Calbayog City hosts
this year’s EVRAA
CATBALOGAN, Samar – Calbayog
City is now busy in the preparation for the Eastern Visayas Regional
Athletic Association (EVRAA) meet in Calbayog City in February, 2011.
EVRAA Meet is set to
open on January 30, 2011 in Calbayog City.
The working committee
included Representatives from DepEd, Mr. Raul Agban, City Disaster
Risk Reduction Management Officer Mr. Estanislao Cortado and City
Administrator Mr. Emerlito Montealto attended the meeting.
It was learned that
the approved budget allocation for the EVRAA meet is P 5 Million.
Agban of DepEd shared
that there will be an installation of temporary bath and comfort rooms
for the billeted schools.
Some amount will also
be used to prepare the playing grounds and other areas to serve as
Athletes will use the
Calbayog City Sports Center, Brgy. Trinidad Covered Court, the New
Terminal in Barangay Bagacay, and Marju Krisel pool for the swimming
Another concern that
the group wants to overcome is the budget for the cultural
presentation on the opening day which they said is not yet included in
the P 5 Million budget allocated for the EVRAA.
In the presentation,
some 30 high school students from 15 schools in the city are expected
The budget only
include the opening and closing ceremonies, food for the delegates and
the fund needed for the twenty (20) days training before the opening.
Also included in
the budget is the athletic uniform of 370 athletes and 50 officials
from the city's delegation. (with report from A.
8ID foils terrorist
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – Member of the notorious New People’s Army (NPA)
was killed in an early morning encounter with the troops of the Army’s
34th Infantry Battalion in the periphery of Brgy. Mahanud of the
interior municipality of Matuguinao, Samar 1:30 a.m. today few hours
after the culmination of the holiday truce.
According to the
report, 34IB received information from some civilian residents in
Matuguinao that a group of heavily armed men are extorting food stuffs
and consolidating in that area, and planning to harass the isolated
detachment in San Jose de Panaugan, the last barangay of Gandara
revealed that the harassment will be carried out to welcome the
termination of the government’s declaration of cease fire. It can be
remembered that cease fire has started last December 16, 2010 and
ended in the eve of January 3 to give time for the holiday
To preempt such
another terrorist deed that will demoralize the new hope of the
peace-loving people this new year, the commanding officer of 34IB
Lieutenant Colonel William Peňafiel sent out some of his troops to
assure that terrorist could no longer execute their evil plans.
It then resulted to an
exchange of fires between the two groups that caused to the killing of
an unidentified NPA terrorist and hurting a CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA)
identified as CAA Duran. Mahanud is just a 30-minute hike from the
town proper of Matuguinao at an estimated 7 kilometer distance. Also
seized from the rebel group are one (1) M16 rifle, personal belongings
and other war items.
The cadaver of the
slain rebel is still in the area as of press time while the wounded
CAA, is now in Tacloban City and undergoing surgical operations.
General Chan, 8ID’s commander has already commended his troops for
proactively foiling and thwarting the supposed enemy’s attack.
“This feat is another
manifestation of how dedicated our troops are in protecting the people
against these groups that sow terror to our peace loving Samarenos”.
He once again
recognized the unwavering support of our people. According to him,
the incident could count that insurgency cannot be totally obliterated
by a mere military solution. Thorough collaboration between the
civilians and the soldiers is needed.
“As I was saying in
the past, this feat can be attributed to our people because our
services can just be fully carried out if our people’s concern remains
to be on top, not just for our soldiers, but for themselves too,” he
Troops are still in
the area to assure that the terrorists could not make any volatile
assault both to the civilian and to the government forces after
foiling their attack.
Meanwhile, he further
stated that the 8ID is very much firmed to sue those who do not show
intention to cooperate with the government and keep on staging chaos
to the people while the government is also pitiful to give another
chance to those who really wanted to re-experience the life in the
“Let our people’s
desire for peace be prospered for they are already tired of waiting
when they will re-experience peace and development in the region.
Despite of their voluntarily giving of share to lessen the burden of
our government to fast track this insurgency problem that mocks the
decent living condition of our people, there is a need for serious
collaboration to put this an end. And that, all sectors must join
hands and equally contribute for the eventual defeat of insurgence in
Region 8,” concludes General Chan.
RH Bill hearings to
push through in 2011
By Office of Sen. Pia Cayetano
PASAY CITY – Senator Pia S. Cayetano is determined to push through with more public
hearings this year on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill
even if the measure doesn’t figure in the priority legislative agenda
of the current Senate leadership.
Cayetano, a member of
the three-person minority bloc in the Upper Chamber, chairs the Senate
Committee on Health and Demography which is overseeing public
deliberations on Senate Bill No. 2378, the Senate version of the RH
Bill which is authored by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
“There is a
legislative process that must be observed and as Chair of the primary
committee that is hearing the RH Bill, it is my duty to take the
proposed measure through said process, whether or not it falls under
the priorities of the current Senate majority,” she stressed.
“We have already
conducted our initial public hearing last year and we intend to set
the succeeding hearings early this year,” added Cayetano, referring to
the committee’s first public hearing held in October 2010 where
resource persons from the so-called ‘Pro-life’ and ‘Pro-choice’ groups
were invited, as well as experts from the medical community, women’s
groups and key government agencies.
“There are many
components of the RH Bill, including the urgency to address the
country’s high maternal death rate and the need to lay down a national
policy on family planning,” she added. “The inputs of all stakeholders
will be heard during said hearings.”
Cayetano says there is
a “good number” of senators who are either openly or discreetly
supporting the measure, although she maintains that it is still too
early to go into the “numbers game” at this stage.
“It is premature and
pointless to start counting how many senators are for or against the
bill when it hasn’t even reached the plenary yet.”
Aside from the RH
Bill, Cayetano said the health committee will continue its work on
other important measures, including on proposals to expand the
coverage and benefits of PhilHealth and monitoring government efforts
to meet its public health targets under the UN Millennium Development
It may be recalled
that the very first measure approved on third and final reading by the
Senate in the 15th Congress came from the health committee: the bill
seeking to expand the national immunization program to include
mandatory vaccination against Hepatitis-B for infants within 24 hours
Leyte targets to host
RDCom’s “One Visayas” this 2011
Media Relations Center
January 3, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – The
provincial government of
Leyte is planning to host this year the “One Visayas” activity of
the Regional Development Council of the three regions of
Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas.
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla said this is one activity that could help promote the
province and the region as to its business, tourism and economic
“We’re trying to see
if this 2011, the One Visayas can be held here in
Leyte. It does not necessarily have to be here in Tacloban as we
have other cities as well in the region such as Ormoc and
Maasin City in
Southern Leyte,” Gov. Petilla said.
however, he added, is the fact that there is no available venue big
enough to hold such a large gathering composed of participants from
the bonded three regions in the Visayas area.
gather to a “One Visayas” activity are coming from local government
units, regional agencies, state universities and colleges and private
sector groups of Regions 6, 7 and 8.
“We really would like
to have the One Visayas held here (Leyte) in 2011
and we’ll just look for a good venue for that,” added Gov. Petilla,
who is also the new chairman of the Regional Development Council in
Previous hosts of the
One VIsayas activity were Cebu held at the Cebu International
Convention Center and Roxas City held at the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF)
The RDC-8 hosted one
activity of the One Visayas in 2010, dubbed as tne Visayas Health at
the Leyte Park Hotel in Tacloban City. The RDC 8, played host to the
affair, in partnership with the Department of Health-Center for Health
Development 8 under the leadership of DOH-8 Regional Dir. Edgardo
The Forum was a sequel
to the RDCom’s series of One Visayas activities. Prior to the Health
Forum, the One Visayas Culture and Arts Festival, the One Visayas
Climate Change Summit, and the second One Visayas Culture and Arts
Festival were separately held in
Roxas City, respectively. These were initiatives of the three RDCom
to bond together the development agenda of Regions 6, 7 and 8.
One Visayas is the
brainchild of and is led by the chairpersons of the Regional
Development Councils of each of the three regions, Antique Governor
Sally Perez for Region 6; Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for Region 7
and former Calbayog City Mayor now Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento for
Region 8 who formerly headed RDC-8.
It is aimed to have
a cohesive promotion and development of One Visayan culture and arts
as an important tool for the development of the country.
ANAD warns government
By ANAD Partylist
QUEZON CITY – “In no
certain terms and conditions would the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF
give in and jointly seek the path towards peace with government. But
their unwavering demonic obsession seeking the collapse of our
country’s democracy and government remains high and above all,” said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover as he slammed the claims of Maoist terrorist
CPP-NPA-NDF stalwarts Jose Ma. Sison and Jorge Madlos, in separate
statements, that defended (sic!) their revolutionary group’s
continued extortion, in the guise of “revolutionary tax”, against big
businesses, including mining companies; groups and individuals.
“I am so much
concerned about this especially with the forthcoming peace talks just
a month away and the non-formal discussion in Norway already set on
January 14 to 18, 2011. Sison’s cabal of pretenders is acting as if
they have a legal and constitutionally established government in this
country,” said Rep. Alcover.
Rep. Alcover expressed
exasperation on the seeming reluctance of government, under President
Benigno Simeon Aquino III, to impose its legal mantle and authority
against the Maoist terrorist claim. “While it is the responsibility of
government to reach out and hold discussions for peace with any group,
it does not follow that any group that government is talking to could
assume legitimacy of status and allowed to establish its own system of
governance,” Rep. Alcover said as he emphasized that there is only one
government in the country duly established by the constitution.
“ANAD is deeply
concerned about these unfolding developments where government seems
reluctant to impose its authority over all groups espousing de-facto
authority of governance, particularly on the imposition and collection
of taxes,” Rep. Alcover explained.
The statements of both
Joma Sison and Jorge Madlos should cause government’s serious concern.
“Issuing statements expressing its intention to continue extorting
from mining companies, businesses, and individuals, under the highly
surreptitious and deceptive claim of pro-people programs of the Maoist
terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF, is tantamount to open declaration of
belligerence against a constitutionally established government,” Rep.
“Thus looking few
steps further and in relation to the forthcoming peace talks, the
Filipino people and government should not expect any thing positive to
come out. Maoist terrorist twitting and dubious display of character
is always evident so as their insincerity and utter disregard for
peace,” he quipped.
and his political advisers are now put on the spot. They should not
forget that the Filipinos have already grown tired of being toyed with
the idea of holding peace talks yet nothing concrete and positive were
achieved, so far. Now, the Filipinos are closely watching every step
and move that government does. We shall hold the Aquino administration
responsible if anything dismal comes out of this latest effort towards
peace with the Maoist terrorists,” Rep. Alcover emphasized.
8ID responds to
calamity needs in Samar and Leyte
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – Continuous rain that started in New Year’s Eve up
to present had brought some of the places in Samar and Leyte Islands
to sink in a deep flood while some experience minor and major
In Samar island,
reports that had reached to this command divulged that there are five
(5) sections of the Taft-Buray road which are inundated by three feet
to five feet water flood of Barangay Binaloan, Malinao, San Pablo,
Mabuhay and Burak all of Taft, Eastern Samar. Some vehicle cannot
exceed even the military vehicle on the said areas.
The Disaster Relief
and Rescue Unit (DRRU) of the Army’s 801st Infantry Brigade in
coordination with the Local Government Unit of the concerned
municipality had already made necessary actions.
Trainees of Jungle
Warfare and Mountain Operations Course (JWMOC) who are based in
Hinabangan with some crews of Provincial Public Works and Highways (PPWH)
in Samar were able to clear off the mud and rocks that covered the
road net in Brgy San Rafael West and made it partially passable at
about 11:30 in the morning. Complete clearing will be conducted the
On the other hand,
Loop de Loop detachment of 52nd Cadre Battalion and 14th Infantry
Battalion, respectively unmindful of their safety and heavy rains,
were able to immediately deploy their troops to assist the trapped
commuters but no possible evacuation of the trapped commuters thereat.
In Southern Leyte, a
separate report from R3, PNP Region 8 disclosed that landslides had
occurred at Purok 4, Brgy Bolod-Bolod, St. Bernard at about 1:30 in
the afternoon that buried two (2) households with three casualties.
Combined personnel of
PNP St. Bernard and 2nd Platoon of SL PPSC led by P/Insp Bernardino
had already conducted initial search and rescue operation that
resulted to unearthing of two (2) dead bodies that was later found out
to be Fatima and Rodel Escairal, 5 and 1 year old, respectively while
Jordan Laquipon, 1 year old is reported missing.
Other residents near
the area were already evacuated in safer ground and now under custody
of St. Bernard Municipal Disaster Coordinating Committee. Search and
rescue operation are still on going for the other missing victim.
Infantry Battalion lately reported that another landslide had occurred
at Brgy Kawayan, Libagon town of same province that made the road from
and to Liloan town impassable. Buses and other means of land
transportation are reportedly stranded on the said place. 19IB had
already deployed its troops to provide necessary assistance in the
affected area. Troops are still in the area as of press time.
commander of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division Major General Mario Chan
ordered his Commandant to prepare the Command’s DRRU to augment the
troops who are conducting search and rescue operations in the affected
Equipped with their
DRRU equipment such as shovels, floating vests, ropes and other
digging and floating devices, the Company size DRRU were formed stand
by at the command’s grandstand ready to move on call for any
deployment in any place of Region 8.
employees receive additional bonus, await salary differential
By Provincial Media Relations Center
TACLOBAN CITY – Over
2,300 workers of the government of
Leyte received additional bonuses amounting to P10,000 during the
Christmas season as announced by Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla during
the capitol Christmas Party held at the Capitol Grounds in December.
The bonus is on top of
the salary differential on the 10% salary increase for calendar year
2010 which the governor gave a green light.
Announcement of the
amount for the extra cash gift was the most awaited part during the
Provincial Christmas Party for the more than 2,000 capitol employees.
Gov. Petilla said it
was a hard battle between the government employees association and his
office as to the final amount that should be given to the employees as
“It has been a long
deliberation between the officers of PAGE as to how much really, can
the province give, considering that we have already reached our salary
cap for the year 2010,” Gov. Petilla said.
It was learned that
expenses on personnel already reached the 45% cap from the total
budget of the province.
Still, the governor
added, his administration would find ways to come up for the
additional bonus so that employees can still have money to spare
during the Yuletide Season.
differential that is being given covers only the 10% salary increase
from January to December of 2010. Salary increase for 2011 has yet to
be decided upon, the governor said.
Job order workers
likewise received P5,000 each, the same they got last year.
announcement was applauded by the capitol employees who attended the
party, the amount was far from the P22,500 the employees received last
As per the governor’s
order, the additional bonus and salary differential is to be released
before December 25. However, only the additional bonus was released
before the appropriated date while the salary differential is waited
upon to be received this January.
Meanwhile, the New
Year brings good tidings to local government employees as they are set
to receive hefty salary increases in 2011 per Local Budget Circular
Local Budget Circular
No. 95, which was released on June 29, 2010, provides the guidelines
for the implementation of the second tranche monthly salary schedule
specifically for local government personnel.
The salary increase
for local government employees will take effect on January 1, 2011,
six months later than those working for the national government.
The increases range
from 75 percent for the poorest towns to a hefty 100 percent for the
richest or a doubling of the salaries of all their employees.
Consultants are not included in the increases.
government of Leyte, for its part, has yet to disclose if it could
implement the said increase as provided in this recent local budget
Gov't to distribute
300,000 hectares of land to farmers
QUEZON CITY –
Government intends to acquire some 300,000 hectares of private and
public estates next year for redistribution to agrarian reform
beneficiaries, Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas said Tuesday.
For this purpose,
Gullas said a total of P10.179 billion has been set aside in the 2011
General Appropriations Act.
The P10.179 billion is
15.4 percent or P1.363 billion greater than this year's P8.816-billion
allocation for the land acquisition and distribution plan of the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Gullas said.
"The fresh funding
will enable the DAR to take over some 200,000 hectares of private land
and 100,000 hectares of public land, and then parcel the estates out
to small landless farmers," Gullas said.
Gullas made the
statement as government prepared to renew formal peace talks with the
National Democratic Front (NDF).
reform – the seizure of estates owned by "big landlords" and the
subsequent redistribution of the holdings to "landless peasants" –
formed part of the NDF's original 10-point program put forth in the
Gullas said the
300,000 hectares targeted for acquisition and dispersal next year
would cover around 20 percent of the residual undistributed lands.
Thus far, government
has awarded a total of 7,558,777 hectares of land to some five million
agrarian reform beneficiaries countrywide, leaving only 1,485,295
hectares still undistributed, according to the DAR.
In August 2009,
Congress passed Republic Act 9700, which extended by another five
years the land acquisition and distribution schedule under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of 1988.
Under the law, the DAR
has up to June 30, 2014 to complete its land procurement and dispersal
plan and expand the economic opportunities of small farmers who
currently do not own the land they are cultivating.
previously indicated that once the land acquisition and distribution
plan is completed, he would rectify the overlapping functions of the
DAR, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and
2011 budget seen to
help fight joblessness
QUEZON CITY – The
proposed P1.645 trillion General Appropriations Act that Malacañang
will sign into law on Monday is expected to help address mounting
unemployment, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said Sunday.
"Government is the
country's single largest consumer and biggest employer. Its spending
will help propel economic as well as jobs growth next year," Barzaga
government would pay out some P526 billion in salaries and benefits to
public sector workers next year, thus driving household consumption
will stimulate in a big way the demand for goods and services, and in
the process energize local industries," he said.
benefiting directly and indirectly from the spending are bound to
create new employment, according to Barzaga.
Next year's budget
represents almost one-fifth or 18.2 percent of the country's Gross
Domestic Product, he added.
Barzaga said the
budget's P148.2-billion fresh allocation for new public infrastructure
spending would also be another driver of jobs growth.
"A provision in the
budget requires contractors to adopt a labor-intensive mode of
implementation of infrastructure projects. Priority hiring will be
accorded to the underprivileged residents of local communities where
the projects are located," he said.
Barzaga said the
infrastructure spending would benefit poor households, mainly through
Meanwhile, the P6.6
billion budget of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
includes P700 million for the Training for Work Program of the
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Barzaga said the
program would benefit 50,000 job seekers.
He also said P425
million has been set aside for the DOLE's Capability-Building for
Employment Service of Students and Workers' Income Augmentation
Another P300 million
has been allotted for the department's Employment Placement
Facilitation Program, plus P21 million for Labor Market Information
and Networking Program, Barzaga pointed out.
In terms of direct
hiring, he said government would be creating 14,000 new posts next
year – for 10,000 teachers and 4,000 police, fire and jail officers.
Barzaga's remarks came
not long after the latest Labor Force Survey showed that some 2.8
million Filipinos were totally without jobs in October, up from 2.72
million in the same month in 2009.
The survey indicated
that some 80,000 able-bodied Filipinos aged 15 years old and above
joined the ranks of the unemployed over the 12-month period.
The number of
underemployed Filipinos – those only partially employed and actively
seeking longer hours of work – also increased by 260,000 heads over
the same period, from 6.88 million to 7.14 million, according to the