officers together with Samar I Inspectorate Team during
evaluation finds four Samar infra projects in order
By ARDEL S. MALANOG
March 7, 2016
CALBAYOG CITY – To
ensure just use of revenue and expenditures of funds owned or held in
trust by the government, the Commission on Audit (COA) conducted
technical evaluation on four infra projects by Department of Public
Works and Highways – Samar First District Engineering Office (DPWH-SFDEO)
last February 23, 2016.
Sited within the
jurisdiction of Samar I, the inspection team – May B. Labajosa, SA IV/ATL,
Cecilia B. Baylon, SA II, Jossie Mae M. Garrido, SA I and Jasmine M.
Pajares, SAE II and PIO representative Medardo M. Abenis Jr, covers
two Farm to Market Road Infra Projects and two projects under the
Convergence Program with the Department of Tourism under CY 2015
General Appropriation Act (GAA) and Convergence Program.Said projects
are listed as follows:
1. Concreting of La Paz -
Palañogan FMR Road, Brgy. La Paz, Calbayog City, Samar 1st LD with
P22,836,80.41 contract amount;
2. Concreting of Marabut -
Awang FMR Road, Tarangnan Samar with P13,690,190.17 contract amount;
Rehabilitation/Improvement of Access Road leading to Calbayog Airport,
Calbayog City, Samar 1st LD with P45,105,572.71 contract amount; and
of Access Road leading to Bangon Falls, Brgy. Tinamplacan, Calbayog
City, Samar 1st LD with P42,434,015.07 contract amount.
Under contract with B.
Vicencio Construction, projects under the DOT Convergence program are
registered as 100% and 95% physical accomplished based on the February
Infra Project Update. Both FMR projects, under contract with N.A.
Ibarra Construction and RNMK Construction & Development are registered
as 60% and 80% physical accomplishment respectively.
COA reports that the legal
and auditorial review of all contracts and project accomplishments of
the above mentioned infra projects are found in order.
mismatch crisis confronts 2016 graduates
March 6, 2016
QUEZON CITY – An
estimated 1.2 million college and vocational graduates this month will
find difficulty in getting a job due to a growing mismatch between
their training and the job skills required by most of employers, said
the labor group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa).
Recent data from the
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) showed that out of the 4,
239,392 domestic and international job vacancies offered in 3,686 all
year-round job fairs activities held in 2014 and 2015 nationwide, only
391,088 were hired on the spot out of the 1,286,073 applicants.
“This job-skills mismatch
crisis in the country has been on going and it continues to grow.
Competition is getting higher so employers are putting additional
qualifications into the job descriptions for them to compete.
Heightened competitiveness at the job market without or little
adjustment at the learning institutions is what makes this crisis
thrive,” said its spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
“With employers adding more
qualifications, graduates’ credentials will be scrutinized longer.
This additional layer in the procedure could mean additional training
which entails further cost and perseverance for the applicant. While
those who fall through the cracks will become unemployed or
underemployed,” he said.
The same record showed that
in 2015, 1,661 job fairs were held and an estimated 135,590 were hired
out of 487,640 applicants. In 2014, 2,025 job fairs were conducted by
government and employers all throughout the country with about 255,498
were hired out of 798,433 applicants.
Records from Commission on
Higher Education (CHED) showed there were 656,284 college graduates in
March 2015 while records from the Technical Education and Skills
Development Authority (TESDA) showed there were 1.6 million
individuals certified as of October the same year.
In DOLE’s Labor Market
Information (LMI) Report for 2013 to 2020, it identified key 275
occupations as in-demand and 102 occupations are listed as
hard-to-fill from among key and emerging industries.
In-demand occupations refer
to active occupations/job vacancies posted or advertised recurrently.
These occupations have high turnover/replacement rate and are
essentials in the operations of a company.
include abaca pulp processor, admino programmer, banana growing
worker, bangus diver, banquet supervisor, bamboo materials craftsman,
fish cage caretaker, groundskeeper, multi-lingual service crew, mussel
grower, pointman, reefman, and whale shark interaction officer.
meanwhile, refer to job vacancies to which the employer/company is
having difficulty to be filled because job applicants are not
qualified or there is no supply of job applicants for the particular
vacancy, the report said.
Such occupations include 2-D
digital animator, agricultural designer, bioinformatics analyst,
clean-up artist, cosmetic dentist, cosmetic surgeon, cuisine chef,
ethanol machine processing operator, multi-lingual tour guide,
in-between artist (animation), in-between checker (animation), and
Chiz pushes for tax
incentives for renewable energy developers
By Office of Senator Chiz
March 4, 2016
PASAY CITY –
Independent vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero
said the next administration should offer incentives to lure renewable
energy developers into the country to ensure a stable supply of
frontrunner said providing tax incentives to companies that would
venture into renewable energy development will help keep a steady
supply of power in the long-run in areas with energy woes like
Bantayan Island in Cebu, also known as the “egg basket” of the Visayas.
“It’s a pity that many of
parts of our country still experience power problem when we already
have the resources for various renewable energy projects,” Escudero
“We have to come up with
incentives for investors to consider renewable energy development,
which is not only sustainable but a cheaper power source as well,” he
Data from the Department of
Energy showed that as of 2014, only 37 percent of generated power was
supplied by renewable sources while 63 percent came from non-renewable
energy, mainly coal.
Of the renewable sources,
less than one percent was from wind and solar energy.
Escudero, who is running as
Sen. Grace Poe’s vice president under the Partido Galing at Puso,
stressed the need to resolve the region’s power shortage as he pointed
out how tourism and business outsourcing, which are thriving in the
region, are dependent on power.
The veteran lawmaker said
power problems and the lack of infrastructures are preventing the
Philippines from becoming a top tourist draw even though the country
has more beautiful sights to offer than its neighbors in Southeast
Asia, such as Bantayan Island’s powdery soft white sand beaches.
Last year, 5.36 million
international tourists visited the Philippines but was just over half
of the DOT’s five-year target for 2016 of 10 million arrivals.
L-R) Supt Erwin Portillo, Deputy Provincial Director for
Operations of Leyte PPO, Colonel Francisco Mendoza Jr, Commander
of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, Mayor Elmer Codilla and LtCol.
Roberto Sarmiento during the signing of MOA declaring Kananga,
Leyte as Stable Internal Peace and Security area.
Kananga declared as
free from communist rebel infestation
By DPAO, 8ID PA
March 4, 2016
KANANGA, Leyte – A
former NPA stronghold in Northern Leyte declared as Stable Internal
Peace and Secured area in a ceremonial signing of Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) in Kananga, Leyte on February 29, 2016.
The joint declaration was
pursued upon the recommendation of the Philippine Army’s 19th Infantry
Battalion upon the legislation of Resolution No. 20R.14-791 by the
20th Sangguniang Bayan of Kananga, Leyte.
Signatories to the MOA were
Colonel Francisco Mendoza Jr., Brigade Commander of the 802nd Infantry
(Peerless) Brigade, Senior Superintendent Franco Simborio, Director of
Leyte Police Provincial Office represented by Superintendent Erwin
Portillo, and Mayor Elmer Codilla and witnessed by Lieutenant Colonel
Roberto Sarmiento, the Commanding Officer of the 19th Infantry
Battalion, Chief Inspector Ricky Reli, the Chief of Police of the
Municipality of Kananga and Vice-Mayor Macario Lumangtad Jr.
Previously, the 19th
Infantry Battalion declared 15 Leyte towns as Stable Internal Peace
and Security areas. These towns are Matag-ob, Merida, Palompon,
Tabango, Barugo, Babatngon, San Miguel, Leyte, Pastrana, Tolosa,
Dagami, Calubian, Sta. Fe, Alangalang and Tunga.
The aforesaid towns were
declared Stable Internal Peace and Security because the actual threat
of the Communist Terrorist Movement (CTM) is already downgraded and is
no longer significant to influence the residents.
Col. Mendoza is optimistic
that the declaration will further attract the influx of investors to
establish business in an area that has environment of peace.
“We cannot achieve it alone.
But we will continue with our effort to attain just and lasting peace
in Kananga, Leyte”, Mendoza added.
Daughter of slain
Lumad leader to UN rights expert: Impunity persists in the Philippines
March 4, 2016
GENEVA, Switzerland –
Michelle Campos, daughter of slain Lumad leader Dionel Campos, and
Karapatan human rights workers Karapatan Secretary General Cristina
Palabay and Karapatan-Caraga coordinator Dr. Naty Castro, met United
Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
Michel Forst in the sidelines of the 31st UN Human Rights Council
sessions in Geneva, Switzerland on March 2.
In the said meeting, Campos
narrated the September 1, 2015 killings in Lianga, Surigao del Sur,
where her father, grandfather Datu Juvello Sinzo, and school director
Emerito Samarca were killed before the whole community.
"Six months after the
incident, not one of the three named perpetrators has been arrested.
This is the kind of impunity that is perpetrated by the Aquino regime
and the Armed Forces of the Philippines – they do not arrest criminals
in their ranks and among paramilitary groups. They even have drinking
sprees with them," Campos said, recounting her relatives' experience
on December 30, 2015 when they saw Loloy Tejero, one of the suspects
at large in the Lianga massacre case, having a drinking spree with
members of the 75th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.
Castro said that the more
than 2,000 evacuees in Tandag, Surigao del Sur continue to suffer the
consequences of such impunity. "It is worrisome that the issues of
increasing military operations in Mindanao, including indigenous
peoples' communities, and plunder of their ancestral lands remain low
among the priority electoral issues among national candidates," she
Palabay said Karapatan notes
and appreciates Forst's report in the 31st UN Human Rights Council on
the cases of attacks against human rights defenders in the Philippines
delivered on March 3, 2016.
In the said report, Forst
stated that he "considers the killings of Messrs. Emerito Samarca,
Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo to be systematic of the aggressions
suffered by human rights defenders in rural areas and indigenous
communities in response to violations committed in the course of
environmentally dubious mining operations, wide-spread development of
monoculture plantations, land grabs and territorial disputes."
He expressed regrets that
there were reports of further killings in Mindanao after the September
1, 2015 massacre in Surigao del Sur. He urged the Philippine
Government to "take every possible measure to ensure that these
extrajudicial killings do not remain in impunity, for fear of the
potential encouragement a lack of justice would provide for any
potential perpetrators of such acts in the future."
Forst also lamented the
attacks against human rights workers of Karapatan, specifically the
surveillance and intimidation of its members, as a result of their
legitimate human rights activities and exercise of rights to freedom
of expression and association.
Karapatan also submitted
complaints on the following violations on human rights defenders to
a) Killing of
Karapatan-Sorsogon spokesperson Teodoro Escanilla and peasant leader
b) Trumped up criminal
charges against teachers of the Alternative Learning Center for
Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and indigenous
people's leaders of MAPASU, more than fifty human rights defenders
including Karapatan human rights workers, church and community leaders
in Sarangani and General Santos City;
c) Threats, harassment and
surveillance on leaders of Confederation for Unity, Recognition and
Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) and Children's
Rehabilitation Center (CRC);
d) Harassment and violation
on the right of freedom of movement of former Rep. Liza Maza; and,
e) Illegal arrest, detention
and harassment of peasant leaders in White Culaman, Kitaotao, Bukidnon.
reaches out to OFW kids on Senior High
March 3, 2016
MAKATI CITY – With
the recent educational shift to K-12, The Commission on Filipinos
Overseas (CFO) featured Edukasyon.ph to help the 27,500 students and
their OFW families in searching for the right Senior High Schools for
their children. Edukasyon.ph is a free website platform that gives
choice, convenience, and advice on education to career options around
“We understand how difficult
it is for OFW parents to involve themselves in the education planning
of their children especially now that there’s Senior High School (SHS).
Through Edukasyon.ph #SeniorHighDreams component, they will no longer
feel disconnected from their child’s education,” Edukasyon.ph
Executive Officer Linartes Viloria said.
This February, the CFO was
able to circulate a memorandum addressed to the 40 PSO school
principals based in 10 countries (Bahrain, China, East Timor, Greece,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, and the United
Arab Emirates) with enclosed tutorial kits for teachers on
understanding Edukasyon.ph's services and brochure for students on how
using the website can aid them in their selection of senior high
tracks, career guidance and advising.
Through the Edukasyon.ph
website, parents and students can easily search for senior high ready
schools and senior high offered tracks that are near their home
location. They can also see which tuition fees are within their budget
and what scholarship opportunities the educational institutions are
“#SeniorHighDreams” is one
of the newest features of Edukasyon.ph which aims to educate the
parents and students about SHS, its tracks and specializations, and
the Voucher Program. Not only that, Edukasyon.ph has comprehensive
information on careers and scholarships.
“Parents will have a
bird’s-eye view on Senior High through Edukasyon.ph. Our job at
Edukasyon.ph is to make sure we bridge the educational information gap
and enable more parents and families to make informed decisions on the
educational investments for their children,” Edukasyon.ph Founder
Henry Motte-Muñoz added.
P45M allotted to
Biliran DEO for tourism infrastructure
By CHELSEA C. QUIJANO
March 2, 2016
NAVAL, Biliran – The
construction/ improvement of access roads leading to declared tourists
destinations along Higatangan circumferential road, phase 3 has been
allotted with P45 million under the CY 2016 General Appropriations Act
As of December 17, 2015,
Construction of Higatangan Circumferential Road, Phase 2 under the CY
2015 GAA has already been completed. DPWH regional office 8 is
undertaking the phase 1 portion of the project with an appropriation
of P100 million and with a concrete paving length of 3.780 kms. under
contract with Yoyen Enterprises while phase 2 was implemented by
Biliran DEO with an appropriation of P40 million with a concrete
paving length of 2.20 km (Sta.4+256.60 - Sta.6+500) under contract
with B. Vicencio Construction.
“The P45 M fund is set for
the rehabilitation of existing substandard concrete pavement complete
the improvement of the entire Circumferential Road”, said District
Engineer, David P. Adongay Jr.
Adongay also reported that
the Construction/Improvement of 3.780 km. in Higatangan
Circumferential Road (HCR) implemented by the regional office 8 under
CY 2014 GAA is still on-going with clearing and grubbing operation and
base course preparation on one section of the project as of January,
The completion of the
Improvement of Higatangan circumferential road will provide an access
road not only for local and foreign tourists but also for the
residents of the place in going to and from to the island’s tourist
destinations such as the Higatangan’s popular 200-m shifting sand bar,
rock formations, Marcos Hill/ Lighthouse, crystal clear watersand –
its fine white sands which has been declared as Tourism Development
Area through Republic Act Number 10409.
The said island is only a
few minutes ride by small boat from Biliran’s capital town, Naval.
gains one year after amended fisheries code
March 2, 2016
MANILA – A year after
Republic Act (RA) 10654, which amended the Fisheries Code of 1998, was
passed, fisherfolk associations, civil society organizations and
environmental NGOs are underlining the gains of the amended law in a
press conference held today.
Senator Cynthia Villar,
chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture & Food and the
primary author of RA 10654 or the Amended Fisheries Code, joined the
groups and vowed continuous commitment towards enabling mechanisms for
the strict implementation of the law.
“I am happy to tell the
world, together with the more than 1.5 million municipal fisherfolk,
that our RA 10654 has ushered the end of rampant, illegal, unreported,
and unregulated fishing (IUUF). The urgency in addressing poverty and
allowing our seas to heal was my mantra in fighting back the lobby of
big commercial fishers and illegal fishers,” said Senator Villar.
Villar also commended the
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for facilitating the
formulation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law and
the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan, which
was crafted by stakeholders in aquaculture, marketing, post-harvest
and capture, and which contain targets and action plans for
development for the next five years. She also cited the creation of
Community Fish Landing Centers for the national development of
shellfish, crabs, and broodstock.
“It is our common interest
to make sure that there will be a continuous and healthy fishing
industry in our country, and it can only be achieved if we prevent all
forms of activities that jeopardize the sustainability of our
resources,” Villar said. “I encourage all stakeholders to join us in
making Philippine fisheries sustainable.”
Villar led the Senate in
voting unanimously for the ratification of the reconciled version of
Senate Bill 2414 and House Bill 4536 that amended the Philippine
Fisheries Code of 1998. This came after the Philippines almost faced
an export ban of fisheries product to the European Union (EU) for
failing to address IUUF. According to BFAR, Philippine fish exports to
the EU was valued at P9.4 billion (165 million euros) in 2013.
Fisheries and conservation
NGOs, together with municipal fishers, used the EU warning as an
opportunity to push for reforms to address the problems of the
“Amending the law is a
victory. RA 10654 provides the framework on the shift from an open
access regime, where everybody and anybody can extract from our
fragile coastal and marine ecosystems, to a sustainable fisheries
management regime, where strict regulations against destructive
fishing practices are in place and strictly implemented,” said Dennis
Calvan, Executive Director of NGOs for Fisheries Reform (NFR), one of
the organizations who pushed for the amendment.
Calvan added that the reason
more than 75% of our fishing grounds are overfished, as mentioned by
BFAR in the National Stock Assessment Program, is due mainly to the
long decades of neglect in implementing the Philippine Fisheries Code
of 1998, leading to the destruction of coastal and marine resources.
“A year into RA 10654,
strengthened fisheries law enforcement is already happening, with
almost weekly apprehensions of illegal fishers in our waters.
Increased penalties against dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing and
encroachment of commercial fishing vessels within the 15-kilometer
municipal waters, are now being strongly enforced in the Burias-Ticao
Pass in the Bicol Region. Some of the fish are coming back abundantly
in our waters,” said Miriam Belaos, a fisherfolk leader of Pantao
Fisherfolks Association, based in Bicol.
The Amended Fisheries Code
has strengthened the protection of the priority rights of municipal
fishers by making the penalties deterrents to commercial fishing
vessels plotting to conduct fishing activities inside municipal
“We won the first stage, but
we still need to do more by implementing harvest control rules for
fisherfolk to fish within the limits of the sea and implement strong
traceability system to make sure that the seafood that we are eating
are not illegally caught,” said Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for
Greenpeace Philippines. “The solution is very viable as shown by the
recent success of the Sustainable Seafood Week, where major hotels and
restaurants pledged to only source and serve traceable and sustainably
Cinches also said that while
the passing of the Amended Fisheries Law is a good start, he stressed
the importance of this year’s Presidential elections to sustain the
gains of the victory.
“While the year 2015 has
established the basic ingredients for healthy Philippine seas, it is
important that the next President of our country puts ocean
conservation at the heart of governance in order to address poverty
and usher in truly inclusive national development,” Cinches added.
Also present during the
press conference are Lito Pavia and Joel Convocar, Bantay Dagat
representatives from Ligao City, Albay; Bernie Castellano of the
Occidental Mindoro Federation of Tuna Fishers Association Assisted by
WWF; Councilor Pietro Pasigna and Jeruel Rizon, fisheries technician
from Guihungan City, Negros Oriental, assisted by Oceana.