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Region’s bet is one of ten RP’s outstanding cops

Leyte victorious in its bid to host 2009 Palarong Pambansa

Samar lady solon awards deserving servicemen, hails them for heroism

Planet Hollywood hotel to host Pacquiao vs. Valero title fight

Gov. Petilla speeds through typhoon-hit coastal barangays to distribute relief goods, calamity financial aid

Power in region 8 now fully restored, TransCo says

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


PMS ASec Cui: PGMA visit to Catbalogan, Samar not cancelled, just postponed

August 13, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Assistant Secretary Fernando Cui said that the scheduled visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to Catbalogan, Samar is not cancelled but only postponed.

ASec Cui with media interview
ASec. Fernando Cui during the interview with Samar media.

In a huddle with the Samar media on August 11, 2008, after the commemorative 12th Samar Day program in Catbalogan City, the young cabinet officer faced the media to answer questions about his visit.

The media was told earlier that Cui is a native of Samar.

“We are just looking for an auspicious occasion for the President's visit,” Cui stressed.

State visits of foreign Presidents have prevented PGMA from the Presidential Visits in Cebu, Samar Island and even Carigara, Leyte.

Cui said the President is keen on fast tracking the implementation of programs and projects that make up the Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD).

Cui added that since their last visit on June 16-19, the programs have taken a lot of steps forward.

The PMS official also takes pride in the commitment given by the President as she delivered her SONA, when she mentioned “…the infrastructure links programmed for the poorest provinces like Northern Samar: Lao-ang-Lapinig-Arteche, right now ay maputik, San Isidro-Lope de Vega; the rehabilitation of Maharlika in Samar,” were those she mentioned.

The president, said Cui is banking on the VAT to finance these projects.

Cui also said that he has not observed this much convergence of LGUs, civil society and even the religious groups as represented by the three Bishops of the Dioceses of Borongan, Calbayog and Catarman.

He said that along with Sec. Gabby Claudio and ASec Norman Datu, he has made the personal and official quest for Samar’s development.

Another good news the PMS official disclosed, is the visit of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap to Samar to inspect Samar’s irrigation facilities that are undergoing major rehabilitation.

Finally, the ASec also disclosed that more infrastructure facilities are earmarked for Samar, he just assures the Samareños that in due time, these will be realized as right now, the President, he said as an economist, looks at these investments in the total viewpoint of the whole country.

As the gentleman heads the monitoring team, he assured the media that he would be very visible in Samar in the next days to come.





Evardone, DepEd officials deliver ‘Health Care Package’ to public schools

August 13, 2008

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  Eastern Samar Provincial Governor Ben P. Evardone with the Eastern Samar Schools Division Superintendent Niña Villalon spearheaded the province-wide launching of the Essential Health Care Package Program (EHCP) initiated by the provincial government, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Department of Education in Sabang South Elementary School, this city.

Gov. Ben P. Evardone and Eastern Samar Schools Division Supt. Dr. Niña Villalon.
Gov. Ben P. Evardone and E. Samar Schools Div. Supt. Dr. Niña Villalon take a look on the toothpaste to be given to the school children during the province-wide launching of the Essential Health Care Package Program in Sabang Elementary School, Borongan City.

The program is intended to improve the health conditions of elementary pupils in public schools in the province by providing them essential basic health materials like toothbrush, toothpaste, bath soap, and deworming tablets.

“The main objective of this program is not just to prevent tooth decay, not only to inculcate the value of ensuring good health to all children,” Gov. Evardone said in his message, “but this is part of our general and overall efforts to improve participation rate of our school children in the elementary and high school levels.”

The GTZ and DepEd found in a study that the primary cause of high dropout percentage particularly in public schools is due to worse teeth problems among pupils and students. Stomach pain due to intestinal parasites comes next to the primary causes of participation and completion downgrade among the students.

In his address at the Sabang South elementary, one of the pilot schools of the said project, Evardone told the pupils “not to be absent anymore due to tooth problems.”

The said project initially is implemented in 15 pilot schools within the division. However, Evardone said that in the coming weeks or months, “this program will be implemented province-wide already.”

Dr. Villalon for her part said that this program is of vital importance to children as children cannot reach their full intellectual potentials if they are not healthy. “That is why the government is giving premium and helping on our health programs,” Villalon said to the teachers and pupils alike.

Villalon said that Eastern Samar division really needs attention as it only has a very few medical personnel to include physicians, nurses and dentists. “We don’t even have a doctor in the division,” she revealed. “But we are trying our very best to give the utmost service to all schools,” she continued.

Eastern Samar has 456 elementary schools and 296 secondary schools. The division has an estimated 12 thousand elementary and secondary school goers.

Dr. Marites Tiu, dentist-in-charge of the division said that there is only 1 dentist to every 75,000 people in the country.

Villalon said that despite the lack of medical personnel, still the health people of the division are trying to attend to attend to the health needs of all pupils.

The division chief thanked the governor for actively participating in the programs of the DepEd. “We should be very thankful to the governor for being very sensitive and responsive to our need,” Villalon said referring to the financial assistance the province provided to ensure the implementation of the program. The province’s counterpart constitutes 70 percent of the total financial requirement of the program.

As a counterpart, the schools are required to construct dental throws in their campuses. The superintendent already asked all district and school heads to put up the facilities in their respective schools.

Governor Evardone meanwhile said that there is a need to sustain the program. “This is not going to be a one-time project but should be a continuing program,” he said.

“This program will be included in the regular budget of the province so that we will not have a hard time looking for the funding (of this program),” he assured.





Miss Catbalogan is this year’s Mutya ng Samar

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
August 12, 2008

The winners of the Mutya han Samar 2008TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Ms. Catbalogan, Louiesa Granada was proclaimed as Mutya ng Samar 2008 amidst the accolades from the confirming crowd gathered at the Samar Provincial Gym in the evening of August 9.

Ms. Granada bested 15 candidates representing their respective municipalities in the annual search which highlights the Samareña as an intelligent, attractive, positive thinking and development oriented individual.

She was crowned by Samar Governor Mila Tan assisted by Board Member Tommy Bolastig.

Proclaimed as first runner up was Miss. Tarangnan, Kristie Joan Babor who was crowned by Congresswoman Sharee Ann Tan and Board Member Joseph Escober. Ms. Babor earlier won the Best in Swimsuit.

Miss Gandara, Diana Jean Gallardo was adjudged as the 2nd runner up. She was crowned by PIA Director Olive Tiu, the chairperson of the Board of Judges, while Mayor Jun Limpiado and Board Member Casilda Lim put in her sash and handed in her trophy and bouquet. Ms. Gallardo also was chosen as the Most Photogenic and Best in Casual Wear.

The other candidates who entered the magic circle of seven were Miss Motiong Barbette Joana Badocdoc who was adjudged as the Most Eloquent, Miss Pinabacdao Ma. Cristina Ibanez; Ms. Calbiga Ria Sevilla and Miss Calbayog, Kaye M. Aquino.

Miss San Sebastian, Armie Cate Abalos was chosen as Most Congeniality.

The Search for the Mutya ng Samar is one of the highlights of the week-long series of socio-cultural activities to commemorate the Foundation Anniversary of the Province of Samar.

August 11, Samar Day, is a holiday in the entire province of Samar. The day was marked with a holy Mass and a Commemorative Program.





City dad offers free passport, soft loan for automotive servicing trainees

August 8, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  – Catbalogan City Mayor Coeferdo “Tekwa” Uy offered to finance passports of some 25 trainees for automotive servicing as they folded up training at Barangay Canlapwas, Catbalogan City today.

Catbalogan City mayor Tekwa Uy
Mayor Tekwa Uy

The all-boys team received their certificates of completion in Automotive Servicing after a three-month rigorous training, under Mr. Ruel Aying through the supervision of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Provincial Director Cleta Omega along with City Mayor Coefredo Uy graced the occasion.

Uy also offered them a soft loan for their placement fee, if so needed.

In simple rites, complete with demonstration of running an engine and electrical wirings which according to chief trainor Aying, the trainees, themselves assemble, the all male team hurdled one challenge, the training completion.

Aying said that the trainees used junk and scrap materials from the provincial motorpool and assembled the same with an excellent result.

Director Omega though was quick to stress that the batch has to undergo and pass a national competency assessment on August 13, before they can be given a national certificate.

Aside from the assessment, the boys will also undergo a Job Induction Program (JIP) for three days.

The program is designed to help them prepare resumes, application letters, job interviews and documents needed for job hunting. TESDA offered the job for free while Mayor Uy pledged to provide snacks and meals for the batch.

Noel de la Cruz, the leader of the trainees expressed hope that their newly-acquired knowledge and skills would help them find employment abroad.

The Barangay Canlapwas council, City Government, TESDA and the Provincial Engineering pooled their resources to implement the training which is believed to change the lives of the 25 hopefuls.

Mayor Uy said that his assistance would be multiplied if he could help these people and their families.

In a similar development, Mayor Uy is set to send another 25 trainees of welding and pipe fitting to the TESDA Regional Training Center in Tacloban City on Monday, August 11, 2008.

TESDA said that Uy through the city government is spending some P300,000 for the project.

The new trainees will be given food and allowances apart from the training fee still being shouldered by the city government.





Eastern Samar police gets 6 more patrol cars

By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern Samar)
August 8, 2008

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  Six brand new patrol cars were turned over recently to the Eastern Samar Police Provincial Headquarters through Governor Ben Evardone and Police Director Prudencio de La Cruz by PNP-8 Deputy Director for Administration Rey L. Lanada.

According to Lanada the units were sent by PNP National Headquarters as pure donations for more effective peace and order operations in the province.

In a phone talk with Supt. De la Cruz, he revealed that the six units are in addition to the five cars which were previously granted to the province. Lawaan town, Hernani, Maydolong, Salcedo and Guiuan were the initial recipients of the patrol cars.

“Ngayon, mas mabilis at mas maayos nang matutugunan ng ating kapulisan ang ano mang problema sa ating mga bayan at barangay,” de la Cruz jibed.  He also suggested to the guest PNP Officer for two more Hi-Lux patrol cars for Borongan City.

As expected, Gov. Evardone thanked the donors and beamed with gladness as well for the local peace officers. His message during the turn over ceremony included his expectations for the local police to better respond to peace and order problems in their respective AORs with the additional logistics from national leadership.

Part of the ceremony was the blessing of the patrol cars by Rev. Fr. Cyrain Cabuenas before they were turned over to the following six Municipal Police Offices: Balangiga, McArthur, Dolores, Sulat, Arteche and Quinapondan.





DepEd 8 bares regional awardees for 2008 National Literacy Award

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
August 8, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Department of Education Region 8 Director Sol Matugas disclosed the Regional Awardees for the 2008 National Literacy Award of the Literacy Coordinating Council.

Director Matugas said that pursuant to DepEd Memorandum 59 series of 2008 entitled 2008 Literacy Awards, Region 8 conducted the Regional Search for the awardees of the 2008 National Literacy Awards.

Among the Regional Awardees is Lt. Col. Lenard T. Agustin, Commanding Officer of the 63rd Infantry (Innovator) Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Barangay Opong, Catubig, Northern Samar, for the Outstanding Literacy Program with project sites at Barangays Opong, Corocorong, Hangi and Guyo.

Barangay Chairmen Teresita J. Casio, Apolinar Tafala, Jr and Rolado Enero of Barangays Guyo, Las Navas; Hangi of Las Navas; and Corocorong, San Roque, all of Northern Samar, are also cited.

Another Awardee is Honorable Mayor Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City, as the Outstanding Local Government Unit, Component City Category.

Tanauan, Leyte Mayor, Hon. Roque A. Tiu, is Regional awardee for the Outstanding Local Government Unit Municipal Category for the first to third class municipality. With him, Barangay Captain Claro Fulton P. Morantte of Barangay Licod, Tanauan was also cited.

For the Outstanding Local Government Unit fourth to sixth class municipality category, Mayor Pedro V. Fustanes, Jr. Of Bontoc, Southern Leyte is the Regional Awardee.

Director Matugas said that awards will be distributed during the 33rd Founding Anniversary of the Department of Education Regional Office 8 on August 21-22, 2008.

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.

The Awarding for the national winners will coincide with the convention of the National Literacy Council in 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.





“Extra-judicial killings by NPA at Villareal”

August 6, 2008

CAMP DAZA, Hinabangan, Samar  –  Field report reach to this headquarters that New People’s Army (NPA) strikes anew against hapless civilians in a remote barangay of Villareal, Samar.

Last August 2, 2008 around 9 o’clock in the morning, Punong Barangay Rafael Papiona of Inasudlan, Villareal and five other companions were ambushed by the NPAs using high powered firearms, while on their way towards their barangay hall purposely to conduct regular monthly session when the incident occurred.

The NPA under Ildefonso Nablo alias Eno, Roger Macapyot and four others perpetrated the ambushcades that caused the instantaneous death of Punong Barangay Rafael Papiona and Arnold Mabisa and injured a certain Romeo Vencio.

These glaring inhumane acts committed by the NPAs are manifestations of their Maoist and barbaric doctrine in economic and social reforms. The group of Hon. Papiona were about to discuss and pass a resolution on its strong support on the joint peace and development accord being conceptualized by the local government unit of Villareal and 34th Infantry Battalion based in Calbiga, Samar. The tragic fate of Papiona will not hinder the hope and vision of his constituents to have real peace and development in their barangay.

“Pagkaurosa na gad kita. Buligi kami niyo. Sumati iton iyo mga bugto nga ada pa ha kagiusan nga lumusad na hira. Kay kairo man iton ira magin biktima pagpamatay nga waray man mga sala. Waray man nahibulig iton mga NPA pagpakaupay iton aton bungto, sanglit, nananawagan kami, ha tanan, diri la taga Villareal, pati na bug-os nga Samarnon, hiusahan ta an pagpoypoy iton waray data nga komunista nga kagiusan, maiha naman ito pero waray gud kita kumita hin kauswagan nga kaupayan dara pag-api ngan paghatag hin suporta ha ira, puro la pamatay ngan pagpanarhog. Hi kami liwat in nanawagan iton KARAPATAN ngan taga human rights nga buligan kami matatagan hin hustisya iton amon kauropdan nga nagin biktima han mga NPA in waray kalaban-laban” the families of the victims and survivors lamented.

The local PNP unit is finalizing the data of their investigation and will file appropriate case against the suspects who were identified by the survivors.

The entire municipality of Villareal strongly condemns the new atrocities committed by the New People’s Army, for time and again, had never launched a single humanitarian program to care for the people of Samar, never built an inch of road nor constructed a single classroom despite the millions of pesos collected from their stupid revolutionary taxes.

Expectedly, Santiago Salas will speak another version of praising his cohorts, but one thing certain, these are acts of human rights violation and extra judicial killings committed by the armed wing of the CPP/NDF, the New People’s Army.





Government loses P3.9 Billion annually from PAGCOR remittance

Press Release
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
August 6, 2008

PASAY CITY, Philippines  –  The government is losing 3.9 billion pesos yearly due to discrepancies in the computation of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation's tax liability to the government.

This was revealed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in today's hearing of the Senate Ways and Means Committee of Senate Resolution No. 287 which Senator Chiz Escudero filed directing the Senate Committee on Ways and Means to look into the taxes which PAGCOR, its licensees, partners, agents and assigns should be remitting to the government.

Escudero said PAGCOR has failed and neglected to submit its income statement to the Department of Finance (DOF), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and to Congress as categorically admitted by the DOF and the DBM themselves in the past hearings of the committee.

Records show that PAGCOR is only remitting 5 percent franchise tax on gross income. The BIR however posits that PAGCOR should be remitting 12% value added tax and 35% income tax in lieu of what the gaming agency is currently remitting. PAGCOR has filed a case with the Supreme Court contesting the said BIR position.

Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Ways and Means said PAGCOR failed to submit its record of income derived from operations and activities, thus making it impossible to ascertain if indeed proper and correct taxes are being paid and remitted to the government.

The senator said Presidential Decree No. 1869, as amended, also known as the PAGCOR Charter, provides for a five percent (5%) Franchise Tax on the gross revenue or earnings derived by PAGCOR, its agents, assigns and/or casino operators from their businesses.

Under the said law, dividend income from casino and gambling operations shall be subject to a final income tax rate of ten percent (10%) in lieu of the regular income tax rates. Total exemption from income or other forms of taxes can only be derived under certain strict condition of investments.

"PAGCOR is contracting away revenue that is due the government. The government should have a singular stand on tax issues and it should not allow its own agencies to sue each other before abiding to a clear mandate, in this case to the taxes that PAGCOR is liable to pay to the national government. If this is not corrected, the government is forfeiting its right to collect due revenues at a time when additional revenues are needed by the government to cushion the current economic woes in the country."



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