OIC-Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong meets the members of the
Legaspi Fishermen and Farmers Association (LEFFA) in Marabut,
DAR Secretary impressed
how ARBOs in EV rise after “Yolanda”
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
November 10, 2017
MARABUT, Samar – OIC-Secretary
Rosalina Bistoyong of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) was
impressed how the various agrarian reform beneficiary organizations
(ARBOs) in Eastern Visayas rise four years after super typhoon
Yolanda devastated this region.
Bistoyong was amazed by the income earned by the Legaspi Fishermen
and Farmers Association (LEFFA) since 2015 as reflected in the
latter’s production board that welcomed her during her recent visit
to selected ARBOs in Leyte and Samar who were recipient of DAR’s
assistance to hardest hit areas in Region-8.
LEFFA’s income on vermicast production alone reached more than P200K
during the said period.
This coastal municipality in Samar was among the hardest hit areas.
Thus LEFFA was chosen to be among the 100 recipients of shredder
machines, African Night Crawlers (ANCs) and trainings given by DAR
as assistance extended to agrarian reform beneficiaries to start up
a livelihood and recover from that horrible experience.
Having been left with nothing, LEFFA took advantage of all the
assistance pouring in from various government agencies and
non-government organizations (NGOs) to recover. The shredding
machine, the 30 kilos of ANCs and the training on how to produce
ANCs, vermicasts and vermi-tea helped them rise from devastation,
according to LEFFA chairman Benderito Dacuno.
From the initial five vermi-beds in 2015, LEFFA has now 18 vermi-beds.
At P10 per kilo of vermicast, Dacuno stressed that this organic
fertilizer is very in demand among farmers, gardeners and even NGOs.
They likewise earned from organic vegetable production and rental of
common service facilities such as tractors and threshers they
received from DAR, he added.
Happy over the result of the assistance extended by DAR, Bistoyong
promised to give the organization a truck before the year ends,
which according to her, the ARBO can use in their business
She also promised to expose them to more livelihood trainings such
as dairy product production.
Before leaving, Bistoyong challenged the LEFFA to reach the
P1-million mark in vermicast production.
At the moment LEFFA is also into relending activities, rice trading,
fish pond operation, carabao dispersal and catering services.
DPWH Samar I
delivers CY 2017 project updates
MAE ANGELICA R. COMOTA
November 10, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
Samar First District Engineering Office, in its effort to properly
disseminate project information to the public, conducts a media
forum on the afternoon of October 25, 2017 at the DPWH Conference
Hall. Representatives from different local media partners were
present, namely, Ms. Jennifer Sumagang-Allegado, Ms. Carina Caranzo,
and Mr. Gene Navilon.
Across the table, Ma.
Nenita Y. Gomez, Chief of Administration and PIO Designate, leads
the DPWH panel which includes Engr. Carlos G. Rañola, Chief of
Construction; Engr. Ramon Anselmo C. Calagos, Chief of Maintenance;
Engr. Enrico N. Cobacha, Head of Procurement; Engr. Raquel Y. Sumayo,
Chief of Quality Assurance; and Carlo C. Rivera, CPA, Chief of
Comptrollership & Finance.
The press kit for the
forum contains a report on the status of the Carry-Over Projects and
Regular Infrastructures Projects as of October 15, 2017. The media
partners raise questions about the status and date of completion of
the carry-over projects from CY 2016 and the on-going regular
infrastructure projects for CY 2017, inquiries on possible future
projects, project allocations, other administrative matters as well
as application for ISO certification of Samar First.
The DPWH panel
successfully answers all of the questions and appreciates the
media’s presence in its pursuance of continuous information
dissemination to effectively and efficiently serve the public by
informing them on status of the various projects for transparency.
received livelihood cash assistance
DPAO, 8ID PA
November 10, 2017
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – Six (6) former rebels (FRs) from the province of Northern
Samar received a total of P807,000 from the Comprehensive Local
Integration Program (CLIP) and Local Social Integration Program (LSIP)
that help to provide livelihood assistance to the NPA surrenderers
to start a new life.
The FRs were facilitated
by the 803rd Infantry (Peacemaker) Brigade under the leadership of
BGen Mario C Lacurom AFP with the strong participation from the
Provincial Government of Northern Samar. The awarding of cash
assistance was held at the Governor’s Conference Room, New Capitol
Building, Catarman, Northern Samar on November 8, 2017, at 9 o’clock
in the morning.
The activity was attended
by Hon. Jose L. Ong Jr., Provincial Governor, N. Samar represented
by Hon. Gary M. Lavin, Vice-Governor N. Samar; Brig. Gen. Mario G
Lacurom AFP, Commander, 803rd Infantry Brigade; Ms. Jenny O Darish,
Acting PSWD Officer; Rev. Fr. Fred I Placa; and Ms. Maricel
Bantilo-Balasolla from OPAPP.
The activity was
highlighted by a remark from the most ranking NPA surrenderer who
appreciated the CLIP and LSIP programs that will enable them to
start a new living. In addition, their voluntary surrender to the
government is a great realization on their part that the armed
struggle they were fighting for a long period of time is not only
futile and deceptive but also an unnecessary waste of lives.
Likewise, he assured that the livelihood assistance given them will
be used prudently and they will never again return to the NPA
MGen Raul M Farnacio AFP,
Commander 8ID, represented by BGen Mario G Lacurom AFP, sends his
grateful appreciation to the Province of Northern Samar and Office
of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as partners
in giving remunerations to the FRs. Likewise, he encourages the NPA
rebels in the whole Eastern Visayas to lay down their arms,
voluntarily submit themselves to the government, and live a normal
life with their families by availing the CLIP and LSIP programs.
humanity: New video and online game challenge us to confront how
numb we have become to abuses to the rules of war
November 7, 2017
GENEVA – The
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) this week launches a
new phase in its public awareness campaign on the need and relevance
of the laws of war.
Today a hard-hitting video
shockingly reminds us that in times of war, civilian casualties are
the result of choices, not accidents. Through a young boy’s morning
routine somewhere in a country at war, the short video “Decisions” shows how it is the choice to respect
the laws of war that can protect civilians and save lives.
“Don’t be Numb” (http://dontbenumb.icrc.org/),
an online game, provides younger generations with a new way of
engaging with the Geneva Conventions. The interactive microsite
contains a quiz, data visualization, and information on the laws of
war. It will test Millennials and Generation Z audiences on the
choices they think matter in a conflict and their knowledge of the
basic principles of humanity that underline the Geneva Conventions –
especially critical now to ensure younger generations do not grow up
without an understanding of the importance of the rules of war.
ICRC’s People on War
survey, conducted last year with 17,000 people in 16 countries,
indicates overwhelming support in the belief that wars should have
limits. Eight in ten people surveyed think combatants should avoid
civilians as much as possible when attacking the enemy. The same
number thinks attacking hospitals, ambulances and healthcare workers
in order to weaken an enemy, is wrong.
However, it also reveals
deeply concerning views on torture and civilian casualties. Only 50%
of those surveyed in the five permanent members of the United
Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and
United States) and Switzerland considered it wrong to attack the
enemy in populated areas knowing many civilians would be killed.
“Wars without limits are
wars without end. People around the world strongly believe that
limits must be imposed on war, and those living in the daily
realities of conflict still believe that limits prevent conflicts
from spiralling,” said ICRC President Peter Maurer. “But in many
situations we see a shocking lack of respect for the basic
principles of international humanitarian law when it comes to the
conduct of hostilities, the way war is being waged and the way
weapons are being used.”
As a humanitarian
organization that has, since its creation, played a leading role in
promoting, developing and safeguarding the laws of war, the ICRC is
alarmed that many today take as normal the fact that civilians are
targeted, hospitals bombed, prisoners executed. The ICRC is
concerned that young people growing up today will become a
generation inured to the tragic effects of conflict and the dangers
of allowing the rules of war to erode.
“The basic foundations of
our shared humanity are being challenged. We cannot allow the
bombing of civilians or attacks on hospitals to become acceptable,
to become the new normal,” said President Maurer. “The people
suffering in wars deserve nothing less than respect for the laws
that will protect their lives and dignity.”
The film, available in
English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Portuguese,
invites viewers to visit therulesofwar.org (https://www.icrc.org/en/rules-of-war)
to learn more on the Geneva Conventions.
The quiz can be taken at
dontbenumb.icrc.org (http://dontbenumb.icrc.org/) in English, French
These two educational
mediums will be promoted on Facebook and other social channels. The
film was created in collaboration with the advertising agency
Sra.Rushmore in Madrid, Spain.
Art Festival in
November 5, 2017
CATBALOGAN CITY –
Hundreds of students, teachers from the City Division of Catbalogan,
Samar Division, and delegations from Catbalogan, Calbiga and
Zumarraga attended the Layag Arts Festival held at the Samar State
University (SSU) Gymnasium in this city on October 19-20.“
It was the first time in
Samar that such festival was held,” said local historian Charo
Nabong Cabardo. The Arts Festival was the culminating activity of
the year-long Layag Project or Layag-Samar, which according to
Cabardo, is a project of the National Commission for Culture and the
Arts (NCCA) “for the cultural development in seven municipalities in
The project involved the
training of children, youth, women, artists, community members and
disaster risk reduction (DRR) implementors on our cultural heritage,
other forms of cultural presentations and DRR, she added. “The
project is being implemented by the NCCA in partnership with the
Samar State University and Samar Island Heritage Center and with a
memorandum of understanding with the mayors of the seven
municipalities,” Cabardo said.
Areas covered by
Layag-Samar are Catbalogan City and the towns of Calbiga and
Zumarraga in Samar province as well as Borongan City and the
municipalities of Balangiga, Dolores and Guiuan, all in the province
of Eastern Samar.
In the Catbalogan the Arts
Festival there were cultural performances by the youth from
Catbalogan, Zumarraga and Calbiga held at the provincial Covered
An exhibit of the
photographs of previous activities like the trainings for Children,
the Youth, Women, artists and creative industries on different art
forms such as visual arts, creative writing, music and dance. The
paintings of the visual artists were also exhibited. The Arts
Exhibit was opened by CHED commissioner Prospero Oliva who was on a
Listening Tour to the Samar State University.
Another Arts Festival was
also held last October 21 in the historic town of Balangiga with the
participation of those who have been trained in Guiuan, Borongan,
Balangiga and Dolores, Eastern Samar.
The trainings conducted by
Layag-Samar focused not only the artistic disciplines but on the
topics of history and heritage of each of the municipalities
involved, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. A special
training was also undertaken for the DRR trainers of the seven
municipalities on an Arts-based disaster training.
A Forum on Samar History
and Heritage was held on the morning of October 20. A panel of
experts discussed different art forms in Samar. The panel incuded
Ballet Philippines former premier danseur Nonoy Froilan on the Dance
Traditions of Samar; Waraynon music stalwart Lucien Y. Letaba on
Samar Music Trends and Directions; renowned painter Val Villanueva
on Visual Arts; Charo N. Cabardo on Samar History and Heritage; and
Pet S. Labro of SSU on Samar Theater.
The Festival followed a
two-day workshop on creative industries held by Layag Samar last
October 14-15 at a hotel in downtown Catbalogan. According to Lucien
Letaba, Layag-Samar artistic director, the goal of the workshop was
“to integrate creative industries to the heritage tourism program of
each town.” He added that they hope to include heritage preservation
in the town’s program and at the same time to promote creative
industries that each town is developing. Among these industries, he
said, are food processing, recycled gift souvenir items and
Survivors Conference launched
November 4, 2017
PALO, Leyte – People Surge
Philippines joined the National Anti-Poverty Commission and the
Leyte Center for Development and Empowerment in holding a
region-wide Disaster Survivors Conference that gathered farmers and
urban poor in the Oriental Hotel earlier today.
The Conference sought to
gather updated information on the local situation of disaster
survivors four years after the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in
an effort to produce a region-wide Situationer on areas concerning
poverty, food security and human rights in the region as an output.
A series of workshops and
input discussions were held to consolidate data from provinces
affected not just by Yolanda but also through succeeding calamities
and government policies implemented post 2013 to the present,
particularly the conference proponents intended to get an overview
on government response to the decrease in the agriculture sector’s
contribution to the regional gross domestic product on top of an
increasing poverty incidence rate in Eastern Visayas alongside red
flags from different human right groups in all the provinces of the
heart-wrenching stories of prevailing hardships borne by victims of
calamities in the country sides who up to this day, do not feel any
other form of government presence aside from consistent military
operations being conducted in their own communities and even zones
of peace like public schools in some provinces.
The conference carried on
for three days, from November 5 to November 7 and ended with all its
participants and partner-organizations signing the unity statement
of disaster survivors outlining their resolutions and other relevant
data gathered declaring that the state of Yolanda survivors has had
no significant changes to it even after four years of rehabilitation
efforts and two administrations.
urges SSS to transparent investigation, suspend SSS officials
involve in controversy
October 31, 2017
QUEZON CITY –
Expressing grave concern over the controversy, workers’ group the
Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP)
is calling for a credible and transparent investigation into the
investment controversy involving some top executives in the Social
Security System (SSS).
The concern raised by
ALU-TUCP stem from a complaint filed by SSS Commissioner Jose
Gabriel “Pompei” La Vina against four SSS top executives for alleged
illegal profiteering from position by trading stocks for their
personal accounts using the same stockbrokers who manage the
investment portfolio of SSS.
“We are calling for a
transparent and credible investigation into the controversy. Kung
hindi pa nagkaroon ng news expose, hindi napag-alaman ng mga
members. Kung kaya’t nangangamba kami na baka na-compromiso na ang
pera ng mga miembro at may collusion ang karamihan ng mga officials
ng SSS,” said ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
The group lauded La Vina
for protecting the funds from wrongdoing but called the SSS
Commission and the SSS management executive officials to task.
“Nadiskubre na pala ito
more than two weeks ago pero bakit hindi kaagad ipinaalam ng
commission and management sa mga miembro ang insidente. This
controversy is causing undue fear and doubt among the members. The
SSS administrators and managers should initiate culture of
transparency, what’s going in the system and how their blood money
is being spent,” Tanjusay said.
“We also urged the SSS
administrators to temporarily suspend all its officials involve to
safeguard the documents and prevent them from influencing the
internal investigation process being conducted on the controversy,”
To safeguard SSS funds
from misuse and similar questionable use, there must be set of rules
and regulations that prohibit all SSS officers and staffs from
making personal investments using the influence and auspices of SSS.
support to Regional Federation of Employees Union
APRIL FATIMA D.
October 27, 2017
CALBAYOG CITY –
SFDEO hosted the Regional Federation of Employees Union Officers and
Board of Directors Meeting, spearheaded by Engr. Enrico Cobacha on
October 06, 2017, 1:00 pm at DPWH - SFDEO Conference Hall.
District Engineer Alvin A.
Ignacio extends his warm welcome and commitment to support any
activities that will boost the cause of helping the rank and file
employees in investment and financial management. He shares his
endeavors as a previous President in Northern Samar, and he
introduces the Bulig Program that enables the employee to borrow
funds at a lower interest rate and canteen, which enable members of
the association to generate income through dividends.
RFEU consists of 13
Districts namely Biliran, ESED, Leyte I, Leyte II, Leyte II, Leyte
IV, Leyte V, SLED, Northern Samar I, Northern Samar II, Samar I,
Samar II and Tacloban City.
The agenda of the meeting
are the reporting of the financial status of RFEU, submission of
financial status report of DEO RAFEA, synchronize election of RAFEA
Officers, planning of activities and approval of proposed budget for
the next board meeting. The Union addressed the benefits of their
members and how to uphold the status of promotion of rank and file
QUEZON CITY –
“Another stolen credit, another stamping of Marcos rehabilitation
and revision of history,” was how CARMMA described the issuance of a
commemorative stamp on the birth centennial of the late dictator
“Not in our mails,” said CARMMA spokesperson Bonifacio Ilagan, in
reaction to the stamp, issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation
which featured Marcos’ portrait and signature. “The Duterte regime’s
political rehabilitation of the Marcos goes on and on. One day,
shall we see images of Marcos all over the country? Posters, action
figures? We can only express extreme disgust,” he said.
As to the non-announcement of the release of 50,000 stamps, Ilagan
said the PhilPost knew there will be reactions and protests with
these actions. “However, they sadly chose to be part of the
continuing sanitization of history, stamping out the sins and
accountabilities of the Marcoses, as if he is the one who should be
given high regard. Philippine heroes are definitely rolling in their
graves, with their faces on stamps alongside a dictator who wronged
the people!” Ilagan said.
“Whether PhilPost management is ignorant of the crimes of the
Marcoses against the people and the nations’s history of
anti-dictatorship struggle or is engaged in the deliberate moves to
rehabilitate the dead dictator, the issuance of a commemorative
stamp to pay tribute to a murderer and plunderer is an affront to
our morality and sensibility as a nation. It deserved our strong
rebuke,” said the group.
The group said with this, CARMMA is preparing for actions towards
the one year of the infamous hero’s burial of Marcos at the Libingan
ng mga Bayani.
”The Marcoses, with Duterte as their most reliable patron, are not
stopping at changing what has been stamped in the past, consciously
trampling upon not just history but the hard-fought battles of the
people against tyranny and dictatorship. As for Duterte, his actions
and decisions are all copycats of his idol Marcos. Before he thinks
of being put in a stamp, or becoming an action figure, he should
worry of the people’s verdict to him as one president who won
through popular support, but gave failed change and resulted to
anti-people policies, and creeping towards a tyrannical rule,”
Turn-over of new
school building in Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval
CARL MARK D. PEDRERA
October 26, 2017
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways - Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) partakes in the turn-over ceremony of
the newly constructed P2.945-million school building project under
the Department of Education Basic Educational Facilities Fund (DepEd
BEFF) of CY 2016 on September 28, 2017 at the Naval National Highs
School (NNHS) in Brgy. Larrazabal, Naval, Biliran.
Congressman Rogelio J.
Espina (Lone District of Biliran) led the turn-over of the new
1-storey, 3-classroom structure to Naval National High School in
Brgy. Larrazabl, Naval, Biliran. The event was also attended by
District Engineer David P. Adongay (Biliran DEO), Rev. Fr. Kenneth
Hendricks, Schools Division Superintendent (SDS) Pedro T. Escobarte,
Jr., Assistant District Engineer Alfredo L. Bollido, School
Principal Dr. Armando Laude, School Governance Office Division (SGOD)
Chief Lucille Roa, Board Member Justin Roa, Engr. Warlito Alagao (WB
Alagao Construction), teachers, DepEd and LGU Officials.
Part of the program was
the ribbon cutting and blessing of the building followed by the
messages of support from Congressman Espina and District Engineer
Adongay and the ceremonial turning over of the responsibility to the
school. The school gladly accepted the symbolic key and the
Principal, Dr. Laude extended his gratitude to DPWH and its partners
for their continued support and assistance.
All the students and
teachers were very grateful for the new school building granted to
them as they witnessed the turn-over of the symbolic key.
The new school building
has sufficient lighting and is well ventilated making it conducive
for learning. This will accommodate the current and future enrollees
of the school.
DTI cites winners
of Startup World Cup Philippines regional finals
October 26, 2017
MAKATI CITY – In
the recently concluded Slingshot ASEAN led by the Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI), winners for the Startup World Cup -
Philippines Regional were announced to represent the Philippines and
compete with the rest of the world in the upcoming Startup World Cup
Grand Finale in Silicon Valley on May 2018.
Storm Technologies topped
the ten finalists as it bagged the grand prize, which includes an
all-expense paid trip to San Francisco and a chance to win
$1,000,000 by competing in the Startup World Cup Global Finale.
Storm Technologies is the largest flexible benefits and incentives
firm in the Philippines. It serves over 100,000 employees across
include Beam and Go as 4th runner-up; Zennya, 3rd runner-up;
Qwikwire, 2nd runner-up; and Ayannah, 1st runner-up. All runners-up
will be attending Startup World Cup Finale in Silicon Valley.
Startup World Cup
Philippines Regional grand finals is a collaboration between DTI,
Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for
Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development
(DOST-PCIEERD), DENTSU X Philippines, Fenox Venture Capital
Southeast Asia and Brainsparks. Startup World Cup on the other hand,
is a global conference and competition that brings together the top
startups, venture capitalists (VCs), entrepreneurs and world-class
Organized by the
Department of Trade and Industry, Slingshot ASEAN is one of the
official events lined up by the ASEAN Committee on Business and
Investment Promotion (ASEAN-CBIP) being chaired by DTI
Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K.