ADVISORY: AFP-Smart activates Text Hotline 7444-1678

The Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP] in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. [Smart] has activated a text hotline: 7444-1678, where the public can directly interact with the AFP.

According to Maj. Alwin Maneja: “The service is initially available for Smart, Sun & Talk N’ Text subscribers in Central Mindanao, the strategy is to eventually have a text hotline for all mobile phone users all over the country.  We prioritized Mindanao due to the ongoing conflict in Marawi City.  Still, we are extremely grateful to PLDT & Smart for acting very quickly to provide the AFP with this capability.  We are continually working and consulting with PLDT & Smart as we further enhance this capability.”

The AFP is encouraging Filipinos in Central Mindanao to provide the text hotline with actionable information and at the same time sign-up for the service so that they may be updated of the events and activities of the AFP.

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The AFP assured the public that they will reply promptly, and act appropriately particularly on reports that pertain to national peace and security.

To use the service, Smart, Sun & Talk N’ Text subscribers in:
-Misamis Oriental
-Agusan Provinces
-Surigao Provinces
-Davao Provinces
-North Cotabato
need to type: EMC (ang inyong lugar/address at impormasyon) and send to: 7444-1678.

For subscribers in:
-Misamis Occidental
-Zamboanga Provinces
-Lanao Provinces
-Sultan Kudarat except Columbia
Type: WMC (ang inyong lugar/address at impormasyon) and send to 7444-1678.

Maj. Maneja added: “The value of using the keywords EMC & WMC will guarantee that the messages are sent directly to the AFP’s Eastern or Western Regional Commands for quicker response and action”. (Smart Inc. COmm)


Richness of Mindanao Culture to be showcased at 1st Budayaw Festival

The rich culture, heritage and artistry of Mindanao and Palawan will be in the spotlight as the Philippines will host the first-ever Budayaw: The BIMP-EAGA Festival of Culture and the Arts, from 20 to 24 September 2017, in General Santos City.


A collaboration among different agencies and institutions including the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Mindanao Development Authority, Department of Tourism Region XII, the city government of General Santos, the provincial government of Sarangani, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Budayaw will showcase the diversity of creative expressions of cultural masters and artists in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) as well as raise awareness and foster appreciation on the landscapes, life-scapes and aspirations of peoples of the region.


The festival will feature different lectures, workshops, performances, shows, exhibit and other activities and events, which will foster understanding and solidarity among the multi-cultural populations of the BIMP-EAGA.

During the five-day festival, visitors can view iconic landscapes and cultural markers of the BIMP-EAGA in an interactive exhibit, which will be accompanied by lectures and fora to discuss the tensions of tradition and modernity embedded in the images.


A specially designed pavilion will be put up, serving as the shared domain of invited master weavers, who will show visitors how context shapes mastery of techniques over our natural resources.

Visitors will also experience the beauty of indigenous musics with performances using native musical instruments such as gongs, bamboo instruments, lutes and plucked-string instruments. Moreover, they can witness performing groups showcase the best of contemporary theatre, dance and music highlighting the threats and triumphs of communities on the road to peace, development, and resilience.


Visual artists will display outdoor installations as well as other works.

To make the Budayaw experience more immersive, there will be special tour packages for the visiting guests and tourists to explore the richness of Mindanao culture as well as its touristic destinations.


Aside from showcasing the diversity of cultures of countries of the region, the Budayaw festival will train the spotlight on the beauty of Mindanao, affirming and safeguarding its being wellspring of creativity and resilience.

To know more about Budayaw, contact Adelina M. Suemith, chief of the NCCA Program Monitoring and Evaluation Division, through telephone number 527-2192 local 601 or email

For more information, please contact Rene Napeñas, head of the Public Affairs and Information Office, through 0928-5081057, 527-2192 loc 208 or through email address (NCCA)

DTI: No price hike in goods after ML declaration

ILIGAN CITY, June 6 (PIA) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has assured the public that there would be no price increase in basic commodities in markets after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte proclaimed Martial Law (ML) in Mindanao following the clashes between government forces and Maute terror group in Marawi City last May 23.


In yesterday’s, June 5, press briefing held at the Regional Command and Coordination Center in Iligan City, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that results of market price monitoring conducted by DTI showed that stores, especially in Iligan City and Lanao del Norte, complied with the government’s price freeze order.

DTI region 10

DTI market monitoring report as of June 5, 2017 showed that NFA rice remains at P27 a kilo, regular milled rice at P40 a kilo, well-milled rice at P44 to P48 a kilo and upscale rice at P52. These prices, except for upscale rice, have the same price prior to the declaration of Martial Law.

In a statement, DTI Secretary Lopez informs all consumers and retailers that pursuant to Section 6 of Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, prices of basic necessities in areas proclaimed or declared under Martial Law shall be automatically frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control.

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“Supply of goods in Iligan City and Lanao del Norte markets is also abundant despite the threat of terrorism in some of the province’s rural areas. Hence, I refuted reports that prices of basic commodities soared high in the wake of Marawi crisis,” Lopez said.

He, therefore, urged the buying public to countercheck the prices sold in markets to ensure they are buying goods with the right price. (RLRBalistoy/PIA-10, Bukidnon)

Education not compromised amid Marawi crisis, says DepEd

“Education will not be compromised even with the present Marawi crisis.”

This has been stressed by Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones during the Meeting of DepEd Officials of Mindanao on May 30 at Luxe Hotel, here saying that the department will augment the teaching force, learning materials and create learning spaces for those who are affected by the siege.

Sec Briones

Briones also said that they are going to waive the requirements like birth certificates and cards so as not to hinder any child in continuing his or her studies. However, for the schools in Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), opening of classes might be moved two weeks from the regular schedule on June 5.

“In times of war, you cannot be demanding all the usual bureaucratic requirements which we do under normal times but these are not normal times,” the secretary stressed.

As for the school preference of a learner, Briones said that any child who wants to go to school in a particular area be it in Marawi, Iligan or Cagayan de Oro City, will be accommodated.

“We will not sacrifice education,” Briones said as she explained that in order to do so, the department will augment the teaching force and for Maranao speaking learners, they have tapped the ARMM region to assist in recruiting those who can teach in Maranao language.

The budget for such will be obtained from the Alternative Learning System and Briones shared that the department is fully supported by President Rodrigo Duterte. Hence, they will be able to produce financing in times of crisis.

Sec Briones 2

In terms of security in schools, Briones said, “Schools are zones of peace. Walang giyera diyan, walang away, walang gulo (There is no war, fights and chaos in the areas of learning). We expect the combatants to respect that.”

This is also the reason why schools are not used as evacuation centers during crisis as the secretary emphasized.

As of press time, DepEd has tallied 1,005 learners in one evacuation center in Iligan alone. The regional directors and division superintendents are still doing an inventory as to the number of children and school facilities affected by the crisis in Marawi City so the department could eventually determine the intervention needed by the stakeholders.(RTP/PIA10)

Navy offloads military vehicles, supplies in Iligan City

Philippine Navy offloads at Iligan City port military vehicles and other supplies, which will be distributed to the different Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units in Mindanao to cater to the transport and logistical requirements of the ongoing military operations against terrorists.


According to BRP Tarlac (LD-601) Commander Ramilo B Trinidad, for this mission, LD 601 accommodated 30 military vehicles and supplies weighing 253 tons. The ship sailed from Subic Bay, Zambales last May 29.


Trinidad said the ship, with its capability to accommodate more than 4000 tons of cargo and 500 personnel onboard, is utilized not only to support military operations, and also for mass evacuation and international humanitarian assistance during disasters and crisis as well.


LD 601), is the first of the two Philippine Navy’s Amphibious Landing Dock formerly known as Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV). The ship design is modeled after the Makassar-class LPD of the Indonesian Navy. BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602 is the second and last ship of her class of Navy’s landing platform docks. (PIA10)

DSWD distributes food packs to IDPs in 3 barangays

Some 1,907 internally displaced persons (IDPs) or about 371 families from three barangays, who have sought refuge in this city received food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) yesterday.

No less than DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo led the distribution of food packs which consist of 5 kilos rice, assorted canned goods and coffee held at Bagong Silang Evacuation Center.


The home-based IDPs from Barangay Santiago (30 families/190 individuals), Bagong Silang (172 families/887 individuals) and Tibanga (166 families/830 individuals) took shelter in the homes of their families and relatives in Iligan City following the clashes between government troops and Maute terror group in Marawi City.


In a brief program before the distribution, Councilor Ryan Ong welcomed the IDPs in behalf of City Mayor Celso G. Regencia and promised to extend all possible means, including resources to help ease their plight.


“We always pray to Allah that Marawi will be peaceful again so we could return to our normal life,” Faisalia Dinapinggun, a 48-year old entrepreneur from West Marinaut, Marawi said teary-eyed. She has 15 children aged between 8-25, and one is still left in Marawi.

Meanwhile, Secretary Taguiwalo said DSWD continues to monitor the growing number of IDPs in different areas and neighboring places.


“Nakikiisa kami sa mga taga Marawi na may naiwang mga mahal sa buhay doon. Pareho tayong nagnanais ng kapayapaan at sana matapos na ang kaguluhan para makabalik na kayong lahat sa Marawi,” the secretary emphatized.


She asked the IDPs what they want from the president and they said all they want is peace. “Gusto namin ng kapayapaan at tahimik na pamumuhay. Itigil na ang digmaan at bumalik sa normal ang sitwasyon sa Marawi.”


The relief distribution was witnessed by local officials and DSWD personnel.

Taguiwalo later attended a media briefing with local media at the regional command and coordination center for ARMM and Region 10.  (ALT-PIA9/Zamboanga Sibugay)

City port tightens security due to martial law declaration in Mindanao

The Philippine Ports Authority-Port Management Office (PPA-PMO) in northern Mindanao tightened the security of the Cagayan de Oro city port due to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in the entire Mindanao.


During the Ang Rehiyon Karon episode at Radyo ng Bayan on May 26, Engr. Claro Samuel P. Fontanilla, chairperson of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC)-Civil Works, announced that city port raised the security measures to level two which is one higher than the normal security state of the area. This means that security checks every vehicle and passenger upon entering the port.


Due to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) directive, the lead agency for security of all ports is now the coast guards partnered with maritime police. They now have all the manpower and security compliments.


There are also presence of the K-9 units all over the place and additional personnel to the city port which ensure passengers that security of the area is under control.


“Kami makapasalig nga aduna kita’y enough nga security nga mu-handle sa mga security requirements diha sulod sa atong pantalan (We assure that we have enough security to handle the security requirements inside our port),” Fontanilla said.


Moreover, for the safety and security of the riding public, the PPA-PMO Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro put up two more x-ray machines–one at the pre-departure area at the passengers’ terminal and the other is at the pedestrian entrance. There is also one x-ray machine at the port workers gate at the access control center.


On the other hand, Lemuel Ian T. Moralda, Port Security Bids and Awards Committee (PSBAC) secretariat, requested the passengers’ patience due to the security tension.


“Muhangyo mi ug gamay na pagsabot sa atong publiko nga medyo tight ang inspections sa atong mga sakyanan ug sa mga tao so medyo malangan gayud no, (We ask for a little understanding from the public that we have tight inspections to the vehicles and passengers so we really have delays)” he said.


Also, Moralda asked the riding public to avoid bringing of the prohibited loads such as the alcoholic liquids and combustible materials like the lighter to avoid more delays during inspections.(Cherryl Juranes/PIA10)