Leyte tapped to host
TACLOBAN CITY – The
province of Leyte is tapped to host, yet again, another national
sporting event next year. This time through the National Private
Schools Athletic Association Meet set April of every year.
According to Leyte
Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, with the upgraded facilities of the
Leyte Sports Development Center, hosting national sports gathering
could become the main fare for the newly rehabilitated province-owned
“I have been told the
(PRISAA) board is tapping Leyte to host next year’s national PRISAA
Games. This is after the sports commission and education officials
have personally seen our own sports facilities here particularly the
Leyte Sports Development Center,” Gov. Petilla said.
Leyte would still put
forward its asset for hosting the game as being strategically located
and accessibility. With the province having just hosted the Palaro
2009, all the necessary facilities and accommodation for the athletes
and the sports events are already in place.
PRISAA is an
organization of private schools all over the country with a vision to
serve as a venue for sports, academic, and cultural development of the
Filipino youth. It developed several outstanding athletes who
represented the country in international competitions, which include
renowned sprinter Mona Soliman from Mindanao and shot put and discus
throw athlete Josephine dela Viña from the Visayas.
The Private Schools
Athletic Association is gearing up for bigger things next year as the
organization plans to broaden the participation of the private
school-based, multi-event meet.
At least 4,000
athletes, coaches, and officials from the country’s 17 regions
converge in the PRISAA National Games where the best collegiate
athletes from the country’s private schools compete in various sports
The PRISAAA sports
events include basketball, baseball, sepak takraw, softball, football,
volleyball, swimming, lawn tennis, table tennis, chess, taekwondo,
karatedo, judo, badminton, dancesport and vocal solo.
Last year, the PRISAA
National Games was hosted by
and this year by Naga City.
troop to Reg 8 as the 9th National Caving Congress commences
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – More
than 300 participants from the different caving clubs and
speleological societies from all over the country, and cavers from
Australia, United States, New Zealand, Hongkong, Great Britain and
Japan have started to arrive in Tacloban ready to troop to the Sohoton
Natural Bridge National Park on May 11-15, 2009 for the 9th National
Caving Congress, Department of Tourism Region 8 Director Karina Rosa
Tourism Secretary Ace
Durano is scheduled to arrive in Tacloban to grace the Opening
Ceremonies of the Caving Congress at
9:00 o’clock in the morning which will be held at the University of the
Philippines Tacloban campus.
After the Opening
Ceremonies, the participants and guests will motor to the municipality
of Basey where Secretary Durano formally launch the Eco Tourism
Livelihood Project of the Sohoton Services Association and will award
the financial assistance to the first six grantees of the DOT GREET
Program which is one of the components of President Arroyo’s CLEEP
Program aimed at mitigating the impact of the current global financial
From there, the Cavers
will proceed to the venue of the Caving Congress right there at the
Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park.
This year's Caving
Congress which is being hosted by the Department of Tourism together
with the local government of Basey, Samar and the Philippine
Speleological Society, will differ from that of the previous year
because DOT Secretary Ace Durano was keen on elevating it into
something with an international flavor, Director Tiopes said.
Thus, this year's
speakers include Professor Elery Hamilton Smith, chairman of the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the World
Commission on Protected Areas which approves world heritage sites.
Two other speakers who
were invited to the Congress are Mr. Pete Chandler, owner of
Spellbound Caving Tours in New Zealand; and Mr. Dave Smith of the
Department of Conservation, New Zealand.
They will be joined by
speakers from the University of the Philippines, Department of
Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Tourism, Bureau of
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Museum and Philippine Cave
The National Caving
Congress is an annual activity for all caving enthusiasts in the
country that advocates for the implementation of RA 9072 otherwise
known as the Caves and Cave Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
The event will serve
as an avenue to discuss issues and concerns on cave and cave resources
management. It hopes to underscore the importance of conserving cave
and karst resources; protecting access to caves; encourage responsible
management of caves and their unique environment; and promote
The caving congress
also aims to assess and strengthen the Regional Cave Committee of the
different regions in the country, to enhance caving methods and
adoption of international caving standards.
It also aims to orient
participants on the latest issuances on caves and cave resources
conservation and management and to strengthen the camaraderie between
the DENR personnel and the caving community.
Sohoton Natural Bridge
National Park is situated at Rawis, Brgy. Guirang, Basey, Samar
covering an approximate area of 840 hectares. Fascinating geological
features abound in the area of the national park such as caves, hugs,
limestone boulders, rockholes, weathered formation rocks and
The most prominent
assemblage in the park are the cathedral-like caves, which are the
Panhulugan I, and II, Sohoton and Bugosan. All the caves in the park
are endogen caves in angular limestone cliff, which support the base
of other crack system.
The Sohoton cave is a
cathedral-like dome with an entrance of a parabolic arch-type for
about fifty-meters high. It has a flat door area near the entrance,
about twenty (20) meters in width and fifty-meters in length. On its
ceiling hangs spike-shaped crystalline stalactites and rustic and
cavernous walls and stalagmites on the cave's floor. At the far end of
the cave are a prince-like window and a balcony overlooking the
natural swimming pool below.
Aside from the Sohoton
Cave, the participants will also have a chance to visit the
Caves of Calbiga, Samar, the 2nd Largest in East Asia Karsts
DOT going strong for
By Department of Tourism
May 10, 2009
MANILA – Preserving
natural sites may prove a tricky task for a vibrant tourism industry
willing and able to accommodate an increasing tourism influx.
Sohoton Natural Bridge in Basey, Samar (DOT
For Secretary Ace
Durano, however, striking the balance means continually promoting not
only tourist activity, but responsible travel through dialogue,
consistent training and active campaigns.
This May 11-15, 2009, the
Department of Tourism (DOT), through the 9th Philippine Cave Congress
in the island of Samar, aims to highlight the protection of natural
sites to address the issues on cave conservation and promote
eco-adventures in the region.
Together with the
Philippine Cave Guides Association, the Cave Congress is expected to
lure more than 400 spelunking enthusiasts from the United States,
Canada, Europe and Asia, along with the country’s premier caving
DOT firms up its
stance on ecotourism and responsible travel as the Department
continues to endorse projects such as the Cave Congress in
Durano further said,
“We are optimistic that this congress will promote sustainable
ecotourism that will benefit the local community and provide long-term
results, as well as bring about camaraderie among adventurers.”
fascinating geological features, the
Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park
at Basey, Samar, is filled with caves, limestone boulders, rockholes,
weathered formation rocks, and underground rivers.
Durano added, “Our
support in this event is our way of continually encouraging the
conservation of landscapes, rock formations, cultural and national
heritage; respecting the integrity of local cultures and avoiding
negative impacts on social structures.”
The event will be held
at the island of Samar, the third largest island in the country, and
home not only to the largest cave, but also the largest karst
formation in the
“Our country is known
for our rich natural resources that captivate tourists of different
nationalities; it is but appropriate that Filipinos develop the same
awe and appreciation, for then follows the responsiveness and
concern,” Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions said.
Jarque added, “The
continues to generate interest among tourists. It is just fitting
that this site becomes the focal point of the Cave Congress.”
Director of Tourism Development Planning said, “The organizers took
particular care in selecting the speakers and panelists for the
congress; all are respected figures from the academe and experts in
Included in the list
are Prof. Elery Hamilton Smith from Australia, Chairman of the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the World
Commission on Protected Areas; Dave Smith, Biodiversity program
manager, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation; and Pete Chandlier,
owner of one of the most successful cave tourism outfits in New
Director Karina Rosa Tiopes noted, “The Department is supportive of
this initiative as this would not only help showcase the natural
beauty of the region, but more importantly, help preserve the natural
Tiopes said that the
region’s caves, particularly the
Sohoton National Park,
are enjoying a relative good number of visitors. For the past years,
Sohoton has become the top attraction of the town of Basey. In 2008,
over 2,000 tourists, both local and foreign, went to the National Park
for the same period.
Related articles: 2009
National Caving Congress puts Region 8 on focus
Region 8 Oplan Red
Plate takes off, 85 spotted
By Jonnie H. Buenaventura (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Region 8 Oplan Red Plate started its operation on Saturday
May 09, 2009,
on the look out for red plated vehicles which are illegally used.
The office of the
Ombudsman for the Visayas as lead agency in the anti-graft effort,
fielded two anti-graft in the person of Engr. Roderick Blazo and Elmer
Gutierrez, together with the members of the Philippine National Police
(PNP), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine Information
Agency (PIA), armed with data capturing machine to know the real
identity of the government owned vehicle and to established
substantial evidence that will support filing of necessary actions for
The Task Force Oplan
Red Plate formed two teams. Team-A lead by Anti-Graft Investigator
Engr. Roderick Blazo which operated within the downtown area going to
Babatngon, Leyte was able to document 34 government vehicles being
used without corresponding trip tickets to show whether they are being
used on official business.
The Oplan Red Plate
team A informed that one government vehicle was driven by the son of a
government official who is not a government employee and not the
authorized driver of the vehicle. Others apprehended were used for
shopping while others were used in attending fiesta as it was learned
that May 9 is the fiesta in Babatngon, Leyte.
Team-B, on the other
hand which was lead by Elmer Gutierrez, Anti-Graft Investigator,
operated within downtown area going to Tolosa,
Leyte and was
able to document 37 government vehicles used without trip ticket.
One government owned
vehicle was being used in the procurement of construction materials in
downtown area Tacloban City when the task force spotted it. The
vehicle was accompanied by a barangay councilor in one of the local
government units in Leyte and the vehicle was bearing an expired
registration. Other government vehicles spotted by Team B were being
used for shopping and for attending the fiesta in Tolosa, Leyte.
It was also known from
the two anti-graft investigators, Engr. Roderick Blaza and Elmer
Gutierrez from the office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas that while
traveling from Ormoc City going to Tacloban City to lead in the first
surprise operation of the task force in Region 8, they documented
fourteen traveling government vehicles.
Investigator Guttierrez said that the 85 government vehicles which
were spotted and documented by the Oplan Red Plate Task Force will be
subjected to verification and upon completion of the necessary
documents, the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas will write the
respondent officials, drivers and passengers to show cause why the
government owned vehicle memorandum receipted to them was used without
corresponding trip tickets and not used for official business, only as
a matter of due process.
After the respondent
answers, the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas will form a fact-finding
team which will determine if there is probable cause that will warrant
the filing of a criminal and administrative case.
informed that the respondent is not allowed to file motion to dismiss
as a mode of dilatory tactics but they should answer within the
reglamentary period as determined by the investigator.
It will be very hard
for the respondent to make an alibi for this case because the
government vehicle has been spotted and properly documented according
to the acts committed, said Gutierrez.
The public who
witnessed the operation showed support for they will now see that
their tax will not be wasted anymore by few corrupt officials in the
Chiz: No one should be
arrested for vagrancy
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY – Senator Chiz Escudero on Friday said the Senate has approved on third reading
a measure that would strike out vagrancy in the list of petty offenses
in our criminal code.
Escudero said Senate
Bill 1965 seeks to amend Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code, which
penalizes vagrancy and prostitution. It removes the term vagrancy and
its description in the law which imposes a jail sentence of one day to
30 days or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.
“Today’s vagrants are
mostly victims of circumstance and the inequities in society. Our laws
must march in step with times. It is time to strike out this anti-poor
provision from our code of crimes,” he said.
Escudero said SB 1965,
which is a consolidation of bills filed by him and two other senators,
was approved by the Committees on Justice and Human Rights and on
Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws.
The senator, who
chairs both committees, said if the bill becomes law, it would also
decongest court dockets and allow law enforcement officers to pay more
attention to graver offenses, thereby improving the administration of
justice in the country.
“It also seeks to give
a more humane countenance on our justice system, which prioritizes the
rehabilitation of the offender and acknowledges the value of every
human life,” he said.
Northern Samar is
first EV province to inaugurate citizens' charter
By TERESITA B. CARDENAS (PIA Northern
May 9, 2009
Samar – The province of Northern Samar became the first province to
inaugurate the Citizens' Charter during the Cutting of the “Red Tape”
program which was held Thursday at Ibabao Hall, Capitol Building,
Catarman, Northern Samar. The inauguration was led by Assistant
Commissioner Anicia M. De Lima of the Civil Service Commission.
In her keynote
address, De Lima said that the Citizens' Charter is an official
document, a service standard, or a pledge that communicates, in simple
terms, information on the services provided by the government to its
citizens. It describes the step by step procedure for availing a
particular service, and the guaranteed performance level that clients
may expect for that service.
Moreover she said that
the head office or the agency shall be primarily responsible for the
implementation of this Act and shall be held accountable to the public
in rendering fast, efficient, convenient and reliable service. All
transactions and processes are deemed to have been made with the
permission or clearance from the highest authority having jurisdiction
over the government office or agency concerned.
After compliance with
the substantive and procedural due process, those who violate the law
may be found guilty of a light or grave offense with penalties ranging
from thirty days suspension without pay and mandatory attendance in
the Value Orientation Program; up to dismissal and perpetual
disqualification from public service.
During the program,
Governor Raul A. Daza was awarded a Plaque of Commendation for being
the first province in region 8 to have drafted, crafted and
inaugurated its Citizens' Charter pursuant to the mandate of Republic
Act. No. 9486 otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. The
province then became a showcase in Eastern Visayas Region that
demonstrated a high sense of dedication and commitment to uphold the
standards of service delivery to the people of Northern Samar which
serves as an inspiration to other agencies.
The award was given by
no less than the CSC Assistant Commissioner Anicia M. De Lima. Also
CSC Region 8 Regional Director David E. Cabanag, Director
Marilyn Taldo, Samar
CSC Director Michael M. Dela Cruz,
Northern Samar, CSC
Director Rey Albert Uy and OIC Director Emmanuel Fuentes of
The top 24 services
of the Citizen’s Charter of the province have been identified as
follows: the Equipment Support Services; Technical Assistance to LGU’s,
NGAs and other PGNS office; Processing of Tax Declaration for
updating, review and approval by the Provincial Assessor/Asst.
Provincial Assessor; Issuance of Certification of Landholdings/No
landholding and certified true copy of tax declarations; relief
distribution; augmentation services for food for school program 4Ps/KALAHI
CIDSS/CWC 7 other National Projects; Social Protection; Provincial
Education Assistance Program (PEAP); Provision of Farm Machineries;
Provide Technical Assistance on Crop Fisheries, Livestock Production
and Farm Mechanization; Animal Treatment Vaccination/Deworming;
Cattle/ Swine Dispersal; Fishery Quarantine Services; Render Legal
Opinion; Issuance of Certification of Employment; Issuance of Service
Record; Authentication of Documents; Emergency Room Laboratory
Request; Visitors Guests Safety and Security; Processing of Purchase
Request & Procurement Reimbursement; Social Amelioration Program;
Receipt of Municipal Ordinances and Resolutions for review; Issuance
of designation and detail orders; Getting a copy of Annual
Accomplishment Report, Municipal Profiles, Project Status Report,
Technical Assistance to LGU, NGA, and other PGNS Offices.
PGMA’s “One Town One
Scholar” Program makes pedicab driver and son cry
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
– A pedicab driver and his son shed tears upon being told that the
son is among the first set of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s “One
Town One Scholar” Program.
Arroyo shakes hands with Mayor Roque Tiu of Tanauan, Leyte, during
the ceremonial awarding of the scholarship certificates for some
1,500 One Town One Scholar Program for 2009-2010.
“I was anxious when a
neighbor told me last night that my son Argie and I are being
requested by the Mayor to see him at
8:00 o’clock in the morning today,” Mr. Mabag, a pedicab driver from
At exactly 8:00
o’clock in the morning, Mr. Mabag and his son Argie were at Mayor
Roque Tiu’s office.
Mayor Tiu then told
the father and son that Argie’s application to be a “One Town One
Scholar” has been approved by CHED and that the Mayor will accompany
him to Manila to receive the scholarship certificate from no less than
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Malacanang Palace.
“I was shocked and at
the same time surprised to see they shed tears,” Mayor Tiu said
confiding that he was taken aback at the reaction of the father and
He said that CHED
Region 8 called him up early evening of Monday informing him that
Tanauan’s “One Town One Scholar” will represent Region 8 in the
awarding of scholarship certificates at Malacanang on Wednesday, May
Mayor Tiu who just
bought a ticket to Manila for Thursday May 7, immediately called up
the ticketing office to change his flight date and bought another
ticket for Argie.
“I never expected to
be able to pursue a college education,” Argie said. “Thanks to
President Gloria, my dream to become a professional so that I could
help improve the economic standing of my family will be realized,”
Argie said crying.
Admitting he has never
been to Manila, Argie said he is not afraid because he will be with
the Mayor. He is excited to see President Arroyo at Malacanang, he
Argie said he learned
about the “One Town One Scholar” program of President Arroyo from
Mayor Tiu during the graduation exercises last March.
Knowing that his
parents cannot afford to send him to college because his father is
just a tricycle driver who every now and then would cook bread and
native delicacies to augment the family income, Argie wrote an
application letter and he took the written exam given by the local
Argie, who graduated
as an honorable mention in his class, the first batch of graduates
from the Cabuynan Annex of the
Tanauan National High
School, topped the written exams and interview conducted by the LGU,
together with an equally bright student from his school.
Mayor Tiu said that
after he recommended Argie to CHED, he decided to take in the other
bright student applicant as a scholar of the Local Government Unit.
As a PGMA’s “One
Town One Scholar” grantee, Argie will receive a scholarship for a four
or five year college degree program, including free tuition and
transportation and living allowances, not exceeding P15,000 per
semester for School Year 2009-2010 and every year thereafter.
After Palaro, Leyte is
being eyed for PRISAA 2010
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
After the successful hosting of the Palarong Pambansa 2009, Leyte is
now being eyed as the venue of the next Private Schools Athletic
Association or PRISAA National Games.
2010 National PRISAA Games venue?
This was disclosed by
Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla during the Appreciation Program
for the 2009 Palarong Pambansa Executive and Working Committees.
Governor Petilla said
that he was informed about the choice of
Leyte as the venue of the PRISAA national games, this time even
without the Province bidding for the hosting.
Dr. Edward Chua of
Asian Development Foundation College confirmed that the Leyte Sports
Development Center in the province of Leyte will be the venue of the
next Annual PRISAA National Games or in the Annual CHED National
This is a happy note
that people are starting to realize the value of the modernized Leyte
Sports Development Center.
The private sector
agrees that the hosting of the Palaro at the LSDC indeed brought in
tourists to the Region and provided good business to the local
In fact, many local
investors are predicting that
Leyte will become
the athletic destination.
Be that as it may,
Governor Petilla is determined to make full use of the new facilities
to develop good athletes not only for Leyte but for the entire Region
In related note, the
National Convention of the Philippine Dental Society is scheduled to
be held at the MacArthur Park Beach Resort at Palo,
Leyte on May 16.
PGMA announces release
of about P102 M royalty shares to geothermal power host LGUs in Leyte
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
royalty shares of the local government units where the sources of the
geothermal power generation have been determined and will soon be
released, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced on April 28,
during the one on one regional media interview after the
groundbreaking of the new airport terminal building, a component of
the Tacloban Airport Development Project.
The President then
acknowledged Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya saying
that the DBM has computed royalty tax shares which will be released to
the host local government units.
The province of Leyte
will receive P4,101,338 for 2007 and P17,616,006.80 for the year 2008.
The municipality of
Kananga will receive the royalty tax share of P6,280,921 for the year
2007 and P26,173,490.40 for 2008 while Ormoc City will receive
P2,947,090 and P13,462,524 for 2007 and 2008 respectively.
For the host barangays,
a royalty share of P4,729,204 and P19,817,809 for 2007 and 2008 will
be given to Barangay Lim-ao and Barangay Rizal and another P155,956
and P539,349 for Barangay Tongonan in Kananga town.
Barangay Tongonan and
Barangay Tongonan/Lake Danao will receive P1,177,978 and P1,114, 203
for 2007 while for 2008, the amount of 9,209,651 and 1,251,201 will be
President Arroyo said
that the delay in the release of the royalty shares to geothermal host
LGUs surfaced after the then Philippine National Oil Company-Energy
Development Corporation was formally privatized.
Prior to this, the
then PNOC-EDC had remitted the royalty tax shares directly to the host
LGUs but after its privatization, the same have to be coursed through
several government agencies.
To recall, President
Arroyo had earlier ordered the Department of Energy (DoE), Department
of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DoF) and the
Department of Interior and Local Government work on the computation of
the royalty shares and have these released at the soonest possible
time to the LGUs that play host to the country’s geothermal power
Gov’t aids 109 former
rebels to live as peaceful, productive citizens
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – Bent
on helping former rebels go back to mainstream society and live as
peaceful and productive citizens, the government through the Office of
the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Office
of the Governor of Leyte awarded socio economic assistance to 109
former rebels from the hinterland municipalities of Mahaplag, Inopacan,
Hindang, Hilongos, Matalom, Jaro, Lapaz, Dagami and Burauen, all in
the province of Leyte.
The 109 former rebels
have been reintegrated into the mainstream society before the Social
Integration Program of the Arroyo Administration was created on March
23, 2007, but they are still entitled to government assistance, 1Lt.
Noli de Lago, information officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion of
the 8th Infantry Division, said.
During the awarding of
socio economic assistance held on April 29, 2009 at the Hilongos Gym
in Hilongos, Leyte, each of the 109 former rebels received P20,000
cash assistance from President Arroyo thru the OPAPP and P10,000 worth
of assorted grocery items from Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and the
Provincial Government of Leyte.
The awarding of socio
economic assistance is a manifestation of the sincerity of the
leadership of the government in pursuing peace thru the implementation
of reconciliation, reintegration into mainstream society, and
Aside from the cash
assistance, the government have facilitated the conduct of a series of
lectures regarding entrepreneurship and introduction to organic
farming, hog raising, goat dispersal, cattle management and technical
education and skills, by the office of the Leyte Provincial
Agriculturist, the Department of Agrarian Reform and TESDA, in
preparation for the rebel returnees’ going back to the mainstream
The awarding was
attended by OPAPP Undersecretary Pundato Dimasangkay, former Baybay
Mayor Jose Carlos L. Cari who is the chairman of Leyte Social
Integration Committee and who is representing Governor Petilla, Board
Member Rolando Piamonte Sr. Vice chairman of LSIC, Hilongos Mayor
Panfilo Go, Mrs. Clotilde Malatbalat who is the Leyte Provincial
Social Welfare and Development Officer, Ms. Gwyndolyn Malate, Leyte
Social Worker, Col. Allan Martin who is the Deputy Brigade Commander
of the 802 Brigade and Lt. Col. Roberto S. Capulong, commanding
officer of the 19th Infantry Battalion.
In line with its
inherent function, the 19th Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Roberto
S. Capulong, plays a vital role in the newly created Leyte Social
Integration Committee under the National Committee on Social
Integration of OPAPP pursuant to Administrative Order No. 172, in
attaining a common goal of ensuring the efficient implementation of
Leyte Social Integration Plan in pursuit of a peaceful and developed
province of Leyte.