is utilized. It is also part of their social protection program because CBMS data will be used in crafting their programs for Social Services, Health Services, Economics and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programs.

Padre Burgos Municipal Mayor Herenegildo C. Culpa, in behalf of all municipal officials, symbolically accepted the CBMS data. In his message he cited that one of their desires is to achieve zero malnourished children and CBMS data will be a great help in their effort to realize all the plans of the municipality.

In closing, CSS Eutemio Llevado, Jr., of PSO Leyte thanked everyone for the support which contributed to the success of CBMS implementation in the region. Supervising Statistical Specialist Elissa P. Carbonilla mentioned that their CBMS journey and success were made possible because of the strong support and cooperation of all the local officials of the municipality.





Never too late for a nonagenarian to be agrarian beneficiary

Ninety-two years old agrarian reform beneficiary Lino Malasaga (in dark glasses) from Maasin, Southern Leyte during the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) at the Leyte Progressive High School gymnasium in Tacloban City.

August 5, 2023

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte – Nonagenarian farmer, Lino Malasaga, who lives in Barangay Hantag, an upland village in this southernmost city in Eastern Visayas, still cannot believe that the land he had been tilling for decades is already registered in his name.

At 92 years old, Malasaga was the oldest recipient in Region 8 of individual land titles handed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) during the simultaneous distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) nationwide on July 7 this year.

Malasaga was one of the nine agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from this city who received individual CLOAs from DAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director, Robert Anthony Yu, at the Leyte Progressive High School in Tacloban City.

Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Vissa Arnela Villa disclosed that Malasaga was awarded with 1.2212 hectares, which is part of the 6.4171-hectare abaca farm situated in adjacent village, Malapoc Sur, once covered by a collective CLOA.

When visited last week by Villa to facilitate the issuance of tax declarations to the ARBs as the new owners of the lands awarded under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), Malasaga said that he never expected that he will ever get hold of a land title in his name to the land he had been tilling.

He thanked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III for the free land title, which according to him, “We did not spend a single centavo.”

He also expressed his gratitude to Villa and her staff for the help they had extended to them.

With his memory still sharp, Malasaga shared, “I started working on that land when I was only 12 years old.”

“As the eldest, I shouldered the responsibility of my father when he died. I worked hard on that land to feed my mother and my other siblings. That is why I was not able to go to school,” Malasaga reminisced.

Now a widower, Malasaga is advised by his children to rest from his farming activities and just entrust everything to them.





8ID honors troops’ heroism on 35th Founding Anniversary

8ID 35th Founding Anniversary

August 1, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division (8ID), Philippine Army, commemorated its 35th Founding Anniversary on August 1, 2023, with a simple yet meaningful celebration at Camp Vicente Lukban, Catbalogan City. The theme for this years celebration is "Ika-35 na Taong Patuloy na Kaakibat sa Paglilingkod sa Mapayapa at Maunlad na Silangang Bisayas,” encompasses the division’s unwavering commitment to service in support to the peace initiatives of the of the government to realize a peaceful and progressive Eastern Visayas.

General Camilo Z. Ligayo, with the distinguished Guest of Honor and Speaker, Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan lauded the dedication and heroism of the Stormtroopers in their tireless efforts to overcome challenges and ensure the defense of the region.

In his address, Maj. Gen. Ligayo expressed his gratitude to the entire 8ID personnel, acknowledging their invaluable service to the country. He commended their exceptional fortitude and unwavering commitment to duty. Maj. Gen. Ligayo praised the Stormtroopers' role in hurdling the challenges of anti-insurgency and natural disasters to achieve peace and progress in the region.

Governor Sharee Ann Tan also extended her gratitude to the 8ID for their steadfast commitment and heroic efforts in putting an end to insurgency and safeguarding peace and security in Samar and Eastern Visayas. She recognized the Philippine Army and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for helping realize the long-cherished dream of a peaceful Region 8, particularly in the island of Samar.

During the anniversary program, the 8ID recognized the soldiers who significantly contributed to the success of insurgency operations. Troops of the 42nd Infantry Battalion were awarded Gold Cross Medals, while Silver Cross Medals were bestowed upon the 20IB, and Military Merit Medals were presented to the 63IB. These soldiers were recognized for their exceptional professionalism and dedication in advancing the organization's campaign objectives.

In a solemn wreath-laying ceremony, the dedication and bravery of fallen soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for peace and development in Eastern Visayas were honored. The ceremony served as a poignant reminder of their heroism and gallantry, which continues to inspire the division and the nation.

Another part of the celebration was the inauguration and blessing of the newly constructed 3-storey liason office building which was part of the “Tatag ng Imprastraktura para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad” (TIKAS) Program, a centerpiece progam under the “Build, Build, Build” Program during the administration of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

As the 8ID marks its 35 years of excellence and dedication, the division remains a strong force in Eastern Visayas, relentlessly striving for the betterment of the region. With an unyielding commitment to safeguarding the people and the land, the Stormtroopers continue their mission to uphold peace and promote development.

The 8th Infantry Division extends its deepest appreciation to everyone who has been part of its journey, supporting the division's mission of achieving a peaceful and prosperous Eastern Visayas.





E. Visayas ARBs grateful over signing of new agrarian law

Jovita Mabalo of Pinabacdao, Samar receives her individual certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signs the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, freeing agrarian reform beneficiaries from debt burden incurred from land amortization.

July 25, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – “Masayang-masaya!” was Jovita Mabalo’s fast reply when asked how she felt during Friday, July 7’s twin event, the signing of the New Agrarian Emancipation Act by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Malacañang and the simultaneous distribution of individual land titles nationwide.

Mabalo, 58 and a mother of nine, was among the more than 32 thousand Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) nationwide announced by Agrarian Reform Secretary, Conrado Estrella III, who were to receive their individual electronically-generated Certificates of Land Ownership Award (e-CLOA) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on that day.

A recipient of a 2.5-hectare farmland in Barangay Laygayon, Pinabacdao, Samar, Mabalo expressed her gratitude to President Marcos and to the DAR management when asked to deliver a response.

Making sure that she won’t forget what she will say on stage, Mabalo wrote down her thoughts and read them.

“Salamat DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III sa ibinigay na titulo sa lupa na aming sinasaka. At ang pinakaimportante sa lahat, salamat Pangulong Marcos dahil wala na kaming babayaran sa Land Bank sa lupa namin na ibinigay ng DAR,” said Mabalo, who used to be a tenant of the Labagalas. She shared that farming is their only livelihood.

Republic Act 11953 or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act freed ARBs from debts incurred from amortization of lands awarded under Presidential Decree 27 and Republic Acts 6657 and 9700.

The President in his message said, “Our beneficiaries deserve nothing less.”

He stressed, “Free land distribution must go hand in hand with broadening the provision of credit facilities and support services in the form of farm inputs, equipment and facilities to our farmers as well as the construction of farm-to-market roads.”

He also urged DAR to expedite the individual titling of lands covered by collective CLOAs to secure the tenurial rights of the ARBs.

Meanwhile, with the simultaneous distribution nationwide of e-titles generated under the World Bank-funded Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project, the DAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director, Atty. Robert Anthony Yu, disclosed that 2,641 e-titles covering an aggregate area of 3,961.5 hectares were supposed to be distributed to 2,118 ARBs from all over Region 8. However, Yu explained that only 1,316 ARBs were able attend the distribution rite held at the Leyte Progressive High School gymnasium in Tacloban City.

Yu also stressed that freeing farmers from the bondage of agricultural tenancy and the burden of land amortization borne by the ARBs will greatly contribute to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), a whole-of-nation approach in attaining sustainable peace in the country.





2 CNTs killed, 3 high-powered firearms seized in Pambujan encounter

NPA encounter in Pambujan

July 23, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City Samar – Two CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) were killed and three high-powered firearms were seized by government troops after an armed encounter in Sitio Badulan, Barangay Cagbigajo, Pambujan, Northern Samar on July 22, 2023 at 12:55 in the afternoon.

Security forces were validating reports of CNTs plan to conduct atrocities in the said area when they were fired upon by more or less ten CNTs belonging to Squad 2, Front Committee 1, led by a certain Jerry Lutao alias ‘Nadi’.

The firefight lasted for about 20 minutes which resulted in two enemies killed, and the seizure of two M16A1 rifles, an M14 rifle, enemy belongings, and subversive documents with high intelligence value. One soldier was reported wounded in action and was brought immediately to the nearest hospital for proper medical intervention.

Lieutenant Colonel Marvin A. Maraggun the Commanding Officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion, commended the operating troops for a job well done, and reiterated his call to the remnants of the communist terrorists in Northern Samar, “The program of the government is waiting for you, we will help you start a new life and live peacefully with your families,” added by Lt. Col. Maraggun.

In his statement, Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander, 8ID said, “Your Army in Eastern Visayas will be relentless in its pursuit of the remnants of the communist terrorists in Northern Samar to finally put an end to the last bastion of insurgency in the country.”

Maj. Gen. Ligayo also expressed his condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased CNTs. “If they only heed the call of the government to surrender, this will not happen, a better life awaits by reintegrating them into the mainstream society,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo lamented.





3 high-powered firearms recovered in Catbalogan clash

recovered firearms from NPA

July 22, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City Samar – An armed encounter between the troops of 87th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army and approximately five CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) transpired yesterday, July 21, 2023 at 10:40 a.m. in the vicinity of Barangay Bangon, Catbalogan City, Samar.

Accordingly, the troops responded to the information from concerned citizens regarding the presence of the armed group in the said barangay who were extorting food and demanding financial support from the community.

Troops recovered three M16A1 rifles, a hand grenande, three magazine assembly (30 rounds), three magazine assembly (20 rounds), and a binocular.

Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander of 8ID, lauded the civilian populace in the said barangay for the timely information given to the troops that lead to the success of the internal security operations.

“In our desire to end the local armed conflict, we must join hands to ensure the peace and order in the locality. We encourage the remaining members of the communist terrorist group to abandon the armed struggle and take advantage of the opportunity and the programs offered by the government,” Maj. Gen. Ligayo emphasized.



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