Calbiga town undergoes
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
April 30, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Calbiga LGU officials led by Mayor Melchor Nacario and wife Board
Member Luzviminda Nacario participated in the Local and Regional
Economic Development (LRED) Sensitizing Workshop on Monday at
Calbiga’s Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Park or SPARK
The workshop to last
until April 30, is part of the implementation of the Small and Medium
Enterprise Development for Sustainable Employment Promotion (SMEDSEP)
DTI in partnership
with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) sponsored the workshop.
Mayor Nacario gathered
all his officials and barangay leaders to participate.
DTI Regional Director
Cynthia Nierras informed the participants that DTI believes in the
potential of Calbiga as an emerging growth area in this part of
Added to this, she
said is the presence of tourist destinations that could compare to
prime tourist destinations in the country. Nierras mentioned trekking
to the Calbiga caves and Lulugayan falls branded by foreigners as
‘mini Niagara’ because it is fifty meters wide and cascades down
14-kilometer rapids from the source at Lake Kalidongan.
Nierras alo mentioned
the thriving business of Calbiga’s delicacy potentials used as
‘pasalubong’ by Balikbayans.
DTI Samar said that
among the Samar municipalities, it was Calbiga LGU that showed
interest in the social marketing done by DTI.
The LRED approach is
patterned among the more successful implementations in other LGUs in
the region like Ormoc City, Palompon, Carigara, Baybay City and Palo
in Leyte province.
Calbiga, aside from
the economic and tourism potentials also has a supportive LGU, with an
organization proven with a fine track record like Currents, and other
considerations that Calbiga seem to have.
The group is expected
to have a rapid economic assessment wherein DTI and GTZ will
Calbiga is the 10th
LGU in the region that has undergone the LRED workshop.
After Calbiga’s turn,
Catbalogan City will be next in line to attend this one of a kind
workshop geared towards development.
Nierras said that
implementation of the incoming projects to boost the economy should be
done from 6 months to one year.
The implementation of
this project aims to provide better living conditions for its
constituents and at the same time be ecologically sustainable, added
the DTI family.
Diaz vs. Pacquiao a
dream match in lightweight division, says Santillan
By Alex P. Vidal / PNS
April 30, 2008
Philippines – Former Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF)
welterweight champion Rev "Gentle Giant" Santillan said the Manny
Pacquiao-David Diaz showdown for Diaz's World Boxing Council (WBC)
lightweight belt "is a dream match in the lightweight division."
"They are saying that
Pacquiao will find it hard to deal with a natural lightweight, but I
tell you that this fight is a dream match in the lightweight division
because both fighters will slug it out in a non-stop action,"
Santillan said in Hiligaynon dialect during the recent baptism of his
four-month old daughter, Reanne, in Jaro, Iloilo City.
Santillan, who was
deposed as OPBF 147-lb king by Motaki Sasaki via 6th round technical
knockout (TKO) in Tokyo last February 16, described Diaz as a
"receiver" who will not run away from his Filipino challenger.
Being the receiver
does not mean that Diaz will no longer connect with his own bombs,
averred Santillan, who started punching mitts as a lightweight during
his checkered amateur days in the 90's.
"This time, one of
them will go down," predicted the 30-year-old Santillan (24-4, 17
KOs), who disclosed a plan to resume his sagging career with a
10-round non-title fight in July in Tokyo against a rated Japanese
banger before facing Motaki in a rematch sometime in September this
Meanwhile, the 5 feet
and 11 inches Santillan said retirement is still far from his mind
saying he plans to regain the title from Motaki. He was supposed to
face junior middleweight terror Julio Caesar Chavez, Jr. in
last April 27 (Philippine time) but was scrapped from the card after a
disastrous defeat to unheralded Motaki.
Chavez, Jr., son of
the legendary Chavez, Sr., tortured Italian boxer Tobia Guiseppe
Loriga, the man who replaced Santillan in the card, en route to a
ninth round TKO to preserve his unbeaten record.
Santillan said despite
Chavez's reputation, he was unfazed with the 21-year-old Mexican's
If he will regain his
regional belt vs Motaki, Santillan said he is ready to face Chavez "bisan
medyo taas sia diutay sa akon (even if he is taller than me)."
Gov. Mercado mulls
construction of new provincial hospital
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
April 28, 2008
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – The existing provincial hospital needs expansion, but
limited space in its present location has constrained any move to
expand it any further, and so this necessitates the creation of a new
This plan to put up a
new health facility was revealed by Gov. Damian Mercado during the
Governor’s Time in the Provincial Development Council (PDC) meeting
held at the RK Kanleon Function House, this city, last Friday, April
In fact, this item was
listed number one in the other matters portion of the agenda for that
day’s PDC meeting.
Gov. Mercado noted
that the provincial hospital, which had undergone two name changes in
its more than forty years of life – first as Integrated Provincial
Health Office (IPHO), and lately since last year Salvacion Oppus
Yñiguez Memorial Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH) – has always been
subsidized in its operations by the provincial local government unit.
But he added that he
was amused on learning that on its own, the SOYMPH generated P5.5
million in revenues for the first quarter of 2008 alone, with the able
leadership management of its head, Dr. Joselito Trumata, the
provincial Health Officer.
A vacant, spacious lot
in barangay Dongon which was owned by the Development Bank of the
Philippines (DBP) was recently purchased by Rep. Roger Mercado, and
this site will soon house the new provincial hospital if plans push
through, said Gov. Mercado.
A Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) will soon be signed between the city government, the
province, and the Congressman for the utilization of the lot when the
proper time comes, he added.
As this developed, a
resolution was passed in the PDC requesting financial assistance from
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the construction of the said
hospital at barangay Dongon.
No specific amount was
mentioned in the PDC resolution which was approved unanimously.
The new Dongon
hospital will be equipped with modern equipment and facilities for the
health needs and care of Southern Leyteños and others, Gov. Mercado
rescues long snouted bottle-nose dolphin
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
April 27, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Villagers of the fishing
Jiabong were mystified by the big sea mammal that ‘kumpadres’ Rolando
Cupido and Pido Jabonero were towing to shore.
Rolly narrated that it
was only on TV that he sees dolphins, nothing prepared him for the
real big mammal that he saw weakly swimming near his fishpens.
He then asked the help
of Pade Pido and the duo decided to inform the barangay officials what
should be done. “We were worried that the dolphin may end up in the
wrong hands and might be butchered instead“, said Cupido.
One teen-ager said he
noticed the dolphin shedding tears. The tears were real as the poor
sea-mammal was whimpering. Lola Rebecca Jabien, 70, said it was the
first time she has seen a dolphin.
The villagers informed
agricultural technicians Sidney Uy and Glicerio Meniano from Jiabong
town who came immediately and in turn informed the Bureau of Fisheries
and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in
Mr. Juan Meniano, a
fishery expert from the Samar Provincial Agriculture called on
PIA-Samar to document the rescue efforts of the villagers. Together
with BFAR and OPA, PIA mobiled to Barangay Jiaan.
especially the children enjoyed the spectacle the dolphin showed. It
juggled the fish given by the villagers and flipped and flipped giving
them a real but free show.
The dolphin measured
eight feet in length and estimated to weigh some 70 kilos. It has a
deep gray color. Meniano said that the dolphin could be two years old
or more. He added that the dolphin maybe a little sick and was just
looking for less salty water. That was when the fishermen spotted him.
Dolphins, said Meniano can heal by themselves; they just have to be
away from the playful children in the village that may cause the
To recall, on April
26, 2007, some fishermen from Payao, Catbalogan were charged with
violations of RA 8550, otherwise known as Fishery Act, the fishermen
butchered and cooked the meat of two dolphins they caught from Samar
The fishermen from
Jiaan are a different lot, they are aware that the dolphin is one of
the endangered species and that they should be left alone. One
teen-ager said he knows from the TV programs that dolphins are mammals
and should be conserved.
Meniano gave a short
lecture on the beach and instructed the fisherfolks assisted by the
two ATs to tow the dolphin off shore and free it in the deeper Samar
With the ATs on
board Jiabong Fishery Law Enforcement Team motorboat, they led the
dolphin to its freedom while scores of Jiaan folks sadly waved to the
sea-mammal whose company they enjoyed for a few hours.
province to develop more ricefields
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
April 27, 2008
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – In the face of widespread clamor to devote additional areas
for planting hybrid varieties of rice to increase production, the
provincial government will face the challenge by doing exactly what
has been widely suggested to be done to address the problem, that is,
by developing other lands to be planted with the staple food.
Thus declared Gov.
Damian Mercado on Friday, April 25, at the start of the Provincial
Development Council (PDC) meeting held at the RK Kangleon Function
House, this city.
Speaking during the
Governor’s Time at the PDC meeting, Gov. Mercado said farmers in the
province can expect all-out support in terms of farm inputs like
fertilizers and hybrid seeds, among others, to encourage planting.
Citing a recent
meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Agriculture
Secretary Arthur Yap where the issue on increased rice yield and the
plight of farmers were intensively discussed, the Governor
acknowledged that the cooperation of the local government units in the
fields is crucial to the success of the latest initiative.
“The LGUs will be the
frontline in finding solutions to the rice price crisis,” he added,
even as he stressed that the problem is not just felt in the
Philippines but a global phenomenon.
He also allayed fears
of a shortage in rice supply in the province and other parts of the
country, while he quoted news reports seen on TV of rice hoarders that
were responsible in the soaring of rice prices.
He said the province
would take advantage of the many projects now made available through
the Department of Agriculture (DA), one of which was for the
acquisition of a mechanical mobile dryer, a post-harvest facility,
where 200 cavans of palay can be dried at one setting.
Because it can be
transferable, the dryer can be moved from one place to another so that
wastage and damage in the traditional process of drying the palay can
A lack of space for
dying newly-harvested palay has been one of the concerns of the
farmers in the province, and this caused the streets to be used as
drying spaces where passing vehicles simply passed through, Gov.
Bigasan sa Parokya in
Samar, hits the box office!
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
April 27, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Bigasan sa Parokya in poor Samar hits the box office!
Poor parishioners from
the Immaculate Concepcion Parish of Motiong and St. James in Talalora
are grateful that their parishes have become outlets for the NFA rice.
Fr. Gil Cabujat of
Immaculate Concepcion Parish of Motiong said that they are given rice
allocation of 10 sacks per week, this easily sells like hotcake, said
The priest said that a
religious affairs department of Malacañang has given the parish some
P15, 000 as capital to procure rice from NFA to be re sold to their
poor parishioners. To increase the number of bags bought at NFA, the
parish council loaned some P6,000 and now some 16 bags are bought on
Tuesdays. Each family is sold three kilos.
Just the news that NFA
rice will be sold brings out bigger crowd and before the day ends, all
bags are ‘sold out’!
In remote Talalora,
Parish priest Fr. Romy Manzanero said, the Bigasan sa Parokya somehow
has helped the parishioners of St. James. However, Fr. Romy said that
although this is one strategy to help the poor, the government must
design concrete programs to address poverty in general. He also
suggested that close monitoring should be done to discouraged hoarding
reaching him say that the bags of cheap rice allotted to some
barangays end up in urban Catbalogan where retailers are said to have
contacts. The rice, he said end up in the wrong hands.
Fr. Manzanero also
shared the feedback, like Fr. Cabujat that some bags of rice when
delivered to them weigh less than the supposed weight which is 50
As PIA made the
representations to NFA about the weight difference, Rosario Cadiz, NFA
economist advised that the parokya should write to the NFA manager
about their complaint.
On the brighter side,
Fr. Gil said that more parishes now have expressed enthusiasm to join
the Bigasan sa Parokya, whereas before there were only five interested
applicant-parishes, today, Fr. Cesar Aculan of the Calbayog Diocese is
being swarmed with additional requests.
NFA earlier said
that depending upon positive feedback on the trustworthiness of the
parishes, all parishes in poor Samar could be given the license to
operate “Bigasan sa Parokya”.
Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival to be staged on June 27
Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
April 26, 2008
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The provincial government of
Leyte is showing its full support to the conduct of this Leyte
Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival which would be staged on June 27, two days
earlier than what has been practiced for the last several years.
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla in his recent interview over the province’s weekly
radio program Hingyap Han Leyteño, he assured this year’s Kasadyaan
would be as grand, even more so than with the previous years with
about 21 contingents from different towns in the province signifying
their intention to join the Kasadyaan Festival.
He said holding of the
yearly festival is not for anything else but to “pay homage” to Senior
Santo Niño, who is also the province’s patron saint.
He likewise disclosed
part of the provincial government’s thrust is to develop the
province’s many cultural richness through the formation of these
festivals, which he also acknowledged as one of the province’s plus
factor in increasing tourism in this part of the country.
Leyte Representative and now vice chairman of the Philippine Amusement
and Gaming Corporation Remedios “Matin” Petilla who also heads the
executive committee of the Kasadyaan Festival promises this year’s
festivities would be as grand and colorful as before.
“All would be the
same. Only the date of the parade is changed from June 29 it would now
be on June 27,” she said.
personally attended to the invitations for
municipalities to join the Kasadyaan, while disclosing choreographers
can be sent to the municipalities to help them in forming their own
festivals and guide and train them through rehearsals.
“I have talked to the
mayors and a number of them signified they would join this year,”
Last year’s winners
in the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival, the Buyugon Festival of Abuyog and
the Alikaraw Festival of Hilongos would be among the 24 contingents to
the prestigious Aliwan Festival in Manila during the first week of
bares educational assistance to Biliranons
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA (PIA Biliran)
NAVAL, Biliran –
When classes for the school year 2008-2009 open in June this year,
parents of pupils and students in the elementary, secondary and
tertiary levels in the province of Biliran have something to rejoice
with as Rep. Glenn A. Chong bares many educational assistance that
would mean a lot of help in reducing the financial burden of sending
their children to school.
In an interview with
Representative Chong, the young Biliran solon informed that he will
apportion some 12,000 backpack type of schoolbags to elementary pupils
from grades 2 to 6 in the entire
to an estimated 24,000 elementary enrollees this school year.
He said that he
allocated P1.5 million from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)
this year for this purpose.
Likewise, Rep. Chong
revealed that he will coordinate with a non-government entity for the
provision of school supplies aside from the school bags to the
The representative of
the Lone District of Biliran disclosed that he allocated another P9.5
million from his PDAF for the procurement of seven 55-seaters school
buses at one each for the municipalities of Almeria, Biliran,
Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, Naval and another two L300
panel type bus will be given to the island municipality of Maripipi.
He informed that these
transportation facilities will provide free ride to elementary pupils
and secondary students in the eight municipalities including college
students in municipalities where there is a tertiary school.
“These buses will
ferry pupils and students from their respective homes to their schools
and vice-versa when classes start this year. This would be a big help
to our parents who will bear the financial burden of high
transportation cost in sending their children to school,” Rep. Chong
According to Rep.
Chong, these school buses have the same features with the tourist
buses in Japan complete with air conditioning and television units and
soft reclining chairs in order to provide convenience and comfort to
He will allocate P1
million per year for the salaries of drivers to include the
maintenance and operation expenses of these buses.
The provision of
school buses in the eight municipalities in the province of Biliran is
one of the campaign promises of Representative Chong in the May 14,
Aside from the
provision of school bags and buses, Rep. Chong revealed that he
allocated P1 million from his PDAF for the 200 scholarship slots at
P5,000 per qualified college student this school year.
For the 2nd semester
of school year 2007-2008, Rep. Chong was able to get 55 slots from the
7th batch of scholars from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
He was able also to get scholarship funds for 69 college students for
the second semester of school year 2007-2008 from Congressman Neptali
Gonzales, Jr. who represents a congressional district in the city of
On top of this, he
said that he got another P5 million from CHED for this school year to
accommodate some 1,000 scholars to bring in a total of 1,324
scholarship slots in all since he assumed as representative of the
lone district of Biliran in July 2007.
For the Biliranons who
want to take vocational-technical courses, Rep. Chong disclosed that
there are 1,200 to 1,500 available slots in the Technical Education
and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Biliran. He said those who
are willing to avail of the scholarship slots, they may visit
TESDA-Biliran for additional information and assistance.
With his commitment to
further upgrade the equipment of the lone TESDA accredited
vocational-technical tertiary school in the
of Biliran, he gave P.5 million to the Cabucgayan National School of
Arts and Trades (CNSAT) for the purchase of welding machine, chiller
and other important equipment needed by the school.
As a lawmaker with a
passion to further improve the educational status of the Biliranons,
he filed House Bill No. 1927 converting Naval Institute of Technology
(NIT) into a university.
He said that he will
work hard for the conversion of NIT into a university within his term
which was not materialized during the term of the previous
representatives in the district.
He also sponsored a
bill for the creation of three high schools with specific field of
studies. These high schools are to be established in Barangay
Tamarindo in the municipality of Almeria to focus in the study of arts
and culture; another one in the municipality of Caibiran as the center
of study in information and communication technology and another high
school in the municipality of Biliran to specialize in science and
Representative Chong is in the process of consultation with the Local
Chief Executives of these towns since the establishment and operation
of these high schools entail big amount of money.
“All of these things
are geared towards providing the Biliranons the right kind of
direction in education in order to prepare them for the greater and
bigger opportunities not only in Biliran but anywhere in the
Philippines and throughout the world,” Rep Chong said referring to the
different education-related assistance he is working for the benefit
of the people in his district.
He said he will work
hard in order to provide of what is good and beneficial for the people
in Biliran province who have given their full trust and confidence as
“I may not be able
to please everybody but I will try my best to attend and answer the
needs of the majority of my constituents,” Representative Chong said.