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Mayaw-Mayaw takes center stage at Kamurayaw Festival in Pinabacdao, Samar

Calbiga town undergoes ‘economic’ workshop

Tanauan skimmers rein in Surigao 3rd National Skimboarding fete

30,500 bags of NFA rice delivered to Samar

Army soldiers reach out to uphill barangays through medical-dental mission

Tarangnan police collars murder suspect who eluded arrest for 19 years

Samar lady solon fulfills inaugural address promise on health through sponsoring the training of Botika ng Bayan operators

Will CPP-NPA respondents show up for March 24 hearing by Judge Abarquez?

Eastern Samar observes Magellan landing at Homonhon

Evardone opposes 124% power rate increase in Eastern Samar


LMP holds Visayas island cluster conference

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
May 17, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The League of Municipalities of the Philippines will hold its Visayas Island Cluster Conference on May 25-27, 2008 at Bohol Tropics Resort in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

The Honorable Vice President Noli de Castro is scheduled to Keynote the Conference which will be attended by about 300 municipal mayors from the different provinces and regions in the Visayas.

To be conducted after the opening ceremonies in the afternoon of May 25, is the Soft Launching of more FISH project which calls for the promotion of sustainable fisheries through responsible fishing practices, with the theme "Masaganang Pangisdaan Sagot sa Kahirapan, Karagatan Alagaan."

The e-Governance for Municipal Development will also be launched, afterwhich, the LGUs Leagues and Legislators High Level Dialogue will be conducted with no less than Speaker of the House Hon. Congressman Prospero C. Nograles and Senate President Hon. Senator Manuel B. Villar.

The Conference will have plenary sessions which will address issues affecting the Visayas and the Philippine municipalities, as a whole.

Plenary Session 1 is on Food Security and Local Empowerment: Hunger Mitigation, Poverty Reduction and Population Management with Hon. Mayor Roque A. Tiu of Tanauan, Leyte as the Mayor sharer and with Hon. Oscar M. Orbos, former Executive Secretary and Former Governor of Pangasinan as the reactor; and Hon. Mayor Ronaldo B. Golez of Dumangas, Iloilo as facilitator.

Climate Change, Disaster Mitigation and Risk Management for Effective Local Governance will be tackled in Plenary Session 2, with Hon, Mayor Melchor A. Nacario of Calbiga, Samar and Hon. Mayor Rico Rentuza of St. Bernard, Southern Leyte as the mayor sharers; Hon. Orlando Mercado, former Senator and DND Secretary and President of RPN Channel 9 as the reactor and Hon. Mayor Lloyd Peter M. Lopez of Loon, Bohol as the facilitator.

Local Economic Development and Inclusive Growth will be discussed at Plenary Session 3 by mayor sharers Hon. Givel M. Mamaril, MDC Center for Mindanao, former Mayor of Malalag, Davao del Sur and Hon. Mayor Exuperio C. Lloren of Jagna, Bohol. The reactor is Prof. Edel Guiza, AIM, Core Faculty, MDC, Senior Consultant while the facilitator is Hon. Mayor Samuel T. Gumarin of Buenavista, Guimaras.

The LMP Advocacy Programs will be discussed at Plenary Session 4 by Hon. Gerardo V. Calderon, LMP Deputy Secretary General and DENR Assistant Secretary and former Mayor of Angono, Rizal. Among the LMP Advocacies are socially responsible mining development, solid waste management, air and quality management and anti-trafficking of humans.

The Plenary Sessions will end with the presentation of plenary sessions outputs to the National Government Agencies. DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno; Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap; DENR Secretary Jose L. Atienza Jr.; Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.; Health Secretary Francisco Duque III; DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral; National Anti Poverty Commission Secretary Domingo Panganiban; Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Food. Senator Edgardo Angara and DBM Director Carmencita Delantar will give their reactions.

Mayor Ramon N. Guico, Jr. National President, informed that Article VIII, Section 20 of the New By-Laws of the LMP requires the establishment of the Island Clusters in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. These island clusters are also mandated to hold their respective annual conferences to discuss local governance issues and concerns affecting their clusters.

More importantly, the LMP institutionalizes the island Clusters to promote greater inter-municipality cooperation and to address island-specific governance challenges and opportunities requiring appropriate actions from the LMP, the national government, the private sector, the civil society and other stakeholders of local governance.





Kuratsa Festival 2008 searches for the best kuratsa dancers in Region 8

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
May 15, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The 2008 Kuratsa Festival Committee is now scouting for the best Kuratsa dancers in the different municipalities of Leyte and Samar islands, to become contestants in the June 26, 2008 Kuratsa Festival.

Mr. Julito Mendones, the festival chairperson, informed that after the successful conduct of the 2007 Kuratsa Festival last year, the Province of Leyte and the Leyte Heritage Festival Committee have included the 2008 Kuratsa Festival in the calendar of events in the celebration of the National Heritage Month in the month of May until the end of June.

An added feature in the Kuratsa Festival 2008 is the Kuratsa Dance Forum which aims to provide a venue where academicians, culture scholars, and kuratsa dance enthusiasts from all over Region 8, can discuss the heritage and artistic value, and the socio-cultural relevance of the kuratsa.

The Forum, which will be conducted on June 26 at the UPVTC AS Conference Hall from 1:00 o’clock to 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon, will also put on record Kuratsa’s value in the Eastern Visayan culture. The Kuratsa Forum will be held in partnership with the UP Visayas Tacloban College’s Leyte Samar Heritage Center.

Two paper presentations on Kuratsa of Leyte and Samar will be the highlight of the Forum.

The Kuratsa Dance Competition Opening Ceremonies will be held from 1:00 o’clock to 6:00 o’clock in the afternoon at the UPVTC Multi Purpose Building.

Invited are contest participants from all municipalities of Leyte and key cities and municipalities of Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte and Biliran. Mr. Mendones said that the deadline for submission of contestants’ registration forms is on June 20, 2008.

The Final Round of the Competition and Awarding Ceremonies will be at 7:00 o’clock in the evening of June 26, at the RTR Plaza, Tacloban City, Mr. Mendones said.

Kuratsa is a courtship dance that highlights every important occasions in the Eastern Visayas communities. It depicts the courtship between the rooster and the hen.





PGMA’S SONA project, the Guiuan airport rehabilitation now ongoing

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
May 15, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s SONA project, the rehabilitation of the Guiuan Airport, is now ongoing, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Secretary Victor Domingo informed during the launching of the PGMA Job Center Kiosk at the Department of Labor and Industry.

Secretary Domingo disclosed that the airport fence has been completed and the terminal building is now being constructed. When completed, commercial airlines will start to land there and it will become an international airport catering to the tourists going to Calicoan Island which is a combination of Siargao and Boracay considering that at the Pacific side, the big waves are conducive to surfing while the Leyte Gulf side is conducive to swimming and other water sports.

The opening of the Guiuan Airport will be beneficial not only to the people of Guiuan and other towns of Eastern Samar but the entire Eastern Visayas, Secretary Domingo said. He informed that this is a fulfillment of the Super Region concept of development of President Arroyo in which Eastern Visayas belongs to the Central Philippines Super Region envisioned as the Tourism Center of the Philippines.

Secretary Domingo, however, noted that the roads of Eastern Samar has deteriorated, saying that now there are a thousand potholes for so many hundred meters of roads there. He observed that the road at Eastern Samar used to be the best roads and the first roads to be asphalted.

Secretary Domingo underscores the importance of cooperation and support, among the political leaders in Easter Samar so that they will help one another and give priority to the rehabilitation of roads in the area, to make it more accessible to Tacloban.

For sure, the tourists going to Calicoan will not only go to Calicoan but will also explore the other areas in the Region by land, Secretary Domingo said.

Secretary Domingo said when people complain about their leaders, what comes to his mind is that the people deserve the leaders they elected. If they chose right and well, then they should have better leaders who are attentive to the needs of the area and the people.

Really, attitudes and values are what make the country great, Secretary Domingo who is a very conscientious leader, said.





City infra projects under counterpart scheme due for implementation

By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
May 15, 2008

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  At least three major infrastructure projects here that included a bridge and two farm-to-market (FMR) roads are about to be implemented soon by the city local government unit (LGU), according to Mayor Maloney Samaco.

But funding requirements for the three said projects will be shared by the city, the province, and the office of Rep. Roger Mercado, in a strategy widely used now as “counterparting”.

“I am just a text away from Gov. Damian Mercado and Cong. Roger Mercado when it comes to sharing financial resources for a public works project,” said Mayor Samaco during a block-time radio program at radio station DYDM Tuesday, May 13.

Among the infra projects the Mayor cited to start soon will be a bridge at the reclaimed area in barangay Combado so that four-wheeled vehicles can pass going to the new tennis court, the National Mercado Memorial Tennis Court.

The city government would shoulder the construction of abutment for this structure, while the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be the one to construct the bridge itself, Samaco said.

As this report was written, a wide pile of large stones has been assembled at the western end of the Combado reclamation area, presumably in preparation for this massive undertaking.

This developed as the other end of the reclamation area still along the Combado side beside the terminal building, construction was ongoing for the new public market which is being built at a cost of P73 Million, a project Mayor Samaco considered as his first multi-million venture.

The two other projects under the counterpart scheme are the opening of new roads in the upland area, connecting barangay Rizal to Sitio Aguban to Kabaroy, Abgao, and another trail-blazing road from barangay Matin-ao to barangay Cansirong, said to be a long felt need of the people living in these places.

For these two FMR projects, the city LGU would provide for the heavy equipment and the fuel, the province for the surfacing materials, while Cong. Mercado would likewise chip in what other details needed to finish the project, the Mayor said.





Region 8 selection team searches for Eastern Visayas nominees to the 2008 National Literacy Awards

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
May 14, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Several years ago, the 63rd Infantry Battalion of Philippine Army under then Battalion Commander Manuel Usi in Catubig, Northern Samar, took an alternative path to peace and prosperity by introducing the Army Literacy Patrol System (ALPS), offering literacy cum livelihood programs to its learners to enable them to live in a community harmoniously.

The Army soldiers who underwent rigid training to be qualified as instructors took extra steps and exerted great efforts to reach out to the remotest areas of Northern Samar, using the institution's highly-respected, disciplined and well-motivated set of officers and staff.

The Philippine Army employed an effective and relevant and most desired way of fighting ignorance and poverty in the countryside and made the learners active and productive members of the Philippine society.

Utilizing the talents and skills of the learners in worthwhile and meaningful economic activities, the Philippine Army created models of community development in areas hardly reached by development initiatives.

This innovative and pioneering project, did not remain unnoticed. It was nominated by the Division of Northern Samar to the Regional Level and moved on to be adjudged as the country’s Best Literacy Program in 2005.

Literacy Programs such as the Army Literacy Patrol Sytem (ALPS), which inspire all sectors to help reduce the incidence of illiteracy in the Philippines are what the Region 8 Selection Committee for the National Literacy Awards is currently searching for in the different DepEd Divisions in Eastern Visayas. From among these, the Regional nominees to the National Literacy Awards, will be chosen.

DepEd Director Sol Matugas who is the chairperson of the Regional Selection Committee informed, that to date, the credentials of nominees from six divisions namely, Tacloban City, Leyte, Northern Samar, Ormoc City, Samar and Eastern Samar, have been received by the Regional Selection Committee.

The Regional Selection Committee will conduct on-site visits to the divisions with entries for the National Literacy Award Search, from May 14-23, 2008, Dr. Imelda Parado, chief of the Alternative Learning System of DepEd Regional Office 8 informed the Philippine Information Agency.

The Regional Selection Committee, Atty. Alberto T. Escobarte, DepEd Assistant Regional Director said, per the guidelines of the National Literacy Council is composed of the Department of Education Director as chairman, the Department of Interior and Local Government Director as co- chairman, and the Philippine Information Agency Regional Director, National Economic and Development Authority Regional Director and the President of an Academe, as members. The Coordinator is the Department of Education Regional Chief and the Secretary is the chief of the Alternative Learning System Division.

The 2008 National Literacy Awards is a project of the Literacy Coordinating Council and the Department of Education, in support of the National Government’s commitment to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing adult illiteracy by half in 2015, and consequently improve the quality of life of the Filipino.

Through the 2008 National Literacy Awards, the National Literacy Council hopes to mobilize all sectors of society, government agencies, non-government organizations, local government units and the entire society to promote and disseminate the importance of literacy to national progress and consequently inspire them to develop, implement and sustain literacy programs and projects throughout the country.

The National Literacy Award aims to encourage the development and replication of innovative, creative and indigenous literacy programs and projects.

The National Literacy Awards has two categories: the Outstanding Literacy Program Award and the Outstanding Local Government Unit Award.

The Outstanding Literacy Program Award shall be given to a literacy program being implemented by a non-government or civic organization, academic institution, which has evident positive impact on the learners and the community. The program should have contributed to the transformation of learners into productive and more responsible community members.

The Local Government Unit Award shall be given to a local government unit, city or municipal government, which has developed policies, programs and projects conducive to literacy development and which have efficaciously made a positive impact on the barangays and the quality of life of the people.

The Local Government Unit Award will be given to one highly urbanized city, component city, municipal level Class A and Class B. Class A includes the first class up to third class municipalities while Class B includes the 4th class to 6th class municipalities.

May 30 is the deadline for the submission of the Regional Entries to the Literacy Coordinating Council while the Awarding will coincide with the convention of the National Literacy Council on the third week of September.

The Literacy Coordinating Council is an inter-agency body that is tasked to provide overall policy and program direction to the country's literacy development efforts committed to create and maintain an environment for the development and promotion of literacy skills geared towards the attainment of a literate Philippines. It is premised on RA 7165, An Act Creating the Literacy Coordinating Council, defining its powers and functions, appropriating therefore and for other purposes.





RDC 8 tackles updates on rice situation in Eastern Visayas

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
May 13, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The updates on the rice situation in Eastern Visayas will be the main topic of deliberations, among others, during the scheduled Regional Development Council meeting on May 16 at the NEDA Regional Office, Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento, the chairman of the Council, informed.

Mayor Sarmiento said that Department of Agriculture Regional Executive Director Leo Cañeda who is also the RDC Chairman for the Economic Development Committee, will present the Rice Situationer in Eastern Visayas.

In relation with the rice situationer, Ormoc City Mayor Eric Codilla will present the Rice Production Enhancement Program of Ormoc City which is considered as a good LGU practice worth replication by other LGUs.

Before the presentation on the rice situation in Eastern Visayas, a briefing on the Integrity Development Action Plan of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) will be presented by no less than the Chairman of the PAGC Dr. Constancia P. de Guzman.

Port Manager Winfred Elizalde who is the chairman of the Infrastructure Development Committee will brief the body on the updates on Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Project.

Also among the issues which will be tackled during the RDC meeting, is the endorsement of the resolution requesting DILG Secretary Ronaldo V. Puno to issue a memo circular enjoining all LGUs to provide full support to local residents seeking employment abroad. This will be presented by DOLE Regional Director Forter Puguon who is the chairman of the Social Development Committee.

Director Puguon will also present another resolution, requesting Sanggunians in the provincial, city and municipal levels, to enact an ordinance regulating the practice of traditional birth attendants in Region 8 and still another resolution requesting HUDCC Chair, Vice President Noli de Castro to sponsor the lowering of Pag-Ibig Housing Loans Interest Rates.

Another issue which will be tackled is the policy or guidelines on representation of PSRs and League of Mayors in RDC/SecCom Meetings; the proposed Samar Pacific Coastal Road; the proposed street lighting of Capitol Access Road in Catarman, Northern Samar and the proposed procedures in the monitoring of programs in the score cards.





Phil army engrs in USNS Mercy humanitarian mission

Press Release
By 546 Engineer Construction Battalion, PA
May 13, 2008

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  The Philippine Army Engineers participates in U.S. Naval Ship USNS Mercy humanitarian mission in Calbayog City, Sta. Margarita and Gandara all of Western Samar for the period from May 12, 2008 to June 13, 2008 through Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP).

In line with USNS Mercy’s overall mission of delivering valuable medical, dental, and engineering services, 30 personnel of 546th Engineer Construction Battalion of the 53rd Engineer Brigade, PA and their 20 American counterparts of the USN SeaBees from Okinawa, Japan build a health clinic in Capoocan, Calbayog City and 2-unit septic tank with coconut pit filter in Greenland Subdivision, repair the Gandara Provincial Hospital, Sta. Margarita Municipal Health Unit and Botika ng Barangay.

Alongside these ENCAP, a series of Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) is also scheduled to be held in San Isidro Central Elementary School on June 1 & 2, Gandara Central Elementary School on June 4 & 5, Sta. Margarita National Central High School on June 7 & 8 and Hermann Gmeiner Elementary School on June 10 to 13.

This humanitarian mission exemplifies venerable ties between the United States and the Philippines and the continued commitment to work together to address mutual problems and concerns.





Solon bares pro employment initiatives of Eastern Samar

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
May 11, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Provincial Government of Eastern Samar has made various initiatives in support of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s thrust of creating more jobs in order to reduce the incidence of poverty in the country.

This was bared by Eastern Samar Board Member Enerio Sabulao, who represented Governor Ben Evardone in the turn-over of the GMA Job Center Kiosk which was given by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for free instead of the agreed P100,000 payment for every kiosk.

First, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan where Board Member Sabulao is the Chairman of the Committee on Labor, passed an ordinance that created the Jobs Promotions and Placement Center which is manned by the Public Employment Service Office manager.

Another ordinance is the Eastern Samar First Policy which provides that the people of Eastern Samar must be given priority and preference in whatever job opening there is in the province. This was passed because a study showed that even construction workers are not from Samar but from Tacloban, Board Member Sabulao said.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan also passed the Abroad Now Pay Later Plan ordinance, with Board Member Sabulao as the principal author. This ordinance provides that the Provincial Government will shoulder 50 % of the placement fee of a constituent who is going abroad to work.

The Provincial Government of Eastern Samar under the leadership of Governor Evardone has sponsored several Job Fairs by clusters in order to bring job opportunities to the people of Eastern Samar, BM Sabulao said.

With the acquisition of the Provincial Government of the GMA Jobs Kiosks, a touch screen machine web enabled machine, containing data on hot or in-demand jobs and other relevant information and services for workers seeking employment locally and overseas, Board Member Sabulao is optimistic that more Eastern Samareños will be able to find employment and decrease not only the number of unemployed constituents but also decrease the poverty incidence of the province.

BM Sabulao expressed gratitude to President Arroyo for her generosity and for showing her genuine concern for the poor people not only of Eastern Visayas but of the country. He said that the Province of Eastern Samar will see to it that the use of the GMA Kiosk is maximized so that more job seekers will be served.





New Laptop ng Bayan now available, Region 8 Procurement Service says

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
May 11, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Every government employee or government office can now avail of a high quality, Hewlett-Packard branded Notebook computer for only P23,100.

Finally, the Laptop ng Bayan is now available at the Procurement Service, Director Imelda Laceras of the Department of Budget and Management informed.

The Service Depot has very limited stocks and so those interested government employees and government offices must place their orders right away.

The Notebook computer, branded, latest model and brand new, will have the following specifications: Processor is 2.0GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB. It will have 1 x 512 MB DDR2 expandable to 2GB Memory; 80GB SATA hard drive, with shock and vibration protection; Internal DVDRW optical drive; and built in 5-in-1 card reader for flash media slots.

The Laptop ng Bayan comes with a 6-cell Li-Ion Battery Pack with at least three hours battery live; AC adaptor and carrying case and comes with one year carry-in warranty on parts and service.

The Laptop ng Bayan III comes after the success of the PC ng Bayan I and II.

Those interested to purchase the Laptop ng Bayan may inquire from the Procurement Service Depot at the DBM Regional Office at telephone number 532-1522.

Director Laceras said that the items at the PX Depot are cheaper because the items are bought directly from the manufacturers that are nearest the Depot in order to save on the freight and handling expenses.

Government Agencies are encouraged to buy their supplies from the PX Depot because it was put in place as a means of eliminating corruptions in government. There is no need for canvassing from many suppliers and bidding. The order is just served at the Regional PX Depot to check on the availability and voila, the items are purchased. What more! The orders maybe placed through the internet.



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