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Climate reality leadership corps to hold training in Manila in March

3ID’s Chief of Staff becomes new 802nd Brigade Commander

Chiz: Completion of Mindanao-Visayas grid link to boost Luzon power supply

NPA robbed soldiers’ meal allowance during ambush: 2 troopers killed

Chiz seeks stricter enforcement of NIPAS Act

NGCP towers bombed in Marawi City

Chiz seeks immediate release of P1-B People’s Survival Fund

19IB spearheads multi-sectoral peace forum in Ormoc City







SMB compliance marker in Catbalogan City
DOLE-8 regional director Elias Cayanong delivering his message during the unveiling ceremony program at the SMB regional beer office in Catbalogan City.

DOLE unveils its 3rd compliance marker for SMB

January 27, 2016

CATBALOGAN CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment has long launched its program under the Department Order 18-A. Under this program, companies are sought to support the need to comply with all statutory requirements for employees. This entails the payment of basic wages and benefits as the law provides.

It can be noted that even if the company themselves may be complaint with the DOLE order, it does not assure the adherence of their third party service providers and business partners.

For San Miguel Brewery Inc., the company has acted as a big brother to its partners by encouraging and providing them with assistance to ensure that the employees of the contractors get what is demanded by law.

Recently, San Miguel Brewery Inc.’s Eastern Visayas Regional Office unveiled its marker for being a labor law complaint installation. This means that its contractors fully comply with the requirements set by the DOLE.

In December of 2015, the Mandaue plant unveiled with Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis Baldoz, and the officials of DOLE-7, the first marker of compliance. Late last year, the DOLE-8 regional office headed by Director Elias Cayanong and City vice-mayor Zambo Yaokasin led in the unveiling of SMB’s Eastern Visayas - Leyte Beer Region compliance marker in Tacloban City.

On its third round, SMB’s Eastern Visayas Beer Region in Catbalogan City also set its marker last January 26 with DOLE-8 Director Cayanong and Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan unveiling.

“We are serious about helping our business partners comply with the DOLE requirements because we believe that a secure and happy employee is a loyal and productive employee. This in turn translates into a more dedicated worker that would contribute to the growth of the business,” Leo Remeses Amoyan, Human Resource and Administration Manager of SMB said.

“We are happy that SMB has been supportive of our program,” Director Cayanong shared. “We are also glad of the cooperation of their business partners as this would also benefit not just their employees but also their business.”

“We are glad to cooperate with this program of DOLE. As a business partner of SMB, we have seen the benefits of our compliance is not just for the employees but also for the business, since our HR systems have been streamlined and we have noted that we have less production-related concerns,” Raul Biasong, Operations Manager of Roble Warehouse in Catbalogan City also declared.






Japanese engineers and NMP officials
Japanese engineers and NMP officials and employees pose after successful testing of the simulator.

Japanese engineers test functionality of engine room simulator

Press Release
January 26, 2016

TACLOBAN CITY – Japanese systems engineers from the Terasaki Electric Co., Ltd. test and demonstrate to National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) key officials and trainers today, the functionality of the newly-commissioned Engine Room Simulator (ERS), an essential equipment in the conduct of engine maritime courses.

Replicating an engine room setting, the testing and demonstration adapted a step-by-step procedure of the actual engine room operation throughout the entire ship’s voyage – from dock to establishing generator power, ship-power, port-service, stand-by and ocean-going modes.

The newly-installed software features advanced power distribution and engine monitoring and control systems. It is a total shift from the NMP’s previous reefer container simulator to a cargo ship designed ERS.

Installation and commissioning of the equipment is part of the grant assistance by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the NMP’s rehabilitation and recovery efforts from Typhoon Yolanda.

The Japanese technical team already completed the installation and commissioning of other equipment that include the totally enclosed lifeboat and davit, GMDSS simulator, davit for fast rescue boat and various safety equipment. The NMP expects to receive the fast rescue boat in March 2016.

The donated equipment will be used by NMP trainees in the practical exercises in various engine trainings and would significantly enhance the delivery of maritime training services.

The Japanese technical team was composed of Mr. Kenji Ikenishi, Mr. Misao Uenishi, Mr. Masayoshi Ueda, Mr. Takuya Mitsushio, Mr. Takuya Nakajima, Mr. Katsuhide Akeno and Mr. Junji Shirai. The NMP was represented by OIC Executive Director Manuel C. Roldan, OIC Deputy Executive Director Jeffrey D. Cortazar, Maritime Training and Assessment Division Head Capt. Emmanuel Jesus M. Laguitan, Administrative Financial and Management Division Head Atty. Ruben Y. Maceda, engine courses trainers OICEW Ponciano V. Trinidad, Claro L. Coscos, Primitivo V. Capacio, Jr. and Annaliza A. Cajeme, and Information Officer Ma. Jasmin J. Andrade.

In its effort to contribute in providing employment to Filipinos especially the seafarers, NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide quality maritime trainings required pursuant to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention.

The NMP encourages those interested to avail of its maritime training programs to visit the NMP facebook page (\nmptrainingcenter) and website where all related information on NMP trainings are available.






8ID joint change of command ceremony
8ID chief MGen. Jet Velarmino hands over the unit color to LtCol. Ronnie Ebarita, the incoming acting commanding officer of 14th Infantry Battalion during the Joint Change of Command & Chief of Office Ceremony at the 8ID headquarters on January 21, 2016.

2 new battalion commanders installed in 8ID

January 24, 2016

CAMP GENERAL VICENTE LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, Commander 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army presided the joint change of command ceremony of 14th and 20th Infantry Battalions on January 21, 2016 at the 8ID Multi-Purpose hall.

The newly installed commander of 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion is Lt Col. Ronie T Ebarita INF (GSC) PA replacing Lt. Col. Peter B Burgonio INF (GSC) PA who will assume as division staff.

Lt. Col. Ebarita was previously assigned in Camp Lapu Lapu in Cebu City, a well-rounded military officer which led numerous peace-building efforts in Central Visayas Region.

He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in Tanjay, Negros Occidental and Master of Public Management in Development Academy of the Philippines in Ortigas Center, Pasig City as well as Command and General Staff Course in Armed Forces of the Philippines, Command and General Staff College in Fort Andres Bonifacio, Taguig City.

The newly installed commander of 20th Infantry (We Lead) Battalion is Lt. Col. Hilarion G. Palma INF (GSC) PA replacing Lt. Col. Miguel E. Ceballos INF (GSC) PA who will assume also as division staff.

Lt. Col. Palma was previously assigned in General Headquarters Support Command Armed Forces of the Philippines in the National Capital Region. He is a service oriented and dynamic military officer which led numerous developmental initiatives in Luzon.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City and masteral degree in Public Management Program Major in Development and Security in Development Academy of the Philippines in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Both newly installed commanders earned numerous significant awards from civilian and government sectors, as well as decorations for their excellent achievements that contributed much to the attainment of our vision of a World Class Army that is a source of National Pride by 2028.





NMP is up to a good start in 2016: 247 trainees as of January 15

NMP trainees

Press Release
January 22, 2016

TACLOBAN CITY – The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), a government maritime training and research agency located at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City, accommodated as of January 15, 2016 a total of 247 maritime trainees who are either aspirants to become seafarers, active seafarers or maritime instructors and assessors.

Out of the total, 204 (83%) took the Basic Courses such as Basic Training (BT), Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boat other than Fast Rescue Boats (PSCRB), Basic Training Refresher (BTR), Basic Training Updating (BTU) and Safety Training for Boat Captain and Marine Diesel Mechanic. The remaining 43 (17%) enrolled in the Ratings Forming Part of Engineering Watch (RFPEW), Medical Emergency First Aid (MEFA) and Training Course for Instructors (IMO Model Course 6.09) modules.

As of 15 January, 165 (67%) have finished their trainings while the other 82 (33%) will finish on 22 January 2016.

This is a well-grounded start for the agency since full-swing in training operations started last July 2015 only. It is expected that the number of enrollees will accelerate in the next few months with the opening of more Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) courses.

In the interim, NMP is addressing the observations raised by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in connection with its application for accreditation of additional 5 courses namely: Refresher Training for PSCRB, Refresher Training for Advanced Firefighting (AFF), Refresher Training for Personal Survival Technique (PST) and Fire Prevention and Firefighting (FPFF), Updating Training for Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) and General Operator’s Course for Global Maritime Distress Signal System (GOC for GMDSS).

In its effort to contribute in providing employment to Filipinos especially the seafarers, NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide quality maritime trainings required pursuant to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention.

The NMP encourages those interested to avail of its maritime training programs to visit the NMP facebook page ( and website where all related information on NMP trainings are available.





Cops arrest 3 suspects in robbery-hold up in Dolores, Eastern Samar

By RPCRD, Police Regional Office 8
January 22, 2016

CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Campetic, Palo, Leyte – PCSupt. Jose Erwin T. Villacorte lauds the local police in Dolores, Eastern Samar, for apprehending suspects in a robbery hold-up incident at Brgy. Bonghon, Dolores, yesterday.

As a result of the hot pursuit operations, the three suspects were arrested and identified as Ronilo Rivera, Benjamin Bagas, of legal age, both residents of Brgy Taboc, Borongan, Eastern Samar and the reported mastermind Rolito Amongo y Cillo, 36 years old, married and a resident of Brgy Balud 2, Borongan City, Eastern Samar.

PCSupt. Villacorte added that robbery incident happened at about 7:00 A.M. of January 21, 2016 at Brgy. Bonghon, Dolores, Eastern Samar victimizing Geraldine Rufin, 24, resident of Merida, Leyte; Raymar Cuyos, 25, resident of Ormoc City, both employees of Binabaye Multipurpose Cooperative (BMPC) and Janet Bula y Ballan, 32 years old, single, DSWD employee and a resident of Brgy Balud 2, Borongan City, Eastern Samar.

Initial investigation disclosed that while victims were on their way to the Municipality of Maslog, Eastern Samar, on board a motorized Banca, when the suspects armed with Cal. 45 pistol, on board another boat blocked their way and declared hold-up. The robbers carted away a total amount of P1,204,300.00 which was supposedly to be distributed to the 4P’s (Pantawid Pampamilyang Pilipino Program) recipients of Maslog.

The initial arrest of two suspects was the result of the pursuit operations by the Joint elements of Maslog and Dolores Police Stations that also resulted to subsequent arrest of the mastermind. The suspects were positively identified by the victims at Dolores MPS and pointed to Amongo as mastermind.

Recovered from the suspects were one (1) Honda TMX 155 with no plate number; one (1) Motorized Banca; one (1) .45 cal pistol; one (1) magazine assembly loaded with six (6) live ammos of .45 cal; two (2) cellphones; and cash amounting to P654,000.00.

Criminal Case of Robbery, illegal possession of firearms and violation of COMELEC gun ban are now being prepared against the suspects.

The Acting Regional Director lauded the accomplishment of PNP Dolores and Maslog. He said, their immediate action manifest their deep sense of commitment to put criminals behind bars.

Likewise, the PNP encourages the public to immediately report any relevant information to police patrolling on the streets, to the nearest police stations and through the social media (Twitter - @Pro8Pcrd or Facebook Page – ruperto_kangleon) or through the following: Dial 117 or text 2920; RPCRD 09173238683/09088146421; RTOC 09173114794/09478907155 and Isumbong Mo Kay Tsip 09178475757.





Chiz asks MILF: Help secure NGCP towers to avert poll failure in Mindanao

By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
January 21, 2016

PASAY CITY – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should play an active role to ensure the coming May elections will push through in Mindanao by helping secure the transmission towers of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) that have been the subject of at least 17 bomb attacks since last year.

NGCP tower and transmission line“There can be no better time for the MILF to show good faith and sincerity than now when the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) is under consideration in the legislature,” said Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, the leading vice-presidential candidate in the May polls.

Escudero said that while the NGCP has issued urgent appeals to the military, police and local residents to help secure its towers, the MILF should take it upon itself to be involved in the security since most of the bombed transmission towers are located in its bailiwick, particularly the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.

“These are the areas where the MILF has presence and wields some form of authority. Surely, they will be in a position to secure the NGCP towers,” Escudero explained.

As of last week, at least 17 NGCP towers have already been bombed by unidentified suspects, although many residents have blamed the renegade Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) for most of the attacks.

Escudero said the BIFF involvement is an issue that could be contained by the MILF since many of its officials and members have relatives and friends aligned with the group.

“Baka pwedeng arburin na lang ng MILF sa BIFF ‘yung mga NGCP towers ‘wag lang maputol ang kuryente at maantala ang eleksyon sa Mayo,” Escudero said.

At the same time, Escudero said the MILF could also be “instrumental in settling, negotiating for and mediating land claims and zonal problems which have kept the NGCP from throwing a more reliable blanket security around its towers.”

“With its formidable and respected position in Muslim society, the MILF could also intervene in these matters to assure the uninterrupted and efficient operation of the NGCP which will tantamount to peace, order and development in that part of Mindanao,” he averred.

The NGCP and President Aquino himself have lamented that land claims, zonal problems and unreasonable land owners have stood in the way of the power transmission firm’s objective to provide constant power to Mindanao.

“The MILF holds the key to solving these problems. And should the BBL come into fruition, the MILF leaders should start considering themselves as partners in progress, especially in the power industry,” Escudero said.





Stormtroopers hold donning of ranks to newly promoted officers

January 20, 2016

donning of ranks to newly promoted officersCAMP VICENTE LUKBAN, Catbalogan City  –  To acknowledge the achievement of the newly promoted officers and eligible personnel, the Division Commander of the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division represented by the Assistant Division Commander, dons the ranks and pins the Personnel Readiness Badge of concerned personnel during the Flag Raising Ceremony, Monday.

Col. Cesar M. Idio INF (GSC) PA, donned the rank of Colonel to Lt. Col. Rey Anthony M. Tumaliuan GSC (INF) PA and to Lt. Col. Rodrigo M. Ilustrisimo GSC (INF) PA.

Col. Idio also administered the pinning of Personnel Readiness Badge to all deserving personnel. He congratulated all the officers and enlisted men and wished them all the very best in their respective endeavors.

Subsequent to the ceremony was the warm welcome and formal introduction of newly assigned officers to the unit, namely: Lt. Col. Rodrigo A. Ecleto INF (GSC) PA, Lt. Col Roberto B. Sarmiento INF (GSC) PA, Maj. Charlie L. Saclot (INF) PA, Capt. Veil Reagan B. Menil, Capt. Dennis M. Tafalia, and 2nd Lieutenant Russel U. Borres.

The newly assigned officers will beef up the Stormtroopers personnel and operational capabilities as it continues to uphold its mandate of winning peace in Eastern Visayas.





Japanese engineers and technicians return to NMP

NMP Engine Room Simulator

Press Release
January 20, 2016

TACLOBAN CITY – Japanese marine systems engineers and technicians from the Terasaki Electric Co., Ltd. return to the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City, on January 11, 2015 to continue the commissioning of the Engine Room Simulator (ERS), an equipment vital in the conduct of the Ratings Forming Part of Engineering Watch (RFPEW) maritime training.

The technical team is composed of Takuya Mitsushio, Masayoshi Jeda and Hiromo Katayama who are currently testing and commissioning the equipment to ensure the functionality in accordance to its design.

It can be recalled that the simulator was among those equipment damaged last November 8, 2013. The replacement of the simulator is part of the assistance by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the implementation of the NMP’s Programme for Rehabilitation and Recovery from Super-typhoon Yolanda.

Among the important features of the upgraded simulator is its capability to provide assessment grades without human intervention which is a requirement of the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), according to Engr. Ponciano V. Trinidad, NMP Maritime Training Specialist IV.

The upgraded simulator will enhance the delivery of quality trainings. More particularly, it will provide trainees with hands-on experience in watch-keeping duties in a more realistic engine room setting. Likewise, it will be an important technology for other advanced simulator-based trainings that the NMP intends to offer within the first semester this year.

In its effort to contribute in providing employment to Filipinos especially the seafarers, NMP continues to upgrade its facilities and provide quality maritime trainings required pursuant to the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention.

The NMP encourages those interested to avail of its maritime training programs to visit the NMP facebook page ( and website where all related information on NMP trainings are available.





Samar I boosted 93.96% completion on CY 2015 infra projects

January 20, 2015

CALBAYOG CITY – DPWH Samar I closed CY 2015 with 93.96% actual completion on all infrastructure projects under General Appropriation Act (GAA).

Posted and verified to record on December 31, 2015, Samar I concluded the year with an 8.96% mark over the physical target of 85% on all GAA infrastructure projects for CY 2015.

Rehabilitation, reconstruction and upgrading of damaged paved national roads, construction of diversion roads, bridges and local infrastructures, roads widening, off-carriage improvement and construction and maintenance of flood mitigation structures and drainage systems are among the projects under GAA that were completed in CY 2015. Said projects have a total programmed amount of P1,425,572,500.

As for projects with external funding under the Convergence Program, Samar I closed the CY 2015 at 54.05% accomplishment. These projects which include the construction of classrooms, access roads leading to Calbayog Airport, Calbayog City as well as the repair and maintenance of national buildings have an approximate programmed amount of P624,651,000.

Consistent to the assurance given during the press conference held last November 2015, District Engineer Virgilio C. Eduarte will continue to monitor and supervise the remaining projects under CY 2015 with the assistance of the assigned project engineers.





Romulo urges universities, colleges to set up crime prevention units in campuses

By Office of Cong. Roman T. Romulo
January 20, 2016

QUEZON CITY – Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo today called on university authorities to set up dedicated units that will address the safety and security of students in campuses throughout the country.

"Security and safety issues, by their very nature, are urgent concerns that should be quickly addressed by university authorities with the assistance of the police," he said.

"If there is unease in campuses because of crime or threats of violence, these will disrupt the academic life of students and teachers," said Romulo, who chairs the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education.

He cited the recent case of an 18-year old UP Diliman freshman who was supposed to pay his tuition but went missing last week.

Romulo lauded UP authorities for quickly acting on the report filed by parents of the missing student but pointed out the need to prevent such incidents from happening.

"We need to be proactive, to come up with measures that will discourage criminal elements from victimizing students and other members of the academic community in campus and in the areas around these institutions of learning," he said.

Romulo is the principal sponsor of House Bill 3898, the Campus Safety and Security Act, which is now on third reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill requires all public and private Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) to create a crime prevention committee to "promote the safety and security of all students, from external and internal threats, such as theft, robbery, rape and other forms of violence."

"Students will continue to be a prime target of criminals. Their protection will be the principal responsibility of the HEI committee which will link up with the police and the barangay to map out ways to ensure their protection," he said.



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