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Frank leaves province P5M damages, Eastern Samar in state of calamity

Samar’s mussel industry threatened

Pacific Friendship 2008 visits Gandara

Samar solon sponsors surgical mission with UST Medicine Class of 1964

8th ID releases P147,600 for Balik-Baril Program

Mass surrender of NPA supporters in Eastern Samar

LMP holds Visayas island cluster conference

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


Power in region 8 now fully restored, TransCo says

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 29, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  As of Wednesday, June 25, power in Region 8 has been completely restored, the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) informed.

Transco linemanMr. Henry A. Sale, TransCo Samar Branch Manager said that at exactly 11:54 in the morning of June 25, the remaining isolated Borongan-MacArthur Line in Eastern Samar was finally energized.

Meanwhile, TransCo Leyte Branch Manager Mr. Sisinio C. Quindao disclosed that at 2:51 in the afternoon of June 25, the Lemon-Biliran Line in Leyte was also completely energized.

Ms. Edna Legaspina, TransCo Corporate Communications Officer informed that the affected customer of the Borongan-MacArthur Line is the Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative that distributes power to the whole Eastern Samar Province.

On the other hand, the affected customer of the Lemon-Biliran Line is the Biliran Electric Cooperative that distributes power to the whole province of Biliran, Ms. Legaspina added.

The restoration of power supply in these two mentioned lines completes the full restoration of electricity in Region 8.

It would be recalled that 62 power poles were toppled down in Leyte and Samar islands, as typhoon Frank hit the Region and other parts of the country on June 20, 2008, leaving the whole Region experience total power black out.

With the commitment, dedication and hardwork of TransCo line crew, however, complete restoration of power in the Region was completed in a matter of five (5) days.





Tigil pasada stuns Catbalogan city commuters

June 28, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  As commuters are grappling with their losses due to typhoon Frank, another difficulty, dubbed as Tigil Pasada was staged by 15 transport groups ferrying commuters within the city limits.

6-seaters motorize cab in CatbaloganA student from St. Mary’s College who used to take the six-seater tricycle said she was unaware of the transport strike.

Students, employees and the general public had to walk or take the non-motorized tricycles ordinarily allowed only in the city streets.

In a resolution filed by the Catbalogan Public Transport Utility Federation (CAPTUFED), it mentioned that it has been seven months since their filing of petition for P2 fare hike and no action has been done by the City Tricycle & PTU Franchising and Regulatory Board (CTFRB).

It also mentioned that the drivers and operators of six-seaters and single motorcycles (dream) with side cars have faced the abrupt increase of fuel and other basic commodities.

It also said that the price of gasoline has increased by 20% and that their income with all those deductions from other maintenance expenses can not merit their families’ decent living.

As reporters hound the (new) city hall officials, they replied that they are still conducting a series of public consultations in the barangays.

CTFRB chair Vice-mayor Manuel Van Torrevillas aired in DYMS radio program “Panginanu-a Daw!” that they have not received the petition dated November, 2007 as alleged by the striking operators.

Instead, Torrevillas said that they have received a petition in March this year and that based on lawful processes, they have made the rounds of public consultations.

They also could not be faulted to inaction as they have included the ‘fare increase petition’ in their agenda at the city council, the Vice Mayor stressed.

“They need not stage Tigil Pasada, as a sure 90% of those they consulted are amenable to the increase,” the Vice Mayor wailed.

He added that there is one sector left with whom they would consult, and that is the professional sector.

Meanwhile, the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Camp Lucban, Catbalogan dispatched army trucks to ferry commuters from Maulong and Guinsurongan, some of the hardest hit areas by the strike.

City officials appealed to the transport groups to be patient as fare increases have to undergo some process.

Posing as leader of the transport groups called CAPTUFED, Amiel Diomangay urged the city officials to fastrack the process before another round of oil increase overtake the petition.

Although this local “Tigil Pasada” failed to dent a dramatic effect on the commuters, still CAPTUFED was glad enough to get the attention of the city officials.





Biliran province agri-aqua industry incurs P40.8 M damage due to typhoon Frank

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 28, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Typhoon Frank brought widespread destruction to the province of Biliran, with the damage to agriculture and aqua culture estimated at P40,816,210.

This was reported by the Biliran Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council on June 24, 2008.

The amount covers the damages on fishponds, fishing vessels and pump boats, crops, poultry and livestock, abaca and other agricultural products, Governor Roger Espina who is the chairman of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council informed.

The total damage to fishponds, fishing vessel/pumpboats, crops, poultry and livestock, abaca and other agricultural products is estimated at P39,197,210.

Typhoon Frank brought mortality to livestock and damaged various livestock facilities or buildings estimated at P1,619,000.

Typhoon Frank caused sudden disruption of the day to day patterns of life of the Biliranons, loss of home and property and people are plunged into helplessness and human sufferings, fear and discouragement due to destruction of livelihood facilities, and other essential services and as a result, they need assistance like food, shelter, social and restoration of other basic necessities and services, Governor Espina said.

About 26.25% of the total population or a total number of 37,320 people out of the population of 140,000 were affected, whose dwellings were either partially or totally destroyed.

About 807 families were rendered homeless, more or less 7,576 families suffered from partial destruction of their houses, while 45 families were evacuated.

The provincial government of Biliran has already spent a total of P182,400 for emergency relief assistance while the various municipal government units have already extended about P276,590 emergency relief assistance.

The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council is urgently in need of assistance from the National Disaster Coordinating Council, for the rehabilitation and restoration of the damaged facilities and livelihood paraphernalia to enable the victims to return to their normal way of life, Governor Espina added.





Number of persons affected by typhoon Frank in region 8 increases to 312,753

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 28, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The number of persons affected by typhoon Frank in Region 8 has considerably increased to 312,752 as more reports came in from the various municipalities in Region 8.

The latest update as of 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon of June 25 coming from the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council signed by RDCC Chairman and Police Regional Office 8 Director Abner Cabalquinto showed that the number of families also increased to 62,364.

This number is a far cry from the previous report of 173,751 persons and 15,157 families affected by typhoon Frank which recently devastated Region 8 and a large part of the country.

To date, there are 6,369 houses in the Region which have been fully destroyed while 27,638 houses have been partially damaged.

The update came even as the various government agencies and the local government units concerned continue to take care of the affected families and persons in the Region.

About 49,798 persons and 10,128 families were affected in the 6 municipalities and 58 barangays of the province of Samar; while in the province of Eastern Samar, 83,539 persons or 17,385 families have been affected by typhoon Frank. This number covers 11 municipalities and 114 barangays of Eastern Samar.

In 17 municipalities and 236 barangays of the province of Leyte, there are about 135,986 people or 26,447 families affected by typhoon Frank.

The province of Biliran has 43,425 persons or 8,403 families affected by typhoon Frank in its 8 municipalities and 165 barangays.

Only 5 persons and 1 family have been so far reported to have been affected in the province of Southern Leyte. It was observed that only two of the 18 municipalities of the said province have reported.

Director Cabalquinto said that the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council of Region 8 continues to monitor the damages caused by typhoon Frank, by coordinating with the various local disaster coordinating councils and the concerned national line agencies.





Greenpeace slams Del Monte and FPA for illegal presence of super toxic Endosulfan on board MV Princess of Stars

Press Release
June 27, 2008

MANILA, Philippines  –  Greenpeace today expressed outrage on the discovery of an illegal shipment of the super-toxic pesticide, Endosulfan, in the hold of the ill-fated MV Princess of Stars, which capsized with 865 passengers and crew on board during Typhoon Fengshen (Frank) last week. The highly toxic cargo was destined for the pineapple farms of multinational corporation Del Monte.

Endosulfan, a neuro-toxic organochlorine insecticide, manufactured by Bayer Crop Science has been restricted in the Philippines since 1994. Endusulfan is highly toxic and persistent. Studies indicate that it endangers the health and wellbeing of children, farm workers, and those living proximate to affected areas. Poisoning symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness and even death. It is a suspected endocrine disruptor, with low dose exposure while in the womb being linked to autism, male reproductive harm, and birth defects.

"It is outrageous that a shipment of a highly toxic substance was allowed on board a passenger vessel. We demand that Del Monte and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority be made fully accountable for this unfolding chemical disaster, the former for continuing the use of such highly toxic chemical and the latter for allowing multinational companies to use them despite the national prohibition and the scientific evidence of their toxicity," said Beau Baconguis, Greenpeace Campaign Manager.

"This pesticide has also been found to be highly toxic to birds, fish and other aquatic organisms. This is the reason why the Philippines has severe restrictions on the use of Endosulfan especially near or around bodies of water. The M/V Princess of the Stars disaster has now exposed that a multinational corporation like Del Monte is using tons of banned pesticides on their pineapples meant for export. That it took a tragic disaster to expose another ongoing disaster is infuriating," she added.

Endosulfan is being considered today for global elimination under the United Nations Convention on Persistent Organic Polllutants (Stockholm Convention) to which the Philippines is a signatory.





Matuguinao marks 43rd townhood anniversary

June 26, 2008

MATUGUINAO, Samar  –  The Municipality of Matuguinao turned 43 years old as it marked its founding anniversary last June 19.

Matuguinao townhood anniversary
Matuguinao town mayor Carlos dela Cruz (left) and Lt. Molina (3rd from left) from the army detachment, distributing medical supplies to BHWs during the town’s 43rd founding anniversary celebration.

The municipal government, under the leadership of Mayor Carlos A. dela Cruz, lined-up various activities to highlight the observance of the occasion.  The celebration was tagged as one of the grandest by most Matuguinaonons, especially that the same day happened to be the birthday of the said mayor.

The activities of the celebration were formally started by a mass held at the Municipal Plaza. It was followed by a parade around the poblacion at 8:00 o’clock in the morning.  This was participated by the officials and employees of the municipal government, the national government agencies, the non government organizations and private organizations and the general public. It was furthermore highlighted by the presence of an eight footer giant mascot whom they call as “Lakdawan”, an alleged legendary giant whose footprints can be seen in one of the waterfalls which can be found in Matuguinao.

Days ahead, a basketball competition for men aging 40 and above and a women’s volleyball were held. A very unique parlor game like “kaguray lubi” was also competed for the first time. More other games like sexy walkathon, marathon and combat relay were very well participated by the populace.

Its grand night featured the “Pasodoble”, headed by the Municipal Mayor and his wife, joined by selected couples coming from prominent families in the municipality. Meanwhile, DILG Provincial Director Jovito C. Lacaba, the night’s guest speaker, congratulated the people for its successful celebration. At least, 150 pieces umbrellas, 150 pails and basins, sacks of rice and a piglet were equally distributed thru raffle draws to barangay residents who graced the celebration. It also distributed sphygmomanometers and stethoscopes to Barangay Health Workers and Loyalty Service Awards to employees who have rendered more than ten years of service to the local government unit. Most people waited until the last minute when the Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000) grand prize winner was announced. The activity lasted until the wee hours, despite the intermittent rains brought about by typhoon “Frank”.

In his message, Mayor dela Cruz, focused on his desire to unite his people as reflected in the celebration’s theme, “An Pagkaurusa, Pabilo han Pag-ursa”. He urged all Matuguinaonons to be solid and be united for the development of the municipality. He added that since his assumption to office, there has already been a marked improvement on agriculture, health and other sectors that have contributed much to the town’s development.

However, he lamented on the failure of the provincial government to construct the 19 kms. road network from Gandara to Matuguinao. “Matuguinao is a paradise. We have abundant potable water sources, fresh air, potential tourist spots and a virgin forest with all its resources. Abaca and copra are primary sources of income for our people.  However, the absence of the concrete roads which will facilitate the transfer of our products to the neighboring places, is more than a reason why our development is delayed.” Mayor dela Cruz was quoted. At present, it takes three hours to travel to and from the said municipality by means of a pump boat. It can be reached by less than thirty minutes if there are available land trips, town folks added.

The absence of a doctor, lack of communication facilities and less job opportunities were cited as few possible reasons why the municipality is handicapped in attaining progress and development.





“Frank”-caused death toll in region 8 reaches 22

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 26, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The unofficial count of deaths caused by typhoon Frank in Region 8 has reached the 22 number count.

The unofficial report came from the Philippine Red Cross Leyte Chapter which reported 19 casualties as of 8:00 o’clock in the morning of January 25.

Only the report from the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council is considered as the official report as the Council verifies the data from the government agencies concerned before reporting it to the NDCC and releasing it to the RDCC Information Committee.

Another casualty was reported at the Leyte Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council at 10:00 o’clock in the morning of January 25.

These reports added to the two confirmed deaths from the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council whose names are not included in the Red Cross report, make the total number of casualties to 22.

Four (4) of the reported casualties were from Baybay City, three (3) from Kananga; three (3) from Matag-ob; two (2) from Tacloban City; two (2) from Leyte town; two (2) from Villaba; and one (1) each from Abuyog, Tabango, Tolosa, Mahaplag, Capoocan and Merida, all in the province of Leyte.

Those who died due to typhoon Frank which hit the Region and a large part of the country on June 20, are Jhon Kenneth Gomez, 5 years old who died of drowning at Barangay Libertad, Kananga, Leyte; Rolando Alugbati, 49, who died of drowning due to flash floods at Barangay Kambungan, Baybay City; Lucena Abenoja, 12, who drowned due to flooding at Barangay Kabungaan, Baybay City; and Emeterio Catindoy of Olot, Tolosa.

Those reported by the Philippine National Red Cross Leyte Chapter were Ronilo Sabusap, 35, who died of drowning at Barangay 103 Tacloban City; Eurena Dupa Agner, 70, who died of hypothermia at Barangay 95, Tacloban City; and Linda Salipot, 42, of Barangay Talairan, Capoocan City who died due to an accident met while in the process of evacuation.

The other two casualties from Baybay City were Oliver Abenoja, 7, who died of drowning at Kabungaan and Ronaldo Alugbati who died of drowning at Barangay Canbungcang.

The other casualties from Kananga are Crystal Gomez, 1 who died of drowning; and Christopher Gomez, 4, who also died of drowning, both from Barangay Libertad.

From the municipality of Matag-ob, the casualties were Felicidad Damayo, 42; Levy Damayo, 2; and Jay Damayo, 4, all from Barangay Imelda.

In Villaba, the casualties were Clarita dela Cruz, 54, of Barangay Hibulanang; and Roberto Manalo, 52; while from the municipality of Leyte, the casualties were Arvin Dellera, 11, who was hit by a falling tree; and Marivic Quebec, 5, who was also hit by a falling tree.

The other reported casualties were Johnley Trenchera, 15, of Abuyog, who died of drowning; Jose Arribe, 55 of Gibacungan, Tabango, who died of drowning.

The lone casualty from Merida was Margarita Predes Y Meroy, 66 years old from Barangay Cabaliwan, who drowned while crossing a river.

Meanwhile, the various municipal and provincial disaster coordinating councils from all over Region 8 continues to receive reports on the damage of typhoon Frank, from the different barangays/municipalities.

The reports are then submitted to the Regional Development Council Operation Center at Office of Civil Defense Regional Office 8.





LNU, provincial government to stage Sarswela performance

Press Release
June 26, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Leyte Normal University, in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Leyte and Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, will be holding its first sarswela performance entitled, "Panahon han Kawara han Paglaum, an Pag-abot han Senyor Sto. Niño ha Tacloban," at the RTR Plaza this June 30.

Written by noted poet and playwright, Victor N. Sugbo, the play is directed by Prof. Joey N. Lianza of the Leyte Normal University.

As the university’s way of joining the Tacloban City festivities and expressing devotion to the Señor Sto. Niño, Leyte’s patron saint, the play is woven along the miraculous accounts of the Sto. Niño as remembered by the people of Tacloban.

"I wrote the play… primarily to remind the city and all devotees of the Sto. Niño had symbolized in the collective imagination of our ancestors," writes Victor N. Sugbo. "The narrative is spun out of factual accounts about cholera, the tales of people about the Sto. Niño, and the memories of my father and grandparents who lived closer to the time of the occurrence of the plague."

Reminded by Iluminado Lucente, the unequalled father of Waray literature, who also wrote plays for the annual feasts of the Sto. Niño, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho "Icot" L. Petilla gave his support for the revival of the sarswela "for its power to remind us who we are and what we are capable of is in itself an affirmation of our being a people."

"The play harnesses the collective memory of a people at a time when the city was troubled by the plague," says Remedios "Matin" L. Petilla, Vice-President for Social Fund of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Chair of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals.

A memory built on "salvation through the intercession of our patron saint, Señor Sto. Niño de Tacloban," Dr. Evelyn C. Cruzada, Leyte Normal University President stressed the importance of the sarswela to Tacloban’s history and its people.

The sarswela coincides with the 117th Feast of the Señor Sto. Niño.



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