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Gov. Evardone graces 488th Magellan Landing Commemoration

Pinabacdao project impresses WB representative

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



NPA leaders and 5 others surrender with high powered firearms

March 28, 2009

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  The ranks of the CPP/NPA/NDF terrorist group continue to diminish as another two NPA leaders and five others voluntary surrendered to the elements of 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army under Lieutenant Colonel Jaime Fernando R. Hidalgo in Oras, Eastern Samar on March 20, 2009 at 6 o’clock in the evening.

5 NPA surrendered to 14th IB in Oras, Eastern Samar
5 NPA surrenderees were presented to the media on March 27 during a press conference at the 14IB Headquarters. The occasion was also attended by Eastern Samar governor Ben Evardone who handed a P10,000 cash assistance each to the 5 surrenderees, as part of the government’s Social Integration Program.

The surrenderees were identified as Communist Terrorist Leaders Salvacion Burac alias Salving and Christopher Amigo alias Doods/Bulan, with Antonio Burac alias Tony, Lita Dacuscus Burac alias Melvin/Alex, Aileen Avila Burac alias Dilay, Joel Norcio Burac alias Teddy/Jun and Nelson Logroso Rosales alias Rex.

The surrenderees brought with them Two M16 rifles, One M14 rifle, One M1 Garand rifle and One Carbine, Eight long magazines and Seven short magazines with 334 rounds of ammunitions for M16, Eight magazines with 157 rounds of ammunitions for M14, Five clips with 41 rounds of ammunitions for M1 Garand, Four magazines with 45 rounds of ammunitions for Carbine, One rifle grenade and other pertinent documents.

The leader, Salvacion Burac is reported to be the finance officer of Section Committee of North East Front (SECCOM NE) and Christopher Amigo the squad leader of same Section Committee while others are members of Omega Platoon of North East Front of Eastern Samar Provincial Party Committee.

The series of surrender among Communist Terrorist Leaders and members show that they are already fed up and dismayed with the false promises and horrible lifestyle in the underground movement. And the sincerity of the government in providing livelihood assistance projects, livelihood trainings and cash rewards for those NPA’s who surrender with high-powered firearms under the government’s Social Integration Program (SIP) encourages this people to return to the folds of the law, where accordingly they are just the victim of deception by the CPP/NPA/NDF.

MGen. Arthur I. Tabaquero, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division, congratulates the troops of 14IB “for the very significant stride towards the attainment of our objective to free our brother Samarnons and bring new meaning of their remaining life to enjoy a peaceful living in this part of the country, as such they are entitle for this”, the General said.





Samar mayors vow to support NARS program through additional allowances

March 28, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Three local chief executives (LCEs) present during the Nurses Assigned in Rural Areas (NARS) Program orientation vowed to support the program through additional allowances.

In the NARS orientation held at Fame Hotel on Thursday, all three mayors present were asked by Fe Estrella of DOLE what support they can give the program.

Mayor Alfredo Serrano of Sta. Margarita said he will consult his Sangguniang Bayan to ensure that the nurses will get additional allowances aside from the P8,000 a month provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

For his part, Mayor Cornelio Bersales of Talalora said he will confer with his budget officer but he would bat, he said for P 1,000 more from his LGU.

The lady mayor present, Tarangan Mayor Emmelly Olaje, who looked gorgeous in an all orange outfit promised to give what the nurse deserves. She added she is one who will not miss to notice extra efforts done by her staff and they do get rewarded for exemplary performance.

Five new nurses will be assigned in the 26 LGUs in Samar.

The program NARS is built within the framework of the ‘Economic Resiliency Plan of the Arroyo Administration’. The nurses will be assigned for three months to gain experience and training from the RHU staff and their exposure to the health concerns of the masses.

The nurses may also gain competencies in clinical and public health skills with special focus on preventive and curative measures to address the Philippine Millennium Development Goal targets.

Meanwhile, some Municipal Health Officers present aired their dissenting opinions as to whether the new nurses could be assets or liabilities.

For Dr. Michael Calades, MHO of Paranas, he thinks they will be assets and will be good support in his health programs.

One MHO on the other hand said he will be burdened with the training of an amateur for a very brief period of time.

The MHO said, the time for three months is too short for training and real work won’t even be realized, he lamented.

Nationwide, the 1000 poorest municipalities will be given five nurses who will be trained for two days before deployment to their resident towns or the nearest municipality of their choice.





Govt extends P20K financial assistance to each of 71 former rebels

March 26, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Some 71 former rebels or NPA members were extended financial assistance of P20 thousand as part of the government’s Social Integration Program (SIP).

Former rebel given P20,000 cash assistance from the government
A former rebel unbelievably stare for more than a minute the P20,000 cash sealed in an envelope given to him as cash assistance from the government.

The former rebels in the province received their cash assistance in the presence of 8th Infantry Division commanding general MGen. Arthur Tabaquero, PNP Provincial Director Pancho Hubilla and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary Pedro Cesar Ramboanga Jr.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has approved a new policy to provide P20,000 immediate cash assistance for them to be able to have a new lease on life with the fund to tide them through.

In his speech, MGen.Tabaquero branded the former rebels not as rebel returnees but as Kaupod sa Reporma (KR) or ‘partners in change’ to which they relented with loud cheers.  The top official of the army in the region then urged them to convince their former comrades to surrender like them.

He added that despite their being trained as combatants there is no other thing that they desire than to have peace without resorting to the loss of lives. All they ever wish is to have peace, the General delivered his speech in a mixture of English and Tagalog.

Meanwhile, USec Ramboanga impressed his audience with his Waray speech which he laboriously delivered but received applause nonetheless, after all, he was their godfather who would give them means to start a new life.

He said he would want the remaining 45 others to receive the same, if found maybe they will return and award them the same assistance.

PNP Samar chief Hubilla hailed the gathering as a historic event to signal that peace is in the offing. He added and admitted that there is deficiency in the service but that it should not be an excuse for them not to perform their jobs well as public servants.

Earlier, the rebels testified that their children have been given scholarships by CHED and OPAPP. One such scholar, Jojo Cabael is pursuing BS in Criminal Justice Education (BSCJE) at a private school in Samar. He said he would like to be a policeman and vowed never to walk the path that his father did for five years.

Other KRs also said they had been given emergency cash assistance by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, Ms. Luz Tacal.

The KRs were holed up at the Maqueda Bay Hotel for three days where they received inputs from line agencies like TESDA, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Agriculture, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Values Formation inputs that Fr. Dionisio Calderon gave.

Rep. Sharee Ann Tan (2nd district of Samar) enumerated the opportunities she could give for those interested like skills training, scholarships and other livelihood programs. Her mother, Governor Milagrosa Tan reportedly visited the KRs the night before, chatted with them and promised the same opportunities her pretty daughter did.

More than 70 sacks of rice were waiting downstairs for the KRs courtesy of Governor Milagrosa Tan.





15 towns in Eastern Visayas are doctor-less

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 26, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  About 15 municipalities in Eastern Visayas have no government doctors, an official  of the Department of Health in the Region informed the media during the special edition of the Harampang Ha PIA, held recently.

Dr. Genelyn Herrera, chief of DOH Region 8 Human Resource Development Unit, bared that the 15 doctor-less municipalities are found in the provinces of Samar and Northern Samar.

Dr. Herrera identified the island municipality of Biri, the hinterland town of Silvino Lobos and the coastal towns of Mapanas and Pambujan, all in the province of Northern Samar, as among those without government doctors.

Dr. Herrera said other towns without physicians include Marabut, Talolora, Villareal, Jiabong, Daram, Tarangnan, San Jorge, Matuguinao, Pagsanghan, Gandara and Tagapul-an, all in the province of Samar. The residents of these municipalities have to go somewhere else to avail of the services of a doctor.

The lady doctor who is a product of the step-ladder education at the UP Institute of Health, thus making her a midwife, a nurse and a doctor at the same time, said that previously, there were 27 doctor-less municipalities in the Region.

However, with the deployment of doctors through the Doctors to the Barrios program, twelve municipalities were blessed with the services of a doctor.

Dr. Herrera said that these Doctors to the Barrios receive about P28,000 in salaries and other benefits. They serve the municipality for two years. Several of them however, remain in the municipalities because they get married to a local. A few have been taken in by the LGU as their municipal health officers.

The towns that have availed themselves of the services of the Doctor in the Barrios program of the Department of Health were Gamay, San Roque and Lope de Vega in Northern Samar; Almagro, Hinabangan, San Sebastian and Pinabacdao in Samar; Pintuyan, San Francisco and Limasawa in Southern Leyte; Lawaan in Eastern Samar; and Caibiran in Biliran.

These towns became eligible to be recipients of the program because they have met the basic requirements. The Department of Health pay for the salaries of the Doctor but on the third year, the doctor and the Department of Health negotiates with the municipality to take in the doctor as the regular municipal health officer paid by the LGU.





Army confers honorary membership to Calbayog City mayor

March 25, 2009

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  The 20th Infantry (WE LEAD) Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division (ID), Philippine Army conferred honorary membership to Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento.

Calbayog City mayor Mel Sarmiento
Mayor Mel Sarmiento

In simple but fitting tribute to the chief executive, the mayor received the certificate on March 20, 2009 at the 20th IB camp at Tinambacan Sur, Calbayog City.

Sarmiento was cited among others for unconditionally spearheading the government holistic approach in the conduct of the Internal Security Operations (ISO) within the Area of Operation of the 20th IB.

Said action and support resulted to the collaboration of efforts of all stakeholders towards the realization of the 20th IB mission that is to establish a physically and psychologically secure environment conducive to economic development.

Lt. Col Francis L. Cabugon, Battalion Commander of the 20th IB said he wanted to have a model for LCEs to emulate. He has reiterated seeking support from the mayors and the local populace as regards the region’s effort to promote peace in the area.

Sarmiento said Cabugon exemplifies their model of an LCE thus the conferment of honors.

Earlier, Sarmiento with Representative Reynaldo Uy personally visited 8th ID based in Catbalogan City to profess their support and reportedly extended financial support to the army operations in the region.

Sarmiento then reiterated his dream of uniting the three Samar provinces to attain a physically and socially secure environment.

He also added that he longs to unite all chief executives of the whole Samar, get their acts together and push for the total development of Samar.





Army recruits 400 candidate soldiers for 8th Infantry Division

March 24, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  As candidate soldiers have graduated last Wednesday and had been sworn in as new regular members of the army, 8th ID recruits some more.

MGen. Arthur Tabaquero giving certificates to graduate soldiersIn an interview with Major Mangintonong Tocalo, Chief of the Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO), he said that the recruitment is part of the normal operation to replace those who had retired, discharged and those who died.

“It does not mean that we need more men because we are having more enemies of the state,” he clarified.

The officer also said that the soldiers are trained to uphold human rights and that the public should not fear them.

He welcomes those complaining of human rights violation to charge the soldiers in the proper court. “There will be no cover-up,” the officer challenged.

Some soldiers have been meted punishment for abuse, Tocalo added.

As for the recruitment, the officer said that once or twice a year, training is offered. He added that there really is a quota for 400 this year. Some 200 will be trained for the first six months while another 200 will comprise batch 2 said the officer.

Applicants must be a Filipino citizen, college graduate or at least second year college (72 units) or possesses technical or special skills; single, between 18 to 22 years old, male, must be at least 5'4", with no pending case in any court, must be physically & mentally fit to undergo rigorous military training among other qualifications.

He must also pass the interview; Drug Test/HEPA A & B Testing, must pass the Physical Fitness Test; must pass the Medical/Physical Examinations and the AFPATB examination.

As requirements, applicants must bring Diploma (Original); for high School graduates; Transcript of Records (Original) – for those with 72 units; NSO Birth Certificate  and 2 x 2 picture.

There are also recruitments in Catarman, Tacloban, Bohol and Cebu, Tocalo added. Should they qualify and pass the candidate soldier training, they will be receiving a gross pay of P13,000, added Tocalo.

In his speech during the graduation rites of the newly graduated Class 184 B-08, 8th ID Commanding General Arthur Tabaquero said that the government has invested in the training of the soldiers.

As an afterthought, Tabaquero urged the soldiers for a return of investment though not necessarily in material things but in the quality service that they should repay the service force and the government.





PGMA Serbisyo Muna Caravan serves about 5,171 people in Northern Samar

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 24, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  A total of 5,171 individuals were served in the recently concluded three-day Philippine Government Mobile Action (PGMA) Serbisyo Muna led by PAGCOR, in Northern Samar which culminated with a PGMA Serbisyo Caravan at the capital town of Catarman.

Petilla                                        Gonzaga

No less than PAGCOR Vice President and former Leyte Governor and Congresswoman, Honorable Remedios L. Petilla led the PGMA Serbisyo Caravan in Northern Samar which started March 17 at Catubig and San Roque, March 18 at Rosario and San Jose and finally at Catarman on March 19.

Honorable Petilla said that on the first day, the medical and dental mission was able to serve 1,623 people, 868 in Catubig and 755 in San Roque. At Catubig, 703 people availed of the medical services while 165 people availed of the dental services. At San Roque, 608 people were given medical attention while 147 availed of the Team’s dental services.

On March 18, the PGMA Serbisyo Muna team under the leadership of Honorable Petilla who is better known as Maam Matin, was able to serve 1,738 people in the municipalities of San Jose and Rosario. At San Jose, 891 availed of medical services and 108 availed of dental services. At Rosario, 574 availed of medical services while 165 availed of dental services.

At Catarman, on March 19, no less than 1,810 persons were served, about 1,504 availed of medical services while 316 availed of the dental services of the Team composed of PGMA volunteers, DOH Region 8 medical staff, Northern Samar Health Office staff and health officers from Catarman.

The 4,280 person who were given medical attention were also given free medicines, Honorable Matin informed.

Meanwhile, about 25 government agencies participated in the recently concluded Philippine Government Mobile Action (PGMA) Serbisyo Muna Caravan held on March 19, at the Sacred Heart Plaza of Catarman, Northern Samar.

The scores of Nortehanon flocked at the Sacred Heart Plaza not only to avail of the free medical and dental services but also to avail of the services rendered by the government offices which participalted, Honorable Petilla said.

For one, the Department of Health awarded six barangays with the certification for the management of Botika ng Barangay. No less than DOH Director Edgardo Gonzaga presented P25,000 check to each of the representatives of Barangay Narra, Barangay Cawayan, Barangay Bangkerohan, Barangay Cal-igang, Barangay Jose Abad Santos and Barangay UEP Zone I.

Director Gonzaga also informed the people of Northern Samar that under the DOH Healthy Facility Enhancement Program, funding in the amount of P3 Million will be given to the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital; P2 Million for Dr. G.B. Tan Memorial Hospital; P1 Million for Allen District Hospital and another P1 Million for the Gamay District Hospital.





10ID celebrates the 112th PA Anniversary, honors Best CAA of the Year

March 23, 2009

PANACAN, Davao City  –  The 10th Infantry (AGILA) Division based in Panacan, Davao City took part in commemorating the 112th Philippine Army Anniversary through the simultaneous flag raising and awarding of the Best CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) for Calendar Year 2008 here at 10ID Headquarters Badminton Court this morning. This year’s theme is “Philippine Army: Kasama ng Mamayan Tungo sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran.”

CAA Minguito received the Plaque of Merit at the 10th Infantry Division
CAA Minguito received the Plaque of Merit for being adjudged as one of the Philippine Army’s Best CAA for CY 2008. He also received a Command Plaque from 10ID, PA as the Best CAA for CY 2009.

The Assistant Division Commander, BGen. Jose B. Vizcarra AFP, who represented MGen. Reynaldo B Mapagu AFP, Commander of 10ID, awarded the Plaque of Merit from the Headquarters Philippine Army to CAA Allan M. Minguito for being adjudged as the Philippine Army CAA of the Year (CY 2008). CAA Minguito also received the Plaque of Recognition from 10ID, PA for his invaluable services rendered as member of the Compostela Valley Province CAA Company based at Buko-buko Patrol base when it was attacked by more or less 60 fully armed NPAs from Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit 4 (SRGU), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) on October 13, 2008 that led to the recoveries of four high–powered firearms (HPAs) and several low powered firearms with ammunitions and paraphernalia. Moreover, he also received a cash reward for being chosen as the Best CAA of 10ID, PA CY 2009.

MGen. Mapagu who is presently at Headquarters Philippine Army in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City is also one of the awardees of the 112th PA day anniversary celebration.  He received the award of Philippine Legion of Honor from the Commanding General, Philippine Army, LtGen. Victor S. Ibrado AFP.

Other activities replicated by the army units nationwide are the Medical Dental Civic Action Program which is spearheaded by the 1001st (PAG-ASA) Brigade and the Caravan which has the photo static display and an army show spearheaded by the 1003rd (RAPTOR) Brigade.

Meanwhile, BGen. Vizcarra delivered the anniversary message of LtGen. Ibrado and conveyed the warm greetings to the troops and all members of the Team Army during the occasion.  He stressed, “Truly, the gains we have charted anew during the previous year reflect our collective conviction for the noble purpose that we have taken upon ourselves in fulfillment of our mandate and mission as force provider and front liner in Internal Security Operations. We can thus confidently say that we have done our job, and given true form to our enduring team commitment- “At your service, across the land”.

BGen. Vizcarra further encouraged the troops to continue doing their job and serve with integrity and pride and march towards the attainment of peace and development of our fellow Filipinos particularly in this part of Mindanao.





EVRAA 2009 opens March 29 at Leyte Sports Devt Center

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 21, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Eastern Visayas Regional Athletic Association (EVRAA) meet is set to be conducted in Leyte from March 29 to April 3, 2009, Leyte Division Superintendent Sol Lomarda informed.

The athletic association which is chaired by no less than Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla, is composed of the athletic associations in the six provinces and 7 cities of Eastern Visayas. The meet will choose the best athletes who will represent the Region in the 2009 Palarong Pambansa which will be staged from April 27 to May 3.

Dr. Lomarda said that the different delegations will arrive on or before March 28, 2009. The Samar delegation will be billeted at the San Fernando Elementary School; Northern Samar at Sagkahan National High School; Eastern Samar at Cirilo Roy Montejo and Panalaron Central School; Biliran at Marasbaras National High School; Southern Leyte at San Jose National High School; Tacloban City at Sto. Niño SPED Center; Ormoc City at Rizal Central School; Maasin City at San Jose Elementary School; Calbayog City at Sagkahan Elementary School; Baybay City at Kapangian Elementary School; Borongan City at Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Elementary School; Catbalogan City at Tigbao Diit Central School; and the Officiating Officials will be billeted at the Leyte National High School.

In the evening of March 28, Welcome Socials will be conducted in every billeting quarter. An Waray Night on March 28 will be conducted at Hotel Alejandro.

On March 29, a Solidarity Meeting will be conducted at the Leyte Sports Development Center at 9:00 o’clock in the morning. The parade will be at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon and the Opening Ceremonies will be conducted at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon. At 7:30 in the evening Welcome Socials will be conducted at the Provincial Capitol Gym.

The games will officially start on March 30. The 18 events which will be played are archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, football, gymnastics, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, sipa, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwando, and volleyball.

At 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon of March 31, the Talent Competition for the Mr. & Miss EVRAA will be staged at the Regional Teachers Training Center of the DepEd Regional Office.

Mr. & Miss EVRAA Coronation Rites will be held at the RTR Plaza at 7:00 o’clock in the morning of April 1, 2009.

The championship games and closing ceremonies will be conducted on April 3, 2009.

All the committees for the EVRAA 2009 have threshed out their respective assignments, Dr. Lomarda said.





Cross-trained with jungle warfare and mountain operation

Some 107 new privates hurdle candidate soldier course

March 21, 2009

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  The 8th Infantry Division Commanding General Arthur Tabaquero welcomed the 107 graduates of the Candidate Soldier Course Cross Trained with Jungle Warfare and Mountain Operation Course on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at the 8th ID Gym.

8th infantry division army soldier graduationFamilies and friends of the newly sworn-in soldiers crowded at the Gym to witness the simple rites, take pictures, and pose with their next of kin.

The class topnotcher, Michael Ragandac related how he almost quit the training after a big disappointing situation which he chose not to reveal. Luckily, her mom did not readily approve his pleading, instead she said, she urged him not to give up, that he has already quit his studies in Cebu, once in naval architecture, that he can not be a quitter twice.

This ploy proved to bear fruit, this hunk of a man who stood tall like a real army officer received his certificate with a deafening applause. His tenacity and determination to succeed finally paid off, he remarked after the class picture taking.

Another new private, Arwin Bolito whose mom came from Barangay Molave, Zamboanga del Sur in Mindanao said his family has two soldiers, a father and a brother.

Another lad from Barangay Rawis, Can-avid, Eastern Samar, Efren Rebato was spotted by this writer posing with his parents and a younger sister, his mother was in tears as she herself felt the sacrifices her son endured just to pass the training.

Efren said he entered the army to help his family.

Tabaquero in his speech, urged the soldiers to struggle to move on to a higher rank. “You can not be a private forever,” said Tabaquero.

In his prayer, Fr. Vigo, the 8th ID Chaplain acknowledged how the trainees march, run, endure bad weather, go without sleep or food in the course of their training.

He implored the heavens to give the soldiers strength, commitment and determination to carry on the awesome responsibility of offering life and limb in the quest of an elusive peace.





Province releases P6M for early childhood care in 3 Eastern Samar towns

March 22, 2009

BORONGAN, Eastern Samar  –  The province of Eastern Samar through Governor Ben P. Evardone facilitated the release of P6 million to the towns of Guiuan, Borongan and Maydolong as part of the implementation of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) in the three pilot municipalities in the province.

Governor Evardone said that the funding will be utilized in the upgrading and rehabilitation of Day Care Centers and Barangay Health Centers, provision of medicines, provision of instructional materials, supplemental feeding and prenatal check-ups of pregnant women.

Also included in the program is the capability for service providers composed of day care workers, barangay health workers and barangay nutrition scholars.

According to Victoria Montilla, Assistant Provincial ECCD Officer, the program, which is being implemented in 9 pilot barangays, started in 2007 and will end this year. Montilla added that of the P22 million 3-year budget for the discharge of the program, 70 percent is being shouldered by PAGCOR while the remaining 30 percent is funded by the province and Local Government Units (LGUs).

Montilla, however disclosed that the implementation of the program started only during the third quarter of 2008 since funding started to arrive late already. She said she hopes the program will be extended for a year as there are still line activities that will be impossible to put into operation this year. “Even last year, the province just received P1,858,500,” she said referring to the initial funding the three towns accepted.

The provincial governor expressed optimism that the condition of the children from 0-6 years old in the province will improve as a result of the program. In a study of ECCD, 7 out 10 pregnancies are still considered high risk. Among 0-6 years of age, 40 die out of 1,000 before reaching the age of five. Malnutrition, poor respiratory conditions and diarrhea are the common causes of death among children.

“We are investing on children because they are our future,” Evardone expressed. “Besides they have the right to live and to live with modesty,” he continued.

Also benefitting the program of are soon-to-be mothers as study shows that the cycle of malnutrition begins with them. “If they are not given proper care, their babies will surely suffer the consequences,” Estelita Afable said in a statement.

On top of the funds released, the UNICEF also provided P1.2 million for the rehabilitation of Day Care Centers in Giporlos, MacArthur, Can-avid, Dolores, Arteche, San Poli, Maslog and Jipapad.

The province meanwhile spearheaded training on home-based ECCD to 90 parent-volunteers from the 3 pilot municipalities. It also conducted training on Pabasa sa Nutrisyon on 120 BHWs and BNSs.

“A workshop on computer literacy on members of ECCD team will also be initiated this coming week,” Montilla said.

Meanwhile, officials from the three pilot towns expressed praises to the province for devoting resources especially on early childhood care. “This program has significantly helped us in reducing malnutrition incidence in our municipality,” Mayor Fidel Anacta Jr. of Borongan disclosed. Mayors Annaliz Kwan and Daniel Baldono of Guiuan and Maydolong respectively hailed Gov. Evardone for giving attention to children through the ECCD.





NPA suffer another setback as one leader, 2 others surrender to 19th IB in Leyte

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
March 22, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The government scores anew in its campaign for the hinterlands to become insurgent-free, as one communist leader and two others surrendered to the operatives of the 19th Infantry Battalion based in Barangay Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte on March 15.

The surrenderees were identified as Luciano Casinilio Sr alias Olang/Ernie together with his son Luciano Casinilio Jr alias Titing, and one Allan Lumpay, all residents and native of Barangay Mataluto, Leyte, Leyte, 2Lt. Gabriel Aranez, public information officer said.

During the surrender, Olang brought along with him his issued cal.45 loaded with live ammunitions and also handed over subversive documents. The surrenderees also brought along their personal belongings like cellular phones and transistor radios.

It was learned that the surrender was negotiated through the efforts of the newly-installed Battalion Commander LtCol. Robert S. Capulong. It was reported that the three were visiting a friend at Barangay Camansi at Carigara, Leyte at around 8:30 in the evening of March 15 when the negotiation finally materialized.

Olang is reported to be an executive committee member of the remnants of Northern Leyte Front and the Vice Commander of the Mt. Amandewin Command while his son Titing is a member of the said front and Lumpay is among their contacts or supporters. They are operating in the hinter barangays of the Second and Third Districts of Leyte.

The NPA leader confessed, that for so many years he waited in vain, for the fulfillment of what was promised to them during their recruitment. However, all those remain as promises and mere “propaganda” of the NPA, the communist terrorist leader said.

The surrenderee said that poverty and revenge against abusive people were his main reason in joining the communist terrorists group. But these were not given justice. Instead, his and his companions’ lives became more miserable, transferring from one place to another, leaving their families in fear, wondering if they will ever come back alive.

The NPA leader said that especially nowadays when everybody is experiencing the effects of crisis, financial supports were also stopped by their supporters. Many of their leaders went “lie-low” and more so, the NPA leader said he envies the lives of those who surrenderred earlier who are now enjoying freely in the community, with livelihood to earn honest money.

Upon learning the government’s program for livelihood and other benefits, the NPA leader said, he decided to surrender together with his son and another supporter.

To show his sincerity in coming back into the folds of the government, the NPA leader said he is willing to cooperate with the Philippine Army.

Lt. Colonel Capulong who was installed as the new Commanding Officer of the 19th IB on March 6, 2009, said that the return into the folds of the law of the three communist terrorists, will contribute to the achievement of peace and development in the area.

With sustained programs being offered by the government to the repentant rebels and their supporters, Lt. Colonel Capulong expressed optimism that more NPAs will lay down their firearms and come back into the folds of the law and live a normal life in a free society.

Lt. Colonel Capulong underscored that the government is implementing programs that will reinvigorate the lives of those rebels who wish to come back into the folds of the law and live a normal and decent life.

One of these, he said, is the Social Integration Program (SIP) which is being implemented by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, wherein substantial benefits are given to former rebels, in the form of start-up capital for a gainful livelihood, to be able to start a new life.

The Provincial Government of Leyte under the leadership of Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, and the municipal government of Kananga under the leadership of Mayor Elmer Codilla, have their respective versions of programs that would help mainstream former rebels to the society, Lt. Colonel Capulong said.



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