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E. Samar farmers finish farm business school

PSA turns over 2022 CBMS data to the LGU of Pintuyan, Southern Leyte

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

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




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PH delegation mainstreams durian in CIIE 2023

The Philippine pavilion during the 5th edition of CIIE in 2022
The Philippine pavilion during the 5th edition of CIIE in 2022. The country pavilion showcased an array of Philippine-made food products, reflecting the country’s vibrant food culture.

October 4, 2023

PASAY CITY – A delegation of 17 Philippine business enterprises will return to the 2023 edition of China International Import Expo (CIIE) for the 6th consecutive time with the theme “Share the love for Philippine flavors.” Anchored on the increasing popularity that Durian is enjoying in China, the delegation will put a spotlight on Philippine Durian as the country’s key feature along with other fresh produce and a diverse selection of uniquely Philippine-made food products. The largest import-themed trade fair in the world will be held on November 5-10 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

CIIE is a world-class expo that provides new channels for countries and regions to do business, strengthen cooperation, and promote common prosperity. It has three main parts particularly: the Country Pavilion, Enterprise and Business Fair for goods and services, and International Trade Forum. Similar to its previous editions since 2020, this year’s edition will be a mixture of onsite participation amplified by participants’ CIIE online account to ensure wider reach and better business engagement.

The hybrid participation by the country’s delegation under FOODPhilippines banner, which is spearheaded by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) – the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry – aims to promote the Philippinesas a top sourcing destination for premium food products. Working alongside CITEM are the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry - Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), Philippine Trade and Investment Center - Shanghai (PTIC-Shanghai), Philippine Department of Agriculture - Office of the Agriculture Counselor in Beijing (DA-OAC Beijing), Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc., (PhilExport), and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).

Durian as a rising commodity in China

Over the past few years, Durian was catapulted to fame in China. It has gained increasing popularity among Chinese consumers turning the famed tropical fruit into a status symbol. This can be observed in Chinese weddings which are steeped in customary practices handed down through generations. For one, wedding guests would go the extra mile and show love for the newlyweds by providing the spouses with exquisite gifts. These gifts usually include food and other farm produce such as grapes, ham sausage, milk, and dried mushrooms – all of which symbolize wealth, abundance, and prosperity. Although in recent years, Durian has become the go-to present, putting all its rivals on the sidelines.

Despite its huge, thorn-covered husk and its putrid and pungent smell, Durian has been dubbed the “king of fruits” across Southeast Asia. This could be attributed to the polarizing experience one would go through after munching on the tropical fruit which boasts of its unique, creamy texture and custard flavor that is similar to an ice cream bar.

Durian hailed “king of fruits’, dethrones all other competitors

Accounting for 20% of global market consumption, China is the 3rd largest consumer of Durian across the world faring right behind Indonesia and the Philippines. In 2022, China imported 824,000 tons of fresh Durian which was valued at USD 4 billion. This was 4 times bigger than the volume imported in 2017 according to a report provided by the World Trade Organization.

Early this year, the Philippines forged partnership with China as Chinese President Xi and his counterpart Marcos Jr. signed 14 bilateral agreements covering investment in infrastructure and Durian import following the latter’s state visit to Beijing.

The Philippines is more than capable to tap this huge opportunity and address this demand. In 2021, the Philippines yielded more than 70,000 (73,867) metric tons of fresh Durian, with Davao Region as the top producer after covering 78% of the total Durian production. The country has a well-established Durian market in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, and South Korea.

“This huge Chinese market for fresh Durian and other related produce is seen as a great opportunity for the Philippines,” PTIC-Shanghai Commercial Counselor Glenn Peñaranda said.

“It’s been quite evident that Chinese consumers have developed this keen appetite for fresh Durian. With China being the Philippines’ largest trading partner, it’s only fitting that we seize this opportunity and put our best foot forward in providing aid to our local Durian farmers. Our longstanding trade partner is cradling a huge market waiting to be tapped,” he added.

shipping of fresh Durian from Davao City to China
Photo taken during the export of the first batch of fresh Durian from Davao City to China. (Courtesy of PTV News)

The Department of Agriculture (DA) set a new milestone after the first batch of Philippine Durian was exported to China in April to May this year, shipping a total of 586 metric tons of fresh Durian which directly penetrated Huizhan market in Shanghai and Gaobeidian market in Hebei Province for the northern market, especially Beijing. This momentous trade deal is expected to generate USD 150 million worth of revenue according to the Bureau of Plants and Industry (BPI).

“This is a significant progress that comes with vast economic potential. Following the export of fresh Durian along with other agricultural produce, we are given the opportunity to generate more exports to China and to also promote collaboration including investments in production and the value chain. That is why our participation in this year’s edition of CIIE can be likened to opening a treasure trove. Not only that it enhances bilateral trade relations between China and the Philippines but also forges stronger ties between the two countries,” Mr. Peñaranda explained.

According to Agriculture Counselor Ana GM B. Abejuela of the DA-OAC in Beijing, the Philippines’ homegrown Durian variety, which slightly edged out its competitors, took a warm reception from the Chinese consumers.

“Consumers who tasted the Philippine Durian, especially the golden Puyat, said that the taste is closer to Musang King, Malaysia’s Durian and the most expensive durian in China. Thus, having Philippine Durian at a much lower price than Musang King is a double delight for the Philippine Durian buyers and consumers. It tastes great at an affordable price,” AC Abejuela said.

The Philippine Pavilion, which is located at booth no. 1.1C3-01, will be housing an array of delectable fresh produce along with an innovative line up of processed food products. A combination of returning and neophyte exporters, 17 local business enterprises will be at the forefront to push the boundaries and put onto the table a diverse selection of fine-tasting agricultural produce which includes fresh Durian, Coconut and other related products, Mango, and Coffee among others. The country pavilion will, likewise, offer fun and healthy snacks such as Banana Chips, Dried Mangoes, Coconut Products and the like.

The participating exhibitors comprising the Philippine delegation are Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures, Inc.; Fisher Farms, Inc.; Lionheart Farms Philippines Corporation; Profood International Corporation; Raspina Tropical Fruits, Inc.; Republic Biscuit Corporation; Sam Lim Corporation; See’s International Food Mfg. Corporation; Avante-Agri Products Philippine, Inc.; Durian Industry Association of Davao City; Eng Seng Food Products; Eng Seng Group of Companies, Inc.; Excellent Quality Goods Supply Company; Gerb Golden Hands; Maylong Enterprises Corporation; Philippine Coffee Guild; and SQ Fresh Fruit Corporation.

The Philippine participation in CIIE 2023 is made possible through CITEM’s partnership with Philippine Airlines, the country’s official flag carrier.





NMP welcomes new executive director

National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) changed of leadership

Press Release
October 2, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) has recently changed leadership as Mr. Victor A. Del Rosario assumed as its Executive Director III in a turnover ceremony held on 25 September 2023, at the NMP Administration Building, Cabalawan, Tacloban City.

The ceremony, formalized the transfer of authority and responsibility, marked by the passing of the NMP Flag and a symbolic key.

The event began with a welcome message from Capt. Chito Go, the NMP OIC-Head of the Maritime Training & Assessment Division, setting the tone for the occasion. He expressed, "Today, we welcome a new captain on board. As we embark on this journey together, we are prepared to sail into a promising future filled with abundant opportunities in the vast seas of the maritime industry."

NMP's outgoing OIC Executive Director, Ms. Mayla N. Macadawan, reflected on the challenges faced during the transition from being an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to becoming a subsumed office of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). She stated, 'Despite the challenges and the turbulent waters we navigated, I take great pride that we have achieved impressive accomplishments under my leadership from 01 July 2022, up to this date, and all credit goes to the talented and supportive NMP employees.' She also expressed her commitment to continue working with the same passion and hard work as the agency’s Deputy Executive Director (DED). She conveyed her utmost confidence that the NMP will reach even greater heights under the nurturing leadership of ED del Rosario.

In his Acceptance Speech, Executive Director del Rosario expressed his gratitude and enthusiasm. He paid homage to his predecessor, Ms. Macadawan, and all past Executive Directors for their dedication and vision that had charted the course of NMP's remarkable achievements.

He also outlined his vision for NMP, emphasizing the importance of continuous improvement in maritime education and training, calling for unity and cooperation among NMP's staff, partners, and stakeholders.

In closing, he declared, "Together, we will navigate the challenges, seize the opportunities, and continue to write the success story of the National Maritime Polytechnic. I look forward to working with each and every one of you as we embark on this journey of progress and excellence.”

The event was attended by NMP employees and esteemed government officials, including Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena and Assistant Regional Director Norman L. Uyvico of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), OIC Assistant Regional Director Engr. Ma. Margarita C. Junia of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Mr. Cydric B. Suyom of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), OIC Regional Director/Coordinator Mr. Marlon C. Macalla of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Regional Satellite Office 8, and PO1 Benedict B. Gloria of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The shift in the Captain's seat ushers in a new era for NMP's leadership and direction, offering the prospect of fresh perspectives and innovative approaches.





592 agrarian beneficiaries receive e-titles during BPSF launch in Leyte

Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair in Leyte
Five hundred ninety-two agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) receive individual certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) while three agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) receive package of support services worth P1.5 million from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) during the launch of the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair in Leyte.

October 2, 2023

TOLOSA, Leyte – A total of 592 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from 21 Leyte towns and a city received their individual land titles as the Marcos administration launched simultaneously on Saturday, September 23, the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF) in four provinces in the country.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his message, as he led the launching in Camarines Sur, said, “Ang programang ito ay isa lamang sa mga unang hakbangin ng pamahalaan upang magkaroon ng bagong pag-asa at bagong simula ang mga Pilipino. Magkakahiwalay man ang ating mga isla, pinagbubuklod-buklod naman tayo ng isang diwa at isang pangarap, isang bagong Pilipinas para sa bagong Pilipino.”

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who led the launching in Leyte, disclosed that BPSF, a two-day event, is simultaneously being launched also in the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Davao de Oro, bringing the government closer to the people.

Romualdez spearheaded the distribution of various assistance from about 40 government agencies with Leyte Governor Jericho Petilla, at the Visayas State University (VSU) Tolosa campus. The affair was attended by an estimated 60,000 residents coming from the 40 municipalities and three cities in Leyte, as BPSF brings government offices together in one venue.

In the distribution of the electronically generated Certificates of Land Ownership Award (e-CLOAs), Romualdez and Petilla were assisted by Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Visayas Regional Director, Atty. Robert Anthony Yu.

According to Yu, 665 e-CLOAs covering an aggregate area of 997.7358 hectares of farm lots were handed over to 592 ARBs from Ormoc City and the towns of Alangalang, Babatngon, Barugo, Bato, Burauen, Capoocan, Carigara, Dagami, Hilongos, Jaro, Kananga, La Paz, Leyte, MacArthur, Matalom, Mayorga, Merida, Palompon, San Miguel, Tabango and Villaba.

Yu explained that the e-CLOAs or individual titles were issued under the World Bank-funded Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project, after subdividing the lands covered by collective CLOAs. This is to improve land tenure security and strengthen property rights of the ARBs, he added.

Marivic Mendoza, 61, a mother of three from Capoocan town, and a recipient of 2.2 hectares farm lot, was so thankful that they now have their individual titles without spending a single centavo, while Evelyn Dayon, 66, from adjacent Kananga town, is hoping that they are included in the condonation of debts and amortization as mandated by Republic Act No. 11953, which was recently signed by the President.

Aside from the e-titles, farm machineries and equipment amounting to ₱1.5 million from the DAR were likewise turned over on the same occasion to the Calaguise Agriculture Cooperative, Taytay-Iphag-Gapas Irrigators Association, and the Pong-on Farmers Association from the towns of Leyte, Jaro, and Matalom, respectively.





CARD MBA marks 24th year with AcciPlan launch and notable achievements

AcciPlan launch
During the 24th anniversary of CARD MBA, seven MBA Coordinators were hailed as regional winners during the 8th awarding ceremony for the “Natatanging MBA Coordinator” on September 07, 2023 held in Maharlika Square Events Place in San Pablo City, Laguna.

October 1, 2023

SAN PABLO CITY – CARD Mutual Benefit Association (CARD MBA), the microinsurance arm of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), highlighted its latest microinsurance product, AcciPlan, during its 24th anniversary celebration, on September 7, 2023.

AcciPlan will deliver comprehensive accident insurance coverage for both its members and their legal dependents. The product will undergo pilot testing in select provincial offices starting October 1, 2023.

CARD MBA CEO Jocelyn A. Dequito emphasized the Association’s unwavering commitment for the vulnerable communities. “Our focus has always been the protection and well-being of our members and their families. Our new product underscores this dedication and commitment to safeguarding Filipinos amid uncertainties.

Natatanging MBA Coordinator Awardee

Meanwhile, the program also awarded outstanding MBA coordinators, namely, Rowena Sumilang from VisMin Region as the 2023 NMC National Winner; Jessa Bulos from Luzon 2 Region, 1st place; and Anna Sheila Raut-raut from Luzon 2 Region, 2nd place.

Each awardee received a cash prize, a plaque of recognition, and a token of appreciation.

The event was graced by Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, Managing Director Aristeo Dequito, CARD Bank President/CEO Marivic Austria, CARD SME Bank President/CEO Cynthia Baldeo, CARD RBI President/CEO Elma Valenzuela, CAMIA President and General Manager Vener Abellera, MIMAP Vice President Silvida Antiquera, Insurance Commission Commissioner Atty. Reynaldo Regalado, some of the CARD MRI senior advisers, staff, CARD MBA Board of Trustees, and MBA coordinators.

Adding to the roster of its achievements, CARD MBA has been recognized among the Global 500 ranking of the largest mutual and cooperative insurance companies in the world.

The celebration also highlighted the leadership transition, introducing Reazhyle Francisco as the new president of the CARD MBA Board of Trustees with six newly elected trustees.

As of July 2023, CARD MBA had a total of 7,349,281 active members.





136 female trainees benefit from NMP ‘Serbisyo Para Kay Juana’ Training Program

NMP female trainees

October 1, 2023

TACLOBAN CITY – One hundred thirty-six (136) determined female trainees have embraced the opportunity to advance their maritime careers and availed of the NMP’s "Serbisyo Para Kay Juana" Program. Female trainees were offered free training and dormitory accommodations during the celebrations of the National Women's Month (March), Day of the Seafarer (June), and National Maritime Week (September) of every year, reflecting the agency’s unwavering commitment to fostering inclusivity and empowering women in the maritime sector.

These 136 female trainees, representing diverse backgrounds, enrolled in various NMP regular training courses to enhance their maritime knowledge and skills. They were entitled to a free training fee and complimentary dormitory accommodation in non-air-conditioned rooms, creating a conducive and supportive learning environment. Those opting for air-conditioned rooms can avail it at a 50% discounted rate.

The active participation of these female trainees is testament of NMP’s dedication to fostering diversity and equality within the maritime community. This visionary initiative significantly contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 5: Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, and to highlight the important contribution of women all over the world to the maritime sector.

NMP extends its heartfelt congratulations to these remarkable women who have chosen to embark on this transformative journey, inspiring others to shatter gender barriers and embrace excellence within the maritime industry.

Being a strong and consistent advocate on gender and development in the maritime industry, the said program was launched as one of the advocacy campaigns of the agency to promote empowerment of Filipino women seafarers encouraging them to pursue senior management level positions.

For more information about NMP "Serbisyo Para Kay Juana" program and its ongoing commitment to gender equality in the maritime sector, please visit the Agency’s Facebook page ( or website





Catch wall built in Brgy. Nabang to protect motorists

Brgy. Nabang catch wall

September 30, 2023

CALBAYOG CITY – Samar First District Engineering Office has completed the construction of a concrete catch wall in Brgy. Nabang, Calbayog City, Samar.

It has a total revised contract amount of P38.40 million funded under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2023.

The abovementioned structure was built intermittently to cover all areas that needs protection from landslides or rockslides. The above structure spans 158 meters in total and 5-meter in height. The scope of work includes road re-blocking with a length of 101 meters and installation of eight (8) solar LED lights.

A concrete catch wall is built to seize falling rocks and dirt fragments, mainly on sloping terrain. Because of its mountainous surroundings, Barangay Nabang is prone to rockslides and landslides caused by the collapse of a weakened slope caused by heavy rains, natural ground movements, or, in extreme cases, earthquakes. It can be recalled that a landslide occurred in the area in October 2020, closing three lanes due to tropical storm "Quinta."





PSA turns over 100% of 2022 CBMS PSA-funded to 5th and 6th class municipalities in Southern Leyte

PSA turn over of 2022 CBMS to Southern Leyte towns
Witnessing the 2022 CBMS Data Turnover Ceremony (DTC) for Southern Leyte LGUs were (from left) Zonia Salazar, Mae Almonte, Eutemio Llevado and Dir. Wilma Perante, all of PSA-RSSO 8, MPDC Edmar T. Tambis of Tomas Oppus, MPDC Raul B. Fajardo of San Juan, Mayor Reynaldo Saludo of San Juan, Mayor Melchor Petracorta of Limasawa, Mayor Evelyn Lee of Hinundayan, Mayor Benedicta Tiaozon of San Francisco, MPDC Rea Lynd Andena of Anahawan, and MPDC Ma. Bella Gilbuena of Hinundayan.

By PSA-8
September 30, 2023

MACROHON, Southern Leyte – The Philippine Statistics Authority -Regional Statistical Services Office VIII (PSA-RSSO 08) and its Provincial Statistical Office (PSO) -Southern Leyte, turned over 100 percent of the 2022 Community-Based Monitoring System (2022 CBMS) results to the following 5th and 6th class Local Government Units of Southern Leyte, namely: Anahawan, Hinundayan, San Francisco, San Juan, Tomas Oppus and Limasawa, during the recently concluded Data Turnover Ceremony (DTC). This is in addition to the municipalities of Padre Burgos, San Ricardo, Pintuyan and Libagon who have already received their PSA-Funded 2022 CBMS data. Meanwhile, PSA also held the DTC for LGU-Funded 2022 CBMS in St. Bernard town.

PSA RSSO 8 Regional Director Wilma A. Perante, in her opening message, commended the six (6) municipalities for their full support in the 2022 CBMS implementation in their respective municipalities. She mentioned that the 2022 CBMS answers the desire of LGUs to have barangay level data as basis in the formulation of their plans and programs. With 2022 CBMS, LGUs will be able to correctly hit the program beneficiaries in their communities. She also emphasized that the use of Computer-Aided Personal Interview (CAPI) facilitated the entire CBMS operation. Director Perante commended the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) for leading its implementation and thanked the enumerators, processors, supervisors and barangay officials who all contributed to the success of the 2022 CBMS.

National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Claire Dennis S. Mapa, in his recorded message, cited the LGUs for their full support in the CBMS implementation. He also emphasized the relevance of CBMS results in their program formulation, particularly those that were geared toward alleviating poverty situation. He encouraged the local officials to turn data into meaningful action and make CBMS an integral part of their governance framework.

Provincial Director Danilo A. Laguitan of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that all development efforts of the government are geared towards reducing poverty. However, this cannot be done without the correct baseline data and disaggregated information for diagnosing poverty at the local level. CBMS is the long-awaited government effort of generating data up to barangay level for an evidenced-based program planning.

Provincial Director Rey Noel R. Collera of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reaffirmed in his recorded message his commitment in the CBMS implementation. He emphasized that with the shared vision of becoming a data driven community, the voice of the constituents will be amplified and be given appropriate action. Data from CBMS will serve as catalyst of change if the responsibility and challenges of CBMS are embraced by the community and its officials.

PSA RSSO 8 Chief Statistical Specialist Mae R. Almonte and Supervising Statistical Specialist Zonia C. Salazar presented the 2022 CBMS highlights of the Municipalities of Anahawan, Hinundayan, San Francisco, San Juan, Limasawa and Tomas Oppus on the following: basic services such as access to electricity, internet, main sources of water, service level of toilet facility, households’ perception on safety when walking alone in the community, household food insecurity experience in the past 12 months socio-demographic characteristics, education, reasons for not continuing school, education facilities, labor force and employment, barangay health facilities, housing units characteristics and disaster preparedness.

Symbolically the following LGU officials accepted the CBMS data and expressed their gratitude and appreciation to PSA: Hinundayan Mayor Evelyn T. Lee, San Juan Mayor Reynaldo Saludo, San Francisco Mayor Benedicta Tiaozon, Limasawa Mayor Melchor Petracorta, Anahawan Mayor represented by Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC) Realyn Andena, and Tomas Oppus MPDC Edmar Tambis. They also committed to utilize the 2022 CBMS results for the betterment of the lives of their constituents.

Ms. Binky D. Vasquez, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator (PPDC) of Southern Leyte, thanked PSA and everyone who form part of the success of CBMS. The MPDCs of the 6 LGUs discussed the different uses of CBMS data in their respective municipalities. They also committed to ensure compliance to the requirements of data privacy as managers of their CBMS data.

In closing, CSS Eutemio Llevado, Jr. of PSO Southern Leyte thanked everyone for the support which contributed to the success of CBMS implementation in the province. Supervising Statistical Specialist Elissa P. Carbonilla described the LGU’s CBMS journey as smooth and successful even though there were bumps along the way. The success was made possible because of the strong support and cooperation of all the local officials of the municipality.

CBMS is an organized technology-based system of collecting, processing and validating necessary disaggregated data that may be used for local planning, program implementation, and impact monitoring while empowering communities to participate the process. It involves the generation of data at the local level, which serves as basis in targeting households for government programs geared towards poverty alleviation and economic development.





Samar mayor acknowledges DAR’s continued support to farmers

Malino Small Farmers Association (MSFA)
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over P465,000 worth of farm equipment and farm inputs to the Malino Small Farmers Association in Jiabong, Samar.

September 30, 2023

JIABONG, Samar – herof this towxpressed gratitude to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for continuously supporting the farmers by providing them with various assistance.

Cereno, who witnessed the turnover of P465,000 worth of farm equipment, hybrid seeds and fertilizers to Malino Small Farmers Association (MSFA) last month, thanked Samar Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Alfonso Catorce and other DAR officials present during the occasion for including agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) from this town in the list of recipients of DAR support services.

Catorce led in the turnover of the said assistance which also included starter feeds, pellet feeds, vitamins, dewormer and cylindrical automatic pig feeders for the MSFA’s hog raising livelihood project. Earlier, MSFA was provided with 6 piglets as additional livelihood to their vegetable production.

Catorce explained that DAR does not stop in the distribution of lands alone. DAR continues to help agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) make the land awarded to them productive by providing them support services. This agency also encourages ARBOs to venture into livelihood activities for additional source of income, he added.

Chief of DAR Samar’s Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), Thelma Alfaro, disclosed that the above-mentioned package of assistance was funded under the Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS) program for Sustainable Livelihood Support to Disaster Affected Areas.

Alfaro also explained to the recipient ARBO that Catorce and MSFA president, Emma Pabua, will sign a Trust Agreement stating that DAR will monitor, within the period of six months, the farm machineries and equipment provided to them if they are being used and accordingly managed.

If the said common service facilities (CSFs) will not be used within the said period or used for other purpose in violation of the Trust Agreement, the DAR will pull them out and transfer to another interested ARBO, she added.

However, if the CSFs are used and well managed, the DAR will execute a deed of donation to MSFA, Alfaro stressed.

Provision of modern farm equipment, fertilizers and other farm implements and inputs is among the priorities of Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III.

Meanwhile, Pabua assured the DAR officials that their organization will treasure everything given to them so that they can still avail of other assistance from DAR in the future.

On the other hand, Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Annaliza Gutierrez encouraged the 43-member MSFA, of which 30 of them are ARBs, to make this opportunity an inspiration to grow as an organization and inspire other ARBOs as well.

DAR with Jiabong Mayor Julie Cereno





CARD RBI offers solar loans to combat rising power costs

September 30, 2023

SAN PABLO CITY – In a move aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create a sustainable future for all, CARD MRI Rizal Bank, Inc. (CARD RBI) has rolled out its solar loan product. This step is geared towards encouraging affordable, green energy adoption among its clients.

"CARD RBI's solar loans underscores our dedication to promoting renewable energy, combating climate change, and upholding the social objectives of the bank," said CARD RBI President and CEO Elma B. Valenzuela.

“This effort is not just an environmentally conscious initiative but also aims to help Filipino households to reducing electricity bills. Solar-powered devices not only reduce electricity expenses but also have a positive environmental footprint,” added Valenzuela.

For the bank, this solar loan program further defines their commitment to creating a brighter, sustainable future for everyone.

Valenzuela added, "Prioritizing our clients' needs has always been essential to our institution's values. CARD RBI has consistently rolled out products and services tailor-fit to their needs.”

The solar loan caters to various needs, with a range of appliance bundles based on the client's usage and capacity. Among the considered high-technology items is a dual-function solar fan and light. This easy-to-install unit can operate for up to 24 hours.

Merlita Llantos, 59, a resident of West Talaongan, Cavinti, Laguna, and an early client of CARD RBI’s solar loan, shared her experience. “It does not take too long to arrive and is easy to install. The transaction will only take a day, very convenient.” Llantos, who has been using the solar appliances for weeks, expressed satisfaction with its performance, noting that all the devices are functioning optimally.

CARD RBI will continue to work towards providing rural communities with access to financial services and products that aids in environmental and social sustainability.



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