anti-corruption activities for 2011
By EMY C. BONIFACIO,
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
On its first planning activity for 2011, Samar's newly launched
anti-corruption group, MATA-Samar, has identified priority projects
that have to be monitored. The meeting that took place last January 8
at its newly installed office laid down the plans and programs for the
In order to capacitate
its members, the Multi-sectoral
for Transparency and Accountability, will conduct trainings on the
budget process, tracking and procurement. These skills will be very
essential in the monitoring of the various infrastructure projects
that are on-going and proposed for implementation in Samar.
The group will invite
resource speakers that will come from the Department of Budget and
Management (DBM), Philippine Public Transparency and Reporting Project
(PPTRP) and the Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN). The DBM
will share in detail the regular processes that a budget has to
undergo while the PPTRP and the TAN will equip the participants,
knowledge on budget documentary reporting and paper trailing to ensure
that irregularities and manipulations may be preempted.
In an effort to equip
the members with other skills necessary in addressing various aspects
of corruption, Fr. Cesar Aculan of the
has been tasked to draft project proposals based on the training needs
that were assessed in the same forum.
The group will focus
in the researching and gathering of documents relative to the on-going
civil works that are being implemented by the provincial government.
An estimated P274,106,000.00 worth of projects that are to be
implemented in clusters and in lump sum appropriations are now made
subjects for monitoring. The monitoring teams will dig into the
programs of work, plans and specifications, contractor’s profile and
the progress reports of each and every project.
In this regard, MATA-Samar
sent out letters to the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
Samar, requesting copies of the above documents from the Provincial
Engineering Office. At the same time, listings of the proposed
projects, location, duration and its corresponding budget requirements
have been posted at the MATA website and facebook account for
transparency purposes. The group further intends to furnish the local
government units of the said lists for their own monitoring. MATA-Samar
calls on residents to actively participate in the monitoring of
projects in their respective localities. Hotlines will be disseminated
for feedbacking purposes.
It must be recalled
that DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo has signed a Memorandum of Agreement
with the Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD)
during his visit to Samar, last September 2010. DILG expressed its
commitment to fully support the anti-corruption efforts of the various
civil society organizations. To this effect, directives have been
disseminated to all Local Chief Executives to be transparent in their
transactions and that public disclosures of all government procedures
be a must. The order is also in line with President Noynoy Aquino’s
national thrust for transparency and vision for a corrupt-free
It was further learned
that MATA-Samar will conduct its protocol visits to the different
Regional Offices for coordination by next week. The visit also expects
to solicit support from the agency heads.
Finally, MATA Samar
expressed thanks to all other national anti-corruption organizations
who have acknowledged the group’s efforts. “The successful launch held
last December 10 is an indicator that it has the support from all
other sectors. There’s no other way up, but to get united and continue
the fight against corruption. Let’s all safeguard our resources”, a
PPTRP official said.
41 new classrooms
completed in Leyte in 2010
Media Relations Center
January 11, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY –
Addressing the need for more classrooms among public schools, the
provincial government of Leyte reports it managed to put up a total of
41 new classrooms in various elementary and secondary schools in the
The school buildings
are units of one classroom, two-classroom, three-classroom and even
The 41 classrooms
completely implemented in 2010 included barangay elementary schools in
Alangalang, Palo, Burauen, Carigara, Dulag, Leyte, Tabango, Kananga,
Palompon, Abuyog, Calubian, Babatngon, Tolosa, Kananga, Matag-ob and
school buildings were also completed at the Consuegra National High
School in Leyte town, Calubian High School in Dulag, Hindang National
High School in Hindang, Polahongon National High School in Mahaplag,
Alangalang National High School in Alangalang, Palo National High
School in Palo and to include a 3-classroom building at the Eastern
Visayas State University (EVSU) Dulag Campus in Dulag.
Leyte Governor Carlos
Jericho Petilla said the province is presently prioritizing schools
identified by the Department of Education as ‘red flags’, which means
that the student-classroom ratio is beyond the ideal set by the
“There are still many
schools in the province identified as ‘red flags’ and these are the
ones we are going to prioritize this 2011,” Gov. Petilla said.
These projects cost
the provincial government millions in fund to improve the school
infrastructure that is continuously increasing in student population.
As it is, DepEd
projected the classroom shortage will jump from 170,000 in 2011 to
266,000 in 2016 in the whole country.
As this develops, a
School Building Program bill has been recently filed in the Senate by
Senator Edgardo Angara that proposes to tap the private sector to
construct school buildings through a build-operate-transfer and
Under the bill, both
government and private funding can be used for the construction of
school facilities. The program will be handled by an inter-agency
committee headed by the secretary of education.
The proposed bill is
said to be consistent with Republic Act 7880 (Fair and Equitable
Access to Education Act) and will create an inter-agency committee,
composed of the DepEd, DBM, DILG and DPWH, to submit to the Committee
on Education of both houses of Congress a comprehensive school
Rash of kidnappings in the city
Chiz seeks relief of
Cotabato PNP, AFP leadership
By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
PASAY CITY – The
rising number of abductions in Cotabato City over the past months has
prompted Senator Chiz Escudero to call for the relief of the local
police and armed forces chiefs in the area, saying they failed in
their duties to secure and protect the people from criminals like the
Escudero, chairman of
the Senate committee on national defense and security, condemned the
latest abduction in the city involving Chinese businessman Eulogio Lim
Yu last Saturday.
This came a month
after a nine-year-old girl was kidnapped but rescued in Pigcawayan, a
town adjacent to the city. The girl’s father, trader Allan Tamayo, was
killed when he tried to stop the abductors.
Before this, Chinese
businesswoman Conchita Tan was also snatched in Cotabato City, and her
driver and bodyguard were gunned down for resisting the kidnappers. In
August of the same year, trader Nelson Tay was abducted by armed men.
According to the
senator, this abduction spree was very alarming because kidnappers
continue with their criminal activities under the noses of
Since last year, 10
kidnapping incidents, mostly involving Chinese traders, have been
recorded in Mindanao, particularly in the Autonomous Region of Muslim
“This is already a
shame to our security forces. Kidnapping has become the norm more than
it should just be an exemption. There is no more excuse for
kidnap-for-ransom incidents happening once or thrice in successive
months,” Escudero said. “Those manning the security fort should be
held responsible for the proliferation of lawlessness in the city.”
The notorious Pentagon
Gang has been tagged as the major perpetrator of the kidnappings. In
some cases, terror group Abu Sayyaf has been identified as responsible
for the crime.
Escudero said there
ought to be a serious evaluation not only of the existing security
measures of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP), but also of their officers and personnel
following persistent talk that some of them were involved in
“The PNP and AFP
leadership in ARMM should shape up or they better ship out and let
those who are capable do the job. These security organizations should
purge their ranks starting from top to bottom. The system and those
implementing the system may no longer be fit to carry out what is
really necessary in curbing lawlessness and promoting peace and
order,” Escudero said.
Palace prepares for
first LEDAC meeting
Philippines – Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on
Tuesday the Cabinet had identified 32 bills that would be submitted to
President Benigno Aquino III ahead of the Legislative-Executive
Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting to be held before the end
of the month.
Ochoa convened the
other day members of the Cabinet for a workshop designed to identify
key legislative measures which will be included in the
administration’s Priority Legislative Agenda.
legislative measures we have crafted are consistent with the
President’s social contract with the Filipino people,” Ochoa said. “We
want to ensure that this administration succeed in addressing this
with the help of Congress.”
The objectives of the
priority legislative agenda are the following:
- address poverty and
promote a healthy, educated, and empowered citizenry
- promote productivity, generate employment and promote food
- encourage more public-private partnerships and promote a
competitive policy environment
- protect our sovereignty, ensure security and promote the
rule of law
- strengthen the capacity of the bureaucracy to govern
According to the
Executive Secretary, 139 proposed bills were put forward by Cabinet
members during the workshop and another 41 were submitted by the Joint
Foreign Chambers of Commerce of the Philippines.
At the workshop, these
proposed legislative measures were processed, integrated and
prioritized by five clusters, each representing a critical area, Ochoa
The heads of the five
clusters are Vice President Jejomar Binay, Human Development; Economic
Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr., Economic Development; Public Works
Secretary Rogelio Singson, Infrastructure Development; Justice
Secretary Leila De Lima, Rule of Law; and Ochoa, Good Governance.
He said the Office of
the Executive Secretary, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office and
other concerned agencies will undertake another review of the proposed
bills and take into consideration the recommendation of Budget
Secretary Butch Abad to study their impact on the budget.
“Once this study is
done and the President goes over the proposed measures and approves
them, we will make the necessary preparations for the first LEDAC
meeting together with NEDA (National Economic Development Authority),
the LEDAC Secretariat, as well as make public the specific measures
that will make up our Priority Legislative Agenda,” Ochoa explained.
Secretary added that the administration was optimistic that with the
help of Congress, “we can add or maybe improve the legislation we will
be submitting to them.”
Floods dislodge armed
strife as PH's biggest creator of internal refugees
KIDAPAWAN CITY –
Floods everywhere have dislodged armed conflict as the country's top
generator of internal refugees, a governor from Mindanao said over the
"Without playing down
the perils of recurring armed conflict, we're afraid more Filipinos
now risk being driven out of their homes and sources of livelihood due
to harsh climate change," North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou "Lala" Taliño-Mendoza
warned that massive flooding on one hand and intense drought on the
other would expose a greater number of Filipinos to hunger, due to
spoiled farm harvests and lack of ready access to affordable food.
"We have to change
many things, including the way we use and hoard water, the way we
cultivate our farms, even the way we build our roads, if we are to
cope with brutal weather conditions in the months ahead," she said.
The Mindanao governor
made the statement shortly after the National Disaster Risk Reduction
and Management Council reported that a total of 470,763 persons or
92,606 families have been severely affected by flooding and landslides
that hit eight regions across the country. The disasters also left at
least 26 people dead.
North Cotabato and
other parts of Central Mindanao have had their share of recurring
floods every time the 373-kilometer Mindanao River overflows on
account of a heavy downpour.
for the implementation of a 1989 law that requires the installation of
rainwater collectors in every barangay, as means to ease flooding
during the rainy season and hoard fresh water for irrigation and other
uses during dry spells.
Rainwater Collector and Springs Development Act remains largely
unimplemented, she lamented.
"We also have to
change the way we construct our roads and drainage systems so that
during heavy rainfall some of the surface runoff gets purposely
channeled to impounding structures and watersheds, instead of flowing
into our river systems and draining into the open sea," she said.
Surface runoff is the
water flow that occurs when soil is infiltrated to full capacity and
excess water from rainfall flows over the land.
pushed for the grant of national government subsidy, by way of cash
rewards, to farmers who practice soil and water conservation.
"The planting of
bamboo trees by farmers near river banks, for instance, can check
rapid soil erosion and lessen silt in waterways," she pointed out.
invest heavily in lessening disaster risk, and prepare ahead stood a
better chance of thriving amid extreme weather patterns, the governor
ranks 12th among 200 countries most vulnerable to tropical cyclones,
floods, earthquakes, landslides and other natural disasters, according
to the latest Mortality Risk Index of the United Nations International
Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
Leyte IDOL lands Top 5
spot in TV singing search
Media Relations Center
January 8, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte’s
former Bulilit Singing Idol is making waves as the year started by
landing in the Top 5 of ABS-CBN’s “Star Power - Sharon's Search for
the Next Female Pop Superstar”.
Monica Sacay, 16, a
native of Kananga, Leyte, continues to hold on to the chance to become
the next singing sensation as the “Star Power” search brought down to
five the remaining finalists during the first live telecast this year.
Monica is now being
tagged in this singing search as the “Charming Biritera” together with
other top five finalists: Angeline Quinto as the “Pop Belter” from
City of Manila, K-La Rivera the “R&B Sweetheart” from Canada, Krissel
Valdez the “Soulful Diva” from Davao and Akiko Solon the “Sweet & Sexy
Siren” from Cebu.
Being a part of the
Leyte Idol talent pool, Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla has
extended financial assistance to the rising star to boost her chances
of becoming Sharon’s Next Female Pop Superstar.
The governor said
starting a career in showbusiness is no easy endeavor and needs a lot
of personal expense to build up her own name.
“We would help our own
talents in any way we can. We are proud Monica have made it this far
proving that our local talents can really compete in the national
scene and make it big,” Gov. Petilla said.
It was learned that
the governor himself has asked his employees in his private-owned
businesses to vote for Leyte’s singing star to increase her chances to
figure in the top four and reach the Grand Finals night for the said
to Loloy Loreto, who manages the Leyte IDOL talent pool, this is one
of those opportunities that the provincial singing search would like
to provide the local talents – exposure in nationwide singing search,
possibly pass the qualifying round and hopefully making it to the top.
“We are very happy and
very proud she’s doing good in the search. Landing in the Top 5 is
already a big feat as it is. But if she wins the title, it would be
very, very big honor indeed, not only for Monica but for the Leyte
IDOL itself, the program where she started her dreams as a singer,”
conceived Gov. Petilla and produced by the provincial government of
Leyte, is now on its sixth year of discovering and bringing together
the very best singers not only from the province of Leyte but also the
Eastern Visayas Region.
P23M worth of rice
farms damaged in Abuyog due to heavy rains
Media Relations Center
January 6, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY – More
than 23 million worth of damaged crops in Abuyog town has been
reported by the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council of Leyte
following heavy rains that inundated the region and other parts of the
country since the start of the new year.
In a report submitted
to PDC-Leyte, about 1,935 rice farmers in various parts of Abuyog have
various rice farms which are presently submerged in water since
1,950 hectares of
seedlings and newly planted rice were affected which damage is
estimated at P6,700 per hectare. The report further says these
affected areas have no chance of recovery.
“That’s more than P13
million in production yield loss for the 1.9 hectares now submerged in
water,” says Abuyog Municipal Agriculturist Gerardo Bauya.
rice farms at the tillering stage is more or less is 1,300 hectares
with an estimated loss of more than P10 million. These 1,300 hectares
of rice farms are however reported to have a chance of recovery.
On the other hand, a
total of seven carabaos owned by farmers have been reported drowned
since January 1. The livestock loss is estimated at P134, 000.
Earlier, the Regional
Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) has issued warning
to various local disaster risk reduction and management councils to be
on alert on 26 rivers in the region prone to flooding.
Twelve of these rivers
are found in Leyte province including the Eastern Coastal River of
Abuyog; Hibagdan River of Matalom; Bonguerogan-Salag River of Hilongos;
Pagbanganan of Baybay;
and Anilao River of Ormoc City.
Other rivers in
Leyte also considered as flood prone are the Binahaan River that
traverses through the towns of Jaro, Pastrana, Dagami and Palo; the
Northeast Leyte Basin that covers Carigara, Barugo, San Miguel and
Jaro; the Daguitan River along the towns of Burauen, Mayorga and Dulag;
the Bito River of MacArthur; and, the Layog River of Abuyog.
Army starts airlifting
trapped families in St. Bernard
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – Landslides and other road slips gets worst with
the continuous down pour of rains in the whole region that the access
to withdraw the trapped families in the two (2) remaining barangays of
St Bernard, Southern Leyte is hampered.
Jerson Palawan, ground commander of the rescue units in St Bernard
said that Brgy Tabon-tabon and Mahayag are still inaccessible at
present due to several landslides and eroded mountains along the road.
He also said that
evacuating the trapped families by land is not possible and only by
air is feasible. Two (2) UH-1H helicopters of the Philippine Air
Force are now being utilized to assist the rescue units in the ground
in pulling out the trapped families to safer grounds.
46 families had been
evacuated yesterday before the total closure of the roads and 291
individuals from above mentioned barangays were able to evacuate by
air today and now in stable situation at St Bernard Central School.
Palawan’s unit also tried to make any possible means to pull out some
families that can be evacuated by land. 40 families or a total of 180
individuals from Brgy Malinao crossing over the river to Brgy Catmon
were able to withdraw and now in safer condition.
As of press time, air
evacuation is still on progress despite of the fact that heavy
downpour of rains, flooding and mud slides are continuously
threatening the localities.
The DRU of 19IB is
closely coordinating PNP, MDCC and Municipal Rescue Team for quick and
fast extraction of the families still trapped in the three mentioned
different GOs and NGOs are expected to arrive today to provide
temporary assistance to the affected families that are now housed at
St Bernard Central School.
Cañeda cites Rep.
Gomez, Gov. Tan for heeding call to subsidize rice seeds
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Regional Executive Director Leo Cañeda hailed Samar Governor Sharee
Ann Tan-delos Santos for heeding the call to grant subsidy to
certified rice seeds at P300 per bag.
Cañeda was also all
praises for Rep. Lucy Marie Torres-Gomez of the 4th District of Leyte
for the deed.
“Of the chief
executives, only Gov. Ann and Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez responded
positively to our invitation about this program,” Cañeda told
Speaking in front of
Samarnons farmers, municipal agriculturists and seed growers, Cañeda
praised the two Tans.
Samar governor was
accompanied by her brother, Vice-Governor Stephen James Tan. Gov. Tan-delos
Santos always drag along her brother in the credits.
signals a new era for agricultural development in
Samar,” the agriculture director said. He also reminded the
farmers to use certified seeds to have better yield.
A Samar seed grower,
named Emilio Mabingnay of San Vicente, Catbalogan testified that
because he used certified seeds and embraced the modern technology in
farming, his one hectare rice field yielded 160 bags of palay.
Another farmer from
Casab-ahan, Gandara named Boy Bacalawdo said he also harvested 134
bags of palay in his one-hectare rice field.
The certified rice seeds
subsidy is right at the very heart of the blue print for agriculture
development in Samar, Cañeda noted.
“This act is one of
the many steps to undertake to ensure that we will experience
productivity and rice self-sufficiency,” Cañeda punctuated his speech.
Rockslide in Calbayog
due to unabated quarrying says DPWH
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
The unabated quarrying in Barangay Peña, Calbayog City has caused the
rockslides in Barangay Peña,
This is what Engr.
Virgilio Eduarte of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
1st Engineering District in Samar told to DYOG Calbayog in an
The engineer noted
that quarrying operations are going on in Tinambacan District in
The incessant rains
have aggravated the condition of the soil since the onset of New Year
2011 thus, boulders from uphill fell down on the highway.
The highway is part of
the Daang Maharlika that motorists going to
Mindanao are using. Eduarte added that the office has warned
residents about quarrying, but because this is the only livelihood
they know, they ignored the order.
Engr. Eduarte said
that his office will coordinate with the Local Government Unit of
Calbayog and CENRO to devise means to prevent the rockslide in that
Presently, the PNP is
supporting DPWH through establishing a chokepoint where they regulate
the flow of traffic. The DPWH undergoes clearing operations every
thirty minutes, so the PNP regulates the flow of vehicles, after
sometime, the road is opened to the motorists again.
The boulders are
removed from uphill so as not to endanger motorists.
With the incessant
rains, the DPWH with the help of PNP will ensure that precautions are
observed in passing through that portion of Daang Maharlika.
(with KC Caranzo / DYOG)
46 families evacuate
to safer place, 19IB to continue operation next day
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – 46 families were reported to have been evacuated
to safer place after the rains that temporarily stood still three days
after New Year continued until today that alarmed the local government
of St. Bernard in Southern Leyte.
Mud slides and mud
flows are continuously threatening the safety of the localities
particularly in barangays Tabon-tabon, Mahayag and Malinao of said
Three (3) innocent
minors were found dead following the unperceived landslide in Purok 4,
Brgy Bulod-Bulod of the same town while six (6) are still recuperating
in Anahawan District Hospital.
Base on the report
from First Lieutenant Jerson Palawan, ground commander of the rescue
team of the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion, the 46 rescued families
has already been sent to Brgy Catmon where they are temporarily
also said that there are still stranded families who are now in their
respective barangay halls for safety that will be evacuated the next
day after the landslides that block their access to those barangay are
cleared. There are also some minor landslides all over the
municipality that had been reported.
Troops also fearlessly
assisted the evacuees in crossing the forceful current of the muddy
river just to assure that no one will be hurt. PNP St. Bernard, MDCC
and Municipal Rescue Team are also working hand-in-hand with the
troops in withdrawing the families away from danger.
DRRU Company of the
8th Infantry Division remains on standby alert for possible deployment
all over Eastern Visayas especially that rains are persistently