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March 2, 2014

“in pursuit of PIA’s commitment to provide a national mechanism for the free flow of timely, accurate and relevant information… “


Daily E-Newsletter of Philippine Information Agency - 8

2014 Women’s Month Celebration pays tribute to strong, resilient women who brought inspiring changes here, across the globe


he 2014 Women’s Month Celebration this month of March with the theme “Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong” pays tribute to the strong and resilient “Juanas” who brought inspiring changes here in the country and across the globe. The Philippine Commission on Women, the national machinery for gender equality and women’s empowerment, which spearheads the month-long celebration, said that with the recent geological, socio-economic and political upheavals that shook the country last year, 2014 brings a new

ray of hope that will pave the way for healing, recovery and reconciliation. The PCW said that from the Zamboanga crisis to the pork barrel scandal, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu, and the strongest typhoon history has ever recorded, and many disaster in other parts of the country, the Filipino spirit remains indomitable and unbowed. These challenges have united the nation and inspired everyone to take part in recovery and rehabilitation processes. People from all walks of life and across the world extended all continued on page 5

President Benigno S. Aquino poses with cabinet secretaries and guests after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Cabalawan, Tacloban City, February 25. (Vino R. Cuayzon)

March 2, 2014

DA secretary dialogues

with, distributes rehab assistance to Yolanda-hit farmers in Tanauan


gr iculture S ecretar y Proceso Alcala was in Tanauan, Leyte recently, as par t of his continuous monitor ing of the ongoing massive rehabilitation effor ts being condu c ted by the D epar tment of Agr iculture, its bureaus, and attached agencies and cor porations. I n his visit to Tanauan, Leyte, S ecretar y Alcala met with the far mers, fisher folk and other key par tners with the main pur pose of listening to and attending to their most basic needs and concer ns in the af ter math of the Super Typhoon Yolanda. M ayor Pelagio “Pel ” Tecson welcomed the agr iculture chief and br iefed him on the ex tent of damage to agr i-fisher y sec tor in the municipalit y of Tanauan. At the far mers’ forum, S ecretar y Alcala heard for himself the issues and concer ns of far mers in the a f ter math of t yphoon Yolanda. Far mers lamented on damaged communal and national ir r igation facilities, including the possibilit y of exempting the far mers from ir r igation ser vice fees within t wo years. continued on page 7


March 2, 2014

P-Noy directs DA and PCA to conduct aerial survey of affected farms in Leyte


resident Benigno S. Aquino III directed Agriculture Secretar y Proceso Alcala and PCA A d m i n i s t r a t o r E u c l i d e s Fo r b e s t o conduct an aerial sur vey of the affected farms in Leyte. W h i l e i n Ta n a u a n , L e y t e meeting with farmers on Fe b r u a r y 2 7 , S e c r e t a r y A l c a l a received a call from President Aquino directing him and PCA A d m i n i s t r a t o r E u c l i d e s Fo r b e s t o conduct an aerial sur vey of the affected farm areas in Leyte. The President wanted to fast track the clearing operations, especially on the

felled and scattered coconut trees lying untouched all over the affected farm areas as par t of the recover y and rehabilitation effor ts of the government. It may be recalled that the government has earlier ordered the release of P2.8 billion for the rehabilitation of coconut farms, among the hardest hit by super t y p h o o n Yo l a n d a , i n a l l a f f e c t e d areas. According to PCA more than 13 million coconut trees were totally damaged in typhoon-affected areas, with Leyte accounting for the bulk.

Tanauan mayor presents rehab plan to Agriculture secretary


a y o r P e l a g i o Te c s o n , J r. o f Ta n a u a n , L e y t e p r e s e n t e d the rehabilitation plan of the Municipality to Agriculture Secretar y Proceso Alcala during t h e l a t t e r ’s v i s i t o n F e b r u a r y 2 7 . The local chief executive appealed for more financial support for the rehabilitation o f t h e t o w n ’s p u b l i c m a r k e t / food terminal and slaughter house. In response, the Secretary told the Mayor to submit project proposals for the DA and other concerned agencies to consider and to allocate funds for this purpose. Secretary Alcala said, there is no doubt that Agriculture is one of the economic pillars in the development agenda of Leyte and the rest of the provinces in Region 8. The entire Region as a beneficiary of numerous agriculture programs from national government is contributing an average

6.7% to industry growth with unprecedented increase in rice production and sufficiency in the region. The DA chief is committed to c o n t i n u e t h e A g e n c y ’s p r o g r a m for the farmers, fisher folks and coconut farmers as part of the livelihood component in early recovery efforts in the province. Earlier in the d a y, Secretary Alcala together with the national and local officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also spearheaded the distribution of more than 500 units of motorized and non-motorized bancas to the displaced fisher folk of Palo, Ta n a u a n , To l o s a , i n L e y t e ; B a s e y a n d S a n t a R i t a i n S a m a r. Also, there were fishing gears and other paraphernalia which were distributed or turned over to its beneficiaries. (PIA 8)

In the province of Leyte, roughly three -quar ters of coconut trees, or 9,690,991 out of 12,600,416, were totally d a m a g e d b y t h e N o v. 8 t y p h o o n , with losses estimated at P10,042,844,650. The PCA, meanwhile, also recommended to Agriculture Secretar y Proceso Alcala to increase from 300 to 1,000 the number of chainsaws mobilized for cutting all the damaged coconut trees in order to speed up the work. The P2.8-billion budget for rehabilitation is broken down into: P280 million for clearing operations; P1.6 billion for the procurement of fer tilizers, including the administrative and the deliver y cost; P500 million for the replanting program; and P500 million for intercropping income augmentation. (PIA 8)

March 2, 2014


DA secretary names BFAR National director as his alter ego in Eastern Visayas


ureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources National Director Atty. Asis Perez has been designated by Agriculture Secretar y Proceso Alcala as his alter ego to oversee the rehabilitation effor ts of the Agency in Eastern Visayas. This was learned when in a presscon and luncheon meeting at the DA-Regional Office recently, Secretar y Alcala introduced BFAR National Director Asis Perez as his alter ego who will act as Special Super vising Officer to oversee the rehabilitation effor ts in Eastern Visayas. As such, Secretar y Alcala said, Director Asis will coordinate and facilitate the overall rehab operations among all heads of offices of DA line agencies in Eastern Visayas. These include the National Irrigation Administration, Philippine Coconut Authority, National Food Authority, the Philippine Fiber Development Authority, Philippine Carabao Center, Agricultural Training Institute, National Meat Inspection Ser vices, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, QuedanCor, and the Land Bank of the Philippines. To recall, Secretar y was in Leyte, just two days after his Guiuan, Eastern Samar visit, in order to dialogue and meet with the fisher folks, farmers and coconut farmers and other stakeholders in the province. Earlier in the day, Secretar y Alcala together with the national and local officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also spearheaded the distribution of more than 500 units of motorized and non-motorized bancas to the displaced fisher folk of Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa, in Leyte; Basey and Santa Rita in Samar. Also earlier that day, the Secretar y Secretar y Alcala,

together with PCA Administrator Euclides Forbes, turned over a total of P8.1 million wor th of various agricultural projects and farm needs to the Yolanda hit farmers of Tanauan. These include 75 bags of hybrid seeds, 392 bags of cer tified seeds, 40 bags of Registered seeds, 392 bags of Urea fer tilizer, 15 kgs vegetable seeds, and 3, 500 pieces HVC planting materials. They also distributed 10 units hand tractors and 500 head of ducks. Moreover, the DA Secretar y also led in the distribution of coconut seedlings, and livestock. Fur thermore, to the delight of those present, they raffled off five (5) carabaos with plow, 30 sets of assor ted garden tools, 20 units knapsack sprayer and five (5) units of pump and engine for the establishment of shallow tube wells (ST Ws). (PIA 8)

DA Secretary Proceso Alcala (with mic) and BFAR Director General Asis Perez (right) listen to the concerns raised by typhoon Yolanda-affected fisherfolks from Basey, Sta. Rita, Tolosa, Tanauan, Palo, and Tacloban in a dialogue held at the Balyuan Ampitheater in Tacloban City on February 27 before the turn-over of fishing boats to identified beneficiaries. (Raul Tiozon, Jr./PIA-8)


March 2, 2014

updates LBP farming program to fully Biliran operators on benefit former rebels in Leyte hotel updates, trends in


t. Col. Nedy Espulgar, commanding officer of the 19th I nfantr y Battalion, commended the Land Bank Countr yside D evelopment Foundation I ncor porated, saying that its program will fully benefit the for mer rebels in Leyte. Lt. Col. Espulgar made the commendation af ter attending the follow up wor kshop on “Sustainable I ntegrated Organic and Natural M ini Far m Program” held at Blanco Far m, S o. M araging, Brgy. Lemon, Capoocan, Leyte on Fr iday, Februar y 28, a statement from the 19th IB stated. Lt. Col. Espulgar was among the 81 par ticipants of the wor kshop , including the 15 for mer rebels w ho the militar y has been assisting since they retur ned to the folds of the law. The wor kshop provides oppor tunities to the par ticipants

to lear n more on organic far ming techniques especially to for mer rebels who had been accustomed to pr imitive far ming methods. I t was facilitated by M r. Gil Carandang, the countr y ’s “Father of Organic Far ming” and Land Bank Direc tor D omingo Diaz. According to M r. Carandang, organic far ming will free, even small far mers from the burden of r ising pr ices of basic commodities. “Small far mers can even utilize their back yards in this far ming method,” M r. Carandang stresse d. On top of these, the militar y is hopeful that the program will last so as to benefit more, not just the far mers but also the for mer rebels who has long denounced the bloody ar med struggle. (PIA 8)

President Benigno S. Aquino leads the groundbreaking of the Memorial in honor of those who perished in Supertyphoon Yolanda and the rehabilitation of the Tanauan Public Plaza, February 25. With the President are (l-r) Leyte governor Dominico Petilla, Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery secretary Panfilo Lacson, Double Dragon president Ferdinand Sia and Tanauan mayor Pelagio Tecson. (Vino R. Cuayzon)

tourism industry


ome 18 hotel operators in Biliran province and the municipal tour ism officers attended the annual meeting of Hotels, I nns, Lodging Houses Operators called by the Provincial Tour ism and I nfor mation O ffice at the Provincial Capitol held at the provincial capitol recently. The annual gather ing was aimed to update the hotel operators and owners in the province on the cur rent trends and developments in the tour ism industr y. Par t of the agenda of the meeting was to require the operators and owne rs of hotels to render a monthly repor t of tour ist statistics like domestic and foreign tour ists who visit the province. I n attendance to said meeting were operators and owners or their representatives of the VR C B each R esor t; ASEMCO Hostel in Almer ia, Biliran ; Alegre B each R esor t in Culaba, Biliran; M ar vin’s S easide I nn in Naval; Paradizu B each R esor t in Brgy. Talahid, Almer ia; ERBJ Lodging, NSU hostel in Naval; Claire’s Pension House in Cabucgayan; Hagdan B each R esor t in the island town of H igatangan, Naval; Trani ’s G arden in Brgy. Bato, Naval and the R ed Stone Ville R esor t in Sitio Pulang-bato, Almer ia. In an inter view with Dionisio Oliva, Jr. Provincial Tour ism and I nfor mation O fficer, he infor med that the annual meeting was likewise called to motivate hotel operators and owners to submit regular ly their monthly repor t on the number of tour ists who check-in in hotels continued on page 5


March 2, 2014

ROK joint support group repairs another house of a Filipino Korean war veteran T

he Republic of Korea Joint Support Group A R AW Contingent, turned over recently a newly repaired house of a n o t h e r Fi l i p i n o K o r e a n w a r veteran. S o f i o T. L o b r i g o, 8 5 y e a r s o l d o f B r g y. D i s t r i c t 9 , D a g a m i L e y t e w a s a l l s m i l e o n Fr i d a y Fe b r u a r y 2 8 a s t h e A r a w Fo r c e s turned over a newly repaired house. A c c o r d i n g t o L o b r i g o, h e was just hoping that the Koreans will help him have an airing aid but he got more. “Some 63 years after I fought in Korea, never in my wildest dream that this will happen. But one day after Yo l a n d a I s a w o f t h e K o r e a n car parked in front of Dagami c h u r c h ,” L o b r i g o s a i d . When he saw the contingent he told the group t h a t h e w a s p a r t o f t h e Fi l i p i n o soldiers who fought in the K o r e a n w a r. T h e K o r e a n s t o o k his picture and they par ted their ways. Some five days later they

went back and informed him of t h e g r o u p’s p l a n o f r e p a i r i n g h i s damaged house. Lobrigo said that the Koreans went back to his house, brought materials, repaired his house and they did it in two weeks. The Araw forces repaired the roofing, the floorings, the bedrooms, and even the extension of the house and the kitchen including the electrical wirings of the house and the repainting. Another significant thing that the Korean did with repair was to put up a partition in the house for Lobrigo have an office of his own as he is the district c o m m a n d e r o f t h e Ve t e r a n s Fe d e r a t i o n i n t h e P h i l i p p i n e s i n the 2nd district of Leyte. Lobrigo was 22 years old when he was sent to Korea said that he did not expect that after 63 years the Koreans will give him such impor tance. “I am ver y thankful to the government of Korea and at

2014 Women’s...from page 1 kinds of help they could offer. Efforts, regardless of how small or significant they were, did not go unnoticed. The 2014 Women’s Month Celebration is the best time to highlight the “drivers of change” who untiringly volunteered themselves in times of disaster, conflict and calamity, a statement from the PCW stated. This celebration recognizes the role of women in the rehabilitation process and their over-all contributions to progress, PCW added. The objectives of this year’s celebration is to recognize women’s resiliency, strengths and contributions

the same time to all the officers and enlisted men who made it possible for my home to look like this now ” said the obviously h a p p y L o b r i g o. The Korean forces also brought that day 2 boxes of noodles and 2 boxes of cook ies a n d b o t t l e d w a t e r f o r L o b r i g o. The family of Lobrigo in return and as sign of their gratitude prepared native foods and delicacies such as moron, binagol of dagami and the roasted pig or lechon ,for the Koreans and the AFP Engineering brigade. Fr o m a r e l i a b l e s o u r c e , t h e ROK spent almost 20 thousand US dollar equivalent to almost 800 t h o u s a n d p e s o s f o r t h e r e p a i r. Last month the ROK joint suppor t group also repaired the h o u s e o f a n o t h e r Fi l i p i n o K o r e a n war veteran in Carigara, Leyte within two weeks the group is hoping to finish the repair of a n o t h e r v e t e r a n i n Ta c l o b a n C i t y. (PIA 8 with Lizbeth Ann Abella) Biliran...from page 4

to progress and to discuss Philippine gains, gaps and challenges in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action. Among the proposed activities are the Learning Session on Gender Fair Media on March 3 at Malacang, the Women’s Human Symbol Forming - March 8, 2014, Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park Manila, and the GADtimpala, the search for the most outstanding gender-responsive government agency at the national level, among others. (PIA 8)

and lodging houses and visit the island province, especially those coming from other par ts of the wor ld. The province of Biliran which is considered an island paradise, has a lot of natural tour ist attrac tions to offer to tour ists both local and foreign. He fur ther ex plained that this is par t of the intensive effor t of the provincial gover nment of Biliran to promote the tour ism industr y, the province being declared as a tour ism zone. (PIA Biliran)


March 2, 2014

BFAR AHON surpasses 10,000 boats target in three months


he Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) AHON program surpassed the 10,000 boats target that exceed to 10,506 units just in three months. According to BFAR National Director Asis Perez, the AHON! Sampung libong Bangka para sa Dalawampung libong Pamilya, a boat building initiative of BFAR has already reached more than

100 percent of its goal since it was launched in November last year. For Eastern Visayas, a total of 8,069 units or seventy five percent of the total number of fishing boats, while in region four 213 units, 1,144 in region six, and 1080 units in region seven were repaired and or being constructed. “This project will not be made possible without the help of the AHON

partners from private sector, and the cooperation of the beneficiaries,” said Asis. Federico Sevilla and his wife Yolanda Sevilla together with their friends donated more than 180 boats, Japanese donor represented by Yuki Iito donated 269 units intended for the towns of Basey and Sta. Rita, Samar, SOCSARGEN Organization gave 256 boats in Bagacay, Tacloban City, and Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance, Incorporated also donated 56 units of boats although the original target was only 25 boats. Meanwhile, thousands of fisher folks from different towns here in region 8 joined the turn-over ceremony on February 27, Wednesday at Balyuan Amphitheatre, Tacloban City. During the activity, BFAR distributed the five hundred fishing boats, fish nets, engine and worth 1,500 pesos cheque for gasoline to fisher folks from Basey, Samar, Sta. Rita, Samar, Tolosa, Tanauan, Palo, and Tacloban City, Leyte. With the successful result on the initiative done by BFAR, Perez was encouraged to raise the target to 20,000 units of boats for 20,000 families. Perez encouraged the donors to inform their friends to pour out more support to help the Yolanda survivors to be back on their feet again. The BFAR director guaranteed that no one will be left behind, as our President Benigno Aquino III ordered the Agriculture secretary to assure that Yolanda survivors will receive the assistance according to their needs. “Walang iwanan dito, Sama sama at tulong tulong tayong bumangon muli, babangon tayo,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said during his visit in Leyte recently. (PIA 8 with Avha H. Ebalde)


March 2, 2014

South Korean Military Contingents rebuild homes of 3 Filipino Korean war veterans in Leyte BY: CONSUELO B. ALARCON


he South Korean Military Contingents in Leyte led by Col. Chul Won Lee has vowed to rebuild the homes of the three surviving Filipino war veterans during K o re a n w a r. In a short press briefing held at their Base Camp at Government Ce n t e r, Palo Leyte, Lee expresses sadness when he conducted an on site survey in early December here as he described the devastation which is worst

than the damage caused d u r i n g t h e K o re a n Wa r. The commander of the “A r a w ” Contingents from South Korea was even shocked when he saw the extent of damage of the super typhoon. The same is true with the homes of the three war veterans which are also devastated. The three war v e t e r a n s a r e f r o m Ta c l o b a n , Dagami and Carigara, Leyte. O n e o f t h e v e t e r a n ’s

DA Secretary...from page 1 Upon hear ing this complaint, the S ecretar y instruc ted NIA-R egion 8 to conduc t on-site sur vey and provide immediate ac tion to address this pressing problem on ir r igation. S ecretar y Alcala, together with PC A Administrator Euclides For bes, tur ned over a total of P8.1 million wor th of var ious agr icultural projec ts and far m needs to the Yolanda hit far mers of Tanauan. These include 75 bags of hybr id seeds, 392 bags of cer tified seeds, 40 bags of R egistered seeds, 392 bags of

Urea fer tilizer, 15 kgs vegetable seeds, and 3, 500 pieces HVC planting mater ials. They also distr ibuted 10 units hand trac tors and 500 head of ducks. Moreover, the DA Secretar y also le d in the distr ibution of coconut seedlings, and livestock . Fur ther more, to the delight of those present, they raffled off five (5) carabaos with plow, 30 sets of assor ted garden tools, 20 units k napsack sprayer and five (5) units of pump and engine for the establishment of shallow tube wells (ST Ws). (PIA 8)

home was already completed while the repair work of the o t h e r t w o v e t e r a n ’s h o m e s are still on going. Aside from rebuilding their homes, they also provide hearing aids, wheelchairs and generator sets to the Filipino war veterans whose names were not disclosed. South Korea wants to show their gratitude for the sacrifices made by the Filipino war veterans 60 years ago during Korean w a r. T h a t ’s w h y, t h e y p o u r out everything to cover the devastated areas. Meanwhile, Col. Lee explained why they called t h e i r c o n t i n g e n t s a s “A r a w ” which means sun or hope. According to him, “like the sun that rises after darkness. we want to be a source of hope for the typhoon-affected victims here in Leyte. “Our hope is that the people devastated by the typhoon could quickly regain their hope and get back on their f e e t a g a i n s o o n ,” L e e a d d e d . (PIA-8)


March 2, 2014

March 2