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PRO8 intensifies campaign against bladed weapons

8ID plants trees in observance of Labor Day

Leyte-Bantay Bayanihan holds forum at Army camp in Leyte

63IB celebrates 17th anniversary, gives recognition to outstanding military personnel

NMP continues to offer Deck, Engine, SMS & other upgrading courses

Army and CENRO confiscate illegally cut lumbers anew

Palompon town declared insurgency free

Army installs new commander for 801st Infantry Brigade






new 8ID 2nd Lieutenants
The newly assigned 2nd Lieutenants as they were presented to the 8th Infantry (Stormtrooper) Division family during the flag-raising ceremony conducted last May 25 at Camp Lukban, Brgy. Maulong, Catbalogan City.

Young officers join the ranks of 8ID

May 25, 2015

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – Twelve new 2nd Lieutenants who recently graduated from the Philippine Military Academy and from the Officer Candidate School were assigned with the 8th Infantry (Stormtrooper) Division, Philippine Army and were formally welcomed during the flag raising ceremony at Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City on May 25, 2015.

As part of the Army Command’s tradition, the young officers were presented during the flag-raising ceremony and individually, they introduced themselves to the officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Army Command.

Five of the newly reported young officers are members of PMA “SINAGLAHI” Class of 2015, while seven are members of Officer Preparatory Course “MANDALAPI” Class 62- 2014. Eleven of them are from Luzon, while one is from Mindanao.

The new 2nd Lieutenants are: 2Lt. Rocky Johnson A. Abut, 2Lt. Arjay P. Regidor, 2Lt. Jean C. Buenaventura, 2Lt. Daniel G. Olivas, 2Lt. Ian Daniel C.Robianes, 2Lt. Christian B. Baclig, 2Lt. Jullane A. Biniahan, 2Lt. Russel U. Borres, 2Lt. Benjamin T. Cabading, 2Lt. Alvin P. Garcia, 2Lt Ana Fe G. Ipas, 2Lt. Clarence M. Locero, 2Lt. Alvin R. Mendoza.

Currently, the new officers are undergoing the Platoon Leader’s Course to refresh them of the military knowledge and skills they acquired from the respective military schools they were honed as military officers.

Major General Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Commander of the Army in Eastern Visayas stressed in his message to the new officers the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Core Values, of Honor, Patriotism and Duty. He said, “Cling on to these values and you will never go astray from the narrow path towards becoming an ideal soldier in the mold of our brave and noble military heroes.”

“The Country and the Filipino people expect much of you. Good luck and contribute as much as you can to the achievement of peaceful and development-ready Eastern Visayas,” he added.






NMP 37th Founding Anniversary
DOLE Regional Director Elias Cayanong and NMP OIC Executive Director Manuel Roldan led in the ribbon-cutting of the newly inaugurated Assessment Center. Seen also in the photo were DOLE Regional Coordinating Council Members and NMP Key Officials.

NMP celebrates 37th Founding Anniversary

Press Release
May 21, 2015

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a government maritime training and research agency located at Brgy. Cabalawan, this City, celebrated its 37th Founding Anniversary on May 8, 2015 at the NMP Training Complex with the theme “NMP at 37: Patuloy na Kaagapay ng Marinong Pilipino sa Paglalayag sa Buong Mundo.”

The highlight of this year’s celebration was on the inauguration of the newly-renovated Assessment Center. The ceremony was attended by DOLE Regional Coordinating Council Members led by its Chair, DOLE Regional Director Elias Cayanong. Other notable guests present were Executive Labor Arbiter Amelia B. Docena of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Director Norma C. del Rosario and Evangeline Filamor of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) RO VIII, Board Secretary Florencio C. Aguilos, Jr of the Regional Tripartite Wages Productivity Board (RTWPB), Acting Station Commander CPO Alexander P. Rabuyo of the Philippine Coast Guard - Tacloban Station, Commo. Fernando Bautista of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, Police Chief Inspector Calixto C. Canillas, Jr. of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group Regional Maritime Unit 8, Director Alicia E. Nicart of the Philippine Information Agency RO VIII and Mildred Camino and Marivic Ramos from the Maritime Industry Authority RO VIII.

The inaugurated assessment center was originally School Bldg. No. 2 which was one of the first classroom buildings erected when NMP bought the 16-hectare lot in Brgy. Cabalawan, this City, in 1980 where the present training complex is situated. The plan to convert it into an assessment center pursuant to the required standards in the conduct of competency assessment came underway in 2010.

The renovation began in 2012 using the capital outlay regular fund of the Agency worth 9 million. The project was supposedly to have been completed in the last quarter of 2013 but was stopped due to the devastation of super-typhoon Yolanda.

NMP also recognized employees who have been with the agency for 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. Awardees include Nenita M. Morales and Ma. Jasmine J. Andrade for 15 years; Engr. Claro C. Coscos, Ma. Dessa Joy B. Bautista, Gina M. Alegro, and Leopoldo G. Abelinde for 20 years; Rosario A. Vinculado, Emilie R. Sudario, Rogelio R. Raagas, Abraham E. Pingol, Lydia S. Pacheco, Maria Sandra M. Gallardo, Ma. Nissa C. Espiritu, and Salvacion C. Caňete for 25 years; and Lilibeth N. Go for 30 years. There were a total of fifteen loyalty awardees who received a plaque of recognition and monetary incentive.

The celebration started with a Thanksgiving Mass that was followed by cutting of the ribbon, unveiling of marker and blessing of the assessment center and the conferment of the loyalty awards. It was capped by the NMP-Media Partnership Forum moderated by PIA-8 Regional Director Alicia E. Nicart. The forum paved way for the dissemination of the status of NMP’s accreditation of its training courses under MARINA STCW Office. NMP Executive Director Manuel C. Roldan together with DOLE Regional Director Cayanong also substantiated the contributions of the Filipino seafarers in the local maritime industry.

NMP also held another activity, the sports competition, as part of the founding anniversary. Employees grouped in teams competed for basketball and volleyball tournaments which started earlier in April 2015. The awarding took place on May 11, 2015 for the winning teams.

It can be recalled that NMP was created on May 1, 1978 with the signing of its Charter, Presidential Decree No. 1369, by then Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos as the country’s response to the challenges posed upon by the Filipino seafarers in relation to the requirements under the 1978 International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers. NMP began by offering the Basic Messman Course.

Today, it has a total of 32 training courses categorized into STCW Courses, Environmental Protection and Maritime Allied Courses, Professional Development Courses, and Faculty Development Courses. Some of these courses have been submitted to MARINA STCW Office for accreditation.

Aside from the provision of training and assessment, NMP also conducts relevant and industry-wide researches and studies. NMP already conducted several maritime researches and studies which have become bases in the formulation of policies and direction setting in the improvement of maritime education and training.





Philippine battle against HIV/AIDS is getting nowhere – TUCP

By TUCP-Nagkaisa
May 15, 2015

QUEZON CITY – The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa) do not see any solution amid the frayed attempts of government and civil society groups to combat the worsening HIV/AIDS phenomenon in the country.

“I am saddened to admit this but we have no working, unified national strategy to battle HIV/AIDS to begin with. What we do have are fighting spirit, will and determination to wage the battle against it. What we have is noise but that noise is thin air – it has no impact, no efficiency,” said Alan Tanjusay, national spokesperson of the TUCP-Nagkaisa.

The labor group is part of various civil society organizations comprising the country’s highest policy-making body on HIV/AIDS, the Philippine National Council on AIDS (PNAC) with the Department of Health (DOH) as lead and chair.

In the monthly surveillance report of the Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH) released on May 10 showed 667 individuals contracted HIV in March this year compared to 646 in February bringing to an average alarming rate of 21 persons diagnosed with the HIV infection per day.

In 2008, the bureau monitored only 1 infection every day, 4 in 2010, 9 in 2012, and 17 in 2014.

“The PNAC was envisioned to wage a multi-pronged tactical battle against the virus and the disease including the cultural discrimination, prejudices and misconceptions about the phenomenon. Yet after scouting the terrain, knowing the enemy and drawing up action how to wage it, we just stood there watch the enemy do its thing,” Tanjusay said.

Created in 1992 by executive order 39, the PNAC is the central advisory, planning and policy-making body on the prevention and control of HIV and AIDS in the country. TUCP is one of the 26 member-council from government, civil society and organizations of people living with HIV.

“The PNAC cannot go dynamic because it is challenged by the many government bureaucratic taboos. It has no real budget to finance its own HIV and AIDS plans and programs. While PNAC is currently being overhauled, it has been dormant in achieving its full potential and inert in creating results. Meanwhile, the HIV/AIDS is spreading and growing all over the country,” Tanjusay said.





Nagkaisa seeks justice for Kentex workers, blames partial privatization of labor inspection

May 15, 2015

QUEZON CITY – Partial privatization of labor inspection, weak certification process and the endemic problem of corruption down to the local levels have consigned workers to precarious working conditions, including unnecessary deaths and accidents, the labor coalition Nagkaisa said in a statement.

The statement was issued in reaction to the statements made by the lawyer of Kentex Corp. and the labor department that the company has been compliant with safety standards.

Also this morning, members of Nagkaisa such as the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Sentro ng Nakakaisang Manggagawa (Sentro), Partido Manggagawa (PM), and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) offered flowers as an expression of sympathy and solidarity for the dead workers at the Kentex factory in Valenzuela City.

In a protest rally held afterwards, labor groups reiterated their call that aside from compensation, criminal liabilities be exacted among the perpetrators of this terrible crime, including the violation of other labor standards at Kentex.

According to Nagkaisa convenor Josua Mata, the relaxation of labor inspection through “self-assessment” under DOLE’s Department Order No. 57-04 has rendered toothless the supposedly tough safety standards required in workplaces.

The conduct of self-assessment, according to Mata, is voluntary and is based from a labor standard checklist conducted by representatives of employers and workers.

“This partial privatization of labor inspection promoted evasion rather than voluntary compliance, while self-assessment conducted by the management in generally non-unionized workplace simply won’t work,” said Mata.

This self-assessment, according to TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay, is followed by a weaker compliance certification process under the jurisdiction of DOLE’s regional offices.

On his part, Partido Manggagawa (PM) chair Renato Magtubo noted that the DOLE’s “Labor Laws Compliance System” (LLCS) inaugurated in 2013 and the hike in the number of labor inspectors to almost 600 is still not working. An audit by the International Labor Organization in 2009 revealed that with only 193 labor inspectors to inspect 784,000 companies, an establishment gets inspected only once every 16 years.

“A big loophole in the so-called LLCS is the focus on ‘voluntary compliance’ and ‘self-assessment’ by employers. Voluntary compliance and self-assessment means that the government is asking the wolf to guard the sheep. No wonder the sheep get slaughtered,” Magtubo lamented.

BMP President Leody De Guzman averred that endemic corruption at all levels aggravates the problem of compliance.

“Regulatory capture has always been the antidote to strict compliance to regulation in this country,” said De Guzman.






19IB camp facility inauguration
8ID commander MGen. Jet Velarmino with Mrs. Imelda Velarmino cutting the ribbon during the Inauguration of Facilities of 19th Infantry (Commando) Battalion at Brgy. Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte on May 9, 2015.

19IB inaugurates camp facilities and launch the 1st commando summer shoot fest

May 13, 2015

CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The 19th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army based in Kananga, Leyte inaugurated its new camp facilities last May 10, 2015.

It can be recalled that the Headquarters 19IB was totally destroyed when typhoon Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas on November 8, 2013. The Commando Battalion troopers were visibly on high morale and proud as members of the unit during the inauguration because after more than a year, they now have a decent barracks to stay and rest.

The inauguration was graced by Maj. Gen. Jet B Velarmino AFP, Commander, 8ID together with his wife, Mrs. Imelda D. Velarmino. Also present during the occasion was Hon. Elmer C. Codilla, Mayor of Kananga, Leyte; Col Dinoh A. Dolina, Commander, 802nd Brigade; media personalities; YMCA Rifle and Pistol Club (YRPC) members led by Mr. Marlon Alajas; and other invited guests from Ormoc City and Kananga.

Captain Rey David G. Loyola, 8ID Chaplain officiated the blessings of the newly repaired camp facilities: Admin Building 1 and 2, Officers Quarters, and Supply Room, Bangon Transient Facility, Bangon Organic Livestock Facility, Headquarters Service Company building, and the unit Cooperative Store.

After the inauguration, Lt. Col. Nedy C. Espulgar, Commanding Officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion held a press conference where he presented to the media the five high-powered firearms recovered from the New People’s Army (NPA) during an encounter at Brgy Liberty, Ormoc City last May 3, 2015.

Immediately after the press conference, the 1st Commando Summer Shoot Fest was conducted, which was participated by Maj. Gen. Velarmino and 114 other gun enthusiasts.

Maj. Gen. Velarmino expressed his appreciation to the leadership of LtC Espulgar and his men for the newly repaired facilities, at the same time, congratulated the unit for the successful combat operation last May 3, 2015 that resulted to the recovery of five (5) high-powered firearms from the NPAs, thus giving more hope to our quest for a lasting peace in the whole island of Leyte.





PNP PRO 8 starts inventory of dud grenades

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
May 13, 2015

CAMP KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte – PCSupt. Asher Abanilla Dolina, Acting Regional Director disclosed that Police Regional Office 8 has complied with the directive of the National Headquarters to conduct inventory and inspection as the PNP starts the recall of M203 grenades after the incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao wherein some of the grenades have malfunctioned during the operation of the Special Action Force (SAF).

It was noted that one of the findings of the PNP Board of Inquiry on the Mamasapano incident was that some of the ordnance for M203 were defective. With these findings, PNP OIC, PDDG Leonardo Espina ordered an inquiry into the quality of the explosives. All M203 grenades were being recalled for decommissioning and at the same time for analysis for future procurement.

PCSupt. Dolina, immediately ordered the inspection and inventory of M203 grenades and other ammunition in the AOR to account those which are still effective. He said, this is to prevent tragedy in future police operations.

On March 16-27, 2015, a joint team from the Office of the Regional Logistics Division and Explosive and Ordnance Disposal conducted Ammunition and Explosive Surveillance and Inspection of ISO Equipment and Ordnance Items to all units within AOR. Based on the inventory, it was found that there are numbers of unserviceable ammunition and explosives due to wear and tear and damaged brought by Typhoon Yolanda. The Inspection Team however advised all units not to utilize defective ammunition and explosives, and to turn-over the ordnance items for proper disposition. Further, the team submitted report to the Directorate for Logistics as basis for appropriate action.

The PNP assures the public that the police force is ready to secure the public’s safety. As the primary law enforcers in the country, the PNP will remain relentless on its mandate of serving and protecting the people.

The PNP likewise appeals to the public not to lose faith and trust on the police force as it continues to transform itself under the program known as the PNP Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding of the Rule of Law (P.A.T.R.O.L) Plan 2030.






Regional Peace and Order Council meeting
(L-R) NICA8 RD Roland Rodriguez, 8ID chief MGen Jet Velarmino, DILG8 RD Pedro Noval Jr., RPOC8 chair Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino during RPOC8 session at Hotel Alejandro, Tacloban City on May 11, 2015.

8ID commander supports RPOC8 resolution endorsing the PAMANA projects’ implementation and the conduct of information drives regarding the BBL

May 12, 2015

CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, Commander of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army echoed his support to the Regional Peace and Order Council’s (RPOC8) resolution to support the continuing efforts relative to the Peace Process and the PAMANA Program implementation in the region as well as the conduct of information drive to increase people’s awareness of the proposed Bangsa Moro Basic Law (BBL) in the RPOC meeting held last May 11, 2015 at Hotel Alejandro, Tacloban City.

The RPOC was attended by the different peace stakeholders in the region led by Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Hon. Ronaldo P. Aquino; Hon. Leopoldo L. Petilla; PCSupt Asher A. Dolina; Ms. Imelda C. Bonifacio, OPPAP Area Manager; Hon. Emiliana Villacarillo, Mayor of Dolores, Eastern Samar; Mr Pedro A Noval Jr, Regional Director DILG8; Mr. Judy Batulan, Provincial Director DILG of Samar; and Mr. Roland Rodriguez, Regional Director, National Intelligence Coordination Agency 8 (NICA8). It was also attended by representatives from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health, Department of Education and Land Transportation Office.

During the RPOC8 meeting, a motion was endorsed to commit the council’s clout and machinery to support the region-wide information drive to increase people’s awareness on the proposed BBL, as well as the PAMANA Programs’ implementation. The measure was endorsed and seconded by Hon. Leopoldo L. Petilla, Governor of Leyte Province and PCSupt Asher A. Dolina, PNP Region-8 Director respectively, and was approved by RPOC8 Chair, Hon. Ronaldo P. Aquino, Mayor of Calbayog City.

Maj. Gen. Velarmino acknowledged that with the RPOC8 approved resolution of committing the council’s machinery, the pace of the implementation of PAMANA Programs in the region will be hastened and enhanced, and the proposed BBL also will be better understood by the people and peace stakeholders in the region. Further he said, any measure that will contribute to the attainment of peace will be wholeheartedly supported by your Army in Eastern Visayas.





Labor group says fewer families got hungry due to proliferation of popular ‘pagpag’ food

By TUCP-Nagkaisa
May 12, 2015

QUEZON CITY – Fewer Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger in the last quarter, as shown by the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, because ‘pagpag’ food is now readily and widely accessible to many Filipino poor especially in Metro Manila, said the labor group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa).

“We would like to attribute this development to the proliferation of ‘pagpag’ food – very cheap, very delicious and easily accessible to the poor,” said TUCP-Nagkaisa spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.

However, the TUCP-Nagkaisa believes the Aquino administration failed to make quality living for the majority of Filipinos by not meeting three benchmarks:

1. Failure to bring up the income of the poor with 97% surviving on P162 a day subsistence wages and do not have the ability to pay for goods and services; Token wage increase and redefining the poverty to by changing the basket of goods that would warrant survival replacing chicken and meat with dried fish and vegetables is indecent;

2. Failing to make for power, water, telecom services affordable. Profits of the top 3% who are the owners of these sectors represent almost 80% of the national wealth. Meralco has gross earnings of P25 billion and net earnings of P18 billion. Little wonder that they can pay their top 8 officers additional bonuses ranging from P800,000 to P1 million.

3. Appropriate government expenditures with government savings are enormous. The fiscal savings for 2014 alone amounts to P300 billion. If used to put up infrastructure easily 20% to 30% would have been dedicated to new jobs. The new infrastructure as in power, ports likewise would have encouraged entry of more jobs.



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