Agrarian Reform Program Officer Francisco Diloy (center),
Provincial Agriculturist Jaime Casas (to his right) and Daisy
Monreal (to his left) cut the ceremonial ribbon at the proposed
demo farm to signify the launching of the Farm Business School
in Caibiran, Biliran.
School launched in Biliran
By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
July 28, 2017
CAIBIRAN, Biliran –
Not even a bad weather nor a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, could stop the
more than 30 farmer-members of three agrarian reform beneficiary
organizations (ARBOs) from attending the launching of the first farm
business school (FBS) established by the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) in this province, a day after a strong tremor was felt in
Chief Agrarian Reform
Program Office Engr. Francisco Diloy explained that FBS is a
season-long training with emphasis on marketing of farmers’ products.
For this training, a demo farm will be established at the NAMACA Farm
in Barangay Maurang in this town for the application of what the
participants will learn, Diloy said.
Participants, according to
him, will be obliged to attend 25 sessions that may last for six
months. It’s just like attending a regular school. But in this case,
DAR brings the school near to the farmers, he added.
FBS is in collaboration with
the provincial and municipal agriculture offices, the local government
unit and the interested ARBOs.
Jaime Casas disclosed that among the topics he will discuss in one of
the sessions is “Good Agricultural Practices”.
Though farmers here are
already producers of various crops, DAR still invited the East-West
Seed Philippines to provide input on vegetable production to enhance
farming methods in the area.
Thelma Verutiao and Norma
Verunque, both members of the Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng Caibiran (NAMACA)
Multi-Purpose Cooperative just brought with them their pre-school
daughters to the said occasion as they were interested to learn how
they could increase their income.
Verutiao disclosed that they
are already producing okra and onions in their yard, but stressed that
for their own consumption only. She added that she is interested to
learn how they could earn from their garden for additional household
Other participants are
members of the Bunga Agrarian Reform Cooperative and the Kapatagan
Agrarian Reform Cooperative, based in adjacent towns, Cabucgayan and
Lecturers from the DAR,
provincial and municipal agriculture offices, East-West Seed
Philippines and the farmer-participants agreed to meet every Friday
for the sessions.
Municipal Agrarian Reform
Program Officer (MARPO) Noel Salloman said they are expecting more
participants when they start the first session, as according to those
present, some failed to attend due to the strong quake experienced
throughout the region.
Lumad students and
teachers file complaint on attacks vs. schools
July 28, 2017
QUEZON CITY – On July
28, Lumad students and their volunteer teachers from Mindanao filed
their complaints on attacks against schools at the GRP-NDFP Joint
Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). They also
raised concerns following Pres. Rodrigo Duterte's remarks after his
State of the Nation Address that he would bomb Lumad schools based on
reports that the school are allegedly operating "illegally".
The Joint Monitoring
Committee is comprised of the joint secretariats of the Government of
the Republic Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of
the Philippines (NDFP) who are tasked to receive, notify and probe
reports of human rights and IHL violations.
Rius Valle, spokesperson of
Save Our Schools Mindanao, a network assisting the Lumad students and
teachers in filing complaints, said “it is lamentable that the Duterte
administration continues to encourage such brazen violation of the
Lumad children’s right to education, instead of supporting the
indigenous people’s initiatives to provide free and progressive
education to their communities.”
One of the complaints filed
at the JMC is the indiscriminate firing of the paramilitary Alamara on
teachers and students of the Salugpongan 'Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community
Learning Center in Talaingod, Davao del Norte. This took place on June
20 when Alamara member Rodel “Ang-angoy” Butanlog fired
indiscriminately at the Salugpongan school in Sitio Nasilaban, Brgy.
Palma Gil. Butanlog was angry that teachers and students reported his
threat to burn all Salugpongan schools. One student was slightly
grazed by a bullet, when Butanlog fired at the school thrice, while 60
students and three teachers were left traumatized.
On July 25, four Alamara
members repeated the same threats of burning Salugpongan schools this
time in schools in Sitio Dulyan, Brgy. Palma Gil, still in Talaingod.
The Alamara members were demanding the whereabouts of Parents-Teachers
and Community Association (PTCA) Benacio Dalin, Benjo Bay-go and Nonoy
Dawsay and one student Lando Lalin. The Alamara said they intend to
kill at least of these persons. This forced teachers to suspend the
Valle called on the GRP
Negotiating Panel and Pres. Duterte to stop the attacks against
schools and respect the right to education of the Lumad children. “We
call on them to pursue the formal peace talks with the NDFP to address
the growing number of CARHRIHL violations and the substantial agenda
on social and economic reforms, which should consider the indigenous
people’s right to free education and to self-determination.
Human rights group Karapatan
also assisted in the filing of said complaints. Karapatan Deputy
Secretary General Jigs Clamor said that “militarization in schools is
being justified by the Department of Education memorandum 221 series
of 2013 which allows military occupation and operations in schools.”
"This is already bad enough.
We are more worried that with martial law in Mindanao, State security
forces will be emboldened to commit further human rights violations
and war crimes," Clamor said.
Full launch of PNTR
set on August 1
July 28, 2017
MAKATI CITY – The
Philippine National Trade Repository (PNTR) which is a web-based
portal that provides a single source of comprehensive, accurate and
updated trade information will finally be launched on August 1, 2017.
Its establishment is an important component of the government’s trade
facilitation strategy. A more transparent trade environment will allow
business easier access to information and facilitate their compliance
with prescribed regulations. The ultimate effect will be to reduce the
amount of time and costs in trade transactions.
The launching will be
participated in by the Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs),
representatives from the private sector and selected importers
accredited by the Department of Agriculture.
Expected to grace the event
are the EXECOM Members of the Department of Trade and Industry, headed
by the Undersecretary of the Industry Development and Trade Policy
Group, Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo who will provide the keynote speech on
behalf of DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
Dr. Cielito F. Habito, Chief
of Party of the USAID- Trade Project is among the guest speakers,
together with Mr. Walter Van Hattum, Head of Economic and Trade
Section, EU Delegation to the Philippines.
One of the highlights of the
event is the MOA signing between the Tariff Commission and the
Department of Trade and Industry- Bureau of Import Services. The
PNTR’s seamless commodity search function became possible because of
the wholehearted cooperation of Chairperson Marilou P. Mendoza of the
Tariff Commission. The first three elements of the PNTR, the Tariff
Nomenclature, the MFN tariffs and the Rules of Origin are linked to
the Enhanced Philippine Tariff Finder (EPTF) of the Tariff Commission.
The formal launching of the
PNTR portal will be presented by Mr. Roberto Galang of the
International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private sector
arm. Through support from the Government of Canada, the project team
led by Mr. Terence Chapman provided significant enhancements to the
portal, in particular on the element of the Non-Tariff Measures and
commodity search function.
Atty. Luis M. Catibayan, the
PNTR Secretariat Head enjoins everyone to visit the PNTR portal at
www.pntr.gov.ph. The PNTR is expected to benefit our stakeholders
primarily Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as the
regulations and procedures administered and enforced by various
government agencies are made readily accessible thru the internet.
Atty. Catibayan further
stressed that the PNTR makes the regulations transparent and
contributes to the ease of doing business. The PNTR’s link to the
ASEAN Trade Repository will allow MSMEs who are into exports to have
accurate and updated information, including regulatory requirements
for the movement of goods to and among ASEAN member states, thereby
facilitating greater access to the ASEAN market.
For inquiries about the PNTR
portal, please send email at email@example.com or visit:
FMR provides access
to nearby markets
By Ma. NENITA Y. GOMEZ
July 27, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY – The
concreting of the Farm to Market Road (FMR) of Brgy. Gajo to Brgy.
Cinco helps villages to get their produce to the market faster and
The 4.00 kilometers stretch
of concrete pavement with an appropriation of P50 million starts in
Brgy. Gajo, Sta. Margarita, Samar located southwest from the poblacion.
The road project passes two barangays in between Brgys. Gajo and Cinco.
In these communities where
the primary source of livelihood is farming, the concrete road is a
welcome respite from the inconvenience of traveling to the poblacion
and back. Not so long ago, farmers had to travel to and from the
nearest town by foot or “habalhabal” (a single motorcycle transporting
people and goods.) They spend P50 to P100 per sack of goods they
needed to transport.
“We had to walk or travel
for three and a half hours along slippery and muddy dirt road”
explains Benny Moñal, a farmer from Brgy. Cinco. The poor road access
had been a problem of the residents for a long time. Now that the FMR
is completed, he is proud to showcase the new road in their barangay.
The project is funded by the
Department of Agriculture and implemented by DPWH Samar First District
Engineering Office under the government convergence program.
Farmers have better
opportunities ahead of them now. The hauling cost of agricultural
products and other goods has been reduced by thirty percent (30%).
Families in these barangay also have more access to health centers and
DPWH Samar I
allocates P50M road project for farmer’s benefit
By BON JOSEPH N. ASTILLA
July 27, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY – Samar
First District Engineering programmed P50 million under GAA CY 2017
for the realization of road construction from Brgy. Curry to Brgy.
Avelino which promises a livelier economic activity to localities that
produce abaca, various root crops and coconut products.
Located in the hinterlands
of the Municipality of Sta. Margarita, Samar, the project covers
concreting of 2.2 kilometers of road which also includes installation
of drainage and slope protection and grouted riprap. From a three (3)
hours travel time from Brgy. Curry to Brgy. Avelino, it is anticipated
to be significantly reduced to less than an hour. This will surely
benefit almost a hundred of families traversing the route and boost
the farm-to-market productivity.
It is under contract with
Victoria Development and Supply Corporation and as of June 25, 2017 it
has already reach an accomplishment of 35%. The dirt road which used
to be hiked by the farmers and residents going to and fro the said
barangays will soon be fully concreted and is expected to offer
easier, faster and more convenient travel and transport of
of Road and Drainage in Brgy. Lambao, Sta. Margarita, Samar.
SFDEO hastens road
and drainage project in 7 barangays
By Ma. NENITA Y. GOMEZ
July 27, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY – DPWH
Samar First District Engineering Office, Calbayog fast tracks its
construction/rehabilitation of roads and drainage projects in seven
barangays within the Municipality of Sta. Margarita amounting to P150
million. These projects are funded under GAA 2016.
Constructed ahead of the
rainy season, the projects located in Brgys. Lambao, Palale, Cagsumje,
Monbon, Balud, Cautod and Napuro are measures undertaken to remove
water from the road and its surroundings and control the rise of water
table whenever heavy rainfall occurs.
Scope of works includes PCC
pavement and one (1) single barrel RCBC with apron and wingwall,
drainage, grouted riprap and one flood control structure.
According to the Project
Engineers, the focus is on the low-lying areas in Sta. Margarita that
have been experiencing damages due to flooding. This has been the
usual scenario during continuous downpour since rainwater easily
accumulates in these low-lying sections in the barangays.
The 6.08 kilometers stretch
of road with drainage structures will solve flooding as more than
thousands of residents affected by the sudden rise of water cannot
contain their gratitude especially now that rainy season has set in.
A certain Jun Caberte in
Brgy. Palale, intimated that the widened drainage structure can hold
volume of garbage to declog the water channel. He expressed concern
for the other barangays experiencing flooding and even recommended to
the DPWH to construct the same.
As of this writing out of
seven (7) road and drainage projects, four (4) projects are completed
while three (3) projects are ongoing with a revised expiry date of
August 16, 2017.
District Engineer Alvin A.
Ignacio intends to fast track these projects as soon as possible to
minimize the impact of heavy rainfall experienced by the locality
every now and then.
L-R: Brittany Odes, Cora Silva-Odes, PhilConGen Deputy Consul
Romulo V.M. Israel Jr., Rose San Diego, Vietnamese Naval & Army
veterans, Stacy Baca WLS-7 News Anchor/Reporter (back),
Kieugiang Do, Elan Dinh, Nguyet Ly Bich, Tam Nguyen.
helps honor Korean War veterans
By ROSE SAN DIEGO
July 27, 2017
Chicago, IL. – On
Saturday, July 22, 2017, an event to honor Korean War veterans,
acknowledging the 64th year since the signing of the Armistice
agreement of July 27, 1953 was about to convene. Of approximately
twenty-one countries came to the direct support of the Republic of
Korea, only sixteen countries contributed combat troops.
The Republic of Korea
Consulate Chicago, Consul General Jong-Kook Lee was presented a
ceremonial gift of the Republic of Korea flag on behalf of the entire
Filipino Community, this small token represented our ongoing support
and unification not just in Chicago, but worldwide.
Presenting was Deputy Consul
Romulo V.M. Israel, Jr of the Philippine Consulate General Chicago and
members of the Chicago Nightingales organization. The Republic of
Korea flag was then hoisted up the flagstaff and flown to honor all
foreign countries who had answered the call of the United Nations in
1950, during the three year conflict.
Keynote speaker was ROK
ConGen Lee, who expressed his countries appreciation to all who had
come to the aid of the ROK during the conflict that began June 25,
Deputy Consul Israel
elaborated on some important facts during that era included the late
Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr as being a very young teenage
correspondent, reporting news on the Korean conflict to include
covering our Philippine troops on the battlefield.
Also mentioned was of
another young Filipino, Fidel Ramos, a recent graduate of the US
Army’s West Point Academy, he was commissioned a rank of junior grade
Lieutenant. After serving in the Korean War and retiring with the rank
of General, then later elected President of the Philippines.
The Chicago Nightingales
lead in the singing of the National Anthem and closed the event
program with the singing of “God Bless America.” As members of the
Filipino community and nurses’ organization, we felt privileged and
honored to share our proud culture to the friendly smiles and many
handshakes by the veterans, and by both the Korean and Vietnamese
Today, July 27, we continue
our long standing friendship with the Republic of Korea on this 64th
Commemoration of the Armistice signing.
Cuy to LGUs: Enact
ordinances declaring danger areas as "no build zones"
July 26, 2017
QUEZON CITY – To
ensure that danger areas previously cleared of illegal occupants will
not be retaken by informal settlers, Interior and Local Government
Secretary Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy is urging local government
units (LGUs) to enact ordinances declaring said areas as "no build
No build zones refer to
easement areas defined under existing laws and policies that are not
recommended for human habitation by virtue of the danger it poses to
human life and/or property.
Cuy made the call as he
noted there had been inaction or complacency among certain LGUs
despite numerous guidelines issued by the Department on matters of
informal settler families and the LGUs role.
“Unless LGUs declare no
build zones, ISFs will always be a huge concern and this will be an
unending cycle of demolition, clearing, and relocation,” he says.
In the DILG’s recently
issued directive, Cuy called on cities and municipalities to ensure
that cleared territories remain uninhabited and unoccupied by enacting
ordinances barring any construction of residential establishments in
All barangays were also
directed to adopt the city or municipal ordinances regarding danger
areas or enact their own barangay ordinance considering that most
informal residences live in the barangays.
“Allowing or tolerating
informal settlers to build along ‘no build zones’ is a violation of
the people’s right to a balanced and healthful ecology,” he stresses.
According to Cuy, “to allow
informal settlements along railroad tracks, sidewalks or roads, or in
garbage dumps, landfills, public cemeteries, or in parks and
playgrounds is an utter disregard to public safety and an affront to
To further protect and
monitor these areas, he says, cities and municipalities should work
with their component barangays in protecting and regularly monitoring
said areas by putting up outposts, fences, signage, and/or CCTV
Section 30 of the Urban
Development and Housing Act (UDHA) specifically states that LGUs must
prevent the construction of any kind of illegal dwelling units or
structures within their respective areas of jurisdiction or face
administrative and penal sanctions.
In the case of new ISFs
occupying danger areas, the barangay shall issue a notice to be signed
by the punong barangay enjoining them to vacate the property within 24
After the lapse of the
period to vacate, the barangay, with the assistance of the police,
shall dismantle the structure whether or not the ISF has voluntarily
vacated the area.
The Department encourages
the concerned city or municipality to use its power to prosecute
professional squatters or members of squatting syndicates, and any
individual or group who will occupy or cause any other person to
occupy cleared areas.
section closed to traffic due to landslide
By MARIANETTE Y. GOMEZ
July 26, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
Continuous heavy rains over the weekend weaken the soil surface on the
mountainous sides along national road in the Calbayog-Allen Road
Section, causing landslide including a rockslide as well. The road
stretch from k0691+200-k0691+320 and k0691+130-k0691+200 all in Brgy.
Caglanipao approximately 138 meters long was covered with almost
15,000 cubic meters of soil and rocks rendering the road unpassable.
The landslide happened on
the evening of July 23, 2017, Sunday covering the road in Brgy.
Caglanipao with a passing truck pushed to the other side of the
highway as mounds of dirt, rocks and mud came rushing through.
Ongoing clearing operations
are already undertaken in the vicinity since the very next day the
disaster occurred. Meanwhile, DPWH Samar I installed barricades,
warning signs and traffic advisory to warn the public of the condition
of the road. Assisting DPWH Samar I in the area are DPWH Northern
Samar I, bringing dump truck and backhoe, and contractors who lent
their equipments like Aremar, ECI, Acme and B. Vicencio Constructions.
The hardwork of the group
paid off when at around 9:00 in the evening of July 25, 2017, Tuesday,
vehicles were already allowed to pass through. But even so, the work
is not done yet as the other lane of the road is still covered with
debris of dirt and the mountainous side is still unstable. To
compromise with the traveler’s plea but not lessen the progress of
clearing out the highway, Engr. Romy M. Gumban, Chief of Equipment
Management Division of Region VIII, suggested that vehicles would be
allowed to pass through for an hour every 2 hours. At least this way,
the community’s day to day life will not be hampered that much.
It is good to note moreover
that fieldworkers vow to restore traffic fully on the two lanes this
week since good weather conditions prevails in the locality. However,
District Engineer Alvin A. Ignacio warns the public of the danger of
falling rocks and soil anytime. Motorists should be cautious as they
pass along the landslide/ rockslide prone areas.