leader Sgt Corpin with Mrs. Josefina Tolerrosa, president, and
other members of the Taglawigan Farmers Association during the
handing over of certificate of registration at So. Crossing,
Brgy. Taglawigan, San Isidro, Leyte on 23 May 2013.
associations await projects, assistance
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
May 26, 2013
KANANGA, Leyte – The 19th
Infantry Battalion said the military will continue to assist the
fisher folks and farmers groups of Leyte’s Calubian and San Isidro
towns until projects are implemented.
Lt. Col. Joel Alejandro
Nacnac, commanding officer of 19IB, revealed that priority projects
were finally identified and agreed upon by the members of said farmers
and fisher folks associations when consultation was made by an
eight-man military envoy in the hinterland barangays of Calubian and
San Isidro this week. Sustainable means of livelihood for farmers and
fisher folks and water and electrification systems are among the
priorities of the said groups.
The envoy was also tasked to
formally hand over the much-awaited certificates of registration of
the said associations which were issued by the Department of Labor and
Employment-Western Leyte Field Office based in Ormoc City.
Mr. Ruben Roche, president
of the Taglawigan Fisherfolks Association said the certificate of
registration issued by DOLE is already an assurance that appropriate
government projects and funds may be downloaded to the association.
Roche likewise expressed his
gratitude to the 19th Infantry Battalion and 802nd Infantry Brigade
under Col. Rafael Valencia who initiated efforts and resources to fast
track the release of the associations’ certificate of registration.
Lt. Col. Nacnac said that
these newly registered associations were formerly under the “Samahan
sa Mag-uuma sa Calubian” (SAMACA) and “Kahugpungan sa Mag-uuma sa San
Isidro” (KAMAS), both known to be organized by the New People’s Army
and struggled for parcel of land to till from the hacienderos.
“The military will see to it
that the concerns of our farmers and fisher folks will be addressed
immediately by appropriate government agencies,” Lt. Col. Nacnac
Court ruling to stop field trials of Bt talong
May 24, 2013
QUEZON CITY – Greenpeace
welcomes the ruling issued by the Court of Appeals that granted the
‘Writ of Kalikasan’ to stop the field trials of Bt eggplant. In their
decision, the court ordered the respondents to ‘permanently cease and
desist from further conducting Bt talong field trials’ and ‘protect,
preserve, rehabilitate and restore the environment in accordance with
the foregoing judgement of the court.’
“We commend the Court of
Appeals for living up to its constitutionally-mandated role as
protector of constitutional rights,” said Daniel Ocampo, Greenpeace
Southeast Asia Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner. “This landmark
decision reflects that there are indeed flaws and lapses in the
current regulatory process for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
such as Bt eggplant which exposes our environment and health to
unknown long-term consequences and does not establish their safety in
any way,” stressed Ocampo.
The Writ of Kalikasan is a
legal remedy under the new rules of procedure for environmental cases.
The 25-page decision highlighted that the decision was based on
submissions from both the respondents and the petitioners. After more
than a year of court deliberations, the Court of Appeals ruled in the
favour of petitioners on the following compelling grounds:
1. The Precautionary
Principle safeguards the environment from technologies that will have
far reaching impacts when their long-term safety is still not
2. The issue of
irreversibility of releasing GMOs into the environment even during
field trials and despite alleged compliance to existing protocols;
3. Vetting protocols should
not be confined within the realm of science but should be brought into
the realm of public policy since other sectors beyond the agricultural
sector could stand to be affected as propounded by Dr. Ben Malayang,
former member of the National Committee on Biosafety of the
4. Current field testing
protocols looks at efficacy and agricultural performance and not
safety for human consumption or environment.
Atty. Zelda DT Soriano,
Greenpeace Southeast Asia Regional Political Advisor, pointed out,
“the respondents could not prove wrong the fact that Bt talong field
testing is an environmental case where scientific evidence as to the
health, environmental and socio-economic safety is insufficient,
inconclusive or uncertain and preliminary evaluation indicates that
there are reasonable grounds for concern that there are potentially
dangerous effects on the environment and human health.”
Atty. Soriano explains that
for the same scientific uncertainties and health concerns the
governments of India, China, Thailand, Austria, France, Hungary,
Poland, Germany, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Ireland, Peru, Kenya,
Tasmania, Australia, Egypt, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Malawi, Namibia,
Zambia, Switzerland, Russia and Mexico banned the release of
genetically modified crops into their environments and/or the
importation for food and processing.
Ocampo added that the
decision made by the Court of Appeals will have a resounding impact on
the future of agriculture in the Philippines and how food production
is done in our country. Ocampo argued that the court’s decision
affirms what Greenpeace has been saying for years about the flaws on GMO regulations in the country.
“These flaws in the
government regulations have led to the sad state we are in – 62 GMOS
are imported and fed to Filipinos without their knowledge and consent.
While the environment and our farmers are exposed to 8 kinds of GMOs
that are allowed for propagation without knowing their long-term
impacts,” stressed Ocampo.
DAR, NIA bat for
irrigation projects to boost veggie production in 3 Leyte towns
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
May 24, 2013
SAN ISIDRO, Leyte – The
Department of Agrarian Reform and the National Irrigation
Administration in Eastern Visayas are eyeing the implementation of
irrigation projects in order to boost vegetable production in three
DAR Region 8 Director
Eliasem Castillo said the idea came as a result of the clamor of the
farmers in Barangay Daja Diot in this town for the construction of an
irrigation project in the area.
Director Castillo disclosed
that funding for this project will come from the Asian Development
Bank (ADB) thru the second phase of the Agrarian Reform Communities
As NIA is preparing the
design, ARCP Deputy Project Manager Herman Ongkiko called on the
agency to beat the June 15 deadline for the project to be included in
the June 30 National Sub-Project Approval Committee (NSAC)
deliberation so it could be implemented the soonest possible time.
In answer, NIA Regional
Manager Romeo Quiza promised to give priority to this project.
Director Castillo disclosed
that at the moment the area is dependent only on rain resulting to a
very low harvest.
He stressed that the project
initially will accommodate the vegetable farms of the 90 agrarian
reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who currently fetch water from a distance.
According to Ms. Mathilde
Vergara, agricultural enterprise development coordinator, the ARBs
started their high-value crops production in 2010 in partnership with
the East-West Seed Company which adds to their income.
An irrigation system will be
constructed in the area especially because the vegetable production of
the Daja Integrated Primary Agribusiness Marketing Cooperative (DIPAMCO)
is a priority project of DAR under the Agrarian Reform Communities
Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS), Director
He also disclosed that
similar project is being proposed for the towns of Calubian and
Villaba, also in the province of Leyte.
disappointed over report of Comelec’s failure to see to needs of
By OVP Media
May 23, 2013
MANILA – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today expressed disappointment over reports that the
Commission on Elections’ failed to address the needs of senior
citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the recently held
Binay was reacting to
National Council on Disability Affairs executive director Carmen
Zubiaga’s claim that only two out of the 36,778 polling centers in the
country were designated as pilot Accessible Polling Places for PWDs
and the elderly.
“The Comelec should have
been more proactive in ensuring that they are not disenfranchised
simply because our polling centers cannot accommodate their needs,”
the Vice President said.
“This is clearly something
that requires an explanation from the Comelec, considering that the
poll body itself had issued resolutions that require polling centers
to be more friendly to senior citizens and PWDs,” he added.
Binay said he personally saw
how some senior citizens had to walk up three to four flights of
stairs to reach their precincts. He also cited media reports of senior
citizens suffering accidents on election day.
According to the Vice
President, the Comelec should now use the time leading to the next
elections in 2016 to make the voting process for the disabled and the
elderly easier and more efficient.
Binay also said that the
growing number of PWDs interested in practicing their right to vote
should not be neglected. From 300,000 registered voters in 2010, the
PWD sector grew to 362,113 this year.
The Vice President also
praised Filipinos who volunteered to help the elderly and PWDs vote on
“Their willingness to help
the eldery and PWDs shows that the spirit of bayanihan is still very
much alive in our country,” he said.
P87.136-M disaster mitigation projects in Palo
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
May 23, 2013
PAWING, Palo, Leyte – The
Department of Public Works and Highways in the province of Leyte is
implementing several disaster mitigation projects amounting to more
than P84 million in order to address the concerns of the people of
DPWH 1st Leyte Engineering District Office chief Angel Sia said that
one of the projects is the repair, rehabilitation and construction of
drainage system along Government Center Road network, Maharlika
Highway and Pawing-Campetic Road at Barangay Candahug to Barangay
Pawing in the said municipality.
According to DE Sia, the project involves the installation of 772
linear meters reinforced concrete pipe culverts with a diameter of
0.910 meter, and 966 linear meters reinforced pipe culverts with a
diameter of 1.220 meters.
Sia added that the project also entails the construction of 250 linear
meters lined canal, 48 pieces manhole and stone masonry of 903 linear
meters which is funded under the Various Infrastructures Including
Local Projects for Calendar Year 2012.
The District Engineer disclosed that the project is under contract
with Ferdstar Builers Corporation at a contract cost of P37,214,812.25
and is now 25% accomplished.
The project will minimize flooding and address problems on drainage
system within the locality. It has been noted in the past years that
the area is flood prone especially during the rainy season, DE Sia
Positive effects on the quality of life of the people in the area are
foreseen because of the strict implementation of Republic Act No. 6685
or the labor generation program of the government, Engineer Sia added.
Another disaster mitigation project which the Engineering District is
implementing in Palo, Leyte is the construction of flood control
structure at Sitio Purisima, Barangay Guindapunan.
This project which was completed in April of 2013, entails 892.50
cubic meters structural concrete gravity wall forming part of the
restoration and construction of flood control structure.
With an appropriation of P46,921,219.03 under the funding source
Disaster Related Rehabilitation Project or Calamity fund for Calendar
Year 2011 of the district, the project was undertaken by Yakal
Construction, DE Sia said.
Completion of the project will finally minimize scouring of the
pavement, address problems on flooding along the national roads and
residential areas and improve the living conditions of the people in
the area, Engineer Sia added.
actress Ai-Ai de las Alas for coming out
May 22, 2013
QUEZON CITY – The
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) commends showbiz
actress Ai-Ai de las Alas for coming out in public with her ordeal in
the hands of her husband amid growing trend showing more women with
the same situation prefer to keep silent.
“She is one brave woman.
Ai-Ai’s courageous act of coming out in the public and narrate her
ordeal will embolden other Filipinas with the same fate but are poor
and who felt powerless to come out in the open and confront a growing
social problem,” said Gerard Seno, TUCP general secretary.
Records by TUCP’s affiliate
Associated Labor Unions’ National Committee on Women collated in
November last year showed 12,948 Violence Against Women (VAW) cases
were recorded by the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) of
the Philippine National Police, 69.7 per cent of which were violations
of the anti-Violence Against Children and Women law.
“Eight years after the
Republic Act 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC)
law was passed, violence against women continues to persist as one of
the country’s pervasive social problems,” said Sis. Eva Arcos, ALU
Vice President and general secretary of its national committee on
Reported cases under RA 9262
increased from 218 in 2004 to 9,974 cases in 2010. Similarly, VAW
cases in all categories (including rape, physical injuries, sexual
harassment, etc) increased an average of 26.9 percent annually from
2006 to 2010. The biggest annual increase (59.2 percent) was recorded
in 2010 with 15,104 cases, compared with 9,485 cases in 2009.
“The data is very alarming”,
said Sis. Eva Arcos, General Secretary of the Associated Labor Unions
National Committee on Women (ANCW). “The figures are not even
conclusive as they are based only from what were reported to the PNP.
There should be a system to consolidate VAW information from all
sources, and to disseminate such for proper appreciation and
According to Arcos, many VAW
victims still chose to keep their experiences to themselves “to
protect the family from shame”. She noted that even the National
Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the National
Statistics Office (NSO) has recognized that a greater challenge now is
the lack of concrete information on the extent of VAW in the country
as many of these cases go unreported.
“We must provide a
listening, just and empowering environment to break the culture of
silence. Mechanisms or structures must be in place to prevent and
address VAW, with safety, healing and empowerment of victims and/or
survivors and accountability of offenders as core goals. Information
and education campaign on the law and its strict implementation,
including effective operation of intervention structures like
local-level women’s desks are critical. The use of social media and
global solidarity campaigns can help give human face to the extent and
gravity of VAW,” Arcos said.
Important bills to
address children’s issues may be passed this Congress, says “Bata Muna”
By Save the Children
May 22, 2013
MANILA – As the Commission
on Elections (COMELEC) officially completed the proclamation of the 12
senators who topped the May 12 National Elections, children and
children advocates of “Bata Muna: Bumoto para sa Kapakanan ng mga
Bata” are hopeful that the 3 winning senators out of the 5 who met
them during the series of pre-election senatorial dialogues last month
will uphold their promises and give priority to bills that are crucial
to children’s rights and welfare in the 16th Congress.
According to “Bata Muna”
campaigners the three senators-elect Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV,
Francis “Chiz” Escudero, and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III gave
reassuring responses when the children presented their agenda – which
is a mix of policy and program issues both on the national and local
level – during the dialogues.
Various issues that concern
health and nutrition, children’s participation in governance,
education and child abuse were presented by the children and the
“The results of the
children’s dialogue with the senatorial candidates back then proved to
be promising,” said Deborah Carmina Sarmiento, Policy Advocacy Manager
of Save the Children in the Philippines. “We are thankful that the
three senators prioritized us in their schedules and spent time to
listen to the children as they expressed their concerns.”
“This has given us a ray of
hope that the bills that we have been pushing for will finally see the
light of day,” Sarmiento added. “We are looking forward to working
with them in terms of pushing for bills that are important to
During the series of
dialogues, all three stood against child abuse and promised support on
a bill that will ban corporal punishment among children. With their
responses, hope springs anew among the “Bata Muna” campaigners as they
anticipate the passing of the proposed Anti-Corporal Punishment (ACoP)
“Lamentably, the ACoP Bill
is still pending in the Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family
Relations chaired by Sen. Pia Cayetano while its counterpart version
in the House of Representatives was passed in the 15th Congress,”
“We saw new hope when Sen.
Pimentel expressed openness in collaborating with us on measures that
will prohibit corporal punishment. And it is good news that he is also
willing to work on inclusive education for children with
disabilities,” added Sarmiento.
While all three believed
that education is the key to development, they laid different ways in
addressing education vis-ŕ-vis poverty.
Sen. Aquino stressed on the
importance of providing world class quality of education, employment
opportunities and entrepreneurship to young people while Sen. Escudero
viewed education as a way for a poor child to get out of the cycle of
poverty. Sen. Pimentel on the other hand said that he will focus on
establishing a culture of science so that the country can produce
inventions of high scientific value that will gain global recognition
and eventually find a lucrative market.
But nonetheless, the three
shared that they are looking at a system of education that will
provide the opportunity for children to become producers and
entrepreneurs and not just workers and consumers of goods.
When asked about their stand
on the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), Senators Escudero and Aquino
expressed the need to reform SK so it will not only serve as a vehicle
for children’s participation in governance but also to make it an
effective platform of governance that will address children’s issues.
“Sen. Escudero for instance
noted that there can be zero backlogs in classrooms for the entire
country in three years if the PhP28 billion SK fund is used for this
purpose,” said Sarmiento.
On the issue of health and
nutrition, “Bata Muna” saw the need to continue reaching out to
lawmakers especially on the issue of chronic malnutrition and
breastfeeding to address the high rate of stunting among children.
Sen. Aquino, for one, promised that once elected, he will continue
engaging with “Bata Muna” advocates and other stakeholders so that the
issue of stunting among children will be addressed.
“Bata Muna” campaigners
vowed that they will continue engaging with these three senators and
with other senators as well and provide technical support if needed so
that bills important to children will see movement in the Senate. They
will also expand their reach to the House of Representatives and to
“We are still hoping that
the senators who did not dialogue with us have genuine concern for
children and their issues and that this time around since they are no
longer focused on getting a seat in the Senate, they will finally have
time to talk and listen to the children,” she added.
“Bata Muna” campaigners are
hoping that lawmakers in the 16th Congress will finally use a child
rights ‘lens’ and put children at the heart of their discussions on
laws, budget and programs. After all, the welfare of the nation
depends on the state of children.
in E. Samar
MEDORA NB QUIRANTE
May 18, 2013
BORONGAN CITY – The recently
concluded 2013 midterm elections revealed incumbent leaders are
favored by majority of the province’s voters.
Liberal Party bets re-electionist
Governor Conrado B. Nicart, Jr. and re-electionist Congressman Ben P.
Evardone led in the polls and were proclaimed winners a few hours
before midnight on May 16.
Nicart won by a margin of
over 15,000 votes over challenger former Sulat mayor Javier Zacate.
Of the ten provincial board
members elected, six are also incumbent officials: Atty. Byron Suyot,
Joji Montallana, Atty. Celestino Cabato, Gorgonio Cabacaba, Jonas
Abuda, Jenny Baldono.
Borongan City voters also
re-elected mayor Maria Fe R. Abunda and running-mate Fidel V. Anacta,
All members of the city
board who run for re-election also won: Napoleon Bebita, Dan Villarino,
Aurora Anasarias, Estanislao Quelitano, and Jennifer Anacio.
In Dolores, the third
largest town in terms of number of registered voters, re-electionist
Mayor Emiliana Villacarillo enjoyed a landslide victory over
challenger Franc Lucero.
Out of 20 local chief
executives who ran for re-election, 15 were successful in getting
another three-year term; among them, the incumbent governor’s son
Conrado U. Nicart III of San Policarpo and Zacate’s wife, Virginia
Zacate of Sulat.
Giporlos voters also
re-elected Mark Biong whose father previously served as town mayor for
three consecutive terms.
The COMELEC also proclaimed
former provincial engineer Marcelo Ferdinand Picardal as vice-governor
– a seat formerly held by now Guiuan Municipal Mayor-Elect Christopher
Sheen P. Gonzales.
Despite precinct optical
scan (PCOS) machine glitches, reported shooting incidents and
transmission delays, the Philippine National Police in the province
described the elections as “generally peaceful.”
participants of the training on “Cassava and Sweet Potato
Production” at Brgy. Canhandugan, Jaro, Leyte on 16 May 2013.
19IB, VSU push
training on Cassava, Sweet Potato Production in Jaro, Leyte
By 19th Infantry Battalion,
May 16, 2013
JARO, Leyte – Another batch
of Leyte farmers participated 19IB and VSU’s training on Cassava and
Sweet Potato production at Brgy. Canhandugan, Jaro, Leyte on May 16,
The training which was
attended by seventy-five farmers from the six barangays of Jaro, Leyte
aimed to increase production of cassava and sweet potato as
alternative means of boosting the daily income of subsistence farmers.
During the training,
participants were oriented with the latest techniques and technologies
on cassava and sweet potato production. Management and control of
insect pests and diseases of rootcrops were also explained by experts
from Philippine Rootcrops Research and Training Center based in
Visayas State University in Baybay City.
Lt. Col. Joel Alejandro
Nacnac, commanding officer of 19IB said the training was replicated
purposely to strengthen the farmers associations in the town of Jaro,
He further said that the
training was pushed based on the recommendation of the unit’s
Bayanihan Teams in the area who found out lack of training and
technologies as one of the problems raised by the farmers especially
in hinterland barangays of Jaro, Leyte.
Lt. Col. Nacnac is now
calling the attention of the other farmer’s organizations in Leyte, to
register their associations particularly in the Department of Labor
and Employment (DOLE) in order to avail of the technical and financial
assistance allocated for them by the government.