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2009 National Caving Congress puts Region 8 on focus

SIPPAD urges investigation of Samar’s road construction

Army challenge KARAPATAN-EV to work with CHR8

Redaja reports of his 90 days to Samarnons

Biliran buy bust operation nabs suspected lady drug pusher

Rescued Suluan fishermen happily return home to Guiuan

Daramnons thank PGMA for her gifts

It’s All Systems Go for the Palarong Pambansa 2009 hosted by Leyte

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

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



Pinabacdao project impresses WB representative

March 14, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Pinabacdao town with the Japan Social Development Fund- Social Inclusion Project was visited by its funding donor World Bank with country representative Haiti national named Yulaine Joseph.

World Bank representative Ms Yolaine Joseph in Pinabacdao, Samar
Pinabacdao Mayor Mario Quijano escorts Ms Yolaine Joseph a Haiti national representing World Bank to assess the Japan Social Development Fund - Social Inclusion Project.  (photo PIA Samar)

The Haiti national was visibly pleased in his most recent visit to the town where he learned that the project beneficiaries have been truly empowered after a series of healing sessions done by a team of trained DSWD counselors.

Other sessions included debriefing trauma victims which psychologists attributed to their sad experiences with rebels and abusive military.

The project is a special anti-poverty project implemented to address participatory and social exclusion issues that prevent poor communities from taking part in development activities.

The WB representative was able to draw out reaction from the beneficiaries with little prodding.

With the program that ended in December last year, ‘healed’ community members have shown that their bitter experiences are now things past and they have positively gained renewed self-confidence to move on with their lives through community participation.

Of the 72 identified victims, some seven participants have fully recovered and are now active with community work.

The WB visitors were also shown demonstration farm of hybrid rice ready for a teeming harvest in Barangay Dolores while in Barangay Lale, Barangay Chairman Efren Ocenar has an abaca plantation of one a half hectare.

In the same gathering, national awardee for Best Community Volunteer Marvin Del Monte from Parasanon was awarded  for his sterling achievement as volunteer.

The Japan Social Development Fund - Social Inclusion Project (JSDF-SIP) was launched as a complementary project to ensure the inclusion of indigenous peoples, people in conflict-affected areas and women in mainstream KALAHI-CIDSS activities in the community level.

Kohei Noda, a Japanese national who is the financial attaché of Japanese Embassy also aired his good impression with the Pinabacdao experience the following day.

The WB visit was a post assessment of the project that was launched a year ago.

Mayor Mario Quijano extended his gratitude to the funding agency and urged them to support the 13 other barangays for other or similar projects that could propel them for development.





DSWD 8 recruits enumerators for the National Household Targeting System in Catbalogan

March 13, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  Samar Provincial Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO) Luz Tacal said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) office 08 has started recruiting enumerators for a  project known as National Household Targeting System (NHTS).

Job applicants waiting outside social welfare office in Samar
Job applicants waiting their turn for an interview outside the DSWD office in Catbalogan, Samar.

The office was swarmed with hundreds of applicants for some 290 job requirements as enumerators, encoders, area supervisors and area coordinators on March 5 and 6, 2009.

With the rumors spreading that the PSWDO is engaging in politics in the recruitment is plain hearsay said Tacal.

In fact, she said she did not in any way participate in the acceptance of applications. She had inhibited herself from taking any part in the recruitment to avoid talks. All she did was to comply with the DSWD request to hold the interview in the PSWDO, she clarified.

The panel of interviewees was composed of two division chiefs from DSWD RO 08, like Ms. Yvonne Abunales and Ms. Virginia Idano and other staff.

Presently, the office in charge is still having interviews to be able to fill up the 290 slots. The job which is good for only one month has been drawing a big crowd.

This is an indication that jobs are hard to come by these days, Tacal said.

However, an insider said that because of the many applicants, the agency would be able to choose the best candidates. As of this writing, Tacal bared that some 230 applicants have been considered for screening.

It will be recalled that in the latest Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD) held on February 19, 2009, Ms Leticia Corrillo, DSWD 08 Regional Director gave out the initial information about this project.

On February 24, 2009 the DSWD met with Municipal Social Welfare Officers (MSWDO), Municipal Planning and Development Officers (MPDO) for an orientation about the project and the recruitment of enumerators.

In that briefing, Corillo said that the office needs to know who are the poor, non-poor and where they are.

The program is also important to ensure that the limited resources of the different social protection agencies reach the poorest of the poor, according to Ms. Yvonne Abonales who presented the program.





Bishop Bacani graces 20th anniversary celebration of the Diocese of Naval

March 12, 2009

NAVAL, Biliran  –  Bishop Teodoro A. Bacani, Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches in Metro Manila and a prominent personality in the religious sector known for his strong pronouncements on various social issues in the country graced the 20th  anniversary celebration of the canonical erection of the Diocese of Naval on March 7, 2009 at the Naval Cathedral.

The 69-year old bishop was the homilist during the Pontifical Mass that highlighted the occasion. His homily centered on one’s dream and vision and how valuable it is to achieve something worthwhile.

The soft-spoken bishop emphasized how valuable it is to dream saying “Napakahalaga ng mangarap, ang nangangarap umaabante, sumusulong at iyong nanaginip na gising hindi iyong nanaginip na tulog kundi wala pa ring mangyayari sa bayan”

He also emphasized unity and to love one’s enemies, and to read the bible which is the source of the word of God.

He praised the alive Eucharistic celebration of the holy mass where he witnessed how lively the parishioners sung the mass songs.

Bishop Bacani was ordained priest on December 21, 1965 and bishop on April 12, 1984 at the Manila Cathedral.

He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila and Titular Bishop of Gauriana, in March 6, 1984 at the age of 44.  He was appointed Bishop of Novaliches on December 7, 2002 at the age of 62.

He was also a professor and dean of Theology at the San Carlos Seminary.  He  held various positions like Bishop of the Ecclesiastical District of South Manila; Chairman, Archdiocesan Commission of the Marriage & Family Life Ministries; Chairman, National Pastoral Planning Committee of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP); Bishop of Ecclesiastical District of Manila; Chairman, Committee on Establishing Parish Churches as Shrine;  Spiritual Director, Mother Buttler Guild;  Assistant National Chaplain, Christian Family Movement and Chairman, CBCP Committee on Public Affairs.

The main celebrant of the Pontifical Mass was Archbishop Jose Palma of the Archdiocese of Palo with Bishop Isabelo Abarquez, Auxiliary Bishop of Palo; Bishop Emmanuel Trance of Catarman, Northern Samar, Bishop Filomeno Bactoal, Bishop of Naval and the parish priests from the different dioceses in Eastern Visayas to include the priests from the Diocese of Naval as concelebrants.

The canonical erection of the Diocese of Naval was on March 8, 1989. The diocese is composed of three vicariates and 15 parishes.





Evardone hits looming power rate increase

By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern Samar)
March 10, 2009

BORONGAN CITY  –  Eastern Samar Governor Ben P. Evardone calls the looming power rate increase as ridiculous in this time of global financial crisis.

“I do not see the logic there.  While the President, Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is moving heaven and earth in order to cushion the impact of this financial slow down, particularly on the part of the marginalized sector, here comes National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) spreading the bad news that by April 16 they will increase the power rate in Region 08 by P1.14 per kilowatt-hr.” the exasperated Evardone spoke on air over Radyo ng Bayan DYES.

As if to assure his constituents in advance, he stressed that he will do his best to defer the increase; the highest official of the province reported that he will confer with the other governors of Region 8 to discuss the matter which he said is financially significant.

“I am alarmed by the news, even if I have not formally received yet the notice because same was confirmed by a reliable source,” he continued.  “Who will not be shocked at this news? There was no public hearing nor consultation made before they shocked Region 8 with this news;  besides, is it not a wonder why would they charge us this high, (the highest actually) when we are the host of the Tongonan Geothermal Plant in Leyte, which I know is the 2nd largest geothermal in the world?” Evardone taunted.

He also mentioned that Region 8 as the host region must be given special consideration even before the product is sold to Panay island, Cebu, Negros island and maybe several other provinces.

Should the increase push through, it’s a pity for the households who could hardly earn from the price of copra, yet, will surely feel most of the brunt, because the increase will be surely passed unto them, he added.

But he said that on the 14th of the month, all the governors of Region 8 will meet and “if we need to file a petition to the Energy and Regulatory Commission, we will do it”.

Evardone has always spoken out against power rate increases not only because they are done on a wrong timing but because he says “I am bound to protect the welfare of the poor and the less privileged”.

Last year, on the very the same date today,  this writer wrote an article on the same issue, (“It’s NO to ESAMELCO power rate increase”) when Evardone called President Arroyo to intervene on the ESAMELCO proposed 124% increase per kilowatt-hour, apparently to defray TRANSCO collectible of P6.99 M.  Evardone further argued then, that the public was not informed in any manner, besides, the province has just gone through the ill effect of the floods after continued heavy torrential rains hammered the province in February of 2008.  Then, because of PGMA’s directive, a “status quo” was declared for the proposed rate increase.





PGMA’S Super Region Projects in Eastern Visayas dominate the 2009 DPWH 8 Infra Program

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 10, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The 2009 DPWH Infrastructure Program is an indication that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is indeed serious in making the Super Region concept of development, a reality.

Most of the P60 Billion budget allocation for the DPWH Region 8, are for super region projects in the different provinces of Eastern Visayas. These projects include urgent national arterial, secondary roads and bridges; rehabilitation, reconstruction or upgrading of damaged paved national roads and foreign assisted projects.

Included in the urgent national arterial, secondary roads and bridges are roads to complete the President’s Eastern Nautical Highway, and improvement of access roads to Airports and RORO Ports.

Also included are roads addressing critical bottleneck, infrastructure support to tourism hubs and spokes; roads to support peace and development in Mindanao and other conflict areas, roads to address traffic congestion and continuation of unfinished and ongoing bridges.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s priority projects were observed to be included in the 2009 DPWH Infrastructure Program. These include the Himay-angan-Silago-Abuyo Boundary Road with P56 Million allocation; Taft-Oras-San Policarpo-Arteche Road with P29 Million allocation; Rehabilitation of Allen-Malaga Section with a funding of P250 Million; and the P345 Million funding for the concreting of the Palapag-Mapanas-Gamay-Lapinig Road, concreting of Laoang-Lapinig-Arteche Road and other projects that will connect Northern Samar to Eastern Samar, among others.

Also included are the foreign assisted projects like the rehabilitation of the Maharlika Highway from Calbayog to Tacloban; and Agas-Agas bridge among others.

The data taken from the Department of Public Works and Highways in Region 8 revealed that among the road projects to complete the Eastern Nautical Highway are the concrete paving of the 11.61 kilometers Biliran Circumferential Road with 9 sections namely, Mainit-Murang Section, Ariquin-Julita Section, Pawikan-Baso Section, Bilwang-Mapuyo Section, Baganito-Madao Section, Bool- Patag Section, Virginia- Marvel Section, Look-Habuhab Section and Guinapundan-Pinamihagan Section, with a funding of P209 Million.

Also in support to PGMA’s Eastern Nautical Highway, is the improvement of access road to RORO ports particularly to Naval Port and to Maripipi Port, with a P10 Million funding.

In the province of Leyte, P20 Million has been programmed for the improvement of access road of the Tacloban Airport. About P132 Million has been allocated for the improvement or concreting of Access Road to Ormoc City Airport and access road to Ormoc Port; roads to address critical bottleneck particularly road opening and construction of missing links of national road at the Albuera-Burauen Road including bridges at the Albuera Section; and the construction and completion of ongoing bridge project, the Tagaytay Bridge and approaches at Kananga.

Also included in the Roads to complete Eastern Nautical Highway projects in the Region is the P2.5 Million access road to Baybay Port in Baybay, Leyte; P50 Million rehabilitation of Daang Maharlika; the P23.8 Million concreting of Maasin Port, Access road to Maasin Port and access road to Liloan Port; and the P13.5 Million concreting of Guiuan Airport.

Furthermore, about P30 Million has been programmed for the Roads to Enhance Tourism particularly fo the concreting of Basey-Sohoton-Borongan Road leading to Basey Cave and National Park; while in Eastern Samar, P308 Million has been programmed for infrastructure support to tourism hubs and spokes from Borongan to Guiuan, particularly, the Borongan-MacArthur section with exceptions, and MacArthur-Guiuan Sections with exceptions.

The list of projects for the Region, is as long as the desire of President Arroyo to fast track the needed infrastructure support in order to align Eastern Visayas to the Central Visayas Super Region which is being envisioned to become the Tourism hub of the country.





Army ventures into Youth Leadership Training at 8th ID

March 10, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  As if there is no end to their countless development works for the community, the army this time has also assumed leadership training for some 103 student leaders in Samar.

They were holed in at the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army to undergo a Youth Leadership Training for three days.

Student leaders coming from Samar College, Samar State University (SSU), St. Mary’s College of Catbalogan (SMCC) and Samar National School filled the 8th ID stadium during their culminating activity.

According to Captain Glenn Dela Rosa of the Civil Military Operations Unit (CMOU), this idea came from the same project in Laguna where 15 chapters of the Youth for Peace were organized.

Although the sessions are done inside a military camp, army officials insist civilians handle the lectures and facilitate.

The training, he said aims to equip the youth with leadership skills and at the same time to ward them off from the recruitment of the rebels. These ages, one military officer claimed are potential ages for the NPA’s cadre.

The trainees were also taught to prepare project plans which most of them need because they are Sangguniang Kabataan members.

One such student, Techie Queen Alcala, also elected as the summit Pesident, said she was impressed with the training like no other seminar she attended.

Shallaine D. Dante a BSN student from SSU said she enjoyed the late night sessions that not only gave them intellectual inputs but cultural and aesthetics too.

At one time, the participants were asked to present a cultural show which showcased the numerous talents of the group. They said they remember one mentor named Ian Barcelona whose teachings on character building etched some marks in their youthful life.

Ms. Ma Ciejay Calara, another mentor, who hails from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, said she was impressed how easily the youth in Samar absorbed her lectures.

In a talk with PIA, she said she recommends that all youth leaders undergo this training to better equip them with knowledge, skills and attitudes for youth empowerment. She added that she also imparted lessons on global warming and climate change. She said she is impressed that the Samarnon youth are aware of this environmental issue.

The same participants vowed to help intensify the campaign on waste segregation and proper garbage disposal, Calara explained. She also added that these youth also seem to be aware of their counterparts who have less in life and as such are not in school. One group from Samar College proposed to hold Alternative Learning System (ALS) classes in their school for out of school youth.

One army official Lt. Col Larry Mojica said that they plan to recruit some more students, this time in their area in San Jorge to undergo the same training sessions. When asked whether they are worried that critics may brand them as using the youth as in the past fora where they featured 200 Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP) members, the army sighed and said, “So be it!”.

No, they did not have any difficulty asking the permission of the parents and teachers and administrators, the administrators were immediately convinced when shown of the video footages of the same training done in Laguna and other areas.

The training is free which is shouldered by the Philippine Army.





Leyte on its last stretch for Palaro preparations

By Provincial Media Relations Center
March 10, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  In a recent gathering with Department of Education’s Task Force for School Sports in Manila, Leyte Provincial Administrator Vincent Emnas disclosed everything is going smoothly as to Leyte’s preparation for its second hosting of the Palarong Pambansa after more than 25 years.

Emnas disclosed the face-lifting of the Leyte Sports Development Center, the same sports arena used the first time the Palaro was held in Tacloban in 1983, is almost complete with an international standard track and field oval coated by imported rubber as well as an Olympic-standard swimming pool and a warm up pool.

According to Emnas, all the playing venues outside of the sports center have already been upgraded to meet the standard set by DepEd.

“The province has spent around P75 million for the rehabilitation of the facilities including the Leyte Sports Development Center. The provincial government headed by Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla has earmarked the bulk of the budget for the rehabilitation of Olympic-size swimming pool and rubberizing of the the track and field oval,” Emnas said.

Private and public schools to be used as billeting areas of all the 17 delegations are also presently rehabilitation and provided with the needed amenities as bedding, comfort rooms, electricity, adequate water supply and even electric fans.

Even the requirements for the media coverage will be provided for as wi-fi ready computers and laptops will be made ready for the national media men that will work for their respective newspapers. A media center has already been set up at the DepEd Tacloban City Division office just for the media people and their coverage work.

It was learned that almost 50 percent of the regional representations have already completed their regional meets going to the Palaro, including those of Ilocandia, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Cordillera Autonomous Region, National Capital Region, Region 11 and Region 12.

There will be 15 sports events in elementary, while 17 in high school. Olympic sports like athletics, swimming, boxing, tae kwon do, badminton, archery, gymnastics, table tennis and lawn tennis are also included.

In Puerto Princesa City in Palawan last year, the National Capital Region ruled both elementary and high school divisions by amassing 263 and 375 points, respectively. In contrast, Eastern Visayas placed almost at the tail end of the ranking but promises to better their ranking this year with most of the events represented this time around.

Over 15,000 athletes and visitors are expected to troop to Leyte for the eight-day competition where President Arroyo will be the guest of honor.





Upgrading of Guiuan Airport nears completion, PA Nierras says

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 9, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Guiuan Airport Development Project which is a SONA commitment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, will soon be completed, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Hon. Cynthia Nierras informed.

The airport is seen as the key to the coming of more tourists to the island paradise which is being promoted by no less than President Arroyo as a major destination in the Visayas.

Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Cynthia Nierras
PA Cynthia Nierras

PA Nierras said that she recently inspected the project, particularly the ongoing construction of the perimeter fence, asphalt overlay of runway, and the installation of Single Phase electrical Line with a contract amount of P105.998 Million, and she was told that the work will be completed in April of 2009.

During the February meeting of the Regional Development Council of Eastern Visayas, the Project Monitoring team reporter said that the construction of the perimeter fence, asphalt overlay of runway, and the installation of the Single-Phase Electrical Line is ongoing with a contract prize of P105.998 Million.

The construction of the Apron and Taxiway was completed in September of 2007. Additional concreting of Apron and Taxiway was completed in January of 2008 while the Passenger Terminal Building was completed in August of 2008.

The Guiuan Airport Development Project has an estimated project cost of P155 Million and so far, P10 Million and P15 Million was allocated in 2006 and 2007 for the construction and concreting of Apron and Taxiway and rehabilitation of the Passenger Terminal Building. An amount of P130 Million has been programmed for 2008 for the construction of the perimeter fence, site acquisition and construction of access road, completion of apron and taxiway and asphalt overlay of runway.

The Guiuan Airport Development Project is a priority project of President Arroyo in line with her super region concept of development where Region 8 is part of the Central Philippines Super Region envisioned to be the tourism center of the country.

In Region 8, the Calicoan Islands in Guiuan is being developed as an important tourist destination. A sanctuary of privacy and indulgence highlighted by tropical landscape and surrounded by the relaxing sound of the ocean – this is how Calicoan, will win the hearts of local and international tourists.

Calicoan Island boasts of miles of white sand beaches. With powerful swells rolling in from the Pacific over the 10,000 meters Philippine Deep, Calicoan is a surfer's paradise.





Important RP laws due for translation to 11 dialects

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 9, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Very soon, some 19 laws of national importance will be officially translated into eleven local languages.

This, after the House of Representatives and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino signed a Memorandum of Agreement on March 4, 2009, an article on the House of Representative website said.

A few of these laws include Republic Act 09502, the Cheaper Medicine Act; Republic Act 09501, the Magna Carta for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises; and Republic Act 09505, an Act Establishing a Provident Personal Savings Plan.

The 19 laws will comprise the first batch of Republic Acts which will be translated by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino pursuant to the provisions of House Resolution 331 seeking to translate national laws of national importance to 11 local languages.

The measure principally authored by Speaker Prospero Nograles was adopted by the House of Representatives on February 18, 2009.

The measure called for national laws to be translated into Filipino, Ilokano, Pangasinense, Kapampangan, Bikol, Cebuano, Samar-Leyte, Hiligaynon, Maranao, Maguindanao and Tausug.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the House of Representatives and the Komisyon on Wikang Filipino for the translation of all existing laws of the land to 11 local languages was signed on March 4, at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

The signatories to the MOA were House Secretary General Marilyn B. Barua-Yap and Jose Laderas Santos, National President of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino.

Witnesses to the MOA signing were Representative Del De Guzman of the 2nd district of Marikina City, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Culture and Commissioner Carmelita Abdurahman of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino.

During the MOA signing ceremonies, Secretary General Barua-Yap formally handed-over to Chairman Santos and Commissioner Abdurahman the 19 Republic Acts of national significance, which were passed during the 14th Congress.





PNRC Northern Samar chapter strengthens its International Humanitarian Law Committee

By PIA Northern Samar
March 9, 2009

CATARMAN, Northern Samar  –  With insurgency still considered as a headache,   Northern Samar cannot really avoid a felt problem that refuses to go away.  It has no other option but to have an “eyeball to eyeball” encounter with the law that will protect non-combantants. This “protector” is no other than the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

The Philippine National Red Cross through its International Humanitarian Law Committee conducted a meeting on Wednesday to discuss how it could strengthen itself amidst the observed new clashes between the government forces and the NPA rebels in the province.

After thorough discussion, it was agreed that an orientation on the coverage and limitations in the application of the law should be conducted by IHL experts from the PNRC-Central Office for the local IHL Committee members.

PNRC administrator Susan Hernandez said that the participants for this particular orientation seminar should include local chief executives, heads of government and non-government offices both at the national and provincial levels in order to maximize the visit of the PNRC-IHL experts.

About five (5) orientation seminars at the local municipal and barangay levels will likewise be conducted utilizing the cluster method, but this time, this will be implemented by the local IHL Committee.

The IHL Committee meeting was held at the office of the Philippine National Red Cross with PIA manager Nene Manzanares, committee chair presiding the conference.  Other participants were Lt. Col. Salvador B. Calanoy, co-chair of the 803rd “Peacemaker” Brigade; former Vice-Gov. Guido A. Lavin Jr., co-chair for legal services; PSupt. Ciceron M. Ada, representing PNP provincial director Eusebio Mejos;  Supervisor Bernardo B. Balanquit, representing Division Schools Supt. Thelma Quitalig of DepEd; DILG provincial director Naomi C. Tumandao; Renard Fidel, PNRC-IHL coordinator and PNRC Administrator Susan Hernandez.





Eastern Samar’s first lady distributes rice, holds medical & dental mission on her birthday

March 4, 2009

SAN JULIAN, Eastern Samar  –  Some 1,600 residents of Barangays Libas, Putong, Casuroy, Campidhan and Nena of this town received 3 kilos rice each from Governor Ben P. Evardone as part of his wife Grace’ birthday bash.

Eastern Samar’s first lady celebrated her birthday last February 27.

Gov. Ben Evardone during rice distribution
Gov. Ben p. Evardone hands in a bag of rice to a resident of Brgy. Nena, San Julian as part of the birthday celebration of his wife, Grace Evardone. Assisting the governor is SPM Karen Alvarez.  (Bryan M. Azura)

The celebrant meanwhile personally visited the islands Manicani, Tubabaw and Victory of Guiuan town to also distribute rice goodies to the islanders. Among those that she visited were Barangays Banaag, Hamorawon, San Jose, San Pedro, San Antonio, San Juan, Camparang, Trinidad and Victory.

Among the activities lined up for her birthday was a medical and dental mission in Brgy. Nena, San Julian. Health check-ups were also made to 11 barangays which were held in Brgys. Buenavista, Victory and San Pedro of the Islands of Manicani, Victory and Tubabaw respectively of Guiuan town. The medical and dental missions were made through the health personnel of Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital (ESPH) and the Local Government Units (LGUs).

Aside from San Julian and Guiuan municipalities, Mrs. Evardone also distributed rice to residents of Cabay in Balangkayan town and Lalawigan, Cabong and Can-abong of Borongan City.

“I have always wanted to serve my fellow Eastern Samareños even in simple ways like this,” Mrs. Evardone said in a statement. “I have thought that my birthday would be meaningful if I spend it with people,” she continued.

Grace, like the governor, also a native of Island barangay of San Vicente in Sulat, had her share of the province’s poor condition. Born in an impoverished family, she strived hard supporting herself until she finished studies. She landed a job as flight stewardess.

“My heart will always be with the people of Eastern Samar especially those who are underprivileged,” the governor’s wife said. “That’s why I made it sure that my birthday this year is spent with them,” she continued.

Governor Evardone meanwhile said that he also feels fulfilled with this kind of activity. “Distributing rice and providing occasional medical intervention of course is just for immediate relief to my needy constituents,” Evardone said. “However, the province is doing its best to bring daily food to every Eastern Samareño’s table,” he continued.

To recall with, Governor Evardone initiated the first Food Summit in Eastern Samar to ensure that food is ready for every table in the province. “While food security is major problem worldwide, we are working doubly hard to make sure the province food supply is stable,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, barangay officials and residents alike were grateful Mrs. Evardone and Gov. Evardone made them special by bringing services to them even in a private event such as the former’s birthday celebration.

Barangay Chairman Leoncio Ayad of Nena hailed the governor and his wife for bringing basic services to his barangay. “This is a real display of care to the people from Governor and Madam Grace,” Ayad said.

Campidhan Brgy. Chairman David Calos also expressed appreciation to the Evardone couple for attending to the basic needs of his constituents. “I hope Madam Grace will continue to spend time with people like us especially during her birthday,” he said.





Lady legislator from Leyte is 5th placer in Nursing Board exams

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 4, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Sangguniang Bayan member Miguela “Inday” Gabisan of Hilongos, Leyte, has given honor to her town and to the province of Leyte by placing fifth in the recent Nursing Board Exams.

Councilor Gabisan, who got a rating of 87.40 percent, heads the list of three topnotchers who came from the province of Leyte.

The others being Faye Stephanie Yu of the Remedios T. Romualdez Medical Foundation (RTRMF) who placed seventh with a rating 87.00 percent; and Maila Carl Morantte of Colegio De Sta. Lourdes of Leyte Foundation Inc., who placed ninth with a rating of 86.60 percent.

Ms. Gabisan, 38, whose family owns the Gabisan Shipping Lines, is a graduate of the Cebu Normal University.

She said she was so shocked upon learning that she was in the top ten of the nearly 90,000 nursing graduates who took the Nursing Board Exams.

“It was totally unexpected...beyond my wildest dreams,” Hon. Inday exclaimed.

She attributed her fete to the intensive training she has undergone at CNU saying, “because of the intensive training we have undergone at CNU, I was confident that I could hurdle the exams. It never came to my mind, though, that I would become one of the topnotchers.”

Currently serving her second term as number 1 councilor of Hilongos, Leyte, Honorable Inday Gabisan plans to practice her profession at the same time serve the people of Hilongos.

Leyte Senior Board Member Carlo Loreto, who is the president of the National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL), said, “Honorable Gabisan honors NMYL and the great people of Leyte with this singular unparalleled achievement. We are proud of her."

Out of the 88,649 Nursing graduates who took the examinations last November 2008, only 39,455 or 41.5 percent passed.





Procurement Service launches Laptop ng Bayan in Reg. 8

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 4, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Procurement Service (PS), in partnership with Microsoft Philippines and Hewlett Packard (HP) Philippines Corporation, is scheduled to launch its newest product, the Laptop ng Bayan in Region 8, on March 18, 2009.

This was learned from Department of Budget and Management Regional Director Imelda Laceras, who is the Depot Supervisor.

Set to be conducted at the Kanhuraw Convention Center from 8:00 o’clock in the morning to 12:00 o’clock noon, the Launching aims to broaden the marketability of the product to government end users prior to full release.

A Technical Update with partners Microsoft Philippines and HP Philippines presenting their latest products and technologies, plus tips and tricks on using computers and computer based applications, will follow the launching.

Two representatives, preferably the IT or Procurement Officers, from the various agencies have been invited to the orientation. Participation is free, hence, no registration fee is required, Director Laceras said.

For reservations, interested parties may call on Ms. Sabrina P. Duero or Ms. Tess Aguilos at 523-1162, 523-1522 before March 13, 2009.

The Regional Procurement Service Depot (PS Depot) was opened in the Region in connection with the government objective to centralize government procurement pursuant to RA 9184 otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The Regional Procurement Service depot operates as the center where all transactions related to procurement of supplies and equipment needed in every government agency will be facilitated. Every year, all the national government agencies in the region are to furnish DBM 8 with the list of the usual supplies and equipment requirements to enable the agency to determine the stocking requirement for the Regional Procurement Service Depot.

Section 63 of RA 9184 provides for the organization of a Government Procurement Policy Board to protect national interest in all matters affecting public procurement, having due regard to the country's regional and international obligations, to formulate and amend whenever necessary the IRR and the corresponding standard forms for procurement, to ensure that Procuring Entities regularly conduct procurement training programs and prepare procurement operations manual for all offices and agencies of government and to conduct an annual review of this Act and recommend any amendments thereto as maybe necessary.

In addition to the powers granted under this Act, the GPPB shall absorb all the powers, functions and responsibilities of the Procurement Policy Board created under Executive Order No. 359, series of 1989. All affected functions of the Infrastructure Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority Board are hereby transferred to the GPPB.

The GPPB shall be composed of the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, as Chairman, the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority, as Alternate Chairman, with the following as Members: the Secretaries of the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Finance, Trade and Industry, Health, National Defense, Education, Interior and Local Government, Science and Technology, Transportation and Communications, and Energy, or their duly authorized representatives and a representative from the private sector to be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the GPPB. The GPPB may invite a representative from the Commission on Audit to serve as a resource person.



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