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Leyte legislators to conduct media interaction after every session

Leyte SP passes resolution to postpone Barangay, SK elections

Calbayog Mayor assumes office, vows rewards for good performance, mulls hospital construction

New Samar Governor vows to govern with transparency

All 2010 Pintados-Kasadyaan Fest tribes qualify in Aliwan Fest

Police nabs Gandara, Samar’s wanted person

DENR 8 prioritizes rehabilitation of 9 critical watershed areas in East Visayas

Barangay agent from North Samar turns over 71/2 kilos of suspected cocaine bricks to police

Zumarraganhons warmly welcomes Chief PNP in their island and in their home

Call for Subiran Regatta 2010 participants





Samar Vice-Governor welcomes NNC, vows support to the nutrition program

July 22, 2010

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  Samar’s youthful Vice-Governor Stephen Tan on Wednesday welcomed the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Team led by Regional Nutrition Coordinator Carina Santiago.

Tan stayed on the whole thematic seminar in complementary feeding, awarded certificates to graduates of the Max Nutrition Scholar-on-the-Air, inducted the officers of the Federated Municipal Nutrition Action Officers (MNAOs), Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs) and gamely posed for pictures with the participants and answered question posed by the local media.

“I requested the participants to submit their programs and proposals about health and nutrition for funding to the Governor,” the young Tan told the local media.

The vide-governor also expressed sadness over the malnutrition prevalence of his province and vowed to support projects that may change the situation.

Tan also expressed that he really needs the support of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to approve the budget so that his sister Governor Sharee Ann Tan could take the bold steps to better the health and nutrition situation.

Samar province has registered the highest percentage of malnourished children aged one month to six years old.

Among the cities in the region, Catbalogan City has 21.3% prevalence of malnutrition while Calbayog City has 18.7% based on data given by the National Statistics Office (NSO) from NNC.  (PIA-Samar)

2008 top 10 cities & municipalities with highest prevalence of malnutrition (Pre-schoolers)

Region Province City / Municipality % Malnutrition Prevalence Rank
VIII Northern Samar Lao-ang 36.78 1
VIII Samar Pagsanghan 36.75 2
CAR Abra San Juan 36.01 3
VIII Samar Tarangnan 35.57 4
V Camarines Sur Gainza 35.16 5
V Camarines Sur Cabusao 34.96 6
CARAGA Surigao del Sur Marihatag 34.01 7
VIII Samar Sta. Rita 33.80 8
VIII Leyte Sta. Fe 33.65 9
V Camarines Sur Presentacion 33.38 10





PCSO donates news ambulance van to Saint Bernard town

July 22, 2010

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) donated to the municipality of Saint Bernard, this province a brand new 2010 Foton View 4x2 ambulance van in cooperation with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), Municipal Tourism Officer Jane Araneta in a press release sent to PIA reported.

Saint Bernard was the third recipient of the said ambulance throughout the Philippines, though Araneta, the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council Public Information Chairman did not mention the two provinces who were also recipients of the same vehicle.

“Through the tireless efforts of St. Bernard Mayor Rico Rentuza and his desire to improve the delivery of basic services, eventually, the town was one of the recipients of the ambulance from PCSO,” Araneta disclosed.

Meanwhile, another donated service vehicle, a multi-cab van was also received through Mayor Rentuza, intended for the municipality’s Land-Use Based Barangay Development Planning project. The funding of the vehicle was made possible through the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), a German-government organization here, Araneta further reported.

The PCSO, in adherence to its main thrust of providing funds for health programs and other charities is engage in various social welfare and development programs. One of which is the ambulance donation program, not to mention other assistance such as the health care program, individual medical assistance program, community outreach program, national calamity and disaster program, hospital renovation and improvement of health care facilities, to name a few.

A joint blessing of the two vehicles transpired, Monday at Saint Isidore Parish grounds, in Saint Bernard, officiated by Fr. Eufemio Gohetia and attended by Mayor Rentuza, Sangguniang Bayan members and the public.  (PIA Southern Leyte)





More cocaine worth P20 million found in Eastern Samar

July 21, 2010

CAMP RUPERTO KANGLEON, Palo, Leyte  –  PCSUPT Rey Laquihon Lañada, PNP8 Regional Director, assured on Tuesday that the police in Eastern Visayas will be giving monetary reward plus a sack of rice from the PhilippinesDrugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA8) for every brick of cocaine turned over to the PNP.

This developed after the ongoing monitoring and search operation of the composite team recovered on July 19, 2010 at about 2:25 in the afternoon four (4) bricks of cocaine at the island barangay of Divinubo, Borongan City.

The police authorities are not discounting the belief that more cocaine bricks might still be drifting in the sea along the coastal towns of Eastern Samar province.

With this, Director Lañada revealed that the ongoing monitoring being conducted by the members of the Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, the Regional Intelligence division of PRO8, the Team of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Borongan City Police Station led by PSupt. Rose Mambulao and 14 PNCOs resulted in the voluntary surrender four bricks of high-grade cocaine by brothers Roberto and Dominador Azul of Divinubo Island.  They received on-the-spot cash reward of P4,000 from the mayor of Borongan City plus P1,000 per brick from AIDSOFT.

The surrendered cocaine bricks are now under the custody of PRO8 for proper turn over to the PNP Crime Laboratory.

Once more, PNP8 Regional Director Lañada is appealing to the people of Eastern Visayas to turn over any cocaine brick in their possession to the PNP or the PDEA, or they will face charges for possession of illegal drugs, which carry a penalty of life imprisonment.  (with report from PSupt Manuel Enage Cubillo)





St. Bernard mayor attends 2nd Gawad Kalinga global summit 2024 in Singapore

July 21, 2010

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte  –  Once again, St. Bernard town Mayor Rico Rentuza was invited to be a presenter in the 2nd Gawad Kalinga Global Summit 2024 held in Singapore, June 25-27, 2010.  The 1st Gawad Kalinga Global Summit 2024 where he was also guest presenter was held at Boston, Massachusetts, last June 12-14, 2009, Jane Araneta reported in a press release sent to PIA.

Municipal Tourism Officer Araneta disclosed that because of Mayor Rentuza’s performance and accomplishments through good governance, Saint Bernard is continuously in the center of global forums. “This year, the young mayor was invited as a presenter to the Gawad Kalinga Global Summit 2024 at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Center in Singapore.  He was invited by Gawad Kalinga Founder and Chairman of the Board Tony Meloto," Araneta revealed.

The session focused on the power of synergy between public and private sector, and featured GK’s revolutionary partnerships that brought together the best minds and talents to build good governance from ground group, and built slum-free and sustainable communities, Araneta noted.

During Mayor Rentuza’s presentation, he emphasized the value and necessity of the full support of all stakeholders involved in their intent for community development, specifically the issues relevant to the GK Fisherman’s Village in Saint Bernard.  The mayor also characterized the struggle in order to realize the noble purpose of the project and to defeat the odds of the self-interest of the few, the report disclosed.

The GK Global Summit in Singapore was a gathering of partners and advocates, beneficiaries and caretaker teams, of the rich and the poor, who want to make a positive difference in society today, Araneta said.  It brings hope and aspirations for the next generation that they will be able to live in a poverty-free world.

Themed as “Icon of Hope against poverty,” the global summit showcased Asian model against poverty through partnership, innovation, education and research. It was co-hosted by the School of Humanities of Ngee Ann Polytechnic and the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philantrophy of the National University of Singapore.  (PIA Southern Leyte)





Governor Nicart orders clean-up drive in hospitals

July 21, 2010

BORONGAN CITY  –  True to one of the commitments he articulated in his inaugural address, to primarily focus on health, Eastern Samar Governor Conrado B. Nicart, Jr., ordered recently the total clean-up of all hospitals in the province.

In his first visit to the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital (ESPH) in the city of Borongan, the Governor noted the urgent need for a total clean-up of its toilets and cutting off the grasses along the surroundings.

He also noticed that most of the hospital toilets need repairs and bulks of trashes and waste materials all around had to be disposed.

“Can you just imagine trashcans which were filled up to the brim with old-stocked piles of wastes had to be backhoed?”, Nicart  said exasperatingly in an interview.

The Chief Executive reminded the health officials and personnel that foremost in health care is cleanliness.

“With the many Dengue cases reported, some are death, it is high time that we take the matter on cleanliness as a primordial concern, other than other administration given to the patient in order to combat the disease,” he added.

He also said, that after he ordered some health officials at the PHO, he expects a close monitoring and supervision of all hospitals and a periodic reporting to him of their findings.

He also committed to himself to personally inspect the provincial hospital on a weekly basis.

In Balangiga, Gov. Nicart likewise noted that the Albino Duran Memorial Hospital is not very conducive for patients to stay a while, as medical interventions are being administered to them.

“The rooms are not well ventilated and are very hot, which is short to say, far for a patient’s little comfort and immediate recovery,” Nicart commented.

Because of this current condition, he pledged to do something with the Balangiga Hospital in order to improve its ventilation and basic facilities.  (PIA-Eastern Samar)





Filipino nurses seeking US jobs fell by one-third in first sem; RP now UK's 3rd biggest supplier of foreign nurses

July 19, 2010

MANILA  –  The number of Filipino nurses seeking to practice their profession in America fell by one-third in the first semester compared to a year ago, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) reported Sunday.

TUCP secretary-general and former Senator Ernesto Herrera said only 5,553 Filipino nurses took the NCLEX for the first time from January to June, down 2,719 or 33 percent from 8,272 in the same period of 2009.

The NCLEX refers to the licensure examination administered by the US National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc.

The number of Filipino nurses taking the NCLEX for the first time is a reliable indicator as to how many of them are trying to enter the profession in the US, according to Herrera, former chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development.

Manila-based labor recruitment agencies previously reported that more Filipino nurses are now leaving for the United Kingdom than those going to the US.

"Filipino nurses and other highly skilled professionals will go to foreign labor markets where it is easier for them to enter and work, and where they will get the best reward in terms of pay and other benefits," Herrera pointed out.

"Depending on their personal circumstances, professional qualifications and the job offers they've received, some Filipino nurses find it easier to work in the America, while others prefer to be employed in the UK, Saudi Arabia or elsewhere," Herrera said.

"But there is no question, that in absolute terms more Filipino nurses are still seeking employment in the US than elsewhere. This is primarily due to our strong cultural attachment to America," Herrera said.

He said many Filipino nurses still favor America simply because they already have family members there ready to support them.

He said the Philippines is still America's biggest supplier of foreign nurses, followed by India, South Korea, Canada and Puerto Rico.

"The two biggest suppliers of foreign nurses in the UK are actually India and Australia, which is not surprising since both are former British territories. After them, the Philippines is now Britain's third biggest supplier of foreign nurses," Herrera said, citing statistics from the UK's Nursing and Midwifery Council.

A total of 15,382 Filipino nurses took the NCLEX for the first time in the whole of 2009, down 5,364 or 26 percent from 20,746 in 2008.

In 2007, a total of 21,499 Filipino nurses took the NCLEX for the first time, up 6,328 or 42 percent from 15,171 in 2006. The 2006 figures were up 65 percent or 5,990 compared to the 9,181 Filipino nurses that took the NCLEX for the first time in 2005.

All told, some 82,000 Filipino nurses took the NCLEX for the first time over the last five years.





Region 8 police recovers 9 more cocaine bricks in Eastern Samar

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 18, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Amid continuing efforts to recover the rest of the 1.5 tons of cocaine dropped in the waters of Eastern Samar in December 2009, the Philippine National Police in Region 8 has recovered nine (9) more kilos of cocaine in Eastern Samar.

Police Regional Office 8 Director Chief Superintendent Rey Lañada disclosed that at 6:00 o’clock in the evening of July 15, 2010, a certain Gregorio Gabilan, 44, married, of Barangay Alugan, San Policarpo, Eastern Samar surrendered 6 cocaine bricks to the San Policarpo Municipal Police Station.

Directo Lañada added that another fisherman named Wenceslao del Monte, of legal age, married and a resident of Barangay Cahagwayan of the same town, turned over another three (3) kilos of cocaine bricks to the local police station.

The surrender of the said illegal drugs was made through the joint efforts of the Easter Samar Police Provincial Office Intelligence and Investigation Section, and the San Policarpo Municipal Police Station.

General Lañada said the drugs were temporarily placed in the safekeeping of the local police pending their transfer to the custody of the Eastern Samar Provincial Police Office.

Furthermore, Director Lañada said that the composite team continues to conduct search activities for more cocaine bricks in the coastal town of Eastern Samar.

The team is not discounting the possibility that more cocaine bricks might have been washed ashore or still drifting in the sea along the coastal municipalities of Eastern Samar.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force commander Deputy Director General Edgardo E. Acuña said more anti-narcotics agents and drug-sniffing dogs were sent to Eastern Samar to search for the missing bulk of the smuggled cocaine.

He said PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa instructed him to supervise “Oplan: Samar Bricks” in coordination with the PRO8 and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency under Senior Undersecretary Dionisio Santiago.

PNP-AIDSOTF and PRO8 operatives have so far arrested six local residents and seized 33 kilos of cocaine worth P155 million in a string of anti-narcotics operation since last June 27.





Herrera urges Lacson to bare true state of GSIS foreign investments

July 18, 2010

MANILA  –  Former Sen. Ernesto Herrera has urged the new chairman of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Daniel "Bitay" Lacson, to immediately ascertain and then fully disclose to the public the true condition of the pension fund's $565-million Global Investment Program (GIP).

"GSIS members have no idea whether the GIP has been making or losing money, and to what extent it has been generating gains or incurring losses," said Herrera, secretary-general of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

"Over the last two years, the global financial markets have been highly turbulent. We reckon the GIP has been shaken by the turmoil," said Herrera, former chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development.

President Aquino earlier said that in all the areas where he campaigned, retired government employees, mostly former public school teachers, kept asking him where their GSIS pensions went.

"So I want to know the condition of GSIS. I don't agree with the explanation that it has failed to service its members because of computer glitches," Aquino said Thursday, when he named Lacson as the pension fund's new chairman.

Herrera said he could not agree more with the President. "When retirees don't get their pension on time, they don't care about the excuses for the delay. They will simply suspect that their pensions have been stolen one way or the other. Or that GSIS does not have the money, and is simply stalling payments," he said.

"After all, if you have a duty to pay a monthly pension, and you have the money to pay it, you will find a way to make the payment, regardless of any defects in the system," Herrera added.

Lacson should also find out and then reveal to the public the management fees being paid by GSIS to Credit Agricole Asset Management Ltd. and ING Investment Management for overseeing the GIP, Herrera said.

Winston Garcia, erstwhile president and general manager of GSIS, claimed early on that the GIP had a guaranteed eight-percent annual return on investment. Later, he said the GIP was expected to generate a five-percent yearly return.

However, Herrera said a five-percent return "might be barely enough to pay for the investment management fees due Credit Agricole and ING, plus the custodian fees due Citibank, N.A., all of whom are presumably getting paid, whether the GIP is making or losing money."

GSIS launched the GIP in April 2008. Under pressure from TUCP and members of the Senate, GSIS eventually published a summary of the GIP in newspaper advertisements in October that year.

GSIS then declared P10.456 billion worth of investments in "global fixed income" instruments, P4.127 billion in "global equities," P3.08 billion in "global property securities" and P8.875 billion in "cash, short-term notes and other investments."

GSIS did not provide the exact stakes it had in every type of instrument, despite TUCP's plea to post the details on the pension fund's website, to include the exact amounts invested in every bond, note, common stock and currency swap, at cost.

The pension fund simply indicated that some 40 percent of the GIP was invested in fixed-income instruments, including sovereign bonds or treasury notes issued by the governments of the United States, Germany, Canada, France, Japan, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

It also implied that some 15 percent of the GIP was invested in common stocks of publicly traded foreign equities, 11 percent in property securities and 34 percent in cash, short-term notes and other investments, including currency swaps.

The GIP included a large exposure in the common stocks of foreign banks, including American, European and Asian financial institutions, many of which have been badly beaten by the global financial crisis.

Herrera urged GSIS under Lacson's leadership to follow the example set by the world's largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).

He said CalPERS reports on its website the exact number of shares of stock that it holds, including the acquisition cost of every lot of stock, whether US or foreign stocks. He said CalPERS also posts on its website the aggregate daily market value of its investment portfolio, for all to see.

"CalPERS has become the model for all public pension funds around the world when it comes to transparency and clean governance. And GSIS as well as the Social Security System would do well to follow CalPERS’ example," Herrera said.





Eastern Visayas governors unite in addressing issues pertaining Region 8

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 18, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The governors in Eastern Visayas have grouped together as the Eastern Visayas Governors League so that together they will have bigger voice in dealing with issues pertaining the Region.

Reports reaching the Philippine Information Agency stated that Northern Samar Governor Paul Daza has been chosen as the president of the EV Governors League, in a meeting held in Manila in the second week of July.

Present during their meeting held in Manila in the evening of July 8 were Biliran Governor Gerry Boy Espina; Eastern Samar Governor Conrado Nicart, Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and Governor Daza.

It was observed that except for Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla who is in his last term and Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado who is in his second term, the four other governors in Eastern Visayas are all in their first term.

The first issue that the Eastern Visayas governors tackled is the chairmanship in the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council.

All the five governors decided to support and endorse Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla to become the next chairman of the Regional Development Council in the Region.

The decision to throw their support to Governor Petilla was reached by the governors considering that Governor Petilla is being the most senior governor of the region and “he is the most familiar among governors on regional issues.”

Governor Petilla earlier revealed that he was being encouraged by mayors and Regional Directors to become the next RDC chairman. Aside from the provincial governors, the RDC voting members are the city mayors, presidents of league of mayors, regional directors of major government agencies and Private Sector Representatives.

Another issue that the EV League of Governors is currently addressing is the power problem that is being felt by the region.





DOLE 8 launches breastfeeding room, regional website on July 19

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 17, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  On July 19, the Department of Labor and Employment in Eastern Visayas under the leadership of Regional Director Forter Puguon, is set to launch its breastfeeding room and its regional website.

The launching of the Breastfeeding Room is DOLE’s response to the Regional Development Council of Eastern Visayas’ call all government agencies to provide a breastfeeding room for their lactating employees and clients, pursuant to Executive Order 51 and 273.

This is in compliance with the mandate of R.A. 10028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009” (Amending R.A. 7600) which makes it a national policy to adopt appropriate facilities to encourage, protect and support the practice of breast feeding. This is actuated through the provision of an environment where the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of mothers and infants are fulfilled.

The law also provides incentives to private establishments for their compliance with such policy by making expenses incurred in constructing a lactating room within their premises tax deductible. Also, pertinent government agencies providing such facilities are allowed to charge their expenses in providing such facilities to gender and development (GAD) and repairs and/or their maintenance budget.

The Launching is set to start at 9:00 o’clock in the morning at the DOLE Training Center, with the Nutrition Prayer to be led by Ms. Lady Velarde and the Welcome Message of Director Puguon.

Ms. Carina Z. Santiago, the Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator will present the Nutrition Program Talking Points based on this year’s Nutrition Month celebration’s theme: “Sa Pagkaing Tama at Sapat, Wastong Timbang ni Baby ang Katapat.”

After the launching of the Breastfeeding Room by Director Puguon and the Regional Technical Working Group on Nutrition, Ms. Emily Grande of the Department of Health will discuss the role of good nutrition in preventing lifestyle diseases.

This will be followed by the Launching of the DOLE 8 website by Mr. Demi Uyvico and Mr. Dondon Doroja.

EO 51 or the Milk Code of the Philippines requires breastfeeding advocacies in both the public and private sector, while EO 273 has adopted breastfeeding as a gender-related concern and calls for the establishment of a breastfeeding corner/room using their gender and development (GAD) budget which is five percent or more of their total agency funds from other sources.

All government agencies and instrumentalities, to include the academe, should set an example by establishing breastfeeding centers in their respective domains primarily to allow mothers to breastfeed their babies.

In the same regard, they are also required to allow mothers, clients/customers visiting an office for any official purpose to breastfeed their babies while waiting to be attended to.



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