“It is fortunate that
the local chief executives of these towns have taken pro-active stance
in solving their respective municipalities’ critical health problems.
It is their drive and willingness to really work for better health
outcomes that their municipalities were chosen” according to Zuellig
Among the criteria for
the selection of municipalities were high disease burden such as
maternal mortality ratio, infant mortality rate, malnutrition
prevalence, sanitation and infectious disease; undermanned and
incomplete health facilities and services, Mayor’s and Municipal
Health Officers who are committed to improving health status and
Mayor’s commitment despite low health leadership.
Latorre-Astorga of Daram,Samar, a doctor by profession said “that
among the challenges they face as local chief executives are
insufficient funds, lack of competent health personnel, good health
facilities, bad infrastructure that prevent quick and efficient
delivery of health services”. Daram is an island municipality where
the means of transportation is only by motor boats or banca. “ Our
barangays are totally isolated during monsoon seasons and bad weather,
thereby making it hard for our constituents to immediately access
health care especially during emergency”, Mayor Astorga said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Mario
Quijano of Pinabacdao, a doctor by profession also, proudly beams that
his municipality along with Daram was chosen from 191 nominated
municipalities across the country. The list was trimmed down to 27,
based on initial studies done by the foundation then finally
shortlisted to 12 municipalities. “We (the 12 municipalities)
underwent a final selection workshop where we faced questioning by the
Foundation’s board of trustees. Thereafter, we were formally accepted
by the Foundation as partners for the next two to three years”,
according to Mayor Quijano.
Among the benefits of
the partnership are leadership trainings and workshops, funding for
the construction of health facilities, holding of community health
summits, other health activities and implementation of appropriate
innovative health programs to improve health indicators and outcomes.
The 12 municipalities
are Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro; Cajidiocan and San Fernando, Romblon;
Minalabac, Camarines Sur; Pilar and Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon; Daram and
Pinabacdao, Samar; Leon Postigo, Lapuyan and San Pablo of Zamboanga
Del Sur and Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay. In working with these
municipalities, the foundation aims to help the country to attain
Millennium Development Goals in health by 2015, targeting to work with
50 municipalities between 2009 and 2013.
will be closely monitored by Zuellig Family Foundation to ensure
effective program implementation, such are effectiveness in reducing
health in-equities, enhancing health information systems, improving
health indicators particularly maternal and infant mortality rate
malnutrition rate and infectious diseases prevention as well as
improving water, sanitation and hygiene systems.
IJM strengthens moves against
trafficking in persons
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
September 15, 2010
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The International Justice Mission - Samar Satellite Office (IJM-SSO)
bared its steps against trafficking in persons.
In a one-day
orientation held at Maqueda Bay Hotel on September 7, 2010, IJM
Project Coordinator Elena Morados told the participants that IJM with
its partners have conducted inter personal conferences on human
trafficking in barangays in the six areas in Samar, namely: Calbayog
City, Catbalogan, Gandara, San Jorge, Sta. Margarita and Daram.
According to Project
Coordinator Elena Morada, the IJM has organized and made functional
some 333 Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) with
partnership from the LGUs, DILG and Plan
Somehow, Morada added,
“The presence of functional BCPCs have lightened their load in the
fight against human trafficking.”
“There is also an
increase in reportage,” Morada explained, “as more and more citizens
are being aware of their rights and responsibilities.”
As the two-year
project in Samar is about to end, Morada said IJM has done its share
in raising the level of awareness of the target areas on the laws on
anti-trafficking. Text messages have also been helping them abort
trafficking in the areas, said the IJM link.
Morada reiterates that
parents should not trust even their relatives the care of their
children. She added that some relatives may convince parents to send
their children to Manila in the guise of looking for jobs with good
salaries. Most parents who are hard-up may consider the idea, trusts
the relative or any person and later realizes her wrong decision as
the child maybe lured into prostitution or illegal job.
“Our mission is to
protect people from violent forces of injustice,“ bared IJM.
It added that it can
protect people by securing rescue and restoration for victims and
ensuring that public justice systems work for the poor.
Samar Satellite office
has been established to respond to the high rate of human trafficking
in the province. For trafficked victims come from Samar, a book “Seek
Justice, Vol 3” published by IJM revealed that 15 of the 64
trafficked victims were from the Visayas region, mostly from the
province of Samar and six were from Mindanao.
While reasons culled
claims poverty was the main cause, Morada said it is the loose family
values and adventurism in the young that make them vulnerable to human
trafficking. As such, IJM has actively partnered with the Social
Welfare Office to strengthen and intensify their Parents’ Effectivity
Sessions to guide the parents on how to effectively discipline their
With the information
on laws and the evils of human trafficking, IJM believes that problems
of human trafficking will be minimized if not eradicated. (PIA
Maasin water district
eyes short-term plan to augment water supply
By BONG PEDALINO
September 15, 2010
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – When it rains it pours, but still these were not yet enough
to replenish the lost water supply in this city.
According to Nestor
Geraldo, General Manager of Maasin Water District (MWD), they still
have to use the additional pump installed at barangay Nasaug, in
addition to existing pumps and the traditional sources of drinking
water taken at Canlited in barangay San Jose and Capores in barangay
In a phone Tuesday,
Geraldo said they are awaiting results of sent samples of water from
the new pump and when this will be proven potable this can supply the
water needs of 500 households.
There are at present
some 3,600 water concessionaires in the service area coverage of MWD
from Combado to Soro-Soro to portions of barangay Ibarra, up by 200
from 3,400 when he assumed as head since July last year, Geraldo said.
He added that the
MWD’s Board of Directors made a policy of not accepting any new water
user just yet due to the continuing scarcity of the life-giving
element, even as many had wanted to open new connections.
Once the new pump will
be operational, Geraldo said he would request the MWD Board to have
another underground pump installed as a short-term measure to supply
the city’s ever-increasing water needs.
Aside from this
short-term initiative, which involves the installation of at least two
deep well pumps, MWD is also considering a long-range plan for a
stable water supply in close coordination with the city government.
This long range course
of action requires the full development and utilization of a huge
water potential in barangay Cagnituan, but tapping this seemingly
unlimited source would need an estimated cost of P200 Million, Geraldo
Yesterday and for
several days last week it has been raining, but the volume was not
just enough to penetrate the water utility’s underground sources,
Geraldo also said. (PIA Southern Leyte)
‘Pasidungog Eduardo A.
Makabenta Sr. para han Siday’ contest winners bared
By NEIL D. LOPIDO
September 15, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – The Sinirangan Culture and Arts Development Center, Office of the Cultural
Affairs and Special Projects of the Leyte Normal University headed by
Director Jose N. Lianza announces the winners of the first-ever poetry
contest in Waray dubbed as “Pasidungog Eduardo A. Makabenta Para han
Poems of Imelda
Agustin Ruiz of Punta Princesa,
got the first prize of P8,000.00 while Jhonil C. Bajado of Maydolong,
and Leonilo D. Lopido of Villahermosa, Dolores,
Eastern Samar landed second and third place with a prize of
P5,000.00 and P3,000.00, respectively. Each of these winners will also
receive a Makabenta Diploma and trophies.
The awarding ceremony
will be held at the HRDC, Alba Hall, Leyte Normal University on
October 13, 2010, the 125th birthday of then Eduardo A. Makabenta, Sr.
Expected guests who will attend said event are the municipal mayors of
Carigara, Barugo, and San Miguel, the towns of Makabentas, together
with officials of the province of Leyte.
The contest aimed to
encourage the youth to write on our own language; give honor to the
Waray culture and language; and honor one of the writers who saved our
language, Eduardo A. Makabenta, Sr.
The Leyte Normal
University through its President Dr. Evelyn C. Crizada would like to
thank all those who helped for the success of the activity: Art Pacho,
Alfredo and Gregoria Pacho, Dr. Evangeline Makabenta Garcia, Bebs
Custodio, DYVL Aksyon Radyo, Phil Harold L. Mercurio, Oscar Penaranda,
Merlie M. Launan, Darryl Jane S. Delgado, and Antonio S. De Veyra. (PIA
8 with report from Voltaire Oyzon)
As gov't scrambles to save lives, achieve Millennium Development Goals
P8.2B set to fight infant, maternal
QUEZON CITY –
Government is spending a total of P8.2 billion next year to
aggressively fight infant and maternal mortality, and achieve
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Some P5.7 billion will
be spent to put up a total of 1,278 Basic and Comprehensive Emergency
Obstetrics and Newborn Care Facilities countrywide, according to House
Deputy Majority Leader and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo.
The facilities are
meant to significantly minimize the number of newborns and women lost
due to childbirth-related and pregnancy complications, Romulo said.
Meanwhile, Romulo said
another P2.5 billion has been earmarked to vaccinate up to 2.6 million
children against measles, neonatal tetanus, Hepatitis B, and
hemophilis influenza type B.
He said the amount is
152 percent greater than this year's P991-million allotment for the
Expanded Immunization Program.
The allocations for
the new facilities and the inoculation plan are contained in the
proposed General Appropriations Act of 2011, Romulo said.
"With or without the
MDGs, we have to put in check the unacceptably high number of infants
and mothers that we are losing on account of childbirth-related and
pregnancy difficulties that are, in most cases, preventable, if not
manageable," Romulo said.
President Aquino is
set to attend the September 20 to 22 United Nations (UN) summit in New
York, where he is expected to report the country's advances toward
achieving the MDGs.
The MDGs are eight
goals that 189 member-countries of the UN pledged to attain by 2015.
Two of the goals are to reduce child mortality and to improve maternal
The specific targets
include lessening by two-thirds the child mortality rate, immunizing
all 1-year-old children against measles, and lessening by
three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio.
According to the
National Statistics Office's MDG Watch, the Philippines managed to
reduce the "under-5 child mortality rate" from 80 to 33.5 per 1,000
live births from 1990 to 2008. The target is 26.7 per 1,000 live
births by 2015.
From 1990 to 2008, the
country also lowered the "infant or under-1 mortality rate" from 57 to
24.9 per 1,000 live births. The target is 19 per 1,000 live births by
Over the same period,
the country likewise increased the immunization rate of 1-year-old
children from 77.9 to 79.2 percent. The target is 100 percent by 2015.
As to maternal
mortality, the country lessened the ratio from 209 to 162 per 100,000
births from 1990 to 2006. The target is 52.3 per 100,000 births by
PNP tags SPARU hit men
in killing of Catarman police on Sept 13
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Philippine National Police in
Northern Samar tagged the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the NPA in
the September 13 killing of a police officer of the Catarman Police
Superintendent Brigido Basio Unay, in an interview with the Philippine
Information Agency, disclosed that the result of the initial
investigations leans towards the SPARU as the assailants.
The victim PO3
Geronimo Tan has no personal enemies, the Northern Samar Provincial
Police Director said. His being an Intelligence Operative of the
Catarman Police Station is the nearest reason why the victim was
killed, he added.
Col. Unay said that
PO3 Tan was already off duty that morning. He was going back to the
Catarman Police Station because he had an appointment with someone who
wanted to turn in a gun owned by one of the 8 policemen who were
ambushed on August 23. It was learned that PO3 Tan was originally from
Pambujan, Northern Samar
but currently resides at University of Eastern Philippines area.
It would be recalled
that the day after the ambush of the 8 Catarman policemen, four
youngsters aged 14 to 25 were shot at by unidentified gun men while on
their way home after watching a concert at UEP.
The initial report
submitted by Colonel Unay to the
PNP regional office stated that at 9:30 in the morning of
September 13, 2010, along the National Highway, Tagibian Bridge at
Barangay Bangkerohan in Catarman, Samar, one PO3 Geronimo Tan was shot
by suspected SPARU hit men wearing helmet, fatigue polo shirt and
short pants riding in tandem on a red Suzuki motorcycle.
The victim was shot
five times by short firearms but he was able to maneuver his
motorcycle going to Petron Gas Station at the said place and there he
was shot again twice which resulted to his instantaneous death.
Luckily, the four youngsters were only wounded.
themselves as members of Philippine Army after which they fled going
to the direction of Catarman proper, the initial report stated.
With the Northern
Samar Provincial Police Director orchestrating the operations, the
elements of the Catarman Police Station conducted hot pursuit
operations against the fleeing assailants while the elements of the
Northern Samar Provincial Public Safety Company immediately conducted
checkpoints in all entry and exit points of the Catarman area. Nearby
police stations were likewise directed to conduct similar police
operation for the possible arrest of the suspects.
The initial report
added that the chief of police of Catarman was ordered relieved by the
PNP Regional Office. He was replaced by Northern Samar Asst.
Provincial Director Carlo Centenaje, in a concurrent capacity.
PNP 8 cites four
policemen for commendable deeds
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 14, 2010
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Philippine National Police in Region 8, during its traditional Monday
Flag-raising ceremony, cited four police officers for their
commendable performances, a report coming from the PNP Police
Community Relations Office stated.
The awards were
presented PCSupt. Arnold R. Revilla through PCSupt. Drusillo C. Bolodo,
Deputy Regional Director for Administration, assisted by PC
Superintendent Pio Manito, Chief Regional Police Human Resource
Doctrine and Development and PC Superintendent Alfredo Japson
Sabornido, Chief Regional Headquarters Service Support Group 8 and at
the same time the Keynote Speaker of the day.
Among the four
awardees was Police Inspector Michael N. Oraller who received a PNP
Commendation Medal for his commendable performance in line of duty
during the conduct of manhunt operation on June 8, 2010 at Talalora,
Samar which resulted to the arrest of Leonilo Lauzon, Rudy Iraya and
Ric Quimel, all charged for Murder case.
Another awardee was
Police Inspector Gemuel S. Cortina who was given a PNP Medal of Merit
for his exemplary performance of duty during the conduct of
anti-illegal drugs operation on 09 July 2010 at Guimbaolibot Ave.,
Ward 11, Guiuan, Eastern Samar which resulted in the arrest of
Rachhpal Singh and Karamjit Singh and the confiscation from their
possession and control of Three Hundred Fifty-Three 353 grams of
suspected dried marijuana leaves.
The third awardee was
PO3 Darwin O. Gilles who received a
PNP Commendation Medal for his laudable performance of duty
during the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations on 08 April 2010
at Brgy Tagnipa, Maasin City which resulted in the arrest of Expedito
R. Montederamos and the confiscation from his possession and control
of 18 sachets of “Shabu” and several drugs paraphernalia.
The last but not the
least awardee was PO3 Dexter Vincent L. Capuyan for having
demonstrated exemplary performance during the conduct of buy-bust
operation on 17 June 2010 at Brgy. Punta, Ormoc City which resulted in
the arrest of Liza Canin and the confiscation from her possession and
control of 3 sachets of “Shabu” and several drugs paraphernalia.
Sabornido, the keynote speaker, expressed his high hopes that the
peace and order condition in PRO8 will continue to improve with the
cooperation and support of people in the community and the force
P20M earmarked for
Macabut bridge - Evardone
By ALICE NICART
September 14, 2010
Samar – With an allocation of P20M, Macabut bridge of Gen.
McArthur town will not only be rehabilitated but permanently
This was said by
Congressman Ben P. Evardone in an interview.
The then age-old
wooden bridge was washed out by a devastating typhoon and it being
vital to Eastern Samar’s riding public and businessmen alike who take
the southern route to Tacloban and elsewhere in the Region, Cong.
Evardone deem it proper to place it on top of his priorities.
He said that the
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-8) has requested some
P2B appropriation and of this, about P500M is budget for
Cong. Evardone added
that the Millennium Challenge Fund (MCF) is intended to massively
rehabilitate roads and bridges among others, and he said he is bent
not to let up in any of its budget deliberations, fully aware of the
serious need for repair and rehabilitation of some portions of
Eastern Samar roads.
Several portions of
the highways of the province (McArthur to Hernani) had been the
subject of public’s clamor particularly the Estehanons who are envious
of the roads of other regions and provinces.
Recently however, some
stretches of asphalt overlay had been constructed which has eased the
riding public. In fact, some works are on going in some portions of
the highway to the south of Borongan.
rehabilitated, the 4-hour travel to Tacloban might just be shortened
to three. (PIA Eastern Samar)
Mayor Parilla OKs
putting up of NERBAC in Naval
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA
September 13, 2010
NAVAL, Biliran –
Amidst the challenges that lie ahead in the establishment of a center
that will facilitate the processing and documentation of all paper
requirements for the establishment of a business enterprise as well as
a place that will provide would-be investors and entrepreneurs with
useful and basic information on various business options, Naval Mayor
Susan V. Parilla approved the establishment of a National Economic
Research and Business Assistance Center (NERBAC) in the capital town
of Biliran province.
NERBAC was established
by virtue of Republic Act No. 7470 promulgated on April 29, 1992 or
the law known as the National Economic Research and Business
Assistance Center of the Philippines Act of 1992. On
May 11, 2009, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued
Department Administrative Order No. 09-04 which is the Operating
Guidelines in the implementation of the NERBAC Law.
It was learned during
the one-day Provincial NERBAC Orientation and Organization held here
recently that Mayor Parilla has sent a letter of intent to DTI-Biliran
for the establishment of the center in Biliran province which will be
situated in the capital town.
NERBAC-Biliran will be
temporarily housed at the DTI Provincial Office at the start of its
operation while LGU-Naval is still looking for a space that will
accommodate the center. However, Mayor Parilla is contemplating of
putting NERBAC at the Municipal Treasurer’s Office after its
NERBAC-Biliran will be
manned by personnel to be assigned by the mandatory agencies necessary
in the process of getting a business permit or license on scheduled
basis such as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security System (SSS),
Philippine Health Corporation (PhilHealth), Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) and Home Mutual Development Fund (HDMF) known as
Pag-Ibig, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or other agencies
applicable in the business process and licensing in the locality.
For her part, Mayor
Parilla said that she understands that establishing NERBAC is a
herculean task but she considers it also as a big opportunity for
enticing more investors to come to Naval which in one way or the other
would propel the local economy thereby creating a ripple of economic
development and progress of the town. (PIA-Biliran)
From Public Safety College's P1.1 billion budget
Gov't has ample funds
to train crisis negotiators, says solon
September 13, 2010
QUEZON CITY –
Government has enough resources to thoroughly train and produce
highly capable crisis negotiators needed to quell significant
hostage-taking incidents and other highly unstable conditions, Cavite
Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said Saturday.
In the proposed
General Appropriations Act of 2011, Barzaga said the Philippine Public
Safety College (PPSC), under the Department of the Interior and Local
Government (DILG), is getting some P1.1 billion in fresh funding.
"Some of the funds
could and should be invested by the PPSC in fully developing a select
group of skillful crisis handlers and negotiators, to be drawn from
the various law enforcement agencies," Barzaga said.
The chief negotiator
in the Aug. 23 hostage-taking disaster, Supt. Orlando Yebra,
previously acknowledged that the National Police still do not have an
official hostage negotiating team.
Besides the police,
Barzaga said the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of
Corrections and the Bureau of Fire Protection should also develop
effective crisis negotiators.
"Our prisons and jails
are extremely vulnerable to highly volatile conditions, such as
potential rioting and hostage-taking incidents," he warned.
Barzaga said the PPSC
should also secure the help of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) in training the crisis negotiators.
"The FBI has been
helping law enforcement agencies around the world in crisis management
and negotiations. We should avail of their assistance for the benefit
of our own law enforcement agencies," he said.
undergo an intensive special course and are constantly updated by
research, case studies and activities designed to build up their
capabilities to assess, manage and overcome critical incidents,
urged the National Bureau of Investigation to establish a new division
patterned after the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group, which
boasts of 340 professional crisis negotiators.
He pointed out that
due to the lack of competent negotiators, in the past, government had
also bungled several critical incidents, including the recovery of
foreigners held hostage in Mindanao.
"We are convinced that
a strong negotiator, fully and singularly in command of the situation,
could have suppressed the Luneta hostage-taking crisis long before it
rapidly spun out of control," Barzaga said.
said the PPSC is expected to spend some P119 million to provide basic
training to the 4,000 additional police, jail and fire officers that
government will be recruiting next year to reinforce public safety.
Besides hiring 3,000
new police officers, he said the DILG will enlist an additional 500
jail officers, and another 500 fire officers.