BGen Wilson M. Leyva AFP; LtGen Nicanor M. Vivar AFP, Commander,
Central Command AFP; MGen Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Commander 8ID
PA; and Col. Leoncio A. Ciruray Jr., incoming Commander of 801st
Bde, during the Change of Command Ceremony on February 2 at 8ID
Army installs new
commander for 801st Infantry Brigade
By DPAO, 8ID PA
February 2, 2015
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – The Philippine Army installed Col. Leoncio A.
Cirunay Jr. as the new Commander of 801st Infantry Brigade in a
Change-of-Command Ceremony conducted at Headquarters 8th Infantry
Division on February 2, 2015 in Catbalogan City.
Col. Cirunay succeeded BGen.
Wilson M. Leyva, who is compulsory retiring from the military service.
He took over the helm of an Army unit that covers the provinces of
Samar and Eastern Samar. Prior to taking the helm of 801st Infantry
Brigade, Cirunay was the Deputy Brigade Commander of Lumban, Laguna
based 202nd Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine
The installation of Cirunay
was presided by Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, Commander of the 8th
Infantry Division, Philippine Army. It was also graced by Lt Gen
Nicanor M. Vivar, Commander of Central Command (CentCom), Armed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP); BGen. Vic C. Castro, Deputy CentCom; Rev.
Fr. Ferdinand Figueroa, Parish Priest of St Bartholomew Parish of
Catbalogan City; Ms. Imelda Bonifacio, OPAPP Area Manager; Ms.
Christine Caidic, President, 8ID Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board; Hon.
Melissa Dela Cruz, Mayor of Matuguinao Samar; Hon. Vaughn Zosa, Board
Member of Samar Province representing Gov. Sharee Ann Tan; and Hon.
Bethoveen Bermejo, Councilor of Catbalogan City, representing Mayor
Relatedly, Leyva was given a
traditional testimonial parade and review in honor of his 31 years of
the honorable service to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Velarmino in his message acknowledged the contribution of Leyva to the
relative peace that Samar and Eastern Samar provinces is now
experiencing, at the same time, he challenged Cirunay to continue the
plans and programs initiated by Leyva that fit the current situation
and work hard towards the realization of "Insurgency Free" Samar and
Eastern Samar provinces.
It can be recalled that
Samar and Eastern Samar were declared as Peaceful and Ready for
Further Development (PRFD) Provinces in March 2013 and December 2014
The PRFD status is one step
below the insurgency-free category.
“With Col. Cirunay as the
new Commander of 801s Infantry Brigade, I know it is in good hands as
I am aware of his past designations where he performed well. I know he
will do the same in the duties and obligations that he is assigned
with right now", Velarmino said.
Gregorio Catapang Jr., the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the
Philippines conferred the Plaque of Recognition to 8ID having
achieved Compliant Status (2nd Stage) of the Army Governance
Pathway (AGP). Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, the Commander of the
8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army received the plaque
during the Army Governance Forum 01-2015 at Ricarte Hall,
Philippine Army Officer’s Clubhouse, Headquarters, Philippine
Army on January 30, 2015.
milestone in pursuit of the army transformation roadmap
By DPAO, 8ID PA
January 30, 2015
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division,
Philippine Army marked another milestone in its pursuit of attaining
the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) by 2028 having been conferred
the Compliant Status (2nd Stage) of the Army Governance Pathway (AGP).
Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino,
the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army received a
Plaque of Recognition in behalf of the 8th Infantry Division during
the Army Governance Forum 01-2015 at Ricarte Hall, Philippine Army
Officer’s Clubhouse, Headquarters, Philippine Army on January 30,
A Compliant Status is
granted after an organization has formally organized internal and
external stakeholders (also known as Multi-Sector Advisory Board or
MSAB) to be part of the governance process, and consequently passed an
audit review. This stage is centered on alignment of resources and
people to the strategy.
It can be gleaned that last
November 11, 2014, 8ID convened its Multi-Sector Advisory Board (MSAB)
which became its strong partner in attaining the Army Transformation
Roadmap (ATR) by 2028.
Composed of civilian
stakeholders from the public, academe, business, private, health and
religious sector, among its important tasks is to promote continuity,
sustainability, and shared responsibility in pursuit of the 8ID ATR;
ensure adoption and institutionalization of PGS as embodied in the ATR;
provide assessment of ATR-related programs, projects, and activities,
and recommend relevant policies critical in achieving breakthrough
results; enhance partnerships with key stakeholders and generate
public support for the 8ID ATR; evaluate the Command’s performance
relative to its scorecard and the implementation of ATR-related
programs, projects, and activities; and assist in the generation of
additional resources to support the unit’s programs, projects, and
The PGS is hinged on the
Balanced Scorecard technology (BSC), a performance management tool
developed at the Harvard University Business School. PGS translates
vision to actionable strategies and commitments that lead to
breakthrough results. Working under the tenet of true and genuine
governance, these breakthrough results make the agency more
sustainable and responsive to its purpose. Inherent in the design of
the system are the strategic private-public partnership of the
organization and the sectors it closely interacts with, as well as
transparent executive leadership. This revolutionary system
institutionalizes a new culture of governance that can produce
tangible results within two to three years.
The Army Governance Forum is
a semi-annual event that forms part of the Performance Governance
System (PGS), the good governance program of the National
Competitiveness Council and the Institute for Solidarity in Asia. The
forum features progress reports from Philippine Army Major Units (PAMUs)
and their compliance to the Army’s good governance pathway, which is
divided into four (4) stages, namely: Initiation, Compliance,
Proficiency, and Institutionalization.
This year’s preliminary
forum was graced by the presence of Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr., the
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines, who at the same time
conferred the recognition award to 8ID; Lt. Gen. Hernando DCA Iriberri,
the Commanding General of the Philippine Army; and Dr. Jesus
Estanislao, Chairman, Institute of Solidarity in Asia.
Aside from 8ID, three (3)
other Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Army achieved the compliant
status, and these are: the 3rd Infantry Division, the 6th Infantry
Division Infantry Division, and the 9th Infantry Division. Other major
commands of the Philippine Army that received the same award were: the
Mechanized Infantry Division and the Training and Doctrine Command.
The awards were received by the respective commanders of the said Army
Maj. Gen. Velarmino was
visibly proud and elated having received the distinct recognition for
the 8ID, “This recognition bespeaks of the tireless efforts of the
Stormtroopers’ along with the shared responsibility of our
stakeholders’ in working closely together in pursuing the ATR. Now
that we have gone this far, I fervently hope that thru the same
cooperation and collective effort, we will achieve the third stage
(Proficiency Stage) in the soonest possible time.”
Army, UNTV, KFI NGO
and Catbalogan City LGU conduct joint medical mission
By DPAO, 8ID PA
January 25, 2015
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Some 856 villagers of Barangay San Andres, Catbalogan City benefited
in the joint medical mission conducted by Gandara, Samar-based 43rd
Infantry Battalion (43IB), UNTV, Kamanggagawa Foundation Incorporated
(KFI), and Catbalogan City LGU on January 25, 2015.
Barangay San Andres is
located in a mountainous area and is around four km from the City
proper. Based on the report of Lt. Col. Seigfred Tubalado, the
commanding officer of 43IB, of the 856 beneficiaries, 242 adults and
262 children were provided with free medical services and medicines,
while 148 were given free dental services, mostly on tooth extraction.
206 villagers were also
provided with free ophthalmology and optometry consultation where they
were also given eye glasses. In addition, 81 villagers were also able
to avail of free haircut by Army barbers.
A film showing was also
conducted, to the delight of around 150 children who enjoyed watching
children films. The medical mission was conducted with two civilian
medical doctors and one military doctor; one civilian ophthalmologist;
one military dentist and seven nurses, one of which is from the Army.
Some of the stakeholder
leaders that attended supervised the activity were: Hon Domingo Jabien,
Barangay Chairman of San Andres; Ms Nilda Aroza, CSWDO of Catbalogan
City; Ms Annabele Daca, Head Teacher of San Andres Elementary School;
Mr Roland Antonio of KFI; Ms Jen Gaquit of UNTV; and Lt. Col. Tubalado.
The joint medical mission
was lauded by Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino AFP, the Commander of 8th
Infantry Division. Commenting in the incident, he said, “I am
delighted by the unity of effort among the key peace stakeholders in
providing basic services to our countrymen in the far-flung areas like barangay San Andres. This activity depicts beauty of the “Bayanihan”
spirit if it is practice among us”.
“Encourage everyone to
spearhead similar activities for our countrymen who have less in life.
With more activities such as this, I foresee more peaceful communities
in the countryside, as creating solutions, instead of creating
problems will be the focus of everyone’s effort”, Velarmino added.
unconditional cash grant assistance of IRC and PBSP will provide
immediate relief to 1,404 households in Daram who lost their
homes to typhoon Ruby.
Ruby survivors in
Daram receive cash grants from IRC, PBSP
January 8, 2015
TACLOBAN CITY –
Global non-profit group International Rescue Committee (IRC), through
Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), extended financial
assistance to victims in Samar whose homes were totally damaged from
A total of 1,404 households
from 53 barangays in the municipality of Daram received unconditional
cash grants worth P2,500 intended for the initial recovery of affected
The unconditional cash grant
assistance, which covers a total amount of P3.15 million, is one of
IRC’s and PBSP’s initial responses in the early recovery and
rehabilitation of the island municipality, which is identified as one
of the hardest hit areas by Ruby. The typhoon made its first landfall
in Dolores, Eastern Samar on December 6.
Daram’s local government
reported that the town sustained a total of P395.97 million worth of
damages, with P23.95 million coming from damages in agriculture.
Prior to the unconditional
cash grant assistance, 1,730 households also received SPHERE-standard
relief packs which were distributed by PBSP and IRC. The distribution
is also participated by IRC’s Director of New Country Programs Nicky
Smith, who also led the rapid assessment in the area to identify the
community’s urgent needs.
In 2014, IRC and PBSP poured
more than P21 million for the early recovery and relief of more than
4,000 households in San Dionisio and Batad, Iloilo, which were hit by
typhoon Yolanda. The project included the provision of 470 motorized
boats and fishing gears, installation of 1,100 artificial reefs and 11
fish enhancing devices, and the replanting and rehabilitation of 30
hectares of mangrove forests.
HOPE THROUGH EDUCATION – PBSP Project Management Office director
for Education Marylin Muncada, CCPFI president Ma. Cecilia
Alcantara, DepEd Undersecretary Mario Deriquito, Tacloban City
Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Coca-Cola Philippines vice president
for Public Affairs and Communications Atty. Adel Tamano lead the
turnover ceremony for the new school building.
Philippines, PBSP turn over first disaster-resilient Little Red
Schoolhouse in Tacloban
January 6, 2015
TACLOBAN CITY –
Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. (CCFPI), in collaboration with
Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and Department of
Education (DepEd), recently turned over a two-storey, six-classroom
school building to school officials of the Yolanda-torn Marasbaras
Elementary School (ES) in Tacloban City, Leyte to help bring back a
better and more conducive learning environment to its schoolchildren.
Leading the turnover
ceremony were Coca-Cola Philippines vice president for Public Affairs
and Communications Atty. Adel Tamano and CCFPI president Ma. Cecilia
Alcantara with DepEd Undersecretary Mario Deriquito, Tacloban City
Mayor Alfred Romualdez, and PBSP Program Management Office Director
for Education Marylin Muncada.
During the event, Mayor
Romualdez said that he will be pushing the local government to adopt
the model of the building for the city’s future building projects.
“This is the first structure
that I’ve seen that is not only functional but also cost-effective,”
Mayor Romualdez added.
The new building is the
first disaster-resilient school building CCFPI has built in the
country. Its other features include a roof deck for possible
evacuation, ramps for better access to persons with disabilities, and
wider doors and windows in every room.
For Grade 6 adviser and
Science teacher Helen Daaco, the new school building is not just the
biggest project a donor has given to Marasbaras ES but a symbol that
their school could finally go back to normal.
“It made us hope that we
could teach in the way that we envisioned,” she added.
Daaco recounts how, after
the typhoon, they had to scrub desks and dry whatever books and
records they could find just to provide a learning environment for
“We went around different
areas and evacuation centers to find and encourage our students to go
back to school. It was important that we could teach them to help them
feel that our situation will get better,” she said.
With the new building, Daaco
is more inspired to teach since the rooms have bigger spaces which are
more conducive to learning.
“I’m teaching Science, so
for me, a spacious room really matters. In Science, you don’t learn
through chalk and talk alone. You have to let your students explore
through experiments, film shows and other activities that really
encourage them to open their minds,” she added.
The Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS)
project is funded by the global network and business partners of the
Coca-Cola Company. It also supports PBSP’s flagship project in its
program on Education which is on classroom construction.
“When people work together
especially after a calamity, they give the essence of hope to the
people. Partnerships like this give educational value because we show
our children the value of working together, which they will need to
become responsible citizens,” Undersecretary Deriquito concluded.
project – cultured chicken meat
December 24, 2014
The Modern Agriculture
Foundation – a nonprofit organization founded in early 2014 in Israel
– is launching a world-wide pioneering project in the study field of
cultured meat, focused exclusively on chicken meat.
The project will start on
January 1st headed by Professor Amit Gefen from Tel Aviv University,
one of the world's leading experts in Tissue Engineering.
The project team will be
conducting a feasibility study for the production of cultured chicken
breast meat that will be published and shared with the general public.
During the course of the project, the challenges of production of
cultured chicken breast meat will be mapped and potential solutions,
along with the implications of their realization (methodology, time
and cost), will be examined and described.
The organization's goal is
to make the field of cultured meat more open and accessible by
creating an academic and funding infrastructure for every researcher
and entrepreneur intending to join the field as well as provide
support in the process. Researchers and entrepreneurs who will take
part, will help redesign the food industry and move it forward into a
cleaner, healthier and environmental friendly world.
Cultured meat will not
require raising animals in crowded, industrial sheds or slaughtering
them, as well as carry a significantly reduced ecological footprint
(in terms of land and water use, etc). Such a product will also be
vastly superior in terms of health & food safety concerns to
practically all broiler chicken meat consumed today, which is factory
farmed. Click here for more information on the benefits of cultured
Cultured meat is a type of
meat produced in sterile, controlled environments using cells taken
from animal bodies, in a process which results in 100% real meat, as
opposed to the "meat substitutes" available today. Culturing meat
begins with creating a pool of cells harvested from living animals.
Cells are then incubated in a serum rich with energy substrates, amino
acids and inorganic salts to support cell metabolism and growth. After
just a few days a thin layer of muscle tissue can be created,
identical in every way to the type of meat consumed today.
Modern, industrial meat
production has had extensively documented negative impacts in terms of
the environment, food safety, natural resources, as well as the
welfare of billions of animals annually. Cultured meat has the
potential to reduce and, in some cases, eliminate that impact, by
revolutionizing the way we produce meat for human consumption.
Prof. Amit Gefen: “With the
growth in populations and projecting to the future, humanity needs to
consider more sustainable models of food production, which will
provide alternatives to the traditional ways by which we currently
produce proteins from animal source for consumption. Tissue
Engineering may offer such alternatives, which is what we will be
exploring in this research project. We are targeting the development
of a tissue-engineered chicken breast, which is a popular choice for a
main course in many cultures and countries, to test feasibility of the
concept and, in particular, to identify gaps in knowledge and
challenges on the route to commercial production.”
The project is made possible
with the support of various organizations from Israel and abroad,
including US organization “A Well Fed World” for ending world hunger.
sending Samar financial assistance
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
December 18, 2014
CEBU CITY – After
consulting its partner organizations in the province, the Ramon
Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) will be giving cash aid instead of
relief goods to help families, particularly those in Northern Samar,
recover from the effects of typhoon Ruby.
“Around 1,600 families with
totally damaged houses in the towns of Lope de Vega, Lapinig, Mapanas,
Gamay, and Mondragon in Northern Samar will receive the cash
assistance,” said Margaret Ann T. Gravador, Executive Director of the
RAFI Integrated Development Unit and the designated Operations Head of
the RAFI Disaster Response Team for typhoon Ruby.
Gravador said RAFI have
decided to give cash assistance instead of relief goods to the
families to “provide them more options to buy their respective needs.”
“Some families might need
building materials while others may need other things,” she said.
The target areas were
identified based on the assessment report by the Diocesan Social
Action Center of Catarman (DSAC), an organization that closely
coordinated with RAFI a few days after Ruby tore through the Visayas
and Southern Luzon early this month.
Yesterday, Gravador led a
five-person team to validate the information RAFI’s partner
organizations provided and to further check for other needs of the
typhoon survivors. Gravador assured that beneficiaries would receive
the financial assistance before the year ends.
Aside from DSAC, RAFI also
partnered with SHIFT Foundation based in Mondragon, Northern Samar and
the International Rescue Committee in their disaster relief
Dominica B. Chua, RAFI chief
operating officer, said the foundation chose Samar because it was hit
the worst by Ruby.
She said that based on the
foundation’s assessment, Cebu local government units were deemed
capable enough in handling the situation in their respective
jurisdictions, which is why RAFI is assisting those LGUs that badly
need help the most.
Metro Cebu Development
Coordinating Board co-chairman Roberto Aboitiz earlier said he was
impressed and glad over the response of Cebu LGUs in preparing for
Receiving updates from RAFI
assessment teams sent immediately after Ruby hit Cebu, Aboitiz said
the mayors did their job in preparing their respective localities and
“seeing to it that their constituents are at the top of their plans.”
“They are more focused on
what they need to do,” Aboitiz had said, adding that the disaster
preparedness response was a product of past lessons learned.