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Stronger PH-Russia relations bank on complementarity

Samar First DEO coordination meeting with PAMANA held

PH registers strong first semester performance – Lopez

Sun Life, Jolibee, Smart, Shell, SM Supermarket and Vita Milk Scoop 1st Place in ICERTIAS Best Buy Award Survey in the Philippines

Farm Business School launched in Biliran

Davao entrepreneur finds his dream car online

ADE Bollido attends district engineer candidates training course

Jessica Minh Anh added Hoover Dam into the world’s most iconic runway venues







DTI strengthens Luzon coffee industry

Luzon Island Coffee Cluster Assembly

September 22, 2017

MAKATI CITY – Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to bridge various gaps in the supply chain to make the local coffee industry more competitive, the Department of Trade and Industry recently gathered coffee farmers, processors, manufacturers, Regional Council Chairs, national government agencies, and members of the academe from the Island of Luzon for the Luzon Island Coffee Cluster Assembly.

The assembly aimed to present the national and localized version roadmap of each region, establish an institutional mechanism of roadmap localization and implementation, and learn about coffee quality standards and market opportunities.

National Coffee Coordinator and DTI Cordillera Administrative Region Regional Director Myrna Pablo explained the current situation of the industry, especially the gap between demand and production.

“The Philippine coffee production is far from serving coffee consumption of the country. Currently, 90% of the demand is imported for about P12 billion. The demand is still increasing with expanding consumption based among younger generation and night shift workers. Likewise, coffee shops are increasing, and specialty coffee market is expanding,” Pablo said, adding that while coffee production is almost all over the country, the country’s production is very far from sufficiency.

In March, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol signed the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 to bridge the gap between the steady high demand for coffee and the slow decline in production, and to provide aid to coffee farmers.

Pablo said that the Coffee Roadmap is focused on optimizing income for Filipino farmers and the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the industry.

The activity also discussed the Philippine Coffee Market vs. World Market Behaviors, Consumer Demand Innovation, Coffee Science Researches, Coffee Development Programs of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Science and Technology, and the High Value Crops Development Program of the Department of Agriculture.

Coffee is among the priority industry clusters that DTI is targeting to develop in the next five years, given its high potential to accelerate the region’s economic growth. While the sector has so much to offer, development remains slow.

In 2016, DTI has assisted 2,695 coffee MSMEs while providing 19,232 jobs to Filipinos.

The Philippines envisions a coffee industry that is cost-competitive, aligned with global quality standards, reliable and environment-friendly, and provides sustainable benefits to farmers, processors, traders, and exporters.

Some of the proposed strategies to achieve the target are to improve quality and availability of planting material, enhance farm efficiency and investments, and improve competitiveness, market price, and coffee standards.






DPWH-Biliran DEO awarded
DPWH Regional Director Edgar B. Tabacon (wearing i.d) awards District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr. (wearing light blue checkered polo) of Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) the Recognition Certificate citing his leadership of BDEO a factor in achieving the agency’s Developmental Communication (DevComm) goals and placing his district office in the second place. The awarding of certificate is assisted by Assistant Regional Director, Armando G. Estrella (wearing green polo shirt), and Regional Public Information Officer II, Antonieta R. Lim (wearing dress) held at DPWH Regional Office, Baras, Palo, Leyte on August 11, 2017.

DPWH-Biliran DEO awarded as one of the top achieving district in region 8

September 22, 2017

NAVAL, Biliran – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)- Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) was awarded as one of the top achieving district in Region VIII under the leadership of David P. Adongay Jr. District Engineer.

In a simple ceremony conducted on August 11 at DPWH Regional Office, Baras, Palo, Leyte, Edgar B. Tabacon, Regional Director cited the district engineering offices which have topped achievement in terms of construction, maintenance, and finance thereby contributing to the attainment of the agency’s targets.

In terms of Financial Accomplishment, Biliran DEO ranked no. four of the top 10 DEOs recognized by the Regional Director to have attained or surpassed the 73% Absorptive Capacity target set by the Central Office, having 82.90% absorptive capacity as of July, 2017.

Top Five district engineers were also named for exemplary leadership that have contributed to the successful implementation of DPWH’s Development Communication Program.

First Place was awarded to District Engineer Alvin A. Ignacio of Samar First District Engineering Office; Second Place - District Engineer David P. Adongay Jr. of Biliran District Engineering Office; Third Place - District Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia of Southern Leyte District Engineering Office; Fourth Place - District Engineer Ferdinand A. Briones, and Fifth Place awarded both to District Engineers Lino Francisco C. Gonzalez and Eusebio T. Culas of Leyte 4th District Engineering Office and Leyte 5th District Engineering Office respectively.

RD Tabacon awarded DE Adongay Jr. the Recognition Certificate citing his leadership of BDEO a factor in achieving the agency’s Developmental Communication (DevComm) goals in placing his district office in the second place.

The awarding of certificate was assisted by Armando G. Estrella, Assistant Regional Director and Mrs. Antonieta R. Lim, Regional Public Information Officer II, at DPWH Regional Office, Baras, Palo, Leyte on August 11, 2017. The DPWH’s Developmental Communication Program aims to promote transparency, advocate its programs, and encourage the citizenry to participate in governance.






Biliran diversion road project
Road Concreting/ Opening of Biliran Diversion Road is on-going with base preparation and installation of forms on one lane in preparation for concrete pouring and embankment on the other lanes and riprapping. As of August 30, 2017, the project has 85% accomplishment under contract with Chu Construction.

Biliran diversion road project 85% completed as of August, this year

September 22, 2017

NAVAL, Biliran – Travelers are looking forward for the completion of the P43M Biliran Diversion Road project here in this province with expected to reduced travel time of about 20 minutes.

Over the local radio program Kapihan: Pulong-pulong ng Bayan segment hosted by Mrs. Flordelis E. Jackson, PIA Station Manager and Mrs. Lailanie Tupaz, PIA Staff on August 10, Biliran District Engineering Office (DEO) representative, Supremo Victor Sabitsana, Engineer II informed the public that the project is already 85% completed as of August 30, 2017.

“The work was continuous before but suddenly stops its activities because of the problem on permit to enter. Just recently, the problem was solved hence project implementation is resumed”, said Sabitsana.

Sabitsana also informed the listeners of the program that Biliran DEO encountered new problem in the implementation of the project due to existing electrical post of the Biliran Electric Cooperatives Inc. (BILECO).

When asked on the 100% completion date of the project, Sabitsana explained that the accomplishment is not yet foreseen because DPWH will depend on when the BILECO will removed the blocking electrical post.

“The office already requests BILECO to transfer the electrical post to fast-track the completion of the by-pass project,” explained Sabitsana.

According to Sabitsana, completion of the project will save a lot of time say more or less 20 minutes compared to the old route because the diversion road is a 4-lane structure which can accommodate big volume of passing vehicles.

The population to be served by the road ranges from 120,000 to 135,000, 7 Municipalities and 50 Barangays. It will provide the traveling public coming from Tacloban City, Ormoc City, Baybay City and from other neighboring municipalities going to the northern and eastern part of Biliran Province and vice versa a much safer and faster transport of goods.





Peace Buzz: Call for unity towards peace

Peace Buzz

September 22, 2017

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will launch a Peace Buzz that will kick-off in Baguio City on September 21 and culminates in Marawi City on October 3, 2017 in line with the celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month.

Peace Buzz is an actual bus ferrying resource speakers, cultural group, various stakeholders and OPAPP personnel to conduct People’s Conversations, Serbisyo Caravans and other peace-related activities in multiple strategic stopovers.

Catbalogan is the third stopover of the Peace Buzz which is anticipated to arrive on September 25, 2017. Secretary Jesus G. Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is also expected to arrive via chopper in 8ID Headquarters after having an aerial monitoring of OPAPP PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn or PAMANA Projects in the municipalities of Silvino Lubos, Matuguinao and San Jose de Buan.

Through collaboration of the 8ID, OPAPP, government officials and other key stakeholders, a series of activities will be conducted like Peace Building Conversations involving youth, women and indigenous people, Motorcade/Torch Parade, Solidarity Dinner, Candle-lighting and launching of Peace and Prosperity Roadmap and Peace Caravans in selected conflict-affected areas in Eastern Visayas.

Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, 8ID Commander once said in his solidarity message, “I encourage all of you as stakeholders to bridge the gap between the government and the issues set forth by the communist rebels. We shall serve as bridging leaders, ready to forge a common understanding and a collaborative response to end the roots of insurgency,” he stated.

These major event calls the participation not only the government officials and people of different provinces of Samar and Leyte but also the whole nation to stand as one who would take their part in achieving a just and lasting peace in a conducive developing country.





At the UN Review on PH rights compliance in Geneva

Karapatan calls on UN rights council for independent investigation on attacks vs rights defenders, EJKs

September 22, 2017

QUEZON CITY – At the 36th United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Switzerland, Karapatan, speaking on behalf of international human rights organizations Civicus and International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), called on the member States of the UN HRC to support the call for “a halt to all forms of attacks on human rights defenders in the Philippines, the enactment of a law for their protection, and the acceptance of a full, independent visit to the Philippines by UN Special Rapporteurs, including on the situation of HRDs.”

Since the previous session on the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines last May 2017, the Philippine government received 257 recommendations, of which 103 are supported and 154 noted by the Duterte administration.

Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, who delivered the said statement at the UN HRC, said that in the first year of the Duterte regime, at least fifty human rights defenders, many who were leaders of peasant and indigenous communities, have been killed under the cover of counter-insurgency programs. This was worsened by President Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, which has also resulted in thousands more casualties of regular Filipino citizens, Clamor said.

“Since the May review, human rights activists have seen no reprieve in the harassment and threats by State security forces. This includes the Secretary General of people’s organisation Karapatan, Cristina Palabay. Duterte’s pronouncements endanger the lives of HRDs who speak out against his repressive policies, including the drug war and martial law declarations, as well as for respect of rights, such as to a safe and healthy environment. The filing of trumped-up charges to criminalize HRDs has been normalized by the government, hampering us from doing our work and violating our freedom of association,” he further stated.

Karapatan also raised concerns on the “ominous signs of a nationwide martial law under Pres. Duterte” that, the organization said, “hover like a sword of Damocles over HRDs and the Filipino people.”

“Our history shows that such a decision will worsen the current state of human rights in the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay criticized the Duterte regime’s continuing denial of the occurrence of extrajudicial killings and other rights violations in the Philippines before the international human rights body, referring to the recent statement of Ambassador Evan Garcia before the said UN HRC session.

“The truth about the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines and the rising protest of Filipino people against Duterte’s tyrannical rule, as shown by yesterday’s protest actions in Luneta, Manila and other cities and countries, trumps all their lies, fake news and misinformation,” she concluded.






Biliran District Engineering Office (BDEO) representatives headed by Supremo Victor Sabistsana (wearing light blue polo shirt), Engineer II together with Neo Jay Cagabhion, (wearing dark blue polo shirt) Engineer II, and Ginisar M. Romero, Engineer II discuss the updates and accomplishments of 2017 BDEO projects in the district over a radio program Kapihan: Pulong-pulong nga Bayan at Radyo Natin FM hosted by Mrs. Florelis E. Jackson, (wearing green polo shirt) PIA Station Manager and Mrs. Lailanie Tupaz, PIA Staff on August 10, 2017.

DPWH-Biliran DEO delivered project accomplishment ahead of the planned target as of August, this year

September 22, 2017

NAVAL, Biliran – David P. Adongay Jr., District Engineer of Biliran District Engineering Office has sticked to his promise of fast-tracking the CY 2017 Infrastructure Projects as the district delivered 40.41% accomplishment ahead from the planned target accomplishment of only 31.33% as of August, this year.

The district engineer recently conducted various project inspections within the district for the month of August to make sure projects are implemented properly and in accordance with quality standards.

Adongay revealed that he doesn’t have a definite time schedule when conducting project inspections.

“I will be consistently monitoring the projects in an alternate schedule without the knowledge of the contractor in order to evaluate if they are doing their job,” said Adongay.

As of August 30, 2017 monitoring report, out of the 57 CY 2017 listed projects based on General Appropriation Act (GAA), Biliran DEO has completed 45 projects with 9 on-going and three Not-Yet-Started (NYS) projects.

According to Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, Chief of Planning and Design Section, one project which is the Rehabilitation of Access Road leading to Naval Port including Right-of-Way (ROW) at Naval, Biliran is now on the 3rd Revision for the Program of Work (POW), Detailed Unit Price Analysis (DUPA) and Plans.

For the Rehabilitation of Maripipi Circumferential Road, Rosete revealed that contract for the project was already forwarded to the Regional Office last August 18, 2017 for signature by the Regional Director.

Meanwhile, the Rehabilitation of National Road Slips, Soil Collapse and Landslide along Naval- Caibiran Cross Country Road is up for implementation soon. Once these projects will be approved, implementation of these projects will be monitored for fast completion.






The Chicago Nightingales
The Chicago Nightingales. (Photo by Rex Viejon, RN)

Chicago Nightingales keeps memory of Church Bells ringing after 116 years during Balangiga Remembrance

September 19, 2017

CHICAGO – The Chicago Nightingales (CN), a nurses organization commemorated a vigil when they assembled at their regular board meeting in observance of an occurrence in the Samar Region, nearly 116 years ago next week on September 28, 1901 in the town of Balangiga during the Philippine American War 1899-1902.

During the event, the names of forty-eight soldiers who lost their lives in action from the roster of the US Army 9th Infantry Regiment of Company “C” were read by four Chicago Nightingale nurses following an impromptu strike of a miniature bell each time twelve names were called. The bells chime echoing out to the group of nurses leaving goosebump sensations. A separate blank paper was folded in quarters with a lone chime representing in memoriam the twenty-eight villagers killed also that day, who either resided in the town or nearby barangays. The memorial program reading of the names for the nurses organizations was led by its CN President Phoebe Doruelo, RN.

In an asserted effort the Chicago Nightingales stands along with Philippine President Duterte in requesting the assistance of US President Donald Trump to safely secure the immediate release of the three church bells removed from the Town of Balangiga, Samar. Our mission is to help remind the sacrifices made then and to keep the bells ringing for the fallen until their return.

The healing process must begin somewhere, from someone and thus far it has taken our nations heroes of 1942, to include the Forgotten War of Korea and Vietnam to know first-hand the ugly face of war. The Philippine American War was unavoidable under its existing colonial conditions that ended tragically on both sides 116 years ago.

Chicago Nightingales is a 501 c (3) status founded in 2013. A voluntary, impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organization whose mission is to promote health and wellness in the community and provide assistance to communities stricken by human-induced disaster or calamities locally and in third world countries, principally the Philippines.





DPWH: Heal Mother Nature

DPWH Solid Waste Management Policy

September 19, 2017

CALBAYOG CITY – Samar First District Engineering Office takes part in saving Mother Nature thru its compliance to Department Order 57, Series of 2009 “DPWH Solid Waste Management Policy".

The following guidelines and procedures are hereby issued, pursuant to the provision of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RA 9003 series of 2000 which prescribes that “All Government Offices at the national and local levels, within the executive, legislative and judicial branches, and government owned and controlled corporations shall ensure information, education and actual implementation of waste management program at the workplaces and work premises, including the pursuit of the environment-friendly purchasing policies for their respective offices.”

The Department of Public Works and Highways is committed to safeguard the environment through proper waste segregation to reduce the solid waste generated in all its Offices.

Raising awareness on something that really matter means our job is more noble. Recycling helps us save the earth. It limits the amount of harm we do to our environment on daily basis. It reduces the amount of natural resources need to produce different products. It lessen impact on environment. It saves and preserves our planet.

Advisory Committee (AC) and The Technical Working Group (TWG) work hand in hand to oversee and monitor the four methods of implementation which are source reduction, reuse of materials, recycling, and purchase of recycled content materials. Every month they submit reports of their accomplishments and receipts of the sale of recyclable materials, the beneficiary of the proceeds is the DPWH Employees Union members, which will be used for environmental projects.

DPWH-SFDEO is doing a proactive participation in Saving Mother Earth and let’s continue to dare the world to save the planet.





National minorities file cases at the GRP-NDFP CARHRIHL monitoring committee; hit Duterte’s failure to push talks forward

September 18, 2017

QUEZON CITY – On the second week of the Lakbayan 2017, representatives of National Minorities are filing complaints against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The delegation trooped to the Philippine government section of the GRP-NDFP Joint Monitoring Committee on CARHRIHL.

SANDUGO criticized Pres. Duterte for the failure to stand by its commitment to implement CARHRIHL and has, instead, waged an all-out war and declared martial law, which violates the 1998 agreement.

“Pres. Duterte has driven the peace talks down the drain by insisting on a ceasefire ahead of the agreement on social and economic reforms and in total disregard of the CARHRIHL,” said Jerome Aba, co-chairperson of Sandugo.

Among the cases to be filed are violations committed in relation to the Marawi siege and the government’s implementation of all-out war/martial law:

- The killing of the Lumad youth Obillo Bay-ao who was killed by members of the paramilitary group Alamara and CAFGU on September 5, 2017. Bay-ao is a student of a Lumad school, Salugpungan Learning Center, in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

- The case of a 74 year-old Marcos Aggalao of Kalinga province who died while in detention on Sept. 12, 2017. A veteran of the anti-Chico dam struggle, Aggalao was arrested on September 2016 and suffered stroke thrice while in jail. At the time of hisarrest, Aggalao has dementia, pneumonia and hypertension.

- Extrajudicial killings (EJK), illegal arrests and detention, harassment and threat and divestment of properties among the Maranao in Marawi.

Also included are 14 cases of EJKs, 10 cases of illegal arrest and detention, harassment, threat and intimidation, and cases of violation of domicile, physical and mental torture. Also included are violations committed in the Caraga and Negros regions and those incurred by Consunji mining in the South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat area.

Duterte’s allout war/martial law and failure to push peace talks forward

“Duterte’s war against the national minorities and the poor majority of the people does not address the root causes of the armed conflict but only adds fuel to the ongoing people’s war,” said Aba.

Thousands of national minorities are suffering the brunt of the social and economic crisis sweeping the country. They are further burdened by the entry of foreign monopoly capitalist corporations, endorsed by government and a fascist military, encroaching on their territories and ancestral lands.

Pres. Duterte has dashed all hoped that a Joint Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms can be signed. The agreement could have addressed the reforms needed by the Filipino People, including the demands of the national minorities for rights and right to self-determination, and for the protection of their territories and ancestral lands against plunder.

“As the fight for their economic and political rights continues, so is the pressure by a fascist military defending landlords, companies and foreign monopoly corporations getting bigger,” Aba added.

Sandugo calls on the people to raise the call for the resumption of the peace talks even as they advance their struggle, with the rest of the Filipino people, for a just and meaningful peace in the country.



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