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Gov. Evardone, 3 bishops urge DPWH to act on road rehab in E. Samar

ASIA: 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Catbalogan city council member to sponsor ordinance to establish city AIDS council

Mac Arthur Park Beach Resort would need P700 million in investment for rehab

Samar governor Mila Tan suspended, Redaja assumed into office

Sandiganbayan denies motion of accused Samar governor, 2 others

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

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




All is set for 5th National Skimboarding Competition in Tanauan, Leyte

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

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  All is set for the 5th National Skimboarding Open Competition at the Skimboarding Capital, Tanauan, Leyte, which is being sponsored by the local government of Tanauan, the Provincial Government of Leyte thru Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and Victoria's Skimboard, Mayor Roque A. Tiu informed.

Skimboarding event in Tanauan, LeyteMayor Tiu said that the Open Competition is scheduled to be held on December 27-30 at the Bantay Dagat Area, in Barangay Sto. Niño in Tanauan. He clarified that the holding of the Competition in December was though of, because it is believed that there are better waves in December and so the skimriders will enjoy the competition better.

It would be recalled that Skimboarding Competitions has been usually conducted on Easter Sunday, Mayor Tiu said, when there are many beachcombers visiting the shores of Tanauan. However, since last year, the National Skimboarding Competition has been held in December, after Christmas and right before New Year.

Mayor Tiu said that the participants for this season's competition are being limited to make the competition easier and more manageable.

Mayor Tiu added that skimriders from Luzon have signified their intention to join the competition. In fact, several of them e-mailed PIA 8 after reading the news in the PIA website and they were referred to the LGU by PIA.

This is a welcome development, Mayor Tiu said, because in the past, the local participants were all from the Visayas and Mindanao areas.

Mayor Tiu informed that the 5th National Skimboarding Competition will formally kick-off on December 27 but the nightly activities at the Site will start on December 20 as the local government decided to hold the annual Kaadlawan Festival there.

The Opening Program will be held on December 27, at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon, Mayor Tiu added.

Mayor Tiu said that the National Skimboarding Competition is the town's contribution to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's thrust of making the Central Philippines Super Region as the Tourism Capital of the Philippines.

The public is invited to participate or witness the event which is becoming a tourist-attracting activity in the Region.

The 5th National Skimboarding Open Competition will be supervised by the Philippine Skim Association and the Tanauan Pasaka Jaycees.





Basey Manpower Training Center produces 53 graduates

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

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  After three months of operation, the Basey Manpower Training Center has produced 53 graduates in its Building Wiring Installation and Plumbing courses.

The thirty six trainees for the Building Wiring Installation and seventeen trainees for Plumbing graduated on December 12, 2008, after completing all the necessary requirements for the said courses, Ms. Bonevie M. Rovino, Basey Information Assistant disclosed.

Mr. Balbino Estorninos, the municipal and training center administrator said that all the 53 trainees passed the Assessment Test administered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) – Samar personnel.

The trainees will be deployed to partner agencies to be identified by their trainers for their On-the-Job Training, Mr. Estorninos said.

Aside from the 53 graduates, another set of trainees, particularly in the Welding and Carpentry courses, are scheduled to graduate on December 31, 2008, Mr. Estorninos intimated.

The Basey Manpower and Training Center was initiated by Mayor Didi Estorninos, in cooperation with TESDA-Samar.

The Project aims to reduce the out-of-school-youth, juvenile delinquents and unemployment in the municipality.

The Basey Manpower and Training Center is now accepting new enrollees for House Building Wiring, Welding, Plumbing and Carpentry courses, Mr. Estorninos added.

Basey is a municipality in the province of Samar, Philippines, which used to be the mother town of Tacloban City.  Basay is said to be the Leyte's capital during the American period.

The town's name is pronounced "basay", not "basey. This mispronunciation was propagated by American soldiers in the early days of the American colonial period. There is no "ey" sound in Waray. Basay is from the Waray word "mabaysay," meaning beautiful. It is the current record holder of the world's longest mat ("banig"), which is presented in the Guinness Book of World Records.





For supporting health programs

Samar PHO awards recognition to LGUs led by Talalora and Pagsanghan

December 22, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Samar Provincial Health Office gave out awards to leading Local Government Units for their support to the health programs of the national and provincial governments.

On December 11, 2008, the municipalities of Pagsanghan and Talalora led the LGUs that were given recognition.

The programs implemented were reviewed based on accomplishments that have yet to be validated, the indicators were then mapped out and compared to the national standard.

Once accomplishments reached 70% the points were considered to have reached the national level, thus, giving recognition to the efforts of the LGUs.

Indicators included proportion of births attended by skilled health workers, exclusive breastfeeding, full immunization, contraceptive prevalence rate. Other indicators include Vitamin A coverage, TB detection rate, Filariasis mass treatment, household with access to safe water, households with access to sanitary toilets and blood collection.

It appears from the report that Pagsanghan passed the national standards for four indicators namely; exclusive breastfeeding, access to safe water, filariasis mass treatment and TB detection rate.

As regards Talalora, it also passed four indicators namely a malnutrition rate of only 13.4%; Vitamin A supplementation, exclusive breastfeeding and filariasis mass treatment.

Most LGUs passed one or two of the 11 indicators; while no LGU passed on the indicators on proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel, contraceptive rate and only one passed the full immunization.

In an interview, Ms. Felecita Borata Chief of the Technical Services, expressed that so much is still wanting when it comes to health practices of Samareños coupled with the absence of health officers.

In an earlier interview, PHO Chief Rudolf Mabulay said that the province can not attract physicians who choose to practice in the cities. The good doctor said that the LGU province and municipalities need committed health workers who do not look at the profession in terms of income but in terms of fulfillment.





Tacloban is now a Highly Urbanized City

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 19, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Tacloban is now a Highly Urbanized City. The people of Tacloban have spoken. They are for Tacloban’s conversion from a component city to highly urbanized city.

On Thursday night, City Elections Officer Susan Collamar proclaimed Tacloban as already a Highly Urbanized City following her announcement of the official result of the plebiscite held on December 18 in the City of Tacloban.

In an interview with Atty. Collamar, she said that the Yes to HUC garnered about 36,352 votes while the NO to HUC got over 21,419 votes. So as of Thursday night, Tacloban City is already a highly urbanized city, she added.

Atty. Collamar said that she has already sent the Department of Interior and Local Government a copy of the results of the plebiscite, so the DILG has been informed already.

The voters turn-out, about 57 percent, is encouraging, Atty. Collamar said. No untoward incidents were recorded in the generally peaceful and orderly conduct of the plebiscite, she added.

There were complaints about their names not included in the voters list and the precincts were still closed, but these are common problems during the conduct of any elections, Atty Collamar said.

Meanwhile, DILG Region 8 Assistant Regional Director Atty. Aida Laruda said that the City DILG has already written the Regional Office informing about the result of the just-concluded plebiscite. The Regional Office in turn will communicate the matter to the DILG Central Office.

President Arroyo earlier, on October 4, 2008, proclaimed that Tacloban City has met all the qualifications of a Highly Urbanized City by virtue of Proclamation No. 1637 entitled Conversion of Tacloban City into a Highly Urbanized City.

The ultimate decision, however, was laid in the hands of the voters, whether they want Tacloban City to be converted into a highly urbanized city or not. Last Thursday, they made their decision and it was for the affirmative.





EDC breaks ground for Kananga’s first techvoc institute

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
December 19, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  Premier geothermal company, the Energy Development Corporation, true to its commitment to pursuing sustainable CSR-educational programs, held the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kananga-EDC Institute of Technology on December 5, 2008 with the audacious goal of training world-class nation builders.

Ground-breaking ceremony for the Kananga-EDC Institute of Technology
Kananga’s premier technical and vocational institute will soon rise in the former airstrip of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in barangays Hiluctugan and Rizal in Kananga. EDC and the LGU of Kananga together with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) held the groundbreaking ceremony and capsule-laying with (L-R): EDC Pres. & CEO Paul A. Aquino, Leyte SB Member Godfrey Capanas, Kananga Vice-Mayor Macario Lumangtad, Kananga Mayor Elmer S. Codilla, Kananga Councilor Nenito Sanchez, EDC Drilling Vice President Mario Taguines and EDC Community Partnerships Manager for Leyte Emil Argoncillo.

The groundbreaking and capsule-laying ceremony was attended by the off EDC President and CEO Paul A. Aquino, Kananga Mayor Elmer S. Codilla and representatives of TESDA. They were joined by Leyte SB Member Godfrey Capanas, Kananga Vice-Mayor Macario Lumangtad, Kananga Councilor Nenito Sanchez, EDC Drilling Vice President Mario Taguines and EDC Community Partnerships Manager for Leyte Emil Argoncillo.

Mr. Dave Devilles, Corporate Communications Officer, said that the project is intended as a world-class post-secondary technical- vocational training center with hardware and software components for three (3) major technical sectors, namely Construction, Metals & Engineering and Tourism/Health/Social services.

With technical assistance to be provided by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) through a Memorandum of Agreement, this is expected to develop into five (5) sectors with the addition of Automotive and Electronics components, in three years.

A foundation to be called “Kananga-EDC Educational Foundation” will be set up on a 50-50% (at the start) ownership basis between Kananga LGU and EDC. Composition of the foundation will include four members of Kananga LGU and another four members from EDC as incorporators/trustees.  The Treasurer will be the EDC’s Leyte Resident Manager.

The foundation will run the institute which will be known as “Kananga-EDC Institute of Technology”.  It is envisioned that EDC will provide the hardware components of the project.  The foundation will pay for all operating expenses and software at the start. Thereafter, it is expected that the graduates will repay back the training center through a “study now pay later” scheme.  Hardware components including the land will be leased to the foundation at P1.00 per year.

“The Kananga-EDC Institute of Technology is our second project that will address the employment needs of the host community where we operate. The Institute is a fitting follow-through to our Schools for Excellence Project which aims to provide quality basic education. And like SFE, the Institute will also adopt the multi-partnership approach to make it sustainable. We laud Mayor Eming Codilla for having the same vision. The Kananga LGU has approached EDC to help develop their manpower skills to address unemployment of Kananga residents due to lack of skills,” EDC Pres. & CEO Paul Aquino said.

For his part, Mayor Elmer Codilla said that he recognized the important role of EDC in improving the socio-economic situation of Kananga. The mayor acknowledged the receptiveness of EDC in building a vocational training center as this would benefit qualified indigent youth of Kananga. The Institute will help them become gainfully employed and become productive members of the community, Mayor Codilla said.





Maasin squatters avail assistance from city government

December 19, 2008

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  At least forty beneficiaries who settle on untitled land availed the assistance from the city government, Maasin City Mayor Maloney Samaco disclosed during his regular program aired over radio station DyDM on Thursday, December 18.

The city government saw the need of these beneficiaries identified who paid monthly rentals to the lot they used, “instead of paying monthly rental to the owner, they will now pay their charges to the city hall for P10.00 per day for 10 years,” Hon. Samaco said in his “Maasin City in Action” program. "After 10 years of payment the lot will now belong to them," he added.

Maasin City will be the one to purchase the lot at P800.00 per square meter at around 1,600 sq. meters in total area to the Zialcita family, the lot owner. The beneficiaries will be allocated 40 sq. meters each.

It was learned that the documents are now on process to avail the lot and the city government aimed to acquire it by year 2009.

In addition, the identified recipients will be given additional livelihood to be able to settle their monthly accounts to the city government through the Self Employment Assistance – Kaunalaran (SEA-K) program of the government.

Mayor Samaco mentioned the livelihood assistance such as the acquisition of trisikad known as “potpot”, food processing, curtain making, among others.

There were three choices of barangays that the city government selected namely Barangays Mambajao, Asuncion and Combado which have many indigents and Combado came out to be the best choice since it is where the lot is situated and the owner also preferred the same.





Flooding in region 8 leaves 10 dead

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

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  About 10 persons died due to the recent flooding in Region 8, the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council 8 reported late afternoon of December 12, 2008.

The fatalities were identified as Jeoffrey Cobreros of Barangay General Lucban, Bobon, Northern Samar; Paterno Abendaño of Sitio Tarugan, Catarman, Northern Samar; Alfredo Mijares, Sr., 67, Barangay Bayha, Lope de Vega, Northern Samar; Danilo Mahinay, Barangay Roxas, Mondragon, Northern Samar; and Joy Zaidy of Barangay Roxas, Mondragon, Northern Samar.

The other fatalities were identified as Enrico Laoreno, 63 of Barangay Tambangan, Palapag, Northern Samar; Regan Singson Tasan, Jr., 3 years old of Sitio Camarin, Lamanoc, Merida, Leyte; Jose Rosco, 16, of Barangay 1, Poblacion, Jipapad, Eastern Samar; Baby Girl Oros, newly born, of Barangay San Roque, Jipapad, Eastern Samar; and Christine Magtul-is, 9 and a half, of Jipapad, Eastern Samar.

The number of injured person was reported as 8 which is broken down to 2 in Jipapad; 4 in Maslog; and another 2 in Oras.

Around 26,073 families or 143,309 family members were affected because of the flooding. About 316 houses were totally damaged which rendered 316 families homeless.

OCD Director Angel D. Gaviola who is the executive officer of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council of Region 8 informed that 26,073 barangays in 15 municipalities of Eastern and Northern Samar provinces were affected by the flooding on December 8 due to continuous heavy rains in the Region.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council provided 500 sacks of rice to Northern Samar while another 350 sacks of rice were sent to Eastern Samar as relief assistance to the affected municipalities, Director Gaviola, informed.

RDCC 8 thru the Department of Health 8 is closely monitoring the reported diarrhea cases in the municipality of Oras, Eastern Samar.

The Regional Disaster Coordinating Council continues to monitor the effect of the flooding until it gets hold of the total damages to life, property, agriculture and infrastructure.





DTI Samar cites Charito’s Delights, Mom’s grocery as Outstanding MSMEs

December 17, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI–Samar) awarded Charito’s Delights, makers of traditional Samar delicacies and Mom’s Grocery as Outstanding (Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)s in Samar.

Charito's Delights DTI award
Emma Bermejo of Charito’s Delights received an award from DTI-8 OIC director Desiderio Belas for being a regional nominee to the search for Outstanding National MSME Award. Also in photo at left is PA for Eastern Visayas Cynthia Nierras.

Charito’s Delights also garnered the regional nomination to the national awards as an outstanding MSME. Their certificate was signed by DTI Secretary Peter Favila.

The awarding rites coincided with the First MSME Congress held on Friday, at the Cocina de Cabral, Catbalogan City, attended by the whole DTI family with OIC Regional Director Desiderio Belas and former Regional Director now the Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Cynthia Nierras.

In an interview, Emma Bermejo, owner of Charito’s said that the business was started by her mom Charito in 1989. The store offers sweets like hopia de pili, curioso (cookies), ube candies, salvarro and other eatables ideal for “pasalubong” and presents for balikbayans.

Bermejo claims that DTI has helped her in the marketing especially during Trade Fairs both in Cebu and Manila. In the latest Bahandi Trade Fair, it was Charito’s which was the top grosser among Samar's exhibitors.

She added with pride that when Robinson’s opens in Tacloban City, Charito’s Delights will be given a stall.

Meanwhile, Mom’s Grocery owner Mrs. Minda Bolastig was happy that her grocery was given recognition. She said she does not think of any award when she offers her services but admits she is a hands-on manager and checks her store from time to time.

She said she also complies with all legal registrations and obligations to the city and national government. She also makes sure that customers are always satisfied with their purchases and accepts ‘returned’ goods with no questions asked.

Both Charito’s and Mom’s employ some young people from Catbalogan and environs.

Charito’s Delights is located at San Roques Street, while Mom’s Grocery can be found at the back of MetroBank.





RDC8 cites Best Members’ Websites

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

Philhealth 8 websiteTACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Search for the Best RDC Members’ Websites 2008  is finally over. The winners in the three categories were announced and were cited during the Regional Development Council meeting on December 12 at Calbayog City.

RDC 8 Chairman and Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento congratulated and awarded the citations to Philhealth Region 8, the Best RDC Website for Regional Line Agencies; the Province of Southern Leyte as the Best Local Government Unit Member Website; and Eastern Samar Social Development Organization, Inc. as the only Private Sector Representative Member with a Website.

The Search for the Best RDC Website is aimed at sustaining the gains of the Regional Development Council’s EV Online Project which was conceptualized to make way for sharing of information about the Region in the world-wide web.

Another objective of the Search is to upgrade the status of the websites to world class quality and to encourage the RDC members to aim for the best in their websites.

NEDA Director Buenaventura Go-soco Jr., RDC 8 Vice-Chair, informed that with the implementation of the EV Online Project in 2007, 38 RDC members' websites have been developed and 46 websites are now being hosted by EVISNet.

Although the websites were developed by a single web designer, the idea and concept of the website design came from the suggestion of the RDC/SecCom members. EV Online made suggestions on what data to put in their respective websites but several agencies provided data which were not included in the list.

The best websites conform with the criteria for world class quality websites, Director Go-soco informed. The Best RDC Websites got the highest point from a given set of criteria which includes functionality, design, content, originality, professionalism and effectiveness.

The Committee on Selection or Awards was composed of representatives from the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a representative from Student Councils and a Computer Science/ Information Technology Student.

It was noted that there are local government unit members and Regional Line Agency members that have good websites but which were not developed by EV Online.





Dolores town declares 25 upstream barangays under state of calamity

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

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Local Government of Dolores in Eastern Samar has passed a resolution declaring the 25 upstream barangays of the municipality under state of calamity due to the occurrence of floods triggered by heavy rains on December 6, 7 and 8 that caused heavy damage to agriculture and infrastructure.

The resolution which was passed in order that the local government can make use of the 5% calamity fund was approved by Vice Mayor Lucito Oraya who was then the acting mayor.

Official report coming from the local government of Dolores showed that the total damage incurred by the municipality due to the flooding amounted to P15,485,777.

The summary report which was signed by Vice Mayor Oraya showed that the total families affected numbered 4,369. The number of houses totally destroyed is seven while the number of houses partially damaged runs to 2,369.

The detailed report stated the damage to agriculture and infrastructure in the 25 upstream barangays.

Mayor Emiliana Villacarillo said that the damage to agriculture was pegged at P3,878,777, broken down to damage to livestock, rice, rootcrops and vegetable. The damage to rice alone was more than P2 Million. It was noted that 8 carabaos perished because of the flooding.

The damages to infrastructure included totally washed out waiting sheds and riverlandings in several barangays; scouring of River and Flood control projects; pipeline damage to water systems; washed out farm to market roads; and partially damaged school buildings, health centers and daycare centers.

Damage to infrastructure was placed at P9,350,000., Engineer Judith P. Oraya, the municipal engineer, reported.

The 25 upstream barangays which were affected by flooding are Dampigan, Bonghon, Sto. Niño, Tan-awan, Libertad, San Isidro, Aroganga, Caglao-an, San Roque, Sta. Cruz, Demingpi-an, Cagtabon, Magsaysay, Magombong, Buenavista, Cabago-an and Gap-ang.

Also affected were the upstream barangays of Jicotol, Osmeña, Hinolaso, Rizal, San Pascual, San Vicente, Villahermosa and Del Pilar.





DBM issues guidelines for granting of performance bonus to state workers

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

MANILA, Philippines  –  Budget Secretary Rolando G. Andaya Jr., has issued on December 11, 2008 Budget Circular No. 2008-5 to implement Administrative Order No. 250 signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on December 10, 2008.

Pursuant to AO No. 250, all personnel of the Government are entitled to receive a one-time reward of a maximum of Ten Thousand Pesos each as performance bonus, in recognition of their commendable effort in attaining efficiency in government operations, despite the economic difficulties which may arise as a result of the global financial crisis.

Secretary Andaya said that all permanent, temporary, casual or contractual personnel of national government agencies including government owned and controlled corporations and government financial institutions whose salaries are charged against their Personal Services allocation and who are still in service as of November 30, 2008, are entitled to receive the performance bonus.

The Performance Bonus will not be granted to personnel of NGAs, GOCCs and GFIs who have already received extra cash gift or additional benefit in Fiscal Year 2008 over and above the year-end benefit authorized under RA 6686, as amended by RA 8441 as implemented by Budget Circular No. 2005-6 dated October 28, 2005.

The DBM shall release, the amount of P7,000 per employee of NGAs not belonging to the Constitutional Offices/Fiscal Autonomy Group, chargeable against the unreleased appropriations under the Fiscal Year 2008 budget which was pooled by DBM for the purpose.

The remaining Performance Bonus requirements of P3,000 per employee of NGAS shall be charged against their respective savings in allotment. In the event that the agency savings is insufficient to cover in full the remaining P3,000 per employee, DBM said, that payment thereof shall be subject to the amount available as savings provided that a uniform amount shall be given to all employees.

The total requirements of P10,000 per employee of NGAs belonging to the CFAG like congress, CSC, Judiciary, COA, Comelec, CHR and Ombudsman, shall be charged against the available savings in allotment. In the event that the CFAG does not have sufficient savings to cover in full the P10,000 per employee, payment thereof shall be subject to the amount available as savings provided that a uniform amount shall be given to all employees.

For GOCCs and GFI, the amount needed shall be charged against their respective corporate funds.

Those who are not entitled to receive the Performance Bonus are government personnel who are absent without leave; those who have been hired not as part of the organic manpower of agencies but as consultant or experts; student laborers; apprentices; laborers of contracted projects; those whose remuneration are not taken from the budgetary allocation for Personal Services; those who are formally charged with administrative cases as well as criminal cases which relate to acts or omissions in connection with their official duties and functions and found guilty, except when the penalty is a mere reprimand.

The performance bonus of government personnel detailed with another government agency or special projects, shall be drawn from their respective mother agency. In the case of those paid from project funds, the Performance Bonus shall be drawn from the same source where they draw their salaries.

The performance bonus of government personnel employed on a part-time basis shall be pro-rated corresponding to the services rendered.

For personnel who transferred from one agency to another, their performance bonus shall be granted by their new office.

Government personnel who have received any unauthorized extra cash gift or additional benefit or allowance prior to the issuance of the Circular shall refund any excess of the amount herein authorized or shall be entitled to the difference if they receive less than P10,000.





PCA to coconut lumber cutters: Beware!

December 15, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) through their Samar field office sternly warned illegal cutters of coconut lumber as monitoring has been intensified due to the declining coconut production.

On December 9, 2008, two barangay folks from Barangay Tenani, Paranas, Samar while riding in a PUJ with some 650 board foot of coconut lumber were intercepted by no less than the Catbalogan City PNP Chief Ramil Ramirez.

The coconut lumber worth P5,000 were confiscated.

The owners identified as Maria Rodina and Elmer Igdalino admitted that they did not have the proper documents or permit to transport and even cut them. They alleged that they did try to secure permit from PCA but the authorized office did not have receipts yet.

All they wanted was for their kids to be able to attend the Christmas parties, so they tried to chainsaw the tree which they claimed were being swept away by the overflowing Olot River. They denied cutting the trees and claimed there were still many of them which were eroded and are being swept by the running water.

Laureano Verdeflor from PCA denied their accusation that PCA does not have receipts, Verdeflor said that most cutter would secure permit even if the cutting has been done. He added that the folks do the  ‘shortcut’ in getting easy money.

The PUJ used was impounded for sometime but released when the driver executed an oath of undertaking that they had no involvement in the cutting of the coconut trees.

The two Tenani folks received a mouthful of lecture from both PNP and PCA and were sternly warned that if ever they repeat the same offense, violation of Republic Act 8048 also known as Coconut Preservation Act of 1995, they will be meted the full fore of the law.

PCA warned the public sternly to abide by the rules or face penalties or even imprisonment.

Verdeflor reminded those who wish to cut trees to get the necessary application for permit to cut trees, Tax Declaration of the Land where the coconut is located, Deed of Undertaking, certification from the Barangay Chairman or the President of a small Cococnut Farmers Organization, the same will also be published for 15 days and the Coconut Development Officer (CDO) inspection report

As to the allegations of the duo that the coconut trees were just swept to them by the strong water current, Verdeflor said that a coconut tree can only be cut if the it poses danger to life and property, if it has been damaged by the typhoon, it is unproductive and through a land conversion. Otherwise, all coconut trees should be preserved according to Republic Act 8048, concluded Verdeflor.





Former Gov. Lerias confirms having received fertilizer fund

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

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  Former Gov. Rosette Lerias spoke over radio station DYDM on Friday and acknowledged having received the now controversial fertilizer fund for the province of Southern Leyte.

Around past two o’clock in the afternoon of December 12, the former Governor told anchorman Jade Nombrado that the fund was listed in her name being the chief executive then but the assistance really benefited the various farmers of the province.

She, however, clarified getting only P 3,260,000 out of the allocated amount of P 5,000,000 adding that this was before the election of 2004.

“The purchase request and the purchase order were paid after the elections,” Lerias said, stressing that the order was made direct to Philphos.

She said that some agriculture officials were with her when the fertilizers were distributed to farmers.

As a result of the fertilizer assistance the province rose to hit the number one spot in rice production per hectare nationwide from 2004 to 2007, Lerias said, citing reports from the regional office of the Department of Agriculture, where the province yielded 7 tons per hectare on average and got a star mark for this performance.

She said she had voluntarily submitted pertinent information on the fertilizer fund use in the province to the Senate, the Lower House, and the Bishops through the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for them to be appraised on how it was utilized.

Both the Senate and the Lower House have been engaged in their separate, ongoing probes on the alleged misuse of the fertilizer appropriation under then DA Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante.



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