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Trio of young leaders embarks on a crusade for good, ethical governance

PGMA rides through storm Pablo in region 8

An Waray partylist donates P1M for training center in Basey

Road rehab in Samar’s capital city to usher in agricultural productivity

CenCom chief awards medals to soldiers of 34th IB as PGMA gives cash assistance to wounded soldiers in Mindanao

10 Samar towns figured in the top twenty nutritionally depressed municipalities in Region 08

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

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


Evardone visits Maslog town, releases P1 million dev’t fund

October 18, 2008

MASLOG, Eastern Samar  –  Governor Ben P. Evardone, intensifying his actions to move closer his governance to the community, visited this town for a consultation with municipal and barangay officials recently.

Governor Ben Evardone's visit to Maslog town
Gov. Ben Evardone hands on a One Million Pesos Check development fund to Mayor Septemio Santiago (left) of Maslog, Eastern Samar during his consultation visit recently. Also in photo are Provincial Agriculturist Jesus Agda (2nd from left) and SP Member Jovi Opinion.

His visit forms part of the Barangay Empowerment Network (BEN) program aimed at improving the condition of every barangay in the province through various programs and projects implemented by the province and the Local Government Unit.

In his message, Evardone said that he intends to boost agricultural production in the municipality. He announced to the officials that the even in the upcoming founding anniversary of the province, the main focus will be on food production.

“The whole province will be planting,” Evardone continued. “The province will be providing seeds because of food problem nowadays,” the governor said in dialect.

Evardone however stressed that for Maslog, he intends to upgrade its Abaca production. “Abaca is easier to plant and requires less attention,” he added.

He continued that should the municipality decides to boost its abaca production and design a project proposal, he can facilitate it with Secretary Arthur Yap of Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, Evardone also announced that he asked Dr. Sol Matugas, Regional Director of Department of Education to provide additional items for teaching position in Maslog. Matugas said that DepEd will provide 4 new items for elementary and 1 for high school. For the meantime, the governor said that items with natural vacancies can be placed to areas like Maslog. Mayor Septemio ‘Bok’ Santiago of this town said that schools in his municipality are in dire need of teachers.

As part of his town visit, Governor Evardone also handed in the calamity fund worth P1 million which comes as development assistance fund. Mayor Santiago said that even if the fund was still undelivered, he already started working on the concreting project of the town. “I know that (the funds) will come, so I just started ahead with the project,” Santiago said. “Let’s all be thankful to the governor for being supportive to us,” Santiago told the locales.

On the other hand, the provincial government conducted a Medical and Dental Mission here the same day. Dr. Salvador ‘Buddy’ Evardone said that the provincial doctors and other medical personnel catered around 500 patients the whole day.

Another medical team was dispatched to Brgy. Hinolaso, Dolores to conduct similar Medical and Dental Mission. The Hinolaso health activity catered to some 1,000 patients.

Mayor Emiliana Villacarillo of Dolores said that 1 day was not enough for the event. However, Mayor Villacarillo said that she is thankful for the continued support the governor is extending to her constituency.

Brgy. Hinolaso and Maslog town can be reached by boat in 3 and 2 hours respectively.





Leyte Province commits P2M assistance to Barugo InFRES Project

By Provincial Media Relations Center (PMRC Leyte)
October 18, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The provincial government of Leyte has committed to provide P2 million financial assistance to the multi-million farm-to-market road Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement Sector (InFRES) project in fourteen barangays in Barugo, Leyte.

InFRES project in Barugo, Leyte
Groundbreaking of the InFRES project in Brgy. Hiagsam, Barugo, Leyte led by Vice-Governor Mimiette Bagulaya, DA-8 Regional Director Leo Cañeda, Barugo Mayor Alden Avestruz and Vice-Mayor Juliana Villasin. The project amounts to a total of P42.16 million and is expected to be finished by 2009.

Barugo Mayor Alden Avestruz said although 50 percent of the total project cost would be sourced from the Asian Development Bank and more than 20 percent from the national government, the local government unit still would provide its share in the equity of the project.

“Governor Petilla has committed to provide us with the P2 million financial support. I am continuously asking for support from the province for various projects in Barugo but still the governor has given us his commitment to support us in yet another big project. That we are grateful for,” Mayor Avestruz said during the groundbreaking ceremony held recently in Brgy. Hiagsam, Barugo, Leyte.

This InFRES project would cover 14 of the 37 barangays of Barugo town. These are mostly agricultural barangays, it was learned, and comprise more or less 3,483 hectares of agricultural or 44% of the total agricultural area of Barugo. Farming is considered as the major source of income in the municipality.

For the longest time these barangay roads have been classified as dirt roads, thus barangay folks have been clamoring for the road network in these 14 barangays to be rehabilitated and constructed.

Meanwhile, it was learned, the bulk of the financing cost of this multi-million project would be from the Asian Bank of the Philippines (ADB). The ADB loan proceeds will be utilized in accordance with the financial fund flow of the Infres project.

The beneficiary LGU counterpart, which comprises more or less 7% of the total project cost, would be provided in cash and in kind. According to the LGU of Barugo, the cash equity will come from the Internal Revenue Allotment of the municipality and the Priority Development Fund (PDAF) of the 2nd District of Leyte. The LGU also intends to avail of a sub-loan from the MDFO in case the commitment from the PDAF would not materialize.

According to DA-8 Regional Director Leo Cañeda, one of the reasons for low agricultural productivity in the country is the lack or absence of infrastructure facilities. Thus, Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement Sector (InfRES) project has been conceptualized to implement infrastructure projects to increase productivity and rural income.

The project has three major components: improved rural infrastructure, which involved the provision of access to infrastructure, communal irrigation and potable water supply; capability building for devolved project implementation and management and project management and coordination.





The wheels of justice grind faster with Supreme Court’s Mobile Courts

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

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  With the fervent wish of making the Filipino citizenry feel the Supreme Court’s mother statement, “justice for the poor,” Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Reynato Puno was in Leyte on Friday, October 10, to supervise the conduct of hearings inside a mobile court in a program called Justice on Wheels, at the Leyte Provincial Jail.

The Justice on Wheels Project was relaunched by the Chief Justice in July of 2008, to improve the access to justice of the poor especially those who are above 70 years, and detainees whose cases had drugged for periods longer than prescribed by law. Four buses were converted into mobile courtrooms to serve Manila and other regions of the country.

Together with Associate Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, Court Administrator Jose Perez, Deputy Court Administrator (in charge of the Visayas) Nimfa Cuesta-Vilches and other court officials, Justice Puno who was accompanied by Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla observed the hearing of at least ten cases inside that Wheels of Justice, which is actually a big bus housing two courtrooms, at the Leyte Provincial Jail at Barangay Kauswagan, Palo, Leyte.

Aside from bringing swift justice through the Justice on Wheels, the ICOT Caravan was also brought to take care of the medical needs of the inmates of the Leyte Provincial Jail.

The Wheels of Justice also visited the clogged Tacloban City Jail where a medical mission was also conducted together with the court hearings.

Chief Justice Puno said that the fast disposition of cases heard in the mobile courts is basically meant to decongest jails and restore to the accused, freedom they used to enjoy before detention.

It would be noted with emphasis that the volume of unresolved or undecided cases impinge not only on the court dockets but on jail occupancy as well. As it is, the courts are overworked with voluminous cases, which brings to mind the need to establish more courts in the Region.

"When you consider the realities on the ground, the poor and the marginalized oftentimes play in an uneven legal field. So the JOW program is predicated on that rationale: bringing social justice to the disadvantaged sectors of our society as a living reality," Chief Justice Puno said.





San Jorge town marks 29th founding anniversary

October 15, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  San Jorge town, a 4th class municipality located 30 kilometers north of Catbalogan City marked its 29th founding anniversary with a colorful parade of carabaos – the fabled work animal of Filipinos.

On October 10, 2008, some nine beasts were paraded around town drawing native carriages filled with farm produce of fruits and vegetables native to this agricultural municipality. The carabaos like their masters were adorned with young coconut and anahaw leaves and bore trinkets to the delight of the crowd that witnessed the event.

Paraders composed of municipal officials, students, the army from the Charlie Company of the 20th IB, 8th ID, PNP, and merry makers who were also dressed in their “Filipiniana Best” led by their own lady mayor who looked gorgeous in a jusi top with a red Filipiniana skirt.

In her message, Mayor Nancy Grey profusely thanked her constituents who came for the merry-making equally festive as their annual fiesta held in May.  The mayor also sought the help and support of her constituents for San Jorge’s progress and development.

Most of San Jorge’s barangays are located in remote and uphill areas of Samar where some  barangays do not even have access roads yet. Barangay officials from barangay Bay-ang had to come to town a day before the festivities to be able to join fully. One such rural folk said they have to take a motorboat ride for hours, pay P70 and trek some 30 minutes more.

Drum and bugle corps of the different schools preformed in the covered court to the delight of the on lookers. Band members wore equally festive costumes to match their grand movements.

Another event that brought the crowd shrieking was the presence of gubernatorial son Michael, son of Samar Governor Mila Tan who gave out a raffle draw, distributed rice and noodles – the governor’s style of endearing herself to Samarnons on special events. Some 200 poor but deserving high school students also received P500 each for financial assistance distributed on the same day.

Although the mayor did not flaunt it, a staff member whispered that Mayor Grey recently received “Serbisyong Publiko Award” on July 19, 2008 at the Manila Hotel given by the Luzon Visayas Mindanao Information Research Magazine.

Meanwhile, Mayor Grey vowed to usher San Jorge into new heights while delivering San Jorge’s Mission statement “pursue the delivery of effective, efficient and sustainable quality services of dedicated and honest LGU officials and employees in a system of coordination and cooperation among the populace.”





Cong. Mercado distributes “mobile refuse bin” throughout Southern Leyte

October 15, 2008

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  A total of 363 “Mobile Refuse Bins” were distributed throughout the province allocated from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Cong. Roger G. Mercado.

In an interview with the Office of City General Services here in Maasin City, personnel in-charge Bobby Mercado said that the rolling trash cans will be shared to the 18 municipalities in the province and in Maasin City. Each town will receive 10 waste cans while 115 were allotted for the city, Mercado disclosed.  The remaining balance of 68 will be given to those in need, he added.

The Lone District Congressman allocated P2 million from his PDAF to purchase the mobile trash cans with P5,500 worth each, Mercado revealed. The City General Services that was delegated by Hon. Mercado to buy said trash cans placed them in identified strategic places, mostly at the city proper throughout Maasin.

These will be found in Barangay Pasay to Barangay Combado, then to Barangay Sorosoro, public plaza, terminal area, beaches, port area, Monte Cueva, Jalica Hills, schools, city forest park at Danao, among others.

The project, according to the source said that this was in accordance with the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) that seeks to assist local government units (LGUs) in the formulation and implementation of an effective and doable ecological solid waste management program, as well as to promote multi-stakeholder cooperation for program sustainability.

The program will also help fast-track the LGU-wide implementation of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Act of 2001.

Earlier, Cong. Mercado also contributed valuable support to the recently launched “Zero Basura Olympics: Philippine Garbology Marathon 2008” in Quezon City which was also aimed to deliver quality work in aid of the implementation of the waste management nationwide, it was learned.





Samar mayor eyes another Sandugo Award

October 14, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  San Jorge (Samar) Mayor Nancy B. Grey backed up by her Rural Health Unit (RHU) personnel is eyeing another Sandugo Award.

San Jorge, Samar mayor Nancy Grey
Mayor Nancy Grey

This was bared during the 29th founding anniversary of San Jorge on October 10, 2008.

According to John Francis Ortiz, medical technologist of San Jorge, RHU, the Red Cross requires only 1% blood donors from the total population of a municipality. San Jorge, said Ortiz has only 15,000 population which means only some 150 bags of blood are needed to qualify. Presently, they have collected some 120 bags and are hopeful to meet the requirement before the deadline.

Mayor Nancy Grey in an interview said that the Bloodletting activity was one of the highlights of their founding anniversary celebration and that during that particular time, they were able to collect some 51 bags. As for their own innovation, the lady mayor would give the donors t-shirts, noodles and rice as tokens.

During the anniversary program, they will also receive plaques of recognition for their volunteerism which spelled saving lives for their constituents. Ortiz said that the Sangguniang Bayan has filed a resolution designating three time a year for bloodletting activity.

The mayor particularly mentions the support and cooperation of the Charlie Company of the 20th IB, 8th ID in San Jorge, the Apo Fraternity and the Philippine Guardian Brotherhood in San Jorge. The three were scheduled to get an award.

Health personnel, Salvador Paquit who is the Officer in Charge of the RHU spelled the life-saving benefits their constituents enjoy because of the LGUs support to the bloodletting program.

San Jorge LGU won the National Sandugo award under the National Voluntary Blood Donation program of DOH on July 31, 2007 at Clamshell Intramuros, Manila. This award is given to LCEs for their active involvement to attain/maintain an adequate safe blood supply in the country.

Aside from the LCEs involvement, other criteria included attending to a Mobile Blood Donation Activity with blood donors depending on the population of the municipality and the barangay, attending in advocacy meetings and exemplary administrative actions in support of the NVBSP such as issuances within the last five years of Memorandum Circulars, Sangguniang Bayan Resolutions, Ordinances and or Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).





DepEd encourages schools to commemorate 64th Anniversary of Leyte Gulf Landings

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

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Education Secretary Jesli Lapus encouraged all schools to undertake fitting commemorative rites and activities in celebration of the 64th Anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landings this year and every year thereafter.

The Leyte Landing marker in Red Beach, Palo, Leyte.Through DepEd Memo No. 470, series of 2008, Secretary Lapus informed all Regional Directors, Schools Division Superintendents and Principals that undertaking commemorative rites is aimed at according great honor and value to the heroism of the Filipino veterans.

Through such activities, DepEd hopes to develop in the young and in the future generation of the school children and the youth the values of love of country, pride in the veteran’s legacy and heroism.

The Province of Leyte is directed to commemorate annually the liberation of the Philippines during World War II pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 653 dated September 18, 1995.

As one of the World War II events, the Leyte Gulf Landings is observed annually from October 17 to 20.

It was on October 20, 1944 when the Allied Forces led by General Douglas MacArthur defeated the Japanese Army in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. This marked the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese invaders. It also marked the fulfillment of General MacArthur of his “I shall return” vow which he made in 1942 when the Japanese Army chased him out of Leyte.

This year, as in the previous years, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla spearheaded a simple commemoration of the Leyte Gulf Landings which include the landings in Dulag, Tolosa, Tanauan, Palo and Tacloban.

On October 18, the Signal Day in Tolosa will be conducted. This will be followed by the commemoration in Dulag where the American flag was first hoisted on October 19 in the morning. In the evening of October 19, the Nostalgia celebration to honor the World War II veterans will be conducted in Tanauan. Similar activities are scheduled also in Palo and Tacloban, all in the province of Leyte.

The main activity happens on October 20 with the Leyte Gulf Landings Commemorative Rites are held at the MacArthur Shrine at Red Beach, Palo, Leyte, with the representatives of the Allied Forces and the World War II veterans as the honored guests.





About 1000 Basaynons get free Philhealth cards

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

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  About one thousand indigent Basaynons were given free Philhealth cards through the Universal Family Health Insurance Program, Basey Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos who facilitated the distribution, informed.

The beneficiaries of the program are the indigent families of Barangay Tanods, Day Care Workers, disadvantaged women and men and solo parents from the 51 barangays of the municipality.

Mayor Estorninos said the Philhealth program is very beneficial since members and their beneficiaries receive substantial deductions in their hospital bills.

“What is good about this card is the fact that the dependents and beneficiaries of the cardholder can also avail of the deductions in hospital bills and other benefits,” Mayor Estorninos said.

The coverage (for indigent families) includes free or subsidized hospitalization, including room fees, doctor’s fees, medicines, and laboratory, x-ray and surgery fees.

”The distribution of Philhealth cards is meant to help the poor,” he said. Mayor Estornino’s administration is making every effort to strengthen its public health delivery system to make it more accessible to all Basaynons.

In 2005, President Arroyo signed Executive Order 276 as a way of helping the poor through social security and has earmarked a funding of P3-billion (last year) for the program to cover the enrollment and membership maintenance requirements for indigent families all over the country.

The President also ordered the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO); Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Social Welfare and Development and the Interior and Local Government to assist all punong barangays in identifying qualified indigent families for enrollment into the program. Once identified, beneficiaries will be issued PhilHealth cards which have been paid for or subsidized by the local government units. The LGUs are to avail themselves of funding assistance from the P3-billion fund, half of which will come from the PCSO.

The program is part of the President’s 10-point agenda (one of which is poverty alleviation) to improve the lives of the Filipinos. The President said these programs are necessary because many Filipinos do not have the money to pay for treatment and hospitalization, especially for down payment to hospitals that usually result in the patient not being accepted.





Southern Leyte to host SCUAA 2008

October 11, 2008

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  There are (11) state colleges and universities throughout region 8 that will participate in the forthcoming State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) competition that will be hosted by the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) Sogod Main Campus here.

In a report released by Honeylette Malasaga, Secretary to the SLSU Vice President Dr. Jude Duarte, the SCUAA over-all chairman said that the competition will be on October 25 to October 30, 2008. There at least (15) events to be contested which include Miss SCUAA, ballgames, athletics, dance competition, swimming, teakwando, chess, among others.

The competing educational institutions are as follows: Leyte Normal University; Eastern Visayas State University; Samar State University; Samar State College of Agriculture and Forestry; University of Eastern Philippines; Normal State College; Biliran Institute of Technology; Eastern Samar State University; Palompon Institute of Technology; Visayas State University; Tiburcio Tancingco Memorial Institute of Science and Technology and the SLSU.

The highlight of the week-long activity is the Miss SCUAA. It has 9 lovely candidates representing each (9) institution which will be held on the 26th, at the SLSU Campus, it was learned. The opening ceremony will start on the 25th, Saturday.

The first in Southern Leyte, SCUAA 2008 invited guests to witness the event, like Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Hon. William Martinez from the Philippine Sports Commission; Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Regional Director Imelda Laceras, Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Director Leo Cañeda both based in Tacloban City; Bishop Precioso Cantillas from the Diocese of Maasin; Cong. Roger Mercado, Gov. Damian Mercado, local officials, among others.

The SCUAA logo, according to the source has interlocking rings that represents the coordinated and unwavering commitments of the (12) state universities and colleges (SUCs) throughout the region in the pursuit of academic excellence and supreme service especially to the unprivileged sectors of society. While the boat seen represents the SLSU and the (5) sailors as it symbolize the five campuses. It also signify unity of the campuses, despite enormous challenges in carrying the responsibilities of molding students to become productive and law abiding citizens through active involvement in sports.



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