In an interview with
local media on Tuesday, Hubilla said he is worried that a stark figure
of Samar is being portrayed in the national arena and that this may
pose a problem in investments.
He admitted however,
that he is alarmed over the shooting incidents in Calbayog City some
87 km north of Samar’s capital town of Catbalogan.
This problem has been
and is being addressed, the
PNP official stressed.
For one, he said that
out of the 25 shooting incidents; five has been resolved where cases
were filed in court, ten suspects have been identified and nine
probable witnesses have volunteered information.
An augmentation of PNP
force was also done with the deployment of a platoon size (35
elements) from the mobile group.
A Special Weapons and
Tactics (SWAT) training is also being done which will finalize on July
25; the same elements will be deployed to municipal police stations in
need. SWAT teams are highly trained in weaponry.
Hubilla stressed that
in Calbayog, civic groups and the church react to the spate of
killings and somehow this propels the public to volunteer information
that could lead to witnesses or suspects.
Provincial Officer Atty. Corazon Montallana also informed PIA that
reports coming from the 25 municipalities and one city as regards
peace and order have been satisfactory, for now. The lady lawyer said
her office requires Municipal Election Officers to report peace and
order situations monthly.
groundbreaking rites for concreting of interior provincial road
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
July 17, 2009
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – The momentum for cementing cross-country provincial
roads in mountain barangays of this city that would eventually connect
with the municipality of
has been underway.
Officials from the
city led by Mayor Maloney Samaco, from the province led by Board
Member Atty. Teopisto Rojas and Cesar Rey in behalf of Governor Damian
Mercado, Cong. Roger Mercado, and the DPWH headed by District Engineer
Carlos Veloso participated in the lowering of the time capsule at
barangay Acasia here this morning.
The event signaled the
construction of the
San Rafael, Maasin - Paku, Bontoc road, the initial phase of which
would cover the stretches from barangays Acasia, Baugo, and Lunas for
Maasin, and Anahao, Mahayahay, Paku, in the side of Bontoc town.
Rev. Fr. Roy Royeras
of Maasin Parish blessed the capsule and, by extension, the entire
project, before the gadget was formally lowered.
“We are witness to
history in the making,” said Cong. Roger Mercado, as various officials
took turns covering the hole with a ready mound of sand and gravel.
The project has an
appropriation of P36 Million for 2.6 kilometers of road concreting,
particularly the critical portions, said DPWH District Engr. Carlos
Work had started July
6 and would continue for 250 calendar days by EC Rivera Construction,
The entire length in
this segement of the interior highway linkking Maasin and Bontoc
through the mountains was estimated at about 30 kilometers.
At the neighboring
barangay Baugo auditorium where a brief program was held, Cong.
Mercado said another P60 Million allocation was in the pipeline to
continue the project, adding that he will request President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo to release the funds as soon as possible.
from his congressional fund were already set for Hantag-Matin-ao, P20
Million, and another P20 Million for the Bagtican-Lonoy-Malitbog
provincial roads concreting projects.
“We are privileged to
have worked on these projects during our lifetime,” Cong. Mercado said
as he stressed that the development would spur tourism, agriculture,
and environment in the province.
City Mayor Samaco said
that the entire stretch of the San Rafael-Paku Bontoc highway, when
finished, would cut by thirty minutes travel time for land-based
passengers from Panaon and the pacific area of the province to reach
Maasin City via this new roadway, no longer the traditional Bato
“This project is a big
help for the city of
Maasin,” Mayor Samaco declared.
Lines to ply Cebu-Calbayog route
By RON RICAFORT and NINFA QUIRANTE
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– A vessel from Cokaliong Shipping Lines based in
will soon be plying the Cebu-Calbayog route and vice versa three times
This was the news
borne by Calbayog City Mayor Mel Sarmiento after attending a
ceremonial ribbon-cutting that launched M/V Filipinas Ozamis in Cebu
City on July 11, 2009.
M/V Ozamis City is the
eighth ship of Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Inc.
According to Cokaliong
Shipping CEO Chester Cokaliong, the launching of the new vessel will
allow his company to serve
via the port of Manguino-o in Tinambacan District.
They will utilize the
M/V Filipinas Dinagat vessel which used to serve Iligan City. The ship
will soon ply the Calbayog-Cebu route three times weekly.
Mayor Mel Sarmiento
was in Cebu upon the invitation of the Cokaliong Shipping Lines.
The entry of a new
player in the Calbayog-Cebu route is a welcome news to many
Calbayognons. The City Government of Calbayog has invited the
Cokaliong group to serve the route way back in 2006.
Sarmiento joined the
other guests that included Inquirer Publications President Sandy
Prieto-Romualdez, Cokaliong Shipping CEO Chester Cokaliong, MARINA
Administrator Ma. Elena Bautista, Mrs. Gregoria Cokaliong,
Transportation Usec. Thompson Lantion, Cokaliong Shipping VP for
Marketing Lynee Cokaliong and Shell Philippines country manager Edgar
Number of A(H1N1)
positive in Region 8 reaches 103 count, a sign that the surveillance
system in Region 8 is working, DOH 8 says
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The number of A(H1N1) positive cases in Eastern Visayas has
reached the hundred mark, has affected about 19 schools in the Region
and is about to drain the P1Million funding of DOH.
Department of Health
Regional Director Edgardo Gonzaga informed the members of the local
media during the special Tuesday episode of Harampang Ha PIA, that the
number of A(H1N1) cases under observation, as of July 14, is now 256.
Of the 256 cases under
observation, about 211 have undergone swab test and have already
results while the results for the remaining 47 cases have not been
About 108 cases tested
were negative while 103 have been confirmed to be positive, Director
Gonzaga bared. All the 103 positive cases have already been given
medications, most of them are now being cared in their own respective
homes and only a few are at EVRMC and some other government and
Director Gonzaga added
that 19 schools in Region 8 have been affected by the novel virus.
Most of the schools are in Tacloban. Others are in
Eastern Samar particularly Guiuan and Borongan; in
Leyte, Samar and
Clustering has been
observed in several schools and the Department of Education, TESDA,
CHED and the Department of Health and the various local government
units concerned are now conducting monitoring, surveillance and
There is already an
outbreak or epidemic, Director Gonzaga said as he explained that there
is an outbreak or epidemic if the disease has never been identified
before and if there is an unusual increase in the number of cases.
The rising number of
cases does not mean that the government is a failure but it only shows
how effective the surveillance system in the Region is, Director
Gonzaga said. Because the various sectors are aware, they report to
DOH about such cases in their respective communities, the good
There is already a
community level transmission in Region 8 considering that about 80
percent of those affected are students in the elementary and
highschool. However, there has been patients who are college students
in medical school and one in a technical school.
“In fact the
youngest case was 10 months old child from Mexico, who was brought
home by his father right after medication,” Director Gonzaga informed.
The oldest on the other hand, was in the late 50s, he added.
Task Force 2010 Samar
all set for an information caravan
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
July 16, 2009
– Task Force 2010 Samar ll is all set to go
town-hopping on July 24, 2009 to campaign for voters registration this
coming election 2010.
Task Force 2010 held
their second meeting on Monday, July 13, 2009 at the St. Mary’s
College of Catbalogan.
The group has a multi-sectoral
representation initiated by the Social Action Center of the Diocese of
The group will start
from Basey and will motorcade from there, proceeding to Samar’s
capital town of Catbalogan and stopping for a few minutes in carline
municipalities like Calbiga, Hinabangan, Paranas, Motiong and Jiabong.
These are also called municipalities belonging to the second district
The motorcade will
culminate in a PRESS Conference to be held at the SMCC.
A separate group for
Samar’s first district from San Jorge to Calbayog was also organized,
according to lead convenor Fr. Cesar Aculan, chief of the Calbayog
Diocese Social Action Center (SAC).
Task Force 2010 is
concerned with the meager turn-out of new registrants. In the latest
data obtained from Samar’s COMELEC, a number of 2,095 are considered
According to a letter
coming from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP),
it is concerned that of the 8 million estimated new voters, barely
500,000 has registered all over the country.
Thus, Task Force 2010
was organized, to draft plans to increase the people’s awareness on
exercising their rights and responsibilities as voters.
Corazon Montallana, Provincial COMELEC said that although there is an
increase in the number of voters due to new registrants, there is also
some kind of deduction because of the continuing cleansing of the
voters list. The lady supervisor said that from her experience, the
number of voters could increase by only 6% and not necessarily 10%.
Another factor, she
added is that new registrants will wait for the deadline on October
30, 2009 wherein they will swarm the COMELEC offices.
So that Montallana
joins TF 2010 in urging the new voters, whether really new or
transferees to register today.
She assured the
presence of her COMELEC officers in their official stations on
weekdays and even on Saturdays.
Both TF 2010 and
COMELEC Samar have prepared leaflets in the Waray dialect urging
qualified voters to register.
urged the public that if they want change, they must vote, and they
should register and vote for someone they believe will really effect
multi-hazard map established
By ALICE NICART (PIA Eastern
July 16, 2009
Samar – People in the barangays will now have a better position and
direction in the event of storm surge, flooding, landslide or
earthquake, with the establishment of a multi-hazard map for Eastern
This was the assurance
said by Ms. Mylene Villegas of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology
and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in a press conference tendered at the Villa
Vicenta Hotel, Borongan City.
Villegas was a member
of the project Ready Team which recently conducted a multi-hazard
mapping in the various remote and coastal barangays of the province.
It was revealed in the
team’s study that barangays have diverse potential risk, thus, the
team followed shortly an awareness and information campaign for the
Ernesto Anacio of Canjaway, Borongan confirmed that his barangay is
vulnerable to Tsunami and landslides. But with the recent information
he got from the Ready Team’s information campaign, he is confident he
can guide his folks on better things during calamity in order to save
lives and properties of his neighbors.
Governor Ben Evardone
who visited the forum thanked the team which was headed by Dr. Cynthia
Calebre of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical
Services Administration (PAG-ASA).
He specially thanked
the team for coming up with the multi-hazard map which can be an
effective tool for disaster preparedness and even land use mapping.
But Evardone was
specially concerned on the already unpredictable weather, because
according to him this is the most affective problem in the province.
“Many of our folks are
fishermen, but it is sad to note that oftentimes they are not informed
about the onset of a typhoon until they go offshore,” Evardone raised
his concern. He appealed to the team for a more up-to-date weather
updates in order to prevent disasters on the part of the fishermen.
As he addressed the
barangay officials, he likewise urged them help in the zero management
of household wastes and heed to the change of climate as the main
reason of sudden occurrences of typhoons.
“Our weather is
very much unpredictable nowadays,” Evardone added. “Unlike before when
old folks could readily predict that it is going to rain heavily on
full moons, today it downpours almost all year round. In fact, it
rains during summers and rivers would dry up on wet seasons.
bilateral agricultural technology exchange with Taiwan’s Kaohsiung
Media Relations Center
July 15, 2009
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte
Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla said he is open to bilateral exchanges
in the field of agricultural technology with Taiwan’s Kaohsiung County
after the recent visit of Kaohsiung County Governor Chiu-Hsing Yang to
The governor said both
the Kaohsiung Country and Leyte province can benefit from exchanging
issues and practices concerning increased agricultural produce,
sustainable agriculture and even tourism agriculture.
Gov. Petilla, together
with Mandarin and Fookien interpreters were in a dinner together
recently at the Governor’s Hall of the Leyte Provincial Capitol.
“We are very much open
to the coming in of new-found and even long practiced technologies in
other countries that we see can help our local farmers to increase
their produce,” Gov. Petilla said.
Initially, it was
learned, a techno-demo farm would be established in Leyte that would
feature the agricultural technology to be introduced by the Taiwanese
It was learned earlier
through Kaohsiung County Gov. Chiu-Hsing Yang that Taiwan has its own
research and development agency where new technologies are being
developed to help the farmers improve their production.
“These are new
technologies that our own local farmers and growers can use and
improve from,” Gov. Petilla said.
In exchange, the
governor said, the province can provide their Taiwanese counterparts
its best practices and success stories in high value crop farming and
marketing the farmers’ produce.
This as it was learned
that although locally cultivated fruit and farm products are of high
quality, local farms in Kaohsiung often run into a bottleneck in
promoting exports of their products.
Fruits such as lychees,
diamond pineapple, black diamond wax-apples, red-meat papayas, milk
guavas, tropical peaches, red-meat prunes and large mangoes – a sample
of which were brought by the Taiwanese governor during his visit – are
among the cultivated fruit Kaohsiung County is producing in mass.
Yang said that partnership is being forged considering the proximity
of Kaoshiung to the Philippines and same climate condition.
Meanwhile, in addition
to producing a wide variety of fresh fruit, Taiwan is well-known for
its excellent fish farming technology,
Kaohsiung is a major
agricultural county, with 240,000 residents involved in agriculture
and 52,000 hectares of arable land.
NGO sought solon’s
approval harvest of timber, more private groups plant trees
By ERNA SY GORNE (PIA Southern
July 15, 2009
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – For having been acclaimed by the United Nations
Environment Program (UNEP) for his arduous tree planting programme in
the province, NGOs here also sought Congressman Roger G. Mercado’s
approval in cutting their timber despite their permission from the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The Young Innovators
For Social and Environmental Development Association (YISEDA), a
community based Forest Management Project in Sitio Canlugoc in
Barangay Lanao, Maasin City asked for the solon’s approval for the
harvest of their trees which were planted since 2000.
“For almost ten years
now since the 44 families in the community have planted trees, it is
just high time for the mature timber to be harvested. “ Congressman
Mercado said in an interview conducted.
He further said that
upon learning about the harvest, he made an ocular inspection at the
five hectares of timberland when he was asked of his approval.
The solon was also
surprised to learn that the Association have also established their
own nursery as one of their livelihood activities. That the nursery
was also prepared to replace their harvest with their own seedlings
grown in the locality.
It was also learned
that both the municipality and barangay will receive their share from
the proceeds of their harvest.
Cong. Mercado was glad
that there are also nurseries being established by the private sector,
namely the Bogo Women’s group, YiSEDA and a private-owned one in
Anahawan, this province.
He also mentioned
that there are also the presence of non-government organizations who
are concerned of the environment protection of the province like the
GTZed, PLAN International, Limasawa Development Foundation (LIDEF),
the Rural Development Institute and Coral Cay, an international
organization who cares for marine environment, among others.
Number of A(H1N1)
positive cases in Region 8 rises to 93 but situation under control,
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
number of A(H1N1) positive cases in
continues to rise and has reached the 93 count but the Department of
Health Region 8 Director Eduardo Gonzaga said that the situation
remains to be under control.
The official records
of the Department of Health Region 8 showed that the total number of
cases under observation is 232. The total number of cases with results
is 199. Of these cases, declared as positive are 93 in number, while
those declared as negative are 106 cases. The results of about 33
cases are still being awaited by the Department of Health.
Most of the cases
under observation are students in elementary and secondary level who
are enrolled in private and government schools in the Region.
Several schools in
Tacloban and in Eastern Samar have been suspended for 10 days because
of some students and teachers who showed symptoms of the novel
Classes in one school
have been suspended because 75 percent of the pupils have been absent.
Another school will start suspending classes on Monday because about 8
teachers and several students are sick and the school administration
does not want to risk the health of the rest of the students.
Department of Health has issued guidelines in the suspension of
classes, in the end, it will all depend on the discretion of the
school administrators, Director Gonzaga said.
The A(H1N1) virus will
affect anyone anywhere, even children of rich or poor parents. Even
the daughter of a local government executive has been tested positive
and the LGE is also showing symptoms and has been given chemotherapy,
Dir. Gonzaga confirmed.
What is important is
for the patients to come out in the open and subject themselves to
treatment which are being offered for free by the government.
Of course, the people
must also heed the proper hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquettes
which are being promoted by the Department of Health.
The A(H1N1) cases in
the Region are the mild ones and so the patients easily recover with
the assistance of the health workers.
Director Gonzaga added
that the local government units to facilitate the reactivation of the
barangay health emergency team in order to mitigate the impact of the
A(H1N1) in the Region.