for a regional effort for Rabies Treatment
BY CHRISTINE AC. CAIDIC
June 4, 2004
CATBALOGAN, Samar - The Center for
Health Development in Eastern Visayas (CHD-EV), thru the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance
Unit, reported that there were three (3) cases of rabies from the 1st
to the 20th Morbidity Weeks of 2004. Of these cases, all were
males and were bitten by dogs. These cases did not undergo for post exposure
treatment and died.
Rabies is a preventable disease. Oftentimes its
consequence is death. This avoidable human death is a major concern for the
health workers, the local officials and the public as well.
The three cases detected for this year might
surpass the 20 cases detected in the year 2003 if all concerned sectors in
the society will not do their respective parts. It is advised that all human
rabies cases should undergo post exposure treatment even for the previous
If Local Government Units are concerned for the
health of their constituents, it is advised that they allocate funds for the
purchase of vaccines for post exposure treatment for rabies cases. The high
cost of human anti-rabies vaccine can be lessened if preventive measures
will be reinforced.
On the other hand, dog vaccines are cheaper and
are effective. These expenses can also be reduced if focus on dog
vaccination is given by responsible owners. Dog owners should be aware and
be responsible in leashing their pets and giving them regular vaccination.
The absence of political will to implement the
ordinance on stray animals also contributes to the increase on human and
canine rabies cases. Mass dog vaccination should be implemented in every barangay to cover more than 80% of the total dog population in the region.
A rabies-free region can be attained if every sector in the community will
work as one in this concern.
study of Pinipisakan Falls presented to stakeholders
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
– A team from the Center for Environmental Studies and Management (CESM) has
presented, Friday (May 28), the draft report of the Pinipisakan
Falls feasibility study before the stakeholders in Las Navas, Northern, Samar.
On November 2003, the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) commissioned the CESM Natural
Resources Management specialist Nonoy Pollisco Jr., and Eco-tourism and Land
Use specialist Ma. Theresa Quimpo to prepare the Eco-tourism Feasibility
Study of Pinipisakan Falls in Barangay San Isidro, Las Navas town as part of
the Samar Island Biodiversity Project’s Samar Island Natural Park (SINP).
Pinipisakan Falls in San
Isidro village, which is located within the SINP, is located approximately
15 kilometers downstream of the Catubig River, 5.2 kilometers from the town
of Las Navas and 79.2 kilometers from the provincial capital of Catarman,
Northern, Samar. The site can only be reached by travel by boat cruising the Catubig River.
The CESM consultants in
their report said the eco-tourism is guided by the principles of sustainable
management of natural and cultural resources, environmental education and
conservation awareness, empowerment of local communities and development of
products that will satisfy visitor needs and position the Philippines as a
globally competitive eco-tourism destination.
“Eco-tourism is a
low-impact, environmentally-sound and community-participatory tourism
activity in a given natural environment that enhances the conservation of
bio-physical and cultural diversity, promotes environmental understanding
and education, and yields socio-economic benefits to the concerned
community,” the report said.
Methodology of the Study
Accordingly, the general
objective of the study is to characterize, evaluate and determine the
feasibility of eco-tourism development in the Pinipisakan Falls within the
Samar Island Natural Park that can sustainably be managed and provide
livelihood to local communities and at the same time promote biodiversity
Firstly, the CESM
consultants conducted a situation analysis by gathering information and
assessment on biophysical attractions, socio-economic, biological and land
use by conducting a series of interviews and dialogues with the stakeholders
and key personalities in the area.
Then, they (CESM)
conducted analysis and synthesis, eco-tourism development planning, economic
study and environmental impact, and finally, the presentation of the draft
report to stakeholders.
Identified attractions and
During the presentation,
which was also attended by local government officials, the presenters
identified several underdeveloped tourist attractions. These includes the
Grotto, picnic area and the 3-tiery waterfalls of Pinipisakan Falls, wooden
houses and bridges, existing flora and fauna along the trail, dome-shaped
“cathedral” and “chandelier” type formations inside the “kilometer 3” caves,
circular-shaped Kinagatusan Lake and the wild Catubig River.
“This place could be
the next apple of the eye of the local and foreign tourist visiting the
province,” said provincial tourism officer Frumenz Lagrimas adding that
the provincial government of Northern Samar is now using Internet. “We
will be putting this new development in our official website,” Lagrimas
It was learned during
the open forum that the overall budget needed for the facelift and total
improvement of the project, which covers around 400 hectares is about P4
Million. The rest will be shouldered by the UNDP and the village residents
assured to augment manpower that will help improved the place. Lagrimas said
that maybe by July or August they could start putting up bridges and some
semi-permanent structures for an easy access to the project site.
“As of now, the
province earmarked amounting to P670 can be also be used to augment the
needed amount for the project,” Lagrimas said speaking in behalf of the
Northern Samar Governor Raul Daza.
A draft report showed
that the plans for development runs as follows: Hanging bridge over level
one of the Pinipisakan Falls – P70,000/meter; sign boards and trail
improvement in the Botanic Garden in Grotto-Picnic – P700,000; Catwalk and
railings along cliff side to access Levels 2 & 3 waterfalls – P2,500/meter;
Convention Halls and Picnic Tables (plan of the Las Navas Mayor Arlito Tan);
renovation of the Wooden Bridges amounting to P10,000; upgrading of Boat
landings in Brgy. San Isidro worth P540,000; Trail development in San Isidro
Another budget allotted
is for the development of the “Kilometer 3” Cave amounting to P20,000;
Potable Water System Development estimated to worth P50,000 to P200,000;
Solid Waste Disposal and Controlled Dumpsite Development (no amount
indicated) and the Capacity Building on how to handle guided tours, tour
guide trainings, business and livelihood project management amounting to
The turned out of the
feasibility study was positive with most of the stakeholders vowed to help
and cooperate to the government to attain the vision of bringing and or
making the town of Las Navas a center of tourist attraction in the province
of Northern Samar. “There should a holistic planning after the report,”
said Manolito Ragub, the Regional Technical Director for PAWCZMS-DENR-8
based in Tacloban City.
After the open forum
moderated by Ms. Annie Milan of SIBP, the following lapses were recommended
by the stakeholders and requested the CESM consultants to include these in
their final report: Constitutional arrangements, costs or budget, return
investment, capacity (of the stakeholders) in a given time, target markets,
protection and security aspects (of the visiting tourists), site
characterization, management aspect and environmental education.
It was learned that the
Catbalogan-based Samar Island Biodiversity Project who is strongly pushing
the Philippine largest park, the Samar Island Natural Park has also to
submit their formal written comments on the report this week to the CESM who
conducted the feasibility study. The team of consultants also vowed to
submit their final report soon this year.
SIBP starts hiring Samar
Island Natural Park rangers
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
– The Samar Island Biodiversity Project (SIBP), a foreign-funded eight-year
project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
recently started the recruitment for the 17 slots Park Rangers that will
police the newly proclaimed Samar Island Natural Park (SINP).
On May 24, 2004, close to
250 applicants from the different municipalities in the region took the
qualifying examinations for the prestigious positions as Community
Development Officers I and II and Park Rangers.
Of those who took the
exams, 72 applicants made it and were interviewed and screened one by one
last May 26 and 27 at the SIBP office by a team of selection committee
composed of the DENR, PAWB people in the region and from SIBP key officials.
SINP Superintendent and
concurrent SIBP Project Manager Herminigildo C. Jocson said all the
applicants who submitted their respective credentials and biodatas’ were all
professionals and 80% of them are residents of Samar Island.
On one hand, SIBP
Co-Project Manager Evelyn Amit-Corado said that there will be a total of 17
slots for the Park Rangers, two for the CDO I and one position for the CDO
“That is why, we're very
strict and careful in our screening of applicant, they were all qualified
but the best should be chosen for the limited slots,” Corado said.
Corado said that SIBP have
already started constructing Park Rangers Stations throughout the strategic
areas within the Samar Island Natural Park.
“These chosen rangers
will also undergo a month of rigid training before their deployment in their
respective assignments,” Corado said.
The duties and
responsibilities of these rangers, once hired, will conduct effective patrol
within and the immediate vicinities of the SINP to detect and prevent
illegal logging activities such as removal and or destruction of timber
forest products, poaching, occupation of restricted areas; coordinate with
the DENR and other local enforcement agencies to arrest violators;
coordinate with the advocacy officers of SIBP in the conduct of advocacy,
information dissemination, social outreach activities and mobilization of
communities for the protection of the Park.
The Park Rangers will also
be given the task of organizing training and supervising local leaders,
community forest guards, assist in the conduct of biological, social
monitoring and assist in providing relevant information to tourist visiting
Meanwhile, the SINP, which
is having a protected area of 333,300 hectares and a surrounding buffer zone
of 125,400 hectares, was declared by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as
the Philippine largest protected area under NIPAS through Presidential
Proclamation No. 442 last August 13, 2003.
It also serves as
catchments for and headwaters of 25 major river systems that provide clean
and sufficient water supply to over 1 million island residents for their
homes, business and farms.
“Most of the 200,000
upland residents in about 400 forest-edge communities depend on the forest
for their daily sustenance including food, medicine, fuel, housing and other
materials for livelihood,” Forester Jocson said in one of his lectures.
Saying it will be zoned for
multiple use, Jocson said, SINP would span to 37 municipalities and 1 city
across the three Samar provinces.
Culion Foundation Covers
Nine Samar Towns
CHRISTINE AC. CAIDIC
May 27, 2004
CATBALOGAN, Samar - The Culion Foundation,
Inc. (CFI) is now here in Samar to include nine (9) municipalities as priority coverage of
its project. The 28-year old non-stock, non-profit social development
organization, was originally established to help the Department of Health at
the then Culion Leper Colony in Northern Palawan to help persons afflicted
with leprosy get cured of the disease.
With the discovery by the World Health
Organization in the 1980’s of the multiple drug therapy (MDT), the only
known cure leprosy to date, the realization of the Foundation’s general
vision, which is to eliminate leprosy as a public health problem in Culion
was facilitated. It was in 1997 that CFI began to expand its geographic
coverage in leprosy control to Cebu, Siquijor, and
Inspired by the successes of the Foundation’s
Intervention in Culion and in other parts of the country, the CFI Board of
Trustees adopted in 2000 a new Five-Year (2001-2005) Strategy Plan. Under
this plan, the CFI’s project assistance priorities have been expanded to
include, aside for leprosy, the control of other communicable and infectious
diseases that are prevalent in specific priority regions and provinces,
which include among others Eastern Visayas and Samar
Starting July this year, the three-year project
entitled “Control of Prevalent Communicable and Infectious Diseases in
Selected Provinces in Eastern Visayas” will be
implemented with the financial assistance from Spain.
For Samar Province, the
municipalities of Catbalogan, Daram, Gandara, Matuguinao, Pinabacdao, Sta.
Margarita, Sta. Rita, Tarangnan and Calbayog City
are included as priority coverage of the project.
To officially commence the project, the CFI has
scheduled the conduct of a Strategic and Operational Planning Workshop on July 13-15 2004 in Tacloban City to be attended by key representatives from local
offices/organizations which will be involved in the project’s
With another health-concerned Foundation working
particularly for the elimination of leprosy, this is another opportunity of
looking forward to a collaborative and coordinative efforts from all newly
elected and re-elected local officials to give focus on the health needs of
the Samareños .
Rising Fil-Am boxers Donaire brothers face
Mexican sluggers in June 18 fight
By RHONY FRANKLIN LAIGO
PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE -- Two good-looking Filipino
boxers this time will have their chance of showing their championship
caliber on June 18 when they go up against Mexican sluggers in the All-Stars
Boxing’s “Battle of the Rising Stars” at Quiet Cannon in Montebello,
two brothers, Glenn and Nonito G. Donaire Jr., will face Rafael Chavez and
Cesar Martinez respectively in the co-featured main events of the 7-card
boxing night under the auspices of All Star Boxing Promotions of Ed Holmes
and Pete Hironaka.
like Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquaio, the brothers also hail from
General Santos City who have made San Leandro in Northern California
their new home. Their father, Nonito Sr., has been their trainer and coach,
who used to box when he was in the Philippine Army. Pacquaio had sparred
with Glenn before and who might have gotten his side-to-side moves style
from Glenn himself.
news conference held Monday at Hot Spot Restaurant and Sports Bar in
Downey, Holmes was so impressed with both Filipino boxers that he assured
boxing aficionados of knockouts during the fights.
Glenn, 24, who stands 5-foot-5, is the current WBO Asia Pacific Champion,
flyweight division. He carries an 11-win, 1 loss record with seven
knockouts. He, however, still disputes his only loss to Gabriel Elizondo on
September 23, 2002 in San Antonio, Texas after flooring his opponent twice
in the first and in the third but still lost a unanimous decision in the
for his killer left hook that usually sends his opponents to the canvass,
Glenn is ranked number 7 in the world by the World Boxing Organization, who
also has a strong overhand right. His younger brother Nonito Jr., 21, 5’6”,
is ranked eighth in the same WBO flyweight division but has since moved up
to bantamweight. A southpaw, his knockout punch is his left hook.
their younger years, both brothers were qualifiers in the Olympic trials. In
the 2000 Olympics, Glenn lost a “controversial” 10-5 decision to Biran
Viloria, also a Filipino based in
Hawaii, during the February 2000 US Olympic Trials.
two brothers have traveled from West to East of the nation, fighting in
several national boxing championships including the Kansas City Silver
Gloves, the Baldwin Park Blue & Gold Championship, USA Boxing national
championship in Marquette, Michigan and were champions in several of these
Nonito Jr., known as “The Flash,” is the former WBO Asia Pacific Champion in
the bantamweight division and has a 7-win, 1 loss record with five
According to Holmes, who is a Latino, he said he’s never been this excited
in his five year stint promoting fights. He said what impressed him is that
the brothers are ready and willing to face anyone, unlike even champions, he
said, who are afraid to fight some challengers.
Holmes said Nonito Jr. is ready to fight now. His fight against
from Mexico City will precede the match between Glenn and Chavez also of
Mexico City, the main event. Another Filipino flyweight, Hector Simon of
Nevada, will face Robert “Scrappy” Ortiz in a rematch earlier won by Ortiz
in one of the scheduled undercard fights.
“There is no fighter willing to fight anytime,” Holmes said of the Donaire
brothers. He added that Glenn, who is only a 112 pounder, “fights like a
middleweight. You will see both knockouts.”
asked why he was promoting the Filipino fighters more than his fellow
Latinos, Holmes said “It’s because when I saw them, I wanted to promote
them. I have seen Glenn fight. He moves like (Muhammad) Ali and has the
power of Joe Frazier while Nonito is unbelievably fast.”
boxing matches will begin at 7
at the 1,500-capacity Quiet Cannon multi purpose complex. Tickets are $35
and $50 each. The $100 per seat tickets had been sold out.
Lack of public’s support,
funds hampers cops anti-drug drive in Catbalogan
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Not
only the lack of operational funds but also the lack of support coming from
the public, especially village officials, now hampers the Catbalogan’s
finest fighting for the rampant proliferation of illegal drugs.
Police Senior Inspector
Carlos Gaudencio Vencio, Catbalogan PNP Chief of Police, yesterday admitted
that since he assumed office last March 22, 2004, they have been
intensifying their campaign against illegal drugs but most of the times they
can not come up with their objectives because they don’t have the trust and
cooperation of the village officials.
In one instance, a chief
executive of one of the barangays in Catbalogan who tipped off the presence
of a drug pusher in his village surprisingly cautioned or leak-off the
upcoming raid of the police, probably to avoid the wrath of the kin of the
drug suspects target by the authorities.
“This scenario often
resulted to negative result, para kaming tanga pag ganyan, mabuti na nga
lang nandyan kayo,” PSI Vencio pointing to the media said.
Aside from that, the
policemen here had been long time clamoring for additional funds to be used
in their anti-illegal drugs campaign. Vencio said there are times that
members of the Municipal Anti-Narcotics Unit (MANU), Provincial
Anti-Narcotics Unit (PANU) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)
have to contribute some amount for their operation expenses in their
campaign against drug dealers.
“If we have our
on-the-spot buy-bust operation, we cannot help but to contribute funds that
will be used as ‘marked money’ especially during buy-bust operation,”
PSI Vencio said.
At present, he said, the
police have to spend their own money in the fuels of the motorcycles, patrol
cars, snacks, and other operation expenses just to arrest illegal drug
violators. However, he clarified, that this was already been brought to
the attention of their superiors at the higher headquarters for the possible
Meanwhile, PSI Vencio and
his men in cooperation with the PDEA agents, conducted raid/search operation
in Purok 2, Barangay 6 of this town that resulted to the arrest of one
suspected drug pusher and confiscation of some drug paraphernalia.
Arrested was identified by
the police as one Sonny Boy Mendoza y Espiritu, 35, married and a resident
of same place. He was caught surprised when the police stormed his house
around 4 p.m. of May 20 upon the tip of a police asset.
Items recovered by the
raiding team includes two (2) pieces plastic sachets containing white
crystalline substance suspected as shabu, one plastic containing shabu
residue, two pieces stainless scissors used in repacking shabu, and one roll
of aluminum foil used in sniffing shabu. Police said two other suspects’
eluded arrest sensing the arrival of the raiding policemen.
The raid which was
accompanied by the media, barangay officials and representative from the
Department of Justice, was conducted by virtue of Search Warrant No. 04-09
dated May 19, 2004 issued by Executive Judge Sinforiano Monsanto of RTC
Brach 27 in Catbalogan, Samar.