PRRD joins the Buglasan Festival 2017

By Roi Lomotan

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President Rodrigo Duterte graces the opening ceremony of Buglasan Festival in Negros Oriental. (PIA7-NegOr)


President Rodrigo Duterte’s arrival at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center, Dumaguete City was the highlight of the opening ceremony of Buglasan Festival 2017 held on Oct. 13, 2017.

The Buglasan Festival is Negros Oriental’s premier cultural festivity participated by the province’s  six component cities and 19 municipalities.

Dubbed as Negros Oriental’s  “Festival of festivals,” The Buglasan Festival features different cultural presentations and competitions and also tourism and agri-fair booths designed by each local government unit in the province.

This year, the festivity carries the theme “Transforming NegOr in to an Eco-Tourism hub by 2025” which highlights the provincial government’s vision to promote the province as a premier eco-tourism destination with its tourist attractions that are related to nature and adventure.

Thousands of Negrenses were inside the venue of the opening ceremony to watch President Duterte arrive and deliver his speech as seen in these photos:




President Rodrigo then delivered his message to Oriental Negrenses. Towards the end of his speech, he said  shared this messages to the crowd.

“May this occasion foster solidarity and camaraderie as we take part in realizing the country’s potentials.”


“Hand in hand,  let us lay a new foundation by which we will build a better nation. Join us in achieving our vision for a more comfortable and productive life for every Filipino.”



Click to watch President Duterte’s speech during the opening ceremony of Buglasan Festival


Here are other photos of President Duterte’s visit in Dumaguete City:

L-r: Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo, OPAV Sec. Michael Lloyd Dino, President Rodrigo Duterte and Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo.
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President Duterte addresses Oriental Negrenses.
President Rodrigo Duterte (center) takes a group photo with OPAV Sec. Michael Lloyd Dino (3rd from left),  former MMDA chair Francis Tolentino (second from right), and some local chief executives of Negros Oriental.
President Rodrigo Duterte hands over the Outstanding Oriental Negrense Posthumous Award for Law and Jurisprudence for the late former Supreme Court Chief Justice Felix Makasiar to Cynthia Makasiar-Sikat, daughter of the recipient during the opening ceremony of the Buglasan Festival.



PIA launches Information Kiosk at Sibulan Seaport Terminal

By PIA Negros Oriental

Here’s a look of the PIA Information Kiosk at Sibulan Seaport Terminal before the launching activity


Traveling to Cebu via Sibulan-Lioan route? Don’t forget to drop by at the PIA Information Kiosk at Sibulan Seaport Terminal.

The Info Kiosk contains different information materials about ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and other government materials which you can read while waiting for your boarding time. All the reading materials are free so you get some and take it with you when you travel.

The PIA Information Kiosk was opened yesterday.  This is the second Information Kiosk launched in Negros Oriental. The first one opened last March at Robinson’s Place Dumaguete City

Here are some snippets of the launching:


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PIA Information Kiosk launch at Sibulan Seaport Terminal

Sibulan Mayor Jose Abiera and PIA-7 OIC-Regional Director Fayette Riñen (center) lead the ribbon cutting and launching ceremony of the PIA Information Kiosk. Joining them are PIA-NegOr Infocen Manager Jenny Tilos and Msgr. Gamaliel Tulabing of San Antonio De Padua Parish in Sibulan.



PIA Information Kiosk 3
PIA-7 OIC Regional Director Fayette Riñen gives her speech


PIA-7 OIC-Regional Director Fayette Riñen explains the PIA Information Kiosk is an avenue in raising awareness on the significance, relevance and positive impacts of ASEAN to Filipinos especially as the Philippines assumes the chairmanship of the ASEAN Summit and related meetings this year.

Apart from being a platform to promote ASEAN but also an effective outlet to disseminate programs of government from the regional line agencies down to the local government units.

“You can use this to display your information materials and let the people know about your programs, services, and projects. This is also a way of reporting to the people what the government is doing for us,” Riñen said.

“We hope that the people using this port will also take time to read the information materials that are on display here,” she added

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Sibulan Mayor Jose Abiera delivers his message


Meanwhile, Sibulan Mayor Jose Abiera thanked PIA for putting up an Information Kiosk at Sibulan Port. He said there are more than 1,000 passengers entering the seaport daily.

Mayor Abiera also cited that with the installation of an Information Kiosk at Sibulan Port, the objective to have an empowered people through information is now within capacity.


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Assistant Provincial Administrator Atty. Froilan Joseph Pinili gives his speech.


On the other hand, Assistant Provincial Administrator Atty. Froilan Joseph Pinili also lauded PIA for  this endeavor. He says the location of the Info Kiosk is strategic as it is identified as one of the busiest ports in the province.

“The establishment of the information booth is very timely especially with the security concerns we are facing these days. This could help very well in informing our people regarding updates on security and safety,” Atty. Pinili said.



Barangay Captains of Sibulan, representative from partner agencies, other officials of LGU-Sibulan and some members of the media participated in the kiosk launching.

Watch the video for more highlights:










Feature: Economic empowerment first step to prevent women abuse

By Roi Lomotan





How do you empower women so they won’t become victims of different abuses? According to Marlene Pepino of Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. (VF), the first step is to lead them to opportunities where they can become economically productive.

Pepino stressed that economic empowerment is an important factor that can prevent women abuse.

“If you are economically stable or you have an income as a wife, mawala ang physical abuse.  We can say abuse can happen if you are too dependent on your husband. The first will be verbal abuse,” Pepino said.

“For me economic empowerment is very important. It is the core aspect that will prevent you from experiencing abuses like psychological, physical or emotional,” she added.

Although Pepino is actively involved in a non-government organization that fights human trafficking (she is currently a provincial coordinator for VF in Negros Oriental), she has not abandoned this advocacy on economic empowerment for women.

She knows how effective this is in empowering women and in helping them change their perspective on themselves because this is one of the greatest lessons she learned in her life.

The 64-year old revealed she was once a victim of abuse from her late husband who passed away six years ago. The two of them lived together for 35 years but she started experiencing abuse from him for 15 years.

Pepino explained that she lacked the courage to defend herself that time because she was not yet empowered.

“There were times I was struck in the head and called me some bad words. I think we can say it’s physcological, emotional abuse. I thought these acts were ordinary,” Pepino said.

The turning point in her life came two days after a major incident happened to her.  Her husband brought her three kids to her mother-in-law’s house where they will stay for few days. However, her youngest child, who was close to her, was able to get out of their grandmother’s house and returned to their home.

“Since he brought all the children’s things. I sent somebody to their house, my niece to fetch some clothes. The hurting part there was when my niece came back and she relayed their message: niingon sila wala ka’y pinalit sa gamit sa bata so dili sila mohatag (They said you did not buy any of the children’s things so they will not give it to you),” she said.

Didto ko (naka-realize). Wala man tuod ko’y contribution. I have not bought even a single panty or brief for my children because I was just a mere wife. Didto ko nasakitan ug maayo. Para nako, murag pagpapanawong na wala ka’y pulos (I realized I had no contribution for my children. I have not bought even a single panty or brief for my children because I was just a mere wife. I was really hurt. For me, it was telling straight to my face I have no use),” Pepino recounted.

After that incident, Pepino was determined to look for opportunities to earn money so she won’t have to depend on her husband to buy stuff for her kids. She also promised herself she will not allow him to hurt her again.

At first she sold dinuldog (a local version of guinataan), she turned to selling pot holders and other products made of textile recycling to stores.

Pepino then looked for an agency where she could apply for a loan. She was adviced to go the Department of Social Welfare and Development office. When she inquired there, she was informed that she can only apply for a loan if she becomes a member of Kalipunan ng mga Liping Pilipina (KALIPI).

When she became member of the women’s group, Pepino was able to borrow money from the organization and used it for her livelihood to help augment her income.

Pepino eventually became a president of KALIPI. She was an active officer of the group for more than nine years. She recounted that it was in her stint in KALIPI where she learned about women’s laws and women empowerment.

Even though Pepino is earning her own income, there were still attempts of physical abuse from husband. But at time, she already knew how to defend herself.

Pepino shared that since then up to the time her husband died, she was already financially independent.

Because of her story, Pepino would receive invitations to speak in various engagements every Women’s Month.

In 2014, she was one of the resource speakers of the local Kapihan sa PIA forum here where she shared her experience to participants of the forum.

Since the issue of economic empowerment is close to her heart, Pepino also shared her story to the members of Bantay Komunidad (BK) organization in Sitio Dumandan in Barangay Mayabon,  Zamboaguita town through a livelihood initiative called Ventures for Freedom.

Through this endeavor, Pepino was able to share to BK members, mostly composed of mothers of child laborers and other victims of abuse, her skill on sewing and textile recycling.“I teach them whatever skills I know which I am sure can bring income to them, including the access to materials I introduce it for free,” Pepino said.

Every month the group produces more than 1,000 pieces of textile products such as doormats and potholders. The group supplies these textile products to some local supermarkets in Dumaguete City and in other parts of the province.

Aside from the livelihood trainings, members also undergo orientation on different government programs like Social Security System (SSS) benefits and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) programs which they can access because they want them to be aware of government services they can utilize.

Pepino said that some the members of the group are already active members of SSS. However, the most rewarding in all of this is to see them regain their self-esteem and become economically productive.

With this, Pepino has this message for other women: “The only person that can help you is yourself. The change you want to achieve starts in you. The government has laid down its programs, services  and laws. It’s already there. If you want to access livelihood there are programs in other agencies. It’s up to you how to adopt, embrace and take action on it.” (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)