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Cong. Sarmiento prioritizes ICT infusion in school

More than a thousand farmers marched in Catbalogan for Peasant Day and “World Foodless Day”

Mining company, DENR, LGU MacArthur, local NGO ink MOA to ensure environmental protection

SELDA calls for immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners

Samar’s anti-corruption group moves on

DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo formally signs MOA with SIPPAD

LMP Leyte prexy being groomed to be the LMP national president

PhilHealth hikes quarterly premiums of individually paying members from P300 to P600

RP-MCC compact provides $434M for 3 major anti-poverty, anti-corruption projects

Robredo stresses the need to involve civil society in governance




Calbayog Sanitary Landfill, 95% complete and one of the bests in the Philippines or Asia

October 26, 2010

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  Calbayog City Sanitary Landfill is almost 95% complete and could be used anytime but no mixed garbage should be dumped in the facility said City Solid Waste Management Officer Reynaldo Gonzaga.

“I will not allow mixed garbage to be dumped because it will shorten the life span of the landfill,” stressed Gonzaga. Waste segregation should be done in the barangay level while the city’s obligation is the collection of residual wastes.

Part of Section 10 of Republic Act 9003 says that “segregation and collection of solid waste shall be conducted at the barangay level specifically for biodegradable, compostable and reusable wastes: Provided, that the collection of non-recyclable materials and special wastes shall be the responsibility of the municipality or city.”

Gonzaga said that 60% of the garbage is biodegradable and among the 157 barangays in Calbayog, 14 have MRF (Material Recovery Facility). Collections are regularly conducted in the 22 barangays inclusive the daily routine in commercial areas of the city.

As provided in Sec.17 (c), the barangay shall be responsible for ensuring that 100% collection efficiency from residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sources, where necessary within its area of coverage, is achieved.

The 4.9 hectares sanitary landfill which is located in Brgy. Dinagan this city is an LGU Calbayog- JICA (Japanese International Cooperative Agency) project which has an initial expenditure of P48M for phase 1, said Gonzaga. There is a need to construct the composting facility and purchase additional equipment for the maintenance of the project, he added.

He further disclosed that with the high CDS (Community Development Strategy) compliance of Calbayog, there is a big possibility that the World Bank will invest for the construction of composting facility. It however depends on the acceptability level of the city.

In region 8 and in the whole Philippines or Asia, only Calbayog has been considered as the best sanitary landfill; thereby following the technical design of JICA compared to Davao and Sagay cities, Gonzaga said.

With the help of the Department of Interior and Local Government, he was hopeful that barangay forums would be conducted after October 25 elections. A tour at the sanitary landfill was one of his plans to strengthen their advocacy programs.

In another development, CSMO Gonzaga is set to deliver a lecture-presentation on Sanitary Landfill Establishment in the forthcoming 4th Eastern Visayas Regional Ecology Center - 8 Annual Solid Waste Management Summit on October 27-28, 2010 at the DPWH Multi-Purpose Hall, Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

The invitation was initiated by the Environmental Management Bureau RO-8. Bearing the theme “The ABCs of Solid Waste Management: Partnering with academe, barangays, and communities to improve awareness, behavior and compliance, the summit expects local chief executives, ENROs (Environment and Natural Resources Officer) and SWMOs (Solid Waste Management Officer), barangay captains or Liga Presidents, SK officials, SB members preferably committee chairs on environment and finance to participate.

Calbayog City SWMO will also join in showcasing handicrafts products (i.e. bags, flower vase, slippers & etc.) made from recyclable materials.





8ID calls NDF-EV to stop mocking development in Samar Island instead let the people’s desire to thrive

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
October 25, 2010

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) had kept on tagging the developmental drive in Samar Island to be an anti-insurgency tool and a militarization of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division partnering with other concerned corporations and agencies in the pursuit of peace and development in Region 8. [ NDF-EV assails 8th ID for hustling for US grant and promoting militarization and underdevelopment ]

The 8ID has been stormed by criticisms from these self praised organizations for having consistently dealing with other stakeholders to make the Region move forward in terms of development and nation building.

In the recent four-paged press release of the CPP’s information bureau in Eastern Visayas, Mr. Santiago Salas strongly opposed the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) that granted about $200 million for a circumferential road to connect three (3) provinces of Samar which is eyed to be bringing greater economic uplift of the island.

Salas once again barks out loud trying to stop the project by deceptively calling out for the people to enjoin his pleadings that the project is being pursued with the evil intention while his heart shakes because their usual propaganda lines that “the government does not show concern for the people” will be eventually nullified.

While it is also true that land reform and national industrialization are needed for development as what they are claiming, it is a big question why the CPP-NPA-NDF had done nothing in the pursuance of these noble undertakings? It could not be denied that the requisite for the land reform and national industrialization to be realized is a need for roads and bridges to be tied-up with other sort of developmental projects that would pave the way for the safe passage of investors, bringing of products to the market, the entry of electrical facilities in the remote barangays and the open and wide access to information technology and alike. It is really unimaginable why the NDF-EV hinders these projects if indeed they want genuine peace and development for our people?

Salas continuously tagged the development line of the 8ID to make it appear that the 8ID is not really for development and that “Major General Mario Chan is masking counter-insurgency campaign behind development.”

In the onset, development in Samar is a choice of the people, and strongly supported by the 8ID. It is included both in the Regional and Provincial Development Plans of the Provinces of Samar and Leyte islands. These development projects are in fact being pushed by no less than Governor Paul Daza of Northern Samar, Governor Sharee Ann Tan-Delos Santos of Samar, Governor Conrado Nicart Jr of Eastern Samar, Governor Jericho Petilla of Leyte, Congressmen Raul Daza and Ben Evardone, Congresswoman Milagrosa Tan and other chief executives down to the municipal level in the whole Region 8. These developmental projects had also been prepared long before the assumption of General Chan as commander of 8ID.

8ID has been strongly supporting the initiative. It is the people that want their barangays to have roads, electrifications, water systems, school facilities and health centres for their economic, health and educational benefits.  8ID only serve as a security force for the realization of these projects that the NPAs tried to block.  8ID just carried out the demand of our people to assure that their long desired infrastructure projects will surely be completed as soon as possible.

If the NDF-EV desires for a genuine development of the region, we are with them.  We have the mutual intention to bring out and push development in the region.

As a mutual endorser of development in the Region and for us to pave the way towards mutual desire to bring genuine development in the region, why don’t the NPAs stop extorting fees from civilian and local project contractors that reduces great amount of the project costs causing stoppage of infrastructure projects particularly in the country side?

Why don’t they stop sabotaging and harassing the Army engineers who take over projects from the civilian contractors because of the destructive actions of their armed group, the New People’s Army?

Why don’t they stop bombings of cell sites and communication satellites, burning of buses and construction equipment, destruction of irrigation machines and continuous mass actions against the partnership of our country with the other nation in the name of economic stability?

Instead of continuing engagement to this unruly and harsh behaviour which are violation of our human rights, why the CPP/NPA don’t just lay down their arms, join in the mainstream of the society  and be with us to unitedly pursue the dreams and aspirations of our people in Samar.  Full economic stability and country’s development could be attained in the presence of peace not by violence.

In a statement made by the Commander of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division Major General Mario Chan, he said that no one can stop the people from progressing.  Not the selfish desire of the Communist Party of the Philippines to grab power, not the lies of the National Democratic Front, not the terror being carried out by the New People’s Army, not even by the eloquent wordings of Mr. Santiago Salas who keep on barking at the crowd with his tails rapped-in to him and not by vicious claim of some people with vested personal interests.

“Try to look outside of this region. Misamis Oriental, Cebu and Bohol are now peaceful provinces and their economies steady rising, booming and progressing.  The Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran which are almost freed from the internal threat are now keeping-in steps with their neighboring provinces to make their names in the countries economic stake.  The formula is simple. They gave peace and development an opportunity to meddle in their midst.  Look at the difference and in few years from now, they can also be lined up among the progressive cities and provinces not just in our country but in the other nations as well,” General Chan adds.

“To our people, members of the POs, CSOs, NGOs and other sectoral organizations including the media, let us all unite and work hand in hand to instil to our people’s mind that the government is doing this for the people’s benefit once and for all.  The three provinces in Samar are left far behind from other provinces economically but not in the aspiration of its people to progress. Let us double time not to surpass them but rather even just to keep-in steps with them, not for our own good but for our children and for our children’s children sake,” adds General Chan.

“And to the ranks and files of the CPP/NPA, who are victimized by the failed ideology, let us hear the cries and yells of our people who thirst for peace and development.  May you heed to the calls of the peace-loving people of Samar to lay down your arms and join them in the open for a true spirit of freedom and democracy”, the good general concluded.





Cong. Sarmiento discloses DSWD "check and balance task" through 4Ps Grievance Committee

October 26, 2010

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar  –  To ensure success in the implementation of 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) which is a conditional cash transfer intended for those living below the poverty threshold, there is an online grievance committee created by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office disclosed by First District Representative Mel Senen S. Sarmiento.

Cong. Mel Senen Sarmiento

While said program is on the stage of releasing funds to more or less 9,000 family-beneficiaries in Calbayog City, qualifications of other enrollees were allegedly being questioned while the “loan shark operation” also surfaced.

Sarmiento admitted that mortality rate could not be avoided but it is generally successful as the program was formulated with the purpose of providing subsidy per month in the form educational assistance to children enrolled in school up to 14 years old with P300 per head and P500 each pregnant mother whose household earning capacity is below one dollar a day.

“An pagpaundang san cash transfer is not a wise move just to address the issue”, said Sarmiento. He added that 4Ps was initiated by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thereby directing the DSWD to identify beneficiaries and regularly conduct monitoring to ascertain its effective implementation for a period of 5 years.

The law on devolution does not prohibit the national government to offer financial assistance to LGUs (local government units) through the DSWD regional office, and elective officials were not commissioned to interfere in the identification and selection of enrollees in order to avoid partisan politics that would result failure of the program, Sarmiento said.

However, the solon revealed that the congressional office has been authorized to receive complaints that would affect the CCT (conditional cash transfer) of the beneficiaries.

Part of DSWD’s task is to validate the information conveyed through the online grievance committee with contact number +639189122813.

DSWD workforce in cities and municipalities continue to undertake regular surveys and infringement of the agreement is a ground for discontinuance to receive the CCT. “Kon may nakikita nga diri tama san beneficiaries tungod kay diri qualified sa program, the DWSD is task to validate the issue”, he stressed.

In the conduct of monitoring, orientations on responsible parenthood were also being conducted by social workers, he further said.

With respect to “loan shark operation”, it occurred when there were delays in the release of funds at Landbank. But the government has entered into an agreement with another agency through Globe Cash Transfer in order resolve the problem.





NDF-EV assails 8th ID for hustling for US grant and promoting militarization and underdevelopment

Press Release
October 22, 2010

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today called 8th Infantry Division chief Gen. Mario Chan a barefaced liar for denying militarization in Samar and for claiming the $200 million US Millenium Challenge Corporation grant will bring development. "It is sheer duplicity for Gen. Chan to deny Samar's militarization," said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson. "Victims of human rights violations have publicly denounced widepread and extended military operations since August in Jiabong, Motiong, San Jorge, Catbalogan, Gandara, Paranas, San Jose de Buan and Matuguinao in Western Samar, as well as several adjacent towns in Northern and Eastern Samar. This goes to show the Aquino government is enamored with the militarist solution and Gen. Mario Chan is implementing this by militarizing Samar. It is already clear the present government is dragging its feet in the peace process with the NDFP, extending the widely condemned Oplan Bantay Laya until January 2011, and carrying out the US Counterinsurgency Guide in plotting its own counterrevolutionary war."

The NDF-EV spokesperson also assailed Gen. Chan for maliciously accusing the revolutionary movement of being against development in opposing the US-funded Samar Road project. "Without basic socio-economic reforms, the MCC project will be a mere publicity and psywar gimmick to glamorize the Aquino government and to justify militarization in the name of securing this project. To assure genuine economic development, land reform and national industrialization are needed. But Samar reflects the backwardness and imbalance under semifeudalism in Eastern Visayas. Of the agricultural land there, the crops planted do not benefit the people: over 60% goes to commercial crops for export such as coconut and abaca, while less than 20% is left for rice and other basic foodstuffs. The agricultural conditions are also dire: the number of irrigated rice fields is drastically declining, farmlands continue to be divided into smaller and less productive parcels, and the use of agricultural machinery or even farm animals is woefully inadequate. Such is the explosive situation where the peasants are becoming increasingly landless, desperate and hungry. Meanwhile, other economic activities such as mining and logging have not resulted in industrialization but the plunder of the island's rich natural resources as raw materials for export. Thus it is Gen. Chan who is against development, for pushing a project that will not solve the island's economic ills, but will hasten the exploitation and oppression of the people."

Fr. Salas likewise charged Gen. Chan of hustling for the US-funded project in his greed to ensure his share from the bureaucratic loot. "The NDF-EV is aware civilian contractors in Samar have been complaining in recent years they are being muscled out by the 8th ID in construction projects. High-ranking military officials not only back certain contractors to share the kickbacks, but also use the army engineering battalions to grab corruption-tainted projects that should have been done by the civilian government. Isn't it strange otherwise why Gen. Mario Chan makes vulgar demands to the local government to rush the US-funded project, when he is out of line in doing so, as a military official who should be subordinate to civilian authority?"

The NDF-EV spokesperson called on the people to express their grievances and expose the real situation in opposing the US Millenium Challenge Corporation project. "We call on the peasantry and the people to press the demands for land reform and national industrialization against a grandiloquent but deceptive project. We call on the Church and the human rights and peace activists to expose and oppose the "counterinsurgency" scheme behind the MCC project based on the US COIN Guide. We also call on the anti-corruption activists to study and criticize the US-funded project that will surely be undertaken by the same thieves responsible for the neglected state of Samar's roads and other public works. Let us oppose the US imperialist design against our national sovereignty in the MCC project and the related US COIN Guide. Let us fight for basic socio-economic reforms that should be undertaken for genuine development. Let us fight for a just and lasting peace against the militarist and fascist direction charted by US imperialism and its puppet Aquino regime."





Defeated incumbent Brgy. Kagawad shot dead in Northern Samar

By NSPDF-PPCRV Joint Election-Monitoring
October 26, 2010 4:00pm

MONDRAGON, Northern Samar  –  At 3:30pm today the joint monitoring headquarters confirmed from P/SSupt. Brigido Unay, Provincial Director of the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office (NSPPO), a report about a killing incident at Brgy. Nabolo, Catubig, Northern Samar – the same place where a boat capsized yesterday which was carrying election paraphernalia as reported by the monitoring teams.

The victim, Antonio Admana Aguilando, 55 yrs. old, was an incumbent Brgy. Kagawad running for re-election but was defeated in the Barangay Elections. The victim was shot using a “home-made” shotgun by an unidentified suspect who remains at large, according to P/SSupt. Unay. The NSPPO is currently investigating the incident and determining the motive behind the killing.



Northern Samar Peace & Development Forum (NSPDF)

Mondragon, Northern Samar





Failure of Elections declared at Brgy. Langub, Laoang, Northern Samar

By NSPDF-PPCRV Joint Election-Monitoring
October 26, 2010 11:00am

MONDRAGON, Northern Samar  –  Around 10:20AM today, the NSPDF-PPCRV Joint Election Monitoring Headquarters received confirmation from Election Officer III, Nonita Arzadon on the failure of Elections at Brgy. Langub of the Municipality of Laoang, Northern Samar.

The multi-sectoral monitoring team based in Laoang, led by Rev. Fr. Pio Aquiatan of the Diocese of Catarman PPCRV, received a report around 7:20PM last night, October 25, that a ballot box was snatched at Brgy. Langub, and similar threats at Brgy. Oleras and Brgy. Cancahipos. The monitoring headquarters immediately informed the PNP and AFP, afterwich both agencies deployed personnel and secured Brgy. Oleras and Cancahipos.

The NSPDF-PPCRV Joint Election Monitoring Headquarters is currently awaiting news updates on an incident on October 25 involving a capsized motorboat at Brgy. San Vicente, Catubig.





35 Barangays in Northern Samar deferred Elections to October 26

October 25, 2010 8:00pm

CATARMAN, Northern Samar  –  According to the NSPDF-PPCRV Joint Election Monitoring Teams roving around the Province of Northern Samar, a total of 35 barangays from 3 Municipalities postponed their Barangay and SK Elections to October 26, Tuesday.

According to the Provincial Election Supervisor, Atty. Andrew Bido, the COMELEC prioritized distribution of the Election Paraphernalia to far-flung barangays because of the mode of transportation and time required to reach these areas. The barangays that postponed elections to October 26 are those that are more accessible and near the road system of the province.

Barangays which deferred Elections to October 26:

Municipality of Catarman (28):

1. Talisay

2. Calachuchi

3. Imelda

4. Galutan

5. Casoy

6. Jose Abad Santos

7. Narra

8. Yakal

9. Cagabaca

10. Lapu-Lapu

11. Sampaguita

12. Ipil-ipil

13. Samoge

14. Dońa Polqueria

15. JP Rizal

16. Washington

17. Libjo

18. Molave

19. Santol

20. Daganas

21. Bangkerohan

22. Cawayan

23. University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) Zone 1

24. UEP Zone 2

25. UEP Zone 3

26. Dalakit

27. Baybay

28. Macagtas


Municipality of Las Navas (1)

1. San Jorge


Municipality of Mondragon (6)

1. Dońa Lucia

2. Makiwalo

3. Imelda

4. La Trinidad

5. Bugko

6. Roxas





Barangay & SK Election updates - Northern Samar

October 25, 2010, 6pm

Widespread detention of SK Voters

The NSPDF-PPCRV Joint Election Monitoring Headquarters has received a number of reports of young people being detained by supporters of candidates throughout the province. However, a majority of their parents would not like to file any form of complaint against the perpetrators out of fear for their safety.

October 23 (around 10:30am), young voters were allegedly being detained by a couple at their house at Brgy. Ward II, San Antonio. The HQ communicated the matter to the PNP and with the help of a concerned citizen of the small island-town, PNP personnel were able to settle the matter and the children were released.

October 24 (around 9:30am). young voters of Brgy. Cawayan, Catarman were also allegedly being hauled to Brgy. Daganas and detained against their will. The HQ received a number of calls and texts about the matter and immediately communicated the matter to the PNP for immediate action. However, upon arrival of the PNP the parents of the children who were allegedly being detained were present in Brgy. Daganas and informed the PNP personnel that they are there with their consent.

According to the Joint Election Monitoring Team in the area of Laoang, young voters in Brgy. Oleras were allegedly being mass relocated and detained. In coordination with the PNP, the monitoring team went to the barangay to verify the reports and found a number of SK voters still aboard a vehicle. The monitoring team took photographs of the young voters and also secured two (2) affidavits from two parents that signify their disapproval of the relocation and detention.

SK Candidate handing out cellphones

24 October (around 8:00PM) According to the Joint Election Monitoring Team in the area of Lavezares, SK Candidates in the area were allegedly buying votes by handing out cellphones or money to young voters. The HQ received a number of confirmations from the area and relayed the matter to the Municipal Election Officer.

Transport of Election paraphernalia delayed

24 October (8:00PM) According to the Northern Samar Provincial Information Center of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), COMELEC Tacloban experienced delays in transporting the Election paraphernalia intended for Northern Samar. Three (3) transport vans reportedly left around 4:30PM from Tacloban and is expected to arrive in the province between 11:00PM to 1:00AM October 25.

Misinformation being circulated

On October 24 (around 6:20PM), the HQ received its first election-related violent incident report which states that a certain Jenny Arhenio (Divina) was shot in her house at Brgy. Cawayan, Catarman. The HQ immediately relayed the incident to the PNP for confirmation. Around 7:45PM, the HQ received a report from the PNP stating that the incident was not election-related as relayed by relatives and friends. The incident is no longer being monitored by the HQ since then.

On October 25 (around 9:00am), the HQ received a call from a reliable source that there were reports circulating about the killing of the Chairman of Brgy Libjo, Catarman. The HQ, per protocol, relayed the information to its volunteers and to the PNP for confirmation. Before 12:00NN (lunch time), the PNP informed the HQ that the incident was fabricated and was false. None of the monitoring volunteers were also able to verify the incident.

COMELEC Resolution about the delayed Election Paraphernalia

24 October (around 10:00PM) According the PNP-NSPPO, through the PIA Information Center, Atty. Andrew Bido, the Provincial Election Officer, relayed a resolution by the COMELEC National Office stating that the Barangay and SK Elections will continue until 5:00PM in areas that will receive the election paraphernalia before noon (12:00nn) of October 25. Areas that would not be able to receive their election paraphernalia before 12:00nn will be delayed to October 26.

COMELEC Resolution about PPCRV copy of Election Returns (ERs)

The HQ received, around 10:25am October 25, a copy of a memorandum signed by COMELEC Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal directing all Board of Election Tellers (BETs) that in cases where there are insufficient or unavailable copies of ERs, PPCRV volunteers should be furnished a copy of the Certificate of Votes instead.

Barangay Elections deferred to October 26

October 25 (4:00PM) According to the three (3) NSPDF-PPCRV Joint Election Monitoring Teams, all 24 municipalities in the province held Barangay and SK Elections with the exception of a few barangays which could not hold elections before 12:00nn. In Catarman, seven (7) barangays which includes Cawayan, UEP Zones 1, 2 and 3, Dalakit, Baybay and Macagtas will defer to October 26. In Las Navas, one (1) barangay, Brgy. San Jorge will defer. In Mondragon, six (6) barangays, Brgy. Dońa Lucia, Makiwalo, Imelda, La Trinidad, Bugko and Roxas will defer. However, Brgy. Bugko of Mondragon was able to hold SK Elections. A total of fourtheen (14) barangays in Northern Samar will hold elections on October 26.



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