center stage at Kamurayaw Festival in Pinabacdao, Samar
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
May 10, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Graceful and agile dancers of the Mayaw-mayaw dance native to this
coastal farming and fishing village stirred the town to activity as
they celebrated Kamurayaw Festival on Thursday, May 8, 2008.
In the jampacked
covered court of Pinabacdao town, young and very young dancers gyrated
to the sound of drums and improvised bamboo tubes for sounds furiously
struck by the equally young swains of Pinabacdao.
The dance, said
Pinabacdao Mayor Mario Quijano demonstrates how the early
Pinabacdaoanons pray to the heavens to drive evil spirits from their
farmlands and grant them bountiful harvest.
the barangays include a live chicken being beheaded as dancers are
tossed, turned and flipped high up in the air if only to demonstrate
the passion they felt for driving evils that may cause a dent in their
One foreigner, said to
be a regular watcher for six years now, Clay Barcus from San
Francisco, California, USA said he is still mesmerized each time he
witnessed the spectacle.
“Although the story
line is the same through the years, the stupendous movements and
choreography always reveal something different each time,” the tourist
told the local media when sought for comments.
DSWD Regional 08
Director Leticia Corillo and company who served as judges were visibly
pleased with the local talents.
Kamurayaw on the other
hand is a peace-building and social inclusion project being
implemented in eleven barangays of Pinabacdao, by the Kalahi-CIDSS
Project under the Japan Social Development Fund Social Inclusion
The World Bank
assisted project aims to capacitate and help conflict-affected
residents get more involved in the development activities of their
respective communities and local government units.
As the town will be
celebrating their fiesta, today, organizers of Kamurayaw deemed it fit
to include the Mayaw-Mayaw dancing exhibitions in the activity to draw
a big crowd of Pinabacdao patrons and direct their attention to the
noble objectives of peace-building and social inclusion project being
implemented in eleven barangays of Pinabacdao.
Aside from the
spectacular Mayaw-Mayaw dances, organizers also conducted a “siday”
recitation contest and songwriting.
Samar youth group to
join International AIDS candle-lighting memorial on May 18
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
May 10, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– Kartada Samar (KS), a youth group composed of Sangguniang Kabataan
officials enjoined other stakeholders to join the International AIDS
candle-lighting memorial on May 18.
In a meeting attended
by the so called stakeholders, KS informed the group that the date is
the 25th anniversary of the International AIDS Candle light memorial.
KS said that this
year’s theme is “International AIDS Candlelight Memorial: Never give
up, never forget!”
KS is a group of young
people advocating Adolescent Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention
through massive information dissemination.
Like the government
health department, KS is also concerned that the young remains
unprotected and misguided about HIV/AIDS.
Last year before the
barangay elections, the previous breed of SK officials then hosted a
15-minute radio program aired at DYMS in Catbalogan for the second
district and Radyo Natin FM in
for the first district for the same purpose.
The program was also
aimed at advocacy for responsible sexual behavior and reducing risk
behavior as regards sexuality.
The group gathered at
Maqueda Bay Hotel was unanimous in saying that HIV/AIDS is growing
silently through the years.
though could not give any data as to how extensive is HIV/AIDS
affliction in the province. Neither could KS.
But despite the
absence of a glowing data that may alarm the youth and the adults as
to the reality of HIV/AIDS in our doorstep, still KS will continue
drumbeating their advocacy which says: Pwede ka matapnan hit
HIV/AIDS, protektahi it imo kalugaringon! (You can be afflicted
with HIV/AIDS, protect yourself!).
US Navy to conduct
humanitarian medical-dental and engineering mission in Samar
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
May 9, 2008
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– The United States Navy (USN) will conduct a humanitarian medical-
dental and engineering mission in Samar in May and June 2008.
This was learned from
Department of Health (DOH) representative Neliosa Guarda.
Guarda, a nurse by
profession said that some US Navy personnel led by Lt. John McCombs
met with Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento early this year to
plan the humanitarian mission.
The Samar Dream Team
is set to repair the Main Health Center of Barangay Capoocan in
Calbayog City, the Municipal Health Office of Sta. Margarita, Samar,
construct septic tanks in Greenland Subdivision in Rawis,
City, construct a water system for Gandara District Hospital in
Gandara and repair a Botika ng Barangay in Sta. Margarita, the
In addition, the team
will conduct a medical-dental mission at the San Isidro Central
Elementary School, San Isidro, N. Samar on June 1 and 2 and in Gandara
Central Elementary School, Gandara, Samar on June 4-5, 2008.
The same team will
move on to Sta. Margarita National High School, Sta. Margarita, Samar
on June 7-8; and in Calbayog Herman Gmeiner Elementary School in
Calbayog City on June 10-13, 2008.
As the construction of
the engineering component will take some time, the USN will be
arriving to Calbayog City and its environs early this May.
activities will then run in June and is set to finish on the 14th of
June when the whole team will be fetched by the US Navy Ship in
Calbayog City , the report said.
Reports added that the
MedCap team will be serving some 500 patients a day for the duration
of the scheduled MedCap.
multi-million peso irrigation projects
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
May 8, 2008
Southern Leyte – The eighteen towns and one city of Southern
Leyte province stand to benefit some P82 million in irrigation
projects for calendar year 2008 alone, on top of over P600 million
total worth of similar water-for-ricefarms projects listed as
priority but qualified “for later years.”
This much was
disclosed by Engr. Jose Babiano, Provincial Irrigation Officer of
the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) office here, during
the recent Provincial Development Council (PDC) meeting held at RK
Kangleon Function House, this city.
The disclosure of
the multi-million peso farm irrigation projects before the PDC
body was NIA’s way of seeking PDC intervention, wherein a
resolution was passed endorsing the said projects to the Regional
Development Council (RDC), National Economic Development Authority
(NEDA), and eventually to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for
Babiano said the
NIA head office has made available at least three windows to
access financing for irrigation needs, like the
Balikatan-Sagip-Balik-Patubig (BSBP) program, P2 billion program,
and the P1 billion program.
All these, Babiano
said, were meant to rehabilitate damaged communal irrigation
systems (CIS), or build new ones, involving thousands of hectares
of ricefields nationwide, in a massive effort to intensify rice
production and, in the process, gradually stem the tide of the
lingering rice price crisis.
A copy of NIA’s
priority projects for 2008 which was obtained through the
provincial planning office showed six CIS due for rehabilitation,
consisting an area about to be restored at 82 hectares, with a new
CIS covering 20 hectares included to be built, and a combined cost
of P12.8 million.
These included the
Ilihan CIS in Hinundayan, another at Badiang, Maasin; San Vicente,
Malitbog; Hingatungan-Salvacion, Hinunangan; Sudmon-Guimbaloan,
Silago; and one at Bolod-bolod, Saint Bernard, a new project.
There was only one
project under the BSBP, and this was the rehabilitation of the
Catmon, Saint Bernard, communal irrigation, worth P3 million.
For the Agrarian
Reform Irrigation Supplementation project (ARISP III), two
irrigation projects in the town of Silago, for barangays
Hingatungan and Katipunan, will be served, for a combined cost of
P65.85 million, where 183 hectares of old irrigated farms will be
restored, and 317 hectares of new irrigated areas will be covered.
Meanwhile, a copy
for the list of priority projects for later years showed 26
irrigation projects in 14 local government units, covering an area
to be restored at 694 hectares plus 1,467 hectares targeted for
new irrigation, with a total cost of P648.32 million.
Leyte province has about 9,000 hectares of ricefarms, according to
the provincial agriculture office.
Pinabacdao in Samar
holds "Kamurayaw" peace festival
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– A two-day peace festival dubbed as "Kamurayaw" will be conducted
at the municipality of Pinabacdao, Samar on May 7 and 8.
The Social Inclusion
Project will start with a peace concert and SIP Advocacy Grand Ball
hosted by the Pinabacdao Community Advocacy Teams on the evening of
May 7, Mr. Neil Moraleta, Social Marketing Officer of the KALAHI-CIDSS
On the second day, May
8, an exhibit of Pinabacdao’s best agri-products will be featured. In
addition, the traditional Mayaw-Mayaw cultural presentations will also
be staged together with the awarding of winners in the Siday and Song
Mr. Moraleta informed
that "Kamurayaw" is a peace-building and social inclusion project
being implemented in eleven barangays of Pinabacdao, by the
Kalahi-CIDSS Project under the Japan Social Development Fund - Social
Inclusion Project (JSDF-SIP). The World Bank assisted project aims to
capacitate and help conflict-affected residents get more involved in
the development activities of their respective communities and local
The Japan Social
Development Fund - Social Inclusion Project (JSDF-SIP) was launched as
a complementary project to ensure the inclusion of indigenous peoples,
people in conflict-affected areas and women in mainstream KALAHI-CIDSS
activities in the community level.
A total of 37 KALAHI
CIDSS municipalities across 11 regions of the country have been
selected as JSDF-SIP sites through a Social Exclusion mapping study.
The core strategy of
the SIP is to create innovative approaches towards providing
much-needed lessons for maximum and genuine people participation,
particularly the vulnerable groups. This is to make them productive
members of the community towards sustainable community development, a
principle which forms the essence of KALAHI-CIDSS and the National
Anti Poverty Program of the Arroyo government.
Mr. Moraleta said
that a vehicle is available for the media practitioners in Tacloban
who are interested in covering the activity. Interested parties may
call Mr. Moraleta at the KALAHI CIDSS office at the DSWD Regional
Southern Leyte solon
distributes computers through PDAF
By REBECCA CADAVOS (PIA Southern
May 7, 2008
PROVINCIAL CAPITOL, Southern Leyte
– A total of 80 computer sets were distributed by the Lone District
Congressman Roger G. Mercado under his Priority Development Assistance
Project (PDAF) Friday at the lobby of the Provincial Capitol here.
The assistance, in
line with the Congressman’s computerization system development for the
province is one of the priority programs of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
the Solon said. The yearly program is around P3 million, it was
During the turn-over
ceremony, Cong. Mercado personally distributed the computer sets to
the (40) recipients identified from the provincial, municipal and
barangay offices throughout the province. The remaining (40) units
were allocated to the schools that submitted resolution through their
Parents Community and Teachers Association (PCTA), according to the
District Office staff.
Each recipient during
the turn-over ceremony were just required to sign the acknowledgement
receipt prepared by their office for the (11) boxes that composed of
(1) Pentium 4 computer set, which include the monitor, printer,
automatic voltage regulator (AVR), uninterrupted power supply (UPS),
multi-media speaker, computer table, chair among others.
Cong. Mercado during
his short talk at the turn-over rites was grateful with the continued
support extended for the good of the province and mentioned some of
his on-going projects like the construction of a training center for
vocational courses, livelihood assistance through the Self Employment
Assistance sa Kalunlaran (SWEA-K) memberships distribution for
indigents, construction of schools, agricultural developments
including farm-to-market roads and infrastructure projects throughout
Present during the
turn-over ceremony were Vice-Governor Miguel Maamo II, Sangguniang
Panlalawigan Member Jason Calva, Maasin City Mayor Maloney Samaco, the
recipients and some provincial officials and employees.
Admission of P70-M
OWWA losses a cover-up to more fund misuses and mismanagement
By Migrante ME
May 5, 2008
An alliance of
overseas Filipino Workers’ organizations based in the
Middle East on Sunday said that the admission of OWWA fund losses
by no less than the Labor Secretary is merely a cover-up to more OWWA
misuses and fund mismanagement.
“The admission maid by
Labor Sec. Marianito Roque that OWWA has incurred losses of about P70
million in pre-departure loans availed by OFWs if found to be true has
indeed validates that OWWA has been mismanaging the OWWA fund, a
compulsory collection of US$25 per OFWs on a yearly basis which is
believed to have reached P10-B held in trust to the government,” said
John Leonard Monterona, coordinator of Migrante Middle East.
“OWWA fund losses by
such admission from Sec. Roque is merely a cover up to the misuses and
mismanagement of OWWA fund and thus the official made it as a
justification why they have stopped OWWA Welfare programs and services
to OFWs and families,” Monterona added.
Monterona said that
Sec. Roque was only forced to divulge and admit such losses of OWWA
fund as the Congress, both Senate and House of Representatives, is on
the move to investigate the alleged misuses of OWWA fund.
Monterona said that it
has been noted that the pre-departure loans for OFWs have been
suspended right after when the OWWA Omnibus Policies have been passed
and implemented by OWWA Governing Board headed by then Labor Sec.
Patricia Sto. Tomas year 2003.
“Such admission of
OWWA losses is not new to us. We have been hearing same old story
every time the P10-B OWWA fund misuses and mismanagement is a hot
issue: the OWWA Administrator usually admits losses of OWWA fund to
cover up huge misuses and mismanagement of the fund,” Monterona
The OFW leader
recalled the admission made by then OWWA Administrator Virgilio Angelo
of the P260-M bogus claims of welfare programs such as loans for OFW
medicare and family assistance loans only to justify the transfer of
P4-B OWWA Medicare fund to Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth)
prior to 2002 Presidential election.
“We suspect more
hidden misuses and diversion of funds have been done or charged to
OWWA fund. Thus, we reiterates our call to the Members of the Senate
and House of Representatives especially its respective committees to
pass a legislation defining the proper uses of OWWA fund, so as to
secure the OFW fund which has been misused by the present
administration,” Monterona added.
“We challenge Sec.
Roque to re-implement all the welfare programs OWWA has been removed
due to the implementation of OWWA Omnibus Policies and consider the
lowering of OWWA membership fee from US$25 (P1,050 if exchange rate is
1:42) to P500 per OFW,” Monterona averred.
Monterona said that
since the amount of OWWA fund is now reaching to P10-B now, it is but
prudent on the part of OWWA to consider lowering OFW membership fee
from considerable amount per returning OFWs and aspiring alike
especially in time of soaring prices of food, gasoline and LPG.
“Lowering of OWWA
membership fee and removal of other unnecessary government fees
charged and collected from OFWs and aspiring alike would surely bring
ease to OFWs and their families in time of economic crisis,” Monterona
Dependents of Agrarian
Reform beneficiaries enjoy scholarship program
By MARIVIC ALCOBER (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is once again calling on
dependents of agrarian reform beneficiaries to avail of the President
Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program (PDMASP). The program
gives college education to children and direct descendants of
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP beneficiaries.
For school year
2008-2009, the different Provincial Agrarian Reform Officers has a
number of slots open to those who meet the pre-qualification
requirements set by the DAR.
According to DAR,
applicants will apply at the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office in their
respective areas for an initial interview, after which a final
interview will be conducted at the DAR Provincial Office on May 13,
It was also learned
that the implementation of PDMASP is in partnership with state
universities and colleges and in line with the 10-point agenda of
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to provide educational scholarship
to the deserving children of poor families.
DAR bared that the
PDMASP is deeply committed in developing a pool of highly motivated,
technically equipped and well educated dependents of agrarian reform
beneficiaries who are law-abiding citizens that will assume the
responsibility for managing the lands awarded to them under CARP.
Further, DAR aims to produce scholars who will serve as agents of
change to assist the government in the development and modernization
of agriculture and in improving the quality of life in the rural
On the other hand, it
was disclosed that the program offers free tuition and miscellaneous
school fees in an amount not exceeding P1,500 per semester to be paid
directly to the school where the grantee is enrolled. Likewise, a
monthly stipend in the amount of P800.00 will be paid directly to the
scholarship grantee for every month that he or she is in actual school
attendance in the first and second semester of the school year, plus a
P500.00 allowance per semester to pay for the books and other school
Biliran tops rice
sufficiency in EV, Northern Samar places lowest
By FRED PADERNOS
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Rice traders in the Province of Biliran will find rice a saucy
business these days, as the place is on the top in the rice
sufficiency share for the whole region. Because of the reported rice
shortage, rice is selling like hot cakes which mean more profit to the
small and big rice business operators.
The Department of
Agriculture rice sufficiency index show that Biliran has 238 percent
share of the region's rice supply, followed by Leyte province at 171
percent, and third, Southern Leyte with 102 percent share. Other
provinces such as
Eastern Samar, Samar, and
Northern Samar are positioned in the lowest three share based on the
index with only 55.3%, 50.8%, and 37.6% respectively.
Very recently the
alleged rice shortage created a panic buying effect among consumers
that even prompted the national government conduct raids among giant
rice warehouses in the national capital region reportedly due to
hoarding which they (hoarders) intends to sell later at a blotted
In a related story,
Robert Hernandez, National President of the Alyansa Ng Industriyang
Bigas (ANIB) disclosed that there is no actually rice crisis- but
price crisis. He said, the country has enough supply of rice, only
that these are commercial rice that are sold from P33 - P44 compared
to the NFA rice at P18.25 per kilo or from P1,400 - P2,000 per sack
depending on the variety and quality. What is in shortage now, he
said, is the cheap rice such as NFA that low income earners could
afford to buy on a daily basis.
PGMA eyes completion
of Eastern Nautical Highway projects
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– After the successful launching of the Central Nautical Highway,
President Arroyo is now eyeing the fast-tracking of government
projects on the Eastern Nautical Highway, the last segment of the
Strong Republic Nautical Highway.
"I instruct the DOTC
and the DPWH to work now on the Eastern Nautical Highway: Pilar,
Sorsogon to Masbate to Naval, Biliran to Leyte Island to Surigao
City," the President said during the 2nd SRNH conference on April 30
at the Xavier Estates along Airport Road in Cagayan de Oro City
attended by about 300 businessmen and government officials.
To complement the
Eastern Nautical Highway, the President ordered the Department of
Public Works and Highways to rehabilitate roads in the Pan-Philippine
or Maharlika Highway
linking Samar to Luzon.
specifically instructed the DPWH to fix the old
and to fast-track the Hinabangan-Catbalogan-Calbayog portion.
The Strong Republic
Nautical Highway which was conceived by President Arroyo in 2002, is
composed of three major routes: the Western Nautical Highway (WNH),
the Central Nautical Highway (CNH) and the Eastern Nautical Highway (ENH).
The SRNH was launched
when the Western Nautical Highway was completed in 2003 linking
Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Roxas,
Mindoro Oriental and Caticlan, Aklan, cutting the travel time between
Dapitan to Batangas port by 12 hours and on to any point of Luzon by
The President said the
SRNH was conceived in 2002 when she presented to the Cabinet a work
program to reduce transport costs from the food basket of Mindanao to
the large consuming population of Luzon, by decreasing handling and
The President thanked
in particular former Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) senior
vice president Marietto Enecio who retired March this year. The
President said, pulled from the DBP filing cabinet, an obscure master
plan of a Sustainable Logistics Development Plan initiated by their
SVP Marietto Enecio made up of 48 Road and Roll-on-Roll-off routes.
The RO-RO operations
have changed the way industries do business citing as an example the
Nestle plant here which kept its prices steady despite the worldwide
surge in the price of milk, the President said.
President said the SRNH also contributed to the generation of jobs and
upsurge in tourism traffic nationwide including in Dapitan which
recorded a 200 percent increase last year.
Exhorting the people
to "roll our sleeves and join hands," the President said that the
ultimate ultimate beneficiaries of RO-RO are the people. RO-RO is a
fulfillment of the vision based on a strong and growing economy.
Leyte presents double
header to the famed annual Aliwan Festival
Provincial Media Relations Center
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla is hopeful the province can
bag any significant place in the soon to be held Aliwan Festival at
the Quirino Grandstand in Manila as Leyte province presents a
double-header via the Buyogan Festival and Alikaraw Festival of Abuyog
and Hilongos respectively.
“It is the first time
ever that the province would be sending two contingents. And they are
not just mere contingents as these two festivals are already seasoned
dancers and performers who have joined many other and big cultural
presentations in other parts of the country,” Gov. Petilla said in an
To recall, Buyogan
Festival was the grand prize winner in the Leyte Pintados-Kasadyaan
Festival in June 2007 while Alikaraw was its runner-up.
Hilongos’ Alikaraw is
likewise fresh from a third place win at the Sinulog Festival in Cebu
City last January and is out to defend its position too, if not
overtake its third position which it earned in last year’s Aliwan
“I myself is feeling
the pressure. The province is giving these two festivals full support
because not only would they be representing themselves but they would
be bringing the province of Leyte as they dance their best in Manila,”
Gov. Petilla said.
The Alikaraw festival
of Hilongos showcases its equally fervent religious devotion
manifested by tribesmen who also learned to co-exist with their
environment, while the town of Abuyog bring life to the mystical bees
of the magical fairy Opayda in the Buyogan festival.
would be facing top festival contingents as this year’s Aliwan
festival showcases 24 festivals from as far as Angadanan, Isabela in
the north to Lamitan Basilan in the South.
This year’s Aliwan
contingents also include Panagbenga of Baguio City, Lang-ay Festival
of Bontoc, Mountain Province, Pamulinawen Festival of Laoag City,
Gakit Festival of Angadanan, Isabela, Desposorio Festival of Bulacan,
PintaFlores Festival of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, Sa-ad
Festival and the acclaimed Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo, Sinulog of
Cebu as interpreted by Aliwan Festival 2007 defending champion Lumad
Basakanon, Halad Festival of Midsayap, Cotabato, Bakhawan Festival of
Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, Shariff Kabunsuan Festival of Cotabato
City, Meguyaya Festival of Upi, Shariff Kabunsuan, Kang’ Gelal of
Sultan Kudarat, Buklod Festival of Parang, Maguindanao, Kalilintad
Festival of Mamasapano, Maguindanao and Lami-Lamihan of Lamitan,
The grand prize winner
of the 6th Aliwan Fiesta streetdance competition will receive a
whooping 1 Million Pesos and the bragging rights as the Philippines’
Second Place winner
will get five hundred thousand pesos and third place winner will
pocket two hundred fifty thousand pesos. Fourth to tenth place winners
will each get fifty thousand pesos each.
The Aliwan Fiesta,
organized by the media outfit, Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) and
the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), would be held on May
1-3, with the grand culminating parade traversing Roxas Boulevard from
Quirino Grandstand to the Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex.