investigation of Samar’s road construction
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– The participants in the 10th Samar Island Partnership for Peace and
Development (SIPPAD) is filing a resolution to investigate the alleged
irregularities in the construction of the national highway and the
provincial highway in Samar.
SIPPAD is a
convergence of the three bishopd of Samar and Archbishop Jose Palma of
the Archdiocese of Palo. It also includes Army commanders, LGUs and
NGOs and even people's organization. The partnership aims to address
poverty in Samar by linking concerned agencies for the development of
the three provinces.
Fr. Cesar Aculan,
Social Action Director of the Diocese of Calbayog in his presentation
said that the materials used in the Calbiga to Gatanguit road project
is of sub-standard quality, the aggregates used are limestones which
are found unsuitable materials if mixed with cement and are found to
have weak bonding.
He added that the
procedure is also substandard as procedure for cementing and paving
are short cut.
Work concreting is
slow and asphalting not continuous, there are many gaps not cemented,
it further noted.
the prelate offered is that the supervision is done by DPWH Central
office and not the regional office.
Because of the
foregoing observations, the Samarnons fear that the road will only
last five years. Even now that the road is not yet completed, some
sections of the asphalted roads are already pockmarked with potholes.
The DPWH Second
Engineering District does not want to comment on the issues as theirs
is only monitoring and that according to Engr. Agusto Aguilar, they
have not received any complaint about it.
The acting Provincial
Governor then, Jesus Redaja shared the observations of Fr. Cesar and
even sought the comments of the mayor in a Provincial Development
However, with the re
assumption of Governor Milagrosa Tan, it is not known what her action
would be and even the Sangguniang Panglalawigan because as of this
time, SP sessions have not pushed through for lack of quorum.
robbery-holdup gang, Evardone lauds PNP operatives
By BRYAN M. AZURA
Eastern Samar – The
provincial government, through Governor Ben P. Evardone, led the
awarding ceremonies of 6 Philippine National Police personnel who were
instrumental in the arrest of a member of Ugale robbery-holdup group
in Hernani town last December 25, the past year.
The awardees were
Eastern Samar PNP Provincial Director Prudencio dela Cruz, Senior
Inspector Aladin Esplago Dingal, Senior Inspector Jaime Cid Chicano,
PO3 Rex Isip, PO3 Carlito Delos Santos, PO3 Necias Bebita, Jr., and
PO3 Jonathan Esto Rivas.
The police operative
nabbed Arcadio Calites, a prominent member of Ugale gang, on Christmas
day last year. “We sacrificed our time for our families just to ensure
the arrest of Calites,” said Dingal, the team leader of the arresting
“We have been
following the movements of this group for quiet sometime already, and
our efforts finally paid up,” Chicano said.
Governor Evardone, in
a statement, praised the police officers who placed their lives at
stake to make sure that peace and order remains in the province. “I am
calling all Eastern Samareños to support the police, understand and
protect them and give them any help they need so they will be able to
serve us well in return,” Evardone said.
Following the arrest
of Calites, the rest of the Ugale were also seized in Bicol last
January. “With that, the Ugale robbery group is now already considered
dismantled,” Evardone announced citing the report of PNP.
governor called on the PNP personnel to step up on its campaign to
neutralize and eventual arrest of robbery operators in Borongan. “I
will give P50,000 to any civilian who will be instrumental in the
arrest of the robbers and P100,000 to PNP elements or members of army
who will be able to apprehend any member of the hold-up group here,”
Evardone also hailed
Inspector Michael John Villanueva of Arteche Police Station for
neutralizing a hold-upper in the said town. The suspect, a resident of
Lapinig, Northern Samar, was killed during the operation.
“Rest assured that our
police, professional as they are, will continue to serve our
province,” Evardone addressed the people.
Nothing fancy, no
fees, no political speeches in forthcoming graduation, DepEd says
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
There should be nothing fancy, no fees and no political speeches in
the forthcoming graduation ceremonies of elementary and high schools.
reminder, which is contained in a DepEd Order issued on February 18,
becomes particularly relevant amidst the worldwide economic crisis
that is threatening to affect the Filipino people and that has led to
a flurry of belt-tightening measures.
In the department
order, Secretary Jesli Lapus directed school officials that graduation
rites should not be extravagant and should as much as possible, not
require parents and students to shell out money.
Secretary Lapus said
that graduation ceremonies should be conducted in an appropriate
solemn rites and shall not in any way be used as a venue for a
The schools may invite
politicians to deliver inspirational speeches, but administrators
should see to it that the event remains solemn and is not used for
politicking, the order stated.
The order stated that
public schools are not allowed to collect any graduation fee or any
kind of contribution for the graduation rites. Parent-teacher groups
may solicit voluntary contributions for ceremonies and celebrations,
but the teachers and principals themselves should play no part in
School officials are
strongly encouraged to hold the ceremony on the school grounds,
instead of scouting for "extraordinary" places.
Also, the students
should not be required to come in fancy attire that may entail extra
expenses on their part. Togas may be used, the Order said, subject to
the approval of the students and the parent-teacher associations. Only
the actual cost of renting the toga should be shouldered by the
The order specifically
stated that graduation ceremonies should be held between March 28 and
April 3 and should center on the theme “My Education: My Contribution
to the Future.”
supplements Gandara-Matuguinao road project
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
Samar – With the steady pour of funding sources for the Gandara-Matuginao road project, it won’t
be very long before Matuginao town is re-connected to the growth
center in Gandara town.
In an interview with
the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Engr. Virgilo
Eduarte bared that one funding came after another to steadily support
the on-going road project to Matuguinao.
On July15, 2009,
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the inauguration of the Sto Niño
Bridge in Gandara town. Considered as the biggest hurdle in the
obstacle course called Gandara-Matuginao road project, the bridge
brought hope to the once abandoned dream of pursuing the rocky road.
But with the attention
of national leaders being focused, Eduarte said that the Department of
Agriculture (DA) allocated some millions from the Farm to Market Road
Still another funding
worth P25M will stretch the rocky road more, nearing its final
destination called Matuguinao.
As some more smaller
bridges need more funds, Representative Reynaldo Uy of the First
District also vowed to set aside funds if only to complete the road
DPWH also supplied the
information that some P20M has been set aside for the completion of
A health worker who
hails from Gandara informed PIA that construction is going on in the
In a phone interview
with Vice-Mayor Aran Boller of Matuguinao town, he said that once
completed it could really spell a big deduction in the freight of
their farm produce. It will not just be cheaper but faster because for
thirty minutes, the trip is over compared to the boat ride for four
hours. Boller also disclosed that Governor Milagrosa Tan is interested
to fund the road for another P22M.
Earlier on, Matuguinao
Mayor Carlos dela Cruz articulated his wish for the rehabilitation of
the deteriorating road to finally reach this heart of
Some residents still
recall when Matuguinao town was still linked to Gandara through the
road network constructed by Rolito Go, but big floods destroyed the
road and cut Matuguinao town from the road network. Matuguinao folks
resorted to the Gandara River for transportation.
But the mayor himself
admitted the more expensive freight is charged by boats.
With this new
development and the steady flow of funding from the national
government through various means, the 20 kilometer road will be
completed soon enough to usher economic activities in the area.
DPWH calls on
jobseekers to register at simultaneous DPWH Jobs Fairs on Feb 23
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Director Angelito
Twaño called on the jobseekers, particularly those in the construction
field, to visit the DPWH Regional Office 8 Jobs Fair on Monday,
February 23, 2009.
As its modest
contribution to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s thrust to create
jobs for the Filipinos in order to cushion the impact of the global
economic crisis, the Department of Public Works and Highways Regional
Office 8 will join the simultaneous Jobs Fairs of DPWH on
February 23, 2008,
Director Twaño said.
The Jobs Fair will
start at 8:30 in the morning and will end at 5:00 o’clock in the
afternoon. The DPWH 8 will receive all the applications of the
jobseekers and these will be segregated according to locations. These
will then be sent to the contractors implementing the various
government infrastructure projects in the Region.
this year of 126 infrastructure projects in Region 8, will generate
about 50,000 jobs for the Eastern Visayans, Director Twaño informed.
This is the modest
contribution of DPWH to Region 8, Director Angelito Twaño said in a
phone patch interview with the Philippine Information Agency.
DPWH Region 8 will
implement about 126 infrastructure projects in 2009, Director Twaño
said. Of the total number of infra projects, 25 projects have already
been awarded. These 25 projects will generate more or less 2,500 jobs
to the constituents of the local government where the projects will be
implemented, Director Twaño added.
Per House General
Appropriations Bill, the locally funded projects which will be
implemented this year by the DPWH Region 8, will amount to more than
P4.416 Billion while the foreign assisted projects has a funding of
more than P1.636 Billion.
This gives a total of
P6,052,652,000 as the total infrastructure fund for the 126 projects
which will be implemented in Region 8 for the year 2009, Engr. Pacita
Gavan of the DPWH Region 8 bared.
Director Twaño said
that with the many government infrastructure projects that are being
implemented all over Region 8, private constructors are in need of
construction foremen, skilled workers, masons, heavy equipment
operators, dump truck drivers, steelman, civil engineers, and other
construction related jobs.
The workers who
will be employed will construct, maintain, repair and rehabilitate
national roads. They will build and fix existing bridges, school
buildings, farm-to-market roads and flood control projects, Director
Comelec Offices open
on Saturdays, holidays starting Feb 28
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
Starting February 28, Comelec field offices all over the country will
open on Saturdays and holidays on the of the regular working days, per
directive of the Commission on Elections Central Office.
This is in order to
accommodate all applicants for registration as voters in the May 10,
2010 elections, particularly the youth, students and busy workers who
have no time to register during weekdays.
Comelec has ordered
its field offices that just like on regular weekdays, working hours on
Saturdays and legal holidays starts from 8:00 o’clock in the morning
and ends at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon, in order to encourage wider
voter participation and in recognition of the role of the youth in
The youth sector, the
Comelec said, is projected to comprise the majority of first-time
registrants for the May 10, 2010 presidential, congressional, local
and party-list elections.
registration days have to be provided because of the need to adjust
the periods and dates for the deadline of filing of applications for
registration, the hearing to be conducted by the Election Registration
Board (ERB) and the submission of project of precincts from the field
offices to the Election and Barangay Affairs Department (EBAD), the
The required data on
the number of precincts and registered voters will become available in
time for the setting of configuration of the automated machines to be
used in the May 10, 2010 elections.
"It is imperative to
require the submission of project of precincts on July 20, 2009 for a
more updated data as bases in the printing and procurement of official
ballots, supplies and other election paraphernalia," Comelec officials
On top of the regular
working days from Monday to Friday, the registration on Saturdays and
holidays starts on Feb. 28, 2009 until
Oct. 31, 2009.
No registration will be conducted on Sundays, the Comelec said.
P1.134 B infra project
to stir development in Samar’s first district
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Samar First
Engineering District Office, Calbayog City is all set to implement
various infrastructure projects pegged at P1.134 billion consisting of
roads and bridges construction and rehabilitation.
This was bared by
District engineer Virgilio Eduarte in an interview by the Catbalogan
media on Thursday.
Eduarte added that the
district has advertised five projects totaling to P178 M for public
bidding this February which are considered as pump priming projects.
An allocation of P20M
is intended for Carayman-Naga section with one kilometer-length.
Another project the Naga-Burabud section with also one kilometer
stretch also costs P20M. Still another P20M is intended for the
The diversion road is
said to ease the worsening traffic condition along the National
Highway within the city proper and is also expected to promote the
speedy development of trade in the province.
Rehabilitation of the
damaged national road along Calbayog-Catarman runs 5.44 kilometers
that amounted to P98M. Said project will help the residents and
motorists speed up their mobility.
Another project, the
construction of Baruz Bridge worth P20M will link Matuguinao to
Gandara, a fulfillment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s promise
of connecting Matuguinao to the growth center and at the same time
ensure the immediate delivery of farm produce to the market.
DPWH aims for the
total development of the First District of Samar.
(with reports from M. Gomez)
DENR 8 bares retrieval plan for
abandoned logs in Samar
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
February 21, 2009
TACLOBAN CITY – The
retrieval plan for the recovery of abandoned logs cut by a logging
firm operating in Samar twenty years ago was presented to concerned
stakeholders in Samar Island. Said logs will be converted into lumber
to be used for the repair of various bridges and some infrastructure
projects in the 3rd District of Leyte.
The presentation of
the plan through a dialogue is consistent with the clearance issued by
Environment Secretary Jose L. Atienza to execute a deed of donation
granted by the logging firm to a former congressman in
Leyte province. During the said dialogue, Department of
Environment and Natural Resources Regional Executive Director Regidor
de Leon disclosed that the plan would ensure that the retrieval
operations and other related activities must not adversely affect the
surrounding environment and other natural resources within the
vicinities, and promote transparency during the entire operation for
all concerned groups and individuals to witness as they see fit.
Subject of the
retrieval plan are 120 cubic meters or 30,000 board feet of
dipterocarp logs cut by the San Jose Timber Corporation (SJTC) within
its area of operation and stocked in Barangay Casandig, Paranas,
Samar. Said logs were cut before the logging firm ceased operations
as a result of the logging moratorium in Samar Island on February
1989. In a report of Regional Technical Director Felipe S. Calub of
the DENR 8 Forest Management Service, said logs are already on the
state of decomposition.
These were donated by
the San Jose Timber Corporation represented by its Chairman Antonio J.
Lim to former Congressman of the 3rd District of Leyte Eduardo K.
Veloso during his incumbency in 2006.
“Even if there was a
deed of donation entered into by and between the San Jose Timber
Corporation and the donee/recipient former Congressman Veloso, the
disposition of said logs is still governed by the existing laws and
policies of the DENR,” says RED De Leon.
Secretary Jose L.
Atienza, Jr. who is always very cautious in granting this kind of wood
utilization permit has acted on this long standing request by
approving the said request and to issue a permit to retrieve and
dispose the said logs under this donation in favor of former
In granting the
clearance, however, Secretary Atienza defined some terms and
conditions which shall serve as guidelines for the regional office in
issuing the permit to retrieve and dispose of the donated logs.
RED De Leon revealed
that foremost among the guidelines is the formulation of a retrieval
plan as agreed upon by all parties who are involved in the inventory
and validation of the logs and must be approved by the Samar Island
National Park-Protected Area Management Board (SINP-PAMB).
RED De Leon bares that
Secretary Atienza has given instructions that such plan should not
only specifically ensure that there will be no adverse effects of the
retrieval operations to the biodiversity resources in the vicinity of
the retrieval area, and must also include among others, the details of
its transport, where it shall be stocked, corresponding dimensions and
volume required. Secretary Atienza likewise expressly gave the
directive that conversion of the retrievable logs into lumber shall be
done outside the SINP and shall be closely supervised by DENR, RED De
In that memorandum
from Secretary Atienza, only the 30,000 board feet or an equivalent of
120 cubic meters shall be subject of the retrieval and disposition
activities as per Deed of Donation.
The retrieval plan,
for transparency, also provides that these shall be confined only
within kilometers 6 and 12 of the old logging road of SJTC. This shall
be closely supervised and monitored by a multi-sectoral team from DENR,
SINP-PAMB, LGUs and different civil society groups in the area. Also
included in the retrieval plan is the provision that trimmings and
other by-products of the sawn logs shall be donated to the people’s
organization, KAPPAS, and other interested barangays.
All required fees,
dues and forest charges shall be paid prior to the transport of the
wood products, and shall be covered by proper documents as required
under Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 94-7 and DAO No.
This authority is
given a duration of sixty (60) days from receipt of the permit.
RED De Leon led the
presentation of the plan through a dialogue with some 30 participants
coming from the non-government organization Samar Island Biodiversity
Foundation, Mayors of the municipalities of Hinabangan and Daram,
representatives from the LGUs of Paranas and Catbalaogan, and
representatives from the media, academe, Philippine Army, Philippine
National Police, and the church. This was held in Catbalogan Samar on
February 17, 2009.
disposition of 30 thousand board feet in favor of former Congressman
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– As Samarnons protested the ruling of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jose Atienza, Jr. approving the
request of Ex-Congressman Eduardo Veloso to execute the deed of
donation granted by San Jose Timber Corporation, they could not do
anything but concede, albeit grudgingly.
In a Dialogue with a
multi-sectoral group at the Fortune Hotel in Catbalogan City on
Tuesday, the Samarnons were visibly disgruntled with DENR awarding the
30 thousand board feet of logs to Veloso.
In a Memorandum from
the DENR Secretary, Jose Ateinza, it said that the logs cut before the
moratorium is intended for the infrastructure projects of former
Congressman Veloso within the District of Leyte.
It added that the
clearance sought has been granted and that it had to issue a permit to
retrieve and dispose the said logs.
However, some terms
and conditions have to be met like no other logs should be involved
than those explicitly cited on kilometers 6 and 12 as inventoried by
the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.
In one part of the
dialogue, Ms. Charo Cabardo asked why give it to Veloso when it should
be utilized by Samarnons as it was felled from their area.
The Regional Executive
Director of DENR answered that it was only Veloso who applied for the
Other NGO members
called the process a ‘unilateral give-away’. Information that sprouted
from the dialogue suggested that some more timber is left to rot
because nobody knew they existed.
RED explained that
DENR will be thankful if the same will be disposed as it could pose
hazard to the health of the people. Still others are concerned that
the 30 thousand board feet will just be used as a front to dispose of
‘good’ lumber these days.
Presently, Samar is
placed under a logging moratorium.
Eastern and Northern Samar have dramatically displayed their
opposition to “logging and mining” in a caravan held some years ago,
this has gained support from the top officials of the Catholic Church.
Allan Amistoso, a
former town councilor turned media pacified the disgruntled group by
saying that the same group will unite and like Veloso seek the
approval of DENR Secretary in retrieving some timber felled before and
have not really been properly inventoried by the DENR or any
From the discussion
more lumber and logs are said to be located somewhere in Kilometer 17
of the former San Jose Timber logging roads in the heart of
Benjamin Teoco, representative of Veloso said his party will still
rehabilitate the impassable roads to effect the retrieval and may
build four bridges for the trucks to pass in the recovery of the logs.
He will also talk to Veloso to retain some good logs for the Samarnons.
The women group
accepted that the peripheral part or the trimmings which are of no
economic value will be the ones left for Samarnons while the donee
Veloso will cart away the economically good lumber for his bridge and
Another concern came
from an army who said the insurgents could be resurrected once more
with the flow of lumber – a good source of ‘nourishment’ for those
With all these
concerns, DENR sounded the alarm to be watchful and vigilant on the
proper retrieval and disposition of the 30 thousand board feet of
lumber coming from Samar, but by stroke of luck will be utilized in
Basey Farmers receive
P467,510 livelihood assistance from DOLE
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – In
line with the directive of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the
national agencies to focus on more livelihood and job generating
programs to cushion the impact of the current global economic crisis
on the poor Filipinos, the Regional Office of the Department of Labor
and Employment recently released P467,510 livelihood assistance to the
Local Government of Basey in Samar for its identified beneficiary, the
Barangay Sirum Farmers Association.
Director Forter Puguon
personally awarded the check to Basey Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos in a
simple program held at the Audio Visual Room of the Municipality, with
the members of the Sangguniang Bayan headed by Vice Mayor Paul Charles
Adona, the department heads, and the officers and members of the Sirum
The livelihood fund
was released through the LGU of Basey since it is the DOLE Accredited
Co-Partner in the implementation of its programs and services in the
area, Labor Information Officer Virgilio Doroja, Jr., said.
Director Puguon said
that the amount is intended for the purchase of farm implement such as
rice mill, turtle tiller and thresher, all with complete accessories.
Part of the fund will be used for the conduct of seminar on social
preparation and entrepreneurship development course for the
beneficiaries, Director Puguon added.
The livelihood program
of DOLE was strengthened by DOLE Secretary Marianito D. Roque pursuant
to President Arroyo’s focus on more livelihood program and services
for the informal sector.
Director Puguon, in
his inspirational talk, gave an overview of the DOLE’s programs and
services in the two main types of employment, the wage employment
where workers work for employers, and self employment through
He said these programs
and services could be brought to the workers of Basey depending on the
priorities of the municipal government. He also expressed his fervent
hope for the LGU Basey to become a model municipality in the province
of Samar for DOLE’s advocacy on DOLE-LGU closer partnership in the
delivery of programs and services to the workers of the municipality.
Mayor Estorninos, for
his part, thanked DOLE for the assistance which he said will be of
great help to the farmers of Barangay Sirum and to his administration
considering that livelihood program is one of his priority programs.
TESDA Samar readies
Pangulong Gloria Scholarship Program worth P10M for retrench workers
and other jobless youth and adults
NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
February 18, 2009
CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar
– As President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) tells TESDA to prepare
retrenched workers for the electronics sector, TESDA Samar is also
stirring with activities for Pangulong Gloria Scholarship (PGS).
In an action plan for
2009 provided to PIA Samar, TESDA has listed the availability of some
1,170 scholarship slots that will be funded with P10,823,550.
Aside from specific
Training (scholarship) Cost ranging from P4,550 which is the cheapest
for Pastry, Cakes and Yeast Based Products good for one month to
Building Wiring Installation which is the most expensive worth P13,560
good for three months, trainees are still afforded some P60/day
training support fund by the program.
These are short
courses but are easily employable according to demand for workers.
Courses like plumbing,
carpentry, housekeeping, bartending, masonry, computer programming and
others are available for grabs.
According to Mr. Ben
Mar a TESDA specialist, this program is available also for those whose
jobs have been affected by the global economic crunch. Should
applicants be interested to avail they may go to the nearest school in
their area identified to verify for details or visit TESDA-Samar at
the Samar Capitol Site, Catbalogan City.
Schools and Training
Centers tapped to offer PGS are
Eastern Visayas College, Samar College in Catbalogan City and
Pinabacdao One Stop Training Center in the second district.
In the first district,
they can visit Tiburcio Tancinco Memorial Institute of Science and
Technology (TTMIST), Systems Technology Institute (STI) and Christ the
King College (CKC) in Calbayog City and Samar State College of
Agriculture and Forestry (SSCAF) in San Jorge.
TESDA added that
before a trainee qualifies for PGS, he is made to execute an affidavit
that specifies his active involvement in the program and to refund the
Tek Bok Provider (TBP) in full and the Training Support Fund granted
in case of non-compliance with the 80% attendance and participation to
qualify for the completion of the training program.
The same candidate
will also undergo a pre-qualification process like the National Career
Assessment Exam (NCAE) or Youth Profiling for Starring Careers
TESDA encourages all
youths who may qualify to avail of the opportunity.
Based on records, of
the 12 trainees for call center agents at the Systems Technology
Institute or STI, Calbayog City last year, eight workers have already
been hired in call centers in Cebu City.