provides $434M for 3 major anti-poverty, anti-corruption projects
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – The
$434 million which the Philippine Government received following the
signing of the RP - Millennium Development Corporation compact on
September 23, provides funding for three major anti-poverty and
Benigno S. Aquino III greets US Secretary of State and MCC
chairperson Hillary Rodham Clinton after the signing of the $434
million Republic of the Philippines-Millennium Challenge
Corporation (GRP-MCC) Compact at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on
Friday (Manila time, Sept. 24). Also in photo are Finance
Secretary Cesar Purisima and MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes.
Jay Morales / Malacañang Photo Bureau)
The first project is
the construction and repair of the 220-kilometer Samar Road with
$214.4 million as allocated fund.
The road, which passes
through 15 municipalities, will improve access to markets and services
for farmers, fishers, and small businesses in some of the poorest
provinces in the country.
This project will
hopefully solve the poverty-rooted insurgency problems in the
The second project is
the Expansion of the Kalahi-CIDSS, a development project that empowers
communities by encouraging their participation in poverty alleviation
activities. With $120-million allotted fund, the project includes
construction of critical infrastructure such as water systems,
clinics, and schools.
MCC officials said
this innovative project design strengthens local accountability and
allows poor communities to effectively design and transparently manage
the projects they need to increase their incomes and improve their
The third project is
the $54.3 million in investments to computerize and streamline
business processes in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which is seen to bolster the effectiveness of
revenue collection and reduce opportunities for corruption.
The signing of the
RP-Millennium Development Corporation (MDC) compact presided over by President Benigno S. Aquino
III and United States
Department of State Secretary Hillary Clinton, who expressed total
support and confidence in the present administration.
The agreement was
signed by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Millennium Challenge
Corporation (MCC) chief executive officer Daniel Yohannes at the
Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, USA.
turn-over of 7 marine park watch towers to LGU recipients in Southern
By BONG PEDALINO
Leyte – A structure that would serve as a 24/7 guard
house watching the fish sanctuary that straddles two barangasy here,
Sta. Cruz and Molopolo, was successfully turned over on Friday from a
German government donor, GTZ, to the local government leaders and to
the fisherfolks in the area.
Key officials of GTZ
in the province, Mary Ann Tercero and Vince Delector, Jr., handed the
symbolic key to Macrohon Mayor Fe Edillo, Vice-Mayor Allan Aroy, and
the barangay leaders in the area, Allan Montilla and Ike Montilla, of
barangays Sta. Cruz and Molopolo, respectively.
It was the last
turn-over rites for the seven GTZ-funded watch towers in
Southern Leyte, said Delector, GTZ Sr. Coordinator for the
Environment Research and Development (EnRD) program.
In a brief chat with
PIA shortly before the program started, Delector revealed that the
location of the seven watch towers were in the marine fish sanctuaries
of Silago, Hiunangan, Hinundayan, Limasawa, Pintuyan, Maasin City, and
The construction of
the watch towers, which cost P1 Million each with counterpart funds of
at least P100,000 from the recipient LGUs, began in 2008, but it was
only in July this year when the scheduled turn-overs started, Delector
Maasin City’s watch
tower was situated at Hapitan beach in barangay Manhilo, and it was
just handed over on Thursday, September 23, the second to the last
that was turned over, it was learned.
Member Albert Esclamado represented Gov. Damian Mercado in the
ceremonies for the Macrohon turn-over.
In his inspirational
message, Board Member Esclamado cited the activity as a landmark
event, even as he reminisced the efforts of all those involved in
initiating the project, and called on those concerned to sustain
efficiency of the four-storey, concrete guard post for the future
generations to use and appreciate its value, especially in protecting
and preserving the fish sanctuary.
Mary Ann Tercero, GTZ
Advisor, stressed that the watch tower can also serve as a learning
center for children and as a venue for important gathering and
meetings of various sectors, among them women.
For her part, Mayor
Edillo said she accepted the challenge of maintaining the structure,
saying this will form part of her legacy.
during the turn-over rites, which was preceded by a blessing
officiated by Rev. Fr. Joy Macuto, were Nedgar Garvez, provincial
tourism officer, Macrohon municipal officials, barangay captains,
Isabel Enriquez, the Municipal Agricultural Officer, and former
Vice-Mayor Dr. Wilfredo Madrona, the acknowledged father of Sta. Cruz-Molopolo
Marine Park and Fish Sanctuary. (PIA Southern
3LPHED national prexy
appeals for support, cooperation of LCEs, legislators in Eastern Samar
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA
TACLOBAN CITY – The
national president of the Local Legislators League of the Philippines
on Population, Health and Environment and Development (3LPHED)
appealed before the local chief executives and local legislators in
Eastern Samar gathered here on Thursday for a two-day congress, for
support and cooperation in the attainment of population, health,
environment and development initiatives in line with the Millennium
Development Goals (MDG).
The theme of the 3rd
3LPHED congress is anchored on “The Legislators as Partners in the
Attainment of MDG Goals”.
Atty. Enerio Sabulao,
National President of 3LPHED and at the same time a board member of
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Eastern Samar, in his message
emphasized the active involvement of the provincial board members,
mayors, sangguniang bayan members in the province of Eastern Samar for
the attainment of these initiatives included in the MDGs.
Atty. Sabulao stressed
that the congress is aimed at informing all the new elected local
chief executives and local legislators in
Eastern Samar regarding the initiatives and taking of concrete steps and
measures for the realization of these initiatives in their localities.
He also informed that
the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an international agency
which gave supports to health related undertakings throughout the
world, is a conduit in the implementation of these initiatives in the
Sabulao revealed that
the agency will not only provide LGUs with health facilities and
equipment but also capability building activities for the health
providers in the effective and efficient implementation of these
encouraged local legislators to pass resolutions and ordinances in
support to these initiatives. He mentioned some local laws passed
already by local legislators in the province like the Eastern Samar
Comprehensive Health Code and some local laws already approved like
the Child and Youth Welfare Code and the Gender and Development Code.
“I hope that we are
one and in the same direction in attaining these initiatives in
Eastern Samar”, Sabulao said.
Leyte governor is new
RPOC 8 chairman, North Samar gov is vice-chair
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla was elected
unopposed as the chairman of the Eastern Visayas Regional Peace and
Order Council during the reorganization meeting conducted at the DepEd
Conference Room on September 24.
Governor Icot Petilla
Governor Petilla who
was recently endorsed as the chairman of the Regional Development of
Eastern Visayas, said that his vision is to make the RPOC in
not just an ordinary council for compliance, but one that matters.
The meeting which was
presided by DILG Director Francisco C. Jose, also saw the election of
Northern Samar Governor Paul Daza as the vice-chairman of the RPOC in
Region 8. It was observed that only the two governors were present
during the meeting but the other four were properly represented.
Since only one City in
the Region was represented, the City of
will seat at the representative of the Cities in Region 8.
The body also
nominated six Private Sector Representatives. From among the six, the
RPOC chair will appoint three PSRs after security check.
The body unanimously
approved the motion to endorse Governor Petilla and Governor Daza as
the chair and vice-chair of RPOC 8 for appointment of DILG Secretary
Robredo with the approval of President Aquino.
Executive Order No.
773 issued on
January 5, 2009, called for further reorganization of the Peace and
Order Council. An unnumbered Memorandum dated
August 11, 2010 of
Secretary of Interior and Local Government Jesse M. Robredo enunciated
The Regional Peace and
Order Council (RPOC) shall be composed of the region's Provincial
Governors, the Mayors of the Highly Urbanized Cities, the Presidents
of the Leagues of Municipalities, the regional counterparts of the
departments, offices and agencies enumerated in NPOC, wherever
applicable, with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to be appointed by the
DILG with the approval of the President of the Philippines from among
the members of the Council.
In addition, there
shall be one representative of the Mayors of the Component Cities to
be chosen from among themselves. The Chairman of the RPOC shall
appoint the three (3) representatives of the private sector, upon
consultation with the members of the Council and upon acquiring the
appropriate security clearances. The regional counterpart of the CSAFP
shall be the Commander of the Infantry Division. Departments, offices
and agencies with no regional and/or field offices shall not sit in
The duties and
functions of the RPOCs include, among others, to provide a forum for
dialogue and deliberation of major issues and problems affecting peace
and order, including insurgency; to recommend measures which will
improve or enhance peace and order and public safety in their
respective areas of responsibility, including anti-insurgency
measures; and to recommend measures to converge and orchestrate
internal security operations efforts of civil authorities and
agencies, military and police.
The other duties and
functions include, to apply moral suasion to and/or recommend
sanctions against local chief executives who are giving material and
political support to the Communist rebels; to monitor the provision of
livelihood and infrastructure development programs and projects in the
remote rural and indigenous population areas adopted to isolate them
from the Communist rebels' "Agitate/Arouse, Organize and Mobilize" and
ideological, political and organization works; and to perform all
other functions assigned by law, the President or the NPOC.
DOH 8 to allocate P671
M in 2011 to finance various health programs, projects in EV
By RODRIGO S. VICTORIA
TACLOBAN CITY – The
Department of Health (DOH) in
Eastern Visayas will allocate a considerable amount next year to
finance the various health programs and projects of the department in
Dr. Edgardo M. Gonzaga,
Regional Director of DOH 8 informed that his agency will allocate
P671-M to finance infrastructure projects, equipment and capital
outlays to Rural Health Units (RHUs), government hospitals and even
the improvement of Barangay Health Centers.
The health chief made
this pronouncement before the local chief executives and local
legislators of Eastern Samar who attended the two-day 3rd 3LPHED
Congress held here Thursday at the Balyuan Convention Center.
Dr. Gonzaga stressed
that there is a need to provide enough financial support to LGUs so
they can successfully implement health related projects and programs
in their locality.
“I recognize the
difficulty of LGUs in implementing programs and projects because of
the very limited Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) they received from
the national government”, Director Gonzaga said.
He added that LGUs
cannot really implement projects and programs and improve the delivery
of basic services in which one of those is health services beneficial
to its constituents, because of the lack of funds.
He revealed that DOH 8
will focus next year in the improvement of Rural Health Units (RHUs)
including the putting up of health station in island barangays in the
The health chief in
region 8 is also contemplating of putting one health worker, a midwife
in particular in every barangay in Eastern Visayas, as his positive
response to the call of President Benigno S. Aquino to further improve
the delivery of health services to Filipinos.
This move is likewise
in consonance to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)
particularly in item numbers 4 and 5 which are the reduction of child
mortality and maternal mortality in 2015 in the country.
DENR inks MOA with
City of Tacloban and PO PIAFDAI for the establishment of a Regional
Wildlife Rescue Center (RWRC)
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY –
Confiscated, donated and abandoned wild plants and animals can now
have temporary and appropriate refuge center while they are
quarantined or properly cared for as the Regional Wildlife Rescue
Center (RWRC) starts its operation on a 10 hectare area located in
Barangay Salvacion, Tacloban City.
Row) Mayor Romualdez, RTD Danilo Javier and CENR Officer Marciano
Talavera, (Right Row) RED Galinato and City ENRO Jonathan Hijada
during the signing of the MOA for the establishment of the
Regional Wildlife Rescue Center.
The establishment of a
RWRC developed as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR), Region 8, through the leadership of Regional Executive
Director Primitivo C. Galinato Jr, signed a Memorandum of Agreement
with the City government of Tacloban headed by Mayor Alfred Romualdez
and the Paraclete Integrated Agro-Forest Development Association, Inc.
(PIAFDAI) led by its President Joel Regato. The simple ceremony was
held at the Mayor Alfred Social Action (MASA) Office, this city on
September 22, 2010.
In the said MOA, the
DENR and the City of
Tacloban shall co-manage the operation as well as the maintenance and
protection of the RWRC. The PIAFDI shall also help in maintenance and
protection of the forest covering their Community Based Forest
Management Area where the RWRC is co-located.
During the MOA signing
DENR’S Protected Areas Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service
Regional Technical Director Danilo A. Javier said that the 10 hectare
area intended for the RWRC shall be delineated by the DENR’s Land
Evaluation Party as it is located within the CBFM Project awarded to
the PIAFDAI per CBFM Agreement granted on December 18, 1999.
Red Galinato assured
the compliance of the DENR in the provision of P300,000 for the
establishment of the RWRC including expenses for food, medical
supplies as well as the marking and tagging materials for animals that
will be in custody by the center. In addition, the DENR shall provide
P100,000 annually for a period of three years. It shall also provide
assistance to the Tacloban City LGU in the conduct of manpower
capability building on wildlife rescue and handling.
On the other hand,
Mayor Romualdez committed to abide by the terms stated in the MOA such
as providing counterpart funding of P100,000 for the establishment of
the RWRC. The city government shall assist the DENR in the conduct of
resource assessment, develop, design and construct facilities for the
center clinic, laboratory, quarantine and office facilities. The City
Veterinary Office shall provide veterinary services to all animals in
custody of the RWRC. Also, it will provide funds for the
rehabilitation of denuded and degraded areas within the perimeter of
the center. Its City Environment and Natural Resources Office headed
by Mr. Jonathan Hijada shall take charge in the management,
maintenance and operation of the RWRC.
The PIAFDAI is tasked
to protect the entire forestland within the RWRC against illegal tree
cutters, kaingeneros and other forms of forest destruction. It shall
assist the City LGU and DENR in the prosecution of forestry and
environmental law violators.
The establishment of
the RWRC is mandated under R.A. 9147, the Wildlife Resources
Conservation and Protection Act and Department Administrative Order
No. 2000-46. Before the finalization of agreements for the
establishment of the RWRC, series of dialogues and consultations were
made by the DENR with the Barangay officials of Salvacion and
Sanggunian Panlungsod of Tacloban City since year 2008.
The RWRC in Barangay
Salvacion is located about 10 kilometers north of Tacloban City. The
area is within the CBFM project managed by the PIAFDI. This area was
selected because it is outside a protected area and very accessible to
Tacloban City which has a high probability of the occurrence of
illegal wildlife trading and confiscation, has available water supply
and access to animal food and clinic.
Witnesses to the MOA
signing are: CENR Officer Marciano Talavera of DENR-CENRO Palo, Leyte,
City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Jonathan Hijada,
Protected Areas and Wildlife Division Chief Corazon Makabenta and
other staff from the DENR and the City of Tacloban.
MSQRT holds its 1st
National Assembly in Manila
By EMY C. BONIFACIO, Samar News.com
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The three organized Muti-Sectoral Quick Reaction Teams (MSQRTs) coming
from Luzon and the Visayas converged at the Madison Plaza, Astoria
Plaza Hotel, Ortigas Center, Pasig City in Manila for a two-day
training workshop on Quick Reaction Mechanisms last September 19-20.
The activity, which was jointly initiated by the Ateneo Human Rights
Center (AHRC) and EU-Philippines Justice Support Programme (EPJUST),
was relative to the establishment of MSQRTs in the countryside where
cases of Extra-Legal Killings (ELKs) and Enforced Disappearances (EDs)
are apparently high or alarming.
Quick Reaction Team (MSQRT) is a one stop shop service group, composed
of both the government and private agencies, that is committed to give
a quick response or immediate assistance to
ELK and ED victims. Member institutions are identified to come from the
church, non-government organizations, civil society, academe, security
forces and government agencies. Under its structure, the primacy of
partnership is recognized. Thus, the respective mandates of every
institution are respected. Services extended by the MSQRT are mainly
victim-oriented rather than perpetrator-oriented, the AHRC explains.
The three formally
organized MSQRTs are the “KAUGOP” (MSQRT Leyte); the “ANDUROG KAN
DERECHOS” (MSQRT Albay); and “DARANGPAN” (MSQRT Catarman,
Western Samar stakeholders have already signified its commitment to
organize its own MSQRT and are now formalizing its protocol for a
scheduled launch on October, this year. Samar MSQRT’s presence in the
said training, as an observer, was represented by
Samar News.com who
is an active partner of the said organization. Likewise, collaborative
meetings among stakeholders in Negros Occidental and Surigao del Sur
are ongoing and being monitored by the AHRC.
“Kaugop” was launched
last April 29, 2010 while the “Darangpan” was simultaneously launched on
October 19, 2010 when the “Year of Peace and Justice” was also declared
Samar. The “Andurog Kan Derechos” was formally established on October
2009 and is recognized as a pioneering MSQRT in the Philippines. In
fact, it is being credited for finalizing the first protocol that
served as a pattern for the succeeding protocols drafted by newly
The session was
started by a welcome message and an Overview of the Concept of the
MSQRT Project which was delivered by the AHRC Executive Director,
Atty. Carlos P. Medina Jr., a newly appointed member of the Truth
Commission. On its second day, Training on Psychosocial Assistance was
facilitated by Ms. Romina Sta Clara, National Human Rights Key Expert
of the EU-Philippines Justice Support Program (EPJUST); Sanctuary, as
a related service, was discussed by Mr. Max M. de Mesa, Philippine
Alliance of Human Rights Advocates; Training and Documentation and
Reporting of Cases of ELKs and EDs was comprehensively lectured by Ms.
Sunshine Serrano, Program Officer of the Task Force Detainees of the
Philippines (TFDP) and lastly, a brief training on Investigation came
from Atty. Robert Alcantara of the Commission on Human Rights. A
synthesis and planning culminated the training workshop with Atty
Khrisna Gomez, Atty. Patricia Cervantes and Ms. Anna Canilo as
training coordinators and facilitators.
The sharing of
experiences, issues, concerns and challenges during the sessions
resulted to a consensus and commitment by every stakeholder to improve
the existing operational mechanisms of the MSQRTs in the different
localities. A more efficient and systematic approach in addressing the
needs of victims of ELKs and EDs were conceptualized as a result of
However, while the
support institutions continually conduct capacity building efforts on
various fields of the MSQRT services, a test case has yet to be
experienced to determine the MSQRT capability in accomplishing its
mission of promoting justice and peace in the society through a multi-sectoral
Finally, a Regional
MSQRT gathering has been set in Catbalogan on October 12, 2010. Both
the KAUGOP and DARANGPAN core group will be around to assist in the
formal organization of the MSQRT-Samar.
Gun ban for Barangay,
SK elections starts Sept 25
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY – Comelec
Region 8 Director Nick Mendros informed that the Comelec gun ban in
connection with the Barangay and SK elections started at 12 midnight
of September 25.
Region 8 PSSupt Edgar O. Basbas who represented Director Revilla in
the Regional Peace and Order Council meeting on September 24 informed
that the Philippine National Police is ready to implement gun ban in
The Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) earlier issued guidelines covering the bearing,
carrying and transporting of firearms and on the employment of
bodyguards as part of security preparations for the October 25, 2010
Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Through Resolution No.
9028, the COMELEC en banc reiterated the need to strictly enforce
Sections 32 and 33 of Republic Act No. 7166, that states "during the
election period, no person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or
other deadly weapons in public places, including any building, street,
park, private vehicle or public conveyance, even if licensed to
possess or carry the same, unless authorized in writing by the
Commission. The issuance of firearms shall be suspended during the
The Comelec has set
the election period from September 25 to November 10, 2010 or 30 days
before the date of the election and 15 days thereafter. This is the
period when gun ban is effected.
The same provides that
only regular members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other law enforcement agencies of the Government are authorized to
carry and possess firearms during the election period, provided they
are in their full uniforms and are in the actual performance of their
Meanwhile, Section 33
of RA 7166 states that "during the election period, no candidate for
public office, including incumbent public officers seeking reelection
to any public office, shall employ, avail himself of or engage the
services of security personnel or bodyguards," unless otherwise
"assigned by the Commission upon application."
Candidates for the
Barangay and SK positions, any public officer or private individual,
however, may avail of the services of security personnel or
bodyguards, provided that they file the proper application before the
The application must
be accompanied with a "threat assessment issued by the AFP or PNP." A
filing fee of P1,000.00 shall be charged for each application.