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

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


Eastern Samar Governor is LGU Adviser for Public Affairs, PGMA says

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 25, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo acknowledged Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone as the LGU Adviser for Public Affairs, in her speech during the oathtaking of the officers of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) at Heroes Hall of Malacanang on October 15, 2008.

Eastern Samar governor Ben Evardone
Governor Ben Evardone

Governor Evardone who is one of the staunchest allies of the President confirmed his new appointment as Presidential Adviser on Local Government Units and Public Affairs, which is in fact, another honor for the people of Eastern Samar.

“I am humbled by the trust that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is giving me, Governor Evardone said in a text message sent to the Philippine Information Agency.

Governor Evardone who is on his second term as Governor of Eastern Samar, said he is more than ever committed to the Arroyo Administration’s policies and programs.

Governor Evardone who just turned 45 on September 25 with no less than President Arroyo attending his birthday bash in his island home in Sulat, Eastern Samar, intimated that his job entails crafting policies and conducting studies on relevant and pressing issues, and helping mobilize public support for major presidential advocacies.

The Governor is now the chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council of Eastern Visayas and Secretary General of the League of Provinces of the Philippines.

A former journalist, Governor Evardone once served as the Assistant Executive Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways during the Aquino Administration.

It was learned that Governor Evardone has played a key role in patching up the question on who should lead the ULAP.





Leyte creates Council for the protection of its OFWs

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 25, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Leyte recently passed an ordinance calling for the creation of a Provincial Council for the Protection and Welfare of Leyteño Overseas Filipino Workers, to have a channel or body that will respond to the specific and special needs and concerns of Leyteno Overseas Filipino Workers and their respective families.

The ordinance which was authored by Board Members Carlo P. Loreto, Deborah G. Bertulfo and Simeon Ongbit Jr., was a positive move considering the vulnerability of the Overseas Filipino Workers to the abuses of foreign employers, rape, physical and psychological abuses or even death.

In passing the ordinance, the Leyte legislators took notice of the fact that the Leyteño OFWs form a considerable component of the millions of OFWs in the different parts of the world, thus it is imperative that the Provincial Government protects the rights of its constituents.

The Provincial Council for the Protection and Welfare of Leyteño Overseas Filipino Workers shall be composed of the Provincial Governor as the chairman; the OWWA Regional Director and the SP Chairman of the Committee on Women, Children and Family Welfare as Vice Chairpersons.

The members are the Provincial Director of DSWD; Provincial NMYL President; Provincial Mayors League President; Provincial PCL President; Provincial Director of PNP; Provincial Planning and Development Officer; Provincial Legal Officer; Provincial SK Federation President; Provincial ABC Federation President; and three Private Sector Representatives to be appointed by the Governor.

Among the function and responsibilities of the Council is to maintain and regularly update a list of LOFWs and conduct information campaign on current job opportunities abroad.

The Council shall provide technical and legal assistance to LOFWs or their families pertinent to their problems and aspirations; and shal facilitate programs for the advancement of LOFWs and their families in the field of entrepreneuship, livelihood and financial management.

The Council is also expected to establish linkages and parallel efforts with OWWA and other National Government and Non-Government Agencies and Organizations to promote the welfare of LOFWs and their families.





Northern Samar legislators enact an Ordinance declaring 7 old churches, 2 lighthouses as historical landmarks

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 22, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Northern Samar recently passed an ordinance authored by Honorable Albert A. Lucero, declaring seven churches and two lighthouses as historical landmarks of the Province of Northern Samar.

Unanimously approved and declared as historical landmarks of the province are the Roman Catholic Churches at Bobon, Catarman, Catubig, Capul, Laoang, Pambujan; the ruins of the Palapag Church; and the Batag and the Capul Lighthouses.

Board Member Lucero noted that the province of Northern Samar is rich in culture and heritage and that it has historical landmarks as the evidenced by the centuries old churches and lighthouses.

In passing the ordinance the legislators of Northern Samar cited Section 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 which provides that “every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental of its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support among others, the preservation and enrichment of culture x x x and preserve the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants.”

Northern Samar at the northern coast of Samar Island is the guardian of San Bernardino Strait, a historically and commercially important sea lane linking Manila and the Pacific Rim.

The pre-spanish Filipinos called the eastern and northern coasts as Ibabao. The Jesuits established missions on the Northern coasts in the early seventeenth century. The Region was an important point along route of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade.

Northern Samar bears the physical reminders of the importance this coast used to have in former times. On the island of Batag, in Laoang town sits an old American-era lighthouse, which was an important beacon for ships coming in from the open Pacific and moving towards the San Bernardino Strait. Capul Island is also topped by a Spanish lighthouse and the sea surrounding the island is littered with dozens of sunken Spanish galleons, some laden with silver and treasure.





Calbiga lad romps championship in the Samar provincial statistics quiz

October 22, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Jason Cabral, a senior high school student at the Eastern Visayas Regional Science High School was declared champion at the Samar Provincial Statistics Quiz held on Friday, October 17, 2008 at the Redaja Hall, DepEd, Catbalogan City.

statistics high school winners
The 3 winners with their mentor. From (seated L-R) Keisha Anne Varela, Jason Cabral and Joji Mae del Monte.

Cabral battled it out with some 27 contestants from all over Samar on the first round, six in the second round and four in the third and final round.

Cabral, when asked by the local media how well he prepared for the quiz said he studied statistics in his sophomore and senior years. Cabral looked every inch confident as tension heated up in the hall towards the penultimate round.

Joining him as runners up are Joji May del Monte from Wright National High School, who got second prize, and Keisha Anne Varela of the Samar National School as third prize winner.

The two ladies showed very well in the first and second rounds when del Monte scored seven while Varela scored eight. Del Monte lagged in the second round while Varela also did well.

It was the final round which was also the difficult round that Cabral hit the most correct answers.

The Statistics Quiz was part of the celebration of Statistics Month this October. The quiz is held annually and draws in contestants all over Samar.

Schools that participated included Antonio G Tuazon High School from Barangay Sierra, Catbalogan City, Calbiga National High School and Eastern Visayas Regional Science High School both in Calbiga town, Casandig National High School in Casandig, Motiong town, Catbalogan National Comprehensive High School, Guinsorongan National High School in Catbalogan.

Other students who joined also come from Jiabong National High School, Lawaan National High School, Paranas, Motiong National High School, Marabut National High School, Samar College, San Sebastian National High School and Wright National High School.

Mr. Romeo Gabatbat, in behalf of Leticia Chu, Provincial Statistics Officer informed that another statistical quiz is set on October 27, 2008 for college students.

Meanwhile, Catbalogan National Comprehensive High School topped the General Information Quiz held on Tuesday, October 14 for the Ubanon-Boao Fiesta in honor of the Virgin of the Most Holy Rosary. The champions took a trophy and P3,000 cash from Hermana Mayor Ms. Rosario Bengzon.

The team from Samar State University (SSU) got the second prize and Samar National High School got the third prize.





8th Infantry Division sworns in new candidate soldier recruits

October 22, 2008

New recruit soldiers taking their oath before the 8ID commanding generalCATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Some 112 candidate soldiers took their oath to defend the state in simple ceremonies Tuesday morning here at the 8th Infantry Division, Camp Lukban, Maulong, Catbalogan City.

The new recruitment is aimed at intensifying operations against insurgency which the government vowed to reduce to police matters.

The soldier candidates come from all over Samar, Leyte, Bohol and neighboring provinces. They will be undergoing rigorous training from today up to next year.

The training foresees the men to be stronger, wiser and prepared to battle with the enemy of the state.

The army passionately believes in the total preparation of a soldier and in the maxim, “the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.”

8th ID Commanding General Arthur Tabaquero, spoke to the candidate soldiers and inspire them to excel, to perform the noble service to defend the state at all cost, including losing one’s life if needed.

“Surrender your whole hearted service to the Philippine Army!” the general beckoned his men.

In the training, everybody will be treated fairly, Tabaquero told his men. He also urged them to act as a team to better safeguard themselves and be cohesive in fighting the enemy.

Further, the General also enumerated the perks and privileges including getting reasonably paid and allowances afforded like other government employees.

Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has turned-over the amount of P10,750,000 as additional financial assistance for the military personnel and officials involved in the pursuit operations against the lawless MILF groups (LMG) in Central Mindanao.

In her speech during a visit at the 6th ID over the weekend, the President acknowledged the gallantry and bravery of the soldiers who risked their lives in the pursuit of peace and justice.

She congratulated the troops for succeeding in constricting the movement of the LMGs, that enforcement operations have prevented the criminals from committing further terrorism. (with report from ICC Cotabato City)





This Year’s Most Business-Friendly Municipality of RP is Tanauan, Leyte

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 21, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Once again, the local government of Tanauan, in the province of Leyte, has been adjudged as the Most Business-Friendly Municipality of the Philippines.

Tanauan, Leyte mayor Roque Tiu
Tanauan mayor Roque Tiu

A jubilant Tanauan Mayor, Atty. Roque Tiu, intimated that he received a communication from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, informing him that “Tanauan, Leyte has been chosen as one of the winners for the 2008 Most Business Friendly LGU Awards” for Municipality Level-1 Category.

Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Samuel Tiu also called up Mayor Tiu to happily inform him that Tanauan has been adjudged as the 2008 Most Business-Friendly Municipality of the Philippines. The Leyte Chamber was responsible for the nomination of Tanauan to the Most Business-Friendly LGUs Awards.

The conferment of winners by her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is set on October 22, 9:00 o’clock in the morning, suring the concluding session of the Philippine Business Conference at its permanent venue, the historic Manila Hotel.

Mayor Tiu thanked the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry for its trust and guidance. He said that the award will serve both as an inspiration and challenge for the local government employees to sustain if not work harder to improve the LGU business processes and services.

It would be recalled that the local government of Tanauan has been adjudged as the Most Business-Friendly Municipality of the Philippines and the Most Business Friendly Municipality in the Visayas in the year 2006. In 1997, the local government of Tanauan was awarded as the Most Business Friendly Municipality in the Visayas Cluster for the second time.

The Most Business-Friendly LGU Award seeks to recognize municipalities, cities and provinces for their efforts in instituting good governance in promoting trade and investment such as innovative and sound business licensing procedures, and efficient conduct of daily operations.

The Search for the Most Business Friendly LGU Awards which has three categories namely municipality, city and province, is an annual search being conducted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Samuel Tiu said there is a variation in this year's judging. For the first time, a focus group discussion (FGD) was conducted on September 25, 2008 in the area of Tanauan which is the LGU nominee as part of the award process and selection of winners.

The FGD which is a joint activity of the PCCI, GTZ and the local Chamber, seeks to assess the sentiments of the business sector on the responsiveness of the nominated LGUs to their needs. It also hopes to identify the best practices of the LGUs that contribute to the promotion and growth of business and identify possible areas for further improvement in the operations of the LGUs, especially those that can be addresses through public sector-private sector partnership. The results of the FGDs will comprise 50% of the total score of the LGUs that will determine this year's awardees.





PGMA Declares November 10, 2008 as Special Non-Working Day for Eastern Samar

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 21, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  November 10, 2008 is a special non-working holiday for the Province of Eastern Samar.

This is by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1643 issued on October 10, 2008 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

President Arroyo said that Sunday, November 9, 2008 marks the 43rd Foundation Day Anniversary of the province of Eastern Samar.

In order to enable the people of the Province of Eastern Samar to celebrate the occasion, the Office of the Governor requested that Monday, November 10, 2008 be declared as special non-working holiday instead of November 9, 2008 which falls on a Sunday.

The President deemed it fitting and proper that the people of the Province of Eastern Samar be given full opportunity to celebrate the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

Eastern Samar became an independent province by virtue of Republic Act No. 4221 which Congress approved on June 19, 1965 dividing the then existing old province of Samar into three separate provinces, namely: Northern Samar, Western Samar (subsequently renamed Samar) and Eastern Samar. A plebiscite held simultaneously with the November 1965 general elections upheld the conversion of Eastern Samar into a separate province.

In 1967 the newly created province elected its first set of officials and on January 2, 1968, the provincial board had its inaugural session in the Borongan Town Hall which served as the temporary provincial capitol. Eight months later, the formal inauguration of the new province of Eastern Samar took place.

Before its existence as an independent province, places which now form part of Eastern Samar played important roles in the history of the country.





Calbayog City charter day celebration honors outstanding Calbayognon

October 21, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Some outstanding Calbayognon were honored during the 60th Charter Day Anniversary Celebration of  Calbayog City.

Honored were SPO2 Genaro Nabual for PNP; Classroom teacher - Lourdes Lauderes Matan; Agriculturist - Marto Gonzaga-Calamayo; Punong Barangay - Isidra Oriendo (Brgy. Rawis).

Others include Enterpreneur Julio Co (of Samar Coco Products and Justmar Marketing); Non-Government Organization (NGO) - Western Samar Development Foundation (WESADEF); People"s Organization - Commission on Health Care and Cooperative - Biatungan Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

City Cooperative Officer Cipriano Baldomaro as director for the committee on the Ten Outstanding Calbayognon, said that they have started screening and accepting nominations since July, in an interview over PBS Radyo ng Bayan-DYOG.

The committee needed one honoree for each as youth leader, policeman, employee, classroom teachers, agriculturist, entrepreneur, non-government organization, peoples organization, outstanding cooperative and barangay captain.

Baldomara said that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Bugto Association, Human Resource and Management Office of the LGU, DepEd Calbayog City Division, City Agriculture and Fishery Council, Rotary Club of Calbayog, City Social Welfare and Development Office, City Mayors Office, and City Cooperative Development Council were the institutions given the authority by the Executive Committee to screen and choose the awardees.

Awardees should have stayed in Calbayog for the last five years, what they have done could have created a big impact on the community by achieving a sense of excellence in service or leadership in the society.

Meanwhile, Sangguniang Panlungsod Member Julius Mancol shared that there is a possibility that not all categories would be filled. As such, it is not necessary to choose ten if only a few qualitify.

The search for this year yielded just eight awardees.

The committee added that the Search for Outstanding Calbayognon will be done every five years in time for the charter day celebration. (with reports from E. Lim and J. Allegado)





Province of Leyte wins as RP’s 2008 Most Business-Friendly Province

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
October 20, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Provincial Government of Leyte under the leadership of Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla, is this year’s Most Business-Friendly Province of the Philippines.

This was learned through a communications received by Governor Petilla from Atty. Miguel B. Varela who is the Chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and at the same time the Chairman of the 34th Philippine Business Conference Awards.

The conferment of the winners by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be on October 22, 2008 at 9:00 o’clock in the morning at the Manila Hotel.

It would be recalled that the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the Leadership of its president Mr. Samuel Tiu, has nominated the Provincial Government of Leyte to the Search for Most Business-Friendly Province Award.

The province of Leyte under the leadership of Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, has been promoting trade and investment not only in for Leyte but also for the entire Region 8.

Perhaps, a very good proof for its being business-friendly is the passage of the Leyte Investment Code and the institutionalization of the Leyte Province Business Month celebration every October.

The province of Leyte has been in constant collaboration with the business sector of the province thru the Leyte Chamber of Commerce. In fact the SME Development Center was constructed with the partnership between the Leyte Chamber members who donated the money needed for the renovation of the Old Prison to the SMED Center. The Leyte SMED Council is chaired by the LCCI.

In order to assist starting entrepreneurs in the field of Information Technology, Governor Petilla in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology, launched the Technology Business Incubator at the ICOT Park which is a PEZA Zone.

The starting entrepreneurs are provided six months free office space and equipment facilities, business development and technical services.

The Most Business-Friendly LGU Award seeks to recognize municipalities, cities and provinces for their efforts in instituting good governance in promoting trade and investment such as innovative and sound business licensing procedures, and efficient conduct of daily operations.

The award highlights the best practices of local government units that promote the growth of businesses, including investment promotion and streamlining of procedures for issuance of business permits in the most expedient, efficient and friendly manner. This is seen to significantly help lower the cost of doing business in the country.

The Search for the Most Business Friendly LGU Awards which has three categories namely municipality, city and province, is an annual search being conducted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.





Samar province not found on the list

Northern and Eastern Samar included in the top 20 food-poor provinces

October 20, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Although Samar province presently enjoys the benefits of the Food for School Program (FSP) by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on close scrutiny, the province is not included in the top 20 food-poor provinces in the country.

In data provided to PIA by the National Food Authority (NFA) Samar, on October 15, 2008, Northern Samar is ranked number 4 while Eastern Samar is ranked number 20.

However, in the list of Top 100 municipalities, Samar towns that include Daram, Matuguinao, Zumarraga and San Jose de Buan are found on the list.

With these data some 84,372 Northern Samar’s schoolchildren from Pre-Elementary to Grade three will be given a ration of 120-days rice. As for Eastern Samar, some 47,392 elementary graders like in Northern Samar will also be given rice for 120 days.

Of the top 20 food poor provinces, it is Zamboanga del Norte that is in number one followed by Tawi-tawi and Apayao as third.

As to number of beneficiaries of the FSP, it is Lanao del Sur, ranking number 19 with the biggest number of children beneficiaries at 154,075.

As to the least, it is Dinagat Island at number eight with only 10,309 school children enrolled under the FSP.

The FSP now on its 4th year of implementation has helped rehabilitate thousands of malnourished children in its implementation based on the health and nutrition data of the Department of Education in Samar province.





FPOP cries foul over malicious attacks of RH opponents

October 19, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) through its Executive Director Roberto Ador is sad over the attacks of some priests of the Catholic faith on pulpit over the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.

In an interview aired over Aksyon radio DYMS in the program “Bantay Probinsiya” in Catbalogan City, Ador along with FPOP Samar personnel Bambi Espino and Christine Caidic took turns in explaining and refuting the accusations of the priests.

The group though did not necessarily take offense saying they understood that Catholic priests have their vow of obedience.

FPOP stressed that RH bill does not promote abortion but ensures that couple should be provided with informed choice re family planning, should the bill pass into law.

Ador also tackled one premise of the Couples for Christ advertised on a broadsheet that make refusal of ligation criminal. He said that should a physician believes that it is against his will and belief to conduct the simple procedure, he said that an MD should just refer the case to someone else not necessarily sending him to jail for the simple refusal.

He said the doctors took a Hippocratic Oath that they should provide for medical needs of the public even family planning, once RH becomes a law.

The group invited any opponent to read the full text of the bill before attacking it.

When Ador was asked if he is worried even as he drumbeats that more people are now aware of the advantages of the bill, he said he is confident that the same bill will pass the scrutiny of both lower house and the senate.

To ensure that the national lawmakers would know the sentiments of those in the countryside, Espino is gathering a signature campaign for RH advocates, interested parties are invited to sign the RH Bill petition aimed at helping women especially the poor ones living in the rural areas.

Meanwhile, in the national scene, the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD) took offense to the attacks being peddled by groups and personalities opposing the passage of House Bill 5043 or the Reproductive Health and Population Development bill.

“PLCPD is a legitimate NGO made up of members of Congress. We are advocating for the RH Bill solely for the improvement of women’s health and to uphold freedom of informed choice,” Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director PLCPD, clarified. “That is all there is to it. There is no hidden agenda behind this campaign."

Among the false charges hauled against PLCPD is that it is a foreign agent illegally influencing policymaking in Congress.  "We would like to reiterate that PLCPD was organized in 1989 by senators and congress members who are committed to pursue pro-poor policies and our track record can prove our commitment for human development legislation," San Pascual said.

San Pascual stressed that PLCPD cannot claim sole ownership for what the Reproductive Health bill has achieved in terms of raising awareness among the public and policy makers on the perils that the lack of such policy has brought to the country.

“The opponents are giving us too much credit when in fact, the credit for the high success of this campaign is shared among many civil society organizations, represented by Reproductive Health Advocacy Network, and many groups in the business sector, government agencies, academe, interfaith community, women’s organizations across the country, and of course the courageous authors and champions in both chambers of Congress,” San Pascual added.

Despite the intensified counter-advocacy of the anti-RH bill groups, San Pascual is optimistic that the RH bill will see victory in the 14th Congress. “Their savage attacks and misinformation campaign confirm the oppositions are running out of arguments on the issue. It will not be long that more of our policymakers can see their malicious intent and realize the significance and urgency of passing this measure.”  (with report from PLCPD)



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