water-supply kits and trainings to Philippine Red Cross to enhance
September 14, 2010
MANILA – Four
water-supply kits for emergencies were recently donated by the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to the Philippine Red
Cross (PRC), as part of continuing efforts to build the national
society's capacity to respond to natural disasters.
child, one of thousands forced to flee floods brought by tropical
storm Ondoy, drinks clean water supplied by ICRC and PRC to
evacuation sites in Marikina City. The ICRC donated water-supply
kits and provided training to the PRC so they can better respond
to such disasters.
The four "water-supply
kits for emergency," which would be prepositioned in four areas at
high risk for climate disasters, were turned over to the PRC on Sept.
7 and will be received by four PRC chapters in Luzon and Visayas this
Each kit can purify
raw water into safe drinking water – supplying liters for up to 10,000
people, said Andres Casal, the ICRC's water and habitat coordinator. A
water-supply set includes a pump, water treatment unit, storage
bladders and tap stands for distribution.
"One of the first
problems you have to address during a disaster is access to drinking
water because in most cases, the structures attached to drinking water
are damaged. The high concentrations of people in one place, also
leads to degradation of sanitary conditions, so you have to ensure
water of good quality and quantity," said Casal.
The Philippines, he
pointed out, was extremely prone to disasters especially now that it
is experiencing the rainy season.
"With the kits in
place, trained PRC volunteers would be able to install them in as
short as half a day. These kits will be stored by PRC chapters in
Dagupan, Legazpi, Roxas and Tacloban cities until such time that it is
needed by the population," he said, adding that water-supply kits have
been prepositioned in Mindanao.
Supplying clean water,
added Casal, also prevents the outbreak of water-borne diseases like
He said the donation,
along with this year's training of around 70 PRC volunteers on water
and sanitation, were aimed at improving disaster response since the
experience of Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009.
The ICRC had supported
the PRC's efforts to distribute clean drinking water to families
affected by the massive flooding caused by Ondoy. In flooded jails,
the ICRC worked with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to
restore water supply and disinfect the water.
conducted by ICRC engineers will ensure that identified PRC volunteers
would know how to install, operate and maintain water and sanitation
facilities during emergency situations.
"We taught them
techniques on purifying water to make it proper for human consumption,
building latrines in emergency situations, and also hygiene promotion.
The trainings came before the donation because people who receive the
kits must know how to use them," said Casal.
Over a hundred
volunteers have undergone water and sanitation training since 2006,
according to Iris Von Birgelen, the ICRC delegate in charge of
cooperation with PRC.
"We do a lot of
preparedness activities as part of our capacity-building for the PRC,
and our long-term commitment to support the national society. We are
not only there when things have happened. There's a whole lot of work
beforehand to support PRC in further enhancing their capacity to
respond to disaster," she said.
Though the ICRC's
task consists mainly in serving people affected by armed conflict, Von
Birgelen stressed that the organization is prepared to support and
work with the PRC during major natural disasters, particularly in
water and sanitation and restoring family links.
DENR and partners test
run Cuatro Islas Adventure Tour
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY – In a
bid to promote ecotourism in the Eastern Visayas region, an island
hopping tour package for the Cuatro Islas Protected Landscape and
Seascape has recently been pilot tested.
The test run was
jointly undertaken by the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources, Department of Tourism, Regional Ecotourism Council, the
local government units of Hindang and Inopacan, Leyte, and the
Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of Cuatro Islas.
The package offers a
one day tour around
within the jurisdiction of Hindang, Leyte and the islands of Mahaba,
Apid and Digyo of Inopacan which comprises the Cuatro Islas Protected
Landscape and Seascape.
Jump off point of the
tour is a short trip to
in Hindang which offers a unique spelunking experience amidst a
natural backdrop of flora and fauna. Next stop would be Himokilan
Island, approximately an hour’s pump boat travel from the port of
Hindang. The island is haven to the nut cracking coconut crabs locally
known as “tatus”. Visitors may want to go spelunking and bat watching
at Tahod Cave or explore the island through a nature trek.
Mahaba Island offers
crystal clear waters teeming with live corals and other marine life
which makes for an exciting snorkeling or boating adventure. During
high tide, treat yourself to a Pasayan (shrimp) Foot Spa, with the
gentle nibbling of red shrimps to soothe and massage your tired feet.
Meanwhile, on Apid Island, locals will show off their skills at mat
weaving using pandan leaves which is an abundant resource in the
island. Mat weaving is likewise considered as their main livelihood.
The Cuatro Islas
Island Hopping Tour is capped with relaxation activities at Digyo
Island, the smallest of the Cuatro Islas. Here, the package tour
offers buko refreshment upon arrival of tourists and serenade by local
residents. For a fee, one can avail of massage services or rest on
hammocks while enjoying the fresh sea breeze. Swimming and sunbathing
along the fine white beach sands of Digyo Island are irresistible
treats which can be had for free.
Executive Director and PAMB Chair Primitivo C. Galinato, Jr. reveals
that for a group of twelve (12) persons, the one day tour of Cuatro
Islas costs roughly PhP1,200.00 per person, inclusive of lunch and two
“While the test run
proved to be successful, there is still a lot of room for improvement
to really make the Cuatro Islas Island Hopping Tour a one-of-a-kind
tourism experience not only in region 8 but the country as well,” RED/PAMB
Chair Galinato says.
Cuatro Islas Protected
Landscape and Seascape is an identified emerging ecotourism
destination in the region. The Island Hopping Tour Package has been
developed as part of the Ecotourism Business Plan for CIPLS in support
to the implementation of Executive Order No. 111 signed by then
President Joseph Estrada providing “Guidelines for Ecotourism
Development in the Philippines.”
The test run was
intended to assess and evaluate the viability of the Island Hopping
Adventure for the CIPLS and to make the necessary improvements after
Even before the test
run of the Island Hopping Tour Package, Cuatro Islas is already
frequented by both local and foreign tourists. It boasts of white
sands and beaches which are at par or even surpass the beauty of
Boracay’s beaches in the Philippines. Its pristine, crystal clear
waters, abundant live corals and a bounty of fresh catch of fishes and
other crustaceans may be more than enough to entice picnickers or
those who simply want to bask in nature’s beauty. This is on top of
the warm hospitality offered by the locals in the community.
Protected Area under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS),
the Cuatro Islas is within the control and administration of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It is managed
on-site by a Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) and governed by the
PAMB under the National Integrated Protected Areas System in
accordance with Republic Act 7586 or the NIPAS Act of 1992.
Leyteña shines at
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – It
is always heartwarming to receive news about Filipinos abroad doing
well, upholding the Filipino mark as competent global employees.
Here’s one from a good friend Carol Montilla.
Leyte-born Arlene Montilla Dorffi Vargas captured the eyes of
California and the Filipino community at 2:30 p.m., California time on
September 1 when the Beverly Hills City Mayor Jimmy Delshad awarded
the Leyteña as one of the two outstanding city employees with a plaque
for their great customer service attitude. Terry Wagner of
Los Angeles was the other awardee.
This is the first
award handed out by the city as it launched the "Friendly City Awards"
to recognize and honor those individuals who have not only "provided
great customer service, but have done so with a warm and friendly
Mayor Delshad said the
Friendly City Awards is part of the
initiatives to show that "being friendlly can make an experience
memorable and special – and make people want to return. What I have
learned during my years as a businessman and in community service is,
after a while, people forget what you said or did, but they never
forget how you made them feel," he stressed.
Arlene, as an employee
"has always been there for us," the Mayor said.
For her part, Arlene
said she truly loves working for the City of Beverly Hills, having
been with the city for over ten years. She migrated to the United
States after a short stint at Holy Infant Academy (now College) in
Tacloban and St. Theresa's College in
Arlene is the first of
four children born to Lolita Montilla and Robert Dorffi at Bethany
Hospital in Tacloban in the 50's.
To watch her receive
the award on the internet, go to www.beverlyhills.org – then on the
bottom of screen, click the icon “videos on demand,” click on City
Council then click on City Council Study Session 2:30 or the Archives
Arlene. May your tribe increase. Congratulations are also in order for
her family, her aunties, uncles and relatives both here and in the
Eastern Visayas coco
industry plan completed, elates An Waray
By CHITO DELA TORRE
TACLOBAN CITY – AN WARAY Party-List first representative Florencio “Bem” Noel has assured
the passage of the Philippine Coconut Industry Development Act in the
current Fifthteenth Congress but underscored the pressing need for all
coconut industry stakeholders in Eastern Visayas to translate to
action the Regional Coconut Industry Development Plan (RCIDP) that was
completed during the September 2-3 Third Regional Coco Summit at Hotel
Alejandro here. Representative Noel declared: “Now, we have a plan.
The solutions – the technologies – are available. The next important
thing is not only to ‘walk the talk’, but more importantly is, as they
would say, to ‘work the talk’.”
The youthful AN WARAY
congressman who is serving his third term as party-list
representative, was the summit’s closing program speaker at
yesterday’s end of the convergence technology sharing and dialogue of
coconut farmers, officials of Philippine Coconut Authority, Department
of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Science
and Technology, and other important industry players, such as the GTZ,
Kaisampalad Inc., and Department of Industry.
For Congressman Noel,
even as they had discussed for two days “how pivotal the role of
technology is” in the development of the entire coconut industry, “we
must not forget that there are solutions that can be achieved only by
“Our coconut farmers
cannot do it alone, nor can traders or processors do it by
themselves. Not even PCA, AN WARAY, GTZ or any of our partners can do
by their own efforts.”
Noting that the
Eastern Visayas region’s common journey towards revitalizing its local
coconut industry is now on its third year, Rep. Noel took note of the
fact that while the task of development the industry’s potentials did
not turn out to be as easy as first thought out to be, many of the
current summit participants, including the industry’s partners, have
“continued to patiently and relentlessly do their share in crafting
lasting solutions to the decade-old problems that confront the coconut
He said that on
September 2, he was told that among the 17 regions in the country,
only Eastern Visayas and the Davao region have an annual gathering of
the different stakeholders, but “only the coconut industry players of
Eastern Visayas have reached the level of drafting the Regional
Coconut Industry Development plan – a clear blueprint of what we want
to achieve and what we will do to make it happen”.
“Without a plan in
mind, even our best efforts can lead us nowhere. But with this
roadmap at hand, then I am pretty sure that together we can meet our
goals. Thanks to you, we have this coconut development plan, which I
would consider to be the most significant output of our yearly Coconut
Summits. Congratulations to all of you!”
He said it is
important to underscore that whatever gains achieved in the summit is
not simply because there are industry enablers like PCA, GTZ, DA, DAR,
Kaisampalad, DTI and DOST by whose efforts, gathering like this
happen. “Whatever progress the annual Coconut Summit has attained is
not even simply because there is AN WARAY Party-List in Eastern
Visayas to sponsor it. Our best efforts and good intentions alone
would not amount to the success that we have altogether achieved.”
He pointed out: “The
truth of the matter is that whatever we have accomplished together –
including the growing awareness and stronger advocacy for the
betterment of the coconut industry – is because the local coconut
industry in Eastern Visayas has players like you – farmers who would
want to break away from mediocrity and aspire for higher productivity;
traders who do not only content themselves with simply doing business
but actually help empower our rural communities; and, millers and
processors who pay it forward and are always ready to give back to
building of better and more progressive communities as a form of
social responsibility. The success of the coconut industry is
primarily your achievement.”
Rep. Noel was joined
at the executive table yesterday by An Waray second party-list
representative Neil Benedict Montejo who gave the welcome remarks at
the summit’s opening on Sept. 2.
An Waray staff and
personnel provided the secretariat to the summit that was also able to
open the eyes of the participants to the vast opportunities of
increasing the coco farmers’ income via technologies that were
introduced, presented and demonstrated during the two days forum.
‘Letter of apology’
writer hails from Samar
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Reigno
Jose Dilao wrote his ‘Letter of Apoloy’ on the vesper night of the
Catbalogan town fiesta, while all households were teeming with guests,
dining, wining and dancing.
Some guests though
were glued to their TV sets, monitoring updates on the ‘hostage
crisis’ unfolding at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, Manila.
The “hostage crisis”
involves a dismissed policeman Rolando Mendoza to hostage a bus full
of Hongkong tourists, demanded a review of his case, but due to some
circumstances, the negotiations turned sour and brought his life and
some five other tourists to an end in all gore.
What drove this young
lad to write?
“I was in the
internet, as won’t every teen-ager and among the message exchanges was
the ‘hostage crisis,” Reign told this writer.
As the night wore on
and the hostage crisis left some casualties, Reign or Daboy to family
and friends started to write his letter.
For Daboy, it was just
one of those things, blogging, pouring out his emotions to a one and
thousand concerns, after an hour of seriously considering his ‘hurt
emotions’ by the effects the crisis may bring to the tourism industry
in his beloved country, he posted his ‘letter of apology’ to tumbler.
He then forgot about
it as he went his way assisting his parents entertain their guests,
after all it was the Feast Day of San Bartolome, Catbalogan’s patron
The letter is printed
August 23, 2010
"A letter from a
teenage Filipino to the WHOLE WORLD”
As you are reading
this letter, I bet that you have seen/heard about what happened
earlier in our country.
Tourists were hostages
of a policeman here, Rolando Mendoza. After a few hours of the
horrible crime, some of the victims were dead including the
I wrote this letter
not just to apologize but also to let everyone know that we Filipinos
are not all like Mendoza. We are loving and good-hearted people.
For so many years, our
country has been standing tall and surpassing every dilemma; be it
small or big. Years ago (back when I wasn’t born yet), you have
watched us fight for what we think is right. We fought for the
democracy of our nation…The EDSA revolution. But that’s just one out
Second. We Filipinos
have been serving other countries for our families and we treat you as
our own as well. With all due respect, I thank you all for giving us
the trust through the years. For helping us to become what we are now.
The Philippines is
more than just a group of islands. We are a nation of strong and
remarkable people. A country of beauty and love known to be hospitable
and well-valued. I humbly apologize for what happened tonight. No one
in this world would want something like that to happen for life should
I politely ask the
attention of the world. Please do not judge and mistreat us just
because of what happened tonight. I have been searching the net and
found terrible things. Hong Kong advices to avoid travels here, China
and HK bans Filipinos and that Philippines is the worst place to go.
I can’t blame you for
what you have decided but I hope that you could understand. Our
country is now in a sea of problems. And I know for sure that we
helped you in a way or another. Let peace and understanding reign this
I know that this
letter will just be trash but I wish that you would understand. On
behalf of the Philippine population…WE
As a song puts it…
And I believe that in
my life I will see an end to hopelessness, giving-up and suffering.
And we all stand together this one time then no one will get left
behind. Stand up for life. STAND UP FOR LOVE.
Reigno Jose Dilao
Catbalogan City, Samar
(End of Letter)
Little did Daboy know,
that the whole world rave about his letter.
The following day, the
fiesta, his Mom, Socorro was all agog entertaining visitors and looked
for him for help, Daboy was upstairs talking to someone.
“He sounded serious
and even signalled me to stop,” Mom Socorro who works at Land Bank of
the Philippines - Catbalogan branch told PIA-Samar.
As Daboy put his phone
down, he told the unbelieving mom his ‘story’. “Medyo overwhelmed ako
Ma’am,” the proud Mama told PIA over the phone.
Dad Ilde who also
works at LBP-Catbalogan also felt proud about what his son did.
“You would say, Ma’am
that my countenance may not beam the pride, but deep inside I feel so
proud,” he was almost in tears.
Principal Tony Caveiro
of Samar National School said he could not remember the number of
reporters looking for him, but when he learned why, he could not help
but feel the pride for this young boy whom everybody thinks is just an
ordinary and typical high school senior.
His teachers from the
school said that Daboy is a good student and writes good essays, but
they all agree with Ms. Loretta Basa, the Filipino department head –
that this was the best, after all, he is the school paper associate
After all, the letter
came when no one in his country would ever think of such a feat moreso
in his town in Catbalogan as all were busy with the fiesta and all its
Daboy, is an ordinary
student, who even claims that as a leader he lacks the influence to
mobilize his peers to action, made waves not only in Asia but in the
cyberspace where his letter was posted many times and got some five
thousand views (as of this writing).
So many interviews has
left this young man preoccupied ever since the letter broke into
cyberspace, there is Pia Hontiveros of ANC, QTV, Radio Veritas and
others and this bubbly 15 year-old lad accommodates them all.
The incidence is
slowly sinking in and he himself could not believe it happened.
Before trudging back
to his classes, after the interview, Daboy shared his plan to enroll
in communications arts or mass communication and hones his writing
The boy hailed by
some as a hero has only one fervent wish: That Hongkong and the world
truly forgive, after all, he said in his letter “Let peace and
understanding reign this time”. (PIA-Samar)
Cabueños’ arrest was
mandated by law justified Hubilla
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
CALBAYOG CITY – I
would presume that the Honorable Mayor realized that there was nothing
personal in the arrest. It was without discretion and purely work
related, says Samar PNP Provincial Director Pancho Adelberto Hubilla
in an interview conducted by Samarnews.com the day after the arrest of
Gandara Mayor Antonieto Cabueños.
the mandate of the organization in enforcing the law – that it is
without fear or fervor. He also said that the reason why Cabueños was
elected as mayor in order to serve his constituents, same obligation
with Gandara Police who initiated in implementing the warrant of
arrest issued by Judge Manuel F. Torrevillas of RTC Allen Branch 23 in
coordination with the Sta. Margarita Police led by PSInsp. Angelo
Pueblos who was manning the area in the afternoon of August 18, 2010.
Police director Pancho Adelberto Hubilla
(photo by Gina Dean-Ragudo)
He admitted that in
coordination of all municipal police offices in
Samar, they really hovered in the area within 4 days upon receipt
of the arrest order.
Cabueños was arrested
last February 22, 2010 by police check point at Lavezares,
Northern Samar in
violation of the Omnibus Election Code due to unauthorized carrying of
firearms and unauthorized security which involves 3 Gandara
PNP members namely PO3 Jonathan Rama, PO3 Edgar Delector and PO2
Sec 32 of Republic Act
7166 states that “during election period, no person shall bear, carry
or transport firearms or other deadly weapons in public places,
including any building, street, park, private vehicle or public
conveyance, even if licensed to possess or carry the same, unless
authorized in writing by the Commission. The issuance of firearms
license shall be suspended during the election period.”
also provides “the rules and regulations on the bearing, carrying or
transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons; and employment,
availment or engagement of the services of security personnel or body
guards during the election period for
May 10, 2010 National or Local Elections.”
By virtue of a release
order issued by Calbayog
RTC Judge Reynaldo B. Clemens, he was temporarily freed and allowed to go
The PNP escorts
implicated in the same case were also apprehended on that day while
reassigned at Northern Samar Police Office, and now under the custody
of the Regional Police Office 8 after posting bail. They would be
presented before the court along with Gandara Mayor Cabueños for the
hearing of the case.
hollow grave sites in Gandara
2 hollow grave sites
were allegedly discovered by Gandara
PNP forces lately. This was in addition to the previous 6
excavated by local authorities whose remains were retrieved; autopsy
and other forensic examinations were already conducted.
Dir. Hubilla revealed
that this has been a welcome development in the area. The police are
gaining back the trust and confidence of the people. There are
volunteer witnesses who are willing to testify before the court. In
fact, complaint-affidavits of both the aggrieved party and its
respective witnesses are undergoing review.
identify the perpetrators as well as the victims, the grave sites and
where the crimes were committed. So I would say, they are competent
witnesses,” says Hubilla.
He accounted the 5
remains exhumed by PNP forces such as Benedicto Padac (August 11, 2009
crime committed), Benigno Oreta (November 29, 2008), Anthony Aregon
(December 1, 2006), Luis Docong (December 28, 2005) and Allan Torres.
There are 2-3 target
grave sites which are still subject for excavation.
investigation is on the verge of evaluation, the
PNP provincial director has yet to disclose names of suspect/s
implicated in the unsolved killings of said municipality.
Because of the trend…
in a very, very short time magiging kalmado na ang Gandara, assured
Selection, recommendation of PNP Chief outside LCE control
Hubilla believed that
lawmakers of PNoy’s administration are mandated to study the proposed
autonomy of the PNP in the selection and choice of chief of police in
all cities and municipalities.
He is however amenable
to the present set-up that the choice of
COP be still subject to the recommendations of the local chief
tingin ko naman, kahit na ganito ang sistema pwede naman pagandahin.
So long naklaro
ang gusto nating mangyari. Wala naming masama kung mamili ang LCE kasi
in the first place, siya ang responsible sa area niya. Siya ang
elected ng tao and he represents the sentiments of the constituents.
So dapat suportahan natin ang LCE”, he justified.
When asked about the
support of Gandara LCE extended to the
PNP, he candidly disclosed that it ceased to continue
(electric and water allowance) few months ago and the provincial
office has included under the MOOE.
His office has organic
resources provided to all units, and the support of the local
government unit is just an “add-on”.
“I want to
underscore that the local government is there for one reason only – to
serve the constituency. The police is there for the same purpose. I
cannot find any sane reason kung bakit pag nag tratrabaho ang pulis ng
tama…magagalit ang local government. So, this must be something
wrong”, Hubilla said.