implementation of the Appropriation Ordinance No. 13-002 for Samar’s
2010 Annual Budget
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The five (5) Board Members of Samar, representing the opposition
block, has petitioned for the court’s legal intervention by issuing a
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in an effort to forestall the execution of an illegally and
arbitrarily approved Appropriation Ordinance on the 2010 Annual
Budget, as alleged.
of the TRO by Judge Reynaldo Clemens, Calbayog RTC Executive Judge,
will be effective for the next seventy two (72) hours. All the Offices
concerned, including the Land Bank of the
- Catbalogan Branch, were provided copies of the
TRO for their guidance.
The decision to seek
for a TRO came after a Letter of Disclaimer, dated August 27, 2010,
was sent to the Office of the Vice-Governor. The letter formally and
officially disclaimed the validity of the ordinance for the approval
of the P1.1 Billion Annual Budget of the Province of Samar for 2010
that transpired during the regular session of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan on August 26, 2010 at the
Capitol Building. The letter manifested that all transactions and/or
dealings pursuant to the said invalid ordinance shall be ineffective
and has no force and effect of the law.
signatories are convinced that the procedure adopted by the members
who took part in the approval of the said budget was improper and
illegal, as it failed to meet the necessary requirements for the
approval of an Appropriation Ordinance which requires the majority
vote of all the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, imposed under
paragraph (g), article 107 of the Local Government Code Implementing
Panlalawigan of the Province of Samar is composed of fourteen (14)
members including the Vice-Governor as Presiding Officer. Simply said,
at least eight (8) members should have voted for the ordinance in
question, the petitioners argued.
It was learned that
when the session started at eleven in the morning, nine (9) SP members
were present, to include the Presiding Officer. During the second
break or recess, Hon. Arthur Vaughn M. Zosa arrived. However, two (2)
of its members (Hon. Noel Sermense and Hon. Jimmy Dy) walked out and
boycotted the session when they sensed that the budget would be
railroaded. The walk out was in protest of the irregular proceedings
that they have witnessed. After their departure, the session resumed
with only a total of seven (7) members present, a number which is not
sufficient to constitute a quorum when the “voting or approval by
general consent” was conducted.
“Moreover, the 2010
Annual Budget was unceremoniously, clandestinely and surreptitiously
treated as it was not calendared on the said session and it was only
treated on the item for Other Matters, despite the fact that said 2010
budget is already with the proper Committee and is under treatment and
consideration of the concerned committees”, the Board Members add.
The ruling of the
Presiding Officer on the approval of the 2010 Budget was arrived,
despite the absence of a quorum, when Hon. Juan C. Latorre was
acknowledged to take the floor and cited an alleged provision in their
Internal Rules of Procedure that allows them to recall the proposed
2010 Annual Budget from the two (2) Committees for its failure to
submit a required report after a lapse of one (1) month since its
referral. Accordingly, Latorre on a verbal manifestation, moved that
the Committee on Finance and Appropriations and the Committee on Laws
and Legal Matter be divested of their jurisdictional authority over a
referral so that it could be brought back to plenary for direct
disposition. After a corresponding motion was presented, a “voting or
approval by general consent” procedure ensued. As anticipated, the
budget was approved by a simple minority, having voting members
identified to belong to the administration block.
As of press time,
capitol employees are queuing up at its lobby, hoping that their
benefits will be released after the TRO expires on Friday. However,
they do not discount the possibility of an extension of the TRO. “Kun
ano man it ira ginsasaramukan hiunong hito nga budget, deri gad kunta
kami ig api. Damo na ha am an nagugutom ngan naglalaum nga makakabulig
hin dako ha amon tagsa nga pamilya ini nga mga benipisyo. Kunta an
matuod ug tama an ira buhaton kay mga Honorable man ada hira. Deri
dapat gamiton an amon mga katungod ug panginahanglon nga rason para
magpressure hin bisan kanay nga grupo. Baga kamin an gin hostage kay
kami la it ginhimo nga pasangil. Kay ano man nga mayada man mga
vouchers ug checks nga nasuklian han martes han aga? Kay ano nga waray
kami nga mga empleyado an unaha? An para ha amon, ihatag gad man”, was
an employees’ appeal to our provincial leaders.
On the other hand,
other agencies are happy that the budget has been approved. Ms. Luz
Tacal of the PSWDO excitedly announced that the social development
funds she had requested to be placed under her Office was provided.
She feels assured now to be able to deliver effectively the services
that are mandated under her office. Likewise, a GSP volunteer is happy
that the budget is now approved because for quite a time, their
organization was not able to receive subsidies from the provincial
government due to the unapproved budget.
A Financial Manager,
who refuses to be identified, said that the benefits of capitol
employees are most affected by the TRO. He explained that the release
of the 25% salary adjustments are already delayed and that the Office
of the Governor is already mandated by the court to release the
P25,000 Productivity Enhancement Incentives. The payrolls are already
prepared for the purpose, but the TRO prevents them from disbursing
the funds, he further stressed.
SN.com Team is still to confirm reports regarding releases and
encashment of checks with huge amounts that has been paid to
contractors prior to the effectivity of the Temporary Restraining
Majority pushes TRO to
block budget release
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO, Samar News.com
CALBAYOG CITY – To
make it stronger, Samar’s first district board members filed a
petition in court questioning the validity of the budget approval last
August 26, 2010 during the regular session. Such move was preceded by
a disclaimer executed on August 27 signed by Majority Floor Leader
Charlie Coñejos, SP members Noel Sermense, Renato Uy, Prudencio Dy,
Jasper Sumagang, Eunice Babalcon and Jimmy Dy addressed to Provincial
Budget Officer Maximo Sison.
Liberal Party’s Legal
Adviser Roger Casurao said that the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
is the most convenient and appropriate way of approaching the problem
in order to prevent the province from releasing the budget. The
passage of the 2010 budget was declared null and void because the
procedure adopted by the board members present was improper and
illegal as it failed to meet the necessary requirement for approval
which requires the majority vote of all the members of the Sangguniang
Based on the record,
only 5 members of the Sanggunian signed for the passage, while the
letter of disclaimer was signed by 7.
Moreover, the 2010
annual budget was unceremoniously, clandestinely and surreptitiously
treated during said regular session as it was not calendared and was
only brought on the item for Other Matters despite the fact that said
2010 budget is already with the proper committees, and is under
treatment and consideration.
“We learned our
lessons already in approving the budget. If you’re going to examine
the budget very closely, it is characterized by absurdities. Too much
concentration on the purchase of medicines by hundreds of millions”,
he recalled as a former SP member.
Clarifying the “walk
out scenario” of Board Member Sermense, Casurao admitted that the
former has indeed left the session hall when Liga President Joseph
Escober injected the idea of discussing the budget under Other
Matters, followed up by BM Juan Latorre who spoke for its approval
manifesting his argument that the committees in charged were no longer
taking part in the budget hearing and the August body should assume
responsibility (overlooking the 8-vote requirement and the petition).
Be it noted that it
was Latorre who spared the majority bloc from opposition’s annoyance.
He justified in the previous press conference initiated by Governor
Sharee Ann Tan that the new set of board members are rational compared
to the old one.
As a consequence,
former SP member now Calbayog City Councilor Roger Casurao explained
the non-passage of the 2009 budget for its unjust formulation as it
actually did not address the real problems of the province. The Annual
Investment Plan (AIP) submitted to the August body was highly
questionable. First, the economic policy of a local government unit
should be based on a 10 year Comprehensive Development Program and not
on a yearly basis.
“So I was wondering
where they got their AIP. There was nothing to take it from! Why
should we entertain an annual budget that is not precedent to the AIP?
And even if there was, we are certain… that
AIP was bogus”, he asserted.
Casurao added that if
there is a failure to come out with a regular budget the law on
reenactment will come in. The reason is to prevent the hiatus in the
delivery of basic services in the province. Irrespective of whoever
sits as local chief executive, the fixed mandatory budget such as the
5% calamity fund, personnel services and MOOE (Miscellaneous and Other
Operating Expenses) shall not affected. What prevents the majority
from passing the budget is the utilization of the 20% Development
“The reason why we are
against the budget because of the poor utilization. Kag-upay pa ba san
mga ngaran san ira programa – poverty alleviation, hunger mitigation,
but it has no meaning! Ada la iton san paraffle, panhatag bugas and
the like. Magsakit ira buot kay diri nira nadudukaw an 20% Development
Fund nga mao pirme an source of corruption”
He revealed that the
province’s income is only P3M and the government is just relying on
the IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) without formulating tax
efficiency measures and improving production.
Tanauan rider reigns
in Palm Beach 1st Int’l Skimboarding fete in Hongkong
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte
First District Board Member Roque Tiu expressed his elation on the
recent developments in the skimboarding water sports in Tanauan, Leyte
which only strengthens Tanauan’s stand as the skimboarding capital of
Board Member Tiu said
that one skimboarder from Tanauan bagged the championship trophy in an
international skimboarding competition in Hongkong while another one
brought home the championship trophy in a competition in Zambales.
Mr. Leo Espada,
champion skimboarder of Tanauan, Leyte, outplayed riders from other
countries to win the championship trophy in the Palm Beach 1st
International Skimboarding Competition held on August 29, 2010 at Palm
Beach, Cheung Sha, Lantau Island in Hongkong.
Leo, Board Member Tiu
said, was sponsored by Aloha Skimboards which is a perennial sponsor
in the Tanauan National and International Competitions. Leo’s local
travel was sponsored by the local government of Tanauan under the new
leadership of Mayor Agapito Pagayanan Jr.
competition was held from
11:00 o’clock in the morning to
8:00 o’clock in the
evening of August 29.
The first runner up
trophy went to Richard Paril, a Filipino who is now based in Hongkong
and who has joined the Tanauan, Leyte International Skimboarding
While Leo Espada was
competing in Hongkong, another Tanauan skimboarder was competing in
the 7th Zambales Attack skimboarding competition and also won for
Tanauan, Leyte the championship trophy.
Brando “Si-aw” Espada,
also a champion skimboarder of Tanauan, was declared the champion of
the 7th Zambales Attack held on August 27-29 at Iba, Zambales. Dariel
Espada of Tanauan, Leyte won the first runner up trophy while Rioben
Vivero, also of Tanauan won as third runner up.
Board Member Tiu
expressed his delight that a rider from Borongan,
Roderick Bazar of Borongan, won as the 2nd runner up in the Zambales
The skimboarders of
Tanauan, Leyte were sponsored by the Local Government Unit, Board
Member Tiu said, as he called on the other local government units to
also encourage their respective youth to engage in the skimboarding
Continuation of Oplan
Bantay Laya II: another life claimed
Last August 25, 2010
at around 7:00 in the evening, Casiano Abing, a court employee and a member
of the progressive partylist Bayan Muna was shot inside his house at
Eastern Samar by a lone gunman. He was brought to a hospital but was
declared dead-on-arrival. The victim sustained five (5) gunshot wounds
leading to his death. Casiano Abing was a responsible father and a
good man with no personal enemies.
The Regional Alliance
for the Advancement of People’s Rights, KATUNGOD-SB-KARAPATAN,
condemns in the highest possible terms the killing of Casiano Abing.
Said killing is the first recorded case of extra-judicial killing in
the Region and the 1st under the Aquino Administration. Said killing
only shows that with the extension of the counter-insurgency program
Oplan Bantay Laya II, the state policy of political killings would
continue and indeed continuing. More so that it was declared that the
target of this extension is
For the record, it is
the Aquino Administration that openly declared and admitted the
existence of Oplan Bantay Laya II. Said open admission only shows that
our long contention that there is a state policy of systematic
crackdown on the progressive organizations really existed. These
progressive organizations, including our Regional Alliance, are being
tagged by the military and other state agents as the “sectoral front”
of the New People’s Army thereby making its/our members and leaders
the target of their “neutralization” actions: arresting, detaining,
With this first
case of extra-judicial killing in the Region, we are calling on all
peace-loving people of Eastern Visayas to condemn this brutal killing
and to be one with us in our quest for justice for Casiano Abing and
for the 120 victims of extra-judicial killings. These cases must not
dishearten us but rather must serve as a challenge to us to continue
our struggle for our human rights and to stand side-by-side our
oppressed brothers and sisters in the Region who are also fighting for
3rd Regional Coconut
Summit unfolds Sept 2 at Hotel Alejandro
By CHITO DELA TORRE
TACLOBAN CITY –
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala will keynote the September
2-3 third Regional Coconut Summit at Hotel Alejandro here which will
dwell on the them “enhanced technologies: a key to sustain the coconut
industry in Eastern Visayas”.
Sec. Alcala, who will
be introduced by Department of Agriculture regional director Leo P.
Cañeda, is expected to convey to summit participants and local coco
industry players the priority programs of his department alongside
those of President Benigno Aquino III’s administration.
Executive manager Mae
Ann D. Reyes of the Department of Science and Technology will manage
the open forum which will follow after the DA secretary’s speech that
will set the tone of the two-day summit.
In opening the program
for Sept. 2, An Waray Party-List representative Florencio “Bem” G.
Noel will welcome the guests and participants. After his part, summit
director Joel O. Pilapil will give the rationale and introduce the
Leyte governor Jericho
L. Petilla will next give a message. Next, Philippine Coconut
Authority administrator Oscar G. Garin will present and discuss the
national coconut industry roadmap. This will be followed by the
presentation of the
regional coconut industry development plan by Edilberto A. Hinay, ROCS
chairman. Towards noontime, Dr. Severino S. Magat, PCA’s department
manager for ARMD, will discuss production and sustainable coconut
farming ecosystem in climate-change minimization.
By afternoon, there
will be plenary presentations. In the area of production, the
integrated coco-based farming comes to the forefront as the first
subject matter. Leonito B. Uy, project manager of PASFCO at Palo,
Leyte, will present the “PPP: Baybay Tall Nursery”.
Manny A. Licup, chief
operations officer of SC Global Coco Products Inc. which is based in
Baybay, Leyte, will come in next with his presentation on “Production
Marketing Links”, to be followed by Luis Caro Jr., chairman of the
Uson SCFMPC in barrio Uson, Caibiran, Biliran.
The last presentation
for the day concerns extension which will bring to focus the Farmers
Field School, to be rendered by Ed Done, EVPRD (Catarman, Northern
Samar) executive director.
Rep. Noel and fellow
An Waray Party-List Neil Benedict A. Montejo will unveil the Northern
Samar Stakeholders’ Coco House by seven o’clock in the evening. The
first day’s schedule winds up with a dinner and fellowship.
On the last day (Sept.
3), DOST Sec. Mario G. Montejo will give a message. He will be
introduced by professor Viola C. Siozon of the University of the
Philippines in the Visayas Tacloban College.
From 9 to 10 o’clock
in the morning, there will demonstrations on technological processes,
to wit: coconut sap sugar production – by Erlene Manohar, division
chief of PCA’s MEDD, and coco-based food processing – by the ITDI of
DOST, both on the food processing aspect. Meanwhile, the non-food
demonstration will be as follows: coco ethanol – by EVPRD’s Engr.
Jaime Gilbuela, integrated coconut processing – by Allan Ambil of Agri-Fuel
Inc. which operates in
Eastern Samar, and Palwood: wood from coconut fronds – by Engr. Noel
B. Beira of PTS (Cagayan de Oro City).
focusing on these topics, will follow.
Next on the schedule
is a presentation on simple ways or methods of containing brontispa,
to be handled by Mateo Zipagan of ARC (Albay). Cherlita B. Giray, ROCS
secretary, will next take up the topic “sustaining the summit gains on
regional industry unity: strengthening the regional organization of
coconut stakeholders (ROCS). Raul T. Repulda, chief of the
PMD of DA RFU 8 will give a synthesis of the summit before it closes towards
lunch time. Rep. Montejo will officially close the major event.
DENR USec Dolino bares
new policies in mining
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY –
“Mining has been identified by our government as one of the major
focus areas of economic activity.” This was revealed by Environment
Undersecretary Jeremias Dolino when he graced the 1st Regional Mining
Stakeholders Forum in Tacloban City recently.
USec Dolino revealed
that the latest mining statistics as of July 28, 2010 show that taxes,
fees and royalties from mining nationwide amount to 9.175 billion
However, USec Dolino
was quick to admit that the mining industry in the country still faces
strong opposition from anti-mining groups. “Various oppositions to
mining have stalled the upward growth of the industry,” he laments.
“Several NGOs, the church, academe, indigenous peoples and even some
local government units have expressed very strong sentiments against
mining,” he said. USec Dolino cited that even in Region 8, the
provinces of Eastern Samar and Samar have issued a 50-year moratorium
on large scale mining.
For the mining sector
to grow and prosper, mining should now be anchored on the principles
of sustainable development to ensure that the economic, environmental
and social concerns of mining operations would be addressed.
Already, several new
policies have been issued by the DENR to make environmental management
mandatory in all stages of the mining process.
Circular 2010-14 strengthens public participation in the Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) process of environmentally critical projects
such as mining. Local government units have also been given
representation in the Minerals Development Council to encourage their
participation in promoting and developing socially responsible mining
in the country through Executive Order No. 469-A.
USec Dolino likewise
informed the participants of the Mining Stakeholders Forum about a
DENR-DOF-DBM-DILG Joint Circular signed on June 25 this year which
revises the guidelines on the release of the share of LGUs derived by
the national government from royalty income collected from mineral
reservations. The Joint Circular reiterates the 40% revenue share of
LGUs. From this, 20% goes to the province, 45% for the component city
or municipality and 35% for the host barangay. Meanwhile, highly
urbanized cities where the natural resources are located gets a 65%
share, while the remaining 35% goes to the host barangay.
USec Dolino announced
another positive development in mining that would benefit LGUs and
other stakeholders. This is the issuance of DENR Administrative Order
No. 2010-13 this year. The DAO requires a mining permit holder/lessee
to allot annually a minimum of 1.5% of their operating costs for
community development implementation and provide funds for
information, education and communication campaigns.
According to him,
newly installed President Benigno Aquino, Jr. encourages all sectors
involved to meet on common ground to “allay the fears and also afford
the people of the benefits of mining investments.”
He also assured the
mining stakeholders that the present government shall strictly adhere
to the principles of sustainable development even as it promotes
mining as a vehicle for economic growth.
“I promote mining, but
I have to protect the environment,” USec Dolino said.
The 1st Regional
Mining Stakeholders Forum was organized by the Regional Minerals
Development Council of Region 8 chaired by RED Primitivo C. Galinato,
Jr. in coordination with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. It was
attended by various stakeholders of the mining industry which included
representatives of mining companies who are operating in the region,
host LGUs, the academe and the church. It was held at the Ritz Tower
de Leyte, Tacloban
on August 18, 2010.
Rep. Mercado vows
completion of airport and alternate seaport facilities
By BONG PEDALINO
MAASIN CITY – Now on
his third and final term as the representative of
Southern Leyte’s lone legislative district, Cong. Roger Mercado has
vowed to finish this city’s airport at barangay Panan-awan and the
alternative docking port at barangay Guadalupe.
And to put flesh to
this long-cherished aspiration, the lawmaker said this will be one
among his many priorities as chairman of the House Committee on
Transportation in the present Congress.
Speaking at his
bi-monthly radio program live at DYDM over the weekend, Cong. Mercado
said it’s about time travelers in these parts enjoy the comfort and
speed of air travel against the usual three hours of land trip to
Tacloban to avail of a plane ride.
He said he had spoken
with Transportation Secretary Ping de Jesus for the fast completion of
the airport project so it can service passengers wanting to reach
Manila and other urban centers in a matter of an hour, if not minutes.
On the other side, on
the sea lanes, a new roll-on, roll-off facility at barangay Can-iwan
must be pursued, inasmuch as this has been part of a grand plan to
connect the Philippine islands called the Super Regions project, said
Once these two
projects shall have been finished and functional, it will complement
all the concreted highways in the province, the tallest bridge in
Agas-Agas, and would surely spur economic development, he added.
By that time, Cong.
Mercado joked that he can sleep with eyes closed, his back flat on the
bed, satisfied with the thought that he has contributed these things
as a step in the right direction, to attain progress for the province
and its people. (PIA-Southern Leyte)
Catbalogan offers a
‘healing’ mass for the victims of the hostage drama
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Catbalogan
local government officials offered a ‘healing mass’ at the San
Bartolome Parish Church yesterday afternoon as their flag flies
half-mast in reverence to those who perished during that fateful
hostage drama crisis in Manila.
Fr. Pines Tabones who
celebrated the mass sought the parishioners help in praying hard for
the victims and their families.
He added that times
are hard and we need extra efforts to pray so that people who have
lost hope maybe inspired and not to resort to desperate actions.
Tabones also reminded
the faithful to be “responsible for their actions”.
Madames Ybeth Velasco
of the Mayor’s Office said she had goose bumps as she lighted her
candle in memory of those who died in the hostage drama.
Ms. Ruby Robosura of
the Accounting Department of the LGU led a prayer for the faithful
departed especially those who died as an aftermath of the hostage
A special prayer was
also offered for ‘healing’ the relationship of the two countries
strained by the pains of the death of Hongkong nationals.
The hostage drama was
about a sacked PNP member who wanted an audience with his officers to
review his case but something went wrong somewhere that resulted to
his death and also at least five Hongkong tourist nationals who were
on board the ill fated bus.
The offered mass and
special prayers were meant to unite with those in Manila who offered a
prayer rally for the very same purpose according to Vice-Mayor Art
Gabon and Councilor Stephany Tan.
Those who attended
the mass offered candles and silent prayers for the physical and
emotional healing of those hurt deeply in the incident. (PIA-Samar)