Civil society urges
Duterte to walk the talk in signing Paris Agreement
CSOs to PH government: take
leadership in decarbonizing ASEAN
March 27, 2017
QUEZON CITY – After
members of the Senate unanimously voted to pass the Paris Agreement
last March 14, civil society groups challenged the Duterte
administration to deliver on its commitments to reducing the country’s
emissions and lead other countries in combating climate change and
This was expressed in a
press conference organized by groups at the forefront of the campaign
for climate justice and energy transformation, including Sanlakas, the
Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED), the Philippine
Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Greenpeace, and the Green Thumb
Coalition (GTC) this March 27, 2017 in Quezon City.
Paris commitment must be
reflected in national energy policy
“While having its own share
of flaws, the Paris Agreement obligates party governments to commit to
a 1.5 degrees Celsius global temperature by shifting from dirty fossil
fuel energy to renewable energy alternatives,” said Atty. Aaron
Pedrosa, Secretary-General of Sanlakas.
“However, the Department of
Energy's (DOE) Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) has yet to reflect this
commitment, and its troubling pronouncements on continuing to rely on
coal for the next decades, increasing indigenous coal extraction by
100%, and turning to nuclear energy only raises additional concerns,
rather than being consistent with the Paris Agreement,” he added.
“Already, the Filipino
people are threatened with death by coal from two fronts,” Pedrosa
noted. “Not only is the Philippines the second most vulnerable country
to disasters brought about by the climate crisis, of which coal use is
the leading cause, the Filipino people also suffer directly from each
stage of the coal life cycle, threatening their health, natural
resources and livelihood.”
“We urge the DOE and the
Climate Change Commission to push through with a national energy
review, auditing the environmental, economic and social cost of
ongoing coal operations,” Pedrosa stressed. He also encouraged the
DENR to tighten its grip on enforcing environmental laws and revising
its standards to align with current global standards.
Groups to PH gov’t: “Lead
ASEAN in decarbonisation by example.”
The press conference also
saw the public launching of “Boom and Bust 2017: Tracking the Global
Coal Plant Pipeline,” an international assessment report of the coal
situation across the globe.
“Overall, the number of
coal-fired power plants under development worldwide saw a dramatic
drop in 2016,” Gerry Arances of the Center for Energy, Ecology and
Development (CEED) noted. “This is mainly due to shifting policies in
Asia, including China’s decision to stop new coal plant projects and
the decreased financing by coal plant backers in India. A
record-breaking 64 gigawatts of coal plant retirements, equal to 120
coal-fired power plants, were also seen in the past two years, mainly
in the European Union and the U.S.,” he added.
However, Arances warns, this
shift is not seen to be the case in Southeast Asia. “The Philippines,
Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are among the world’s ten biggest
contributors to future coal expansion, accounting for 75% of coal
power capacity under pre-construction development outside China and
India,” he said. “Malaysia and Myanmar are also among coal’s biggest
hotspots, contributing 10 GW of coal power in the pipeline,” said
“With the ASEAN Summit
coming up this April, the Philippines is currently in an urgent
position in leading the ASEAN countries to increase their ambition and
commitment in reducing carbon emissions in the region,” Arances said.
“We urge President Duterte to step up and follow through. The passing
of the Paris Agreement is just the beginning, it is now his move.”
Actions against dirty energy
The previous week has
yielded global actions calling for the abandonment of fossil fuels, as
part of the international Break Free Movement. In relation to this
global call from coal and other fossil fuels, Sanlakas, PMCJ,
Greenpeace and other active national and local groups have organized a
number of mobilizations for the past week, which are set to continue
This includes a mass action
on March 29 in front of the DENR by residents of Limay, Bataan
regarding the continued operation of the Petron and San Miguel
Corporation power plants in the area. “Producing more than 250 tons of
waste ash daily, the power plants have exposed the people of Limay to
numerous cases of skin, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,” he
discussed. “Both corporations have refused to take responsibility for
the effects of its reckless and unlawful coal ash-dumping and have
even resorted to harassing the affected community and to spreading
lies to the general public.”
“If the government only
looks at the situation of coal-affected communities, it is clear that
continuing on this dirty energy path is not realistic,” Pedrosa said.
“We want the same ferocity in implementing regulations exacted by the
government in mining operations to be seen in the case of dirty
energy,” he added.
Following this, a day-long
activity condemning the surge of dirty energy projects and showcasing
the power of renewable energy will be led by these civil society
groups on March 31st.
Industry Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, together with DTI
Region 8 Director Cynthia Nierras forefronted the unveiling of
the 8th CIAP Window in Tacloban City on Monday, March 20 2017.
From L-R: Philippine Contractors Association Ormoc Chapter
Contractors; DTI Region VIII Director Cynthia Nierras; CIAP
Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo; PCA Ormoc President Jonathan
Bautista; PCA Leyte Chapter Victorio Esperas; PCA Leyte Chapter
CIAP drives towards
efficiency, launches one stop window in Tacloban
March 27, 2017
TACLOBAN CITY – With the
target to increase competency, the Construction Industry Authority of
the Philippines (CIAP) opened a one-stop window facility in Tacloban
City last March 20, 2017 to cater to licensing, arbitration and
training needs of aspiring local contractors in the regions.
Undersecretary for CIAP
Atty. Ruth B. Castelo, together with DTI Region VIII Director Cynthia
Nierras fore fronted the opening of the event to enhance the access
and delivery of CIAP services in the provinces.
Services that can be availed
at the newly opened facility include construction licensing and
registration issued by Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB);
handling of contract claims, arbitration and mediation for disputes
arising from contract concerns administered by Construction Industry
Arbitration Commission (CIAC); and signing up for various training
programs under the Construction Manpower Development Foundation (CMDF).
PCA Leyte Chapter President
Engr. Victorio Esperas, Jr. and PCA Ormoc Chapter President Jonathan
Bautista graced the event by welcoming such initiative and declaring
their support for the project. Also present in the event are TESDA
Regional Director Cleta Omega, and representatives from Department of
Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA),
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Housing Authority (NHA),
Department of the Interior and Local Government Region VIII, National
Economic and Development Authority, Social Security System, PhilHealth,
Department of Public Works and Highways and Home Development Mutual
“By bringing our services to
the regions, we’re enabling our contractors to save incidental
expenses incurred in fare and accommodation. Filing will be easier and
ultimately, we can reduce red tape and eradicate fixers.” said
Undersecretary Castelo in her keynote speech.
Usec Castelo also added that
for the first time in the history of the industry, President Duterte’s
administration acknowledges the fact that the construction industry is
a vital factor in development along with other industry sectors’
“CIAP, the DTI, Regional
Offices and stakeholders are working together to provide our valued
Filipino contractors with first-rate services in the comforts of their
regions.” Usec Castelo ended on a high note.
There are also service
windows currently assisting in Regions I- La Union, III-Pampanga, V-Legaspi,
VII-Cebu, X-Cagayan de Oro, VII- Davao and Cordillera Administrative
CIAP is an attached agency
of the Department of Trade and Industry that promotes, accelerates and
regulates the growth of construction industry in the country.
It has five implementing
boards namely; the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB),
the Philippine Overseas Construction Board (POCB), the Philippine
Domestic Construction Board (PDCB), the Construction Industry
Arbitration Commission (CIAC), and the Construction Manpower
Development Foundation (CMDF).
8ID celebrates the
120th Philippine Army Anniversary
By DPAO, 8ID PA
March 23, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army
celebrates the 120th Philippine Army Founding Anniversary at Openiano
Field on March 22, 2017.
The celebration started with
a flag raising ceremony and followed by re-affirmation of oath of
allegiance and reading of anniversary message by the Commanding
General, Philippine Army which was delivered by Brig. Gen. Cesar M
Idio, Assistant Division Commander of 8ID.
Brig. Gen. Idio quoted,
“Kabayanihan, kagitingan, at kahusayan sa paglilingkod – mga
katangiang nagsilbing mga haligi ng kadakilaan ng Hukbong Katihan sa
nagdaang labindalawang dekada. Ang mga katangiang ito ang siya ring
pinagkukunan natin ng lakas upang higit pang mapagbuti ang ating
paglilingkod para sa bayan. Patuloy din nating gawing inspirasyon ang
ating mga ninuno at mga kasamahang nag-alay ng kanilang buhay sa
pagtupad ng tungkulin.
“Kung kaya’t sa ating
pagsasariwa ng ating pangako ng katapatan sa ating bandila, sama-sama
nating pagtibaying muli ang paninindigang paglilingkuran ang
sambayanan, ipagtanggol ang bansa, at dalhin ang ating bayan tungo sa
isang mapayapa at masaganang kinabukasan.”
50 million pesos
tourism funded project completed
By LEVIRESA GETIGAN-BARNIZO
March 20, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) - Samar First District
Engineering Office (SFDEO) completed the Access Road Project leading
to Bangon Falls in Brgy. Tinaplacan, Tinambacan District, Calbayog
The project is appropriated
P50 Million under the DPWH FY 2016 Infrastructure Fund thru the DPWH –
DOT Convergence Program.
Scope of works of the
project involves concreting of 1,200 linear meters road with 768.20
linear meters Reinforced Concrete Lined Canal that is intended to
prevent clogging and water ponding in the area which may eventually
cause early deterioration of the structure.
The concreted road reaches
at the farthest area where base of Bangon Falls is a few steps away.
Following its completion, the influx of guests visiting the three
waterfalls namely Larik Falls, Bangon Falls and Tarangban Falls
increased from 2,075 in 2015 to 14,413 in 2016 based on the data
provided by the Calbayog City Tourism and Information Office.
SFDEO is set to implement
the Construction/Improvement of Access Road Leading to Bangon Falls
(Slope Protection) under the DPWH FY 2017 Infrastructure Program
amounting to P100 Million before the end of March 2017.
above road is an access road leading to Naval Port in Naval,
Biliran. It is proposed for rehabilitation with an appropriation
of P54.939 Million. The proposed project on above road is
Rehabilitation of Access Road leading to Naval Port. The project
covers rehabilitation of 2.78 Lane Km. roadway and construction
of drainage on some section.
Status of FY 2017
Biliran infra projects
By CHELSEA C. QUIJANO
March 17, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran – The
Department of Public Works and Highways - Biliran District Engineering
Office (DEO) has been allocated almost P1B for the FY 2017
Infrastructure Program with a total final listing of 57 projects based
on the General Appropriation Act (GAA).
Out of the allocated amount,
P940.730M is to be implemented by Biliran DEO, while P65M is to be
implemented by the Regional Office, the widening of the Anas Bridge
along Biliran Circumferential Road.
Biliran DEO’s FY 2017 Infra
Program consists of twenty (20) projects under the National Road
Network Services; five (5) under the Flood Management Services, one
(1) project under the Maintenance and Construction Services of other
Infrastructure; and thirty-one (31) projects under the Local
Infrastructure Program with a total of 57 projects based on GAA.
Major projects for 2017
includes the P128.667M Concrete/Reconstruction of Maripipi
Circumferential Road, P61M Slope protection project along Naval-Caibiran
Cross Country Road, and P54.939M Rehabilitation including drainage and
Right-Of-Way (ROW) Acquisition of Access Road Leading to Naval Port,
Another major project
prioritized for FY 2017 is the road widening including drainage of
Biliran Circumferential Road of road sections in Brgy. Tucdao, Kawayan,
Brgy. Virginia, Culaba, Brgy. Bool, Culaba, Sto. Riverside to Sto.
Sagrada, Naval, Brgy. Burabod, Biliran and Brgy. Balaquid Cabucgayan,
Biliran costing P172.192M with total length of 5.940km and another
P125.588M road widening project of road sections in Brgy. Lumbia,
Biliran, Brgy. Burabod, Kawayan, Brgy. Mapuyo, Kawayan, Brgy.Tucdao,
Kawayan, and Brgy. Kaulangohan,Caibiran, Biliran with a total length
As of February 28, 2017, the
district had already advertised and bid-out 49 projects while eight
(8) projects are scheduled to be bid out on a later date.
Construction of bid-out
projects will start on early March 2017.
Carmudi PH holds
first financial seminar as part of CSR Roadshow
March 14, 2017
TAGUIG CITY – To
uplift and educate financial awareness in the country, online car
sales platform Carmudi conducted a financial literacy seminar in the
Queen City of the South, Cebu. Held last March 7 at the Sky Hall of SM
Seaside, the event – which is part of the Carmudi Philippines' CSR
Road Show – aims to help and empower graduating students on how to
financially secure their future.
In partnership with University of Cebu, University of Cebu-Maritime
Education and Training Center, and SMX Sky Hall, the financial
literacy seminar for students is part of Carmudi Philippines’ way of
helping every Filipino in making the most out of their hard-earned
money. The CSR road show, meanwhile, is a series of events that will
be held in key areas around the country and tackle various issues that
concern the public.
For the Cebu leg, the main speaker for the day-long program was wealth
and life coach Chinkee Tan.
During the event, Tan discussed the importance of having a healthy
financial mindset and how students can utilize their hard-earned money
through savings and increasing its cashflow. According to Tan, good
investments and the improvement of one’s financial standing starts
when they make the right decisions with their finances.
Meanwhile, Abhi Mohan, managing director of Carmudi Philippines,
expressed optimism that the 1,500 students that attended the event
learned to be more financially literate.
Mohan said that they impart their knowledge to future leaders and
developers of the country so that they could maximize the potential of
their hard-earned money.
“As part of our role as a responsible corporate citizen, this is our
way of helping improve the financial literacy of the future young
overseas Filipino population. Seafarers are particularly vulnerable
since, unlike the gradual rise in income (in relative terms) of
traditional jobs in the Philippines, they experience a faster rise in
their financial net worth. Financial literacy becomes critical to
level out the lack of life experience in order to ensure they are able
to retain most of what they have earned,” he said.
Further, Mohan said that the financial literacy program for students
is just the start of their grand idea in making every Filipino
He cited that in the Philippines, owning a motor vehicle is a sign of
financial stability. “We are in the Philippines for the long haul and
when they are stable enough financially, they could tap us when they
are ready to purchase their preferred vehicle that is within their
budget,” explained Mohan.
Late last year, the company made its debut CSR program in Manila with
the Road Safety Caravan – with hundreds of students in attendance –
that was successfully made in partnership with Turbo Zone. Students
from STI-BGC came to listen and participate in the healthy discussions
about road safety education. The seminar was led by award-winning
journalist Jiggy Manicad and Oscar Oida.
Cabello (3rd from right), a 78-year old farmer from Jaro, Leyte,
is being congratulated by Provincial Agrarian Reform Program
Officer Renato Badilla (2nd from right) after receiving his
certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) from DAR Regional
Director Atty. Sheila Enciso (3rd from left). Others in photo
from left are: CARITAS country coordinator Jess Agustin,
Assistant Regional Director Ma. Fe Malinao and Leyte Registry of
Deeds Head Atty. Emeterio Villanoza.
(Jose Alsmith L. Soria)
farmer among DAR’s beneficiaries
By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
March 10, 2017
SAN MIGUEL, Leyte – A
78-year old widower was among the 658 farmers from three Leyte towns
who received their long awaited certificates of landownership award (CLOAs)
from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last week at this town’s
Angel Cabello from Jaro
could only say he was so happy after receiving the land title to the
2.1-hectare coconut land he is tilling.
DAR Regional Director Sheila
Enciso led the distribution of the 344 CLOAs covering a combined area
of 689.6 hectares of farmlands situated in 21 barangays within this
town and in the municipalities of Jaro and Barugo.
But before the CLOAs were
handed to the recipients, Agrarian Reform Program Officer Wendell
Ariza gave a lecture first to the former their rights as well as their
obligations as agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).
Enciso, assisted by
Assistant Regional Director Ma. Fe Malinao, Leyte Provincial Agrarian
Reform Program Officer Renato Badilla, Head of the Leyte Registry of
Deeds (ROD) Atty. Emeterio Villanoza, RIGHTS National Coordinator
Danny Caranza, CARITAS Country Coordinator Jess Agustin and Vice Mayor
Atilano Oballo, explained why it took long for DAR to distribute the
According to her, after the
release of the titles at the ROD there is a need for DAR to validate
the CLOAs to check whether the information in the said documents are
She likewise advised the
ARBs not to sell their CLOAs nor convert their farmlands into another
uses to ensure food security.
Further, Enciso disclosed
that DAR has P288-million additional budget for support services. Her
office, she added, received instructions from Undersecretary for
Support Services Rosalina Bistoyong to submit project proposals for
funding until Friday. In relation to this she directed the Program
Beneficiaries Division to discuss with the ARBs in identifying
projects that would help increase the farmers’ production and income,
and submit project proposals before Friday.
acknowledged the partnership that has been established between DAR and
the RIGHTS, the non-government organization assisting these farmers,
which resulted to the release of these CLOAs that were pending at the
ROD since 1994.
PH exports surge
22.5% in January 2017
March 10, 2017
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry sees exports recovering in 2017 as
numbers surged in January 2017 with an increase of 22.5 percent with
total sales of $5.130 billion from $4.187 billion recorded value in
the same period last year according to the Philippine Statistics
Authority (PSA) report.
“We are positive that we
will continue to drive growth and recovery for the export sector as we
increase our efforts in promoting Philippine industries throughout the
year in various key markets. We take the consistent growth since the
last quarter of 2016 as a sign for positive outlook in the coming
months,” said DTI Industry Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K.
Eight out of the top ten
Philippine exports reflected growth with articles of apparel and
clothing accessories with 270.1% increase as the highest gainer. Other
gainers include: coconut oil includes oil and refined (229.6%),
chemicals (104.7%), metal components (66.3%), electronic equipment and
parts (64.8%), other manufactures (58.8%), machinery and transport
equipment (27.9%), and electronic products (10.4%).
Electronic products remain
to be the top Philippine export comprising almost 46 percent of the
total Philippine exports with total receipts of $2.365 billion for
January. On the other hand, non-electronic goods which accounts for 54
percent of exports likewise increased by a hefty 35.19% for that same
In terms of commodity
groups, manufactured goods went up by 23.1 percent with total export
sales of $4.505 billion, accounting for 87.8 percent of the total
export receipts while exports from Total Agro-Based Products, with a
7.5 percent share to total exports in January 2017, amounted to
$386.46 million. It increased by 33.7 percent compared to $289.12
million in January 2016.
Japan is still the top
Philippine export destination with 17.3 percent share to total exports
while United States ranks second with 16.5 percent share.
By economic bloc, exports to
European Union member countries posted the highest growth with 82.5
percent increase from $491.34 million recorded in January 2016 to
$896.69 million for the same period in 2017.
“The increase in our
shipments to European Union member countries could be attributed to
the impact of EU GSP+ which continues to gain traction for our
exports. We wish to further build on this by integrating new strategic
measures in promoting the Philippines and our products and services,”
explained Undersecretary Terrado.
On the other hand, countries
in East Asia received most of Philippine exports accounting for 45.1
percent share to total exports valued at $2.315 billion. It increased
by 11.1 percent from $2.085 billion of January 2016.
Exports to ASEAN member
countries comprised 14.7 percent of the total exports in January 2017
and was valued at $751.54 million also posted growth which went up by