in Cebu sets to establish the country’s first shark and ray sanctuary
July 3, 2015
CEBU CITY – Almost a
year after Cebu hosted the first Philippine Shark Summit, the province
strengthened its commitment to protect shark and ray species by
establishing the country’s first shark and ray sanctuary, located
close to Malapascua Island, in the Municipality of Daanbantayan.
Through Executive Order
16-2015 Engineer Augusto Corro, the Municipal Mayor of Daanbantayan,
has designated the world-renowned dive sites of Monad Shoal and Gato
Island as a shark and ray sanctuary, prohibiting the catching and
trading of all shark and ray species within these waters. Rare
species, such as thresher sharks, whitetip sharks, manta rays, and
devil rays, can be found in these areas.
“Our landmark decision to
create the country’s first shark and ray sanctuary will ensure the
protection and conservation of sharks and rays which are threatened to
extinction due to overfishing and the general lack of awareness on the
importance of these highly endangered species,” said Mayor Corro.
“Hosting the shark and ray sanctuary is also one of the best ways in
which our local community can give back to these creatures for
bringing-in tourism revenues which boosts their livelihood.”
The new EO was welcomed by
environmentalists, marine conservationists, tourism executives, and
local government agencies that gathered at the Cebu Provincial Capitol
for a three-day forum on strengthening and implementing the province’s
shark and ray ordinance.
“For a country blessed with
unique marine biodiversity, it is high time that we establish a shark
and ray sanctuary. We are pleased that Cebu is continuing its great
work on shark and ray conservation by establishing sanctuaries that
ensure the sustainability of these critical species,” said Vince
Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines. “We urge our
national lawmakers to take the cue from Cebu and make similar moves to
turn the rest of our national waters into a haven for all shark and
Studies conducted by the
Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project estimates that
approximately 80% of the municipal economy of Daanbantayan is fueled
by scuba diving, providing employment and supporting livelihoods of
local communities and its neighboring municipalities.
Atty. Chad Estella, head of
Cebu’s Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force, added that the declaration of
the shark and ray sanctuary demonstrates how the provincial ordinance
is also good for local communities. “One of the action points we’ve
come up is to launch OplanPalwis to further strengthen Cebu’s existing
ordinance that protects sharks and rays, incorporating science and
using the updated and revolutionary Philippine Fisheries Code. This is
to ensure that the country’s first shark and ray sanctuary will be
effective especially in reversing fish decline due to decades of
overfishing,” said Estella.”
Dennis Bryan Bait-it, the
coordinator of Daanbantayan’s Bantay Dagat MigosaIho said, “Protecting
sharks and rays is not only economically beneficial to local
fisherfolk, but also to our marine ecosystems. Many shark species are
indicators of a healthy marine ecosystem. This ensures fish are
spawning and thriving so there would be more fish to catch by the
Anna Oposa, co-founder of
Save Philippine Seas said, “The declaration of the shark and ray
sanctuary sends a powerful message to the rest of the country and the
world –that with political will, we can protect and restore the health
of our seas.”
Hairdresser claims he was
fired by ex-boss Ricky Reyes for having HIV
June 30, 2015
QUEZON CITY –
Forty-seven year old hairdresser and HIV positive Rene Nocos came out
in public today after accusing former employer Ricky Reyes of alleged
discrimination, unlawful termination and for non-payment of his social
protection benefits Social Security System (SSS) and PhilHealth
“I have committed wrong
choices in the past and suffered heavily for it. My entire family have
disowned me. My friends have abandoned me. My co-workers have
condemned me. Despite all these, I need my life back. But I can’t
rebuild my life back because I was laid off from my job just because I
have HIV. I want to put the pieces back together but my employer,
Ricky Reyes, denied me of my social protection through SSS and in
PhilHealth,” Nocos said.
Nocos said he had filed on
March 3, 2014 multiple labor violations against respondent Reyes as
owner of Ricky Superstyle Color Salon and Ms. Tonette Moreno, the vice
president, as co-respondent before the National Labor Relations
Commission (NLRC) after he was fired on February 28, 2014.
Reyes and Moreno were
charged with illegal dismissal, underpayment of wages and mandatory
13th month pay, non-payment of holiday pay, non-payment of separation
pay and discrimination. Nocos, also known as “Bambi”, also filed a
complaint against his two former superior at the SSS and Philhealth
non-payment of premiums since he was employed on July 16, 2003.
“We are appealing to the
NLRC, SSS and Philhealth to render as quickly as possible their
judgment on the case filed by Rene. The justice rendered by these
institutions is very important factor in Rene’s struggle to move his
life on. There is no closure and there is no new beginning for him if
there is injustice. We ardently appeal to these agencies to expedite
the cases Rene has filed and help him in moving away from
discrimination and charting a new life,” said Gerard Seno, executive
vice president of the Associated Labor Unions (ALU) during the press
Nocos said he was fired by
Reyes on February last year after confronting the latter for
non-payment of Philhealth premium contributions.
“I tried to avail of free
outpatient HIV/AIDS Treatment or OHAT package using Philhealth but I
discovered only last year that my employer is not making any payment
at all. So I confronted him (Reyes) why he is not paying my Philhealth.
He (Reyes) then fired me after learning that I have HIV right there
and then,” Nocos said.
On his part, ALU policy
advocacy officer Alan Tanjusay said they will request the Department
of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz for the
Labor Law Compliance Officers (LLCO) to conduct inspection and
assessment of all salon outlets owned by Reyes and Moreno.
“We want the DOLE to conduct
complaint assessment of all Reyes’ salons in the country and make sure
that all its workers are being paid with the mandated wages and
benefits and check if they are paying the SSS and Philhealth of all
Ricky Superstyle Color Salon workers,” Tanjusay said.
NMP continues to
offer basic safety training for boat captain and marine diesel
mechanic and basic safety training for motorboat operators, handlers
and fishermen with typhoon preparedness
By National Maritime
June 30, 2015
TACLOBAN CITY – The
National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a government maritime training
and research agency located at Brgy. Cabalawan, this City, continues
to offer the three-day Basic Safety Training (BST) intended to
motorboat operators, handlers and fishermen and the one-day Basic
Safety Training (BST) for boat captains and marine diesel mechanics.
These courses are regularly
offered at the NMP Training Complex every semester. BST for boat
captains and marine diesel mechanics costs P300.00 only while BST for
motorboat operators, handlers and fishermen could be covered by a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between NMP and the concerned local
government unit (LGU) and/or non-government organization (NGO).
Existing MOA with the LGU
and/or NGO stipulates that it is their duty and responsibility to
identify and invite participants to the training in coordination with
NMP. They should also provide the financial and administrative support
such as provision of snacks and meals of participants and shoulders
50% of the cost of dormitory fees if billeted in NMP. Further, they
also submit the necessary qualifying documents of the participants
such as medical certificates.
NMP, as the training
provider, designs the training course tailored to the training needs
of the participants in consultation with relevant external entities.
It also provides the venue for training and support staff to assist in
the duration of the activity; and funding for supplies, training
materials for hand-outs of participants.
This course may include
topics on Personal Survival Techniques (PST), Rules of the Road, Fire
Prevention and Fire Fighting (FPFF), Elementary First Aid (EFA),
Marine Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection, STD/HIV/AIDS
Prevention in the Maritime Sector (SHAPIMS), Prevention of Alcohol and
Drug Abuse in the Maritime Sector (PADAMS), Marine Safety Regulations
and Typhoon Preparedness. However, as previously mentioned, the
modules/topics in this training vary depending on the knowledge, skill
and attitude (KSA) needed by the participants.
In December 2014, NMP
conducted this training to 19 fishermen beneficiaries of Burublig Para
Ha Tanauan (BPHT), a non-profit non-governmental organization with
charitable, service, participatory and empowering orientation, funded
by private individuals, in aid to the communities of Tanauan, Leyte
after the onslaught of the super-typhoon Yolanda.
In the interim, NMP is
establishing linkage with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO) for a possible Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in
the conduct of this training to at most 1,000 fishermen in Eastern
Visayas who were victims of the devastation of super-typhoon Yolanda
Meanwhile, NMP is now
offering three MARINA-accredited STCW courses, namely, Operational Use
of Electronic Chart Display and Information System (OUECDIS), Ship
Security Awareness Training and Seafarers with Designated Security
Duties (SSAT and SDSD), and Consolidated Marine Pollution (MARPOL)
73/78 Annexes I-VI.
It also continues to offer
its Faculty Development Courses (IMO Model Course 6.09 Training Course
for Instructors; IMO Model Course 6.10 Training Course for Simulator
Instructors and Assessors; and IMO Model Course 3.12 Assessment,
Examination and Certification of Seafarers), and other upgrading
courses for marine officers and ratings such as Marine Electrical
System (MES), Marine Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (MRAC),
Maritime Law for Ship’s Officers (MAR LAW), STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention in
the Maritime Sector (SHAPIMS), and Gender Sensitivity Training for
Seafarers (GSTS). The training schedule for these courses is now
available at NMP.
For more inquiries and
reservation, you may reach the Registrar at the following contact
numbers: 09771269675/09298417490. You may also e-mail us at email@example.com
or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, visit our Training Complex in Brgy.
Cabalawan, Tacloban City.
3 New People’s Army
(NPA) members surrender to 63rd IB
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 29, 2015
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – Three NPA members operating in the First District of
Northern Samar surrendered to the 63rd Infantry (Innovator)
Battalion’s “A” Company stationed at Barangay Polangi, Catarman,
Northern Samar at 8:A.M. of June 27, 2015.
The three NPAs were Gladys
Surio aka Ara, Juvy Gonzaga Somodoy aka Obet and Alberto Cuanico
Somodoy aka Tatang/Leon were on lie-low when they voluntarily
surrendered. Based on the 8ID record, they were under the Front
Committee 2, Northern Samar Provincial Party Committee, now known as
Sub-Region Committee Emporium.
According to Lt. Col.
Carmelito L. Pangatungan, Commanding Officer of 63IB, the three NPAs
were accompanied by five Kagawad members of Barangay Gebulwangan,
Catarman Northern Samar when they surrendered. They are currently
under the custody of 63IB while their surrender papers are on process.
Major General Jet B.
Velarmino, 8ID Commander, lauded the efforts made by the 63IB that
resulted to the surrender of the three NPA members and also encouraged
them to double their effort in winning the peace through community
He also renewed his call for
NPA members to return to the mainstream of society and avail of the
government programs intended for NPA rebels and enjoy life with their
respective families, not a life of an NPA that is full of uncertainty,
or a life that is always on the run. He stressed that the 8ID will
ensure the safety and well-being of NPA surrenderees while they are in
off nationwide College Scholarship portal for HS students
June 29, 2015
MAKATI CITY – Due to
the poor source of information on academic opportunities in the
Philippines, Filipino-French Henry Motte-Muñoz established an online
portal called Edukasyon.ph where incoming college students can find
courses, schools, and scholarships on one site for free.
“Limited career orientation,
expensive tuition fees, and lack of knowledge on where to search for
educational opportunities are some of the key problems that high
school students and individuals seeking to expand their education and
professional development are encountering in choosing the right course
and university. Students need help in finding the educational
opportunity that will fit their interests, budget, and desired
location,” said Edukasyon.ph Chief Executive Officer Ms. Linartes
According to the National
Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), there are a total of 7.2
million high school students and only 3.6 million of them are pursuing
college, as of 2014.
“We want to make it easier
for students to find the different educational options available for
them in the Philippines. Through our online portal, students can now
explore all the college and technical-vocational courses offered in
our country,” Viloria added.
Currently on beta, the
website boasts of more than 3,000 schools, 30,000 courses, and 2,000
scholarships which are offered all over the Philippines.
“There are so many
opportunities for education out there that a lot of our students are
unaware of. And these include scholarships they can avail of in the
different universities. We want to share this information to help more
students get the education that they deserve,” stressed Viloria.
Students can easily find
schools and scholarships that match their interests and needs just by
logging on at www.edukasyon.ph and registering to get a listing of
Philippine universities and courses, as well as scholarship updates.
“We are thrilled to share
with students of Eastern Visayas educational possibilities offered
across the country. By giving students a complete picture of what is
available for them, we believe that we are able to help them find the
education that can get the jobs that they dream of. We want to give
them opportunities, empower them with choices, and help them achieve
success for the careers they aspire for,” said Viloria.
8ID, PN, PNP and
DENR confiscate illegally cut lumbers
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 25, 2015
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Army troops under the Burauen based 78th Infantry
Battalion, personnel from Philippine Navy, PNP and DENR confiscated
1,586 Board Feet of illegally cut lumbers at Barangay Villa Corazon,
Burauen, Leyte on June 24, 2015.
In a report from Lt. Col. Allan Jose L. Taguba, Commanding Officer of
the 78th Infantry Battalion, Kenneth Yves Salon, Chief Surveillance
and Intel Section Division of DENR Regional Office 8 made coordination
with 78th IB to assist them in confiscating illegally cut lumbers.
The Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force created under Executive Order 23
which is chaired by the Environment Secretary, with the Interior
Secretary, Defense Secretary, the Armed Forces Chief, and the
Philippine National Police Chief as members, approved a resolution
deputizing all officials and personnel of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines as environment and natural resources officers.
Meanwhile, the 8th Infantry Division and its subordinate units spread
throughout Region 8 and Bohol has planted 6,380 assorted non-fruit and
fruit bearing trees from January 2015 to June 2015 in its thrust in
protecting the environment.
Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, 8ID Commander, lauded the joint
anti-illegal logging operation of Army, Navy and PNP for exercising
its mandate as protector of environment and natural resources by
assisting the DENR in enforcing environmental laws. Further, he
reiterated the 8ID under his command will continue support to the DENR
in implementing its environmental protection programs.
DepEd’s school building program
By Office of Senator Chiz
June 25, 2015
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero said the Department of Education (DepEd) failed to
construct a single school building to date despite an allocation of
more than P40 billion for its construction program under the 2015
“We allocated over P40
billion for the school building program for 2015 pero ni isa, June na,
wala pang nagagawang school building under the 2015 budget,” Escudero
told a news forum in Manila on Wednesday.
The senator cited the DepEd
as among the government agencies that lacked absorptive capacity to
spend, thus contributing to public underspending which was largely
blamed for the disappointing economic growth in the first quarter.
At the same time, Escudero
expressed his strong opposition to the public-private partnership
(PPP) project being undertaken by the DepEd for the construction of
new classrooms, saying it was more costly for the government.
“I’m against the PPP for
classrooms kasi may pondo naman tayo e. Bakit mo gagamitin pa sa PPP
‘yung classrooms?” he pointed out.
Escudero said he did not see
the need to contract out the building of classrooms under a project
which the government could have easily implemented itself.
He added that the government
was at the losing end of a deal that gave contractors a return rate of
10 percent, considering that it could borrow three to four percent
“The mode of PPP for
classroom is actually a more expensive way of borrowing to construct
classrooms, when in fact we have sufficient funds to construct our own
classrooms,” Escudero stressed.
Escudero said that engaging
in PPP would not address the risk of corruption in infrastructure
“Kung korapsyon pala ang
problema e ‘yun dapat ang i-address mo. Huwag kang uutang ng mas
mataas,” Escudero said.
Bautista Advocacy Manager of Save the Children discusses the
importance of Children's Emergency Relief and Protection bill
Tacloban and Leyte backs children’s protection bill during calamities
By Save the Children
June 25, 2015
TACLOBAN CITY –
Tacloban City government and Leyte Provincial Council have signed
recently resolutions of support pushing for the passage of House bill
5285 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, a
groundbreaking bill that seeks to provide enhanced relief and
protection for vulnerable children caught in disasters.
As was one of the worst-hit
areas by Typhoon Yolanda and ‘center’ of disaster in November 2013,
the province of Leyte and its capital Tacloban city are critical areas
of support for the bill.
Ned Olney, Country Director
for Save the Children, thanked the provincial and LGU councils for
their overwhelming support:
“Thousands of lives were
lost in Tacloban and across Leyte to Typhoon Yolanda. Their children
bore the brunt of the destruction and sorrow. These communities
understand the critical importance of passing the Children’s Emergency
Relief and Protection Act. We welcome this support and we strongly
urge the Congress and Senate to pass this quickly before the next
“We believe that the support
of our local government units (LGUs) and the public sends a message
that No Child should ever die again to a Typhoon.”
The bill proposes that DSWD
and other national agencies develop a comprehensive plan to enhance
services, increase protection and services for children before, during
and after disasters. Some of the noteworthy provisions include:
improved family tracing for unaccompanied minors, disaggregated data
collection to identify children, trainings on child-focused response,
restoration of civil documents and setting up a mechanism to limit use
of schools are not used as evacuation over an extended period of time.
Today, the Save the Children
holds a policy forum to discuss the bill with over 100 representatives
from LGUs, non-government organizations, community leaders and
children in Tacloban.
In a short ceremony during
the forum, Save the Children awarded plaques of appreciation to the
province of Leyte, Tacloban City and over 10 municipalities across
Leyte for passing resolutions of support addressed to the Senate and
House of Representatives.
Chiz says budget
for Bangsamoro region depends on BBL approval
By Office of Senator Chiz
June 24, 2015
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero said discussions on the spending package for the
implementation of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be put
on hold until the measure is passed into law.
“Hangga’t wala pang BBL na
naipapasa, hindi ito pwede aksyunan,” Escudero said, referring to the
funding support that the national government plans to extend to the
proposed Bangsamoro region.
Escudero, chairman of the
Senate Committee on Finance, earlier disclosed that the planned
Bangsamoro government stands to receive at least P70 billion in the
first year of the BBL’s implementation.
He said the amount was just
a ballpark figure and was on top of the revenue income the Bangsamoro
government could generate should it begin imposing taxes and fees, and
exploring natural resources.
The senator previously vowed
to push for the line-item budgeting of the BBL funds to ensure
transparency and accountability into the spending of government funds.
Based on the computation of
the finance committee in the past, P25.2 billion of the P70 billion
will come from the Annual Block Grant; P7 billion from the Special
Development Fund; P1 billion from the Transition Fund; P12.6 billion
from the National Government Subsidy; P19.9 billion from the Internal
Revenue Allotment (IRA); P1.7 billion from the ARMM/Bangsamoro
collections; and a one-time P2.6 billion Normalization Fund.
L-R) LtCol Antonio Dulnuan Jr., MajGen Jet Velarmino and LtCol
George Domingo during the Change of Command of 87th Infantry
Battalion at Brgy. Polangi, Calbiga, Samar on June 23, 2015.
8ID installs new
commander for 87th Infantry Battalion
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 24, 2015
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – Major General Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Commander
8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army presided the
Change-of-Command of 87th Infantry (Hinirang) Battalion in a ceremony
conducted at Headquarters 87IB at Brgy Polangi, Calbiga, Samar last
June 23, 2015.
Lt. Col. Domingo succeeded
Lt. Col. Antonio B. Dulnuan Jr. and took over the helm of 87IB that
covers Calbiga, Jiabong, Basey Marabut, Motiong, Paranas, San Jose de
Buan, Pinabacdao, Hinabangan, Sta Rita, Talalora, Villareal, Daram,
Zumarraga and Catbalogan all of Samar Province. Dulnuan will assume a
position at Headquarters 8ID.
Prior to taking the helm of
87th Infantry Battalion, Domingo was the Brigade Executive Officer of
801st Infantry Brigade of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army
based at Brgy Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar.
Velarmino in his message
acknowledged the contribution of Dulnuan to the peace and development
that the province of Samar is now experiencing, at the same time, he
challenged Domingo to continue the plans and programs initiated by his
predecessor for the overall accomplishment of the Commands mission and
the realization of an Insurgency Free Samar.
efforts to resume GPH-CPP talks
By Office of Senator Chiz
June 23, 2015
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero welcomed plans by the government to restart negotiations
with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and expressed hopes
that the two parties make concrete progress to resume the stalled
peace talks as soon as possible.
“We should welcome this
positive development. Any effort that would bring armed conflict to a
permanent and just closure through peaceful means deserves the
nation’s support,” Escudero said.
Escudero called on the
government and the communist group to “show leadership, courage and
responsibility to sustain the effort toward achieving peace.”
He said it was also
important that before returning to the negotiating table, each side
put forward concrete proposals rather than just complaints and
“I encourage both sides to
persevere in their commitment to a peaceful and just settlement of
conflicts, otherwise the peace talks will again lead to nothing,”
Talks with the CPP and its
armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), were suspended a few years
ago after the communist rebels demanded the release of their
consultants from government custody.
The CPP-NPA reportedly
prefers to talk peace with the next administration after questioning
the Aquino government’s sincerity in the peace talks.
But just recently,
government negotiators said they were coordinating with Norway to
determine how the negotiations with the communist group can move
forward. Norway facilitates the peace talks between the government and
the National Democratic Front, the CPP-NPA’s negotiating arm.