Processors’ Association inaugurates pilot processing center in Samar
By EMY BONIFACIO, Samar News.com
March 15, 2011
CATBALOGAN CITY – A
P180,000 worth of processing center for rock oyster production has
recently been inaugurated at Brgy. Majaba,
The facility which was constructed within a 150 square meter lot area
will service at least 38 families who are active members of the
Majaba-Basiao Sisi Processors Association (MABASI).
Rock oyster production
is a primary source of livelihood for the two mentioned barangays. At
least 40 to 100 botlles of processed “sisi” sold at 25 to 40 pesos are
being produced locally. Rock oyster can also be processed as chips and
can be mixed with flour, egg and spiced to taste as crispy “baduya”.
MABASI has been
formally organized to venture into rock oyster processing. Initially,
it was learned that the Social Action Center of the Diocese of
Calbayog through its Director, Fr. Cesar Aculan, has been helping the
community after it was greatly devastated by a typhoon, years back. He
considers the turned-over infrastructure a dream-come-true and a
symbol of cooperation among members of the MABASI and the community
The organization is
headed by its President, Ms. Vangielyn Tambalogan. Other Officers
include Francisco Cabaguing - Vice President; Madelyn Abrigo -
Secretary; Jenelyn Arnoco - Treasurer; Anita Rojo - Auditor; Jovelyn
Cabaguing - Bookkeeper and Dennis Rojo as Business Manager. The Board
of Directors are Lilian Tambalogan, Teresita Arnoso and Rosalia
Tabotabo. The Mass Media Officers are Nestor Tambalogan and Ernesto
On the government
side, the Department of Trade and Industry extended assistance to the
group in terms of their expertise in capacitating its members.
Various trainings were geared towards a standardized processing,
uniform and sanitary production, packaging and marketing of rock
oysters which were provided by VICTO National, an NGO which is based
in Tacloban. In effect, the Samar State University has been contracted
to provide the necessary trainings. This assistance materialized under
the DTI’s Rural Micro Enterprise Promotion Project (RuMEPP) that
provided funding assistance amounting to P350,000 for aquaculture
Other groups like the
Samar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Samar Bankers’
Association, the Local Government of Catbalogan and the media has also
been in touch with the DTI and the Social Action Center for other
support services in line with this undertaking.
On the other hand, the
newly constructed building, equipped with its processing facilities,
was made possible through Dr. Stephan Kunz of the AFOS We can. Dr.
Kunz is the Country Director for Justice F, a foundation that is
closely coordinating with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI)
in enhancing Small Medium Enterprise (SME) promotion and MSME
improvement in particular areas.
Dr. Kunz, a social
scientist by profession, has been in the Philippines since the 1990s
and has been working with Filipinos communities particularly in the
Visayas and Caraga. In Samar, the rock oyster processing in Majaba is
a pilot project which he hopes to be replicated in other depressed
areas in the near future.
According to Kunz,
uplifting the lives of the people is a passion and working with the
Samareños is part of the group’s mission. His focus on the
environmental issues at the Smokey Mountain in the ‘90s gave him the
opportunity to see the living conditions of most Samarnons and
Leyteños in the slum areas.
“I can see that the
Philippine soil is a potential capital for agricultural development
which has long been neglected in Samar. I do not understand why people
prefer to stay in squatter areas in Manila when there are so much
resources waiting to be developed here”, says Dr. Kunz.
Having worked with the
Filipinos for several years, he considers extended families,
pakikisama, jealousy, competition even among government agencies,
corruption and inability to work together as challenges that hampers
personal growth and development. He sees the urgency for public and
private partnerships to oversee the sustainable implementation of
programs and projects that would improve the quality of life of the
However, he stressed
his disappointment on dole-outs. Instead, he encourages participation
and cooperation among the parent-beneficiaries.
In his inaugural
speech, Dr. Kunz assured the MABASI members to bring more expert
people to conduct continuous trainings geared towards increasing the
volume of their production, improving the quality of their products
and considering the hygienic aspects of processing as a priority. He
expressed his thanks to the community for allowing them to share a
little effort that would bring impact to the lives of its members. He
was so happy over the completion of the center and for personally
turning it over to the community. He ended his message by cautioning
people to stop engaging in dynamite fishing and consider the
protection of the environment as a must. “The environment, the fishing
grounds and the rock oysters should be protected. You should always
consider the effects of dynamite fishing to the environment,” was his
The turn-over activity
was started by a ribbon-cutting and blessing of the processing center
by Rev. Fr. Cesar Aculan. Hon. Stephanie Uy Tan did the ribbon-cutting
with the assistance of Dr. Stephan Kunz; DTI Provincial OIC, Engr.
Meilou Macabare; Samar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI)
President, Dr. Dominador Cabanganan; Bankers’ Association of Samar
President, Mr. Bong Abobo and other guests. An actual demonstration on
the rock oyster processing was done immediately after the short
program which was facilitated by its local members.
As of now, MABASI is
already producing quality packaged and labeled “sisi” with export
quality in several identified outlets like
in Catbalogan City. “Other orders come through text messages”, says
Ms. Vengielyn Tambologan, the association’s President. She further
informed that the licensure of their products is now being processed
Hon. Verginia A. Tabon,
the Chairwoman of Brgy Basiao, was very hopeful that the project would
somehow bring a change to their community. She repeatedly expressed
her personal thanks to Dr. Stephan Kunz and all the other sectors that
have been helping her constituents. All together, they have committed
to take care of their facility and promised to cooperate with one
another in accomplishing their goals, improving their craft and
becoming productive citizens of the community.
In a related
development, Hon. Stephanie Uy Tan committed for a construction of a
day care center in the barangay that would help mothers and children
It was gathered that
Brgy. Basiao is also encountering problems on their potable water
supply as there is only one water pump that services everybody.
Leading int'l RH
advocacy group shares RP honor as world cites 2 Filipinas as world’s
By FLORENCE HIBIONADA, Philippine News Service
March 14, 2011
Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), a leading advocate for sexual
and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) joins the Filipino pride as
the world honors two Filipinas as among the world’s best.
Included into the list
of “Women Deliver 100: The Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls
and Women” were Iloilo First District Representative Janette Loreto
Garin and Sister Mary John Mananzan.
The lady solon is
Deputy Majority Leader in the Philippine House of Representatives and
known champion of reproductive rights in the country.
Sister Mananzan on the
other hand is Prioress at St. Scholastica’s Priory, Founder and
Executive Director of the Institute of Women’s Studies at St.
Scholastica’s College. Sister Mananzan is cited for integrating
feminism into faith in the Philippines
Both are IPPF
stalwarts and longtime IPPF allies alongside 8 more others likewise
honored and cited for exemplary SRHR advocacy.
As such, IPPF is most
proud with the recognition for Zainah Anwa of Malaysia, founding
Member of Sisters in Islam and Director of Musawah. Anwa is
instrumental in setting the record straight on women’s rights within
Also in the renowned
list is Guo Jianmei of
Founder of the Women’s Legal Research and
and Qian Qian Law Firm. Guo, the IPPF said, has since provided
crucial legal aid to women in China.
There is also Ban Ki-moon
of South Korea, Secretary-General of the United Nations who has pushed
for global efforts to meet the Millenium Development Goal 5, the
reduction of maternal deaths.
Other IPPF stalwarts
in the list of “Most Inspiring” people are Xie Lihua also of China,
founder of Rural Women Magazine and the
for Rural Women and champion of China’s rural women.
Marina Mahathir of
Malaysia, a journalist, columnist and blogger honored for speaking out
on Islam, gender equality and HIV/AIDS in said country.
Somaly Mam of
Cambodia, Founder of AFESIP (Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation
Precaire) and the Somaly Mam Foundation who worked not only to end
sex-trafficking but support its survivors.
Catherine Hamlin of
Australia, Doctor and Founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital who
cares for women disabled in childbirth.
And finally, IPPF is
equally proud of Mu Sochua of Cambodia, Member of Parliament and human
rights advocate for championing gender equality in the Cambodian
IPPF is in the
forefront of the literacy drive on SRHR with sustained efforts
throughout the East and South East Asia and Oceania Region.
To note, a list of 100
women was drawn by Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization that
brings together “voices from around the world to call for action
against maternal death.”
The list highlighted
this year’s worldwide celebration of the 100th year of International
And for Romeo A. Arca
Jr., IPPF Manager for Advocacy and Public Affairs, it was one big
reason for the IPPF and the world to indeed celebrate.
Women Deliver, Arca
shared, gave due recognition to “women and men, both prominent and
lesser known, who have committed themselves to improving the lives of
girls and women around the world.”
The honorees, he
pointed out, came from the fields of health, human rights, politics,
economics, education, journalism, and philanthropy, “and represent a
great diversity of geographic and cultural backgrounds.”
With the shortlist of
100 came hundreds more whose contributions made a great impact to the
continued battle against maternal and infant deaths alongside women’s
sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“We are quite excited
about this list because many IPPF stalwarts made it to this list.
Further, you will see women and men from our region who showed
exemplary models of what it means to defend women’s sexual and
reproductive health and rights,” Arca said.
Philippines played host in September to Women Deliver Philippines, the
country’s biggest multi-sectoral conference that worked for the
delivery of solutions for girls and women.
IPPF for its part also
made possible the visit of lawmakers and international media from some
six Asian countries last November. The four-day exchange of ideas
focused on the need to invest in SRHR with the sharing of respective
experiences among said key stakeholders.
As IPPF maintains,
“from choice, a world of possibilities.”
Maasin City walks the
talk on RA 9211
By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – There is a law against smoking, especially in public
places. Or there was a law about it, Republic Act 9211, since it was
already signed by the President nearly eight years ago, on June 23,
The long title of RA
9211 is this: An Act Regulating the packaging, use, sale, distribution
and advertisements of tobacco products and for other purposes. Its
short title, however, is really short: Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.
Whether we go by the
long or the short title, the fact remains that implementation of RA
9211 has been alive and well, in spirit and in letter, here in Maasin
City, Southern Leyte province.
In less than two years
since this law was introduced in this city, on April 19, 2009, several
landmark activities have been undertaken by the city government to
show it is serious in the campaign to rid the city of smokers, or at
least to regulate their puffing of cigarettes and tobacco in selected,
designated areas – under pain of reprimand or citation tickets once
caught by enforcers doing so in public places.
But what are “public
places”? Section 4 of RA 9211 provided a categorical definition:
these refer to enclosed or confined areas of all hospitals, medical
clinics, schools, public transportation terminals and offices, and
buildings, such as private and public offices, recreational places,
shopping malls, movie houses, restaurants, and the like.
So, on May 31, 2009,
less than two months since RA 9211 was first introduced, the city
government launched its no-smoking program (NSP) and thus banned for
good smoking habits in the locations mentioned earlier.
What followed was a
tremendous information drive on the NSP, with implementers invariably
interacting with local businessmen, motorcab drivers, potpot drivers,
with matching posting of stickers on these vehicles, and stringing
tarpaulins with graphic ill effects of smoking – a scare campaign, if
you will – in many points around the city where people usually
The Police’s patrol
car with its public address system was also utilized in roving around
the city, informing people of the law and the city’s response to it,
Those who want to quit
smoking on their own or with expert advice will have someone to teach
them, as the city embarked on a week-long training, from August 23-28,
on smoking cessation.
On September 28, 2009,
a Smoke-free Task Force was created, intensifying efforts at rounding
violators, with Healthy City Initiatives (HCI) Enforcers issuing
citation tickets to those caught in the act.
By February 26, 2010,
City Memorandum Order 099 banned the sponsorship of events by any
tobacco or cigarette company and, before long, advertisement posters
and billboards anywhere around the city were removed.
Then by December 30,
2010, City Mayor Maloney Samaco issued Memorandum Order 373 which
required all casual and job order employees to get a certificate of
non-smoker from the City Health Office as a mandatory requirement for
renewal of employment.
Smoking employees were
forced to quit or reduce their habit in this manner by sheer need, but
many also were happy it was imposed that way, saying the NSP program
really works, aside from the health benefits an individual can enjoy
by simply following the law.
vigilance is needed,” Samaco said, hopeful that in the end people can
appreciate that what the city has been doing is for their own good.
Indeed, his efforts
have been noticed, with the city awarded as the Urban Health Champion
for 2010 and a Red Orchid Award, also in 2010, by the Department of
Samaco, a non-smoker
himself, pledged to continue his advocacy on anti-smoking even beyond
the expiration of his full nine-year term as local chief executive,
saying that even in his personal capacity he will forever push for a
smoke-free Maasin City.
And Samaco has walked
his talk, even this early, judging by the Maasin City experience in
implementing RA 9211.
Daram go full blast in
Nutrition Program bringing OFCI’s SHNP
By MYRA M. TAMBOR
February 22, 2011
DARAM, Samar – A no
let up nutrition program of the Local Government Unit of Daram, Samar
was formally launched by Mayor Lucia Latorre-Astorga of this island
municipality. Sighting the importance of proper and balanced
nutrition as key to the development of a dignified person as well as
the progress of the community where they live, the Mayor personally
attended and served a nutritious meal to 10 identified severely
undernourished children in Barangay Buenavista, Daram.
Mayor Astorga in her
message before the children’s dining, emphasize the importance of an
effective nutrition program that should be implemented to ensure
development growth in the community and a remarkable health status of
the children, hand in hand with the parents, families, barangay
governance and the local government unit as well.
“An immune system han
aton mga anak in magigin makusog kun tama an nutrition han mga
iginpapakaon ha ira, kun makusog an immune system hirayo ha sakit an
mga bata”, the Mayor said. She patiently explained the advantages of
a well-nourished child such as good health, good performance in school
and eventually good environment in the locality. The local government
unit according to Mayor Astorga will shoulder 2 meals in a day for the
children while the parents will take care of the remaining meal as
their counterpart. She further said that the undernourished children
will be provided nutritious meals everyday for 3 months of which a
constant weight monitoring will be done by the barangay health workers
assigned in the area to gauge the success of the program.
A concrete nutrition
program is one of the goals of Daram’s current administration. Being
a medical doctor, Mayor Lou as she fondly called by her constituents
and friends, is trying to take in hand various health related concerns
with meager funds of a 4th class municipality. In these efforts, she
found OFCI (Overseas Filipino Council International) an international
organization of Filipinos living in various countries all over the
globe whose objective is to help and serve the Filipinos in every
manner possible in any place where they may be in the world. OFCI’s
primary mandate is presently directed to poor urban and rural
neighborhoods in the Philippines that accept their challenge for
self-reliance and self-sufficiency through community development
programs. Daram’s lady Mayor shares the same passion in terms of
public service. In this activity, she used OFCI’s tarpaulin as
backdrop in recognition of their valuable contribution to the
OFCI’s Anita’s Kitchen
and Self-help nutrition project chaired by Ms. Anita Sese-Schon
initially runs a roll-out in the
Ms. Schon is a Filipina based in Brementon, Washington DC, USA. She
is the chairperson and founder of OFCI. Her project inspired the Mayor
who immediately organized women organizations dub as Mobile Kusina,
popularly known as MK, whose task is to conduct OFCI’s roll-out along
side with other women empowerment efforts of her administration. MK
through its team leader James Gornot is also task to implement the
nutrition program and coordinate MK’s efforts with the different
related activities of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development
Office, Municipal Health Office and the Municipal Agriculture Office
among other agencies whose mandate goes along with the programs of
The nutrition program
in Barangay Buenavista is inspired with the aims of Anita’s kitchen
and self-help nutrition program for health conscious diet as a way of
promoting wellness and healthy mind and body of the constituents by
introducing well balanced and nutritious meals which are affordable by
even a below average income families.
Moreover, Daram LGU as
a Plan International Philippines recipient municipality also enjoys
the intervention of the said non-government organization. As such,
Plan Phils is also conducting child-friendly programs in the locality
one of which is collaboration with the Mayor’s office specifically and
the LGU generally on their efforts towards child development programs
in some identified barangays.
“I hope more partners
will come our way as we try to make a difference in the every day
lives of our constituents in Daram”, the Mayor said over a simple
lunch with those who attended the launching. She also instructed her
staff to enhance the project, sighting the possibilities and
probabilities as the project continues and the full implementation of
the Municipal Nutrition Action Plan for the next three years. “Focus
and appropriate monitoring should also be implemented correctly” she
advises her staff. “Nutrition is perceived to be a minor program but
for me it should be a major one because of its impact to the
community. It is actually a big program with components on water,
sanitation, child and maternal health as well. There are still a lot
more we should think or conceptualize, this could even be one of our
contributions to realize the millennium development goals”, the Mayor
adds as she prepares to check the gardening demo as part of the
Agriculture Officer Ms. Dolly Mustacisa distributed vegetable
seedlings to the MK members present. Enhancement of MK vegetable
garden in the said barangay is going on to compliment the nutrition
project. Mothers are encouraged to plant vegetable where they can
easily harvest for the nutritious meals of their children but the
Mayor hopes that the gardens will also turn out to be a sustainable
livelihood for women given the demand of vegetables in the locality
and the nearby municipalities. The activity was attended by barangay
officials, Municipal Agriculture Officer, Plan Phils, MK Team,
barangay officials and barangay folks.
Seven couples say “I
do” on Valentine’s Day
By FLOR JACKSON, PIA Biliran
February 15, 2011
NAVAL, Biliran –
Seven couples from the Philippine National Police - Biliran Police
Provincial Office said “I do” on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2011
during the mass wedding sponsored by PNP-Biliran through Police Senior
Superintendent Alfredo Sabornido, PNP Provincial Director of Biliran
in a grand ceremony at the PNP chapel located inside the headquarters.
The couples whose
partners were members of the PNP in the province were PO2 Jose Bacalla
and Clemencia Dimaslan; PO3 Sebastian Dagalea and Evelyn Brazil; PO2
Ramil Velasco and Jennelyn Orias; PO2 Raul MOnterola and PO3 Lynn
Conge; PO2 Ryan Bunani and Irene Ponferrada; PO2 Felmin Regir and
Cheryl Raga; and PO1 Jimmy Regir and Mary Jane Sabuya received the
sacrament of matrimony officiated by Police Major Ricardo Piañar,
Regional Chaplain of PNP in Eastern Visayas.
The wedding sponsors
were Congressman Rogelio Espina who was represented by former Director
of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Region 8, Tiburcio Morales who
also represents the private sector in the province of Biliran;
Governor Gerardo “Gerryboy” Espina, Jr. also represented by Brigido
Caneja, III, SP Member of Biliran; Police Senior Superintendent
Alexander Ignacio, PNP-8 Chief Directorial Staff who represented
PNP-8 Regional Director Arnold Revilla; PSSupt Alfredo Sabornido and
Atty. Lolita Casas-Nueve, Provincial Director of the National Police
Commission (NAPOLCOM) in Biliran, among others.
The crowd which was
composed of relatives and friends of the couples, heads of some
national government agencies, men and women of PNP-Biliran, the media
and other guests were touched by the solemnity of the mass wedding.
The setting at the
reception area within the compound of the PNP provincial headquarters
was so festive. Fresh flowers artistically arranged outside the
chapel along the center aisle going to the altar added life, joy and
color to the occasion.
One couple, PO2 Raul
Monterola and PO3 Lyn Conge assigned at the PNP Police Station in
Naval, the capital town of Biliran province and the PNP-Biliran
headquarters respectively wore the PNP uniform together with the rest
of the grooms who were PNP members, while the non-PNP brides wore
formal ecru-colored dress.
PO3 Conge wore a nice
ecru headress with an almost 10-meter long train.
The baptism of the
eight month old son of PO2 Monterola and PO3 Lynn Conge was an added
highlight after the wedding rites.
The couples were
married in civil rites ranging from two months and a few years until
they decided to be married in church.
According to PSSupt.
Saborndio, the plan to have a mass wedding was conceived when the PNP
in the province had their Christmas party in December last year.
Since then, he said,
members of the PNP in Biliran province who were not yet married in
church started to signify their intention to receive the sacrament of
matrimony until a group of seven couples were gathered.
He added that in one
of their staff meetings, they decided, that instead of the usual get
together on Valentine’s Day, they might as well hold the mass wedding
on February 14, 2011, so that the wedding anniversary of the couples
will be well remembered on this very significant day of families and
Furthermore, he said
that PNP-Biliran foot the bill for the wedding reception and other
incidental expenses relative to the mass wedding.
“The mass wedding was
part of my program to strengthen the spiritual life of the PNP men and
women in the province,” he said.
For their part, the
seven couples who availed of the mass wedding for PNP-Biliran
personnel who just received the sacrament of matrimony through the
mass wedding thanked PSSupt. Sabornido for making their life complete
by being blessed in church as they received the sacrament.
Maasin City opens its
doors for sponsors to marathons
By BONG PEDALINO, PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY – Long
before the successful holding of the first city-organized “Run for
your Heart” marathon Friday, City Mayor Maloney Samaco has invariably
aired his willingness to welcome sponsors to this running activity.
In a brief chat with
Philippine Information Agency (PIA) at his office two hours before
Friday’s run, Samaco reiterated his desire for organized groups to
hold running events in the city, saying the city government will
always backstop the group’s efforts.
He, however, cited two
conditions for the city to allow such hosting. One is that there must
be a noble purpose for which the run is to be dedicated and, two,
there must be proper accounting of funds generated to establish
Last Friday’s run was
aimed at helping disaster victims in Saint Bernard, as participants
chipped in P100 in order to join, and accounting for the funds can be
expected to be out soonest.
Already, at least
three more marathon events have been lined up to be undertaken within
the year, with the next one slated to be held on Saturday, February
19, sponsored by Pope Paul VI Minor Seminary.
Simply called “Fund
Run”, the proceeds of its P150 registration fee has been intended for
improvements of the seminary building in barangay Asuncion.
Right after last
Friday’s grueling run, many runners were seen already registering to
join anew for the February 19 exercise.
announced after giving the awards that next month, during the First
Mass anniversary at Limasawa, he and provincial Tourism Officer Nedgar
Garvez were contemplating of having a Limasawa-wide marathon, covering
the whole six barangays around the historic island.
Then sometime in May
this year, the city government has already set a “Takbo kontra Tabako”,
although no specific date or schedule has been set for this yet, but
this was in reference to the month of May when one day has been
devoted by United Nations as No Tobacco Day.
Aside from these
mentioned dates and plans for marathon runs, many of the months still
remained open, and so Samaco enticed sponsors to come in, stressing
that this has been part of the city’s enhanced sports tourism program.
In the first place,
why run? Or to be more location-specific, what motivated the almost
2,000 souls last Friday – Maasinhons, visitors (the winner was from
Tolosa, Leyte) and foreigners, male and female, young and old – to
jog, run, and walk around the city streets?
“Studies have shown
the health benefits of running to be tremendous, reducing your chances
of everything from the common cold to cancer,” reports a website
devoted to running.
“Running is among the
best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of your heart and
lungs. It helps ensure the efficient flow of blood and oxygen
throughout the body, things that are proven to help to decrease the
risk of a heart attack.
“Running – like other
types of exercise – is a great stress reliever and may even relieve
mild depression. Many runners enjoy reaching the ‘runner’s high’ –
that euphoric, clear, and calm state they feel after a long run… As a
runner, you’ll likely to feel more energetic and creative…running also
increases bone density, which can fend off osteoporosis.”
Then there’s this some
sort of a spiritual benefit, with the thought that the money you
contributed in an organized marathon would go to a charitable act or a
Thus, when you join
the run, you are in good company, literally and figuratively.
And when you, or your
group, your company, would sponsor a marathon, Maasin City in Southern
Leyte is the ideal place for you.
You are certainly most