In an interview,
Evardone said that Almendras report during the recent budget hearing
in Congress drew several disbelief among them, lawmakers from Region
According to him, he
cautioned Almendras that he might had been fed with wrong information
because in his province, he said, not all barangays have the
electricity which other Congressmen have likewise seconded.
“Of the 597 barangays
in Eastern Samar alone, I know there are still 85 which are not yet
energized,” Evardone echoed his report. “That is why it is not correct
for Sec. Almendras to claim that 100% of the barangays in Eastern
Visayas had been energized.
He said he also argued
that far-flung barangays with installed Solar panels could not be
considered energized because usually, there is only one bulb found at
the barangay plaza and three others in the streets and none inside
the houses of the barangays.
The Congressman said
that the DOE report resulted in Department of Budget and Management’s
(DBM) scrapping some P2B budget from their proposal, because
logically, he said, where else would the money be spent for, vis-à-vis
fully energizing the country, when DOE have already reported a 100%
Evardone said, he also
urged the DOE officials to not only focus on the sufficiency of power
supply but also on lowering the power bills.
“Reducing the power
rates would not only alleviate the financial burden of our people but
also we can attract investors to the country”, Evardone stressed.
He added that these
investors look at long-term projection of their businesses, and if the
country’s power supply would remain unstable, investors will be
discouraged to put up money for business in the country.
Evardone, who served
two terms as Eastern Samar governor said he is looking closely at the
ongoing budget hearings in Congress, and seeing what the Departments
could help to his District.
A friend privy to the
Committee hearings in Congress texted this writer that Evardone and
Sen. Chiz Escudero were all supportive to the budget presented by
Press Secretary Herminio Coloma. Despite the tedious questioning and
grilling, Sec. Coloma remained unruffled and exuded intelligence and
grace in defense to the Press/PIA budget and Radyo ng Bayan’s.
Region 8 gets ready
for massive Philhealth registration on October 2
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY –
Preparations are ongoing for the October 2 massive Philhealth
registration in Region 8, Department of Health Director Edgardo
Director Gonzaga said
that the nationwide registration is in response to President Benigno
S. Aquino III’s marching orders to attain universal PhilHealth
coverage in three years.
The Department of
Health (DOH) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) in
the Region will conduct the massive registration by setting up
PhilHealth desks in public schools, municipal halls, all Philhealth
offices and all DOH-retained hospitals region wide.
Among the Philhealth
registration sites are two in Baybay,
Leyte; one at the fifth class
municipality of Sta.
Fe, also in Leyte; one at the Tacloban Convention Center and another
at Robinsons Place Tacloban.
Director Gonzaga said
that the Department of Health and Philhealth have targeted the
registration of 55,300 new members region-wide, especially the poor
and the marginalized.
The regional health
chief heads the task force, which is composed of the DOH, the
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education
The DILG will help the
DOH engage local chief executives in the enrolment of indigents in
their respective jurisdictions as identified by the DSWD while DepEd
will help create PhilHealth desks in all public schools to encourage
students and their parents to register and become PhilHealth members.
The activity aims to
enroll the remaining Filipino citizens who are at least 21 years of
age and non-members of the program. It is also open to 18 to 20 year
olds who may need to register; existing contributors who are still
unregistered; those not issued their PhilHealth Number Card or Family
Health Card yet; and those already registered but who may want to
update their membership profile with PhilHealth.
The program mainly
targets those from the self-employed and informal sector who comprise
some 53 percent of the population and of which a substantial portion
can afford to pay for health insurance as individually paying members
On the other hand, the
low income as well as those without the means to pay will benefit from
sponsorships where the national and local governments and other
sponsors shoulder the premiums for their annual coverage.
Civilian tips results
in another encounter
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – The Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion encountered
some 50 armed members of the terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) in the
boundaries of barangays Caranas and Hinacaan of Motiong, Samar at 5:00
Report reaching this
headquarters from 34IB disclosed that Corporal Michael Angel received
a report from undisclosed civilian that armed men wearing tapita
clothes are frequently seen loitering in the outskirts of said
barangay. The presence of the said armed group caused terror and
uneasiness to the populace in the locality.
With the desire to
address the threat brought by the said terror group and to defend the
civilians, elements of 34IB conducted security patrols within the
periphery of that barangay and its nearby sitios.
This resulted to an
encounter between the troops and the enemy that resulted to the
killing of one enemy and the recovery of a camouflage backpack and one
(1) upper hand guard of M16 rifle.
One soldier was also
reported to have been killed in the said encounter.
Lt. Col. William
Peñafiel, 34IB’s commanding officer commended the heroism of his
fallen troop and said that risking lives is just part and parcel of
the military profession for the people to continuously enjoy their
right to live.
“Soldiers never die,
they just pass away. We will be surely missing him but his acts of
courage and commitment to duty will always remain in the memories of
the people he has served. We share in the sorrow felt by his family
and loved ones and we will never forget his act of heroism and the
invaluable contribution he made in service to our country and people”,
says Lt. Col. Peñafiel.
General Mario Chan, the 8ID’s head, expressed his appreciation to the
concerned individuals and civilian who relentlessly supported the
efforts of their Army to ultimately attain peace and development in
He further directed
the troops to continuously pursue the fleeing enemy in order to fully
to liberate the area from the CTs influence that would pave the way
for the attainment of the lasting peace and development.
DILG pushes for
transparency in all local government units
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – In
line with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s framework of governance,
which demands a shared vision, and harmony of actions in bringing
about desired development outcomes, the Department of Interior and
Local Government has issued on August 31, 2010, a memorandum circular
calling transparency in all local government units.
In his Memo No.
2010-83, Secretary Jesse Robredo reminded the local government
executives that Section 22 of the Local Government Code of 1991
requires the posting within 30 days from the end of each fiscal year
in at least three publicly accessible and conspicuous places in the
local government unit, a summary of all revenues collected and funds
received including the appropriations and disbursements.
Secretary Robredo also
reminded about Republic Act 9184 known as the Government Procurement
Reform Act that call for the posting of Invitations to Bid, Notice of
Award, Notice to Proceed and Contracts Approved in the procuring
entity’s premises, in newspapers of general circulation, Philippine
Government Electronic Procurement System and in the procuring entity’s
The declared policy of
the State to promote good local governance also calls for posting of
budgets, expenditures, contracts and loans and procurement plans of
the local government units in conspicuous places within public
buildings in the locality, in the web and in print media of the
The President directed
all government agencies both national and local offices to end
luxurious spending and misappropriation of public funds and to expunge
mendacious and erroneous projects.
In his first SONA,
President Aquino directed all government agencies to end luxurious
spending and misappropriation of public funds and to expunge
mendacious and erroneous projects.
They are directed to
post information and statements of their CY 2010 Annual Budget,
Quarterly Statement of Cash Flows, CY 2009 Statement of Receipts and
Expenditures, CY 2010 Trust Fund (PDAF) Utilization, CY 2010 Gender
and Development Fund Utilization, CY 2010 Statement of Debt Services,
CY 2010 Annual Procurement Plan or List, Items to Bid, Bid Results on
Civil Works and Goods and Services and Abstract of Bids as calculated.
The Memo called on
DILG directors to monitor and to ensure the compliance on the said
directives and to report to the DILG secretary the Compliance Report
not later than September 27.
Did housing execs get
condo units from Globe Asiatique?
QUEZON CITY – Did
former housing officials, including then members of the board of
trustees of the Pag-IBIG Fund, receive condominium units from Globe
Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp., the developer linked to what appears
to be the syndicated diversion of the proceeds of fraudulent home
loans granted to "ghost" borrowers?
Cavite Rep. Elpidio
Barzaga Jr. raised this question Friday, as he pushed for a full-dress
congressional inquiry into the Pag-IBIG loans obtained by non-existent
borrowers to acquire property at Globe Asiatique's Xevera projects in
Mabalacat and Bacolor, both in Pampanga.
Barzaga said his
office had received information that a number of former housing
executives allegedly got residential units from Globe Asiatique,
particularly at the firm's 30-level GA Twin Towers along EDSA in
"This has to be
verified right away by congressional investigators and the new
Pag-IBIG management," Barzaga said.
"If the allegation is
true, then we have to find out how they (former housing officials)
acquired the properties. Whether they got the assets for free, or at a
discount. Or if they bought the units using their own money," he said.
"If they purchased the
units, then they should have the documents to prove not only that they
actually paid for the properties, but also that they had the lawful
income to support the payments. Of course they should have also
declared these assets in their annual filings," he added.
The GA Twin Towers was
one of Globe Asiatique's early joint housing development projects with
Barzaga said he had
nothing personal against the owner of Globe Asiatique or the former
housing officials. He stressed the need for Congress to protect
Pag-IBIG funds, which he said represent the hard-earned contributions
of public and private sector workers.
"This is all part of
our mandate. We just want to get to the bottom of the syndicated
fraudulent housing loans, plus Globe Asiatique's P1-billion worth of
unpaid obligations to Pag-IBIG," he said.
According to Barzaga,
the unchecked grant of fraudulent loans was a key factor that caused
the recent home mortgage debt crisis and the eventual collapse of
America's housing market, that in turn set off a global financial
"But in America, they
at least actually had real persons who borrowed the money to buy the
homes, either to occupy or for investment purposes. There was fraud
only in paperwork compliance, since it turned out that many loans were
granted even to persons who did not have enough income," he pointed
He added: "With
respect to the Pag-IBIG loans in question, they had borrowers that did
not exist at all. So where did the all loan disbursements go?"
alarm over the breakdown of internal controls at Pag-IBIG. "Either the
checks (against potential fraud) failed, or there was connivance by
Pag-IBIG insiders," he said.
leaders contemplate on setting up own power plant
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte
Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla disclosed that all the governors of
the various provinces in Eastern Visayas are now seriously
contemplating on putting up own power-generation plant harnessing the
geothermal power plant in Tongonan, Leyte, in order to solve the power
problems in the area.
It was learned that
the continuing privatization of the power industry sector including
the power plants and ancillary services has brought power concerns to
the host region.
This is one of the
options the region has if at all it cannot get sustainable power from
various companies, Gov. Petilla said, adding that this idea has
already been suggested to other governors of Region 8, and they are
all open to it as an option.
Governor Petilla who
was recently nominated to chair the Regional Development Council of
Region 8, said that in order to brace from the looming power shortage,
the Region must exert efforts to set up its own generating plant.
It was learned that
before announcing this plan, the Governor who was with the business
sector before he became Governor of Leyte, has already conducted
studies and made preliminary talks with the right people, both from
the government and from the private sector.
Petilla said this plan will depend on the outcome of the commercial
operations in the Visayas of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM)
this coming September 26.
Through WESM, which
will be operated by Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC),
power can be bought through bidding to the highest buyer.
The law has mandated
power utilities particularly the distribution firms, to source at
least 10 percent of their power requirements from WESM, where big
power suppliers cut deals.
Karapatan junks AFP
proposal for "people's participation" in counter-insurgency plan;
cites AFP human rights violations in Marihatag, Surigao de Sur
QUEZON CITY – The
human rights alliance, KARAPATAN, dismissed current AFP proposals for
"people's participation" in counter-insurgency operations as it
revealed grave human rights violations in the on-going AFP military
campaign in Brgy. Mahaba, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur.
About 164 families
with 754 individuals, including 98 children ages 0 to 5 years old and
seven pregnant women, in three sitios of Palompon, Boringon and
Loknodon of Barangay Mahaba in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur province,
Mindanao, were displaced as a result of the military operations under
Oplan Bantay-Laya extended by Pres. Aquino.
Troops of the 36th IB
PA under Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Rene Canete and elements of the
Scout Rangers; Surigao del Sur under
PNP Director Quinonez conducted the local operations.
Last August 22,
Marihatag local government officials initiated a dialogue between the
residents and the government forces. The commanding officer of the
36th IBPA, Lt. Col. Rene Canete and 1Lt. Serihim Temperante, attended
the dialogue as well as the barangay council members of Brgy. Mahaba.
The residents pleaded with the soldiers to leave their community but
they refused citing the National Government’s anti-insurgency campaign
as justification of their presence.
Barely a week after
the residents returned to their farms, on August 26, eight Marihatag
residents, including a minor, were illegally arrested, detained and
tortured by troops of the 36th IB PA. Arrested were Salvador Dayola,
Josemar Dayola, 14-year old son of Salvador and a grade 6 student,
Rolan Salamangka, Junry Kileste, Elly Ambongan, Dimuel Kileste, Bryan
Udtohan and Rymon Alameda.
At gunpoint, they were
interrogated, hogtied, dragged and tortured. The soldiers beat them
up, stomped and; with their combat boots on, walked on the victims’
backs, exposed them to the rain, made them eat spoiled food, covered
their heads with plastic bags and choked them; these while being
forced to confess where they allegedly hid firearms. Salvador's son
was threatened to be buried alive or be dropped from a helicopter in
flight. The interrogations went on for five hours before the victims
On 31 August, the
Marihatag Municipal Peace and Order Committee (MPOC) met. Concerned
church people and some evacuees attended the session with Lt. Col.
Rene R. Canete, Battalion Commanding Officer, 36IB PA; 1Lt. Serihim
Temperante, 36IB PA, 1Lt. Charlynne C. Gabatin, 36IB PA; Katrina M.
Cruz, 36IB PA of the
AFP; Provincial Administrator Efren Rivas as Surigao del Sur Provincial LGU
representative; members of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating
Council (PDCC), Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office,
Marihatag Municipal LGU representatives and Brgy. Mahaba LGU
Representatives of the
evacuees asked the soldiers to allow them safe passage so that they
could save more of their properties and farm animals but the military
refused to allow them. Last September 3, evacuees tried to transfer to
the Provincial Capitol in Tandag City but were harassed and forced to
turn back by combined forces of the local PNP and the 36th IB PA.
At the evacuation
center, there is an outbreak of chicken pox and conjunctivitis while
60 patients, mostly children ages 0-6 years old have been treated for
diarrhea, upper and lower respiratory diseases and fever. There is a
shortage of food, especially milk for the children, clean potable
water, essential medicines, medical services and sanitation
“The military’s plan
to conscript citizens into its counter-insurgency operations is a
dangerous move to distort public perception, project the military as
human rights advocates while violating the people’s rights and deceive
the people that the military observes respect for human rights during
these operations,” expounded Marie Hilao Enriquez, Chairperson of
Karapatan. “The public must be educated on the reality of military
operations going on in the rural areas outside town and urban centers
like those in Marihatag, Surigao Del Sur and in the villages of Negros
Oriental and in other areas targeted under the OBL,” added Enriquez.
Karapatan and local
rights defenders continue to assist the evacuees as it called on Pres.
Aquino to stop the counter-insurgency operations. “We exhort the
public NOT to be deceived by these supposed plans and acts of the AFP
in winning the public’s trust to allow them to go on with the brutal
counter-insurgency campaigns,” concluded Enriquez.
Tanauan riders reign
in Skimfest at Borongan
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The Tanauan riders once again showed their dominance in the skimboarding
water sports as they ran away with the choicest prizes at the Borongan
Skimboarding Competition held on September 5, 2010.
For the third time in
just one week, the skimboarders of Tanauan,
Leyte once again brought home the bacon. The first was on August
29 when Leo Espada became champion at the
Palm Beach first
Skimboarding Competition in Hongkong. The second was on August 29 when
another Tanauan skimboarder won the Zambales Challenge in Iba,
Tanauan, Leyte Mayor
Agapito Pagayanan, Jr. informed the Philippine Information Agency that
the Tanauan riders bagged all the prizes at the Skimboarding
Competition in Borongan which was held in line with the town fiesta of
Borongan on September 8.
Mayor Pagayanan said
that Roberto Yanuario bested the other riders to become champion at
the Borongan skimboarding competition. The first runner up went to
Roderick Espada. The second runner up prize was won by Leo Espada
while the 3rd runner up trophy was claimed by Niko Cobacha.
All of these Tanauan
riders have at one time been declared as champion in the various
national skimboarding competitions held in Tanauan,
The Tanauan Mayor
expressed satisfaction on the development of the skimboarding
competition which started at Tanauan in 2001 and which is now popular
in the other places of the country.
Tanauan will always be
remembered as the birthplace of skimboarding in the country but as
former Tanauan Mayor Roque Tiu who started the development of the
skimboarding as water sports in Tanauan and in Leyte, he would rather
that Tanauan be also remembered as the Skimboarding Capital of the
Tips from civilian
populace leads to successful encounter
CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – The 20th Infantry Battalion of the 8th
Infantry Division encountered several NPAs at around
9:40 in the morning of
September 8, 2010.
The Spot Report
reaching this Headquarters said the encounter happened during the
conduct of combat operations led by 1lt. Florencio G. Tayo of the
20IB. The encounter occurred in the vicinity of Barangay E Duran,
Municipality of Bobon, Northern Samar involving an undetermined number
of local terrorists (LT’s).
The encounter with the
local terrorists was approximately an hour of ferocious exchange of
fire, until the said Army troops gained control of the situation,
which resulted to one (1) enemy killed, one (1) enemy captured, and
the recovery of one (1) M14 rifle, after which the local terrorists (LTs)
withdrew towards different directions.
The combat operation
was conducted by the 20IB troops upon receipt of tips from the local
civilian populace in the area, who pinpointed the position of the
In this light, in a
statement after the encounter, Lt Col Jose Narciso, Commanding Officer
of the 20IB assured the public that his unit will continue to work on
the good relationship with the civilian populace in order to put an
end to the local insurgency in the said area. LtC Narciso added that
this cooperation with the populace is not merely for the interest of
the military, but more for the good of the people of Northern Samar.
Commander of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army Maj Gen Mario
F. Chan, AFP, expressed his heartfelt gratitude and elation to the
civilians who tipped the information. In addition, Maj Gen Chan lauded
his troops for a job well done and for exerting every effort and
dedicating their lives in the accomplishment of the mission of the 8th
Commanding General of the Philippine Army Maj Gen Arturo Ortiz, AFP
sent his congratulations and thanks to 8ID for a job well done and
also enjoined the troops to continue on its zeal and enthusiasm to
curb the insurgency in the area of operations.
Emergency patients to
get free emergency drugs at ESPH
By ALICE NICART
Samar – Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital (ESPH) is now admitting
patients to the emergency rooms with free medical needs.
Launched recently in a
simple ceremony at the ESPH, the program “Go Aklan Para sa Kalusugan”
aims to alleviate poor patients of their financial burdens as they
submit for medical treatment.
Vice-Mayor Gil Norman
Germino, Provincial Focal Person for Health said that unlike in the
past, when emergency patients had to buy cottons, plasters, needles,
gauze even paracetamols even as the need was urgent, today, with the
program of Governor Conrado Nicart, Jr., ESPH will shoulder these
In his message, Gov.
Nicart stressed however, that only in the emergency rooms will
patients have to get free drugs and other needs, but as he is
transferred to the ward, the billing starts.
He said that the
program which will run for three years is never for political purposes
but in the service for the poor.
“Dire in pamulitika
kay nag-daog na ak, it ak la nga makapagserbisyo kita kay asya man it
ginlalauman hit at mga tawo. Dire daman in sugaron nga nasunod la ak
kan Vice-Mayor Germino, kay hi ako it nasumat ha iya kun ano it
maupay buhaton. Ginbuburubligan namon ine sugad hit iba nga mga
programa ha probinsya”, pointed Gov. Nicart.
He appealed to the
doctors and nurses present to always man the wards.
“Unta, regular nga
susudoyon it at mga wards hin mga taga hospital, kun mahihimo la,
magtulo ka shift, hin tag-walo ka oras it at mga nurse, kay makure
daman ngin pirmi pirmi nala daman it usa ka tawo nga asya it
magjejenuti. May mga adlaw nga makakanhe la ak ha hospital, dire ko
karuyag kitaon nga wara otoridad hit hospital nga na-duty ha mga
ward”, the Governor added.
Asked what these
medicines are which will given for free at the emergency room, Dr. Mac
Felicen said that these are the first line medicines, i.e. pain
medicines and anti-bacterial and other basic needs.
Mrs. Mabel Bugtas, the
nurse on duty during the interview also clarified that even well-off
patients can avail of these emergency grants at the emergency rooms.
service is one of the top priority agenda of Gov. Nicart which he
articulated during his inaugural speech. (PIA