prioritizes the “intangibles”
By LANIE PITAO-TUPAZ, PIA Biliran
NAVAL, Biliran –
Unlike other politicians who prefer to give their constituents
concrete projects to prove their performance, Biliran Mayor Leandro B.
Enage of the province of Biliran, took the unconventional by
prioritizing the intangible projects which his constituents cannot see
but feel in the long run.
Since his assumption
to office in June 30 last year, Mayor Enage first started his job
within the very organization he is facing everyday – the municipal
employees and officials – where he continuously holds dialogues with
the town’s legislators to come up with practically significant
ordinances and resolutions, and held their executive budget hearing
open to the public in order to know the real sentiments of each
employee and official of the local government unit.
consulted as to their demands for benefits and working conditions
where Mayor Enage granted them the extra cash gift as mandated by law,
and assured the second phase of salary increase based on the Salary
Mayor Enage also
required LGU employees to undergo a reorientation seminar to reexamine
and rehash their conduct as they deal with their clients to be more
effective in the delivery of their services.
As a tyro local chief
executive who wants to bring progress to the town he calls his home,
Mayor Enage is reviewing and studying the resolution and ordinances
passed by the Sangguning Bayan so that they will be strictly
implemented by the concerned departments. He also has to learn to say
“NO” to demands which are detrimental to public service.
Biliran being a fifth
class municipality with an annual budget of more or less P33 million
and a population of 14,947 as of August 7, 2007, Mayor Enage made
representations with various government agencies in both local and
national levels for assistance to fund tangible projects so as not to
deplete their meager budget.
The municipality of
Biliran received medicines in the amount of P1.6 million from the
BANAT Partylist in November last year and was assured to be
continuously given medicine donations.
The Department of
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also funded the repair of Brgy.
San Isidro Day Care Center. The repair of Brgy. San Roque will also
follow soon with funds from the same source.
The town’s health
center is also subjected to renovation and expansion once Senator
Zubiri fulfills his commitment to fund the project.
All these efforts may
not be tangible to the people but they will soon feel the benefit
these “intangible projects” will bring them.
Since all these
endeavors are not seen by the naked eyes, the LGU came up with a
newsletter so that the general public may know what their local
executive is doing and planning for what is good for them.
Calbayog City bares
preparations as 2011 EVRAA Meet host
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
In a recently held media conference, DepED School Division
Superintendent, Dr.Edita Y. Paculan, announced the city’s
preparedness to welcome more than 5,000 delegates in the forthcoming
EVRAA Meet that will be held from January 31 to February 4, 2011 in
Dr. Paculan, who is
the over all vice-chairman of the 2011 EVRAA Meet Organization and
Management Structure, bared the details of the preparation that is
being undertaken by Calbayog as its host city. Paculan guested in the
regular weekly media conference aired live at DYOG Radyo ng Bayan
which was held at the City Tourism and Information Office last January
EVRAA Meet is a yearly
sports development activity which is being participated by the
different public elementary and secondary schools in
held in different venues. This year’s theme is “School Sports: an
avenue for values development towards transformation.”
This will be the
second time that Calbayog City will be hosting the EVRAA, the first of
which was in 2003 during the 1st term of former Mayor, now Cong. Mel
Senen Sarmiento. Paculan stressed the importance of a very well
planned activities to live up with the expectations of being
undefeated in the EVRAA history for its “best hosting” in 2003.
Under its organization
and management structure, several working committees have been
organized. Hon. Reynaldo S. Uy is its over all chairman. Concerns on
technical and games administration; ceremonial/socials and cultural;
billeting; logistics, security & safety measures; publicity/promotion;
civic participation and games, venue, facilities, grounds and
equipment will be taken cared by the respective committee members.
Committee has submitted a proposed budgetary requirement amounting to
P7 million for the entire activity period. However, it was learned
that the amount has been trimmed down from to P5 million where P3.369
million will be spent for the hosting expenses and P1.7 million will
be for the actual delegation expenses. They, however, expect for
further reduction of the said amount depending on the availability of
Provision of comfort
rooms, bathrooms, security and repair of school buildings that will be
utilized in housing the delegates will be a few of the major items
that will be considered under the hosting expenses. This will be in
addition to the P100,000 financial assistance released by the DePED
for the repair of various schools which will be used in the four day
activity. On the other hand, meal expenses, uniforms, equipment,
incidental expenses and honoraria will be charged to the P1.7 million
appropriated for the delegation expenses.
contingents will be drawn by lots. Each billeting venue will be
provided with 50 complete sets of beddings. Expected contingents will
come from Leyte, Ormoc City, Biliran, Maasin City, Samar, Southern
Leyte, Calbayog City, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Tacloban City.
For this year,
Calbayog will be having 549 delegates composed of 366 athletes
(157-elementary and 209-secondary); 52 coaches; 38 trainers; 60
officials and 32 LGU officials. Paculan explains that in the past,
Calbayog has limited delegates because of the financial constraints on
In terms of
performance, Calbayog ranked 3rd in the 2003 EVRAA meet. However, it
was learned that last year’s performance was very poor due to lack of
The delegates are
expected to arrive on the 27th where athletes will be interviewed at
their billeting quarters. Submission and screening of athletes’
documents will start on January 14-20. The athletes coming from both
the elementary and secondary levels should present NSO certified live
birth certificates. In order to qualify, athletes from the secondary
level should be born on 1993 and elementary level participants should
be born on 1998.
A grand parade around
the city will signal the start of the activities on January 30 at 1:00
p.m. The formal opening will be held at Northwest State University
immediately after the parade. A field demonstration which will be
joined by at least 400 students from various schools will be presented
to include the famous performance of the SARAKIKI.
Dr. Paculan was
optimistic that the weather improves soon. However, in case the rain
continues, the committees laid down contingency plans A and B to
ensure that events will not be disrupted. “Games will continue as
scheduled whether it rains or shines”, she further stressed.
In the entire
duration of the EVRAA Meet, classes will be suspended to ensure that
all concerned teachers can actively participate.
Gov. Tan teams up with
DA, offers P1.95 million counterpart seed subsidy
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The Office of the Governor of Samar, represented by Gov. Sharee Ann
T. Tan, partnered with the Department of Agriculture Region 8 in its
Rice Self Sufficiency and Productivity Program by providing a P1.95
million worth of counterpart subsidy. The amount will reduce the
amount of certified seeds for rice farmers in the 1st and 2nd
districts of Samar.
More than 70
participants from the 26 local government units of
Samar witnessed the launching activity last January 5, 2011 at the
SP Session Hall of the provincial capitol. It was spearheaded by DA-8
Regional Director Leo P. Cañeda and witnessed by Governor Sharee Ann
T. Tan, Vice-Governor Stephen James T. Tan and NFA Provincial Manager
Ms. Francisca Mercado. The assembly was attended by farmer
beneficiaries, seed growers, Municipal Agricultural Officers and DA/OPA
officials and personnel.
Self-sufficiency and Productivity program aims to increase the
utilization of certified seeds through cost reduction; to attain 10%
increase in yield from 2.42 metric tons to 2.66 metric tons per
hectare in 6,500 hectares program area and to increase palay outputs
of 1,573 metric tons for September 2010 to March 2011 cropping season.
Ms. Anita T. Taran, announced that a total of P1.95 million has been
allocated by Gov. Tan to support the seed requirements of about 6,500
farmers in Samar. To qualify as a farmer beneficiary, inclusion in the
master list of farmers in the RaSSFIP program is a must.
For every bag of
certified seeds which amounts to P1,200, the DA provides a 50%
subsidy, lowering the farmer’s equity to only P600. However, instead
of paying P600, farmers will only be paying P300 because of the
additional subsidy from the provincial government.
beneficiaries who would want to enroll in this program should register
with the Agricultural assigned in the LGU, pay his equity of P300 to
DA authorized representative and affix his signature to acknowledge
the receipt of the seeds. On the other hand, the MAOs will prepare the
submission of a complete list of farmer beneficiaries to DA-RFU8 and
collect the P300 farmer’s equity. The provincial government will in
turn set aside a special fund of P1.95 million for the counterpart
seed subsidy and make the fund ready for disbursement. It will be the
NFA’s responsibility to issue receipts for the P300 provincial subsidy
and P300 farmer’s equity.
Governor Tan was happy
over the passage/approval of the provincial Annual Budget for CY 2010
because it made her possible to implement pro-poor programs. Tan
announced an ongoing P19 million worth of a farm to market road
construction in Sto-Niño to Rawis, Gandara and the provision of a 5%
counterpart amounting to P2 million for an P8 million irrigation
project in Jiabong. She calls on the need for solidarity among
stakeholders. She also commits to give fertilizers and farm implements
to farmers. “Dara han pagkamay-ada naton hin aprobado nga budget, an
gugma ngan ngan serbisyo tikang han akon administrasyon maipa-aabot ko
na ha iyo. An gobyerno andam pagbulig ha iyo ngan naglalaum ako nga
ini an magin tinikangan han maupay nga mga relasyones”, were the exact
statements of the governor.
Tan further stressed
on the importance of having sustainable programs on agriculture. She
hopes that the program will not end at its launching activity only,
but a start of more developments in
Samar that will
lessen or ease poverty among her constituents. She ended her speech
with an appeal to all provincial legislators to pass the Annual Budget
for CY 2011 the soonest possible time in order to deliver the proposed
programs contained in the proposed budget.
On the other hand,
Dir. Cañeda tagged the launching activity as “a day of victory for our
farmers, signaling a new era for agricultural development.” He
expressed his appreciation to Gov. Tan for being one of those
governors who responded to his call for partnership in the certified
seeds subsidy program.
As part of the
program, rice subsidy coupons and souvenir t-shirts were distributed
to farmer-beneficiaries. The activity was highlighted by the turn-over
of the Provincial Rice Sufficiency Blue Print from DA Director Leo P.
Cañeda to Gov. Share Ann T. Tan. This was facilitated by OPA
Officer-in-charge, Ms. Anita Taran.
It was further
learned that Calbayog City Mayor Reynaldo S. Uy and Sta. Margarita
Mayor Alfredo Serrano have also expressed their commitment to support
the certified seeds subsidy program to be immediately implemented at
their respective local government units.
DILG works for
transparent, full disclosure of LGU finances to help curb corruption
By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern
January 13, 2011
QUEZON CITY – A
remarkable initiative of the Department of Interior and Local
Government (DILG) under the new management of Secretary Jesse Robredo
has enlisted the efforts of local chief executives as part of the
process in finding a lasting solution to an age-old problem of
We are all part of the
problem so we should all be part of the solution as well – or so this
first-ever step in a journey of a thousand miles to eradicate corrupt
practices tried to say in simple terms.
But the terms of
engagement here are not simple, and it has yet to show if this
endeavor makes waves.
To be sure, many
innovative approaches to lessen corruption in a country known as the
only Christian nation in this part of the world, has already been done
in the past, yet those moves were just like square pegs on round
holes, as illegal acts to squeeze public funds went on, took many
forms and faces, and carried out in seemingly legal maneuvers at that.
What makes this one
any different then?
According to Feliciano
Regis, the OIC-Office of Public Affairs at the DILG Central Office,
this has been a novel approach to a lingering illness, even swearing
that nothing like this comes close in previous administrations.
This was also the very
first pronouncement Sec. Robredo made shortly after assuming his new
post, and he was a former Mayor himself, so he knows whereof he speaks
about nuances in LGU operations.
Not only that: the
idea actually developed out of President Benigno Aquino’s inaugural
speech on June 30, 2010 when he stressed the now familiar line “kung
walang corrupt, walang mahirap,” Regis added in an interview at his
It was an idea whose
time has come, an idea that acquired flesh on August 31, 2010 as
Memorandum Circular Number 2010-83 on the subject, “Full disclosure of
local budget and finances, and bids and public offerings.”
Sure enough, the
directive was addressed to “all provincial governors, city mayors,
municipal mayors, presiding officers of sangguniang panlalawigan,
sangguniang panlungsod and sangguniang bayan, ARMM regional governors
and DILG regional directors.”
That translates to an
imposition for 80 provincial governors, 122 city mayors, 1,512
municipal mayors and, since October 2010, including 42,021 punong
barangays to “faithfully comply with the provisions of laws and
existing national policy” to inform the general public by posting
“budgets, expenditures, contracts and loans in conspicuous places
within public buildings in the locality, or in print media of
community or general circulation and their websites” – all for a noble
and lofty purpose of promoting good local governance.
And, by extension,
discouraging attempts of corruption, as the concerned, reading public
would be duly aware and informed and, hopefully, these documents can
serve as basis for spotting irregularities, then eventually to filing
of cases, either in the Ombudsman or the Courts, if needed.
(12) documents, with their corresponding information details, are
mandatory to be let open, let known to a scrutinizing, often skeptical
public purportedly to gain their trust and confidence.
For posting this year,
2011, these are: CY 2011 Annual Budget, Quarterly Statement of Cash
Flows, CY 2011 Statement of Receipts and Expenditures, CY 2011 Trust
Fund (PDAF) Utilization; CY 2011 Special Education Fund Utilization,
CY 2011 20% Component of the IRA Utilization, CY 2011 Gender and
Development Fund Utilization, CY 2011 Statement of Debt Service, CY
2011 Annual Procurement Plan or Procurement List, Items to Bid, Bid
Results on Civil Works, and Goods and Services, and Abstract of Bids
serving as a booster to the DILG-led direction, the 2011 General
Appropriations Act, or RA 10147 that contained the National Budget for
the current year, has a rider provision which makes full disclosure
mandatory, reported Regis.
He also pointed out
that to sustain the initiative, DILG partnered with NGOs and civil
society groups, in addition to their regional structures, for
monitoring compliance both in form and substance, not just for the
sake of compliance.
By the end of 2010,
those who had complied were not much – 18 out of 80 provinces, 34 out
of 122 cities. But with NGO assistance, Regis was confident the
figures would increase this year. But more than expecting a higher
compliance rate, Regis said Sec. Robredo was particular on impact, on
effects, if at all this has transformed the long-entrenched culture of
corruption, replacing it with a culture of honesty which, in turn,
will become a habit.
A long shot,
definitely, Regis humbly admits. But somehow there is hope.
And hope, in the end,
is something we have to cling to, like faith. Indeed, to turn an
abstract concept into tangible, visible, and positive results requires
a bottomless reserve of hope. Lots of it, actually, and discipline,
too, especially the inner kind.
8th Infantry Division
mourns over ambush comrades, NPA rebels commend success
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO & ELADIO PERFECTO
Samar – The successive ambush incidents in Northern Samar have
boosted the NPA rebels’ strength. This part of the island where a
regional operational command is situated has a strike force with more
than 100 fully equipped, said a former military commander. The latest
explosion of a landmine on
December 14, 2010
has killed 10 soldiers belonging to the 63rd Infantry Battalion, a 9
year old boy and wounded 2 other military combatants. Said incident
happened when the troop was heading back to their camp traversing the
remote area of Brgy. Sta. Fe, Las Navas, Northern Samar where they
were confronted by more or less 50 heavily armed men believed to be
members of the CPP/NPA/NDF.
The fatalities were
identified as Sgt. Antonio P. Imperial (39), Catbalogan, Samar; Cpl
Rey Villagracia (38), Borongan, Eastern Samar; Cpl Richard J. Maximo
(32), Palawan; Cpl Nathaniel Colima (31), Hernani, Eastern Samar; Cpl
Allan Rafinian (32), Brgy. Dalakit, Catarman, Northern Samar; Pfc
Juanito Millagracia (34), Mondragon, Northern Samar; Pfc Jarold
Vergara (22), Lanao Del Norte; Pfc Nathaniel Mamerto (25), San
Agustin, Surigao Del Sur, Pfc Jayson Alcala (23), Oras, Eastern Samar;
and Pfc Roy Cascano (33), Brgy. Dalakit, Catarman, Northern Samar.
The nine (9) year old
boy hit and killed during the incident was identified as Joven Cabe, a
resident of Brgy. Perez, Las Navas town.
The two combatants who
have survived from gunshot wounds were Cpl Ricardo Gabral and Pfc
In a visit to St.
Francis Chapel at Camp Juan Ponce Sumuroy in Catarman Northern Samar,
top military officials have paid tribute to the slain soldiers.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, OPPAP (Office of the Presidential
Adviser on Peace Process) Sec. Teresita "Ding" Deles, Government Peace
Panel Chief Atty. Alexander Padilla, AFP Chief of Staff Ricardo David,
Army Chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz, 8ID Chief Maj. Gen. Mario Chan and
others expressed their sympathies to the immediate families and gave
financial assistance as well as AFP Educational Benefit System through
In a text message
released by 803rd Deputy Brigade Commander Rolando Malinao it says
that “these Christian soldiers died a glorious death for God, Country,
and People. They fought it out to the last and they have won over
evil! They have won in protecting you, for you to continue in enjoying
the fruits of democracy and freedom. We thank you all, in behalf of
their families, your silent prayers and sympathies. But we will honor
them more if we turn that silence into a loud voice of support to
their heroism and condemnation of the CPP/NPA/NDF. Let’s now translate
this into resolutions and mobilization, and once and for all let us
make a stand for the sake of our children and our children's
Earlier, a series of
ambush incidents were reported from the same town of Las Navas. A
group of soldiers while taking a bath in a river along Brgy. Del Pilar,
was sniped by NPA rebels, and on December 9 while on board a motorized
banca en route to Brgy. Poponton, Brgy. Taylor was trapped by another
terrorist act of deception by the same group.
On the other hand, a
press statement issued by the Efren Martires Command (EMC) entitled
“Successful Las Navas ambush a punishment of the military in response
to the people's demand” dated December 18, 2010 has commended the NPA
in Northern Samar for heeding the people's demand to punish the
military, killing 10 fascist troops of the 63rd IB and confiscating 11
It accused the 8th
Infantry Division for committing many human rights abuses in the
second half of this year through widespread military operations in
It further stressed
that the people have long been seething and demanding the punishment
of 8th ID troops who were responsible for bombing their communities,
killing suspected NPA supporters, destroying crops, looting and
burning houses, torturing and harassing the people, forcing mass
evacuations and other human rights violations.
The militarization of
Samar and the consequent abuses were glossed over by 8th ID chief Gen.
Mario Chan, with his meaningless boasts of having "captured" 43 NPA
camps and that the NPA was finished. Now Gen. Chan is eating his own
words and the people are rejoicing at the sterling victory of the NPA
and the punishment of the fascist tormentors."
EMC spokesperson Ka
Karlos Manuel expressed regret at the reported death of a child in the
ambush but pinned responsibility on the military. "News reports state
the child was not inside the ambush area but swimming in a nearby
river. The NPA had defined targets within the ambush area, so how
could the child be hit when he was not even inside the danger zone?
The EMC instead believed the child was either hit by the ambushed
soldiers firing indiscriminately to save themselves, or else
deliberately shot afterwards by enemy reinforcements for anti-NPA
black propaganda. The NPA certainly welcomes any investigation that
would strengthen the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human
Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the prospects for peace
The Ka Karlos also
said that the NPA offensive occurred before the mutual ceasefire
between the NDFP and the Philippine government on December 16 with
which it is now complying. "The NPA views with disdain the comments by
Gen. Chan that the Las Navas ambush is an act of treachery, even
though it happened before the ceasefire, and furthermore implying that
the NDFP is insincere about the peace talks. Gen. Chan is contemptible
for accusing the NPA of warmongering when it is the 8th ID that has
been mounting massive military operations in Samar Island for the past
months and causing untold suffering to the people. The ambushed 63rd
IB troops were in fact on their routine combat operation, the reason
why the NPA had correctly anticipated their movements and prepared to
do battle. And if insincerity should be cited, it is on the part of
the 8th ID and the Aquino government who has militarized
preparing a fresh offensive next year to supplant Oplan Bantay Laya."
Manuel however assured
the officials and members of the military and police who have no
serious crimes that they will not be arrested or punished during the
NPA's ceasefire from 00:01H of Dec. 16, 2010 to 23:59H of January 3,
2011. "They may also individually visit their friends and families
inside the territory of the people's democratic government. At the
same time, the EMC calls on all NPA units to actively defend
themselves only if there is a clear and present danger, and to closely
monitor enemy movements and immediately report any ceasefire violation
by the enemy. Violations that may be reported include operations by
the military, paramilitary and police; fascist violence such as
harassments and road blockades; and other hostile actions within and
around guerrilla zones and fronts. Any ceasefire violation by enemy
forces should be immediately reported to the Information Bureau of the
Communist Party of the Philippines.”
Northern Samar representative condemns NPA attacks
Northern Samar 2nd
District Representative Emil Ong violently condemned the use of
landmines and other terrorist acts of the NPA rebels. As one of the
negotiators during the time of President Cory Aquino, he appealed
before the group and convinced them to join the government by running
in any position to convey their grievances.
He admitted of having
gained support from the underground movement during campaign period
but he never tolerated any kind of atrocity committed by the group
whom he suspected that said act of terrorism was not tolerated by the
real NPA hierarchy.
He added that the
victims of the latest ambush in his area are considered heroes.
Ong who also gave
financial support to the widows and immediate families of the slain
soldiers said that lives cannot be measured by money but his act is a
form of sympathy.
He said that he was
very disappointed on the series of ambush incidents in his district as
it would definitely affect his attempt to promote their tourism
industry, and the effect would defeat the purpose of improving the
economic progress of the people.
“Any single incident
is a block mark to tourism”, he said.
In his efforts to
recognize the real causes of these incidents, he disclosed that he
could not understand the demands of the CPP/NPA/NDF for the latter
would only tell him that they have profound basis for instituting
offensive attacks against the government troops. He however hoped that
the peace talk on January 2011 will be fruitful.
Cong. Ong appealed to
PNoy’s administration to allocate bigger budget to agriculture for he
believed that one way of solving insurgency problem in the area is by
providing “food sufficiency than military sufficiency” as it will
lessen the susceptibility to join the rebel group.
“I am not threatening
the new administration but appealing to increase the budgetary support
for agriculture like other departments,” he added.
He further said
that as an agriculture country, other industries will also benefit if
all the lands in the area are irrigated for it will have good
productions which will result good income in the form of taxes.
Basaynon shares honor
with “Andok’s” 25th Anniversary
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
A 57 year old Basaynon, who now resides permanently and comfortably in
Magdalena, Laguna, made it as an awardee in the 25th anniversary of
“Andok’s” held at its main office in Quezon City last Dec. 9, 2010.
Mrs. Lavinia Gravoso
Articona, a native of Brgy. Bacubac, Basey,
Samar, bags the award as one of the most outstanding suppliers of
dressed chicken and “liempo” for the prestigious food chain, Andok’s.
Mana Vinia, as
popularly known by the Basaynons, went to
in 1981 for a greener pasture. She recalled having a meager starting
or seed capital in the amount of P12,000 to initially engage in meat
processing at home, upon the death of her husband.
“Meeting Ms. Ligaya
Dycoco, the production manager of Andoks, made a whole lot of
difference in my business career. A friend, who was an Andok’s
supplier, got messed up in her business dealings and introduced me to
Dycoco. It started this partnership” says Articona.
Getting connected with
Andok’s changed her life. At present, “Mana Vinia” contributes the
biggest supply of dressed chicken regularly to the said food chain.
She delivers 6,000-7,000 dressed chicken regularly. Other than being
an Andok’s supplier, her own business enterprise known as La Vinia
Marketing, branched out to rice retailership and other grocery items.
La Vinia Marketing, a
family business venture, is being joined by Mana Vinia’s children
Marjorie, a 32 yr. old accountant; Cesar, 30 yrs old and an
Electronics Communication Engineer and Mercedes, 26 yrs old and is
presently enrolled in a law school. Its office is within their
residential compound in the town of Magdalena, Laguna.
Andok’s, owned by
Mayor Sandy Leonardo Javier of Javier,
Leyte turned 25 years in existence. The food business is
known for its natural taste chicken. It has no preservatives. In its
25th year, it maintains 71 dine-in outlets and more than 200 kiosks or
rolling stores nationwide. Its first dine-in outlet was in
name “Andok’s” was in memory of Mayor Javier’s father. He mentioned
about the sacrifices that he went through to sustain the business. In
his speech, he especially thanked the people behind the whole
organization who sincerely worked with him as well as the clients,
whose trust and patronage continue and keep Andok's growing. They
assured the public to maintain the excellence and even improve their
services and be a partner in the country’s development.