Last week, Mayor Mario
Quijano received two officials from the Philippines-Australia
Community Assistance Program (PACAP) who were in town to confirm the
grant to the municipality.
Though it was not
necessarily Pinabacdao that proposed the last two projects, still the
town stands to gain from it all as implementation will be done there.
Panibagong Paraan is a
unique bazaar of innovative ideas that provide solutions to the most
pressing social and economic concerns of our country; ideas that
deliver results and have the potential to be expanded or replicated.
In the year 2006,
Mayor Quijano has brought his constituents some P2M grant from the
World Bank and other funding agencies because of his innovations for
His proposal then of
an agro-forestry project to Panibagong Paraan Grant Competition gave
him some P2M, an extension of his Community Based Resource Management
A staff of the mayor
told PIA that the agro-forestry project is a vast farm planted with
mangoes and intercropped with other plants.
That is now history,
though and the development-oriented mayor seemingly gained some
following that both proposals identified his town for their basic
social services project.
One of which, Katungod
han Samarena Foundaiton Inc (KSFI) said they immediately thought of
Pinabacdao as Quijano was the only mayor who was willing to offer
financial counterpart for the project.
Director Myra Tambor said that in April, her organization proposed
“Minimizing Deaths and Debts: Leveraging Hospitalization Financing
Scheme to Set Up Community-Based Primary Health Care (Piso Ko,
The project aims to
enhance promotive/preventive health sevices to reduce the illnesses
and the need for hospitalization. As funding has been limited to the
P1M gant by Panibagong Paraan and some P.5M from Pinabacdao LGU, two
barangays will be covered only. However, the project aims to expand as
more following is expected.
Transparency and accountability Network (TAN), with the Department of
Interior and Local Government-Local Government Academy (DILG-LGA), and
the International Finance Corporation (IFC) chose the other project,
which the Institute for Democratic Participation in Governance (IDGP)
proposed: Bantay Sangkay, an LGU-led initiative seeking to imbed
social accountability mechanisms, adoption of Community Driven
Development (CDD) approach in local planning and public expenditure
management cycle to continue participatory processes and the gains of
Kalahi-CIDSS of which Pinabacdao is a recipient.
Beneficiaries are the
Barangay officials, community volunteers and CBO leaders of the 24
barangays. A critical mass of barangay volunteers will be developed to
energize participatory governance.
On August 20, 2008,
Mayor Quijano and his officials launched the two projects with some
PACAP officials and DSWD Regional Director Leticia Corillo in
As to Pinabacdao’s
vision, it aims to hurdle the challenge that says: Pinabacdao is a
small town which could do more and would to do more if only the gaps
are filled, and filling the gaps will be Quijano’s greatest
challenge…with the help of both government and non-government
organizations believing in his cause!
Samar island villages
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– After the installation of the solar home package under the Spanish
government funded Solar Power Technology Support (SPOTS) projects of
the Department of Agrarian Reform, it is now goodbye to dark and risky
nights for the agrarian reform beneficiaries and other residents of
Majaba and Basiao islands barangays of Catbalogan City.
This is in line with
the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's 10-point agenda specifically
on the electrification of the villages in the countryside, DAR 8
Director Homer Tobias said as he disclosed that four other
un-energized villages in Calbiga Agrarian Reform Community, also in
of Samar, will also be soon out of darkness as beneficiaries of SPOTS
DAR Samar Information
Officer Teresa Tijol through Mr. Jose Alsmith Soria, DAR Regional
Information Officer, informed that the solar home system package have
already been installed in the month of July to about 70 households
within the Pangdan expanded Agrarian Reform Community which covers
said island barangays.
Agrarian Reform Officer Gregorio Fiel Jr. explained that those who can
avail of this service are members only of the cooperative in the area
that will manage the operation and maintenance of this project.
Prior to the
installation of the solar project, PARO Fiel said that residents
source out electric power from a power generator provided by a private
individual who charged the consumers up to P800 per month for a 7:00
o’clock to 10:00 o’clock in the evening consumption.
Families who cannot
afford to pay said amount satisfy themselves with a kerosene lamp
spending only about P200 per month. With the continuous increase in
oil price however, these people doubt whether they will still be able
to afford the kerosene lamp to light their homes at night.
With the installation
of SPOTS in the area, a recipient household needs only to pay a
registration fee of P420 and a monthly P220 dues for an 8-hour use of
electricity per day using four 8-watt fluorescent bulbs which are
already included in the project package.
Cell phone owners,
need no longer worry about their batteries getting drained as they can
recharge them for three hours every day even if they are in the
islands, Ms. Tijol said.
The Solar Home Package
System, PARO Fiel said, completes the four packages provided under
SPOTS. The other packages earlier installed were the Barangay Hall
lighting system; communal lighting system; and school learning system
package which included school lightings, audio visual learning
equipment and educational tapes for the learning needs of the
elementary pupils in the area.
beneficiaries in Majaba and Basiao islands were provided with P1,200
capital for livelihood activities under the project’s agri-business
component to augment their income and to be able to pay their monthly
Aside from the
financial capital, the beneficiaries were also provided with a
motorboat and gill net for their “sisi” (small clams) production which
is the main livelihood in the area.
Offices urges for continuous vigilance against dengue
Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
July 22, 2008
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The Leyte Provincial Health Office said there is no reason for the
public to relax their vigilance against dengue as provincial health
officials presently push for the “Brigada Pamilya” in waging an
aggressive public information campaign on the proper ways of
preventing and avoiding the disease.
Health Officer Dr. Edgardo Daya said “Brigada Pamilya” against dengue
still employs the search and destroy operations on the breeding
grounds of dengue mosquitoes which must be carried out by each and
“The fight against
this disease should start at home by cleaning our surroundings. We
cannot leave the cleaning of our own homes and surroundings to the
authorities and wait till they do it for us. We have to do it
ourselves and help in the fight against dengue,” Dr. Daya said in an
The provincial health
office, he added, through their barangay and municipal counterparts
have already been tasked to enforce a clean-up and sanitation drive to
instill in the public consciousness the need to maintain clean,
healthy and sanitary surroundings and dissemination of the four
o'clock habit, which encourages residents to rid their surroundings of
mosquito breeding places such as empty bottles, cans, tires, vases and
others and to use personal protective gadgets such as mosquito nets
He also called on
residents to be wary of the disease and familiarize themselves with
the causes, symptoms and ways to prevent the diseases to stem the
further spread of the dreaded ailment.
The health department
is also reminding persons to seek medical treatment for themselves or
their loved ones if they suspect dengue symptoms. Among the symptoms
is recurring fever, which should be taken seriously if it occurs for
four days. Rashes are also a sign of dengue.
Dengue fever is an
infection caused by dengue virus, which is transmitted by the bite of
an infective female Aedes mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes are "day biters"
and biting activities peal at
6-8 a.m. and at
The signs and symptoms
of dengue fever are: on-and-off fever lasting for two to seven days;
loss of appetite; nausea/vomiting; abdominal pain; body weakness;
small reddish spots on chest area, arms and legs; bleeding signs (nose
and gum bleeding, vomiting blood, bloody stools and abdominal pain);
restlessness; weak, rapid pulse; cold, clammy skin; and difficulty in
Persons that manifest
these symptoms must remember the following: high fever should be
treated by sponging and giving paracetamol and not aspirin as it may
cause bleeding and/or gastric irritation and must increase fluid
intake or use oral re-hydration solution.
persisting symptoms must be brought immediately to the nearest health
center or hospital.
Who's afraid of Valero's 24-0 record?
Mugabi was 25-0 (25 kos) when Hagler tore him to pieces
By ALEX P. VIDAL / PNS
LAREDO, Texas – In
boxing, what matters most is quality not quantity. Quality of the
opponents, not their quantity.
History has proven not
all boxers that are undefeated and knockout specialists are
invincible. To a certain extent, there has to be an ending to their
dominance in square jungle; and records reveal their imminent Waterloo
occurs during world championship tussles.
Former World Boxing
Council (WBC) light middleweight champion John "The Beast" Mugabi of
Kampala, Uganda was the most prominent among them.
Mugabi, perhaps the
deadliest warrior to grace the middleweight division in the mid-80's,
was 25 years old when he was pitted versus Marvelous Marvin Hagler,
then undisputed crownholder of the middleweight titles in WBC, World
Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF).
Because Mugabi was
ranked No. 1 contender in all the three world boxing bodies and
possessed an immaculate and fearsome record of 24 wins, no defeat with
24 wins by knockout, oddsmakers thought The Beast was the missing link
in the long quest to end Hagler's mind-boggling supremacy in the
They were wrong. On
March 10, 1986, Hagler (62-3, 52 KOs) blasted the Ugandan to
smithereens in the 11th stanza of the 12-round battle for the
undisputed middleweight championship of the world at the Caesars
Palace in Las Vegas.
Although he knocked
out cold all his previous 25 rivals, Mugabi had no match to the vastly
incredible Hagler, then 31 years old, and was the darling of the
boxing community in his time.
Hagler ruled the world
unmolested and was unfazed by Mugabi's fearsome record. The Beast was
never the same again after being exposed by Hagler. He lost by
technical knockout (TKO) to Duane Thomas in his next fight, a WBC
light middleweight showdown also in the same venue.
On Nov. 3, 1984,
former WBC super bantamweight champion Jaime Garza was 40-0 with 38
knockouts when he lost his title by a shock first round knockout to
unheralded Juan Meza who had 41 victories against five losses.
Edwin Valero, 26, has caught the attention of Top Rank promoter Bob
Arum for possessing a nerve-tingling 24-0 ledger spiked with 24
knockouts (18 in the first round). He is next in line for WBC
lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who is fresh from toppling David
Diaz in the 9th round in the fight dubbed "Lethal Combination" at the
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Experts said either
Valero will do a Jaime Garza or he will end up the next John Mugabi.
But Pacquiao (47-3, 36 KOs) said as a fighter, he will only do his
best and train hard, not to pick his opponent.
The inspiring story of
“The Almeria Seafarers Cooperative”
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– At this point in time when a great number of Filipinos are in dire
poverty and remain in that state despite government support and
intervention, the story of the Almeria Seafarers Multi Purpose
Cooperative stands as a refreshing and inspiring success story.
In a Media Forum
honoring the outstanding Overseas Filipino Workers in Region 8, a
petite young woman stood out not only because of her looks but because
of the story she bears – that of a cooperative which was able to put
into good use the “Groceria Project” of the Arroyo Administration to
become the Best Groceria in Region 8.
The young woman is
Anita Corto, the manager of the Almeria Seafarers Cooperative (ASEMCO).
Ms. Corto said that the Almeria Seafarers Multi Purpose Cooperative
was organized by seven seafarers and their wives in 1994 with an
initial capital of P12,600 assets and 42 regular members.
Today, ASEMCO already
has 232 regular members and 1,416 associate members and has over P57
Million in assets.
Starting on providing
financial products such as deposits and loans, ASEMCO opened a
pre-school learning center in June of 1999 with the aim of providing
quality early childhood education.
When the Overseas
Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) launched the Government’s
Groceria Project in 2004, the Cooperative availed of the grant of
P50,000 worth of grocery items to OFW groups.
Thus, the ASEMCO
Groceria and Meatshop was made available to the members and to the
community as a whole. The Groceria was inside the office of ASEMCO.
After one year, the
Groceria moved to a rented place. Today, the ASEMCO Groceria and
Meatshop already has an asset of P600,000, Ms. Corto revealed.
Today, 14 years after
its birth, ASEMCO has purchased a lot and has put up a three-story
building where the Groceria is located now. The building also houses
the ASEMCO office with 18 regular staff. The cooperative is in the
process of hiring additional employees.
Through the years,
ASEMCO has helped in the growth and development of the municipality of
Almeria and the neighboring towns. The Cooperative has made available
credit facilities to over 1,400 borrowers who totally availed of about
P39 Million loan portfolio through its microfinance, salary loans,
honorarium loans and Small and Medium enterprises for OFWs and their
ASEMCO has entered
into pre-school service contracting service with the Department of
Education and is now providing pre-school service to seven public
Meanwhile, the ASEMCO
Learning Center has expanded into a private elementary school this
also engages in various programs for the welfare of its members in the
community through its Scholarship Program, Pamaskong Handog, medical
mission and Balik Eskuwela program.
Indeed, ASEMCO has
gone a long way not only in securing its members and their families
but also in inspiring people to replicate its fete towards a
sustainable economic development.
This OWWA scholar will
soon be a registered nurse
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Jobelle Rosales was about to enrol in a state university when she
read from the newspaper about the OWWA Scholarship for the
beneficiaries of active OFWs.
She told about this to
her Mom and together they went to the Region 8 OWWA office. She took
the exams and she luckily passed the exams. As a scholar of OWWA under
the Education for Development Program, Jobelle received P30,000 per
semester, enough to tied her up through all her school expenses.
Jobelle said that OWWA
release only P20,000; the other P10,000 is released at the end of the
semester when the scholar shows her grades. She must pass all the
subjects otherwise, the P10,000 will no longer be given to her and her
scholarship will no longer be continued.
Last March, Jobelle
graduated Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the RTR Medical
Foundation in Tacloban City. She will soon take the nursing board
examinations in order for her to become a Registered Nurse.
Ricardo, has been working as a fireman in Saudi Arabia for many years
already and she has seen him and has been with him for only one
Christmas and one New Year but she understands that it is not easy for
him to come home.
There was a time when
the only way to communicate with him was through letters, but with the
current technology, she and her younger sister are already able to see
him and communicate with him through the internet.
Although her father is
an OFW, Jobelle knows that her father is working so hard for the
family and she does not want to be an additional burden because he is
not earning that much, so she decided to take her chance at the OWWA
She never thought of
spending unwisely, the money that her father is sending the family
because she realized that it was hardly earned and she could see how
her mother is sacrificing, acting both as father and mother, in the
absence of her father.
Asked if she would
want to go abroad too, Jobelle said that as an OWWA or as a government
scholar, she has to stay and serve the country for four years since
her scholarship is for four years. Maybe after that, she will already
have the necessary expertise in Nursing that will qualify her to a
better job abroad, if she so decides.
Jobelle is one of the
nine OWWA scholars in Region 8. Every year, 100 slots are available
all over the country.
This coming school
year, four students in Eastern Visayas qualified and are among the 100
scholars for this year. This makes 12 the total number of OWWA
scholars in Region 8 because 1, Jobelle, graduated.
Jobelle, is a good
role model not only to the children of OFWs, but to all the students
in the Region.
Widening Gap between
salaries and cost of living a deciding factor for Migrant Workers to
go back home – Migrante ME
June 2, 2008
An alliance of
Overseas Filipino workers’ organizations based in the
Middle East today said that the ever widening gap between salaries
ad cost of living in any Middle Eastern Countries is a deciding factor
for migrant workers including Filipino workers to going back home.
“The spiraling cost of
living in the cities of middle-eastern countries such as Dubai, Qatar,
Kuwait, Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia coupled with weak dollar
exchange is leading to a more tougher economic situation for migrant
workers and their families that would eventually decide them to going
back home, if not find another job in other countries,” said John
Leonard Monterona, Migrante Middle East regional coordinator.
said that the Middle East or the Gulf region as it was popularly
known, has booming economies but inflation and skyrocketing prices are
making Migrant workers life tougher and less profitable.
“It is true that
salaries of migrant workers especially those in sectors such as
finance, advertising, IT and pharmaceuticals, engineering and
mid-level managerial positions have risen but this salary increases is
disproportionate as to how fast the inflation increases which means
migrant workers especially ordinary construction workers and others in
the service sectors have had to pay a cut,” Monterona added.
Monterona cited the
survey conducted by Bayt.com in conjunction with market research
specialists YouGovSiraj conducted early this year revealed that
expatriate workers in UAE and Qatar were the highest paid last year
and have enjoyed the highest annual pay raises in the Gulf Region,
with Qatar averaging 18 per cent a year and the UAE and Bahrain both
coming in at 17 per cent compared to 12 per cent in Saudi Arabia, the
region’s lowest average.
including our fellow OFWs are already complaining of the high rent of
houses ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 Riyals or for a bed space rental
cost of 700 to 850 riyals which is apparent in countries like Qatar,
UAE, Bahrain and even Kuwait and Saudi Arabia,” Monterona added.
“Even the price of
rice has already increased; a 2 kilo packed of rice is now sold in a
market in Riyadh or Jeddah to 20 to 25 Riyals from 15 to 18 Riyals
last month,” Monterona averred.
In Kuwait, for
instance, its Central Bank said on its website, the All Items Consumer
Price Index advanced to 127.1 points in the year to the end of
February 2008 from 115.4 points.
Inflation was 9.5
percent in January and 7.54 percent in December. Housing costs, which
account for 27 percent of the index's weighting - rose 16.1 percent,
the same as the month before, the data showed. Food costs gained 9.22
percent and beverages and tobacco 14.9 percent, Kuwait Central Bank
said on its website.
“It is worthy to note
that the Kuwait Interior Ministry has fixed a wage of KD 40 for all
domestic workers in the country that hardly followed by local
employers. KD 40 is certainly not enough in time of high inflation
rates,” Monterona added.
Monterona said that
government-sending migrant workers such as the Philippines, Sri Lanka,
Nepal, Indonesia, Bangaladesh, and India should demand from the host
government a fair wage increase for their respective migrant workers
especially those working in construction and domestic chores.
“The widening gap
between salary of migrant workers and the high cost of living in the
Middle East should prompt the Arroyo government to propose and
actively lobby to host governments for salary increase of our fellow
OFWs to commensurate the high inflate rates in the host country,”
On October 29-30, the
Arroyo government will be hosting the upcoming Global Forum on
Migration and Development (GFMD) where migrant worker’ sending and
receiving countries will presumably discuss migration utilizing it as
a tool for development.
“Migrante, OFWs and
families are challenging the Arroyo administration to push and include
on its agenda a reasonable migrant workers salary or wage increase
during the October 2008 Global Forum on Migration and Development as
host of said event it has the advantage to push such concern,”
“Failing to do so
means the Arroyo administration is hosting the GFMD only to help
perpetuate a market for cheap labor as it were currently selling cheap
labor of our fellow Filipino migrant workers,” Monterona ended.
Benjie’s saga in the
By CHITO DELA TORRE
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– A 28-year old lanky man from Oras, Eastern Samar is happily making
progress in his chosen mercantile trade business even if it means
frequenting villages that have been known recently as a hotbed of
insurgency. Daily, he leaves his home in San Jose, Tacloban City
early in the morning to catch up with the first trip to his target
destination for the day, then, on reaching his target locations, he
walks from house to house, the heavy back pack of merchandise wrested
off his shoulders only at each auguring time for showing to his
prospective buyers. His wife and 5-year old child just wait for him
at home until his return which often is already past twilight.
Late afternoon last
Tuesday, he reached Tacloban almost consuming two-thirds of the
contents of the two flat Tanduay bottles (yapad) of pure honey which
he got from six farmers in Inuntan, a riverine
Samar. No, he didn’t buy the sweet, sticky substance. He just
bartered his tiendas the total worth of which he estimated to
approximate the price of the honey. He saw the farmers gathering near
an alat - an extra large native basket with a pair of straps
that are swung on one’s shoulders and a balancer strap tied to its
brim and let hung on the alat carrier’s chest for him to pull
down to balance or lighten his back load. How his eyes wiggled and
his lips moistened on seeing several honeycombs inside the alat,
from which one farmer was scooping out honey for a salivating buyer.
He used to buy honey
from drugstores in Tacloban or from walk-in traders, but he was sure
that was already impure, meaning, mixed with water and sugar. This
time, he was sure the honey was pure, fresh from the honeycomb. Some
larvae were still in the honeycomb, and a few bees were swirling and
buzzing inside the alat. He had to have some of this, not
only for its pureness and freshness but also because it was being sold
at a price almost half that which he could pay for in Tacloban.
He had refused to sell
one bottle when he reached the poblacion of Basey even if his would-be
buyer was offering to buy it for P250.
The farmers were
delighted to take his exchange offers - a blanket, a foreign-made
foldable mat, and a batuta or baton for use by a barangay tanod.
(The batuta is actually a smooth cylindrical imitation iron scabbard
for a long-handled sharp long knife that comes out when the handle is
turned and pulled away from the scabbard. They gave him two yapad
full of honey.
On his cutting trips
from Inuntan to Basey, and from Basey to Tacloban, he repeatedly
unscrewed the yapad cap and poured the honey into his mouth.
He would say ahhhh! after each pour, to express his contentment.
“Bangin waray ka na maipaagom hit’ im’ pamilya?” I jokingly remarked
to him. He was seated next to me in the bus-long passenger Tacloban-bound
jeepney that Tuesday dusk. “May’da pa man ak’ usa didi,” he
laughingly riposted, taking out another yapad of honey from his
That is frequently the
day’s turnout of this Estehanon’s business. In case no one in a
village buys his wares - which includes every little item that one
would think every rural man and woman would want to own and therefore
buy, he was always ready to barter them with those which the villager
can heartily offer in return. Thus, at home, he has a sack of palay,
a big plastic container full of milled rice, chickens, rootcrops, 3
backyard pigs, and others. “Mas barato kaupay ini kontra paliton nimo
ha Tacloban,” he explained his preference for the barter, adding that
even if the transport cost were added still the price of the barter
item was much lesser.
But of course! He
always gains, even if his mark-up price for every item he sells is
only between P40 and P200. (Yes, even P250, such as the price pegged
for that batuta. I bought one for myself from another merchant at the
old bus terminal of Tacloban for only P100 although it was being sold
for P350, because the item I got turned out to be a bayonet and not a
This merchant, who had
been married for 6 years already to a Tacloban lass, started his
I-am-my-own-boss business with a small capital: P3,000, from his
earnings from selling peanuts and eventually, VCDs, music CDs and
videoke CDs at Tacloban’s wharf front.
This guy has not been
wholly happy though. He and his only sibling whom he left in Dolores,
Eastern Samar, were orphaned when they were yet innocent children. His
father died. Their mother left them 20 years ago. His younger
brother died in 2006 while saving three schoolchildren from being hit
by a speeding motorcycle driven by a drunken young man. He was
selling peanuts in Tacloban when the accident occurred to his
sibling. Severely struck by the late-coming word about that, he found
himself unable to move and crying more than one whole night.
Although today he is
not alone, as he has a wife and a kid to inspire him each day and as
he is contented with his business fortune, still he is praying to God
that one day soonest his mother would come to see him.
This lucky merchant
from Oras introduced himself to me when we reached Petron gas station
at the corner of Congressman Artemio Mate Avenue and Avenida Veteranos
at past 6 p.m. as Benjamin Montallana Jr. He told me to just call him
“Benjie”. When I told him that all the Montallanas that I have come
to know between 1968 and 2001 are all lucky and benevolent, he said
heard about that and added, smiling, he does feel he is like them
because many times each month, he could not refuse those who come to
him for any assistance.
I met Benjie for
the first time in Mabini (the farthest riverine barrio east northeast
of Basey) last May 15. We boarded the same small pumpboat up to
Wespal (part of barrio Guirang) and from there chartered a motorcycle
for Basey. Last May 20 was our second happenstance. As in the first,
he was always nice, and fond of telling his own experiences. What a
merchant in him!